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Archive | December, 2018

Prep Sports Notebook, Dec. 2018

Posted on 10 December 2018 by Calvin

By MATTHEW DAVIS

St. Paul Como Park girls keep hopes high despite youth
Despite graduating five seniors, St. Paul Como Park looks to have a big season with a young team.

The Cougars return ten players from a team that went 19-9 last year, won the St. Paul City Conference and fell in the Class 3A Section 4 semifinals. Returning player include Ronnie Porter and Kaylynn Asberry who both averaged more than nine points per game

“I think we are moving along quite nicely,” Cougars coach Alexis Gray-Lawson said. “Our chemistry is there we just have to tighten up some things. I believe this will be a great season for us.”

Porter averaged 9.6 points per game, and Gray-Lawson says she “can score anywhere on the floor.” Porter’s offensive ability could help alleviate the loss of leading scorer Makayla Vannett to graduation.

Raiyne Adams, the team’s third-leading scorer last season, also graduated. Gray-Lawson said those two “are hard shoes to fill” for her team.

She anticipates Asberry, who had 9.3 points per game last year, stepping up with her aggressiveness on the court. Eighth-grader Shania Nicols gives the Cougars some offensive punch with her sharp-shooting after averaging 6.8 points per game last winter.

Freshman Jada James gives the Cougars a force on the boards. She also averaged 5.4 points per game last season.

“I think our biggest strength is our heart and the way we compete each night,” Gray-Lawson said.

St. Paul Central girls rebuilding
With little veteran experience, St. Paul Central will have a rebuilding season this winter.

The Minutemaids have a senior and a junior, which are outnumbered by the ninth-graders and eighth-graders on the team. St. Paul Central has five ninth-graders, two eighth-graders and a sophomore on the team.

“We are young and have a bright future,” Minutemaids coach Marlon McCoy said.

Key returning players include junior forward Afiya Ward and sophomore guard Alayjza Campbell. Ward saw varsity time last season and averaged 2.5 rebounds and a steal per game. Campbell posted 7.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest.

Minutemen boys look to soar
St. Paul Central returns lots of talent in looking to claim the St. Paul City Conference boys basketball title after falling short last winter.

The Minutemen went 16-10 overall and finished in second place for the conference. They return their top three scorers and rebounders from that squad.

Leading scorer Daveonte Davis returns to the lineup after averaging 23.5 points per game last winter. The Minutemen also have Dion Ford, who posted 19.4 points per game last season and led the team in rebounds with 7.2 per contest.

The Minutemen also have Ronelle Porter who can score and distribute the ball. He averaged 12 points and 2.8 assists per game last season, and he posted 4.2 rebounds per game.

Luke McElroy also poses a threat on the glass. He had five rebounds per contest last winter, and he averaged 9.3 points per game.

St. Paul Central will have a challenging road ahead with a challenging non-conference schedule that consists of Hopkins, Minnehaha Academy, Park Center and Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Lincoln. It could help the Minutemen as a tough Class 4A Section 4 awaits. That consists of defending state champion Cretin-Derham Hall and early season Class 4A favorite East Ridge.

New look for St. Paul Como Park boys
With its top six scorers graduated, St. Paul Como Park will have a new look on the court this winter.

Donzello Barros is the leading scorer among returning players from last season. He averaged 7.2 points per game.

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Como Community Council Corner, Dec. 2018

Posted on 10 December 2018 by Calvin

By MICHAEL KUCHTA, Executive Director

What matters most to you?
What do you think about Como—the good, the not-so-good, what you’d keep, what you’d change? A new District 10 survey gives you the chance to voice your opinions and ideas about neighborhood trends, amenities, issues, characteristics, and possibilities. The goal: Give those of us at the Como Community Council a better understanding of how, where, and why to prioritize (or re-prioritize) goals and work for 2019 and beyond. Take the survey online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/D10survey.

Upcoming District 10 meetings
• Como Community Council Monthly Meeting: Tues., Dec. 18. The meeting is expected to include recommendations on variances Twin Cities German Immersion School is seeking for its proposed expansion.
• Environment Committee: Wed., Dec. 19. (Because of the holidays, this meeting was rescheduled.)
• Land Use Committee: Wed., Jan. 2.
• Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Tues., Jan 8. (Because of the holidays, this meeting was rescheduled.)

All meetings typically begin at 7pm at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Renters, homeowners, and other community members are always welcome to attend and participate. Whenever possible, agendas are posted in advance in the “Board News” section of District 10’s website.

Streetcar Station open once a month
With the change of seasons, the Como Park Streetcar Station is now open only on the first Sunday of each month. But it is still a great chance to pick up organics recycling bags or kitchen starter kits, or chat with a District 10 board member who is staffing the day. Hours remain the same: noon to 4pm. Upcoming dates are Jan. 6 and Feb. 3. The Historic Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.

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News from Hamline Midway Library Dec. 2018

Posted on 10 December 2018 by Calvin

The Hamline Midway Library, 1558 West Minnehaha Ave., is your neighborhood gathering spot, where you can enjoy great programs and Internet access and access portable WiFi hotspots, books, CDs, DVDs and more, all free with your library card. Here’s what is happening in the coming weeks.

For families and kids
Preschool Storytimes in English will happen Fri., Dec. 7 from 10:30-11am, take a holiday break on Fri., Dec. 21 and 28, and then be back again on Jan. 4 and 11. Storytimes feature stories, songs, puppets, and more. They’re a great way for caregivers to bond with children and build social skills, listening comprehension, and letter and number recognition while creating a solid foundation for lifelong learning. Children of all activity levels are welcome!

The Show and Tell Book Club for grades 1-4 meets on Sat., Dec. 15, 1:30-2:15pm, to share books and do fun literacy activities together.

On Sat., Dec. 29, 3-4pm, school-aged children can enjoy a Maker Break with the Mobile Comedy Suitcase. In this program aimed at ages 7-11, kids will learn several different artistic techniques for making people laugh and observe and pull humor from their everyday lives. The workshop will cover joke writing and telling, improvisation, puns, comic timing, and more.

Opportunities for adults
The Saints and Sinners Mystery Book Club meets on Sat., Jan. 5, 1-2pm, to discuss good mystery novels. Contact volunteer G. Balter for book list or more information at gerribalter@gmail.com or 651-224-5570.

Relax and stretch at Chair Yoga with Nancy Giguere of the Hamline Midway Elders Association on Thur., Dec. 13 and Jan. 10, 10:30-11:30am. All movement is done while seated or standing using a chair for balance.

Holiday closures
The library will be closed all day on Dec. 24, 25, and Jan. 1 and will close at 5:30pm on Dec.31.

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Hamline Elementary FR1

The Family Room at Hamline Elementary is a place for community engagement

Posted on 10 December 2018 by Calvin

By JESSICA KOPP
On any given day, the new Hamline Elementary Family Room, just steps from the main entrance on Englewood Ave., is a hub of activity. You’ll find families waiting to drop off or pick up their kids, gathering with friends, catching up on work, meeting with Hamline staff, or taking a few minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee. Designed to be a place for families to learn, share, and connect, the Family Room is quickly becoming the heartbeat of the Hamline community.

The development of this sunny, south-facing room is the centerpiece of the school’s 2016 Minnesota Department of Education Full Service Community Schools grant award. This new space is large enough for a kid’s play area, two workstations equipped with laptops and office supplies, two comfortable conversation areas, and cupboards and shelves full of shared supplies and resources including a community closet and community pantry.

Hamline families use the room throughout the day, and Hamline staff use the space for morning mindfulness exercises, staff meetings, and monthly “Coffee with the Principal” sessions. Community posting boards keep people connected to what’s happening at the school and in the community and are always filled with employment and continuing education opportunities, family-friendly activities, nutrition, and housing support information, and so much more.

The Family Room is also the perfect space to help our community partners feel welcome. The Sheridan Story delivers weekend meals for distribution by volunteers from Central Baptist Church, and Children’s Dental Services sets up their mobile clinic. Mobile Menders collects and mends items there, and it is the place to find one of our Children’s Book Express book-sharing shelves. It is where we welcome the Hamline Midway Elders who volunteer in Hamline’s bi-monthly Reading Buddy program.

As the school continues to build and expand its wrap-around services and improve access to resources, we’re always looking to work with community organizations who would like to provide family-supporting services on site for the Hamline community. Contact the school at 651-293-8715 or the Hamline PTA at hamlineelementarypta@gmail.com to learn more and get connected to the Hamline Family Room Resource Coordinator.

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Community benefits fund discussed in the shadow of Allianz Field

Posted on 10 December 2018 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE
The Allianz Field Major League Soccer stadium will bring many changes to its surrounding community when it opens for games in 2019. Managing that change and leveraging redevelopment and community amenities could become key parts of a planned community benefits fund.

More than 70 people attended a Nov. 28 meeting with City Council members Mitra Nelson and Dai Thao to discuss what such an agreement could mean, and what a related community benefits fund could support.

Their suggestions, and suggestions gathered in an ongoing online survey, will be used to shape goals for the fund. Participants weighed in on display boards and met in small groups at MidPointe Events Center, just northeast of Allianz Field. They discussed issues including their hopes for redevelopment, potential challenges arising from Allianz Field and a redeveloped Midway Center, and ideas for neighborhood projects and initiatives that a fund could support.

Hearing ideas is critical to the success of a community benefits fund, the council members said. “We want to make sure that the team and the city are committed to an agreement that works for the entire community,” Thao said.

“If we proactively define our vision (for the agreement), the stronger it will be over time,” said Nelson.

The task force hopes to have a report completed and ready in January, said Hamline Midway Coalition board member Mike Reynolds. He is one of the task force members. Others involved in the task force said they intend to create a fund that has long-lasting impacts for the surrounding neighborhoods and to make sure it is something that can be easily accessed.

One new wrinkle in the stadium debate is the recent announcement that the University of St. Thomas-St. John’s University football game, known as the Tommie-Johnnie game, will be played at Allianz Field in 2019. Previous discussions indicated that stadium use would be restricted, with events such as concerts not held there because of the potential to damage the natural turf.

The notion of a community benefits agreement and related fund have been discussed since Minnesota United FC announced plans in 2016 to build the stadium on the former Metro Transit bus garage and Midway Center sites. The City Council in August 2016 passed a resolution committing to community benefits at the Snelling-Midway redevelopment site, with the support of Minnesota United and Midway Center owner RK Midway. Other references to a community benefits agreement are also in various development-related agreements between the city and the soccer team.

Some aspects of the 2016 agreement have already been in play, including goals for hiring of women and minorities during stadium construction, and having a central point of contact for communication about construction issues. Other parts of the agreement call for youth sports and community events at Allianz Field and hiring of local vendors and workers when the stadium opens.

One part of the 2016 resolution called for a task force to help develop a community benefits fund. The task force began meeting over the summer with Union Park District Council, Hamline Midway Coalition, Minnesota United, RK Midway, city officials, and other stakeholder groups. With the help of Macalester College interns, agreements in other cities were studied.

Who contributes to the fund, how it is governed and what funds will be used for, are recommendations the task force is working on. While there’s a focus on using some funding to mitigate neighborhood issues tied to stadium events such as traffic, parking, transit, and pedestrian safety issues, others focus on promoting brick-and-mortar development. Another idea proposed is that of using the fund to promote the development of new and emerging community leaders.

Support for small businesses and immigrant-owned businesses, and ways to mitigate the displacement of businesses and residents, emerged as key issues at the Nov. 28 meeting. Some speakers raised fears of gentrification, with one man noting that some area business employees sleep in their vehicles because they cannot afford housing. The need for more affordable and market-rate housing was discussed. Part of the Midway center master plan calls for housing at the southwest corner of University Ave. and Pascal St.

Several people brought up the need to help small, Mom and Pop businesses come to the neighborhood or to relocate when they can no longer afford to be in the area. A related idea is to find ways to promote local businesses to those who attend Allianz Field events.

Several people also asked that the stadium and its two adjacent green spaces have year-round programming for events such as festivals, farmers’ markets, and sports.
Another focus sought is on youth, to promote activities as well as employment for young people.

Hamline-Midway resident Erin Pryor Pavlicka asked if the fund could be used to help support local recreation centers and their programs, with a focus on the Hancock Recreation Center. “It (Hancock) could use some attention,” she said.

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