18.7.14

Reading the Highland Villager #110

[A Villager watches for vandals.]
[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. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free.]

Headline: City confronts mess that Mississippi left behind; As floodwaters recede, St. Paul assesses damage
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The river flooded, but went back down. Silt must be removed and buildings cleaned. A loose giant clamshell was recovered.


Headline: New streetlights, sidewalks are in store for Village; Other amenities will have to wait for more financing
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: They're installing new sidewalks at Ford and Cleveland at great expense. "The worst planters have already been removed." [Darwinian!] The new pavers will be designed to not pop out of the sidewalk. [Makes sense, but seems unexciting.] "Black ice" was planned, but proved be too pricey. [Hm.] Bike racks are planned but not funded. [Sounds about right for Saint Paul!] They're going to remove the message board on the corner because "it is a target for vandals."


Headline: TIF plan paves way for redeveloping St. Paul Post Office; Custom House apartments, hotel planned for 17-story building on Kellogg Blvd.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The old post office is going to become apartments, stores, and a hotel. The city is paying $5M. There is some "contamination cleanup" involved. [What is the source of the contamination? Decades worth of junk mail?] "Some bathrooms have the original 1930s-era plumbing fixtures." They're going to have to add another doorway somewhere, but the sidewalks are really narrow. [Maybe expand the sidewalks!]


Headline: Residents review Shepard-Davern rezoning; They support efforts to attract stores, allow Sibley Plaza remodel
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There was a meeting about a new plan for a [extremely auto-oriented] part of westernmost West 7th street.  People like the idea of mixed-use zoning, but the large strip mall poses a problem. Some people are worried about losing "drive-thru service" and parking in front of the building. Everyone agrees that the current strip mall is ugly.


Headline: Pawn America plans major renovation
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The pawn shop on University Avenue will get a new entrance and a new parking lot. [Wow! First the Culvers, then the Goodwill, and now this! University Avenue is on the move! Next stop, Saint Cloud.] "The decorative red pyramid above the roof will be removed." [Where is the HPC when you really need them!?]


Headline: STAR board favors several local projects
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A coffee shop, two theaters, and an old folks home will get some money for improvements. Other stuff too, like the West 7th taproom and the Asian night market. Just not the young person's circus.


Headline: Proposed Davern Hill sidewalk is now in hands of City Council
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A place in Saint Paul that has no sidewalk but really needs a sidewalk might finally get a sidewalk despite the HPC's opinion that a sidewalk would "detract from the historical appearance" of a house there. Maybe not though.


Headline: TIF change to help finance renovation of Spruce Tree
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [The city's 4th ugliest] building is on the last year of receiving city money for renovation and expansion. The existing Spruce Tree TIF district dates to 1987 [and was one of the key forces behind Saint Paul's "great Applebee's revitalization" of the 1990s].


Headline: St. Paul City Council to review streetcar recommendations
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council will vote on a plan to study streetcars. "Questions have been raised." [They approved it unanimously. It's almost like they don't read the Villager?]


Headline: Primrose introduces plan for Dayton Avenue day care
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A day care center might open near Snelby. But traffic!


Headline: Bond issues OK'd for projects in Highland Park and West End
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Some city bonding process thingy is happening for expanding a treatment center and an old folks home, but apparently it won't cost anything.


Headline: Getten Credit asks City Council to allow new office on Bayard
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An odd quasi-bank is still trying to re-open somewhere.


Headline: City sells vacant Summit-U lots for the moving to two homes
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Two houses are being moved to places without houses.


Headline: New name in the works for library-rec center complex
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: "Hillcrest" is out. [How about "Center for Village People? Or "Highland Village Parking Lot and Village Library"?]


Headline: St. Paul proposes better lighting, sidewalks, more for tiny Iris Park
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A small [overlooked] park might be improved someday. "The area has a very high demand for on-street parking." There's a study, including crosswalks, speed tables [great idea!], and lights and more access for people with disabilities. [They might also try putting water in the fountain?]


Headline: Full steam ahead for Hamline station; 108 new apartments to rise on former Midway Chev site
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An affordable housing project is costing more than they thought.


Headline: Midway Walgreens corners new store; Move is part of larger plan to redevelop Midway Center
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The old bank on the corner of Snelling and University [and across the intersection from the horrible CVS building] will maybe become a Walgreen's. [No doubt with a huge parking lot and few or fake windows and only one story. Good job Saint Paul! Now if only we had a really nice pawn shop...]

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