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Your Community News & Information Source September 2013 Volume 19 Number 9

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Disturbing their Peace

Crane Ordway tenants and neighbors organize to reduce street crime Bill Knight Contributor


nthralled by the lure of city life and affordable rent, Kelly Murray was excited this past February when she moved from Woodbury to the Crane Ordway building in Lowertown. At just over $400 a month, her rent is less than a third of what she found at other studio apartments. However, her excitement quickly diminished after she moved in. “It was mainly the fantasy and thrill of living in a major downtown area that almost feels like it’s Chicago or New York,” she said. “But right away I noticed a lot of homeless people loitering in front of the building.” And so began a series of troubling discoveries and incidents – namely drug sales and prostitution – that have led her and a few other residents on a journey they never imagined would happen in Lowertown. “After being there for just a couple months, I learned drugs were being sold right at the front door,” said Murray. She also discovered people loitering outside, smoking, drinking, being loud and harassing people

coming into the building. Most of the drug sales, she said, take place after the building managers leave for the day, around 5 p.m., and continue until the early morning hours. Murray believes the drug dealers are exploiting some of the building’s vulnerable tenants. She estimates about 20 percent of the residents have mental health issues and are housed there under subsidies from the State of Minnesota or Ramsey County. “A lot of the drug dealers took advantage and tried to use these adults (for drug sales) in their apartments,” she said. “I was frustrated, afraid, intimidated and unhappy that I had chosen to live here. My only salvation is that I have a very large and intimidating dog. I call her ‘my baby’ and it’s the only reason I walk in and out of the apartment.” Murray began talking with other residents and learned they were having similar experiences. “I felt a little better because I was not alone and they were frustrated also,” she said. In May, just three months after moving in, Murray joined forces with three

Diverse lineup punctuates new season at the major downtown playhouses Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer

Kelly Murray helped organize a series of meetings this summer to combat criminal behavior around the Crane Ordway Building. other residents. The group met and decided to bring their concerns to their building manager. “Our first objective was to get some security in the building,” she said. Next, they organized a

meeting in early July that was attended by other residents, neighbors, building management and an officer from the St. Paul Police Department. Crane Ordway / Page 2

“On with the show!” Oh the excitement of the theater and the magic that can happen when talented and well-directed actors take to the stage on the wings of a well-written script, and succeed in transporting their audience to a different place and time. The magic happens year after year at downtown St. Paul’s innumerable theaters, including the largest: the Ordway, Fitzgerald, History and Park Square. These theaters draw enormous crowds and bring millions of dollars to nearby restaurants and other businesses. The most recent study of the arts, done in 2006 by the city of St. Paul, shows that there are 5.5 million visits to St. Paul theaters each year, generating $330 million in revenue. Those healthy numbers are enabling growth and change within the downtown theater community. Joe Spencer, St. Paul’s director of Arts and Culture, reported that Park Square Theater is raising funds to build a 150-seat Theater Lab in its basement. At the Ordway, construction is underway for an 1,100-seat concert hall. Nautilus Theater is planning to reopen in the Northern Warehouse Building, with seating for 50. Bedlam Theater just opened its doors on East Fourth Street at the former Rumours & Innuendo nightclub. Bedlam will be a theater and nightclub offering a restaurant and full bar, theatrical productions, music, cabaret, and “info-tainment,” their take on the local news. Bedlam is an experimental, community-based theater. Theater lovers will scramble for seats to the prolific pageantry pegged for the 2013-2014 season. Here’s a look at the playbills of the larger theaters. The Voice updates listings monthly for theaters large and small.

Theater season / Page 3

Three Sisters Eclectic Arts flourishing in Lowertown Tim Spitzack Editor


ne 3,000-square-foot studio plus two friends equals Three Sisters Eclectic Arts. Lowertown’s newest art gallery, located in the Jax

Building at 253 E. 4th St., is attracting new artists to its existing base of 40 and new customers, many of whom are finding the gallery while visiting the nearby Farmers’ Market and downtown events, such as the Northern Spark festival

and St. Paul Art Crawl. Textile artists and entrepreneurs Valerie Anderson and Linda Snyder opened the gallery in March to provide a place for other independent artists to showcase their work. It’s a unique concept of joint ownership

and teamwork. All of the participating artists pay rent to sell their wares at the gallery and are asked to work eight hours a month to help staff the store or provide operational assistance. It appears to be working out just fine.

“People like the aspect of being able to meet local artists and buy Minnesotamade art,” said Anderson. The partners chose the Jax Building because it’s in the heart of Lowertown’s art community. Once open, it didn’t take long for artists

to find their way to the gallery to help fill it with art. Featured in the bright, airy studio is a mix of paintings, photography, textiles, furniture, clothing, glass, jewelry, pottery and more. Three Sisters Eclectic Arts / Page 7

C ommunity

Your community news and information source

Crane Ordway from page 1

“Residents were all telling the same story – that they believe there are people (living in the building) who have slipped through the screening process over time,” said Jim Ivey, a Lowertown resident from a nearby building and business owner who attended the meeting. He said drug dealers circumvent the screening process by having a friend or relative fill out the screening form using

their personal information, but then the drug dealer moves into the apartment rather than the applicant. “My biggest concern is that the good people in the building are at risk and they don’t have anyplace to go,” Ivey said. Chris Nimmer, vice president of property operations at Aeon, the company that owns and manages the building, was also at the meeting and acknowledged

that drug sales were the most serious concern for residents. “Residents also said their concerns focused on the disorderly conduct of people in the neighborhood and the potential prostitution,” he said, adding that he was aware of both problems before the meeting took place. “We get regular police reports,” he added. “The staff at the building was informed of a lot of the activity so the residents had done a good job of keeping us in the loop.” Nimmer acknowledged

that there has been a steady increase in unwanted behavior this year, but said that Aeon now has security people at the building seven days a week. “We are asking the security company to identify traffic issues at certain units and report if there is any suspicious activity,” he said. Nimmer also said the leases of a few of the residents have been terminated in recent months. “In doing that, we think we have addressed a substantial part of the problem,” he said.

After the meeting Murray seemed satisfied with the response of the building management and believes recent efforts have combated the prostitution problem. “They (building management) responded well with security guards there every night,” said Murray. However, she said there are still a lot of strangers meandering throughout the building. Now she and other tenants are pressing for additional safety measures, such as installing cameras in the elevators and enforcing rules that prohibit smoking and loitering in the building. At press time a meeting was scheduled with ten-

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Work is underway on demolishing the Diamond Products site in preparation for construction of the new Lowertown Ballpark. As a result, the parking lots north of the site are closed. These lots have been used primarily by residents of the nearby Market House condominiums and customers of the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. The city of St. Paul has worked out an agreement with the St. Paul Farmers’ Market to allow Market House residents to park for free at the market during the week and at the city-owned Lowertown Ramp on the weekends through September.

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ants and neighbors, a state housing agency, St. Paul city officials and representatives from Aeon. Several calls were made to the St. Paul Police Department for comment for this article but they were not returned. The Crane Ordway building was built in 1904 as a warehouse. It was designed by Reed & Stem, the architectural firm that designed the St. Paul Hotel and Grand Central Station in New York. Aeon bought the long-vacant building at 218 E. 5th St. and renovated it in 2006 to feature 70 loftstyle apartments, including 14 units for adults experiencing long-term homelessness.

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A rts & Culture

Your community news and information source

Theater season

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts

from page 1

Park Square Theatre 20 W. Seventh Place 651-291-7005 www.parksquaretheatre. org.

“Good People,” September 13-October 6. A tough and tender play about the insurmountable class divide. “Mary T. and Lizzy K.,” October 18-November 10. As Mary Todd Lincoln dresses for an evening of entertainment at Ford’s Theater, the audience can eavesdrop on the unique business relationship and complex friendship between Lincoln and her free, mixed-race seamstress, Lizzy Keckly. Holiday Special-Musical Revue - Words by Ira Gershwin and the Great American Song Book, November 29-December 29. During the holiday season, meet Ira, brother of George, and enjoy music that will send you into the streets singing. “The School for Lies,” January 10-February 2,

2014. Enjoy a 17th century romantic spoof whose script is filled with deliciously offcolor contemporary slang and characters you’ll find yourself rooting for. “Cyrano,” March 14April 6, 2014. An unabashed romance set in the 1640s, with a swashbuckling hero, a case of hidden identity and a passionate love story. “Behind the Eye,” April 25-May 18, 2014. A gripping play about the remarkable life of Lee Miller, an acclaimed World War II reporter covering the front lines, who began her career in the 1920s in front of the lens as a Vogue model, then became a muse of the Paris Surrealists in the ’30s. “The Red Box,” May 30-July 13, 2014. Two pounds of candy-laced with potassium cyanide. A lovely woman is dead and the fortunes of a theatrical producer depend on solving the mystery.

345 Washington St. 651-224-4222

“Miss Saigon,” October 8-13. Based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon takes place during the Vietnam War. It’s a tale of passion and tragedy, and presents an array of inspiring music. “Broadway Songbook,” written and hosted by James Rocco. The Songbook team serenades you on the Ordway stage for an intimate, personal look into the stories behind the songs that created Broadway. The following three shows must be purchased as a package: “Musicals of the 1950s,” October 17-20; “George Gershwin,” January 3-5, 2014; “Comden and Green,” June 13-15, 2014; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz,” December 4-29. Discover the real story of Oz in this adaptation of the all-time classic, reconceived for the stage. All the beloved songs from the Oscar-winning

movie score are included, along with all the favorite characters and moments, plus a few surprises. “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess,” March 25-30, 2014. Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” is hitting the road in a stunning and stirring new staging, including such legendary songs as “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and “I Got Plenty of Nottin’.” The Ordway is bringing George and Ira Gershwin’s legendary masterwork to the stage for the first time in more than 35 years. “Bring It On: The Musical,” May 13-18, 2014. Uniting some of the freshest and funniest creative minds on Broadway, “Bring It On: The Musical” is inspired by the “Bring It On” film about the trials and tribulations of cheerleading competition. Blue Man Group, April 29-May 4, 2014. Blue Man Group will thrill audiences with a high-octane theatrical experience. Escape the ordinary and surround

yourself in an explosion of comedy, music and technology.

History Theatre

10 E. Tenth St. 651-292-4323

“Baby Case,” October 5-November 3. A new musical about the media circus that surrounded the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and the original “trial of the century.” “Christmas of Swing,” November 23-December 22. A show depicting Minnesota’s own Andrews Sisters and their World War II USO Shows. “The Incredible Season of Ronnie Rabinovitz,” February 1-23, 2014. Learn the true story of the Rabinovitz family and Ronnie’s unique friendships with two of his heroes in 1960, Jackie Robinson and John F. Kennedy. “Lonely Soldiers, Women at War in Iraq,” March 16-April 6, 2014. The battles of America’s female soldiers told in their own words. Tim O’Brien’s “The

Things They Carried,” March 15-April 6, 2014. The Vietnam War brilliantly told through the eyes of one soldier. “Working Boys Band,” May 3-June 1, 2014. This world premiere musical celebrates the transformative power of music in the lives of a rough and tumble group of men, and the growing drumbeat of the approaching Great War.


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S ample St. Paul

Your community news and information source

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

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.

songs and improvisation from The Second City’s 53-year history. Tickets are $25-$35.

Tickets are $9.50. Explore the museum free of charge 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the third Sunday of each month.

345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 651-259-3000

Fitzgerald Theater

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

“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

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

The Second City, Chicago’s legendary comedy theater, presents “Happily Ever Laughter,” at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7. This revue features some of the best sketches,

History Center

“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,” the largest exhibit ever at the History Center, high-

“Good People” opens September 13 at Park Square Theatre. lights 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 children ages 6-17. The center offers free admission on Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m.

Landmark Center

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

Pip Jazz Sundays Rob Juice will perform at 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept.

8. The event is hosted by singer Pippi Ardennia. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information, visit The American Association of Woodturners is hosting a free demonstration noon-3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15 in the Gallery of Wood Art. The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is held 4-6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15 in the Musser Cortile. Free.

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Carnival Following with Food & Bounce House Central Presbyterian Church is located at 500 Cedar Street in Downtown St. Paul. We offer free parking during all worship services at the World Trade Center Parking Ramp. Please see our website for more information.


Page 4 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - September 2013

Daily Meal Service Housekeeping and Laundry Service Individualized Service Coordination

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

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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

S ample St. Paul Meg Hutchinson will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20 in the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium. Tickets are $15-$18.

Park Square Theatre

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

“Good People” is presented September 13-October 5. The themes of the play are embodied in the characters of out-ofwork Margie, and Mike, a guy she dated briefly in high school who is now a successful doctor. Both of them were born and grew up in South Boston – ‘Southie’ – a neighborhood rife with low incomes and troubled families.

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

“Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed” is presented through January 5, 2014. This exhibit explores ancient Maya society through the eyes of powerful kings and queens and the farmers, artisans, administrators and craftsmen who supported the elite. It features numerous artifacts and interactive exhibits. Tickets are $21 for adults and $12 for students and seniors, or $28 and $19

with admission to the Omnitheatre. “Mystery of the Maya” is presented in the Omnitheatre. Take a journey back in time with the explorers who unearthed this majestic ancient civilization in the jungles of Central America in the early 19th century. Filmed on location at sacred sites throughout the Maya regions, it features re-enactments of the archaeological expeditions that uncovered what we know about the Maya and showcases some of their most remarkable achievements in mathematics, writing, astronomy and calendrics. Museum tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Omnitheater tickets are $9 and $8 respectively.

Your community news and information source Blake Shelton, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12. Tickets are $29.75$54.75. Nine Inch Nails, 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28. Tickets are $37.50-$99.

Beginner Square Dance classes Dakota Grand Squares, a local square dance club, is offering weekly beginner square dance classes Monday evenings, 6:15-8 p.m., beginning September 23 at the West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida St., St. Paul. For more information, call 651-225-9709.

Blessing of the


Xcel Energy Center

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Mumford & Sons, with special guests The Vaccines and Bear’s Den, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 4. Tickets are $35-$49.99. Taylor Swift, with special guests Ed Sheeran and Casey James, 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8. Tickets are $31.50-$86.50. Michael Bublé, 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 11. Tickets are $56.50-$112.

Join us for this annual festival celebrating the creatures in our lives and the sacredness of all creation. Worship will include special music, prayers, and stories about animals, and all creatures are invited to receive a blessing out on the lawn after worship.

Leashed Pets Welcome

Central Presbyterian Church September 29 at 10:30 a.m.

Central Presbyterian Church is located at 500 Cedar Street in Downtown St. Paul. We offer free parking during all worship services at the World Trade Center Parking Ramp. Please see our website for more information.



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R iver Connections

Your community news and information source

REFLECTIONS From the Riverfront

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

I wonder as I wander Tim Spitzack Editor


wo trails converged in a yellow wood. At least that’s what Dakota County Parks hopes will happen in the coming year with a yet-to-be-developed 3.8mile segment of the Mississippi River Trail in Dakota County. The undeveloped section prohibits cyclists from safely cruising from South St. Paul to Hastings along the riverfront unencumbered by vehicle traffic. The trail is paved to where it meets the gap. The portion north from Hastings was completed last year and the route running from South St. Paul was paved

Mississippi River Cruise

this year. The gap remains in the Pine Bend area in Rosemount and Nininger Township. Dakota County Parks, which is spearheading the 27-mile project, is in the process of finalizing the trail alignment through the Nininger area. A route was selected in late May and surveying work has begun, with construction to start next summer. The County also plans to initiate a feasibility study later this year to find a suitable trail alignment around the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad tracks in Rosemount. I traveled to this area recently to view the project site. Pine Bend Trail intersects Hwy. 55 just east of Hwy. 52 and winds through an industrial area to where it crosses the UP tracks. At this point it becomes gravel

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and darts straightaway toward Lower Spring Lake Park Reserve, a beautiful nature sanctuary filled with native prairie grasses, flowers and old-growth woods, as well as an archery range and youth camp and lodge. Traveling a half-mile further and turning left onto Fischer Avenue, one can see where land has been cleared to survey the trail. Fischer leads to a gravel cul-de-sac by the river, and it is near here that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hopes to build a new recreation area and boat ramp, which would be easily accessible by trail users. Although that project will not likely begin for a few years, I wanted to see this site because of its historical significance. It’s the former location of Bud’s Landing, a small resort that catered to hunters and fishermen for half a century. A sign forbidding trespassing stands near a metal gate that blocks access to a narrow road that winds down to the river and the former resort. I ducked under the gate and started down the pathway, which was rutted and overgrown with vegetation. This land,

The remains of a rustic bar and juke box faceplate at Bud’s Landing.

now owned by Dakota County, once belonged to the Josephs family. The late Bud Josephs, who lived on St. Paul’s West Side and made his living as a meat cutter at Swift in South St. Paul, purchased the land in three separate transactions between 1943 and 1947 and transformed it into Bud’s Hunting and Fishing Resort. In the spring of 2012, the Josephs family sold the land to the county with the condition that the area be preserved as Bud’s Landing. Even though I was on public land, the “No Trespassing” sign made me uneasy as I ambled down the path. As the forest opened to the riverbank I could see what was left of the former resort. At one time there were three cabins on the property. All that remains are one cabin and a building that housed a rustic bar. It’s a place that time has quietly stepped around. A large, grassy area abuts the boat landing, which is now stuffed with whitened logs that have floated

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down the river and become lodged in the gentle bend of the riverbank. With a little work, the site will make a nice area for future generations to enjoy and gain access to the river. It’s a beautiful area that is worthy of preserving and enhancing. I walked around the bar and the cabin, both of which are in a serious state of disrepair. I peered into the windows and tried to imagine what the buildings were like when they were filled with laughter and braggadocio from resort patrons. I envisioned grown men huddled around the bar, dressed in flannel, each with stubble on their chin and greasy hair matted against their scalps from being tucked under a hat all day. With a Grain Belt beer in hand and a Lucky Strike cigarette dangling from his lips and bouncing as he talked, one would be telling a story in the smoky haze about the big one that got away, or ribbing his mate about the easy shot that he missed when the first mallards of the day came circling in over the misty waters of a crisp autumn dawn.

“Ours is a Service of Sincerity” Since 1927

Ken B. Peterson Owner-Director

Johnson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation 612 So. Smith Ave.


It’s evident that these buildings were never luxurious or pretentious. They weren’t meant to be. They were built for people who love the outdoors and enjoy a rustic setting to relax in after a full day on the river. It’s intriguing to me how structures like these can be neglected to the point of no return, but I know that it stems from the tidal wave of “progress” and people’s desire to have something new, something better. Oftentimes, as property is handed down from one generation to the next, there comes a point when it’s no longer feasible for the heirs to maintain the property. Sometimes it’s due to finances, other times it’s due to proximity and not being able to visit the property often enough to maintain it. Slowly, year after year, nature beats at buildings like these and tries to reclaim the land beneath them. Today, the wood siding and roofs on both structures are rotted and pocked with holes that freely let in the elements. At the back of the cabin, lying in tall grass next to several rusted 55-gallon oil drums, is the faceplate of an old jukebox. I bent down and looked at the songs “Lo nuestro listed on it. One was the 1964 Wonderes hit, un“Those servicio ful Years” by Webb Price. de sinceridad” Suddenly, I heard a quar1927 metal slot ter enter aDesde thin and clunk below. A motor Ken B. Peterson whirredOwner-Director and lifted a vinyl disk into position. The needle popped down on the reJohnson-Peterson Casa Funeria y Cremación cord and melancholy music 612 So. Ave. filled the air.Smith Undoubtedly those were wonderful years. 651-222-3220

N ews Briefs

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Three Sister Eclectic Arts from page 1

“One thing I like about the store is that people are able to come in, sit down and chat and talk about art,” said Snyder. Three Sisters Eclectic Arts is active in the Lowertown arts scene and is open for Lowertown First Fridays events. They often feature live music, host grand openings for new artists, and have “Make and Take” sessions during which customers can work with an artist to create a piece of art to take home. The gallery is also home to “The Back Room,” a space that showcases the work of teens attending Free Arts Minnesota workshops. These workshops promotes healing through the artistic process. On Saturday, Sept. 21, 6-8 p.m., the gallery will feature an exhibit of the work of a group of students being mentored by Mackenzie Cattan, a young artist who just graduated from high school. Later this fall it will host an artist to teach a figure-drawing class. The gallery is open 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.,Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.- 6 pm., Thursday and Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 651-222-6052 or visit

Owners Valerie Anderson and Linda Snyder.

{ THE FULLER FILES } St. Paul Almanac publication party St. Paul Almanac will host a publication party for its 2014 book at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince St., St. Paul. The Almanac features stories, prose and poems of more than 100 local writers, over 250 fullcolor photographs and illustrations by local artists, city listings and a calendar of events. Author readings will be held in the Clouds in Water Zen Center and an exhibit of paintings, photos and other original art commissioned for the  2014 Almanac is featured in the AZ Gallery. Both businesses are located in the same building as the Black Dog Cafe. The art exhibit continues through September 29. Traditional Irish music by Mattie Ernst and friends begins at 7 p.m. at the Black Dog, followed by the duo Hot Date at 8:30 p.m.

Calling all artists The city of St. Paul and Ryan Companies are accepting proposals from artists until Monday, Sept. 16 for public art designs for the Lowertown Ballpark. A 10-member Lowertown Ballpark Public Art Selection Committee will evaluate submissions, interview artists, and select the final artist in October. The winning artist will collaborate with the ballpark design team and the Lowertown Ballpark Design and Construction Committee to

develop design schemes for the art. Public input of the design schemes will be solicited via online polling. To submit a proposal, visit www.lowertownballpark. com.

City Passport City Passport senior citizen center, located on the mezzanine level of the Alliance Bank Center at 55 E. Fifth St., will present the following events in September: happy birthday party, 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9; Simply Good Eating, 10 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18; trivia, 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18; writers group, 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 20; current events discussion, 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 20; CPR training, 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25; ice cream float social, 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27; community acupuncture, 9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays; Golden Melody Makers, 10 a.m. on Thursdays; blood pressure checks, 9:30 a.m. on Fridays.

Central Library events The Saturday Live series continues in September with 11:15 a.m. Saturday performances at the St. Paul Public Central Library, 90 W. Fourth St., St. Paul. Woodland Puppets will present a puppet variety show on September 7, magician Matt Dunn will perform on September 14, the Minnesota Zoomobile will present a live animal nature program on September 21, and Ten Penny Tunes will perform a concert of folk and children’s music on September 28.

downtown news by Roger Fuller

A Loud at the Library block party will take place 1-5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Kellogg Boulevard Courtyard of the Central Library. The event features three bands: Charlie Parr, Brass Messenger and Pour Nobodys. Books and Bars will feature a discussion of “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green at 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall at Sixth and Wabasha.

Concrete and Grass music festival The seventh annual Concrete and Grass music festival returns to Mears park September 5-7. Concrete and Grass serves as the launch of the fall performance season for the Ordway, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and the Schubert Club, and showcases other groups from the Twin Cities’ diverse music scene. Food, wine and beer from restaurants in the Lowertown entertainment district will be available in the park all weekend. All concerts are free. The lineup is: • Thursday, Sept. 5 - The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra at 7 p.m.; Moore By Four at 8:30 p.m. • Friday, Sept. 6 - Alison Scott at 5 p.m.; Marimba Africa presented by the Ordway at 6:30 p.m.; Lucy Michelle, featuring Chan Poling and John Munson, at 8:30 p.m.   • Saturday, Sept. 7 - Copper Street Brass Quintet presented by The Schubert Club at 4 p.m.; Minnesota

Opera at 5:30 p.m.; The Sphericals presented by McNally Smith College of Music at 7 p.m.; Halloween Alaska at 8:30 p.m.   • A-Ray will perform at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 5 at the nearby Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince St. For more information, visit

Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary A Hike It! event, featuring a cultural history of the area, will be held 1011 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary in Lowertown. Flora and small trees will be planted at the sanctuary during a National Public Land Day conservation project, held 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28. To register, visit

Wabasha Partners meeting Wabasha Partners, a group of business and community leaders that works to make improvements along Wabasha Street in downtown St. Paul, will meet at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 at the Fitzgerald Theatre. The group recently held an Art Walk Wabasha Block Party that featured stilt walkers, hula-hoopers, break-dancers and music.

MMA art exhibit Minnesota Museum of American Art will show the video “Minnesota Original” 6:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6. The video features

five local artists and was produced by Twin Cities Public Television. A panel discussion on how the art gallery scene in the Twin Cities has changed from its heyday in the 1970s to today will be held at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 9. Fall gallery hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursdays, and 10 a.m.-4 on Saturdays and Sundays. The museum is located in the Pioneer Building at Fourth and Robert.

Lawson extends lease Lawson Software will remain at its location in the Lawson Commons building at Sixth and Wabasha through 2022 but will occupy about half the amount of space. When Lawson Software moved from Minneapolis in 1999 to the newly constructed 436,000-square-foot Lawson Commons building in downtown St. Paul it signed a lease for 260,000 square feet through 2015. Infor purchased Lawson Software in 2011 and has since determined less space is needed because its workforce is more mobile. It recently signed a lease extension through 2022 that reduces its space to 130,000 square feet. About 650 workers are employed in St. Paul.

Tree removal at Mears Park Four or five dead trees will be removed from Mears Park this fall. New trees will be planted in their place. The replacement trees will be planted 30 feet from the nearest tree to allow more sunlight to reach the lawn. A group of students from

St. Paul Preparatory School at nearby Cray Plaza will take part in a fall cleanup at the park to collect debris that has gathered during the summer.

Movies in the Park The Comcast Movies in the Park series at Raspberry Island concludes with three 1940s films starring Humphrey Bogart. They are “Maltese Falcon” with Mary Astor on August 30, “Casablanca” with Ingrid Bergman on September 6, and “The Big Sleep” with Lauren Bacall on September 13. The movies begin at dusk.

Downtown music The final Music in Mears concert will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 29. Brad Bellows will perform jazz on September 20 at the Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince St., St. Paul. Mike in the Wilderness bluegrass group will perform on September 27. Singer Carrie Shaw will appear with the Zeitgeist quartet at 7:30 p.m., September 26-28 at Studio Z, 275 E. Fourth St., St. Paul.

CRC has new website St. Paul Media has created a new website for CapitolRiver Council (CRC). The site allows users to post opinions on a message board, join a CRC committee, learn about downtown events, and connect with other downtown residents. To view it, visit

Downtown St. Paul Voice - September 2013 - Page 7

B ack in Time

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September 1922: crime, tension and a spectacular State Fair Don Morgan Contributor


inety-one years ago this month, people in St. Paul were worrying about some very modern-sounding problems, such as immigration, violence in the Middle East and a potentially serious labor dispute. They were also following some troublesome robberies, jail-breaks and a spectacle-filled State Fair. A bitter railroad shopmen’s strike soured much of the summer of 1922. Railroads had been restored to private ownership after nationalization during World War I and were at their peak of importance to the American economy. The strike over issues of pay and outsourcing led to picketing, substitute workers, violnece and the National Guard being called out to protect railyards. It was a relief to all when the dispute was settled the day before Labor Day, although hard feelings would linger. Immigration to the United States also dominated the news. In 1921, Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act, allowing no more than

a three percent increase in the existing number of immigrants from each country already in the United States. By 1922, there was contentious debate as to whether that percentage was too high or too low. The Pioneer Press featured a front page editorial cartoon showing a worried Uncle Sam noting the number of eastern European names involved in Bolshevik plots and bombings around the country. Although the Red Scare of the early 1920s had subsided, many suspected that many anti-Americans and terrorists were being admitted along with honest immigrants. That debate would continue for another two years, when immigration quotas were reduced from three to two percent. If labor strife and lurking radicals weren’t enough to keep worrywarts busy, it was becoming clear that stability in the post-war Middle East was proving difficult. That September the Turkish government attempted to annex the Greek city of Smyrna, located in present day Turkey. The Greeks were not exactly recent arrivals; the city was

founded by Alexander the Great. The forced evacuation of Greek and Armenian Christians concluded in either an out-of-control fire or a deliberate massacre, depending on which account one believed. At any rate, nearly 100,000 people died over a two-week period. Locally, there were two bank robberies that month; one on Como Avenue and one downtown. Both involved gunfire and police chases. No one was injured in either event, but police were unable to capture the perpetrators. The police were further embarrassed when a group of armed men posing as Prohibition agents engineered an escape from the Ramsey County jail. After herding all of the jailers into empty cells and cutting the phone lines, the gang roared away in getaway cars parked just outside the jail. Apparently, no one thought it odd that the unoccupied cars had their engines running. All convicts were captured the next day. A Pioneer Press editorial philosophized that if the police

Along with some 300,000 other unique individuals.

Page 8 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - September 2013

couldn’t catch any new criminals, the city should at least be grateful that they were able to apprehend the ones they already had. Fun times were also had that September. At the Palace Theater on Seventh, a popular vaudeville show opened. “Troubles of 1922,” a light comedy with skits satirizing current events, stared popular comedian George Jessel, the singing Courtney sisters and “twenty-five beautiful troublemakers.” It had a successful two-week run. Jessel and one of the Courtney sisters made some news of their own when they were married downtown between shows. Both were single at the time but each had been married once before – to each other. People could also catch some great silent movies, including Colleen Moore and Richard Dix in “The Wallflower,” Claire Windsor and House Peters in “Rich Men’s Wives” and Bebe Daniels and Wallace Reed in “Nice People.” The big hit that month was Rudolph Valentino in “Blood and Sand.” Valentino had become a

major celebrity the year before when he starred in “The Sheik.” “Blood and Sand” packed the new Capitol Theater in St. Paul every night for a week. Then as now, September meant the Minnesota State Fair. With the economy starting its 1920s boom, Fair organizers had gone all out and billed the Fair as “the most sensational, stupendous and spectacular program ever staged in the Middle West.” People had no TV or internet at home but they did have money to spend and they wanted something special. They would get it. The “thrills galore” included: • Dirt track racing, featuring Sig Haugdahl and his “400 horsepower, threemile-a-minute wonder car.” • Lillian Boyer, the “world’s greatest aviatrix” who would jump from a speeding car to a plane, hang from the plane by her teeth, and then wingwalk during loops. • Klawatha, the “world’s greatest diving horse,” who would leap from a 40-foot platform into eight feet of water.

• Auto polo, a kind of demolition derby/polo hybrid played with two men per car, a large mallet and a basketball. • An aerial dogfight (“thrilling battle in the clouds”) with airplanes lighted by fireworks. There was also the usual food, although not much of it was on a stick in those days. All drinks were nonalcoholic due to Prohibition. However, many undoubtedly snuck in their own alcohol. Dances took place each evening to the hit tunes of the day, including “KickyKoo Kicky-Koo,” “Oogie Oogie Wa Wa” and “Deedle Deedle Dum.” Despite some very hot and humid weather the fair shattered all attendance records. The bounty from those crowds proved too tempting for one church dining hall manager, who ran off with a week’s worth of receipts. Today, we still worry and argue about crime, terrorism and the Middle East but we still agree that a good State Fair makes for a good end to the summer.

Dtn sept 2013  
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