Residents battle the holiday hassle with a warrior pose during a free yoga session organized by District 10 on Dec. 3.
A Different Future for Como/Front/Dale?
Do you wish Como, Front and Dale were more than the scene of frequent car crashes? Then have your say on what the intersection could be this Thursday, Dec. 14. Representatives from two Saint Paul departments -- Public Works and Planning and Economic Development -- will discuss proposed infrastructure projects for the intersection. Their proposals for 2018 include higher-visibility crosswalks, closing off the right-turn from southbound Como to westbound Front, landscaping, and green paint for the bike lanes that cross Dale. The projects would be paid for with $350,000 in Commercial Vitality Zone funds authorized by the City Council two years ago.

In addition, consultant Jay Demma, from Perkins + Will, gives an overview of the Dale Street market analysis that he performed for the District 6 Planning Council and the District 10 Como Community Council. His analysis suggests that Dale needs a destination or anchor business to improve its retail environment and draw more customers.
  • Learn the details, ask questions, and more this Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Public Works garage, 891 Dale St.
Look Around You -- They're There
District 10 is now accepting nominations of local individuals or organizations to add to Saint Paul's Neighborhood Honor Roll. The annual, citywide award pays tribute to residents who improve the quality of life in St. Paul. The award typically recognizes members of our community who make a sustained and lasting impact in the neighborhood and city.

To nominate someone: Email us no later than next Friday, Dec. 15. Give us a short description of their accomplishments or the reasons they should be honored for making Como a better place to live, work, or play. The District 10 Board will evaluate nominees at our Dec. 19 meeting. 
Pavilion RFP Goes Public Monday
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation expects to release an RFP this Monday, Dec. 11, seeking new management for the Como Lakeside Pavilion. When the formal request for proposals is released, we'll post it on the District 10 website. The department hopes to have a new vendor (or vendors) in place this spring.
  • In the meantime, take a look at all the suggestions of what Como residents and others think should replace Como Dockside.
Youth Hockey with a Local Flavor
The Saint Paul Hockey Club -- a low-cost program for boys and girls 13 or younger -- begins next Saturday, Dec. 16, at North Dale Recreation Center. Youngsters skate three times a week: Mondays and Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays at 11 a.m. Registration is free for children born in 2011 or later, and $50 for children born 2005-2010. In addition, some equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Children can sign up now, then complete their registration and get sized for equipment from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the 16th. North Dale is at 1414 N. St. Albans.
Illustration: Ed Fischer
Winter with a Grain of Salt
An article on MinnPost reminds us of the trade-off we make in salting our streets: Easier travel vs. polluted water. "Salt wasn't always the go-to method for clearing roads," the article notes. "Until the '80s, crews mostly used sand to make Minnesota roads safer for travel." Sand provides traction, but doesn't melt ice. Salt does. So salt use increased, with some unexpected results. 

First, the article says, "As salt use became more widespread, drivers began to expect better driving conditions, which in turn led to more demand for the use of salt."  Second, more salt means more chloride pollution in local waters, with potentially catastrophic consequences for aquatic life within a generation, the article says. Como Lake is one of 39 bodies of water in the Twin Cities alone that exceeds dangerous levels of chloride, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  In response, Saint Paul and other jurisdictions are revising how they treat roads. 
G.F. Handel
Start Finding Your Voice Now
Como Park Lutheran Church hosts its annual "Messiah" Sing-Along next Sunday, Dec. 17. The event features a chamber orchestra, soloists, and you as part of an ad-hoc community chorus. 

The chorus will sing Handel's "And the Glory" (No. 4), "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (No. 9), "For unto us a child is born" (No. 12), "Glory to God" (No. 17), "Surely he hath borne our griefs" (No. 24), "And with his stripes we are healed" (No. 25), "He trusted in God" (No. 28), "Hallelujah" (No. 44), "Since by man came death" (No. 46), "But thanks be to God" (No. 51), and "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain" (No. 53).  

The sing-along is from 3-5 p.m. at the church, 1376 Hoyt. This event is free for singers and listeners. You can bring your own score or purchase one at the door.  Afterward, church members will serve an Advent dinner from 5-7 p.m. Dinner features Swedish meatballs, baked ham, rosemary potatoes, and lefse. Cost for the meal is $8 ($4 for children, with a $25 family maximum).
SteppingStone Theatre focuses on youth development.
Photo: Pioneer Press
Something Different for Winter Break
The Saint Paul Public Library and SteppingStone Theatre will offer free performing arts workshops during winter break for children ages 8-12. The Maker Break activities include beatboxing, stage makeup, special effects, puppetry, calligraphy, and mask-making. The workshops take place afternoons Dec. 27-31 at different libraries, including Hamline-Midway, Rice Street, and Rondo. Most events are drop-in; however, Beatboxing on Dec. 27 or 28 requires pre-registration.
Watching our Waste: Grease
Ever hear of a "fatberg?" It didn't sink the Titanic, but it is what develops in sewer pipes when we pour grease, fat, and food-based oils down our drain or toilet. The congealed globs back up pipes (and you can guess the rest). So, what should we do with our grease -- especially this time of year, when we're cooking up ham, turkey, roasts, and other fatty foods? The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency advises:
  • Wipe greasy pans, pots, and other dishes with a paper towel before washing them. Throw the paper towels into the trash.
  • Pour grease onto newspaper or other paper items and put it in the trash.
  • Pour grease into a container and freeze it. You can then throw it in the trash (or with some fats, use it as an ingredient to make suet for birds).
  • Soak up grease with pieces of crusty bread, then put the bread out for wild critters. 
This Will Get You Started
Want to get over the threshold in buying a home? NeighborWorks Home Partners has a new down-payment assistance program for qualified buyers in Saint Paul. Project Reinvest: Homeownership provides zero-interest loans of $10,500 to buyers whose household income is under the area median. The final number depends on family size; you qualify is you make roughly $63,300 as a single person, $90,400 as a household of four.
Free Fun for Wee Ones
Lil' Explorer Thursdays are underway at Como Park Zoo. The free activities for 1- to 3-year-olds run from 10 a.m.-noon at the Visitor Center. Youngsters get face to face with animals and plants, play games, and take part in story times. Attention spans being what they are (for children and their adults!), there's a different theme each week.
Not to be Overlooked...
  • This Wednesday, Dec. 13: Public hearing on temporarily waiving certain short-term rental licensing requirements surrounding the 2018 Super Bowl.™  The waivers include lifting occupancy caps, the percentage of a building that can be short-term rental, and off-street parking requirements. The hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in the 3rd-floor City Council chambers, 15 Kellogg Blvd. W.
  • This Thursday, Dec. 14: Twin Cities German Immersion School's student-run Wintermarkt, 2:30-4 p.m., 1031 Como Ave. (Whether you can attend or not, expect extra traffic in the area.)
  • This Thursday, Dec. 14: Winter Wonderland holiday party, 5:30-7:30 p.m. North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 N. St. Albans. Free.
  • Tuesday Jan. 2: Saint Paul park permit lottery for 2018, 6:30-7 a.m., 1100 N. Hamline. 
Criminals Like Shopping, Part 3
More advice from Saint Paul Police to prevent criminals from ruining your holidays:
  • Common sense and extra time can be in short supply this time of year. But, if you are out shopping -- do not leave purchases in your vehicle for everyone to see. They have a habit of walking away.
  • At the very least, lock purchases in your trunk. But even this is a risk, because professionals hang around and watch for shoppers who drop off one armload of purchases before heading back into stores for more. A better approach: Take purchases home, drop them off, then go back out for round two. 
  • Don't forget: Lock. Your. Vehicle
This Week's Neighborhood Crime Report:  As if on cue, they're breaking into cars.
If You're Shopping Amazon Anyway...
You can steer 0.5 percent of your online purchases to the District 10 Como Community Council -- if you make your purchases through the AmazonSmile program, instead of through the regular Amazon website. This is the link to get your started.    
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.