Coffee Shop?

Local woman’s idea

to create long-sought

neighborhood amenity

Page 3

Green Giants: Kristin Becker’s Got Less Trash Than You. Find Out Why. (P. 2)

Collateral Damage

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

about otherwise?

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

your neighbors?

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

to get.

Man. Plan.

New approach to

creating a road map

to Frogtown’s future

Page 5

Cost of Trash

What neighbors pay

for trash hauling.

Getting a deal,

or getting jacked?

Page 9

On University:

The Remake


New green space,

new building are

latest additions

to ongoing facelift

Page 4

Green Giants

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

homes, it

has a bin for





that Becker

takes to the

county yard

waste site);

and a bin for



paper, glass

and metal).

And then

there’s the

bin for odds

and ends

that most

of us toss

with varying

amounts of

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


and vegetable

scraps, creating


castings that

she puts on

her vegetable

patch. “Why

would I give

my good

compost to the

county when

I can put it

in my garden

to enrich the

soil?” Becker

asks incredulously.

Becker pays

close attention

to plastic,


avoiding even

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


A Natural Play Area at Our New Park

Frogtown News

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,



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!”

And someone

else will chime

in, “But not a

chain! We need a

real community

gathering place,

where the coffee

doesn’t cost an

arm and a leg, and

where everyone

feels welcome. We

haven’t had that

since the Colonial

Diner was torn

down in the 90s.”

A Frogtowner

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

about it.

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

the owner.

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.

“We’ll also

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


Frogtown News

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

Theater continue.

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


1#".+/(& -#".+/(&

".$ *,("0(&

(and lots of other

yard waste)

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






Frogtown News

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

Create Blueprint

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

and light-hearted

Jeremiah Ellison

introductions. The

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.

Greening Frogtown

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

651.757.5970 (Patricia)

651.757.7479 (Anthony)

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.




Big Ideas

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

the recession.

Not too many

people were

thinking about

planting trees.

But the St.

Paul Forestry


acting on a

survey that

showed Frogtown

had less

tree canopy


than most other

neighborhoods in the city, connected with

Jones and others to see what could be

done. From there, Frogtown’s Tree Frogs

were born.

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


paths, and

flowerbeds to

beautify the

lot, cleared

when Dale St

was widened

in 1996.

“The Tree

Frogs have

been planning

the new parklet

all winter,”

says member

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.



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,

MN, 55102

• E-mail: allinprogram@ci.stpaul.

• Facebook: Post a status with a

picture of your bill and the hashtag


• Twitter: send a picture of your bill

to @cityofsaintpaul, or via



$9.13 $53.65

65-gallon (approx.) weekly pick-up, per month



Sample of 24


$15.49 $61.69

95-gallon (approx.) weekly pick-up, per month



Sample of 10


$20.99 $59.72

Frogtown History

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

umbrella ferrules.

The planks were

fastened with

spikes: the wood

about them warped

and came loose.

If the planks were

nailed into three

stringers, the

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

of itself.

A boardwalk: perfect for tripping.

Sidewalks gave

streets an air

of comparative

rectitude, which

may have given

an impulse to

better fence building…

Then came

illumination —

oil lamps — on

alternate street

corners. Six lamps

watched over the

slumberers along

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

be substituted.



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

senior center.

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!



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.



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

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

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

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

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines