Author: Mark Weber

Mark Weber

Mark joined the Eden Prairie News as a reporter in 1979, just five years after its start, and spent the next 34 years in various roles including editor and publisher, as well as general manager of the parent company, Southwest Newspapers. He also published Edible Twin Cities magazine. His encore career was serving the nonprofit Eden Prairie Community Foundation as executive director. Mark is now retired. He and his wife, Roma, have two grown sons and a daughter-in-law, as well as a grandson. They have lived in Eden Prairie since 1984. "I hope the many words I have typed over the years have helped people understand the world around them."

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Older residents whose feelings of isolation due to COVID-19 are worsened by the holiday season are hearing from not-so-secret Santas like Ken Berg and Sue Bohnsack. These two and others like them are reaching out to hundreds of folks age 55 and older who, in a normal year, would gather for Eden Prairie Senior Center programs like the annual holiday lunch, a catered affair with lots of socializing and performances by high school choir students. The face-to-face conversations have been replaced with Zoom meetings, e-mails, phone calls, videos, and more as Berg, Bohnsack, and others get to the heart of…

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The Edina Realty Foundation, the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, and Onward Eden Prairie are collaborating to provide $9,000 to help precariously housed young adults in 2021. The funds will pay for stable housing and support services for young-adult residents of the Onward House, which is run by the nonprofit Onward Eden Prairie. Edina Realty Foundation and the Eden Prairie Community Foundation are each granting $3,000 and Onward Eden Prairie is using support from individual and family donors to create their own $3,000 share. Both foundations have identified stable housing as one of the community’s biggest needs. The Edina Realty Foundation…

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Eden Prairie residents will soon be able to order beer, wine, and spirits from the city’s liquor stores without leaving home. Jan. 3 is the launch date of www.shopepliquor.com, an e-commerce operation the City of Eden Prairie has been working on for almost two years, according to Jaime Urbina, the operations manager for Eden Prairie Liquor. In the first few months, residents ordering online from a limited inventory will need to pick up their liquor order inside or at the curb of one of the three municipal liquor stores. By late winter or early spring, the city hopes to have…

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The Eden Prairie A.M. Rotary Club and Sisters of Swing are presenting the music of The Andrews Sisters and the swing era in a high-energy livestreamed concert on Jan. 28. A bit like today, the 1930s and ’40s were hard times for many folks. The Andrews Sisters, with their upbeat and airtight harmonies, brought joy and inspiration to an entire generation of Americans. Today, Lisa Richter, Aimee Lee, and Kathy Mueller bring that music back to life with all of the same energy. This 6:30 p.m. show will be live-streamed from the Performing Arts Center at Eden Prairie High School.…

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The ongoing work to establish the Eden Prairie Local News as the primary source of local reporting will be the topic of a free Zoom event planned for 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, by the Eden Prairie Community Foundation. The public program features Jenifer Loon, who leads the working group that has created EPLN, being interviewed by Foundation Executive Director Mark Weber, who is also a member of that working group. Loon will answer questions about the process that led to creation of the digital EPLN and what’s ahead. Space is limited and registration is required ahead of time on…

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The application period for 2021 direct grants from the Eden Prairie Community Foundation ends on Dec. 23. Awards will be presented next spring. Application materials can be found online at www.epcommunityfoundation.org. To see if your organization qualifies, take the Eligibility Quiz at https://bit.ly/2QMh37F. The Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in direct grants since its formation, with 550 grants going to about 100 different nonprofits and agencies serving Eden Prairie. Every corner of Eden Prairie has been touched in some ways, as the Foundation funds grants in a wide range of areas: arts and culture; education; recreation and environment;…

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Carolyn Kinzel, founder of the Eden Prairie-based, nonprofit Brighter Days Grief Center, said the center will acquire the Youth Grief Services program of Fairview Health effective today, Dec. 10. Youth Grief Services (YGS) has been operating for over 20 years, offering a range of free youth and adult grief support and education as well as Camp Erin, a summer camp for grieving kids. Brighter Days will also hire three full-time employees in January to maintain the continuity, value, and relationships the hospital’s Youth Grief Service program served.  In almost four years of service, Brighter Days Grief Center has served more…

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Even as many Eden Prairie retailers struggle to survive a trying year, several new construction projects are being planned for 2021 or beyond. That includes plans for retail – and possibly a Lakewinds Food Co-op – southwest of the intersection of Flying Cloud Drive and Prairie Center Drive near Eden Prairie Center, in the shadow of the multi-story Flagstone senior-living complex being built by Presbyterian Homes. The Flying Cloud Commons retail project has been billed as including a Lakewinds grocery store, a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, and a Bank of America branch. City approval of plans is nearly complete, with only a…

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A bit of Eden Prairie crystal-ball gazing in the early 1970s is proving more accurate than many might have guessed. When the city’s Major Center Area Task Force in 1973 concluded its work to guide future development of the area surrounding Eden Prairie Shopping Center, it hoped that options like personal rapid transit or what it called Computer Automated Transit Systems (CATS) would be part of the system to keep traffic moving. In fact, it said development of a CATS system in Eden Prairie by 1995 “may be practical.” Well, the forecasted date was off, but today’s construction of light-rail…

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You can travel from the Southwest LRT construction project of today to the horse-drawn wagon days, more than 150 years ago, without a time machine and without leaving Eden Prairie. It’s possible because city officials have pinpointed and are preserving a portion of a long-ago wagon road along the Minnesota River. It’s a roadbed that in even earlier times may have seen oxcart traffic. It’s difficult to access, and could stay that way for some time. The road segment is barely discernible on the now-wooded bluffs in southeastern Eden Prairie. The area is also the subject of a preservation plan…

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