Rash of burglaries sparks new block club

A rash of burglaries in the area have unnerved residents of this usually peaceful and relatively crime free neighborhood in the North End. On October 1, neighbors came together for the first meeting of a new block club, and the meeting focused on concerns about the burglaries. According to Rice Street beat officer Steve Lentsch, there is no one method of operation in these burglaries. The home burglaries have taken place night and day, sometimes with forced entry, other times through unsecured doors. During some of the burglaries residents were at home, other homes were robbed while the occupants were away. Continue Reading

Coen Brothers come to Rice Street

It was back to the 60s when the Coen brothers came to Rice Street on Monday, September 29. They brought their crew to film scenes for their new move, “A Serious Man,” which takes place in the late 1960s and is scheduled for release in December 2009. Herb Yoch is the longtime owner of the Rice Street Do It Best Hardware at the corner of Rice Street and Jessamine where a three car crash scene was staged for the movie. Just for the day, his store, which is a fixture on Rice Street, was renamed Gurlock Hardware. Brian Yoch, Herb’s son, says that the trim on the store was given a fresh coat of paint and signs were taken down and replaced with 60s era signage. Continue Reading

Check out our calendar!

We have a new community calendar, and it is ready for you to use. You can find the calendar icon at the top of column 4 on the front page and in the middle of column 1 on all other pages of the Daily Planet. Click on any date in the calendar icon, and you will go to a page listing events for that date. On the main calendar page, click on “month” to see all of the events in any month. Is your favorite organization or venue’s next event listed? Continue Reading

The Karen Community in St. Paul

St. Paul is home to the largest Karen refugee population in the U.S. There are approximately 3,000 Karen (pronounced Ka-REN) living in St. Paul, most of whom arrived in the 2003 resettlement wave. Many more families are expected to come to Minnesota over the course of this year in order to reunite with family members already living here. Most Karen live in the Arlington Avenue and Westminster areas or in Roseville. Continue Reading

Art Scoop at the Rice Street Festival

On a cool autumn evening last October the North End community held its first-ever Rice Street Art Scoop at Dar’s Double Scoop Ice Cream Shop. Kevin Barrett, owner of Dar’s, served pumpkin ice cream. Local artisans displayed their creative works including jewelry, pottery, paintings, and fresh floral displays. Uniquely decorated “arts cars” parked along Rice Street. Art Scoop at the Rice Street FestivalSaturday, July 26, 2008,Noon to 5 p.m.Washington Middle School fieldsRice Street, between Lawson and Cook, in Saint PaulThis Saturday the second Art Scoop will take place as part of the 2008 Rice Street Festival. Continue Reading

Wilder research finds “stable and enriching” low income homes

“Many low-income children have stable and enriching homes, where parents provide ample early learning opportunities and are hopeful about their children’s future. Nevertheless, too many low-income parents, along with the early learning providers and agencies aiming to help them, face daunting challenges and potential barriers for achieving school readiness.” In a nutshell, that was the conclusion of a Wilder research study focusing on school readiness of low-income children. The study suggests that access to high-quality early care and education should be provided to low-income families. Researchers also found that race and ethnicity play a part in the early learning conditions of low-income, urban families. “Overall, White families fare the best; African-American families fare a little better than Latino and Somali families, and Hmong families experience the most challenges to school readiness.”
The Study: Early learning conditions: Low-income families in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Wilder Research, April 2008Funded by the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation (MELF).Pilot Areas: Selected low-income neighborhoods in North Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading

“She’s always been there to help us”

Early on a cool, hazy Friday morning, people cross the street from McDonough Homes to stand in line at the garage located behind the large white house at Wheelock Parkway and Jackson Street in Saint Paul. Most are silent, keeping to themselves, though some engage in spirited conversations. After a while, the back door opens and Sister Kathleen Spencer steps outside, greeting everyone as she walks to the garage. When she opens the door, people slowly move into the garage where an assortment of bakery goods and other food awaits. Each person who enters receives a warm hug and a smile from Sister Kathleen. Continue Reading

Privatizing St. Paul Rec Centers

At first glance, Orchard Recreation Center looks like any other rec center in Saint Paul. However, when you approach the front doors you quickly notice the difference. Taped to the door, is a letter from the City of Saint Paul Division of Parks and Recreation that reads:
Dear Resident: As of January 1, 2008, Orchard Recreation Center will be leased to the St. Paul Blackhawks Soccer…Some recreation programs will be running through Orchard but most programming has been move[d] to recreation centers close by such as North Dale. If you have any further questions, please call 651-266-6400. Continue Reading