Crews are shifting to phase two as they continue replacing an inadequate 24-inch storm sewer with a new 42-inch upgrade at the corner of Victoria, Wheelock, and E. Como Lake Drive. 
15 Run for Como Community Council Board
Fifteen candidates are running for eight positions on the Como Community Council Board. Elections are this Tuesday, April 17, during the District 10 annual meeting.

Election details: Voting begins shortly after 7 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.  Any renter, homeowner, or other resident of District 10 who is age 18 or older is eligible to vote. So are authorized representatives from a business or nonprofit organization in District 10. 

Meet the candidates: Read the Election Guide in advance -- including bios of the candidates and the election procedures. Candidates on the ballot:
  • Vice chair: Amy Perna
  • Treasurer: Glenys Buckingham, Anne Hartman
  • Sub-District 1: Rebecca Calvo
  • Sub-District 2: Annie Huidekoper, Michelle Mennicke, Marika Staloch
  • Sub-District 3: Thomas Coburn, Robert Hale, Laurence Mack
  • Sub-District 4: Cody Zwiefelhofer
  • At-Large (vote for 2): Mary Doran, Andrew King-Scribbins, Melissa Liu, Olivia Mulvey Morawiecki
Under District 10's by-laws, nominations for write-in candidates can be made from the floor Tuesday night. 

Lots in green are likely to be eligible for accessory dwelling units under a city proposal.
Then the Board Gets Down to Business
The monthly meeting of the District 10 board begins as soon as elections are over. We'll talk about recommendations from the Land Use Committee to:
  • Oppose the crosswalk that Parks and Recreation is planning to build on Lexington Parkway between the Lakeside Pavilion and Golf Course parking lots. The committee is recommending that the crosswalk be delayed until financing can be found for a safer, more robust option.
  • Add District 10 to neighborhoods in which Saint Paul would allow accessory dwelling units on lots of at least 5,000 square feet. The city estimates that at least 75 percent of lots in District 10 would be eligible.
  • Explore creating a "parking overlay district" during the annual Hmong festival. The proposed district would be modeled after the State Fair parking overlay district. The area to be explored would be between Lexington, Chatsworth, Horton, and the railroad tracks north of Pierce Butler Route.
All community members are welcome to attend and participate. If the technology works, you can watch the meeting via livestream on Facebook.
Raspberry bushes can make life thorny for burglars. (Photo: Pittsburgh Post Gazette)
Hostile Vegetation is Just the Beginning
What you plant and where you plant it, your fencing, and how you let your lights shine all can be tactics to keep your property safer. Pick up advice in these areas and more during " Crime Prevention through Landscape Design," the next presentation in District 10's Sunday Series.  Patty Lammers, crime prevention coordinator for the Saint Paul Police, shares tips in natural surveillance, territorial reinforcement, access control, and even hostile vegetation. 

Details: The free presentation is this Sunday, April 15, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.
Jahn Brink, general manager of Spring Cafe, on opening day.
Spring (Cafe) is Here! 
If you hurry, there's still time to be the first on your block to check out Spring Cafe, which is now open in the Como Lakeside Pavilion. The new restaurant debuted without fanfare on April 12 and now is open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 

The casual, counter-service restaurant looks both fresh and familiar from the Pavilion's Dockside era. Spring Cafe features a range of appetizers ($3-$8), sandwiches ($5-$10), and dinner baskets ($8-$16) -- including a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free choices. There also are a children's menu ($5-$6); "grab and go" salads, wraps, and rolls ($6-$9); desserts ($2-$5); soft drinks ($1.50-$4); wine ($6-$8); local craft beer and cider ($5-$7); and a half-dozen pre-mixed cocktails ($6-$7). 
Put Your Idle Hands to Good Use 
The District 10 board is seeking neighborhood volunteers to help us compile names for community outreach. It 's basic data entry: You can do it on your schedule, from home, and dedicate as much time as you 'd like. If you 've got a chance to help out in the next month, contact D10 treasurer Amy Perna by email. And thank you!
A Babycakes Blackberry shrub is one of the tree sale options.
Get Your Order in Now
This is the last week to place an order through the annual tree sale sponsored by Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County. The sale offers 15 locally grown, hardy selections of trees, shrubs, roses, and vines. Prices range from $30-$75; all proceeds benefit parks and trails in the city and county.

You can order for yourself, as a gift, or as a donation to a park. That final option is especially important when public land is losing so many trees -- ash and otherwise.  They're taking orders through next Friday, April 20. Pick-up is May 5 at the county fairgrounds in Maplewood.
Park Picks New Mini-Golf Vendor
The Parks and Recreation Commission is recommending that Como Regional Park hire Wheel Fun Rentals to run a new miniature golf operation near the Zoo and Conservatory. Wheel Fun -- the same people who rented surreys and paddleboards outside the Lakeside Pavilion in recent summers -- received the highest score from a selection committee.

Wheel Fun (which will do business as Fun Time) will run the mini-golf course and sell prepackaged food and beverages. In a typical year, the course will be open from April 1-Oct. 31. Wheel Fun is expected to invest at least $20,000 this year to get a course up and running by May 15. By 2020, the company will invest at least $200,000.

The contract guarantees the city at least $10,000 a year, plus 10 percent of gross revenue above roughly $105,000. The contract would allow Wheel Fun to operate for five seasons, with a mutual option for a five-year renewal. 
Expand Your Influence
Saint Paul has an entire network of more than 30 committees, boards, and commissions that welcome residents as members to help shape city policies and programs. More than half of them have openings now (or will in the near future).  To get yourself considered in the next round of appointments, submit an application by 11:59 p.m. next Sunday, April 22. 

The alphabetical list with current (or upcoming vacancies):  Advisory Committee on Aging, Advisory Committee: People with Disabilities, Board of Water Commissioners, Board of Zoning Appeals, Business Review Council, Capital Improvement Budget Committee, Civil Service Commission, Community Health Services Advisory Committee, Cultural STAR Board, Heritage Preservation Commission, Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission, Neighborhood STAR Program, Parks and Recreation Commission, Planning Commission, RiverCentre Convention and Visitors Authority, Saint Paul Neighborhood Network, and Truth in Sale of Housing Board of Evaluators. For detailed information on each agency, use the links on the city's website.
Your Library Card Can Do That, Too
The Saint Paul Public Library continues to assemble self-contained " maker kits " that provide all the basics you need to dabble in fun and even useful activities. Kits include personal archiving, podcasting, weaving, karaoke, stop-motion animation -- even advice on how to make your cat an internet sensation. Check out the kits for free at any library.
Photo:  Home Depot
Get Deep into the Woods
Wonder exactly what kind of wood is in your home? The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota helps you sort it out. The class looks at woods typically used in Minnesota based on period, home style, and purpose. (They don't say if they cover 21st Century Ikea.) The class is this Thursday, April 19, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St. Registration is $20.
Time to Change Our Way of Thinking
Aging with Gusto looks at the negative impact of ageism on ourselves and our communities, how we raise awareness, and how we can create a more accurate narrative about getting old. The three-part series takes place on Mondays April 30, May 7 and May 14 from 1-3 p.m. at Lyngblomsten, 1415 Almond Ave. The series is free, but you should register in advance.
Do your own bird count.
Photo of Canada Geese:
City of Winnipeg
It's Citizen Science Day: Go!
You, too, can be a citizen scientist. It's getting easier -- especially with smartphones.  Citizen scientists are everyday people who pay attention to what's going on around them in the natural world. It could be birds, plants, insects, or water. You (and others like you) then share your findings with trained scientists. The result: Scientists get more data than they ever could gather themselves.

If you're intrigued, this weekend is your chance to get free training on citizen science apps such as iNaturalist and eBird. The workshop, run by the University of Minnesota Extension, is 2-4 p.m. on Citizen Science Day -- this Saturday, April 14 -- at the Como Park Streetcar Station. Registration is free, but space is limited.
Last Chance for This Survey
For 84 percent of us, when we've got unwanted clothing or fabric, we throw it out instead of repairing it, reusing it, or recycling it. Eureka Recycling wants to know what can help keep all that clothing out of a landfill or incinerator. Take their survey -- you might even win a $100 gift card. But they need your answers by this Sunday, April 15.
You Haven't Missed Out Yet
  • This Saturday, April 14: Mayor Melvin Carter's State of Our City Summit, 9 a.m. Johnson High School, 1349 Arcade St. Free (admission is first-come, first-served)
  • This Tuesday, April 17: Last day to file U.S. and Minnesota income taxes (or extension), midnight.
  • Next Friday, April 20: Lyngblomsten Foundation Spring Gala, 5:30 p.m. Vadnais Heights Commons, 655 E. County Road F. $75 
  • Next Friday, April 20: Livability and Resiliency: Long-term Community Impacts of an Oil Train Tragedy, 4:45 p.m., Wilder Center, 451 Lexington Parkway N. Free, but advance registration is required. Sponsored by Citizens Acting for Rail Safety Twin Cities and University of Minnesota School of Public Health.
  • Next Saturday, April 21: Parks and Recreation Spring Cleanup, 9-11:30 a.m., Como Lakeside Pavilion. Join other volunteers in spiffing up the park.
  • Saturday April 28: 2018 City Nature Challenge, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom. Track what lives in the woodland, part of a competitive "bio-blitz" in 60 cities worldwide.
  • Thursday-Sunday, May 3-6: Festival of Nations, Saint Paul RiverCentre. The International Institute (which is based in District 10) is recruiting volunteers to work 3- or 4-hour shifts. Tasks include staffing booths, setting up, tearing down, cleaning tables, or greeting visitors. Volunteers get free admission. Sign up here
The Citywide Drop-Off at the Fairgrounds moves up to June 9 -- and needs volunteers.
Once the Seasons Change ...
District 10 has its hand in a number of community events this spring. A rundown:
  • Saturday May 5: Como Community Seed Library May Mosaic, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Como Park Streetcar Station. Swap seeds, plants and perennials; swap stories; get advice from Master Gardeners; learn the very real benefits of bees, wasps, and birds in your yard; and more. Sign up in advance to volunteer (green thumb not required!), and get a custom thank-you gift. 
  • Sunday May 6: Community Yoga, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. Bring a yoga mat or blanket, wear comfortable clothes, and loosen up with neighbors. The session is suitable for all levels of skill and experience. Sign up now (because space literally is limited). Registration is $5, which benefits the Como Community Council. 
  • Saturday May 19: Rain Barrel Workshop, 1-3 p.m., Twin Cities German Immersion School. Get a rain barrel for the unheard of price of $29 (plus tax) -- and learn how to use it effectively. If you already have rain barrels outside your home, you also can learn to use them effectively -- for free. Space is limited, so register now. 
  • Sunday June 3: District 10 Sunday Series: Como Park Tree Trek, 1-2:30 p.m. Meet outside the Lakeside Pavilion. Arborist Tim Morgan leads a walk to help us better identify and understand local tree species, their health, and the diseases and pests that affect them.
  • Sunday June 3: Block Party in the Park, 4-7 p.m., Orchard Park. Neighbors hanging out with neighbors. You don't have to live in South Como to join the fun.
  • Saturday June 9: Citywide Drop-Off, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. State Fairgrounds. Get rid of the junk you can't throw in the trash. Volunteer -- and you can get rid of junk for free.
  • Saturday June 16: Como Neighborhood Garage Sale. By popular demand, it's later than usual this year, in hopes of better weather.
  • Saturday June 23: Como Lake Rain Garden Workshop, 9 a.m.-noon. Como Park Streetcar Station. Capitol Region Watershed District leads a hands-on workshop to identify locations for the next wave of boulevard rain gardens in District 10. These are among the most cost-effective ways to collect and filter polluted street runoff before it reaches the lake. The best part: The selected locations will get rain gardens installed at no cost. Register now
This Week at the Fairgrounds
  • 62nd Annual Rod and Customs Spectacular: This Saturday-Sunday, April 14-15, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission: Adults and teens 16 or older, $12; children ages 12-15, $5; children 11 or younger, free. Discounts available.
  • Dog Olympics: This Sunday, April 15, AgStar Arena. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: Teens and adults, $10; children 12 or younger, free.
  • Machinery Hil Criterium Race Series: This Tuesday, April 17, 5 p.m., Cooper and Randall. Training races for cyclists, from beginners to experts. $10-$25
Your Chance to Talk with Police
The Western District's monthly community meetings are this Tuesday, April 17, at district headquarters, 389 N. Hamline. The open meetings are at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. If you go, you'll meet command staff, hear about the latest crime trends in the city and district, be able to raise your individual concerns, and be able to grab all the crime prevention fliers you can use. 
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.