Bee happy: Bipeds aren't the only ones who find sunflowers attractive. Photo: Janna Caywood
It's ComoFest's Finale
ComoFest wraps up this weekend, July 28-29, with two events:
  • Today, Friday July 28: It's the traditional Northwest Como Movie Night and Campout. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a jump castle, climbing tower, and other family fun activities. A free outdoor showing of the movie "Finding Dory" begins approximately 8:45 p.m. Concessions will be sold from 6-9:15 p.m. The evening ends with the annual outdoor, overnight campout. Events are at Northwest Como Recreation Center, 1550 Hamline Ave. N.
  • Saturday, July 29, TopLine Federal Credit Union holds its Community Appreciation Picnic. Food, giveaways, face painting, and other kinds of fun begin at 11 a.m. at TopLine, 976 Lexington Parkway N. The picnic concludes at 1 p.m. with Como Park's "shortest marathon" -- 26.2 yards -- to benefit the Animal Humane Society.
The Lawn Signs are Back!
District 10 is reviving our lawn sign safety campaign. The goals are the same: To get drivers to slow down and to make our residential streets safer for everyone. To make it work, you organize 10-12 neighbors who will stick a sign in their yard for two weeks. If you are interested, contact us by email or call us at 651-644-3889. We'll figure out which dates work best.  The sign choices:
  • Drive Like Your Kids Live Here
  • Thanks for Slowing Down
  • Slow Please: Free-Range Children, Adults and Dogs
And speaking of walking: If you haven't taken our survey about walking in Como, hop to it. The last day is this Monday, July 31. 
There's a Seat with Your Name on It
The Como Community Council is seeking candidates to fill one At-Large board vacancy. The At-Large seat is open to anyone who lives in District 10.  The elected candidate will serve until April 2019. 

Any District 10 resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to run; so are representatives from businesses or institutions in the neighborhood. Learn more about the expectations for board members. Interested in running? Submit your name and a brief bio to District 10 by email . To be included on the ballot, we must receive your nomination by Tuesday Aug. 8.  A special election for the seat is Tuesday Aug. 15 at 7 p.m., before the monthly board meeting. 
One Week Left to Enjoy the Potholes    
 
The long-awaited reconstruction of Wheelock Parkway begins Monday Aug. 7. Workers will start at the Victoria/Maryland/E. Como Lake Drive intersection and head east toward Dale St. as summer and fall progress. The contractor intends to finish the project this season and rebuild the parkway all the way to Danforth, says City engineer Dan Haak says. That's if the weather cooperates. If the weather doesn't cooperate, the road will be paved and plowable before winter starts, then finished in the spring. Other traffic updates to be aware of:
  • Brewster St. has reopened between Snelling and Pascal, though it remains in the middle of the expansion project at Hmong College Prep Academy.
  • Como Ave. remains closed in both directions west of Raymond Ave.
  • On Snelling Ave., as usual, only one lane remains open in each direction between Como Ave. north to County Road B. But if you're looking for signs of progress: On Larpenteur, both traffic lanes are now open in each direction. And, the ramps from northbound Snelling to eastbound Highway 36 and from eastbound 36 to northbound Snelling are open.
  • Farther north, the ramps from Lexington Ave. to eastbound I-694 and from eastbound 694 to Lexington are now open. However, the ramps from eastbound 694 to Rice St. and from Rice St. to eastbound 694 are closed, probably through August. 
Como Park Relays are Back!
The Como Park Relays return for the 44th year this Wednesday, Aug. 2, near the east picnic pavilions. The cross-country races, sponsored by the Minnesota Distance Running Association, are open to all ages, with different distances each Wednesday in August. Preteen races start at 6:30 p.m.; teen and adult relays start at 6:45. On-site registration is 50 cents for those age 14 or younger, $2 for teens 15-17, and $5 for adults.
Summerfest is On Deck at North Dale
North Dale Recreation Center's annual "Summerfest" is just around the corner, on Tuesday Aug. 8. The event, co-sponsored by the North Dale Booster Club, is a way for area residents to come together and celebrate family, friends and neighbors -- and to raise money for rec center activities. Tickets enable you to enjoy concessions, games, inflatables, a climbing tower, ponies and more. Summerfest runs from 5-7:30 p.m. at the center, 1414 N. St. Albans.
Delicata is Open
In case word of mouth and aromas haven't reached you yet, Delicata is open. The pizza and gelato restaurant is in the old Java Train / Como Park Grill space at 1341 Pascal St. Hours aren't posted, though it has been opening at 4 p.m.
Watching Our Waste: Water
A typical summer like this means our lawns get plenty of water some weeks, then get parched other weeks. If you've got grass to take care of, here's advice from the University of Minnesota Extension:
  • Plant fine fescue or tall fescue instead of bluegrass; fescues are more drought-resistant, which means they need less water and use water more effectively.
  • Depending on the soil, lawns typically need only half-an-inch to one inch of water a week. Use sprinklers only to make up the difference that rain doesn't provide. Don't waste water by letting timers turn on your sprinklers automatically -- after all, who hasn't seen sprinklers running in the rain?
  • Water your lawn only once a week, until the water gets about 6 inches into the soil. This helps lawns develop more vigorous root systems.
  • Water in the morning, not during the heat of the day. More water gets into the soil -- and to the plants -- when you follow that schedule. 
Gardeners: Don't Lose This Chance
Do you grow fruits or vegetables in the city? Then University of Saint Thomas researchers invite you to take their survey about urban garden practices. Their survey is part of National Science Foundation research into urban ecosystems and climate change.  The survey takes less time than it takes to haul out your hose. But don't dawdle: The deadline is this Monday, July 31.  
Looking Ahead to August 
  • Next Friday, Aug. 4: Deadline to apply for the Wilder Foundation's Neighborhood Leadership Program.
  • Monday Aug. 7: District 10 Land Use Committee (rescheduled), 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station.
  • Tuesday Aug. 8: District 10 Neighborhood Relations Committee (rescheduled), 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station.
  • Friday-Sunday, Aug. 11-13: Minnesota State Capitol Grand Opening.
  • Wednesday  Aug. 16: Bee Real Bee Everywhere, 6-7:30 p.m. Public Art Saint Paul celebrates its 30th birthday and unveils its "bee high-rise" along the walking paths near the intersection of Horton, Nagasaki and W. Como Blvd. 
  • Sunday Aug. 20:  Japanese Obon Festival , 3-9 p.m. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.
  • Thursday Aug. 24: Minnesota State Fair opens.
  • Friday Aug. 25: Deadline to apply for Saint Paul's Cultural STAR funding program.
The Capri Big Band takes over the stage Aug. 1.
Musicals Dominate This Week's Music Fix
The Highland Community Center sets up camp on the Lakeside Pavilion stage again this weekend for its final productions of the musical "Seussical." Showtime is 7:00 tonight and Saturday, July 28-29, on the promenade. General admission is $10 regardless of how old you are. N ext weekend, the Rosetown Playhouse brings "Brigadoon" to the promenade stage. Those shows are Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 3-5, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7-$15. ("Brigadoon" returns Aug. 10-13.)
 
If you're looking for free music on the promenade, here's this week's lineup:
  • Sunday July 30: Lex-Ham Community Band, 7 p.m.
  • Monday July 31: River City Chorale, 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday Aug. 1: Capri Big Band, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday Aug. 2: Minnesota State Band, 7 p.m.
  • The season's full lineup
Farmers Market: The Dockside Farmers Market unloads the goods every Thursday from 2-6 p.m. 
A Night Out on the Town  
 
It's National Night Out this Tuesday, Aug. 1 . In District 10, neighbors on 30 streets are throwing  block parties, which partly means they're blocking off alleys and streets -- legally . If you're driving around, be extra aware and prepare to take a few detours. 
  
This Week at the Fairgrounds
North Central Reining Futurity and Derby Show: This Thursday-next Sunday, Aug. 3-6, Warner Coliseum. It's the final event before the State Fair itself; the Fairgrounds go into shutdown mode beginning Monday Aug. 7.
Borrow portable recycling stands like these for free.
The Good Weekends are Running Out 
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community members can use for block parties 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.
If it's Sunday, the Streetcar Station is Open
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. 
Photographers, Don't Keep It to Yourself
We know plenty of you are taking pictures of the people, places and things that make our neighborhood unique. Well, we'd like to give you more exposure. This newsletter is happy to highlight the best of what local photographers send us about life in Como Park -- just as we did with Janna Caywood's photo today. It's easy: Just  email us your top image from the past seven days or so.   
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.