14.11.11

Reading the Highland Villager #49

[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: 18
Total # of articles about sidewalks written by Jane McClure: 14  


Headline: Passions run high over plan to rein in student rentals; Landlords, homeowners spar over property rights and responsibilities
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article on a community meeting / open house to discuss the moratorium on student rental housing near the University of St Thomas. The city is proposing a temporary ban on new student housing and rental conversions in the area surrounding the University. The 10/25 meeting attracted 70+ [irate] homeowners and [defensive] landlords, and “grew heated” with the two sides “shouting each other down.” Best quotes: “I’ve had kids jumping out of the windows. It’s a free for all.” “You don’t live in the neighborhood. You don’t know what its like!” Includes quote from CM Stark: “In no way is the moratorium meant to demonize students.” Article includes lots of discussion about property values, a history of moratorium debate, and some context about similar regulations in other college towns.

Headline: Flavor of Village changes with rise in restaurants
Reporter: Frank Jossi

Short short version: Report on the seven new business in the Highland Village area [near Ford Parkway and Cleveland]. New restaurtns include: Smashburger, Menchie’s, PAnera, Which Which Sanwiches, Dino’s, and a LifeCafe in the health club. Article includes lots of quotes from restauranteurs. Article includes only barest of mentions of the loss of the Old Country Buffet establishment.

Headline:  Light-rail crews work overtime to meet Nov. 30 deadline
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article on the deadline to get 4 lanes of University Ave traffic open before Nov. 30 betweeen Emerald and Hamline Avenues. Contractors are working late at night, and it’s noisy. Apparently, building under the rail tracks at West of Fairview is particularly challenging.

Headline: Council scrambles for the funds to restore police, fire, library cuts
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: the St Paul city council is trying to find money to undo some of the $1.1M in budget cuts, particularly to the police and fire budgets, particularly to their motorcycle division and rescue squad (respectively). They might find extra money in the “sewer utility reserve fund” or the “Neighborhood and Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) funds.” [This sounds like a terrible set of choices. STAR funds are important, and sewers are also important. -Ed.]

Headline: St Paul OKs water meter options
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: St Paulites can get two new kinds of water meters, one of which is read by radio.

Headline: Springing into action; Work begins on returning Coldwater/Bureau of Mines property to its original site
Reporter: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: Report on the new plan to “restore” the piece of land near Minnehaha Park, to turn it into a park.

Headline: St Paul plans $1.5M upgrade of its worn-out parking meters; Parking kiosks will offer option to pay with card
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Report on debate over how to do new parking meters in the city, including dynamic pricing and “kiosk” options. CM Thune is in favor of raising prices during Wild games, but CMs Lantry and Harris oppose the idea. [There's a lot of research about "the high cost of free parking." It's nice to see some in St Paul are paying attention to this issue. -Ed.]

Headline: Agreement with Xcel will give city a new dog park under High Bridge
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article on new dog park to be built on North side of space under high bridge, near where the old smokestack-laden coal plant used to be.

Headline: The students next door: Two views on how to solve thorny off-campus problem: Admit we have a problem, then focus on the big picture [and] Rather than infringe on landlords’ rights, let’s enforce the laws
Reporter: Joel Clemmer [and] Tehodore A. Kvasnik

Short short version: Contrasting op-ed columns about the student rental issue. Clemmer calls for a careful study. Kvasnik calls for an end to the moratorium, but enforcement of current ordinances and police control of student parties. [This pair of columns doesn't really have enough specific examples of Tommie misbehavior to make it worth explaining in any detail.  -Ed.]

Headline: Lofty plans unveiled for former Schmidt Brewery
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article on the artists renderings of the proposed “Schmidt artists lofts” to be inside the old Schmidt Brewery on W 7th St. In theory, the lofts will be completed by fall 2013.

Headline: Organization braces for even higher demand to shelter homeless
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article on the increase in homeless asking for help from Catholic Charities. The group is attempting to open its “temporary overflow shelter” earlier than is normal.

Headline: Zoning panel reviews plan for Bush Children’s Home site’; Inpatient facility eyed for folks with eating disorders
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: There will be a meeting [took place last week] about turning the old Children’s home on Grotto St into an Emily Program facility for people with eating disorders. The new plan involves creating 23 new parking spots.

Headline: Cupcake seeks parking variance for new Grand restaurant; Seven-space shortfall is too large, city staff says
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The new Cupcake bakery location on Grand Avenue will have to find more parking spaces somehow. According to the owner, the bakery is being severely impacted by LRT construction, and needs to open a new location. However, the owner was unaware of St Paul’s parking minimum requirements, and the city and the local community group are both recommending the need for 6 new spaces in addition to the 5 currently available in front of the new Cupcake location. Article includes quotes from neighborhood planners about the importance of parking. [Well, I am pretty opposed to parking requirements in general. There should be a shortage of parking. Again, Donald Shoup has good work on this. The inclusion of the story of Cupcake, whose frosting sensibilities make it perfect for the Grand & Victoria area, is particularly tragic. -Ed]

Headline: Soup’s on at J&S Bean Factory if City Council OKs rezoning; Commission recommends traditional neighborhoods zone for local coffee shop
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The St Paul Planning Commission OK’d a request for rezoning the coffee shop on Randolph so that they can sell soup and re-heated food. The coffee shop had previously requested a zoning change for having too many chairs. [This is a good coffee shop. -Ed.]

Headline: HDC receives update on city’s growing coyote population
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: People are seeing coyotes in St Paul. City officials recommend making noise if one sees a coyote.

Headline: Commission favors plans for improving Griggs St. bikeway
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The St Paul planning commission approved the Griggs St bike boulevard. It will now go to the full council.

Headline: St Albans Park to benefit from low-income housing credits
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city council approved low-income credits for the St Albans Park housing project. These credits will give a tax break for low income housing in the area.

Headline: Fire Calls: Merriam Park
Reporter: SPFD

Short short version: A cyclist was struck by a car at Marshall and Prior on Wednesday 10/5 and was taken to the hospital after being found lying in the street

5 comments:

Alex said...

Re: Griggs St - is this the type of bike blvd with occasional signs recommending not hitting cyclists with your car, or is it the type with actual traffic calming?

Bill Lindeke said...

not sure, but if they put a traffic diverter anywhere in st paul i will eat my left shoelace.

Bill Lindeke said...

the debate right now is whether or not Griggs will have "mini traffic circles"

Bill Lindeke said...

see this:

http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/roundabouts.html
http://www.usroads.com/journals/rmej/9801/rm980102.htm
http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/trafficcircles.htm

Alex said...

There is one in St Paul right now in Merriam Park I think. I think they're great but it embarrasses me when they're installed but stop signs left up, as will happen in South Minneapolis:

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles/SouthernBikeConnection.asp

That sort of thing is what makes bigtime East Coast dance theater directors move back to NY after only 10 months.