Junior Achievemetn Mayor and Stark on stage

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest moving to Midway location

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

There was a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on July 25 for Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest’s (JAUM) new home in the Midway. The event included a preview of plans for the building and recognition of lead gift donors.

Photo right: The building at 1745 University Ave. W. will become the new home for Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest. (Photo provided)

Spurred by a lead gift of $4 million from Jim and Patricia Hemak, the organization is halfway to its $20 million fundraising goal for the Let’s Build campaign.

JAUM purchased the building at 1745 University Ave W., which will be redesigned and refurbished to meet its specific needs. The building—named the Junior Achievement James R. and Patricia Hemak Experiential Learning Center—will house three premier learning labs: JAUM’s existing JA BizTown and JA Finance Park programs and the first-of-its-kind JA Innovation Incubator.

Photo left: The new location for the Junior Achievement James R. and Patricia Hemak Experiential Learning Center was celebrated at a ceremonial groundbreaking by (l to r) lead gift donors Jim and Pat Hemak, Gina Blayney (JAUM President & CEO), St. Paul Council President Russ Stark and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. (Photo provided)

The Let’s Build capital campaign will allow JAUM to double the number of students served in its experiential learning labs from 17,000 to 34,000. The campaign will also grow the Junior Achievement Foundation of the Upper Midwest, providing the organization with funding to meet new demands for program expansion, operating needs, technology upgrades and the ability to continue providing programs to local schools at little or no cost. Currently, JAUM is based in Maplewood.

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest has been serving students in Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin since 1949. During the 2016-17 school year, JAUM reached more than 163,000 students in grades K-12 with financial literacy, college and career readiness, and entrepreneurship education. JAUM programs are implemented by nearly 10,000 volunteers, mostly business professionals, who share their skills and experience to motivate and inspire students to succeed.

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Development Roundup

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin


St. Paul City Council awards $2+ million in STAR funds
The 2017 Neighborhood Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) competitive grant and loan program includes projects to help immigrants and refugees, thanks to area nonprofits. The St. Paul City Council July 19 approved grant and loan funding for 19 projects. A total of $2,024,063 won approval—$1,462,063 in grants and $562,163 in loans. Project matches total $10,852,263.

The top-ranked project citywide is for the renovation of Capital Deals, a store on Smith Ave. on the city’s West Side.

The highest-ranked project in the Midway area is African Economic Development Solutions, which finished ninth. The development group, which is located at 1821 University Ave., will use a $100,000 grant and $123,000 match to provide a revolving loan fund for African entrepreneurs citywide. The nonprofit has worked with several African businessmen and women on N. Snelling Ave.

Ranked 11th is the International Institute of Minnesota’s Second Century Campaign, which was given a $200,000 grant. The match is more than $5.18 million. The International Institute plans to expand and renovate its facilities at 1694 Como Ave. to help new immigrants and refugees in its New American Workshop program.

Improvements to the commercial building at 704-738 University Ave. ranked 12th. A $47,500 grant and $47,599 loan were approved, with a match of $181,000.

Twelve projects weren’t funded, including a capital campaign request from Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest. Junior Achievement is renovating a building at 1745 University Ave. for it programs. The group sought $1 million for a $15.3 million project. The project is going ahead without the city funds.

Other area projects that weren’t funded include a request from the Joy to the People Foundation toward a multi-sports facility at 890 Cromwell Ave. and Lifetrack Resources’ request for facilities improvements and a new preschool at 709 University Ave.

Thirty-one projects were considered for the $2 million in this year’s funding round, as compared to 39 in 2016. The 31 submissions sought $5,038,315, with $4,356,902 in grants and $681,413 in loans. Matches proposed by applications totaled $33,907,471. All Neighborhood STAR projects require a minimum one-to-one match of money, material and professional services.

Target renovations complete
Months of getting lost while shopping have come to an end as Target Corporation has completed remodeling its Midway store at Hamline and University avenues. The store at 1300 University Ave. is one of three stores around the state Target is remodeling.

Work wrapped up in July. The store features changes in décor, brighter lighting, and more checkout lanes. Many departments were moved from their longtime locations. The grocery area was also expanded.

Ryan Companies led the remodeling work.

The St. Paul-Midway store was one of 110 Target stores across the country receiving a top-to-bottom overhaul in 2017, according to Target. The other two Minnesota stores undergoing remodeling are on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis and in St. Louis Park. Other Twin Cities Target stores will get smaller upgrades.

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Man dies in July Green Line crash

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

A 29-year-old Saint Paul man died after the vehicle he was driving was struck July 15 by a METRO Green Line train at the intersection of Eustis St. and University Ave.

Nicholas Redlin Westlake’s car was struck just after 9pm. He and a passenger, Neli Petkova, were traveling southbound on Eustis when a westbound light rail train collided with their car. St. Paul firefighters extracted Westlake from the vehicle and transported him to Regions Hospital where he died July 17. Petkova was able to get out of the vehicle on her own and was transported to Regions where she was treated and released.

Westlake was a 2005 graduate of Central High School.

The Metro Transit Police Department’s crash reconstruction team is leading the investigation. Witnesses have reported to media outlets that they believed Westlake had the right of way with a green light. Investigators are looking into that possibility, as well as ensuring that all lights were operating as expected. Investigators also are examining whether the train operator followed all Metro Transit’s standard operating procedures and all traffic laws as he crossed into the intersection.

The train operator, Abdellatif El Maarouf, a 12-year Metro Transit employee, remains on standard administrative leave.

Westlake and Petkova were dancers from Midpointe Event Center, 415 Pascal St. N. The Event Center celebrated the life of Westlake on July 21. The Center released a statement saying, Westlake “was a passionate competitor and instructor who loved introducing people to ballroom dancing. He and his dance partner and life partner, Petkova, were magic together on the dance floor as they continuously earned high rankings in National Championships. He was generous with not only his talent but also his time, as he spent countless hours working with local dance programs and volunteering with organizations that promote ballroom dance in the Twin Cities. His fire, his light and his smile will be missed by his family, friends, and students from across the globe.”

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Monitor in a Minute

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin


Hot Rod’s penalized
Hot Rod’s Bar & Grill, 1553 University Ave., will be penalized for not following license conditions, the St. Paul City Council decided July 19. But the council put a stay on part of the penalty, as an incentive for no more violations.

Hot Rod’s, like many other establishments, is required to have video surveillance. Tapes are to be turned over to the St. Paul Police Department and city licensing officials as requested. Businesses are also to have video surveillance plans filed with the city.

The longtime Midway business not only didn’t file its plan by a required Dec. 31, 2016, deadline, it also failed to turn over requested video from April of this year in a timely manner. Another red flag for city officials was finding that not all patrons were wanded when entering the establishment.

The council weighed testimony and heard steps taken by the business to prevent future issues. The council agreed that while Hot Rod’s would pay a $2,000 fine, a 10-day suspension will be cut to five days, starting Aug. 13. But if there are additional violations in the next 18 months, the additional five-day suspension will be imposed.

Work on Dickerman Park
Work on Dickerman Park continues, following a formal dedication and ceremony last month. The St. Paul City Council July 26 authorized city staff to execute an easement for the existing encroachments at 1745 University Ave.

The property is part of Dickerman Park, a century-old linear city park on the north side of University. The park extends from Fairview Ave. to Aldine St. Commercial and institutional properties along the street used the area as front yard space for many years. Only recently has the city taken steps to reclaim and improve the park.

The building at 1745 University, which is the planned new home for Junior Achievement, has some unique issues tied to the park property. It has window wells, building light fixtures, building steps, an access ramp and a portion of its parking lot that encroach upon city property. These items have been on city property for many years.

While other parking spaces and other encroachments have been removed from Dickerman Park in recent years, the St. Paul Department of Parks and Recreation has agreed to design the park around the existing encroachments at 1745 University given their integral relationship to the function of the building. The change is being made now because the building is being sold for use by Junior Achievement. The encroachments can remain in place under the city agreement, but nothing new can be placed in the park area. When and if the building is torn down, the encroachments will be removed.

The St. Paul Parks and Recreation Commission recommended approval of the agreement.

City updates bike plan
After several weeks’ delay, St. Paul has an updated citywide bike plan. The St. Paul City Council, on July 19, approved plan amendments covering the Grand Round, a citywide bike and pedestrian trail system which extends through the Como, West Midway, and Desnoyer Park neighborhoods, and downtown’s Capital City Bikeway.

The plan has been the topic of three public hearings. Although it has drawn strong support from cyclists, the plan amendments have drawn fire from affected property owners. Most of those have been St. Peter merchants and property owners. At this time there aren’t set plans for bike facilities on St. Peter, said Council President Russ Stark. Extensive community outreach is going to be needed. “But to be realistic, it’s going to be difficult to fit everything in.”

The July 19 vote to amend the citywide bike plan allows the St. Paul Department of Public Works to seek additional funding for engineering design for St. Peter, said Reuben Collins. He oversees bicycle facilities planning for the city. Having other plan amendments approved and an updated plan also helps other projects as funding is sought.

The Grand Round has been on the books for more than a century. It was the vision of parks planner and visionary H.S.W. Cleveland. The Grand Round travels throughout the entire city. Some sections have been in place for many years, while other sections need to still be completed.

Bye-bye to co-named streets
What’s in a name? Saying there are better ways to honor prominent city residents, the St. Paul City Council voted July 19 to drop its longstanding practice of co-naming streets.

While the change will disappoint those wishing to bestow honors or be honored themselves, City Council members said the loosely regulated honors need to stop.

The adopted resolution states “a street co-name sign has confused some in the public who do not recognize the official street name, resulting in the potential for miscommunication in an emergency situation.”

The change was made at the instigation of Ward Two Council Member Rebecca Noecker. She asked the council earlier this year to look at street co-naming and was surprised to learn that the city had no consistent policy.

Co-naming a street is not the same as a street name change. For many years the city has given co-names to stretches of streets, allowing a second white and black street sign to be placed below the street’s official name on a green and white sign. It’s not clear how many co-named streets there are in the city—likely more than a dozen. Most co-names are for only a block or two.

Ellen Biales, program manager for Public Works, said there hadn’t been a consistent policy on co-naming of streets. “The expectations people have had when seeking the co-naming is hard to judge,” she said. “Some people may think it’s a permanent change.”

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City Council fills another funding gap for soccer stadium

City Council fills another funding gap for soccer stadium

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

Tax increment financing (TIF) proceeds will be used to fill a $900,000 gap in environmental cleanup funding needs for the Major League Soccer stadium under construction at Snelling and University avenues. On July 19 the St. Paul City Council voted 5-2 to support the use of TIF to help pay for the cleanup of the former Metro Transit bus garage site.

Use of TIF was opposed by council members Rebecca Noecker and Jane Prince, as well as speakers including Hamline-Midway resident and mayoral candidate Tom Goldstein, noting that final agreements with Midway Center developer and center owner RK Midway aren’t complete, “We’re pursuing a project that is a leap of faith. We seem to be pulling out every stop for this.” Goldstein disputed claims that the stadium will provide economic revitalization for the area.

Work at the site is well underway. The $10 million building permit issued July 14 is for excavation, site work and footings only. Much of the property has been excavated, leaving a large hole.

The financial hole stems from a plan the City Council approved more than a year ago, for $18.4 million for infrastructure and site cleanup. The St. Paul Port Authority is leading site cleanup efforts. Last year Port officials said they’d seek $1.5 million in grant funds to help with pollution cleanup. Grants have been elusive. The bus barn property, which is owned by Metropolitan Council, isn’t eligible for the council’s own cleanup grants.

Of $3.1 million in project grants, the Port has obtained only $325,000 to be used on the bus barn property. A shortfall of $825,00 to $1.18 million is anticipated. A Ramsey County grant is pending. Most council members agreed that not being able to use Metropolitan Council cleanup funds on a polluted site the council owns is an odd situation.

Jonathan Sage-Martinson, director of the St. Paul Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED), outlined the situation of cleanup costs and grant complexities. He said the city and Port Authority wanted to use pollution cleanup-specific grants, but TIF would be a second potential funding source. That was always the city’s intent, he said.

Metropolitan Council has pledged up to $4.5 million to help redevelop the old bus barn site for redevelopment. But that isn’t through traditional redevelopment or cleanup grants the Council gives. In an email to city officials, Metropolitan Council stated that the grants for tax base revitalization are supposed to bring about property tax-generating redevelopment, and not be used for tax-exempt property. The stadium, which is being built by Minnesota United FC at the cost of $150 million, will eventually be owned by the city with the city leasing the former bus barn site from Met Council. Noecker called the situation “mind-boggling.”

It’s estimated that cleaning up the entire stadium property, on both public and private land, will cost more than $7 million.

Prince and other council members also criticized the Metropolitan Council for not letting the city use its grants for cleanup since transit operations resulted in some of the site pollution. “This is the Metropolitan Council’s site that the Metropolitan Council has been polluting,” said Prince.

“It’s a zero-sum game,” said Noecker.

The TIF funding, which the St. Paul Port Authority Board recommend for approval in June, takes tax increment proceeds from two other sites and uses them at Snelling and St. Anthony avenues.

Port Authority and City Council actions amended the Midway Industrial Development District, which is now named Snelling-Midway. The amendments then take revenue from two other industrial development districts, Maxson Steel on Dale St. near Como-Dale-Front, and the Energy Park Development District. TIF will be used from Maxson Steel’s sub-district Great Northern Business Center Phase II and Energy Park’s sub-district Energy Lane Business Center. These two sub-districts currently have TIF receipts greater than the amount of money needed to pay their current costs. With the changes now in place, the money is available to be used at Snelling-Midway. The changes free up $375,000 from Energy Lane and $500,000 from Great Northern to use at the stadium location.

Sage-Martinson asked the City council to look at the “opportunity costs” of use TIF to help pay for cleanup and the stadium project. The stadium is seen as a catalyst for redevelopment of the superblock bounded by St. Anthony, Snelling and University avenues and Pascal St.

“This is a high priority site to clean up,” Sage-Martinson said.

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Summer learning experiences and sports prep

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• Academy of Finance (AOF) students at Como have been busy with internships, employment, and educational opportunities. Four AOF students recently completed a week-long experience at the Carlson School of Management on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Tu Lor Eh Paw, Mario Sanchez-Lopez, Pa Houa Lee and Lizbeth Antunez Miranda were all participants in the Gopher Business program. The Carlson School invites 50 high-achieving students from across the state to campus each summer to engage in a business challenge. Students are immersed in case study competitions and simulations for corporate and non-profit sites. Mentors and teachers included Carlson School faculty and Twin Cities business leaders.

Another program that included Como AOF students was the Minnesota Council on Economic Education (MCEE) Personal Finance Summer Institute. Lauren Thompson, PaYing Vang, and Way Htoo participated in the week-long institute which was also held on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The students explored future careers, college finances, savings plans, debt and credit issues through discussions and simulations with instructors and guest speakers from the financial industry.

• Como’s Robotics Team has been active through the summer with participation at community events. Officially recognized as BEASTBot Team 2855 by the State High School League, Como’s team demonstrated their competitive robot from the 2017 season at the Slice of Shore­view Festival. They also displayed Sparky, the team’s “funbot.” The event was a valuable opportunity to network with potential partners and supporters while helping keep technology and science fresh in people’s minds.

Photo right: Como students made adjustments to their robot at a community festival. The team stays active through summer with demonstrations. (Photo provided)

BEASTBot was also scheduled to present at the 3M campus on Aug. 4 for the annual “Robots on the Plaza” celebration. The final summer activity for the team will be demonstrating their robots at the State Fair over Labor Day weekend. Como’s successful robotics program involves 25-30 students each academic year and is led by Como teachers Donna Norberg and Michael Fisher.

• Every summer, cadets in Como’s Marine Corps JROTC embark upon a journey that helps build leadership, patriotism, service, and camaraderie. While last year’s trip was to Washington D.C. and the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, the 2017 adventure allowed the cadets to experience a week in the wilderness of South Dakota.

Photo right: Como cadets in the Marine Corps JROTC, pictured in front of Mount Rushmore, had an empowering experience in South Dakota. (Photo provided)

38 cadets participated in activities that including camping, drilling, survival training, environmental stewardship, hiking and study visits to historical sites. Students analyzed leadership and the presidency at Mount Rushmore, Native American history at the Crazy Horse Memorial, geology and physiography in the Black Hills, and wildlife at the Reptile Gardens.

Sophomore cadet Ong Vang wrote a letter of gratitude to the trip sponsors, which included Ecolab. In it, she emphasized the value of the exploration and the personal growth it provided to all of the cadets. “Thank you for this wonderful experience you made happen for us teenagers, some of us who may have never been out of state or seen the stars shine so bright at night,” Vang said.

• Como Park’s football team had a successful fundraiser bagging groceries at Cub Foods which will allow for the purchase of new varsity uniforms. This will be the first uniform upgrade for the Cougars in a decade. The players are excited that they’ll be able to represent their school in some new black and gold.

Another development for the Como football program was being chosen as a top 20 school for the Let’s Play High School Equipment Makeover Challenge. Como’s selection was based on a competitive application that included videos explaining the need and plan for improved equipment.

Now that Como has advanced into the final national round of 20, the Cougars’ video will be entered into a public online vote that starts on Sept. 8. The public voting will determine the top 10 schools, who will each receive $1,000 for athletic equipment, and then continue in the competition with the ultimate prize for first place being $100,000 for the athletic department of the winning school. Details and links for the online vote will be on Como’s website and in next month’s Monitor.

• The Minnesota State High School League’s “fall” sports season begins on Mon., Aug. 14. For Como Park athletics, that means students will be practicing with their coaches and competing in games for three weeks before classes begin on Sept. 5.

Fall sports at Como include football, soccer and cross country running for the boys. Girls’ programs include volleyball, soccer, swimming, tennis and cross country running. Over 250 Como students participate on fall sports teams.

For a full schedule of Como games and contests, visit saintpaul.sports.org, or spps.org, “About” and click on the Athletics tab.

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Dist 10 Lawn Sign-Thanks

Como Community Council Corner

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

By MICHAEL KUCHTA, Executive Director

Special election planned to fill At-Large board seat
The Como Community Council holds a special election this month to fill one At-Large board vacancy. The election takes place Tues., Aug. 15 at 7pm, before the monthly board meeting at the Como Park Streetcar Station.

You can find information about candidates on the District 10 website: www.district10comopark.org. (Write-in nominations will be accepted from the floor the night of the election.)

Any District 10 resident at least 18 years of age is eligible to vote; so are representatives from businesses or institutions in the neighborhood. District 10 is the portion of St. Paul bounded roughly by Snelling on the west, Larpenteur on the north, Dale on the east, and the railroad tracks between Pierce Butler and Energy Park Dr./Front Ave. on the south.

The lawn signs are back
District 10 is reviving our lawn sign safety campaign. The goals are the same: To get drivers to slow down and to make our residential streets safer for everyone. To make it work, you organize 10-12 neighbors who will stick a sign in their yard for two weeks. If you are interested, contact the Como Community Council office by email at district10@district10comopark.org or by phone at 651-644-3889.

We’ll figure out which dates work best.

The options for signs are: “Drive Like Your Kids Live Here,” “Thanks for Slowing Down,” and “Slow Please: Free-Range Children, Adults and Dogs.”

What we can, and can’t, do during the State Fair
The State Fair runs Aug. 24-Sept. 4. That means special zoning allowances kick in for western portions of District 10. Special State Fair “overlay districts” allow vendors to set up shop on private property and allow residents to park visitors’ cars on their lawns—all within limits.

For details on exactly which blocks are covered by which overlay district; exactly what the parking, vending, and peddling regulations say; and how to report violations, see District 10’s website: www.district10comopark.org.

New crosswalk coming
The St. Paul Parks Department will build a new, marked crosswalk on Lexington Pkwy. after Labor Day. The goal is to create a clear, direct way to get back and forth on foot or bicycle between the Lakeside Pavilion / Como Dockside on one side of Lexington, and the Como Park golf clubhouse / ski center / Cozy’s Pub on the other side.
The project will include:
• A 6-foot wide, marked crosswalk with standard warning signs.
• A 10-foot-wide curbed median with a pedestrian refuge, planted with oak trees and little bluestem grasses. The median replaces an existing painted median, which stretches from the driveway entering the golf course parking lot to the driveway for the Lakeside Pavilion’s north parking lot.
• 12-foot traffic lanes, with a 25 mph speed limit.
• New, ADA-accessible paths, sidewalks and ramps connecting the crosswalk on each side of Lexington.

For more details on the project, see District 10’s website: www.district10comopark.org.

Get rid of your junk in October
St. Paul’s annual Reduce & Recycle Citywide Drop Off Event at the State Fairgrounds takes place on Sat., Oct. 7, from 8am-1pm. Some basic information:
• Residents who volunteer to staff the event receive a voucher allowing them to dispose of one load for free. To volunteer, contact the Como Community Council office by email at district10@district10comopark.org or by phone at 651-644-3889.
• Disposal: Residents can dispose of appliances, electronics, furniture, tires, demolition debris, scrap metal, and other household refuse for a set fee per item or per load. For full details on what items are acceptable, and their fees, go to the city’s All-In web page: www.stpaul.gov/recycle.

Upcoming District 10 meetings
• Como Community Council June Meeting: Tues., Aug. 15
• Environment Committee: Wed., Aug. 30
• Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Tues., Sept. 5
• Land Use Committee: Wed., Sept. 6

All meetings begin at 7pm at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Community members are always welcome to attend and participate.

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Hamline Dining Hall celebrates 120 years

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

The Hamline Church Dining Hall is celebrating 120 years at the Minnesota State Fair. The dining hall, 1667 Dan Patch Ave., is operated by Hamline Church United Methodist, 1514 Englewood Ave.

A celebration is planned for 10am, Fri., Aug. 25. The program will include guest speakers, official proclamations and a look back at the last 120 years. A dining hall history timeline will be on display during the fair.

For its anniversary the dining hall is unveiling a new menu item, the Cranberry Wild Rice Meatball. It is described as “a Swedish-style meatball with wild rice and dried cranberries simmered in a rich allspice cream sauce, served with lingonberry preserve.” Other new features include pies from Grandma’s Pie Shop and blueberry lemonade.

Hamline Church also partners with Izzy’s Ice Cream to create a new flavor each year for the fair. The 2017 flavor is S’More Fun. It has a toasted marshmallow base with chocolate, chocolate chunks, and a graham cracker swirl.

Food fans shouldn’t worry that old favorites won’t be there. The famous Hamline Ham Loaf and Ham Loaf Sliders will remain, as will the popular Hamline Egger breakfast sandwich.

The dining hall got its start in 1897. Hamline’s dining hall was started by the Ladies’ Aid Society, as a fundraiser for what was then Hamline Methodist Episcopal Church.

It is the oldest continuously operating food establishment at the fair. It dates from a time when dozens of churches ran dining halls, food stands, and even food tents. Today Hamline and Minneapolis’ Salem Lutheran Church are the only two church dining halls left out of dozens that operated over the years.

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Hamline Elementary

Donating supplies would help a kid start right!

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin


As the start of another school year approaches, we’re thinking about how we can support a year of awesome adventures in learning and connections by making sure Hamline Elementary kids have the school supplies they need, starting on the first day of school.

So, we’re asking you to join us, friends and neighbors, to collect those basic items that help families and kids feel confident and special as they begin a new school year. Maybe you’re someone who loves school supply shopping or someone who remembers the excitement of a new school year or possibly the worry that you might show up without the things you need—whoever you are, you can lighten a family’s load and give a student a great start to the school year. Small acts of kindness add up to big love.

Here’s how you can invest in these young learners: pick up a backpack or a few basic supplies like pencils, crayons, colored pencils, glue sticks, spiral notebooks, folders, erasers, and scissors. Or if you prefer, fill a backpack for a Hamline student with everything they’ll need.

You can find a full list of school supplies, sorted by grade level, on the Hamline Elementary web page (http://www.spps.org/domain/8363 and on the Families dropdown tab click on “Supply Lists”) or the Discover Hamline Elementary Facebook page.

Donations can be dropped off at the Hamline Elementary Family Resource Room any Thursday in August between 10am-1pm or at the Hamline Elementary PTA food booth at the Hamline Midway Summer Market on Aug, 17 in the Hamline Church parking lot.

Arrangements for pick up can be made by contacting the Hamline Elementary PTA at HamlineElementaryPTA@gmail.com.

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Programs planned that inform, entertain and inspire!

Programs planned that inform, entertain and inspire!

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin


The Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., is a community treasure just waiting for you to explore. As summer shifts toward fall this Aug. and September, the library is hosting a wide variety of events to inform, entertain, and inspire you!

The library hosts Preschool Storytime in English on Fridays from 10:30am-11am. These storytimes feature puppets, songs, finger plays, stories, and more and are a great way for young children to build social and school readiness skills while bonding with their caregivers. Join the fun Aug. 11, 18, and 25 and Sept. 8, 15, and 22.

On Sat., Aug. 12, 2-3pm, the Summer Spark program brings local theater Dreamland Arts to the library, presenting “Children’s Stories from India.” Storyteller and Midway resident Zaraawar Mistry performs stories he heard during his childhood in India with musical accompaniment by Greg Herriges. For ages 3 and over.

On Tues., Aug. 15, 10:30-11:30am, Minnesota picture book author Tracy Nelson Maurer presents “Who Made America’s History Grow? John Deere, That’s Who!” Tracy will present her new picture book about John Deere and share surprising facts about the man who developed a new kind of plow in the 1830s, one that changed farming and a nation forever. Enjoy a fun, interactive presentation with a writer who’s published more than 100 titles for children, including another new picture book about Noah Webster, creator of the first truly American dictionary.

Teen Book Club meets Sat., Aug. 19, 3-4pm. Teens get together to discuss graphic novels, Battle of the Books, Read Brave, and more. For grades 9+.

On Mon., Aug. 21, 4:30-6:30pm, the library hosts Nature Smart Fun. Learn about bees and do bee-related crafts. Make a bee bath, bee buddy, and a queen bee crown! The event will also feature guests from the Bee Real Bee Everywhere project for some fun outdoor activities.

Teen Movie Night takes over the library auditorium on Wed., Aug. 23, 5:30-7:30pm with the Disney animated classic “The AristoCats.” Popcorn will be served!

The Show and Tell Book Club, for kids in grades 1-3, meets on Sat., Aug. 26, 1:30-2:15pm. Join librarian Shelly to share books and do fun activities aimed at building kids’ love of reading.

Jody’s Documentary Film Series features two short films on Wed., Aug. 30, 1-3pm. The first is “4.1 Miles” by filmmaker Daphne Matziaraki. This 2017 Academy Award nominee puts viewers right on the boat with a Greek Coast Guard captain and crew as they save refugees from drowning. The second film is “From Damascus to Chicago” by filmmakers Colleen Cassingham and Alex Lederman. Their film follows siblings Akram and Retaj as they enroll in dance class and help smooth the difficult transition to a new life for themselves and their parents. Enjoy these free films and snacks, then stay for a discussion facilitated by Jody. This program is a collaboration of the award–winning PBS documentary series POV, the Hamline Midway Elders, and the library.

All St. Paul libraries will be closed for the Labor Day weekend, Sat., Sept. 2-Mon., Sept. 4.

The Saints and Sinners Mystery Book Club meets on Sat., Sept. 9, 1-2pm, to discuss good mysteries. Contact volunteer G. Balter for book list or more information at gerribalter@gmail.com or 651-224-5570.

On Sat., Sept. 16, 1:30pm-3pm, the library hosts the popular Science Saturdays program, featuring Balance Circus. School-age children and their families are invited to stack objects and odd shapes on rockers to experiment with what balances and what comes crashing down. Learn to balance a stick at the end of your hand, make a balancing clown, talk about tightrope walkers, and more!

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