Monitor Saint Paul Serving the Midway and Como neighborhoods of St. Paul Mon, 28 Jul 2014 01:04:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The President Visits Minnehaha Park Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:52:28 +0000 7_14President1Our reporter, Jill Boogren, was in the press corps as the President visited Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis in June. Clockwise: 1) President Obama arriving at Minnehaha Park; 2) President Obama answering guests’ questions at a gathering at Minnehaha Park; 3) Air Force One ready for departure. (Photos by Jill Boogren)

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Still time to apply for the Green Line Challenge Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:48:42 +0000 7_14IOCGreenLineChallengeThe John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is promoting its Knight Green Line Challenge, seeking projects to make St. Paul neighborhoods along the new Green Line more vibrant places to live, work, play and visit. The challenge is part of a three-year, $1.5 million commitment from Knight Foundation to further advance community development in St. Paul’s Central Corridor.

The challenge will accept applications through July 24. The Saint Paul Foundation will administer the challenge.

Any individual, business or nonprofit can apply. The only requirement is that the project must take place in and benefit

at least one of six St. Paul

neighborhoods along the Green Line: Downtown St. Paul, Frogtown/Thomas-Dale, Hamline Midway, St. Anthony Park, Summit-University or Union Park.

The Knight Green Line Challenge is Knight Foundation’s newest effort to invest in the success of St. Paul. The Green Line Challenge builds on Knight’s role in co-founding the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, an initiative that brings together diverse groups across sectors to build opportunity and benefit communities along the new light rail line.

For more information and instructions on how to apply, visit

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Tickets on sale now for Ticket to Brasil Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:47:39 +0000 7_14IOCTicketsSince 2003, Adieu Summer Concert hosted by Twin Cities’ group Ticket To Brasil has been an annual tradition as summer slips into autumn. Celebrating and embracing diversity through international music and dance, this year’s concert will be held on Sun., Sept. 21 from 3- 6:30pm at the Historic Lake Como Pavilion.

Adieu Summer Concert 2014 features a great lineup of flamenco, African drumming and dance, world jazz, bossa nova and samba music styles:–3pm, “A Touch of Spain” – - an exciting music and dance ensemble (led by guitarist Michael Hauser) dedicated to presenting the art of flamenco in its most authentic form. The group features some of the best Twin Cities’ flamenco dancers and instrumentalists;–4pm, “World Jazz Collegium” – an international jazz quintet led by guitarist Pavel Jany and featuring violinist Gary Schulte as a special guest;–4:45pm, “Voice of Culture” – a drum and dance company (led by dancer Kenna Camara-Cottman) performing traditional rhythms, movements, and songs of West African people with an emphasis on cultural and artistic education; and–5:15pm, “Ticket to Brasil” – Twin Cities’ premier bossa nova, samba and Brazilian jazz ensemble has been hosting Adieu Summer Concerts since 2003.

Ticket To Brasil features Natania Kamin and Joyce Perez – vocals, Pavel Jany – guitars, Josue Alfaro – drums/vocals/percussion, Dan Musselman – piano/keyboards, Doug Little – sax, Dan Weston – bass, and Tim O’Keefe – percussion, and special guests.

Tickets are $10 for adults and children 12 and over; children under twelve are free. Advanced tickets are available for purchase beginning July 1 at Tickets can also be purchased at the gate on the day of the event beginning at 2:30pm.

The Historic Lake Como Pavilion is at 1360 Lexington Pkwy. N. Parking is free; food, wine and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase.

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Pawn America eyes a facelift Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:46:46 +0000 7_14IOCPawnAmericaPawn America’s Midway store at 1636 University Ave. will be extensively renovated in the months ahead, adding a new entrance point, redoing the exterior and eliminating a long-standing traffic hazard on nearby Fry St. Pawn America is preparing to take its detailed building and site plans to the city this summer. Only site plan review is required, so no Planning Commission or Board of Zoning Appeals action is needed. Once the work gets underway, passerby will notice that the store’s red pyramid icon will go away.

“After three years of watching the construction of the Green Line, we’re excited to be investing in our property,” said Chuck Armstrong, chief legislative officer for Pawn America. The intent is to update the store inside and outside, and make it more pedestrian-friendly.

Armstrong and Link Wilson of Kass Wilson Architects said the store is in need of an upgrade. Its existing entrance is off of Fry St., with some off-street parking there. Customers back out onto Fry, creating a dangerous situation for other motorists. The store entrance will be moved to the building’s east side. Plans show columns, planters and a square roof at the building’s northeast corner. An open walkway will lead to the new entrance on the east side of the building. The current entrance would be used for store personnel. The new entrance would be adjacent to parking shared with a building to the east. There will be columns at the corner, supporting a roof. The new entrance cannot easily be placed at the corner because of a two-foot grade change at the building site, Wilson said.


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HU adjuncts vote to join SEIU in landmark union election Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:45:56 +0000 HamlineUnivLogoHamline University adjunct professors have voted overwhelmingly to join part-time faculty at Northeastern University, Georgetown University and thousands of instructors nationwide in a growing union movement.

The vote marks the first time that adjunct faculty at a private Twin Cities-area university have formed a union in their quest to improve higher education for students and faculty. Hamline adjuncts joined SEIU Local 284 after votes for the all-mail ballot election were counted last month. 72% of the valid ballots counted voted yes to forming the union.

David Weiss, an adjunct faculty in the Religion department at Hamline, spoke about why he thought the win reflected a victory for the entire Hamline community. “This is a great day for faculty, students, and the whole Hamline community. It was clear in this campaign that for adjuncts in Minnesota, our time is now. By coming together to address the low pay and lack of benefits and stability for adjunct faculty, we are taking steps to strengthen all of higher education for students and faculty alike. I’m confident that our success today will help empower other workers, including adjunct faculty like ourselves at schools like St. Thomas, to change working and learning conditions in higher education.”

Jennifer Beckham teaches in the English department and spoke said, “We sent a letter to Provost Jensen expressing our interest in building a productive relationship that reflects our shared value in making Hamline a great place for faculty and students. Adjuncts have been energized by the support of tenured faculty, students, alumni, and community supporters throughout this process, and we look forward to continuing this important work.”

Minnesota adjuncts are joining a union movement that hopes to address what they see as a crisis in higher education that has turned what was once a good middle-class profession into a low-wage, no-benefits job without any job security from semester to semester.

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“Our Shared Planet” Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:45:11 +0000 7_14IOCOurSharedPlanetOn June 18, Groovin’ In The Garden concert series went to solar power when headliner Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders plugged into to a mobile, solar-powered trailer that woodcarving artist Jim Ramsdell uses as his workshop for the ‘Our Shared Planet’ traveling exhibit. Ramsdell was on-hand welcoming concert goers and demonstrating his skills inside the trailer where he worked on his latest woodcarving creation, a mother giraffe and her baby. ‘Our Shared Planet’ is a wildlife woodcarving display dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the natural world around us and fostering a reverence for all its creatures. It is currently on display in Como’s Exhibit Gallery (in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory building) through Labor Day. The exhibit contains a number of highly detailed life-size wood sculptures, set against lighted interpretive backdrops, beautiful photographs and quotes along with nature sounds and music, all designed to raise the consciousness and awareness of its visitors.

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Activities abound at Hamline-Midway Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:44:13 +0000 IOC_LibraryThe Hamline Midway Library has many activities planned for July and August to keep neighbors reading, learning, and gathering together through the hot months of summer.

Summer Reading Program continues in July, with the pirate-themed comedy act Treasure Beyond Measure taking the stage on Thur., July 10, 10:30am. Magician Matt Dunn performs Thur., July 17, 10:30am, and on Thur., July 24, 10:30am, Bruce the Bug Guy combines storytelling, nature education, and hands-on activities, along with showing kids interesting live arthropods. Kids can also sign up to earn free books by logging how many hours they read and trying fun activities and projects during the summer.

The library will host family-friendly movie matinees on Thursdays July 10, 17 and Aug 7, all at 2pm.

Fridays at 10:30am, Hamline Midway librarians offer Toddler Storytime, with finger play fun, books, and songs. Upcoming storytimes are July 11, 18, 25, and Aug. 1, 8, and 15.

The Kids Book Club (for ages 8-12) meets at 1:30pm on Sat., July 26, with the Teen Book Club (for ages 12-18) meeting that day at 2:30pm. Both clubs offer treats, fun, and a great way for book lovers to discuss what they’re been reading with other avid readers.

The Saints and Sinners Mystery Book Club for adults meets Sat., Aug. 2 from 1-3pm. The title for August is “Dark of the Moon” by John Sanford. Contact Geraldine Balter at or 651-224-5570 for more information about the club.

Summer programs for young people continue in August with Summer Power activities, sponsored by the Hamline Midway Library Association. On Thur., Aug. 7 from 10:30-11:30am, art teacher Sonja Olson will show kids how to make a simple collage book they can take home. Participants are limited to 15 people; please register online at or stop in at the library to sign up.

Thur., Aug. 14, money writer Kara McGuire will present a kid-friendly workshop about money, talking with kids about what exactly money is and why grown-ups have to work for it.


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Two local youth to perform in Neverland Fri, 11 Jul 2014 20:39:09 +0000 7_14IOCNeverlandCircus Juventas, the largest youth performing arts circus in the country, announces its 20th Anniversary year summer production – “Neverland.”

“Neverland” has an extensive schedule which includes 21 performances between Aug 1-17 at 1270 Montreal Ave. Tickets can be purchased at

Local resident Johanna Lies, daughter of Audrey Matson and Robert Lies, will perform in “Neverland” as the pirate Black Murphy, and will perform theater and an aerial act on the triple trapeze. Lies, who is 18, has performed with Circus Juventas for 10 years.

Rachel Wilson, daughter of Jenny and Ty Wilson, takes the stage as the pirate Bonnie Elizabeth and will perform fire dancing, theater, 3-girl hand balance, dance, plus aerial acts on the duo trapeze, hammock, triangle and Mexican Cloud Swing. Wilson has also be a Circus Juventas performer for 10 years.


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