16.11.15

Reading the Highland Villager #142

[Villagers lurking in the Lunds lobby downtown.]

[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. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free. See also: Three Reasons Why I Re-Blog the Highland Villager.] 



Headline: Mayor pulls plug on Grand parking meter proposal
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: Article begins, "apparently the process was not broken after all." [Process = free parking?] Article on the recent press conference by the Mayor who withdrew the proposal to put parking meters on Grand Avenue when CM Thune backed away from supporting the idea. The Mayor "still thinks parking meters are a goo idea." Quote from business association director, "Democracy can work as it's supposed to." There will be a new committee formed in January to look at "parking and transportation issues along grand." [God help anyone on that committee!] Quote from CM Thune: "Everyone is mad at me." [A feeling he's known before.] Article has lots of quotes from business owners, Coleman, and CM Thune. Best two: "Coleman indicated skepticism that any agreement could be reached on putting meters on Grand ... 'The only consensus that seems to have emerged over the decades is that parking is a problem'"; CM Thune: "I've not seen such vehement opposition." [I guess paying for parking is worse than lung cancer.]


Headline: Planning for Minnesota United FC's new Midway soccer stadium begins in earnest; Neighbors aim to find a way to mitigate traffic, parking, noise impacts
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: There will be about 2 dozen people on committee to help plan the stadium, starting next month. Neighbors are concerned about noise, traffic and parking. Will they build "street access improvements"? [I.e. massive onramps or something? They just reconstructed Snelling by the way. Whoops!] Article mentions Ayd Mill Road. [IMO, AMR has nothing to do with this. You might as well mention the Whole Foods or O'Garas parking lot. AMR is a textbook case of "induced demand" 101.]


Headline: Pooling ideas; Advocates come forward with plans for restoring old Highland bathhouse
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: Some people want to fix up and restore a beautiful old "bathhouse" in Highland Park. There are lots of ideas like an amphitheater,  disc golf HQ, art gallery, or "community room." It's from 1936 and used to have a swimming pool. The roof leaks. It will cost a lot of money. CM Tolbert got $25K from the city to keep the roof from leaking any worse than it already does.


Headline: Contentious Fairmount Ave. lot split OK'd with conditions
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version:A homeowner can split her lot into two lots, to build another house there. Her porch will have to be scaled back and she'll have to move a shed.


Headline: St. Paul grant search includes Cleveland-Pinehurst project
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: The state might give money to help clean up a spot where a four-story mixed-use building will be built.. Neighbors are concerned about height, traffic, and parking.


Headline: Lilydale Park gets $822K grant for next phase of development
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: A park along the river will bet money for a restroom and shelter.


Headline: Task force reviews pros and cons of Cleveland bike route; City inundated with 1,000 comments on Cleveland bike land and alternatives
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: [I was on this task force.] There was a big public meeting "open house" about whether there should be bike lanes on Cleveland Avenue or a bike boulevard constructed on Prior to the East. [Then we had a meeting, talked about it, and voted 8-4, IIRC, to approve the bike lanes. The big swing votes were the two Universities, University of St. Kates and the University of St. Thomas, who both supported (re)moving on-street parking and striping bike lanes on Cleveland. It was a very intense meeting. ] Article includes quotes from the public testimony: "parking is a secondary concern [to safety]" sez the UST spokesperson; "people say Cleveland is unsafe, but five-foot bike lines and 11-foot traffic lanes are standard widths" sez a bike advocate, Cleveland is busy with a plethora of businesses, schools, public parks and public buildings," sez a Prior fan; "Cleveland would have a 'grave impact on local businesses", sez a realtor. [PS. A young woman on a bicycle was hit by a car driver at the corner of the half-assed Jefferson Bicycle Boulevard and Snelling Avenue on her way to the meeting.]


Headline: St. Paul will seat two new City Council members in January
Author: Kevin Driscoll
 
Short short version: There was a City Council and School Board election. Ward 2 was close [but Rebecca Noecker won]. Ward 7 was not close, and Jane Prince won. Article includes quote from ubiquitous Hamline prof David Schultz about a "mixed message for change," and how a Noecker victory is "significant" because her opponent was a former Saint Paul DFL chair. Quote continues: "this reflects a generational shift for the DFL, away from an insider to an outsider. It also suggests that the DFL is divided with a new generation wanting to take over from the former generation." [Not that candidate Tobolt was that much older than soon-to-be-CM Noecker. He's about my age, I think? For the record, I volunteered with her campaign.] Article includes quote from "Saint Paul STRONG" leader, John Manillo, saying that four CMs, Noecker, Thao, Bostrom and Prince, "will be more independent than in the past." [Why is Thao on the list? He's an incumbent, no? I get the sense that Mannillo just doesn't personally like three of the CMs for some list of reasons. See also: 6th Street sidewalk, where Mannillo was very much against the proposal.]


Headline: Mayor cites code in declaring sidewalk art graffiti
Author: ???
 
Short short version: A head shop / magic shop on 7th Street painted its sidewalk with "a colorful maze." The city cited them for graffiti. and insisted they were not "Street art." Public Works is coming up with a policy on what constitutes sidewalk art. [Why not use chalk?]


Headline: Redevelopment of long-vacant Selby Ave. lots postponed
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: A "land trust" that wants to build mixed-use buildings two lots that have been vacant for decades didn't quite get money they needed to do it. Article includes lots of numbers. [Maybe next year.]


Headline: Amendment of city's parks ordinance waylaid by council criticism
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: The city had proposed to change how much money it requires from developers for parkland. The sticking point is tying the money to parking spots, or ensuring that the parkland is in the same area as the development. Article includes some details about the consent agenda, and CM Thune quotes whether or not debate is required. It will go to the Planning Commission. [I don't have strong opinions about this! Should I?]


Headline: Time runs out on new liquor license for old Attucks-Brooks
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: An old private club that wanted to use an African-American American Legion building lost its liquor license. Article states that club was "plagued with crime and violence." Quote from CM Finney: This one gives me pause." The club dates to Gary Indiana, 1966, and has had many names. It used to be an "outlaw motorcycle gang" called the "Sin City deciples [sic]."Neighbors were concerned about crime and violence. [This spot is right in the heart of old Rondo.]


Headline: Archdiocese agrees to sell Hayden Center to historical society
Author: Jane McClure
 
Short short version: The Catholic church is selling an old building by the Cathedral to the History Center across the street [who want it mostly because it comes with a 100+ space surface parking lot].

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