Colour my world: Nile Fellows found this stunning view of spring colors along the paths near Como Lake. He swears he did not climb a tree to get this angle.
Request Your Ballot Now
Illustration: Stephanie Ballen
It's time to request your ballot to vote in the 2020 board elections for the Como Community Council. There is no in-person voting this year; you must vote absentee. Community members have the option of requesting an online ballot, or a paper ballot through the mail. Voting is June 2-16; nine seats are up for election.
Renters, homeowners, and other residents of District 10 who are at least 16 years old can vote. So can representatives from business, nonprofits, or other organizations with a physical presence in District 10.
A New Sign for Our Times
During these trying times, there's always time to spread a little joy. This lawn sign can help.

The Como Community Council put out a call to local artists for ideas for an uplifting lawn sign. They responded with more than two dozen concepts. District 10 board members chose this design, by Como resident Monique Hussey. Now you can have one (or more) of your own. Suggested donation is $15.  Order yours here
Trash, Recycling Pushed Back One Day
This Monday, May 25, is Memorial Day. As with most holiday weeks, that means trash and recycling pickup will be one day later than usual.
  • Eureka will empty your blue recycling carts next Saturday, May 30, instead of next Friday.
  • Monday trash pickup (in the western part of the neighborhood) will take place this Tuesday, May 26, instead. Friday trash pickup will take place next Saturday, May 30.
Planning Now for Next Year
The Minnesota State Fair is expected to announce today whether or not this year's Great Minnesota Get-Together will happen. Regardless of what they decide, District 10's Land Use Committee is pushing forward with a Fair-related issue: whether to ask the city to modify rules for the parking and vending districts that cover much of the western end of our neighborhood.

For years, there's been on-and-off discussion among neighborhood residents about whether to allow vendors and lawn parking not just during the Fair, but during the Back to the Fifties event as well. (That classic-car event typically takes place in June, though not this year.)

The Land Use Committee decided in May that it's time to stop talking and time to make a decision. So, the June 3 meeting will be a big opportunity for neighbors to share their thoughts on the idea. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. that Wednesday; community members will be able to join by video conference or by phone. More details next week.
They Wanna Know What You Think
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is trying to figure out how comfortable you are having your family take part in summer programming, given social distancing and all. You can help them figure it out by taking the  Summer Camps and Activities Survey
They Wanna Know What You Think, Too
Saint Paul Public Library's Maker Team also is planning programming  involving creative hands-on crafts, technology, and arts. You can help them by taking this  really short survey.

They Wanna Know What You Think, Three
Hey, bicyclists: The U of M's Minnesota Traffic Observatory is trying to figure out how comfortable you are with separated bike lanes, what kind of separation from vehicle traffic makes you more comfortable, plus your ideas about related issues such as turn lanes, bus stops, and winter maintenance. Here's the survey; results will be published later this year as guidance for planners and engineers.
Portrait of Philando Castile by Mariah Pratt
Philando Castile Garden Seeks Volunteers
Organizers of the Philando Castile Peace Garden are seeking volunteers to prepare the soil and seed the future garden with wildflowers. Volunteers will work this Wednesday-Thursday, May 27-28, from 2-5 p.m. each day. You can sign up here

A formal groundbreaking, on the north side of the State Fairgrounds near Larpenteur and Underwood, is planned for July 6. That would be the fourth anniversary of the date that Castile -- a Saint Paul Public Schools cafeteria worker -- was shot to death by Saint Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez.
We Didn't Mean to Incite Social Media
Saint Paul is  reducing speed limits on many city-owned streets. That includes a new 20 mph limit on residential streets, and 25 mph on city-owned collectors.

To promote the change, residents can get a "20 is Plenty" sign for their front yard, side yard, or window. The Como Community Council will distribute the free signs in District 10 while supplies last. To reserve yours, just fill out this form. We'll contact you when Public Works has everything ready to go (probably in a few weeks).
Power You Didn't Know You Had
The Saint Paul Charter Commission is taking applications for nine vacancies. Seven of them are four-year terms that begin Aug. 1; two are existing vacancies that run until July 31, 2022. Any city resident who is at least 18 years old may apply. Commission members are appointed by the senior district judge in Ramsey County.

Under state law, Saint Paul is a home-rule city. That means residents choose the city's form of government. The city charter sets the rules of who has the power and how city government operates; the Charter Commission oversees those rules. It is likely that in the next four years, for example, the Commission will oversee redistricting of the city's wards, based on new population statistics from the 2020 census.

Applications are due June 17. You can download an application, or call 651-266-8253 to have one sent by mail.
Keeping Track of City Decisions
  • On a 6-0 vote May 18, the city's Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance so Como Park Senior High School can install two outdoor signs facing Rose Ave., as part of the school's renovation project.
  • The Zoning Committee of Saint Paul's Planning Commission voted 6-0 on May 21 to recommend approving the request to rezone 978 Front Ave. from B2 community business to T2 traditional neighborhood. The committee's recommendation now goes to the full Planning Commission, then to City Council.
  • City Council has scheduled the public hearing for the proposed rezoning of 1015 Bandana Blvd. for Wednesday June 10. The request to rezone the property from B3 commercial to T3 traditional would allow construction of a proposed 152-unit apartment building.
Keeping Track of Barricades
Energy Park Drive: The slalom course continues between Snelling and Lexington. The water department is digging up and repairing hydrant connections and other facilities in preparation for Ramsey County's mill-and-overlay of the street this summer. 

Interstate 94: It will be harder to get into (or out of) town some nights over the next few weeks. 
  • Eastbound I-94 will close at the I-494/I-694 interchange from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on these dates: This Tuesday-Wednesday, May 26-27; Tuesday June 2; and Thursday June 4. (So will the southbound I-694 ramp to I-94.) 
  • Westbound I-94 will close at the I-494/I-694 interchange from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on these dates: This Thursday-next Friday, May 28-29; Monday June 1; Wednesday June 10; and Friday June 12. (So will the westbound 94 ramp to southbound I-694.)
The Numbers Spell It Out
New Pandemic Resource Rundown
Coronavirus-related updates in the neighborhood, city, and beyond:
  • The University of Minnesota Extension is beginning a series of webinars to help you navigate financial challenges as a result of losing your job or losing income. The one-hour sessions are free, but you have to register in advance. The schedule:
  • Wheel Fun is opening on weekends at the Como Lakeside Pavilion for watercraft and surrey rentals. Hours are noon-7 p.m. this Saturday-Monday, May 23-25, and next Saturday-Sunday, May 30-31. Meanwhile, inside the Pavilion, Spring CafĂ© is "continuing to get ready for our reopening concept," says Tony Arvidson, regional vice president for Lancer Hospitality.
  • Saint Paul Parks and Recreation has a new webpage, Rec Reimagined. It's a one-stop source for digital and alternative options to stay active and connected in parks, at home, and in your own back yard.
  • Saint Paul Port Authority, in cooperation with the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, is managing a $1 million fund of small business loans for city businesses impacted by Covid-19. The three-year loans, of up to $50,000, are for businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Nonprofits that pay property taxes also will be considered. The loans are first-come, first-served. They have a 2 percent interest rate, are interest-free for three months, require no payments for six months, and have no pre-payment penalties. Get more information
  • The state's Covid-19 portal is an easy place to get big picture and up-to-date details, find Minnesota's latest pandemic statistics, and collect or link to oodles of other information and advice during these "stay safe" days. Saint Paul and Ramsey County have their own pages focused on more local resources, services, interruptions, and information.
Photo: Mayo Clinic
Virus Testing Available in More Places
The Minnesota Department of Health says anyone with Covid-19 symptoms now can get tested. Symptoms 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.  As Minnesota scales up the availability of Covid-19 testing , nearby sites include:
  • Allina Health, 4194 Lexington Ave. N, Shoreview (by appointment only): weekdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 651-483-5461
  • HealthPartners, 205 S. Wabasha (by appointment only): weekdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 952-967-5584
  • Minnesota Community Care, 424 Dorothy Day Place, weekdays 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. 651-793-2219
  • Minnesota Community Care, 895 E. 7th St. (by appointment only): Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, noon-4 p.m.; Wednesdays-Thursdays, noon-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon. 651-602-7500
  • North Memorial Health Clinic, 2600 39th Ave. NE, Saint Anthony (by appointment only): weekdays 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 763-581-5500
  • Open Cities Health Center, 916 Rice: Mondays and Wednesdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • Open Cities Health Center, 409 N. Dunlap: weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • University of Minnesota Boynton Health, 410 Church St. SE, Minneapolis (by appointment only):  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 612-625-7900
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.