A bucket of bubbles -- the concoction of "Bubble Baron" Larry Ripp -- was a huge hit during District 10's annual Ice Cream Social July 14. To see a photo album from the neighborhood get-together, click the picture.
A ComoFest Triple Header
Pigs don't fly, but they do just about everything else in "Sing."
Three events fly under the ComoFest banner this weekend:
  • Lyngblomsten holds its MidSummer Festival -- a daylong extravaganza featuring an arts showcase; make-and-take art activities for all ages; a wellness lounge; games for kids; music, dance, and theatrical performances; a community dance under the Big Tent; and even more activities for you and your family indoors and out. Download a PDF with all the details. Admission is free; food, art activities, and games are priced for affordable fun. It all takes place today, Friday July 21, from 2-8 p.m. on the Lyngblomsten campus, 1415 Almond Ave.
  • North Dale Rec Center features "Sing" at a free outdoor movie tonight, July 21. The movie starts about 9 p.m.; bring your lawn chairs, blanket, and bug spray to the field at Arlington and Maywood. (We hope they won't be "Sing"-ing in the rain, but if the weather doesn't cooperate, the movie moves indoors to the gym.)
  • The ComoFest 5K Walk and Run for Everyone is this Saturday, July 22, starting outside the Lakeside Pavilion. The run benefits the Como Park Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program. Registration is $25 for participants 12 and older; $15 for those 11 or younger. The run starts at 8:30 a.m.; t-shirt and packet pickup begins at 7:30 a.m. (As a bonus, Studio M Fitness offers a free yoga class outside at the Pavilion at noon. Bring your own mat if you have one.)
Then, for the Grand Finale
ComoFest wraps up next weekend, July 28-29, with two events:
  • On July 28, it's the traditional Northwest Como Movie Night and Campout. Festivities begin at 6 p.m., a free outdoor showing of "Finding Dory" begins about 8:45 p.m., and overnight camping takes place after that. For details on activities, including how to reserve a camping spot, see ComoFest.org. Events are at Northwest Como Recreation Center, 1550 Hamline Ave. N.
  • On July 29, TopLine Federal Credit Union holds its Community Appreciation Picnic. Food, giveaways, face painting, and other fun begin at 11 a.m. at TopLine, 976 Lexington Parkway N. The picnic concludes at 1 p.m. with Como Park's "shortest marathon" -- 26.2 yards -- to benefit the Animal Humane Society.
Environment Committee Meets Wednesday
The potential for a carry-out packaging ordinance in Saint Paul and the August installation of a "bee high-rise" in Como Park will be front and center at this week's meeting of the District 10 Environment Committee. The meeting is Wednesday, July 26, at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Community members are always welcome to attend and participate.
Lexington Crossing Comes into Focus
In a meeting this week with the District 10 Como Community Council board, the Parks Department shared more details about the new crosswalk linking the Lakeside Pavilion side of Lexington Parkway with the golf course side. Construction will take place after Labor Day, says Alice Messer, manager of design and construction for the Parks Department. The project will include:
  • A 6-foot wide, marked crosswalk with standard warning signs.
  • A 10-foot-wide, curbed median with a pedestrian refuge and planted with oak trees and little bluestem grasses. The median replaces an existing painted median, which stretches from the driveway entering the golf course parking lot to the driveway for the Lakeside Pavilion's north parking lot.
  • 12-foot traffic lanes, with a 25 mph speed limit.
  • New, ADA-accessible paths, sidewalks and ramps connecting the crosswalk on each side of Lexington.

Messer, who described the $80,000 project as "phase one" that could get future improvements, also addressed concerns neighborhood residents raised about the project. Read details and see a more detailed sketch on District 10's website.

There's a Seat with Your Name on It
The Como Community Council is seeking candidates to fill one At-Large board vacancy. The At-Large seat is open to anyone who lives in District 10, which is the portion of Saint Paul bounded roughly by Snelling on the west, Larpenteur on the north, Dale on the east, and the railroad tracks between Pierce Butler and Energy Park Drive/Front Ave. on the south.

The elected candidate will serve until April 2019. Any District 10 resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to run; so are representatives from businesses or institutions in the neighborhood. Learn more about the expectations for board members. To submit your name, contact the District 10 office at 651-644-3889 or by email. To be included on the ballot, nominations must be received by Tuesday Aug. 8.

A special election for the seat is Tuesday Aug. 15 at 7 p.m., before the monthly board meeting. Write-in nominations will be accepted from the floor the night of the election.
Doubling Down on Safety
We installed pedestrian safety flags at five hazardous crosswalks in our neighborhood. Residents have pitched in to install them at five more. It's all part of an effort to remind motorists that state law requires them to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. And every corner is a crosswalk, whether the crosswalk is painted or unpainted. Drivers have to stop every corner, every turn, every time. 

Sponsor a crosswalk: If you want to sponsor a flag kit for a different crosswalk that's important to you, round up $31.50, and we'll make and mount another kit. Find a list of more than a dozen available intersections on our website.
Meals on Wheels Needs Volunteers in Como
Wilder is looking for Meals on Wheels volunteers to deliver lunch to homebound residents in our neighborhood. The basics:
  • Routes typically take an hour or less, and run 10:30 a.m.-noon weekdays.
  • Drivers can deliver daily, weekly, monthly, or somewhere in between.
  • Drivers pick up meals at Wilder Community Center for Aging, 650 Marshall Ave.
  • Volunteers must have a valid Minnesota driver's license and agree to a criminal background check (which Wilder pays for).
To learn more, call Grant at 651-280-2504 or email him.
Gardeners: This One 's for You
Do you grow fruits or vegetables in the city? Then University of Saint Thomas researchers invite you to take their survey about urban garden practices. Their research is funded by the National Science Foundation. The survey takes less time than it takes you to haul your hose out.
Ride Benefits Wounded Warriors
Next Friday, July 28, expect three dozen motorcyclists to ride en masse through parts of the neighborhood as part of the Wounded Warrior Project. You can witness the thunder sometime around 11 a.m. as riders head west on Front from Dale to Lexington, north on Lexington into the park, then west on Como Ave. toward the Fairgrounds. 
How Much of a Leader are You?
Applications are being accepted for the next cohort of the Wilder Foundation's Neighborhood Leadership Program. The program trains emerging leaders to make a difference in Saint Paul.  The 10-session program itself runs Sept. 19-March 14; the application deadline is Friday Aug. 4. Get all the details, including the online application.
Watching Our Waste: Runoff
In our climate, a 1,000-square-foot roof can generate more than 20,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year. (That's enough to top out your bathtub 5 times a week, every week.)

If all that runoff pours out your downspout, directly onto a sidewalk or driveway, and straight to the gutter, it's like an interstate highway. It washes sediment, trash, excess phosphorus and nitrogen, chloride, fecal coliform bacteria, plus oil, antifreeze, heavy metals, and other pollutants straight to the lake or river.

But here's the big but -- If you steer your downspout away from hard surfaces, the water can empty into a garden or an appropriate part of your lawn instead. When that happens, the water filters through the soil, where it gets used by trees and other plants. That's a big, inexpensive way to cut pollution in our favorite waterways. 
The Party's Over
The final Groovin' in the Garden concert of the season is this week, featuring the Jillian Rae Band. The free outdoor concert runs from 6-8 p.m. this Wednesday, July 26, outside the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. There's food, ice cream, beer and wine for sale. If the weather is bad, they move the show indoors. 
What Fun They Make Down by the Lake
The Highland Community Center takes over the Lakeside Pavilion this weekend with the musical "Seussical." Showtime is 7:00 tonight and Saturday, July 21-22, on the promenade. General admission is $10 regardless of how old you are. If you can't make it this weekend, "Seussical" returns next Thursday-Saturday, July 27-29.

Here's this week's lineup of free music on the promenade:
  • Sunday, July 23: Star of the North Concert Band, 3 p.m.; Lake Country Chorus, 7 p .m.
  • Monday, July 24: Brooklyn Community Band, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 25: Bend in the River Band, 7 p.m.
Farmers Market: The Dockside Farmers Market unloads the goods this Thursday, July 27, from 2-6 p.m. A special treat: music by Gabe Barnett from 4-6 p.m.
Coming Up Later This Summer
Same Old Same Old
  • Brewster St. remains closed between Snelling and Pascal as utility work is underway for the expansion of Hmong College Prep Academy.
  • Como Ave. remains closed completely in both directions west of Raymond Ave. Raymond, however, now is open to Energy Park Drive, and Cleveland is open to Larpenteur, so those detours are available.
  • On Snelling Ave., as usual, only one lane remains open in each direction between Como Ave. north to County Road B. Larpenteur is also down to one lane eastbound at Snelling (and sometimes westbound, too). The ramps from northbound Snelling to eastbound Highway 36 and from eastbound 36 to northbound Snelling remain closed; MnDOT says they are now rescheduled to open on July 27.
This Week at the Fairgrounds
  • Capitol Classic Horse Show: This Saturday-Sunday, July 22-23, AgStar Arena. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. each day. Admission: free for spectators.
  • Machinery Hills Criterium du Nord race series: This Tuesday, July 25, roadways north of Hoyt Ave. 4-9 p.m. Bicycle road race training series; four races (beginners-experts). Entry fees: $10-$25.
The Gray Area of Scrapping   
Scrappers -- those folks who ride around in overloaded pickup trucks stuffed with old appliances, scrap metal and more -- are part of the urban economy. In an ideal world, they get some extra cash and you don't pay to get rid of something. But when does scrapping turn into theft

Though it can be a gray area, the rule of thumb is: If scrappers go onto private property, they've crossed the line, police say. Especially if they go into a fenced yard or an open garage. It's also illegal for scrappers to pick stuff out of city recycling carts or out of roll-offs. 

If you don't mind scrappers taking what you've set out, put it in the alley or on the curb with a "free" sign. Give them permission if that opportunity comes around. But remember -- if it doesn't disappear, it's your responsibility to pay to get your junk hauled away.  

Borrow portable recycling stands like these for free.
We Can Help with Your Party
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community members can use for block parties 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 $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.
Streetcar Station Opens Every Sunday
The Como Park Streetcar Station is now open every Sunday through September from noon-4 p.m. Stop in to learn a bit about the history of Como Park, admire the new paint job inside, pick up an organics recycling starter kit (including a plastic kitchen bin), or just share comments and suggestions with a District 10 board member who's on staff that day. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. 
Photographers, Don't Keep It to Yourself
We know plenty of you are taking pictures of the people, places and things that make our neighborhood unique. Well, we'd like to give you more exposure. This newsletter is happy to highlight the best of what local photographers send us about life in Como Park. It's easy: Just  email us your top image from the past seven days or so.   
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.