Posted on 03 August 2015 by Calvin

The North Dale Booster Club is currently working on their annual fundraiser/community get together, Summerfest.  It is Tuesday Aug. 11 from 5 – 8 pm at North Dale Rec. Center, 1414 St. Albans St.   We have Large Jumpers, Pony Rides, Games, prizes, Food and a raffle to help us raise funds that go to the rec. center to help with the youth programs.   Good crowds and Fun, Fun , Fun.

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Orange Crush 3

Local team Orange Crush measures success in teamwork

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

Orange Crush 3It’s baseball season, and if you’ve driven by Toni Stone Stadium (1221 Marshall Ave.), it’s likely you’ll see the bright orange jerseys of the Orange Crush baseball team.

Photo left: Tommy Freberg gets a “hi-five” from Coach Matt Dehne after a successful inning.

Orange Crush is a 14-Under baseball team playing for the St. Paul RBI program and also participating in various baseball tournaments. Coached by Matt Dehne, Todd Johnson, and Jim King, the team has been together for several years, and often enjoys success in their tournaments.

Orange Crush 1The boys developed their love of baseball by playing for the Midway Ball program in St Paul. They love playing together, particularly when the focus is more about developing the player and ensuring all the members play every game, instead of the number of wins on record.

Photo right: Photo right: Tommy Freberg, Midway resident and Como Park High School student receives coaching advice from Head Coach Matt Dehne.

“When the coaches focus on the subs on the bench, then we know the team will be successful,” commented Maureen Freberg, mother of player Tommy Freberg. “A team can only be as strong as the back-up players. I love when this team makes every player feel they are an integral part of the success of the team.”

Orange Crush 2Photo left: Midway resident, Tommy Freberg and the Orange Crush team, receiving last-minute advice from Billy Peterson, before traveling to Omaha for a tournament.

The team has received support over the years from Billy Peterson, loyal baseball enthusiast and volunteer for the St. Paul Municipal Athletics. Peterson maintains the Midway baseball field and Dunning Toni Stone Stadium. The team met with Peterson for encouragement just before traveling to Omaha for the Battle of Omaha baseball tournament. The team placed fourth in the tournament, and recently placed first in the PHDbaseball University Classic wood bat tournament.

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Development Roundup

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

Zoning changes approved
Changes to zoning in mixed-use corridors in Hamline Midway neighborhood won St. Paul City Council approval June 24. Approval follows a public hearing, at which one person testified. Earlier this year the plan won a recommendation of approval from the St. Paul Planning Commission.

The intent is to change zoning to promote long-term redevelopment as denser, mixed-use corridors. Current property uses will not have to change and can continue indefinitely.

Property owners were notified of the changes, and there was little public comment. Only one neighborhood resident, Benita Warns, has testified on the plan at City Council and Planning Commission public hearings.

She has asked that Thomas between Hamline and Pascal St. be rezoned from two-family residential to single-family residential, saying that was discussed several years ago in the community. City staff has countered that such a rezoning would make several duplexes in that area nonconforming and recommended against the change.

In December 2013, the Planning Commission passed a resolution initiating the District 11 Hamline Midway Mixed-Use Corridors 40-Acre Zoning Study. The resolution called for a study area defined as including all blocks with street frontage on Snelling and Hamline avenues between University Ave. and Pierce Butler Rte., and all blocks with street frontage on Thomas and Minnehaha avenues between Hamline and Snelling avenues. Almost a year later the commission released its findings.

Some properties along Snelling, from Pierce Butler Rte. to Sherburne Ave., will be rezoned from various commercial and residential uses to a traditional neighborhoods designation. Along Hamline Ave., properties near Minnehaha, Van Buren and Thomas avenues will be rezoned for traditional neighborhoods use.

Along Minnehaha, the Hamline Midway Branch Library, and former Knox Presbyterian Church will be rezoned. The rezoning of the library is not intended to change its use, according to city staff, but to create a contiguous zoning parcel. Another parcel rezoned for traditional neighborhoods use is the former Samaritan Hospital site, now an office and parking ramp complex, on Thomas.

To see maps and read a city staff report of the zoning changes, go to http://stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=5545

Skyline_TowerMore funds for Skyline Tower
Skyline Tower’s improvement project has gotten a needed boost. The St. Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), voted unanimously June 10 to approve a deferred $750,000 loan for the high-rise building at 1247 St. Anthony Ave.

The loan will be part of a larger funding package to rehabilitate the building, which provides housing for low-income families. The 504-unit building opened in 1971 and offers efficiency, one, and two-bedroom units. Most of the units are Section 8 housing. The building also includes staff offices and community gathering/common areas.

Skyline is the largest single HUD-subsidized building in Minnesota. Its original owner, Sentinel Management, sold the property in 1999 to CommonBond Communities. CommonBond addressed some immediate building maintenance needs after the purchase but has plans to do more work. In 2010, CommonBond refinanced the first mortgage debt through the use of a refinancing program to reduce the interest rate of its first mortgage. The capital needs assessment completed as part of the refinance identified some immediate items to be completed within 36 months. That timeline has passed so work needs to be done to keep the building from going into default with HUD.

One big need for the high-rise is to replace all windows, replace all plumbing/riser supply valves and waste and vent piping. The HRA action would allocate $750,000 of federal Community Development Block Grant funds toward the project.

Total project cost, which is being covered by number of sources, is $12.7 million.

Saxon site gets funding
An area project is among those that will be helped as the Metropolitan Council June 23 awarded more than $3.5 million in brownfield cleanup grants as part of the Livable Communities program. The funding helps create jobs, clean up land for redevelopment, increase tax base, produce affordable and market rate housing, and promote other public and private investment in the region. The council approved 16 grants to five metro area communities. The awards will help clean up 22 acres, create or retain more than 900 jobs, increase the net tax base by more than $2.8 million, help to produce and preserve 800 affordable homes, and encourage more than $338 million in private investment.

“These grants provide a remarkable return on investment and serve as a critical redevelopment tool,” said Council Chair Adam Duininck. “The funding leverages an additional investment of both public and private dollars, and the projects support job creation, increase the tax base, create housing opportunities, and promote a more livable environment.”

In addition to grants for contamination investigation and polluted site cleanup, this round of grants includes just under $200,000 in awards for a new pilot category of grants. These grants encourage development on sites in areas of concentrated poverty that show potential for job creation. One went toward work at the former Saxon Ford site on University Ave. in Frogtown. The city received $22,500 to help fund environmental site assessments and a hazardous materials abatement plan at a one-acre site on University Ave. that included both residential and commercial uses. A portion of the site once housed a gas station and was used more recently for detailing new cars.

The Council received 24 applications this funding round, requesting more than $7 million.

Ground broken for project
Ground was broken June 23 for a long-awaited housing project at 2700 University Ave. The $54 million mixed-use building will include commercial space and housing. It is being developed by Flaherty & Collins.

The six-story building will have 248 apartments, 3,000 square feet of main floor retail space and two levels of underground parking. It will include a saltwater swimming pool and a cyber café.

The site has been eyed for several years for redevelopment because of its proximity to Green Line light rail. Wellington Management had plans to build there several years ago, but those plans stalled in an economic downturn. The site is being sold to the new developers based in Indianapolis.

Most of the apartment units will be market rate, although about 50 will be reserved for people who earn 50 percent or less of the area median income.

The project has drawn on a number of financing options. The St. Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), voted unanimously in May to approve issuance of conduit housing revenue bonds in a maximum amount of $9 million for the project at 2700 University Ave.

Developer Flaherty and Collins plans a mixed-use project on a 1.8-acre vacant site, with 198 market rate housing units, 50 affordable housing units and 3,000 square feet of retail space.

With conduit bonds, the city serves as a pass-through source of financing. Such financing doesn’t affect the city’s credit rating.

In October 2014, the City Council and HRA approved a tax increment financing (TIF) district for the site. The project will receive $8.3 million in TIF, as well as up to $1 million in HOME funds. The project also has about $1.9 million in financing through a Metropolitan Council Livable Communities grant.

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Costa Rica students

Como Park High School news

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

Summer internships, teacher training, travel and more


• The Academy of Finance (AOF) at Como Park High School continues to successfully place students in summer internships.

Twenty AOF students began full-time internships this summer at employers including 3M, Ameriprise Financial, St. Jude Medical, Health East, and several other corporate partners.

Additionally, 45 Como students received positions with St. Paul community-based organizations through Right Track, which provides youth career development and professional skills training.

• Como teachers recently participated in the Carleton College AP Summer Institute.
The College Board requires that trained and audited instructors teach Advanced Placement courses.

Carleton’s nationally renowned summer institute provides training for both new and experienced AP teachers.

Completing the June Institute were Lindsey Lowther in Chemistry, Dylan Adair in Environmental Science, Lisa Griffin in European History, Eric Erickson in Comparative Government and Politics, and Liz Paone in World History.

Como Park provides a complete and comprehensive AP program featuring 23 College Board courses.

Como Marine Corps JROTC• 42 Como Park MCJROTC cadets traveled east in mid-June to explore national landmarks, museums and historical sites in the quest to value citizenship as responsible, informed and patriotic Americans.

Photo right: Como Park MCJROTC cadets traveled across the country from June 14-20. The cadets are pictured with the Marine One Presidential Helicopter at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. (Photo by Erwin Photography)

An aggressive itinerary included the Adler Planetarium and Willis Tower in Chicago, and Gettysburg National Battlefield, Arlington Cemetery, Mount Vernon, the Lincoln Memorial, National Mall and Virginia Beach out east.

At Marine Corps Base Quantico, the cadets toured the hangar and aircraft of Marine One (Presidential Helicopters), officer candidate school, and the martial arts instructor-training site. The cadets lodged at the group campground in Prince William Forest.
The entire trip only cost cadets $300 which included meals, museum fees, bus transportation and billeting.

The tour’s final night concluded with viewing the President’s Marine Corps Concert Band, Drum and Bugle Corps, and Silent Drill team at Marine Barracks Washington’s evening parade.

Costa Rica studentsPhoto left: Como Spanish students planted a garden with local children in Costa Rica, as part of their home stay program from June 24-July 1.

• Advanced Spanish students traveled to Costa Rica from June 24-July 1 under the leadership of Spanish teacher Kirsten Peterson. Students Mackenzie Olson,
Ella Rouillard, Betsy Woodis, Ella Calatayud, and Elianna Weirsma stayed with Costa Rican families to maximize the cross-cultural exchange. In addition to working with children, highlights included visiting an organic pineapple plantation and zip lining over the Sarapiqui River.

• As previously reported in the Monitor, Como junior Trevon Clay qualified for the State Meet in multiple events. He made the most of his moments on the big stage. After blazing through the preliminary races at Hamline University, Clay became a State Champion, crossing the finish line first in the 110 Meter Hurdles. Clay also added a bronze medal, finishing third in the 300 Meter Hurdles. Clay represented Como with great pride at the top of the podium, culminating an amazing year on the track.

• Como Boys Soccer players and Coach Jonah Fields are leading 70 of the community’s youngest players this summer in the “Soccer Stars” program.
The program is offered in Como Park’s West Picnic Grounds, in coordination with St. Paul Parks and Rec. The program gives local high school players an opportunity to connect with kids ages 4-11.
Miles Whitcomb, an 8-year-old, said, “it’s cool because Como Park has a really good team, and that helps me because I have really good people teaching me.”
Como Soccer players like Kevin Yao enjoy sharing their skills with the children of the Como Park community. “I didn’t get opportunity to learn soccer when I was so young, and I love playing with the kids,” says Kevin, a junior at Como.

• The “Fall Athletics” season begins on Aug. 17, three weeks before the first day of school.
Several Como teams and coaches are conducting voluntary workouts during June and July, in the summer waiver period.

Fall sports at Como include Soccer and Football for boys, Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis and Swimming for girls, and Cross Country running for both genders.

All students interested in a sport are welcome and encouraged to participate. More information is available at comosr.spps.org

• Save the date! An all school open house is planned for Thur., Sept. 3, 5-7pm. All incoming 9th graders and families are invited to meet Como staff, get class information, and see Como’s facilities and opportunities. Returning students and families are also invited to get oriented for the new school year and reconnect with Como staff and families.

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Local student wins national history award

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

Jillian Brenner, Grade 7 at Murray Middle School, qualified for the National History Day competition; Leadership & Legacy in History with an exhibit entitled “Thrust the Warlords Back. . .The Torpedo Squadron Eight at Midway.”

Brenner competed and won four different levels of history day competition. The first round was at Murray, then on to the Saint Paul Public Schools Regional competition, State History Day followed to earn the highly coveted National History Day position. Brenner entered the Junior Individual Exhibit category. She researched, wrote and created a stand-alone exhibit detailing the Torpedo Eight’s actions at the Midway Battle in the Pacific Front during World War II.

Two entries from each category advance to Nationals. Two. In a state where over 50,000 students work on a history day project. It Is a very high honor to qualify, and Brenner put in hundreds of hours to get to Nationals.

Jillian reworked her exhibit between each level of competition. Reworking new research into her project and creativity adjusting her exhibit to capture attention while telling the story of the Torpedo Eight Squadron’s actions. This unit of aircraft attacked the Japanese aircraft carriers and although only one of the men survived the attack, they pulled the Japanese planes down from defending the skies high above the Japanese carriers which opened the skies for the next wave of American planes. Midway was a turning point battle and after Midway, the USA was winning more battles than it was losing, which meant we were pushing or thrusting the warlords back to Tokyo.

At Nationals, Jillian was chosen for the Salute to Courage Award and a trip to the WWII Museum in New Orleans. The Museum is planning an opening of The Campaigns of Courage, and Brenner will research a Minnesotan who served in the Pacific campaign, similar to the men of the Torpedo Squadron Eight.

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Trevon Clay

State 110-meter hurdles champ Clay looks for more

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

Trevon ClayTrevon Clay already has his sights set on bigger things for next year’s track season with Como Park.

Why not? He already has one state title.

Photo left: Trevon Clay took home a state title in the 110-meter hurdles, and third in the 300 hurdles, at the Class AA state track meet this year. (Photo by Matthew Davis)

Clay won the 110-meter hurdles at last month’s Class AA state track at Hamline University. He clocked 14.45 seconds in the finals and dropped five hundredths of a second from his preliminary time of 14.50. He won the event by 0.06 seconds.

“It was very, very exciting especially running against these guys,” Clay said.

Moreover, Clay won the event in a senior-heavy field – seven seniors and two juniors for the finals. The only junior beside Clay, Jacob Johnson of Owatonna, finished fourth at 14.82.

“I was pretty nervous at first,” Clay said about the 110. “Then, it went away. I got very excited because I’m in the state finals with all these good hurdlers.”

In the 300 hurdles, Clay could see many of the same quality hurdlers again next year. Clay took third in the event, which had only five seniors among the nine entrants.

Juniors include second-place Clayton Johnson from Hastings, who had a 38.17 prelim time and a 38.20 in the finals. Clay stuck close to Johnson in the prelims at 38.21, but the Cougars hurdler’s time dropped to 38.58 in the finals.

“I’m pretty tired,” Clay said after the event. “I left it all out on the track.”

Overall, Clay made big strides after not making out of prelims in either hurdles event the year before. He wants to keep doing more in his senior season ahead.

“I got a lot better this year,” Clay said. “A lot of hard work; a lot of dedication to get where I am today.”

The Como junior became the third hurdler from the school to win a state title and the first since 1994.

“It means a lot just to be the only one from my school, and I got here to the state finals,” Clay said.

Clay also hopes to get more teammates to state next year. With Clay alone, the Cougars finished in a three-way tie for 13th among the 59 teams represented by scoring 20 points.
As a team, the Cougars took fourth in the St. Paul City Conference this past spring with Clay winning titles in the 110 and 300 hurdles along with the long jump.

Como finished seventh in the Section 4AA meet in late May, but sophomore Innocent Myrwwaash showed some state meet potential in addition to Clay’s strong showing.

Myrwwaash just missed state in the 1600 at 4:24.8 for third place, less than four seconds back of second. He also took fourth in the 3200 and missed state by less than eleven seconds.

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Local student wins essay contest

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

Hamline Midway fifth grader Claire Horsman recently won a regional essay contest for Minnesota and the Dakotas on the topic “Why I Am Glad America is a Nation of Immigrants.” The contest, sponsored by the American Immigration Council, intends to “inspire educators to bring U.S. Immigration history and lessons into their classrooms, and gives fifth graders the opportunity to explore America as a nation of immigrants.”
Horsman’s poem (below), titled “Immigration” was chosen as the winner from a pool of over 70 submissions. Horsman is a fifth grader at L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion School.

By Claire Horsman

It started with the Pilgrims
Sailing from far away
Looking for a new life
And the right to worship and pray
Welcomed and befriended
By the people of the land
“Indians”, they called them,
As they were given a helping hand.

Many others followed
With adventure in their hearts
A new country, with wealth and land,
And they could do their part.
It wasn’t always easy
To be away from home
They weren’t always treated well
And sometimes felt alone

My grandparents’ grandparents’ grandparents
Were immigrants too
They came from France and Ireland
Sailing the ocean blue.
They wanted their children’s children
To have a life so rich and free
I think they would be so happy
To see a girl like me
Who has friends from all around the world
And studies French in school
So many chances to learn from others —
America is cool!

I’m so glad my country is
A place where all can live
A place where all can freely worship,
Speak, and love, and give
Their talents and experience
To make this place so grand
I love the way the world has come
To make this a better land.

Immigration is a wonderful thing.
It makes me feel free, and smile bright
It makes me want to dance and sing
Through the day and through the night.
Thank you, everyone who comes
And melts in this great pot.
We welcome you and hope that you
Will love this place a lo

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Local projects gain, others stumble, in developing CIB funding process

Local projects gain, others stumble, in developing CIB funding process

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

By Jane McClure

Improvements to May Park, planning for Fire Station 20, a play area for Frogtown Farm and a bicycle connection along Lexington Pkwy. to Pierce Butler Rte. remain among the 2016-2017 Long-Range Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) projects recommended for approval to Mayor Chris Coleman and the St. Paul City Council. The mayor will release his capital spending picks along with the 2016 city budget in August, and the City Council will make final decisions in December.

May ParkPhoto left: Dickerman Park

But work on Dickerman Park, improvements to Hamline Midway Branch Library and completion of the Charles Ave. Bicycle Boulevard didn’t fare as well when the CIB Committee wrapped up its rankings June 8. Committee members may not have agreed on projects to be funded, but they did agree that the list of worthy proposals far outweighed the money available.

Firestation 20Photo right: Fire Station 20

After hearing from citizens at a packed hearing, the committee made its recommendations. Committee members were able to add some smaller project by cutting funding to rebuild Frogtown’s aging Scheffer Recreation Center and Fire Station 20 (2179 University Ave. W.). Those projects will receive planning funds but will have to come back in the 2018-2019 cycle for construction dollars.

The committee also made some trims to several annual programs including play area, tennis, basketball court and other parks and library maintenance programs.

The committee and its citizen task forces spent several months reviewing more than 130 projects and city programs. Requests totaled more than $166 million—almost four times more than what was available. For the two-year funding cycle, the Committee allocated $22 million in capital improvement bonds, $14.8 million in Municipal State Aid (MSA) and $8 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars.

CIB Committee Chairman Paul Sawyer said that while it’s difficult to make cuts to needed larger projects, giving design and engineering funds for those projects does free up money for smaller projects.

Much debate centered on Scheffer, a 1970s-era recreation center on Marion St. A recent St. Paul Department of Parks and Recreation plan identified it and Merriam Park Recreation Center as the two buildings most in need of replacement or major rehabilitation. Scheffer was initially listed for $6.8 million, but on a split vote the committee cut that amount to $1.2 million for design and engineering. Some committee members said that setting aside a large amount of money for one project, without a specific plan, could all too easily allow the Mayor and City Council to raid the Scheffer funds for other projects.

“Scheffer deserves to be rebuilt, but we should also looking at funding projects we can do now,” said CIB Committee Member Mary Morse Marti.

The committee and the council and mayor have tangled over projects in the past. May Park, located on Clayland St., and the Lexington bike connection, lost funding to other projects in the 2014-2015 cycle.

Another project that was cut back was Fire Station 20 replacement. The station, which is just west of the Cretin-Vandalia-University intersection, is more than 90 years old. It is small and has had access affected by Green Line light rail. A new site was offered by the Rock-Tenn paper recycling company, but it would cost $5.6 million to build. That was cut to $1.5 million for engineering and design.

Committee members expressed worries that some projects are left half-done. Those include the Charles Ave. Bicycle Blvd. and Dickerman Park. Part of the Charles work is done, but another $750,000 was sought for work including traffic circles. Work on Dickerman continues this summer with the city’s 8-80 Vitality Fund, but another $3 million is needed to continue park improvements.

For 2016-2017 the committee broke out projects by funding source, rather than ranking projects as a group as had been done in some past cycles. The 26 projects making the cut for capital improvement bonds include May Park ($240,000), the Pierce Butler-Lexington bicycle connection ($598,000), and Frogtown Farm and Park play area ($522,000).

There was disappointment among area residents when the $1.9 million Hamline Midway Branch Library modernization failed to make the cut. It is one of the last neighborhood libraries awaiting work.

MSA money from the state will fund 15 projects and three annual programs. Area projects include another phase of Pierce Butler Rte. extension, from Grotto Ave. to Arundel St., at $4 million. Raymond Ave. reconstruction from Energy Park Dr. to Como Ave. was also recommended at $255,000, as was lighting for a stretch of Como Ave., at $81,000.

CDBG federal funding will cover 17 projects and programs. One question mark is whether work on Victoria Theater on University Ave. is eligible for the $540,000 it is penciled in for. It ranked seventh in that category. Model Cities’ Central Exchange mixed-use development near University and Victoria, is recommended for $400,000. Area programs recommended for CDBG funds are Restore St. Paul’s Commercial Facade Improvement program ($200,000) and the St. Paul Green Line Home Improvement Loan Fund ($500,000).

Projects that finished out of the running include: Snelling-Selby area pedestrian safety work; Pelham Blvd. reconstruction; Orchard Recreation Center soccer complex; Montgomery St. reconstruction; Vandalia St. bridge improvements; Westgate bike lane project; Como Park intersections and crosswalk changes; North Dale refrigerated ice rink modernization; Merriam Park improvements; McMurray Fields improvements; Central Corridor sidewalk completion; and, work on Territorial Road to make it safer for biking and walking.

Read about all of the projects at http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=217.

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Music in the Park at Como

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation offers a wide variety of musical experiences for all tastes and pleasures. Jazz, folk, blues, concert bands, world, electronic, and pop are just a few genres included feature at Music in the Parks 2015. All performances are free except for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening theater style musicals* at Como Lakeside Pavilion in July and August. The following performances are scheduled at Como Lakeside Pavilion:

Thur., July 9, 7pm – Rosetown Theater Group* (Community Theater)
Fri., July 10, 7pm – Rosetown Theater Group* (Community Theater)
Sat., July 11, 7pm – Rosetown Theater Group* (Community Theater)
Sun., July 12, 3pm – Stan Brann’s Big Bone Band (Big Band)
Sun., July 12, 7pm – Minnesota Sinfonia (Concert Band)
Mon., July 13, 7pm – Beasley’s Big Band (Concert Band)
Tues., July 14, 7pm – GTCYS (Youth Symphony)
Wed., July 15, 7pm – Bend in the River Band (Concert Band)
Thur., July 16, 7pm – Rosetown Theater Group* (Community Theater)
Fri., July 17, 7pm – Rosetown Theater Group* (Community Theater)
Sat., July 18, 7pm – Rosetown Theater Group* (Community Theater)
Sun., July 19, 3pm – Star of the North Concert Band (Concert Band)
Sun., July 19, 7pm – No Limits the B-Side Band (Soul//R&B)
Mon., July 20, 7pm – Brooklyn Community Band (Concert Band)
Tues., July 21, 7pm – North Star Barbershop Chorus (Chorus)
Wed., July 22, 7pm – Bend in the River Band (Big Band)
Thur., July 23, 7pm – Highland Park Community Center Theater Performance* (Community Theater)
Fri., July 24, 7pm – Highland Park Community Center Theater Performance* (Community Theater)
Sat.., July 25, 7pm – Highland Park Community Center Theater Performance* (Community Theater)
Sun., July 26, 3pm – Como Pops (Concert Band)
Sun., July 26, 7pm – Lex-Ham Community Band (Concert Band)
Mon., July 27, 7pm – River City Chorale (Choral)
Tues., July 28, 7pm – The Medalist Concert Band (Concert Band)
Wed., July 29, 7pm – Minnesota State Band (Concert Band)
Thur., July 30, 7pm – Highland Park Community Center Theater Performance* (Community Theater)
Fri., July 31, 7pm – Highland Park Community Center Theater Performance* (Community Theater)
Sat.., Aug. 1, 7pm – Highland Park Community Center Theater Performance* (Community Theater)
Sun., Aug. 2, 3pm – Twin Cities Show Chorus (Chorus)
Sun., Aug. 2, 7pm – The 1st John Philip Sousa Memorial Band (Concert Band)
Mon., Aug. 3, 7pm – Lakewood Cemetery (Acoustic)
Tues., Aug. 4, 7pm – Minnesota Mandolin Orchestra (Orchestra)
Wed., Aug. 5, 7pm – Minnesota State Band (Concert Band)
Thur., Aug. 6, 7pm – Café Accordion Orchestra (Orchestra)
Fri., Aug. 7, 7pm – Continental Ballet Company (Ballet)
Sat., Aug. 8, 7pm – VitaMN and Amserdam Presents Music & Movies in the Park (Music and Movies)
Sun., Aug. 9, 3pm – The Peace Life (Singer/Songwriter/Folk)
Sun., Aug. 9, 7pm – Honeywell Concert Band (Concert Band)
Mon., Aug. 10, 7pm – Just for Fun Singers (Choral)
Tues., Aug. 11, 7pm – Katy Vernon Band (Sinner/Songwriter)
Wed., Aug. 12, 7pm – Minnesota State Band (Concert Band)
Thur., Aug. 13, 7pm – The Pan Handlers Steal Drum Band (Concert Band)
Fri., Aug. 14, 7pm – Nikki Becker (Indie Folk)

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Monitor In A Minute: Liquor, liquor and more liquor

Posted on 06 July 2015 by Calvin


License request to hearing
Target Corporation’s request for an off-sale liquor license at its Midway store is en route to a St. Paul City Council legislative hearing, most likely in July. The Union Park District Council (UPDC) Land Use Committee voted June 8 to seek the legislative hearing, citing uncertainty as to how required distances are met. A 45-day comment period on the license ended June 26.

The distance issues have been debated since the license request was brought forward last year. Target wishes to replace the café at its Midway store with a liquor store.

Midway SuperTarget is at 1300 University Ave. Big Top Liquors is part of Midway Center, at 1574 University Ave. St. Paul has distance requirements for off-sale liquor licenses, with licensees required to be at least one-half mile apart. But there is disagreement as to how to measure that distance. Jonathan Redberg, a licensing analysis for Target, said corporate officials believe they meet the distance requirement. Target measured the distance from Big Top to the planned new store space.

“In fact we exceed the half-mile distance,” he said. Target did its measurements from what is now the store’s café because that is considered a separate premises, Redberg said. The liquor store would have its own entrance and exit doors and cashiers, as required by state law. Patrons would have to pay for alcohol in the store and could not purchase liquor store items from the main store’s cashiers.

But Big Top representatives are challenging how the distance is measured from the Big Top building to the Target building. Attorney Scott Banas, who is working with Big Top, said those issues need to be explored more fully.

“What’s left open is the question of what measuring building to building means,” Banas said. He said the measurement, depending on how it is made, “could be a matter of inches.”
Last year city Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) officials asked Target to verify the measurements before the license request could go ahead.

Grabbing a growler got easier
Beer drinkers hoping to grab a growler in St. Paul on Sunday will able to do so soon. On a 5-1 vote May 27, the St. Paul City Council amended city liquor ordinances to allow Sunday growler sales. A growler is a large bottle or jug of beer, typically holding 64 ounces. The change takes effect in this month.

Council President Russ Stark brought the change forward at the behest of craft brewery owners in the Midway. Craft brewery owners argue that Sunday sales of growlers will help their fledgling businesses become more viable.

During the 2015 legislative regular session, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill that allows breweries to sell their own beer in the refillable jugs.

Growler sales will be allowed 8am to 8pm Sundays. Another amendment also benefits those who like a mimosa or Bloody Mary with Sunday breakfast, moving the sale of liquor at restaurants on Sundays from 10am to 8am.

beer-vector-4Liquor licenses under study
Area restaurant owners who full liquor licenses could be in luck. Allowing more restaurants to obtain full liquor licenses, and changing a mandatory food-to-alcohol ratio, are under study in St. Paul. Discussions of possible city ordinance and charter are underway and are expected to continue for several months.
Restaurant owners and city licensing officials said the demands for new regulations reflect everything from how bars and restaurants have changed over time, to how people eat out. “We have restaurant owners who choose not to come to St. Paul because they cannot obtain full liquor licenses,” said Dan Niziolek, deputy director of the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI).

But in parts of St. Paul, where on-sale liquor licenses are more plentiful, there are worries that relaxing regulations to benefit some neighborhoods will hurt other places that have coped for years with problem bars and rowdy behavior.

St. Paul’s city charter restricts the number of liquor licenses by ward and has a citywide cap of 215. The caps were set through an old system of liquor patrol districts. About 20 are available, according to DSI staff.

Ward Four has only 16 liquor licenses, and all are spoken for.

One idea being discussed is that of redefining restaurants, in a way that excludes new restaurants from the current ward caps. Another change sought by restaurant owners is to change the city’s requirement that 60 percent of restaurant sales be for food. The so-called 60-40 rule is meant to keep restaurants from operating as bars. But given the popularity of more costly craft beers and the rise in beer costs, restaurant owners said meeting the cap is a challenge even for places serving wine and beer.

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