The Art Fair and the first Park B4 Dark are behind us and the 4th of July parade and picnic are coming up next week – summer is here! The weather has made its own statement by ringing in the new season with some seriously high winds and heavy rains that caused down trees and power outages across the metro and here in StAP. As far as I can tell, everyone in our area has their power back, but there are still trees waiting to be cleaned up and hanging across lines. City Forestry is helping residents get rid of tree branches and limbs. To have tree debris collected from the curb, residents must notify the Forestry hotline at 651-632-5129 - debris must be placed on the curb by this Friday, June 28. 

The weather was perfect for Park B4 Dark last Thursday and the turnout was good. Wonderful music filled the air from both ends of Como Avenue and the Boy Scout wine-tasting was a success in the Sunrise Bank lobby. Initial reports from the merchants were very positive, they like to see people out and about in our North StAP downtown, especially new faces, whether they’re buying or not. The next one is July 18, put it on the calendar and plan to be a part of the fun. Oh, and shop local! 

As usual, the Bugle is full of good articles and info, including a very nice one by Marlee Stryker about the Foundation’s Spirit of the Park Award winners for 2013, Warren & Kiki Gore. Warren is in the St. Anthony Park Home and will not be able to attend the festivities, so Kiki will be waving for two in the parade. I know there will be many friends and well-wishers in attendance because Warren and Kiki have touched many lives in our community over the years. My wife and I stopped in for a visit the other night and Kiki is still very much on top of the goings-on in the neighborhood. The key to any community is neighbors who care and engage fellow neighbors. Warren & Kiki are caring and engaging people who truly represent the best of our community. They richly deserve the award. 

Make sure and attend the parade and picnic on the 4th, it’s the only 4th parade in St. Paul and one of the nation’s best! And if you have a classic car you want to show off, contact Judy ProbstAlso, if you are on Facebook, search for “fourth in the park” – there are some greatfotos of the activities through the years. 

D12 – I attended a Midway Chamber Economic Committee meeting yesterday that included a presentation by reps from Canadian Pacific, BNSF and MN Commercial Railway. We also have tracks owned by Union Pacific mostly in the south metro. Got a quick history lesson, which cleared up some of the confusion around all the different names and rail lines over the years, and an update on their current state. They are moving more and more cargo through and around the Twin Cities, especially oil from North Dakota and, of course, sand from everywhere. There probably won’t be any new track laid as the cost is prohibitive (land rights, etc.) All reps made a point of saying they are interested in working with communities to foster good relations. Their track record (pun intended) has been mixed on that front, but it is definitely an offer that needs to be followed up on. They play a big role in our community and we need to work together. 

Listserv – Lots of people looking for things and offering things. Not much controversy, must be the warm weather. 

StAPnotes – Eric Wieffering was part of a Star Tribune reporting team that won a prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism recently for its coverage of former Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn’s sudden departure from the company. Eric serves on the Bugle board. 

The Creative Enterprise Zone has a great new website. Visit and find out what’s happening along the avenue. 

I was watching the news last night and there was a story that quoted research done by Minnesota2020 which puts out a great newsletter several times a week. One of the stories covered in my last edition was about an international trade bill that is fast-tracking through congress with a provision which could set up a ban on “Buy-Local” policies in government procurement. It’s complicated, but it’s just the kind of far-reaching and overlooked news that MN2020 is so good at reporting. The editor is neighbor John Van Hecke, visit the website and check it out. 

CALENDAR

Wednesday, June 26, 7-9pm. - Join the Community Council’s Environment Committee members for a community listening session on plantings and plans for Hampden Park.  Meet in the park! 

Thursday, June 27, 7pm - catch Molly and the Magic Boot in a pass-the-hat performance supporting a Twin Cities puppet theater. Bring a blanket or chairs, refreshments and friends! 2259 Carter 

July 4 – 11am Parade, noon – bandstand program & picnic in Langford Park

I'm taking next week off from the blog, back on July 10.

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