Slipping away: A fading sunset and the playground in Como Regional Park put on a late autumn slide show for Otto Mass. Photo: Debby Smith
Putting Housing on the Front Burner
The future of the city's S.A.F.E. Housing initiative is featured during this week's monthly Como Community Council board meeting. S.A.F.E Housing -- which stands for stable, accessible, fair and equitable -- is developing a range of tenant protections and policy goals. The intent: decrease displacement and increase housing opportunities for all city residents -- including renters, who now are more than half of Saint Paul's population. Kirstin Burch, the city's fair housing coordinator, will explain what the city has done so far and what it hopes to do next.

Details: The meeting begins this Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All renters, homeowners, and other District 10 community members are welcome to attend and participate. Preliminary agenda 

If the technology works, the meeting will stream live on Facebook.
One version of the "zero waste" hierarchy
The 5 R's of Zero Waste
Recycling and composting are fine. But to really reduce our trash footprint, we need to cut back on what we acquire in the first place, and change how we acquire it. That's the advice a co-founder of Zero Waste Saint Paul gave District 10's Environment Committee this week. For every bag of trash a household throws out, Kristina Mattson says, 70 more bags previously were created "upstream" -- before we even get our hands on anything.

That's why refusing to bring useless stuff into our homes is the most important step in moving toward zero waste, Mattson says. In fact, "refuse" (accent on the "Re") is the first of the five R's in the "zero waste hierarchy," a road map for individuals and families.

Eliminating single-use packaging and eating all the food we buy are two of the most practical steps we can take, Mattson says. Other tips include doing more repairing, sharing, and borrowing; donating instead of dumping; buying experiences for gifts; and carrying our own carry-out containers.
One step: Ramsey County has added "reuse" guidelines to its household waste web pages. It includes advice on repairing, donating, and selling stuff (instead of simply trashing it).
Photo: Land o' Lakes
Can You Help Serve Early Turkey?
District 10's Neighborhood Relations Committee is looking for four community volunteers to help serve an early Thanksgiving dinner to seniors who live in the Como By The Lake apartment community. We'll bring the food; volunteers can help set up, serve, and socialize. We're looking for help on Tuesday Nov. 26, from 3:30-6:30 p.m., at 901 East Como Blvd. If you can join us, email us.
Give Someone Some Recognition
Know someone who makes the Como Park area a better place to live, work or play? Nominate them for the Neighborhood Honor Roll, which is an annual recognition given by each of the city's 17 district councils. The Honor Roll pays tribute to everyday people who make a sustained and lasting impact in their neighborhood or in the city.

Submit your nominations by email no later than Thursday Dec. 12. Tell us who you are nominating and why. The Como Community Council board then selects three of your nominees on Dec. 17 to recognize for 2019.  Previous winners 
Community Yoga is a Few Weeks Away
It's been a rough year. Stop carrying all those frustrations and bad vibes around. Release them at District 10's next Community Yoga: Sunday Dec. 1 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station.

The session will be suitable for all levels of skill and experience.  Registration is $5, which benefits the Como Community Council.
Your Recycling Bin is Not a Toy Bin
Children's toys, with or without batteries, don't play well with recycling facilities. They're often made of more than one material (plastic, metal, textiles); that makes them difficult or impossible to separate and recycle. If they contain batteries, they can start fires at recycling facilities.

The city's Recycle Smart campaign recommends these options for old toys and sporting goods instead of throwing them into the blue cart:
  • If they're still usable, pass them along to relatives, friends, neighbors, or families at your school, workplace, or congregation.
  • Hold a garage sale or post them online on sites such as Nextdoor, Twin Cities Free Market, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist.
  • Bring toys to a donation center or second-hand store, such as Bridging, Arc's Value Village, Goodwill, or the Salvation Army.
  • Bring sporting goods to an equipment reseller such as Play it Again Sports, Way to Go Sports, or Instant Replay.
Batteries, by the way, cannot be recycled through your blue cart, either. Alkaline and carbon zinc batteries can go in the trash; other batteries must go to a county hazardous waste disposal site.

In case you missed it: Today, Friday Nov. 15, is America Recycles Day. What action can you pledge?
A Place for New Mothers 
Ramsey County's Baby Cafe is a free, drop-in service for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and their families to get advice, share tips, and socialize. Babies and siblings are welcome, though formal child care is not available. 

Among Café sites: The Wilder Foundation, 451 N. Lexington Parkway, from 4-6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month. That includes this Wednesday, Nov. 20.
What Do You Want Public Transit to Be?
Got ideas on how Metro Transit can improve its public transit network? Then take the agency's Network Next survey, which looks at routes, scheduling, service, and more. The survey is open until Saturday Nov. 30.

Thank You! 
Our sincere thanks to community members who remembered the Como Community Council on Give to the Max Day. Combined, you donated $500 to help us do what we do best. We deeply appreciate your support.

It's Roller Derby Season Again at the Fairgrounds
  • North Star Roller Derby: This Saturday, Nov. 16, Warner Coliseum. 6-10 p.m. General admission: $14 (children age 10 or younger free with a paid adult). Group, premium, and season tickets also are available.
In the Next Few Weeks... 
  • Today, Friday Nov. 15: Saint Paul public schools are closed. 
  • Today, Friday Nov. 15: Deadline to nominate an adult, youth, or organization for a Capitol Region Watershed District Watershed Steward Award. 
  • This Tuesday, Nov. 19: Ward 1 Community Meal, 5-8 p.m. Frogtown Community Center, 230 Como Ave. An event to unite neighbors across social, cultural, and economic barriers by sharing food and conversation. Free.
  • This Tuesday, Nov. 19: "A Place for Everyone," 6:30-8 p.m. Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 County Road C2, Roseville. A discussion of fair housing for all community members, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. 
  • Next Saturday, Nov. 23: Graze and Give Thanks, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 1460 Almond. Free Thanksgiving dinner and dish sampler, complete with recipes! Donations will support the housing programs at Booth Brown House. 
  • Next Sunday, Nov. 24: Arts and Crafts Festival, 1-4 p.m. Northwest Como Recreation Center, 1550 N. Hamline. Proceeds benefit Chelsea Heights Elementary School. Local vendors and artisans, plus spice rubs, paintings, and jewelry from school staff members. Cotton candy, sand art, and games for kids.
  • Monday Nov. 25: Public hearing on proposed 2020-21 budget for Ramsey County, 6:30 p.m. Ramsey County Library-Maplewood, 3020 Southlawn Drive.
Before Your Packages Disappear 
Package theft never goes out of season -- but it's definitely in season now. If you see someone stealing a package, call 911 immediately; give descriptions of cars, individuals, direction they're heading, etc. Meanwhile, here's how to minimize your chances of being a victim: 
  • If you know packages are coming but you won't be home, ask a trustworthy neighbor to keep an eye out and retrieve your delivery.
  • Request that your packages be left at a side or back door, to reduce their     visibility. Or place a large, opaque container on your porch so thieves driving by can't see if there's anything inside or not.
  • Whenever possible, request the "signature required" option. That way, the package won't be delivered unless someone signs for it.
  • Ask for a tracking number. If the tracking report says your package was delivered, but it's not at your door, call the police and the sender immediately.
Of course, you can decide not to have the package delivered to your home at all. Instead:
  • Get your package delivered to your workplace, or to a relative or neighbor who is home during the day.
  • Have the shipping service hold your package at a customer service center or delivery locker so you can pick it up on your schedule. The US Postal Service, UPS, Fed Ex, and Amazon all have options.

This week's Como community crime update: They're still breaking into cars.

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.