An oriole in full splendor + flowering trees = a feast for the eyes. Photo: Nile Fellows
Spring Café Morphs into Dock & Paddle
The restaurant in the Como Lakeside Pavilion plans to open next Friday, June 5, with a new name -- and at least one feature that doesn't exist anywhere else. Dock & Paddle will debut in a scaled-back version, with a menu that gets diners outdoors in a hurry, as required by state pandemic restrictions.  For now, the restaurant can seat a maximum of 50 people in the Pavilion's covered promenade.

"This is tough time to roll out anything, but we're committed," says Tony Arvidson, regional vice president for Lancer Hospitality. Lancer's Red River Kitchen unit took over the restaurant in 2019, had a season that exceeded projections, and learned a lot about what can work in the space, serve park visitors, and be a family destination for neighborhood residents, he says.

The initial menu will include grill fare such as sandwiches and burgers, a children's menu, and locally sourced salads. Some favorites return, including the BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato) and Cubano. In keeping with the new name, we'll see fish-and-chips and fish tacos.

But Dock & Paddle's biggest coup is an exclusive arrangement with the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. The Guild will curate a rotating selection of brews from around the state. That means Dock & Paddle will serve beers on tap that are rare -- or even impossible -- to find in the Twin Cities.

Dock & Paddle intends to open weekdays 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m.-9 p.m. The lower-level, carryout window will open only on weekends to begin with.  Find out more
Illustration by Stephanie Ballen
Ballots Get Mailed Tuesday: Get Yours Now
Now is definitely the time to get your request in: Ballots go out this Tuesday, June 2, for Como Community Council board elections. There is no in-person voting this year; you must vote absentee. Community members can request an online ballot (which is quickest and easiest for all of us), or request a paper ballot through the mail. Voting is June 2-16; nine seats are up for election.
Renters, homeowners, and other residents of District 10 who are at least 16 years old can vote. So can representatives from businesses, nonprofits, or other organizations with a physical presence in District 10.
Signs of Kindness Sprout Everywhere
Our first printing sold out in the first weekend, but more "Como Kindness" signs are on the way. That means you have not missed the opportunity to get one (or more) of your own. After we cover costs, proceeds go to the Como Park block nurse program, which works to handle the health-care and everyday needs of neighborhood seniors. Suggested donation is $15.   Order yours here

Speaking of lawn signs: You can promote the new, lower residential speed limits in Saint Paul with a "20 is Plenty" sign for your front yard, side yard, or window. The Como Community Council will distribute the free signs in District 10 while supplies last. To reserve yours, just fill out this form. (We'll contact you when Public Works has everything ready to go.)
Planning Now for Next Year
The Minnesota State Fair is canceled for 2020, but District 10's Land Use Committee is pushing forward with a Fair-related issue: whether to ask the city to modify rules for the parking and vending districts that cover much of the western end of our neighborhood.  For years, there's been on-and-off discussion among neighborhood residents about whether to allow vendors and lawn parking not just during the Fair, but during Back to the 50s as well. (That classic-car event typically takes place in June, though not this year.)

The Land Use Committee decided in May that it's time to stop talking and time to make a decision. So, this week's meeting, on Wednesday June 3, will be a big opportunity for neighbors to share their thoughts on the idea. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Renters, homeowners, and other community members will be able to join and participate by video conference or by phone.
  • If you want to be part of the meeting, call the District 10 office at 651-644-3889, or email us. We'll send you access information.
  • If you can't attend the meeting, but want to comment, send it here.
Hunting Season Is Coming
Putting the final touches on a Como neighborhood scavenger hunt is among topics at this Tuesday's meeting of District 10's Neighborhood Relations Committee. So is brainstorming community-building events for the rest of the year that can survive the pandemic.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. June 2. Renters, homeowners, and other community members will be able to join and participate by video conference or by phone. If you want to be part of the meeting, call the District 10 office at 651-644-3889, or email us. We'll send you access information.  Preliminary agenda
Watershed District Has Big Plans
Capitol Region Watershed District has released the first public draft of its next 20-year Watershed Management Plan, for Como Lake and beyond. You can read the draft, submit comments, or sit in on two public presentations, which will include time for questions and comments. Those presentations, which you can join by video or phone:
Wheels Go 'Round on Another Year
Twin Cities German Immersion School plans to mark the end of its academic year with a " parade" next week, so staff and pupils -- who haven't seen each other face to face in weeks -- can say goodbye for the summer. Details are still being finalized, but here's what they're thinking:

Next Friday, June 5, between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., families in vehicles will circle the school. They can wave to staff, who will be standing outside waving back. The plan is to have cars travel east along Van Slyke, then turn west onto Como Ave. back toward Lexington. They're discouraging honking and, to minimize congestion, scheduling families at different times, based on their last name.

Also, from today through next Thursday, May 28-June 4, families will be stopping on the Van Slyke side of the school to pick up and return school and personal materials. That exchange is scheduled for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. each day. Again, families are scheduled for a specific day based on their last name.
Trash, Recycling Pushed Back One Day
Remember, Monday was a holiday. That means trash and recycling pickup is one day later than usual.
  • Eureka will empty blue recycling carts this Saturday, May 30, instead of today, Friday May 29.
  • Friday trash pickup in the eastern part of the district also will take place this Saturday, May 30.
City Cancels June Drop-Offs
If you were planning on it, stop. Because of restrictions on public gatherings, Saint Paul is canceling the Citywide Drop-Off events originally scheduled for next Saturday, June 6, at the State Fairgrounds and for Saturday June 20 at Washington Technology Magnet School. The Como and North End district councils are working with the city's Public Works Department and vendors to try to reschedule a Fairgrounds event in September.  In the meantime: 
  • Saint Paul residents living in 1-4-unit properties can get rid of some of their junk using the free "bulky item" feature of their trash collection. 
  • For an item-by-item database of disposal options, search the Ramsey County A to Z Disposal Guide.
  • Take items directly to a waste transfer station, where you pay to dispose of trash by weight or volume.
  • Hazardous household items can be taken to Ramsey County's year-round site.
  • Usable items can be donated to organizations that can find a good home for them. Check out these options (but realize that many donation centers are closed during the pandemic, so you should check with them directly before dropping off items).
They Still Wanna Know What You Think
  • Bicyclists: The U of M's Minnesota Traffic Observatory is trying to figure out how comfortable you are with separated bike lanes, what kind of separation from vehicle traffic makes you more comfortable, plus your ideas about related issues such as turn lanes, bus stops, and winter maintenance. Here's the survey; results will be published later this year as guidance for planners and engineers.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is trying to figure out how comfortable you are in having your family take part in summer programming, given social distancing and all. You can help them figure it out by taking their Summer Camps and Activities Survey
  • Saint Paul Public Library's Maker Team also is sketching out programming and events involving creative hands-on crafts, technology, and arts. You can help them by taking their really short survey.
Where Things Are in City Hall
  • Sign variance: On a 6-0 vote, the city's Board of Zoning Appeals approved a zoning variance so Como Park Senior High School can install two unlighted, outdoor signs facing Rose Ave. The school still needs sign permits.
  • Rezoning: The Zoning Committee of Saint Paul's Planning Commission voted 6-0 on May 21 to recommend approving the request to rezone 978 Front Ave. from B2 community business to T2 traditional neighborhood. The committee's recommendation now goes to the full Planning Commission, then to City Council.
  • Public hearing: City Council has scheduled the public hearing for the proposed rezoning of 1015 Bandana Blvd. for Wednesday June 10. The request to rezone the property from B3 commercial to T3 traditional would allow construction of a 152-unit apartment building.
  • Charter Commission: The Saint Paul Charter Commission is taking applications for nine vacancies: seven of them are four-year terms that begin Aug. 1, two are existing vacancies that run until July 31, 2022. Any city resident who is at least 18 years old may apply. Applications are due June 17. You can download an application, or have one mailed to you by calling 651-266-8253.
Previously reported:
  • Foxtrot Burger Spot: The liquor and patio licenses for this restaurant at 1341 Pascal are up for renewal on June 1. Anyone who has concerns should contact the office of Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali.
  • Como Lakeside Pavilion: The liquor, entertainment, and patio licenses (currently being managed by Lancer Catering) are up for renewal on June 4. Anyone who has concerns should contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
  • Pope Automotive: The garage license for this auto repair shop at 991 Front is up for renewal on June 13. Anyone who has concerns should contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: The liquor and Sunday liquor licenses are up for renewal on July 23. Anyone who has concerns should contact the office of Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali.
  • D&L Food and Gas: The gas station license for this business at 626 W. Larpenteur is up for renewal on July 28. Anyone who has concerns should contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
The Numbers Spell It Out
This week's Como community crime updateIt was a quiet week. 

What Summer Is Starting to Look Like
Phase II of Minnesota's Stay Safe guidelines take effect this Monday, June 1. Phase II has these big changes:
  • Restaurants and bars: Can begin serving a maximum of 50 customers outdoors. Reservations are required, tables have to be at least 6 feet apart, there's a limit of 4 diners per table (6 if it's a family unit), and workers must wear masks. Customers can go indoors to use a restroom. (Saint Paul is trying to help restaurants and bars by suspending some off-street parking requirements, expediting applications for a sidewalk café license, expediting the review of converting parking areas to patio space, and expediting the review of closing roads or using park space for seating. More details are expected this weekend.)
  • Salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors: Can reopen up to 25 percent of capacity. Appointments are required, and workers and customers must wear masks.
  • Schools: Can open for a mix of classroom and distance learning, with restrictions.
  • Youth sports: Can resume practice in "pods" of up to 10 if they meet other conditions. No contact or games are allowed.
  • Places of worship: As of May 27, faith communities can gather outdoors, or indoors up to 25 percent capacity after maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. The maximum gathering is 250.
  • Outdoors: Campgrounds and charter boats can reopen, with restrictions.

Otherwise, these restrictions are still in place: No gatherings of more than 10 people. You must work from home if you can. "Non-critical" businesses that don't have walk-in customers can open if they have a Covid-19 plan in place. "Non-critical" retail businesses can open if they restrict customer traffic to less than 50 percent of capacity and have a Covid-19 plan in place.

 

Other coronavirus-related updates in the neighborhood, city, and beyond:
  • Saint Paul: Under a new executive order from Mayor Melvin Carter, everyone must wear a face mask in city-controlled facilities and in businesses that are licensed by the city. The wiggle room: This is required only when you can't maintain 6 feet of social distancing. The requirement begins this Monday, June 1. (If you are an organization or business that needs cloth masks, the city has a supply it can tap; fill out this formIn a decision of slightly lower visibility, the city will not sell residential parking permits until further notice.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation: Expect the Zoo and Conservatory, recreation centers, and other public buildings to remain closed until at least late summer. The Como Park pool will not open this summer. Splash pads are off limits for the near futur. Drinking fountains and ornamental fountains (such as the Schiffman Fountain and Hamm Waterfall) will not be turned on. The department will not issue picnic permits until public health officials determine that it is safe to hold gatherings of 100 or more people. Youth sports leagues are canceled until at least fall; however, some summer youth programs might begin in mid-June. Full details
  • Ramsey County: Park shelters and picnic pavilions are open for groups of 10 or fewer; you can make a reservation by calling 651-748-2500. Beaches are closed until further notice.
  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Saint Paul's volunteer community service initiative is up and running. Priority projects include: helping local food shelves provide curbside pick-up; delivering food and supplies to isolated households; distributing fliers with community resource information and public health guidance; doing remote wellness checks; making masks for front-line workers; and doing lawn mowing or other exterior property clean-up for households with mobility or income barriers. Sign up to volunteer
  • Keeping your home: A new month means rent and mortgage payments are due. Under the state's emergency pandemic provisions, Gov. Tim Walz forbids landlords from evicting tenants for non-payment, and asks mortgage lenders not to foreclose on homeowners for non-payment. However, the order does not eliminate the obligation of renters or homeowners to pay what they owe. And the order is scheduled to expire June 12. Tenants can seek advice from the nonprofit advocacy organization HomeLine. Homeowners can seek resources from Ramsey County.
  • University of Minnesota Extension: A series of webinars continues to help navigate financial challenges as a result of losing your job or losing income. The one-hour sessions are free, but you must register in advance. The schedule:

The state's Covid-19 portal remains an easy place to get big picture and up-to-date details, find Minnesota's latest pandemic statistics, and collect or link to oodles of other information and advice during these "stay safe" days. Saint Paul and Ramsey County have their own pages focused on more local resources, services, interruptions, and information.

Photo: Mayo Clinic
Virus Testing Available in More Places
The Minnesota Department of Health says anyone with Covid-19 symptoms now can get tested. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or a loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include GI issues such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.  As Minnesota scales up the availability of Covid-19 testing , nearby sites include:
  • Allina Health, 4194 Lexington Ave. N, Shoreview (by appointment only): weekdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-483-5461
  • HealthPartners, 205 S. Wabasha (by appointment only): weekdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 952-967-5584
  • M Health Fairview, 1690 University Ave. W #570 (by appointment only): weekdays 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 1-855-324-7843
  • Minnesota Community Care, 424 Dorothy Day Place, weekdays 9:15-11 a.m. 651-793-2219
  • Minnesota Community Care, 895 E. 7th St. (by appointment only): Monday, Tuesday, Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. 651-602-7500
  • North Memorial Health Clinic, 2600 39th Ave. NE, Saint Anthony (by appointment only): weekdays 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 763-581-5500
  • Open Cities Health Center, 916 Rice: Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • Open Cities Health Center, 409 N. Dunlap: weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • University of Minnesota Boynton Health, 410 Church St. SE, Minneapolis (by appointment only):  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 612-625-7900
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.