22.3.11

Reading the Highland Villager #33 (March 9 - 29 Edition)

[Basically the problem is that the best source of Saint Paul streets & sidewalks news is the Highland Villager, a very fine and historical newspaper. This wouldn't be a problem, except that its not available online. You basically have to live in or frequent Saint Paul to read it. That's why 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: 12
Total # of articles about sidewalks written by Jane McClure: 12


Headline: University Ave. businesses lay out light-rail woes
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [In what is sure to continue to be a fortnightly front page story for the next three years] University Avenue business owners are concerned about light rail construction. Story comes from a University Avenue Betterment Association [née University Avenue Business Association] rally involving "picket signs and makeshift coffins" carried "under the watchful eyes of three Metro Transit police officers." Concerned parties interviewed: owner of Ax-Man. [That's it!] The city argues there will only be a small drop in revenue of less than 3%. [You'd think they could have come up with a more believable number?] Also quotes city official Nancy Homans on the $1.3M program to improve off-street parking lots. [See below. -Ed.]


Headline: City working to provide more off-street parking on University
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city is "eying" vacant properties along University to think about off-street parking, including Midway Chevrolet, the [flagrantly code violating] ex-restaurant Kim Huoy Chor, and the site just west of CVS Pharmacy owned by American Bank. Quote from CM Russ Stark.


Headline: Residents review plans for school, apartments at Victoria Park
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: West 7th Street neighbors are OK with a charter school going into the new Victoria Park development, but 155 apartments make some people upset... "too tall," "infringe on privacy," "density," &c &c.


Headline: District rejects proposals for using old Howe School in Minneapolis
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Minneapolis Public Schools didn't like any of the proposals that were proposed for the old Howe School on 43rd Ave South. Proposals rejected include: arts lofts + townhomes, single-family homes + housing disabled veterans, using the building for the charter school mentioned above. The district might just sell the property on the "open market."


Headline: Commission recommends amended plan for rezoning in Central Corridor
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Following the earlier controversy over zoning changes along the LRT route,] The St Paul Planning Commission approved new zoning changes. They are different from the initial proposal mainly because this iteration caves to pressure from the St. Paul Port Authority and "auto-oriented businesses" and has a smaller area that would be rezoned Traditional Neighborhood "TN," which would make auto-oriented and industrial uses non-conforming. Instead of 98 non-conforming business, there will only be 60. [Seems dumb to me. I wonder which Wendy's or Jiffy Lube got the OK to expand? -Ed.]


Headline: Light-rail station area plans reviewed
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: There was a public hearing for light-rail station area plans at the new stops at Hamline, Victoria, and Western. 30+ people were there. [Doesn't seem like much happened though.]


Headline: Demolition of Bureau of Mines buildings still awaiting funds
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Some sort of Mississippi Parks agency is waiting for money from the Federal government to demolish the abandoned Bureau of Mines buildings. Obama put some money into his budget, but it hasn't been approved. Even if approved, the amount of money is probably too small to get all the work done.


Headline: Hearing set on new ordinance regulating 'hookah lounges'
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Yes, the Villager still puts hookah lounges in scare quotes.] The 'City Council' is having a 'hearing' on how to 'regulate' hookah lounges, which apparently confuse and scare everyone. [See? I can use scare quotes too. This already happened, on the 16th. -Ed.]


Headline: Commission favors Schmidt's historic status
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Planning Commission recommended "local designation" for the brewery and the area surrounding it. This will help with the development plans.


Headline: Permit granted for proposed Ramsey Hill bed and breakfast
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: An abandoned mansion on Dayton Avenue got the OK to become a B&B.


Headline: On-sale liquor licenses in store for two local establishments
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: "Rusty Taco" restaurant on Lexington next to Traitor Joe's and the new owners of the classic steakhouse The Lexington, also on Lexington, will likely get liquor licenses.

Headline: Area residents sound off on plan for new parks on Ford Plant site
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: There was a meeting about the plans for parks to be included in any future development on the Ford Plant site. [Covered here earlier.] Reactions were "mixed." E.g., "Not enough river views" and "How can the city pay for parks?" and "Why are we here?"

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did you really mean "Traitor Joes" instead of Trader Joes?

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