Count the Ways the Climate is Changing
The incremental impact of global warming is adding up all around us. The documentary "Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate" shows how. This hour-long film, from Will Steger's Climate Generation, features six stories about how climate change already is changing our state. After the film, Climate Generation's Sarah Goodspeed will facilitate discussion.
Details: "Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate" is this Sunday, March 1, in the upstairs Auditorium at the Como Zoo and Conservatory's Visitor Center, 1225 Estabrook Drive. 
Like all Sunday Series events, it runs from 1-2:30 p.m., is free, and includes plenty of time for Q&A. The presentation is in partnership with the Saint Paul Public Library's Read Brave Documentary Film Series.
A quick rundown of the rest of this year's lineup (you can get all the details on our website):
  • Next Sunday, March 8: Forgotten Como History. The 1917 Saint Paul Winter Carnival was arguably the biggest and best rendition in the event's celebrated history. The city had revived the winter festival the year before, paying homage to the past and promoting its future. In 1917, organizers upped the ante: hosting epic-scale parades, world-class ski jumping, and the Red River Derby -- a 522-mile dogsled race from Winnipeg, Manitoba, to Saint Paul. When that race finished at Como Park, an incredible spectacle unfolded. Among 10,000 viewers, the finish gave rise to an unlikely hero. Join local writer Drew M. Ross and hear what happened.
  • March 15: Nature in Your Own "Backyard." With John Moriarty, author of "Field Guide to the Natural World of the Twin Cities."
  • March 22: Old Media in a New Era: A panel discussion on the future of neighborhood news.
  • March 29: In Search of Justice: The Purpose and Promise of Bail Reform and Juvenile Detention Alternatives.
Sholom Home floor plan
BZA Approves Density, Parking Variances
Renovation of the former Sholom Home into rental apartments is one step closer with approval by the city's Board of Zoning Appeals of density and parking variances. The BZA approval, by identical 4-0 votes on Feb. 24, followed the recommendation of the Como Community Council. In doing so, the BZA overruled city staff findings, which opposed both variance requests.

Midway Community Group LLC wants to renovate the former nursing home at 1554 Midway Parkway to create 150 rental apartments. Variances are necessary because the city's existing zoning code for the property allows only 82 living units. For 150 units, zoning requires 166 off-street parking spaces, but the redevelopment plan provides only 80 spaces on-site, meaning unmet parking will spill over onto surrounding residential streets.
Presidential Primary is Tuesday
Early voting in Minnesota's March 3 presidential primary elections continues this weekend at the Como Park Streetcar Station and eight other locations in Ramsey County. Any county resident can vote at any location. Early voting hours at the Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N:
  • Today, Friday Feb. 28: noon-6 p.m.
  • This Saturday, Feb. 29: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • This Monday, March 2: noon-5 p.m.
Primary day is Tuesday March 3. If you vote then, you most vote in your home precinct. Polling places are open normal hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. To vote in the primary, you must select one political party. The Republican and DFL parties both have primary ballots. 
  • Donald J. Trump is the only candidate on the Republican ballot. 
  • The DFL ballot lists 15 candidates (though several already have ended or suspended their campaigns): Michael Bennet, Joseph Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.
City Seeks Ideas for Public Projects
This Wednesday, March 4, is the deadline to submit ideas for projects 
that Saint Paul can fund through its Capital Improvement Budget. 

CIB sets aside a total of $1 million over the 2020 and 2021 budget years exclusively  for projects suggested by community members. Unlike in past years, ideas from community members will not compete head-to-head with more expensive projects generated by city departments.
Projects must improve public space that is owned by the city or one of its agencies and that is available for public use.  The improvement should last at least 10 years. 
This year, special emphasis is being given to projects that enhance public safety. Share an idea
City staff will assess all ideas for feasibility. Eligible projects will be forwarded to district councils  (which have an opportunity to evaluate ideas in their neighborhoods) and to the citywide CIB Committee (which makes final recommendations to the mayor).

Spring Cafe to Take a Month Off
If you need a fix of Spring Cafe's Tinga Nachos to B.L.A.T., do it this weekend, Feb. 29-March 1. 
The restaurant in the Lakeside Pavilion, which has been open weekends for the "off season," is shutting down in March to work on "a couple of projects," general manager Darrin Kirchberg says. Target re-opening date: Saturday April 4. (March events scheduled in the third-floor Waterfall Room still will take place.)
Land Use Committee Meets Wednesday
The Como Community Council's Land Use committee meets this Wednesday, March 4. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park, 1224 Lexington Parkway N. All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate. A complete agenda will be posted when it is available.

Learn about First Aid for the Lake
Capitol Region Watershed District holds two, free public information meetings this week to explain treatments it plans this spring to improve the water quality of Como Lake:
Herbicide treatment in April will target curly-leaf pondweed, an invasive that increases the lake's phosphorus levels and is responsible for much of the obnoxious smell we endure in late summer.
Alum treatment in May will lock up phosphorus that's already in the lake, and further minimize the severity of algae blooms on the lake.

You can learn more about the treatments on your own time, or get the information firsthand:
  • This Monday, March 2, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the third-floor Waterfall Room of the Como Lakeside Pavilion, 1360 Lexington Parkway N.
  • Next Saturday, March 7, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N.
Community Yoga Returns March 8
District 10's next Community Yoga is next Sunday, March 8, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N.
Community member Meegan Hall leads the sessions, which will be suitable for all levels of skill and experience. Bring a yoga mat or blanket and wear comfortable clothes. Registration is $5. 
(Future Community Yoga sessions are on Sundays April 5, May 3, Sept. 13, Oct. 4, and Nov. 8.)
Music Under Glass Features Ian George
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory wraps up another season of Music Under Glass this Sunday with troubadour Ian George. His free concert is 4:30-6:30 p.m. March 1. The stage is in the Sunken Garden but speakers pipe the music far and wide. You can purchase beer, wine, and snacks. 

Photo: Daniel Mick Creative
A Sure Sign of Spring
Parks and Recreation has shut down the Como Park Ski Center for the season. Cross-country ski trails on the golf course still will be groomed as long as weather allows - but the ski chalet is no longer open to handle your needs.
The city's unrefrigerated outdoor ice rinks also are a slushy memory, including those at Northwest Como and North Dale rec centers. However, the refrigerated outdoor rink at North Dale will be maintained as long as weather allows. Check here to see what that means.

Planning Commission Seeks New Members
The Saint Paul Planning Commission has seven upcoming vacancies, including from Ward 1 (which is roughly the part of District 10 south of Front) and from Ward 4 (which is roughly the part of District 10 west of Lexington). T he commission makes major decisions on specific development projects, long-term city planning, and local zoning issues. Applicants are appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council.
Members, who serve three-year terms, meet every other Friday morning plus must serve on at least one committee. Members technically are volunteers, though they do receive a small stipend. Get more information

Program Seeks Education Ambassadors
CollegeBound Saint Paul has extended its deadline for city residents to become outreach ambassadors who will promote higher education and career training among families in their community. The positions offer orientation, training, leadership development, and stipends of $100 a month. The new deadline to apply is Sunday March 15. Interested? Email for an application.

Making a House a Home
Have you ever wanted to improve or add or repair something in your home? Do you happen to be a first-time homeowner seeking advice?
NeighborWorks Home Partners is offering a workshop with this specifically in mind. 
Home Sweet Home: Maintenance and Rehab 101 is a two-hour class led by a local home inspector and a contractor specializing in residential rehab.
Topics Covered:
  • Seasonal to-dos
  • Intro to heating and cooling system maintenance
  • How to avoid frozen pipes
  • Financing a project
  • And more! 
Register here, cost is $15. Class date is March 11 from 6-7:30 p.m. at  NeighborWorks Home Partners, 533 Dale Street N.

A Different Kind of Power Lifting
North Dale takes a more holistic look at fitness with "Empower and Inspire Yourself," a four-part workshop that promises to teach how much influence you have in creating your life. The instructor uses her background as a Reiki energy practitioner, meditation teacher, and Psych-K facilitator to help people access the power within and change their emotional, mental and/or physical health for a happier life.

The workshop runs Monday March 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 6:15-7:15 p.m. Cost is $65. Register here for Activity 29254.

Yes, You Can Be Judgmental
Chelsea Heights Elementary School is seeking community members to serve as science fair judges on Wednesday March 4.
 No prior experience is required, they say; they'll give you the criteria you use to judge projects and interview students about their work. If you are available between 9 and 11:30 a.m., sign up here. Plus, you get free lunch (though they don't say from where).
This Weekend at the Fairgrounds
Twin Cities Regional Science Fairs: Today-Saturday, Feb. 28-29, Warner Coliseum. Open to the public from 8-10 a.m. Saturday. Free spectator admission.

Get Help With Your First Mortgage
On March 15, NeighborWorks Home Partners will be providing first mortgage financing for Twin Cities homebuyers. 
NeighborWorks  will offer Conventional, FHA, and VA loans and serve the 11-county metropolitan area, with no income limits or purchase size limits.
Borrowers with incomes below 140% of the Area Media Income 
may also qualify for our metro-wide NeighborWorks Down Payment Assistance.

Receive more information or updates on this program here.

Deadlines and Other Things to Do
  • Today, Friday Feb. 28: Deadline to apply for 2020 Cultural STAR grants, 4 p.m. The program supports arts and cultural activities, including capital and programming projects.
  • Today, Friday Feb. 28: Deadline to submit nominations for Saint Paul's Business Awards, 5 p.m.
  • This Saturday, Feb. 29: Deadline to apply for Saint Paul's Right Track summer employment program, for residents ages 14-24 who live in cost-burdened households or have a barrier to employment.
  • This Saturday, Feb. 29: Phalen Freeze Fest, 1-4 p.m. Phalen Park Lakeside Activities Center. Ice fishing, fire-building, campfire cooking, snow-shoeing, stories, arts, crafts, and more. Free.
  • Tuesday March 10: Larpenteur Ave. repaving and restriping, 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of Washington Technology Magnet School, 1495 Rice St. Ramsey County holds an open house about this summer's resurfacing of Larpenteur between Dale and Rice. The 4-3 conversion that was a pilot project last summer will become permanent.
  • Tuesday March 10: Como Community Council's Neighborhood Relations Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. (This meeting is rescheduled from March 3 to avoid conflict with Minnesota's presidential primary.)
  • Wednesday March 11: Como Community Council's Environment Committee, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station.
  • A Public Hearing on the proposed 2020-24 Consolidated Plan and 2020-21 Annual Action Plan will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the following location and time: 5:30 p.m. City Council Chambers, 3rd floor 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN 55102 Public comments can be submitted in three ways: 
    • 1. Online comment here
    • 2. Mail comments to: City of Saint Paul, Planning and Economic Development, Attn: Emma Siegworth, City Hall Annex, Suite 1400, 25 West 4th Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102; 
    • 3. Spoken testimony at the March 18th City Council Public Hearing. Questions may be directed to: Emma Siegworth at 651-266-6657 or The City of Saint Paul will accept and consider all comments received by 5 p.m. April 5, 2020.
Scammers Tax More Than Your Patience
Scammers always find an angle - and tax season is a prime opportunity for their fraud, the Minnesota Attorney General's office says. Among tactics:
Tax-related identity theft, in which scammers steal personal information, use it to file fraudulent tax returns, and receive tax refunds that aren't theirs.
  • Phishing, in which scammers impersonate the IRS and lure people into disclosing personal and financial information.
  • Intimidation, in which scammers impersonate state or federal officials and demand payment of back taxes.
  • Preparation fraud, in which unscrupulous operators charge over-the-top fees, skim refunds, or submit inaccurate returns - all of which cost the filer.
  • Refund anticipation loans, which eat up refunds through exorbitant interest rates and fees.
For more details on avoiding or reporting tax scams, download the PDF from District 10's website.

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.