Archive | August, 2017


Summer learning experiences and sports prep

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• Academy of Finance (AOF) students at Como have been busy with internships, employment, and educational opportunities. Four AOF students recently completed a week-long experience at the Carlson School of Management on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Tu Lor Eh Paw, Mario Sanchez-Lopez, Pa Houa Lee and Lizbeth Antunez Miranda were all participants in the Gopher Business program. The Carlson School invites 50 high-achieving students from across the state to campus each summer to engage in a business challenge. Students are immersed in case study competitions and simulations for corporate and non-profit sites. Mentors and teachers included Carlson School faculty and Twin Cities business leaders.

Another program that included Como AOF students was the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE) Personal Finance Summer Institute. Lauren Thompson, PaYing Vang, and Way Htoo participated in the week-long institute which was also held on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The students explored future careers, college finances, savings plans, debt and credit issues through discussions and simulations with instructors and guest speakers from the financial industry.

• Como’s Robotics Team has been active through the summer with participation at community events. Officially recognized as BEASTBot Team 2855 by the State High School League, Como’s team demonstrated their competitive robot from the 2017 season at the Slice of Shore­view Festival. They also displayed Sparky, the team’s “funbot.” The event was a valuable opportunity to network with potential partners and supporters while helping keep technology and science fresh in people’s minds.

Photo right: Como students made adjustments to their robot at a community festival. The team stays active through summer with demonstrations. (Photo provided)

BEASTBot was also scheduled to present at the 3M campus on Aug. 4 for the annual “Robots on the Plaza” celebration. The final summer activity for the team will be demonstrating their robots at the State Fair over Labor Day weekend. Como’s successful robotics program involves 25-30 students each academic year and is led by Como teachers Donna Norberg and Michael Fisher.

• Every summer, cadets in Como’s Marine Corps JROTC embark upon a journey that helps build leadership, patriotism, service, and camaraderie. While last year’s trip was to Washington D.C. and the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, the 2017 adventure allowed the cadets to experience a week in the wilderness of South Dakota.

Photo right: Como cadets in the Marine Corps JROTC, pictured in front of Mount Rushmore, had an empowering experience in South Dakota. (Photo provided)

38 cadets participated in activities that including camping, drilling, survival training, environmental stewardship, hiking and study visits to historical sites. Students analyzed leadership and the presidency at Mount Rushmore, Native American history at the Crazy Horse Memorial, geology and physiography in the Black Hills, and wildlife at the Reptile Gardens.

Sophomore cadet Ong Vang wrote a letter of gratitude to the trip sponsors, which included Ecolab. In it, she emphasized the value of the exploration and the personal growth it provided to all of the cadets. “Thank you for this wonderful experience you made happen for us teenagers, some of us who may have never been out of state or seen the stars shine so bright at night,” Vang said.

• Como Park’s football team had a successful fundraiser bagging groceries at Cub Foods which will allow for the purchase of new varsity uniforms. This will be the first uniform upgrade for the Cougars in a decade. The players are excited that they’ll be able to represent their school in some new black and gold.

Another development for the Como football program was being chosen as a top 20 school for the Let’s Play High School Equipment Makeover Challenge. Como’s selection was based on a competitive application that included videos explaining the need and plan for improved equipment.

Now that Como has advanced into the final national round of 20, the Cougars’ video will be entered into a public online vote that starts on Sept. 8. The public voting will determine the top 10 schools, who will each receive $1,000 for athletic equipment, and then continue in the competition with the ultimate prize for first place being $100,000 for the athletic department of the winning school. Details and links for the online vote will be on Como’s website and in next month’s Monitor.

• The Minnesota State High School League’s “fall” sports season begins on Mon., Aug. 14. For Como Park athletics, that means students will be practicing with their coaches and competing in games for three weeks before classes begin on Sept. 5.

Fall sports at Como include football, soccer and cross country running for the boys. Girls’ programs include volleyball, soccer, swimming, tennis and cross country running. Over 250 Como students participate on fall sports teams.

For a full schedule of Como games and contests, visit saintpaul.sports.org, or spps.org, “About” and click on the Athletics tab.

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Dist 10 Lawn Sign-Thanks

Como Community Council Corner

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

By MICHAEL KUCHTA, Executive Director

Special election planned to fill At-Large board seat
The Como Community Council holds a special election this month to fill one At-Large board vacancy. The election takes place Tues., Aug. 15 at 7pm, before the monthly board meeting at the Como Park Streetcar Station.

You can find information about candidates on the District 10 website: www.district10comopark.org. (Write-in nominations will be accepted from the floor the night of the election.)

Any District 10 resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to vote; so are representatives from businesses or institutions in the neighborhood. District 10 is the portion of St. Paul bounded roughly by Snelling on the west, Larpenteur on the north, Dale on the east, and the railroad tracks between Pierce Butler and Energy Park Dr./Front Ave. on the south.

The lawn signs are back
District 10 is reviving our lawn sign safety campaign. The goals are the same: To get drivers to slow down and to make our residential streets safer for everyone. To make it work, you organize 10-12 neighbors who will stick a sign in their yard for two weeks. If you are interested, contact the Como Community Council office by email at district10@district10comopark.org or by phone at 651-644-3889.

We’ll figure out which dates work best.

The options for signs are: “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,” “Thanks for Slowing Down,” and “Slow Please: Free-Range Children, Adults and Dogs.”

What we can, and can’t, do during the State Fair
The State Fair runs Aug. 24-Sept. 4. That means special zoning allowances kick in for western portions of District 10. Special State Fair “overlay districts” allow vendors to set up shop on private property and allow residents to park visitors’ cars on their lawns—all within limits.

For details on exactly which blocks are covered by which overlay district; exactly what the parking, vending, and peddling regulations say; and how to report violations, see District 10’s website: www.district10comopark.org.

New crosswalk coming
The St. Paul Parks Department will build a new, marked crosswalk on Lexington Pkwy. after Labor Day. The goal is to create a clear, direct way to get back and forth on foot or bicycle between the Lakeside Pavilion / Como Dockside on one side of Lexington, and the Como Park golf clubhouse / ski center / Cozy’s Pub on the other side.
The project will include:
• A 6-foot wide, marked crosswalk with standard warning signs.
• A 10-foot-wide curbed median with a pedestrian refuge, planted with oak trees and little bluestem grasses. The median replaces an existing painted median, which stretches from the driveway entering the golf course parking lot to the driveway for the Lakeside Pavilion’s north parking lot.
• 12-foot traffic lanes, with a 25 mph speed limit.
• New, ADA-accessible paths, sidewalks and ramps connecting the crosswalk on each side of Lexington.

For more details on the project, see District 10’s website: www.district10comopark.org.

Get rid of your junk in October
St. Paul’s annual Reduce & Recycle Citywide Drop Off Event at the State Fairgrounds takes place on Sat., Oct. 7, from 8am-1pm. Some basic information:
• Residents who volunteer to staff the event receive a voucher allowing them to dispose of one load for free. To volunteer, contact the Como Community Council office by email at district10@district10comopark.org or by phone at 651-644-3889.
• Disposal: Residents can dispose of appliances, electronics, furniture, tires, demolition debris, scrap metal, and other household refuse for a set fee per item or per load. For full details on what items are acceptable, and their fees, go to the city’s All-In web page: www.stpaul.gov/recycle.

Upcoming District 10 meetings
• Como Community Council June Meeting: Tues., Aug. 15
• Environment Committee: Wed., Aug. 30
• Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Tues., Sept. 5
• Land Use Committee: Wed., Sept. 6

All meetings begin at 7pm at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Community members are always welcome to attend and participate.

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Hamline Dining Hall celebrates 120 years

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

The Hamline Church Dining Hall is celebrating 120 years at the Minnesota State Fair. The dining hall, 1667 Dan Patch Ave., is operated by Hamline Church United Methodist, 1514 Englewood Ave.

A celebration is planned for 10am, Fri., Aug. 25. The program will include guest speakers, official proclamations and a look back at the last 120 years. A dining hall history timeline will be on display during the fair.

For its anniversary the dining hall is unveiling a new menu item, the Cranberry Wild Rice Meatball. It is described as “a Swedish-style meatball with wild rice and dried cranberries simmered in a rich allspice cream sauce, served with lingonberry preserve.” Other new features include pies from Grandma’s Pie Shop and blueberry lemonade.

Hamline Church also partners with Izzy’s Ice Cream to create a new flavor each year for the fair. The 2017 flavor is S’More Fun. It has a toasted marshmallow base with chocolate, chocolate chunks, and a graham cracker swirl.

Food fans shouldn’t worry that old favorites won’t be there. The famous Hamline Ham Loaf and Ham Loaf Sliders will remain, as will the popular Hamline Egger breakfast sandwich.

The dining hall got its start in 1897. Hamline’s dining hall was started by the Ladies’ Aid Society, as a fundraiser for what was then Hamline Methodist Episcopal Church.

It is the oldest continuously operating food establishment at the fair. It dates from a time when dozens of churches ran dining halls, food stands, and even food tents. Today Hamline and Minneapolis’ Salem Lutheran Church are the only two church dining halls left out of dozens that operated over the years.

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Hamline Elementary

Donating supplies would help a kid start right!

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin


As the start of another school year approaches, we’re thinking about how we can support a year of awesome adventures in learning and connections by making sure Hamline Elementary kids have the school supplies they need, starting on the first day of school.

So, we’re asking you to join us, friends and neighbors, to collect those basic items that help families and kids feel confident and special as they begin a new school year. Maybe you’re someone who loves school supply shopping or someone who remembers the excitement of a new school year or possibly the worry that you might show up without the things you need—whoever you are, you can lighten a family’s load and give a student a great start to the school year. Small acts of kindness add up to big love.

Here’s how you can invest in these young learners: pick up a backpack or a few basic supplies like pencils, crayons, colored pencils, glue sticks, spiral notebooks, folders, erasers, and scissors. Or if you prefer, fill a backpack for a Hamline student with everything they’ll need.

You can find a full list of school supplies, sorted by grade level, on the Hamline Elementary web page (http://www.spps.org/domain/8363 and on the Families dropdown tab click on “Supply Lists”) or the Discover Hamline Elementary Facebook page.

Donations can be dropped off at the Hamline Elementary Family Resource Room any Thursday in August between 10am-1pm or at the Hamline Elementary PTA food booth at the Hamline Midway Summer Market on Aug, 17 in the Hamline Church parking lot.

Arrangements for pick up can be made by contacting the Hamline Elementary PTA at HamlineElementaryPTA@gmail.com.

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Programs planned that inform, entertain and inspire!

Programs planned that inform, entertain and inspire!

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin


The Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., is a community treasure just waiting for you to explore. As summer shifts toward fall this Aug. and September, the library is hosting a wide variety of events to inform, entertain, and inspire you!

The library hosts Preschool Storytime in English on Fridays from 10:30am-11am. These storytimes feature puppets, songs, finger plays, stories, and more and are a great way for young children to build social and school readiness skills while bonding with their caregivers. Join the fun Aug. 11, 18, and 25 and Sept. 8, 15, and 22.

On Sat., Aug. 12, 2-3pm, the Summer Spark program brings local theater Dreamland Arts to the library, presenting “Children’s Stories from India.” Storyteller and Midway resident Zaraawar Mistry performs stories he heard during his childhood in India with musical accompaniment by Greg Herriges. For ages 3 and over.

On Tues., Aug. 15, 10:30-11:30am, Minnesota picture book author Tracy Nelson Maurer presents “Who Made America’s History Grow? John Deere, That’s Who!” Tracy will present her new picture book about John Deere and share surprising facts about the man who developed a new kind of plow in the 1830s, one that changed farming and a nation forever. Enjoy a fun, interactive presentation with a writer who’s published more than 100 titles for children, including another new picture book about Noah Webster, creator of the first truly American dictionary.

Teen Book Club meets Sat., Aug. 19, 3-4pm. Teens get together to discuss graphic novels, Battle of the Books, Read Brave, and more. For grades 9+.

On Mon., Aug. 21, 4:30-6:30pm, the library hosts Nature Smart Fun. Learn about bees and do bee-related crafts. Make a bee bath, bee buddy, and a queen bee crown! The event will also feature guests from the Bee Real Bee Everywhere project for some fun outdoor activities.

Teen Movie Night takes over the library auditorium on Wed., Aug. 23, 5:30-7:30pm with the Disney animated classic “The AristoCats.” Popcorn will be served!

The Show and Tell Book Club, for kids in grades 1-3, meets on Sat., Aug. 26, 1:30-2:15pm. Join librarian Shelly to share books and do fun activities aimed at building kids’ love of reading.

Jody’s Documentary Film Series features two short films on Wed., Aug. 30, 1-3pm. The first is “4.1 Miles” by filmmaker Daphne Matziaraki. This 2017 Academy Award nominee puts viewers right on the boat with a Greek Coast Guard captain and crew as they save refugees from drowning. The second film is “From Damascus to Chicago” by filmmakers Colleen Cassingham and Alex Lederman. Their film follows siblings Akram and Retaj as they enroll in dance class and help smooth the difficult transition to a new life for themselves and their parents. Enjoy these free films and snacks, then stay for a discussion facilitated by Jody. This program is a collaboration of the award–winning PBS documentary series POV, the Hamline Midway Elders, and the library.

All St. Paul libraries will be closed for the Labor Day weekend, Sat., Sept. 2-Mon., Sept. 4.

The Saints and Sinners Mystery Book Club meets on Sat., Sept. 9, 1-2pm, to discuss good mysteries. Contact volunteer G. Balter for book list or more information at gerribalter@gmail.com or 651-224-5570.

On Sat., Sept. 16, 1:30pm-3pm, the library hosts the popular Science Saturdays program, featuring Balance Circus. School-age children and their families are invited to stack objects and odd shapes on rockers to experiment with what balances and what comes crashing down. Learn to balance a stick at the end of your hand, make a balancing clown, talk about tightrope walkers, and more!

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