More than 125 community members turned out Jan. 15 to examine options for different segments of the proposed Como Ave. Trail -- an extension of the city's Grand Round between Hamline and Raymond. (Find our more below.)
Zoning Committee Rejects TCGIS Variances
In identical 5-1 votes on Jan. 17, Saint Paul's Zoning Committee rejected the variances and site plan that Twin Cities German Immersion School needs for its proposed building addition. The committee's recommendations go to the full Planning Commission next Friday, Jan. 25. If the full commission also rejects the three zoning variances and overall construction plan, the school cannot proceed -- unless the school appeals to the City Council and wins.

During debate, commissioners gave a variety of reasons for rejecting the school's plans to tear down the former St. Andrew's church building and replace it with a three-level addition. Commissioners said they believed the school's plans are inconsistent with the city's overall Comprehensive Plan, do not fit the character of the neighborhood, and that the need for variances is a result of the school's own decisions, not of circumstances unique to the property.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet Jan. 25 at 8:30 a.m. in Room 40 of City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. The meeting is open to the public, but is not a public hearing.
Historic Question Goes to City Council
Meanwhile, it's now up to the Saint Paul City Council to decide whether the former St. Andrew's church building receives local historic designation. The city's Heritage Preservation Commission cleared the way on Jan. 14; commissioners voted 6-2 to approve proposed boundaries and a preservation program for the building. That follows a commission vote on Nov. 5 that declared the building eligible for local designation. 

The City Council could hold its own public hearing on the proposed designation as soon as Feb. 6.  The German Immersion School continues to oppose historic designation; school board chair Sam Walling told the Heritage Preservation Commission that designation jeopardizes the school's very existence. Commissioners largely dismissed the school's claims.
Dan Edgerton, of Zan Associates, explains aspects of the Como Trail planning.
Crowd Gets a Peek at Como Trail Options
An off-street trail on the north side of Como Ave. is the common link among options the city in examining to extend the Grand Round between Hamline and Raymond Aves. More than 125 people dropped in to the Como Park Streetcar Station on Jan. 15 to get information and ask questions about the bicycle and pedestrian trail the city plans to build in 2020 and 2021. They learned what's fact, what's rumor, and what's a lie.

Get details on options under consideration for each segment: between Hamline and Snelling, between Snelling and the University of Minnesota Transitway, and between the Transitway and Como's intersection with Raymond and Cleveland.
Rec Centers Launch New Activities
Registration is still open for new winter and spring sports and activities at North Dale and Northwest Como recreation centers. Get the full rundown

Activities at North Dale include basketball, dance, gardening, pilates, yoga, and various health classes for adults; and art, babysitting training, coding, dance, ice-skating, taekwondo, and separate boys and girls groups for youth.

At Northwest Como, youth activities include babysitting training, coding, cooking, creative writing, dance, ice-skating, taekwondo, and spring break field trips. Adult activities include indoor soccer and parents' nights out.
Yes, There Will Be Snow  
The Winter Carnival again extends its reach to the State Fairgrounds this year. First up: The Vulcan Snow Park Snow Stomp, beginning this Saturday, Jan. 19, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. You, too, can volunteer for a 4- to 5-hour shift to pound 8-foot cubes of snow into shape so they can be used for the Carnival's snow-sculpting competition. Other volunteer opportunities include judging the snow sculptures Jan. 26-27, helping at the snow slide Jan. 25-Feb. 3, or building the Fire Castle's nine-hole snow golf course.   Learn more or sign up
Some Serious Reading is Taking Place  
Saint Paul Public Library's 2019 " Read Braveactivities are full speed ahead, with books, discussion, and presentations about housing insecurity. The library system has 5,000 print and digital copies of its featured books available to borrow: "Burn Baby Burn" by Meg Medina, and "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond. Among activities in the next few weeks (all of them free):
  • This Tuesday, Jan. 22: Discussion of "Evicted," 12:30-1:30 p.m., Arlington Hills, 1200 Payne Ave.
  • This Wednesday, Jan. 23: Discussion of "Burn Baby Burn," 6:30-7:30 p.m., Highland Park, 1974 Ford Parkway.
  • This Thursday, Jan. 24: Discussion of "Evicted," 6:30-7:30 p.m., West 7th, 265 Oneida St.
  • Next Saturday, Jan. 26: Read Brave Storytime for children, with Mayor Melvin Carter reading from "Shelter" by Celine Claire, 11-11:30 a.m., Highland Park, 1974 Ford Parkway.
  • Next Saturday, Jan. 26: Assemble hygiene kits and sock bundles in coordination with HandsOn Twin Cities, 2-4 p.m., Dayton's Bluff, 645 E. 7th St.
  • Next Sunday, Jan. 27: Assemble hygiene kits and sock bundles in coordination with HandsOn Twin Cities, 1-3 p.m., Highland Park, 1974 Ford Parkway.
There are more than a dozen additional activities the rest of January and in February.
Gymnastics Weekends Dominate the Fairgrounds 
  • Crowley's Winter Challenge Gymnastics Meet: Today-Sunday, Jan. 18-20, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Friday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 7:45 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
  • Legacy Luau Gymnastics Invitational: Next Friday-Sunday, Jan. 25-27, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Friday 3-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m.-10 a.m.
Things to Help You Ignore the Cold
  • This Saturday, Jan. 19: "Women in Uniform," 10 a.m.-noon. Saint Paul Police training center, 600 Lafayette Road. For information, call 651-266-5545.
  • This Saturday, Jan. 19: Ford Site Redevelopment public meeting, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Central Baptist Church, 420 N. Roy St. (near Interstate 94 and Snelling). The site's developer, Ryan Companies, gives its perspective.
  • This Sunday, Jan. 20: Music Under Glass features Pushing Chain, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Free
  • This Tuesday, Jan. 22: Blooming Saint Paul Awards Ceremony, 5-7 p.m., Como Lakeside Pavilion.
  • This Thursday, Jan. 24: Family Skating Party & Bonfire, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Northwest Como Recreation Center, 1550 N. Hamline. Free (but bring your own skates).
  • Next Saturday, Jan. 26: Ramsey County Fix-It Clinic, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Roseville library, Hamline at County Road B.
  • Next Sunday, Jan. 27: 2019 Organ Concert Series, 4-5 p.m., featuring Thomas Ferry. Como Park Lutheran Church, 1376 W. Hoyt. Free
  • Friday Feb. 8: Public hearing on Saint Paul's first pedestrian plan, 8:30 a.m. Room 40, City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. (Or, comment online now)
  • Sunday Feb. 10: Citizens Acting for Rail Safety community forum and panel, 1-3 p.m., East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd St. NE, Minneapolis.
Human Trafficking is All Around Us
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month in the U.S. Trafficking is the equivalent of modern-day slavery -- it is when children, women and men are forced, defrauded, or coerced into prostitution or forced labor. It's an international scourge -- and Minnesota is a significant part of the problem. In fact, Saint Paul Police say, Minnesota has the nation's third-highest rate of trafficking; the FBI also identifies the Twin Cities as having one of the highest rates of child prostitution.  Learn the clues that indicate someone may be a victim of human trafficking.
Photographers, Show Us Your Stuff 
We know plenty of you are taking pictures of the people, places, and things that make our neighborhood unique. We can give you more exposure: This newsletter is happy to highlight the best of what local photographers send us about life in Como. It's easy: Just email us your top image from the previous 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.