Not everything can be digitized: Tucked away on Albany Ave., Chelsea Printworks owner Ray West creates sweatshirts for Jerry's Cub Foods. The shop, which has been open for nearly 5 years, does custom screen-printing of all sorts, plus letterpress cards and more.
Are You Ready to Go?
Photo: Brad Goddard
Floods. Tornadoes. Fire. Civil unrest. If disaster strikes, how prepared are you to evacuate your home in a hurry? Saint Paul Emergency Management explains their role in preparing for the unexpected. More importantly, they offer advice on what you can do to prepare yourself and your family, including what you should pack in your "go bag."

Details: "Surviving an Emergency" opens District 10's 2019 Sunday Series. The free presentation is this Sunday, March 31, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. 
Future Sunday Series presentations:
  • Doing citizen science where you live. Sunday April 14.
  • Mosquitoes: The endless showdown. Sunday April 28.
  • Recycling isn't what it used to be. Sunday May 5.
Neighborhood Relations, Land Use Meet
Two District 10 committees -- Neighborhood Relations and Land Use -- hold their April meetings this week.

Tuesday April 2: Neighborhood Relations will dive into planning for the July 12 District 10 Ice Cream Social, which this year will include the Como Connect resource fair. 

Wednesday April 3:  Land Use will hear a presentation on Como High School's plans to add a concessions stand, bleachers, and a public address system to the Rose Ave. athletic field. The PA system could require a sound level variance. 

Both meetings begin 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 community members are welcome to attend and participate. (A preliminary agenda for each committee will be posted as soon as it's available, though you might have to wait a few days.)
A seat at the table awaits you.
Get Your Name on the Ballot Soon
Annual elections for the District 10 Como Community Council board take place April 16. Under district council by-laws, nine board positions are up for election; in at least five of them, the incumbent is not seeking re-election. In addition, there will be a special election for treasurer, to fill the one year remaining on that term.

All this makes it a great opportunity for new activists to seek an open seat on the council board. The positions on this April's ballot:
Become a candidate:  Any renter, homeowner, or other resident of District 10 who is age 16 or older is eligible to run. So are authorized representatives from a business or nonprofit organization located in District 10. To get on the ballot, submit your name and a brief biography no later than Tuesday April 9. Nominations submitted after that date will be treated as write-in candidacies. Board members elected this year will serve from April 23, 2019, until April 27, 2021. A list of board member responsibilities is available on District 10's website.
Photo: Madeline Elli
Artists, Photographers: It's Your Time
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory opens early this Sunday, March 31, and next Sunday, April 7, so artists and photographers can have dedicated time and elbow room for sketches, portraits, and more. The gardens are open 8-10 a.m.; cost is $5 per person.

Senior Stroll: As happens the first Tuesday of every month, Como Park Zoo and Conservatory open an hour early on April 2 so visitors age 55 or older can stroll the grounds in a more leisurely setting. Free-will donation, as usual.
Learning about henna is one of the spring break activities at Saint Paul libraries.
If the Unstructured Life Doesn't Work
It's spring break this week for most local schools. If it gets to a point where everyone in your house needs a break from one another, here are some kids activities to look at:
  • The Saint Paul Public Library has nearly two dozen free, hands-on activities for children ages 7-11, including nearby at Merriam Park, Rondo, and Saint Anthony Park.
  • Northwest Como Recreation Center still has spots available in some of its afternoon field trips for students ages 7-17: this Thursday, April 4, swimming ($10); next Friday, April 5, bowling ($15).
Fixing the Lake Gets Down to Nitty-Gritty
Reducing the amount of phosphorus, salt, and trash that flows into Como Lake; eradicating much of the curly-leaf pondweed in the lake; and creating a more-balanced fishery are among key goals in the Capitol Region Watershed District's proposed lake management plan. The draft plan, which has been in the works since August, outlines strategies to improve the lake's water quality for the next 20 years.

Recommendations rely on consistent chemical treatments, changes in local public works and construction policies, and much stronger partnerships with (and education of) community residents in order to make a difference. If you've got opinions or ideas on any of this, you've got less than a week left to share them.  You can read the draft , then submit comments online. Get your comments in no later than this Thursday, April 4.
Met Council Has Citizen Openings
The Metropolitan Council is seeking citizen applicants for several of its advisory committees. In particular:
  • The Land Use committee needs applicants from Saint Paul (technically, the designation is District 14 in Met Council language).
  • The Equity, Metropolitan Parks and Open Space, and Transportation committees need applicants from Ramsey County (which, technically, is District G in different Met Council nomenclature).
Committee positions are volunteer, but members are reimbursed for expenses. Priority consideration is given to applicants who file by today, Friday March 29. Full details on these and other committee openings, including online application forms, are available on the Met Council's website.
Get Kids on Their Feet or on a Seat
A free training for advocates of biking and walking takes place Thursday April 11 from 4:30-8 p.m. at Great River School, 1326 Energy Park Drive. The Walk! Bike! Fun! program gives parents, school staff, and community volunteers the tools to increase youth-targeted activities such as bike rodeos, bike trains, a walking school bus, remote drop-offs, and mapping safe cycling and walking routes to school.

The Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota supplies the training. Sign up here
Photo: Marion Star
MnDOT Rolls Out the Barrels
It's officially detour season, as far as the Minnesota Department of Transportation is concerned. Here are nearby freeway projects to be aware of:
  • Interstate 694: Two ramps are closed at Rice Street: the ramp from eastbound 694 to Rice, and the westbound ramp from Rice to 694. These ramps will be closed most of the spring and summer.
  • Interstate 35W: Beginning this Sunday, March 31, crews start three years of reconstruction between County Road C in Roseville and County Road 53 in Blaine/Lino Lakes. From March 31-April 7, expect nighttime lane reductions northbound between County Road E2 and I-694, and in both directions between US 10 and County Road J. Crews expect to work from 8 p.m.-5 a.m. Even more disruption comes next week.
Potential Help for Fixing Up Your Home
The nonprofit NeighborWorks Home Partners offers low-interest (and even no-interest) home-repair financing, some of it exclusively for residents of District 10. The financing is available (first-come, first-served, while supplies last) for owner-occupied homes and a range of basic repairs and improvements (but, sorry, no Jacuzzis).  Applicants must have incomes less than 120 percent of the area median ($79,300 for an individual; $113,150 for a household of 4). If your income is no higher than 80 percent of the area median ($50,350 for an individual, $71,900 for a household of 4), you could qualify for no-interest financing. 
Photo: Saint Paul SeeClickFix.
We're Still on Pothole Patrol
Potholes on local streets are making off-roading seem tame by comparison. Once your vehicle is done swerving or rattling, report potholes to these places, depending on whether it's on a city street, county road, or state highway:
Renter Voice Summit is in the Works
Ward 4 Council Member Mitra Jalali Nelson, the District 10 Como Community Council, and four other district councils are teaming up to hold a free "renter voice summit" on Thursday April 18 at Hamline University. The summit will help renters:
  • Learn whom they should call for what, so renters can access public and private resources available to them.
  • Understand rights and protections renters have under state and local law.
  • Connect with the district council in their neighborhood, and find out how renters can make an impact on local issues where they live.
  • Meet neighbors and plan new ways for renters to make their voice heard across Saint Paul.
The event is Thursday April 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Hamline University's Anderson Center, Room 111, 774 N. Snelling. Note: You don't have to be a renter to attend.  RSVP via Facebook , or email the  Ward 4 office .
Yes, It's April Already
  • This Tuesday, April 2: Deadline to comment on Saint Paul's draft Consolidated Plan, which is the city's application to the federal department of Housing and Urban Development on strategies, goals, and activities to assist residents at or below 80 percent of area median income.
  • Tuesday April 9: Saint Paul Police Civilian Internal Affairs Review Commission Annual Summit, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wellstone Community Center, 179 Robie St. E.
  • Friday April 19: Deadline to place orders through the annual plant sale from Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County.
  • Friday April 26: Mini Bio Blitz, 5 p.m. Kilmer Fireplace, Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom. Survey spring ephemerals in the Woodland -- the first of five nature surveys this year. To register, email Teri Heyer.
  • Saturday April 27: Citywide Spring Cleanup, 9-11:30 a.m. Como Lakeside Pavilion and a dozen other sites citywide.
  • Saturday April 26: Chelsea Heights Silent Auction, 7 p.m.-midnight. Gabe's by the Park. $15
Neighborhood Events You've Been Asking About
The Circus is in Town
  • Saint Paul Osman Shrine CircusThrough this Sunday, March 31, at the State Fairgrounds' Warner Coliseum. Performances: Today-Saturday, March 29-30, 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. Sunday, 10:30 a.m., 3 p.m. Admission: $20-$95; discounts available. Children 2 or younger, free.
A Different Way to Prevent Crime
If you missed this presentation last year at District 10, here's a second chance. "Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design" offers time-tested advice on how to minimize break-ins, trespassing, and other property crimes by how we maximize sightlines, create visual and physical barriers, even how we landscape. Saint Paul Police offer the free workshop on Wednesday April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Western District headquarters, 389 N. Hamline Ave.
Sorry, We Won't Be In
The Como Community Council office will be closed during the day this Monday-Thursday, April 1-4. We will not publish a newsletter next Friday. However, as noted above, committee meetings take place as usual on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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.