I've been spending the last few weeks meeting with my board and committees around events we are planning to celebrate the Foundation's 15th anniversary. I have already mentioned the first event, our joint concerts with the Schubert Club/Music in the Park Series set for Mother's Day - Sunday, April 11. There will be two concerts at 4 & 7pm featuring the New Standards, a popular group known for their jazzy reworkings of current hits. They have already enlisted multi-talented singer Maria Jette to help out and are working on incorporating some local flavor for the show as well. John Munson, the group's bassist, grew up in the Park on Doswell and is very much looking forward to returning here to perform. Tickets are available at the Schubert Club's website and the early sales are going well. They are reserved seats, so book them soon. Profits from the concerts will be split evenly between the two organizations, so it's a lovely tandem - good music for a good cause.

The Foundation's big solo celebration is being planned for mid-late September and while we don't have a set date yet, we're looking at a Friday night 5-8pm get-together with local musicians, refreshing beverages and tasty food. We will have some fun things as part of that program, including the announcement of the winner of our special anniversary Grant Competition. In case you haven't heard about that yet (nice little piece in this month's Bugle,) the Foundation will roll out a special application process this summer for a 3-year total grant of $15,000. The rules have not been finalized, but we are looking or an initiative or idea that will create the biggest benefit for the most people. We want to encourage neighbors and groups to think more long-term about ways to keep our community strong and sustainable. Look for more info soon.


March Board Meeting Canceled
The District Council board will skip its March meeting but will meet at its regularly scheduled time in April on the 10th at 7pm. Advanced Dwelling Units will be one of the topics on their April agenda.

Accessory Dwelling Units
The Transition Town Group advocating for some type of rezoning to allow for construction of an additional home on a single lot providing it meets size and other requirements is generating much support but also some concern. The council is taking feedback on the proposal. Now is the time to get involved in the conversation if you have strong feelings. Visit the D12 website to learn more and weigh in.

Seminary Property Q&A at Land Use Meeting
Representatives of Luther Seminary appeared in front of the Council's Land Use Committee last Thursday. There were many questions following up on the Bugle article this month announcing that a preliminary agreement had been reached for the purchase of some of the buildings along Eustis Ave north of Como. While not able to reveal final details until the agreement is finalized, Seminary COO, Bill Frame and Real Estate consultant, Tanya Bell talked about the importance of working with partners who understand our community's character and will contribute in positive ways. No word on any additional property sales, but I do know there is interest in the community for a variety of housing options that could find room on Seminary sites.


June 9 - Last Day of School
Official word came from the District that June 9 will be the new last day of school due to all the snow days the schools experienced this winter. It could have been worse but the District built five snow days into its schedule for the year.

St. Anthony Park Elementary
Karen Christenson, a science teacher at St.AP Elementary, was one of five teachers named as 2014 Outstanding Educators by Project Learning Tree, an national environmental education program. She believes in using the forest as a classroom, taking her students on "schoolyard safaris" to give them hands-on experiences. She is the first Minnesotan to win the award since 2008. Btw, last year 85% of the school's students tested proficient in science. Congratulations, Karen and the entire science department!

Como High
Como students in the news: Will Hansen qualified for the State Swim meet and Cynthia Pawlitschek received and Athena Award honoring outstanding senior female athletes.


Peapods YOXO Event This Saturday
Local natural toy store, Peapods, is hosting a free event this Saturday from 11-3pm featuring YOXO, the newest creative toy craze. YOXO founder, Jeff Freeland-Nelson, will be there as well, coming over from the YOXO offices right here in our Creative Enterprise Zone.

Sunrise Banks Terri Banaszewski Honored
One of our favorite Sunrise employees, Terri B as she's known around the neighborhood, was honored by the Midway Chamber for her contributions to the Chamber and Midway area. Terri is very involved in so many good causes and is a wonderful asset for the bank and for our community. Congrats!

Park Perks Supporting Central High Band in March

Stop by the Sunrise Bank and buy some coffee in support of the Central High School Band. I know a number of our neighborhood high-schoolers play in the band and all band members will appreciate your donation. You can congratulate Terri B while you're there.

UMC Nursery School Looking for Experienced Childhood Educators
The Nursery school housed in the UMC church lower level is expanding its programming for this fall and needs to find two additional teachers to work with program director, Molly Breen. You can find out more at the school's website.


Rose Ensemble This Friday
Music in the Park Series and the Schubert Club are bringing the Rose Ensemble to St. Matthew's Episcopal Church this Friday night as part of their tremendous Family Concert Series. The ensemble will explore the music of ancient Spain with its rich mix of religions and cultures. There will be singing, stories and old instruments used during this interactive experience. Visit this link to find out more. 

Neighborhood Kids Raise Money and Awareness
I saw a news item that came across the net from the Kenyon Leader featuring two 6-year old twins from our neighborhood, Piper and Violet. No last names were included, but these two, then kindergartners from the J.J. Hill Montessori School, took time during their 2013 spring break to conduct a food drive for the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center. They ended up collecting 66 bags of food by drawing pictures, making flyers and hanging them on neighbors' doors, then going back to solicit the donations. Their class ended up collecting 87 total bags as part of their school's food drive and they have plans to do it again this year. So, if you hear from them, please give generously. 

Two Neighbors Play Integral Roles in  Central Corridor Job Development
Longtime Park residents, Ellen Watters and Mike Christenson, are playing important roles in the critical area of job creation along the Central Corridor Green Line. Watters is a principal at the local non-profit , Civic Source, which works collaboratively to connect communities. Christenson is the Associate Professor of Workforce Development for MCTC which has taken on a major role in job training. Their organizations worked with several others to come up with ways to train workers and encourage companies to offer jobs along the Green Line. It's a big challenge, but successes are already surfacing and the efforts are supported by a wide coalition of local organizations. Here's a link to an article in MINNPOST which tells a more complete story. For the corridor and our local economy to succeed, we need to provide our young people with living wage job opportunities. 

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