In Our Community June 2019

Posted on 14 June 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Lutheran Rally for all
Partner congregations Jehovah Lutheran and Mekane Yesus will host a Midway Lutheran Rally for All Ages — especially kids! — from 9 a.m. to noon Friday and Saturday, July 12-13. The event, free and open to all, will be at Jehovah Lutheran, 1566 Thomas in St. Paul. It will feature music, Bible study for adults, Bible stories for kids, puppets, snacks, crafts and other activities.To register, sign up at worship Sundays or by contacting either congregation — Jehovah Lutheran at 651-644-1421 or jehovahlutheran@msn.com; and Mekane Yesus at 651-621-9866 or syderessa@gmail.com.


Mid-Summer Festival
The Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival on Friday, July 19, 2-8 p.m. is a day to celebrate how Lyngblomsten is promoting artistic exploration, wellness, and lifelong learning for older adults 365 days a year. Day includes arts showcase featuring works created by older adults, make-and-take art activities, live music and entertainment, wellness opportunities, food, games, and more! Admission is free, and food and activities are priced for affordable fun.

safeTALK workshop
NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) will hold a free, suicide prevention workshop called safeTALK in St. Paul on June 13, 3-6 p.m., 1919 University Ave. Learn how to support someone’s desire for safety by recognizing the warning signs of suicide, identifying people who are at risk, and applying the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe) to connect a person to suicide first aid resources. For information, call 651-645-2948 or see “Classes” at namihelps.org.

Young Adult NAMI
Young Adult NAMI Connection (ages 18-30) is a free mental health support group sponsored by NAMI Minnesota. A group meets in St. Paul on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month from 6:30-8 p.m., at Unity Church – Unitarian, 733 Portland Ave., Owl Room on lower level, St. Paul. The group is facilitated by young adults living with a mental illness and doing well in recovery. For information contact Tess at 507-226-3369 or Leah at 207-272-4450 or Leahwilcox9@gmail.com.

Garden tour
The St. Anthony Park (St. Paul) Garden Tour is set for Saturday, June 29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More at www.stanthonyparkgardenclub.com. The tour features an award-winning pollinator garden and nine lovely private gardens, as well as the Milton Square courtyard gardens and two local breweries with authentic prairie gardens. Proceeds benefit UMN horticultural scholarships and local community gardening activities.

Sessions on justice
The new Neighborhood Justice Program is expected to be launched later this year, and will use a restorative justice model to provide a community-based, victim-centered alternative to traditional prosecution in addressing crime. Attend a session, hosted by the City Attorney’s Office on June 13, 5-7 p.m. at Saint Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Ave.

Boychoir at Como
This summer, the Twin Cities-based Minnesota Boychoir hits the road for its 36th annual summer tour. The Minnesota Boychoir is considered one of the finest traditional boy choirs in the country. Its four ensembles are known for their excellent musical offerings, as well as the positive effect participating in the choir has on the lives of its members. A homecoming show is set for 7 p.m. at Como Lakeside Pavilion on Sunday, June 30.

LGBTQ adult group
A peer support group for LGBTQ adults living with a mental illness meets weekly in St. Paul. Sponsored by NAMI Minnesota and led by trained facilitators who are also in recovery, the free support group meets on Saturdays from 1-2:30 p.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 Snelling Ave. S, in Room 108. For information call Brianna at 763-334-6318 or Alec at 952-334-6318.

Hope for Recovery
NAMI Minnesota will hold a free workshop on Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (1919 University Ave. W., Suite 400, in St. Paul) that provides information on mental illnesses, treatments, crisis management, suicide prevention, the mental health system and local resources along with practical strategies for helping a loved one or friend. This workshop is for family and friends of a teen or adult living with a mental illness and people living with a mental illness who are doing well in their recovery. For information, call 651-645-2948 or see “classes” at namimn.org.

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Midway Arts Festival (3)

Free festival focuses on neighborhood’s vibrant art scene

Posted on 14 June 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Attend Midway Public Art Festival on June 29

The Midway Public Art Working Group, an all-volunteer group focused on showcasing public art in the Hamline Midway neighborhood, is co-hosting the Midway Public Art Festival on June 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hamline Park.
“The goal of the free festival is to bring together neighbors, soccer fans attending the match at Allianz Field that day, and people from across the Twin Cities in support of our vibrant arts scene and welcoming community,” say organizers.
“We especially want to welcome newcomers to the neighborhood, such as the new residents of Thomas Flats and the Minnesota United fans who come from across the Metro and beyond to cheer on the Loons in our backyard. We will present live, interactive, educational, and performance art done by people who live, work, play, or have educational ties to the Midway neighborhood.”
The group grew out of the foundational efforts of the 2015 Midway Murals project. Over the past three years, the group has helped create and fund: new murals at Hamline University and Hamline Elementary School by local emerging artists; several Paint the Pavement projects on local streets; the restoration of the 1987 Picnic at Newell Park mural on Englewood and Snelling; and other smaller projects through public art mini-grants in 2018.
In 2019, the primary project is the festival on June 29, a nod to past neighborhood arts and community festivals, and a recognition that Midway residents are eager to strengthen ties through public interaction and dialogue.
The public art work would not be possible without the longtime support of the Hamline Midway Coalition, with whom Midway Murals is partnering on this event. “HMC has generously provided leadership, advice, technical support, and fiscal agency for Midway Murals and the Midway Public Art Working Group for the past five years,” pointed out group members. “We are also working alongside the Friends of Hamline Park, which has spearheaded efforts for several years now to maintain a friendly, inviting, fun space at the park on Thomas and Snelling Avenues.”
This year, on July 10, the Friends of Hamline Park will again be hosting a puppet show, as well as a possible movie night on Aug. 7.
To stay updated on the details of the festival, including artists selected for the event, food options, and more, visit www.midwaymurals.com or www.hamlinemidway.org/publicart, or check out our Facebook event page.
For those who are interested in learning more about the Midway Public Art Working Group or Friends of Hamline Park, or attending meetings for either group, please email me at jonathan@midwaymurals.com.
“Any person or group interested in doing a non-paid public art project at the festival, please let us know your idea to see if it fits with the events of the day,” encourage organizers.

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Start time shift shuffles family schedules

Posted on 14 June 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Editor’s note: We are reprinting this article from the Hamline Elementary School newspaper, the Snelling Connections, created through a partnership with Hamline University.
Beep Beep! Set your alarms early SPPS schools because there are some major changes happening that you don’t want to miss! This decision was made at a BOE meeting. (Board of Education) The SPPS district is shuffling start times for most of the schools. In fall of 2015, the district staff proposed the start times for 2016 – 2017 but no change was made. The current superintendent is Dr. Joe Gothard. Why did they make that decision? Let’s find out by reading this article.
The evidence behind this change is that secondary students (High school and middle school) need 8 – 10 hours of sleep. But only about 31% of high school students actually get that much. 69% don’t receive their 8 hours of sleep. They might not receive this amount of sleep because of little time to do homework, having to babysit for sibling, or staying up on devices. What happens when secondary students receive fewer than eight hours? The rates of depression, anxiety and fatigue increase. Basically, it just is better for their general health when they get 8+ hours of sleep. But not everyone agrees with the school board on this topic. Some people feel little kids should get more sleep. Some people think older kids should arrive home first so they can pickup or care for younger siblings.
Jessica Kopp is a parent of a 5th grader at Hamline and she said, “The decision has already been made, so I guess in some ways we just have to live with the decision.”
I also talked to the superintendent of schools Dr. Joe Gothard. He told me, “In my position, I organize information for our board of education to make decisions that affect policies and governments in the school district.”
I also asked one fifth grader his opinion. Finn McCauley said “The start times are good now, they don’t need to be changed.” My opinion is that the start times were fine the way they were before. But we have to live with that decision because it is made.
How is the district preparing to help families with these changes? Many families are concerned about additional childcare and what options will be available. Some options are Discovery Club, Extended Day for Learning (EDL), and Rec Check. Rec Check is a free after-school program for kids in grades 1-5 that occurs at the recreation centers. Some of the biggest worries for families are safety, and childcare. The new 7:30 a.m. start times means that elementary kids who ride the busses (K-5), their first bus pickup is at 6:30 a.m. and will arrive at school at about 7:15 a.m. Sometimes it can be dark at 6:30 in the morning and some parents are worried for the safety of them and their child. Those same kids will be dismissed at about 2. Not many parents are at home from work around that time of day and not everyone can stay home by themselves.
These are the three tiers of start times:
• Tier 1 starts at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. (First pickup is at 6:30 a.m.)
• Tier 2 starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. (First pickup is at 7:30 a.m.)
• Tier 3 starts at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. and those schools will not change.
The evidence is that older kids do better with more sleep. Some people don’t agree with this decision but it has been made. The district is working on implementing plans to help families with childcare and safety. The three tiers each have their own start times and dismissal times. If you want to learn more about the start times, head over to the district website under start times. Have a great year!

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Steve Kufus handball tourney 2019

Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Every year the Minnesota Youth Handball recognize a person that has given a lot to promote handball in Minnesota by naming the tournament after them. This year outstanding person is Steve Kufus who has given time to help teach, moral support and financial support to the Minnesota Youth Handball Community.
This year the Midway YMCA had a program called Court Sports where handball, racquetball and wolleyball is taught. The players entered the Minnesota State Handball 2019 tournament that was held at the University of Minnesota. Ayan Hassan a 11-year-old from Friends School won the 2 bounce Youth Handball Tournament.
The Youth Handball Program has been growing every year. This year the group taught 40 to 50 young adults (from eight different countries) to play the game. Phil Gebben Green, along with the University of Minnesota students, worked with the older players to teach not only handball but leadership, responsibility, honesty, friendship, and sportsmanship. Mitchell Lallier, along with the older players, worked with the younger players (5-12) to learn the value of playing handball at the Midway YMCA.

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Mixed-use, multi-family projects are moving ahead

Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Development Roundup


MISCO awarded city funding
A Midway company will benefit from a $49,500 forgivable Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) loan. The St. Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and redevelopment Authority, approved the loan to MISCO April 10.
Company leader Dan Digre told council members that the loan will assist with relocation to the new headquarters at 1771 Energy Park Drive. The company was founded 70 years ago by his father, Clifford, when the family lived in the Selby-Dale neighborhood. Dan Digre said it is fitting that the company is returning to its St. Paul roots.
MISCO designs, tests and manufactures loudspeakers and amplifiers. Its new headquarters facility will be the only speaker design, testing and manufacturing operation of its kind in North America.
MISCO has outgrown its location in Minneapolis and needs to locate somewhere with room to grow that is welcoming to their business and unique industrial needs. The loan will help with the purchase of furniture and equipment to support the transition. The company will bring 66 existing jobs here, and through their growth hire an additional 50 – 60 new employees over the next ten years.
No existing businesses will be displaced or relocated as a result of this project. The loan is forgivable if certain conditions are met.

Housing projects moving ahead
Multi-family and mixed-use projects near University Avenue keep moving ahead. Indiana-based Scannell Properties May 2 won St. Paul Planning Commission approval for its conditional use permit and floor area ratio variance allowing additional building height and density for a six-story mixed use development at 441-443 N. Snelling Ave. in April, Wellington Management’s the Pitch won approvals for additional height, a floor area ratio variance and relocated drive-through lanes for its six-story development at 427 N. Snelling Ave.
A third project, Raymond Station at 2250-2264 University Ave., was also granted a conditional use permit for additional height in April. The projects reflect a growing trend of mixed-use, market-rate housing planned on and near University.
The Pitch is to be built on the Bremer Bank site. The bank will relocate while its new home is built. It will also include 13,000 square feet of retail for a new Bremer Bank, and possibly a Walgreens.
Scannell is building on the former Furniture Barn site, and plans a restaurant on its first floor. Both buildings will have below-ground parking.
Both Snelling projects are in the traditional neighborhoods 3 zoning district, where a height of 55 feet is allowed. The conditional use permits allow each building’s height to top 70 feet. Raymond Station will reach a height of seven feet in one section. Its University and Hampden avenues; site is also zoned for traditional neighborhoods 3 use.
All told, the three developments will bring about 250 new housing units to the area,

Lexington site eyed again?
Mixed-use redevelopment is eyed for a long-vacant Lexington Parkway property. Minneapolis-based developer Alatus LLC and about a dozen neighbors met with the Union Park District Council (UPDC) Land Use Committee in April to discuss ideas for 411-417 N. Lexington Parkway. The potential developers would like to shape their plans over the next few months. No timeline for development has been set.
Alatus has 15 years’ development experience, mostly in the Twin Cities. Its recent projects range from market-rate to affordable housing, including apartments in New Hope and 63 new affordable single-family homes in North Minneapolis.
“This is a very interesting area,” said Chris Osmundson, Alatus director of development. It is in Lexington-Hamline area of Union Park but borders Frogtown, Hamline-Midway and Summit-University. Area residents are a mix of ethnicities and economic backgrounds. It’s also part of the old Rondo neighborhood, a predominantly African-American neighborhood that was partially destroyed when Interstate 94 was built in the 1960s.
The 2.05-acre site is just south of TCF Bank and White Castle. It is owned by Wilder Foundation, which has its headquarters west of the property. A new development would finish the southwest corner of Lexington and University Avenue. The site was one home to the St. Paul Saints ballpark, but was redeveloped as a strip mall more than 50 years ago. High-profile battles were waged over redevelopment in the 1990s. Neighborhood groups called for a dense, mixed-use urban village. City officials saw the site as being ideal for big-box retail. It since has been redeveloped with an Aldi grocery store, TCF Bank, Wilder headquarters and an Episcopal Homes senior living building. One original retaining wall for the old ballpark is still in place.
Alatus is mulling the notion of a six-story mixed-use development, with first-floor commercial use and five stories of housing above. About 250 housing units in a mix of size options and an undetermined amount of structured parking spaces are planned. Prices haven’t been determined.
The property is zoned for traditional neighborhoods four use, which could allow heights of up to 75 feet, with additional height allowed through a conditional use permit process.
About a dozen site neighbors attended the meeting, as did a representative of the Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC). ASANDC has expressed interest in buying the parcel. Neighbors raised concerns about addition; a traffic and parking demand generated by the development. Those concerns will be discussed the month ahead.

City seeks grant funding
The St. Paul City Council April 24 approved a grant request for a Midway site that has long been eyed for redevelopment. Property at 1730 University Ave. and the former Ford Motor Company site in Highland were submitted to the Metropolitan Council, for consideration for possible Livable Communities Demonstration Account (LCDA) pre-development grants.
Then city has used various Livable Communities Development Grants for several years, and for projects all along Green Line light rail. Projects funded through the grant program have to meet certain criteria. The city has to apply for the grants on behalf of developers. In this case a developer hasn’t been named.
1730 University is a commercial building. It’s on a block with another small commercial property and two homes. The properties have been marketed as a group and are zoned for traditional neighborhoods 3 mixed-use redevelopment. The rezoning occurred several years ago as part of a larger rezoning project all along Green Line light rail.
A total of six parcels, comprising .46 acres, make up the site.

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Monitor In A Minute – May 2019

Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

by Jane McClure

Convenience store is fined
An area convenience store must pay a $500 fine, as a result of St. Paul City Council action April 17. The council fined Midway Amoco BP, which is located at 1347 University Ave., and didn’t request a hearing or challenge the fine.
The fine stems from an incident in fall 2018. The city’s Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) received a notice of seized contraband letter from the Minnesota Department of Revenue dated Nov. 13, 2018. State officials seized products at the store in September 2018. Flavored Babbo products were found to be offered for sale or held as inventory at the store, without an invoice from a licensed seller, and were seized as contraband under state law.
The city’s regulations allow for the city to take action of its own if such contraband is found. The city opted to assess a $500 fine.
Midway Amoco BP had until March 22 to challenge the fine or seek a hearing, either before the City Council or a legislative hearing officer, but chose not to do so.

Liquor laws are changed
Two of St. Paul’s remaining “blue laws” are no more, as a result of St. Paul City Council action April 17. Liquor can now be sold within 300 feet of religious institutions throughout the city. In the downtown area, liquor can be sold within 300 feet of a school. The sales apply to restaurants with on-sale liquor licenses and liquor stores.
The changes, which won unanimous City Council approval, strike down regulations that have been in place since the 1960s. Schools and places of worship have long had to the ability to veto on-sale liquor licenses or liquor stores that are within 300 feet of their locations. Requests made for licenses within the 300-foot zone also needed at least five of seven City Council votes for approval.
The changes didn’t draw public comment, and no one attended public hearings earlier in April to speak for or against the changes.
Ward Two Council Member Rebecca Noecker brought the changes forward. She said the changes and other regulatory issues she is working on will help make it easier for downtown businesses to operate.
Another change is one the city has to make. The liquor regulation centered on places of worship removes city legislative code language that has been found to be unconstitutional.
The changes came forward after a disagreement between the Gray Duck Tavern at Wabasha and Fourth St. and the St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts, a charter school at 16 W. Fifth St. The liquor license for Gray Duck was approved in 2017 after an extensive building renovation. Charter school officials objected in December 2018, noting that they hadn’t been asked to weigh in on the matter. School officials asked the city to suspend liquor sales at the restaurant. The city declined to do so.
The school has operated at its downtown location since 2013. It is in the same building as the Pazzaluna restaurant and is within a short distance of other restaurants with liquor licenses.
The new regulations indicated that schools within the downtown business district will still be notified if a liquor license holder is moving in. Schools still can raise concerns about a liquor license.

Peace Park wins grant
The Midway Peace Park in Lexington-Hamline neighborhood will receive an additional $180,000 from Capitol Region Watershed District. The St. Paul City Council accepted the funding April 17. That bumps project funding up to $3.18 million.
The watershed district works with the city on issues including water runoff, drainage, rain gardens and other needs.
The park is located on the east side of Griggs St. between University and St. Anthony avenues. The park has been several years in the making and was originally proposed as a project by students at Gordon Parks High School. City officials have worked with the Trust for Public Land to purchase the property for transformation into a park. It was used as surplus parking space by Midway auto dealers for many years.
The park is near the Skyline Towers high-rise apartments, and near senior house owners and operated by Episcopal Homes. It is in an area that was eyed during Green Line light rail development for added green space.

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Print is not dead – but we are changing

Print is not dead – but we are changing

Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Too Much Coffee

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN, Tesha@MonitorSaintPaul.com

Print is dead, you say?
Nah. It’s just evolving.
A few months ago I attended the Minnesota Newspapers Association (MNA) annual convention, and listened to a speaker talk about just that. I was particularly interested in the topic as I was negotiating to purchase the Midway Como Monitor and Longfellow Nokomis Messenger from longtime owners Calvin deRuyter and Tim Nelson. Was I taking a leap into a dying industry?
After listening to Bill Ostendorf of Creative Circle Media Solutions, I was reassured. He’s spent his whole career in newspapers, and he doesn’t believe print is dead.
After 20 years in the industry, I don’t either.
Why am I convinced?
Well, they first started saying newspapers were going to die when radio got popular. But newspapers stuck around.
Then they said newspapers and radio couldn’t last when the television came out. Yet newspapers stayed and even thrived.
When the Internet got big, they were sure it was the final death knoll of newspapers, radio and television. Yet radios are still in every car, most people have one or more televisions in their house, and newspapers continue to print.
The thing is, people are reading now more than ever before. So the question isn’t whether people are reading, the question is are they going to read particular publications.
The questions those of us in the news industry need to be asking is why should people read our stuff instead of the myriad of information out there.
What makes us different?
What makes us worth reading?
What makes our editions important?
Those are the questions I’m committed to asking. I entered the field of journalism at the cusp of the Internet revolution. For those first few years, I called the local librarian to doublecheck my details. And then fact-checking things became much faster via Google. (Although with its own new set of accuracy questions.) I even did a few editions of cut and paste before we switched over to electronic layout with QuarkExpress.
As I ask others what they love about neighborhood newspapers, I have been thinking about what I value. I want to know what’s happening on my street, what development is going to change my neighborhood, and what fascinating things my neighbors are engaged in. I want to see photos of kids I know and congratulate them on their achievements, noting, “I saw you in the paper.” I want to hear the various sides of issues and wrestle over what the best solution will be in the long run. I want to learn what sparked the coffee shop and hardware store and secondhand boutique owners to open up shop, and hear what tips they have for other entrepreneurs.
The daily stuff of my neighborhood can’t be found anywhere but in the papers of my neighborhood newspaper.
That’s what I love about community journalism. I stay in this industry because I love local, I love to see people engaged, and I love to watch community being built. I appreciate the slice of life the pages of the Monitor offer each month.
I’m also excited to see how newspapers are being innovative and creative. It’s amazing to see the convergence of media – of print, TV, radio, audio, video, and more – coming together in to something new.
What will community newspapers look like in 10 years? I’m looking forward to finding out. I think that the answer lies in asking our readers what they want.
Bill Ostendorf encouraged all the reporters in the room at the MNA Convention (and his session was packed) to focus on being reader-centric. This starts with the basics of what we write in an article, how we shape it, and who we include in it. It also means focusing on writing really good headlines about people instead of things, and really interesting photo cutlines. Plus we need more break-out boxes and standout photos. Research has shown that people read headlines, cutlines and break-out boxes first – and they may or may not read the whole article.
Ostendorf advocated for content that is more engaging and more relevant. He encouraged designers to adopt modular layouts that are easier on the eyes. He encouraged sales staff to sell bigger ads that get attention and bring value to the readers.
Ostendorf reminded us that our print newspapers help people live better lives. The information within our pages informs and educates. It helps people make better decisions and be successful.
What do you want from the pages of the Monitor? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at Tesha@MonitorSaintPaul.com.


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Light shows, scarves, Wonderwall: trip to Allianz Field

Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Building a Stronger Midway

By CHAD KULAS, Midway Chamber of Commerce Executive Director


The dream of Major League Soccer in the Midway, which only seemed like a fantasy four years ago, has become a reality. For those of us who have lived or worked in the neighborhood for years, Allianz Field looks like a spaceship descended upon our community. And a beautiful spaceship it is, especially when lit up. Whether in purple in Prince’s memory, red and green for Christmas, or its standard blue, the light show adds to the aesthetic.
The Minnesota United have now played three home games in Allianz Field. I was fortunate enough to attend the April 24 game against the LA Galaxy, but not fortunate enough to take part in the tradition of singing the Oasis song, “Wonderwall” after a United win (they tied their first two games before winning 1-0 over DC United).
Are you unsure if you like soccer? I never got into the sport until the Minnesota United, and while I still don’t know why a yellow card gets raised, the games are very fun. For low scoring affairs, the excitement is still off the charts, especially when your team scores a goal. The big soccer fans are unmatched in their enthusiasm, waving giant flags and banging drums in the fan section, but a first-time visitor will still have a great time. If you are skeptical, give it a try. The excitement is contagious.
Here are some observations if you decide to check it out.
There are things to do outside Allianz Field, so allow time to walk around the entire stadium, and then walk through the entire concourse. Walk into the Brew Hall, located north of the field. The Brew Hall is open Thursday-Sunday when there isn’t an event at Allianz Field, with non-game prices. It also stays open 1.5 hours after home games, so a great way to avoid traffic.
Another way to avoid post-game traffic is to stop by nearby restaurants and bars. If you can afford the time, a person is better off grabbing their last drink at the Black Hart or other bars before venturing to their vehicle or transit.
If you plan to come by car, the closest parking lots are $25. You can also take a shuttle bus from the State Fair, which charges $15 to park. I suspect more restaurants will use a shuttle service to get patrons to the game.
Transit may be the best way to get to the game. Cheaper than driving, Allianz Field is close to both the Green Line Light Rail Line and the A-Line Bus Rapid Transit – which ends up connecting to the Blue Line at Hiawatha and 46th St. So far, public transit is taking about 45 minutes to clear out after a game – typically larger events are considered good if the time is less than one hour.
Over the past few years, there has been a lot of thought going into Allianz Field. Would it actually get built? If so, would it be the best option for the old bus barn site from a community standpoint? Once it was a foregone conclusion, the talk turned to the details. What would the rest of the “superblock” look like? Would public funds be used for the development? What impact would it have on the neighborhood, both on game days and always?
The biggest concerns the Midway Chamber heard from both members and residents was parking and traffic – both strictly gameday concerns. With the United playing 17 home games a year and a handful of other larger events, traffic and parking are not regular problems occurring most days. Most games are also played on weekends, meaning games are rarely a concern for rush hour.
If you go, take notice of the neighborhood. Open Hands Midway, a nonprofit who can provide 28 meals for those in need with a $50 donation, is housed at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and will have hundreds if not thousands of fans walk by their door each game. Even organizations farther than walking distance will benefit from the thousands of fans coming from each direction as they drive by either by personal vehicle or transit.
I am thrilled the Midway will get to welcome 20,000 soccer fans 17 times at Allianz Field this year, college football fans for the Tommie-Johnnie game, and other events in the future. Our guests will support our local businesses and give many more added visibility and name recognition. Here’s to hoping we sing “Wonderwall” a lot in the Midway this year. Scarves all the way up!

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Picketers support Hamline University’s adjunct  faculty union

Picketers support Hamline University’s adjunct faculty union

Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Photo by Margie O’Loughlin

The Inter-Faculty Organization (IFO)is an organization that represents the interests of faculty at the seven Minnesota state universities. They held an informational picket at Hamline University on Thursday, May 2, 2019, to support the Hamline adjunct faculty union. Adjunct anthropology professor Marcia Regan said, “We are here because we believe in Hamline University. In inflation adjusted dollars, we are asking to get back to where we were in 2005. We haven’t had a raise in more than a decade. Adjunct professors are hired course by course. There are 91 adjunct professors teaching 128 courses at Hamline University this year. We represent 33% of the faculty faces that students see on campus.” More at www.hamlinetakesthelead.com. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

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MN United Game I 023


Posted on 12 May 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Photo by Margie O’Loughlin

Photos and Article By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
Despite a daytime high of only 39 degrees and lingering snowbanks on the field, the stands were packed for Opening Day at Allianz Stadium. Following a 12 p.m. opening party on April 13, 2019, the gates opened two and a half hours early for the 4 p.m. Minnesota United FC kick-off against New York.
Several hundred fans parked at the State Fair grounds, for a fee, and rode the complementary shuttle to the stadium. There are about 15 St. Paul businesses that allow parking in their lots and ramps, including Spruce Tree Centre and Fairview HealthEast. A full list of parking and transportation options can be found at www.mnufc.com/stadium. >>


One of the first things fans see as they approach the stadium from Snelling Avenue is the 12-foot-high letters spelling out the word “U-N-I-T-E-D.” The sculpture recognizes the contributions of the club’s Itasca Society members. Limited to 11,842 fans — one for every lake in Minnesota — the society is made up of season ticket holders who supported the club during its first major league season. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Four thousand individuals, families and business names are etched into the sculpture. South Minneapolis residents Omar Elias and his father, Dan Elias, found their family name together. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Major league soccer is a growing sport in the US. Most of the season tickets were purchased by families, many with very small children in tow. All 14,500 season tickets have been sold out for the season, with a waiting list of 5,000. The stadium capacity is 19,500. There are single seats still available for some games. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)


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