Reading the Highland Villager #89

[A Villager lurks.]
 [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.]

Headline: St. Paul OKs plan for extra $8.8M in ballpark costs
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council really kvetched when they approved more money to clean up the Saints stadium site. The Saints are putting up another $1M, and the city hopes to get pollution cleanup grants to help with the rest. Article includes brief history of the ballpark situation. Even the Port Authority [last bastion of Robert Moses?] may be hit up for cash, though it seems unlike.y  Article includes enthusiastic quotes from Mayor Coleman, Saints President Veeck, and CM Thune. Best quote though: "Sports facility consultant Greg Cylkowski said the projects 'smells of failure.'" [Actually that's just the Gopher Bar.]

Headline: City clears way for the razing of old Island Station power plant; Ninety-year-old structure considered too far gone for historic preservation
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council voted not to give historic designation to the old power plant in the river valley. Article includes wistful quotes from CM Thune, accusations of "demolition by neglect" on the part of the developer, history of the site. Also statement from river non-profit on need to develop this land into a "central hub" connecting the river with the city.

Headline: St. Paul transitions to state inspections
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The state has taken over the city inspections of "food, deli, grocery, hotel, and swimming pool inspections." Trade associations (e.g. MN Restaurant Assn, MN Lodging Assn.) are worried. Fees will change; schools pay more, coffee shops pay less. 15 city employees lost their [seemingly ineffective?] jobs.

Headline: Installations turn Green Line platforms into works of art
Author: James McKenzie

Short short version: The LRT platforms will have art. For example, murals and mosaics. Article includes [not very good] definition of placemaking: "both the effect of art and the process by which they come into being."

Headline: County to hold the line on property taxes with bump in state, federal aid
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Ramsey County isn't increasing its levy this year. Article includes the words "austerity fatigue." [Ask your doctor about AFS.]

Headline: City budget may be spared the axe
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Mayor Coleman is hinting that he won't be increasing property taxes very much in his budget this year, nor will he be cutting things very much this year.

Headline: City delays Montreal Avenue improvements until next year
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Montreal was supposed to be repaved and better pedestrian ramps and bike lanes installed, but it won't happen for another year because [reason unclear.] Residents seem to want slower speeds and a "residential" feeling while public works seems to be insisting that Montreal is a "collector" street.

Headline: Counties impose tax on license tabs
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Wheelage fees will double to $10/vehicle/year. [Or, the cost of 2.5 gallons of gas, i.e. an insignificant infinitesimal amount that has somehow become a political hot potato in defiance of all sense of proportion.] Article includes quote from Commissioner Ortega about need for maintaining road infrastructure. 

Headline: Neighbors review plan to open restaurant in Commodore
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The owner of the Commodore [an amazing art-deco bar where Baudrillard once hung out] wants to open a high-end restaurant there. He has to negotiate with [wealthy and well connected] neighbors. Article includes much discussion of parking. [Of course it does.]

Headline: Longtime grocer to bring Longfellow Market to East Lake
Author: Bill Wagner

Short short version: The guy who ran Riverside Market on Franklin is planning to open a market / grocery at 38th and Lake. People seem excited. [Too bad it's a one-story building.]

Headline: Blood, sweat and detours; summers rifer with runs/walks are cramping St. Paul residents
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: People in certain parts of Saint Paul sometimes have to drive out of their way because people enjoy running, walking, biking, and being social in the out-of-doors. Article includes quote from CM Tolbert about changes to notification, fee structure, and more geographic balance. Neighbors are concerned about post-event litter.

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