As they do every year, Vern Johnson and Briana Nash shop for a Christmas tree at the Famously Fresh lot on Como Ave. Bob Matters has run the family business across from the Fairgrounds since 1991. He grows his own trees in Aitkin County.
Hmong Academy Plans Expansion
At this Monday's meeting, District 10's Land Use Committee expects to review expansion plans by Hmong College Prep Academy, a request for a parking variance by the Metro Deaf School of Minnesota, and a liquor license request from the new owners of Gabe's By the Park.  The committee meets this Monday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. 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.  Some details of the expected agenda:
  • Hmong College Prep Academy. The charter school plans to build a classroom and office addition, football field and track, seasonal sports dome, and parking deck adjacent to its existing campus on Brewster St. just east of Snelling Ave. The charter school is purchasing 10 acres of what now are mostly bus and truck barns between the Snelling service road, Brewster, Pascal St., and the railroad right-of-way. The expansion might require removing landscaping and installing sidewalks along Wynne Ave. on the north side of the property. The expansion plan, as proposed, does not need any zoning variances. More details are available on District 10's website.
  • Metro Deaf School of Minnesota. The charter school is seeking District 10 support for a parking variance of 33 spaces. The charter school needs 62 spots to handle faculty and student vehicles, but has only 29 spaces on its property on Brewster at Pascal. The additional vehicles currently park on bus company property that Hmong Academy is purchasing. Once the school loses off-street parking, the vehicles likely will park on Pascal and Jessamine Ave.
  • Gabe's By the Park. Long-time owner Tim Weitz expects to sell the restaurant within the next month. He and the new owners are seeking District 10's support to waive the city's standard 45-day waiting period to transfer the liquor license to the restaurant's new owners, who expect to begin operations in January.
Who Deserves Extraordinary Thanks? 
District 10 is accepting nominations of local individuals or organizations to Saint Paul's Neighborhood Honor Roll. The annual, citywide award pays tribute to residents who improve the quality of life in Saint Paul. The award typically recognizes members of our community who make a sustained and lasting impact in the neighborhood and city.
 
To nominate someone: Email us no later than Monday Dec. 12. 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. The District 10 Board will evaluate nominees at our Dec. 20 meeting. See our website for a list of previous honor roll recipients from District 10.
D10 Logo PNG Resignation Opens Up D10 Board Seat
The District 10 Como Community Council is seeking candidates to fill a board seat left vacant by a resignation. The special election to fill the At-Large seat is Tuesday Dec. 20 at 7 p.m., before the monthly board meeting. 

The At-Large seat is open to anyone who lives in District 10.  The elected candidate will serve until April 2017. Any District 10 resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to run; so are representatives from businesses or institutions in the neighborhood.

To submit your name or to find out more, contact the District 10 office at 651-644-3889, or by email. To be included on the ballot, we must receive your nomination by Thursday Dec. 15. Write-in nominations will be accepted from the floor the night of the special election.  For an overview of board member expectations and responsibilities, see our website.

If You're Shopping Amazon Anyway ...
You can now donate 0.5 percent of your online Amazon purchases to the District 10 Como Community Council -- if you make your purchases through the AmazonSmile program, instead of through the regular Amazon website. This is the link to get your started.
City Wants Feedback on Permit Parking
Live west of the Zoo? Then you definitely want to weigh in on the City of Saint Paul 's review of its permit parking system. A survey is collecting opinions on how well the system works and what could be improved. The deadline is Dec. 31.
Planetarium's Winter Shows Open
Como Planetarium 's December shows open this Tuesday, Dec. 6: "One World, One Sky " runs 5:30-6:30 p.m; "Stars and Snowflakes " runs 7-8 p.m.  The shows repeat on Dec. 13 and 20. The annual "Season of Light " returns Thursday Dec. 15 with shows at 6 and 7 p.m. Admission for all shows is $5. The planetarium is inside Como Elementary School, 780 W. Wheelock Parkway.
Now Where Can You Burn Off Energy?
Heads up, all you fidgety parents and grandparents: The Minnesota Children's Museum is open only a few more days. It closes this Monday, Dec. 5, through mid-April to finish construction work on its expansion project.
No Dancing Alone This Time
This Sunday, Dec. 4, Lyngblomsten throws open the doors for its Community Dance Hall. Residents of all ages and abilities are invited to kick up their heels from 2-3:30 p.m. There's a live band, it's free, the Vikings aren't playing, so you're running out of excuses. Lyngblomsten is at 1415 Almond Ave. 
Does That Brush Go with Red or White? 
Northwest Como Rec Center offers an unusual class for adults this Monday: an artist workshop, complete with wine and cheese. Learn techniques of expressionism using Gouache, practice what you 've learned, and sip wine or coffee while you 're doing it. The class meets Dec. 5 from 7-9 p.m. at Underground Music Café, 1579 N. Hamline. Tuition is $50, which includes food, beverages, and art supplies. You can register in advance; use activity number 18372.
It's Winter at North Dale. Guaranteed.
North Dale Recreation Center becomes a " Winter Wonderland " this Thursday, Dec. 8, with a sleigh load of activities for children 12 or younger -- including a visit by Santa. The free event runs 5:30-7:30 p.m. at 1414 N. St. Albans. 
Getting to the Bottom Line
The final public hearings on the proposed property tax levies and budgets for local units of government take place this week:
  • This Tuesday, Dec. 6: Saint Paul Public Schools, 6 p.m., District Headquarters, 360 Colborne St.
  • This Wednesday, Dec. 7: City of Saint Paul, 6:30 p.m., Saint Paul City Council Chambers, 3rd Floor, 15 Kellogg Blvd. W 
Photo: Jim Corwin
School's Musical Can't Hold It Any Longer
Great River School 's student production of the Tony-Award-winning musical "Urinetown " takes place next weekend, Dec. 8-11. PR blurbs call it -- take a breath -- an uproarious "satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics, and musical theatre itself." Shows are at 7 p.m. Dec. 8, 9 and 10; and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 11. Staging is at the Wellstone Center, 179 Robie St. E, on Saint Paul 's West Side. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students.
New Bridges Open Over I-94 
The new Grotto St. and MacKubin St. pedestrian and bicycle bridges over Interstate 94 open today, Friday Dec. 2. So does the westbound entrance ramp from Dale to I-94. MnDOT throws a grand opening celebration this Saturday, Dec. 3, from 1-3 p.m. at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, 270 N. Kent St.
Time to Spark Those Artistic Ideas
Northern Spark -- the annual all-night arts festival -- holds an artist workshop next Saturday, Dec. 10, with a special emphasis on indigenous artists and artists of color. The workshop is in anticipation of the 2017 festival, which takes place in June along the Green Line in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The free workshop runs 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Rondo Community Library, 461 N. Dale. Child care will be provided. A general information session about the 2017 festival is the following Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, 514 2nd St. SE.
Watching Our Waste: Throwing Away Food
Throwing out food is a waste on so many levels we 're not even going there. But here 's something to think about: Why not just throw away money? Eureka Recycling calculates that the average Saint Paul family throws away $96 worth of food every month.
Eureka has 10 tips to help you reduce that waste. You can take advantage of videos, downloads, and simple ideas -- such as creating a "use it up " section of your fridge or using a tracking sheet to open your eyes to how much food you don't use. Get started here
All Kinds of Things Going On
  • Through New Year's Day: Holiday Lights in the Park, 5-10 p.m. Phalen Park, Wheelock and Johnson Parkways. Admission: $10 per car (more for vans, limos, and buses). Discount tickets are available online. Proceeds benefit the Saint Paul Police Foundation.
  • This Monday, Dec. 5: Public hearing before the Board of Zoning Appeals on a variance request by Burlington Apartments, 3 p.m., City Hall Room 330, 15 Kellogg Blvd. W. Apartment management wants to install a new, illuminated sign in front of the rental community at 1180 Cushing Circle. The proposed sign would be 8 feet high (a variance of 26 inches) and 70 square feet (a variance of 46 square feet). Written comments in support or opposition can be submitted in advance by email to Sean Westenhofer .
  • This Tuesday, Dec. 6: Juvenile Justice Forum, 6-8:30 p.m., Progressive Baptist Church, 1505 Burns Ave. The event, sponsored by Ramsey County and the District 1 Community Council, brings together representatives from youth groups, mental health agencies, diversion programs, public safety, restorative justice, the court system, corrections, and probation to discuss creating a pipeline of success for youth. 
  • This Tuesday, Dec. 6: District 10 Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. Community members are always welcome to attend and participate.
  • Tuesday Dec. 13: Stop for Me pedestrian safety demonstration, 2-4 p.m., Dale St. and Maryland Ave. Want to participate? Contact District 10 by email
  • Tuesday Dec. 13: Update on Saint Paul's Open for Business initiative, 2:30-3:30 p.m. East Side Enterprise Center, 804 Margaret St. RSVP to the Ward 7 office 
  • Wednesday Dec. 14: Wheelock Parkway construction information session, 5:30 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. Saint Paul's Public Works Department explains plans and answers questions about the planned 2017 reconstruction of Wheelock Parkway between Victoria/Maryland and Dale St. Reconstruction includes building another segment of the Saint Paul Grand Round bikeway.
Music and Movies
Como Dockside adds aural dessert to weekend brunch with a free Louisiana-flavored concert every Saturday this month from noon-2 p.m. This week, Dec. 3, it's the New Riverside Ramblers Trio.  Meanwhile, Dockside's Thursday night movie series continues Dec. 8 with "Howard the Duck" (rated PG). Trivia begins at 6:15 p.m.; the free screening of the movie begins at 6:45 in the third-level banquet hall of the lakefront pavilion . For the full season schedule of "almost all the greatest movies of 1986 and 1987," and this month's schedule of bands, see Dockside's online calendar .  
Prevent Package Theft: Shopping Edition
It seems like common sense, but if you 're out shopping this time of year -- do not leave purchases in your vehicle for everyone to see. Even amateur thieves and opportunists can wander through parking lots, eyeball what 's available, quickly grab what you bought, and walk away as if nothing is out of the ordinary. After all, how often do you pay attention to what other shoppers are doing?

At the very least, lock purchases in your trunk. But even this is a risk, police say, because professionals can easily hang around, watching who drops off one load of purchases before heading back into the stores for more. Better yet, police say, take purchases home, drop them off, then go back out for round two. 
  
The Latest Crime Report for Our Neighborhood  
This Week at the Fairgrounds 
  • Horse Crazy Market: This Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 3-4, Warner Coliseum, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day.  Admission: $5 adults and teens, free for children 12 or younger.
  • Junior Olympics Gymnastics State Championships: Next Friday-Sunday, Dec. 9-11, Warner Coliseum. 1-10:30 p.m. Dec. 9; 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11. Admission: $5-$15 depending on age. 
Get Your Recycling Gear 
It's the first Sunday of the month, which means the Como Park Streetcar Station is open Dec. 4 from noon-4 p.m. It's an opportunity to pick up organics recycling starter kits or replacement compostable bags, learn a little bit about the history of Como Park, or just share comments and suggestions with a District 10 board member. Plus, we 've still got a handful of blue recycling bins left, in case you need one until the city switches to wheeled carts next year. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. 
Spread the Word
District 10 is one of Saint Paul's 17 citizen participation districts. The District 10 Como Community Council is a nonprofit organization, governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by members of the community. The Council's mission is to inform, educate, and connect the neighborhood to increase community pride and confidence. 

You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.