Friday, March 05, 2010

Suite 49 building to get new tenant

Interior of Normans location in Fargo
The building that formerly housed the Suite 49 restaurant in Grand Forks will soon have a new tenant. Normans Prime Steaks and Seafood is looking to open a location at the University Village location.

Normans is a Fargo restaurant. From the look of the menus and pictures on the Normans website, this place at least wants to give the appearance of being "a pretty classy joint."

Do you think an upscale steak and seafood restaurant will be a good fit for this northside location?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

New local blog: A Wee Blether

There is a new local blogger that we can add to the local blogroll. Adam Copeland recently started his blog A Wee Blether. Adam is a Presbyterian pastor who has moved to the area. Check out his blog...and welcome to the Red River Valley, Adam!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What happened?

So why IS this blog so quiet lately?  Why does a formerly talkative blogger have almost nothing to say these days? 

Well, for one thing, I have gotten very lazy.  I'm busy in real life and I just haven't had near as much time to devote to extraneous activities like running a blog.  I'm sorry I'm so lazy...I should try harder to find the time to blog.

There is another reason, though...a reason that isn't the fault of your ho-hum host.  Remember how the main topic of this blog has always been the local business scene?  Well, these days there is literally almost NO business news to talk about.  Drive around town and you'll be hard pressed to find any commercial construction...large-scale or small-scale...these is almost nothing going on.

Sure, there are a few ongoing projects...the new Aurora Hospital is one notable example.  Still, a project like that hasn't generated any news for months.  Public construction has also been severely lacking this year.

I'm hoping that things will eventually pick up in the local business scene...a pick up in activity on this blog should hopefully go hand in hand with that.  There have been other periods of economic lulls here in the past.  Things WILL change in the future and there WILL be active economic development once again. 

In the mean time, be sure to share your tips and story ideas with me.  Just drop me an email if you would like or directly post them to the blog if you prefer.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Open Thread #103

Let's jump-start a little activity here.  This is the first open thread since February.  I know...kinda sad.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Green Giant

So they're painting the Alerus Center a dark green color...among others changes underway and still coming to the city-owned events center.  Thoughts?  You think you'll like the new look?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tweet talk

I'm going to try something new.  Here's a post that you can use to talk about my Twitter "tweets."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Toasted Frog to open location in Bismarck

A Grand Forks restaurant is set to open a new location in Bismarck by next year. The Toasted Frog has submitted a Renaissance Zone application to the city of Bismarck. As in Grand Forks, the Bismarck location would be located in the downtown area of the city.

Always nice to see a local business successful enough to not only build upon their initial investment but to be able to branch out to new markets.

And yes, Bismarckians, they do serve frog legs.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anyone have a spare billion dollars?

Is it petty of me to be taking some level of umbrage with a select few down in Fargo calling for a diversion to protect that metropolitan area from flooding? (Fargo Forum article) ("Flood Protection Coalition for the FM-Community")

Perhaps diversions can offer advantages over dikes and floodwalls. In fact, I remember that in the wake of the 1997 flood I thought a diversion sounded like the best method of protecting Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. Then I started to realize that the cost was simply going to be far too high and a less costly system could offer a similar level of protection.

Don't get me wrong. The flood protection system that the Grand Cities eventually did construct was expensive. In fact, I sometimes think about the wonderful gift that has been given to us in this system. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to protect us and the money came from not only here at home but from each and every taxpayer in this country. We should be very grateful.

Having said how expensive the system that is now in place turned out to be, we actually did go with the less expensive method. A diversion would have cost not millions but likely billions. So what we have in place is the "cheap" option. Does it give us a "cheap" level of protection? Hardily. Even when the floodwaters rise perilously high as they did this spring, the mood is so different in Grand Forks than it used to be. The system has been tested and it clearly works. In my opinion, quality of protection is not a real issue here. Both diversions and dikes can offer a high level of protection.

Sure diversions limit the need to buyout homes within city limits. Sure dikes can obstruct the view of the river from within the city. Grand Forks suffered dearly in 1997...far more than any other Red River Valley city has seen since. If the residents of Grand Forks had to make sacrifices to protect their city in the wake of utter destruction, why should residents of Fargo not be asked to make similar sacrifices?

Pretending that dikes and floodwalls are inherently ugly things is wrong. Sure they can be unattractive if they aren't done right. The Fargo diversion group's website states that "The dikes, floodwall and such things are unsightly." Really? Have Mr. Schafer, Mr. Burgum, Mr. Offutt, or Mr. Scheel ever visited the Grand Forks Greenway system? Is a giant park bordering the river unsightly? If they did visit, they would find a massive system of well-maintained parks and trails that sees plenty of use and has actually focused attention towards the river instead of detracting from it. In fact, the Red River corridor in Grand Forks went from being something that outside of the downtown area was virtually hidden in backyards to being a public place that anyone in Grand Forks can enjoy.

So if the dikes and floodwalls in Grand Forks provide a more than adequate level of protection while at the same time creating an attractive and massive system of public parks, why would a similar system in Fargo be something to frown upon? Grand Forks went through a horrific disaster and responded by building an expensive but reasonably priced flood control system that protects the city and enhances quality of life for many. Fargo had a very close call and now a group of men with powerful and wealthy names want to respond by spending massive amounts of money to build a system that would offer essentially the same level of protection found in Grand Forks but that would also "protect the view" for a select few.

It may be childish of me, but it basically boils down to this: if it's good enough for Grand Forks, why isn't it good enough for Fargo?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Milo is back

Milo Smith is blogging again. Follow his "quest for the perfect lawn" at his Milo's Turf Tips blog. Sadly, he's been blogging more than I have lately.