Things are finally starting to get back to normal in the new year, or the new normal. It seems like the changes are happening fast enough so that boomers like me can actually notice that normal changes at least yearly. For younger generations, change is normal, so noticing it is probably like noticing air. Maybe it’s that the change I notice is comprehensive and involves major forces like climate, globalization and communication. Staying up with that kind of change requires energy and a serious commitment. Solving these problems means all hands on deck, so I’m not too worried about staying active. There will always be a need for a fresh oar, even if it's aged. 

D12 – This Thursday, Jan. 17, 7-8:30, a conversation about the idea of making our neighborhood a Transition Town will be held at the Methodist Church. This forum, sponsored by the D12 Energy Resilience Group will explore ways to achieve the goals of rebuilding resiliency and reducing C02 emissions. For more information, visit the D12 website. www.sapcc.org…the Neighborhood Progressive Dinner is coming up on Feb. 23. You can download the registration form on the D12 website. I am a huge fan of this event and have met and gotten to know some fascinating and lovely folks because of it. 

Schools – Also this Thursday at 7pm, Murray Jr. High will host interested students and parents for information sharing and school tours. The incoming 6th graders will have their own area of the school for most of their classes but will join 7th & 8th graders for electives. Not quite sure if the former 6th grade teachers from the elementary schools will move over to Murray but it looks like all the current Murray faculty will stay and some new teachers will be hired for 6th grade. There’s much more on the sapsablog.com site supported by StAP Elementary School, so visit it if you want to know more about the transition. Special thanks to those volunteers and staff who served on the transition committee to help make things go as smoothly as possible. Sounds like it’s going well so far. There’s also info on the Murray web site…Como High Como Staff and students are taking part in 27 Acts of Kindness to pay tribute to the 27 victims who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. 

Listserv – the St. Paul Police Department monthly crime report seems to indicate things have been relatively calm in the new year aside from a few thefts…neighbors have been talking about a response to the recent violence. A number of emails have suggested various ways to support safe communities but no meeting has been scheduled as of yet. I expect one will surface soon, so keep your eyes and ears open…several neighbors have reported seeing a white car driving around with someone inside taking pictures of homes. There was a suggestion it might be Google but apparently Google has a recognizable car with a mounted camera. 

StAPnotes - Music in the Park Series will Feature David Finckel, cello & Wu Han, piano, Sunday, January 27, 4pm.  As “America’s power couple of chamber music,” they will play works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Debussy, as well as the rarely performed Sonata for Cello by Benjamin Britten…the Goldstein Museum of  Design is throwing a party celebrating an exhibition: Redefining Redesigning Fashion: Designs for Sustainability, Friday January 18th from 6-8pm in McNeal Hall. Food by Chow Girls, music by The Greenwood Tree. 

That’s all for now. Take care of yourself and be a good neighbor.