We had a visit from our daughter last week. She's in her final year at a college in Portland, Oregon so we don't see as much of her as we'd like. Some of you who know me won't be surprised that I look for opportunities to give advice, and since she will soon be out into the "real world" it seems like there needs to be some kind of definitive words of wisdom I should share. What's the one thing I can tell her (it needs to be brief, years of solicited and unsolicited advice have narrowed her tolerance) that would be most helpful toward a fulfilled life?

Service comes to mind, of course, there are so many opportunities in the world. Kindness, to cut through the pain, anger and isolation that seems to be increasingly prevalent. Personal health, you have to take care of yourself. Industry, dedication, balance. When you think about all of these and other important ideas you might come up with, the one connector for all, in my mind, is community. To be "in community."

Community comes from the latin communitas, com meaning with or together and munus meaning gift. I guess you could read it in a number of ways but they all link togetherness with the concept of a gift. We define the word these days more along geographical, cultural, racial, religious and other delineations, but I like the broader application of the act of coming together being a gift. In that definition, concepts such as service, kindness, health, etc. all intersect and are critical parts of the whole.

To be in true community one must serve, be kind, seek health…one must be a part of humanity. With all the emphasis from all quarters on how we are different, I think it's important to actively discover how we are all alike. That's the only hope we have of coming together to overcome the divisiveness that threatens all our communities. 

So, that's what I'm going to remind her of. That while she may be leaving one community and joining another, she must always seek to be "in community" in the larger sense. To recognize the gift of our shared humanity and connect with it. Then hang on for a very challenging but fulfilling ride.


Revitalized Communities: Building a New Society as We Approach Environmental Limits
Long title but important topic. The Minneapolis College of Art & Design is hosting a conversation about next steps this Friday, October 25, 7- 9pm in their Auditorium. A reception will follow. MCAD is at 2501 Stevens Ave in Minneapolis.

Proper Leaf Disposal
A reminder that leaves that end up in our sewers go directly into the Mississippi River and other valuable waterways, often carrying a significant amount of pollution with them. Every bag of leaves has 1/5 of a pound of phosphorous pollution. Use them in your compost and/or bag 'em and take them to the city compost lots.

CEZ get-together
Come and meet your neighbors and find out what they are up to at the latest CEZ Give & Take, next Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 6:30-9pm at Tu Dance on 2121 University Avenue, behind the Subway. Refreshments and presentations by area creatives make it a fun evening.

Housing Options
On Nov. 5 at 7pm, the Land Use Committee will hear a presentation on possible zoning changes to accommodate more than one unit on residential property. this sort of thing could provide a very useful solution for seniors to age in place. Should be a lively discussion, plan to be a part of it


StAP Elementary

Fall Festival is this Friday
Oh, you don't want to miss the annual school Fall Festival. From 5:30-8 p.m. Fri., October 25th, St. Anthony Park Elementary School will be overrun by a fun fall atmosphere. There will be a silent auction, live music, crafts and activities, a bake sale (pizza, tacos, sambusas) and book fair. Bring the kids or just an appetite and help support the best elementary school in the metro. (I'm biased)

Murray Middle

Spirit Week
This week is Spirit Week at Murray. Today was Pajama Day, I believe, so if you saw some comfortably dressed middle-schoolers, it's ok. Tomorrow is Fanatic Day (sports teams, etc.) and Friday prepare for 80's Dance gear. Get out your mirror balls!

Sunrise Coffee puts $ in Murray
Stop by Sunrise Bank on como this month, grab a cup of coffee and help support the Murray After School programs. These programs give students a supervised place for fun, learning and friendship.

Home Visits Featured on the Today Show
The SPPS Home Visit program was featured on NBC's The Today Show earlier this month. Murray has three teachers who head up their visits and the results are very positive. SPPS schools have a variety of programs aimed at connecting with families. Obviously, the more parents and teachers can partner the better.

Como High

Como Boys Soccer
This Friday night at 5:30p at St. Louis Park High School field, the Como Boys soccer team will play Waseca in the State quarter-finals. both teams are undefeated and the winning team goes on to the Metrodome for the semis. Como star Will Kidd was named to the Strib's All-Metro team. Way to go, Will, Go Cougars!

College Financial Night
Next Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 6-7pm, Como will host a presentation by an Ameriprise financial counselor about how to plan for your student's college tuition. Apparently, it can be done.


Wind in the Willows at The Methodist Church
Ratty, Molie and Toad will come to life in a special readers performance by local artists on Sunday, October 27 from 3-4 PM at SAP United Methodist Church.


Public Art
The Line E-zine has an interesting article on public art and its place in our urban planning that mentions two neighbors. The first, Jack Becker, head of Forecast Public Art ,located just off University Ave in the CEZ. Jack is Founder and Executive Director of the organization that has promoted Public Art internationally for the past 35 years and is especially passionate about including art on the Central Corridor as a way for the public to engage and embrace the Green Line. 

Christine Baeumler, currently the artist-in-residence with Saint Paul’s Capitol Region Watershed District, is creating a project that will describe the processes of our stormwater infrastructure, and provide information on how everyday habits contribute to water quality. Read about all that and more interesting commentaries on urban life in The Line.

Phil Rukavina, Local Realtor/International Lute Rock Star
Such is the world of classical music that an internationally acclaimed and appreciated lutist like Phil cannot make a living on the lute alone. In between trips here and abroad to play at festivals and concerts where adoring fans weep in admiration (okay, I made the weeping part up, but he is loved) Phil works with our own Steve Townley (who as far as I know plays only air guitar in his basement late at night.) If you can't make it to Spain or England to hear his dulcet tones, check him out on YouTube at these links and enjoy:

1) Trio in C Major for lute (RV 82), Antonio Vivaldi   

2) Suite for 'cello in D minor (BWV 1008) transcribed for baroque guitar, J.S. Bach 

3) Canario by Gaspar Sanz?yola-link-is-coming=true?yola-link-is-coming=true

4) Concerto in D Major for Lute (RV 93), Antonio Vivaldi

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