Springboard after street view

Springboard for the Arts purchases University Ave. building

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

The building at 262 University Ave. as envisioned for the new location of Springboard for the Arts. (Photo provided)

Springboard for the Arts has purchased the building and lot at 262 University Ave. W. The space will be used for community events, expanded programming, and new market opportunities during the planning and pre-development phases, before permanent renovations and improvements are made.

An Open House event for community members to see the space and connect to opportunities for programming will be held on Sat., June 23, 10am-2pm. All are welcome.

“For over 27 years, Springboard for the Arts has supported our vibrant community, while shaping a national conversation about cultural policy,” says St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “I am excited about the creative development of this new space, which will allow them to further provide dynamic community engagement and innovative arts programming.”

Photo right: The building at 262 University Ave. W. as it appears when Springboard for the arts purchased the property for development. (Photo provided)

“We are excited to make this move because of the opportunity to increase access to Springboard’s growing resources, to hold space for neighborhood activity and community development and to find new ways to support artists making a living and a life,” says Laura Zabel, Springboard’s executive director. “This opportunity is only possible because of the vital creative work and partnership of artists, neighbors and community organizations in Little Mekong, Frogtown, and Rondo and many others across the city and region.”

In partnership with the Asian Economic Development Association, Springboard for the Arts new site will be a host for the popular Little Mekong Night Market on Aug. 4-5, Sept. 1-2, and Oct. 6-7, 2018. Learn more about Little Mekong: http://littlemekong.com.

Lowertown-based architecture firm 4RM+ULA has been selected as the architect for the project.

Photo left: The future view of Springboard for the Arts at 262 University Ave. W. It is envisioned as a “space for neighborhood activity and community development and to find new ways to support artists making a living and a life.” (Photo provided)

From Minnesota, Springboard for the Arts has built national models for professional development and resources for artists, as well as artist-led community development and participation models. One such project, the “Irrigate” initiative which ran from 2011-2014 along the Green Line construction zone, was a partnership with the City of Saint Paul, Twin Cities Local Initiative Support Corporation, and six St. Paul district councils, with major support from ArtPlace America. The effort trained more than 650 local artists in creative placemaking and partnership-building skills, funded over 250 creative projects along the corridor, and resulted in 51 million positive media impressions of the neighborhoods along the corridor. The Irrigate “Art Happens Here” neighborhood celebration in 2012 was held on the site of 262 University Ave. W., bringing this work full circle for Springboard for the Arts.

The purchase and pre-development of 262 University Ave. W. are the first steps in a larger community design process and funding campaign to support renovations, funding of programming and sustainability, and development of new markets and entrepreneurial opportunities for local artists and makers. The Saint Paul Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, and Mardag Foundation have made founding commitments to this effort with grants totaling $500,000.

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Como High Badminton 3rd in State

Plenty to celebrate at the closing of the Como High School year

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

By ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• Nearly 300 Advanced Placement (AP) students at Como Park High School completed their rigorous coursework by taking national AP Exams in May. In total, over 600 tests were taken in 20 different AP courses ranging from U.S. History to Calculus, English Literature to Biology and several other academic disciplines.

Student exams are a comprehensive assessment of college-level curriculum including multiple-choice and written formats, which are evaluated by college professors and highly-trained AP teachers from across the nation. Colleges and universities grant credit based on student scores that meet the school’s standards, which has meant hundreds of college credits for Como students on an annual basis. Como’s College Board certified AP teachers are confident this year will produce similar results and were impressed by the work ethic of their students.

Photo right: Academy of Finance (AOF) students who earned 16 credits each from St. Paul College through their advanced studies at Como are pictured with their certificates at a recognition ceremony in the auditorium. They are joined by Andrew Kubas, Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts at St. Paul College, Theresa Neal, Como Principal, and Dan Mesick from the College and Career Readiness Office. (Photo provided)

• 16 Academy of Finance (AOF) students at Como were participants in another college credit program in partnership with St. Paul College. By taking business courses within the AOF at a collegiate level, students can earn credits from St. Paul College that are transferable to any university or college they attend. The students in the cohort each earned 16 college credits and have been accepted into institutions of higher education for next fall.

• VocalEssence, a 50-year-old professional choral organization based in the Twin Cities, invited Como Park High School choirs to participate for the third time in ¡Cantare! program as part of their education service. Bernardo Feldman is a Mexican composer who directed the Como singers.

Feldman currently lives in Los Angeles but came to Como in September to get to know the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. He returned home to write music specifically for those Como singers. In March, he flew back to St. Paul and started to help the musicians, including the Como Orchestra, learn the new piece.

Choir Director Carole Whitney and Orchestra Director Dr. Philip Fried continued to guide their musicians with the challenging material through April and May while continuing other pieces and concert events. The ¡Cantare! concert came together splendidly on the evening of May 22 after Feldman spent the prior week preparing the performers for the show at the Ordway Theater in downtown. Students, families, teachers and the honored guest were all pleased with the spectacular performance in St. Paul’s premier concert hall.

• Honors Night for Como students and families was held at the school on the evening of May 29. Students were recognized for outstanding academic performances, service awards, and athletic recognition.

Additionally, college scholarships earned by members of the senior class were announced, and several scholarships that were unexpected by the recipients and their families were made public. Those included the Wallin Scholarships, Como Park Schultz Scholarships, the Hiway Federal Credit Union Scholarship, and the Fred Kaiser Awards for outstanding student athletes which included scholarships for the first time courtesy of the Rice St. Athletic Club.

• The creative literature and arts of Como students were published in the Cougar Journal. A variety of skilled and budding writers that are part of the Cougar Journal Club voluntarily contributed their stories, poems, artwork and creative expression in the journal that was released in May at an after-school event. The Journal allows students to have a place where they can be heard without judgment as well as an audience who will benefit from seeing their work.

• For the second consecutive season, the Como badminton team took third place (out of 25 teams) in the state tournament, which was held at Burnsville High School May 14-15. After finishing fourth in the St. Paul City Conference, the Cougars peaked and earned the third place team trophy at state with improved skills and gritty effort.

Photo right: The Como Cougars badminton team proudly displayed their third place medals from the 2018 Minnesota State Badminton Tournament. (Photo provided)

In the individual competition on May 16-17, Cougars’ senior captain Tu Lor Eh Paw earned third in the state. In doubles, two Como teams advanced through the brackets and ended up playing each other for third place in the state. In the end, sophomore Shar Too and senior Maria Aye Meh took third when they defeated senior teammates Yia Yang and Zoua Xiong who finished fourth. The experience of playing each other was nothing new since they play each other in practices throughout the season. But to meet deep in the state tournament was a special accomplishment for the players and the program.

• Como senior Florance Uwajeneza qualified for the state track and field meet by finishing 2nd in the 3200 meters in a section meet on June 1. In that meet at Stillwater, Uwajeneza ran a personal best of 11:35 and edged out her competition in a photo finish to earn the final qualifying position from Section 4AA. State was held at Hamline University on June 8 after the Monitor went to press.

• Ultimate Frisbee at Como was quite successful this spring at Como with both boys’ and girls’ teams making deep runs in their divisions at state on June 2 and 3. The Aurora Ultimate girls from Como played in the D2 tournament and advanced to the semi-finals (out of 16 teams) before falling in two extremely competitive one-point games to finish fourth.

The boys’ Como Area Ultimate team (CAU) had strong senior leadership and good depth which they rode to success in the state D2 tournament as well. (There are four divisions for boys with 16 teams in each one.) After advancing to the semi-finals and defeating Cretin, they took on Robbinsdale Cooper in the championship game. The boys of Como came out ahead, clinching an 8-7 victory to claim the D2 state championship trophy. The spirit of the team was outstanding and the accomplishment was appreciated and enjoyed by all the players, families and supporters.

• The 2018 Como Park High School Prom was held May 19 at the J.J. Hill Library in downtown St. Paul. The unique location provided a memorable setting for the Como juniors, seniors, guests and staff that enjoyed dressing up and celebrating with a festive dance.
The annual senior barbeque was held on June 1 at school, the last day of classes for the 2018 graduates. The barbeque is hosted by the Como

Booster Club and assisted by Como staff and community sponsors. The Graduation ceremony was on June 6 at Roy Wilkins Auditorium downtown in the RiverCentre.

Graduation concluded with the annual all-night party at school, which was transformed by the volunteers of the Como Booster Club. A wide range of activities and free food in a safe, fun environment with friends was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of a journey and make a final Como Park High School memory.

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June 2018 Development Roundup

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin


Neighborhood STAR recommendations
Twenty-five projects could split $2,713,295 if the 2018 Neighborhood Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) recommendations are approved by Mayor Melvin Carter and the St. Paul City Council. Projects recommended in late May by the Neighborhood STAR Board lean heavily toward small business efforts, reflecting a direction urged last year by the St. Paul City Council. Projects near the Allianz Field Major League Soccer stadium also fared well.

The council is expected to approve the funding allocations this summer.

Fifteen projects didn’t make the cut, and one project was withdrawn out of the 41 submissions.

The recommendations and applications reflect changes approved in time for the 2018 cycle. Those changes allow small for-profit businesses to apply for 100 percent grant funding. Priority is provided to proposals that would fill vacant commercial storefront space. The city has also eliminated the need for matching dollars on the first $50,000 of a loan request. Larger for-profit entities are still eligible to apply for a loan or loan/grant combination. Grant requests still require a $1 to $1 match.

Requests this year topped the $5.4 million mark. Matches proposed totaled more than $28.4 million. Not every request recommended for approval is for its full ask.

The highest-ranked project citywide is in the Little Africa area of North Snelling Ave. Sabrina’s Café and Deli, 518 N. Snelling Ave., is recommended for a $10,000 grant with $10,000 match for interior and exterior improvements. That is one of four projects near the Allianz Field Major League Soccer stadium that is recommended for grants and/or loans.

SC Upholstery, 641 N. Snelling Ave., ranked third with its request for $34,000 grant, $36,000 loan and $434,000 match for building improvements.

Snelling Coffee, 638 N. Snelling Ave., ranked 12th with its request for a $7,000 grant, $16,000 loan and $7,000 match for building and parking lot improvements.

Black Hart Properties, which recently purchased the Town House bar and restaurant at 1415 University Ave., ranked 23rd with its request for a $50,000 grant and $531,770 match for interior and exterior improvements. Plans call for the business to become a soccer-themed establishment.

Other Monitor-area projects are also recommended. Modernization of a building at 860 Vandalia St. for the Jobs Foundation Tech Dump electronic recycling program, ranked seventh. A $130,000 grant and $170,000 loan are recommended, with a $3.42 million match.

Can Can Wonderland’s request for lighting and sound improvements ranked tenth. The entertainment venue’s request is for a $44,976 loan.
Other area projects missed the cut.

Hamline Midway Coalition’s request for a grant to help develop two handball courts at Clayland Park wasn’t recommended. The park is at 901 N. Fairview Ave.

St. Paul Fellowship, 868 Sherburne Ave., had its request for church building improvement funds turned down. A co-working space proposed by guild842 was also tuned down.

Two of three groups wanting citywide program funds to encourage ethnic business development are still in the hunt. The African Development Center request for a $100,000 grant and a $300,000 loan, with a $400,000 match, for a small business revolving loan fund, ranked 11th.

Asian Economic Development Association’s bid for was cut in half, to a $125,000 grant with $125,000 match for small business improvement loans. A match of $250,000 is proposed. The request ranked 14th.

African Economic Development Solutions’ request was turned down.

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Monitor in a Minute Wheeler Graphic

June 2018 Monitor In A Minute

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin


Sidewalk to be built
A new sidewalk will be built on the west side of Wheeler St. between Thomas and University avenues, as a result of St. Paul City Council action May 16.

The project, which has a cost of $100,000, would provide a needed connection between neighborhood residents and destinations including the Midway YMCA and its daycare, Fairview Green Line light rail station, Dickerman Park and other destinations.

Photo right: From this satelite image image you can see that Wheeler St. has no sidewalk access. Streets on either side, Fairview Ave. and Aldine Ave. N. do. The cost to add sidewalks on Wheeler is approximately $400,000. (Satelite graphic from Google Earth online image).

“The need for the sidewalk is pretty clear,” said Reuben Collins. He leads bicycle facilities planning for St. Paul Public Works. “You don’t need to stand out there for very long before you see a lot of people walking in the street.”

The area doesn’t have a complete sidewalk grid, Collins added. Three property owners, who own four parcels, would be assessed for the costs. The Midway YMCA and Griggs Midway Building are two affected owners.

One property owner, representing HCI Acquisitions, spoke against the sidewalk citing the costs and poor condition of Wheeler. His company sees no need for the sidewalk and wouldn’t benefit from it.

Two Hamline Midway residents spoke for the project, saying that the lack of sidewalk means families must walk in the street. The route is extensively used to access the Y and its many programs.

Hamline-Midway resident John Bailey attended the hearing to speak for the project, calling the lack of a sidewalk “an accident waiting to happen.”

Ward Four Council Member Samantha Henningson said the project should go ahead, noting that it has been discussed for a long time and would rectify a safety hazard. Delaying the project until it was scheduled by the city would mean completion “when my son is 16.” He is a preschooler.

Accessory dwelling units advance to City Council
A proposal to allow accessory dwelling units citywide won approval June 1 from the St. Paul Planning Commission and is headed to the City Council for final action. The council will hold a public hearing before voting this summer.

The proposal would allow homeowners whose single-family residential properties are large enough to add an extra dwelling unit, in the form of a small house in a backyard, dwelling unit over a garage, or renovation or expansion of an existing single-family home. St. Paul has allowed the units in neighborhoods within one-half mile of Green Line light rail, and in places where historic carriage house units existed in the past. Only one unit has been built, on Sherburne Ave., since the Green Line regulations were passed.

Residents of several neighborhoods, including Hamline-Midway and the Union Park districts, had requested that the city consider expanding where the dwelling units can go. The units are touted as allowing families to stay together while maintaining some level of privacy, and for providing affordable housing. The units are not the same as so-called tiny houses or small portable houses, which the city is considering separately.

City Council members asked for the study last fall in response to constituent and district council requests. Since then city staff has met with staff or committees from 15 district councils where interest has been expressed in accessory dwelling units. While support was generally heard, concerns were raised about the potentially high costs of adding units, increased parking demand, and whether or not the units could be turned into short-term rentals such as AirBnBs.

Some district councils recommended the proposal go citywide. Other councils haven’t taken a position. A few other councils have had longstanding concerns about adding the dwelling units but haven’t weighed in this time around.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on accessory dwelling units in April and is recommending to the City council that the units be allowed citywide in single-family residential zoning districts. Specific space requirements would have to be met for the total property and the added dwelling unit.

Como trail project moves ahead
Work on a section of the Como trail can move ahead. The St. Paul City Council May 23 approved allocating additional Municipal State Aid funds from the state to Como and to two other projects. The local project will receive $431,881.

The project is the off-street bicycle trail along the north side of Como Ave. between Raymond and Hamline. MSA funding will allow for the design process to start this year. The need for the trail has been discussed for several years, and it is in the cycle’s 2015 Bicycle Plan.

The project is one of three funded through an additional $1.2 million in MSA funding. The city sometimes receives more of the funding than anticipated so that projects can be added.

Capital budget process
A redesigned process for review and approval of St. Paul’s capital project process goes out to the city’s 17 district councils and the greater community for input starting in June. The redesign, reviewed May 14 by the St. Paul Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) Committee, will transform what has been criticized as a time-intensive, cumbersome and sometimes political process. But does it contain enough funding for neighborhoods across the city to justify spending time submitting projects? And will city staff have the time and resources to engage in additional community engagement?

The redesign, which has been in the works for several months, is meant to address goals of fiscal responsibility, strategic investments, and racial equity, said City Budget Analyst Abdiwahab Ali. It was reviewed this spring with the mayor’s administration and City Council and is underwent review in May with city department heads.

Committee members May 14 generally expressed support for the proposed changes. CIB Committee Chairperson Amy Huerta and several other committee members said the process needs much more outreach to include groups that haven’t participated in the past.

“Having the community come to us in the basement of City Hall may have worked 40 years ago, but it isn’t the model that works now,” he said.

Another change is in name. What St. Paulites have known for many years as CIB will become CIP—for Capital Improvement Plan. That reflects a longer-term focus on assets, maintenance, and needs, said Ali.

The changes would affect how the city as whole scrutinizes and spends money on its brick and mortar needs. One ongoing effort is to complete a five-year comprehensive capital plan for all city departments. This would focus on recently completed reports on city assets and their condition, racial equity, neighborhoods where there are concentrations of poverty, and community use and need issues.

City departments are to have their five-year capital plans done by this fall. Then everything would be wrapped into a citywide plan in early 2019. The comprehensive plan would be led by a working group of city staff and two CIB committee members. The plan would be reviewed, and project recommendations made by the committee for 2020.

The 2020 recommendations would be for city departments only. If the process is adopted, City departments will submit projects for review and approval only during the first year of the funding cycle.

Community-led submissions would come in for review and approval the second year, starting in 2021. Ali said that should level the playing field between big projects, such as a new fire station or recreation center, and a tot lot or small-scale neighborhood project.

Proposed is a $500,000 allocation in capital improvement bond proceeds. It’s not been determined yet how much in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding could be allocated. That funding would be earmarked for projects in low-income neighborhoods,
But some district councils and community groups have already questioned the $500,000 amount that is to be shared citywide for community-led projects, saying that isn’t enough funding for more than a few projects.

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Hamline Midway Library The Art of Fielding

Summer fun swings into high gear at the Hamline Midway Library

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

The Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., is your neighborhood spot to connect with your community, enjoy great programs, access the Internet, and stock up on books, CDs, and DVDs, all free with your library card.

For families and kids
Preschool Storytimes in English happens Fridays, 10:30-11am, with upcoming events on June 15, 22, and 29, and July 6 and 13. 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 Library is also offering Tuesday Evening Storytimes from 6-6:30pm on July 3 and 10.

On Sat., June 16, 1:30-3pm, the library presents the popular Science Saturdays program, where school-aged participants and their families can enjoy fun, hands-on science, and art activities. No pre-registration is necessary—just come by when you can. The Science Saturdays theme for June will be Optical Illusions (rescheduled from April, due to weather).

The Summer Spark program presents America’s Fun Science on Thur., June 21, 10:30-11:30am. Join in the fun as Dr. Tyronne E. Carter demonstrates some cool visual science experiments!

The Summer Spark fun continues as Dodge Nature Center presents “Raptors,” on Sat., June 30, 1:30–2:30pm. Meet a raptor up close, and learn about these amazing birds of prey. These programs are part of the summer reading program at the library, which lets children and teens earn a free book by tracking their reading hours and suggested fun, hands-on activities.

On Sat., June 23, school-aged children can attend “Celebrate Urban Birds: Make and Take Birdfeeders” between 1:30-2:30pm. Elpis Enterprises is providing bird feeder materials for participants to build and take home. This is a Nature Smart Program.
The Show and Tell Book Club for grades 1-3 meets on Sat., July 14, from 1:30-2:15pm.

Opportunities for Adults
On Wed., June 27, 1-3pm, Jody’s Documentary Film Series will feature a free documentary film from PBS’s acclaimed POV series. This month, the film being screened is “Homegoings” by filmmaker Christine Turner. Witness up-close what brings comfort to the rituals and customs of African-American funerals, through funeral director Isaiah Owens. Enjoy the free film and snacks and stay for the post-film discussion facilitated by Jody. This program is a collaboration of the award-winning POV documentary series and Hamline Midway Elders Association.

The Novels at Night Book Club meets on Thur., June 28, 6:30-7:30pm. This book club, aimed at adult fiction enthusiasts, will discuss “The Art of Fielding” (photo right from the internet) by Chad Harbach.

On Sat., July 7, 1-2pm, the Saints and Sinners Book Club meets to discuss good mysteries. Contact volunteer G. Balter for book lists and more information at gerribalter@gmail.com or 651-224-5570.

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Hamline Undergrad Student Congress Accessibility

Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress talks accessibility

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

The Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC) was hard at work this year. The organization, which is made up of student representatives who are passionate about making Hamline University better for all students, decided to focus on increasing accessibility on campus.

Broadly, HUSC defined accessibility as the ability of a space to meet an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. Using this definition, several areas were identified for improvement on Hamline’s campus, with the top priorities being a lack of wheelchair accessible restrooms and the lack of a ramp for West Hall (a building housing classrooms and offices). These two projects were chosen as top priorities because they directly impacted students’ access to safe, comfortable learning environments.

Photo right: Members of the Hamline University Student Congress hold posters pushing their “Let’s Talk Accessibility!” campaign. (Photo provided)

To address these areas of improvement, the Board of Elected Representatives, a committee of HUSC, voted to allocate $40,000 to improving accessibility on campus. This money could be used on any project that the Board of Elected Representatives agreed would make a positive impact on campus accessibility.

Through a partnership with the Hamline University Facilities Department, it was decided that a ramp for West Hall would likely cost more than $40,000. Accessible restrooms, however, were well within the budget, and HUSC resolved to allocate the $40,000 budget to install power-operated doors on restrooms across campus. Additionally, HUSC is continuing to advocate for the West Hall ramp and is in the process of working with the University to fund the ramp.

Along with the restroom renovations, HUSC is working to raise awareness of accessibility issues on campus through its “Let’s Talk Accessibility” campaign.

One way this campaign has raised awareness is through posters which urge students to think about how the space around them impacts accessibility. Along with the posters, HUSC hosted an “Accessibility Fair” in late April—which invited members of the Hamline University community to talk with HUSC representatives about the work HUSC has been doing, as well as things students can do to improve accessibility on the Hamline Campus. Attendees were encouraged to sign a banner, pledging to think about accessibility as they go through their daily lives.

Going forward, HUSC plans to continue advocating for accessibility. Some ideas for future accessibility projects include making different language options available on the Hamline.edu website, providing additional food options in the cafeteria to provide for students’ dietary needs, and focusing on thorough snow and ice removal during the winter.

Of course, it will likely take years to implement all of the changes HUSC would like to see, but with a strong foundation being created through this year’s work, the future looks bright.

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Dist. 11 Committees continue important neighborhood work

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

By MELISSA CORTES, Community Organizer

Community Engagement Committee
The Community Engagement Committee is ready for a busy summer. We have been meeting with people throughout the district and are looking forward to meeting and connecting with YOU.
• 6/20 – Ginkgo Coffeehouse – 8-9:30am – Meet and Greet
• 6/22 – Hamline Park – 6:30-8:30pm – Meet and Greet
• 6/30 – TBD – Check out our website or Facebook for more information.

We’re planning more traveling meet-ups throughout the summer. Have an idea of where we should show up next?

We are also looking to set up larger forum meetings in the coming months. Got an idea for a topic?

Are you interested in setting up a block club in your area of our district?

Send your ideas, questions or interest to communityengagement@hamlinemidway.org.

Looking forward to meeting you IN community.

Environment Committee
The Environment Committee is working to help Hamline Midway households interested in learning how to reduce their waste. Currently, all household garbage is being incinerated; please check www.hamlinemidway.org/environment for other disposal options or contact environment@hamlinemidway.org.

The Hamline Midway Council will begin distributing compost bags and compost kitchen caddies on Mon., July 2. You may pick them up at our office on the ground level of the Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave. For any questions please contact melissa@hamlinemidway.org or swing by the office.

A fun fact the Environment Committee would like to share with you is that a group of wild rabbits is often called a fluffle. Stay vigilant in your yards this year!

Public Art mini-grants
The Midway Public Art Working Group (MPAWG) is allocating $1,000 for mini-grants of up to $250 to fund community-led public art projects in the Hamline Midway neighborhood. All projects must be completed by the end of 2018. Anyone is eligible to apply. Deadline is June 25.

To apply, please provide a detailed description of the project, along with plans to execute the project, and how the money will be spent, and email it to jonathan@midwaymurals.com. Applications can be sent in written, audio, or video formats, and in any language.
For more detailed information, please see the Hamline Midway Coalition website, www.hamlinemidway.org.

All committee meetings are open to the public. Please visit our website www.hamlinemidway.org for the most updated information on meeting times, days, and events.

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Como Harbor has broken ground on new seal habitat

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

A ground breaking ceremony for Como Park Zoo & Conservatory’s (1225 Estabrook Dr.) new seal and sea lion habitat, Como Harbor, was held June 7.

Photo right: Land cleared for Como Harbor at Como Park. (Photo provided)

The 2017 Minnesota Legislature awarded a $15 million bonding appropriation for the asset preservation of the Seal and Sea Lion Habitat. Como Friends, the non-profit partner of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, will raise the remaining $5 million needed for the new Como Harbor habitat.

The new exhibit will provide year-round indoor and outdoor use that will meet or exceed all regulatory and animal care requirements. The seals and sea lions exhibit at Como Zoo has been a fixture for over 60 years. The “Sparky Show”’ which began in 1956, has become one of Como’s most popular attractions, sharing fun, educational messages with thousands of visitors each day. Every year nearly 500,000 students from across the region visit to learn about nature, conservation, and animal care straight from Como’s beloved ambassador, Sparky.

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Hamline Elementary IMG_9387

Hamline Elementary’s next chapter

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

After five years of sharing a space with Hamline Elementary, Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion Academy will begin the 2018-19 school year in a new space. Hamline Elementary and Jie Ming Principal Bobbie Johnson will move with the program she created to the former Homecroft Elementary building, 1845 Sheridan Ave. We wish her and the whole Jie Ming community all the best in their new home!

With Johnson’s departure, Hamline Elementary welcomes new leadership to the building— well, kind of new leadership. After three years as Hamline’s Assistant Principal, Kristin Reilly will become Hamline’s new principal and Jamal Abdur-Salaam will join our community from John A. Johnson Elementary as Assistant Principal. We’re fortunate to have these talented and experienced leaders guiding Hamline’s next chapter.

And speaking of that…

In many ways Hamline Elementary will feel like a new place in the Fall. Some classrooms will move to other parts of the building and two of our community partners, The Hamline to Hamline Collaboration and Reading Partners, will have larger, dedicated spaces to continue and expand their outstanding programming. The Family Resource Room will move closer to the main entrance and into a room twice its current size, and other open classrooms may house a maker-space and sensory room.

Photo right: Members of the Hamline community fill the front walks of the Hamline Elementary with messages of love, support, inclusion, and belonging. (Photo provided)

Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) will return to the Midway at Hamline Elementary with full programming beginning in Fall 2018. Watch their website (www.spps.org/ecfe) for updates and check your mailbox for the ECFE course catalog coming soon—registration begins in July.

Our other partnership work continues as we connect with local non-profits, small businesses, and community members to bring family and youth-supporting programs into the school.

Hamline Elementary and Hamline University have been hard at work to expand their current partnership (The Hamline to Hamline Collaboration) to build dynamic and innovative learning opportunities for students and increase support and development for staff. The energy behind this work is beautiful and inspiring. There will be more to come about this new development.

You can keep up with Hamline Elementary this summer at Discover Hamline Elementary on Facebook, on Twitter @HamlineElem, or on our website at www.spps.org/hamline.

For information about enrolling at Hamline Elementary, contact the SPPS Placement Center at 651-632-3760.

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Como Community Council Corner

Posted on 11 June 2018 by Calvin

By MICHAEL KUCHTA, Executive Director

Garage Sale
The annual Como Neighborhood Garage Sale is this weekend, June 15-17, 2018. For a map of where you’ll find the yard and garage sales and a list of what they’re selling, see District 10’s website: www.district10comopark.org.

Join the next wave of rain gardens
Capitol Region Watershed District leads a hands-on workshop and scouting expedition to identify locations for the next wave of boulevard rain gardens in District 10. These types of gardens are one of the most cost-effective ways to collect and filter polluted street runoff before it reaches Como Lake. The best part: the selected locations may get rain gardens installed at no cost. The free workshop is Sat., June 23, from 9am-noon, at the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Pkwy. N.

Parking hassles?
District 10 is looking at how to deal with the pressures that major events put on parking on our streets. On Mon., June 25, we’ll have two similar meetings to explore challenges in different parts of the neighborhood.

The first meeting focuses on streets between Hamline on the west, Larpenteur on the north, Victoria on the east, and Arlington on the south.

Specifically, we’re looking for resident feedback on two ideas:
• Whether it makes sense to expand the number of streets on which parking is restricted to one side during the State Fair.
• Whether it makes sense to expand the parking overlay district during the State Fair, so more residents can park cars on their front lawns.
This first meeting is Mon., June 25, from 6-7pm in the Fireside Room at Como Park Lutheran Church, 1376 Hoyt.
The second meeting focuses on streets south of the lake and east of Lexington. This meeting has three main topics on the agenda:
• Whether to expand the number of streets on which parking is restricted to one side during the State Fair.
• A request by some residents to allow lawn parking during the annual Hmong Freedom Festival.
• Unveil the plan for new lane configurations on Lexington Pkwy., primarily for northbound traffic from Orchard to the Horton/Como intersection.

This second meeting is Mon., June 25, beginning at 7:30pm in the back room at Gabe’s by the Park, 991 Lexington Pkwy.

Make your ComoFest Plans now
District 10’s Ice Cream Social launches ComoFest 2018, which again offers affordable neighborhood fun the last three weekends of July.
The Ice Cream Social is scheduled for Fri., July 13, 5:30-8pm at the Como Park Streetcar Station. It’s a chance to kick back in the park with friends and family, enjoy the Baron of Bubble, enjoy music from the She Shells, learn about and talk with neighborhood organizations, enjoy Shakespeare in the Park (with “Romeo and Juliet” by the Classical Actors Ensemble) and, of course, enjoy ice cream. And, of course, it’s free.

The rest of the ComoFest lineup:
• Fri., July 13: North Dale Movie Night, 9pm, featuring “Coco,” 1414 St. Albans
• Fri., July 20: Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival, 2-8pm, 1415 Almond Ave.
• Sat., July 21: ComoFest 5k Walk/Run for Everyone (benefiting Como Park Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program), 8-10am, Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Pkwy. N.
• Sun., July 22: ComoFest Art Fair, 10am-2pm, Como Lakeside Pavilion
• Fri., July 27: Northwest Como Movie Night and Campout, beginning at 6pm, featuring “Beauty and the Beast” (2017 version), 1550 Hamline Ave.
• Sat., July 28: TopLine Federal Credit Union Community Appreciation Picnic, 11am-1pm, 976 Lexington Pkwy.
• Sat., July 28: Gabe’s Mini Mania, 1-5pm, 991 Lexington Pkwy.
Get full details at www.comofest.org

Upcoming District 10 meetings
• Como Community Council Monthly Meeting: Tues., June 19
• Environment Committee: Wed., June 27
• Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Tues., July 10
• Land Use Committee: Wed., July 11

All meetings begin at 7pm, typically at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.

Community members are always welcome to attend and participate. Whenever possible, agendas are posted in advance in the “Board News” section of District 10’s website.

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