Schools notebook: Washburn hosts second Miller Music Fest

Washburn hosts second Miller Music Fest

TANGLETOWN — Washburn High School hosts the second annual Miller Music Fest 7 p.m. May 6, an event that once again will feature a trio of Washburn alumni made good in the music world.

Guitarist Billy McLaughlin (class of ’80), singer-songwriter Jeff Arundel (’75) and Tom Lieberman (also ’75), a musician heard on “A Prairie Home Companion” and the soundtrack to feature film “Sweet Land,” will be joined by student performers on the stage of the Washburn auditorium, 201 W. 49th St.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Student tickets are $10.

Also for sale are $100 VIP tickets, which include admission to a 21-plus after-party at Whiskey Junction, 901 Cedar Ave. S., featuring a performance by the Thunderheads. Tickets to the after-party, scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m., will be $10 at the door.

Tickets are available on the Washburn High School Foundation website,


Annual tree giveaway returns

About 660 tree saplings were sent home with students from five area schools in April thanks a Fulton resident’s environmental-awareness project.

Students at Lake Harriet Community School’s lower campus and Kenwood Community School were among those who participated in the Neighborhood Trees project, an annual giveaway initiated last year by Vikas Narula. Narula said he aimed to both help beautify area neighborhoods and give families a project to mark Earth Day, which this year fell on April 22.

“It’s growing steadily from last year,” said Narula, who in 2010 distributed 450 saplings. “We are reaching more schools and giving away more trees.”

Project sponsors included the Wedge, Linden Hills and Seward co-ops, as well as Natur-tec, a Circle Pines-based company that donated biodegradable bags for the trees.

Area teachers interested in participating next year were encouraged to contact Narula by e-mail at [email protected]


Young Naturalist Award goes to Southwest senior

LINDEN HILLS — A Southwest High School Senior’s essay on the environmental impact of an insect repellent earned him a 2011 Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History.

The selection of Ryan Heltemes’s essay, “The Effect of DEET on Bioluminescent Dinoflagellates,” for one of 12 awards earned him a $2,500 cash prize and a trip to the museum, located in New York City.

The annual competition is open to students in grades 7­–12. Entries are reviewed and judged by a panel of environmentalists, science educators and museum staff.

Two winners at each grade level win the trip and a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. For more on the competition, go to


Lyndale students raise funds for tsunami relief

LYDALE — Students at Lyndale Community School raised $750 for tsunami and earthquake relief efforts in Japan.

The students presented a check to Megan Feigal, senior manager of individual giving for the Twin Cities chapter of the American Red Cross, during a school gathering April 15. The funds will help pay for the “basic needs” of disaster victims, Fiegal said.

Employees of the Lyndale Avenue branch of TruStone Financial boosted the impact of the Lyndale students’ giving by kicking-off their own fundraising drive when they caught wind of the campaign. Employees raised $702, an amount matched by the credit union’s corporate offices, bringing the day’s total donation to over $2,150.

Lyndale Parent Teacher Organization President Becky Dankowski said students started collecting change in jars following spring break. One second-grade classroom raised $67, the most of any classroom in the school.

Reach Dylan Thomas at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @DthomasJournals.