Reading the Highland Villager #84 (60th Anniversary Edition)

[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.] 

[Special Note: This is the 60th Anniversary Edition of the Villager. There's a special insert with enough Villager history to fill an abandoned streetcar tunnel. There's a large 60-year Villager highlight timeline, and its worth picking up.]

Headline: Highland makes its case for city bonds to help finance new Village streestcape
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Businesses in Highland "Village" are trying to get Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) money for a new streetscape (replacing the older inlaid sidewalk bricks, planters), but its unlikely because the project wasn't ranked very high by the committee. [I'm all for sidewalks, but IMO, there are many many more important priorities for scarce city money. Re-polishing the (auto-oriented) sidewalks along Ford isn't crucial to the future of the city. There are some places in the area, like Davern Street, that don't have sidewalks at all! -Ed.] Article includes quote from CM Tolbert about their "deplorable condition," quote from CIB about "trying to balance a lot of needs."

Headline: Shepard-Davern studied again [Detecting some jadedness from the Villager here.]
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There will be a study of land use in Shepard-Davern [the very end of West 7th Street, near the airport] to look at new developments, redevelopment opportunities, etc.

Headline: Carter accepts new post as state director of early learning; November election set to fill his seat in Ward 1
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: Report on CM Carter's decision to step down from the City Council. Article gives overview of his accomplishments from 1.5 terms. The City Council will appoint an interim, but would prefer that they don't run in November. Declared candidates include Noel Nix, Adam Robinson [and I've heard Johnny Howard, Debbie Montgomery, and two Hmong-Americans that I don't know. I covered Montgomery's tenure in this office before, and did not like her very much. (See this TCSidewalks post from 2006.)]

Headline: Holden throws his hat in the ring for mayor; Midway businessman is running as independent
Author: Kevin Driscoll

Short short version: the guy who owns the building that houses the lingere shop on University Avenue is running against Mayor Coleman [because nobody else is doing it]. His platform includes more parking, not liking the Saints stadium (because of "traffic congestion"), not liking the achievement gap between people of color and white students, and not liking the loss of Macy's.

Headline: $1.5 million study looks at ways to improve mass transit between downtown St. Paul, MSP Airport; West 7th, Shepard Road and 35E Parkway are all being eyed for upgrade
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Ramsey Councy is undergoing "preproject development" for transit along the "Riverview Corridor" [which is another way of saying West 7th Street]. They tried this back in the 1990s, but this time, it's different. The transit investment seems to be focused on a streetcar, but not necessarily, and seems to be focused on West 7th Street, but not necessarily. It has a large list of local politicians backing the plan. The study will "determine if the Riverview Corridor merits a higher level of transit service than it is currently getting." [That's a loaded question if I've ever seen one.]

Headline: Judge dismisses suit over Pizza Luce's parking lot
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A lady sued over the Pizza Lucé parking lot, but the judge threw it out.

Headline: Summit Hill home allowed to keep disputed driveway
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A family on Fairmount Avenue can have a driveway in their front yard, but can't park on it.

Headline: Planning Commission to discuss Grand Ave. zoning
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Planning Commission [tomorrow] will decide what to do about the rezoning study about density and development along the West End of Grand Avenue [by St Thomas].

Headline: Summit-U grocery ordered closed for fencing stolen goods
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A corner store on Victoria Street was caught for "food stamp trafficking." It'll likely lose its license.

Headline: Development comes at a price in Lowertown: Nighttime noise
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There will be more sound in Lowertown in the future, including this summer (because of street construction, bridge construction, stadium construction). Article includes quote from organizers of the local Zen center: "we've meditated through a lot of noise." [Not sure why "nighttime" is here in the headline? Most construction work happens in the day.]

Headline: Parking opens up on Grand Avenue for new French Meadow Bakery and Café; Pagagonia parking lot is restriped with 33 spaces
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The old Coffee News is becoming a French Meadow and will share the Patagonia parking lot.

Headline: Twin Cities' 80-year affair with the streetcar ended 60 years ago
Author: Peggie Schommer and Jane McClure

Short short version: [By sheer coincidence] the Twin Cities' streetcar system closed at the exact same time that the Villager began publishing. Article includes lots of streetcar history.

Headline: St. Paul may revive streetcars as connection to other transit; feasibility study looks at 18 possible routes along major arterials
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Report on St. Paul's streetcar study, including some discussion of modern streetcars and their "appeal." Article includes quote from West 7th neighborhood memberl "It's a pretty big ball of wax."

Headline: Ford Motor Co. was just the start; Before Highland Park became the neighborhood it is today, city fathers envisioned it as a large industrial tract
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Complete history of highland. Plentiful and cheap land, hydro power, all this land coulda been a huge factory.

Headline: Cradle of the city; West 7th served as birthplace for many groups that defined St. Paul
Author: Lisa Heinrich

Short short version: Complete history of West 7th/7 Corners. Great 1934 photo of amazing old building. Lots of stories of famous men.

Headline: Selby's steady resurgence
Author: Lisa Heinrich

Short short version: Complete history of Selby / Cathedral Hill. Lots of details about architecture, nadir off the street in the 70s.

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