Cold comfort: Jim O'Malley and Greg Bebeau, from Total Mechanical, install refrigeration coils in the updated outdoor ice rink at North Dale Community Center. The new, permanent system will be encased directly in the rink's concrete platform. That means crews won't have to install and remove cooling equipment each season. Instead, they'll simply flip a switch when it's cold enough for ice.
Squeamish? This is Not Your Month
A giant African millipede (actual size?)
It's "Creepy-Crawly Creature Awareness Weekend, " as Como Zoo brings some of its more hideous-looking snakes, insects, and spiders into the spotlight to kick off the goulish month of October. Get up close with giant millipedes and cockroaches, carnivorous plants and, of course, boa constrictors and tarantulas. The special programming begins at 10 a.m. this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, at the Visitors Center. It 's just one of the special events planned at the Zoo and Conservatory in October. Among others:
  • The Fall Flower Show opens in the Conservatory's Sunken Gardens next Saturday, Oct. 8.
  • Zoo Boo takes over the last two weekends of the month: Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30.
Speaking of the Zoo: The "no parking " restrictions west of Como Park expire today, Sept. 30. That means resident parking permits are useless for the next several months. Also, regular shuttle service is done for the year.
Get Rid of Your Junk -- for Free  
There's one week left to decide: If you volunteer to staff a shift at the annual Citywide Drop-off Event at the State Fairgrounds, you get to dispose of one load of your own junk for free. If you want to volunteer for a 3-1/2 hour shift, contact District 10  by email or by phone at 651-644-3889.  
Fairgrounds Drop-off is Oct. 8
Need to get rid of junk that you can't put in the trash? Then take it to St. Paul's Citywide Drop-off at the State Fairgrounds. The clean-up event runs next Saturday, Oct. 8, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Any St. Paul resident can participate; you don't need a special admission card to get in.

If you're not familiar with the concept, watch a short video (just be prepared for the rumble-strip noise at the beginning). There will be an expanded re-use area, so goods in good shape can go to a nonprofit instead of to the landfill. Plus, you can bring confidential papers for free shredding. For more details on what you can drop off, and what it might cost, see the city website. Finally, if you can't wait that long:
  • An "electronics only" drop-off takes place this Saturday, Oct. 1, at First Covenant Church, 1280 Arcade St.
District Council Needs 2 of You
The District 10 Como Community Council is seeking candidates to fill board vacancies from Sub-District 2 and Sub-District 4. Representatives from businesses or institutions in those areas also are eligible. Candidates must be at least 18 years old.
  • For Sub-District 2, you must live in the area between Hamline on the west, Larpenteur on the north, Victoria on the east, and the BNSF tracks on the south. 
  • For Sub-District 4, you must live between Dale on the east, Snelling on the west, and between the BNSF right-of-way north of Front and Energy Park Drive, and the BNSF right-of-way north of Pierce Butler Route.
The elected candidates will serve the remainder of the vacant terms, which expire in April 2018; get to be directly involved in issues affecting our neighborhood's quality of life; and even get a table card with their name on it. A special election to fill the vacancy is Tuesday Oct. 18 at 7 p.m., before the monthly board meeting.
  • To submit your name or to find out more, contact the District 10 office at 651-644-3889, or by email.
The Harvest Isn't Over 'til We Say It's Over
Regardless of how successful your gardening season has been, it's time to celebrate with another get-together of the Como Community Seed Library. The volunteer group is holding a free harvest open house on Sunday Oct. 16 from 1-3 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. At this "skill share and harvest exchange, " you can:
  • Join an exchange of seeds, recipes, and canned and fresh harvest
  • Swap stories
  • Learn the perfect crops and tools to extend your growing season
  • Get answers from a Master Gardener
  • Find out how and why to add biodiversity to your garden
  • Create seed-inspired art
  • Make connections with neighborhood gardeners and gardening groups
Special guests include Judi Petkau of Wild Ones and Koby Jeschkeit-Hagen of Seed Sages. For more information, contact Dawn Lamm  by email or follow Como Community Seed Library on Facebook.
  • If you can volunteer to help during the exchange, sign up here; volunteers receive "a sweet thank you" that is more than words.  
The iconic Highland Water Tower
Water Doesn't Come from a Bottle 
Saint Paul Regional Water Services peels back the curtain in October and gives you an inside look at its operations.
  • Free tours of the treatment plant that keeps our drinking water safe take place this Thursday, Oct. 6, from 2-6:30 p.m. at 1900 Rice St., Maplewood. The half-mile walking tours show how water is treated, filtered, and pumped. Children younger than 8th grade must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Next weekend -- if you can climb 151 steps -- it's your annual chance to soak in early fall colors from the top of the Highland Water Tower. The tower and special exhibits will be open Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8-9, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. near the corner of Snelling and Ford Parkway.
Deer Hunt Begins in County Parks
Ramsey County begins thinning deer herds in county parks with six weeks of controlled archery hunts beginning next Friday, Oct. 7. Parks involved include Battle Creek, Fish Creek, Pig 's Eye, Poplar Lake, Rice Creek North Regional Trail, Snail Lake Marsh, Turtle Creek, and Vadnais Lake. Parts or all of the parks will close to the public during the series of three-day hunts. For a complete schedule of when the arrows are flying, see District 10 's website.
Rake Up! Neighbors Could Use a Hand
The Como Park Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program is looking for volunteers to help our senior neighbors. The most immediate opportunity is for Fall Yard Clean-Up. Round up a few friends or family members to rake leaves for a senior who still lives in his or her home, but can 't handle fall chores like they used to. The day and time are up to you; the program even provides the lawn bags. If you are interested, call 651-642-1127, or email the Block Nurse Program.
It's Reading Season
Are you (or someone you text with) between 12 and 18 years old? Got a bunch of library fines piled up? Then the Saint Paul Public Library has a "get out of jail for free " card for you (sort of). Here 's the deal: Get your butt down to the library and start reading. For every 15 minutes you read, they knock $1 off your tab. It 's that simple. There 's no fine print, but you can get the details here.
Barricades Start to Disappear   
The big news: Lexington Ave. is now open under Highway 36 -- but for motor vehicles only. Pedestrian and bicycle paths are still closed. Entrance ramps to westbound 36 are now open at Lexington and at Dale. The exit ramp from westbound 36 to Lexington also is open. See our website for a much longer recap of street, bridge, and highway projects still in progress in and around Como. 
This Week's Bulletin Board of Activities
  • Tonight, Friday Sept. 30: Welcome Bonfire, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Northwest Como Recreational Center, 1550 N. Hamline. 
  • This Monday, Oct. 3: District 10 Land Use Committee. 7 p.m., Como Park Streetcar Station, at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Community members are always welcome to attend and speak.
  • This Tuesday, Oct. 4: District 10 Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee. 7 p.m., Como Park Streetcar Station, at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Community members are always welcome to attend and speak.
  • This Wednesday, Oct. 5: National Bike/Walk to School Day.
  • Next Friday, Oct. 7: Free meet and greet for Lyngblomsten's "Kairos Alive!", which hosts a "Caregiver Creativity Café" Tuesdays in October and November from 10:30 a.m.-noon. The Creativity Café focuses on dance, music, and theater, culminating in an "intergenerational dance hall" in December. You can get all the information you need online. Lyngblomsten is at 1415 Almond.
  • Sunday Oct. 16: Deadline to submit applications to SPNN -- the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network -- for Set It Up, a media and after-school initiative for high school students.
  • Monday Oct. 17: Deadline to nominate groups, individuals, or projects for the Capitol Region Watershed District's Watershed Steward Awards.
  • Monday Oct. 17: District 66 Candidate Forum. 7-8:30 p.m., Falcon Heights City Council Chambers. Sponsored by Roseville League of Women Voters.
  • Monday Oct. 31: Deadline to submit preliminary applications for the Capitol Region Watershed District's Partner Grants, which provide from $2,000-$20,000 for water-themed education or outreach projects within the watershed district.
pumpkin
Good Music is Never Out of Season
We claim we're a hardy bunch, which is why Como Dockside continues to provide free outdoor music every weekend. The concerts are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 5 p.m.; see Dockside's calendar for the full schedule. This weekend 's concerts:
  • Friday, Sept. 30: Mike Munson
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: Lakewood Cemetery
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: Lonesome Dan Kase

Meanwhile, the Como Park Pumpkin Patch is open outside of Dockside on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-sunset through October. It features not just pumpkins, but games, inflatables, a hay ride and more. Admission is $5-$9, depending on age.

 

Also Going On in the Park
  • This Saturday, Oct. 1: Minnesota Waldorf School holds its annual bike-athon from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on the Como Park lake path. 
  • This Sunday, Oct. 2: Metro Deaf School 5K walk and run, 9 a.m., Como Park lake path.
Vote
Believe It or Not, You Can Vote Now   
Absentee voting is now open in Minnesota. In Ramsey County, you can vote absentee by mail. Or, vote in person at the elections office, 90 W. Plato Blvd. Hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays; there will be extended hours closer to the Nov. 8 Election Day. Get details online.
This Week's Fire Safety Tip
Smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires in Minnesota. The Saint Paul Fire Department recommends:
  • Never smoke in bed or in a comfy chair or couch
  • Dispose of cigarette butts in wide, deep ashtrays
  • Empty ashtrays often, and soak ashtray materials in water before placing them in a garbage can
Too much theft and vandalism this week.    
Rummage through the Fairgrounds
It's the weekend to find treasure in somebody else's trash:
  • YMCA Camp du Nord and Widjiwagan Garage Sale: Through this Saturday, Oct. 1, Merchandise Mart. Hours: Until 7 p.m. tonight, Friday Sept. 30; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission.
  • Fall Festival Arabian Horse Show: Through this Sunday, Oct. 2, Warner Coliseum. Shows today, Friday. at 1 and 6 p.m.; Saturday at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.; Sunday at 10 a.m. Free public admission.
  • Not Your Grandma's Garage Sale: Through this Sunday, Oct. 2, West End Market. Hours: Today, Friday Sept. 30, 2-8 p.m. ; Saturday, 10 a.m. -8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $15 for three-day pass.
  • Antique Spectacular and Flea Market: This S aturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, Grandstand. Hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Adults and teens, $6 (valid both days); children 12 or younger, free.
  • Military Relic and Collectors Show: This S aturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, Progress Center. Hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: $5 adults and children 11 or older.
  • Minnesota Weapons Collectors Show: This S aturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2, Education Building. Hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: Adults and teens, $5; children 12 or younger, free. All children 18 or younger must be accompanied by parent or guardian. 
  • Midwest Fall Swap Meet and Antique Auto Show: This Sunday, Oct. 2, parking lots north of Hoyt. Hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Ages 10-64, $5; 65 or older, $3; 10 or younger, free when accompanied by adult.
  • Minnesota Harvest Horse Show: This Tuesday, Oct. 4, through next Sunday, Oct. 9, Warner Coliseum. Hours: 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Twin Cities Oktoberfest: Next Friday-Saturday, Oct. 7-8, Progress Center. Hours: Friday 4-11 p.m.;  Saturday, noon-11 p.m. Admission: $30
  • Half-Price Books Clearance Event: Next Friday-Sunday, Oct. 7-9, Grandstand. Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. each day.
Get Your Recycling Gear Here
The Como Park Streetcar Station is open from noon-4 p.m. this Sunday, Oct. 2. It's your best opportunity to pick up a blue recycling bin (soon to be a collector's item!). Or, pick up compostable organics recycling bags, learn a little bit about the history of Como Park, or just share comments and suggestions with a District 10 board member. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. (Beginning this weekend, we're open on Sundays only on the first Sunday of the month.) 
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.