Reading the Highland Villager #75

[A cold day in the life of The Villager.]
 [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: Light-rail line spurs $1 billion in development
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Glowing description of the “more than 50” new buildings being constructed or planned along University Avenue. Article draws on (and quotes from) Met Council information (and Chair Susan Haigh). Highlighted developments include the Episcopal Homes expansion, the Habitat for Humanity Headquarters, and a new Culver’s. Article includes quote from president of the business association concerned about the number of non-profits (who pay no property taxes). Article also includes quote from the Frogtown neighborhood group about too much affordable housing. [What? I thought everyone was concerned about gentrification, i.e. the lack of affordable housing? I thought affordable housing is good? Comments like this are exasperating, in a Goldilocks kind of way.] Best quote award goes to University United director Brian McMahon: “St Paul can’t become a city of condos and coffee shops.” [Boy, I sure wish it could. I half agree with him, but for different reasons. -Ed.] “We need to remember how important it is to promote job creation, especially in areas with access to good transit.”

Headline: Session opens with DFL holding all of the cards; New majorities in state House, Senate may end years of Capitol gridlock
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: Democrats won the election.

Headline: Projects near rail stations receive grants
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Met Council gave money to things along University. $1.6M for turning the Old Home building on Western into apartments. $110K for cleanup of a site between Victoria and Dale. $2M for a 200 apartments near Westgate. $900K for 44 apartments at Prior. $350K for a loft building near the Union Depot.

Headline: Plan to raze Ford plant approved; Conditions set on demolition hours, truck traffic, security
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Planning Commission approved the plan to knock down the Ford Plant on Ford Parkway. [In the Fordtown neighborhood of Fordsville, USA.]

Headline: City and county officials release legislative wish lists for 2013
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: People who work for cities want money for their cities from the state, particularly in the form of restitution to Local Government Aid cuts. [Well deserved. Let's start un-doing the many many years of Pothole Pawlenty.]

Headline: Meyer is running for mayor of St Paul
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: A guy named Roger Meyer who used to be president of the Merriam Park Community council and sit on the Summit-University Planning Council is going to challenge Chris Coleman for mayor of the city. Article includes his platform, which involves lots of alternative energy issues, support for credit unions, and more attention to non-motorized infrastructure. Includes quote about bike lanes and traffic calming on Hamline Avenue connected to the Ayd Mill Road issue. [No comment, other than that he'd be Mayor Meyer, which would sound cool.]

Headline: District councils told to work with less
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city will be giving less money to district councils in the form of “citizen participation funds.” Article includes immense arcane history of district councils: their formation and their funding. [Wow. File under: things I didn’t want to know about.]

Headline: BZA grants variance for Johnson Brothers warehouse addition
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Board of Zoning Appeals will let a liquor company warehouse build an expansion closer to the river bluff than is usually advisable.

Headline: Ramsey Hill project faces hurdles
Reporter: Jane McClure

Short short version: A “vacant and dilapidated” apartment building on Marshall Avenue may not get torn down and replaced because neighbors are objecting to the size and design of a new building.  One of the sticky wickets is that the developer wants to build it with the minimum off-street parking. [Should we even have minimum off-street parking? This is a pretty urban area with good access to transit and the downtown. –Ed.]

Headline: St. Francis-St. James to close after 128 years
Reporter: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: A Catholic K-8 school is closing because of falling enrollment.

Headline: More history in the making; St Paul Athletic Club to reopen
Reporter: Frank Jossi

Short short version: The gorgeous old downtown athletic club building is being remodeled and will re-open for its original purpose. [Good luck to them! Seems a bit nuts to me, until downtown St Paul has more people in it, but maybe that future is upon us.] Article includes some delicious eye candy of the details of the building, including awning, swimming pool swan mosaic, and high detailed plaster ceilings.

1 comment:

Jinwen said...

Mayor Meyer, Minnehahahaha