March 19, 2021
Yes, No, When? The Como Community Council typically coordinates a Neighborhood Garage sale each year. Because of the pandemic, that didn't happen in 2020. Should we try again this year? Take our survey
Our Quest: Your Fuzzy Thoughts about a Mascot
Sports teams have them. Schools have them. Why not our neighborhood?

We’re talking mascots. So, we’re asking you to do a neighborhood mind meld. Help the Como Community Council discover our very own mascot, a recognizable symbol we can identify with, call our own, and use to promote and enliven District 10 events. Here’s the rundown:
  • Over the next two weeks, submit your ideas of what our mascot should be. What captures the essence of our community? Email your suggestions by Sunday April 4.
  • District 10 board members will compile and cull the list of suggestions. Then we, as a community, will vote for the winner.

After that, we will invite the creatives in our community to submit artistic renderings of the chosen mascot. Our goal: Have the mascot ready to debut when the pandemic allows us to get together again safely and comfortably (maybe a return of the Ice Cream Social July 9?) But first, email us your suggestions
Gain a Bigger Voice in Our Neighborhood – Start with Questions
Nine seats are up for election in April to the District 10 Como Community Council board. Most seats do not have an incumbent running, so you don’t even have to worry about throwing someone out!

Learn more: Find out first-hand what being a board member is all about. We’ve scheduled three “drop in” sessions over the next week or so. It’s a chance for anyone who is thinking about becoming a candidate to meet directly with a few of our current board members, get your questions answered, and get straight talk. 
Drop in anytime during the hour using Zoom video, or by calling in. To find the access information, go to our community calendar, then click on the day and time that works best for you.

Your choices: As spelled out our bylaws, these board seats are automatically up for election this year:

These positions serve two-year terms, through April 2023. Any community member in District 10, age 16 or older, is eligible to run. Apply here The filing deadline is Sunday April 4. The voting period ends April 20.
You Can Request Your Ballot Now
District 10 community members can vote from home this April in board elections for the Como Community Council. You'll be able to vote online, or by returning a paper ballot through the mail. (Because of restrictions on public gatherings, we still can’t schedule in-person voting.)

The first step in voting is to request a ballot. To get your ballot, fill out this application form. We’ll send ballots beginning Friday April 9. (We'll have candidate information available on Monday April 5.)

Who is eligible to vote: Renters, homeowners, and other residents of District 10 who are at least 16 years old can vote. So can representatives from business, nonprofits, or other organizations with a physical presence in District 10.
District Councils are Hiring an Organizer
The District 10 Como Community Council and District 12 St. Anthony Park Community Council are hiring a community organizer. The initial focus of the organizer is to build community connections and activities in support of anti-racism and inclusion goals of both district councils. The position averages 30 hours/week. Initial review of candidates will begin March 31. Full job description
For Your Reading Pleasure
Distance learning is a long way from succeeding for many students and teachers, says Como Park Senior High junior Chikamso Chijioke. Her article is the latest installment of Know Your Como – our growing collection about people who make up this neighborhood.

Do you enjoy telling stories – in word or pictures? Want to put your talents to work for the Como community? Then join the Know Your Como team. We’re always looking for a few more good people to help share stories about who and what makes Como special. Brainstorms and idea blizzards typically happen the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. If you are interested, email us; we’ll get your connected.
For Your Viewing Pleasure
Capitol Region Watershed District has posted a recording of its community discussion about how a palette of tactics, including Fluridone to fight curly-leaf pondweed and alum to fight phosphorus, are improving the water quality of Como Lake. The discussion includes a glimpse at what’s next.

We’ve posted the recording of a presentation the Citizens Utility Board gave to our Environment Committee. CUB proposes an alternative plan for how Xcel Energy could generate electricity in the next 30 years. CUB says its plan will cut customer rates by one-third, integrate more renewables, reduce use of fossil fuels faster than Xcel’s plan – and maintain reliability, without building a $1 billion gas generation plant.
Photo: All Energy Solar
So, That's What's Going On
  • Dock & Paddle reopens in the Como Lakeside Pavilion today, Friday March 19. The restaurant initially will open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., then expand its days and hours in April. Craft beers are half-price this weekend.
  • Como Lake Drive will be closed to vehicle traffic during the day weekdays – probably through March 26 or so – while contractors for Metropolitan Council inspect and clean sewers.
Photo: Fish and chips at more at Dock & Paddle.
We're Still Handing Out Food
The Como Community Council and Sanneh Foundation will continue to distribute free food boxes today, Friday March 19, and every Friday afternoon at least through April. The food boxes are available to Ramsey County residents dealing with financial hardships because of Covid-19. 

Details: The fresh food boxes will be available in the north parking lot of Niem Phat Buddhist Temple, at Dale and Front. Distribution will be 1:30-3:30 p.m. (or until supplies run out). Reservations are highly recommended; to reserve your box, fill out this form before noon on distribution day. The boxes typically include fresh meat, dairy, and produce.
Property Tax Bills, Valuations are on Their Way
Property tax notices from Ramsey County should arrive any day. The statement lists how much you owe in the first and second half of this year, how much goes to each branch of government or tax program, and any special assessments or service charges.

The statement also lists your property’s valuation. This estimated property value is used to determine property taxes in 2022. If you disagree with your valuation, now is the time to raise questions. Start by calling the county assessor’s office: 651-266-2131. You then can discuss your disagreement at an “open book meeting” – which, this year, takes place over the phone on Monday April 5 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Tuesday April 6 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. There's also an appeal option after that.
How and Where to Join the Crowd (or Avoid One)
The Vaccine Timeline in Minnesota
If Not 911, What?
The mayor’s Community First Public Safety Commission holds a town hall (online) to collect public suggestions on how best to respond to what are now non-emergency police calls. The discussion is this Saturday, March 20, from 2-4 p.m. Register here (The commission plans additional sessions in April, after it releases draft recommendations.)

Sidewalk poetry returns: If you’ve got something insightful, whimsical, or thought-provoking to say – in 300 characters or less – your chance at immortality begins this Monday, March 22. The city is accepting new submissions from Saint Paul residents; a panel will choose up to 8 winners to join 63 previous thoughts that have been stamped on sidewalks around the city. (In Como, the greatest clusters are on Grotto, Victoria, and Arlington.) The deadline for inspiration is April 25.

Find out what they want: City departments are making their requests now for their share of next year’s Capital Improvement Budget, which determines how and where the city invests in physical infrastructure. You can learn what each department is seeking by sitting in on these remote meetings. Next up:
  • Public Works: This Monday, March 22, 6:30 p.m.
  • Parks and Recreation: To be determined

To attend one or all of the meetings, register here. (After departments make their requests, residents will have until April 2 to take a survey about their priorities. But first things first.)

Don’t miss your chance:
  • Today, Friday March 19, 5 p.m.: Deadline for community organizations to submit applications for federal Community Development Block Grant funding. The funding typically supports housing, economic development, and quality-of-life projects focused on low- and moderate-income residents.
  • This Wednesday, March 24, 4 p.m.: Last day to apply for a loan or grant under the city’s Neighborhood STAR program. Funding comes from a portion of sales taxes collected in the city. Grants are available to public, private, and nonprofit organizations for “permanent” physical projects with an expected life of at least seven years. Typically, a minimum 50-50 dollar match is required.

Neighborhood issues of note:
  • K&L Sales: The second-hand dealer’s license for this used-car lot at Como and Arona is up for renewal on March 29. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 4 Council Member Mitra Jalali.
  • H&M Auto Body: The auto repair and paint shop licenses for this body shop at 867 Dale are up for renewal on April 18. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 1 Council Member Dai Thao.
  • Como Park Golf Course: The liquor, Sunday liquor, and entertainment licenses are up for renewal on April 18. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 4 Council Member Mitra Jalali.
  • Gabe’s By The Park: The liquor, Sunday liquor, entertainment, 2 a.m. closing, patio, and gambling licenses for the restaurant at Lexington and Energy Park Drive are up for renewal on May 5. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 4 Council Member Mitra Jalali.
What You're Missing on the Fairgrounds
2021 Xcel Bronze and Silver State Gymnastics Meet: Next Friday-Sunday, March 26-28, Warner Coliseum. Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 7:45 a.m.-7:30 p.m. No public admission. 
Still on the Calendar
  • Today, Friday March 19: Last day to get a $25 discount on summer camps being organized by Great River School. There are half-day camps for youth ages 4-16, and full-day camps for youth ages 7-16. The camps are open to anyone in the community.
  • Tuesday March 30: Senior Stroll, 4:30 and 5 p.m., Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Visitors age 55 or older will have the place to themselves. Admission is free but attendance is limited; advance registration is required.
  • Tuesday March 30: “Redistricting: The Good, the Bad and the Dirty Work,” 7-8 p.m. The League of Women Voters of Saint Paul presents this free webinar, which looks at what Minnesota faces as it redraws its voting maps at the federal, state, and local level, based on the 2020 Census. Register
Be More Aware
The Western District of the Saint Paul Police Department offers a free personal safety workshop this Wednesday, March 24, at 6 p.m. The online workshop focuses on situational awareness at home, at work, while shopping, and outdoors. Sign up

  • If you’re one of those people who organizes a block party or National Night Out, pulls together the email or text list that keeps neighbors informed, or is the first one to welcome new neighbors, you might want to consider sitting in on the Western District’s quarterly block club meeting. The next meeting: Monday March 29 at 6 p.m. Sign up
Spread the word
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.

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 volunteer Board of Directors who are elected directly by members of the community. As a district council, we work to improve and enjoy life where we live. We provide the glue behind neighborhood action, and combine the voices of renters, homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits who want to accomplish things.