Brilliant performance: Como Lake shows off its dazzling glory. Photo: Nile Fellows
City Elections are Tuesday -- or Sooner
Election Day is this Tuesday, Nov. 5; polls are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. The state has web pages to help you  find where you vote (including a preview of the ballot where you live), and how to register on Election Day , if necessary. Remember, state law allows you time off to vote on Election Day without losing pay. 
If you can't wait until Tuesday,  early voting continues today, Saturday and Monday -- Nov. 1, 2 and 4 -- at Como Park's Historic Streetcar Station and six other locations in Ramsey County. Any voter in the county can vote in their own municipal elections during early voting. In Saint Paul, there are elections for every City Council seat, plus a referendum on whether to keep or overturn the city's coordinated trash collection ordinance. Early voting hours:
  • Today, Friday Nov. 1, noon-6 p.m.
  • This Saturday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • This Monday, Nov. 4, noon to 5 p.m.
The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. 
Figuring Out the Trash Referendum
Confused about the impact of a "yes" or "no" vote on Saint Paul's trash referendum? We asked a local law professor to sort it out. We cover how we got here, what the Supreme Court ruling on the referendum means, what the force majeure clause is all about, and the potential impacts of whether or not voters retain Ordinance 18-39. 
 
You can also watch the debate between the "yes" and "no" sides, which the League of Women Voters Saint Paul sponsored Oct. 29 at SPNN studios. Set aside about 70 minutes for the whole thing. 
Council Holds Hearings on 2020 Trash Rates
While we have trash on our minds: The City Council holds two public hearings this Wednesday, Nov. 6, concerning fees for residential trash service in 2020. The hearings begin sometime after 5:30 p.m. in the third-floor council chambers in City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. 

One hearing is on legislation to set the annual administrative fee at $24.60 for the year; this is unchanged from 2019.  The second hearing is on legislation to set the base rates for residential trash service in 2020. The proposal sets these rates (per unit per month):
  • Small cart, every other week: $19.09 (down from $20.28 in 2019)
  • Small cart, every week: $22.32 (down from $23.44 in 2019)
  • Medium cart, every week: $30.91 (down from $32.02 in 2019)
  • Large cart, every week: $33.03 (down from $34.15 in 2019)
Size Up Candidates Before Casting Your Ballot
If you were not able to attend City Council candidate forums in person in October, you can stream them at your convenience, courtesy of SPNN. All the forums run about 90 minutes. The links:
Ward 1 includes the part of District 10 south of Front. Ward 4 includes the part of District 10 roughly west of Lexington. Ward 5 covers the part of District 10 roughly east of Lexington and north of Front.

SPNN also has an online stream of a forum that took place in September among seven Saint Paul School Board candidates. This lasts about two hours. 
The Basics of Ranked Voting
Saint Paul uses ranked-choice voting in elections for City Council. Ranked choice -- also known as preferential voting -- eliminates primary elections. Instead, voters go straight to the main election.

Ranked voting still allows you to designate your favorite candidate as your first choice. But it also gives you the option of ranking all other candidates in the order you prefer them. That way, if your top choice gets eliminated, you still have a say in which candidate ultimately wins. The ballot makes it pretty clear: You rank candidates starting with your first choice in the left column, second choice in the middle column, third choice in the right column, and so on. Or, you  simply   can vote for your first choice and be done.

Find out more -- including the sample ballot for your ward -- on Ramsey County's website.
Thursday's discussion will focus on this end of the neighborhood.
A Chance to Talk the Proposals Over
The Como Community Council holds an open conversation this week with community members to share concerns, suggestions, and possible consensus about proposals to:
  • Redevelop 1554 Midway Parkway (the former Sholom Home property)
  • Turn the dead-end portion of Canfield Ave. at Snelling into private property (which technically is known as vacating the street)
We'll meet this Thursday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Fireside Room at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 1460 Almond Ave. (If you can't attend in person,  email your comments to us.)

Thursday's conversation is separate from the monthly Land Use Committee meeting. That meeting takes place as usual this Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. A ll renters, homeowners, and other District 10 community members are welcome to attend and participate. An agenda will be posted when it's available.
Watch for Signs of Street Sweeping
Fall sweeping of all 530 miles of residential streets in Saint Paul is under way. In District 10, most east-west streets are finished; north-south streets and a few others are still on the to-do list. Things to keep in mind during sweeping:
  • It is illegal to push leaves into the street from our yards or the boulevard. It's our responsibility, not the city's, to dispose of our own leaves. Crews have enough work dealing with leaves that fall naturally into the street; we only make their job harder by expecting them to take care of our mess. 
  • "No parking" signs will be posted at least 24 hours in advance. Vehicles can be towed if they're in the way.
  • If sweeping is scheduled for the same day as trash and recycling pickup, and you typically place your carts on the street, place them on the boulevard instead.
We've got plenty of options to get rid of our leaves: Mulch them. Compost them at home. Or, bag and haul them to a Ramsey County yard waste site . Environmentally conscious residents actually rake leaves out of the gutter and storm drains, too; that minimizes the impact of phosphorus leaching into Como Lake and other local waterways. We can also leave leaves in our gardens, or rake leaves into a pile somewhere out of the way in our yard, so pollinators have a place to nest over the winter.
The new crosswalk and median on Lexington Parkway.
Almost Over and Just Beginning
This week's road construction update:
  • Lexington Crossing: Parks and Recreation says construction is "substantially complete" of the new crosswalk, pedestrian median, and pedestrian-activated warning lights on Lexington Parkway between the golf course parking lot and the north Pavilion parking lot. Additional signs still need to be installed; replacement asphalt on the existing bike path east of Lexington is scheduled for next Friday, Nov. 8; and planting in the median, of course, will wait until spring. But Lexington is open to traffic.
  • Wheelock Parkway: Don't let the fresh pavement and striping fool you, especially near the Arlington/Western intersection and Rice St. There's still about a week of work to go, especially at the horseshoe curve hill, before the street opens. Gaps also remain in the trail, sidewalk, and access ramps; that work may take even longer.
  • Summit Ave.: Demolition of the Summit Ave. bridge over Ayd Mill Road begins this Monday, Nov. 4. Summit will close in both directions until September 2020. Ayd Mill Road underneath Summit will close completely from this Monday, Nov. 4, until next Sunday, Nov. 10, to accommodate demolition. After that, Ayd Mill will be restricted to one lane in each direction at Summit to accommodate construction of a new bridge.
  • Interstate 94: Westbound freeway lanes continue to shut down every night from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. from Highway 280 to Interstate 35W. The shutdown continues until repair work on the 25th Ave. bridge in Minneapolis wraps up next Saturday, Nov. 9.
  • Interstate 35W: It's just as well if you can't head in that direction, because 35W is closed in both directions this weekend between I-94 and Highway 62. The freeway shuts down from 10:00 tonight, Nov. 1, until 5 a.m. this Monday, Nov. 4. Access ramps start shutting down at 9:00 tonight.
Now That We've Had a Dusting
Registration is open for children and adults for snowboarding and ski lessons at the Como Park Ski Center. There are clinics, group lessons, and private lessons for all ages in downhill skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing, plus downhill and board lessons for adults only. Fees vary widely. Classes start as soon as Dec. 14, though most begin during winter break and early in 2020.  Lessons operate out of the ski chalet, which takes over the golf clubhouse for the season. (If you need map coordinates, the address is 1431 Lexington Parkway N.)

Just getting started? The Como Park Ski Center Booster Club holds its annual equipment sale next Saturday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the ski chalet.
Pass It Along
Great River School (in Energy Park) is starting a folk school for adults, hoping to pass along knowledge from multiple cultures in traditional foods, medicines, arts, movement, music, craft, textiles, farming, ecology, and sustainable living. Some classes are scheduled already, but the school is also looking for instructors who want to create classes of their own. Find out more about teaching or learning.
Your Breakfast Won't Be Cold
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is scheduling another Breakfast Under Glass on Friday Dec. 13. It includes a full breakfast in the tropical North Garden and a behind-the-scenes tour. Cost is $40 per person; sessions are 7 and 8:30 a.m. Tip: Reservations typically go quickly.
ArtrageousAdventures is among presenters of Mini Masterpieces.
Libraries Let Kids Get Creative
Mini Masterpieces, the Saint Paul Public Library's annual arts program for wee ones, kicks off today, Friday Nov. 1. The free activities, for ages 0-5 and their caregivers, encourage creativity and artistic confidence. Nine different presenters hold more than three dozen sessions at 12 libraries through Dec. 11.
Try Out the Ice for Free
Ramsey County offers free indoor ice skating every Sunday at Highland Arena (near Snelling and Ford Parkway) and/or the Vadnais Sports Center (near County Road E and Highway 61). Times vary. Seniors age 55 or older get free ice at Aldrich (on White Bear Ave. near Frost) most Fridays  from 10:30-11:45 a.m., beginning Nov. 8. Rental skates, if you need them, are $5. See the schedule

The county also offers free open hockey on selected dates. Youth sessions are clustered mostly around winter break at Highland, Vadnais, and Gustafson-Phalen, plus some scattered availability at Harding, Ken Yackel, Oscar Johnson, and Shoreview. Adult sessions occur most Fridays from noon-1:15 p.m. at Aldrich. See the schedule
Give the County Some Direction 
Ramsey County has scheduled three "small group discussions" to gather ideas on how to determine community well-being, prosperity, opportunity, and accountability. What comes out of these discussions will influence the direction of the county's strategic planning and budget.

The closest discussion is this Thursday, Nov. 7, at Central High School, 275 N. Lexington. Earlier sessions are tonight, Friday Nov. 1, in North Oaks and this Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Little Canada. All sessions are  from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Food and child care will be provided.  Find out more or register in advance.
Rushing the Season at the Fairgrounds
  • Jingle Bell Run/Walk: This Saturday, Nov. 2, History & Heritage Center and various roadways. Registration, 8:30 a.m.; kids' fun run, 9 a.m.; 5K race, 10 a.m. Entry fee: $40 ($25 for children 12 or younger).
In the Next Few Weeks... 
  • This Sunday, Nov. 3: Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. Turn your clocks back one hour. Enjoy the extra sleep or night life.
  • This Monday, Nov. 4: Job Fair, 1-4 p.m. Community Action Partnership, 450 N. Syndicate #5 (Wellstone Room). The event focuses on workers displaced from the University WalMart and East Side Kmart, but all job-seekers are welcome. Includes hourly workshops on preparing for interviews.
  • This Monday, Nov. 4: Community engagement meeting for Saint Paul's proposed Qualified Allocation Plan for tax credits for rental housing developments, 2-3:30 p.m. Neighborhood House Ecolab Fireside Room, 179 E. Robie.
  • Tuesday Nov. 12: Open house on City of Saint Paul's 2020-2024 HUD Consolidated Plan, 5-7 p.m. Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave. Each year, the city receives more than $8 million in federal funding for community development projects and programs. The Consolidated Plan starts with ideas, opinions, and suggested priorities for improving neighborhood public facilities; increasing affordable housing, job, and business opportunities; and enhancing public services. Learn more about the existing plan, or take a survey about updating the plan.
  • Tuesday Nov. 12: District 10 Neighborhood Relations Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N. Ann Juergens, of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, will explain the basics of rent control -- what it is, the different forms it takes, the benefits and drawbacks, and other options. (The monthly meeting is rescheduled to avoid conflicts with Election Day.)
  • Wednesday Nov. 13: District 10 Environment Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N. The meeting will feature a presentation by and a Q&A with Kristina Mattson, co-founder of Zero Waste Saint Paul.
  • Tuesday Nov. 19: Ward 1 Community Meal (uniting neighbors across social, cultural and economic barriers), 5-8 p.m. Frogtown Community Center, 230 Como Ave. Free
Answering the Call of Hunger
Saint Paul Police are accepting donations for the food shelf at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center. You can drop off nonperishable and household items no later than this Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Western District headquarters, 389 N. Hamline.

The most useful donations: bathroom tissue, cereal, coffee, condiments, dry beans, flour, fruit (canned), hygiene items (personal and feminine), jam or jelly, pancake mix, pasta, peanut butter, pet food/supplies, rice, soup or broth, sugar, syrup, tea, and tuna (canned).
Photo: Horacio Fernandez
Streetcar Station Will Not Be Open Sunday
Usually, the Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park is open on the first Sunday each month. However, it will not be open this Sunday, Nov. 3, in order to accommodate Ramsey County's early voting schedule.
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.