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Elementary open house set Jan. 19

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

Prospective families are invited to stop by Hamline Elementary, 1599 Englewood Ave., on Thur., Jan. 19 from 5-7pm to take a tour of the building, meet teachers and current families, and learn more about the partnerships and programming that make Hamline Elementary unique in St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS).

Representatives from current and future program partners (including the Hamline to Hamline Collaboration, Discovery Club, Reading Partners, Hancock Recreation Center, and SPPS Early Childhood and Family Education) will be on hand to answer questions and get interested folks connected to their programs.
Families can also learn more about Hamline as an emerging full-service community school, integrating high-quality academics with health and social services, creating opportunities for families and students to thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. Finally, everyone is welcome to stay and join our school community for light refreshments in the cafeteria and games and activities throughout the building.

Hamline Elementary is a St. Paul Public School serving students in PreK-5th grade in the heart of the Midway. Call the school at 651-293-8715 for more information or to schedule a tour.

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Como Community Council Corner

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

New recycling starts
As of Jan. 20, curbside recycling using those trusty blue bins is over. Here’s a quick look at how the city’s new system affects residents in District 10:
• Everyone is expected to get a new, wheeled cart this week.
• Collection day switches from Monday to Friday. The last curbside pickup in District 10 was Mon., Jan. 9. There is no curbside pickup on Mon., Jan. 16. That means we’ll have to store recyclables in our new cart for a few weeks.
• The first collection day using the new carts is Fri., Jan. 20.
• For most residents, pickup switches to the alley. However, wherever crews deliver your cart, that is where you should put your recycling.
• Everyone will start with the new, 64-gallon cart. Beginning in April, we’ll be able to trade for a smaller cart (32 gallons) or larger cart (96 gallons) to more accurately fit our needs.
• We now can throw a few more items into the recycling, including the cardboard rolls from paper towels and toilet paper; cardboard food containers, and refrigerated boxes.

What about those blue bins? We can keep our current bins if we want to and use them for other purposes. If you don’t want to keep your bin, St. Paul will collect them (and, yes, recycle them) through Jan. 27. You can drop yours off at Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave., or at Palace Community Center, 781 Palace Ave.

Going beyond recycling
District 10’s Environment Committee will host an open community conversation about waste reduction on Wed., Jan. 25. Eureka Recycling will lead the discussion and presentation, show a video on how recycling works in St. Paul, collect feedback on the city’s new collection system, and answer general questions about reducing waste overall. Residents can also drop off unwanted blue recycling bins that night.

The event begins at 6pm at the Como Park Streetcar Station, 1224 Lexington Pkwy. N., at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. Food will be served. The Environment Committee’s monthly meeting follows and, as always, is open to all community members.

Learn what’s coming down the road in 2017
A lot of plans are in the works for construction in District 10 this new year. Our website can get you up to speed on details regarding the rebuilding of Wheelock Pkwy., the expansion of Hmong College Prep Academy, and a host of other building news, including Como Park Senior High School, the Falls Event Center at Bandana Square, the International Institute of Minnesota, and the old Sholom Home property.

Click on the “Construction” tab on our homepage: www.district10comopark.org.

Our honor roll expands
Paul Seeba, Debra Pursley, and the neighbors who voluntarily steward the Churchill Garden have been chosen as District 10’s additions to the St. Paul Neighborhood Honor Roll. The annual award is given to residents or organizations who make a sustained and lasting impact to improve the quality of life in our neighborhood and the city at large. You can see the story on District 10’s website for details on why they are being honored.

The Como Community Council Board selected this year’s winners out of 10 nominees submitted by the community. They will be honored at a citywide celebration Jan. 27 at the University of St. Thomas.

Check out activities at local recreation centers
District 10’s website has full schedules and registration information for winter and spring activities at North Dale and Northwest Como recreation centers. Just click on the “Local Parks” tab at www.district10comopark.org.

Still trying to make our streets safer
Temperatures were barely above zero, but that didn’t stop neighborhood volunteers from teaming with Como High School students and staff for a Stop for Me pedestrian safety demonstration in December at the intersection of Dale and Maryland. That is where Como student Isaac Schneider was severely injured when a vehicle hit him in a crosswalk last May.

In 2016, motorists hit more than 180 pedestrians in St. Paul—a rate of one every other day. The safety event, organized by District 10 and St. Paul Police, gained TV and newspaper coverage.

Big progress
The District 10 organics recycling site on Beulah Lane in Como Park now has a larger bin to meet the rising demand. The site, operated in conjunction with Ramsey County, has tripled its capacity since it opened in July. The unstaffed site is open 24/7 so residents can recycle food scraps and other household organics.

Two elected to Board
Community residents have elected two new members to the Como Community Council board. Wesley Farrow was elected to fill an At-Large vacancy. Maggie Zimmerman was elected to fill a vacancy in Subdistrict 2.

Upcoming District 10 meetings
• Como Community Council Board: Tues., Jan. 17
• Environment Committee: Wed., Jan. 25
• Land Use Committee: Mon., Jan. 30
• Neighborhood Relations and Safety Committee: Tues., Feb. 7
Community members are always welcome to attend and participate. All meetings begin at 7pm at the Como Park Streetcar Station.

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News from Como Park High School

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

Compiled by ERIC ERICKSON, Social Studies Teacher

• Exciting plans for facility improvements and additions to Como Park High School are set to be implemented beginning in the spring. Beyond classroom upgrades, new common areas, front entry, bathrooms, and a two-story addition, a long-time need for a multi-purpose synthetic turf field has been publicly announced. Installation of the new field inside the track is set to commence this summer.

The new Como field received a major boost of support from the National Football League and the Minnesota Vikings. Based on its competitive application, Como was awarded a $250,000 grant as part of the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program. “This is a great honor for our school,” said principal Theresa Neal, “and we are so grateful to the Vikings and the NFL for funding our request, and to the many people inside and outside the school district who created a compelling proposal.”

The field will be an asset for the entire Como community. Many community leaders stepped up and helped advocate for the field with letters of support. The students and staff are excited to see the field investment coincide with the building improvements and modernization of the academic space.

• French instructor Patricia Teefy proudly announced that eight Como French students were awarded the Xperitas (www.xperitas.org) Global Scholarship to experience immersion travel in Belgium and France next June. The scholarships cover 80% of the total price for the international field trip, and students will work to raise funds for the remainder.

The students will travel to Brussels, Belgium where they will explore the capital city and visit the European Union Headquarters and the European Parliament. From there, the students will go to Paris and spend several days in the “City of Light” discovering cultural attractions. The experience will culminate with a week-long homestay in the city of Nantes in the French region of Brittany, where the Como students will be hosted by French families.

• Academy of Finance (AOF) students served at Feed My Starving Children on Tues., Dec. 13 alongside Como students from the Work-Base Learning Program. Students packed a total of over 44,000 meals for children in needy parts of the world and built new relationships with classmates in the process.

In other AOF news, TopLine Federal Credit Union is the latest community business to create internships with Como’s award-winning Academy of Finance. Additional AOF partners include the BrandLab, 3M, Ecolab, Xcel Energy, the Federal Reserve, Grant Thornton LLP and The Travelers.

• Como’s Chamber Singers added spirit to Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis with a pre-concert performance for patrons of Handel’s Messiah on Dec. 9. All five of the Como Park Choirs presented the annual Pops Concert on Dec. 12, in the Como Auditorium and then took the show on the road to sing for the students at Hamline, Galtier and Como elementary schools on Dec. 20.

• Freshman Amelia Schucker earned a violin seat in the Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera program. This year’s production is “The Nightingale” which will be staged at the Minnesota Opera Center in Minneapolis on Feb. 10 and 11. Music Director Matthew Abernathy will lead the youth training program for talented performers.
The Como Park Winter Instrumental Concert will take place on Mon., Jan, 23 in the Como Auditorium at 7pm. The concert will feature the intermediate band, concert band, jazz band and orchestra under the direction of Dr. Philip Fried.

• AP Government students Hannah Rhee, Divine Uchegbu and Dominic Wolters witnessed the Electoral College Assembly with their teacher Eric Erickson as guests of Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon on Dec. 19 at the State Capitol’s Senate Building. The Secretary of State had previously visited Como AP Government classes to discuss political efficacy and voter registration, and followed up to observe the student election that took place on Oct. 25.

After Minnesota’s electors cast their official ballots for Hillary Clinton, Simon met with students to take questions and discuss the procedure, which had the wrinkle of a “faithless elector” and vocal protests from a portion of the assembled audience. It was a unique glimpse into our nation’s constitution and democracy in action.

• Retired NBA player Rick Mahorn of the Detroit Pistons visited the Como Boys’ Basketball program in early December to share life lessons of perseverance. The visit was sponsored by the Gibson Foundation, which is organized by Como assistant coach Donnell Gibson. Mahorn, who was a force for the 1989 NBA champions, shared his story of triumph after overcoming a challenging childhood.

His words of wisdom and encouragement included the need to take school seriously, practice hard, develop a strong work ethic, never give up on your dreams, and stay close to the people that support you.

• Prospective students and parents are invited to Como’s Showcase Night on Thur., Jan. 19, 6-7:30pm. Showcase Night is a wonderful way for families to learn more about the neighborhood high school and all it has to offer. You’ll have a chance to see the school, meet students, teachers, coaches, and administrators, learn about Como’s extensive extra-curricular programs, and academic programs such as Advanced Placement, AVID, and the Academy of Finance.

Shadowing opportunities also are available for prospective students through the first week of February. Interested students can spend a day in school with a current Como student. Online registration is available at comosr.spps.org under the link “Register Now: Como Park Shadow Visits 2017-18.” Tours for parents and students are also available upon request through Jill van Koolwijk, who serves as a Parent Coordinator. She may be reached at 651-744-3997.

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Hamline Midway Coalition

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

By MELISSA CORTES, Community Organizer

Two nominated to Neighborhood Honor Roll
Join us in Congratulating our Neighborhood Honor Roll nominees Ande Quercus and John Bailey. Both are volunteer extraordinaire in the Hamline Midway neighborhood and continue to work on various projects that are making positive and meaningful impacts throughout the city.

Quercus is a member of the Hamline Midway Coalition’s Transportation Committee and Environment Committee. That committee is passionate about environmental issues, pedestrian issues, specifically for people with disabilities for is what drives their work on clearing walkways in the winters, and clearing gutters in the summer. They volunteer to help organize and execute tons of neighborhood events including the Spring Festival, FSI events, and more. They can often be found scouring the neighborhood with their trash pail, helping out at community gardens, and serving as a source of joy and inspiration on neighborhood online forums. This is why we are honored to nominate Ande for the Neighborhood Honor Roll.

Upon moving to the Hamline Midway Neighborhood, Bailey continued to work for issue-based organizations specifically on affordable housing and accessible transportation. Bailey’s current work has been instrumental in getting the St. Paul Tool Library started which have a motto of “Access over Ownership.” His work continues to stay focused on equity, access, and affordability which is making our neighborhood and the city a better place to live.

[Saint Paul Tool Library is set to open on Feb. 25 at 755 Prior Ave N. Visit their Facebook page, SaintPaulToolLibrary, for updates, or if you have questions email StToolLib@gmail.com.]

The Neighborhood Honor Roll event will be held at the University of St. Thomas Anderson Center Ballroom on Fri., Jan. 27, from 5:30-7:30pm. For tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/st-paul-neighborhood-honor-roll-2016-awards-dinner-tickets-30467267417.

Community Garden openings
Join your local community garden and grow some happiness!

Tatum Park Community Garden was founded in 2012. They’re located on Taylor Ave., just two blocks west of Newell Park. They are currently seeking new members to join them for the 2017 season.

Plot sizes are 8’ x 20’ and they’re completely organic! An informational meeting is scheduled for Tues., Feb. 7, from 7-8pm at the Hamline Midway Library’s community room. For more information and to RSVP, email TatumParkGarden@gmail.com or call 651-968-9624. Plot fees are $30, and scholarships are available!

Newest HMC Board Members
HMC held its Open House and Annual Meeting on Dec. 13, 2016, where residents elected first-time board members Quinn Doheny and Linda Jackson. For board bios, information on committees, and more information visit. www.hamlinemidway.org.

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Monitor In a Minute: Stadium gets a liquor license

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

Compiled by JANE MCCLURE

Stadium gets liquor license
There’s not a soccer stadium near Snelling Ave. and Interstate 94 yet, but it does have a liquor license. The St. Paul City Council Dec. 7 unanimously approved a measure enacted by the 2016 Minnesota Legislature, which allows the city to issue an on-sale liquor license for the Major League Soccer stadium.

The stadium groundbreaking was held Dec. 12.

The stadium required state action before the license could be issued. Similar action has been taken with other publicly owned stadiums around Minnesota. The Minnesota United FC is building the $150 million stadium but will eventually turn the facility over to the city.

Because a tax bill didn’t pass in 2016 a property tax exemption for the stadium project hasn’t been approved. But the liquor license approval had to be completed before the end of 2016, according to state law. The council vote also has to be filed with the Minnesota Secretary of State and Attorney General’s offices.

Grocery faces sanctions
Berhan Tobacco & Grocery, 492 Asbury St., was sanctioned Dec. 14 by the St. Paul City Council. The council added five new license conditions and assessed a $500 fine against the store. A confidential informant was able to recently buy two single Newport cigarettes or “loosies,” a drug pipe and a chore-boy smoking pad during a controlled buy conducted by St. Paul Police.

The store’s owners told the City Council that the items sold weren’t illegal and that they didn’t know that laws had been broken.

The hearing was continued from Dec. 7 because council members were concerned about language barriers and the need for interpretation. But ultimately, the Council agreed with the findings of the city’s Department of Safety and Inspections. The city placed additional conditions on the sale of tobacco products and is requiring that all city ordinances be followed. The council also is requiring that no drug paraphernalia be sold at the store and that no individual or portions of opened packages of razor blades can be sold. Single cigarettes or blunts cannot be sold at the store, and all tobacco products must be sold in their original packages.

Also, none of the following items may be sold at the store: diluents and adulterants; separation gins and sifters; hypodermic syringes or needles; metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic pipes; permanent screens, hashish heads or punctured metal bowls; water pipes; carburetion tubes and devices; smoking and carburetion masks; roach clips; miniature cocaine spoon and cocaine vials; chamber pipes; carburetor pipes, electric pipes; air-driven pipes, chillums; bongs, ice pipes, or chillers.

Local businesses get penalties
Two University Ave. bars face sanctions as a result of separate decisions Dec. 7 by the St. Paul City Council. Both bars, during compliance checks, allowed patrons to go outside with alcoholic beverages. The compliance checks were done in response to concerns about quality of life issues near University and Snelling avenues.

Hot Rod’s Bar & Grill, 1553 University Ave., will pay a $500 fine. Two plainclothes police officers walked in and ordered beers. One was able to take his bottle of beer, walk past the bartender and take the beer out the back door. The officer then came back in, and wasn’t spoken to by the bartender.

The bartender has since been terminated.

City staff recommended a $500 fine and additional conditions on the business licenses. At the business owner’s request, uniformed security will only be needed on weekend evenings. Council members agreed that the bar has operated there for 48 years and has had few problems. Management has worked with police on neighborhood issues.

The Trend Bar, 1537 University Ave., also failed a compliance check. A plainclothes police officer took a beer outside, walked across Asbury St., and stood on the corner and sipped the beer before going back inside. The bartender on duty didn’t stop the officer from leaving or re-entering with the beer.

Trend Bar also will pay a $500 fine and have license conditions added.

Both bars will have to increase security, with cameras and staff. Both will also have to increase trash pickup around their premises and follow other license conditions.
 
What will happen to solid waste?
The Ramsey County Board will hold a public hearing at 9am, Tues., Jan. 24 on solid waste designation. If a designation ordinance is ultimately passed, mixed municipal solid waste would be delivered to Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy Center in Newport starting Jan. 1, 2018. The hearing will be held at the City Hall/Courthouse.

Comments received by Ramsey County at the hearing and in writing will be compiled and used by the county board as it makes decisions about designation.
Solid waste designation was used in the past to provide trash for processing at Newport. The waste is processed into refuse-derived fuel for Xcel Energy plants. Materials are also recycled. Ramsey and Washington counties own and operate the Newport facility through a two-county recycling and energy board.

Designation has been controversial in the past as some garbage haulers complain about costs. Some citizens don’t want their trash burned as fuel.

The intent of a ordinance is to get more garbage haulers to use the Newport plant and have less solid waste going to landfills. Solid waste designation was used when the Newport plant opened in the 1980s. But it was later banned after a series of challenges. Many haulers believe it is too expensive to use the Newport facility when it is cheaper to haul garbage to out-of-state landfills. The counties have had to offer financial incentives to get garbage haulers to use the Newport plant.

But in late 2016 the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved the Ramsey and Washington Counties Joint Waste Designation Plan as being consistent with state statutes and state goals for waste management. Both counties will now begin the process of implementing waste designation. Each county will adopt its own ordinance. The recycling and energy board will also be working in 2017 to negotiate and enter into waste delivery agreements with waste haulers for the delivery of trash to Newport.

Resettlement is supported
The St. Paul City Council is supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the city and is calling upon other Minnesota communities to support a stronger national effort to resettle the most vulnerable Syrian refugees. The council passed a resettlement resolution on Dec. 7.

Council members noted that the resolution sends a message that the city is welcoming to refugees. The resolution stated that there are more refugees in the world today than at any time since World War II, including millions of Syrians who have fled their country since the Syrian conflict began in 2011. Turkey and neighborhood countries are hosting about 5 million refugees. European countries are processing the asylum applications of more than 1 million Syrians.

The UN Refugee Agency has determined that 10 percent of Syrian refugees are in need of resettlement to nations outside of the region due to a heightened vulnerability to further harm, but less than 200,000 resettlement places have been pledged by countries—with the U.S. pledging only 10,000 places this year. The council resolution asks the United States to do more.

The call for more resettlement is in large part because the refugees are in need of safe places to live, to escape further exposure to violence and exploitation. About 7,000 refugees have died trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe since January 2015, and two children die every day in this crossing.

Minnesota refugee organizations including the International Institute of Minnesota, Arrive Ministries, United Nations Association of Minnesota, the American Refugee Committee, the Minnesota Council of Churches and the Center for Victims of Torture as well as numerous other community organizations and religious institutions have declared their support for resettling more Syrian refugees in the Twin Cities.

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Development Roundup by Jane McClure

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

City Council finds more infrastructure funding for soccer stadium
A complex series of changes to St. Paul tax increment financing (TIF) districts will provide needed funds for development of the planned Major League Soccer stadium at Snelling and St. Anthony avenues, and for other projects throughout the city. The St. Paul City Council Dec. 21 approved changes to the citywide scattered-site TIF district and the Snelling-University TIF district.

The actions follow a Dec. 14 vote by the City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Board to terminate the TIF district and development agreement for the Penfield development downtown. The HRA also recommended council approval of the scattered site and Snelling-University districts’ changes. Both districts had lent money to help the city build the Penfield.
Sale of the Penfield mixed-use building downtown gives the city needed resources to spend on redevelopment projects.

The actions related to the sale are complicated and affect three TIF districts. TIF allows a city to collect tax increments realized from redevelopment and apply those directly to the project itself. TIF districts are approved for a set time and can be extended a set number of times.

The City Council and HRA Board in March 2016 also authorized TIF spending for the planned Major League Soccer stadium once the Penfield was sold. The scattered site district will provide $6,402,081 of the returned tax increment from the sale of the Penfield project for soccer stadium site infrastructure. The Snelling-University district will provide $709,219.

The scattered site district was originally established in 1988. It has grown over the years to include properties in all but City Council Ward Four. One major plan amendment in 2010 allowed the city to provide additional funding for improvements along the Green Line light rail.

The Snelling-University TIF district was created in 1990 as part of the development of Midway Marketplace, in the block bounded by Pascal St. and University, Hamline and St. Anthony avenues. Like the scattered site district, Snelling-University was amended in 2010 and 2011 to provide funding for improvements along the Green Line.

Business Center is now open
The Midway Stadium Business Center recently opened its doors to new tenants. The stadium is on the site of the old Municipal Stadium, later renamed Midway Stadium, on Energy Park Drive.

The St. Paul Port Authority and United Properties redeveloped the site, which was a Minnesota State Fair dump before it became a ballpark. Site cleanup took about $5.5 million.

It is the first multi-tenant industrial building in Minnesota with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification due to its many energy-efficiency features. It is 189,000 square feet in size and is on a 12.8-acre site. Tierney Brothers, an interactive solutions company, has leased part of the space for its 100 workers.

The redevelopment partnership took shape in 2014, with a Port-City and swap for the new ballpark in Lowertown. The intent was to build an environmentally sustainable development while returning the site to the property tax rolls. It has environmentally-friendly features inside and outside and will have solar installed on its roof this summer.

Projects get Met Council help
The Metropolitan Council latest round of Livable Communities grants had two small allocations for area projects. The grants, which this round totaled more than $10 million, support affordable housing and mixed-use development.

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Applicants are local units of government that participate in the Livable Communities program. Proposed projects must meet criteria that the Council has vetted and approved.

One area project is the ongoing effort to keep the Como by the Lake apartment building affordable to seniors and people with disabilities. The building is just south of the lake and has 99 units. It was awarded a $400,000 affordable housing grant.

The nonprofit development corporation Model Cities was awarded $100,000 to assist the rehabilitation of apartment complexes near the Green Line, preserving existing supportive housing.

Licenses are granted
The redevelopment of the former Silgan can manufacturing complex continues as the Can Can Wonderland artist-designed mini-golf center prepared for its opening this month at 755 N. Prior Ave.

The St. Paul City Council in December voted to waive a 45-day notice requirement to issue liquor on-sale, 2am closing, Sunday liquor, entertainment and gambling licenses, with conditions.

Last year the city created a commercial development district to allow for issuance of the liquor licenses because all existing on-sale licenses in Ward Four area spoken for.

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Transit for Livable Communities, St. Paul Smart Trips merge

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

Transit for Livable Communities (2356 University Ave. W.) and St. Paul Smart Trips—two major players in the field of transportation advocacy, outreach, and programming—announced in December that they are an officially merged organization beginning Jan. 1.

Bringing together complementary strengths and a shared vision for the future, Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips are both deeply committed to expanding equitable, sustainable, and multimodal transportation options in Minnesota. Both organizations see this merger as an opportunity to advance transportation issues on a region-wide scale and to ramp up efforts to ensure underserved groups have a voice in transportation decision-making.

Jessica Treat, Executive Director of Transit for Livable Communities, has been tapped to lead the newly merged nonprofit organization. Treat is also the former Executive Director at St. Paul Smart Trips.

“This decision to merge comes at a pivotal moment,” said Treat. “We see that our region has critical work to do to create widespread access to bus, rail, car sharing, bicycling, and walking options—and to build stronger, more equitable communities. Through this merger, Transit for Livable Communities and St. Paul Smart Trips will be well-positioned to lead an even broader, more powerful transportation movement to make that change.”

“Merging will enable the organizations to strategically expand our advocacy and programming and to make a larger collective impact, rather than competing for funding and resources,” Treat noted.

“This is an exciting opportunity,” said Amber Dallman, Chair of the St. Paul Smart Trips Board of Directors. “We will continue to do amazing work in St. Paul as a result of this merger. At the same time, it’s clear that the transportation issues people face don’t stop at city borders. We believe that coming together as a single organization will better serve people walking, bicycling, and using transit in St. Paul and our metro-wide community.”

The merger means St. Paul Smart Trips will move from their location in downtown St. Paul in early 2017 to the Transit for Livable Communities offices near University and Raymond avenues.

Current programming at both organizations will continue as committed, with the potential for future growth based on the new organizational model.

A new name and brand for the merged organization are expected to be unveiled in spring 2017.

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News from Hamline Midway Library

News from Hamline Midway Library

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

IOC10_14LibraryGraphicJanuary and February are busy and cozy at the Hamline Midway Library, 1558 West Minnehaha Ave., with arts, craft, and educational activities for all ages.

Chair Yoga meets on Thursdays, 10:30-11:30am. All movement is done while seated or standing using a chair for balance. This class is taught by Nancy Giguere. Upcoming classes are on Jan. 19 and 26 and Feb. 2, 9, 16, and 23.

Preschool Storytimes in English happen Fridays from 10:30-11am. The storytimes feature songs, puppets, fingerplays, stories, and more and are a great way for young children to learn and bond with their caregivers. Upcoming storytimes are Jan. 13, 20, and 27 and Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31. Children of all activity levels are welcome!

Evening/Pajama Storytimes in English are on Mondays from 6:30-7pm. Pajamas, blankets, and stuffed animals are all welcome at these family events. Upcoming evening storytimes are on Jan. 10, 17, and 24 and Feb. 7 and 14.

Sat., Jan. 14, 1:30-3pm, the library will host Math Day all day, with fun games, crafts, and activities featuring math and science. Use math to make art, do a scavenger hunt for shapes, and more.

School-aged children and their families can also stop by for Science Saturday from 1:30-3pm and explore patterns and puzzles. On Sat., Feb. 11, 1:30-3pm, the focus will be on Geometry 2D and 3D. Explore shapes and how they become 3-dimensional!

The Teen Book Club meets Sat., Jan. 21, 3-4pm, to read and discuss teen books, from graphic novels to Battle of the Books and Read Brave selections. For grades 9 and up.

Librarian Shelly hosts the Show and Tell Book Club on Sat., Jan. 28, 1:30-2:15pm to share books, activities, and snacks. Best for 1st-3rd graders.

The Saints and Sinners Mystery Book Club meets Sat., Feb. 4, 1-3pm, to read and discuss good mysteries. Contact volunteer G. Balter for the book list and more information at gerribalter@gmail.com or 651-224-5570.

On Thursdays, Jan. 19 through Feb. 23, 6-7:30pm, the library hosts BYO Craft evenings @ Hamline. Bring your knitting, crochet, coloring, needlepoint, embroidery, or whatever you have. Drop in, have fun, and get something done!

The popular Fireside Reading Series kicks off on Wed., Jan. 18, 7-8pm with Mary Casanova reading from her novel “Ice-Out.” Her novel returns to the frigid, brutal Prohibition-era borderland of Casanova’s novel Frozen and to the characters who made that book a favorite for readers of all ages.

The Fireside Readings will continue on Wed., Jan. 25, 7-8pm with an evening of poetry featuring Lara Mimosa Montes’s “The Somnambulist, Chris Santiago’s Tula, and Sun Yung Shin’s Unbearable Splendor.”

On Wed., Feb. 1, 7-8pm, Stephanie Wilbur Ash reads from her novel “The Annie Year.” Benjamin Percy reads from” Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction” at 7-8pm on Feb. 8, and Fred Amram reads from “We’re in America Now: A Survivor’s Stories” on Wed., Feb. 15. The series concludes with Larry Millett reading from “Sherlock Holmes and The Eisendorf Enigma” on Feb. 22, 7-8pm.

And, what better way to pass a cold Minnesota evening than enjoying some fine literature beside the library’s cozy fireplace, along with cookies and coffee? Presented by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library.

All libraries will be closed on Mon., Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

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Music Under Glass continues into Feb.

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

“Music Under Glass” continues this month at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. The Music Under Glass series is renowned for featuring Minnesota’s finest musicians in free concerts.

The concerts are held on select Sundays from 4:30-6:30pm inside the comfy confines of the Conservatory. Beer, wine, pop, and light snacks will be available to purchase. (Please, no outside food or beverages in the Conservatory.)

On Jan. 15 Javier Matos takes center stage. Tim Sheridan from All Music Guide said that “Every so often a guitar player comes out of nowhere to knock you off your feet…Javier Matos is such a player. He can play bottleneck slide blues like he was born with a National guitar in his hands. He has a confident, solid vocal talent to boot, packing a solid punch behind his fierce guitar attack.

On Jan. 22 Rachel Ries & Co. will perform. Ries, hailing from the prairies of middle America, crafts sly and compassionate songs for the crooked-hearted. With an electric guitar and piano; a clear voice and steady hand; she deftly pulls listeners in with disarming candor and holds them there with smart and tender poetry in folk songs with classical roots and electrified leanings.

Feb. 5 Sister Tree brings you musings that are grounded in Traditional Roots, Celtic and Americana. Sister Tree renders radiant, expansive harmonies for strings and voices, original and traditional tunes and folk ballads, favorites and downright far-fetched selections suited to many occasions. For ceremonies and celebrations, festivals and front porch parlors.

The Bad Companions are a long-standing (and popular) Minneapolis-based roots-rock quartet. They will perform Feb. 19. Featuring two guitars, stand-up bass, drums, great vocals, a strong original catalog, and a set-list from the swinging heyday of American rock-a-billy, r & b, country, and blues.

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Keystone offers monthly events

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

The Keystone Senior Center, located at the Merriam Park Community Center, 2000 St. Anthony Ave., offers a variety of programs for seniors in the community. Here are a few ongoing events along with others scheduled for the coming weeks. (Unless noted otherwise, these programs meet at the Merriam Park Community Center. Call 651-645-7424 for more information.)

Body Strengthening Demo and Practice: Mon., Jan. 23, from 11:15am to noon. Free. Jill Gilfilian, fitness professional and massage therapist, will talk about body strengthening and demonstrate exercises that you can do at home.

AARP Smart Driver Refresher Course: Mon., Jan. 23, 9:30am to 1:30pm, $20 per person. Call 651-645-7424 to reserve a spot.

“Writing Home” Poetry and Writing Workshop: Wednesdays, Jan. 25 through Feb. 15, 1-2:30 pm (free). Each week will feature fun ways to jump-start creativity, learn writing craft and share work.

Winter Warm-up (For Foolhardy Minnesotans!): Wed., Feb. 1, 11:30am, cost is $5. Share a lunch of Minnesota wild rice or tomato bisque soup, hot bread, chocolate chip cookies, and warm conversation.

AARP Tax Assistance: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 2pm, beginning Feb. 6. Free. Call 651-645-7424 for an appointment and information about what to bring. (Provided by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.)

Arthritis Exercise: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to noon for eight weeks through Feb. 28. Cost is $8 for a four-week session or $1 per class. Instructors from the Arthritis Foundation provide low-impact joint-safe exercise classes, which help with pain, relieve stiffness, and increase flexibility and range of motion.

Foot care: Half-hour appointments available the first Monday of the month from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Cost is $20. Call 651-645-7424 to schedule appointments.
Meals on Wheels: Fresh, hot, cold, or frozen meals delivered to your home.

Available to all who need nutritious food in their lives. Cost is based on a sliding fee scale. Call 651-545-7424 to register.

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