The blues song says the eagle flies on Friday. But sometimes it takes a breather on the lakeshore like the rest of us. Photo: Nile Fellows
Snow is Coming. So are the Vulcans.
Photo: Molly Steinke
Saint Paul's annual Winter Carnival opens this week. But we're ahead of the game in Como, because preparations for the Vulcan Snow Park at the Fairgrounds rev up this weekend.

The Snow Stomp, which creates the giant blocks used for Snow Sculpture competition, is this Saturday, Jan. 18, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Individuals, families, and groups are welcome to volunteer and join in. (Volunteers are also needed to staff the Snow Slide, which runs daily during the Carnival.)

The full  Vulcan Snow Park experience opens next Friday, Jan. 24. Events that weekend feature large- and small-block snow sculpting Jan. 24-26, plus Vulcan Fun Day on Sunday Jan. 26. That includes day and night polar plunges, barstool ski races, snow sculpture voting and judging, fire truck rides, and special activities for kids. You'll find the Snow Park on the giant block bounded by Randall on the north, Cooper on the east, Dan Patch on the south, and Underwood on the west.

Lest we forget, the Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt launches this Sunday, Jan. 19. No need to call police on the hardy souls who inevitably spend at least some time circling around Como Park with shovels, rakes, picks, and headlamps.
Chloe, a Hoffman's two-toed sloth, is featured during Tropical Oasis Weekend.
Zoo, Conservatory Have Perfect Timing
If the snow is too much, head to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory's Tropical Oasis Weekend, this Saturday-Monday, Jan. 18-20. Among activities:
  • Go tropical: Tours, stories, crafts, games, and interactive stations reveal the hidden gems of the Tropical Encounters exhibit. On the animal side, learn about stingrays, river turtles, frogs, toads, fish, birds, an anaconda, and Chloe the sloth. On the plant side, soak in rainforest flora such as strangler fig, kapok, cecropia, annatto, mahogany, peach palm, balsa, ice cream bean and more. The free activities run 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Music Under Glass brings the blues: The free winter concert series continues this Sunday, Jan. 19, featuring the blues of Fattenin' Frogs. The concert is 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Sunken Garden, but speakers pipe the music throughout the conservatory. You can buy beer, wine, and snacks. Here's the full season's lineup
What Do You Know about Snow Emergencies (and How Do You Find Out)?
Saint Paul Public Works wants to know how it can improve communications and outreach about snow emergencies and winter parking rules.  Take the survey (Heads up: T his is not about plowing itself.)

Meanwhile, since we're likely to get a snow emergency this weekend, refresh your memory on how that works.
Officially, Monday is a Holiday
This Monday, Jan. 20, is the holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Federal, state, and local government offices and courts are closed. So are public schools, public libraries, and most banks. There is no mail. Parking meters are free.  However:
  • Garbage and recycling pick-up are not scheduled to change this week. 
  • North Dale and Northwest Como rec centers have normal hours on Monday. 
  • Metro Transit runs it normal weekday schedule on Monday.
Minimum Wage? Sick Time?
The City Has Laws About That
A presentation on Saint Paul's minimum wage and sick time ordinances leads off this week's meeting of the Como Community Council.

The meeting begins this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 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 District 10 community members are welcome to attend and participate. If the technology works, the meeting will stream live on our Facebook page. (D ownload the preliminary agenda)
New Thai Restaurant Opens
Lisu's Thai Taste is now open in the former CafĂ© 99 (and former Bascali's Brick Oven before that) at 1552 Como Ave., just east of Snelling. The restaurant is open Mondays-Thursdays 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., and Fridays-Saturdays 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. 
Presidential Absentee Voting Opens
You can vote absentee, beginning today, in Minnesota's March 3 presidential primary elections. This is the first presidential primary in state history; previously, voters expressed their presidential preferences at precinct caucuses. (Those caucuses still take place on Feb. 25 for other political party purposes.)  Ramsey County residents can vote in person in the presidential primaries at these locations:
  • Ramsey County Library-Roseville: 2180 N. Hamline (at County Road B), 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays
  • Ramsey County elections office: 90 W. Plato Blvd., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays
  • New Brighton Community Center: 400 10th St. NW, 8 a.m. -4 p.m. weekdays
You also have the options of  applying for a ballot online, or filling out a paper application to return in the mail.

To vote in the primary, you must select one political party. The Republican and DFL parties both have primary ballots. 
  • Donald J. Trump is the only candidate on the Republican ballot. 
  • The DFL ballot lists 15 candidates (though several already have ended or suspended their campaigns): Michael Bennet, Joseph Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.
If you vote absentee, then change your mind about your preferred candidate (or your candidate drops out), you can replace your ballot no later than Feb. 25.
Anika Fajardo is featured in the Fireside Reading Series.
Settle In with a Good Author
The first night is sold out, but the Fireside Reading Series will continue to run Wednesday nights through February at the Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha. The series features Minnesota writers, coffee, and cookies. Admission is free but registration is required. The schedule:
  • Jan. 29: John Coy and Gaylord Schanitec
  • Feb. 5: Staci Lola Drouillard
  • Feb. 12: Laurie Allmann
  • Feb. 19: Anika Fajardo
  • Feb. 26: Ed Bok Lee
You'll Want to Take This Sitting Down
The Como Park Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program offers chair yoga every Thursday morning. They even supply the chair. Sessions run 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the Community Room of Arbor Pointe, 635 Maryland. Wear comfortable clothes and donate what you can.
Give Your Favorite Business a Boost
Saint Paul is seeking nominations for its annual Business Awards. The four categories:
  • Traditions: A business that has been active for more than 5 years.
  • New Kid on the Block: A business that opened in Saint Paul within the last five years.
  • Good Neighbor: A business that shows a dedication to improving the community.
  • People's Choice: A business recognized for its excellence by Saint Paul residents.
Get more information and nominate your choice (or even nominate yourself).
Also Going On This Month
  • Today, Friday Jan. 17: Because of the weather, Northwest Como Recreation Center has cancelled its Family Skating Party and Bonfire. They'll try again in two weeks: on Friday Jan. 31 from 6-8 p.m. 
  • This Wednesday, January 22: Ramsey County 2020 Census Job Fair, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Minnesota Career Force Center, 2266 2nd St. N, North Saint Paul. The Census offers a variety of temporary full-time and flexible part-time jobs, starting at $22 an hour.
  • Sunday, Jan. 26: Winter Organ Concert Series begins, featuring music director Tom Ferry, 4 p.m. Como Park Lutheran Church, 1376 Hoyt. Free
Just a Gymnastics Meet at the Fairgrounds
Crowley's Winter Challenge Gymnastics Meet: Today-Saturday, Jan. 17-18, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Today, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, 7:45 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Take It Straight to the Police
The Western District's monthly community meetings are this Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at district headquarters, 389 N. Hamline. If you go, you'll meet command staff, hear about the latest crime trends in the city, 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.