How to Navigate Saturday's Drop-Off
The annual Citywide Drop-Off at the State Fairgrounds is this Saturday, June 8, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Here is advice to help your trip go smoother:
  • Go to the city's website (or check the flier you got in the mail) to find out what you can bring and how much it will cost. The event accepts only cash or checks (payable to City of Saint Paul).
  • See the map posted on the District 10 website, so you can figure out how to load your vehicle for the most efficient unloading, based on what you are bringing.
  • A couple of warnings: You can enter the Fairgrounds only from eastbound Larpenteur at Underwood. But, there is construction on Larpenteur between Snelling and 280, which is reducing traffic to one lane in both directions. Ramsey County engineers say they will do what they can to get an additional eastbound lane (or shoulder) open at least as far as Fairview, but there are no guarantees.
  • Traffic flow inside the Fairgrounds will be reconfigured to try to minimize back-ups on Larpenteur. If things get really bad, expect to do some airport-style weaving through parking lots inside the Fairgrounds.
  • The good news: There's no rain in the forecast.
The Drop-Off, organized by Saint Paul Public Works and District 10, is designed so Saint Paul and Falcon Heights residents can get rid of junk they can't throw in the trash. Future drop-offs (organized by other district councils) are June 22 at Washington Technology Magnet High School, Sept. 14 at Harding High School, and Sept. 28 on Shepard Road. 
City Council Rejects Historic Designation
The Saint Paul City Council voted 5-0 June 5 to deny local historic designation to the former St. Andrew's church building. A few hours later, council members voted -- again 5-0 -- to approve three zoning variances and a site plan that Twin Cities German Immersion School needs to tear down the church building and replace it with a 23,000-square-foot addition for more classrooms, a gymnasium, and a cafeteria.

Demolition, however, is far from imminent. City staff say that, in normal circumstances, it would take about six weeks for the school to receive all the permits and approvals it needs to start demolition and construction. As regular readers know, there has been nothing normal about this project.

In response to a challenge by the District 10 Como Community Council, the site plan includes conditions and commitments that both the city and school must meet to address parking, traffic, pedestrian safety, and playground noise problems that have affected the neighborhood for years. Further, the site plan contains customized language requiring that, if initial steps don't work well enough, the city, school, and community council must collaborate to implement additional remedies.
Take the Stress Out of Your Week
District 10's next Community Yoga is this Sunday, June 9, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. The session is suitable for all levels of skill and experience. Bring a yoga mat or blanket, and wear comfortable clothes. Registration is $5, which benefits the Como Community Council. The class is limited to 25 participants, so be sure to register in advance.
Protecting the Lake (and River)
Last Saturday, 3 dozen neighbors got into canoes or kayaks, waders or mud boots, to pull trash from the water and shoreline of Como Lake. It was part of District 10's ongoing commitment to the lake's water quality. We'll do it again on Saturday mornings Aug. 3 and Oct. 12. In the meantime, however:

District 10 is going head to head with five other district councils to see which neighborhood can adopt more storm drains this summer. The best thing about it: This is a competition where everybody wins.  It's easy to adopt one or more drains near your home, school, organization, or business. (You can even name your drain!)
  • Go to www.adopt-a-drain.org.
  • Once you get to the interactive map, look for a red drain -- that means the drain is available. (Green means someone else already has it.)
  • Pick one or more of the available drains to adopt.
  • Then, diligently keep the drain clean, so debris doesn't flow into Como Lake, the Mississippi River, or connecting waterways. As a reminder to you and your neighbors, a lawn sign will mysteriously show up, highlighting your role.
No Need to Go to Minneapolis Anyway
MnDOT is closing westbound Interstate 94 between Western Ave. and Highway 280 this weekend (and next weekend, too) for resurfacing. Lanes will shut down from 10 o'clock tonight, Friday June 7, until 5 a.m. this Monday, June 10. Ramps to the westbound lanes will start shutting down at 9 p.m. Friday. (In case you're wondering, eastbound lanes get the same makeover in September.)
Back in Action
The meticulously restored Schiffman Fountain gets turned back on this Thursday, June 13, during a rededication ceremony at 3 p.m. The Como Park fountain is east of Lexington Parkway and south of the Lakeside Pavilion's south parking lot.

A few days earlier, Saint Paul rededicates the reconstructed Rice Park, which they tell us now features better views, expanded gardens, new walkways, and ambient lighting. Celebrate it for yourself this Tuesday, June 11, from 4-6 p.m., 109 W. 4th St. downtown.
Photo: Wolfie Browender
Learn What Lives in the Woodland
The Como Woodland picks up the pace this month on its summer "bio blitzes," highlighting the plants and critters that call the area home.
  • This Thursday, June 13, arborist Tim Morgan leads a tour of the shrubs and trees found in the 17-acre urban woodland. Meet at 5 p.m. at the Kilmer Fireplace, which is north of McMurray Field.
  • On Saturday June 22, biology and environmental science professor Joan McKearnan leads a woodland animal nature survey. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Kilmer Fireplace.

If you intend to go to one or both of these events, email Teri Heyer so organizers have an idea of how many people to expect.

Learn What Lives in the Lake
Bug expert Brandon Burns gives children ages 6-11 a hands-on look at what kinds of creeping and flying things live in Como Lake -- and what they tell us about the lake's health and water quality. Show up this Tuesday, June 11, at 6 p.m. at the docks outside the Lakeside Pavilion. It's free, but children must bring an adult with them. To register, call Megan at the Capitol Region Watershed District at 651-644-8888, or email her.
Good Taste Practically Drops at Your Feet
The Minnesota Food Association is setting up a CSA drop location in the Como neighborhood this summer. The CSA membership (which stands for community supported agriculture) guarantees you fresh organic produce direct from the farm every week. Your food comes from Big River Farms in Washington County, which pools the output of small-scale farmers, many of them just starting on their own, including refugees and immigrants.

A full share is $730 for the 18-week season beginning June 19. A half-share is $435. A 9-week fruit share is an additional $550. Use the code "community20" at checkout to receive $20 off your share.
Hazardous Waste Disposal Got Easier
Ramsey County sets up a temporary hazardous waste collection site every Friday and Saturday in June on Kent St. -- just east of Dale and north of Larpenteur in Roseville.  If you've got solvents or other chemicals that say Caution, Warning, Danger, or Poison on the label, those are good candidates. So are batteries, cell phones, fluorescent bulbs, gasoline, mercury thermometers, paint, propane tanks, and used motor oil and filters. Disposal is free.  The site operates Fridays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  See the complete list of what you can bring. 
The Water's Fine
The Como Park Pool opens this Saturday, June 8. A quick look at the schedule:
  • Open swim: Saturdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; weekdays, noon-8 p.m.
  • Lap swimming: Saturdays-Sundays, 9:30-11 a.m.; weekdays, 6:30-8:45 a.m. (Plus Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. too.)
  • Water aerobics: Saturdays-Sundays, 8:30-9:30 a.m.; weekdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m. (Plus Tuesdays, Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. too.)
  • River Walk: Saturdays-Sundays, 9:30-11 a.m.
  • Swim lessons: Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon ($30 a week)
Admission to Como is $7 if you're over 4 feet tall, $6 if you're under 4 feet tall, $24 for a family of up to five (plus an additional $4 each if you have a bigger family than that). It's $4 to just hang out on the deck.  There are discounts for groups of 10 or more, 10-session swim cards, and season passes.

Elsewhere in Saint Paul: Phalen Beach and the Highland Park Aquatic Center also open Saturday. Download the brochure for full details on all of the city's summer water opportunities.

Outside the city: Ramsey County opens its beaches and Battle Creek Waterworks this weekend. Lifeguards are on duty at the beaches from noon-8 p.m.
Check Your Bus Schedule
Beginning this Saturday, June 8, Metro Transit is adjusting schedules on Route 61, which is Larpenteur, Victoria, and Arlington in our neck of the woods. It also is adjusting schedules on Route 84 (Snelling) and changing the loop that runs through our neighborhood. The bus will travel clockwise (Snelling to Midway to Pascal to Como) rather than the counter-clockwise route it now takes.
It's Only a Month Away
ComoFest -- the annual amalgamation of affordable, family friendly fun in the neighborhood -- is only a month away. You can get more details at www.ComoFest.org, but here's a quick rundown of events:
  • Friday July 12: District 10 Ice Cream Social, 5:30-8 p.m., Como Park Streetcar Station.
  • Saturday July 13: District 10 "Pollinator Friendly" Garden Tour, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Saturday July 13: ComoFest Art Fair, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Lakeside Pavilion.
  • Friday July 19: Lyngblomsten Mid-Summer Festival, 2-8 p.m., 1415 Almond Ave.
  • Thursday July 25: North Dale Summerfest, 5-7:30 p.m., 1414 N. St. Albans.
  • Friday July 26: Northwest Como Movie Night and Campout, 6:45 p.m. until Saturday morning, 1550 N. Hamline Ave. Featured movie is "Smallfoot."
  • Saturday July 27: Community Appreciation Picnic, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., TopLine Federal Credit Union, 976 Lexington Parkway. Como Park's "shortest marathon" begins at 1:15 p.m.
  • Saturday July 27: Gabe's Mini Mingle, 1-5 p.m., Gabe's by the Park, 991 Lexington Parkway.
This Week in the Garden
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory's annual summer music festival, Groovin' in the Garden, features Kiss the Tiger this Wednesday, June 12. Free music, lawn games, climbing wall, and bounce house from 6-8 p.m. Pack a picnic, or buy food, ice cream, soft drinks, beer, or wine. Everything happens outside the Conservatory; if it rains, activities move inside.  See the season's full line-up.
Curtis A resurrects Hank Sr. this Saturday. Photo: Jay Gabler/MPR
Music (and More) at the Pavilion
  • Today, Friday June 7: Annie Mack, 7 p.m.
  • This Saturday, June 8: Minnesota Cider Festival, 1-5 p.m. (Admission: $60 for early admission, $50 for general admission): Curtis A and the Cold Hearts, 7 p.m.
  • This Sunday, June 9: Invitation to Indonesia, 3 p.m.; City of Lakes Community Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Monday, June 10: Capri Big Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Tuesday, June 11: North Star Chorus, 7 p.m.
  • This Wednesday, June 12: Center of Irish Music Advanced Youth Ensemble, 7 p.m.
  • This Thursday, June 13: Becky Kapell and the Fat 6, 7 p.m.
  • Next Friday, June 14: The Dollys, 7 p.m.
Performances are free (except when they're not). Find out more about the performers -- or get an advance look at the mix of local artists and traditional bandstand performers -- on Spring Cafe's website.
The Week Ahead at the Fairgrounds
  • Stamp and Scrapbook Expo: Today-Saturday, June 7-8, Education Building. Hours: Friday till 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Feed My Starving Children Better Together MobilePack: Today-Saturday, June 7-8, Grandstand. Hours: Friday till 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saint Paul Summer Beer Fest: This Saturday, June 8, International Bazaar, 1-5 p.m. Admission: $60.
  • Antiques and Decorative Arts Show: This Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9, Fine Arts Center. Hours: Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $6.
  • 4-H Youth Exploring Leadership Conference: This Monday-next Friday, June 10-14, 4-H Building and surrounding block. (Not open to the public.)
  • Region 10 AHA Championship (horse show): This Tuesday-next Sunday, June 11-16.
  • Machinery Hill Criterium Race Series: This Tuesday, June 11, 5-8:45 p.m. Bicycle races for men, women, juniors, and masters. Entry fee: Adults, $25; juniors, $15.
Don't Miss Out
  • This Monday, June 10: "Our City, Our Budget" chat with Mayor Melvin Carter, 5:30-7 p.m. Tracks Bar & Grill, 1091 Rice St.
  • This Wednesday, June 12: League of Women Voters presents Money in Politics, noon-1 p.m., Landmark Center Room 317, 75 W. 5th St. Free.
  • This Thursday, June 13: The Saint Paul City Attorney's Office and Council Member Mitra Jalali Nelson give an overview of the Neighborhood Justice Program, 5-7 p.m., St. Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Ave. Free.
  • Next Friday, June 14: Deadline to comment on Saint Paul's updated All-Hazard Mitigation Plan.
  • Tuesday June 18: Open house about design and construction plans for Como Avenue Trail, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Historic Streetcar Station.
  • Friday June 21-Sunday June 23: MSRA Back to the 50s car show, State Fairgrounds.
Theft and Vandalism Abound
This Week's Como Neighborhood Crime Update 


 
We Can Help with Your Party
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community members can use for block parties, neighborhood, 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 $40 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.
Photo: T Boardman
Streetcar Station is Open Every Sunday
For the rest of the season, the Como Park Streetcar Station is open every Sunday from noon-4 p.m. It is a great chance to learn a little about the long-gone trolley system in the Twin Cities, about the history and visionaries behind Como and the city's overall park system, to pick up organics recycling bags or kitchen starter kits, or just to chat with a District 10 board member who is staffing the day. The Historic Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.
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.