CARAG to decide Wellstone re-naming in September

The CARAG neighborhood will have a controversial issue to get people to its annual meeting this September — a vote on changing its name to Wellstone.

"This is the most important decision we have made in quite some time," said Board President Allen Bernard, who proposed setting the vote date.

The annual meeting is the best attended meeting of the year and would get more people to participate in the choice, he said.

CARAG is bounded by Lake Street and West 36th Street and by Lyndale and Hennepin avenues.

Resident Dean J. Seal proposed the name change in December. The neighborhood organization asked him to contact the Wellstone family to get its approval. Seal said Feb. 18 that he had spoken to Mark Wellstone, son of the late Sen. Paul and Sheila Wellstone, who said he wanted to come with his brother and walk around the neighborhood.

"Probably by next meeting, I can get an answer," Seal said.

The proposal has stirred strong reactions, pro and con. Bernard said he had gotten a few angry calls, including an anonymous threat.

CARAG stands for the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group, a now-defunct committee that formed in the 1970s to stop the building of highrises around Lake Calhoun.

Aaron Rubenstein said he did not like the name CARAG, but he wanted to have other options besides Wellstone. The board created an ad hoc committee to consider other names.