Especially with the thaw we had this past week, it's more important than ever to understand when ice may be safe -- and when it definitely is not. This guide is from Saint Paul's Department of Emergency Management.
Sing Out on the Solstice
Cameron Kinghorn helps Bring the Sing. Photo: The Current
Today is the winter solstice. Days start getting longer. And Spring Café, Classical MPR, and The Current are celebrating with something they're calling " Bring the Sing."

The free event at the Como Lakeside Pavilion welcomes anyone with a voice to join PaviElle French, Jerry Rubino, "Daddy Squeeze" Dan Newton, Cameron Kinghorn, leaders from the Twin Cities Beer Choir, and potentially hundreds of others in going anything but quietly into the night.

You'll be singing traditional (and not-yet-traditional) holiday and seasonal songs. And, no, it doesn't matter if you can or cannot read music. There will be two 30-minute sing-alongs indoors, and three 20-minute sets on the Promenade outdoors. To keep you nourished and lubricated, Spring Café will open for the evening with snacks and drinks.

Doors open today, Friday Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.; singing starts at 6.
An architect's vision of the school's proposed gymnasium, seen from Como Ave. looking east.
Zoning Committee Delays TCGIS Vote  
After a four-hour hearing Dec. 20, the Zoning Committee of Saint Paul's Planning Committee delayed action on three variances and the site plan that Twin Cities German Immersion School is pursuing for its proposed expansion. ( Read more details)

The delay gives the school, city staff, and District 10 additional time to work out unresolved issues involving parking, traffic, pedestrian safety, and playground noise. The committee now is scheduled to take up the variances and site plan again on Jan. 17, and send a final recommendation to the Planning Commission to consider on Jan. 25.

The Como Community Council is supporting the school's variance requests, but urged the Zoning Committee to delay action on the site plan, which is the overall construction document. The district council says the site plan, as it currently exists, is incomplete and leaves too many crucial issues up in the air. 
District 10 Adds 3 to Honor Roll 
The Como Community Council has selected Jonah Fields, Laura Flockencier, and Maggie Zimmerman as District 10's 2019 nominees to the Saint Paul Neighborhood Honor Roll.

The annual, citywide award recognizes members of our community who make a sustained and lasting impact on the quality of life in Como and the city -- in other words, neighbors who make this a better place to live, work, and play.

Nominees from District 10 and the city's 16 other planning districts will be celebrated at a ceremony on Jan. 25 at the University of St. Thomas. Ultimately, they will be immortalized with their names on a plaque at City Hall.

District 10's honorees were among those nominated by neighborhood residents. Learn more about them
Remember, Recycling is Rescheduled  
Because of the Christmas and New Year's holidays, recycling pickup in District 10 is delayed one day the next two weeks. Instead of the usual Friday pickup, Eureka will empty the blue carts on Saturday Dec. 29 and on Saturday Jan. 5.

For residents east of Hamline who also have Friday trash pickup, that also will be delayed one day. For residents west of Hamline who have Monday trash pickup, nothing changes.
District 10's Holiday Shuffle 
Here's how the holidays will (or will not) affect District 10 operations:
  • The office will be closed more than it's open. But you can still email us or leave a phone message at 651-644-3889. We will get back to you.
  • This newsletter will not publish the next few weeks. If anything major happens, we'll update our website with the relevant information. Otherwise, look for us in your inbox again on Jan. 11.
  • Environment Committee already held its December meeting on Dec. 19, so there is no meeting on Dec. 26, the last Wednesday of the month.
  • Neighborhood Relations Committee will not meet on New Year's Day, which is the first Tuesday. Instead, the meeting is pushed back one week, to Tuesday Jan. 8, at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station.
  • Land Use Committee will meet as usual on the first Wednesday. That means Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station.
  • The Streetcar Station will be open as usual on the first Sunday of the month, Jan. 6, from noon-4 p.m. Stop in to pick up an organics recycling starter kit, pick up replacement compostable bags, or just share comments and suggestions with Mike, who is the District 10 board member on staff that day. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. 
Committee agendas will be posted on our website when they are available. All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate.
Get What You Are Paying For 
As part of the trash deal the city has with haulers, Saint Paul residents are able to dispose of one " bulky item" for free in calendar year 2018. To make this happen, you must call your hauler at least 48 hours in advance, so time's a-wastin'. Hauler phone numbers are in the blue box on the city's online trash page. (In 2019, you'll get to dispose of 2-3 bulky items, depending on what level of service you pay for.)

Also for free: Residents get to dispose of one formerly live Christmas tree from Jan. 2-15. Here's the catch: The tree must be less than 6 feet tall and weigh less than 20 pounds. If that describes your tree, you can just put it out next to your regular trash; you don't have to call your hauler in advance. Those trees, like other trash collected in the city, are burned at the county's waste incinerator. Here are the regulations on making that happen.

If your tree is bigger than that, it is treated as a "bulky item." So you have to call your hauler to make sure it gets picked up. (Or, you can dispose of the tree yourself in an environmentally suitable way; see the third story below for details.)

It's the season of exchanges: If your current cart size does not fit your needs, you can trade in the cart for a different size for free, beginning Jan. 2. A different size, of course, comes with a different fee. Again, call your hauler to make that happen.

Lest we forget: Haulers will be mailing quarterly trash bills for January-March 2019 on Jan. 5. 
Countdown Till Daylight 
The party animals at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory will have the hats and noisemakers waiting for you as they blast in 2019 with their annual Noon Year's Eve celebration. This year features a confetti dance party with the DJs of Kidsdance; countdown crafts; face-painting; a "silly selfie" station; special talks about polar bears, giraffes, and gorillas; and boomer ball bowling. (That sounds ageist and politically incorrect, but it really has something to do with enrichment toys for animals.)

The free festivities run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. The big countdown, complete with biodegradable confetti, begins at 10 seconds before noon each day. Beyond the frivolity, you can also drop off old cell phones, holiday lights, and unused handheld electronics, which will be recycled to benefit orangutan conservation worldwide.
Think 'Summer' Before It's Too Late  
Saint Paul residents and businesses can get 2019 park reservation permits beginning Wednesday Jan. 2 at the park district's maintenance office, 1100 N. Hamline. Find details online about what ID you need to supply and what kind of paperwork you need to fill out to reserve a picnic shelter, building, or other park facility. A quick rundown of the timeline:
  • Show up in person between 6:30 and 7 a.m. Jan. 2 -- and you'll get a lottery number. Permits will be distributed beginning at 7:01, based on lottery drawings. 
  • Show up after 7 a.m., and you can apply on a first-come, first-served basis -- after lottery customers are taken care of.
  • Beginning Thursday Jan. 3, make a phone reservation by calling 651-266-6400. If you want to take care of your permit in person, you've got to go downtown to the City Hall Annex, 25 W. 4th St., Suite 400. You can do that weekdays from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Beginning Friday Feb. 1, make a reservation online. Feb. 1 is also the first day people who don't live in Saint Paul can apply for permits regardless of how they do it: in person, on the phone, or online. 
Watching Our Waste: Holiday Leftovers 
When the celebrations are over, here's what you can and cannot recycle:
  • Natural trees, wreaths, and garland: Take them to a Ramsey County yard waste site; they'll be turned into mulch. Sites are open Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Or, toss them in your yard or garden for the time being; they can provide shelter for birds and other critters. In either case, remove lights, garland, tinsel, hooks, and all decorations.
  • Lights: If your strands of lights are history, recycle them for free at any Saint Paul Public Library branch or the Saint Paul Regional Water Services office (1900 Rice St.) before Jan. 31. Or, take them to Ramsey County's hazardous waste collection site, 5 Empire Drive, any time of year. Be sure to first cut off any battery packs or electronics. The site is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Working lights: Donate them to Goodwill, 1239 W. University.
  • Wrapping paper: Cannot be recycled in your Eureka cart. Put it in the trash.
  • Tissue paper: Cannot be recycled in your Eureka cart. But it can be composted at District 10's Como Park organics recycling site, or at Ramsey County yard waste sites. 
  • Food scraps: Compost them at home. Or collect them in a compostable bag and take them to District 10's community organics recycling site in Como Park, at roughly 1149 Beulah Lane, just north of the Animal Humane Society. 
We're Still Hoping to Hear from You  
What do you think about Como -- the good, the not-so-good, what you'd keep, what you'd change. A new survey gives you the chance to let us know. District 10 wants your opinions and ideas about neighborhood trends, amenities, issues, characteristics, and possibilities. The goal: Give the Como Community Council a better understanding of how, where, and why to prioritize (or re-prioritize) goals and work for 2019 and beyond. Take the survey
Occupy Your Time 
  • Sunday Jan. 6: The annual Music Under Glass series opens with Annie Mack, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Free
  • Friday Jan. 14: Public hearing on "Saint Paul for All," the city's 2040 comprehensive plan, which establishes the principles (and in some cases, the specifics) that will guide city development for the next 20 years. 8:30 a.m., Room 40, City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. (Or, comment online now)
  • Saturday Jan. 26: Ramsey County Fix-It Clinic, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Roseville library, Hamline at County Road B.
  • Friday Feb. 8: Public hearing on Saint Paul's first pedestrian plan, 8:30 a.m. Room 40, City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. (Or, comment online now)
Don't Box Yourself into a Situation  
You know we think recycling at home is a good thing. But there's one exception: The cardboard packaging that we throw outside can advertise to burglars what they might find inside. 

Again this season, we can get these clues off our property. Saint Paul Police and the city's All In recycling program have a special drop-off site exclusively for cardboard boxes from tools, TVs, computers, phones, electronics, and other goodies we buy for ourselves or as gifts. The bin is outside the Western District police station, 389 N. Hamline, until Jan. 8. The service is free; to maximize space, break down the cardboard before you deposit it.
 
Photographers, Show Us Your Stuff 
We know plenty of you are taking pictures of the people, places, and things that make our neighborhood unique. We can give you more exposure. This newsletter is happy to highlight the best of what local photographers send us about life in Como. It's easy: Just email us your top image from the previous seven days or so.   
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.