Reading the Highland Villager #197

[A Villager awaiting a haircut.]
[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 rejects petition to put Ford site plan on the ballot
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council voted unanimously to accept the City Attorney's recommendation to dismiss a petition gathered by people against the rezoning of the Ford site. There were multiple grounds for the rejection, including legal jurisdiction and a lack of signatures. Article includes [Scooby Doo villian-like] quote from the leader of the petition drive: "We will continue our efforts to stop the Ford Plan." [We would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!]

Headline: City adopts $563 million budget for '18; Spending includes $1.5M in last-minute additions
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city passed a budget. Article mentions the street maintenance fee problem. Neighbors are concerned about high taxes. Interesting line: "unanticipated increases in revenue from the city's half-percent sales tax and parking meters and ramps covered much of the $1.5 million in budget additions." [Parking meters make cents, both from a policy perspective and a fiscal one.] The extra money will be spent on more parking meter upgrades, including the coin-operated meters by the Capitol. [Seems wise, and you're finally getting some money out of the Capital area, a fiscal sinkhole.] There is also extra money for "downtown street team" [a facile replacement for the BID that should be there] and a grant to study the Rondo land bridge. 

Headline: St. Paul mayor-elect lays out agenda for first year; Carter says his top priority will be to rebuild police-citizen relations
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: The incoming mayor is going to focus on police reform and public safety. Also the minimum wage, and "infrastructure of the city's cultural and economic corridors." [What kind of infrastructure? Perhaps street safety improvements and better sidewalks might help?] Article includes lots of biographical information.

Headline: County Board adopts 2018 budget with 4.3% levy increase; Rettman casts the lone 'no' vote out of concerns for large tax increases
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Janice Rettman is up for re-election in 2018 and will have a strong challenger. Let's get her out of there! The fact that she's representing some of Saint Paul' most left-leaning, diverse, and poorest neighborhoods is a profound disservice.]

Headline: Ideas aired to realign Lexington, Elway
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There was a meeting to discuss plans to shift and realign a dangerous intersection. A new building is being built on the site of an old school, which makes the Lexington  / W7th change possible. The neighborhood group seems keen on it. Neighbors are concerned about being trapped, but engineers are sure that won't happen. Quote from a neighbor about the status quo: "you take your life in your hands biking through the intersection the way it is now." [True that!]

Headline: WSNAC supports Davanni's use of UST lot for 3 more years
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A neighborhood group is OK with a sandwich and pizza restaurant using a surface parking lot owned by the University. Someday the school will build housing there.The restaurant is going to pay into a fund to "convert student rentals to owner-occupied houses." [Seems a bit like a lost cause to me, as long as the housing shortage conditions are in place.]

Headline: PAC puts Riverview on track for new streetcar line; If local jurisdictions agree, more detailed studies of proposed transit will begin
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A committee voted to approve the preliminary plan for a modern streetcar along West 7th Street. Many details remain to be worked out. It might be done by 2027. Lots of quotes by people supporting the plan, and two people who voted against it did so because of concerns about construction, traffic, and parking. CM Noecker passed a resolution to focus on bicycle and pedestrian safety and construction impact mitigation.

Headline:St. Paul relaxes restrictions ahead of the Super Bowl
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Bars will stay open until 4AM during the Super Bowl weekend, and airBNB rentals wont be regulated as much.

Headline: Overflow shelter for homeless opens on Kellogg Boulevard
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Homeless people can sleep in the basement of a County office building while it's cold out now.

Headline: UPDC requests the closing of Starbucks' drive-thru window
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A neighborhood group wants the Starbucks drive-thru closed because it is disrupting traffic. Starbucks wanted to change the parking and drive-thru lane arrangements.

Headline: Patio OK'd for City House, but loud music and dancing is not
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The restaurant in the grain elevator down by the river can have people outside on a patio, as long as it's quiet. [#KSPB] Neighbors complained about noise, traffic and parking. [I am confused? Will it be the same as last year or different? Of course, the outdoor seating by the river was one of the greatest things to happen in the city all year!]

Headline: Tiffany is granted a license for 1,600-square-foot expansion
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A bar in Highland [the only bar in Highland, pretty much] can become larger now. The book store people have complained about litter on the sidewalk.

Headline: Lilydale receives a $275,000 grant for stormwater project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The  city got money to add some stormwater drainage stuff to the park.

Headline: City Council OKs garden and performance space on Selby
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A "mentoring society" can have a garden with a stage on it.

Headline: City OKs entertainment at Bad Weather Brewing
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A brewery can have acoustic music now. Neighbors are concerned about noise.

Headline: Board reviews proposals for redeveloping Highland reservoir
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A large green space will be used for something, but nobody knows what yet. Article includes a list of the proposals, which include a grocery store, a solar power array and park, hockey and parking, soccer fields and a running track, or an "urban berry farm." [Which is the most boring? Why has nobody suggested a Boredom Museum, like The US Boring Hall of Fame, which would have exhibits like great moments in boredom, a "most boring" gallery, and a large beige waiting room.]

Headline: City offers $612,000 for Victoria Theater rehab
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City approved a grant for the rehab of an old theater on University Avenue. Article includes some o history of the building. It was going to be torn down for surface parking in 2009, but was saved. [Always MOAR PARKING.]

Headline: New brewery, restaurant proposed for historic firehouse; Tentative developer status is granted for West End site
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old fire station may become a brewery and restaurant. [Note that this is a different old fire station than the one that was "saved" earlier, over by Grand Avenue.] The brewery would be moving from Fairbault. Some people liked the idea, but others suggested that breweries are not a good idea. [Breweries are sort of traditional / historic in West 7th, are they not?] The building dates to 1885.

Headline: Commodore loses use of west dining room for lack of permit
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An historic restaurant in Cathedral Hill is being denied a permit for one of its dining rooms. There is a question about whether the space was historically a dining room or not. Article includes history of the building, which is "complex", and dates to 1920. Who owns or owned which parts of the building seem a bit messy, and there was a lawsuit. Neighbors have "mixed feelings, and some are concerned about parking.

Headline: Venn is new friend for those in search of local craft beers
Author: Loren Green

Short short version: There's a new brewery by the Blue Line / 46th Street station, in Minneapolis.

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