The nitty-gritty of fountain restoration: Art conservators Kristin Cheronis and Max Cora work on repairing the botanical ring that surrounded the mermaid sculpture of the Schiffman Fountain in Como Park. First, they measured and documented more than 30 broken and missing elements. They then took plaster molds of similar parts, cast them in wax, made sand molds of the wax castings, then cast new leaves and flowers in iron.
Getting Down to Business
District 10's Land Use Committee meets this Wednesday, Dec. 5. The committee expects to make recommendations, one way or another, on zoning variances that Twin Cities German Immersion School is seeking for its proposed expansion. District 10 has not yet received official notification of the variances. But based on initial discussions, the school will need:
  • Slight variances on building height and lot coverage
  • A variance of about 3 dozen parking spaces
  • Possibly a variance on signs
The city is likely to put additional requirements on the expansion plans, including items such as landscaping, replacing the fence along the east side of the property, and addressing traffic flow issues.

The Land Use meeting begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in the basement of Mission Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1040 Como Ave. Under District 10's by-laws, renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate. Participation includes voting, speaking, and making motions. Also in accordance with District 10 bylaws, in order to vote, participants may be asked to show a driver's license, state ID card, or other proof that they reside in District 10.
Planning Commission Delays Decision  
Saint Paul's Planning Commission put off making a recommendation Nov. 30 on whether the former Saint Andrew's church building should be added to the city's historic registry. The full commission's decision echoed a similar decision made two days earlier by the commission's Comprehensive and Neighborhood Planning Committee. The committee will revisit the issue on Dec. 12; the full commission will revisit the issue on Dec. 14.

Committee members said they were hesitant to make a recommendation on historic designation on narrow grounds and in isolation from the zoning and site review decisions the commission will have to make on plans by Twin Cities German Immersion School to demolish the church building to make room for a school expansion. More details

A group calling itself Save Historic St. Andrew's is seeking to block demolition by adding the former church building to the city's historic registry, despite opposition from the school. The city's Heritage Preservation Commission concluded Nov. 5 that the building is eligible for historic designation. Ultimately, the City Council will decide whether or not to grant historic designation.
Community Yoga Returns Sunday 
Don't stress: District 10's Community Yoga is this Sunday, Dec. 2, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. The session will be 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. Reserve your spot
What Matters Most to You? 
What do you think about Como -- the good, the not-so-good, what you'd keep, what you'd change. A new survey gives you the chance to voice  your opinions and ideas about neighborhood trends, amenities, issues, characteristics, and possibilities. The goal: Give the Como Community Council a better understanding of how, where, and why to prioritize (or re-prioritize) goals and work for 2019 and beyond. Take the survey
You Know They're Out There 
District 10 is accepting nominations of local individuals or organizations to add to Saint Paul's Neighborhood Honor Roll. The annual, citywide award recognizes members of our community who make a sustained and lasting impact on the quality of life in Como and the city.

To nominate someone:  Email us . Give us a short list of reasons they should be honored for making Como a better place to live, work, or play. Send us your nomination no later than Tuesday Dec. 11. The District 10 Board will select nominees at its Dec. 18 meeting. 
The Poinsettias Have Arrived 
  
The Holiday Flower Show -- this year with a Victorian theme -- is now open in the Sunken Garden of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. The free show, an annual tradition since 1925, is open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Jan. 6.

On this Saturday, Dec. 1, and again on Dec. 8, 9, and 16, the conservatory opens early -- at 8 a.m. -- so individuals, groups, and families can take photos with the indoor gardens as backdrops. Early admission is $5 per person. (On Dec. 9, Santa will be available to photo bomb your portrait.)
Each dot indicates a doomed tree.
More Ash Trees Start Coming Down  
Tree Trust begins removing 220 ash trees from Como Park this week, adding to the toll of 245 trees that have been removed from the park since 2016. The trees are infested with emerald ash borer; they will be removed daily through January. Harvested trees are being stored and mulched in the Como Pool parking lot. The city's Forestry Department expects to plant replacements throughout 2019 "as close to 1:1 as will work under current conditions."

The removal of ash trees is in addition to normal winter harvesting of dead and dying trees, which already is under way. 
Yard Waste Sites Cut Back Hours
 
  
Today, Friday Nov. 30, is the last day Ramsey County's yard waste sites are open on a weekday. Beginning Dec. 1, the sites are open only on weekends: Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Winter hours continue through March 31. 
Keep Talking about the Lake's Future 
The Como Lake Public Advisory Group meets this Thursday, Dec. 6, to review recommendations from the Capitol Region Watershed District on what actions could be part of a new lake management plan. This meeting is the second in a series combining science with community input to create a shared vision for a healthy lake. 

The meeting is open to anyone (and, no, you did not have to attend the first meeting to attend this one).  The free meeting is Dec. 6 from 6-8 p.m. on the third floor of the Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Parkway N. Register here using Facebook
Now That Winter is Settling In
Saint Paul city ordinance requires property owners to clear public sidewalks of snow and ice within 24 hours after snow stops falling. Before you turn violators in, however, the decent thing is to talk with them first. Maybe there's an age, medical, or other reason they can't get the walk cleared. If that's the case, try rounding up other neighbors to rotate and get the job done.

If the property owner is just lazy, however, or makes a habit of not shoveling, you can be passive-aggressive and leave a note (the city website even has a door hangar you can download). Or, report the address to 651-266-8989. City inspectors will send a warning letter, which solves 80 percent of cases. If that doesn't work, the city sends crews out to clear the walk, then bills the property owner.

Brush up on snow emergencies: Saint Paul typically calls a snow emergency when snow piles up 3 or more inches. The snow emergency kicks off a sequence of no-parking restrictions. Learn the details before you get ticketed or towed.
Don't Overdo It on the Salt 
Too much salt can be bad enough for our bodies. But salt is toxic for Como Lake and aquatic life. When chloride gets into water, we can't get it out. After all, it's not easy to dilute a lake or river.  So, as we try to be good neighbors and try to keep our sidewalks clear of snow and ice, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization has two words: Be smart

The watershed district created a very practical guide on using salt (or alternatives) on sidewalks and driveways. The guide includes downloads and a chart of which de-icing products work best at which temperatures. The guide also spells out what harm each product causes. Highlights:
  • Whenever possible, shovel and scrape -- early and often.
  • After that, whenever possible, let the sun do the work for you.
  • If the temperature is too cold, standard salt (sodium chloride) doesn't work. Below 15 degrees F or so, use sand, some other grit, or a more expensive de-icing alternative.
  • At warmer temperatures, sand is basically useless.
  • Don't overdo it. A little salt (or sand) goes farther than you think. The guide tells how to determine how little you really need.
  • Once the salt (or sand) does its job, sweep up what remains on the pavement. Save it for next time.
Route 84 Takes a Big Turn 
Beginning this Saturday, Dec. 1, Metro Transit is realigning part of Snelling Ave.'s Route 84. 
  • The change will eliminate service north of Como Ave. Passengers traveling farther north on Snelling will need to use the A Line.
  • With the change, Route 84 will turn east on Como Ave. to Pascal, turn north on Pascal to Midway Parkway, then turn west on Midway and loop back to southbound Snelling. The change also will affect Route 84 schedules, especially for southbound trips.
  • The new loop has stops on the northbound Snelling exit ramp south of Como Ave., on northbound Pascal north of Almond (to service Lyngblomsten), and on the southbound Snelling entrance ramp south of Como Ave. There are no other stops in the loop.  
Also on Dec. 1, Metro Transit is adding a few daily trips on Routes 3 and 61. Get details
Fairgrounds' Coliseum Stays Busy 
 
  • Horse Crazy Market: Today-Saturday, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Friday noon-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $5
  • Junior Olympics Gymnastics State Championship: Next Friday-Sunday, Dec. 7-9, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Friday 2-10:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7:50 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Admission: Adults, $15; students and seniors, $10; children 4 or younger, free.
You Thought Things Would Slow Down?
  • This Tuesday, Dec. 4: 2019 Tax Proposal Public Hearing (Saint Paul Public Schools), 6 p.m. Conference Rooms A-B, School District headquarters, 360 Colborne St.
  • This Tuesday, Dec. 4: District 10 Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate.
  • This Wednesday, Dec. 5: 2019 Budget and Levy Public Hearing (City of Saint Paul), 6:30 p.m. City Hall, 3rd Floor City Council Chambers, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd.
  • Next Sunday, Dec. 9: Second Sunday Concert, 2-3 p.m. Lyngblomsten's Newman-Benson Chapel, 1415 Almond. OboeBass performs "The Nutcracker" and other holiday music. Free
  • Wednesday Dec. 12: Public Meeting on Proposed 2019 Unified Budget and Levies (Metropolitan Council), 6 p.m. Council chambers, 390 N. Robert St.
  • Thursday Dec. 13: Books/Cheese/Wine, 5:30-7 p.m. Lyngblomsten's Community Room, 1415 Almond. Authors Cecelia MacDonald and Kathryn MacDonald Schneeman discuss "Running the Cobblestones." $6; reserve a spot by calling 651-632-5330.
  • Sunday Dec. 17: Messiah Sing Along, 3-5 p.m. Como Park Lutheran Church, 1376 Hoyt. Free
Thieves Like Shopping, Too
Advice from Saint Paul Police to prevent criminals from ruining your holidays:
  • Use common sense. If you are out shopping -- do not leave purchases in your vehicle for everyone to see. You won't see them again.
  • At the very least, lock purchases in your trunk. But even this is a risk, because professionals hang around and watch for shoppers who drop off one armload of purchases before heading back into stores for more. A better approach: Take the extra time to take purchases home, drop them off, then go back out for round two. 
  • Don't forget: Lock. Your. Vehicle.   

This Week's Como Neighborhood Crime Update: Lots of car thefts and car break-ins -- imagine that.   

Make Organics Recycling a New Habit
This season is a great time to start recycling your food scraps and other household organic waste. In partnership with Ramsey County, District 10 has a new supply of kitchen kits to get you started. The kits include a plastic bucket, compostable bags, information about what you can and cannot put in the bucket, and details on using the community organics recycling site in Como Park.  Email us and we'll set a free kit aside for you.
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.