Reading the Highland Villager #47

[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.]

Total # of articles about sidewalks: 7
Total # of articles about sidewalks written by Jane McClure: 5  

Headline: Century-old Triune Temple stands as a well-preserved testament of Masonic skills
Reporter: Lisa Heinrich

Short short version: [Breaking news!] Nice piece on the restored 1911 Masonic temple in Merriam Park. Piece includes horrifying description of its “wall-to-wall carpet” “modernized” period. Article includes [lots and lots and lots of] architectural history details, including primer of five types of classical columns.

Headline:  City staff seeking new designs for Jefferson bikeway
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [In a move that must surely please the Villager editor, not only because it’s a “victory” for them, but because they’ll get to keep reporting on this story for months to come,] The city DOT is now trying to figure out how to re-design the Jefferson Avenue bike boulevard. [They face the challenge of trying to do something new in what is apparently the most the reactionary tailpipe-sucking neighborhood in the Northern Upper Midwest. –Ed.]

Headline: Hefty increase expected in many property tax bills; Most of the increase can be attributed to state tax shifts
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Property taxes are going up in St Paul because of State funding shifts such as cutting of the homestead credit. This is particularly true for “several neighborhood [sic] served by the Villager” [, i.e. where the middle-class St Paul people live. -Ed.]

Headline: Editorial: Citizens deserve a say on risky stadium deal
Reporter: Tom Goldstein

Short short version: Lengthy wonky essay on the community meeting in New Brighton with the Ramsey County Charter Commission, calling for a vote on the Vikings stadium tax. Column includes detail on redistributive history of stadium financing across the country, and how it serves private interests while public governments assume all the risk. Column includes words like “boondoggle.”

Headline: Summit-Dale is latest battleground in war against ash borer
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Report on [hopeless] campaign to stop the ash borer in Summit-Dale.

Headline: Historic status paves way for Schmidt Brewery redevelopment
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The West 7th neighborhood group got the letter from Ken Salazar, secretary of the Interior, with notice of the historic preservation for the Schmidt Brewery on September 29th. Article includes reference to “the ill-fated Gopher State Ethanol plant.”

Headline: Liquor license recommended for St. Thomas with conditions
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: A [previously unheard-of functionary named a] St Paul legislative hearing officer decided that St Thomas will get a liquor license to allow outdoor sales during events, despite the protests of [Tommie hating] neighbors in the area.

Headline: Shepard-Davern zoning change sets stage for PPL groundbreaking
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Groundbreaking on the [NIMBY-defeating] affordable housing project on West 7th will take place in early November.

Headline: Local projects vie for slice of CIB pie; Hope remains for Highland streetscape funding
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [As previously reported in this space] Highland Village’s failed attempt to get city Capital Improvement Budget money to re-do their [inlaid slippery brick] sidewalks may not be dead as outgoing CM Harris found a half-million dollars sitting in a “dormant street reconstruction project.” [This is the same CM Harris that was outraged that money was being spent on bike sharrows, the same CM Harris that fought the bike boulevard diverter because it was wasteful use of tax dollars without sufficient public scrutiny? Yes. That’s the one. –Ed.] 

Headline: Cossetta lot OK’d with no landscaping
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Living wage dodger] David Cossetta will get to build a new 64-space parking lot without the required amount of landscaping. Cossetta is receiving $2M in public money to expand his pizza business. Article includes description of landscaping requirement as intending “to improve the appearance of parking lots, provide shade and improve stormwater drainage.” Article includes the following quote from Cossetta: “I need every one of those 64 parking spaces.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I still live in Highland Park and still don't pick up the Villager. I'd rather read it here! I get all the news while laughing, not shaking my fist in the air.