Creative destruction: Crews are making a mess of the athletic field at Como Park Senior High School, a necessary step while installing a new synthetic playing surface. 
What We Want in Our Neighborhood
  1. Como residents want more coffee shops and sit-down restaurants in our neighborhood, and wouldn't mind a corner grocer and a taproom, either. Those are among the conclusions from an online survey District 10 conducted about residents' views on neighborhood businesses.

The survey is one part of a research study conducted by graduate student Sarah Arnold. The study focuses primarily on the Como-Snelling business district. It is the first piece in a larger project District 10 is leading to build the foundation for more amenities and economic investment in the neighborhood.

You can read report highlights, and view the full survey results, on District 10 's website. Arnold will present her report this Tuesday, June 20, at the monthly Como Community Council board meeting. The meeting starts 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. Here 's the preliminary agenda.
A concept for Snelling, looking south from Energy Park Drive toward Pierce Butler.
Making Snelling Less Like a Freeway
An interactive map is now available of MnDOT 's final "preliminary " design to improve pedestrian and bicycle access along Snelling Ave., from Como Ave. south to Hamline University. In addition, MnDOT engineer Mark Lindeberg will discuss the design with the Como Community Council this Tuesday.

In simple terms, the proposal would eliminate the existing freeway-style "acceleration lanes " to and from Pierce Butler Route and Energy Park Drive. Instead, new stoplights will control access. Wider sidewalks and a protected bicycle path would replace the acceleration lanes on both sides of Snelling. More details are available on District 10 's website.  Lindeberg ' s presentation to the monthly District 10 meeting is scheduled for June 20 at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station.
Photo: Hot Rodder magazine
Glory Days. Happy Days. Noisy Days.  
Glasspacks reign next weekend as Back to the 50s roars back into the Fairgrounds (and along streets everywhere). The celebration of chrome, metal and internal combustion engines features more than 10,000 street rods and custom cars. Officially, it starts next Friday, June 23, at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Sunday June 25. Unofficially, the joy ride starts at dawn and runs well into the wee hours. As residents, a couple of things to be aware of:
  • You cannot park cars on your lawns. That privilege is allowed in the zoning overlay district only during the 12 days of the State Fair -- not whenever the Fairgrounds has an event. (Note: If you've got paved driveways, parking pads, etc., you can park cars on those anytime. But parking on lawns? That crosses the line.)
  • Street parking will be restricted. For safety reasons, State Fair-style parking restrictions will be in effect from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. June 23-25. The Minnesota Street Rod Association, which manages the car show, will post no-parking signs from Snelling east to Hamline, and from Como Ave. north to Larpenteur. District 10 has asked them to extend the one-sided parking south to Wynne; no word yet if they'll honor our request. 
  • Snelling will be open. MnDOT says construction will cease and all lanes will be open June 22-26.
ComoFest: Less Than a Month Away   
We ' re deep into June, which means it's time to 1) buy suncreen and 2) start planning for ComoFest. The annual activities bring affordable family fun to every part of our neighborhood the last three weekends in July. It kicks off with District 10 ' s Ice Cream Social on Friday July 14. Get a peek at this year's entire schedule, including new events, at
Watching Our Waste: Hazardous Materials 
Ramsey County's neighborhood collection site is open only a few more weekends to dispose of your household hazardous waste. We're talking about items labeled "Caution," "Warning," "Danger" or "Poison." They don't belong in your trash.

Instead, every Friday and Saturday through June 30, you can take them -- for free -- to be safely disposed of. Items include antifreeze, motor oil, and gasoline; batteries of all kinds; insect repellent and weed killers; paint and household cleaners; empty propane tanks; old cell phones; mercury thermometers; fluorescent lights; and more. Get the whole list online.

The collection site is on Kent St., just north of Larpenteur and just east of Dale. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays.
Just Drive Right Up
A new "roundabout" drive, making it easier to drop folks near the Zoo and Conservatory's main Visitor Center entrance, is scheduled to open today, Friday June 16. It's the last major piece of the park's years-long transportation improvement plan. A new Minnesota Garden, which features more than two dozen native plants, also is open in and around the drive (though it won't reach full glory for a few more years).  Meanwhile, other construction projects continue:
  • Como Ave.: Only one lane is open in each direction from east of Raymond to Commonwealth.  Also, there is no access on the north at the Cleveland intersection.
  • Interstate 694: The ramps from eastbound 694 to Lexington and from Lexington to eastbound 694 are closed through July 7.
  • Raymond Ave.: Through the end of June, the street remains closed completely from Standish south to Energy Park; there is limited access from Como south to Standish.
  • Snelling Ave.: The mess in our neighborhood remains pretty much the same: Until this Thursday, June 22, only one lane of Snelling is open in each direction between Como Ave. north to County Road B. Access at cross streets may be restricted on any given day. And Larpenteur is also down to one lane in each direction at Snelling. Further north, from Highway 36 to Interstate 694, MnDOT is installing new median barriers, and replacing signs, lights, and guardrails. Some lanes will be closed at night and when it's not rush hour. The work will last through July. 
Keep It Clean     
We routinely harangue you about keeping storm drains clean in autumn, when fallen leaves suffocate them, which leeches phosphorus into Como Lake, which causes algae blooms. The same principle applies even more now -- because it's summer, when algae thrives.

After this week's hail, wind, and rain storms, tree debris is clogging gutters and storm drains all over the neighborhood. So, it's a good weekend to take a few extra minutes to clean out a gutter and storm drain near you. We'll all benefit later. 
Tax Season is Never Over     
Need to file for your renter's tax refund from the state? Sitting on that temporary extension to file your state or federal income taxes? Prepare + Prosper can provide the free tax assistance you need to get over the hump. If you make less than $35,000 (or less than $55,000 as a household), you're probably eligible. Appointments are available most Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; call 651-287-0187 or go online.
Someday We'll Look Back on This and It Will All Seem Funny
Dockside breaks up the summer routine this Saturday with a live version of "Mortified: Share the Shame." The podcast-turned-touring-show fills the stage with perfect strangers who remind us of what we'd prefer to forget about our teenage years. The 18-and-over show begins at 7 p.m. on the promenade of the Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Parkway N. General admission tickets are $17.
Just Enjoy the Evening, Mon
Groovin' in the Garden is back. Every Wednesday through July, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory throws a free outdoor concert. The music runs from 6-8 p.m., and there's plenty of food, ice cream, beer and wine for sale to justify you skipping dinner. And, they move the music indoors if it rains. This week, June 21, it's ska from Umbrella Bed
Almost all your favorite Star Wars characters introduce themselves in "A New Hope."
More Free Outdoor Entertainment
The standard parade of strings, brass, and pitch pipes continues on the promenade of the Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Parkway N. This week's lineup:
  • Today, Friday June 16, Bavarian Musikmeisters, 7 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 18, Richfield Symphonic Band, 3 p.m.; St. Anthony Civic Orchestra, 7 p.m.
  • Monday, June 19, Northern Winds Concert Band, 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 20, Northstar Barbershop Showcase, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 21, Saints of Swing Big Band, 7 p.m.
Check out the season's full lineup -- at least what they're sharing with us -- at Dockside's calendar page.
A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away : It's not the best Star Wars movie, but it was the first, released 30 years ago this summer. It's now called "Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope." The lights go down and the light sabers come up at 9:15 p.m. this Saturday, June 17.
What the Rest of June Has in Store 
  • This Wednesday, June 21: Public hearing on a sound level variance for the Hmong Freedom Festival, 5:30 p.m. Third-floor City Council chambers, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. (District 10's Land Use Committee is recommending approval of the variance.) 
  • This Wednesday, June 21: Workshop for envisioning development at Rice and Larpenteur, 6-8 p.m. Washington Technology Magnet School, Rice St. at Nebraska.
  • Next Friday, June 23: Deadline to nominate businesses and institutions, residential landscaping and gardens, public art, and landmark trees for a 2017 Blooming Saint Paul award.
  • Next Friday, June 23: Deadline to take Ramsey County's survey about what it will take to motivate us to reduce waste, increase recycling, and divert trash from landfills.
  • Next Saturday, June 24: Citywide Dropoff Event, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Washington Technology Magnet School, 1495 Rice St. Dispose of the junk you can't fit in your trash. If you want to volunteer -- which gets you a voucher to dispose of one load for free -- call the District 6 Planning Council at 651-488-4485.
  • Tuesday June 27: Citizen Pruner Training, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oxford Community Center, 270 Lexington Parkway N. Free, but registration is required.
  • Friday June 30: Deadline for students in grades 9-12 to apply to the Youth Engagement Program at Como Zoo and Conservatory.
  • Friday June 30: Saint Paul Planning Commission holds a public hearing on the Ford Site Master Planwhich has folks in Highland lining up against each other. You can submit comments ahead of time on the web or by email.
  • Saturday-Sunday July 1-2: 37th annual Hmong International Freedom Festival, McMurray Fields.
  • Sunday July 9: The Color RunState Fairgrounds.
What are They Doing in the Park?
  • Blooming Butterflies: Exhibit opens today, Friday June 16, at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Labor Day.
  • Step Up for NF Walk: This Saturday, June 17, 9 a.m., East Picnic Pavilion and lake path. $20 in advance, $30 on site.
  • Dystonia Zoo Walk: This Saturday, June 17, 8 a.m. West Picnic Grounds. $25 teens and adults, $15 children 12 or younger.
  • Twin Cities Pride Family Picnic: This Sunday, June 18, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., East Picnic Pavilion. Free
The Calm Before the Storm at the Fairgrounds     
  • 4-H Youth Exploring Leadership and Learning Outload: Through this Saturday, June 17, 4-H Building.
  • Region 10 Arabians Championship horse show: Through this Sunday, June 18, Warner Coliseum. Free admission for spectators.
  • Antique Motorcycle Meet: Today-Saturday, June 16-17, Campground and Progress Center. Until 8 p.m. today, Friday June 16; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. $5 teens and adults; children 12 or younger free with paying adult.
  • Pet-a-Palooza: This Saturday, June 17, Machinery Hill. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free
  • Machinery Hills Criterium du Nord race series: This Tuesday, June 20, roadways north of Hoyt Ave. 4-9 p.m. Bicycle road race training series; four races (beginners-experts). Entry fees: $10-$25.
Get Your Information Firsthand 
The Western District of the Saint Paul Police Department holds its monthly Community Meetings this Tuesday, June 20, at district headquarters, 389 N. Hamline. Meetings start at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.   
Borrow portable recycling stands like these for free.
We Can Help with Your Party   
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community members can use for block parties, neighborhood, or family events. You can borrow the recycling containers for free; there are two kinds:
  • For cans, bottles and other items you can include in your weekly recycling.
  • For food scraps and other compostable organics.
The street barricades are required by the city when you block off your street or alley -- but ours are a more-affordable option than getting them from Public Works.
  • Barricades require a $50 deposit. We return $45 when you return the barricades.
  • Reservations are first-come, first-served.
  • To borrow our barricades, you must have an event permit from the city.
To reserve any of this equipment, call our office at 651-644-3889, or send us an email.
Streetcar Station Open on Sundays
The Como Park Streetcar Station is now open every Sunday through September from noon-4 p.m. Stop in to learn a bit about the history of Como Park, admire the new paint job inside, pick up an organics recycling starter kit (including a plastic kitchen bin), or just share comments and suggestions with a District 10 board member who's on staff that day. 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.