St. Paul plans bike-friendly improvements to Marshall Avenue

In an effort to become more biker-friendly, St. Paul plans to add safer biking lanes along Marshall Avenue that will connect to other major bike routes. Scheduling of the project depends on funding, but St. Paul Department of Public Works Sustainable Transportation Engineer and Planner, Reuben Collins said that it could be completed by 2016.“While we can appreciate a bit of healthy competition with our neighbors to the west, the Twin Cities as a whole has far more to gain when we perceive ourselves to be collaborators rather than competitor,” Collins said. “Part of the reason Marshall Avenue is such a critical corridor is because it is one of only a few connections across the Mississippi River that facilitates interaction between residents and businesses across municipal boundaries.”Marshall Avenue was recognized as a bicycle alternative to University Avenue, and as an important connecting commuter route for bikers by the City’s 2010 Bike Walk Central Corridor Action Plan study. Continue Reading

Wayfinding Bikes popping up in St. Paul

As you travel through the Saint Anthony Park Neighborhood, you might start noticing painted bikes over the next few weeks as part of the Wayfinding Art Bike Project.The Wayfinding Art Bike project is collaboration between Saint Anthony Park Community Council, Minnesota State Arts Board, Irrigate Arts and artist Carrie Christensen. The bikes will be placed around the Saint Anthony Park area to increase awareness of bike and pedestrian safety.The bikes, in addition to creating awareness and encouraging bike and pedestrian safety, supports creative infrastructure for promoting biking and walking in the neighborhood.“The Wayfinding art bikes not only raises awareness of bikes and pedestrians by being highly visible to cars, but they are also meant to inspire people to walk and bike more by providing information on the time and distance to key locations in the community,” Christensen said.Christensen began the project last summer by working with the community of Saint Anthony to figure out bike location, developing the bike signs, and transforming the fleet of Wayfinding art bikes. Most of the bikes have been donated by residents of Saint Anthony Park and the surrounding area, but even more bikes have recently been donated by Mr. Michael Recycles Bicycles on University Avenue.Not only the Saint Anthony Park community, but also the online community have had a positive response to the project. Christensen said she has seen Wayfinding art bikes popping up over social media, blogs and other online media.“All the positive response has really expanded the scope of the project beyond our neighborhood,” Christensen said.The Wayfinding bike art is open to the community, and Christensen encourages those interested to contact her.“If you are affiliated with Saint Anthony Park or the Creative Enterprise Zone in any way you are welcome to get in touch if you want to be a lead artist or on a transformation team. You can be an artist or a transformation team if you live, work, go to school, or consider yourself part of the Saint Anthony Park Community,” Christensen said.Carrie can be reached at carrieannchristensen at gmail dot com.Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. Continue Reading

American Jewish World turns 100

American Jewish World (AJW) is in its 100th year of publication, and will celebrate 100 years since its founding in June. The newspaper serves as a bridge between the Jewish communities in not only the Twin Cities, but also Minnesota and even around the world. Rabbi Samuel N. Deinard: We are deeply convinced that a good local Jewish paper can do a great good to a Jewish community.AJW began publication in 1912 under the name Jewish Weekly. The publication was the first successful attempt at creating a publication for the founder, Rabbi Samuel N. Deinard, who tried multiple times to create a community newspaper. Deinard later teamed up with Leonard H. (Leo) Frisch who served as AJW’s managing editor before becoming the publisher for nearly 60 years. Continue Reading

ACTC Film Festival showcases Twin Cities college students

“Local Motives,” a film by Macalester student James Christenson, won best in show at the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cites (ACTC)  inaugural film festival on November 16. The ACTC festival, held at the St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, showcased films and other digital storytelling from students from five Twin City colleges as part of ACTC’s commitment to sustain urban communities through collaboration between local universities.Films and stories shown varied from serious to lighthearted; some were less than a minute long, others nearly reaching the maximum time limit of 10 minutes. Some films were even shot overseas, including Hamline University student Rachel Summer’s film “Parallels”, which was filmed in London during Summer’s study abroad in the United Kingdom.“Parallels” was a project Summer completed for a course at the American International University in London–Richmond. According to Summer, it was her first serious film“I had to write a script and eventually cast professional actors and actresses from London and audition them, scout locations, and do actual production,” Summers said. ACTC Film Festival entries (* indicates film nominated for Best in Show)Besti in Show: “Local Motives” by James Christenson (Macalester)*First runner-up: “Millionaire” by Tracy Sitterley (St. Continue Reading

St. Paul Ward 5 City Council race — Amy Brendmoen and Lee Helgen

In St. Paul’s Fifth Ward, both incumbent city councilperson Lee Helgen and challenger Amy Brendmoen sought the DFL endorsement, but the contest was too close and neither was endorsed. Looking toward the November general election, TC Daily Planet intern Liz Spielmann posed questions to both candidates. Ward 5 includes most of Como and North End neighborhods and part of the Payne Phalen neighborhood in St. Paul. Continue Reading

A new message: “Help the rich!”

Minnesota Wants to Work (MNWW) held a tailgating hot dog giveaway before the Minnesota Wild game in downtown St. Paul October 15, saying that the event was held in the hopes of raising money to help struggling rich people who are unwilling to pay their fair share. The event was the culminating action in a week of action coordinated across the nation. According to their website, MNWW is a campaign to organize workers who are unemployed, underemployed or experiencing unstable or temporary employment to call for good jobs, employment opportunity and economic justice throughout Minnesota. The week of Take Action events varied from rallies, protests, and roundtable discussions with various union and MNWW members calling for the passage of the American jobs act. Continue Reading