Reading the Highland Villager #92

[The Villager rearranges a deckchair.]
[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: Union Park recommends rezoning for Snelling-Selby redevelopment; But council still wants concerns about traffic and congestion addressed
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The neighborhood group gave their approval to the apartment development on Snelby that will have a Whole Foods, but not before hearing complaints about parking and traffic. Best quote, referring to the Snelby corner: "It's like Uptown over there."  [Sounds like the meeting was testy. PS I've been getting some pushback on my use of the term "Snelby" to denote the corner of Snelling and Selby. I do not care.]

Headline: Highland Library redesign unveiled
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The library on Ford Parkway will soon have more windows, chairs.

Headline: Former Island Station can come down
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The abandoned old coal plant in the river valley can be reduced to rubble now.

Headline: Station 19 expansion tops Fire Dept. projects for 2014; Chief proposes 1.2% budget hike outlines department priorities
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The fire department is asking for more money.

Headline: Mayor proposes 1.9 percent increase in the police budget; Five more officers, two additional crime analysts would be hired in 2014
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The police department is getting more money.

Headline: Council members air concerns over proposed CIB funding; Changes would delay completion of Palace expansion until 2016
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council debated the mayor's changes to the CIB recommendations [where he inserted $1M for sidewalk and streetscape beautification in Highland Village, despite the CIB committee not raking it very highly], particularly about the capital budget for the police department and a rec center in Ward 2. Pertinent quote, from CM Thune: "Everyone is asking me how come Palace [the name of the rec center] got screwed."

Headline: St. Paul breaks ground on $1.7M street-to-skyway connection
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Saint Paul is building a large tower next to the light rail station which will make it easy for people to get into and out of the skyway and to the forthcoming train. [Assuring that nobody will ever have to walk on the sidewalks of downtown Saint Paul ever again, thank the lord.] The city got a grant from Metro Transit. The tower and elevator will help people with disabilities. Pertinent quote: "The elevator will make it easier for people with disabilities seniors, people pushing trollers and the public to get to ... their homes, work and everything in-between, protected from the elements -- even the heat." [Yay! Keep people from going outside at all costs. Yay!] Another quote, from the mayor: "Central Station will be one of the busiest stations along the Green Line, so connecting it to the heart of downtown is critical." [Is the skyway the heart of downtown? If so, it's perhaps the downtown heart equivalent of a pacemaker.] 

Headline: Plan to bring the streetcars back brings out the curious in St. Paul
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city had an event where people talked about streetcars. Article defines them, and discusses the seven route candidates. Article includes bit on the larger context of streetcars in the Twin Cities re: Met Council.

Headline: St. Paul council seeks new limits on events requiring street closings
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Lots of people like to run and walk along a few beautiful streets in the city, especially on Sundays. People have complained, and so CMs Tolbert and Thune are trying to restrict how often people can do this, or at the very least, make people pay more. [Other cities are closing their streets to cars more often, encouraging people to walk and bike and run; meanwhile, Saint Paul is going to try to put a stop to it?] Pertinent quote, from CM Lantry: "Whether oyu pay or don't pay shouldn't be based on who you know." [Can't argue with that!]

Headline: St. Paul adopts compromise zoning for auto body shops
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Auto body shops can now appear in "traditional neighbhroods" some of the time, thanks to changes in the zoning code adopted because of the ABRA store on University Avenue. [Cue applause.]

Headline: Owner plans fitting end to Falls Hardware
Author: Bill Wagner

Short short version: The hardware store that's been open since 1908 on Minnehaha Avenue [THE ONE IN MINNEAPOLIS!] is closing. On the last day, the owner shook people's hands. He blames the general economy, the light-rail train [THE HIAWATHA ONE!] and the forthcoming street reconstruction for his business's demise.

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