Reading the Highland Villager #2 (July 1 - 14 Edition)

[Basically, the problem is that the best source of local streets & sidewalks news in Saint Paul is the Highland Villager. This wouldn't be a problem, except that its not available online. I'm reading the Highland Villager so that you don't have to. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free.]

Total number of stories about sidewalks: 7
Total number of stories about sidewalks by Jane McClure: 7
Total number of stories likely to piss off Editor Mischke: 0

Title: Controversy over new Walgreens prompts hearing on store's site plan
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The new Walgreen's mentioned last fortnight going in on the corner of Snelling Avenue (directly across the street from an already existing giant Synder's drug store) doesn't violate any city codes. Building the new drug store will mean widening a half block of one of the streets to "better accommodate turning vehicles". The building would be one of those faux two-story buildings that looks like a two-story building but isn't one. People in the neighborhood are PO'd, mostly because of the sheer ludicrous-osity of the way in which stores parasitically compete in America these days [e.g. Starbucks, CVS, or any other retailer. -ed.].

Title: Jefferson Ave. eyed for new bicycle boulevard
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: People in the neighborhood didn't know what to make of the new proposed bicycle boulevard, which was originally scheduled for Highland Parkway but (after tons of complaints) is going to be moved to Jefferson Avenue. [You may recall that Oberstar earmarked some federal $$$ for a bike boulevard in st. Paul a while back, and this is the free money that the city is trying to spend, even though nobody in St Paul seems to like any sort of change. - ed.] The bike boulevard, according to the St Paul Public Works, would run all through the city from W 7th to the Mississippi, and be a primarily bike street, where cars have to yield to bikes. The article doesn't' really explain why this is a good idea, or what a bike boulevard is intended to do [It is intended to empower more bicyclists to use city streets by creating a really safe environment, particularly older or younger people that might not be biking under the current auto-centric street regime. -ed.] Most comments in the article are positive, expressing concern about speeding.

Title: St. Paul sees uptick in requests for Neighborhood STAR funds
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Lots of people are applying for grants for the city. Proposals are mostly for building improvements, including the as-yet-un-begun Penfield Condo development on the Northern edge of Downtown St Paul. [This is the building that still has a sign saying "Coming Fall 2007" in front of a vacant lot. -Ed.]

Title: Judge disallows St. Paul's ban on billboard extensions
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: St Paul can't ban billboard extensions, those bits that stick out over the top or off the side of the billboard. The attempted ban is illegal because it doesn't have reasons. Clear Channel won the lawsuit against the city [which has been trying for a long time to limit billboards and outdoor advertising. -ed.].

Title:Comment sought on Central Corridor light-rail transit EIS
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The final environmental report is out, and people can look at it at the library or online. The public can comment until July 27th [though nobody will pay the slightest bit of attention to your comment. -ed.]. Article mentions the PBHRC, who are upset with the LRT b/c of the loss of parking, increased taxes, and gentrification in general.

Title: Council to decide fate of neighborhoods' dated small area plans
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Old small area plans for all the city's district councils may be thrown out because they are too old. The small area plan for the Summit hill area is mentioned prominently, as being particularly old and needing an update, even though the neighborhood assn for the area still wants to keep it. The plan currently places heavy emphasis on historic preservation. District council people are pissed in general because they update these plans, but then the city doesn't really do anything with them anyway. List of plans that will be "decertified" include: Selby Avenue (1997), Grand Ave West (1983),.

Title: City unveils 2010 bonding requests
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: St Paul is gonna ask the state for money next year: $25 M for the St Paul Saints stadium [Yet another publically funded stadium! -ed.], $20 M for the University Avenue streetscape [Badly badly needed! -ed.], $11 M for the Como Zoo, $17.5 M for the Ordway theater's new concert hall, $5M for turning the old Hamm's brewery into a Asian cultural center, $3M for pedestrian bridges over I-94 at Aldine St. and Mackubin St. [The state will be broke, though. -ed.]


Addiction said...

About the Walgreens article... they are becoming more and more abundant almost everywhere. I work at a drug rehab and it is pretty secluded but one thing you can find, wouldn't you know it, is a walgreens.

Anonymous said...

Jane McClure is, for my money, the hardest working journalist in St. Paul. She knows where everyone's skeletons are buried.

Kristine Holmgren said...

Jane - I have a story for you that I would like to see in the Highland Villager. See the announcement at this link - http://www.northfieldnews.com/news.php?viewStory=49545 a story by the NORTHFIELD NEWS about our new play - Paper Daddy. Give me a call for more information -