It’s hard to look out onto our beautiful fall day and try to keep in mind the devastation that has visited our east coast neighbors, but the storm was historic in an impact that will be felt for months if not years. I read something recently about government being the final resort for those who have no where else to turn, either through lack of planning, lack of judgment, lack of resources, or just plain lack of luck. We all have been there or we all know someone who has.

Unfortunately, I find my initial reaction often is to look for people’s flaws, the mistakes they made that got them in the mess. Maybe we all do that to an extent because it gives the illusion of safety - we wouldn’t make those poor choices! Thankfully, the government doesn’t judge, it just sends help - in our name, on behalf of our better angels. You can send help as well through the Red Cross. There but for grace...

D12 – The Creative Enterprise Zone Task Force met with a videographer last week who is part of a placemaking initiative by the Central Corridor folks. He wanted representative locations, organizations and people to help tell the story of our station area. As we talked about what’s happening in the Zone, it was very energizing. The recent Give & Take event brought many community members together, some for the first time, and sparked ideas and partnership possibilities that I’m sure will be paying off in the near and distant future. It was held in the old Mattress building that is in the process of being remodeled for creative enterprise space. I met Sandy and Jay Febbo at the event, the owners of the new brewery that is being built in SSA (btw, Sandy is Andy Boss’s niece.) Next time you cross the RR bridge heading south on Raymond, look to your left for a corrugated steel, corn crib-like round structure. That’s the brewery, start whetting your whistle for their first pour in the adjoining tap room next spring. We’re also developing a Zone website courtesy of a U of Michigan web design class that will be launched soon and should start tying the neighbor together even more closely. There’s a new Gallery – Driftwood - and a new restaurant, Foxy Falafel, on Raymond, progress on the market rate housing rehab of the C&E building and even rumblings about a possible hotel development near the Raymond Ave Station. A lot happening in the Zone.

Schools - I had the opportunity to tour the Avalon school last week with two of the 9th grade students. These informative and bright young women showed me around the classrooms and explained how things worked with energy and clarity. I was very impressed. The Foundation is looking at ways to help them develop a music program. We gave a grant to the IFP film organization near there to help fund a video partnership this year and will continue to work with them in any way we can…the StAP Elementary School had a successful Fall Festival and I hear they finally switched the Haunted Classroom from the spring carnival to the fall fest where it really belongs (can you tell it’s been a little bit of a sore spot for me?) I spent a few years helping to gently frighten or calm the kids who came through the scary mazes created each year by more or less sane parents…Next week I will head up to the Wolfridge Environmental Camp with a group of 80 Murray kids for their Enviro Ed/leadership training/community building/crazy fun week. I will actually only be there for the last 3 days, but am looking forward to it as always. The kids really make it worthwhile and give me great confidence for the future of our community and world. I’ll let you know how it went when I get back. The Murray Parent Association is hosting a forum on social media and internet safety next Monday, Nov. 5 at 7pm in the school library. Teachers and admin at the school get to witness the daily creativity growing out of our technological evolution so they should be able to share some interesting stories and perspectives…Over at Como High, Natasha Miller and Katherine Wackett were named Commended Students in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.  Commended students are placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition by taking the PSAT. Way to go, Natasha and Kate! Como’s first of its kind in the District, student staffed, in-school credit union continues to generate buzz as well. Congresswoman Betty McCollum was on hand to help open it up last week along with other assorted luminaries. Check out the ceremony in this short video on the Como website.

Listserv – Another break-in on Chelmsford reported but this time overnight. Don’t know much more about it, but that’s a scary thought…more coyote sightings… there’s a group bike ride tomorrow at 1pm to celebrate new bike & pedestrian routes in the area. Show up at noon and join the party at the Dept of Horticultural Science Display & Trial Garden, corner of Gortner & Folwell…The annual Cub Scout Pack 22 and Boy Scout Troop 17 door-to-door wreath sales will be concluding this weekend. If a Scout has not come to your home (or you were gone when they stopped by) and you would like to place an order, contact Clay Join Toni Pierce-Sands & Uri Sands Thursday, November 1, 5:00-6:30pm (program at 5:30) for a celebratory launch of Tu Dance’s ninth Twin Cities performance season.  There will be dance, treats and beverages in their studio behind the Subway on University Avenue.

StAPnotes – Please don’t forget to vote next Tuesday, Nov. 6! Tell your friends, offer to give rides, let’s honor our neighborhood’s high voter turnout.

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