"A world where everyone has a decent place to live..."

September, 2014
Habitat News Tribune
A Message from the Editor
Greetings and best wishes to you all from your humble editor. I must begin with a sincere apology for the unpunctuality of this addition. I can muster no excuse that could sufficiently absolve the missing of September's deadline, so I will not attempt one. Instead, let me offer my apologies and my hope that you will find the belated contents of this addition sufficiently edifying and entertaining. 

Moving on, it is my great pleasure to continue with a bit of splendiferous news. Our good friend and New Richmond ReStore Manager Andy Scheiderer is making headlines again, but the good kind this time. You may recall in previous issues reading about Andy's struggles with sciatica. I am pleased to report that since then Andy has been making a Rocky Balboa-esque comeback. Andy is triumphing over the Clubber Lang of sciatica and casting his sights to the Ivan Drago of the Habitat State Support Organization. But enough obtuse, tortured metaphors about 80s boxing movies - in plain English Andy is feeling better and will be replacing the erstwhile Wild Rivers Habitat Executive Director Eric Kube as the new Northwest Wisconsin State Support Organization Regional Representative. It is our fervent belief that there is literally no person better suited to take over this honorable position than Andy Scheiderer. Andy is a man of many talents, and his expertise in the ins and outs of Habitat for Humanity, the legal profession, and existentialist philosophy will certainly prove to be quite advantageous. Good luck and Godspeed my friend. Also, Good luck and Godspeed to our comrade-in-arms Eric Kube, who has recently taken a position with Lindus Construction. 

Per ardua ad astra.
-John Thompson   
Papa Murphy's Spirit Week
Last month I spoke of SCV Habitat's partnership with the nascent River Falls Papa Murphy's. To Recap: During an appointed week (dubbed "Spirit Week") Papa Murphy's will accept coupons for a five dollar large pizza, and for each of these coupons that they receive Papa Murphy's will donate that five dollars to SCV Habitat - we have the ability to earn up to $500 with this promotion. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that momentous week has been announced. Next week, October 6-10 are the chosen dates, and you can find said coupon at the bottom of this piece. All one must do is print it off, bring it to the River Falls Papa Murphy's, and help us raise $500 whilst enjoying some quality pizza. (please do note that this offer is only valid at the River Falls Papa Murphy's, 1589 Paulson Road, near Shopko.) 
Better Know an SCV Habitat Homeowner: Robert Smith
There has been no shortage of electronic ink spilled to inform you fine folks about our home-building endeavors, but less so about the inhabitants of these magnificent domiciles. Thus, let us take a moment to explore the work of one such homeowner. Robert Smith is a father, husband, poet, philanthropist, and all around upstanding, thoughtful, and kindhearted man. It is my great pleasure and fortune to bring you one of Robert's illustrious poems. Said poem was written by Robert shortly after receiving the news that his family had been selected to move into the Eco Village. The poem, entitled "A Blue Rain," reflect's Robert's emotions after being presented with such monumental news.  

A Blue Rain

The holy resonance of One:
In the burning candle
In the rising sun
In the thankful heart

Thinking of the Mother, Birther of Mystery
The blue wind carries
Each of our cries and all of our dreams, away 
To the deep blue ocean of mercy, away...

Which Way does this blue dot turn
In infinite space
In the vibrational ecstasy
Of the One Endless Chord?

Ah, Love
"I need you!" This only:
The blue song of every single night
And the amplitude of yearning: Home

Is the journey we all take
When soul accepts residence
In body, on earth: blue waters flowing
In ocean, in river, in cloud, in breath:

"I need you, I need you, I need you!"
The poet sings
Us to the gate of our possibilities: lift
Your face to a blue rain of falling mercy...
Schwan's Fundraiser
Help us build homes through Schwan's! For every purchase, Schwan's will donate 20% in support of our campaign. 
Click here for more information 

Board of Directors

Dave Meier



Carol Merriman
Vice President 

Don Richards

Bill Stokes

Joan Bartz

Sarah Bruch

Kelly Cain

Rollie Johnson

Peter Kilde

Heather Logelin

Roger Pavlis 

Joel Skinner

Joe Greatens


Dennis Schmidt:
Project Specialist
A Brush With Kindness
Joel Palmquist:
Construction Manager
Debbie Murtha:
Office Manager
Amy Henry:
Office Assistant
Andy Scheiderer:
ReStore Manager - New Richmond
Vincent Solorio:
Donation Supervisor - New Richmond 
Jason Dale:
Pick-Up Coordinator
Brenda Berner:
ReStore Assistant - New Richmond

Sarah Rose:
ReStore Manager -River Falls

Paul Ritzinger:
Donation Supervisor - New Richmond
John Thompson:
AmeriCorps VISTA/
E-Newsletter Editor
Updates from the Eco Village


Welcome, dear reader, to another issue of the St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity Electronic Newsletter, or the Habitat News Tribune as I have just officially rechristened it. Recent issues of our esteemed newsletter have been focusing quite a substantial amount of attention on our new ReStore and A Brush With Kindness, but what, you may have found yourself wondering, is happening with the Eco Village? It is my supreme honor and privilege to bring you an Eco Village update from none other than our esteemed Project Manager Jim Cooper. Jim is a wizard with the engineering and technical aspects of the Eco Village, so without further ado, the venerable Mr. Cooper: 

"As we slip into fall headed for winter, Eco-Village homes continue to show excellent energy performance.  For the period from mid-August to mid-September homes averaged 465 kilowatts used and 670 kilowatts produced by rooftop units.  This means that once again the Eco-Village is below net zero. Solar thermal systems continue to meet almost all demand for hot water. Overall the Eco-Village has been producing more electricity than it consumes since the end of March. Preliminary blower door testing on homes currently under construction show the tightest homes yet-a sign that our crews are getting better at sealing and design improvements are working.  Now if only the polar vortex will pass us by so this winning streak continues!"  

Well put Jim, and well done to everyone who has had a part in making these stunning figures a reality.

Staff of the Month: Brenda Berner
Brenda Berner is, simply put, a perpetual delight. She possesses a charming rapier wit, and feels very free to utilize it. Your humble editor has been on the receiving end of many a good natured barbs in response to my inability to understand the basic concept behind telephone wiring. Our steadfast and agreeable New Richmond ReStore Assistant, Brenda will be celebrating her one year anniversary with Habitat this October. Altruism seems to be deeply inborn in Brenda Berner, as she left a job at the Red Cross in upstate New York and joined the ReStore team shortly thereafter. Indeed, for Brenda the raison d'etre of her job lies in altruism. "A lot of people need help," Brenda rhapsodized, which is, of course, what Habitat for Humanity is all about. Brenda enjoys meeting the wide variety of clientele and volunteers that each day populate the thriving ReStore. Having seen firsthand the inner workings of our ReStores, I understand how truly fortunate we are to have someone as dedicated and fastidious as Brenda Berner on board.  The remarkable volume of donations each store has received rivals the glory and splendor of the Valley of the Kings, and making heads and tales of it can seem like a Sisyphean task. But the level of organization in the New Richmond ReStore is quite astounding, and this is due in no small part to Brenda and her dedication to order and organization. After all, as Brenda mused, "if you can't see it, you can't buy it."       
Volunteer of the Month/Year: Rodger Pavlis
Roger Pavlis is a member of the SCV Habitat old guard. A veteran of numerous home building campaigns and a long-time board member, Roger has born witness to, and crucially participated in, some of the monumental shifts in SCV Habitat history as well as the daily toil that makes our righteous work possible. For his longstanding and unwavering dedication to SCV Habitat, this Volunteer of the Month has also been awarded the prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award (the SCV Habitat ReStore Volunteer of the Year honor is being bestowed to none other than the stalwart John Hackbarth). How then, did Roger get to this esteemed position within SCV Habitat? To answer this question we must go back to Roger's formative years. Roger grew up on a farm in South Dakota, where he was first bitten by the construction bug. Indeed, the promise of construction was what first attracted him to Habitat. But soon thereafter Roger realized an even greater satisfaction than building a quality domicile - the human element, the ethereal satisfaction of helping someone of more humble means become a homeowner. As a veteran board member Roger was an integral component in the formation of the Eco Village project. He spoke of the old days, the days in which the SCV Habitat board had twenty-five members. Roger recalled marathon board meetings that would persist for hours. There were simply too many good people attempting to get points across in those days. But the board has gone through a streamlining process in the last few years, and, according to Roger, has become more productive for it. And it is Roger's firm belief that this progress should and will continue into the future. There is still much work to do, but Roger resolutely believes that our band of superlative staff, board, and volunteers possess the requisite cunning and moxie to do the job. I couldn't agree more, Roger Pavlis. So to John Hackbarth and Roger Pavlis I would like to extend, on behalf of everyone here at SCV Habitat, my heartfelt congratulations for earning these prestigious accolades. 

International News 
Habitat for Humanity is an international organization. We believe that all people, regardless of national barriers, deserve housing that is decent, safe, and affordable. St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity takes the international facet of our organization quite seriously. That is why our affiliate offers a tithe of ten percent of our undesignated income to international Habitat projects. I am pleased to report that in 2013 SCV Habitat has given a tithe of nearly $11,000, and through July of 2014 we have already surpassed that number by around $500. Twenty percent of those funds go to the global mission fund that provides disaster relief wherever it is needed in the world. The other eighty percent is split evenly between building homes in Ethiopia and Cambodia. What's more, since SCV Habitat became an affiliate in 1998 we have contributed over $160,000 to the tithe program, which has funded the construction of about 42 houses internationally in Ethiopia, Cambodia, Haiti, and Guatemala. 

So accolades are due to everyone who has had a hand in making such a marvelous feat possible. Your contributions to SCV Habitat have aided in the easement, security, and happiness of so many who may be steeped in different cultural traditions than you and I, yet still possess those universal fears, doubts, aspirations, and joys that enshroud us all within the human condition, and unite us all within the human family.  

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Thus Spoke Extreme Panel Again, or House 2: The Second Story 
One month ago your humble editor wrote an article comparing the efforts of Extreme Panel to build an Eco Village house in one day to Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy of the Will to Power. Well, it seems the Ubermenchen at Extreme Panel have not yet satiated their seemingly unquenchable thirst for Eco Village glory. Indeed, Extreme Panel has donated the entire set of Structurally Insulated Panels for house 15 or 18, and they are going to arrange for another volunteer day to erect said panels. This is the equivalent of a $12,000 donation - truly a munificent bit of corporate largesse from a dedicated and civic-minded partner.   

To justify my use of the obscure cult classic House 2: The Second Story* in the title of this piece, let me end with a quote from Bill Towner (Electrician/Adventurer): "looks like you're going to need the help of a professional." Indeed, that is precisely why we are so fortunate to have accomplished, assiduous, and altruistic partners like Extreme Panel. 

*House 2: The Second Story is a madcap horror/comedy film from 1987. It is a magnificent example of earnest, good-natured '80s camp, and it comes highly recommended by your humble editor.
Paul Capparelli, We Hardly Knew Ye
Paul "PC" Capparelli is the James Dean of SCV Habitat: he shone fast and bright, like a flashbulb, the afterimage of perplexed wonderment clearly imprinted in the mind's eye of all of us in the SCV Habitat office. Who was this understated giant who strode amongst us for such a brief period? Well it just so happens that I had the good fortune to sit down with Paul before he left for his great sojourn to the strange and exotic land of La Crosse, WI.

PC is a man of few words, a self described "laid back kind of guy," consequently little is known about his formative years. His past remains an enigma, an impossible, mysterious cipher. So just what do we know about Paul Capparelli? We know the man loves to fish, we know he has an affinity for cappuccinos, and we know he served honorably as our Summer AmeriCorps VISTA.

In his capacity as Summer VISTA Paul spent his first couple of weeks helping out at the Eco Village, and then the River Falls ReStore took flight and "took up a huge chunk of [Paul's] life." Indeed, PC and I became a veritable delivery team that summer, picking up donations for ReStore that people were unable to drop off. Two guys, a box truck, the open road, and Manfred Mann's "Blinded by the Light" on the radio, does it get any better than that?

The most significant lessons that Paul has learned from his tenure with SCV Habitat is the importance of community and the virtue of hard work. "A lot of work can get done," Paul ruminated, "when people work together." So true, Paul Capparelli, SCV Habitat is certainly infallible proof of this plainspoken wisdom. 

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity
116 E. Elm Street
River Falls, WI 54022