This pair of trumpeter swans is paying an extended visit to Como Lake. Photo: Nile Fellows.
Your Last Chance to Get on the Ballot
Annual elections for the District 10 Como Community Council board take place April 16. But the deadline to get on the ballot is this Tuesday, April 9.

Nine board positions are up for election; in at least five of them, the incumbent is not seeking re-election. In addition, there will be a special election for treasurer, to fill the one year remaining on that term.

All this makes it a great opportunity for new activists to seek an open seat on the board. The two-year positions on this April's ballot:
Become a candidate: Renters, homeowners, and any other residents of District 10 who are age 16 or older are eligible to run. So are authorized representatives from a business or nonprofit organization located in District 10. To get on the ballot, submit your name and a brief biography no later than this Tuesday, April 9. Nominations submitted after that date will be treated as write-in candidacies. Board members elected this year will serve from April 23, 2019, until April 27, 2021. A list of board member responsibilities is available on District 10's website.

Elections: In-person voting will begin during District 10's annual meeting, which begins on Tuesday April 16 at 7 p.m.
Watch Where You Live
Yes, we live in the city. But nature and wildlife happen all around us: weather, migrations, changes in seasonal patterns, deer, coyote, turkeys, foxes, owls, hawks, and more. We can observe -- and document -- all kinds of things in our yards or on our walks.

In District 10's next Sunday Series presentation, experts from Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and the University of Minnesota guide us on how to be "citizen scientists": what to look for, how to use the iNaturalist app to track what we see, and how to tie into local projects and studies that use the power of ordinary people to do real science.

Details: Next Sunday, April 14, 1-2:30 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Free. (Bring your smartphone or tablet!)  Future Sunday Series presentations:
  • Mosquitoes: The endless showdown. Sunday April 28.
  • Recycling isn't what it used to be. Sunday May 5.
Conservationists prepare golden white-eyes for release on the island of Sarigan. Photo: Pacific Bird Conservation
Zoo Features its Global Connections
Como Park Zoo begins a free lecture series this weekend focused on the global conservation involvement of Como zookeepers. The series, " Como: Making a Global Impact," features stories, photos, video, and conversation. It begins this Sunday, April 7, as Jen Gleason discusses efforts to eradicate brown tree snakes on South Pacific islands and restore native bird populations that the snakes have decimated. Future topics:
  • April 14: Snow leopards in Kyrgyzstan
  • April 28: The Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary in Costa Rica
  • May 5: Giraffes in Tanzania
  • May 12: Giraffes in Namibia
  • May 19: Marine animals in California
  • May 26: Turtles in Texas
All sessions are free, and begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Visitor Center education wing.
State Office Supports Historic Eligibility
An initial review by the State Historic Preservation Office says distinctive architecture makes the former St. Andrew's church building eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. However, the office says there is not enough research to decide whether the building also would qualify because of its architect, Charles A. Hausler, or because of its history in the Warrendale neighborhood.  The soonest the state will decide whether to officially submit the building for national eligibility is Aug. 20, says Denis Gardner, the state's National Register historian. 

In a letter dated March 21, Garner says the church building's "Romanesque Revival design is locally distinctive." He cites its brick work, multi-sided towers with shallow-roofed turrets, numerous circular windows, and polychromatic coloring as among embellishments "which make for an unusual design vocabulary."

The local preservation group Friends of Warrendale-Save Historic St. Andrew's LLC is seeking local and national historic designation for the building. The building is owned by Twin Cities German Immersion School, which uses the former church as its Aula. The school opposes historic designation.

Saint Paul's Heritage Preservation Commission says the building is eligible for local designation, but the city's Planning Commission says local designation would not be compatible with the city's Comprehensive Plan. A final decision rests with the City Council, which has not scheduled the four-week process required for a council vote.

Final determination at the state level would be made by Minnesota's State Historic Preservation Review Board. If the board rules in favor of eligibility, it then submits the nomination to the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C., which makes its own determination. A decision at the national level typically takes two-three more months, Gardner says.
In the Wake of the Ash Borer
Now that the snow has melted (for now), Saint Paul Forestry and Public Works departments are dealing with the remnants left from boulevard ash trees that were cut down this winter. Here's what to expect:
  • Clean-up: On April 3, crews began cleaning up branches, sawdust and other debris left on streets, boulevards, sidewalks and front yards.
  • Stump removal kicks into high gear in mid-April and will continue most of the summer.
  • Replacement trees: New trees will be planted in fall of 2019 and spring of 2020, depending on the species.
Get Kids on Their Feet or on a Seat
A free training for advocates of biking and walking takes place this Thursday, April 11, from 4:30-8 p.m. at Great River School, 1326 Energy Park Drive. The Walk! Bike! Fun! program gives parents, school staff, and community volunteers the tools to increase youth-targeted activities such as bike rodeos, bike trains, a walking school bus, remote drop-offs, and mapping safe cycling and walking routes to school.

The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota supplies the training. Sign up here
Photo: Marion Star
MnDOT Rolls Out More Barrels
It's officially detour season, as far as the Minnesota Department of Transportation is concerned. Here are nearby freeway projects to be aware of:
  • Interstate 35W: Through this Sunday, April 7, expect nighttime lane reductions northbound between County Road E2 and I-694, and in both directions between Highway 10 and County Road J. Crews expect to work 8 p.m.-5 a.m. Beginning this Monday, April 8, northbound capacity on 35W will shrink to two lanes between County Road C and Mounds View Blvd., and shrink to three lanes between Mounds View Blvd. and Highway 10.
  • Interstate 94: A heads-up for next weekend: From 8 p.m. Friday April 12 through 5 a.m. Monday April 15, eastbound I-94 will shut down completely at the I-94/494/694 interchange. So will the ramps from eastbound I-94 to northbound I-694 and from southbound I-694 to eastbound I-94. Westbound I-94 will remain open. 
  • Interstate 694: Two ramps are closed at Rice Street: the ramp from eastbound 694 to Rice, and the westbound ramp from Rice to 694. These ramps will be closed most of the spring and summer.
Photo: Saint Paul SeeClickFix.
We're Still on Pothole Patrol
  • City of Saint Paul: Report potholes or other road issues online, by email at potholes@ci.stpaul.mn.us, or by calling 651-266-9700. 
  • Ramsey County: File a report online or by calling 651-266-7100
  • Minnesota Department of Transportation: File a report online
Renter Voice Summit is in the Works
Ward 4 Council Member Mitra Jalali Nelson, the District 10 Como Community Council, and four other district councils are teaming up to hold a free "renter voice summit" on Thursday April 18 at Hamline University. The summit will help renters:
  • Learn whom they should call for what, so renters can access public and private resources available to them.
  • Understand rights and protections renters have under state and local law.
  • Connect with the district council in their neighborhood, and find out how renters can make an impact on local issues where they live.
  • Meet neighbors and plan new ways for renters to make their voice heard across Saint Paul.
The event is Thursday April 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Hamline University's Anderson Center, Room 111, 774 N. Snelling. Pizza and activities for children will be available. Note: You don't have to be a renter to attend.  RSVP via Facebook , or email the  Ward 4 office .
Looking Ahead
  • This Tuesday, April 9: Saint Paul Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission Annual Summit, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wellstone Community Center, 179 Robie St. E.
  • Next Saturday, April 13: Breakfast with the Bunny, 10-11:30 a.m. North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 N. St. Albans. Pancake breakfast, games, crafts, photo opportunities and more. $2 per person, $5 for a family of three or more.
  • Friday April 19: Deadline to place orders through the annual plant sale from Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County.
  • Friday April 26: Mini Bio Blitz, 5 p.m. Kilmer Fireplace, Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom. Survey spring ephemerals in the Woodland -- the first of five nature surveys this year. To register, email Teri Heyer.
  • Saturday April 27: Citywide Spring Cleanup, 9-11:30 a.m. Como Lakeside Pavilion and a dozen other sites citywide.
  • Saturday April 26: Chelsea Heights Silent Auction, 7 p.m.-midnight. Gabe's by the Park. $15
Neighborhood Events You've Been Asking About
Don't Open Yourself Up to a Break-In
Nicer weather increases opportunities for burglars to swoop in, as more of us open our doors and windows more often. To burglar-proof your home, ask Saint Paul Police for a free "premise survey." They'll evaluate your doors, windows, fencing, lighting, landscaping and more. Then, they'll offer advice on how to improve your safety -- improvements that often cost only a few dollars and a little time.

To schedule a premise survey: Contact Patty Lammers by email or by phone at 651-266-5455.
Photo: T. Boardman
Streetcar Station is Open Sunday
The Como Park Streetcar Station is open this Sunday, April 7, from noon-4 p.m. It is a great chance to pick up organics recycling bags or kitchen starter kits, or 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.