Becoming a Community of Reporters

We encourage readers to become more involved on the creative side of things.
Some ways you can contribute are:

Become a Correspondent — for your neighborhood, or something special like theater, music, books, sports or a special hobby.
Become a reporter: Helping us to be present at various community meetings and events and taking notes and photographs can help to improve our range of coverage.
Write the Editor a letter.
Write a longer piece on a topic that concerns you: Neighbors Speak Out.
Ask questions: the West End Healthline, Dear Deb, Views from the Garden and our new columnists. They all welcome questions and responses.
Contribute story ideas: We cover a wide range of interesting areas in the neighborhood. Your story ideas are always welcome.
Become a writer! Contribute a profile of yourself and/or your work space. Write a recollection of earlier times in the West End.

Discuss the possibilities at, or leave a message at 651-665-0068. I’ll respond quickly.


West Seventh Business Association new board members
New Teamwork in the Neighborhood
Coalition Announces Spring Clean Up
Federation Update

West Seventh Business Association New Board Members
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Sara Cooper (center) , president of the West Seventh Business Association, welcomes new board members Steve Zaccard (left), St. Paul Fire Department, and Joe McKenzie (right) Jewish Family Services.

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New Teamwork in the Neighborhood
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It takes teamwork to keep our neighborhood thriving. A team meeting was held at the West 7th Community Center in February, at which members of the West 7th/St. Clair Task Force met with Ricardo Cervantes, Director of St. Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspection (DSI), and Steve Magner, Supervisor of the Vacant Building and Code Enforcement Program.

Cervantes is eager to have his department “team up” with different community groups in maintaining safe, attractive neighborhoods throughout the city. Cervantes described a plethora of responsibilities under the umbrella of DSI, from fire safety inspections to animal control, to granting building permits to finally demolishing rundown properties.

Task Force members described their frustration with several properties in the area. One property in particular has had hundreds of calls made on it, and no response from the City. Members also discussed frustration with the lack of communication from the Police Force Unit. Cervantes and Magner listened closely, took notes, and said they will arrange a meeting with the Force Unit, members of DSI and the West 7th/St. Clair Task Force to discuss in more detail the several nuisance properties mentioned.

Task Force member and City of St. Paul lobbyist, Wendy Underwood, described a bill she is working on with Councilmember Dave Thune that will allow police to have the legal right to hold tenants and property owners responsible for disorderly conduct that goes against the social norms of the community. Once sponsors are found at the Capitol, residents in the West 7th neighborhood may be called on to “team up” as well, and encourage passage of the bill.

The West 7th/St. Clair Avenue Task Force meets the first Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Mary Hansen’s home, 242 Erie Street. Check out the new Task Force Facebook page at, or call Mary at 651-227-6671 for information.

Photo: Steve Magner, Supervisor of the Vacant Building and Code Enforcement Program, and Ricardo Cervantes, Director of St. Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspection, meeting with Task Force members.

Coalition Announces Spring Clean Up
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To learn about the West 7th Business Association, email info@west7thbusinessassociation, or visit

The recent thaws of February started to expose the accumulated debris of winter. On Saturday April 9, businesses and neighbors are requested to turn out on West Seventh and neighboring streets of the West End to give the neighborhood some extra attention, sprucing up our sidewalks and storefront appearance. Pick up the winter debris, wash the windows, sweep the sidewalks and generally beautify the neighborhood. It’s too early to plant flowers, but you could prep a flowerbed or planting container, trim a tree or shrub.

No one would be confined to a specific time or place for any of this, but to show common effort you might choose to be out between 9 and 11a.m. on April 9. Wear warning vests or high visibility clothing and draw attention to your efforts. Those who wish may join the West Seventh Enhancement Coalition for a gathering for coffee at 11 a.m. at a location to be announced. See you in the neighborhood!

Eddie Bova presents the West 7th Enhancement Coalition 2010 Certificate of Appreciation to Sam Bergstrom, manager of Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub (258 West 7th). Moe Sharif, owner of the Downtowner Woodfire Grill (253 West 7th), received the award as well. Sharif and Bergstrom were honored for their valuable contributions to the enhancement of West 7th Street by adding a splash of color and beauty through well-maintained premises and landscaping. The program was conceived by Enhancement Coalition Member Lori Harris, and more than thirty West Seventh businesses were recognized.

[IMAGE]The West Seventh Business Association Enhancement Coalition believes that an attractive, safe, well-built and clean neighborhood is more vibrant for businesses and visitors, more livable for neighbors, and enhanced for all. It continues to foster the efforts of local businesses, nonprofits and individuals by organizing, publicizing and seeking assistance to implement projects.

The W7BA Enhancement Coalition meets the first Thursday of the month, 11 a.m., at Mancini’s Char House, 531 West Seventh. Any resident, proprietor or stakeholder is welcome to attend.

Photo: (top) Eddie Bova and Sam Bergstrom; (left) oe Sharif

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