White Bear has more Rose Bowl connections

I read with interest the article from the Jan. 2 issue of the White Bear Press concerning Paul Ramseth and his Rose Bowl experience. White Bear has some additional ties to that 1962 Rose Bowl team. Ted Rude, White Bear High School class of 1958, was a tight end, and Cary Colberg, White Bear High School class of 1959, was a running back. In addition, Gerry Dittbrener was on the field as a member of the Minnesota Marching Band. I have no further information on Ted, but both Gary and Gerry have distinguished themselves in later life and both have been inducted into the White Bear Lake High School Wall of Fame.

Gary Colberg, who recently passed away, was inducted in 2011. He excelled in three sports and led the White Bear High School Student Council. At the University of Minnesota, he was a member of 1961 and 1962 Rose Bowls for the Gophers, later earning an MA in physical education. After teaching and coaching for four years at Hamline University, he moved to the University of California/Davis where he created 57 different sports activities involving 15,000 students. There, he also helped raise funds for many facilities, e.g., a $28 million recreation center. In the world of volleyball, Colberg officiated at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and was a coordinator at the 1996 Atlanta Games. In 1985 he created a collegiate volleyball sport club championship that has become the largest event of its kind in the U.S.  

Gerald Dittberner was inducted in 2016. His résumé bulges with accomplishments, including degrees from the University of Minnesota (1964) and the University of Wisconsin (1969) with a Ph.D. in meteorology in 1977. Dr. Dittberner became Lieutenant Colonel Dittberner in the United States Air Force before entering the private aerospace industry. Later, he became program manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that launches geostationary weather satellites. He has been nationally recognized by NASA. Over 50 scientific publications bear his imprint. The list goes on and on, yet two of his fondest memories are having been chosen drum major for the WBHS Band and playing clarinet in the U of M’s Marching Band in the 1962 Rose Bowl.

Steve Johnson

White Bear Lake


Government shutdown, what's next?

It would be imprudent for the Democrats to give in to (President Donald) Trump’s demand for a border wall simply to get the government open and running again. Trump has seized upon the shutdown as an effective tool to force approval of his demands. Undoubtedly, this same tactic will be used in the future, over and over again, whenever Trump deems it convenient to get what he wants. He will “proudly” shut it down no matter how drastically it may affect the general public. What’s next?

Kristen Brodie

White Bear Lake


A short trip to heaven

When you hear a phrase about a “trip to heaven,” your mind may assume it’s about one of those “near-death” experiences. Articles and books are around regarding someone who was clinically dead and experienced an out-of-body state. Some write about approaching a beautiful light, or seeing a loved one, or being given a new peace. Fascinating — and rather hopeful. However, the trip to heaven that I had was in plain view and experienced by hundreds. If you scoff at such a thing, let me tell you about it. It happened on Jan. 6, 2019 at my church, Community of Grace in White Bear Lake.

There was a packed house, lovely music and vocals that were quite angelic. It began innocently enough, totally on earth, but kept ascending as the hour moved along. The down-to-earth sermon had several inspiring epiphanies. It was genuine and relevant, and included things that made us smile together and made us think “oh, so true.” We prayed for a team of 15 folks going on a mission trip to Haiti and soon returned to music. The beauty of souls in worship, singing together, heads upward, elevated above the issues and concerns of the day, was a glimpse of glory. When I realized that the lead vocalist was a young woman who has two children slowly dying of a rare genetic disorder, I was transported higher. My old mentor told me years ago that “you gotta die to go to heaven,” and I know what he meant, but this was close.

Then came communion. The pastor led us into it with an explanation that our semicircular kneeling at the altar is completed full circle by those worshipping on the eternal side. What a picture! The people streamed up, a stream of love and grace. They poured in to where the grace of God was poured out. I was transported, briefly, to the heavenly realms, where healing and harmony abide. I could see humanity flowing to the throne of God.

I won’t tell you that it happens every Sunday in every church. I’d guess we often miss it in our weakness and preoccupations. But I thought I should tell you. It isn’t that far away.

Chris Brekke



A thank you from immigration panelist

I would like to share a thank you note from Malika Benachour, one of the panelists who shared her story with 130 people who attended the Jan. 9 social justice committee immigration event. She posted this on social media with a beautiful photo of St. Mary’s church from the outside: “Along with three other speakers (Mexican, Nigerian and Hmong), I shared my story as an immigrant in this country at St. Mary’s Catholic church. The outpouring amount of love coming from audience members made us feel valued. The questions revealed good intentions. What a supportive crowd and a great testimony of a welcoming America! This is the America I dreamed of ever since I was a child. This is the America I live in today. I will say it again, I refuse to let any type of politics make me think any different.”

Benachour is a French-Algerian teaching in North St. Paul.

Casey Green

Coordinator of Outreach Ministry

St. Mary of the Lake


We need to reevaluate objective of bus terminal

The downtown bus terminus situation has taken on the couch-in-the-new-apartment dilemma. After moving it around the room, if it doesn’t fit the room, you get a new couch. It's a casualty of moving. In this case that means re-evaluating the terminus’ objective: should it be a community focal point destination or a supplementary stop along the road?

If we are going to commit to several hundred million dollars to nurture mass transit habits and advance alternative transportation choices like walking and biking, I think we need to integrate it more completely into each other and our community. I’m sure I’m not the first to draw upon the old maintenance yard for this purpose. If this homeless patch of shrink-wrapped boats surrounded by wetlands is not a Superfund site from previous activity, I think we should kick around the Transportation Village idea focused on higher density housing, affordable housing, public parking and transit. The site has exit/access via Whitaker (to Otter Lake) and Hoffman and would be directly on the Bruce Vento trail.

If the trail is extended within the Hwy. 61 corridor, as promised for eons, it provides a ribbon of mobility into the core downtown and its many destinations. We will need to tackle the east-west transit discussion and in doing so could include a contingency for small shuttle bus service from the Village to the multiple downtown and citywide locations. It’s hard to get upset about putting transit in this site, but it can be very exciting to see the focus transit could bring to the development of this parcel.

Mike Brooks

White Bear Lake

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.