Reading the Highland Villager #76

[A Villager that stuck its tongue to the flagpole.]
[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.]

Headline: University merchants take stock of damages of light rail
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Story on how business owners don't think that the supplemental EIS about the construction phase of the University Avenue light rail accurately captured their economic and psychological misery. The EIS reports that businesses losses ranged from 2 - 84 percent, averaging 30. [That range suggests why there are a few really pissed off people, and many who don't care all that much.] It includes the story of a man who had to close his used car lot and his car wash. [Isn't that the point? Our main commercial street and center of city's urban density shouldn't have used car lots on it. That's the point of this whole investment and rezoning.] Article includes story of a salon owner in tears. [OK, that does sounds sad.]

Headline: New Union Park initiative seeks justice for all; Students offered a chance to atone for bad behavior by sitting down with neighbors
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Misbehaving college students [read "Tommies"] who get a misdemeanor can opt for a new "restorative justice" program, where they  [To my mind, this is the kind of solution that will actually solve neighbor problems around UST. This kind of program is a far better solution than banning or restricting students (good or bad) from living in certain areas, discriminating against young people, and raising their cost of living. Here, you're actually having people sit down with each other, and that almost always lowers tensions. -Ed.] The kids pick up trash or work for nonprofits in the area, and then meet the people who they disturbed or vandalized.

Headline: Love Doctor threatens to sue after council denies sign variance
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council voted to support the appeal of the variance for the sign on the wall of the building of the store that sells supposedly sexy predominantly red items on University Avenue next to the Turf Club. The owner of the shop is pissed, and threatening to sue. He claims that the presence of the light rail stop prevents people in cars from seeing his store, thus the need for a visible sign. [Look, he probably doesn't know that a full 35% of the Hiawatha LRT traffic is going to and from Augie's in downtown Minneapolis. That's why they put the Warehouse District stop where they did. The vast majority of adult industry shopping commuters prefer transit for some reason. -Ed.] Article includes this semi-amusing quote from the director of a local neighborhood group: "We value the Love Doctor as part of the mix of businesses along this stretch of the central corridor." Article also includes many references to the term, "visually cluttered." [It's hard for me to care much about this one, folks.]

Headline: City gets $1M to clean up Lowertown site
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: the State Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) gave the city a million dollars for [sharks with freakin' laser beams attached to their heads] cleaning up the site where the Saints stadium will soon be.

Headline: Snelling-Selby braces for change
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Article about the new development at the corner of Snelling and Selby and how the loss of the surface parking lot, and its replacement with real urban density, will change everything. Article includes quote from a neighbor: "Gosh, parking is going to be crazy." Also, quote from Dan O'Gara: "We're obviously concerned about the loss of parking." Quote from Photographer's Guild guy: "We need parking wherever we can get it." Article continues with nine more paragraphs about parking.

Headline: Parking concerns aired over Ramsey Hill project
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: A developer on Marshall Avenue is trying to build a new 10-unit apartment building between St Paul College and the Cathedral. Neighbors are concerned about parking. [I really with I hadn't just read Donald Shoup's book. My brain hurts.] The building plan also has some issues with site coverage and setbacks. The local neighborhood group recommended approving all the variances except the one about parking.

Headline: St. Paul set to remove more ashes in battle against borer
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Ash trees along Cleveland and Griggs will be cut down. [In order to save them? Makes sense to me!]

Headline: Minature gold course eyed for portion of old Schmidt Brewery
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Just in case you had lost hope in St Paul's development potential, thinking we'd be pigeon-holed as the capitol of light brite sculptures] There will be a 36-hole mini golf course as part of the Schmidt Brewery redevelopment. The holes will be "artistic." [I actually love mini golf, especially the Big Stone course out in Mound. They should make it a maxi-mini-golf course and use some of that old building, like hole #10 out in Mound (the sunflower spiral one) which is the best mini-golf hole in the world.]

Headline: Proposed 6th Street sidewalk expansion is laid over to Feb. 6
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council decided to vote on the [no brainer] sidewalk expansion next time, instead of this time. [The Heritage Preservation Commission (for some reason) decided that the sidewalk expansion didn't fit with building setbacks. This, despite the fact that the building isn't moving one micron from its current position, that the sidewalk space will be expanded directly abutting a park? I don't understand that at all.]

Headline: Request for front-yard garage is denied by the zoning board
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: A man who wants to build a garage in his front yard in the Summit Hill area won't get to.

Headline: Workshops to explore development scenarios in Mac-Grove
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Mac-Groveland neighborhood groups are working on updating their district plan and trying to figure out where and how development might take place along the area [which is under a development moratorium, at present]. Of particular concern are the corners of Snelling and St Clair, Grand and Cleveland, and Grand and Finn. [I imagine these workshops being debates over how much amber to pour on the area, in order to preserve it properly.]

Headline: 'B-Dubs' looks to spread its wings to Cheapo Discs spot on Snelling [Should I be amazed that Jane McClure knows that 'B-Dubs' refers to?]
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Buffalo Wild Wings wants to build on the old Cheapo Discs site on Snelling Avenue. The site plan doesn't need any approval, but their liquor license will.

Headline: Upgraded Howe Elementary scheduled to reopen this fall
Reporter: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: The elementary school at 43rd and 38th in Minneapolis [!] was remodeled.

1 comment:

Janne said...

You and Hokan should get together to talk about Donald Shoup's book and come up with a plan to save us all.