Keeping the rubber side down: Not sure if they're practicing Fred Flintstone propulsion or a South Dakota motorcycle stop, but 5-year-old Otto Mass and his 3-year-old brother, Will, definitely are enjoying themselves at Duck Point on Como Lake. Photo: Debby Smith
Catch the Buzz About the Pollinator Sky Rise
Photo: Dawn Lamm
A "Pollinator Sky Rise" -- a unique, ground-breaking combination of sculpture and science experiment -- is now in place on the lakeshore of Como Lake. The Sky Rise is a joint project between Public Art Saint Paul and the University of Minnesota's Bee Lab.  The colorful,  first-of-its-kind installation is designed to provide habitat and haven for wild bees and butterflies, a research site for entomologists, and education for passers-by on one of the busiest walking paths in the city.

Celebrate: Join the official dedication of the Sky Rise this Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. along the walking and bicycle paths near Horton, Nagasaki, and West Como Blvd. (The rain date is next Friday, Sept. 15, also at 10 a.m.)
Lanes and Paths Definitely Get Used
If Como Ave. and Front Ave. are any indication, adding bike lanes to city streets actually does increase cycling. That is one of the facts in Saint Paul's latest report on bicycle and pedestrian traffic Other local highlights in the report: 
  • The busiest bicycling stretch in District 10 is at Como Ave. and Hamline. 
  • The paths along Lexington Parkway south of Como Lake Drive are by far the busiest walking location. In fact, peak use is the highest in the entire city. 
Want to count bikes and people this year? The city holds its annual bicycle and pedestrian count this week. Counts take place from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, Sept. 12-14. If you want a shift, sign up here.
Recycling is Saturday

This week's Labor Day holiday (remember back that far?) means recycling pickup is pushed back one day. In District 10, there is no pickup today, Friday Sept. 8. Instead, recycling will be picked up this Saturday, Sept. 9.

Stretch your palate with samples like this from Herbivorous Butcher.
Way Beyond Tofu
Twin Cities Veg Fest moves outdoors for the first time, taking over the main picnic pavilion and surrounding fields at Como Park this Saturday, Sept. 9. Though the free festival celebrates plant-based eating, it extends the welcome mat to omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and anyone else anywhere else along the spectrum. Activities include free samples, more than 60 exhibitors, and cooking demonstrations. The festival runs 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Ride is Classic, the Route Isn't
The annual Saint Paul Classic Bike Tour rolls through the neighborhood this Sunday, Sept. 10.
Because of the construction on Wheelock Parkway, this year's route is slightly different. Cyclists ride west along Arlington Ave., turn south on Victoria, rattle west on Lakeview, glide along the north end of the lake on Como Lake Drive to the rest stop at Dockside, then weave southbound through the park to westbound Como Ave.

Same-day registration is $50 for adults over 22; $20 for adults ages 18-22; $12 for youth ages 5-17; and free for children younger than 5. The ride starts at the University of Saint Thomas.
Get Rid of Your Junk for Free
This is not a rhetorical question: Why not volunteer to staff Saint Paul's annual Reduce & Recycle Citywide Drop Off Event at the State Fairgrounds on Oct. 7? 
  1. You receive a voucher allowing you to dispose of one load of your own junk for free
  2. We feed you.
  3. You help out a lot of people in a short period of time.
Volunteers MUST register in advance; because of safety and other concerns, we no longer can accept walk-in volunteers the day of the event. Shifts are 3.5 hours -- we'll have an early morning shift and a late morning shift. To volunteer, sign up online.
Start Building Your Pile Now
Saint Paul's annual Reduce & Recycle Citywide Drop Off Event at the State Fairgrounds is Saturday Oct. 7, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.  Residents can dispose of appliances, electronics, furniture, tires, demolition debris, scrap metal, and other household refuse you cannot put in the trash. There's a set fee per item or per load. For full details on what items are acceptable, and what they cost, see the city's All-In web page .

Seniors: If you are 65 or older and can't make it to the Fairgrounds, arrange a "senior pick-up." You'll have to pay the same fees as everyone else, but we'll try to pick up your discards for free. Contact the Como Community Council office by email  or by phone at 651-644-3889
Live in South Como or Energy Park?
This Tuesday, Sept. 12, is the last day to get on the ballot to fill a vacancy on the Como Community Council representing Sub-District 4. That's the part of our neighborhood we all know as South Como and Energy Park. 

The seat is open to anyone at least 18 years of age who lives in Sub-District 4; you can be a renter or a homeowner. Representatives from businesses or institutions based in the Sub-District also are eligible. The boundaries of Sub-District 4 are Dale on the east, Snelling on the west, and the two sets of BNSF railroad tracks on the north and south.

To find our more, see the District 10 website. 
To get on the ballot, fill out this online form. The elected candidate will serve until April 2018. The special election will be Tuesday Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. 
Renters, What's on Your Mind?
Do you rent? District 10's Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee wants to know what you think about living in Como. Take our survey: What do you like? What would you improve? What's a priority for you? Tell us your opinions -- and feel free to share the survey with other people who share a wall, ceiling, or floor with you. 
Map: Matt Leichter
City Embarks on PILOT Project
The Citizens League has published its report about how Saint Paul might persuade colleges, hospitals, churches, units of government, and other tax-exempt landowners to contribute "payments in lieu of taxes." It's a concept that could take pressure off residential and business property taxes in Saint Paul, and spread out the burden of who pays how much for city services. In short, the Citizens League recommends that the city "immediately begin working with representatives from tax-exempt organizations to discuss and design an initiative for voluntary contributions that works for both the City of Saint Paul and these organizations." Mayor Christopher Coleman says he's on it.
Free Fun for the Wee Ones
Lil' Explorer Thursdays are underway at Como Park Zoo. The free activities for 1- to 3-year-olds run from 10 a.m.-noon at the Visitor Center. Youngsters get face to face with animals and plants, play games, and take part in story times. Because we all know how attention spans are (children and their adults!), there's a different theme each week.
Watching Our Waste: The 6 Rs
Many of us know how to reduce, reuse, and recycle around our home and other parts of our lives. But there are at least three more "R's" we can put into practice: refuse, repair, and review. Learn more.
Feeling Up Against the Wall?
The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota isoffering a "rehab lab" on old walls. Topics include plaster repair and uncovering original layers of vintage wallpaper. The class is Saturday Sept. 23 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at a home in the Selby-Dale neighborhood. Registration is $50. 
Help Spread the Success Around
The Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps Center is looking for residents and business representatives to join its Community Relations Council. Council members help promote the work of the center and its students.
The council meets once a quarter at the Job Corps campus, 1480 N. Snelling. The next meeting is this Thursday, Sept. 14, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch will be served. If you are interested, contact Jacquelyn Thomas by phone at 651-444-1828 or by email.
Spread This Success Around, Too
The Como Park Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program is seeking community members to join its board of directors. The board meets every other month; members help support and promote the program's goal of helping neighborhood seniors remain in the homes they love.
Take Your Pick at the Park
  • This Saturday, Sept. 9: The Como Park Shuttle resumes running, but only on weekends through Oct. 1. The shuttle runs from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. from the State Fairgrounds parking lot south of Como Ave.
  • This Saturday, Sept. 9: Memorial Walk for Hope and Healing, sponsored by Family Means. The walk around Como Lake begins at 9 a.m. at Como Lake Drive and Lakeview. Registration is $10, with discounted family rates.
  • This Monday, Sept. 11: The Saint Paul Fire Foundation holds a 9/11 Memorial Walk around Como Lake. The memorial service and walk begin at 6 p.m. at the lakeside pavilion. A dance with the Roseville Big Band follows at 7 p.m. Registration is $35 for teens and adults; $5 for children.
  • This Thursday, Sept. 14: The Dockside Farmers Market unloads the goods from 2-6 p.m. 
Construction New and Old
The orange barrel overview:
  • Como Ave.: Shut down between Raymond and Knapp for complete reconstruction.
  • Energy Park Drive: Work on the railroad crossing east of Raymond (adjacent to Cemstone and Diesel Dogs) is supposed to finish today, which means the road should reopen by this Saturday, Sept. 9.
  • Lexington Parkway: Sidewalk and crosswalk work continues to shrink lanes. Work is moving north toward University Ave., then switching to the southbound lanes and heading back toward Randolph Ave.
  • Snelling Ave.: Periodic lane closures continue from Como Ave. north to Highway 36 through the end of September.
  • Victoria Ave.: It's not paved, but is passable, at the intersection with Wheelock Parkway, Maryland Ave., and Como Lake Drive. Temporary closures are still possible.
  • Wheelock Parkway: Closed to through traffic between Victoria and Dale until November. Intersections at north-south streets will close on an as-needed basis. Sewer installation is underway east of Grotto; curb installation is beginning at Victoria and moving east.
Got Empty Spaces on Your Calendar?  
 
  • This Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 9-10: The Energy Fair, Harriet Island. 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Talking with exhibitors is free; workshops and other activities cost $10-$25, depending on your age and how much access you want.
  • This Sunday, Sept. 10: Lyngblomsten's monthly Second Sunday Concert features a piano and vocal concert by Paula Lammers, of the MacPhail Center for Music, 2-3 p.m. Newman-Benson Chapel, 1415 Almond Ave.
  • This Monday, Sept. 11: Public Works holds an informational meeting on Wheelock Parkway assessments and construction progress, 6 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. 
  • This Tuesday, Sept. 12: Public hearing on 2018 water rates, 5 p.m. Saint Paul Regional Water Services, 1900 Rice St.
  • This Thursday, Sept. 14: Master Water Stewards information session, 5:30-7 p.m. Urban Boatbuilders, 2288 W. University Ave.
  • Wednesday Sept. 20: Public hearing on Ford Site Zoning Study and Public Realm Master Plan, 5:30 p.m. Third-floor City Council Chambers, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. Details here -- or comment in advance online.
  • Saturday Sept. 23: Zero Waste Summit, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Wilder Center, 451 Lexington Parkway N. $15-$35 (scholarships are available)
  • Saturday Oct. 7: Como Park Senior High School Homecoming Parade, 11 a.m.
The Quiet After the Storm  
  
 
You still may have to dodge trailers and trucks for a few days, but the State Fairgrounds are open again for walking, running, biking, commuting, etc. 
It's Not Getting Better
 
  
 
Despite increased enforcement and education, motorists in Saint Paul are running down pedestrians and bicyclists at the same pace in 2017 that they did in 2016. Through Sept. 5, Saint Paul police recorded 201 crashes with pedestrians and cyclists. That's one more than at the same point in 2016. To put it another way, that averages out to vehicles colliding with pedestrians or cyclists almost 6 times a week. If there's any bright spot, only two of the crashes have been fatal this year; there were three deaths at this point in 2016.
 
This week's crime report for our neighborhood: Vandals, thieves, and more.   
If it's Sunday, the Streetcar Station is Open
The Como Park Streetcar Station is open every Sunday in September, from noon-4 p.m. Stop in to learn a bit about the history of Como Park, pick up an organics recycling starter kit (just like the picture), pick up replacement compostable bags, 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 -- as we did with Debby Smith'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.