Local woman’s idea
to create long-sought
Green Giants: Kristin Becker’s Got Less Trash Than You. Find Out Why. (P. 2)
The aftereffects of a shootout on Van Buren Avenue
The shooting, my neighbors said, seemed
to go on forever. Fifteen shots, maybe
more. The gunman stood on the sidewalk
near Victoria and Van Buren, blasting
away at the occupants of a vehicle.
An SUV, maybe a minivan. The driver
backed up and rammed a car. The guy on
foot ran across the street and up the hill
toward Frogtown Park & Farm. By the
time the cops showed up, all that was left
were shell casings and shot-up cars.
My wife’s truck took a couple rounds
— one through the fender and another
that ricocheted off the wheel well. Our
Hmong neighbors’ van was more thoroughly
aired out. Lots of broken glass,
plenty of bullet holes. The cops had it
towed away. Then there was the friend
of another neighbor, who parked his VW
briefly on the street. He intended to stop
for a few minutes and drive on to show
the car to a would-be buyer. After the
smoke cleared he observed that not much
of anyone would be interested in a used
car with a freshly shot out rear window, a
bullet lodged in the rear view mirror, and
another bullet hole through the windshield.
Thus are people struggling to get
by left even poorer by their gun-toting
neighbors. Thanks, guys.
People look for silver linings. We all
agreed that it could have been much
worse. Nine kids live in three houses
lined up right next to each other, just a
few yards from where the shooter stood.
That they weren’t playing in their yards
on a brilliant Sunday afternoon seemed
like a miracle. That it happened on a
Sunday, and not a weekday when the
home daycare operation nearby was full
of more kids, might have been another.
A week later most of us were still trying
to process what had happened and what
it meant. One of the dads on the block
shook his head as he reflected on the thin
line that separates us from disaster. The
grandparents had invited his family at the
last minute for a Sunday lunch. Otherwise,
well… Who really wants to think
There was some marveling over the
gunman’s problem-solving skills. You’ve
got a beef with another human being and
your solution is to pull a gun and try to
kill them? What ever happened to using
your words? What ever happened to
respect for the lives of the people who are
Then there’s the question of why people
walk and drive around with guns to begin
with. One answer is because they feel
threatened and fearful. Who really wants
to live that life? By some strange twist
you could come close to feeling sorry
for the guys who, through no particular
planning or foresight on their part, had
managed not to kill you.
Unlike so much of the other shooting
around the city that weekend, nobody was
wounded. Nobody died. In relative terms,
the shootout on Van Buren wasn’t a very
big deal. Which in itself says something
about the place we find ourselves at.
At a press conference a few days later the
mayor and police chief talked about how
this level of violence is unacceptable.
Sure. Of course it is. Yet it happens day
after day. We accept the unacceptable.
The chief, Thomas Smith, had a suggestion
for the mothers and girlfriends of St.
Paul. Check your child or your boyfriend’s
room. If you find a gun, grab it
and hand it over to the police. They won’t
ask any questions. One more gun will be
off the street. Maybe somebody will keep
living instead of winding up dead.
As solutions go, that seemed less than
cosmic. But the sad truth was that as an
immediate and practical step to take, it
seemed about as good as things are likely
New approach to
creating a road map
to Frogtown’s future
Cost of Trash
What neighbors pay
for trash hauling.
Getting a deal,
or getting jacked?
New green space,
new building are
to ongoing facelift
The No-Bag Lady
Two weeks’ worth of trash fits into a small, recycled bag
Kristin Becker remembers her grandparents’
home as a place where nothing went
to waste, even the cereal boxes. “My
grandma would take the waxed paper out
of the box and re-use it to wrap food in,”
Becker recalls fondly.
Much of grandma’s old-fashioned frugality
rubbed off on her granddaughter. The
Edmund Avenue home that Becker shares
with Reggie Johnson and their young son
Jacy generates so little waste that two
weeks’ worth of trash can fit in a small
plastic bag — a recycled bag, of course.
“In 2000, I made a promise that I would
never take a bag from a store again,”
Becker recalls. “I decided either to bring
a re-useable bag, or to carry whatever I
bought in my hands.” The promise was
not so easy to keep. “A couple of times I
simply had to return something to a shelf
when the store made it clear that I would
have to take a bag after purchase,” she
says. “And if I forgot my re-useable bag,
I would have my hands full, and be sticking
purchases in my pockets!”
The Becker-Johnson kitchen doesn’t have
a trash can. Instead, like many Frogtown
has a bin for
takes to the
and a bin for
bin for odds
of us toss
guilt — batteries,
pens and those little packages of silica
that come in some boxes.
Kristin Becker, son Jacy and their trash.
In the back hall, there’s the bin for the
worms that chew through Becker’s compostable
she puts on
would I give
compost to the
I can put it
in my garden
to enrich the
the bags that
are heralded as more environmentally
friendly. “There are compostable bags
made of corn starch that do biodegrade,
but I still don’t like the idea that lots of
good farmland is being planted exclusively
with a monocrop — corn — just so we
can have bags to carry things around in!”
Water is another commodity that Becker
and Johnson do not take for granted,
using “graywater” from handwashing to
fill up their toilet tank, and rainwater collected
in a barrel to water their garden.
A naturopathic doctor who uses a variety
of tinctures, powders and capsules to treat
her patients, Becker has extended her nowaste
philosophy to her in-home practice.
She lobbied distributors to reduce
the packaging for the products that she
purchases. “Now almost everything I buy
comes in paper or cardboard. Even the
packing peanuts in the box; I know where
those can be recycled,” Becker says.
How does she keep up this discipline?
“It isn’t that hard for me, because I made
small steps over 20 years. It’s habit now,”
Becker asserts. “But anybody can do
it, taking a step at a time. Just see what
makes up most of your garbage and find
out if it can be recycled or avoided.”
Becker is happy to advise other Frogtown
households on natural approaches to personal
and environmental health. She can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAGE 2 MAY/JUNE 2016
A Natural Play Area at Our New Park
This fall, families visiting Frogtown Park
& Farm’s playground on Victoria Street
may have to look twice to find the play
“equipment” among large rocks, branches
and logs placed along a serpentine path.
But those rocks and logs are actually the
mainstays of a new play area for the park,
one whose features are based on novel
ideas about how immersion in the natural
world helps growing kids thrive.
“There’s a new philosophy that says kids
need opportunities for free play with
natural forms,” says Brett Hussong, the
city park planner responsible for the
second phase of the park’s development.
“Park designers are working to get kids to
develop their motor skills in different
ways and to use their imaginations more.”
The new play area will look very different
from the current wooded thicket, shaded
basketball court, and metal-and-plastic
slide and swing set. Play areas are being
designed with natural forms in mind.
Hussong’s designs include features like a
“logjam,” a “rock scramble” and logs set
side-by-side for a step-by-step challenge
for toddlers. A kid favorite is likely to
be the embankment slide, a 20-foot long
slide set directly into the hillside.
The play area will be family-friendly,
with good sight lines from the bottom of
the hill to the top, Hussong says, as well
as picnic tables and a grill for cookouts.
There may even be hammocks for lounging
at the top of the sledding hill.
Most of the existing trees, which Hussong
characterizes as low quality box elder
and Siberian elms, will be removed. They
will be replaced with the same number of
healthy native trees, such as serviceberries
and white oaks. Both the sledding
hill and the open field — neighborhood
favorites — will remain.
Construction on the play area is slated to
begin in mid-summer, after a contractor
has been hired. The area will be fenced
off during construction, but Hussong
hopes to have it completed by October
of 2016. The budget for this phase of
park construction is $500,000, with about
$100,000 allocated to play equipment,
and the remainder assigned for earthmoving,
construction and management costs,
as well as basic infrastructure such as
a retaining wall, site furniture, and an
accessible, curving walkway. The design
also shows a walkway on the south end
of the field, with a curving gravel path
planted closely with orchard trees; this
will be included if funds allow.
There will be more specifics once bids
are returned, but whatever happens, “the
play area is going to be unique,” Hussong
promises. “It will be Saint Paul’s only
park with a nature play area. It’s really
going to be a destination spot.”
Above: Nearly 70 people showed up on a warm Saturday morning in late
April for the City-Wide Parks Clean-Up, sponsored in our neighborhood
by Frogtown Green. Volunteers filled bag after bag with a winter’s worth
of litter, including bottles, cans, chunks of concrete and pounds of plastic.
City parks staff supplied color-coded bags for “regular” trash and
recyclables. Hot coffee was donated by Peace Coffee, and the Saint Paul
Bagelry donated five dozen bagels. The two eager volunteers pictured
above filled up their bags in the park area, then headed out to pick up
more along Victoria Avenue.
Annual Meeting Date Set by FNA
Keep your eyes peeled for more information
about the Frogtown Neighborhood
Association’s annual meeting, scheduled
for Thur., June 23, from 5 to 8 PM. Location
details are still being worked out,
but the event will include food, entertainment,
and a chance to elect representatives
to serve on the Association’s board.
This year’s board will help to draft a
Small Area Plan for Frogtown, a document
which steers long-term development
decisions and priorities. For more
information on running for the board
or about the planning process, call the
Frogtown Neighborhood Association,
PHOTO HANS BREMHORST
At Last: A Frogtown Coffee Shop?
New thinking on park play areas: immersion in the natural world helps growing kids thrive.
Longtime Frogtowners know that any
time a group of residents is asked “what
does the neighborhood need?” inevitably,
someone will say,
“We need a coffeeshop!”
else will chime
in, “But not a
chain! We need a
where the coffee
doesn’t cost an
arm and a leg, and
feels welcome. We
haven’t had that
since the Colonial
Diner was torn
down in the 90s.”
for more than
20 years and the
former director of
the Frogtown Neighborhood Association,
Kristen Kidder is a veteran of such wishful
thinking. After a stint in the corporate
world, she’s decided to do something
Kristen Kidder: working on a business plan.
Kidder is working to create a nonprofit
coffeehouse, “with revenues dedicated
to community-building activities in
says. She has her
eyes on at least
one venue, and is
in negotiation with
She envisions a
place where those
who want a venti
can get one, but
those who are
just looking for a
bottomless cup of
church coffee will
also feel comfortable.
have music and
room for community
to perform,” she
says. She’s got a
fiscal sponsor and a
board, and is working
on the logistics.
If you have ideas for Kristen, she invites
a connection. Reach her at email@example.com.
MAY/JUNE 2016 PAGE 3
Development Round Up: New Building
and Fresh Green Space, While Victoria
Theater Project Moves Forward
Frogtown will get another jolt of development
along University Avenue as
upgrades get underway at Victoria St.,
where a new commercial/residential
building is set for a June groundbreaking,
and near Western, where a green space
with public access is under construction.
Meanwhile, efforts to develop the Victoria
AT VICTORIA: The community-building
organization Model Cities is planning
a four-story building that will hold 35
units of affordable housing, plus 20,000
square feet of retail office and community
space. Another 7,000 square feet on the
eastern end of the development will be
devoted to a pocket park and green space.
Groundbreaking is planned for 11 am to 1
pm, Wed., June 1, at 849 University.
The anchor tenant at the new building
will be Que Nha restaurant, says Model
Cities CEO Beverley Hawkins. The
popular and well-reviewed restaurant was
a fixture on the corner for years. Affordable
housing at the site will be mostly
one-bedroom apartments, with rents that
(and lots of other
will range between $756 and $926. Twobedroom
apartments will go for $946 to
$1112. It’s housing intended for seniors,
working people or young people just
out of college, says Hawkins, with most
rents set at 60 percent of the area median
income. With the light rail stop just steps
away from the front door, tenants will
have an easy commute to either downtown
Model Cities will move back to Frogtown
from Fairview and University when
the new building opens in fall of 2017.
The structure will also feature a reading
room devoted to the history of Pullman
porters. Starting shortly after the Civil
War, George Pullman sought out former
slaves to work on railroad sleeper cars.
The porters rode the rails from the late
1860s until the late 1900s. Until the
1960s, Pullman porters were exclusively
black. They’re credited with playing a
large role in the development of a black
middle class. The reading room will feature
books, art and exhibits that explore
the role of the porters, both locally and
PAGE 4 MAY/JUNE 2016
Above: Renderings of Model Cities development at Victoria and University (left), and the green space to be built near Western.
NEAR WESTERN: A new privately
owned but publicly accessible green
space — Little Mekong Plaza — will be
the result of a collaboration of Hmong
American Partnership, the Asian Economic
Development Association and St.
Paul’s Planning and Economic Development
department. The space will be a
home for the Little Mekong Night Market,
which drew throngs last summer to
the space south and west of the Mai Village
restaurant at Western and University
with food, entertainment and vendors.
The city contributed $300,000 to demolish
the former St. Paul Meat Market and
make room for the expanded green sward.
The new community space will include a
stage, benches and patio furniture, a water
feature and plenty of green, says HAP”s
Kevin Xiong. HAP will own the space but
operate it as an area open to the public,
with outdoor eating space also available
for patrons who want to take food out
from Mai Village. The next Night Market
is scheduled for July 23-24.
VICTORIA THEATER: The project to
restore the historic theater located near
Victoria on University continues as the
planning group works to tie up loose ends
on the concept design and move forward
on fundraising, says steering committee
member Aaron Rubenstein.
The group is working with newly-hired
real estate and fundraising consultants to
hone ideas generated in public planning
meetings and then start to raise money
for the purchase and renovation of the
The theater initiative came up with
$150,000 in city funding through the
Capital Improvement Budget process, but
that money came with strings attached.
The group needs to show it has the building
purchase price and a business plan
that shows how the performance and
gathering space will sustain itself. The
building, currently owned by the Twin
City Community Land Bank, has a price
tag in the neighborhood of $350,000.
The currently gutted building will need
extensive rehab work to make it functional
space for performance and other
Next steps are to nail down rehab cost estimates,
then launch a major fundraising
campaign. “It will take a year or two to
raise the money,” says Rubenstein. “Then
another nine to 12 months to build out the
project. In the meantime it is going to be
important for the group to keep the community
It’s a Plan: Effort to
for Future Begins
As exciting prospects go, the chance to
be part of a lengthy process to create a
10-year plan for a neighborhood ranks
pretty low. But this effort in Frogtown got
started in a lively and hopeful way at an
April 26 meeting.
The meeting, orchestrated by the Frogtown
Neighborhood Association, was a
first part of the work to create an overall
plan for city development. Neighborhoods
feed their ideas to the city via
what’s called a Small Area Plan. The
many small area plans are cobbled into a
master plan for the city.
The neighborhood plans typically deal
with land use, transportation, parks and
recreation, housing, water resources and
historic preservation, though they may
also include other topic areas, such as
the arts. Typically the process of writing
a plan involves a lot of dreary meetings
with a predictable cast of characters.
This version, led by
local activist Tou
Saiko Lee, drew a
crowd of about 40
to City School. The
meeting got started
with a spread of food
compelling news of the night was that
FNA will be experimenting with new
ways to keep neighbors informed about
the issues and choices involved in putting
together a plan.
The group hired North Minneapolis artists
Jeremiah Bey Ellison to help figure
out ways to get neighbors involved and
to explore ways of telling the story of
what’s at stake. In Minneapolis, Ellison
has created comic book-like handouts that
explain complicated situations an easy-tounderstand
Interested in participating? Contact FNA,
651-236-8699 for details on meetings.
is published six times per year by
Health Advocates Inc.
843 Van Buren Ave., St. Paul,
and is distributed door-to-door
in the area from
Lexington Pkwy. to 35E,
University Ave. to Pierce Butler.
Publisher: Patricia Ohmans
Editor: Anthony Schmitz
Contact us at
Ad rates & more at
“Green Giants” (page 2)
is a year-long series about Frogtown neighbors
who are preparing for climate change by
protecting the environment. The series is funded
by Ready & Resilient, a partnership of the
Science Museum of Minnesota, the City of St. Paul
and Macalester College.
“Trashed” (page 9)
is a five-part series funded through
the office of Ward One Councilmember Dai Thao
in response to concerns of Ward One residents.
MAY/JUNE 2016 PAGE 5
PAGE 6 MAY/JUNE 2016
MAY/JUNE 2016 PAGE 7
1000 Trees, One Tree at a Time
Sometimes it takes a while for a big idea
to bear fruit. In this case, literal fruit.
In 2009 Frogtown resident Seitu Jones
tapped out a manifesto for “1,000 Trees
for Frogtown,” the neighborhood was in
the throes of
Not too many
But the St.
acting on a
than most other
neighborhoods in the city, connected with
Jones and others to see what could be
done. From there, Frogtown’s Tree Frogs
Working with arborists from the city as
well as the US Forest Service and the
University of Minnesota, the small group
of Frogtowners has managed to plant over
150 new trees in Frogtown since 2009.
In May, a vacant lot on the southeast
Renee Taylor and her Tree Frogs tree.
corner of Dale Street and Lafond Avenue
will be relandscaped to become a more
permanent home for the Tree Frogs’ volunteer
labor. Grants from the Laura Jane
Musser fund and Unity Church Unitarian
will be used to
buy and install
when Dale St
the new parklet
Liz Colwell. “We’ve ordered benches,
and commissioned mosaic trees.”
The parklet will continue to provide
storage space for the Tree Frogs’ annual
supply of giveaway trees. Residents who
want to help get the Tree Frogs closer to
their goal by planting a fruit or shade tree
should contact Frogtown Green, 651-757-
5970, or sign up for one at the parklet’s
inaugural event on Saturday, June 18.
PAGE 8 MAY/JUNE 2016
Are You Getting a Deal, or Getting Taken?
The highly variable cost of garbage collection in St. Paul
As city officials consider a move toward
organized trash hauling, one of the big
questions is cost. What do we pay now
to get our garbage hauled? What would
it cost if St. Paul structured trash hauling
something like Minneapolis does?
There, you’re billed for trash hauling
with your utility bill. You get a bin for
your trash and recycling. For a 32-gallon
cart you pay $27.89 per month. For a
96-gallon cart you pay $31.45. There’s
no additional charge for yard waste, extra
garbage, bulky household items and
appliances. You get vouchers that allow
you to haul large amounts of construction
debris, tires and other junk to hauling stations
at no extra cost.
So how much do St. Paul residents currently
pay to get their garbage hauled?
The truth is, there’s no easy answer.
If garbage hauling were like most other
products, you’d do a Google search of
haulers, go to their websites, look at the
prices and compare.
But in St. Paul, garbage hauling is not
like most other products. If you want to
know how much it’s going to cost you,
you’ve got to do some digging.
There are currently 14 licensed haulers
that offer service in the city of St. Paul.
Two publish their hauling rates. Eight
don’t. Four don’t have web sites.
Of the two haulers that list rates on their
websites— Waste Management and
Republic — Waste Management offers a
clear statement of the total cost of trash
pickup, which includes taxes and a “fuel
and environmental charge.” Republic
gives you a price for “basic service”
without specifying the container size,
then notes that “applicable taxes and
fees” will be added. With 68-gallon per
week service, this can add about $7.50
per month to the total bill.
Recently St. Paul officials asked residents
to send their garbage bills to Public
Works. They wanted to get an idea of
what we pay now for trash collection. The
answer: it’s all over the map. You can see
the results below.
Nobody is saying that this is a scientific
survey. It’s a grab bag of bills created by
people who chose to send theirs in. Some
of them show what are unquestionably
lowball introductory rates.
Remember, these prices are the basic
monthly fee. They don’t include hauler
charges for extra junk — the mattresses,
furniture, yard waste, appliances, tires
and other flotsam that most of us need to
35-gallon (approx.) weekly pick-up, per month
Sample of 35
get rid of now and then.
But even if it’s not quite science, the
figures below can suggest whether you’re
getting a deal or getting jacked.
Add more data to the pile by sending your
garbage bill to city officials. Cross out
your name and the last two numbers of
your street address and send your bill in
one of these ways:
• Mail: Public Works, 1500 City Hall
Annex, 25 W. 4th Street, Saint Paul,
• E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Facebook: Post a status with a
picture of your bill and the hashtag
• Twitter: send a picture of your bill
to @cityofsaintpaul, or via
65-gallon (approx.) weekly pick-up, per month
Sample of 24
95-gallon (approx.) weekly pick-up, per month
Sample of 10
A Path through the Mud
Frogtown resident Alexius Hoffman (1863-1940) on pedestrian life in the old neighborhood
Rev. Alexius Hoffmann lived in Frogtown
from 1863 to 1940. In the late 1800s,
Frogtown was considered to stretch
further to the east and south. Rondo St.,
long since vanished to make way for
I-94, was then thought to be heart of
Frogtown. Hoffmann recalls the wretched
boardwalks, then mourns the inevitable
destruction of his family home.
The improvements made in the lower part
of the city gradually found their way up
the hill (to the Rondo area). Frogtown
ceased to be — that is to say, the swamp
was drained in the city sewage canals, the
tamaracks were cut down and the warbling
of the frogs was hushed for all time.
The next step out of barbarism was the
introduction of the plank sidewalk. They
had some drawbacks, of course. At first
it was customary to lay the planks close
together. Result: they warped after rains
and formed ridges. What was the remedy?
Lay them half an inch apart. That gives
room for expansion, takes less lumber
and provides a chance for ventilation.
Also, the interstices between the planks
were handy for dropping coins and other
little articles, and also for breaking off
The planks were
spikes: the wood
about them warped
and came loose.
If the planks were
nailed into three
middle one being a
bit higher than the
others, the planks
would act like a
see-saw and trip
Acceptable as were these sidewalks as far
as they went, the public had some reason
to vent disappointment at the little they
got for their money. For this reason: the
street was not only muddy, it was mud.
All went beautifully ’til you arrived at a
crossing. The sidewalk came to an abrupt
halt and there was the ever-present mud.
So the solution of the problem must be
attacked from another direction. Improve
the street and the sidewalk will take care
A boardwalk: perfect for tripping.
streets an air
may have given
an impulse to
better fence building…
oil lamps — on
corners. Six lamps
watched over the
the whole length
of the street. City
lamplighters tended to the lamps, lighting
them about 6 PM and extinguishing them
at dawn, unless the wind had taken the
matter in hand.
The years fled, old faces grew older,
new ones appeared on the scene, some
were no longer there. The number of old
acquaintances grew perceptibly less with
every visit. The little house in which we
had lived, laughed and wept was carried
away across the street and set along
Rondo St., but facing west, and it got a
new coat of yellowish paint that gave it a
youthful appearance. I never again stood
within its walls. No house ever filled up
the gap left by its disappearance.
…The sleepy old thoroughfare gradually
developed into a modern street. It
was paved for a considerable distance.
The plank sidewalk was replaced by one
of cement. Next came the telephone and
electric lights, and finally the streetcars,
horse and then electric, of course. With
the introduction of the latter, the peace
and quiet of the Frogtown that was, came
to an end.
I hate the thought that the old house will
be demolished…. Be it so. The old goes,
the new comes in. That is the world. It
may be progress or just growth.
Anyway, something different will someday
be there and it will mean little to me.
Next to blood itself, home is the strongest
bond. And we associate a house — “be
it ever so humble” — with our idea of
home. When that house is gone we feel
that something has gone out of our lives
— one of the lamps that brightens the
way has gone out. Nothing can adequately
On the Cover
Frogtown’s Greatest Garage Sale
Seven good reasons why you shouldn’t miss it
The 16th annual Frogtown Events Committee
Garage Sale is set for Friday and
Saturday, May 6 and 7, at 581 Blair Ave.
Sale hours are from 8 am to 5 pm on Friday,
and from 8 am to 2 pm on Saturday.
Here are just a few of the reasons why
you shouldn’t miss it.
1. It’s a fantastic collection of stuff
donated by people from across the
neighborhood and throughout the city.
You can find clothing, housewares, tools,
furniture, antiques, knick-knacks and all
sorts of other things you didn’t know you
2. The money raised goes to a great
cause. The $2,200 or so raised at each
sale supports the Frogtown Events Committee,
which sponsors a Halloween and
Christmas party each year for Frogtown
seniors, plus a National Night Out celebration
on Englewood near Avon, and
the horseshoe hurling league that plays at
the pits near Como and Elfelt.
3. As if that’s not enough, sale proceeds
also help to sponsor a senior lunch at
West Minne Rec on the third Friday of
each month. The potluck lunch wraps up
with a bingo game. At the special May 20
session the Events Committee provides
a free chicken and dumpling dinner that
follows a program on senior fraud. The
Larry and Sharon Paulson: Stocking up the garage for the May sale.
program starts at 11:15 am.
4. The Events Committee is run by Frogtowners
Larry and Sharon Paulson, who
have lived in the neighborhood for 49
years. They’ve got a history of neighborhood
activism that goes back decades.
Both were pivotal figures in the Thomas
Dale Block Clubs, a multi-racial network
of block clubs that spanned the neighborhood
during the 1990s. Larry and
Sharon poured hours of their time every
week into neighborhood clean-up efforts,
community celebrations and crimefighting
campaigns. Their work was a
major contribution to keeping Frogtown
livable during the bleak days of the crack
epidemic that marked the 1990s.
5. For years Larry and Sharon were key
figures in putting together the Haunted
Halloween House at West Minne Rec
Center. They organized games, treats and
an army of volunteers to create a spooky
environment that scared hundreds of kids.
6. Together Larry and Sharon have long
promoted the notion of a neighborhood
senior center, where Frogtown elders
could meet for coffee and companionship.
“A lot of our seniors are just sitting
in their houses,” says Larry. “They need a
place to go get together with others, play
cards, maybe go on field trips together.
They do this in small towns. My mom
went to the senior center in her town
every day.” While you’re at the sale, ask
Larry or Sharon how you can contribute
to their dream of creating a Frogtown
7. “The sale is much more than a sale,”
says Sharon. “Some people just come to
sit in the garage like it’s a party. It’s such
a good time to see all these people that
you might just see once a year at the sale.
You feel like they’re all your friends.”
Do you have garage saleable items in
good, reusable condition? There’s still
time to donate them to the Events Committee
Garage Sale. Call Larry at 651-
224-2456 for more information.
Sign up for summer organic vegetable shares!
MAY/JUNE 2016 PAGE 11
THE SAINT PAUL PROMISE NEIGHBORHOOD (SPPN) is an education
partnership that brings together families, schools, and the community to change the odds
for children in the Frogtown, Rondo, and Summit-University neighborhoods of St. Paul.
YOUR CHILD’S GUIDE TO SUMMER
LEARNING & FUN!
Last year, more than 750 Promise Neighborhood children created science
projects, made films, and read many books at various SPPN partner
programs! The result? An astounding 95% of children in SPPN summer
partner programs prevented the summer learning loss! We are pleased to
support several high quality programs this summer to keep our children
engaged in learning and get ahead in school and life:
Saint Paul Public Schools’ CDF Freedom School
Freedom school provides enriching group activities including field trips, and
culturally appropriate materials. The program strives to help young children
gain a sense of their own history, African- American culture and identity, and
improve children’s academic skills.
Where: Rondo Complex 560 Concordia Ave., Saint Paul, MN
When: July 18, 2016 - Aug 26, 2016
Contact: Rev. Dr. Darcel Hill at (651) 428-1322 or email@example.com
BELL Powers, St. Paul Eastside YMCA
In the BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) Power scholars Academy,
students experience success, gain self-confidence, and become more prepared
to succeed in the classroom. BELL is open to K-4 students at Jackson and
Where: 380 Victoria St., Saint Paul, MN
When: July 18, 2016 - Aug 26, 2016
Contact: Shun Tucker at (651) 744-7437 or Shundrice.Tucker@ymcamn.org
STEM Freedom School, Science Museum of
Minnesota’s Kitty Andersen Youth Science
This program will focus on literacy with a concentrated
focus on STEM education (science, technology, engineering,
and math) and social justice. Delivered by the Kitty
Andersen Youth Science Center, the program targets
students in grades 6-8 but will accept 5th graders.
Where: St. Paul City School, 643 Virginia St., Saint Paul, MN
When: June 27, 2016 - August 5, 2016
Contact: Emmanuel Donaby at (612) 385-4111 or edonaby@
SPPS College and Career Readiness, CDF Freedom Schools
Students explore future careers, tour a local college and have the opportunity to meet
current college interns. The program is open to students in grades 10-12.
Where: Saint Paul College, 235 Marshall Ave., Saint Paul, MN
When: July 18, 2016 - Aug 26, 2016
Contact: Rev. Dr. Darcel Hill at (651) 428-1322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy 125th Anniversary, Maxfield Elementary School!
Thank you for 125 years of service and education to our community! SPPN is
proud to partner with Maxfield – a true Rondo neighborhood gem!
Join the celebration on Tuesday, May 10th from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
at Maxfield Elementary: 380 Victoria Street North, St Paul, MN 55104