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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dress Up, Boogie Down, and Download Free Music #BecauseOfTheLibrary

Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Avenue

July 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m.  – Wear crazy pants and listen to Lucy Michelle

August 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Wear crazy shoes/socks and listen to Koo Koo Kanga Roo

August 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. – Wear crazy outfits and listen to Ticket to Brasil

Saint Paul Public Library invites kids of all ages to dress up and enjoy some free music and fun. We’ll have crafts, a photo booth, and other family-friendly activities on site. Bring a picnic dinner or grab some food at the Sizzling Wagon food truck. In the event of rain, events will be moved inside.
Jack White, Lazaretto
With a Saint Paul Public Library card, download five free songs every week (that are yours to keep ) from the Freegal web catalog, or use a Freegal app. The service features music videos, albums, and over a million songs in hundreds of genres, from Caribbean to choral, big band to black metal, and rock to R&B. Stay current with lists of the most popular albums, songs, and videos in the U.S. and at Saint Paul Public Library. According to Freegal, Jack White is having a moment in Saint Paul.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Como Zoo Helping Preserve One Of The World’s Rarest Amphibians

A toad’ally awesome thing is happening at Como Zoo. As part of Como Zoo’s behind-the-scenes species preservation efforts,  Wyoming Toad tadpoles have been placed in oxygenated water, shipped overnight and were released on June 18, near the Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge outside Laramie, Wyoming. This 1.5 ounce toad is classified as one of the four critically endangered amphibians found in North America and one of the rarest in the world.  Beyond sending tadpoles back to the wild, Bree Barney , Zookeeper will be going to Laramie, WY on July 20 and stay through the 26th to research the progress and conservation of this species in it’s natural habitat. Bree will be conducting surveys of land and toads to see progress and endangered state.

Native to the Laramie Basin in Wyoming, this toad was placed on the endangered species list in 1984, and was feared to be extinct. Researchers located the last surviving toads near Lake Mortenson in the late eighties, and by 1996 began an aggressive species preservation plan to save the toad. Como Zoo has joined forces with eight other zoos including the Kansas City and Detroit Zoos as partners in a captive breeding program that now reintroduces Wyoming tadpoles and toads to the wild every year.

As part of the project, Como received adult Wyoming toads that now live in a specially retrofitted room in Como’s Animal Support Building. “The Wyoming toads play an important part in Como’s mission. Since these projects usually go on behind the scenes, people are often surprised to hear how involved Como Zoo is in species preservation,” says Michelle Furrer, Como Campus Director. “But Como Zoo, along with many other zoos, are always striving to make a difference in conservation.’’

To be eligible to participate in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) each institution must meet certain criteria. The four criteria relevant to preventive medicine husbandry and space allotment include the following:

1) Candidate must isolate Wyoming toads from other amphibians in the collection through designated biosecure housing and quarantine.
2) Candidate must commit space for at least four age cohorts totaling 20-40 toads, breeding transfers and pre-release tadpole holding.
3) Candidate must receive USFWS Endangered Species permit to acquire the federally listed toad prior to participation in the SSP.
4) Candidate must comply with the service and SSP guidelines for the recovery program.

It’s a privilege for an institution to be able to participate in species recovery efforts. It comes with much responsibility, and often an additional investment in resources including additional staff and/or construction of biosecure facilities. A generous grant from the Frog Crossing Foundation allowed Como Friends, the nonprofit partner of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, to provide the retrofitting necessary to give Como Zoo’s new Wyoming toads the optimal environmental controls, a hibernation chamber critical to stimulate the toads’ reproductive cycle, and additional AZA staff training to help ensure the success of this species preservation project.
For more information on the Wyoming Toad visit:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cultural STAR Program Turns 20

Almost every night of the summer you can partake in great events like the Ordway’s Summer Dance Series, Music in Mears, Irish Fair of Minnesota, or catch fantastic festivals like the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Besides bringing people together, and celebrating the few shorts months of summer we have, what do all these shows have in common? These fantastic events attract thousands of people to enjoy the culture and vibrancy of Saint Paul and have received funding from the city’s Cultural STAR Program.
Photo credit: Chris McDuffie
The Cultural STAR program was created to promote economic development growth through providing funding to develop and improve cultural facilities, cultural organizations and to attract audiences to events in Saint Paul. Created in 1994, this program has strengthened monumental art institutions while bringing together acts, shows and galleries large and small. In the program’s inaugural year, the city supported the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Penumbra Theatre Company, Inc., construction of a parking facility at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and improvements to arts and culture institutions.

Today, the Cultural STAR program not only brings in great acts to play downtown, it provides opportunities for musicians to learn from world-class acts at Twin Cities Bass Camp or from the Grammy Foundation, or to celebrate a homecoming show with locals Garrison Keillor and the tales of Lake Wobegon. This summer has more great shows coming with the 2014 Selby Ave JazzFest, Lowertown Guitar Festival 2014,and the Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival.

Cultural STAR awards are made through two funding rounds annually. For more information about the program, visit

Friday, July 11, 2014

Stay Informed with Social Media

Social media lets us share stories, events, photos, and stay in touch with friends and family across the world. It can also be a great tool to stay informed and prepare your family and you before an emergency.

If you’re on social media, check FEMA’s Get Ready campaign on Facebook or Twitter. Right now you can see their featured information on lightning or see tips to #BeatTheHeat this summer.

Did you know that FEMA has YouTube as well? You can see great preparedness videos like “The Day Before series or watch important messages related to preparation or recovery efforts. If you’re interested in what FEMA is doing in the community, follow them on Facebook or Twitter @femaregion5.

It’s also important to follow the National Weather Service (NWS) on Twitter, @NWS or @NWSTwinCities , not only can you stay informed, but you can share your damage or weather pictures directly with the NWS.

Make sure to stay informed locally with videos from the Ramsey County Emergency Management Department - Meet Disaster and Preparedness, and Get Ready Gopher or connect directly with our city. Check out Saint Paul’s Facebook for up to date information on what’s happening in The Most Livable City in America.

Local Social Media Resources:

· @sppdPIO - Official Twitter page of the Saint Paul Police Department. Additionally, you can find each police district (Western, Central, Eastern, Headquarters) on Facebook as well.

· @StPaulFireDept - See stories, videos, messages and other information from the offical Saint Paul Fire Department twitter handle.

· @stpaulpublicw - Get updates on current activities, road closures, snow emergencies, street sweeping, tree removal, debris cleanup and much more from Saint Paul Public Works.

· @cityofsaintpaul - Offers updates and resources on activites, closures and emergencies across the city.

· @SaintPaulParks - Check for updates on current Parks and Recreation activities, closures, and more.

These great resources will not only keep you informed and prepared but help you in the recovery phase as well. So, now that you know what’s available, see which of these options you “Like” to help you #BePrepared.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Saint Paul Summer Fun - Video Roundup

With summer in full swing, the city’s Communications Service staff has compiled a list of things to do and places to see in Saint Paul! Check out some great videos on local hot spots:

Take a tour of all four of our great swim facilities in Saint Paul, including the recently renovated Como Pool. Please visit for current hours and admission prices.

Como Zoo and Conservatory has a ton of great activities and events all summer long.

And, while visiting the zoo, don’t forget to check out the still relatively new Gorilla Forest exhibit. 

And to top it all off, go for a ride on the historic, and now century old, Cafesjian’s Carousel.  

The Saint Paul Park & Recreation Centers, Libraries and schools offer many different and fun programs and events for all ages throughout the summer.

The City of Saint Paul and Saint Paul Public Schools have created six simple steps to keep children active and learning all summer long. It's called the Summer Countdown...

Finally, you can check out Saint Paul’s latest ride, the Green Line!

For these and other great videos on the city of Saint Paul, click here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Develop your small business with the CERT program

Are you looking for help with your small business? The Central CERT Certification Program has partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) to host a series of events for small, Twin Cities businesses interested in credit opportunities for development. 

The first part of the series, “Expanding Access to Credit: The Possibilities Part I”, had a large number of small businesses, community development organizations, and local construction firms participating, discussing, and partnering to improve their businesses. Through addressing financial challenges small businesses face when working on public projects.

The second part of the series, “Expanding Access to Credit: The Possibilities Part II” will bring together local businesses, community partners, and financial institutions to help connect and educate. Local institutions will staff informational booths where small businesses will have an opportunity to learn about supportive programs.  

Part II will be held Tuesday, July 29 at 3:00 p.m. at the National Association of Minority Contractor Resource Center (located in the First Covenant Church), 810 South 7th Street, in Minneapolis.
For more information, please call the City of Saint Paul’s Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Department at (651) 266-8900.  


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Celebrate a safe, happy 4th of July with your dog

Family gatherings, cook outs, parades and fireworks are just around the corner with the 4th of July fast approaching. Unfortunately, Independence Day festivities result in a rise in intakes for Animal Control Agencies around the county. Family gatherings sometimes result in gates left open. Fireworks and other loud noises can startle dogs and send them searching for a hiding place. Parades and other crowded events can make nice dogs fearful and overwhelmed, sometimes leading to bites.

Here are a few tips to make sure you and your dog have a great July 4:

·    Remind everyone in the family to close any gate doors your property may have. Double check to make sure it’s latched properly!

·    Leave your dog at home if you go to crowded events.

·    If your dog is outside and fireworks start in the neighborhood, bring your dog inside right away.

·    If you have your dog on a tether, make sure it can’t reach the street, sidewalk, or your neighbor’s property. Make sure the tether and the dog’s collar are strong enough to prevent problems.

·    Purchase identification with the dog’s name and your phone number on it if you don’t have one already.

·    Make sure your dog is wearing identification: keep your Saint Paul Dog License and Rabies Tags on your dog’s collar at all times. (Need to license your dog? Call Animal Control for information: 651-266-1100).

·    Check with your dog’s microchip company to make sure they have your current contact information.

The smells, sights, and sounds of the 4th of July can be overwhelming and chaotic for your family’s best friend.  Make sure to stay safe, and be aware, so you and your pet can enjoy a great holiday together.