October is here and the pumpkin is on the vine…I don't know where that leads, but it sounds a little poetic and serves to launch some genuinely spooky thoughts brought on by the government shut down and looming debt ceiling doomsday. I won't get into the specifics issues being debated by either side in congress, but I will say that the solution starts at home. Our democracy is built on the idea that government has an important role to play in guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and rights for all citizens. We elect representatives to advocate in the local, national and international arenas. We expect them to take into account the opinions of all constituents and do their best to represent a consensus point of view. We shouldn't, however, imagine that our individual or consensus concerns will take precedent over laws and policies that have been legally determined by our representative bodies. Elections have consequences and are as direct a reflection of our combined national desires as is possible. As such, the recent election was a national referendum on creating a better healthcare system. 

The Affordable Care Act has been passed into law, upheld by the Supreme Court and is now being implemented. It's time for everyone to figure out how to make it work, not blackmail the world's economy to get it thrown out. If these kinds of tactics are successful, you can forget ever trying to act sensibly on something that trumps healthcare: the recent reports of the severity of climate change and the dire impacts it will have on all of us, no matter our party affiliation. For a democracy to work, we as citizens need to be full participants. We need to put people in positions of leadership who believe in building consensus through inclusion, dialogue, negotiation and true compromise. 

We are at an incredibly critical time in the life of our nation, the world and our planet. The resolution of these current crises will have have a lasting impact on our fate as a species. The window of opportunity to solve these problems is rapidly closing, so the time to raise your voice and get involved is now. Get involved as a community in finding answers, get involved as voters in supporting candidates who will promote consensus solutions, and get involved as citizens finding ways to unite in the enormous effort it will take to create a sustainable future.

The soapbox is open…


Elected Official Forum
Tuesday, October 8 at 6:30 in the 2nd floor area of Luther Seminary's Olson Campus Center, D12 will host a forum with our elected officials. Come enjoy refreshments and the opportunity to hear about what's happening at the state capitol, City Hall, the County Board and Met Council. Bring your questions and get them answered.

D12 Candidates Needed
Candidates interested in representing their neighborhood have until October 12 to register. This is an opportunity to be a part of the deliberation and decision-making process that makes our community strong and ensures our quality of life. It's not a huge commitment of time, but it's an important contribution to our neighborhood. Representatives form the residential and business community are needed. for more info, visit the D12 website or contact the office at 651-649-5992.

StAP Brew Crawl
I saw a number of neighbors at last Friday night's neighborhood brewery visits to Bang and the Urban Growler. There was a nice showing of talented local musicians playing at the Growler Fundraiser along with a few new beers. Blew By You was a really refreshing light ale just in time for the end of summer and the Chipotle Stout was a nice complement to the tacos being served. I don't think there is another Open House planned, but they are still looking for a few investors to put them over the top. From the beers I sampled and the friendly, fun atmosphere, this brewery will be a success. So, get on board now, the sooner they reach their goal, the sooner we'll have regular hours to enjoy it all. You don't have to invest anything more than your patronage at Bang Brewery, just north of the Growler and south of the RR switching yard. Their single entry (so far) into the suds scene is a very tasty IPA called Neat. Owners Jay and Sandy Boss Feboe were pouring a goodly amount of pints and selling growlers to very satisfied customers in the cool, steel-sided brewery/tap room designed by local architect, Geoff Warner. Bang's regular hours are Friday from 5-10pm and Saturday from Noon-5pm. It would be nice to have them open a bit more, but they both have full-time jobs that keep them busy. More patrons might make them reconsider . go for a pint, take home a growler. It's great beer.


StAP Elementary - Sounds like the all-school picnic was a success with the weather clearing just in time for some outdoor hot dogs and social time. The Pacifica Quartet had a great time performing and talking to the students last Monday. 

Murray Middle - There were over 70 families who showed up for the first Parent Forum, a great turnout. I'm sure there is a lot of interest from 2 full classes of new students and their parents/guardians. Murray has a monthly newsletter that is filled with teacher/staff profiles and information about what the students are up to. Check it out here http://murray.spps.org/uploads/newsletter3pdf.pdf

Como High - Como had an exciting Homecoming parade including floats designed and made by each class, athletic teams, band and clubs marching. Around that time they also had a visit from Congresswoman Betty McCollum who came to speak to the government class. They are working hard to get parents involved by offering a Parent Academy ion the same dates as Murray to increase participation. 


Crime Wave Over?
It seems like the break-ins have subsided a bit or at least the chatter about them has. Remember, it's important to report any criminal activity to the police even if nothing is stolen or damaged. It helps them track crime and determine where their squads need to be to help deter it.

Barn Dance & Hayride
St. Anthony Park Church is hosting a barn dance with hay rides at the Hansen Tree Farm on Sunday, October 6 from 4:30-8pm and everyone is invited. The farm is at 7440 Alpine Drive NW, in Ramsey. There will be Folk Dancing with live music and caller, bonfire, desserts and beverages to purchase (6-8 pm) Bring your own picnic supper. Grills and campfire available. Suggested donation: $5/person or $10/family


Music in the Park Series Entertains all Ages
As mentioned above, Julie Himmelstrup brought the Pacifica Quartet to the elementary school on Monday. After that they made an appearance at the St. Anthony park Home for a little concert. This is part of Music in the Park's outreach to our community and is supported by MiP, The Schubert Club and the Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation. There is an MiP artist visit to Murray in the future as well.

We're #8!
State Representative Alice Hausman's monthly newsletter came recently. She is spending time touring the state looking for opportunities for next year's bonding bill. She also sent along news that Forbes Magazine ranked our state as the 8th best state for business. We were the biggest gainer this year, jumping up from 20 based on our many corporate HQs, 2nd highest percentage of adults with HS degrees (92%) and "…good schools, low poverty rate and healthy population…" - add to that some of the lowest priced plans in the new Affordable Care Act and someone must be doing something right here.

Make sure and pick up the October Bugle. Great articles on the Fair's proposed mega entrance, new businesses, University Grove and a ton of info about our schools and neighborhood.

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