A celebration of Rice Street in pictures

Neighborhood folks gathered at the Rice Street Branch Library on Tuesday, September 15, for the gallery opening of the photography exhibit: We are the people in your neighborhood: a celebration of Rice Street in pictures. Professional photographer Sarah Stacke spent several weeks last year documenting Saint Paul’s North End neighborhood. The exhibit is in two parts, the photo gallery at the library and poster sized photos featuring Rice Street business owners that are on display in Rice Street storefront windows. The exhibit runs through October 15. Purpose of the public art exhibit is to foster a sense of community while supporting patronage of local businesses. Continue Reading

It’s FMA Live! and everything’s in motion

“Everything’s in motion” shouted out JJ, Eric and Katie as they performed a high energy hip hop dance at Washington Technology Middle School in St. Paul on April 16 and 17. They were here with FMA Live! a show that travels cross-country to promote Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion. Flickr slideshows do not display properly on some browsers. Continue Reading

Eagles fly this summer at St. Paul school

Middle school aged students can register now for the opportunity to attend the Eagles Summer Camp at Washington Technology Middle School located in the North End neighborhood of St. Paul. The Eagles Summer Camp is free to all Minnesota students who are entering 6th-8th grades in September The camp provides STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and enrichment classes, along with sports programming. Transportation is provided for free to students living in the Saint Paul Public School District and in the South Washington County School District. Lunch and snack are provided. Continue Reading

New management plan for Loeb Lake, a neighborhood treasure

Loeb Lake and the surrounding Marydale Park is a North End neighborhood treasure in the middle of the city. Despite its location near the busy intersection of Dale and Maryland, the quality of the lake water is good because it receives only a small amount of stormwater runoff from streets. Resolving to keep it that way, the Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) conducted a review and analysis of existing water quality and gathered information to determine the current condition of Loeb Lake as well as to develop goals to protect it and improve it. The CRWD presented the plan at a public meeting on December 10 at Crossroads School. The new management plan includes the nearby Willow Reserve, which was designated as a bird and wildlife sanctuary in the 1960s. Continue Reading

Santa Claus is coming to breakfast

Santa Claus is coming to breakfast on Sunday December 7, 2008, at Saint Bernard’s Parish Center located at Rice and Geranium in the North End of Saint Paul. Children can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and they will have a chance to enter the contest to win his special chair. There will also be a coloring contest and drawings every half hour for toys. Pancakes, scrambled egg ,and sausage will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Ticket prices are $ 6, and $4 for children four years of age and under. Continue Reading

Amateur radio operators “ share all they know”

“Be very, very careful. If you touch it you’ll get burned,” said Keith Miller , retired from the Saint Paul Police force, and now a volunteer in the Washington Technology Magnet Middle School. It’s after school on a Monday afternoon and Miller was showing students how to solder. “When the solder cools off, what happens?” Miller asked. Students answered, “It sticks together.”
The students belong to the Washington Radio Club where they are learning about wireless communication and using the ham radio system to broadcast. Continue Reading

Public transit in St. Paul’s North End: It’s all about the funding

With construction scheduled to begin in just 18 months, the North End community is looking ahead to the impact light rail transit (LRT) on University Avenue will have on the neighborhood. I attended the November 13 Town Hall Meeting, sponsored by the District 6 Planning Council and the Ward 5 City Council office. Many North End residents use public transportation and the meeting was called to discuss the importance of planning for future potential and opportunities for growth for the community as transit changes play out. Attendees told of the problems they encounter now, ranging from unaffordable bus fares to no service in their area to having to transfer many times to arrive at their destination. Lynn Belgea, lifelong resident of the North End, and a board member of the district council board does not use public transit and she explained why. Continue Reading

Struggling to succeed at North End

Despite years of declining enrollment, staff and many parents are enthusiastic about the new, district-funded program of gender-segregated classes at North End Elementary. Their enthusiasm holds in spite of the challenges the school faces this year: a 9% drop in enrollment and a $395,133 budget cut, or 13.4% from last year. Both enrollment and total budget are likely to continue decreasing as total numbers of elementary-school aged students in St Paul drops, part of larger demographic trends nation-wide.Background on gender-separated program at North EndThe district applied for and received grant funding to support a “University Academy of Excellence for Boys” at North End. The grant application said the program would focus on increasing achievement for African-American boys through culturally specific curriculum and teaching practices. North End has low enrollment, and the district hoped to attract more students to the new, gender-separated “academy.” Continue Reading

ACORN organizes new chapter in Saint Paul’s North End

Fed up with theft and vandalism, gangs and graffiti, and foreclosed homes in their neighborhood, a group of North End residents came together on Tuesday, November 11, to organize North End Neighbors United as a chapter of Minnesota ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). One by one, residents asked for a plan of action as they told of conditions on their block including the broken windows and the theft of copper pipe from the vacant homes. Cammie Clark, community organizer for ACORN, asked Ward 5 City Councilmember Lee Helgen, “Would you be willing to investigate the status of a list of vacant homes?” Helgen said, “My goal is to work with the process.”
Clark said the newest chapter is part of ACORN’s efforts to have a presence in neighborhoods. She began knocking on doors in August. ACORN will work with the District 6 Planning Council. Continue Reading