Gift of listening: A more peaceful world begins with us

When we were young, I marveled at my older brother Paul. He was so self-confident, so passionate. Like Paul, I felt strongly about my convictions but I was shyer and more hesitant to share them with the world. From an…

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Saint Paul must expand its tax base to make housing more affordable

Saint Paul has allowed its property tax base to gradually erode over the years. The tax base is and always has been what pays for public safety, schools, libraries, parks and recreation, streets and now affordable housing in the city.…

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Now’s the time to seek repurposing of three local rail corridors

The proposed merger of Calgary-based Canadian Pacific Railway (CP Rail) and Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS) will combine CP Rail’s Prairie Province and Upper Midwest routes with KCS’s route to Texas, Louisiana and Mexico. With no overlapping tracks and ongoing…

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Halloween: An age-old reflection on our mortality

A thousand years ago, pagan people in what is now Ireland would build­ bonfires, don masks and attempt to communicate with the dead on the evening of October 31. It was Samhain (pronounced SOW-in), when it was believed that the…

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What should elections look like in a one-party town?

This November, Saint Paul will vote on who will lead Minnesota’s capital city for the next four years. Seven candidates have thrown their hats into the ring to challenge incumbent Mayor Melvin Carter, all political outsiders who are not expected…

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Overlooked hero of World War II gets his due

As I walked out the door of a local merchant earlier this year, I looked at the change in my hand. A shiny new 2021 commemorative quarter caught my eye. I smiled and thought, “Good, they finally did it.” The…

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What’s behind effort to install digital billboards downtown

The Saint Paul Port Authority has proposed changing the city’s zoning code to allow large digital billboards to be erected on or outside any sports arena in downtown that has more than 1,000 seats. The Minnesota Wild’s Xcel Energy Center…

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From West End to East Side, Repke left St. Paul a better place

Shrewd political instincts and a strong sense of empathy guided Chuck Repke throughout his life, say those who knew him well. Repke died on August 2 after a long battle with cancer. In his 67 years, he shaped countless Saint…

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A Riverview transit line that’s worth $2 billion

The selling of a modern streetcar line along the Riverview Corridor continues, with citizen working groups deployed to justify the concept of sleek, futuristic streetcars plying West Seventh Street between downtown Saint Paul, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and the Mall…

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Changing name reflects changing realities for media

So, what’s up with the new “MyVillager” banner on the front page of this issue (reproduced above) and the new tagline “Know Your Neighborhood”? What’s up are a lot of things. The Villager continues its transition from a strictly free-distribution…

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