Starting the Conversation in Como
Niko Alexander, Xena Goldman, Pablo Hernandez, Cadex Herrera, and Greta McLain painted this mural in Minneapolis of George Floyd.

Como Community Council board members are putting out an open call, asking Como residents to be part of revisioning our neighborhood's role in ending systemic racism and dismantling inequities where we live. To begin the process, they are asking community members to weigh in: Share your experiences with racism, your ideas for pursuing racial justice, and your willingness to act for permanent change.

In the wake of Minneapolis police officers' killing of George Floyd, board members and neighbors already have acted in these ways:
  • Banded together to protect the home and safety of a District 10 family who received vulgar, violent, race-based threats.
  • Drafted ideas during the monthly Neighborhood Relations meeting about public forums, community events, and specific activities to change business as usual in Como.
  • Donated 25 carloads of food and other household supplies. We shared these with district councils in Hamline Midway, Frogtown, Payne-Phalen, and the Greater East Side.
  • Donated enough supplies for 150 activity kits for children in North Minneapolis impacted by the rioting and looting.
And we're not done ...
Community members donated 25 carloads of food last weekend. Photo: Jill Henricksen
A New Donation Drive This Weekend
Como Community Council board members are hosting a Como Kindness food and supply drive. You can drop off donations outside the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Parkway N (at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton). Volunteers will be on hand this Saturday, June 6, from noon-4 p.m., and this Sunday, June 7, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Household items needed:
  • Baby food, formula, baby wipes
  • Feminine products (pads or tampons)
  • Toilet paper, masks, gloves, laundry detergent
  • Dog food, cat food, cat litter
  • Bottled and canned beverages, pasta sauce, and other non-perishable pantry staples
  • Brown paper bags with handles to deliver it all
Donations will go to families in need identified by Como residents working with the Salvation Army.
Illustration by Stephanie Ballen
1. Get Your Ballot
2. Vote
There's still time to request a ballot for Como Community Council Board elections. Because of pandemic restrictions on public gatherings, there is no in-person voting this year. That means you must vote absentee. Community members can request an online ballot (which is quickest and easiest for all of us), or request a paper ballot through the mail. Voting is open until June 16; nine seats are up for election.

If you want a paper ballot, you must file your request no later than this Wednesday, June 10. That gives us time to mail it to you, and gives you a decent chance to get it back to us by the June 16 deadline.
Renters, homeowners, and other residents of District 10 who are at least 16 years old can vote. So can representatives from businesses, nonprofits, or other organizations with a physical presence in District 10.
Spread Signs of Kindness
You can still order "Como Kindness" lawn signs to make a positive statement during these tumultuous times. Suggested donation is $15. After we cover costs, proceeds go to the Como Park block nurse program, which works to handle the health-care and everyday needs of neighborhood seniors.   Order yours here

Speaking of lawn signs: You can promote the new, lower residential speed limits in Saint Paul with a "20 is Plenty" sign for your front yard, side yard, or window. The Como Community Council will distribute the free signs in District 10 while supplies last. To reserve yours, fill out this form
Caring for Our Corner of the Planet, Too
Learning about the work and goals of Saint Paul 350, putting the final touches on a DIY kit so residents can do their own Como Lake Clean-up on their own timetable, and deciding whether to schedule a neighborhood "tree trek" this summer all are topics under discussion at this Wednesday's meeting of District 10's Environment Committee.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. June 10. Renters, homeowners, and other community members will be able to join and participate by video conference or by phone. If you want to be part of the meeting, call the District 10 office at 651-644-3889, or email us. We'll send you access information.    Preliminary agenda
Recycling Plans to Be Back on Schedule
Eureka Recycling expects normal service today, Friday June 5. However, to make sure that drivers remain safe and can finish their routes, Eureka will not be picking up anything we leave outside the blue bin. They ask that we hang onto any overflow until next week -- or use extra space that a neighbor may have in their bin.

Eureka halted service during the rioting last week to protect drivers and equipment (and because trucks couldn't get fuel, and because drivers couldn't access restrooms).
  • To receive service alerts in the future, download the Eureka Recycling app from your favorite source of those magic squares.
Also: Ramsey County's yard waste collection sites are open again. In addition, the county has a mobile  household hazardous waste site set up this month on Kent St. (just east of Dale and north of Larpenteur). Hours are Fridays 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Photo: David Oakes
Legislators Plan Virtual 'Town Hall'
District 66's state legislators (who represent all of Como and then some) are holding a virtual town hall this week to discuss what the state can do to reform racism and brutality in policing. The discussion will stream live this Tuesday, June 9, from 5-6:30 p.m. You can email questions in advance; put "6/9 Town Hall question" in the subject line.
You Paid for Insurance; Use It
The Department of Commerce has tip sheets on filing a claim and making the most of your insurance coverage if your property was damaged by vandalism, looting, or rioting in the past week. The advice is customized: one for renters or residential property owners, the other for businesses. (In addition to English versions, tip sheets are available in Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. Send an email to get them.)
Dock & Paddle Opens Today
Dock & Paddle -- the restaurant in the Como Lakeside Pavilion formerly known as Spring CafĂ© - - opens today, Friday June 5. In keeping with state pandemic restrictions, the restaurant offers seated dining for up to 50 customers on the outdoor promenade overlooking Como Lake.

The initial menu includes appetizers, grill fare such as sandwiches and burgers, fish-and-chips and fish tacos, a children's menu, and locally sourced salads. Kids' items are $8; most everything else is i$10-$14. For adult beverages, Dock & Paddle offers wine, cider, and a rotating selection of brews from around the state -- curated exclusively by the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.

Hours are weekdays 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Learn more
Wheels Turn on Another Year
Twin Cities German Immersion School marks the end of its academic year with a "parade" today, Friday June 5. It gives staff and pupils -- who haven't seen each other face to face in weeks -- a chance to say a uf wiedersehen for the summer.  The parade is scheduled for 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Families in vehicles will circle the school; they can wave to staff, who will be standing outside waving back. The plan is to have cars travel clockwise along Horton and Van Slyke, then turn west onto Como back toward Lexington. They're discouraging honking and, to minimize congestion, scheduling families at different times, based on their last name.
Where Things Are At in City Hall
  • Half-Time Rec: The liquor, gambling, and entertainment licenses for this bar and restaurant at 1013 Front are up for renewal on Aug. 21. Anyone who has concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
  • Public hearing: City Council has scheduled the public hearing for the proposed rezoning of 1015 Bandana Blvd. for this Wednesday, June 10. The request to rezone the property from B3 commercial to T3 traditional would allow construction of a 152-unit apartment building.
  • Another rezoning: Saint Paul's Planning Commission voted unanimously on May 29 to recommend approving the request to rezone 978 Front Ave. from B2 community business to T2 traditional neighborhood. The commission's recommendation now goes to the City Council.
Previously reported:
  • Charter Commission: The Saint Paul Charter Commission is taking applications for nine vacancies: seven of them are four-year terms that begin Aug. 1, two are existing vacancies that run until July 31, 2022. Any city resident who is at least 18 years old may apply. Applications are due June 17. You can download an application, or have one mailed to you by calling 651-266-8253.
  • Pope Automotive: The garage license for this auto repair shop at 991 Front is up for renewal on June 13. Anyone who has concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
  • Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: The liquor and Sunday liquor licenses are up for renewal on July 23. Anyone who has concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 4 Councilmember Mitra Jalali.
  • D&L Food and Gas: The gas station license for this business at 626 W. Larpenteur is up for renewal on July 28. Anyone who has concerns should email District 10 or contact the office of Ward 5 Councilmember Amy Brendmoen.
The Numbers Spell It Out
This week's Como community crime updateThefts and gunshots pretty much cover it

Photo: Mayo Clinic
Did You Protest? Volunteer? Get Tested 
The Minnesota Department of Health urges any resident who has attended a protest, vigil, or community clean-up to get tested for Covid-19. If you start to feel sick, get tested right away. If you do not feel sick, get tested as soon as you can (but no later than 5-7 days after the event you attended). If the test is negative and you still think you were exposed, get another test 12-14 days after the event, even if you do not feel sick. 

Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or a loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include GI issues such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Nearby, free testing sites include:
  • Allina Health, 4194 Lexington Ave. N, Shoreview (by appointment only): weekdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-483-5461
  • HealthPartners, 205 S. Wabasha (by appointment only): weekdays 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 952-967-5584
  • Minnesota Community Care, 424 Dorothy Day Place, weekdays 9:15-11 a.m. 651-793-2219
  • Minnesota Community Care, 895 E. 7th St. (by appointment only): Monday, Tuesday, Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Wednesday-Thursday, noon-7 p.m. 651-602-7500
  • North Memorial Health Clinic, 2600 39th Ave. NE, Saint Anthony (by appointment only): weekdays 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 763-581-5500
  • Open Cities Health Center, 916 Rice: Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • Open Cities Health Center, 409 N. Dunlap: weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 651-290-9200
  • University of Minnesota Boynton Health, 410 Church St. SE, Minneapolis (by appointment only):  Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 612-625-7900
County Launches Business Relief Fund
Coronavirus-related updates in the neighborhood, city, and beyond:
  • Ramsey County: Is providing a Small Business Relief Fund for local businesses hurt by the pandemic.The first round provides 670 grants of up to $7,500 so businesses with 20 or fewer employees can pay critical expenses such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and costs associated with reopening. First-round applications are being accepted until next Friday, June 12. There will be additional application periods, totaling about $10 million more, later in 2020.
  • Metro Transit: Has resumed all service on previous, pandemic-reduced schedules. Light-rail trains run daily from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Most bus routes are on "Saturday schedules" every day -- unless curfews restrict hours further. Also, in case you missed it, riders are required to wear face masks when boarding Metro Transit vehicles. 
  • State of Minnesota: The Community Resiliency and Recovery Work Group has a survey specifically for residents who identify as Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrants, or refugees. The intent: To get a deeper and broader perspective on how Covid-19 is impacting them. The survey is available in English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong.
  • Phase II continues: A reminder of the "Stay Safe" restrictions currently in force in Minnesota. These include: No public gatherings of more than 10 people. You must work from home if you can. Restaurants and bars can serve a maximum of 50 customers outdoors. Faith communities can gather indoors or outdoors, up to 25 percent capacity (maximum of 250 people). Youth sports can practice in "pods" of up to 10 if they meet other conditions; no contact or games are allowed. Schools can open for a mix of classroom and distance learning, with restrictions. "Non-critical" retail businesses can open if they restrict customer traffic to less than 50 percent of store capacity. Salons, barbershops, and tattoo parlors can open up to 25 percent of capacity. Campgrounds and charter boats can operate, with restrictions. "Non-critical" businesses that don't have walk-in customers can open if they have a Covid-19 plan in place.
  • University of Minnesota Extension: A series of webinars continues to help navigate financial challenges from losing your job or losing income. The one-hour sessions are free, but you have to register in advance. The schedule:
The state's Covid-19 portal is an easy place to get big picture and up-to-date details, find Minnesota's latest pandemic statistics, and collect or link to oodles of other information and advice during these "stay safe" days. Saint Paul and Ramsey County have their own pages focused on more local resources, services, interruptions, and information.
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.