Students, staff, employers, and supporters watch a presentation during the quarterly community relations lunch March 29 at the Humphrey Job Corps Center. 
Someone Forgot to Ask Us
Despite what the Star Tribune says, District 10's Land Use Committee is not discussing German Immersion School expansion plans at its April meeting. That meeting already has a packed agenda (see the next article), which means there's no room to give the school discussion the time and attention it deserves.  Instead, Land Use has invited school officials to discuss their plans as the focus of the committee's regular meeting on Wednesday May 2.

Change of plans: The school now says it will not purchase the adjacent property at 1042 Van Slyke. The school originally planned to buy the single-family house, tear it down, and use the lot for "outdoor space" -- or, if required by the city, additional off-street parking. Nic Ludwig, who is chair of the school's facilities committee, told District 10 that the school recently cancelled that contingent purchase agreement.  The decision likely means the school will need significant parking variances as it gets the construction permits necessary to build its proposed addition. 
Land Use Meeting Rescheduled
The April Land Use meeting, by the way, is rescheduled to Monday April 9 at 7 p.m. at the Streetcar Station. The preliminary list of topics:
City Approves Variance Requests
Saint Paul's Board of Zoning Appeals approved two variance requests in District 10 this week. One allows the six-unit apartment building at 1086 Como Place to add a seventh unit. The other clears the way to convert the decommissioned fire station at 1290 Snelling into a single-family residence. The District 10 board supported both variance requests. 
Go Ahead: You've Been Thinking About It
Eight positions on the Como Community Council board are up for election this April -- and incumbents are not seeking re-election in at least seven of them. That makes this year a great opportunity for new activists -- because you can run for an open seat without challenging an incumbent. Positions you can run for :
  • Vice-chair
  • Treasurer
  • One representative from each of the four geographical sub-districts
  • Two at-large representatives from the community as a whole
Any renter, homeowner, or other resident of District 10 who is age 18 or older is eligible. So are authorized representatives from a business or nonprofit organization in District 10.  If you are interested, fill out the application by Tuesday April 10. Terms run until April 2020. Learn more 

If you are not running: Elections for the Como Community Council board are Tuesday April 17, beginning at 7 p.m., at District 10's annual meeting. Meet the candidates --  and vote where it makes a difference in your life.
There's Room in Our Community Garden
A few plots are still available this season in the Como Community Garden. Garden plots are south of Almond and east of Snelling. Water is available. The fee for the season: $25. 

If you want a plot: Call the District 10 office at 651-644-3889, or put in your request by emailPlots are handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. (Residents who live in Como get first priority). 
Done Smiling
The Como Community Council board voted this month to discontinue participation in the Amazon Smiles program. The rationale: to avoid promoting online sales at the potential expense of local businesses. 
Good luck counting the multitudes of Canada geese (Photo: City of Winnipeg)
Crowdsourcing is Just Natural
Ever thought of being a citizen scientist? It's getting easier -- especially if you have a smartphone.  Citizen scientists are everyday people who systematically observe and record what's going on around them in the natural world. It could be birds, plants, insects, water. You (and others like you) then share your findings with trained scientists. The result: Scientists get more data than they could ever gather themselves.

If you're intrigued, here's your chance to get free training on citizen science apps such as iNaturalist and eBird (that's right, what song is it you wanna hear?). The workshop, run by the University of Minnesota Extension, is 2-4 p.m. on Citizen Science Day -- Saturday April 14 -- at the Como Park Streetcar Station. Registration is free, but space is limited.
Courtney Ryan
Memorial Fund Honors Courtney Ryan
A memorial fund is now set up to honor Courtney Ryan, an active community resident who was a Master Water Steward, a former AmeriCorps worker, and a member of District 10's Environment Committee. Among her more visible contributions: the rain garden outside Bethel Lutheran Church on Wheelock Parkway.

Ryan, 31, was killed last month in a car crash north of Duluth. Donations can be made in Ryan's name to the Mississippi Park Connection, a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service that performs education and outreach work in the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
It Sounds Dry, until You're Counting on It
The city has drafted its latest Consolidated Plan, which outlines  strategies, goals, and activities to help residents who make less than $46,100 (or $65,800 in a family of four). You can read the draft, then send comments before April 29.
'A' Stands for April Activities
  • This Monday-Friday, April 2-6: Spring break for most schools.
  • This Tuesday, April 3: District 10 Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All community members are welcome to attend and participate.
  • Sunday April 15: District 10 Sunday Series: Crime Prevention through Landscape Design, 1-2:30 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. What you plant, where you plant it, the fencing you choose, and how you let your lights shine all can be tactics to keep your property safer. Pick up advice in these areas and more.
  • Friday April 20: Lyngblomsten Foundation Spring Gala, 5:30 p.m. Vadnais Heights Commons, 655 E. County Road F. Time is running out on the advance discount: Tickets are $50 before this Saturday, March 31; $75 after that.
  • Saturday April 21: Parks and Recreation Spring Cleanup, 9-11:30 a.m., Como Lakeside Pavilion. Join other volunteers in spiffing up the park.
  • Saturday April 28: 2018 City Nature Challenge, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom. Track what lives in the woodland, part of a competitive "bio-blitz" in 60 cities worldwide.
  • Thursday-Sunday, May 3-6: Festival of Nations, Saint Paul RiverCentre. The International Institute (which is based in District 10) is recruiting volunteers to work 3- or 4-hour shifts. Tasks include staffing booths, setting up, tearing down, cleaning tables, or greeting visitors. Volunteers get free admission. Sign up here
The Citywide Drop-Off at the Fairgrounds moves up to June 9 -- and needs volunteers.
Something(s) to Look Forward To
District 10 has its hand in a number of community events this spring. A sample:
  • Saturday May 5: Como Community Seed Library May Mosaic, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Como Park Streetcar Station. Swap seeds, plants and perennials; swap stories; get advice from garden experts; and more.
  • Saturday May 19: Rain Barrel Workshop, 1-3 p.m., Twin Cities German Immersion School. Get a rain barrel for the unheard of price of $29 (plus tax) -- and learn how to use it effectively. If you already have rain barrels outside your home, you also can learn to use them effectively -- for free. Space is limited, so register now. 
  • Sunday June 3: District 10 Sunday Series: Como Park Tree Trek, 1-2:30 p.m. Meet outside the Lakeside Pavilion. Arborist Tim Morgan leads a walk to help us better identify and understand local tree species, their health, and the diseases and pests that affect them.
  • Sunday June 3: Block Party in the Park, 4-7 p.m., Orchard Park. Neighbors hanging out with neighbors. You don't have to live in South Como to join the fun.
  • Saturday June 9: Citywide Drop-Off, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. State Fairgrounds. Get rid of the junk you can't throw in the trash. Volunteer -- and you can get rid of junk for free.
  • Saturday June 16: Como Neighborhood Garage Sale. By popular demand, it's later than usual this year, in hopes of better weather.
  • Saturday June 23: Como Lake Rain Garden Workshop, 9 a.m.-noon. Como Park Streetcar Station. Capitol Region Watershed District leads a hands-on workshop to identify locations for the next wave of boulevard rain gardens in District 10. These are among the most cost-effective ways to collect and filter polluted street runoff before it reaches Como Lake. The best part: The selected locations will get rain gardens installed at no cost. Register now
File Taxes Online for Free
If you earned $66,000 or less in 2017, the tax assistance specialsts at Prepare+Prosper want you to know about MyFreeTaxes. You can file federal and state returns online for free (if you put up with some cheezy animation). The site is sponsored by United Way; has free English- and Spanish-language tax support; includes free telephone, email, and online chat specialists; and is optimized for mobile devices. (This year, we all must file tax returns by Tuesday April 17.)
Derby, Circus are Back at the Fairgrounds
  • North Star Roller Girls: This Saturday, March 31, Warner Coliseum. 6 p.m. Admission: $13 in advance, $15 at the door.
  • Saint Paul Osman Shrine Circus, next Thursday-Sunday, April 5-8, Warner Coliseum. Performances: Thursday, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 1 and 5:30 p.m. Admission: $20-$95; children 2 or younger, free.
What is Community Policing, Really?
Como Park Lutheran Church hosts a free conversation about community policing this Wednesday, April 4, at the church, 1376 Hoyt. Western District police Commander Steve Anderson will discuss how Saint Paul is approaching community policing, neighborhood crime, and race and diversity concerns in policing.  Conversation begins over dinner at 5:30 p.m., then moves to the congregation's Fireside Room at 6:00.
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.