Out of the icebox: Jonathan Baller, Joshua Baller, and Curtis Cook created this appropriately named "Staying Cool" sculpture at the Winter Carnival's Vulcan Snow Park on the Fairgrounds. Sculptures are on display through the weekend.
Commission's Vote on TCGIS Ruled Invalid
Saint Paul's Planning Commission must vote again on Twin Cities German Immersion School's building addition, because commissioners voted incorrectly last time. On Friday Jan. 25, the commission appeared to approve the school's site plan, which is a comprehensive document that is necessary before construction can begin on the proposed 24,650-square-foot addition.

However, the city attorney's office says the commission's vote was not valid. Here's why:  Before voting on the site plan, commissioners voted twice on three zoning variances the school's proposal needs -- a 3.1-foot variance on height, a 1 percent variance on lot coverage, and a 34-space parking variance. 
  • The commission's Zoning Committee recommended denying the variances but, on a 6-6 vote, the full commission rejected that recommendation. (Under parliamentary procedure, a tie vote means a motion fails, because the motion does not have a majority.) 
  • Immediately after that, commissioners voted 6-6 on a motion to approve the variances. Once again, the tie vote meant that motion failed.
  • The Planning Commission kept going, however: It next rejected the Zoning Committee's recommendation to reject the site plan itself; this vote was 5-7. 
  • Finally, the full commission voted 7-5 to approve the site plan. The problem? The site plan relies on variances that had been rejected. That makes the site plan vote invalid, the city attorney's office says.
The commission will try again next Friday, Feb. 8. The new votes are scheduled for sometime after 8:30 a.m. in Room 40 at City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. The meeting is open to the public.
Como HS Seeks Opinions on Sports Upgrades
Como High School's athletic department holds a "community input" meeting this Thursday, Feb. 7, about the potential of adding amenities to its refurbished athletic field on Rose Ave. 

The upgraded, $1 million turf field opened in fall 2017, replacing a run-down grass field.  Advocates have talked about giving the school a true "home field" by adding such things as more bleachers, a speaker system, a concession stand, and a press box. Those additions would allow the school to host more football and soccer matches, track meets, and other events.

Details: The meeting begins Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. in the new "Cougar Forum" of the school, 740 W. Rose. (Go in the front door and follow the signs.)
Recycling Delayed (and Garbage May Be)
The polar vortex has delayed recycling collection in District 10 and garbage collection for some -- but not all -- haulers. The breakdown:
  • Eureka Recycling will empty the blue carts in District 10 one day later than usual. Pick-up will be on Saturday, Feb. 2 (not today, Friday Feb. 1).
  • If your garbage usually is collected on Fridays by Highland Sanitation, pick-up will be delayed one day -- until Saturday Feb. 2.
  • If your garbage usually is collected on Fridays by Advanced Disposal, Aspen Waste Systems, Gene's Disposal, or Waste Management put your cart out as usual today, Friday Feb. 1. (Waste Management initially said it was delaying pickup by one day, then changed plans late on Jan. 31.)
  • If you have Monday pickup, regardless of who your hauler is, nothing changes.
D10 Committees Meet This Week
This Tuesday, District 10's Neighborhood Relations Committee discusses a proposal to ban the sale of all tobacco products in Saint Paul to anyone younger than age 21. The committee also expects to discuss dates for the annual Como Neighborhood Garage Sale and quarterly Community Yoga sessions.

This Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Environment Committee meets (after the polar vortex postponed its January get-together). The committee hopes to get the ball rolling on summer events, including a community "pollinator garden" tour, repeating the flotilla of watercraft to clean debris from Como Lake, renewing our Adopt-a-Drain challenge with other neighborhoods, supporting the Como seed library, and integrating Como Connect into the District 10 Ice Cream Social. The committee also expects to discuss a potential "to-go" packaging ordinance for Saint Paul.

Both meetings are 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 community members are welcome to attend and participate.  Agendas for both meetings will be posted online when available.
The Mayor Wants to Hear from You
Mayor Melvin Carter is scheduling seven community conversations in February leading up to his State of the City Summit in March. The conversations ask residents to " Imagine Our City," to learn about the Serve Saint Paul civic volunteering initiative, and to learn about the new Office of Financial Empowerment.  The first conversation is this Thursday, Feb. 7, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Krungthep Thai, 1141 Rice St. Future events:
  • Monday Feb. 11: Hmong Village, 1001 Johnson Parkway, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday Feb. 12: Boca Chica, 11 Cesar Chavez St., 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Saturday Feb. 16: Tapestry, 394 W. University, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday Feb. 16: Snelling CafĂ©, 638 N. Snelling, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday Feb. 21: Ho Ho Gourmet, 1985 Old Hudson Road, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Saturday Feb. 23: Plum's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, 480 S. Snelling, 1-2:30 p.m.
Snow, or Slop, or Something
The Vulcan Snow Park wraps up its unusual 2019 Winter Carnival run this weekend, Feb. 1-3. 

Activities: The snow slide, snow golf, snow maze, snow mountain, and Fire Castle are open today, Friday Feb. 1, from 4-9 p.m., then Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (even during the Super Bowl!) Snow sculptures also are available for viewing as long as the thawing weather doesn't compromise their integrity; if it does, they'll be knocked down. 

Special events: Flag football competition: Saturday beginning at 9 a.m., continuing all day, and resuming on Sunday if necessary. Barstool ski races: Practice runs are from noon-5 p.m. Saturday; competition is 6-9 p.m. Saturday (and will resume on Sunday if necessary).

Costs: Admission to the Snow Park is free. Spectating is free. The 300-foot snow slide is $2 per ride, or a donation of non-perishable food, or $15 for an all-day wristband. Snow golf is $5 per round. Flag football is $50 per team (but you must register by 3 p.m. Friday). Registration for the barstool ski competition is closed.

The snow park is on the State Fairgrounds (roughly in the Kidway area, bounded by Randall, Dan Patch, Underwood, and Cooper).
 
Stories, Screenings, and More
  
A story-telling event about homes and homelessness highlights the Saint Paul Public Library's Read Brave series this week. "Speak Brave" features Ryan Berg, Melea Blanchard, Richard Clark, Muria Kruger, and Valerie Roy. The gathering is this Thursday, Feb. 7, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Arlington Hills Community Center, at Payne and Maryland Aves. Other Read Brave events:
  • This Wednesday, Feb. 6: Screening and discussion of "The North Pole" (part 2), 5:30-8 p.m. Rondo, 461 N. Dale.
  • This Wednesday, Feb. 6: Adult Book Club discusses "Burn Baby Burn," 6:30-7:30 p.m. St. Anthony Park, 2245 Como Ave.
  • This Thursday, Feb. 7: Storytime for toddlers and preschool children, with Mayor Melvin Carter, 5-5:30 p.m. Riverview, 1 E. George St.
  • This Thursday, Feb. 7: Community-First Approaches to Housing the Homeless, 7-9 p.m. St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church, 2323 Como.
  • Next Friday, Feb. 8: Storytime for toddlers and preschool children, with Council Member Amy Brendmoen, 10:30-11 a.m. 1011 Rice St.
Get a sneak peek at additional February activities, including a talk by featured author Meg Medina on Feb. 20.
Free Tickets - Just for Stopping In
The Como Park Streetcar Station will be open as usual on the first Sunday of the month, Feb. 3, from noon-4 p.m. A special attraction this month: Get two complimentary tickets (while supplies last) to the St. Paul Home and Landscape Show, Feb. 15-17 at the RiverCentre. Or, just stop in to the Streetcar Station to pick up an organics recycling starter kit, pick up replacement compostable bags, or just share comments and suggestions with the District 10 board member on staff that day. The Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. 
Free Tax Help Available at Lyngblomsten
Beginning this Thursday, Feb. 7, AARP volunteers will provide free tax assistance twice a week at Lyngblmosten. Appointments are mandatory; to reserve your space, call 651-999-2499. Sessions run Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 11. The service is in the basement Community Room on campus, 1415 Almond.
Where to Get Going in February
  • This Sunday, Feb. 3: Como Park Lutheran Church's Organ Concert Series, 4-5 p.m., 1376 W. Hoyt. Featured musician: Joseph Trucano, of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Shoreview. Free
  • This Sunday, Feb. 3: Music Under Glass resumes with King Wilkie's Dream, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Free
  • This Tuesday, Feb. 5: Ward 5 Council Member Amy Brendmoen holds drop-in "office" hours, 4-5:30 p.m. Rice Street Library, 1011 Rice St.
  • Next 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)
  • Next Saturday, Feb. 9: Senate District 66 Town Hall Forum, 10-11:30 a.m. Falcon Heights City Hall, 2077 W. Larpenteur. With State Sen. John Marty, State Rep. Alice Hausman, and State Rep. John Lesch.
  • Next Sunday, Feb. 10: Citizens Acting for Rail Safety community forum and panel, 1-3 p.m., East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd St. NE, Minneapolis.
  • Wednesday Feb. 13: Information workshop about Saint Paul's Neighborhood STAR program, which provides low-interest loans and grants for neighborhood and local business projects. The workshop is 10-11:30 a.m. at the Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 E. Ivy.
  • Friday Feb. 15-Saturday Feb. 16: Valentine's dinners at Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Limited seating remains; make reservations online or by calling 651-487-8250. $170 per couple
  • Friday Feb. 15: Deadline to submit nominations for Saint Paul's Business Awards. There are three categories: Traditions, New Kid on the Block, and Good Neighbor.
  • Friday Feb. 22: Deadline to apply for a Saint Paul Cultural STAR grant: 4 p.m. The grants provide 1:1 matching funds for arts and cultural projects within the city.
It's Not Just Urban Legend
Honda Civics and Accords from the late 1990s are the two most-stolen cars in the U.S. So, Saint Paul police, reserve, and career path academy officers are visiting more than 600 owners of these vehicles to provide real-world advice on how to make their cars safer.
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.