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Your Community News & Information Source May 2013 Volume 19 Number 5

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The Farmers’ Market is ready to grow....more parking spaces

Economic development tops Mayor Coleman’s State of the City address

Bill Knight Contributor

Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


he three hot buzz words swirling around the St. Paul Farmers’ Market this spring are parking, parking and, you guessed it, parking. Long-time customers will find some of their favorite parking spaces are closed off, and free parking has been reduced. The 20,000 people who shop there each weekend will be directed to newly opened spaces as they learn new routes to this historic Lowertown marketplace. The market, located at Fifth and Wall streets, begins its outdoor season May 4 – a week later than normal due to the weather – and runs every weekend through November 24. Hours are 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays.

Changes at the market Jack Gerten, long-time manager of the market, has several new things in store. He is posting signs, touting an updated website with new maps, offering apps


for smart phone users, and is having costumed guides direct motorists to parking areas and bicyclists to racks. New features this year are a lane on Fourth Street for customers to pick up their purchases. Also, people with special needs can be dropped off and picked up at a designated space on Wall Street. Unchanged is the free parking south of Kellogg

Boulevard and under the Lafayette Freeway bridge. West of the bridge is a $1 lot that used to be free, and there is a $3 charge for parking in the lot of the former Post Office building. You’ll have to plug the meters on Saturday, but they remain free on Sunday. “The reason is that we had a predicament with some Farmers’ Market / Page 2

Photos by Jerri Jo Brandt

n his State of the City address on March 25, Mayor Chris Coleman made it clear that he believes St. Paul is traveling in the right direction. He cited the step-bystep development of downtown as a transportation hub for the east metro along with a variety of housing development projects planned for the city. He also acknowledged that more work must be done. Several sites in the city have been available for redevelopment for some time now, including the West Publishing Building and former Ramsey County jail on Kellogg Boulevard overlooking the Mississippi. Now Macy’s, the last of the big retailers, has left downtown. A task force will meet to explore the best and most practical uses for these sites. Ecolab’s CEO Doug Baker, along with Greater MSP’s (an economic development organization) head Michael Langley, have been asked to lead the group, which will include other business and community leaders. Long-range projections show downtown St. Paul as one of the fastest growing population sectors in the 7-county metro area over the next 20 years. The City has responded by stepping in as developer, adding its own market-rate housing downtown. One of the projects opened last summer: The Lofts at Farmers’ Market, a 58-unit, $13 million apartment project at Fifth and Wall streets in Lowertown, which was 100 percent occupied even before its grand opening. “It’s an example of the strength of the downtown housing market,” said Coleman. The long-time-coming Penfield luxury apartment building is another City project. Construction has begun near Interstate 94 between Minnesota and Robert streets on the $62 million development, which will include 254 apartments and a 27,000-square-foot Lunds grocery store, a long-awaited amenity for downtown

State of the City / Page 3

A Guide to the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Susan Klemond Contributor


he West Side’s 31st annual Cinco de Mayo festival offers the chance to think globally while having a great time locally. The May 4 festival brings together the sights, sounds

and flavors of Mexico and the best of the West Side — all on six blocks in the neighborhood. Managed for the second year by the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation (SPFHF), the event offers a full day of music, entertainment, activities

and food, not to mention the colorful parade and car show. The organization has sought to make the festival better reflect the West Side community and Mexico, the country that inspires it, said Rosanne Bump, SPFHF incoming CEO. This article highlights

what’s happening this year. All information was accurate as of press time but is subject to change.

Time Cinco de Mayo is held 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, May Cinco de Mayo / Page 4

B usiness Farmers’ Market from page 1

Lowertown residents parking at the free meters and then there was no parking for customers,” said Gerten. He and city officials agreed that a change would make the meters more available for customers.

Market vs. ballpark Parking at the market is big news every spring but likely has a more far-

reaching significance this year due in part to the 250 spaces being eliminated by the Saint’s ballpark project. That puts Gerten in a predicament. For several years he has encouraged patrons to park on the north side of the market, due to the light rail construction on Fourth Street. “Now we lose the north side and so we have to train them to park to the south,” he said. “And I have a small

Your community news and information source window to do that.” He believes he will lose thousands of dollars in sales because of this development. “I’m a little frustrated,” he added. “I understand the ballpark being a benefit for St. Paul, but what the ballpark gains we will lose. So it’s a trade-off for us.”

Growing at the market Gerten estimates that over the last three years the downtown market has lost about 25 percent of its business because of construction

of the light rail line. That compares with an increase of 15 to 20 percent for the market’s satellite locations. “Over the last couple of years we normally drew 14,000 (people) on Saturday, but now that’s down to just under 10,000,” he said. “Until we come up with a proposal to show more parking so it can grow at the same rate as the others, it doesn’t make any sense to put more vendors around the market.” Currently, Gerten has 154 selling spaces and a waiting list of potential vendors. He

said the growers’ association is prepared to see double or triple the number of people at its satellite markets. “The St. Paul market is the biggest problem because we are against the wall and don’t see how we can grow in the future to accommodate the demand,” he said. “The site is going to take a lickin’ and the rest (of the market sites) are going to grow. So it’s not just the growers that are going to lose, but St. Paul.” Gerten calls finding solutions to the expansion of the market and the parking

issue the “lynch-pin” to future growth of the downtown market. “The problem is that things are changing by the week and it’s like trying to hit a moving target,” he said. “The city is working on underground parking and something like that could change this whole thing because if you add 500 spaces underneath the stadium, well I can turn them every half hour. So there is our growth if something like that could happen.”

Vendors love the ‘foodies’ who shop the Farmers’ Market Bill Knight Contributor


ustomers at the Farmers’ Market can expect more value-added products this year, meaning vendors will be selling jams or sauces that use their produce as the basic ingredient. For example, Dorothy Stainbrook, who has been selling at the market for 15 years, makes a blueberry jam, in addition to growing a variety of vegetables from the Heath Glen

Farm in Forest Lake. In the spring she sells organic tomato and pepper plants at the downtown market. During the summer months she sells blueberries and in the fall it’s heirloom tomatoes. “It’s my home base,” said Stainbrook. “I’m there every Saturday and Sunday from April through November.” Stainbrook is busy all season with a commercial kitchen on the farm where she makes the jams that ac-

count for about half of her sales. She has seen a slow but steady climb in sales of her products, but admits it took a while to figure out her niche at this market. “The first three years I sold a variety of flowers and vegetables but then began narrowing the number of products based on what other vendors sold and what my customers bought,” she said. Just over 18 years ago when Laurie Crowell start-

ed her business, the Golden Fig, she began selling her products from a booth at the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market. “I got lost in the shuffle there; it’s more like a bazaar,” she said. About 15 years ago she moved to the St. Paul market, and like Stainbrook she has a great affection for her customers there. “The shoppers in St. Paul seem to ‘get it’ because they are foodies who appreci-

ate locally raised food,” she said. Crowell makes her products – vinegars, spices, dip mixes and herbal butter – in a commercial kitchen in Minneapolis. “Everything we make is geared to the spices and ingredients you need to cook,” she said. “(This year) we’ll have a fresh basil limeade. It’s a concentrate that is meant to be diluted with sparking water, for example.” Crowell believes today’s

fast-paced lifestyle negatively affects the downtown market. “Everyone is in such a hurry so they want to pull in, shop and leave,” she said. “But that’s not the case with an urban market.” Crowell is calling for a lighthearted solution to the parking woes at the market. “I keep telling Jack (Gerten, market manager) that we should have valet parking,” she said with a laugh.

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Along with some 300,000 other unique individuals.

C ity Government State of the City

Your community news and information source struction and a $32 million endowment to help fund operations, plus $8 million in transition costs. The new concert hall is expected to open sometime next year.

from page 1

residents. Lunds is expected to open its doors by the end of this year. The turn-of-the-century character of St. Paul is being preserved through redesign of the Pioneer-Endicott buildings at Fourth and Robert streets. The buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and will hold 234 marketrate apartments and 31,900 square feet of commercial space. Down West Seventh Street at the historic Schmidt Brewery, buildings are being reconstructed as artists’ lofts. The 15-acre property will be transformed into a mixed-use urban village with affordable housing and commercial and retail space. More housing is expected this summer as Jim Stolpestad, owner of Exeter Realty Company, anticipates closing on a purchase agreement for the 17-story, 750,000-square-foot Central Post Office building at 180 E. Kellogg Blvd. downtown. At least 250 marketrate apartments overlooking the Mississippi River will be built along with a parking ramp. Stolpestad said he expects to qualify for state and federal tax credits that support the redevelopment of historic properties. Lately, more private companies are looking at St. Paul for investment opportunities. In late December, the 32-story, 450-apartment Kellogg Square building at Robert Street and Kellogg Boulevard was sold to Bigos Management for $51 million. In January, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe announced plans to buy the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Kellogg Boulevard and Waba-

sha Street and the Double Tree by Hilton on Minnesota Street. Although Macy’s packed up and left town, Sears department store is not only staying but is planning a mixed-use redevelopment of its 14-acre Rice Street site, located across the street from the State Capitol. The light-rail system, with stops along University Avenue, just a block north of Sears, as well as stops on the Capitol grounds, influenced corporate decision-makers to proceed with a three-phase project designed to revitalize the aging St. Paul store and increase density on the site. Preliminary designs calls for two 5,000-square-foot buildings for new retail tenants on the south side of Sears. A second phase would create a 112,000-squarefoot office building and a 500-plus-stall parking ramp. A third phase would add 121 apartments and nine townhomes. The current store will be reduced to about two-thirds of its current 186,000 square feet after the entire redevelopment is complete. Coleman mentioned that construction is expected next spring of a 1,100-seat concert hall that will replace the 306-seat McKnight Theatre at the Ordway Center. The 56,000-squarefoot expansion will enable the Ordway to double its use, giving artistic organizations that use the Ordway, including the Minnesota Opera and the Schubert Club, a chance to grow and expand. A group called the Arts Partnership steered the capital campaign, which includes $35 million for con-

Saints Stadium This spring, ground will be broken for a St. Paul Saints ballpark in Lowertown. Coleman said he is excited about the muchneeded revenue and the visitors that the ballpark is expected to bring to the city. But Lowertown residents are up in arms about parking problems. It’s an unresolved problem facing residents, developers and city leaders as the Saints come marching in and the downtown population grows.

Transportation In densely populated areas of major cities, many residents opt out of owning a car because parking is expensive and/or elusive. St. Paul is definitely feeling growing pains when it comes to its parking situation. The City plans to provide downtown residents with an array of transportation options, including light rail, bus rapid transit, streetcars, bike-sharing programs and hour cars. The newly renovated Union Depot, which opened last year, will be the central hub for transit in the east metro allowing travelers to reach suburbs north, east and south of the city. Regional bus lines will connect with bus rapid transit, light rail, and Amtrak passenger train service at the Union Depot to carry passengers to Minneapolis and the west metro. To ensure equal investment in the 7-county transportation area, the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and Ramsey County

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Commissioner Jim McDonough were asked by Coleman to bring together the East Metro Transit Alliance. Coleman would like more bike lanes in St. Paul to help with commuting and increase the number of trips taken by Nice Ride bike share users. He wants his staff to work with Minneapolis and Hennepin County officials to close the gap between the Greenway bike trails in the west metro and the Gateway and Vento Trails in the east metro. Once completed, he said it will be like a bikeway superhighway.

Education Coleman also spoke about education in his speech, proclaiming that education is the key to economic development, public safety and neighborhood development. Since 2006, he has partnered with the St. Paul School District through Sprockets, an extracurricular network of more than 70 St. Paul organizations. The program pro-

vides a convenient place for parents and children to find effective and quality out-ofschool-time programming in their neighborhoods. Another way to help students succeed is to make sure they are career-ready. Coleman said workplace readiness is something many students lack upon graduation from high school. The City intends to strengthen and broaden the business/student relationship with a new initiative called “Right Track.” The city of St. Paul’s Youth Job Corps will collaborate with the school district, Genesys Works and local businesses to enable students who have worked one job already through the city’s summer Youth Job Corps program to receive career-readiness training and coaching from Genesys Works. During their senior year, they will be eligible for a full summer of career preparation and college readiness training, followed by a yearlong paid internship at one of many participating local companies.

Saint Paul Connect Finally, Coleman announced that the city has launched its own mobile app, “Saint Paul Connect,” available on Android and iPhone. “Technological excellence is no longer a choice,” said Coleman. “It is a necessity. In this digital age we must meet residents where they are – and they’re on their smart phones.”

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C inco de Mayo Fiesta Cinco de Mayo

Your community news and information source

from page 1

4 on six blocks along Cesar Chavez Street between Robert Street and Highway 52. Parking is available for $5 in lots near the festival. Local non-profit organizations will staff the lots and will receive part of the proceeds. Bus service is also available. Visitors may download and print a free round-trip Metro Transit bus pass to Cinco de Mayo at or by calling 651-223-7403. For transit information, visit or call 612-373-3333.

Special events 10 a.m.: Cinco de Mayo parade, Plato and Wabasha to Cesar Chavez Street. This colorful event features bands, floats, costumed dancers and more. 12:30-6 p.m.: Lowrider Car Show. Take a walk down Cesar Chavez Street to see amazing cars, trucks, motorcycles and bikes from all over the region. Vehicles will be on display throughout the event site from Aida

Street and toward Highway 52. Prizes for best vehicles will be awarded at 5:30 p.m.

Music and entertainment Mariachi bands and Aztec dancers will perform throughout the fiesta to give visitors an extra taste of Mexican culture. Most of the music and entertainment this year can be found at three entertainment areas. Each features a range of bands, food, beverages and fun. Playing on the State Street Main Stage near El Burrito Mercado will be the bands Brandy Musical, Jaibol y sus Teclados and KVal de Mexico. On the Cesar Chavez Stage near Cora’s Best Chicken Wings listeners can enjoy the music of DJ La Peligrosa and West Side Tejano groups, including Los Conocidos and Tejano 2000. Beer, margaritas and other beverages will be available at both locations. Visitors also can hear a

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mix of Mexican and Latino music with DJ Rudy at the Lowrider car show at Cesar Chavez and Aida streets. The Family Stage at Parque Castillo will offer entertainment by and for youth, including folkloric dance. For the full line up of music and entertainment, visit www.

Food “Authentic” and “local” best describe the variety of food festival-goers will find at Cinco de Mayo. Vendors, many of them from the West Side, will offer a full range of Mexican street food, including tacos, nachos, churros and the everpopular Mexican roasted corn, according to Calida Cogan, SPFHF event manager. Those craving fair-type food won’t be disappointed either, she added. A range of beverages will also be available, including beer, margaritas, soft drinks and several new nonalcoholic options.

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Page 4 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2013

Photo courtesy of Focus Beyond

contests, or stop by and cheer on the participants. The contests will take place throughout the afternoon at the three entertainment areas. Times and locations will be announced. There is no cost to enter either con-

test. Winners will receive a cash award. El Grito Contest: This contest takes its inspiration from the Grito de Dolores, a battle cry that started the Mexican war for independence from Spanish co-

lonialists in 1810. (Mexican Independence Day is September 16. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Battle of Puebla, Mexico’s victory over the French empire on May 5, 1862.) Gritos will be judged for their volume,

C inco de Mayo Fiesta

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pitch, length and other criteria by audience applause. The winners will receive prizes. Jalapeno-Eating Contest: Test your limit with hot and spicy peppers.

sics, all with the hottest detailing. Owners of vehicles equipped with hydraulics also may compete and, if inclined, demonstrate their vehicles’ amazing abilities during the show.

Community Village

Family Zone

Parque Castillo will be the site of an authentic “placita” market called the Community Village, where festival-goers can browse items offered by West Side artists, crafters, growers and vendors. Products offered include local handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, T-shirts, airbrush artwork, secondhand items, seedlings, produce and more.

Lowrider car show A fleet of incredible cars and other vehicles from the region will make Cesar Chavez Street shine during the Lowrider car show. Vehicle owners will show their cars, trucks and bikes on the street and compete for prizes in 13 categories — everything from street rods/ hot rods to lowriders to clas-

Children and parents can enjoy face painting, storytelling, traditional crafts and huge inflatables in the Family Zone. This area also features activities by local organizations, including the Girl Scouts, St. Paul Parks and Recreation, Science Museum of Minnesota, Riverview Library and Westside Summit Charter School. Entertainment by youth is also featured here, including a mariachi band and folk dancers at the nearby Family Stage at Parque Castillo.

Sports Zone Sports fans – teens and adults alike – will enjoy the Sports Zone, featuring soccer, baseball, martial arts, climbing, tennis and other activities and entertainment. Amateur and professional sports teams and organizations will be

represented and will lead activities, including the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves, St. Paul Saints, Minnesota United FC soccer team and more.

Community Wellness Lane Organizations that provide services to the community will be represented here, including La Clinica, Regions Hospital, Medtronic, UCare, TCF Bank and H&R Block.

Menudo Run This 5K run following the Mississippi River is sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Latino Peace Officers Association. The timed run starts at 8 a.m. at Joseph’s Grill at Water and Wabasha streets. Register on race day 6:457:45 a.m. at  Joseph’s Grill. Cost is $30 until April 29 and $35 after that date. Near the finish line at the Wabasha Deli,  participants can enjoy refreshments and awards. Proceeds go toward college scholarships for law enforcement students.

Volunteers make it happen Volunteers are one of the reasons that Cinco de Mayo is a great family fun event. Organizers rely on 300 volunteers to make the event happen. To volunteer, visit or call 651-2237403. Volunteers receive a free t-shirt.

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S ample St. Paul

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On the Town Artists’ Quarter

408 St. Peter St., St. Paul 651-292-1359

The Artists’ Quarter offers live entertainment throughout the month, including jazz bands and poetry nights.

Children’s Museum

10 W. Seventh St., St. Paul 651-225-6000

“Secrets of Circles” is presented through May 12. This exhibit gives children first-hand experiences with circle-related technologies, including pulleys, gears and

measuring devices such as compasses and turnstiles. “Dora and Diego” is presented through September 22. Children and families are invited to the enchanting world of Dora the Explorer, her animal-rescuing cousin Diego, and their friends Boots and Baby Jaguar. Participants may explore Isa’s Flowery Garden, help Tico gather nuts, join the Pirate Piggies’ crew as they set sail, and search for baby animals in the Rainforest Maze. Tickets are $9.50. Explore the museum free of charge 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the third Sunday of each month.

Fitzgerald Theatre

10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul 651-290-1200 http://fitzgeraldtheater.

Wits Series – Comedian Colin Hanks and musician Jason Isbell will perform at 7 p.m., Friday, May 31. Tickets are $32-$42. Talking Volumes Series - Author Isabel Allende will discuss her new book “Maya’s Notebook” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 8. Tickets are $25. Author and professor Temple Grandin will discuss her new book “The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum” at

Photo by Joan Marcus

“Anything Goes” opens May 7 at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. 7 p.m., Thursday, May 9. Tickets are $25. Science Night Minnesota-Mission to Mars is presented at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 21. John Grotzinger, head of NASA’s Mars Curiosity mission, will share the latest research and a

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R&B artist John Legend will give a presentation on his view on education and perform his music at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 22. Legend is a nine-time Grammy Award winner and outspoken proponent for improving the quality of and access to American education. Tickets are $40.

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“Minnesota and the Civil War” is presented through September 8. The intense divide between North and South in the 1850s turned to war in 1861, and Minnesotans were the first in the Union to respond to the call. Discover the people who mourned, made sacrifices and weighed every possibility and outcome of the tragic war. “Then Now Wow” highlights Minnesota’s history in the prairies, forests and cities. Visitors will encounter multi-media exhibits, artifacts and images unique to Minnesota’s diverse population and historic events. Ongoing exhibits include “The U.S.-Dakota War of 1862,” “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom,” “Grainland,” “Open House: If These Walls Could Talk” and “Weather Permitting.” Museum tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for seniors and college students, and $6 for chil-

dren ages 6-17. The center offers free admission on Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m.

History Theatre

30 E. Tenth St., St. Paul 651-292-4323

“This Side of Paradise” is presented through May 19. This play is a jazzy remembrance of the glamorous and tumultuous love of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his muse Zelda. Tickets are $32-$40, with discounts for students and seniors.

Landmark Center

75 W. 5th St., St. Paul 651-292-3225

The St. Paul Civic Symphony will perform a free Mother’s Day concert at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 12. The “Women in Jazz Ensemble” will perform a Mother’s Day concert at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 12. The event is hosted by singer Pippi Ardennia. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information, visit

Lowry Lab Theatre

350 St. Peter St., St. Paul

“To Kill A Mockingbird,” an adaptation of the 1961 Pulitzer Prizewinning novel, is presented May 8-11. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. “26 Miles” is presented May 12-19. “26 Miles” tells the story of a reconnection of mother and daughter separated by divorce, suicide, cul-

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Ordway Center 345 Washington St. St. Paul 651-224-4222

Pilobolus will perform at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4. Pilobolus dancers are known for their unique style involving the entanglement and contortions of bodies, often in positions that seem to defy the laws of gravity. Tickets are $20-$89. “Sing along: Sound of Music” is presented at noon and 6:30 p.m., Saturday, May 18. This screening of the classic Julie Andrews film in full-screen Technicolor will engage the audience in songs and interactive fun. Tickets are $10-$20. “Anything Goes” is presented May 7-12. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention get tossed out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set

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off on the course to true love, proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. Tickets are $27-$110.

Park Square

20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul 651-291-7005

“Stick Fly” is presented April 26-May 19. It’s a relaxing weekend on Martha’s Vineyard… until the baggage gets unpacked. Two sons of a financially privileged African-American family bring their girlfriends home to meet their parents, only to find that Dad is the only one in residence. As family secrets unravel and sibling rivalries flare, class distinctions rise to the surface. Tickets are $25.

Science Museum 120 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 651-221-9444



& The Cycle of Life” is presented through May 5. This presentation uses real human specimens, including 20 full-body plastinates, to follow human development across the life cycle from conception to old age. Tickets are $27 for adults and $19 for children and seniors. “Tornado Alley” is presented through June 20 in the Omnitheatre. This film takes viewers on an epic chase through the “severe weather capital of the world.” Narrated by Bill Paxton, it follows Storm Chasers star Sean Casey and the scientists of VORTEX2, the largest tornado-research project ever assembled, on separate missions to encounter one of nature’s most awe-inspiring events — the birth of a tornado. Omnifest 2013 is presented May 10-June 20. Five films will be shown daily on the Omnitheater’s 90-foot domed screen. The films are “Antarctica,” “Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees,” “Lewis & Clark: Great

Journey West,” “Tornado Alley” and “Wild Ocean.” Museum tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Omnitheater tickets are $9 and $8 respectively.


175 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul

Festival of Nations, Minnesota’s largest multi-cultural celebration, is featured May 2-5 at RiverCentre. This year’s theme, Children, Our Past and Future, will be seen throughout the festival and presented in over 60 exhibits and cultural presentations. Tickets are $11 for adults and $8 for children ages 6 to 16 if purchased by May 2. After May 2, tickets are available at the door for $13.50 for adults and $8 for children. For more information, visit


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Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2013 - Page 7

N ews Briefs

Your community news and information source

{ THE FULLER FILES } Downtown happenings St. Paul Preparatory School will host a potluck supper at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 30 at the main level of Cray Plaza. The event will feature a performance by the school’s choir. St. Paul Conservatory will hold a coffee concert at noon, Wed., May 1 at 26 E. Exchange. It will also host a student recital at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4 and an open house at 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 14. St. Paul Friends of the Library will present “Organizing in the Ranks: Racism and Resistance in the U.S. Military” at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 16 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The annual Labor His-

tory Tour will feature “Steel Rails, Strong Heart” at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 19 at Union Depot. The Books and Bars club will discuss “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Mary Semple at 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 28 at Amsterdam, located at Sixth and Wabasha. CapitolRiver Council/ District 17 will host its First Friday public social event 4-6 p.m., Friday, May 3 at the St. Paul Athletic Club. A dog-friendly event will be held 1-3 p.m., Saturday, May 25 at the Black Dog Café, 308 Prince St. Other events at the Black Dog include jazz performances by the Brad Bellows Quartet at 8 p.m., Friday, May 17, and Parisota Hot Club at 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 20,

downtown news by Roger Fuller

and a blues performance by Willie Murphy at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 25. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is presented at 8 p.m., May 9-11 at the Lowry Lab Theatre, located at Fifth and St. Peter. Angela Walberg will present a show on the life and works of poet Emily Dickinson May 17-18 and May 24-25. The Minnesota Museum of American Art will host a Curator Kids program May 11-12 and May 16-19, featuring an exhibit created by elementary school students. The museum is also hosting a series of conversations about its future 4-6 p.m., May 16, 23 and 30. The museum, located in the Pioneer Building at Fourth and Robert, is open 4-9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays

and noon-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Zeitgeist and Flying Forms will present a joint program May 17-19 at Studio Z, located in the Northwestern Building at 275 E. Fourth St. Flying Forms will perform new music on Baroque instruments and Zeitgeist will perform new works inspired by Baroque and Renaissance periods. Performances are held at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m., Sunday.

Annual art exhibit canceled The annual Art and Recovery exhibit held each spring at the Minnesota Art Board office has been canceled this year due to lack of funding. For the past decade

the exhibit featured artwork and writings by crime victims. The art was created to help the victims heal from the emotional pain caused from the crimes.

Lowry Lab seeks new home The Lowry Lab Theatre in the Lowry Building is looking for a new home. It hopes to find a new downtown location with affordable rent, ample space and high ceilings before its current lease expires in June.

Mears Park has new volunteer coordinator Karen Brennen is the new volunteer coordinator of Friends of Mears Park. She will be assisted by Alena Kulp. Brennen succeeds Del Case, who retired after

serving for five years. The organization recruits volunteer gardeners to plant and maintain flowers in the park.

Weddings in downtown parks People interested in having their marriage ceremony in a downtown park should contact the park permit office at 651-632-5111. This office can assist with permits at Mears Park, Rice Park, Kellogg Mall Park, Irvine Park, Raspberry Island and Harriet Island.

Wabasha Partners seeks grant Wabasha Partners has applied for a $25,000 Star Grant from the city of St. Paul to purchase new trash receptacles and create a

Stop By! Or Don't! Dine In. Take Out. Delivery.

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Page 8 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2013

N ews Briefs newspaper distribution center to replace current plastic newsstands. Wabasha Partners is a group of local businesses and organizations dedicated to making improvements on Wabasha Street. Its next meeting is at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 14 at the Fitzgerald Theatre. For more information, call 651-290-1083.

City Passport City Passport senior citizen center, located in the Alliance Bank Building at 55 E. Fifth St., is hosting the following events in May: movies, 1 p.m., Thursday, May 9, healing sounds of music, 10:45 a.m., Friday, May 10 and 24, happy birthday party, 2 p.m., Monday, May 13, trivia time, 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 15, writers group, 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 17, current events discussion, 11 a.m., Friday, May 17, patriotic singalong, 10:45 a.m., Friday, May 24, ice cream float social, 1:30 p.m., Friday, May 31, blood pressure checks, Mondays at 10 a.m., and acupuncture, Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.

Senior Men’s golf club The Phalen Senior Men’s Golf Club is accepting new members over age 50. Members play 18 holes of golf every Tuesday, 7:30-10 a.m., May through September.  Special events and tournaments are planned throughout the season, and handicaps are established for all club play.  For more information, call Bob Stevens at 651-222-3219 or Clark Smith at 651-702-1052. 

Union Depot offers free biweekly tours Free public tours of the newly restored Union Depot are offered at 11 a.m. every other Tuesday. Online registration is available at uniondepot (click on the “Tickets” button) and www. Private tours are also available for a nominal fee and can be reserved by emailing or calling 651-202-2703. Union Depot, built in the 1920s, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It reopened in December 2012 after a two-year $243 million renovation project to transform it into a multimodal transportation hub.

Your community news and information source

New website for Lowertown Ballpark The city of St. Paul has a new website – – that allows residents to track the construction progress of the Lowertown Ballpark. Residents may also sign up to receive regular updates by visiting The Lowertown Ballpark will be home to the St. Paul Saints and amateur baseball teams from across the region. According to the City, it will also host a variety of community events year-round and is expected to attract 400,000 visitors to downtown St. Paul and spur an estimated $10 million in economic impact annually. The ballpark is scheduled to be completed in spring 2015.

HHW collection Ramsey County’s household hazardous waste collection site at Bay West, located near the State Capitol at 5 Empire Dr., St. Paul, is open year-round. Dropoff is free for residents of Ramsey, Washington, Dakota, Hennepin, Anoka and Carver counties with a photo I.D. For hours of operation and more information, call the Ramsey County Recycling & Disposal Hotline at 651-633-EASY (3279) or visit ph.

Post office window service The new post office at Fifth and Robert has two customer service windows, which is three fewer than what was offered at the two former downtown branches. This reflects a trend nationwide of people purchasing postage at other locations, including grocery stores, banks and online. About 40 percent of postal business does not take place in post office buildings.

CRC supports Pedro Park CapitolRiver Council/ District 17 designated Pedro Park as the preferred project for funding in the city’s capital improvement budget for 2014-15. The funding will be used to convert the Pedro Luggage Building site near Tenth and Robert into a public park. Other projects receiving support include the Kellogg Boulevard Bridge at St. Peter, Kellogg Mall

Park and Wacouta Commons. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Capital Improvement Budget Committee, which prepares the budget for the next two years.

as a dog -walking and petsitting service. Poling has worked in the pet industry for over nine years in many different fields, including zoos, shelters, retail, grooming and veterinary. Her new

retail location will feature trendy pet supplies, homemade treats, all natural food, toys, gifts and more. Store hours are MondayFriday 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

CocoBear will continue to provide grooming, dogwalking and pet-sitting services. For more information, visit

CocoBear Boutique opens in Lowertown CocoBear Pet Care is opening a pet retail and grooming boutique May 1 at 197 E. Seventh St. A grand opening is planned for 4-8 p.m., Sat., May 11.  The store is owned by Madeleine Poling, who started CocoBear in 2011

• Interior/Exterior Painting • Now bidding exterior jobs for this season • Call today


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We will drop off a container or dumpster for you and haul it away once it's filled. If you prefer to save money, you can haul your trash nuestro to“Lo our refuse and recycling station. We accept all items in large or small es unquantities. servicioWe also offer many sizes of roll off containers, from 10 to 40 cubic yards. We Support

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Discover the HIDDEN GEM of West St Paul! • Par 29 executive course - Great for golfers of all skill levels. Longest hole 353 (Blue)

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• Develop your own tournament, with family & friends or co-workers with our professional assistance. • Call up to 7 days in advance for a tee time: 651-457-6064, or email tee time requests through: "Contact Us" at

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Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2013 - Page 9

R iver Connections

Your community news and information source

Every mile is a memory The 72 miles of Mississippi River that flow through the Twin Cities hold a treasure trove of memories in the making. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area this November, we are publishing a series of articles that explore life in the corridor and the many amenities it offers. Read the series at

REFLECTIONS From the Riverfront

Welcoming the return of the color green Tim Spitzack Editor


he return of the color green to the riverfront is like balm to the soul of the weary masses inflicted by the wounds of winter.

It’s a magical phenomenon that happens each spring when the sun hangs around longer in the sky and when cleansing rains rinse and scour the earth. The first hints of it are detected only by eyes that are look-

ing for it. It appears on the deciduous undergrowth on the southern slopes that devour the largest amounts of nourishing sunshine. Tender buds drop their scales and burst forth tiny shoots, creating a soft emerald haze

along the riverbank. In a matter of weeks, all vegetation has been revived, and inevitably one weekend in May everything pops, and leaves from even the tallest trees unfurl and wave to us from branches above.

May is

Customer Appreciation Month

Receive a drawing slip every day in May for grand prize drawings at our May 31 party.

Smile Parties... • Thurs., May 2, 2 & 7 pm • Mon., May 6, 7 pm • Tues., May 21, 2 & 7 pm

• Fri., May 31, 7 pm • Sat., June 1, 2 pm

Anniversary Celebration May 31, 7 pm | June 1, 2 pm

Free coffee, cookie and a "smiley face" dauber for everyone!

Watch for us in the West St. Paul Days parade on May 18! $10 admission package $5 additional packages

Matinees - 2 pm Tues., Thurs., Sat. & Sun.

Super Sessions 7 pm nightly

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Great Frequent Player Card Program Spin to Win for great prizes each Wednesday

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Recently, I set out in search of this marvel with my eyes wide open. I went on my green-seeking journey on a funky looking neon green bike offered through the NiceRide bike-sharing program. I had yet to rent one of these bikes and this seemed a fitting opportunity to do so. The program began in June 2010 and has since attracted 575,000 riders who have hopped on the bikes for both recreational and commuting purposes. Today, more than 1,500 bikes are offered at 170 locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis. They are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from April to November. For more information, visit The National Park Service is a sponsor of the program and has funded more than 50 stations. In late February, the Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area received a $504,000 grant to install 17 new stations, which will be placed in north Minneapolis. The grant is part of the Federal Transit Administration’s Transit in Parks program that is providing $12.5 million in grants for 29 projects in 20 states to improve access to America’s national parks, forests and wildlife refuges. I rented my bike from the Harriet Island station on Water Street. It was easy to do. I simply swiped my credit card at the pay station, printed out a code and entered it into one of the bike docks. A light flashed green and I retrieved my bike. The rental rate is $6, which allows patrons to use a bike for up to 30 minutes. If you keep the bike longer, additional fees apply. However, if you return it to another station within 30

minutes, you can unlock a different bike without paying another fee. This can happen for an unlimited number of times during a 24-hour period. I hopped on the bike and cruised around Harriet Island, Raspberry Island and into Lilydale Regional Park. The bikes have wide, comfortable seats and are easy to ride but are not intended for high speed. They have just three gears, which aptly served my needs for the relatively flat terrain that I traveled. The trail through Lilydale Park runs directly along the river and offers great views of the river, the Smith Avenue High Bridge and the St. Paul skyline. I rode past the St. Paul Yacht Club wondering if I would see any boaters there, but saw only mallards and gulls gently bobbing up and down in the slips. I was happy that the waterfowl had returned to join other birds that have recently migrated back. In the past week I’ve seen numerous robins, juncos and other birds, and been treated to a melodious symphony on my morning walks. On the steep bluff on the south side of the road through Lilydale Park I saw three small waterfalls, all still encased in snow and ice. The landscape around me was brown and barren and I thought my prospect of finding greenery would be for naught. Then I slowed down and stopped my bike. I leaned over my handlebar and peered deeply into the underbrush along the river and spotted a few tufts of green grass, and then some bright green leaves on spindly ground cover. I smiled. It wasn’t much, but it was enough, for I knew that more would soon follow.

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Page 10 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2013

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Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2013 - Page 11

B ack in Time

Your community news and information source

May 1935: Gangster trials and Minnesotans far from home Don Morgan Contributor


y 1935 the Great Depression in America was seriously depressing. Unemployment that year averaged over 20 percent. One of four households was on some form of government relief, including over eight million people who were building schools, libraries, bridges and other public amenities for the federal Works Progress Administration. An estimated 750,000 American farms had been foreclosed since 1930. One of the adverse effects of the Depression was severe price deflation, which caused many farms to go under. However, if one was gainfully employed, there were some great bargains to be found. The new downtown White Castle at old Sixth Street, where the Dorothy Day Center is today, sold their distinctive hamburgers at five for ten cents. The spring sale at the Golden Rule offered men’s gabardine suits for $24.95. All

that was required was 20 percent down and the rest in weekly payments. An electric refrigerator (many people still had ice boxes) could be purchased on a three-year payment plan, with no down payment. The Norge was around $80, or one could go upscale and get a Westinghouse for $133.50. Movie prices were depressed, too. Daytime admission was ten cents, forcing many to decide between a movie or five White Castle sliders for their dime. Featured that May were Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy in the film version of Victor Herbert’s “Naughty Marietta,” which included classic songs as “‘Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life” and “’Neath the Southern Moon.” Those interested in action saw James Cagney, playing a good guy for a change, in “G Men.” That film was one of the top grossing movies that year. “G Men” was appropriate viewing that month because of what else was happening downtown. Ten people

were on trial for the January 1934 kidnapping of brewing heir Edward Bremer. He was grabbed in broad daylight on Lexington Avenue, and released a month later for a $200,000 ransom payment. While in captivity, the youngster was moved across a state line, making it a federal offense. In classic FBI fashion, the bureau tracked some of the ransom bills and arrested members and associates of the Karpis Barker gang and charged them with conspiracy in the crime. It was important to the feds to get this trial right. In 1933 they embarrassed themselves by charging the wrong gang with a similar St. Paul kidnapping and had to watch those defendants be acquitted. While Karpis was still at large, the star defendant in the case was 35-year-old Arthur “Doc” Barker. He may have been happy to be arrested because most of the rest of his gang, including his mother and one of his brothers, were killed in Florida in a wild shootout

with the FBI. The trial, held in St. Paul’s Federal Building (now the Landmark Center) lasted three weeks and featured testimony from “yeggs, gun molls, gunsels and stool pigeons,” as described in the Pioneer Press. The public ate up all trial news. The government’s case against the gang worked out much better than it had in 1933. Charges against two of the 10 defendants were dismissed before the government rested its case. The other eight were all convicted by the 9-man, 3-woman jury. Sentences ranged from a few years for some, to life in prison for Doc Barker and Oliver Berg. When Karpis was arrested in New Orleans the following year he, too, was tried and pleaded guilty for the Bremer kidnaping. He was sentenced at the Landmark Center in St. Paul to life in prison. That pretty much brought an end to the era of “public enemy” hoods. Barker and Karpis ended up at Alcatraz in San Francisco.

Barker was killed trying to escape in 1939. Karpis was paroled in 1969. That May people in St. Paul were also following reports of a number of hardhit Minnesota farm families who surrendered their land to the bank and headed farther north. As part of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration’s New Deal program to help farmers, 203 families were offered the chance to leave the upper Midwest and start over on 40-acre government land grants in the Matanuska Valley of southwest Alaska. Sixty-six families from Minnesota took the offer. The Pioneer Press sent a correspondent along to report their fate. Traveling from San Francisco on a U.S. Army transport ship, the reporter wrote of the new Alaskans’ arrival at a tent city in the town of Palmer. Their homes were not yet built (WPA workers were on the job for that) nor were there any schools, stores or other establishments in the area. The

setting, however, did have an Alaskan summer beauty: Mt. McKinley. If anyone needed a reminder that they were no longer in Minnesota, they could look to the horizon and see the majestic mountain. For the rest of the season, readers in St. Paul devoured regular updates on the fate of “the last wave of American westward migration.” Farming in Alaska turned out to be more demanding than farming in Minnesota. The new arrivals faced a shorter growing season and still had the problem of low commodity prices. Some of the families made a go of it in Matanuska, and some moved on. However, they did leave one legacy. During the 2008 Presidential election many wondered why Alaska governor Sarah Palin sounded like she came from northern Minnesota. Hers was not one of the transplanted farm families, but people growing up in that area acquired the accent of those Minnesotan migrants from 78 years past.

Affordable Living with

Individualized Services

St. Paul Public Housing Agency’s Congregate Housing Services Program (CHSP) Home-Based Services Include: ● ● ●

Daily Meal Service Housekeeping and Laundry Service Individualized Service Coordination

Apartments Are Within the Communities of St. Paul Public Housing and Offer: ● ● ● ●

Affordable Rents - Based on Income Private One Bedroom Apartments Secure Buildings Social Activities

W here Y ou F it i n 555 Wabasha Street North St. Paul, Minnesota 55102 CHSP Manager: 651-292-6035 Rental Office: 651-298-4444 Page 12 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - May 2013

DTN May 2013  
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