May 7, 2021
Film Festival Features Outdoor Screenings at Pavilion
The MSP International Film Festival brings three outdoor screenings to the Como Lakeside Pavilion next weekend:
  • “Summer of Soul … or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised.” This documentary resurrects the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which happened the same summer as Woodstock but got nowhere near the publicity. The film – which is Questlove’s debut as director – won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. This Thursday, May 13, 8:30 p.m. Tickets range from $100 a pair for benches to $225 for a table of four.
  • “The Claw,” world premiere of a documentary about legendary professional wrestler Baron Von Raschke. Next Friday, May 14, 8:20 p.m. Includes a personal appearance by Von Raschke. Tickets range from $50 a pair for benches to $140 for a table of four.
  • “Hollywood Fringe,” next Saturday, May 15, 8 p.m. Includes personal appearances by filmmakers Megan Huber and Wyatt McDill, plus a pre-film concert by John Munson of the New Standards. Tickets range from $50 a pair for benches to $150 for a table of four.

Doors open at 7 p.m. each night; the event is required to end by 10 p.m. on May 13, and 11 p.m. on May 14-15. Face masks are required; social distancing protocols will be in place. (These and other films in the festival also can be streamed during specific timeframes.)
Photo: Stevie Wonder at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival
Speaking of Access to the Pavilion
A seasonal reminder: Dock & Paddle’s contract with the city allows the restaurant to manage -- and at times, restrict access to -- the Promenade and other parts of the Como Lake Pavilion. Here's how to track concerts and other scheduled events. (In addition to the film festival next weekend, Dock & Paddle has concert with Mary Cutrufello tonight, Friday May 7; and a concert with Todd Clouser and Alex Mercado this Tuesday, May 11. The free concerts are 6-8 p.m.)

Here is the access policy Dock & Paddle says is in place for 2021:
  • The south gate to the Promenade is open to the public (and dogs) during the business hours of Dock & Paddle, unless the Promenade is closed for a private event.
  • Under the lease with the City, the Promenade is an extension of Dock & Paddle; it is not a public picnic area. Members of the public and their dogs can enjoy the Promenade and concerts without purchasing food, but no outside food or beverages are allowed.
  • The Department of Health has denied a waiver to allow pets to pass through the restaurant. Tables along the front walk of the restaurant do accommodate guests with dogs. 
  • All guests are asked to sign in for Covid-tracing purposes, whether they enter the restaurant through the main door or through the Promenade gate.
District 10 Seeks New Executive Director
The Como Community Council is seeking an Executive Director to provide leadership, vision, and the administrative foundation for the Council, its activists, and its activities.

The director often is the most-visible representative of the district council. The director’s ability to provide continuity and connections, to organize and mobilize community assets, to expand capacity, to navigate systems and personalities, and to combine practical and aspirational goals heavily influences the organization’s success.

Learn more about the position; the initial review of applicants will begin May 20. The new director would replace Michael Kuchta, who has been in the position since October 2015. Kuchta is moving out of state to become town administrator on Madeline Island.
Time is Running Short to Make a Difference
This Sunday, May 9, is the deadline to get on the ballot to fill one of two open seats on the Como Community Council board – and to have more say in how things turn out in your neighborhood. Elections will take place for:
  • One At Large seat. Any District 10 community member can run for this seat.
  • One seat from Sub-District 3. District 10 community members who live between Victoria, Larpenteur, Dale, and north of the railroad tracks can run for this seat.

How to run: Community members who want to get on the ballot in the special elections can fill out this application by May 9.

You can't have an election without votes: The voting period in the special elections begins this Monday, May 10, and runs through Tuesday May 18. If you voted in the April annual elections, we’ll send you a ballot automatically. Other community members who want to vote should request a ballot.

Who is eligible: Renters, homeowners, and other residents of District 10 who are at least 16 years old can run for the board and vote. So can representatives from business, nonprofits, or other organizations with a physical presence in District 10.
Help Us Clean Up the Lake Your Way
The Como Community Council is coordinating two different types of Como Lake Clean-Up events this month.
  • An in-person clean-up on Saturday May 22: Get together with others in the community to clean trash from the lake surface or shoreline between 9 a.m.-noon. We’ll meet near the dock on the lake side of the Lakeside Pavilion.
  • A weeklong “do it yourself” opportunity from Saturday May 22 through Friday May 28: You (and your own circle of friends, neighbors, or family) clean up trash and debris on your own schedule.

Whichever option you choose, register in advance to help us plan. And, whichever option you choose, you are welcome to borrow tools (grabbers, rakes, buckets) while our supplies last. We’ll also have plenty of disposable supplies (trash bags, nitrile gloves) for you to use. Or, feel free to provide your own gear.

If you want to borrow tools or pick up supplies, stop by the lower level of the Pavilion any time from 9 a.m.-noon on May 22. You then can return tools to the Historic Streetcar Station on Saturday May 29 from 9-11 a.m.

(A partnership grant from the Capital Region Watershed District makes this all possible.)
See a Coyote? Here’s the Best Way to Report It
Maybe you like seeing all those coyotes, turkeys, deer, raccoons, and other wildlife rummaging through our neighborhood. However, maybe you think are a nuisance – or even a threat.

Whatever your view, Adam Robbins, natural resources supervisor for Parks and Recreation, explains how the city decides whether to interfere with nature, the federal and local laws it must follow, and what residents should and should not do if coming face to face with wild creatures. Plus, he talks about how you can help the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities Coyote and Fox Project track these animals as they expand their urban range.

It was all part of a discussion Robbins had with the Como Community Council’s Land Use Committee on May 5; you can watch a recording of his presentation – it clocks in at less than half an hour.
Miniature Golf Course Expands
Construction is under way for the renovation and expansion of the Como Mini Golf Course, part of a $200 million investment required under Wheel Fun Rentals’ contract with Parks and Recreation. The project turns the 18-hole course into 27 holes with completely new landscaping and design. The course is expected to open by Memorial Day weekend.

Nearby, Cafesjian's Carousel plans to reopen on Friday May 21. The nonprofit that runs the historic merry-go-round is seeking volunteers to run the ride, sell tickets, and operate the gift shop. Shifts are 3-4 hours; training is provided. If you are interested, call 651-489-4628 or send an email.
County Expands Vaccine Availability
Ramsey County-Saint Paul Public Health is offering free Moderna vaccines to anyone age 18 or older at three sites, including Saturdays from noon-6 p.m. at Oxford Community Center, 270 Lexington Parkway N. Register in advance, or walk in up to 15 minutes before closing time.

In addition, the county will distribute the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Oxford Community Center on Saturday May 22 from noon-6 p.m. Anyone age 18 or older can register in advance or walk in that day.

If you want to get vaccinated somewhere else:
  • Use the state’s Vaccine Locator, which is a searchable map and database that identifies pharmacies, clinics, and other vaccine providers.
Options for Getting a Covid-19 Test
If you think you’ve been exposed to Covid-19:
  • Order a free saliva test for Covid-19, which you can administer at home.
  • Get tested nearby – or anywhere in the state. Free saliva testing is available at Roy Wilkins Auditorium; enter at 175 Kellogg Blvd. The site is open seven days a week: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. Register in advance 
Want to Add Trees at North Dale?
Parks and Recreation is seeking volunteers to plant trees on Saturday May 22. Groups of two-four can register to replace ash trees that were cut down to fight emerald ash borer. Planting takes place at North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 St. Albans, from 9 a.m.-noon.
Renters, Landlords Can Get Help
Minnesota Housing is accepting applications from:
  • Renters in the state who have unpaid rent or utilities as far back as April 1 of last year (2020)
  • Landlords whose tenants are behind on payments

In the Twin Cities, renters could be eligible if they have been impacted by Covid-19 and have annual incomes of less than $54,950 for an individual, or $78,400 for a household of four. Find our more, apply online, or call 211 Mondays-Saturdays 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

More help with energy bills: The state Department of Commerce also has energy assistance available for renters and homeowners to pay for heat bills or furnace repairs. Eligibility is based on the past three months’ income; for individuals, that would be up to $8,479; for a family of four, up to $16,307. Contact the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties for details.

At risk of disconnection? The state's major utilities will resume disconnecting customers beginning Aug. 2, according to the Citizens Utility Board -- unless customers have a pending or approved application for energy assistance. Customers at risk of a disconnection should receive a notice from their utility in May; official disconnection notices will be sent beginning June 1.
Take the Next Left
What do you do when making a left turn? The Traffic Observatory at the University of Minnesota is researching how drivers act at intersections with different kinds of traffic signals. Take their survey
This Week at the Fairgrounds
  • FASH Spring Horse Show: Through this Sunday, May 9, Warner Coliseum and livestock buildings. Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 6-9:30 p.m. No public admission.
  • Minnesota Water Garden Society Water Plant and Pond Fish Sale: Through this Sunday, May 9, Grandstand Plaza. Hours: Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Preregistration is required.
  • Drive-In Booyah Bash: Today, Friday May 7, Kidway. Hours: 6-10 p.m. In-person, $500 for vehicles of up to four people; virtual attendance is free.
  • State Fair and Sports Team Merchandise Clearance Sale: Today-Saturday, May 7-8, Visitor’s Plaza (Dan Patch and Underwood). Hours: Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Healing Circles Continue on Tuesdays
Ramsey County is organizing a virtual healing circle for residents struggling with the impacts of the killings of George Floyd and Daunte Wright and their aftermaths. The free sessions are every Tuesday this month – May 11, 18 and 25 – from 4-5:30 p.m. More information
City Digs Further into Administrative Citation Concept
The Department of Safety and Inspections and the City Attorney’s Office hold an information session this Tuesday, May 11, at 6 p.m. to explain and answer questions about a proposal to create administrative citations in the city. An administrative citation is a civil fine issued for a violation of city ordinance; it would be an alternative to criminal charges. The City Council expects to vote this Wednesday, May 12, on a resolution asking the Charter Commission to recommend whether or not to add administrative citation language to the city charter. To attend, register here.

Other things to pay attention to in City Hall:
  • Saint Paul has extended the deadline to comment on proposals that would reduce or eliminate parking lot requirements in many situations. You can submit comments until this Sunday, May 9, at 5 p.m.
  • Saint Paul has also extended the deadline on public comments about the city’s Homeless Services Zoning Study. Comments must be submitted by email before Tuesday June 1 at 5 p.m. Find details here
  • But, a last-minute notice: Saint Paul wants to shift how it is using some of its federal CARES Act money. The proposal would eliminate funding for commercial corridor, citywide economic development, and public facility improvements, and instead use that $494,395 for expanded public services. If you’ve got questions or comments, get them to Julie Hostak by email or phone (651-266-8545) no later than this Saturday, May 8.
  • Annual Action Plans: Saint Paul wants to modify agreements it has with the federal department of Housing and Urban Development to move $750,000 from “economic development activity” and “clearance activity” into Multi-Unit Housing Development and Multi-Unit Rehabilitation Activity funds. Public feedback is being taken until this Wednesday, May 12. For questions or comments, contact Julie Hostak by email or phone at 651-266-8545.
  • Next Friday, May 14, is the deadline to apply for a Cultural STAR grant. This is the only grant cycle in 2021.

Meanwhile, in District 10:
  • 1053 Dale St. N: A hearing to rezone this property from R4 Residential to T2 Traditional Neighborhood is scheduled before City Council on Wednesday May 19. 
  • Como Lakeside Pavilion: The liquor, Sunday liquor, outdoor liquor, and entertainment licenses for the restaurant now known as Dock & Paddle are up for renewal on June 4. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Council Member Amy Brendmoen.
  • Pope Automotive: The auto repair shop license for this business at 991 Front is up for renewal on June 13. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Council Member Amy Brendmoen.
  • Como Zoo and Conservatory: The liquor and Sunday liquor licenses are up for renewal on July 23. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 4 Council Member Mitral Jalali.
  • D&L Food and Gas: The gas station license for this convenience store on Dale and Larpenteur is up for renewal on July 28. Anyone with concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Council Member Amy Brendmoen.
Spread the word
You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.

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 volunteer Board of Directors who are elected directly by members of the community. As a district council, we work to improve and enjoy life where we live. We provide the glue behind neighborhood action, and combine the voices of renters, homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits who want to accomplish things.