Finally some rain and seasonable weather. These weird weather patterns are a little hard to get used to, but in a couple years we'll probably have fewer expectations of "seasonable" and may not even be using that term anymore. That is another long and somewhat disturbing conversation that I will leave to other formats and forums.

I stopped by Something New last night, the most recent manifestation of daughter of the Park, Sue Rohricht's, energy for the eclectic, in the Healy building lower level. Sue hosted a little get-together to introduce the concept to the neighboring retail community. She has over 80 artists contributing works that include everything from paintings to clothing to jewelry to hand-carved wooden figures to pottery to...well, just about anything you can think of. It is truly eclectic and a lot of fun, so get over there and check it out. There are definitely items you will not find anywhere else in the area.

I've attended a few meetings recently between the Vikings and the neighboring communities hosted by the U. We've been talking about the challenges of hosting at least 10 NFL games (during the construction of their proposed new stadium) and trying to help them understand the impact that will have on our neighborhoods. There is also negotiation on financial support to mitigate those impacts. The Vikings have been receptive but non-commital. They obviously have the immediate task of convincing the legislators that there should be a stadium at all and so are understandably otherwise occupied. Right now it doesn't look good, but one never knows in an election year. Much appreciation to the U for insisting that an important part of making them happy with the deal is making the surrounding communities happy.

There's a food blog that has sprung up covering places on the Central Corridor. It's called the greenlinegems and the blogger actually goes into the authentic small eateries that may be overlooked by the general media. A very good way to find some amazing food near by. And a goodbye to the Cafe Caribe on Raymond which finally succumbed to a variety of challenges. In spite of a fair amount of financial support from the light rail mitigation fund, they couldn't find the right combination of menu, service and marketing to make that small space work. Hopefully, someone will move in with a more successful formula.

D12 - there is good info on the D12 website about light bulb comparisons, creating walking paths to light rail, compost bin opportunities, volunteering for the Kasota Pond clean-up and leaf pick-up on Saturday, April 28 and much, much more. You can sign-up for their newsletter as well, which lists all the upcoming events connected with D12 and community activism. Also, a chance to buy some trees and shrubs at good prices offered by the Friends of the Parks. Orders need to be made by April 20 for pick-up on May 5. You can also donate trees to your favorite park. 

Schools - Two Destination ImagiNation teams from StAP Elementary won the right to go to the Global Finals in Knoxville, TN in May. When you think of the heavy competition from the entire state, that is pretty impressive, but not unusual for our school kids. We sent one team last year and multiple teams in past years. The Foundation will be helping out as it has in the past with transportation costs, as you can imagine, it can be a bit pricey to get 14 kids down there and housed for the several days of the competition. But what an experience. If you want to donate to the cause, just go to our web page and designate a contribution for StAP DI Trip. Way to go, DI-ers, and good luck down south!...Murray has MCA testing this week and next, which is a major measurement tool for math and reading achievement. So, if you hear a noticeable buzz on your daily walk near the school, that's brainpower at work. There's a website kids and parents can visit to practice for the test. There's a lot going on at Murray as checking out their newsletter will tell you. They even have a debate club now...As does Como High School and it won 1st place in a competition sponsored by the Urban Debate League. Their MJCROTC also won a first place and a Como student took 2nd place in the Three Sixty journalism contest, among other honors and programs that are really making a difference for students there.

listserv - transitioning from school activities to after hours issues, Murray's parking lot got cleaned recently but at 11 pm on a school night. Principal Tim Williams got to the bottom of it immediately and the private contractor hired by the district to do the job has been reminded of the original directive to do it on weekends between 8am-6pm...the StAP Arts Festival is more than a month away but a look at the line-up of artists attending is truly impressive. You can check out representations of their work at the Festival website. There has been a concerted effort by the event organizers to bring back local artists and increase the quality of the work. Should be a great event. June 2, put it on your calendar...Metro Transit is seeking input on new bus routes in anticipation of light rail. Take their survey and weigh in...there's a mystery box near the sound wall at the intersection of Eustis and Carter. No one has reported on what it might be but it has an have an antenna so seems to be monitoring something. Anyone?...

StAPnotes - local favorites, Light of the Moon will be playing at a free concert at the Mill City Museum in Mpls tomorrow (April 19) night from 7-9pm. Here's a website with info...the little wine shoppe's new owners, Pam and Austen Johnson are continuing the Thursday wine-tastings and there is one tomorrow form 4:30-7:30pm. Stop in and sample some fine wines from around the globe...Congrats to the Colossal Cafe was named to the City Pages Best Of Awards. They join a pretty inclusive group as most of our local retailers have been on that list in the past. Lucky us. Also in there, best sledding hill: College Park...and don't forget the CEZ "In the Zone" Happy Hour from 5:30-7:30pm tomorrow evening (April 19) at the old Urban Blueprint building on the SW corner of Raymond & University. Meet the neighbors!

That's all for now. I won't be in the office next Wednesday until the afternoon as we have our annual tour of STAR grant applicant sites. I have now ascended to the vice-chair position - that will teach me not to be out of town for the election meeting. Take care of yourself and be a good neighbor.