Archive for June, 2009

Neighborhood Cleanup Day

Join your neighbors on Saturday, June 27th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Rondo Education Center, 560 Concordia (just east of Dale) for a community cleanup day. Open to residents who live south of University, east of Hamline, north of Summit, and west of Marion Street. Bring proof of Summit-University or Lexington-Hamline residency (driver’s license or utility bill) to the cleanup. Materials will be sorted at the site into different dumpsters to maximize recycling.

Entrance Fees:

  • Cars: $5
  • Wagons/minivans/small pickups: $10
  • Larger loads: $15+
  • Extra fees*: $5 per VCR or other small electronics; $10 for TVs & computers
  • (monitors & hard drives) $3 per car tire; $5 per truck tire; $1 per tire rim; $15 per air
  • conditioner/water softener; $10 each for all other appliances.

Bring re-usable household items that are in good condition:

  • Furniture & household goods (dishes, towels, silverware, lamps)
  • Building materials in good condition (millwork, tiles, tubs, cabinets)
  • Bikes & toys (clean, not broken)
  • Gardening equipment & tools
  • Pet Carriers/Cages/Gates

Charitable organizations will be collecting items for reuse. Residents are welcome to take items after the charities have taken what they can use.


The cost is $25 for the first appliance, $10 each additional appliance (plus $5 surcharge for each air conditioner or water softener). Appliances that can be picked up include air conditioners, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, freezers, furnaces, garbage disposals, microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, trash compactors, washers and dryers, and water heaters.

What’s not accepted

  • Car Batteries: Stores that sell car batteries will accept up to five used car batteries for free.
    Paint, Pesticides, Motor Oil, or Other Hazardous Wastes: Take these to the Ramsey County household hazardous waste drop-off site at Bay West, 5 Empire Drive, Saint Paul, open Wed.-Fri. 11-6 and Sat. 9-4 (Hours will change in November).
    Leaves or Grass: You can take these to the free Ramsey County Yard Waste site on Pleasant Avenue, just south of Saint Clair, near the Ice Arena, open Mon., Wed. and Fri. 11-7, Sat. 9-5 and Sun. 11-5.
    Brush: The nearest free Ramsey County Yard Waste site that will accept brush (as well as leaves and grass) is at Pierce Butler Route and Prior Ave., open Mon., Wed. and Fri. 11-7, Sat. 9-5 and Sun. 11-5.
    Curbside Recycling Materials: Summit-University curbside recycling is picked up every Wednesday. Lexington-Hamline curbside recycling is picked up every Thursday.

How to load your vehicle

  • On the bottom: general refuse, construction debris, reusable building materials, concrete, bricks and rocks
  • Allow easy access to: bicycles, scrap metal, appliances, tires
  • Place these items on top: fluorescent bulbs, reusable furniture, reusable household goods, electronics

For more information, call Summit-University Planning Council at 651-228-1855

Summer Of Peace 2009

Summer of Peace event in 2007.

Summer of Peace event in 2007.

Summer Of Peace 2009, sponsored by  Aurora/St. Anthony NDC, Summit-U Planning Council, District 7 Planning Council and Freedom House. The  Summer of Peace is a campaign for  neighborhood pride, safety and unity. Every Thursday during the summer, we welcome you to join us at a local street corner to participate  in community activities, to learn about  community resources and to enjoy food  and refreshments. To take part or for  more information, contact Damon Drake  at (651) 222-0399. For regular updates  on Summer of Peace events and other  activities for neighborhood unity: join  the phone tree at (651) 222-0399; or join the e-mail list.

Hmongtown Market and Frogtown Festival

Join us June 27 and 28 for the Hmongtown Market & Frogtown Festival at Como Avenue & Marion Street, St. Paul. Our mission: Creating vitality and enhancing the quality
of life in the Frogtown community. More information.

Community Celebration in Honor of Fredrick McGhee

frederick-l-mcgheeJoin us June 17 for a community celebration to honor Fredrick McGhee, the first African American admitted  to the bar in Minnesota and founder of the St. Paul  Branch of the NAACP. The event will be from 4-6 p.m. (program at 5 p.m.) in the Western Bank parking lot, 663 University Ave., St. Paul. Come enjoy Big Daddy’s BBQ and live music by Walker West. We will dedicate a plaque to be mounted on the front of the Western Bank building, the site of McGhee’s home from 1893-1919.

Green Jobs a Real Opportunity to Restore City’s Economy

Majora Carter, the MacArthur Genius Award recipient, founder of Sustainable South Bronx and president of the Marjora Carter Consulting Group that focuses on “green collar” jobs, believes the way we do business is simply not sustainable. In her round of public appearances and speeches, Carter, the keynote speaker at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Forum at St. Olaf College, made a vital assessment that we can restore the economy and alleviate poverty with the same thing, the environment.

As Carter stands at the wooden dais on a tall and extended stage in the St. Olaf College auditorium, she spreads her arms wide with a warm smile, a sort of embrace to the largely white audience in a small Midwest town and states, “Green is the new Black!” She quickly follows with, “What do I mean by this? Regardless of how poor you are, or what color, you have an inherent beauty and you should be able to look outside and see that too.”

Environmental Justice Advocate Majora Carter

Environmental Justice Advocate Majora Carter

We must, she said, invest in the people we’ve given up, thrown away and literally dumped on.  This echoes what Nieeta Presley of the Aurora/St. Anthony NDC argues about the Central Corridor: “This project should be based on neighborhoods instead of the metropolitan or statewide governments.”  Creating projects based on communities, neighborhoods and the people is the alternative strategy that Carter focuses on to move from a polluting economy to a people-based economy.  It is what Carter refers to as “Greening the Ghetto.”

Environmental justice is an increasingly important element of policy-making in transportation. As the Central Corridor LRT approaches and “green branding” increases, it is imperative that social, economic, and environmental goals not be separated, but approached holistically by asking the right questions and stipulating the importance of exploring race and class as inextricably linked to the entire health of the community.

— By Ashanti Austin

FRAN Meeting seeks to focus campaign to raise $8 million


Nieeta Presley discusses fund-raising with Access Philanthropy consultants.

Steve Paprocki spoke clearly when he addressed the Frogtown-Rondo Action Network meeting on April 28. “The time is now for you to come together on a common work plan, work force and work vision to raise $8 million for this community.” A consultant from Access Philanthropy, Paprocki knows what he is talking about.Representatives of nearly a dozen FRAN organizations nodded their heads in agreement. $8 million dollars is the lucky number FRAN aims to raise over the next three years to support its rollout of 11 community-based initiatives to, in its words, “start the next great chapter in Frogtown-Rondo’s history.”

Nieeta Presley, executive director of the Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation led the formative meeting. “This is an opportunity for community organizations to interact with each other and create a streamlined plan for raising money and implementing programs,” Presley said.With a line-up of community-building orga- nizations at the plate, the multimillion-dollar goal seems feasible. The ASANDC, Community Stabilization Project, Greater Frogtown CDC, Camphor United Methodist Church, Concordia University, Hmong Business Association/Asian Economic Development Association, Jewish Community Action, Just Equity, Selby Area CDC, University United and the University Avenue Business Association are taking roles that range from educating community members and business owners about managing their finances to advocating for creation of green jobs and energy efficiency.

As the plan moves forward, FRAN will continue to strengthen its network of campaign supporters, community supporters and community capital.

To read more about the work of FRAN and its partner organizations, pick up a copy of the latest Aurora/St. Anthony NDC Newsletter.

— By Jake Kulju

New Book by Community Reporter


Sustainable Communities reporter Jake Kulju has a new book: “Moon’s Take a Hike Minneapolis & St. Paul/Hikes within Two Hours of the Twin Cities,” was published in May and is available in paperback at local bookstores and sporting good stores.

From the publisher:

“The landscape of Minneapolis and St. Paul is a mix of lakes, rivers, expansive wetlands, evergreen forests, and grassy prairies. Because of the abundance of scenery around the city, hiking in the Twin Cities is more than just a trek around the town. Hiking enthusiast and local Jake Kulju shows you the best hikes in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul. All hikes within the guide take less than 2 hours to reach by car, with details on public transportation options and clear directions on how to reach the trailhead.”

Jake has more than three years of professional outdoor writing experience for the regional Minnesota publication Outdoor Traditions and the national magazine Naturescape News. His extensive knowledge of the Twin Cities area comes from being both a native of the state, and an avid, regular hiker and outdoorsman who is frequently on the local trails.
Read more about the book here.