Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

We heard them, they heard us

Posted on 08 August 2016 by Calvin


A “comprehensive sound abatement program,’’ including giving Fairgrounds management ultimate control over the soundboard, is one of the conditions the Soundset music festival must meet if it returns in 2017, State Fair management says.
That’s the result of the excessive noise and other problems that spilled into the neighborhood on May 29 from Soundset, a day-long hip-hop festival that attracted more than 30,000 fans to the Fairgrounds.
The District 10 Como Community Council compiled residents’ complaints about music volume, profanity, parking, traffic congestion, trash, and loitering during and after the 10-hour festival, then used letters, phone conversations, and a face-to-face meeting on June 30 to detail the problems and propose potential remedies.
After that meeting, Soundset’s organizers—Minneapolis-based Rhymesayers Entertainment—proposed the sound abatement plan, says Jim Sinclair, deputy general manager of the Fair. Rhymesayers’ plan includes redirecting speakers, monitoring sound levels outside the Fairgrounds and, if necessary, giving State Fair personnel “control of sound emanating from Soundset,” Sinclair says.
There is no signed deal in place, but Soundset can return on May 28, 2017, if it agrees to implement the sound abatement plan and meet other conditions, Sinclair says.
Meanwhile, District 10 continues to talk with State Fair management and City of St. Paul officials to implement ways to reduce traffic, parking, and other impacts on the neighborhood from Soundset and other large Fairgrounds events.
For more details on the Soundset discussions, see District 10’s website: www.district10comopark.orgD10-Lawn Sign-FreeRange.

Signing on for safer streets
In another initiative to grab the attention of motorists who speed, blow stop signs, or otherwise drive inconsiderately, residents on more than 60 blocks have applied to post lawn signs designed to make District 10 streets safer.

D10-Lawn Sign-ThanksThe lawn signs are appearing in different parts of the neighborhood for a week or so at a time, then rotating to other blocks. The signs carry three different messages: “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,” “Slow, Please: Free-Range Children, Adults & Dogs,” and “Thanks for Slowing Down.”

More than 150 residents selected these messages as the most effective way of taking back neighborhood streets from drivers who seem to disregard the fact that people live, walk, and bike here.

D10-Lawn Sign-KidsIf you’re interested in organizing your neighbors to post signs on your block, contact the District 10 office at 651-644-3889, or district10@district10comopark.org.

Neighbors grow frustrated with vacant Sholom Home
District 10 is leading ongoing meetings between the newest owners of the former Sholom Home property and neighbors who are increasingly frustrated with what they see as rising amounts of illegal activity.

Neighbors say they routinely observe scrapping, squatting, drug sales, and other unwelcome activity in and around the abandoned Midway Pkwy. property. They also complain that private security and St. Paul Police seem unable or unwilling to invest the time necessary to root out the problems.

Charter Midway LLC purchased the former nursing home in December, with plans to turn it into an assisted living and memory care center.

David Grzan, president and CEO, says Charter Midway continues to seek additional financing that would make the renovation possible and eliminate the opportunity for crime. “We know there’s a problem there,” he says. “It’s a beacon for that activity. It attracts the wrong element.”

D10-sholom-exteriorPhoto left; Neighbors say they routinely observe scrapping, squatting, drug sales, and other unwelcome activity in and around the abandoned Midway Pkwy. property that used to be the Sholom Home. (Photo submitted)

Western District commanders Ed Lemon and Bryant Gaden told neighbors on July 28 that even though St. Paul Police list the building a problem property, officers need direct permission from the property owners before they’ll enter. Further, the commanders said, a response by patrol officers is generally going to be a lower priority than many other types of police calls.

Randy Olson, the general manager of JBM Patrol and Protection, pledged to neighbors that he’ll work more closely with police in responding to problems. JBM took over as Charter Midway’s new security company in July.

Further, Charter Midway is following recommendations from the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections to better secure the building, including tearing out excessive shrubbery, and boarding up windows and doors from the outside, not just the inside.

“But that’s an interim measure,” Grzan said. “The best cure is to put an operating business in there.”

Pick up a recycling bin any Sunday
The Como Park Streetcar Station is open from noon-4pm every Sunday between now and the end of September. A District 10 board member will be on hand to distribute recycling bins, organics composting bags, or just take your comments and suggestions. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.

Get D10 news every week
Didn’t know about the latest update with the Sholom Home property? Wonder what’s going on at the State Fairgrounds? Need to keep track of music and other activities at the Como Lake Pavilion? Surprised by closed bridges or other road construction?

Then you probably haven’t been reading District 10’s free weekly email newsletter. It’s the best way to keep up with neighborhood events. We send it to your inbox every Friday. To sign up: go to www.district10comopark.org, then click the newsletter icon in the right column.

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