The chase is on: Runners head down the stretch on opening night of the Como Park Relays. Ninety-five teams endured 85-degree temperatures for the cross-country races, which take place every Wednesday in August at 6:45 p.m.
Neighbors Vent About Vacant Sholom Home
Landscaping crews cut down 30 cubic yards of overgrown trees and brush at the old Sholom Home.
Neighbors are expressing increasing frustration with what they see as rising amounts of illegal activity in and around the former Sholom Home. Meanwhile, the current owner says he should know within a month whether a major construction company will partner with him to redevelop the vacant property on Midway Parkway. ( See our website for a more complete article.)

During a community meeting organized by District 10 on July 28, neighbors said they routinely observe scrapping, squatters sleeping inside, drug sales, and other unwelcome activity. They also complained about the lack of effective response and coordination by police and private security to root out the problems.

St. Paul Police list the building a problem property, but officers need direct permission from the property owners before they'll enter, Western District commanders Ed Lemon and Bryant Gaden told neighbors. Randy Olson, general manager of JBM Patrol and Protection, pledged that he'll work more closely with police in responding to problems and take additional steps to deter criminal activity and access.

Further, Charter Midway is following recommendations from the city's Department of Safety and Inspections to better secure the building. This week, crews began tearing out overgrown shrubbery; boarding up windows and doors from the outside, not just the inside; and adding "no trespassing" and other signs.

"But that's an interim measure," Grzan said. "The best cure is to put an operating business in there."
Don ' t Even Think of Going There
Two major highways in our corner of the world shut down this weekend.

Highway 280: Southbound lanes close completely between Broadway and Como Ave. for resurfacing. Lane restrictions begin at 3 p.m. today, Friday Aug. 5; all lanes and nearby ramps (including the southbound ramp from Como) will shut completely by 10 p.m. They could stay closed as long as 5 a.m. this Monday, Aug. 8. Next weekend, it 's the same story for northbound lanes.

Interstate 35E: The practice freeway will shut down in both directions between Interstate 94 and Shepard Road. All lanes and ramps will close between 10 p.m. today, Friday Aug. 5, and 5 a.m. this Monday, Aug. 8. Blame this one on St. Clair Ave. bridge work. Also, northbound 35E will close between Highway 110 and Shepard Road between 10 p.m. today, Friday Aug. 5, and 5 a.m. this Saturday, Aug. 6. And, further on up the road, the eastbound Grand Ave. bridge over 35E closes at 6 a.m. this Monday, Aug. 8, and stays closed for most of August. 

In addition:
  • Highway 5: The bridge over the Mississippi will close from Highway 55 to Davern St. from about 11:00 tonight, Friday Aug. 5, until 3 a.m. Saturday Aug. 6.
  • Interstate 94: The ramp to Dale St. from eastbound 94 is now closed for most of August. Ramps from Dale St. to 94 in both directions remain closed.
  • Much closer to home: Depending on the weather, it's likely that Chatsworth will open completely between Front and Horton within the next few days. Also, unless there are significant weather delays, it's likely that the Churchill/West Como Blvd. loop north of Horton will get ripped up within the next week.
See our website for a much longer list of other street, bridge, and highway projects still in progress in and around Como.
It's Time to Debate the City Budget
Mayor Chris Coleman unveils highlights of his proposed 2017 city budget this Tuesday, Aug. 9. The City Council gives its first reactions the next day, Wednesday Aug. 10.
  • If you want to see the mayor's presentation live, it starts at noon Tuesday in the Great Hall at Metropolitan State University, 700 E. 7th St.
  • If you want to catch City Council reactions, the Budget Committee meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the third-floor City Council chambers at City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. (The Budget Committee also will take in a Ramsey County presentation about property tax trends.)
Photo: Minnesota State Fair
Fairgrounds Clamp Down This Week
With the State Fair less than three weeks away, the Fairgrounds essentially become off limits beginning this Monday, Aug. 8. Only visitors with "Fair business " will be allowed in, and you 'll have to show a valid ID and possibly undergo a vehicle once-over beforehand. Until then, horses reign at the North Central Reining Futurity and Derby Show in the Warner Coliseum, through this Sunday, Aug. 7. Shows start at 9 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Spectators get in free.
Primary Elections are Tuesday
Minnesota holds primary elections this Tuesday, Aug. 9. Offices on the ballot include Congress and the Minnesota Supreme Court. To find out where you vote and who's on your local ballot, use the Secretary of State 's online, interactive polling place finder. Polling places are open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday.
Ponies at last year's Summerfest. Photo: Gail Pedersen
North Dale Throws Big Summer Bash
North Dale Recreation Center hosts its annual Summerfest this Tuesday, Aug. 9, from 5-8 p.m. The evening features free music, games, inflatables, a climbing tower, ponies, and more. Food will be available to purchase. North Dale is at 1414 N. St. Albans. 
Stephan James portrays Jesse Owens.
See Jesse Owens Movie for Free
The Saint Anthony Park Library's monthly Cinema Series features "Race", the story of Jesse Owens and the 1936 Olympics. The movie is free; it begins at 2 p.m. this Thursday, Aug. 11, at the library, 2245 Como Ave.
What You Can Look Forward To     
  • This Saturday, Aug. 6: Twin Cities Team Hope Walk/5K. 9:30 a.m., Como Lakeside Pavilion. Sponsored by Huntington's Disease Society of America.
  • This Sunday, Aug. 7: Step Out for Bleeding Disorders Walk. 10 a.m., Como Park Picnic Pavilion. Sponsored by Hemophilia Foundation of Minnesota/Dakotas. Registration: $10
  • This Wednesday, Aug. 10: Female Fire and EMS Forum, 6-8:30 p.m. A chance for women to get their questions answered about joining the St. Paul Fire Department. Fire Training Center, 1683 Energy Park Drive.
  • This Wednesday, Aug. 10: " Your Fall Yard." 6-7:30 p.m., Stormwater Park and Learning Center, 2522 Marshall St., Minneapolis. Part of Mississippi Watershed Management Organization's monthly "Water Wednesdays" workshops.
  • Next Saturday, Aug. 13: Cookie 5K Run, 9 a.m. Como Lake. The run is a benefit for Hero Search, which people find local charities that need the items they want to donate.
  • Wednesday Aug. 17: Board Repair's annual Board Recruitment Fair, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jimmie Lee Recreation Center, 270 Lexington Parkway N. An opportunity for people of color who are looking to join boards to connect with nonprofit organizations that are looking for board members.
  • Thursday Aug. 25-Monday Sept. 5: Minnesota State Fair. You know the drill.
  • Wednesday Sept. 21: Public hearing to ratify assessments for Phase 1B of the Como-Chatsworth construction project. 5:30 p.m., City Council chambers, third floor of City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. Questions? Call 651-266-8858.
  • Thursday Sept. 22: "Rules and Myths of Credit Scores," 6-7:30 p.m. Presented by TopLine Federal Credit Union and LSS Financial Counseling. Hosted by District 10 at the Como Park Streetcar Station.
Smoke Tests Move to South Como
The city continues to conduct smoke tests of sewers in our neighborhood. This week, crews expect to be south of the lake, as far south as Front. Residents are supposed to receive a door hangar two-three days before their block is tested, then receive an automated phone call one-two days beforehand.

The smoke tests find leaks in sewer lines. But the tests mean it will be common to see simulated smoke pouring from manhole covers, storm drains, roof vents, and building foundations. The simulated smoke will not enter buildings that are properly plumbed and whose fixture traps contain water. If smoke does enter your building, open your doors and windows, and call the sewer safety testing crew at 651-238-0572.  
We Can Help You Throw a Block Party
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community residents can use for block parties or other neighborhood or family events. You can borrow the recycling containers for free; there are two kinds:
  • To collect cans, bottles and other items you can include in your weekly curbside pickup
  • To collect 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 more affordable than getting them from Public Works. 
  • Barricades require a $50 deposit. We'll return $45 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.
Immortalize Your Block Party
Saint Paul residents threw 316 officially registered National Night Out events this past week. If yours was one of those, city coordinator Pam McCreary would love if you could email her photos, attendance numbers, fliers, etc., for the city's official archives.  
The Latest Crime Report for Our Neighborhood. Lots of vandalism, theft and, yes, a drive-by shooting. 
"The Little Mermaid" cast
'The Little Mermaid' Takes Over
If you like Disney musicals, this is your weekend at the Como Lakeside Pavilion. And next weekend, too. Sandwiched in between is the usual buffet of "Music in the Parks" performers. All concerts are free; "The Little Mermaid" is not. For a head's up on the rest of this summer's lineup, go to the Calendar section at Dockside's website. 
  • Tonight, Friday Aug. 5, and this Saturday, Aug. 6: Rosetown Playhouse presents "Disney's The Little Mermaid," 7 p.m. each night. General admission tickets range from $7-$15, depending on age. 
  • This Sunday, Aug. 7: Twin Cities Show Chorus, 3 p.m.; The 1st John Sousa Memorial Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Monday, Aug. 8: Classic Brass Inc., 7 p.m.
  • This Tuesday, Aug. 9: Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, 7 p.m.
  • This Wednesday, Aug. 10: Minnesota State Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Thursday, Aug. 11 through next Sunday, Aug. 14: "The Little Mermaid" returns. Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, concluding with a 1 p.m. matinee on Sunday. 
  • Also, don't forget that the Farmers Market continues on Thursdays from 2-6 p.m. on the Dockside Promenade.  
Pick Up Your Recycling Gear Here
The Como Park Streetcar Station is open from noon-4 p.m. this and every Sunday through September. It's your best opportunity to pick up a blue recycling bin, pick up compostable organics recycling bags, learn a little about the history of Como Park, or just share comments and suggestions with a District 10 board member. The 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.