Reading the Highland Villager #88

[A Villager waits for a table.]
[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: State takes over St. Paul health inspections; City employees accused of making 'critical' mistakes
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version:  The city hasn't been inspecting restaurants or grocery stores very well or often. After many threats, the state Departments of Agriculture and Health has started doing it instead, pissing off folks down at City Hall. 15 "inspectors" could lose their jobs. Nouns mentioned include: rodent droppings, "serious errors," backlogs, "hostile takeover."

Headline: New formula levels field for district councils; City revises funding to reflect population of its 17 districts
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: 10 years ago, the city approved a "revised funding formula" to account for shifts in population across the city, mainly shifting money from neighborhoods losing population to neighborhoods with stable populations. It was never implemented [presumably because it's politically unpopular]. The shift had been postponed a few years ago. Losers include: Summit-University, Lex-Ham, Ramsey Hill, Downtown. Winners: two on the East Side, Highland Park, West 7th, Mac-Groveland.

Headline: Redevelopment would transform Snelling-Selby ["Transform" might be a bit of an exagguration?]
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A surface parking lot and an old one-story commercial building are to become a large mixed-use development. The Getten Credit building [long one of my favorite perhaps inadvertent pun names] is the first to go. Neighbors are worried about traffic. They'd like money for a study. [A study would be useless unless it had a definitive plan for Ayd Mill Road.] There will be a grocery store! [I'm going to guess a Lund's? Also, for some reason the article includes picture of someone riding a bike on the small sidewalk in front of the Snelling Starbucks.]

Headline: Plan targets Snelling-Selby parking crunch; Shared parking lots, new parking meters and permit parking are all in the offing
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Neighbors and business people listened to the city talk about how to make sure people can park their cars at Snelling and Selby. One plan is to build a shared commercial lot. Also, the city is interested in looking at a parking improvement district. [Shoup 101, something I wanted to see in Lowertown, too!] Money from meter revenue would go to pay for "free customer parking lots." [Well, that's sort of the idea, except that parking revenue in theory doesn't go to pay for free parking elsewhere. That seems paradoxical somehow? People paying more to park to subsidize free parking in the same corner? Not sure that supply-demand thing is gonna work.] Some residents don't like parking meters. One business owner "questioned whether customers would be willing to walk a block or more." [If they're not, there's something deeply wrong with Saint Paul.] Article includes choice quote: "Everyone knows where free parking is. It's kind of amazing."

Headline: Commission launches 'fish and fowl' zoning study; City to address growing public interest in raising, processing their own food
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Saint Paul people desiring to farm and/or butcher fish or fowl may be able to do so in the future [anything without hooves, really. Apparently this group includes hippie organic folks and hmong].

Headline: Local historic status sought to save crumbling Island Station
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council had a public hearing about whether to grant historic designation for the old [almost always obsolete] abandoned power plant in the river valley. The property owner wants to demolish it, and cited a long list of vandalism-type activity as one reason. Local architecture and preservationist types want to keep it, and have dreams for what it might become. The National Park Service had once offered to buy it, but for a paltry sum. [Update: the City Council decided yesterday not to grant historic designation, and now a property owner will be able to demolish it if they want. And they will want.]

Headline: Beacon group assembles financing for new shelter for homeless youth
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A group is going to build a 44-unit building for homeless youth at University and Prior.

Headline: Khaliq sworn in as Ward 1's rep
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: That's Nathaniel Kaliq.

Headline: Neighbors raise a stink over opening of new Wild Wings
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The new Buffalo Wild Wings smells like fried food, surprising neighbors. Best quote: "The smell was absolutely horrendous... it was a heavy, greasy smell." Also: "I laid down to sleep and the sheets on the bed smelled like grease." Article includes possible solutions, a vent and/or a closed-loop system. There is some debate about an existing curb cut. BWW promised to get rid of it, but MNDOT says they need to keep it because of [traffic traffic Snelling traffic blah blah].

Headline: Blue Ox envisions 36-hole minigolf course at old Schmidt Brewery site; But West 7th Federation questions whether 18 holes might be enough
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, your new "death match" super-heated local Saint Paul issue!] The mini-golf developer wants to build a 36-hole course because it would be "more profitable." Neighborhood group president says it would be problematic, because they need some of the potential golf space for 50 parking spaces. [Look, I like mini-golf way more than the next guy, but 36 holes is a lot of holes. Hell, Big Stone only has 13... But wait, I have another idea. Maybe we combine them. Mini-golf holes SLASH parking lot. People park their cars to create obstacles, parking on the greens. Holes are located in between SUVs filled with kids. No Wait! Beer patio SLASH parking lot SLASH mini-golf course SLASH Como Zoo extension, so you have a drink in one hand, a putter in the other, and are chasing a monkey who has your golf ball through a pissed-off bumper car course of Costanzas... Just a thought.]

Headline: Expenses outpacing revenues by close to $1M at city's golf courses
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Saint Paul's golf courses continue to lose money. [Why can't we privatizes crap like this?, or find something else to do with the space? E.g. cross country skiing in the wintertime! Yay! Maybe use one of the courses for mountain biking or, you know, something that's actually popular and stuff. Frolf. Lacrosse. Lawn darts. 36-hole mini-golf courses.]

Headline: Council sets building height limits on west end of Grand
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city passed the proposed zoning changes [see here] on Grand Avenue by Saint Thomas.

Headline: Wild Onion is finally allowed to serve liquor on its patio
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [At long last, dreams can come true!]  There are 11 "conditions." [For example, patio-goers must keep their their collars flipped up at all times.]

Headline: Council fines pedal pub for operating without a license
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Look out, Saint Paul. There's a rogue pedal pub out there! Nobody is safe.] A pedal pub company with the [horrible] name "Three Buckaroos" did not have the appropriate license, approvals, or signage. Also, apparently this company was letting people drink whiskey, which is verboten.

Headline: Armadillo band will have fest jumpin'
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [I'm just gonna let your imagination run with that one.]


Anonymous said...

Is there a subscription option for this blog? Good reading for st paulites.

Julie said...

There is in fact skiing at the golf courses in the winter. Como has the big ski center and ski lessons. Phalen is a popular course with people who wish to avoid the Glacier at Como (and the crowd). Highland is the skijoring site (ski with dog).

So that? Happens.

Battle Creek is also noted for their excellent ski prep and trails in winter, but no golf course there. Just trees.