Early morning spectacle: An ice halo and sun dogs gave the work week an unusual start. The atmospheric phenomena occur when sunlight refracts off ice crystals. The term "sun dog" dates to the 1600s, but etymologists don't know where it came from. Photo: Nile Fellows
Spring Café's New Owners Plan to Surprise You
Some people expect the worst when Lancer Hospitality takes over Como Pavilion's Spring Café. Tony Arvidson expects to prove them wrong. 

If you're thinking foil-wrapped burgers sitting under a heat lamp, readjust your thinking. "You're going to see chef-centric food," the company's regional vice president told District 10 in a wide-ranging conversation about the restaurant. "You're going to see good customer service. There will be a good vibe."

Lancer bought out Spring Café last month, and expects to open in April or "as soon as we get consistently warm weather," Arvidson says. When that happens, Lancer's corporate resources and local experience will be an asset, he argues, not something skeptics fear -- a restaurant that will cater to the lowest common denominator.

"We want to show what we can do," Arvidson says. But he does expect to play it cautiously at the beginning. "We want to get in the doors, get a feel for what the community wants ... rather than say 'This is what we're going to give you.' We're nimble. Some things will not work, so we'll fix it."

Visitors can expect dietary options, a family friendly atmosphere, and weekend brunch; tweaks such as pagers to let them know when their meal is ready; and a lot more promotion and marketing. Lancer also expects to put business practices into place that make it more likely Spring Café can thrive year-round and long-term. "We're excited about it," Arvidson says. "We're inheriting a facility that a lot of people want to succeed."
Photo: Minnesota Public Radio
Let's Keep Parking Regulations Straight
For the rest of March, you cannot park on the even-numbered side of residential streets anywhere in Saint Paul. The one-sided parking ban makes it possible for emergency vehicles (and all of us, frankly) to get through the snow tunnels. It's the same concept that applies to many of our neighborhood streets during the State Fair. (The even-numbered side of the street has addresses that end in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8; generally, that means you cannot park on the east and south sides of residential streets.)

However: When there is a snow emergency, snow emergency rules take priority. During a snow emergency -- which sounds like a good bet Sunday night into Monday -- ignore the even-odd rules and follow the usual night plowing-day plowing protocol. Generally, during night plowing, you cannot park on arterial streets or on the side of north-south residential streets that is marked with a "night plow route" sign. During day plowing, you generally cannot park on east-west residential streets or on the side of north-side residential streets that is not marked as a "night plow route."

When the snow emergency is over, one-sided parking restrictions go back into effect. See the city's map of where one-sided parking restrictions do or do not apply. Or, see our website for the list of neighborhood streets where one-sided parking does not apply. 
Photo: Debby Smith
Round, Round, Get Around
Add pedestrian kiosks with maps and other helpful information in key locations of Como Regional Park. Improve the condition of paths and ramps. Make bike paths two-way in certain stretches. Those are among more than a dozen recommendations drafted so far by District 10's Como Pathways Project, designed to make it easier for people to get around the park when they are not in a motor vehicle. The recommendations include priorities from a survey of more than 550 neighborhood residents and park users. Now the project team is seeking final feedback on those priorities.

Details:  Drop in to share your thoughts this Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N. There will be an open-house format for the first 45 minutes or so, followed by a more-formal presentation with additional question-and-answer time after that.
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?
Twin Cities German Immersion School's proposal to construct a stone gabion fence as a sound and sight buffer along its eastern property line will be among topics of discussion at District 10's Land Use Committee meeting this Monday. The committee's rescheduled meeting begins at 7 p.m. March 11 at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All renters, homeowners, and other community members are welcome to attend and participate.  Preliminary agenda
A seat at the table awaits you.
It's Not Too Early to Think About It
Annual elections for the District 10 Como Community Council board take place April 16. Nine board positions are up for election; in at least five of them, the incumbent is not seeking re-election. That makes it a great opportunity for new activists to seek an open seat. The positions on this April's ballot:
Any renter, homeowner, or other resident of District 10 who is age 16 or older is 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 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.
Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Yes, We're Rushing the Season
District 10's 2019 Sunday Series will get you thinking about spring and summer. We guarantee it.

First up: mosquitoesOne of our most invisible government agencies -- the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District -- talks about how they control the blood-sucking and disease-spreading pests, middle-of-the-night maneuvers, what's in those fog machines, and even what those red triangles on storm grates mean.  Details: Mosquitoes, Sunday March 24, 1-2:30 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Free.

One week later, we'll talk tornadoes. Floods. Fire. Civil unrest. If disaster strikes, how prepared are you to evacuate your home in a hurry? Saint Paul Emergency Management explains its role in preparing for the unexpected, what you can do to prepare yourself and your family, and what you should pack in your "go bag."
Details: Preparing for an emergency, Sunday March 31, 1-2:30 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. Free.  Future Sunday Series presentations:
  • How to be a citizen scientist: Sunday April 14.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle: What do you really know? Sunday May 5.
Neighborhood Events Further Down the Road
  • Renters Summit. Thursday April 18.
  • Citywide Spring Cleanup. Saturday April 27.
  • Como Neighborhood Garage Sale. Weekend of May 17.
  • Como Community Seed Library's "Seed Your Dream." Saturday May 18.
  • District 10 Community Yoga. Sunday June 9.
  • District 10 Ice Cream Social. Friday July 12.
  • Como Neighborhood Pollinator Garden Tour. Saturday July 13.
Metro Transit Juggles Route Schedules
Bus schedules change on the A Line and Routes 3 and 83 in the Como neighborhood, beginning this Saturday, March 9. The biggest change affects Route 83: Metro Transit is eliminating some morning and evening runs, including all runs after 7 p.m. Details 
Meals on Wheels Needs Como Volunteers
Meals on Wheels is looking for volunteers to deliver lunch -- and a smile, and kind words -- to homebound residents in our neighborhood. Your gift of time brings a nutritious meal, helps break isolation, and adds quality to neighbors' lives. The basics:
  • Routes typically take an hour or less. They run 10:30 a.m.-noon weekdays. 
  • Drivers can deliver daily, weekly, monthly, or somewhere in between. The Como neighborhood is specifically short of drivers on Fridays.
  • Volunteers must have a valid Minnesota driver's license and agree to a criminal background check (which the Wilder Foundation pays for).
To learn more, start here. Or, contact Grant Watkins by email or by phone: 651-280-2504.
Red Lake Currant is one of the shrubs available.
Think Green, then Act on It
When you're leaning on a shovel this weekend, think about the excellent soil moisture all that snow and ice will provide this spring. That could generate excellent growing conditions. Which makes it a perfect weekend to browse what's available in the annual plant sale from Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County.

The group -- which works to plan and preserve parks, trails, and open spaces -- offers 16 locally grown, hardy selections of trees, shrubs, roses, vines and, for the first time, a native perennial -- liatris. You can buy a plant for your yard. You can buy a plant for a local park. You can do both. Just place your order no later than April 19. Pickup is two weeks later, on May 4.
Borrow the Internet
You can borrow a lot of things with your Saint Paul library card. Did you know that includes checking out a wireless internet hotspot for up to a week? The device can give you a free, high-speed internet connection almost anywhere you go. Get the details
This Weekend at the Fairgrounds
  • Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Classic: Today-Sunday, March 8-10, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Friday, 1-9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: 16 or older, $12; children 10-15, $5; children 9 or younger, free. Discounts available.
A March Sampler
  • Today, Friday March 8: Ward 1 Council Member Dai Thao holds drop-in "office" hours, 1-2 p.m., Golden Thyme Café, 921 Selby Ave.
  • Thursday March 14: Mayor Melvin Carter's State of Our City Summit, 6-8 p.m. Harding High School, 1540 E. 6th St.
  • Thursday March 21: Deadline to submit a 2019 Neighborhood STAR application. The City of Saint Paul program provides low-interest loans and grants for neighborhood and local business projects.
  • Thursday March 28: Discuss the final draft of the updated Como Lake Management Plan, 6-8 p.m., Capitol Region Watershed District, 595 Aldine St.
You Don't Know What You've Got Till ... 
Having an up-to-date property inventory makes life much easier if you become a burglary victim. An inventory makes filing insurance claims less of a hassle, and even makes recovery of stolen items more likely. You can record your inventory on paper, on a computer, or in the cloud -- but keep a backup copy outside your home.

Insurance companies often have forms that help you compile an inventory. At the very least, inventory key personal documents (such as credit cards and insurance papers), electronics, jewelry, tools and power equipment, bikes, and furniture (inside and out). Record serial numbers where possible. Take photos or video room by room, especially of unique items such as antiques or heirlooms.
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.