Stories tagged saint paul

Here is a gigapan shot I took of the river yesterday. I will try to take a panorama every other day(at least). I intend to capture more of the river west in future shots.

http://gigapan.org/gigapans/73228/

BTW: pay special attention to the crazy time capture of a really long train that was passing by.

Please pass on the link to whomever you feel would be interested.

Mar
14
2011

Buzzketeers, it's a big problem.

A ginormous, hulking, frozen, messy problem.

See, here in St. Paul, we've had a very snowy winter. (As of today, it has been the seventh snowiest winter on record. And the snow season isn't over yet.) When the City plows the streets, they have to put the snow somewhere. And one of the places they put it is the parking lot of the St. Paul Saints Midway Stadium, on Energy Park Drive.

The result?
Mt. Midway: Looking NNW from the few open parking spaces off Energy Park Drive. See those little bamboo fronds at the peak? Who needs Hawaii?
Mt. Midway: Looking NNW from the few open parking spaces off Energy Park Drive. See those little bamboo fronds at the peak? Who needs Hawaii?Courtesy Liza Pryor

The 550-spot parking lot is completely -- and I mean COMPLETELY -- covered with snow. It's 30, even 50, feet deep. And it goes from Energy Park Drive north to the train tracks, and from the stadium west to the end of the property. It's impressive, peeps.

It goes on...: and on...and on...I'm standing on the snow pile, with the peak with the tree to my left (west) looking north toward the train tracks.
It goes on...: and on...and on...I'm standing on the snow pile, with the peak with the tree to my left (west) looking north toward the train tracks.Courtesy Liza Pryor

And here's the problem, friends: the St. Paul Saints season opener is May 8th. And there's no way all this snow is going to melt before then. Baseball needs its parking lot back.

More pictures of Mt. Midway.

So how can we get rid of the snow? Trucking it away isn't an option, and minimal use of fossil fuels is a good thing. Buzzers, it's time to go all Mythbusters here and submit your ideas. If you've got a good one, you might get to see it in action.

Mar
20
2010

NOAA flood prediction: Up and up.
NOAA flood prediction: Up and up.Courtesy NOAA
When I woke up this morning and checked the NOAA flood forecast for the downtown Saint Paul station it was at 19.7 feet above the normal stage. Yikes, the forecast still keeps going up. The river is predicted to crest on March 24th (next Wednesday).

Other flood related resources from my morning browsing:

The StarTribune visits the NOAA, National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, in Chanhassen, MN. The scientists at NOAA explain what's different about this year's snow melt...complete with some classic Minnesota accents.

Check out what downtown Saint Paul looked like in the 2001 Mississippi River flood. So far, no one's predicting this year's food will be as bad as that historic spring melt, when the river crested at 23.67 feet.

And, for purely nostalgic purposes, here's a pic of Minnesota Governor Karl Rolvaag (he's in front of the guy with a bag on his head), President Lyndon Johnson, and Senator Walter Mondale (looking quite dashing back in the day) standing dangerously close to the river in the really bad 1965 Mississippi river flood. The river crested at 26 feet that year.

Check out our full feature on the 2010 Mississippi River flooding.

Jun
21
2009

Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash BorerCourtesy USDA
Driving around Saint Paul recently I’ve seen purple boxes hanging from trees, and I wondered what the heck they were. My wife helped me connect the dots between the purple boxes and the emerald ash borer (see ARTiFactor’s article for more info on the emerald ash borer). The Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota DNR is hanging the purple boxes to track and monitor the bugs.

We use a similar system in the museum. There are bug traps placed all over the museum that are not intended to eliminate bugs, but more to trap some so we know if bugs are in a certain areas of the museum and what kind of bugs they are.

The mailbox-sized trap’s color and smell attract the bugs and allow for tracking. The boxes will be removed this fall. Bark has also been removed from two dozen unhealthy trees in order to trap and track the pests. These trees will be cut down this fall as well.

The emerald ash borer is very difficult to detect. If you have an ash tree in your yard you can check for infestation by watching for die-back in the upper third of the tree, heavy activity by woodpeckers, D-shaped holes in the bark and S-shaped grooves under the bark. If you are a Saint Paul resident and notice these signs you are encouraged to call the forestry office at (651) 632-5129 if the tree is on public property and (651) 201-6684 if the tree is on private property.

I have also seen a massive number of billboards and heard radio ads from tree care companies promising treatment and protection from the pests. However, forestry experts indicate that there is no proven method for eradicating them.

The City of Saint Paul is preparing presentations for local district councils on what the City’s next step and what steps they can take to help. Several Saint Paul neighborhoods are potentially going to be especially hard hit as ash trees were popular with developers in post World War II neighborhood developments.

Updated information on the emerald ash borer for Saint Paul, Minnesota residents.

Aug
21
2008

Problem pigeon: John McCain, I've got that bald spot on the top of your head targeted for one of my droppings.
Problem pigeon: John McCain, I've got that bald spot on the top of your head targeted for one of my droppings.Courtesy Josh215
Aboout a year ago, the Buzz brought you news that St. Paul city officials were taking steps to reduce (with the ultimate goal of eliminating) the pigeon population in downtown. The thought was, with the Republican National Convention coming, the city didn't want out-of-towners having to watch their step on the sidewalks for messy pigeon droppings.

As a regular pedestrian through downtown, I can attest that the year's worth of efforts haven't made much of a difference. There are plenty of pigeons, and their droppings, still around downtown. Unless we host a massive falcon-hawk-eagle convention in the next week, the GOP is going to have to be on the lookout for pigeon GOOP.

None the less, St. Paul officials are cranking up their efforts to reduce the pigeon population. While earlier efforts focused on building delux nesting sites for the birds, and the confiscation of their eggs after they were laid, they've turned to pigeon birth control methods. Read all about it here in this Star-Tribune interview with the city's animal control officer. That all begs the question, were do you get pigeon condoms?

Apr
05
2007


A Rock Pigeon: Rock pigeons are the pigeons that are common in large numbers in most major cities. Photo courtesy Josh215 via Wikipedia.
The City of St. Paul is aiming to look its best when the Republican National Convention comes to town in late summer 2008. Part of the plan to spiff up the capitol city is a crack down on pigeon poop – a daunting adversary for many major cities.

The City plans to build ideal nesting grounds for pigeons on rooftops in downtown and then take the eggs in order to attempt to control the population. The hope is that fewer pigeons will mean less pigeon poop. City officials are not sure the pigeon “condo” scheme will be effective, but they are willing to give it a try after numerous other plans have fallen short of the goal.

Pigeons find food easily in the city: The readily available food in an urban environment allows pigeons to breed year-round.  Photo courtesy Photo courtesy sarmoung via Flickr.
Pigeons find food easily in the city: The readily available food in an urban environment allows pigeons to breed year-round. Photo courtesy Photo courtesy sarmoung via Flickr.
Pigeons love city life

Rock Pigeons, often also commonly called doves, are the most common type of pigeon found in urban areas. They are found in cities all over the world as they find high buildings an ideal substitute for their preferred nesting habitat in the wild – sea cliffs.

Rapid reproduction

Many techniques have been used to attempt to control pigeon populations – but it is a major undertaking. Pigeons breed when they have access to a steady food supply. Given the readily available food in an urban environment – from garbage to residents actively feeding pigeons – the food supplies in cities allow pigeons to reproduce year-round, laying eggs six to nine times a year.