July showers bring... Here's the bright side to the record rains we've been enduring.
Preservation Group Says It Can't Afford Bond
Another hearing takes place today, Friday July 19, over whether to block Twin Cities German Immersion School from tearing down the former St. Andrew's church building.

Ramsey County District Judge Jennifer L. Frisch issued a temporary restraining order on July 15 forbidding the school from demolishing the building. However, Frisch said that the group seeking the restraining order -- Friends of Warrendale / Save Historic St. Andrew's LLC -- must provide a security bond of more than $1.9 million by this Monday, July 22, or the temporary injunction goes away.

The preservation group says it cannot afford the security bond and cannot raise the money in time. As a result, it is asking Frisch to keep the injunction in place, eliminate the bond requirement, or reduce the bond to the nominal amount of $1,000. Friday's hearing will address that request.

Frisch set the bond amount at a level that the school says represents the extra costs it will incur if further court actions delay its proposed construction project for six months. But the preservation group says the bond requirement, in reality, denies its request for the injunction and clears the way to demolish the building, even though Frisch's preliminary ruling says the preservation request meets the legal burden under state law.

The preservation group is seeking a permanent injunction against demolition, arguing that the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act prevents the destruction of historical resources. The group plans to rally in front of the building this Sunday, July 21, at 5 p.m.

The school has applied for a demolition permit; as of Friday morning, the city had not issued one. The school intends to replace the former church with a new addition containing more academic space, a gymnasium, and cafeteria.
ComoFest Flourishes This Week
ComoFest resumes today with Lyngblomsten's Mid-Summer Festival. The day includes an arts showcase featuring live music, dance, and theatrical performances; wellness demonstrations and activities; works created by older adults; hands-on art activities for all ages; and food, games, and more! Admission is free; food and activities are priced for affordable fun.  Midsummer Festival is today, Friday July 19, from 2-8 p.m., on the Lyngblomsten campus,1415 Almond Ave. Other ComoFest events this week:  
  • North Dale Summerfest, this Thursday, July 25, 5-7:30 p.m., 1414 N. St. Albans. Celebrate family, friends, and neighbors. Purchases of concessions, games, inflatables, the climbing tower, and more support the North Dale Booster Club. (Cash only)
  • Northwest Como Movie Night and Campout, next Friday, July 26, 6:30 p.m. until Saturday morning, 1550 N. Hamline Ave. An outdoor showing of "Smallfoot" begins about 9 p.m. Activities before the movie include dance demonstrations, a friendly kickball game, other kids' activities, and concessions. If it rains, the movie will move inside. A bonfire follows the movie. The night is free; camping is $5. Register for the campout
Looking ahead to next Saturday, July 27: It's TopLine Federal Credit Union's Community Appreciation Picnic (complete with Como Park's "shortest marathon") and Gabe's Mini Mingle.
What? No One Picked Drain of Fools?
There are only a few weeks left in the competition between District 10 and five other district councils to see which neighborhood can adopt more storm drains this summer. We've adopted more than 160 in Como --  here are some names  that D10 residents gave their adopted drain:  Vote for your favorite now!

It's easy to adopt one or more drains near your home, school, organization, or business.
  • Go to www.adopt-a-drain.org.
  • Once you get to the interactive map, look for a red drain -- that means the drain is available. (Green means someone else already has it.)
  • Adopt one or more of the available drains.
  • Then, diligently keep the drain clean, so debris doesn't flow into Como Lake, the Mississippi River, or connecting waterways. As a reminder to you and your neighbors, a lawn sign will mysteriously show up, highlighting your role.
Zoo's Play Party Keeps It Real
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory throw a Nature Play Party this Sunday, July 21, under the big tent on the newly constructed Cleveland Court (which is near Cafesjian's Carousel). The event, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., gives ideas on how to get youngsters away from the screen and into enjoying the natural world. Free.
  • Also Sunday, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory opens two hours early -- from 8-10 a.m. -- for artists and photographers to have the place to themselves for sketches, portraits, or whatever inspires them. (There's an admission fee of $5/person.)
  • Then, this Tuesday, July 23, Metro Transit offers free rides to the Zoo and Conservatory through its Nature Connector bus program, which tried to encourage visitors to take transit instead of their vehicles. (Routes 3 and 83 serve that part of the park.)
The Art of Bee-ing
"Save the Bees, Save Ourselves" -- a free presentation on how public art can address scientific and environmental issues -- is this Wednesday, July 24. The presentation focuses on Public Art Saint Paul's Bee Real Bee Everywhere project. Most visibly, the project created the Pollinator Skyrises in Como Park. It also sponsored a slew of other educational activities that combined outreach and education with scientific research.

Wednesday's event features artists Amanda Lovelee, Christine Baeumler, and Julie Benda, plus their collaborator from the University of Minnesota's Bee Lab, Colleen Satyshur. Activities start at 6:30 p.m. July 24 at the lakeside Pollinator Skyrise, which is along the walking path near Nagasaki Drive and West Como Blvd. Then everyone will walk over to the Historic Streetcar Station for team presentations, free books, cake, and lemonade.
Road Construction Near Us
  • Energy Park Drive: Resurfacing is complete between Highway 280 and Raymond Ave.; striping will be added this week.
  • Larpenteur Ave.: Much of this Ramsey County road remains one lane in each direction from Snelling west almost to 280. The timeline keeps getting extended: Now, engineers say, concrete repair will continue until mid-August. Restriping will take longer than that.
  • Wheelock Parkway: Reconstruction is underway between the Western/Arlington intersection and Rice St.
Do You Think about the Big River?
The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization is starting to rewrite its 10-year watershed management plan. Before it gets down to the nitty-gritty, it wants our opinions about priorities, water quality, green space, and habitat. Take their survey
Learn to Fix Up Your Place
The Minnesota Tool Library and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota are offering six 90-minute classes on basic home maintenance. The topics and dates:
  • MTL Basics: Common Plumbing Repairs: This Tuesday, July 23, 6-7:30 p.m., Saint Paul Tool Library, 755 Prior Ave. N
  • DIY Drains: Tuesday Aug. 6, 6-7:30 p.m., Minneapolis Tool Library, 1620 Central Ave. NE #126
  • MTL Basics: Electrical 101: Tuesday Aug. 20, 6-7:30 p.m., Saint Paul Tool Library
  • If Walls Could Talk: Tuesday Sept. 3, 6-7:30 p.m., Minneapolis Tool Library
  • Painting & Trim: Tuesday Sept. 17, 6-7:30 p.m., Saint Paul Tool Library
  • Ask the Expert: Tuesday Oct. 1, 6-7:30 p.m., Minneapolis Tool Library
Classes are $25 each ($20 if you're a Tool Library member). Register here
Johann Strauss' Die Fladermaus dominates the Pavilion lineup this week.
Music (and Singing) at the Pavilion
  • Today, Friday July 19: John Eller's Piano Bar Sing-Along (rock classics), 5:30 p.m.; Choir-aoke with Kith + Kin, 7 p.m.
  • This Sunday, July 21: Star of the North Concert Band, 3 p.m.; Lex-Ham Community Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Monday, July 22: Bend in the River Big Band, 7 p.m.
  • This Tuesday, July 23:  Papa Bleu and the Fistbump Congress , 7 p.m.
  • This Wednesday, July 24: Opera on the Lake: Die Fladermaus , 7 p.m. Tickets : $25
  • This Thursday, July 25:  Matt Wilson and his Orchestra , 7 p.m.
  • Next Friday-Saturday, July 26-27:  Opera on the Lake: Die Fladermaus , 7 p.m.  Tickets : $25
Events are free (except when they're not). Find out more about the performers -- or get an advance look at the season's full mix of local artists and traditional bandstand performers -- on Spring Cafe's website.
Music across the Pedestrian Bridge: This Wednesday's Groovin' in the Garden features Malamanya. The music, lawn games, climbing wall, and bounce house are free from 6-8 p.m. July 24. Pack a picnic, or buy food, ice cream, soft drinks, beer, or wine. Everything happens outside the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory; if it rains, activities move inside.
This Weekend at the Fairgrounds
  • Today-Sunday, July 19-21: Street Machine NationalsHours: Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Most of the Fairgrounds are closed unless you have a ticket. Spectator admission: $16 at the gate (children 10 or younger, free with paying adult). Discounts and multiday passes available online and at O'Reilly Auto Parts.
  • Minnesota Saddlebred Horse Association Capitol Classic. This Saturday-Sunday, July 20-21, Compeer Arena. Show times: Saturday, 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. Free spectator admission.
Other Things Going On
  • This Tuesday, July 23: Community office hours with Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali Nelson, 8-10 a.m. Ginkgo Coffeehouse, northwest corner of Snelling and Minnehaha.
  • This Thursday, July 25: Community office hours with Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali Nelson, 6-8 p.m. CoCreatz, southwest corner of University and Raymond.
  • This Thursday, July 25: Public brainstorming session on streamlining Saint Paul's application and approval process for Class N business licenses, which cover two-dozen types of activities. 3-4:30 p.m. Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott St.
  • Next Friday, July 26: Public hearing on Saint Paul's overnight shelters zoning study, 8:30 a.m. Room 40, City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd.
  • Wednesday July 31: Ward 1 Fair Housing Convening, 5-7 p.m. Rondo Community Library, 461 Dale St.
  • Friday Aug. 9: Deadline to submit comments on application by Duke's Cars and Towing to open an auto repair garage at 977 Front Ave. Submit comments by email or in writing to Legislative Hearing Officer, City Hall Room 310, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55102.
  • Saturday Aug. 10: Como Woodland Nature Survey Walk: Dragonflies, 9 a.m.
  • Monday Aug. 12: Public hearing on application from Gabe's By The Park to modify its liquor license to allow amplified sound on its outdoor deck, 10 a.m., Room 330, City Hall, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd.
  • Thursday Aug. 15: Mayor Melvin Carter's 2020 Budget Address, noon-1:30 p.m. Frogtown Community Center, 237 W. Thomas.
Converters Become a Gold Mine
There's a growing fad in car thefts: catalytic converters -- those anti-pollution devices that typically are mounted underneath a vehicle between the engine and the muffler. Thieves are sawing them off and scraping them for as much as $200 each because of the precious metals they contain, such as platinum and palladium.

SUVs and pick-up trucks are frequent targets (because they are easier to crawl under). But Saint Paul Police say all kinds of vehicles are targeted across the city. Large parking lots are frequent sites of thefts, but so are streets in front of someone's house. Tracking converters is nearly impossible, because they don't contain identification numbers. Here are a few things motorists can do to discourage thefts:
  • Park inside a garage whenever possible
  • Park near lights in parking lots
  • Pay attention to suspicious behavior, especially in parking lots
  • Weld the converter to the vehicle's frame
This Week's Como Neighborhood Crime Update: They're targeting cars again (still?)
We Can Help with Your Party
District 10 has street barricades and portable recycling containers that community members can use for block parties, neighborhood, or family events. You can borrow the recycling containers for free; there are two kinds:
  • For cans, bottles and other items you can include in your weekly recycling.
  • For food scraps and other compostable organics.
The street barricades are required by the city when you block off your street or alley -- but ours are a more-affordable option than getting them from Public Works.  Barricades require a $50 deposit. We return $40 when you return the barricades.  Reservations are first-come, first-served. (To borrow our barricades, you must have an event permit from the city.)

To reserve any of this equipment, call our office at 651-644-3889, or send us an email.
Photo: T Boardman
Streetcar Station is Open Every Sunday
For the rest of the season, the Como Park Streetcar Station is open every Sunday from noon-4 p.m. It is a great chance to learn a little about the long-gone trolley system in the Twin Cities, about the history and visionaries behind Como and the city's overall park system, to pick up organics recycling bags or kitchen starter kits, or just to chat with a District 10 board member who is staffing the day. The Historic Streetcar Station is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton.
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.