Weather has been amazing for gardens. The rain garden north of the Como Lakeside Pavilion is no exception: lilies, liatris, and coneflowers are among plants that are thriving this summer. Photo: Debby Smith.
Yup, Crime is Up So Far This Year
Crime in Como increased in almost every category in the first six months of 2020, according to preliminary reports compiled by Saint Paul police. District 10 had 463 reported crimes from January to June, a 17.2 percent increase from the same six months of 2019. That is in line with crime in Saint Paul as a whole, which increased by 16.8 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Como saw increases in confirmed reports of gunshots, robberies, domestic assaults, residential burglaries, and theft. The statistics in theft were driven by a 40.5 percent increase in stolen vehicles, and a 17.2 percent increase in vehicle break-ins. We've got charts that show details.

Whether it's any consolation, Como does remain one of Saint Paul's safest neighborhoods. We've got charts to demonstrate that, too.
Neighborhood Relations, Land Use Meet
  • Tuesday, Aug. 4: Voter registration in the era of Covid, and moving forward with anti-racism efforts in Como, are among topics being discussed at District 10's Neighborhood Relations Committee this week. You can also get an update on plans to build intentional and sustainable support for neighbors in need; for example, this month volunteers teamed up to supply food and other household necessities for 15 residents of the Como by the Lake apartment community.
  • Wednesday Aug. 5: District 10's Land Use Committee continues addressing the impact on nearby residents of unruly late-night patrons from Half Time Rec. The discussion will include potential additions to or revised conditions on the bar's licenses, which are up for renewal later in August.
Both meetings begin at 7 p.m. While pandemic restrictions remain in place, the discussions take place remotely, rather than in-person. All renters, homeowners, and other District 10 community members are welcome to participate via video conferencing or telephone. To join, email the District 10 office; staff will send access information. Preliminary agenda
Photo: Houston Zoo
A Different Kind of Grandstand Show
Dinosaurs invade the State Fairgrounds beginning today, Friday July 31. It's the Dinosaur Adventure Drive-Thru, which features life-size replicas of 80 dinosaur species spread around the Grandstand infield. As the name implies, you drive through the exhibit, getting as close as your windshield allows to creatures as tall as a four-story building. A downloadable soundtrack helps you understand what you're seeing.

Tickets are $40 for a carload of up to seven (with higher-price options for larger vehicles). The exhibit runs every day 9 a.m.-8 p.m. through Sunday Aug. 9. As is typical these days, you've got to pick a specific day and time slot to attend; the tour takes about 45 minutes. Heads up to neighbors: Vehicles enter through the main gate at Snelling and Dan Patch.
Of course a Pronto Pup is available during the Food Parade.
Food Parade Tickets Go on Sale Today
Tickets to the Minnesota State Fair's Food Parade 2020 go on sale at 10 o'clock this morning, Friday July 31. The parade is a drive-through feast of 16 select State Fair vendors. The Fair won't be going on, but the food will be available on Thursdays-Sundays Aug. 20-23, Aug. 27-30, and Sept. 3-7.

Tickets are $20 per carload; you've got to reserve a ticket for a particular date and time slot. No pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, buses, or RVs. Any food you buy is extra. Because you're driving, there's no alcohol. And because it's a drive-through, you don't get out of your car.

Here are all the details about the parade, the vendors involved, the food they're serving, the extras you'll experience, and the fine print.
Recycle Smart: A Lesson in Metallurgy
Yes, you can recycle aluminum and "tin" cans in your blue cart. But you can't do the same with random metal items -- no pots, pans, pipe, hangers, or tools. Instead, learn what you can do  with these types of metal; check under the "Recycling at Home" category.
Learn Lacrosse (or Get Better)
Parks and Recreation is offering free lacrosse camps for boys and girls, ages 5-11, of any ability. Your options:
  • This Tuesday-Wednesday, Aug. 4-5: McMurray Field, 1155 Jessamine, 1-3 p.m.
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, Aug. 11-12: Sylvan Park, 77 W. Rose, 1-3 p.m.
Plenty to Put on Your Calendar
  • Today, Friday July 31: Deadline to apply for Minnesota's temporary Pandemic EBT benefit. If you have children ages 5-18 who receive free or reduced-price meals at school, you may be eligible for up to $325 per child to purchase groceries this summer.
  • Today, Friday July 31: Revision Rice Street pop-up event, 4-6 p.m. Front and Rice (across from Mama's Pizza). The outreach team is looking for your viewpoint on the street's future. (You can get a free potted plant for your time.)
  • This Monday, Aug. 3: Como Snowsports Golf Scramble. Fund-raiser for the local booster club. Tee times at Como Golf begin at 12:30 p.m. $110 per person.
  • This Tuesday, Aug. 4: Electric Lawn Care 101, 6:30-7:45 p.m. Fresh Energy co-sponsors this overview of electric lawn mowers and whether they're right for you. The webinar is free but you must register in advance. (There will be a repeat presentation on Tuesday Aug. 18 from 6-7:15 p.m.)
  • This Thursday, Aug. 6: Climate Generation opens its Eyewitness workshop series with "The Critical Intersection of Racial Injustice and Climate Change," noon-1 p.m. Free, but you must register in advance.
  • Monday Aug. 10: Deadline to file public comments on Metropolitan Council's "2021-2024 Transportation Improvement Program" or its longer-range "2040 Transportation Policy Plan: 2020 Update." Get your comments in by 5 p.m.
  • Saturday Aug. 22: Summer open house at Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom, 9:30-11 a.m. Free (but email reservations are required).
  • Wednesday Aug. 26: City Council hearing on proposed revisions to allow more density in the city's multi-family zoning districts. If you've got comments, email them no later than noon Aug. 25.
Don't Dawdle on Your Scavenger Hunt
If you've been doing our Como Scavenger Hunt, today is the deadline to submit your completed forms. We'll take all the entries we get by the end of today, Friday July 31, and put them into a random drawing. Winners get gift cards.

Drop your forms in our mailbox: it's at the edge of the parking lot at the Historic Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N (which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton, which you know because you've been exploring the neighborhood).  If you don't care about the deadline, you can continue to download the scavenger hunts themselves. There are two hunts: one east of Lexington, one west of Lexington.  Speaking of our neighborhood:
Keeping Track of Traffic Hassles
  • Ayd Mill Road: The road closes for four months of reconstruction beginning this Saturday, Aug. 1.
  • Como Ave.: In our neighborhood: Como is dug up and shut down completely from Hamline west to Arona; from Arona west to the Cleveland/Raymond intersection, the street is down to one lane in each direction. At the western city border: Como is closed at Hunting Valley Road. Both projects are expected to last through October.
  • Dale St.: The county road remains restricted to one lane in each direction between University and Carroll, as reconstruction of the bridge over Interstate 94 continues. Ramps to and from I-94 are closed. Access to some nearby east-west streets is cut off as well.
  • Interstate 94: A different weekend, a different stretch off limits. Eastbound lanes will shut down and be repaved from Interstate 35W to Highway 280, beginning at 10 o'clock tonight, Friday July 31, through 4 a.m. this Monday, Aug. 3. Next weekend, the same thing happens to westbound lanes.
Photo: Mayo Clinic
Covid Testing Remains Free, Available
As coronavirus cases fluctuate in Minnesota, remember: Widespread testing is available. Testing itself is free (though you may have to pay other charges).

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or a loss of taste or smell. Other, less-common symptoms include GI issues such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Testing sites may have different criteria on whom they will or will not test, and frequently change hours; here is the statewide database with up-to-date information. Nearby testing sites include:
  • Allina Health, 4194 Lexington Ave. N, Shoreview: weekdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-483-5461
  • CVS Pharmacy, 499 N. Snelling: 651-917-2001
  • CVS Pharmacy, 810 E. Maryland: 651-774-1005
  • CVS Pharmacy, 2650 Rice St., Little Canada: 651-484-0504
  • HealthPartners, 205 S. Wabasha: weekdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 952-967-5584
  • M Health Fairview, 580 Rice St.: weekdays 8 am.-5 p.m. 651-227-6551
  • M Health Fairview, 909 Fulton St. SE, Minneapolis: weekdays 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; weekends 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m. 1-855-324-7843.
  • M Health Fairview, 1414 E. Maryland: weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 651-227-3461
  • Minnesota Community Care, 424 Dorothy Day Place: weekdays 9:15-11 a.m. 651-793-2219
  • Minnesota Community Care, 895 E. 7th St.: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, noon-4 p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday, noon-8 p.m.; weekends 8 a.m.-noon. 651-602-7500
  • North Memorial Health Clinic, 2600 39th Ave. NE, Saint Anthony: weekdays 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 763-581-5500
  • Open Cities Health Center, 916 Rice: Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • Open Cities Health Center, 409 N. Dunlap: weekdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • United Family Medicine, 2423 W. 7th St.: weekdays 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 651-241-1000
All these sites require an appointment.
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.