Reading the Highland Villager #162

[A Villager loiters.]
[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: Council is poised to approve soccer stadium plan
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article begins thus... "Despite concerns about traffic and parking congestion..." [It seems to me, does it not, that 75% of Highland Villager articles start with this premise? It should be in the Villager Style Manual that this phrase is implied and thus does not need to be printed every time. Perhaps the acronym: D-CATAP could be useful here and save on newsprint costs?] The City Council is likely to approve plans for the new soccer stadium. [And they did.] The plans had been idealistic about predicting the number of people who would drive and park near the corner. Article reports on a meeting where the strip mall owners spoke about the length of time required and need for flexibility [read: less density] when it comes to redeveloping the area around the stadium that is currently a strip mall, fast food, and parking. Redevelopment might take a decade. Article also quotes Bill McGuire [dubiously ethical wealthy team owner] about different traffic studies. McGuire replied with the quote that: "people can throw all kinds of figures around." [Indeed. If anyone would know...] Key sentence: "Local highways, streets, and transit lines will be able to handle gameday traffic." [Prediction: there will be a lot of cars and people walking and taking the train.] Neighbors are concerned about "parking, traffic and noise." [Dogged crank] Tom Goldstein is quoted demanding more evidence about redevelopment. Article also quotes CMs Prince, Thao, and Stark.

Headline: City loan help save old West End fire station
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: And old and abandoned fire station dating to the 1870s that was slated to be torn down for a new hotel project is going to be saved and restored instead thanks to a $500K forgivable loan from the city. [That's a hefty price!] Article includes some history of the building. It might get sold after it is renovated.

Headline: Mayor unveils city budget with 4% increase in tax levy
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Property taxes will go up. New money will go to funding street trees, a pedestrian coordinator position, and recycling. Saint Paul will be America's most "workable" city instead of its most "livable" city. [I'd like it to be America's most walkable city.] There was a speech.

Headline: Unspent STAR funds sought to transform Central' Handful of other local projects approved for city grants, loans
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Central High School's campus will get some money to make its public spaces more attractive. [School looks like a prison.] Things like "a paved walkway" and "water filtration" and "bike racks." Also funded: a theater marquee, old buildings, a soundproof room, affordable housing, and a balustrade.

Headline: BZA OKs variances for new Habitat home on West End
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A new affordable house will get to be closer to the property line.

Headline: St. Paul provides more funds for improving Dickerman Park
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A historic [very strange, linear, and almost useless IMO] park along University Avenue will get $50K for design improvements.

Headline: Union Park favors proposal to extend liquor store hours
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A neighborhood group thinks its OK if people can buy beer until 10pm. CM Tolbert is pushing for the change.

Headline: BZA supports allowing second home on Saratoga Street lot
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A guy who owns a house can build a second house on his large irregular lot. [This makes sense.]

Headline: St. Paul grants liquor license for restaurant at City House
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old grain elevator by the river will now be allowed to serve booze. [See my story on this and how it is wonderful.]

Headline: Neighbors appeal approval of house on narrow West End lot
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) said it's OK if a couple builds a house on a narrow vacant lot, but neighbors are concerned about wet basements and "monolithic walls" and want the City Council to appeal the appeal. "The house would not have a basement." [Where will the snakes go?]

Headline: Brake Bread rolls out home delivery fresh from new West 7th St. bakery
Author: Frank Jossi

Short short version: You can have a guy on a bike bring bread right to your house! [Even though there are no bike lanes on West 7th or really anywhere in this area except for Jefferson. I wish I was in the delivery area but asking someone to schlep bread up the High Bridge is a bit much.] All the bread types have bike-themed names. [It's almost like things are changing in the West End, what with these "kids today" even though they're in their 40s.] There is a "toast bar." [I need to get there!]

Headline: WSNAC objects to short notice of UST plan to raze Grand buildings
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: St. Thomas wants to tear down older buildings that it owns along Grand Avenue and the neighborhood committee is upset about it. [I wish the school would just rehab these buildings and use them for offices. That would be pretty classy.] Article includes a lot of info about town/gown relationships and history. Quote from UST guy: "We thought people would be thrilled with the announcement." [Did you? Why? Because people in Saint Paul love tearing things down?] They are being torn down any day now.There might or might not be more parking added to the campus, and/or housing here instead. [I should hope so.]

Note: This Highland Villager recap composed while listening to Verdi's opera, La forza del destino, which is apparently cursed.

No comments: