Grand finale: Roy Cloutier and Dan Brazil execute synchronized snow-blowing on the driveway they share on Arlington during last weekend's Apriluary blizzard.
Welcome New District 10 Board Members
Community members elected eight fellow residents to the Como Community Council board during District 10's Annual Meeting on April 17. More than 100 community members turned out to vote, nearly doubling the turnout from recent years. Newly elected:
  • Vice chair: Amy Perna (Amy previously was treasurer)
  • Treasurer: Anne Hartman
  • Sub-District 1: Rebecca Calvo
  • Sub-District 2: Annie Huidekoper
  • Sub-District 3: Thomas Coburn
  • Sub-District 4: Cody Zwiefelhofer
  • At-Large: Melissa Liu (incumbent), Olivia Mulvey Morawiecki
A total of 15 candidates ran for the eight vacant seats. The newly elected members serve two-year terms beginning this Tuesday, April 24. The new board members replace the following, outgoing board members (all of whom "retired"): Joao Medeiros (vice chair), Jon Heyer (Sub-District 1), Erin Dooley (Sub-District 2), Debra Pursley (Sub-District 3), Joe Mueller (Sub-District 4), and Kevin Dahm (At-Large).
The proposed Dunkin' Donuts and Mac's Fish/Chips/Strips is still wrestling with zoning issues.
Updates from the Land of Land Use
The proposed expansion of Twin Cities German Immersion School will be the focus of the next meeting of District 10 's Land Use committee. That meeting is Wednesday May 2 at 7 p.m. in fellowship hall at Mission Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1040 Como Ave.  Meanwhile, here are other things Land Use is working on:
  • Dunkin' Donuts: The city's Board of Zoning Appeals is unanimously recommending against the conditional-use permit that is required for a drive-thru. Architects continue to revise their site plans for the proposed redevelopment on the northeast corner of Hamline and Larpenteur. The latest rendition eliminates access to the alley, which was a concern of nearby residents. D10's Land Use committee voted to support the drive-thru permit if concerns about traffic gridlock on Hamline Ave. and in the new parking lot can be taken care of.
  • Lexington Parkway crosswalk: The full District 10 board voted April 17 to oppose the crosswalk as currently proposed by Parks and Recreation. A crosswalk and median are scheduled to be built this June across Lexington Parkway between the Lakeside Pavilion and Golf Course parking lots. A letter from the board questions whether the crosswalk (as designed) is safe enough, whether it will create a false sense of security, and whether sight lines give drivers time to stop for pedestrians and other drivers.
    The board is urging planners to escrow the current money and seek additional funding for additional safety features, including pedestrian-activated warning signals, additional sidewalks or paths on the golf course side of Lexington, and possibly moving the crosswalk farther north than is currently proposed.
  • Accessory dwelling units: The District 10 board voted to include Como among neighborhoods in which Saint Paul would allow accessory dwelling units on lots of at least 5,000 square feet.
  • Hmong festival parking: The District 10 board voted to 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 primary area to consider would be between Lexington, Chatsworth, Horton, and the railroad tracks north of Pierce Butler Route.
Rescheduled and Reconfigured
Last weekend's snowstorm messed up a lot of plans. Here's Plan B:
  • Parks and Recreation Spring Cleanup : The annual citywide event will not take place this Saturday, April 21. Instead, the city is encouraging residents to wait for snow to melt, then clean up their local parks or streets between April 28 and May 5. You can get supplies at North Dale Recreation Center, 1414 N. St. Albans, from this Wednesday through next Friday, April 25-27. North Dale is open 8 a.m.-9 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday.
  • Using Apps for Citizen Science: The free workshop is rescheduled for this Tuesday, April 24, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N.
  • Sunday Series: The presentation "Crime Prevention through Landscape Design" is rescheduled to Sunday May 6, from 1-2:30 p.m., at the Como Park Streetcar Station.
  • Mayor Melvin Carter's State of Our City Summit: The event, scheduled for last Saturday, April 14, was postponed. A new date has not been announced.
What are Your Ideas for the Library?
The Saint Paul Public Library is starting a strategic planning process that is asking library users and other residents to share their best ideas. The first opportunity for community brainstorming is this Saturday, April 21, from 10:30 a.m.-noon at the Rondo branch, 461 N. Dale.
Xcel Energy's Tiny House is featured this weekend
Zoo, Conservatory Put the Earth First
In celebration of Earth Day, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory have a slate of " Party for the Planet" activities this Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22. In addition to themed presentations and exhibits, Xcel Energy will be on site with its Tiny House, Light Board, and other displays demonstrating easy ways to conserve energy in your own life. It's also the last weekend of the Spring Flower Show in the Sunken Garden. All activities are free; hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
County Wants to Hear from You (Soon)
Ramsey County wants to know how well it's serving you in the areas of property tax, document recording, property valuation, and election services. It's got an online survey that you can fill out -- but you have to do so today, Friday April 20. The survey is in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali.
Don't Wait to 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 considered in the next round of appointments, submit an application by 11:59 p.m. this 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.
Landlords, This Could Help
Own a small rental property of one to four units? The city's Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program has interest-free loans available of up to $30,000 that could help you make health and safety-related improvements to your property. To find out details (and how to find out if you are eligible), check the program's website.
It's a Good Deal for Both of Us
The annual Citywide Drop-Off at the State Fairgrounds is much earlier than usual in 2018: It's Saturday June 9 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The Drop-Off, organized by Saint Paul and District 10, is a great chance to get rid of the junk you can't throw in the trash -- and do it at very reasonable prices. The best price: If you volunteer to staff the event, you can get rid of a load of your junk for free.
This data sculpture illustrates the frequency that keyboard letters are used.
We All Need Therapy Sometimes
It's not easy to interpret data, find bias in that data, or find useful stories in that data, either. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab hopes to change that. Its Center for Civic Media is bringing   "Data Therapy" workshops to Saint Paul this spring.

The free workshops include hands-on activities such as "Building Data Sculptures," which explore different ways to communicate a data set; "Sketch a Story," to find patterns in data; and "Convince Me," in which you build data-driven arguments.  The first workshop is Monday April 30 from 5-7 p.m. at the George Latimer Central Library, 90 W. 4th St. Future workshops are Mondays May 21 and June 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Absolutely, We'll Be Ready for This
The Como Community Seed Library's May Mosaic talks all things spring on Saturday May 5 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. You 'll be able to swap seeds, plants and perennials for something new to you and your yard; swap stories; get advice from Master Gardeners; sit in on mini-workshops; 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.
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 runs 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.
Go Ahead -- Turn Them In
Got a pothole (or three) that needs patching? You've got no excuse:
Happening in the Next Week (or So)
  • Today, Friday April 20: Ramsey County's yard waste sites now are open "summer hours." That's Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Today, Friday April 20: The absolute last day 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.
  • This Wednesday, April 25: District 10 Environment Committee, 7 p.m., Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All community members are welcome to attend and participate. See the agenda
  • Next 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
Time to Plan Ahead

District 10 has a hand in a number of community events this spring. A sample:

  • 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 insanely low price of $29 (plus tax). Then, learn how to use it effectively. If you've already got 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 in.
  • 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: Boulevard Rain Gardens, 9 a.m.-noon. Como Park Streetcar Station. Capitol Region Watershed District leads a hands-on workshop to learn about and identify locations for the next wave of boulevard rain gardens in District 10 -- one of the most cost-effective ways to collect and filter polluted street runoff before it reaches Como Lake. The best part: The selected locations can get rain gardens installed at no cost.
Arabians are featured at one of the horse shows this week. (Photo: Smokey Mountain Park Arabians)
It's Getting Busy at the Fairgrounds
  • Minnesota Half Arabian Horse Association Spring Schooling Event: This Saturday, April 21, AgStar Arena. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Spectator admission is free.
  • Antique Spectacular Show and Flea Market: This Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22, Grandstand. Hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: teens and adults, $7; children 12 or younger, free (discounts available).
  • Military Relic and Collector Show: This Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22, Progress Center. Hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: $6 (children 10 or younger, free). Discounts available.
  • Minnesota Weapons Collectors Association Weapons Show and Sale: This Saturday-Sunday, April 21-22, Education Building. Hours: Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission: Teens and adults, $5 (cash only); children 12 or younger, free. No one under age 18 admitted without an adult.
  • Minnesota FFA State Convention (Dairy Cattle, Livestock and Horse Judging): This Monday, April 23, Warner Coliseum, AgStar Arena, CHS Miracle of Birth Center. 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Minnesota Horse Expo: Next Friday-Sunday, April 27-29, Warner Coliseum, livestock buildings. Hours: Friday, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.- 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Teens and adults, $13; children ages 6-12 and seniors age 62 or older, $9, children 5 or younger, free.
Don't Let Your Bike Walk Off
It's definitely bicycle weather now. Here's how to keep your bike safe:
  • Use a high-quality lock every time. The best locks -- whether they are U-locks, folding locks, or chain locks -- are rated Gold by the independent agency Sold Secure. Here's their list
  • Use multiple locks if you can - the more work you make for a thief, the less interested they are.
  • Avoid locking your bike with a cable -- they're easy for pros to chop with wire cutters.
  • In public, park in a well-lit area. Try not to park in the same place every day.
  • At night, always bring your bike inside. Inside your home is best; if you park it in a garage or shed, lock it up there, too.
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.