Operation Medicine Delivery Tests Emergency Resource
Summer Emergency Medical Services Academy Program
Metro Transit’s Tenth Commuter Challenge
Call to Artists for Historic Union Depot
Artist Initiative Grants
Friends of the St. Paul Public Library Labor History Series
Jewish Identity and Legacy Project
Church Bulletin
Gardening Matters Supports Local Growth

Operation Medicine Delivery Tests Emergency Resource[IMAGE]

On Sunday, May 6, U.S. Postal Service volunteers will make an unusual delivery in selected Twin Cities neighborhoods including 55101 and 55102. An empty pill bottle will be delivered to each residential mailing address.

The event is part of Operation Medicine Delivery, a test designed to see how fast postal teams can deliver medicine to homes in a simulated public health emergency. As part of the exercise, postal volunteers escorted by law enforcement officers will deliver a simulated supply of medication to approximately 37,000 residences. Each household will get an empty pill bottle and a flyer explaining the purpose of the exercise.

“People who receive the pill bottle do not need to do anything — just recycle the bottle,” said Rina McManus, Director of St. Paul – Ramsey County Public Health. The “postal plan,” is one part of the federal Cities Readiness Initiative to help communities prepare for and respond to various public health emergencies.

Agencies participating in the exercise include the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Minnesota Department of Health, Emergency and Community Health Outreach (ECHO), St. Paul – Ramsey County Public Health, and other local public health and law enforcement agencies.

The idea of using postal delivery teams to distribute preventive medication during an emergency has already been tested, on a limited basis, in Boston, Philadelphia, and Seattle. However, this is the first metro area to recruit a full complement of postal participants, and set up a fully developed postal delivery system.

More information about Operation Medicine Delivery is available at the MDH website at Emergency and Community Health Outreach (ECHO) also has a variety of information on the exercise available in multiple languages through phone recordings, a video, and printed materials available at or by calling 888-883-8831.

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Summer Emergency Medical Services Academy Program [IMAGE]

Applications for the City of St. Paul’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Academy are now being accepted. Applications must be completed and submitted online at no later than 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 4.

The EMS Academy is an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification program for St. Paul youth ages 18-24 who are interested in a career as an EMT or firefighter. Selected candidates earn hourly wages for attending the 10-week course, which includes CPR certification, First Responder certification, ride-alongs with St. Paul Fire Department paramedics, and Emergency Room shadowing. Upon successful completion of the course, participants earn National EMT Certification, nine college credits, and are prepared to work in a variety of EMT positions.

Economically disadvantaged or at-risk young adults ages 18-24 who are St. Paul city residents are eligible for the program, which pays $ 7.50 per hour over the ten week course, which averages 24 hours per week.

The next EMS Academy begins June 18 and ends August 24, 2012. A commitment to consistent and timely attendance is required throughout the entire program.

There are two parts to the application. The first step is to submit an application online at before 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4. The second step is to attend the required Information, Orientation, and Interview Sessions. Times and locations of these sessions are posted on the EMS Academy website and Facebook page.

The EMS Academy is collaboration between the City of St. Paul’s Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Department, St. Paul Parks & Recreation, the St. Paul Fire Department, Inver Hills Community College, St. Paul Public Schools, and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties. Since the EMS Academy began in 2009, it has graduated over 70 low-income St. Paul youth as EMTs. These graduates earn on average 250% more today than upon enrollment in the EMS Academy, with the vast majority working in the field or continuing their education in healthcare.

Visit and for more information.

Fire Station 51, at 296 West Seventh, where the EMS training programs are held, was recently renamed Freedom House, in honor of the program in Pittsburgh, PA, that pioneered in training underemployed black men and women as medical technicians. “Freedom House Paramedics” combined ambulance service with medical technicians, thus enabling a more skilled response to public calls for medical help.

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Metro Transit’s Tenth Commuter Challenge

Metro Transit and the region’s Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs include St. Paul Smart Trips) have launched the tenth annual Commuter Challenge, an effort that encourages Twin Cities residents to drive alone less often and try other commute options. Individuals can participate in the Commuter Challenge by pledging to replace drive-alone trips and instead take the bus or train, bicycle, carpool, walk, telework or vanpool. Those who sign up for the Commuter Challenge are entered into a prize drawing.

To be eligible, participants pledge to take one or more trips without driving alone through June 30, 2012. Participants can sign up at or at hundreds of employer fairs and events scheduled throughout the region during the campaign. Those who want to extend the challenge can track their trips online to become eligible to win even more prizes. Based on the trips logged, the online tracker estimates fuel savings and carbon reductions. In 2011, participants logged nearly 200,000 trips and 2.5 million miles using transit, bicycling, walking or sharing the ride in a carpool or vanpool.

Metro Transit is a service of the Metropolitan Council. In 2011, customers boarded Metro Transit buses and trains 81 million times.

St. Paul Smart Trips will soon be launching the Parking $mart program, offering discounted parking in downtown St. Paul. Half the cost of a carpool or vanpool’s monthly parking contract will be covered through the end of 2012, in one of three conveniently located downtown St. Paul parking ramps. Ramps include the Smith Avenue Transit Center, Capital City Plaza and the Jackson Ramp.

Carpoolers not only save on parking costs, but also on gas, maintenance, and wear and tear on the cars.

Form a carpool partnership and visit smart for information about how to qualify and register. Contact Damian Goebel at 651-224-8555, ext. 24 or to learn more.

Smart Trips Clarification
Our apologies to St. Paul Smart Trips for some errors in the March article. The program is funded by a federal program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, which is designed to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. Smart Trips has also received funding from Bike Walk Twin Cities for its Neighborhoods program. References should have been to Metro Transit. HourCar is a St. Paul service with car sharing membership plans as an alternative to car ownership.

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Call to Artists for Historic Union Depot  [IMAGE]

The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) is inviting artists to apply for public art commissions at the historic Union Depot in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood 214 East 4th St.). The RCRRA is investing approximately $1.25 million towards public art at the renovated Union Depot, with 80 percent ($1 million) of those dollars coming from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

FTA strongly encourages investment in public art as part of its funded projects, believing that the visual quality of the nation’s transportation system has a profound impact on making a vibrant, safe and welcoming facility.

The RCRRA has approved a Call to Artists that outlines four public art opportunities at the landmark transportation hub, including:
• A mural to greet passengers arriving via the lower level carriageway entryway;
• Artwork in an elegant atrium-like space that serves as an entry to the Great Hall;
• Artwork to span and enhance the multi-story entry along Kellogg Boulevard;
• A building-wide interactive multimedia artwork platform to launch at completion of Union Depot.

An informational copy of the Call to Artists is available at Artists applying should request official copies by calling 651-266-8900 or by visiting Doing this will ensure that applicants will receive important updates or addenda to the Call to Artists. Applications for public art commissions are due May 23, 2012.

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Artist Initiative Grants

The Minnesota State Arts Board offers a program that supports and assists artists at various stages in their careers. It encourages artistic development, nurtures artistic creativity, and recognizes the contributions individual artists make to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota.

Grants are awarded for career building and for the creative development of artists. Some artists may choose to request funds to create new work, but that isn’t a requirement of the program. Artists working in all artistic disciplines — dance, media arts, music, photography, poetry, prose, theater, and two- and three-dimensional visual arts—may apply.

Grants are awarded in the range of $2,000–$10,000. Application deadlines that are coming up soon include (1) Performance arts; dance, music, and theater: May 25, 2012; (2) Literary arts; poetry and prose: June 29, 2012; (3) Visual arts; media arts, photography, and visual arts: July 20, 2012.

For a complete Arts Board calendar and schedule a grants, see

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Friends of the St. Paul Public Library Labor History Series
Czechs and Paychecks: Working Class History of West Seventh

[IMAGE]“Untold Stories” is an award-winning series honoring labor history. On May 8 at 7 p.m., as part of the 14th anniversary of the program, the C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall (383 Michigan St. at West 7th) is the venue for a presentation most relevant to the Bohemian heritage that played such a large part in forming the West End.

The voices and stories of Czech workers and their families from the neighborhood will be presented by Patricia Hampl, the award-winning author from the West End, and labor historians Dave Riehle and John Sielaff.

Other topics for May include “Living the Revolution,” “Counter Culture: The American Coffee Shop Waitress,” and “Ghost Trails and Places: Looking for St. Paul’s Native American Footprint.” For details on these programs visit or call 651-222-3242.

Photo: Sokol Hall and St. Stan’s Church in 1900.

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Jewish Identity and Legacy Project

Susan Weinberg’s work focuses on family, cultural and community history with artwork that has story embedded within it. Her most recent series is the Jewish Identity and Legacy Project, a series of oral histories with elders in Sholom Home facilities spanning survivors, Russian immigrants and those who grew up in early Jewish communities in Minnesota. The oral history project was funded by a legacy grant from the State of Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund administered by the Minnesota Historical Society. After recording their stories, Weinberg created artwork that incorporates these stories to tell the legacy of the broader community.

The Community Reporter will feature Susan Weinberg and her project in the June issue. Meanwhile, several of the pieces based on survivor stories are currently on exhibit at the Holocaust Resource Center on the second floor of the Sabes Jewish Community Center (4330 Cedar Lake Road S., St. Louis Park, 952-381-3400) through June 30. Other work can be seen at Art-a-Whirl, the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (see event to be held from May 18 through May 20. Susan’s studio is suite 409 in the California Building (2205 California NE, Minneapolis).

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Church Bulletin
A feature that lists special church events for the month. Call 651-665-0068 or e-mail items to

St. Mark Spring Rummage Sale: May 7, 8am-8pm; May 8, 8am-4pm
Bag Sale on May 8 all day, $3 a bag; Snack Bar and Bake Sale too!
St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church, 550 West 7th Street, Phone: 651-224-0228/fax: 651-224-1277.

Divine Design: Bible Study for Spiritual Makeover. Women's Bible study meets the first Saturday of every month, continuing on May 5: 8:30 a.m. Fellowship; 9-10 a.m. Bible Study. There is a one-time requested donation of $7. St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 530 Victoria St. S. Reservations at 651-228-1482.

St. Peter's Crafters meet monthly to work on their favorite craft projects. There is lots of table space available. For information regarding meeting dates and times contact St. Peter's at 651-228-1482 or

W 7th United Women's Prayer: Interdenominational, Scripture-based prayer (Moms in Touch model) for children and schools. Weekly Tuesdays 6:15-7:30 p.m. at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Fireside Room,
530 Victoria St S. For information call Kim at 763-670-9886 or e-mail

Humble Walk Lutheran Church: Worship on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at Acme Academy of Arts, 941 West Seventh. Information at

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Gardening Matters Supports Local Growth [IMAGE]

Twin Cities residents and community organizations are eligible to join local food resource hubs, which support the growth of healthy, sustainable local food.

Local food resource hubs are neighborhood-based support networks designed to get Twin Cities residents and community gardeners the tools and education they need to grow, preserve, cook and compost their own fresh produce by offering supplies, classes and connections. Hubs benefit communities by connecting neighbors and have been established in four Minneapolis areas: north Minneapolis, south Minneapolis, Phillips and Ventura Village, and northeast and southeast Minneapolis, and in the Midway in St. Paul. The project is an initiative of the City of Minneapolis, community partners and Gardening Matters.

Residents can join a Local Food Resource Hub and select one of four types of membership. Prices vary. Memberships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a membership spot, residents can contact Gardening Matters at 612-821-2358, download the membership form (in English, Spanish, Hmong or Somali), or sign up online at

Members can pick up packets of seeds and seedlings at their hub’s distribution event this spring. Seeds and plants will be distributed May 19. More information about distribution events will be sent to members and be available at

Last year the Local Food Resource Hubs Network served more than 600 members, distributed more than 14,000 packets of seeds and 15,000 seedlings, and expanded residents’ food growing skill sets through classes and training. The Local Food Resource Hubs Network is made possible by funding from the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

For more information contact Nadja Berneche, Gardening Matters,
612-821-2358 or

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Volunteer Opportunities

Cerenity Senior Care — Humboldt has many rewarding volunteer jobs, including one-on-one visits, helping with activities such as baking or crafts, or performing music. Volunteers help make Cerenity Senior Care–Humboldt feel like home. Please consider volunteering once a week, once a month or on occasion. Staff will help match your skills, interests and schedule. Located on the West Side of St. Paul, the Cerenity Residence at 514 Humboldt provides assisted living, memory care and transitional care, and the Cerenity Care Center at 512 Humboldt provides skilled nursing care. To discuss these possibilities call 651-220-1725 or e-mail

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