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Legends at Berry entrance

Development Roundup Nov. 2018

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE

Lumberyard site transformation goes on
The transformation of the old Weyerhaeuser Lumberyard site into the Legends of Berry housing goes on, as the St. Paul City Council and the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) acted on various aspects of the project in October.

St. Paul Leased Housing Associates is redeveloping the site at 777 and 778 Berry St. into two buildings, one of workforce housing and one for seniors. The project won a needed variance Oct. 22 from the BZA.

Photo right: The concept drawing for the Legends of Berry at 777 and 778 Berry St. The two buildings would be across the street from each other and is moving forward through City of St. Paul Council approval. (Illustration provided)

The two buildings will have front entrances directly across the street from each other. The zoning code requires a front yard setback of at least 10 feet. The proposed developments each have a covered front walkway with a zero setback, driving the need for a variance.

The variance request drew no opposition and had a recommendation of support from St. Anthony Park Community Council.

Earlier in October the St. Paul City Council approved a financing and spending plan for the Department of Parks and Recreation for $323,191, to use parkland dedication funds for the creation of a new park at 700 Emerald St.
The city requires that new developments provide funding for park space, donation of property, or do a combination of both.

Photo left: The concept drawing for the Legends of Berry front entrance at 777 and 778 Berry St. The proposed developments each have a covered front walkway with a zero setback, driving the need for a variance from the regulation requiring a 10 foot setback. (Illustration provided)

The new development will have three lots, tow parks and three streets, in a plat approved by the council in May. Park space has been called out as a need in this part of West Midway, in various land use studies dating back to 2008.

University-Dale project moves ahead
Redevelopment of the northwest corner of University Ave. and Dale St. continues to pick up needed support. In October the Metropolitan Council and St. Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), gave the project needed approvals.

Northwest University and Dale received $949,250 in Metropolitan Council Livable Communities grant funds to support affordable housing near existing and planned transit service. The project was one of four that split almost $4.5 million.

“The Livable Communities program goes a long way toward supporting and promoting economic growth and prosperity in the region,” said Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff. “A critical component to achieving prosperity is the availability of affordable housing. These grants all support the creation of affordable housing that’s close to transit and other types of transportation. Each project focuses on a different group of people in need of affordable housing.”

The mixed-use development would replace commercial and office buildings, along with a vacant lot that was once the home of the Flick, an X-rated theater. The Flick and its across-the-street neighbor, the Faust, were part of a cluster of “adult” businesses in the University-Dale area, along with the Belmont Club. The city bought out the business owners in the 1980s.

The Flick was torn down years ago and has been green space since then. The mixed-use development eyed for its site and adjacent properties could create 32,000 square feet of office and commercial space and 40 affordable housing units near a plaza and green space.

Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the council has approved grants totaling nearly $375 million to assist projects that have created or retained more than 52,000 jobs, cleaned up 2,300 acres of polluted property for redevelopment, created or preserved nearly 22,000 affordable housing units, and leveraged billions in additional public and private funds.

Northwest University Dale is led by Wellington Management and will be owned by University and Dale Limited partnership. It will include 40 housing units from single rooms to three bedrooms, at varying rates of affordability based on area median income.

The project cost is estimated at $13.5 million including private funds, housing tax credits, and Metropolitan Council, state, and Ramsey County grants. The project was one of two on University Ave. that received Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the HRA in October, and one of four citywide. The Federal Tax Reform Act of 1986 created the Low Income Housing Tax Credits Program, which provides a reduction in federal tax liability to owners and investors of qualified low-income housing developments that comply with federally-imposed rent and tenant income restrictions for 30 years. The credits are coveted by developers.

Northwest University Dale has up to $298,793 in reserved credits for 2019.

Northwest University Dale is also in the hunt for additional dollars, and was one of six projects the city submitted to site cleanup and tax base revitalization dollars.

Other area development
PPL Ain Dah Yung Supportive Housing has $217,700 earmarked for its new housing for homeless Native American youth at 769 University Ave. The $13 million project includes 42 housing units.

Another $366,266 is allocated for the St. Paul Preservation Project, which includes some multi-family properties around the city including two in the 800 block of Englewood Ave.

Another area project submitted was for work at 641 N. Fairview Ave. and at Raymond Station, a development near Raymond and University avenues.

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Central comes short of the prize but not done

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

Prep Sports Notebook By MATTHEW DAVIS

Central boys soccer coach David Albornoz doesn’t see his team’s trip to the Class 2A state semifinals at US Bank Stadium Oct. 31 as a one-hit wonder.

He hopes to see his program back at the Vikings stadium the next two seasons as he had freshmen playing in the Oct. 31 loss to defending state runner-up Stillwater, 2-1. The Minutemen beat the Ponies earlier in the year on a penalty kick after a 3-3 tie in late August.

“This is not a one-time deal; we want to keep showing up,” Albornoz said. “As I told the boys … they have nothing to be ashamed of.”

Central, which came into the semifinal game unbeaten at 18-0-1 struck first with when senior midfielder Aiden Cavanaugh put the Minutemen up 1-0 in the second half. The first half had been a defensive deadlock.

The Minutemen held the lead for six minutes until Ponies sophomore attack Gora Gora knotted the game at 1-1 with a goal. Ponies senior attack Spencer Scott then stunned the Minutemen with a goal kick immediately after setting the ball, which put the Ponies ahead 2-1.

Albornoz said “we weren’t even ready” when Scott kicked the ball. Minutemen junior goalkeeper Owen Brooks couldn’t get to the ball in time as it sailed to the left of him into the net.

Owen, who had a 16-0 record in goal going into the game, is among the key players who could be back for the Minutemen next fall. Midfielder Max Hand, who led the team in assists, and forward Makatar Yarrow, who had three goals and four assists before state, also have another season left of eligibility.

Central graduates leading scorer Daniel Barrett, a senior forward who had 14 goals and seven assists coming into the tournament. Fellow senior Mac Staloch had seven goals and ten assists at midfielder.

Central finished its season with the third place game against Minnetonka Nov. 2.

The Minutemen went unbeaten for the regular season and won the St. Paul City Conference with a perfect mark. They won the Class 2A Section title with a 1-0 win over Eastview Oct. 16, capping a tournament where the Minutemen didn’t allow any goals.

Central beat St. Cloud Tech 6-1 on Oct. 25 in St. Cloud to open the state tournament and reach US Bank Stadium for the semifinals.

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Tobacco shop receives variance; raises larger questions

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE
A shuttered University Ave. convenience store can become a smoke shop, the St. Paul City Council has decided. But with more business owners seeking distance variances for tobacco shops, council members are also asking city staff from the Department of Safety and Inspections to clarify how the distance between shops is measured.

The Oct. 24 vote is a win for Mussie Embaye, who operated the Little Grocery, 1724 University Ave. before closing it several months ago. He plans to open his new tobacco shop there.

But it is a disappointment for the Association of Non-Smokers Minnesota, who appealed a September Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) decision to grant the shop a distance variance. Neighbors, health and anti-tobacco groups sent letters in support of the appeal.

The BZA has acted on three similar variance requests in the past several weeks and has at least three other requests pending. As of Nov. 1, menthol tobacco products cannot be sold in convenience stores, grocery stores, gas stations and businesses that aren’t dedicated tobacco or “smoke” shops. The definition of products is broad and includes cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco and liquids used in electronic cigarettes.

The other wrinkle is that tobacco products shops are to be at least one-half mile apart. That regulation has been in place for several years. But the enabling ordinance isn’t clear on how that distance should be measured, a point council members, city staff and tobacco foes all raised. Jerome Benner II of the BZA staff said a clarification for the distance would be submitted for City Council action soon.

Ward Four Council Member Mitra Nelson, whose ward includes the tobacco shop, said she didn’t find that the BZA erred in granting the variance. The only way the City Council can overturn a variance is if an error is found.
Council members Dan Bostrom, Amy Brendmoen, Dai Thao, and Chris Tolbert agreed with Nelson. Rebecca Noecker and Jane Prince voted against denying the appeal, saying that they sided with the association and its arguments based on the distance issue.

Brendmoen indicated that the influx of new tobacco shop requests was something predicted when the city enacted the menthol restrictions. She noted that before the ban, there was no tobacco shop in her Fifth Ward.

That’s not the case now.

What council members hope will control tobacco sales is a cap of 242 licenses citywide for tobacco sales, which the council adopted last summer. Embaye told the council at an October public hearing that he has already obtained such a license, and could find another place to open if he was denied approval for the former grocery store site. But opening there allows him to retain his current lease.

1724 University Ave. is 2,600 feet from Vape Pros, 681 N. Snelling Ave. Vape Pros sells e-cigarettes and accessories. A variance of 40 feet was needed to allow for the new shop to open.

The anti-tobacco association, which has championed several city restrictions on tobacco products in recent years, has worked on restricting youth access to tobacco products. Menthol is seen as a gateway, or introduction, to tobacco use.

Jeanne Weigum of the anti-tobacco group said the variance requested by Embaye doesn’t meet all of the BZA’s required findings. One objection is that granting a variance is inconsistent with the city’s intent to have a minimum set distance between shops.

Weigum added that allowing a variance, and more shops, promotes tobacco use. Allowing the shop isn’t consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan, and will change the character of the area.

But Embaye said he should be granted the variance and that he had shown hardship. He told both the BZA and the council that selling tobacco products is the only option he has at this point. Many of his sales are of menthol products. By becoming a tobacco product shop, the University Ave. storefront can have more than 90 percent of its sales from tobacco products, including the sale of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, loose tobacco, plants, herbs, and smoking devices.

BZA staff recommended approval of the variance, citing the business’s location in a commercial district, the fact that Little Grocery has long sold tobacco products, and the distance requirement hardship.

Union Park District Council made no recommendation.

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Bank sign 2

Orphan bank signage can stay; but only for one year

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

The sign at the corner of Snelling and University has been a long-time fixture and remained even after the banks that used it ceased to be at the location. The City Council overrode a unanimous vote of the St. Paul Board of Zoning Appeals to remove the sign. Midway Center reeceived a variance to keep the sign for Midway Center advertising, but only for one year. (Image courtesy of Google Maps)

By JANE MCCLURE
A longtime bank sign at University and Snelling avenues can remain in place for one more year, and be used to promote the remaining Midway Center businesses. Then it must come down. That is the decision of the St. Paul Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), which voted 6-0 Oct. 22 to force the sign’s removal.

The board rejected an appeal by property owner RD Parent Investors LLC, one of the New York-based entities that own Midway Center. Since summer RD Parent has sought to retain the sign, which served Midway Bank and later, American Bank, for decades.

Shopping center representatives have argued that the sign is part of the center. But city staff ruled that the sign was the bank’s sign, was abandoned and should come down. Allowing the sign to stay in place for one more year is seen as a compromise

Over the past year, Midway Center and its superblock bounded by St. Anthony, Snelling and University avenues and Pascal St., has changed dramatically. The Allianz Field Major League Soccer stadium sprung up after Rainbow Foods, Walgreens, and other smaller storefronts were torn down. Big Top Liquors’ longtime home was razed after that business moved into the former Perkins restaurant. Less than half of the original strip mall is still standing.

Midway Bank operated at the Snelling and University corner from 1960 until 2001, when the bank was sold. It then operated under new ownership as Dakota Bank and later as American Bank. A bank hasn’t operated at the property since 2013, although the property was used for internal operations and storage after customer service ended.

The bank building was eyed as a site for Midway Walgreens and went through the Planning Commission review and approval process for a drive-through window and building addition in 2014. That project never materialized. The building later hosted city task force planning meetings for Midway Center. It was torn down several months ago.

The shopping center owner contended that the sign should be considered part of Midway Center and should remain. City zoning staff disagreed and indicated that the sign was part of the bank, which for many years was under separate ownership from the shopping center. The zoning administrator said that the sign was abandoned and should come down.

In St. Paul, business owners who leave a location yet wish to preserve a sign for a future occupant are to paint their signs a neutral color or reserve the sign face within 30 days. If a sign isn’t reused in one year, the sign is to come down. City staff received a complaint about the sign in May.

The sign is also considered by city officials to be off-premises advertising, akin to a billboard.

The city staff decision was appealed to the BZA. The board held a public hearing in September and laid the matter over twice. One layover was because the board split 3-2 on one vote. A majority of four votes is needed for the BZA to act. A second vote was laid over to allow city staff and property owner representatives time to reach a solution.

Eric Galatz is an attorney for RD Parent and its two affiliated shopping center ownership companies, RK Midway. He said the sign would be used to advertise Midway Center businesses and Allianz Field. Because the property is under the control of lessee Snelling-Midway Redevelopment LLC, Galatz said it should be considered as one parcel.

Other commissioners disagreed about the sign, with some saying it needs to come down and others saying the redevelopment presents unique circumstances due to the size of the superblock and the sign’s past and proposed use

Galatz contended that the sign is needed by the remaining Midway Center businesses. “The businesses are really struggling,” he said.

BZA Chairperson Gloria Bogen said the bank property is a separate platted lot, and that the bank property is now a construction site. She questioned the claim that it is part of the shopping center. Jerome Benner II of the BZA staff noted that Midway Center’s superblock has long operated as a group of large and smaller parcels, with no set sign plan.

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Hamline Elementary mural

Hamline Elementary School News Nov. 2018

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

By JESSICA KOPP

A big thanks to Midway Public Art Working Group for helping Hamline Elementary become the home of the latest mural in the Midway (photo right submitted). This beauty faces Snelling Ave. and was created by Hamline U graduate Sarah Lentz. The mural is the final piece of a more extended partnership that brought Sarah into Hamline classrooms to talk to students about how to take a small picture and make it mural-sized and gave students an opportunity to create their own vision for the mural. We’re grateful to everyone involved for a beautiful experience.

Drawing left: A student-generated concept for the mural that was eventually put onto Hamline Elementary School. Students took part in the educational part of the process prior to the final design and painting. (Photo provided)

All members of the community are invited to Hamline Elementary’s 2018 Welcoming Days on Nov. 13 and Dec. 11, 9-10:30am. We’ve made these no-appointment, drop-in daytime hours available to introduce our neighbors to the people, partnerships, and programming that make Hamline one-of-a-kind in St. Paul. Children are always welcome on welcoming days. As always, school tours can also be scheduled at any time by calling the school at 651-293-8715.

Hamline Elementary is collecting cold weather gear for students and families. Donations of new or gently used coats, snow pants, boots, hats, mittens, and scarves can be dropped off at the school or arrangements for pick up can be made by e-mailing the Hamline PTA at hamlineelementarypta@gmail.com. Items in need of repair can also be donated thanks to our partnership with Mobile Menders.

For neighbors who shop Amazon, please consider using Amazon Smile and designating Hamline Elementary PTA to receive a percentage of eligible purchases. Our fundraising dollars support school-wide learning, enrichment, and family-supporting activities and fulfill teacher and staff requests for everything from classroom supplies to field trips to weighted blankets. Your support makes a world of difference—thank you!

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Monitor In A Minute November 2018

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

By JANE MCCLURE

Petitions persist in trash fight
One of St. Paul’s two ordinances setting up the residential organized trash collection program is being withdrawn. But the program will remain in place, as the fight to force a public vote on it continues.

The council Oct. 17 accepted the first of two petitions calling for a referendum on the organized trash collection plan after Ramsey County Elections staff found that the petition was valid. On the advice of the city attorney’s office, the council accepted the petition. But a vote on it won’t be necessary.

“We plan to repeal the ordinance,” said Council President Amy Brendmoen. She called the ordinance “procedural” and indicated that its repeal wouldn’t affect the program.

The second petition signature total was at 6,458. It was turned in to county officials Oct. 16. Two groups, St. Paul Trash and CARTless, have worked on the ballot measures. They circulated petitions and held signing events throughout the late summer and fall.

The trash collection program began Oct. 1. While the program is touted by proponents as ensuring that all owners of single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes have trash service, some people who shared trash carts or practiced “zero waste” have found themselves with dramatically higher bills. Multi-family buildings were forced to take one cart per dwelling unit.

“We’ve gone through a huge system change in the last month,” said Brendmoen. While saying the program launch was successful, she added that the council wants to look at ways to address the issue of cart sharing and other concerns.

The City Council voted in November 2017 to set up an organized collection system, working with 15 residential trash haulers. The city is split into zones, and each of the haulers was able to keep its company’s market share. But since then about half of the companies have turned over their market share to the remaining businesses.

Pedestrian crosswalk for Como
St. Paul and Ramsey County officials are working on a crosswalk plan for Como Park. The project won approvals in October from the City Council and the city’s Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget Committee.

The approved plan allows the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to enter into an agreement with county officials to build a new pedestrian crosswalk on Lexington Pkwy. between Como Park’s Lakeside Pavilion parking lot and the Como Golf Course parking lot.

The project is identified in a transportation plan for Como Park.

The county’s share of the project is $49,120, and the city’s is $52,609. The county is involved because Lexington is a county road.

The project includes new concrete sidewalk, pedestrian curb ramps, median, signage including a rectangular rapid flash beacon, and turf establishment. The project has been eyed for several years. City officials are drawing on capital funding from 2014.

Accessory units OK’d citywide
The long effort to allow accessory dwelling units on a citywide basis ended Oct. 17 with a 6-1 St. Paul City Council vote approving the units on single-family zoned lots of 5,000 square feet or more. Ordinance adoption was repeatedly delayed this fall as the Council sought stronger language on the need for properties to be owner-occupied, and to make sure that the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections and code enforcement staff could weigh in on building code, sewer and water line, and other regulatory concerns.

The lone vote against the measure was Ward Six Council Member Dan Bostrom, who fears that the properties will be converted to all-rental. “The long-term unintended consequences are significant as we put additional dwelling units on single-family lots,” he said.

Other council members said they believe the ordinance has been strengthened, and that it will allow people to have more housing options. An accessory dwelling unit can be added in or to an existing home. Units can also be built in a backyard or above a garage. The added units need to meet several requirements.

The units are currently only allowed in neighborhoods from Lexington Pkwy. to the west city limits, within one-half mile of Green Line light rail. Only one has been built along the Green Line since those were allowed two years ago.

The units are also allowed where carriage houses were historically located. A handful of those units have been added throughout the city in recent years.

The latest push to add the units began last year when residents of several neighborhoods sought permission to add them. The Planning Commission recommended allowing the units on a citywide basis. While several district councils support the accessory dwelling unit proposal, others raised concerns.

O’Gara’s to fall to wrecking ball
The 77-year home of O’Gara’s Bar and Grill at Snelling and Selby avenues is expected to come down on or around Nov. 12. Union Park District Council’s land use committee heard an update on the project Oct. 15. Ryan Companies is working with the longtime business owners to demolish the iconic bar-restaurant and replace it with a mixed-use development.

O’Gara’s closed at the end of September. Dan O’Gara said his family is busily getting things out of the building. Some items will be repurposed in a new O’Gara’s. Others are being sold in an online auction. “We’ve got 77 years of stuff we’re sorting there,” he said.

The nonprofit Better Futures Network is removing salvageable items from O’Gara’s properties including three houses on Hague Ave. which will make way for the development. The salvage efforts will continue for the next two weeks.

Traffic management plans during construction will be released to neighbors soon. Barricades will go up on affected streets. Motorists of Snelling and Hague avenues should watch for lane shifts. Pedestrians should watch for signs on sidewalks redirecting them at times.

District council members asked that plans for demolition and construction be shared with neighbors. Ryan will have an email list neighbors can sign up for, through the district council website.

The new development is expected to open in early 2020.

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Hamline Midway Council News

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

By MELISSA CORTES, Community Organizer

Board recruitment
Hamline Midway Coalition is governed by a volunteer board. Serving on the board is a way to serve your community and help make decisions about land use and development, transportation, sustainability, and community building. There are nine elected board members and four appointed seats. All board members are elected or appointed for three-year terms. Elected members are voted in by the community in an annual neighborhood-wide election. Terms are staggered such that every year three seats are up for election—one from each of the three sub-districts in the neighborhood. If you are interested in serving on the board, please contact Executive Director Kate Mudge at kate@hamlinemidway.org.

Interested in joining the Board of Directors? Anyone interested in running for an elected seat on the Board of Directors must return a completed application to the Executive Director no later than 5pm, Mon., Nov. 19.

Applicants must be 16 years of age or older and reside within, own property, or own a business in the Hamline Midway neighborhood. More information can be found at http://www.hamlinemidway.org/about/board.

Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday in Hamline Midway is more than just the Holiday Pop Up Shop! Each year more than 30 local vendors come together in one spot for the Midway Holiday Pop Shop. However, this year, on Sat., Nov. 24 more local business will be opening their doors for all your holiday shopping and celebrating. This makes it easier than ever to shop and support locally for the Holidays! Holiday Pop Up shop will be open from 10am-4pm at the Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Ave.

Come early to receive a free shopping bag (while supplies last) and a map of other locations offering artisan wares, and special deals. Also, Metro Transit is offering a free pass for the day, so learn more about signing up for your free pass at www.hamlinemidway.org/popupshop.

Annual Meeting in December
Hamline Midway Coalition is hosting our Annual Meeting on Tues., Dec. 18, starting at 6:30pm. The Annual Meeting will be held at Hamline University in East Hall 106. You will have the opportunity to meet the new Board Members, Coalition Committee Members, and the new Executive Director, as well as, participate in a presentation looking back at 2018 and envisioning the goals for 2019.

More information can be found at www.hamlinemidway.org.

Attention multi-unit property owners and landlords
The Hamline Midway Coalition’s Environment Committee would love to connect with you about the available City of St. Paul and Ramsey County resources that may help you save money on trash bills and to help your tenants learn about available resources to them as renters.

Also, the Hamline Midway Coalition would also like to connect with you about all the wonderful things going on in the neighborhood and build connections with all our neighbors! For more information, please contact Melissa at environment@hamlinemidway.org.

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93Queeen still photo by Nina Weinberg Doran

Hamline Midway Library News

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

By CARRIE POMEROY

Need a cozy place to hang out, take a breath, and connect with your neighbors as the fall turns toward winter? Stop in at the Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., this November and December to enjoy great programs and Internet access and get access to portable Wifi hotspots, books, CDs, DVDs and more, all free with your library card.

Programs for families and kids
Preschool Storytimes in English happen Fridays, 10:30-11am, with upcoming events on Nov. 9, 16, and 23 and Dec. 7. 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!

Evening Storytimes in English are happening Tuesdays from 6-6:30pm starting on Nov. 27 and continuing Dec. 4 and 11.

Sat., Nov. 10, from 1:30-3pm, the Science Saturday series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities for school-age children and their families will feature the theme “Simple Machines.” Learn about wheels, axles, levers, and other simple machines and make clothespin race cars. The theme of the Dec. 8 Science Saturday, also from 1:30-3pm, is Spinning.

The Show and Tell Book Club for grades 1-4 meets on Sat., Nov.17, 1:30-2:15pm, to share books and do fun literacy activities together.

On Fri., Nov. 23, 11am-5pm, kids from preschoolers to teens and their families are invited to skip the mall and the lines at the local big box store and spend a relaxing Black Friday making creative gifts at the library.

WCCO Meteorologist Mike Lynch brings his popular Star Party program to the library on Thur., Nov. 15, 6:30-8pm. Marvel at the moon, constellations, planets, galaxies, and more in this event for all ages. The program will begin with a presentation inside followed by a chance to view the wonders of the night skies through telescopes. Dress for the weather!

For adults
The Novels at Night Book Club meets on Thurs., Nov. 29, 6:30-7:30pm. This book club is aimed at adult fiction enthusiasts who will discuss Ruth Ozeki’s “A Tale for the Time Being.” (Photo left: Internet photo capture) The novel is about a Nao, a Japanese schoolgirl who intends to write in her diary the life story of her great-grandmother Jiko, a Zen Buddhist nun. She ends up writing her own life story, and the diary eventually washes up on the shore of Canada’s Vancouver Island, where Ruth, a novelist, finds it and begins to unravel its mysteries.

On Wed., Nov. 28, 1-3pm, Jody’s Documentary Film Series will show the film “93Queen” by filmmakers Paula Eiselt. This documentary tells the story of a small group of Hasidic women from the patriarchal Hasidic enclave of Brooklyn. They’re determined to go against everyone and everything to create the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in New York City. Watch the film, enjoy snacks, and stay for the discussion afterward facilitated by Jody. This is a collaboration of the award-winning PBS POV series, the Hamline Midway Library, the Hamline Midway Coalition, and the Hamline Midway Elders.

Photo right: A still from the documentary “93Queen” showing at the library Wed., Nov. 28, 1-3pm, during Jody’s Documentary Film Series. (Photo by Nina Weinberg Doran)

The Saints and Sinners Mystery Book Club meets on Sat., Dec. 1, 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.

Chair Yoga with Nancy Giguere of the Hamline Midway Elders Association returns on Thur., Nov. 8, 10:30-11:30am and continues on Nov. 15 and 29 and Dec. 6 and 13. All movement is done while seated or standing using a chair for balance.

On Thur., Dec. 6, 7-8:30pm, the library presents “Writing Immigration: Past, Present, and Future” with Twin Cities novelists Peter Geye, John Reimringer, and Dan Darling with Anta Thosaengsiri and Iya Xiong, two writers from the anthology “Green Card Voices: Immigration Stories from a St. Paul High School.” The event will feature a reading and discussion of the role of immigration in writers’ work and lives. This program is a collaboration of the St. Paul Public Library and the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.

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Como Community Council Corner

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

By MICHAEL KUCHTA, Executive Director

Spread the praise around
District 10 is accepting nominations of local individuals or organizations to add to St. Paul’s Neighborhood Honor Roll. The annual, citywide award recognizes members of our community who make a sustained and lasting impact on the quality of life in Como and the city.

To nominate someone, email district10@district10comopark.org. Give us a short description of their accomplishments or the reasons they should be honored for making Como a better place to live, work, or play. Send us your nomination no later than Tues., Dec. 11. The District 10 Board will evaluate nominees at its Dec. 18 meeting.

Meeting focuses on school expansions
District 10’s Land Use Committee will hold an additional meeting on Thur., Nov. 15. The meeting will focus exclusively on variances and other issues related to the proposed expansions of Twin Cities German Immersion School, 1031 Como Ave., and Higher Ground Academy, which intends to purchase the current Metro Deaf School property at 1471 Brewster, and build an addition so it can move grades 7-12 to the site in August 2019.
The Land Use meeting is Thur., Nov. 15 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 welcome to attend and participate.

Community Yoga returns Dec. 2
District 10’s next Community Yoga is Sun., Dec. 2 from 9:30-10:30am at the Como Park Streetcar Station. The session will be suitable for all levels of skill and experience. Bring a yoga mat or blanket and wear comfortable clothes. The class is limited to 25 participants. Registration is $5, which benefits the Como Community Council. Reserve your spot at www.district10comopark.org/communityyoga.html.

Baker elected to D10 Board
Congratulations to Alexis Baker, who won a special election in October to fill a vacancy on the Como Community Council board from Sub-District 4. Baker will represent the South Como and Energy Park neighborhoods.

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. It’s a great chance to pick up organics recycling bags or kitchen starter kits, chat with a District 10 board members who are staffing the day, or simply learn a little about the history of streetcars. Hours remain the same: 12-4pm. Upcoming dates are Dec. 2 and Jan. 6. The Historic Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.

Upcoming District 10 Meetings
• Como Community Council Monthly Meeting: Tues., Nov. 20
• Environment Committee: Wed., Nov. 28
• Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Tues., Dec. 4
• Land Use Committee: Wed., Dec. 5

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.

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Como Park High Students Vote

News from Como Park High School

Posted on 05 November 2018 by Calvin

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• Students in Como Park’s Academy of Finance (AOF) program are supplementing their classroom curriculum with opportunities and experiences in the local business community.

On Oct. 12, 75 sophomores learned about products and services with a hands-on site visit to Uponor, a company specializing in water, heating, cooling and plumbing infrastructure.

Photo right: Some of the 75 sophomores in Como’s Academy of Finance who visited Uponor’s training facility for a hands-on site visit in October. (Photo by Kris Sommerville)

Sixty AOF juniors visited three marketing firms in Minneapolis, coordinated by BrandLab, on Oct. 23. BrandLab’s mission is to expose high school students to the marketing industry and provide access through experiential visits and paid internships.

Ninety AOF seniors took a field trip to Travelers’ corporate headquarters in downtown St. Paul on Nov. 2, continuing relationships with mentors and participating in simulations and informational sessions.

All 370 Academy of Finance students in grades 9-12 will be participating in the Wells Fargo corporate visit to Como Park High School on Nov. 15. Volunteers and mentors from Wells Fargo will lead the AOF students in small group discussions, conduct mock interviews, provide instruction on resume building, cover letters and job applications. There will also be actual case studies from Wells Fargo that students will work through, followed by the presentations of their solutions.

• 905 Como students cast votes in the state-wide “Students Vote” election for Governor sponsored by the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office. AP Government and Politics students monitored and facilitated an election in which all Como students had the opportunity to practice voting procedure in our democracy. A precinct was set up in the Como Auditorium, complete with voting booths to add authenticity. (Photo left by Eric Erickson) Como’s results were reported to the state where they were tabulated along with other participating schools, creating interesting data for classroom analysis.

• Building on the student election experience at school, 30 Como students served as Ramsey County election judges in the Nov. 6 election. The non-partisan service to the community was an excellent opportunity to promote the democratic process and see first-hand how elections are conducted. Students received training before the election and then worked alongside experienced judges at precinct sites around the city.

• The annual Close Up trip to Washington D.C. is on the calendar for the first week of March, but the fundraising season is already here for the students from AP Government classes who are working to get there.

All community members who enjoy an occasional meal at Chipotle are invited and encouraged to dine-in or take-out from the Rosedale Chipotle on Mon., Nov. 19, 4-8pm. If customers tell the cashier they are supporting the Como Park Close Up Trip, 33% of the order price will go to support Como’s annual field trip to Washington D.C. and help students participate in the national Close Up program.

The students will be bagging groceries for customers at the Maplewood Cub Foods on Rice St. and County Road B from 10am to 8pm on Sat., Dec. 22. Donations from Cub customers help students defray the expense of the educational adventure. The new location in Maplewood this year is due to the limited opportunity at the Larpenteur Ave. store. Community members interested in financially supporting students in the Close Up Washington D.C. program can also contact the trip coordinator at eric.erickson@spps.org.

• Culinary Arts students that have gone above and beyond coursework to join the Como Culinary Club were selected to be part of an event at the W Hotel in downtown Minneapolis on Sun., Nove. 11. Como is one of nine schools in the state to be chosen for the “Stars of the Future” fundraiser.

Stars of the Future pairs local chefs with high school students to create a “small plate” for the event at the hotel. Como’s participants were mentored by chefs from the St. Paul RiverCentre’s MHC Culinary Group. They worked together to prepare a chicken steam bun. Event proceeds will go toward providing support for high school students interested in the Culinary industry.

• Como Park High School’s AP / CIS Night (Advanced Placement / College in the Schools) is Thur., Nov. 29, 6:30-7:45pm. AP / CIS Night is an opportunity for prospective students and their families to learn more about Como’s accelerated, advanced placement, and college course offerings from staff, parents, and a student panel. Middle school students and families interested in learning more about Como’s programming, curriculum, and opportunities will be able to visit with current AP and CIS students and teachers and ask questions about their experiences. The event will take place in the school library, and refreshments will be provided. No reservation is required, but any questions can be directed to Como’s AP Coordinator Teng Lo (teng.lo@spps.org) or Como Principal Stacy Theien-Collins (stacy.theien-collins@spps.org).

• Como’s Theatre and Music Department featuring the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir is presenting the annual fall musical in the Como Auditorium on Thur. and Fri., Nov. 8-9, at 7pm both nights. This year’s show is “The Tempest,” adapted from Shakespeare by Nick Perrin and Ruth Kenward. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students and senior citizens, and can be purchased at the door.

• Como BEASTbot Robotics had a great showing at the Roseville MRI Robotics Invitational with their competition robot named Sketch-E. They scored hundreds of points and competed strongly against some of the best robots in the state, barely missing the finals. The whole team has high hopes for a strong year when the new build season and competition officially fires up in January. In the meantime, team members meet on Thursdays after school for technical training, research, and marketing ideas. The team’s website is beastbot2855.com.

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