Nice to take a little time off from my blogging to refresh, renew and celebrate the season. 2014 is here, and apparently thinks we need to remember that we live in a northern climate. Message delivered.  

So, we meet a new year and begin the dance of engagement. For our neighborhood and the metro, that dance includes the opening of the Green Line in late spring/early summer. How that will affect our district is hard to detail, but it will certainly mean more neighbors, more visitors, more traffic, and more business. In short, more community.

We’ve already had conversations about housing and transportation and there will be more. Change is eternal, managing change is essential and the best way to do it effectively is together. The Foundation hosted just such a conversation at our annual meeting. At that meeting we asked attendees what they valued most about our organization and bringing the community together to discuss important issues was high on the list. So, we will.

2014 is the Foundation’s 15th anniversary of convening, communicating, granting, supporting and leading. We want to celebrate by finding out how to do all that better. As many of you know, we started an endowment campaign in 2005 with an ambitious goal of $1M in pledges. We call it the Forever Fund because it would be there forever to support his neighborhood. Through the ups and downs of the economy, this community has come to within $40,000 of our total goal. That’s significant. In the next few months you will be hearing more about opportunities to help us reach our $1M goal. I hope you will join with friends and neighbors to secure a steady funding source that will be there no matter the ebb and flow of financial tides.

We will also celebrate at a special community event on May 11, Mother’s Day. The Foundation is joining together with the Schubert Club and Music in the Park Series to host two concerts - at 4 and 7pm at the UCC Church - by the popular musical group, New Standards. Aside from featuring musicians from some of the most famous Twin Cities groups of the past, this group includes bassist and native son, John Munson, who grew up on the corner of Doswell and Hythe. We are working with the trio to add a unique St.AP touch to the evening. Tickets will go on sale soon and I will pass on more information as it develops. Definitely save the date, it will be a great time.


Transition Town LUE (Land Use Efficiency) Event
The public is invited to see further examples of what Accessory Dwellings might look like Jan. 28 at 7pm at Luther Seminary's Northwestern Hall. The LUE group has connected local architects and homeowners to develop plans for second homes on appropriately-sized single lots.Whether you think the idea is great or problematic, you can view the plans and join the discussion. 


St.AP Elementary - Tomorrow, Jan. 9 at 5:30pm, Murray Principal, Stacy Theien-Collins will be on hand to talk to parents about Murray Middle School. Music teacher Brad Ollman was on MPR recently as part of its Music Teacher Feature, a new program that highlights the lives and work of music teachers throughout the state.

Murray - Monday, Jan. 13 at 7pm, the Murray Parent Association will be hosting an Como High info event in the Murray library. Meet faculty members and find out about academics and extracurricular activities offered at the school.

Como - Thursday, Jan.16 from 6:30-7:30 pm, Como Park Senior High invites you to "Cocoa, Cookies and Conversation about Como!" This event will be held at Sunrise Bank Como Branch. Come hear about the Como experience from parents, students and staff. 


Peg Houck Art Showing
Local artist, Peg Houck, will host a reception and artist's talk at the East & West Galleries of 1666 Coffman this Saturday from 4-5 pm. The talk will begin at 4:30 and there will be refreshments. Peg is a wonderful painter and her colors will warm up even the coldest days of winter.

Urban Growler a Go
Our second local craft brewery is set to start serving their delicious brews this spring. After raising the necessary money, co-owners, Jill and Deb have ordered their equipment and now just have to wait for it to be manufactured and delivered. Congratulations, can't wait to taste the spring varieties!

U of M Considers Tobacco Ban
The U is thinking about making its campuses tobacco free. Currently only the buildings are smoke free but that could change. They are inviting questions and comments. Contact Dave Golden.

Other Calendar Items

Jan. 13, 7pm - Community Sing at Luther Sem

March 1 - Progressive Dinner