Fall is in the air, beginning to work its magic on the foliage and delivering the busy schedule I’ve come to expect as the summer collides with the school year. Even if you don’t have kids in school, it really seems like the start of the new year. Maybe we should change the calendar so this month is the first in the year rather than January. Anyone who wants to put that in the form of a constitutional amendment is welcome to go for it in 2013, seems like that’s the wave of the future. I do wonder though, if the people who want to constitutionalize everything consider the long-term implications of these actions. My own view is that they understand they are in a rapidly diminishing position of power and are trying to imbed their increasingly narrow views as deeply as possible.  A little like nailing down the furniture in advance of a flood. They would be better off seeking higher ground.

D12 – the Creative Enterprise Zone Task Force’s schedule has certainly gotten busier. Their hard work and place-making efforts have been paying off in small and large ways as the community structures begin to come together. In reaction to their progress and in preparation for funding requests they have become a task force of the D12 Community Council. This gives them a stronger platform to continue their growth and the Council’s non-profit status to support their fund-raising. Proof of their success was a recent unsolicited grant from an East Coast foundation impressed by their Arts + Industry = Jobs approach. They have also been invited by the Trillium Foundation to submit a funding proposal. After a summer of events running through the Starling Pop-up Gallery, they will reconvene their CEZ Happy Hour tomorrow afternoon from 4:30-5:30pm in the Dubliner’s folksy confines and then host a community Give &Take on October 10...the Annual Neighborhood Clean-up is this Saturday at the fairgrounds. They could always use more volunteers. For all info go to their website.

Schools – neighbor and community activist, Beth Commers, has just been named as Senior Advisor to the Vote Yes for St. Paul Kids Campaign. While those opposed to this new levy characterize it as giving the district more money for failing efforts, 75% of the referendum request is for renewal of existing programs. The programs that will take the worst hit will be the early childhood programs that are making a difference in reducing the achievement gap.  The other 25% is for new technology to help teachers deal with students who speak the 100 or so different languages we have in the district. This new money amounts to $5.65/mo for a home valued at $150,000. Think about what you spend on a daily basis that is around 6 bucks. To me the facts are simple: the district is making progress, the legislature refuses to fund our schools adequately and these kids are our future. They have some pretty big problems to solve and need all the educational success they can get. It will not only save us money in the short and long-run, it will hopefully save our city, state, country and planet. Vote yes and make sure everyone you know does as well…Como High is looking for volunteers, trailers for floats and other help with their homecoming celebration on September 29. They have done a lot of work to make homecoming a fun event, so if you can help, contact Jill Kottke. Other events: an All-School Parent/Family Open House scheduled for Tuesday, September 25 beginning with dinner and the Cougar Inaugural Golf Tourney Oct. 6.

Listserv – we have gotten a little rain lately but a simple walk around the area tells you that there are many distressed trees. This is the time they need water to survive or they won’t make it through the winter. Water your boulevard trees, please…Alice Duggan sent out a thanks to the many volunteers who helped with the library landscaping. Way to go, vols!...Austin Granger has come up with a new K’Nex ball machine that is getting some notice on the web and in the news. You can view the Rube Goldberg-ish contraption here. Austin also composed the background music.

StAPnotes – The Foundation welcomed 3 new board members, Beth Commers, Jay Schrader and Cory Tennison. They also said goodbye to retiring members, Alain Baudry, Clare Caffrey and Glen Skovholt…the Colossal Café got a very nice review in City Pages recently. I had a delicious burger there the other night. New chef Andy Lilja from Heartland is making the dinner menu sizzle…The Muffuletta also has a new chef, Matt Ellison, who was already working in the Parasole system. I met him the other night and our party really enjoyed his culinary touch….sad news from the CEZ, The Edge coffeeshop is closing down, owner/proprietor Yaya, just couldn’t withstand the tough economy, construction and parking challenges. She ran a very nice operation and will be missed. Best of luck to her on her new endeavors…Foxy Falafel’s seems to be doing well around the corner in the old Café Caribe space. Stop in an welcome Erica and her friendly staff to the 'hood …other sad news is that this Friday is apparently the last official day for Como Station postal clerk, Tim Thorson. Tim is a great guy who also keeps the flowers in front so healthy. He will be missed as well, but hopefully will be able to sub in when Annette takes breaks. If you want to register your concerns about the reduced staffing, contact the St. Paul Postmaster… the little wine shoppe is having an in-store tasting Thursday 4:30-7:30pm…the Home Tour scheduled for Oct. 6 is looking for volunteers, contact Rose 651.644.0469

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