Monday, November 27, 2006

Open Thread #6

As the semester starts to wind down at UND, I'm just too busy to do much blogging.

This will have to do for a day or so. What's on your mind?

Topics covered: downtown chimes, flags at Perkin's, Opera House Lofts, opening of Bobbie's, "Heels Boutique North", new Westward Ho tenant?, new downtown establishments

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving thread

What am I thankful for?

Right now, I'm feeling thankful for a few things...

First, how about those 720 people that LM Glasfiber will be employing in the coming year? That's phenomenal!

It's obviously closely related to something else I'm thankful for: Grand Forks' job growth. We went from being on the brink a few years ago to being a leader of the pack today.

I'm also thankful that so many people in the city seem to feel the same way that I do about Smiley the Water Tower.

Ok, your turn. What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Love for Smiley

In the day or so since it was first announced that the city wanted to demolish Smiley, it seems as though things may be looking up for our old friend. Word about the proposed demolition has spread like wildfire and much of the community seems to already be saying that it would be a sad day in Grand Forks if Smiley no longer grinned at us as each time we drove down Washington Street. Read Tu-Uyen's story in today Herald.

I'm pleased to see that so many people are making their voices heard on this matter. Almost everyone seems to be speaking out in Smiley's favor. I have yet to hear from many people who don't want to see at least some effort put into saving the landmark. Dakota Huseby is proposing a "Smiley Days" benefit to raise money for restoration. That's a great idea. I think there are probably many great ideas out there for raising money. In the long run, a couple hundred thousand dollars is truly not that much for a city of 55,000 people to raise. I don't think it would be that hard to get people to shell out a few dollars to save Smiley.

Let's make this happen! Save Smiley!

Friday, November 17, 2006

New poll: Smiley

Time to change poll questions.

•Closing the old poll...
The old question was "Would you like to see smoking banned on the UND campus?" and there were a total of 65 votes. 58% (38 voters) answered "Yes", 38% (25 voters) answered "No", and 3% (2 voters) said they were unsure. Click here to check out the results.

•Opening the new poll...
The new poll questions is "Do you want to see "Smiley" saved?" Make your voice heard!!!

Save Smiley!!!

According to Tu-Uyen, the city is going to unceremoniously destroy our beloved smiley faced water tower (read his Herald story and his blog post).

Say it ain't so!!! Smiley is one of our few recognizable landmarks in Grand Forks and thousands of people think of Smiley when they think of Grand Forks. He is our old friend who grins at us as we drive down Washington Street. He has the welcoming smile that has greeted so many visitors to our city. If we lose Smiley, we lose a part of what is "Grand Forks."

Is there no way this can be stopped? Couldn't a plea be put out for donations? Maybe all of the school children could go door to door and raise money to save Smiley. Would it be possible to just let Smiley sit in his current condition until funds are found or raised? I just don't think we can stand to lose Smiley.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Open Thread #5

Ok, with the last open thread already at 44 comments as of this moment, it's probably time to start another one, huh? These are getting to be pretty popular...

Topics covered: Discontent, local entertainment scene, Segways on sidewalks

Bobbie's now open

Bobbie's, the new locally-owned women's clothing store, opened this past Monday in the new strip mall in front of Kohl's. It's great to see a non-chain store open in chain-heavy south Grand Forks and it's also great to see the store filling a void in the local market. I wish them success.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Open Thread #4

With last week's Open Thread getting around 40 comments, it's about time to start a new one, huh?

BTW, sorry I was blog-lazy last week. I had a big midterm...

Topics covered: service at local restaurants (emphasis on Boston's and the Bronze Boot), service in local banks

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Open Thread #3

I'm going to start having these about once a week...

Topics covered: gas prices, Hugo's losing business?, Grand Forks vs. urban areas, Westward Ho building

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hostile and abusive

The Dakota Student is openly calling the University of North Dakota a "hostile and abusive" institution. Read this editorial. They are also siding in with Gary LaPointe, a Native student who left the University last week due to his protest of the Fighting Sioux nickname.

I have to wonder why so much emphasis is being placed on LaPointe's departure. Many, many students leave the University for various reasons before finishing their studies. Why should we care so much more about LaPointe than any of these other students? I also think LaPointe's departure sends a very poor message to the Native community: If you don't like one (non-academic) aspect of your school, just drop out of that school. Why did LaPointe ever come to UND in the first place if he was so deeply offended by the nickname?

I think that openly siding with those who call the University of North Dakota "hostile and abusive" is one of the most questionable stances the Dakota Student has ever taken. I would think that the editorial board is supposed to be at least somewhat reflective of the UND student body as a whole...a sort of "voice" for UND students. It's clear that most UND students do not think of their school as "hostile and abusive" so why is the Dakota Student taking that very stance? The Dakota Student may be representing Gary LaPointe, but it is not representing me or thousands of other UND students.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Holiday decorations

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the least at my home. Decorating for Christmas takes literally a couple of weeks. Yes, we really like Christmas. That's one of the reasons I always get depressed every year when the city puts up those ugly, dilapidated decorations on the light poles throughout town. They are several decades old and get a little worse for wear every year. It's gotten to the point where I wish the city would just stop putting them up. They are beyond repair...they need to be replaced.

That's why I was happy to read the minutes of this past Tuesday's Finance/Development Standby Committee meeting. The city is finally talking about replacing the city's holiday decorations. $38,000 dollars worth of new decorations are being talked about for this year with more decorations on the way next year.

This year's wish list includes:
•Holiday banners and wreaths on 80 light poles downtown = approx. $24,000
•Replacing the white lights on the tops of downtown buildings and the evergreens on Kittson Avenue with new LED lights which are longer lasting and are lower wattage = approx. $11,500.00
•Additional strings of lights for the tree on the west side of the DeMers Avenue overpass = approx. $2,400.00

As for those ratty decorations along the major thoroughfares...looks like we'll have to put up with them for one more year. The city is recommending that the same old red bells be put up this holiday season and then replaced next year with brand new decorations.

Since the project is over $30,000, the proposal will next have to go to the entire city council. Why wouldn't the city want to spend a relatively small sum of money to make the city so much more festive during the holiday season? Seems like a no brainer to me.

Carmike update

Remember my recent post about all of those seemingly forgotten movie theater projects that were once slated for Grand Forks? Well, it looks like at least one of those projects should be taking place after all. I recently received word from a corporate manager at Carmike Cinemas stating that the remodel/retrofit of the Carmike 10 in Grand Forks is still planned. However, no timetable seemed to be available. Still, the representative seemed genuinely sure that the project would take place in the near future. Let's hope so.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who has been complaining about the less than adequate movie theater experience Carmike has been providing the citizens of Grand Forks. I've heard that there have been several visits from representatives of the Carmike home office in Georgia to the Grand Forks theaters lately. I'm guessing that complaints have been rolling into the company in recent months as the theaters seem to be going a little more downhill all of the time.

I really hope the Carmike 10 project gets going before too long and I hope that the Grand Forks theaters can get there act together. Then again, I'm probably being far too naive...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Love from F-M

The Blog Concierge, a Fargo-based blog on AreaVoices, has taken notice of the burgeoning Grand Forks blogging community. Take a look at the flattering post that blogger Alicia Strnad recently put up about her fellow bloggers to the north. Thanks Alicia! You're getting a link on my blogroll...