12.2.10

Reading the Highland Villager #10 (January 27 2010 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 # of articles about sidewalks: 7
Total # of articles about sidewalks written by Jane McClure: 7


Title: Remember Rondo! African-American groups threaten to sue Central Corridor planners to prevent light rail from harming the neighborhood the way I-94 did.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: This article could be re-titled: "Baseless Lawsuit Raises Legitimate Gripes". Essentially a report on the lawsuit from a coalition in the Black community between the StP NAACP and business owners. The list of complaints includes "failure to include three tnrasit stations" [ironic, given the next story. -Ed.], "violations of the NEPA and other laws meant to promote social justice, and "overlook[ing] the series of disruptions that have affected the adjacent neighborhood over the past half-century". [None of these seem like legitimate reasons for opposing the LRT, except for allegations of social injustice that are a lot more complicated than a transit project. -Ed.] Lots of quotes from community leaders. Key ideas here: MPR and the UMN started a feeding frenzy competition for limited gov't money. Buried at the end of the piece is this key concern: "[Plaintiffs] are also asking for mitigation funds to help businesses threatened by the lost parking during and after the light-rail line's construction". [This money is what the whole thing is about. -Ed.]


Title: Rule change raises hopes along Central Corridor. Prospects improve for three more University Ave. transit stations.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: As has been reported elsewhere, the Obama administration's change to the Cost Effectiveness Index (CEI) means that the three stations at Hamline, Victoria, and Western Avenues will be built. Quotes from bigwigs Coleman, Carter III, and Peter Bell.


Title: Streetscape assessment decision postponed
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: StP city council delayed a vote on how to fund the [absolutely vital -Ed.] streetscape inprovements to University Avenue [Sidewalks, lampposts, etc. -Ed.] over concerns over tax assessments from business owners along the street. [The City has since passed this. -Ed.] The city is asking for property owners to chip in $2.9M for the project.


Title: St Paul to lobby legislature with 15 pages of bonding requests
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Not much sidewalk related info here other than a $10M request from the state to help pay for the aforementioned streestscape improvements. Sidewalk-related requests also mentioned: extension of the TIF-district that funded the Snelling and University "Spruce Tree Center" [The most god-awful building in Saint Paul! -Ed.], $25M for a lowertown StP Saints stadium, and $3M for rebuilding pedestrian bridges over I-94 at Aldine and Mackubin Streets.


Title: County's wish list supports holding onto what it already gets from state.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Similar to above article, except for Ramsey County. Prominently mentions the $10M for University Ave streetscaping.


Title: Planning commissioners postpoint Walgreens vote. Highland Village site plan is hung up over questions about the Snyders next door.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Hopefully the last in the comical story of the Ford Parkway drugstores. Apparently, even though Walgreens bought Snyders, they still want to go ahead and build a new drugstore on the corner (across the street from the old drugstore, which they also now control). [This perfectly illustrates the idea of 'cannibal retail', that new retail construction only cannibalizes the old retail. Shopping malls, chain restaurants, and Super Targets are all eating each other at the expense of consumers, real estate, and construction waste. -Ed.]


Title: Grand Old Day 2010. Stage set for return of -on-street imbibing.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Somehow, Grand Old Day organizers got neighbors around Dale and St. Albans streets to agree to have an outdoor "festival garden" on a block of Grand Avenue next year. ["Festival Garden"? Because nothing says "garden" like endless piles of greasy, beery paper trash. Who are they kidding with that branding? What about "Vomitorium"? or "Frat Boy Holding Pen"? -Ed.] This would include a stage and beer consumption in massive quantities. [I just wish the music at GOD didn't suck so much. -Ed. ]

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