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Convention Beat: August 25, 2008 Archive

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Lock 'em up

Posted at 12:01 PM on August 25, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

grate.jpgIt's lunch time. Do you know where your boulevard tree is?

Well, if it's in St. Paul, it'll be right where you left it.

Among the security measures underway these days ahead of the Republican National Convention is this innovation. They're locking up the sidewalk grates that surround the boulevard trees in downtown St. Paul.

Many of the trees ARE new, and it would be a shame if any went missing. But parks workers say they're not worried about the trees getting away.

They're more worried about the grates themselves: miscreants might take them up and use them to force entry into, oh, the Xcel Energy Center, passing cars, or anything else within a two-block radius of the Republican National Convention.

The square grates weight about 400 pounds each, and they're cast in symetrical halves for installation and maintenance. But today, they're being cabled together so the tree, in theory, would have to come with.

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The Countdown

Posted at 3:06 PM on August 25, 2008 by Tim Nelson (1 Comments)

We're a week out and rehearsals should be starting for the Republican National Convention at any moment now.

The Xcel Energy Center looks like its all dressed and ready to go.

Panorama of Xcel Energy Center on

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Spruce? Up!

Posted at 5:00 PM on August 25, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

fountain.JPGThis would be the part where St. Paul starts frantically cleaning house before company comes.

It's the little things you notice: the grass along the freeway on Interstate 35E and along Interstate 94 is getting trimmed back. The summer work program kids are scouring downtown St. Paul with garbage bags.

vitae.jpgAnd the St. Paul Public Library is spray painting the arborvitae in its courtyard. (Click on the picture at right to see it in living color.)

Okay, so it's not actually paint.

Technically, that bluish-green hue in the middle of this bush beside Kellogg Boulevard is from a product known as "Design Master." It's like hair color for your yard. ("Only her lawn professional knows for sure.")

Library spokeswoman Sheree Savage says it's covering up the wilt where dogs have apparently been relieving themselves on the library grounds. Oy. Just as the eyes of the nation are about to be upon us.

basket.JPGAs you can see, in the picture at top, they're cleaning the fountain in Rice Park, they're trimming just about every tree to within an inch of its life and sprucing up the flower baskets hanging from most of the street lights in downtown St. Paul.

Theyr'e fixing the pavers on the plaza beside the Landmark Center, there's new skyway signs going up at Securian, the 401 Building and the Pioneer Press. The holiday lights are going up early in Rice Park and there's fresh cedar mulch in the flower beds in Cleveland Circle.

The railings at the Holiday Inn were getting a paint job this morning, and Pop is about to have its big grand opening on Wednesday. You can now buy a dress at Il Vostro, and Paul Schmid just opened up his Custom Chocolate shop over near Ecolab. Hoo-ah!


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