Signs of the Times #141


[Location forgotten.]


[Metal spinny thing. Seattle, WA.]


[Tree. Seattle, WA.]


[Door. Seattle, WA.]


[Board. Seattle, WA.]

SINCE 1979

[Door. Seattle, WA.]

 i had
to tap

[Board. Seattle, WA.]


[Location forgotten.]


[Near 35E, Saint Paul.]


Twin City Sidewalk Vendors #5

 [Seattle, WA.]

 [Lex-Ham, Saint Paul.]

 [Loring Park, Minneapolis.]

 [Lowertown, Saint Paul.]

 [West Side, Saint Paul.]

 [West 7th, Saint Paul.]

 [Crystal Court, Minneapolis.]

[Vancouver, BC.]


Reading the Highland Villager #213

A Villager on a sunny patio.
[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. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free. See also: Three Reasons Why I Re-Blog the Highland Villager.]

Headline: City thinks liquor may be a quicker way to revive University's streetscape
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city is thinking of creating new "commercial development districts" along University Avenue, which currently has a lot of vacant storefronts and businesses. Currently the number of liquor licenses in the city are limited by ward. Commercial development districts are exempt from those limits, which would effectively increase the number of available licenses. [This is a weird article to me. The ward limits on licenses were always a strange concept, and the Midway has always had far more existing bars in general because there were so many bars here historically. In fact, there are fewer bars in the Midway than there used to be, according to my research and conversation with people on the topic.] Article quotes Dan O'Gara [for some reason]. Also includes a quote from the guy who just bought the Town House. [Commercial development districts are not limited to bars, it's worth point out. I am not aware of other benefits that come with this designation. A preferable policy would be to just get rid of the arbitrary and unequal cap on licenses by ward in the first place. For example, Ward 3 only has 3 liquor licenses, I have been told.] Article includes some history of the "commercial development district" concept, whicy dates to the "1980s as a way to cluster bars and restaurants in entertainment districts." [I am guessing that Saint Paul liquor policies were looser / better before the 1980s? I wonder what problem people were trying to solve.] Article also mentions history of liquor regulations for restaurants, which changed recently. Article ends with a nod to the recent "commercial development district" by Can Can Wonderland, which was expanded to allow a new axe-throwing establishment. [A good note to end on.]

Headline: Sign ordinance changes raise red flags for Scenit St. Paul; Some fear revisions targeting new sports facilities could have unintended results
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city is allowing new signs at the old Daytons' building-cum-hockey rink and the new soccer stadium. CM Prince and a group aimed at ridding the city of billboards are concerned. There was a public hearing at the Planning Commission but nobody showed up. The group, Scenic St. Paul [see my article on their efforts], wants to reduce sign clutter in the city. Quote from their spokesperson, John Manillo: "In some ways, we'd be gutting the sign ordinance." Quote from CM Prince: "a lot of big changes." The new ordinances reduces the minimum seating requirement for places with new signs from 10K to 1K. The hockey rink building would have flashing signs. [Honestly, when this was at the Commission I did not realize it would apply downtown as well as at the soccer stadium. I don't think the "Treasure Island Center" needs electronic flashing signs. The building is bad enough as it is. It's like, "can we make this any uglier?" "How about some loudly flashing digital signs?" "Perfect." ]

Headline: Proposed rezoning offers 'bold reimaning' of Marshall; City considers high density along avenue in Union Park
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There is a plan put forward by a neighborhood, currently before the Planning Commission, to downzone parts of Marshall and upzone other parts. Some areas would be TN mixed-use zoning, but others would be zoned for less density than is currently allowed. Neighbors are concerned about preserving historic homes. Quote from one person: "we need to put the growth where the transit opportunities are." [Note that some of this rezoning plan is along a proposed aBRT route, that would follow the route of the #21 bus.] Some neighbors would like to see the gas stations and golf course rezoned for more density. A guy who owns a lot of historic single-story commercial buildings would like them to be zoned T3 so that he can redevelop them. Quote from him: "through proper zoning we could open the door to non-students at some of our most important coners." Neighbors are concrend about people trying to buy their homes, and the rising price of housing in general. Neighbors are also concenred about the existence of students.

Headline: St. Paul airs plan for a more pedestrian-friendly Midway Area; Boulevard and three parks planned near University-Snelling
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The [parking lot-laden] area around the under-construction soccer stadium will get some new parks, streets, bike lanes, and sidewalks. The "station area plan" is being updated. New housing is probably being built where a bank used to be. Further to the west, more housing and commercial buildings are being built. 

Headline: Area projects wishing upon $2.7 million in STAR funds for 2018; Grants for Treasure Island, Boyd Park playgrounds among those rejected
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Some projects will get city money, and some will not. Improvements to Rice Park are being funded, and probably also a cafe on Snelling and an old fire station that is being redeveloped. Some projects did not get money, including a playground on Warwick Street and a Boyd Park play set. Many of the requests are small amounts for matching funds for things like signage. Article includes more details about projects. [Pretty small potatoes, but nice to see the city supporting businesses to some degree.]

Headline:  Traffic issues raisd by O'Gara's project get closer scruity
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Neighbors are concerned about traffic and parking near a building that will probably be redeveloped at Snelling and Selby. Public Works is studying things.  Article includes details of the project, and the history of O'Gara's [which is where Charles Shulz's Schulz's dad had his barber shop][To my mind, walking around the area is much better since they built the Vintage/Whole Foods on the corner.]  The developers are looking at ways to reduce car ownership and usage in the new building, including transit cards and shared mobility options. There will also be fewer curb cuts in the new building. [Good news! Now to close Ayd Mill Road, and Selby will have become a real neighborhood street again.]

Headline: Summit Hill urges caution in allowing accessory dwellings; Residents fear addt'l homes on single-family lots may lead to blight
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: [Blight? Really? What are we back in the 1970s? Blight on Summit Hill? Um, yeah. That is not happening. It's like I'm trapped in Jonathan Franzen's novel about Saint Paul.] The city might expand the ADU ordinance to be city-wide. [So far there has been one (1) ADU built in Saint Paul.] Previously it was only along the Green Line. There was a meeting about this in Summit Hill. Neighbors are concerned about airBnbs, [and traffic and paring, though the article does not say so].  New ADUs are expensive. Quote from woman on West 7th: "I don't think we'll see lots of requests for new units." 

Headline: Commission reccommends plan for five-mile bike and pedestrian trail' Proposed route among old railroad spur is still many years, many dollars away
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The old rail line that used to go to the Ford factory might become a bike/ped trail. Quote from city planner: "this is a project that really needs a champion." There might or might not be a bridge over West 7th street. The rail spur has not yet been purchased. Putting the study together cost $200K. Neighbors are concerned about the possible existence of transit near their homes.

Headline: Parking improvements sought for Starbucks on Snelling Ave.
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Starbucks drive-thru might be modified. Article includes a reference to a hashtag, mentions of bollards and police officers.

Headline: RiverCentre parking ramp to receive $1.25M in repairs
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old downtown parking ramp is falling down, and the city is going to spend money to try and fix it. These will be "interim" fixes. The state did not offer to pay for the ramp. [This will not end well. It is also not a good use of city money, as building a new ramp is insanely expensive.]

Headline: Sound variance granted for Lexington Pkwy. resurfacing
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The big machines that are repaving Lexington will work overnight for one evening. There will be no jackhammering between 7pm and 7am. There will be bike lanes added to part of the street.

Headline:  City stays fine for Trend Bar's failure to record spring assault
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: An old bar on University Avenue did not video tape an assault and has been placed on [double secret] probation. [This bar used to be a mortuary in the 1930s.] Quote from owner: "it's a really tough neighborhood right now." 

Headline: City fines Budget Towing for last year's license violations
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A tow truck company did not park its vehicles properly on its site and was fined $500. [Take that, Budget Towing!]

Headline: St. Paul takes historic look at preserving its Africa-American culture
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There is a study about the history of African-Americans in Saint Paul. The goal is to "ensure that significant African-American buildings and other resources are protected with the same due diligence that historic assets of [other] groups [receive]." Article mentions lots of cool details.


The Best of "Jeff gives Joe Soucheray the Bird" Confrontation

[The pink shorted professional troll retreats into his dark garage.] 
Last week, following another dumb Soucheray column -- "Save us from the scooter hippies, bureaucrats. Seriously." -- a brave and noble Saint Paulite took the liberty of dropping a Bird scooter off at Joe's house.

The resulting encounter was elegantly captured on video, and the results set my heart racing with excitement.

You can watch the whole thing, and you should, but here are the highlights:

#5. The shorts

The pink shorts and boat shoes, at this point a synecdoche for privileged bro (no offense Nate), were on full display. Keep in mind there was no advance notice for the encounter. This is what Joe wears around the house.

The guy who, In one of his many anti-bicycle columns, once disdainfully described bicyclists as "hypocrites who have a car or two in the driveway at home will now put on the Italian racing suits with jerseys that look like the labels on olive jars," wears his pink shorts and boat shoes around the house. The only thing missing from the uniform was the flipped-up collar.

So now you know.

#4. The weird Rolling Stone lyrics

For some reason, at the very end of the conversation, the confrontation devolves into the random quoting of Rolling Stone lyrics.
Joe: I don’t deserve that.
Jeff: Deserve what you want?
Joe: Sometimes you get what you want but you can’t get what you need.
Jeff: And you can’t always get what you want… so… I don’t know… but if you try sometimes...
Joe: ... you might get what you need…
Jeff: … sometimes you get what you need. So… anyhow…

Keep in mind that this is the same song Trump used at his 2016 campaign rallies. Frankly, I don't understand what is happening here.

#3. Is it fun?

Where Jeff tempts Joe with the possibility of riding a scooter, and Joe really wants to know, secretly, what it's like.

Joe: Are they fun?
Jeff: Uh, you just stand there and push a button. ... I’ll tell you this, these narrow handle bars are a little…
Joe: I got 16 motorcycles in here three years ago. I’m done.
Jeff: Done? Done with two wheels… well
Joe: Don’t leave that pice of shit here. Keep going.
Jeff: It’s a done deal. I’ve ended my ride Joe.
Jeff: If you change your mind and want to take it for a ride, by all means it’s here for you.

How tempting. And Jeff didn't really tip his hand about whether or not riding a Bird is fun. There's only one way to find out, and I can only imagine a scene like the time that George W. Bush fell off a Segway.

And sixteen motorcycles? JFC.

#2. The "five spot"

Where Jeffrey asks Joe for money. And Joe basically begs Jeff to take the scooter away. A stand-off commences where Jeff holds all the cards.

Joe: Get that fucking thing outa here. I don’t want it here.
Jeff: It's not my bird!
Joe: I know it's not yours and it's not mine. Do me a favor and take it back to the 18 hole course. Please and thank you, please and thank you. does that work?
Jeff: You got a five spot to get it back there?
Joe: I don’t have any money on me. I give my money to the poor people who wait at stop signs.
... [long pause]
Joe: Jeff get it out of here, do me a favor please.

Whereupon Jeff displays remarkable benevolence in reliving Joe of the unsightly yard scooter.

#1. The "end game"

Where Jeff forces Joe to contemplate his own mortality in exchange for the scooter removal.
Joe: please and thank you.
Jeff: If you answer me one question.
Joe: Yep
Jeff: Do you really write those articles every couple of weeks? The ones you write in the paper.
Joe: Well of course I do. yes.
Jeff: Ok
Joe: It’s my truthful answer. Do you like them or hate them?
Jeff: [very very long sigh] I love to hate them. But I feel like there’s a lot of repetition. There’s a total of about 6-8 articles that you write and they just get repurposed.
Joe: I’ll consider that. I’ll think about that. I’ve been doing this a long time
Jeff: I know you have. I used to listen to you on the radio
... [pause, Joe stares into the abyss]
Joe: I’m phasing out.
Jeff: What’s the end game?
Joe: I’m going to be 70. I know there is an end game but I haven’t figured out what that is yet... But please take that out of here. Please and thank you.
Yes. We all contemplate our fates in the dark garages of our souls. We all put our heads up the tailpipes of the festival pickup trucks of death, with only the grace of God or firefighters to cut us out once more.

In conclusion

As a final note, Soucheray is not someone who deserves much sympathy. He has gotten wealthy off of trolling and flaming animosity towards bicyclists and many other groups of people.

The worst bicycling example, from many of his columns with anti-cycling diatribes, included this bit:
Now, in the summer, a bicyclist can reasonably share the street and we motorists should just as reasonably share the streets with the cyclist, yes, even if they are wearing tight shorts and Italian racing jerseys. It is always important to remember that at home, they too have a Chevy Suburban and a worn-out video of "Breaking Away.''  
But in the winter, a cyclist is a menace to himself and to the motorist. Patrick Reusse, the plain-speaking sports columnist with the Enemy Paper, reported to me by telephone the following as he was heading to a Wild game the other night:  
"Hey, what's with these bikers on Summit?''  
"They are still out there,'' I replied.  
"Well, if they fall down in front of me, I will run over them in their snowmobile suits and squash them like a bug.''  
"That's dramatic.''  
"Oh, I'll call 911 and tell them where the body is, but I ain't stoppin'."  
I share his frustration. I imagine we all do. It must be a combination of extreme poverty, misplaced virtue, environmental theology, stubbornness and a contrarian nature that compels the winter bicyclist to navigate the rutted shoulder, or worse, just take up a lane and slow down the cars. I will not accept exercise as an excuse. What I witness is not exercise, but an improbable balancing act that mimics the first wobbly ride as a child.

So feel free to drop more scooters at his house everyone.


Secret Lakes of Saint Paul Bicycle Tour this Sunday

I'm am excited for a new tour I will be leading this Sunday at 2pm. It's called "Secret Lake of Saint Paul," and is the follow up to the successful and exhilarating "Overlooked Lakes of Minneapolis" bike tour from 2016.

[An old Saint Paul lake map from over a century ago.]
The key idea is that certain charismatic lakes often receive all the attention and glory, garnering laud in proportion to their typically massive sizes or amenities. Think of your Comos or Minnetonkas or Lakes of the Isles...

And yet, the hydrological and limnological landscape is far more complex than this simple "chain of lakes" or "grand rounds" landscape. There are all kinds of small, obscure, overlooked, or even secret lakes hidden about.

Just as with Minneapolis, this will be a bike ride to visit and explore the overlooked and secretive lakes that exist (or once existed) in Saint Paul. It'll be a relatively lengthy bike ride, to visit as many of the secret wet spots as I can possibly fit into the schedule. The result is 20 miles through Saint Paul, visiting at least 6 and possibly more lakes, depending on your ontology.

(Sadly we won't be able to visit the odd river lakes; that will have to wait for another day and another ride.) 

What: Guided bike tour of secret, lesser-known, or obscure "lakes" in Saint Paul, Minnesota
Who: Anyone who wants to ride bikes
When: Sunday 7/29 at 2pm
Where: Meet a the Como Pavillion / Spring Café on Lake Como
Why: Because they're mostly there

Note: This will be a slow-paced "no drop" ride. We'll cover twenty (20) miles in about 3 hours, and end at an optional food and/or drink establishment.

[A few lake teasers follow.]


Twin City Bike Parking #34


 [River Road, Minneapolis.]

 [Southeast, Minneapolis.]

[Downtown, Saint Paul.] 

 [Saint Paul.]

 [Downtown, Saint Paul.]

 [Downtown, Minneapolis.]



Shopping Carts are Worse than Scooters

[Worse than scooters.]
In just a one-mile walk down Snelling Avenue the other day, I found four different shopping carts on the sidewalk.

How are these different from scooters?

They both are owned and "operated" by private for-profit businesses.

They both serve a functional transportation purpose for people.

They both clutter the right-of-way.

The big difference is that the Bird scooter company comes and picks up their scooters every night. Meanwhile, Cub, Target, Walmart, and a dozen other negligent shopping cart suppliers just let these mechanical dockless for-profit devices onto the streets and hardly ever clean them up.

On the scale of "posing a menace to sidewalks", I'd rank scooters somewhere below shopping carts and "men working" construction signs, and just above plastic newspaper boxes and slightly-too-large sidewalk cafes.


What I Said about the Snelling / Marshall Starbucks back in 2015

[One of my photos visiting and observing the Starbucks in 2017.]
The Snelling / Marshall Starbucks is up for review at the Planning Commission after two years of being in operation. At the time it was first approved, I remembered being upset about the inclusion of the drive-thru and I remember voting against it.

But I don't really remember how adamantly or reluctantly I spoke about the plans for the drive-thru and building. In my memory, I predicted traffic and safety problems, and expressed concerns about the proposal.

But was that really true? What was really said about this coffee shop design back in 2015, when all anyone had to work from were some basic diagrams and renderings?

Because Planning Commission meetings are recorded, there is evidence! I requested the audio of the discussion at the September 18th, 2015 Planning Commission meeting where the group approved the Starbucks. At the time, I was not on the Zoning Committee, which is where the more fine-grained vetting of site plan proposals and zoning variances take place. (I am now on that committee...) So the full Commission meeting was my only chance to speak up about the proposal.

Here's a rough transcript of the conversation, with the full audio embedded afterward for the curious:
Chair Wencl [after Commissioner Nelson’s report on the Zoning Committee application]: Open for discussion. Commissioner Lindeke?

Me (Commissioner Lindeke): I’m curious about two things. One is, I received mixed messages about whether or not there were traffic studies done or traffic concerns from Ramsey County or MnDOT. I’m just recalling all the times that trying to do anything to improve pedestrian safety on Snelling Avenue, and MnDOT or someone will say “oh well that can’t be done.” And here there is a case where there are, I think, legitimate concerns about this kind of use, and and how it could affect traffic flow. And at one point it says Ramsey county and MnDOT have looked at this and its fine and at another point is says that there’s a lot of traffic here already and therefore no traffic study is required, and you just told me that they’re going o look at it later. That’s a mixed message and I don’t understand what’s going on. 
The other question is that the developer said that other uses would not fit here and that seems like something that I don’t know any developer might say, so I’m curious what what other uses were predicted or projected by the community or the basic general questions is about how drive-thrus increase any property's value, if you have retail and add a drive-thru you’ll make a lot more money because its kind of easier, but we kind of discourage them in certain specific areas for a lot of reasons and so I just think we should have a more through conversation about it. 
[referring to Commissioner Nelson] I don’t know if that’s for you or who…

Commissioner Nelson: [gives an answer about the traffic studies from the engineering firm hired by Starbucks, basically described the study numbers with counts, about how the Snelling Avenue bridge was closed at the time, and that the studies did not have an accurate baseline. Said he cannot predict what the nearby the Vintage apartment and grocery store project would do to affect traffic. Added that other developments were looked at and the developer was looking to find a use for the site and talked to a mattress store and a cell phone store. Said that the traffic in and out of the site for curb cuts would have been the same location.] 
Commissioner Nelson [continuing]: The site, the way its set up, the curb cuts are as far from the intersection as they possibly can get. There are some things you can see that the site plan that’s been drawn indicates Marshall avenue and a bike lane. There were some modifications to the site plan as this has gone through development. For example, there is an island that has bene added at the exit to marshal avenue, what one of the people speaking referred to as a pork chop…  
Me [interrupting]: That’s one of my favorite terms
Commissioner Nelson: ... that and sideburns right? ... the island which channelizes the traffic into a right turn onto Marshall so that traffic own’t be coming out of the parcel and go over to snelling. By turning right on Marshall… there is one more street you can go back into a frontage road and hop back onto 94, so there have been some traffic mitigation measures put into place w/r/t the site plan. 
Traffic and bicycle safety were definitely items that were brought up, and one suggestion from one of the Commissioners was that the bike lane be looked at very carefully along that area in order to help separate bikes and traffic along the Marshall street frontage on the south side of the road.

[referring to a city planner] Mr Williams would you like to add something to that?

Josh Williams: I guess if the questions of Comm. Lindeke have been answered to his satisfaction I don’t feel like I need to add anything else, but I’m happy to. 
Me: I still think it’s kind of a lazy development and the idea that most of the space is going to just be, anyone who’s ever driven to work knows that stopping to get coffee is something that a lot of people want to do. 
I just feel like its’ going to be a parking lot filled with idling cars that are not... it’s not going to be an asset to the neighborhood. There’s a Starbucks two blocks down and I feel like we should respect the vision of the zoning that was put in in the first place, and w/r/t traffic, this question, you can imagine what’s going to happen. Normally I don’t really concern myself too much about commuting, but I don’t think it’s an asset, so I’m going to vote against it. 
[Commission has an extended discussion about Floor Area Ratios (FAR) and the nature of variances, involving Commissioner Perrus, Commissioner Shively, Commissioner Noecker, Commissioner That, and Commissioner Edgerton.] 
Chair Wencl [introducing the final vote and her stance against the proposal]: Because along with that the traffic problems that would only be additional to what is already happening on Snelling Avenue, I’ve got a particular concern about the bike lane and the turning right on Marshall Avenue as well.

The Commission passed the Conditional Use Permit for a drive-thru and a variance for minimum Floor Area Ratio on a vote of 12-5. with Comms. Wang, Wencl, Lindeke, Merrigan, and Noecker voting no.

In retrospect, there was a lot of discussion about the FAR variance but not that much about the CUP for the drive-thru.

Appended are some more documents and public comment about the drive-thru:


LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE - Obscure Museums Tour #3: Somali Museum of Minnesota to House of Balls on July 21st

It's all coming together for another visit to some obscure museums, these located in Minneapolis, Minn.

(I might have some Obscure Museums of Saint Paul coming up soon.)

You might recall some previous obscure museums visited:
  • the Flem museum
  • the Stephen Frenz ten-years-ago Minneapolis influencers portrait gallery
  • the Cycling Museum of Minnesota
  • the (lost) site of the Minnesota Raquetball Hall of Fame
  • the Minnesota Streetcar Museum
  • the Hennepin History Museum
  • and more!

Well on July 21st, we will visit three more. They are each delightfully arranged within a five (5) mile bicycle ride in South Minneapolis.

We'll be going to the Somali Museum of Minnesota, the Vintage Music 78 record collection, and the famous House of Balls.

The date is Saturday July 21st, from noon to about 3pm. Bring a bicycle.

The ticket price includes admission to the Somali Museum of Minnesota, a worthy endeavor is ever there was...

As always, Patreon patrons get a discounted price, so sign up there if you'd like to get advance notice of tours and events, and discounted price for ticketed tours.

There is limited space available, so get your ticket today if you'd like this private tour of the Somali Museum and two other obscure spots of Minneapolis lore.

I hope to see you there.


VERY LIMITED SPACE for Saint Paul Hummus and Alley Tour this Saturday

Last minute opportunity!

Did you know that, in under a mile of sidewalk, you can find five (5) different unique hummus establishments in Saint Paul?

Similarly did you know that these same areas of town boast some strange alleys and quasi-alleys worth exploring?

For years I have fantasized about having a tour where people walk around an interesting Snelling Avenue-proximate area of Saint Paul and explore some of the hummuses hummi (?), weird nooks, an quasi-alleys that exist in the middle of the city. My sister and brother-in-law are coming to town this weekend and it seems like a great time to get this going.

On the tour, there will hummus or baba ganoush purveyors from Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Greece, and the United States, along with strange alleys, short blabs about Middle Eastern urban design practices and Saint Paul history, and some miscellaneous local history highlights.

*** NOTE: This is a ticketed event and there is limited space available! *** 

What: This will be a guided walking tour just over a mile in length, featuring four humus and alley stops.
When: The eating and walking tour is this Saturday at 12:30pm.
Where: The walk is about one mile. There will be snacks. Ticket price includes hummuses.
Why: Because it's there.


Reading the Highland Villager #212

[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. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free. See also: Three Reasons Why I Re-Blog the Highland Villager.]

Headline: Ryan Cox. Revs up for redevelopment of old Ford Plant
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A developer was chosen by Ford Mo. Co. to redevelop the site of the old factory. They are the same people that developed other buildings in the area. Article includes details about zoning and planning for the site. Article includes quotes from CM Tolbert and Mayor Carter. [Having a developer with local experience seems like a good thing.]

Headline: Candidates for Ward 4 lay out priorities
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Different people are running for the City Council seat vacated by Russ Stark. Article has some quotes from them. [Stay tuned for more on this race on this blog.]

Headline: Rezoning recommended for 5-story Selby-Snelling project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Planning Commission approved rezoning the O’Gara’s building and parking lot to TN3 zoning. The owner of the building wants to build a five-story building there instead of the two-story bar and one-story parking lot. [Charles Shultz’s Schulz's dad’s barber shop was located in this building. There are car doors on the walls now. The community big band used to play here in a small room.] Neighbors are concerned about traffic, parking, and privacy. Some of the apartments would be affordable at an unknown percentage of area median income.

Headline: Wellington planning mixed-use building at Snelling and Shields
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: 175 apartments might be built where a one-story drive through bank is located. It would be mixed use and keep room fo rate bank. The developer is are concerned about drive thrus and parking.

Headline: Council denies appeal of 6-story building at St. Clair-Snelling
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council rejected an appeal of a Planning Commission by concerned neighbors about a new apartment building where a one-story dumpy strip mall is located. CM Tolbert is quoted. CM Prince was the lone vote in opposition to the building approval. Neighbors are concerned about privacy.

Headline: County Board OKs plan for new Riverview corridor streetcar line
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The plans for a streetcar were approved in a vote. It would be almost two billion dollars and might be done by 2028. The county is now going to seek federal funds.

Headline: Discussion continues on rerouting Lexington through Riverside site
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: There was a meeting about the plan to re-route a street at a dangerous intersection. Neighbors are concerned about getting in and out of their neighborhood with a new traffic signal.

Headline: After 96 years in business, it’s lights out for Brinkman Service [pun alert!]
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A lampshade and lamp restoration business closed.

Headline: Celebration set for opening of Rondo Commemorative Plaza
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: July 14th, they will have an event for the plaza.

Headline: St. Paul imposes license cap to restrict new tobacco shops
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The total number of smoke shops in the city will be 242.

Headline: Centennial Showboat to get new home at Winona museum
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The big empty boat on the river will go downstream.

Headline: Discussion set on space plans for Snelling, Westgate stations
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Planning Commission will look at changes to some LRT station area plans to add some green spaces and plazas for some big projects.

Headline: Permit, variance approved for Morning Star Church project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A one-story church and parking lot is going to be replaced with a three-story 95-unit mixed-use apartment building.

Headline: After nine years and a ton of pizzas, DiNoko’s says goodbye
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A pizza place in Minneapolis closed.

Headline: Comments sought on study of future use of Mpls. locks
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The lock and dam by the Ford site might be changed someday. They are expensive to operate but not needed for transportation purposes.

Headline: Blending into the neighborhood; award honors new construction with historic appeal
Author: Roger Barr

Short short version: The Mac-Grove neighborhood is going to have an award for new houses that don’t look new. This was done previously in Minneapolis. Article mentions the debate over having a conservation district in the area as well. [This is nice but will not likely do much to solve the problems people have with tear downs.]

Headline: MnDOT will pay for the replanting of I-94 berm
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The utility company cut down and bulldozed $10K worth of vegetation that was planted along the freeway, but MnDOT is going to replant it after they had approved the clearance permit. Xcel thinks the bushes were too close to the power lines but neighbors do not think so.

Headline: Council upholds variances for Laurel-Dale row house project
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The City Council will let a company build six-units of a row house after neighbors appealed. Neighbors are concerned about traffic and parking.