All Kinds of Things to Get Done
Duke's hopes to open in the former Certified Auto Repair shop at Front and Chatsworth.
District 10's Land Use Committee has plenty to do when it meets this Monday evening, and you're welcome to be part of it. Among topics:
  • Decide whether or not to make a recommendation on the proposed design of the Como Avenue Trail between Hamline and the State Fairgrounds. Don Pflaum from the city will answer questions.
  • Review a business application from Duke's Car and Towing to open at Front and Chatsworth. Owner Duke Cano will take questions. (You can see the city's proposed conditions for the license on the District 10 website.)
  • Review a request from Gabe's By The Park for an "extension of service" variance to allow their second annual bocce ball tournament in the south parking lot on Saturday Sept. 28.
  • Take in a presentation on the Parkpoolr parking app that will be offered during the State Fair; developer Jackson Lefebvre will explain the app and take questions.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. Aug. 5 at the 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. (The meeting replaces the usual "first Wednesday of the month" meeting.) Complete agenda
Time for Something Positive
Bring a canoe or kayak this Saturday morning (or borrow one of our rentals), then team up with other neighbors to pull trash from Como Lake. If you don't want to be on the water, join us by walking the shoreline and cleaning up litter there.

We'll supply equipment, beverages, and really good doughnuts. Join us anytime between 9 a.m. and noon Aug. 3. The event is organized by the District 10 Como Community Council and supported by a grant from the Capitol Region Watershed District. To sign up:
Fill out the online form
News on the Streets Isn't Good
You know this if you drive. You definitely know this if you bike. Now a new report spells out -- in numbers and in charts -- that Saint Paul's streets really are not in good shape. Things will get significantly worse unless the city revamps its approach and its funding, the report promises.  Public Works director Kathy Lantry is scheduled to present the report to the City Council this Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 10 a.m. Among the lowlights:
  • Based on the nationally recognized Pavement Condition Index, Saint Paul's 869 miles of streets have an average index of 62. That is the definition of "fair." A score of 100 is tops; 0 is a complete failure.
  • In order to maintain the city's 762 miles of arterial and residential streets at the same level, the report projects that annual funding will have to double to nearly $44 million.
  • The 82 miles of Ramsey County's roads in the city are in the best shape overall, with an average index of 71. Saint Paul's residential streets are slightly above average at 64. Saint Paul's arterial streets are below average at 55. But that is a notch above the 25 miles of highways that MnDOT operates in the city; they have an average index of 54.
  • Right now, 5 percent of the city's arterials have an index of 10 or lower, which is considered failure. If funding levels remain the same, 28 percent of arterials will be in "failed" condition in 20 years, the report says. 
  • The outlook is even worse for residential streets. Right now, about 35 percent are rated in poor, very poor, serious, or failed condition. In 20 years, that percentage will soar to over 90 percent unless funding and policies change.
Speaking of Resurfacing ... 
The tot lot in Como Regional Park will have a new resilient surface installed and the "climbing hill" will get upgrades beginning this Monday, Aug. 5. The area, near the miniature golf course and small picnic shelter, will be fenced off during construction. Work is expected to last two weeks.
The Halloween Pennant is one of about 140 dragonfly species in Minnesota. Photo: Ken Slade
Show Dragonflies Some Love
Dragonflies -- one of the most effective and mesmerizing predators around -- are the focus of  Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom's final nature walk of the season. Members of the Minnesota Dragonfly Society and Britt Forsberg, of the University of Minnesota Extension, lead the walk surveying local dragon and damsel flies.  Meet next Saturday, Aug. 10, at 9 a.m. at the Kilmer Fireplace. (That's north of McMurray Field for those of you who navigate in three dimensions. The address is roughly 1221 Wynne Ave., for those of you who rely on GPS.)  Email Teri Heyer in advance, so they know how many folks to expect.
Big Plastics are a Big Problem
Last week, we pointed out that you cannot recycle some small plastics. On the flip side, you can't recycle big plastics in your blue cart either. Forbidden: items such as laundry baskets, plastic lawn furniture, storage bins, plastic toys, and buckets.

Recycle Smart: If you buy high-quality items, they should last so long that you won't have to get rid of them. If you no longer need them for their normal use, repurpose them for something else. Or give them away if they're still in good shape. Unfortunately, if they're not in good shape, you'll have to trash them.
It's STEAMy Inside the Libraries, Too
Spark Camps for children ages 7-11 continue through August at many Saint Paul Public Library branches. (Nearby options include Rice Street, Rondo, and St. Anthony Park.) The drop-in camps feature a rotating array of hands-on activities, with an eye on STEAM concepts: science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Get the schedule
Fairgrounds Buckle Down for the Big Event
The Minnesota State Fairgrounds close to the public beginning this Monday, Aug. 5, as preparations get serious for the " 12 days of fun," which begin Aug. 22. Between now and then, it means you essentially can't get into the Fairgrounds without an ID and a specific, Fair-related purpose. Until then:
  • North Central Reining Horse Association Futurity and Derby Show: Through this Sunday, Aug. 4, Warner Coliseum and Compeer Arena. Performances start Friday at 8 a.m., Saturday at 9 a.m., and Sunday at 8 a.m.
  • Minnesota United park-and-ride: This Sunday, Aug. 4. Parking lots south of Como Ave. are open for tailgating and shuttle buses from noon-7 p.m. The soccer match vs. Portland is at 3 p.m. at Allianz Field.
  • Como Shuttle: Beginning this Monday, Aug. 5, the shuttle stops running on weekdays. From here on out, it runs only on weekends. The new location: the school district's central services building, a few blocks west at 1930 Como Ave.
Road Construction Here and There
  • Larpenteur Ave. (between Dale and Rice): Ramsey County will continue to restripe and build pedestrian medians along most of this stretch. The restriping will create one travel lane in each direction, with a shared center turn lane.
  • Larpenteur Ave. (Snelling west to Highway 280): Much of this stretch remains one lane in each direction. The timeline keeps getting extended: Now, engineers say, concrete repair will continue into September. Restriping will take longer than that. (But breathe easy: Work will stop and all lanes will open during the State Fair.)
  • Wheelock Parkway: Reconstruction continues between the Western/Arlington intersection and Rice St.
Farther away, MnDOT will restrict Interstate 494 to one lane in each direction this weekend between I-35E and Highway 62 (Old Highway 110) for resurfacing. Expect restrictions on the freeway and nearby ramps from 6:00 tonight, Aug. 2, through 5 a.m. this Monday, Aug. 5.  
Yoga Returns to the Pavilion  
A public yoga class takes place almost every Wednesday and Friday morning in August on the outdoor, covered stage at the Como Lakeside Pavilion. Como Park resident Sara Wait leads the all-levels class, which includes gentle flow/vinyasa with elements of yin yoga.  The drop-in classes meet from 9-10 a.m. on Aug. 2, 7, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30. Classes are free, though a $10 donation is suggested. Participants should bring their own mat and water. The south gate at the Pavilion will open at 8:45, and close when class starts.
Trailer Trash performs Tuesday.
Music Continues  at the Pavilion
  • Today, Friday Aug. 2: Happy Hour with John Eller's piano bar sing-along of rock classics, 5:30 p.m., Prairie Fire Lady Choir, 7 p.m.
  • This Sunday, Aug. 4: Twin Cities Show Chorus, 3 p.m.; 1st John Philip Sousa Memorial Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Monday, Aug. 5: Sing United, 7 p.m.
  • This Tuesday, Aug. 6: Trailer Trash, 7 p.m.
  • This Wednesday, Aug. 7: Minnesota State Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Thursday, Aug.8: Prior Lake Windjammer Concert Band, 7 p.m.
  • Next Friday, Aug. 9: Kinda Kinky, 7 p.m.
  • Next Saturday, Aug. 10: The Last Waltz Annual Summer Show, 6-9:30 p.m. Tickets: $20 at the gate, $18 in advance, free for children 12 or younger.
  • Saturday Aug. 17: Lowertown Guitar Festival, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Ignore the misleading name: Steve Cropper (of Booker T and the MGs) headlines 15 performers on 3 stages at and around the Lakeside Pavilion. Free (unless you make a donation).
Events are free (except when they're not). Find out more about the performers -- or get an advance look at the season's full mix of local artists and traditional bandstand performers -- on Spring Cafe's website.
Other Things Going On
  • This Saturday, Aug. 3: African Day Parade, 5:30 p.m. Along Snelling Ave. from Sherburne to Hamline Park.
  • This Sunday, Aug. 4: Little Africa Festival, noon-9 p.m., Hamline Park (Snelling and LaFond). Traditional African food, art, music, poetry, dancing, and more. Free.
  • This Tuesday, Aug. 6: Cathy ten Broeke, director to End and Prevent Homelessness for the State of Minnesota, leads a free discussion on the comprehensive responses in housing, food, services, mental health, and other policy areas that are necessary for communities to prevent and limit homelessness. 7-8:30 p.m., St. Timothy Lutheran Church, 1465 N. Victoria.
  • This Wednesday, Aug. 7: Como Park Relays, 6:30 p.m., between Lexington, Como Ave., and Midway Parkway. The weekly end-of-summer cross-country running races return for their 46th year. Registration: 50 cents for children 14 or younger; $3 for 15-, 16-, and 17-year-olds; $5 for adults.
  • Next Friday, Aug. 9: Deadline to submit comments on the application by Duke's Cars and Towing to open an auto repair garage at 977 Front Ave. Submit comments by email or in writing to: Legislative Hearing Officer, City Hall Room 310, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55102.
  • Monday Aug. 12: Public hearing on application from Gabe's By The Park to modify its liquor license to allow amplified sound on its outdoor deck, 10 a.m., Room 330, City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd.
  • Thursday Aug. 15: Mayor Melvin Carter's 2020 Budget Address, noon-1:30 p.m. Frogtown Community Center, 237 W. Thomas.
Enjoy National Night Out 
National Night Out is this Tuesday, Aug. 6. District 10 residents are throwing more than two dozen block parties; roughly 325 are scheduled across Saint Paul. So, please, if you're out and about, be careful and kind anytime a street or alley is blocked off.
We Can Help with Your Party
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community members can use for block parties, neighborhood, 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 $40 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.
Photo: T Boardman
Streetcar Station is Open Every Sunday
For the rest of the season, the Como Park Streetcar Station is open every Sunday from noon-4 p.m. It is a great chance to learn a little about the long-gone trolley system in the Twin Cities, about the history and visionaries behind Como and the city's overall park system, to pick up organics recycling bags or kitchen starter kits, or just to chat with a District 10 board member who is staffing the day. The Historic 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.