On the frontier? This broken, abandoned, and marooned sled looks like something you'd see from pioneer days. Nope -- just another winter day in Como Park. Photo: Maggie Zimmerman
Future Looks Bleak for Sholom Home Property
Owners of the former Sholom Home property on Midway Parkway say they are out of money and uncertain about the site's future. "We're kind of in a free fall right now," David Grzan told District 10. "It's a bad situation that's getting worse, and we're trying to catch our breath."

For more than two years, Grzan's ownership group has been trying to assemble financing to convert the abandoned nursing home into a 168-unit assisted living facility. But the latest stab at financing fell through, he said, and "there are a lot of people chasing us for money."

This week, the previous construction partner removed security fencing from the site's perimeter. Grzan said owners cannot afford another fence or other security.  Selling the property is a possibility but "isn't optimal," because owners are not likely to recover their investment, he said. "We haven't thrown in the towel, but our back is against the wall."
Winter Helps Carnival Live Up to Its Name
The Vulcan Snow Park remains open on the State Fairgrounds as the  Saint Paul Winter Carnival continues its extended 2018 run. Spectating is free; all events take place in the Kidway area -- bounded roughly by Randall, Dan Patch, Underwood, and Cooper. New this weekend, Feb. 2-4:
  • Quarter-scale ice racing: Friday night, 5:30-9 p.m. Children ages 5-16 zip around a short track build just for the occasion.
  •  Amateur snow-sculpting competition: Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. There's still time to enter a team of up to three adults; entry fee is only $18. (Winners will be announced at 4:30 p.m.)
  • Polar Plunge: The first-ever nighttime plunge (illuminated by black light) is Saturday from 6:30-8 p.m. A daylight plunge is Sunday from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Break out those floral prints in this fund-raiser for Special Olympics. Minimum entry fee is $75.
Ongoing at the Snow Park:
  • Snow sculptures: Winners and other creations from the Minnesota Snow Sculpting Competition aren't melting anytime soon. You can take a look any day until 10 p.m.; for more a more illuminating view, see them at night. 
  • Giant Snow Slide: The 300-foot slide is open daily through next Sunday, Feb. 10. Hours are 5-9 p.m. weeknights, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. this Sunday, and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. next Sunday. Cost is $2 per run.
  • Tow Up Throw Down: This new event for skiers, boarders, and snow skaters happens every Saturday, with competition from noon-2:30 p.m. and 5-7:30 p.m.
Looking ahead: Next weekend, Feb. 9-11, we can't wait for the lawn mower and bar-stool ski races. 
Think Summer Thoughts
Congratulations to two Como residents, who won Blooming Saint Paul awards.
  • Quentin Nguyen won a residential Gold for his ornamental garden at the intersection of Lexington and Hoyt.
  • Debby Smith won the Gold garden steward award for the public gardens she maintains at the east gateway to Como Park, along the northwest shore of the lake, and at the foot of the Lexington Pedestrian Bridge. 
2 Committees Meet This Week
District 10's Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee meets this Tuesday, Feb. 6. The next night, on Wednesday Feb. 7, it's D10's Land Use CommitteeBoth meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All community members are welcome to attend and participate. We'll post agendas as soon as they are available.
Feel the Rumble of Organ Pipes
Music director Tom Ferry opens the annual Organ Concert Series this Sunday, Feb. 4, at Como Park Lutheran Church, 1076 W. Hoyt.  His free performance is at 4 p.m. Upcoming musicians:
  • Feb. 11: Phil Radtke, from Bethel Evangelical Lutheran and the Minnesota Boychoir
  • Feb. 18: David Jenkins, from the University of Saint Thomas
  • Feb. 25: Greg Peterson, from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa
It Sure Beats the Mall
On the first Tuesday of every month -- which means this week, Feb. 6 -- Como Zoo and Conservatory open one hour early for visitors age 55 or older. "Senior Stroll" time lets you exercise, soak in the surroundings, or soak in a little knowledge from special activity stations -- all before the wheeled stroller crowd gets in. Senior Stroll is free from 9-10 a.m. 
Watching Our Waste: Shopping
Want to reduce food waste at home? Like, duh, don't bring too much food home in the first place. But, that's easier said than done. So, here are some shopping tips to give you a better chance of saving food and money:
  • Don't shop when you're hungry. Research shows we'll buy more, and buy more high-calorie items.
  • Don't shop when you're tired. Same thing.
  • Buy bulk (and, for more brownie points, use your own containers). That way, you buy only what you need, not some oversized package. 
  • Don't "buy more and save" -- unless you absolutely know you'll use everything. If you end up throwing food away, you don't save anything.
  • Buy only what's on your list and fits your meal plan -- don't get suckered into sales on things you didn't intend to eat.
  • Shop more frequently (and use a hand basket, not a cart). That reduces the risk of too many things coming home with you, then sitting in your fridge for too long.
Tax Season is Here -- Get Free Help
Prepare + Prosper offers free assistance in filing your federal and state income-tax returns. You're eligible if you individually make $35,000 or less, or if you make $55,000 or less as a couple or self-employed entrepreneur. Find details, including locations (there are three in Saint Paul), paperwork you should pull together, and how to make an appointment.

Other tax help: Search the Minnesota Department of Revenue website for other options for free tax-filing assistance.
So What if It's a Short Month?
  • This Monday, Feb. 5: Information session about Cultural STAR, 4-5 p.m. George Latimer Central Library, 4th Floor, Andy Boss Room, 90 W. 4th St. (Application deadline is Friday Feb. 23.)
  • This Wednesday, Feb. 7: Winter Walk to School Day.
  • This Thursday, Feb. 8: Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Commission, 6:30-8 p.m. Langford Recreation Center, 30 Langford Park. 
  • Monday Feb. 12: Community Conversation on Homelessness, 6-8 p.m. Union Depot Red Cap Room, 214 E. 4th St. Panel includes officials from City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County, and Catholic Charities. Co-sponsored by CapitolRiver Council.
  • Wednesday Feb. 14: Information session about Neighborhood STAR, 10-11:30 a.m. Midwest Special Services, 900 Ocean St.  (Application deadline is Wednesday March 21.)
  • Thursday Feb. 22: Bouquets, 7-9:30 p.m. Como Zoo and Conservatory. Tickets to Como Friends' annual food, wine, and beer fund-raiser are $65, or $125 for the VIP Experience.
  • Sunday Feb. 25: District 10 Sunday Series: State Fair History, Part 2, 1-2:30 p.m. Newman-Benson Chapel at Lyngblomsten, 1415 Almond Ave.
  • Sunday March 18: District 10 Sunday Series: The Next Step in Pedestrian Safety, 1-2:30 p.m. 
  • Sunday April 15: District 10 Sunday Series: Crime Prevention through Landscape Design, 1-2:30 p.m. 
This is no Scrimmage for Buses, Light Rail
The Super Bowl is "activating" our lives in all kinds of ways, especially on the other side of the river. Be sure you know about service changes, additions, and disruptions on buses and light rail. In particular, there are things you need to know if you are going to (or near) the stadium, the "Super Bowl Experience" at the Minneapolis Convention Center, or "Super Bowl Live" on Nicollet Mall.  Check out details in Metro Transit's Playbook.
Another Way to Foil Car Thieves
We won't go into all the technology, but -- criminals now can buy devices that amplify the signal from automobile key fobs. That's bad news for us, because it means they can walk past any house, steal a signal, and steal a car in seconds. These amplifiers can pick up signals 300 feet away, which is about twice the length of a standard Saint Paul lot.

You can foil thieves, however, literally. You can wrap your fob in aluminum foil, or store your fob in a metal or foil-lined box. You can store your fob in the freezer or refrigerator, where multiple levels of metal block the signal (although that can drain battery life). Or you can buy a metal-lined "faraday" pouch or bag in which to store your fobs.
Streetcar Station is Open Sunday
The exhibit space at the Como Park Streetcar Station is open this Sunday, Feb. 4, from noon-4 p.m. This weekend only, you can get two free tickets (while supplies last) to the  Home and Remodeling Show on Friday-Sunday Feb. 16-18. If nothing else, the tickets get you into US Bank Stadium.

Or, just do the usual stuff: Stop in to learn a bit about Como Park history, pick up an organics recycling starter kit, pick up replacement compostable bags, or just share comments and suggestions with Mike, who is the District 10 board member on staff that day. 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.