Temperatures were barely above zero, but that didn't stop neighborhood volunteers and Como High School students and staff from teaming up in a Stop for Me pedestrian safety event Dec. 13 at the intersection of Dale and Maryland. That is where Como student Isaac Schneider was severely injured when a vehicle hit him in a crosswalk last May. So far in 2016, motorists have hit 177 pedestrians in Saint Paul  -- a rate of more than one every other day. The event, organized by District 10, gained TV coverage on Channels 4 and 9.
Como High to Discuss Construction Plans
Representatives from Saint Paul Public Schools and Como Park Senior High School will present details this Tuesday, Dec. 20, on reconstruction plans and new athletic facilities planned at the high school. The presentation will be at the monthly District 10 Como Community Council meeting. The meeting begins approximately 7:15 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. (Here is the preliminary agenda.)  Also at the Dec. 20 meeting:
  • Representatives from the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival will make presentations.
  • The District 10 Board will select from eight community members (or groups of members) who have been nominated as District 10 additions to the Saint Paul Neighborhood Honor Roll.
Special Election is This Tuesday
Community members can vote this Tuesday, Dec. 20, in a special election to fill a vacancy in an At-Large board seat for the Como Community Council. The election is the first order of business at 7 p.m., before the regular monthly board meeting. Any District 10 resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to vote; so are representatives from businesses or institutions in the neighborhood.  Candidates on the ballot are Wesley Farrow and Andrea McKennan

See District 10's website for detailed candidate profiles and election procedures. District 10 by-laws also allow nominations of write-in candidates from the floor.
Yup. Winter 's Here. Have Fun.
With temperatures of 20 below and a new pile of snow forecast for this weekend, there 's no doubt winter is here. But if you need real proof:
  • The first ice-fishing tents have popped up on the lake.
  • The refrigerated ice rink at North Dale Recreation Center is open. Parks crews also are flooding unrefrigerated rinks at North Dale and Northwest Como, as well as the broomball rinks at McMurray Fields. Check here for conditions and for hours when the rinks are lighted and the warming rooms are open.
  • Cross-country ski trails -- classic and skate -- are open at Como Park. Ramsey County has groomed ski trails at five county parks (none of them in our neighborhood), but there are no classic tracks at this point. The University of Minnesota Golf Course (on Larpenteur Ave. in suburban Como) also has a skate deck set, but no classic tracks. That probably will improve after the next wave of snow ends Saturday.
  • The Como Park Ski Center opens this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17-18, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. They're making snow on Mount Como and, with the latest forecast, the downhill run is expected to be open -- until it gets dangerously cold. You can register online or in person for upcoming ski and snowboard lessons. Skiers and shredders who need to be fitted for equipment also can stop by this weekend.
Finally, if you need to get up to speed on what to do (or not do) during a Saint Paul snow emergency, see the guide on our website.
Kids Can Learn for Less
The Como Park Snowsports Booster Club is offering youth scholarships for lessons in  snowboarding, cross-country skiing, and downhill skiing. The scholarships are available for one-day introductory clinics on Dec. 28, 29 or 30; or for a week of lessons during the first week of January.  To qualify, youth must live in Saint Paul and qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch. They can apply for the scholarship when they register for the lesson of their choice.
Watching Our Waste: Holiday Parties
Throwing a party this season? Make it easy for your guests to recycle. Label a separate container "Cans and Bottles" and set it next to your trash. For large parties, borrow a large, portable recycling stand and bag from District 10. We 've got versions for cans and bottles, and separate versions for food scraps and other organics waste. To reserve yours, call us at 651-644-2889, or email us
If You're Shopping Amazon, Think of Us
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 you started.
Philip Mercier's portrait of George Frideric Handel (without his usual wig)
In Perfect Harmony (and a few Grace Notes)
Como Park Lutheran Church sponsors a "Messiah" sing-along this Sunday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m., featuring a chamber orchestra, soloists, and a choir made of you and others who love the exhilaration of Handel 's oratorio. Admission is free for singers and spectators. Scores will be available for purchase, but singers are encouraged to bring their own. After the performance, the church hosts a community dinner featuring Swedish meatballs, ham, roasted potatoes, lefsa, and rice pudding. The meal is $7, $4 for children. The church is at  1376 W. Hoyt.
  • For singers who want to prepare, here are the choruses: "And the glory" (No. 4), "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion" (No. 9), "For unto us a child is born" (No. 12), "Glory to God" (No. 17), "Surely he hath borne our griefs" (No. 24), "And with his stripes we are healed" (No. 25), "He trusted in God" (No. 28), "Hallelujah" (No. 44), "Since by man came death" (No. 46), "But thanks be to God" (No. 51), and "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain" (No. 53).
And Now, for Some Holiday Goofiness
Two Como Zoo reindeer -- Abby and June Bug -- are international stars as Reindeer Cam returns, in cooperation with Animal Planet. From now through Christmas, you can watch a 24/7 live stream of the reindeer. It's almost as good as a video fireplace. 
Things go from bad to worse for Steve Martin and John Candy in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Whatever
Como Dockside's Thursday night movie series continues Dec. 22 with "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (rated R), one of the great holiday movies of all time. (It 's about Thanksgiving, not Christmas, but why quibble.) 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 lakeside pavilion. For the full season schedule of "almost all the greatest movies of 1986 and 1987," see Dockside's online calendar.  

Don ' t forget: Every Wednesday, it ' " neighborhood night , "  with happy hour drink and food specials from 3-9 p.m., and classic board games galore. And Saturday brunch includes a free Louisiana-flavored concert from noon-2 p.m. This week, Dec. 17, it's  Daddy Squeeze & Elizabeth.

A different chance for community: Studio M Spinning and Fitness is rescheduling its holiday party, originally planned for tonight, Friday Dec. 16. The new date is Wednesday Dec. 28 from 7-9 p.m. on the second floor of Dockside. If you plan on showing up, advance registration is appreciated.
Rec Centers Roll Out Fresh Activities
Registration is now open for winter and spring activities at North Dale and Northwest Como recreation centers. 
  • Activities for adults include basketball (pick-up and league), volleyball, indoor soccer and tennis, yoga, pilates, pickleball, square dancing -- and less-strenuous options such as acting and cribbage.
  • Activities for youth include taekwondo; all kinds of theater, art and dance classes; ice skating and floor hockey; tumbling; babysitting training; robotics and engineering; and self-improvement classes.
  • Plus, there are regular and one-time family events such as open play time, a bonfire, knitting, and a movie series.
View or download the full schedules, activity details, and registration information on District 10 's website.
When You Have Time for a Breather
  • 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 Tuesday, Dec. 20: "One World, One Sky," 5:30-6:30 p.m; "Stars and Snowflakes" 7-8 p.m. Como Planetarium (inside Como Elementary School), 780 W. Wheelock Parkway. Admission: $5 per show.
  • Tuesday Jan. 3: District 10 Land Use Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. (Because of the holidays, the December meeting is rescheduled to this day.) Community members are always welcome to attend and participate.
  • Wednesday Jan. 4: District 10 Environment Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. (Because of the holidays, the December meeting is rescheduled to this day.) Community members are always welcome to attend and participate.
  • Sunday Jan. 8: Deadline to participate in City of Saint Paul survey about residential parking permits.
  • Wednesday Jan. 18: Public hearing on a proposed zoning change to allow more outdoor commercial uses in traditional neighborhood and business zoning districts in Saint Paul, 5:30 p.m. City Council chambers, third floor, 15 Kellogg Blvd. W
This Week's Neighborhood Crime Report
It 's amazing what a little cold weather does to slow down crime rates. And we 'll repeat the explanation from last week: Police have added a new category to the weekly report, labeled "proactive police visits." These are not crimes. These are (quote) positive police-community interactions initiated by officers.
Give firefighters a chance: Shovel out your hydrant.
Measure Fire Safety by these Yardsticks

The period from Thanksgiving to New Year is the most dangerous for residential fires. To keep your friends and family safe, the Saint Paul Fire Department recommends:

  • Never leave a hot stovetop or oven unattended
  • If cooking grease catches fire, do not use water -- instead, turn off the burner and smother the stovetop fire with a pan lid
  • Keep live Christmas trees, poinsettias, wreaths, and other festive decorations watered
  • Make sure holiday lights are in good shape; if they're not, don't use them
  • If you need additional heat, use an electric space heater; plug it directly into an outlet, not into an extension cord; and turn it off when you leave the room or go to sleep
  • Never use an oven to heat your home
  • Never burn gift wrap in a fireplace: It burns too hot and too quickly to control
Finally, remember the "yardstick of safety":
  • Keep holiday trees and decorations 3 feet away from candles, fireplaces, and other sources of heat or flame
  • Keep space heaters 3 feet from anything that can burn
  • Keep candles 3 feet from anything that can burn
  • If you have a hydrant near your house, shovel out a 3-foot radius so firefighters have quick access to a reliable water supply
This Week at the Fairgrounds 
  • GameDay Competitions CrossFit Championship: This Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 17-18, Warner Coliseum, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Admission: $20 at the door (free for children 18 or younger). Here are events you could see.
Even Great News has a Flip Side
A couple of recycling updates:
  • The organics recycling drop-off site in Como Park saw record usage this week. Long term, that is great news; short term, it's been a real mess. The bins were overflowing by Wednesday, and it only got worse. The hauler empties the bins once a week (on Friday), and we were unable to get an earlier pick-up scheduled. We are in discussion with Ramsey County, which handles the hauler contract, to increase the site's weekly capacity by adding a larger bin. Everything is cleaned up now -- but we apologize for this week's inconvenience, and appreciate your patience as we go through (successful) growing pains.
  • We are out of blue curbside recycling bins. Forever. The bins become obsolete next month when Saint Paul and Eureka Recycling switch to larger, wheeled carts. Residents are welcome to keep their current bins. But if you are new to the neighborhood, or your bin has bitten the dust, unfortunately we can't get you a new bin to tide you over. If you are desperate, try Eureka Recycling directly: 651-222-7678.
  • With major snow forecast this weekend, it wouldn't be the worst idea to dig out a space in your alley for your new cart. The cart measures 22 inches wide, 26.5 inches deep, and 44 inches tall.
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.