Although I told Griff that I was going to be out of town for the most recent podcast, he forgot that small detail and joined Tracy in slandering my good name, adding insipid music to the show, and, perhaps most offensive of all, putting a red “x” through my image.
…what am I, some too-democratic and so out-of-favor politburo member from a Milan Kundera novel?
And then there’s Tracy, whose excuse for her recent absence, “a business meeting in Minneapolis” triggered guffaws from the KRLX News Director, “Yeah, a business meeting at an outdoor cafe…”
Ah well, as Lee Lansing always advises me, “Turn the page, Ross”. Okay, so let’s turn our attention to the topics of the most recent podcast…
First off, there was the Library Expansion. Most interesting of the discussion for me was Mathius’ comment that Carleton students find it to be a “welcoming environment just a block away from campus”.
Then there was the Liquor Store Location. I agree with my fellow wino, Griff, that when I purchase my weekly bottle for my wife and I, usually on Friday or Saturday evening, I never have a problem finding a parking space.
On the subject of the Q Block, although getting the various property owners to agree on a unified plan is certainly a significant challenge, I think that recent economic uncertainties, in particular the price of gas, may have also had an impact on developers’ projections and have contributed to the extended timeline for possible redevelopment concepts. Once again, I found Mathius’ comments to be of great interest; it is good to know that Carleton students believe that the mixed-use and two-story approach of traditional development is a preferable vision for the the Q Block.
Finally, I thought that Tracy hinted during the discussion of several of these topics that it’s not enough to simply have a consultant run the numbers on individual projects when we are talking about a substantial potential public investment but that we must also analyze the broader economic impact on the community. Right on, Sister.
The 600 Block of Division Street was also discussed. Although there were some legal disputes that caused many months of delay on that project, I have been told that those issues have been cleared up, financing is now in place and that this project is ready to move forward. Unfortunately, just in time for winter.
Then it was on to Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, with a discussion of the traffic light at 3rd Street and Highway 3. As I mentioned in an NDDC blog entry, as part of the Chamber-NDDC Cooperation effort, Don Kuehnast of Community National Bank has committed to working on this effort. All I can say is “Look out MNDOT”. And thank you Mathius for mentioning the college students’ concern for a safe bicycle crossing of Highway 3… perhaps it’s one of the reasons those 20-somethings move away from Northfield.
There was a reminder of the recent discussions of Outside Dining in Downtown. At a recent meeting between City of Northfield Administrator Al Roder and NDDC Vice President Joe Grundhoefer, Al asked Joe if the two organizations could make it a priority to get the matter resolved before next spring. It was agreed. Tracy is right, when the draft language was presented at an NDDC Block Head Gathering, there were many concerns that it was too sweeping and restrictive. NDDC stakeholders are working now on modified the proposed language.
I could comment on the high speed internet pipeline but I’ve been given confidential information and have been asked not to reveal it.
Oh, and as for that insipid music, it’s “pod-safe”…yeah, “safe” music…that doesn’t sound like the provocative sound appropriate for an edgy news program. Whatever happened to Malvina Reynolds doing “Little Boxes” or Greg Brown doing “Boomtown”? Hey. Mr. Peter Diggins, let’s write something for Jellystone Yogi, I’ll sketch out some lyrics and you do the music. Maybe we’ll get some airplay on the KRLX morning show.