Last week I sent out an email to my blog list telling of the passing of Andy Boss and now his obit has been in the newspapers, so I don't need to add to those listings. As I reflected on his death this past week though - as well as the death of Don Baker, another neighbor who was a U climatologist prof responsible for most of our modern day state-wide system of weather reporting and much more - what strikes me is the commitment both men had towards community. These men were engaged in their world. They knew, and were admired by, many and they certainly had achieved a high status in their respective areas of work, but they were also known to their neighbors as volunteers who served on councils and boards...men who understood the joy of connection and service. 

Both were exceedingly generous with their talents and time, especially when it came to mentoring the next generation. Climatologist and neighbor, Mark Seeley, has kind words for Don's influence on his life and career, just as Sunrise Bank V.P., Rick Beeson and Ellen Watters, neighbor and community development consultant, speak eloquently about Andy's support and guidance in the Strib obit. Both Andy and Don accomplished much in their lives and we have much to thank them for, but an important piece of their lives to me is that they lived "in community" in the truest sense of those words.

They leave big shoes for any one person to fill, and while this is a neighborhood blessed with big shoes, it is also a neighborhood that understands the importance of many small feet. I hope Don and Andy's lives inspire us all to stay engaged and "in community." That's a legacy that would make both men very proud.

By the way, Don's visitation and service already occurred, but Andy's visitation is this Thursday from 4-8pm at the Bradshaw Funeral Home and a memorial service will be held Friday at 1pm at the House of Hope Presbyterian Church on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

D12

Accessory Dwelling Units
These three words, or their acronym ADU's, have rapidly entered our community lexicon. Over the past year, a group of neighbors under the Transition Town banner have been investigating the possibilities these 2nd homes per lot might offer to our neighborhood's aging in place challenges. Under the general auspices of D12, this group has investigated what it would be like to have these dwellings, coming up with some design plans for specific lots in St. Anthony Park.

In order to make any of these happen, there are a couple of steps needed. First, the District Council's Land Use Committee needs to vote to recommend the changes to the D12 Council and then the Council has to vote to recommend it to the City. The City has such a zoning change in the works to encourage more housing options along the central corridor/Green Line and could potentially expand the proposal to include all of St. Anthony Park. As it stands, that doesn't necessarily seem to be fast-tracked at this point, at least the expansion to North St.AP part.

Up to this point there have been public meetings hosted by the Transition Town group, but not, to my understanding, a public meeting called by the District Council where the pros and cons of the zoning change can be discussed. The Land Use Committee would seem to be the place for that to happen, but wherever it happens, it will be a good opportunity for the whole community to weigh in and consider the short and long-term implications of the proposed changes. We aren't the first community to consider this and while we might be somewhat unique, other communities have weighed the details and come up with solutions, or at very least, results that can inform our process.

This is a big step that will gradually change the face of St. Anthony Park. It's being driven by the significant twin challenges of climate change and housing options. The Transition Town group that has brought this along to this point is to be commended for their energy and comprehensive approach. It's past time for us all to be having these important conversations and they have put it on the front burner while providing a good deal of information.

I have confidence that an inclusive process will produce consensus around the best way forward and if it's a change in the zoning, it will be made with outcomes well-researched and neighbors well-informed. Finally, whether ADU's are allowed or not, I think it's important to remember that ADU's will not solve all of the housing needs we have and we must continue to encourage a variety of options to keep our community vibrant.

Schools

First day of school this fall will be Sept. 2...sorry students, too soon, right?

Murray Middle

Science Fair & History Day Kudos
Murray science students did great at the Regional Science Fair competition on March 1. Thirteen students received awards and 12 will move on to State competition. I think I counted 21 Murray students who are going on to State in the History Day competition.

Como High

History Day Success
Fourteen Como students advanced to the State History Day finals. Max Innskeep was recognized as a Triple A Award finalist.

listserv

Bees and Seeds
There's been alot of buzz about seeds and spring planting these past few weeks. Several contributors have expressed concerns about seeds pre-treated with neonicotinoids, a widely used class of pesticides that have been ID'd by some as a factor in the alarming bee die-offs we've been hearing about in the news recently. The names of growers who have seeds that aren't pre-treated have been shared and then today in the Strib there's a Variety section article about it all. Seems some of the major nurseries are opting to err on the side of caution to exclude these types of seeds and plants from their inventory. They can't vouch for all the growers they get plants from, but they're doing their best to find out more about it as studies continue to proceed. If you're on listserv, you will hear about many things before they go public in a bigger way.

Humane Society Needs Blankets & Towels
Local boys, Marek and Roman Zyke, are helping the Humane Society collect old towels and blankets for the animals they house. You can email them and they will stop by to pick them up.

Pothole Patrol
If you have a pothole to report contact the city and they will do their best to fill them. It might be easier to report stretches of street without potholes at this point.

St.APnotes

Tu Dance Offering Open Rehearsals
Our neighborhood dance company is inviting everyone in to see them rehearse for their annual Ordway show on May 10. Times to stop by are March 27, April 10 & 24 from 5:30-7pm at their studio on 2121 University Ave (behind the Subway) for the first two and at the Ordway for the last. It's free and really fun to watch them dance and work it all out. Call 651-282-3115 to register.

Great Idea for the Arts?
The McKnight Foundation is holding an informational meeting at the Dubliner on 2162 University Ave., April 15 at 8:30am. If you have an idea for promoting the arts in St. Paul, you can find out more about how to apply for a share of the $1.5M in grants they will award as part of the McKnight Arts Challenge. Applications will be accepted starting on April 7 and ending May 5. It does require matching funds within a year of the award, so if you've got an idea that will benefit the arts in St. Paul, get on it!

Granger Gig This Saturday
Local guitar legend, Adam Granger, will be playing solo at the Aster this Saturday from 11 - 1pm for their brunch. Great food, great music. the Aster is in the St. Anthony Main retail complex.

Travel to France, Spain, Italy and California Tomorrow
Let your taste buds do the walking at the little wine shoppe's wine tasting tomorrow from 4:30-7:30pm. Pam & Tim are doing their best to bring spring on - please help them do it. 

Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus at Avalon School
This Friday from 2:30 - 3:30, the Chorus will perform selections from their show about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person elected to office. The public is invited to join the students, just contact Kevin so they know how many to plan for.

Muffuletta Brings in New Manager
Chris Boyd, current manager at Muffuletta's, informed me that he will be moving on to other opportunities soon and will be replaced by Bryan White who comes form Parasole's Salut restaurant. Chris is a great guy who will be missed and his last day is this Saturday, so stop by to say thanks and good luck - then welcome Bryan to the neighborhood. Time to train in a new face, after all it takes a village, right?

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