Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Open Thread #35

You sure filled up that last open thread fast!

53 comments:

Joe said...

I'm curious to know if anyone else is fed up with the traffic signals on 32nd Ave? When you hit every dang light in 'rush hour' and every light at 3am, it's pretty annoying!

The light at 32nd Ave. and 34 St. is horrible. To go north 34 St. from East 32nd Ave., the green arrow stays on for its full length even if there's no cars there. Same with the light in front of Sams Club, the light will change instantly even if a car is going to make a easy right turn onto 32nd Ave.

I know down in Fargo and other big cities the lights are all coordniated with each other to be able to get through multiple stoplights without having to stop at every one.

Anyone else feel my pain?

Anonymous said...

once, when I was five, our paperboy delivered the paper when it was really cold out......I liked that part.

Anonymous said...

I got a REAL problem. Tell me, why every fast food restaurant in town can't cook bacon properly??? Bacon should be crisp and brown -- not limp and white. Burger King is NOTORIUS for having under cooked bacon, as is Wendy's. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

Verizon Wireless (by Kohl's) gave me the worst service I could ever have. I should have known better than go there and stay with the local people! My bad.

Anonymous said...

"Canadian rock band Nickelback drew nearly 12,000 fans at its concert Tuesday night at the Alerus Center."

People do show up for events at the Alerus when they book decent acts.

Anonymous said...

Great concert. Pathetic customer service by the workers at the Alerus. Beer sales were a complete joke. Waiting in line for a half hour for a beer is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else dislike the over head fans blowing your hair and dust around as you enter Walmart ? How about the rats/gophers on Altru's vacant lot behind the hospital, 10,000 strong and spreading out to surrounding area. They need to plow up this 10 acres of land and let area resident plant a garden there ! What do others think ? greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

12,000?? Maybe they SOLD 12,000 tickets but it didn't seem like there were close to that many people actually watching the concert to me.

Mrs S. (soon to be mommy) said...

If you think about it there probably were that many people there, 3/4 of the football feild sized general admission was full and practically all of the seats.

But people smoking in the alerus is disrespectful there was a girl sitting behind us that was allergic and having problems because of it. The Alerus center staff did come and warn them but they continued to anyway.

- I used to smoke and would never have done that.

Anonymous said...

"Great concert. Pathetic customer service by the workers at the Alerus. Beer sales were a complete joke. Waiting in line for a half hour for a beer is ridiculous."

The concert was Awesome and I think that you are being too hard on the workers that were selling the beer. It is not their fault that the Alerus management did not provide enough beer vendors for the concert. They worked damn hard and took alot of heat for the long lines and the wait time. In fact the person that served me my beer apologized for the long wait and said to "enjoy my evening". I don't know if I would have been so friendly after such a long night of work.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say the Alerus itself. Not the individual workers. Not there fault at all. They were put into a very bad spot by the Alerus management. This is a very dark spot on Charlie Jeske's attempt to retain his job.

Anonymous said...

Ok, Thank you for clarifying. I was feeling bad for those poor employees.

buy it yourself said...

Greenglass,
Maybe you could buy that lot yourself and plow it up. Until you do, you have no say what happens to that land.

Anonymous said...

I have NEVER been in a quick beer line at a concert.

Anonymous said...

I just recently discovered this site and I know it has probably been mentioned, but where is a GF Olive Garden. I hate that I am perfectly willing to make the hour trip to Fargo, wait an hour in line, and drive all the way back for this resturant. When will GF have one? I can't see any reason why not.

Sara said...

I read this blog from a far. I lived in GF for 23 years and loved it. It is not until you move away that you learn to appreciate the kind, polite, and sensible living that takes place there.
It seems that every time GFG opens a thread, everyone gets on a rant. I would hope that the people of GF, ND have not become cynics since I left five years ago.
Thanks, GFG, for having the Good Customer Service post. It seems that people who have never worked in service are the first ones to complain about bad service.

dale said...

On the Homestead Grove front, Snap Fitness put up their sign today. I'm sure that they're still a ways away from opening, but they're making headway. Haven't seen it written here, and it's not exactly news, but Choice Financial opened the Homestead Grove office a week or so ago.

Anonymous said...

Could a big car dealership be going out of business? This is a rumor but the new car business "lithia motors" which bought out hansen i heard have been losing a ton of money. Plus i heard half of hansens employees left too. Man that would suck to be investors of lithia. I know for one i will never buy a car there. I like to keep my money in town go to grand auto mart or eide or somewhere else.

fightingsioux4life said...

I went to the Nickelback concert as well. One of the best concerts I have ever been to. Parking lot was full, it took a long time to get out after it was over. I don't think the Alerus staff was ready for this many people. I think it could have drawn even more if it was held during the school year (UND students are gone now). Again, great concert, well worth the $55.50 ticket price.

Anonymous said...

To judge Charlie Jeske's job performance based on how long you stood in the beer line is pretty frivolous.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Choice Financial Branch at homestead today....they are working fast and furious to get the fitness center open....any idea what restaurant is going out there??

I have had nothing but exceptional service at Choice Financial. Very friendly. I think they called me by name on my second visit...someone in that organization is all about customer service.

Anonymous said...

I'd be surprised if Lithia is leaving... they are a LARGE national chain of car dealers in smaller locals.

Anonymous said...

Here's a group of individuals that need to be voted out.
"The public doesn't understand how hard it was for us to cut costs," said Park District Director John Staley. "We're constantly scrounging," he said, noting how higher utility bills have forced the district to put off hiring a needed position.If it's that hard to cut, resign. Taxpayers with no additional income with rising taxes have to downsize, why can't the Park Board.

The representatives gathered said they believed voters just need to be educated on the services they get for their tax dollars.How about some education about how difficult it is to come up with property tax payments.

"The message has to be what you get for the money not how much you pay," said School Board President Mike St. Onge.So there's no fat at all in any of the School Board's budgets. We're not that gullible.

Without the exceptional level of services local governments provide, Grand Forks wouldn't be as special as it is, said city administrative coordinator Rick Duquette. Not to bring up negative issues, but the city has made incredible bone-headed decisions that have cost the tax payers a fortune: the water plant fiasco and the land fill, to name two.

St. Onge said he's convinced the misunderstanding is due to common man's difficulty grasping the fiscal jargon that government leaders habitually use. So now the taxpayer is stupid.


"We have a tough year," County Commission Chairman Gary Malm said. "We are in dire circumstances in a lot of areas," he said, referencing, among other things, the added costs of running the new jail. The commission voted this week to raise up to 10 mills to pay for the jail, but he said, it'll try and spend what money it has first. "We're going to spend our reserves down as far as we can." Mr Malm: You have the gall to speak such nonsense when you were one of the county commissioners that promised that the jail would be not cost taxpayers additional operating costs due to contractual income? Unbelieveable.

City Finance Director John Schmisek said his research shows property taxes have increased at a slower rate than the city's growth, as measured by the amount of tax revenues collected on new properties on the tax roll. "Now we're playing catch up," he said, "and inflationary pressure is bearing down."This is an absolutely incredible statement. Property tax vaulations increases have been growing much faster than GF's total economy and people's net income. Yet, there's an attempt to justify why the city, park board, and school board deserve ever larger increases of each person's income.

Voters need to understand that a mill in Fargo is worth more than a mill in Grand Forks, said School Board member SuAnne Frasier, meaning the same tax rate would fetch Fargo more money because property values are higher there on average.This is diverting the topic from the real issue. GF needs lower taxes in order to grow. So what about Fargo, why not talk about a mill in Larimore being less than one in GF? Or a mill in Minneapolis is more than one in GF?

If this set of leadership is a reflection of GF, we are in trouble. Retirees can not afford to stay in GF. Younger people with families can not afford to stay in GF. Businesses can not afford to settle in GF.

Let's all have world-class services so we have force out all the people.

MattFacingSouth said...

Joe, I indeed feel your pain.

I can't, for the life of me, figure out why that light is programmed that way. I've gotten to the point where I'll speed down 32nd if I think I can "catch the green" there, otherwise it's an extra 90 seconds out of my day (times 5 days a week, times 50 weeks a year adds up!).

Not to mention that I've already hit reds at 25th, Columbia, and 31st, and will likely hit the red at 38th, too.

This is grossly inefficient in terms of time lost, gas wasted, brakes wasted, and my own little ball of stress. I sat at that light for 2 minutes taking my brother to the airport at 4 AM two weeks ago. Not another car on the road.

I've seen so many cities that have "intelligent" traffic signals - i.e. you're waiting at a red left turn, nobody is oncoming and it goes green without having to go through a full cycle. Or the "timed" lights you mentioned - drive the speed limit and you're set.

Why can't GF pay some attention to this?

ben said...

please - lets not get someone hurt or killed in a crash by trying to save 90 seconds. Think of all those people stuck on freeways next time you have to wait a full minute and a half for a light to change - then realize how lucky you are that you aren't stuck with them...by then the light will be green anyways, and nobody got hurt by you speeding down a busy road!

Anonymous said...

Great service at Gate City Bank-all branches, Target and Gateway Amoco. In an effort to keep it positive, I won't comment on the Stadter Center-CPC, where a family member has gone for health care.

Anonymous said...

"To judge Charlie Jeske's job performance based on how long you stood in the beer line is pretty frivolous."

This is one of the straws that broke the camel's back.
It's like Bush...when you fail at the big stuff, everything after that becomes magnified and people heap on.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha man, these comments exemplify the small town thinking of Grand Forks.

Nickelback??? Terrible stuff.

OLIVE GARDEN ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Yet ANOTHER chain restaurant to further bland-ify your already boring town.

Fighting over a dog park????

I mean really??

MattFacingSouth said...

90 seconds adds up, Ben, not to mention wear on my car due to stopping from 40mph every 1/2 mile.

Fix the problem.

Charlie said...

Anonymous, if Olive Garden (being it's owned by the same corporation) is anything like the Red Lobster, we'd love to have another of that quality eating place here. (See positive post links on this same site.) There are chain restaurants, and there are, well...chain restaurants.

Nickelback? Not my kind of music, either, but certainly a successful venture to offer for those that like that genre; yet another choice of entertainment in a town that is anything but boring. (For old bucks like myself, we've also been able to experience Tony Bennett, George Carlin, Johnny Mathis, Alan Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, and a wide range of entertainers---and that doesn't take into consideration frequent local performances by locals such as Jazz on Tap, the Chiara Quartet, or the various theatre presentations offered many times a year.)

I used to tell my students...folks who find things "boring" are generally bored with themselves. Man! There's a lot going on in this town; all you have to do is look around---and enjoy!

Charlie said...

Oh...and did I forget to mention the people? :o) Even Matt, waiting patiently in the next car at the long light on 32nd...

There are frustrations, to be sure, but we've got one heck of a small town. I'd be interested in your suggestions to improve this lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, dude, if you can't find something to do here, you're not trying very hard. We don't have the variety of acts bigger cities do, but still plenty. Try these sites:

http://www.culturepulse.org/
or
Canendar of Events at visitgrandforks.com

MattFacingSouth said...

Heh, I've recently found a way to skip that light, anyway, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Seriously, though, it's a lot of waste produced for what seems to me a simple solution.

Charlie - I have a hunch we know each other.

Charlie said...

*L*
Matt...not likely, although we may have bumped into each other, without realizing it, at The Urban on a Thursday evening.

I'd guess the familiarity of some of the readers of this blog also contributes to the recognition factor.

And I admit I'm a cheerleader for Grand Forks... In fact, I'm not all that shy about using the term "Grand Cities."

(Bring it on, all you anonymous posters...*s*)

MattFacingSouth said...

:)

Heh, you named a lot of things that I regularly take part in, so I figured we probably have bumped into each other.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the recent concert and beer service:
The bands' requirement that all drinks [even milk and water] be poured into cups slowed the service considerably. If the Alerus went to an wristband system [ID checked once after entering] for drinks, it would expedite the purchase of drinks during the concert. I worked at a concession stand for this concert and though we did have a line for beer during the intermissions, I am sure that no one waited as long as 30 min. at our stand. I'd guess 10 minutes max--Look around folks, there are shorter lines around.

fightingsioux4life said...

What conservatives don't understand is that if you cut servies to save money so you can hold the line on taxes, the same people complaining about taxes will complain about services being cut and/or scaled back. They want something for nothing. The conservative "Borrow and Spend" philosophy might work at the Federal level, but state and local governments cannot do this.

The problem is that the property tax is old, obsolete and needs to be scrapped in favor of something else (a fair, balanced and efficient flat income tax or another type of consumption tax, perhaps). Of course, every effort in the ND legislature to address overreliance on property taxes has been opposed and blocked by conservatives, who are head-over-heels in love with the property tax because it lets businesses and corporations off the hook and socks it to the average, hard-working, home-owning North Dakotan. Property taxes are a problem across the state (even in Imperial Cass County) and I don't think the system can be fixed. We have to replace it with something that is compatible with today's economy.

Anonymous said...

Matt, if you think traffic in Grand Forks is bad I don't think you've ever lived. Waiting 90 seconds for a light is NOTHING. No one in this town should complain about the "rush minute" that occurs or having to wait for a timed light. Give me a break.

MattFacingSouth said...

Anon - I grew up in Sacramento - I know what traffic is.

Still, it makes no sense for the lights here to be programmed like they are. I don't know why anybody would defend that.

Anonymous said...

Matt's problem is not with the time wasted itself, nor the act of being stuck in traffic, but the general waste associated with a problem that seems to have a clear, achievable solution. It's more of a moral dilemma than a practical one.

fightingsioux4life said...

It is almost like the people that programmed the traffic lights in GF want everyone to hit a red light on certain streets (North Washington for example). Some green arrows last forever, some don't last long enough and some don't work at all. These things should be looked at.

MattFacingSouth said...

Thanks, Anon - that's exactly what I was trying to say, however it still does stress me out a little to sit there because it's so... silly. I would think differently if there was a ton of traffic using said light, but that's not the case.

Lynsey said...

Has anyone else noticed that Marilyn's past few "Eat Beat" columns haven't been Grand Forks restaurants? I thought the one about Kneadful Things in Devils Lake was nice because I pass through at lunchtime a lot, but three columns in a row about out of town restaurants seems a little odd to me.

locla boy said...

Charlie! A positive comment! What a rare occurence on this blog. I am also a big Grand Forks supporter. Things I do here are exactly the same that I did in a bigger city. I can still go to vikings, twins and wild games, etc like I did when I lived in the Twin Cities, but I get to LEAVE and come back to a place where the people are much nicer, there is less traffic....etc.

ec99 said...

"Has anyone else noticed that Marilyn's past few "Eat Beat" columns haven't been Grand Forks restaurants?"

A few years ago she did a review of an Italian restaurant when she was in Italy. Wish I'd saved it. I think it's so the Herald reimburses her for her meal.

Joe said...

Matt,

Thanks for sharing my pain! You bring up a good point about having to wait for a light to 'cycle' through when there's no other cars in sight at 3am! Crazyness!

Throw all the lights to flashing yellow at 11pm and I'll be a happy Grand Forks citizen. Talk about a simple fix, well maybe not so simple to the overpaid city engineers. Oh well....

Anonymous said...

I think Marilyn has been traveling in the area with family etc so you will see "out of town restaurants" reviewed lately. Remember that the GF Herald is sold/delivered in areas outside Grand Forks. If she has her meals reimbursed she sure is conservative with her spending.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why the Floor to Ceiling store closed? I don't remember reading that in the Herald. It appears to have been empty for a while.

webmasterzero said...

Throw all the lights to flashing yellow at 11pm and I'll be a happy Grand Forks citizen. Talk about a simple fix, well maybe not so simple to the overpaid city engineers. Oh well....

Four flashing yellows at an intersection might be a little dangerous.

Yeah, it's a joke, I get it.

I've noticed the traffic light thing in GF also. It's stupid how they are timed, but I guess the city has more important things to attend to (expanding the industrial park, and finding a new landfill space for example). Still, it's good that it's being mentioned...maybe someone will take note.

GrandForksGuy said...

According to an article in the Bismarck Tribune, I think we may soon be getting a new mexican restaurant called Panchero's.

MattFacingSouth said...

Funny you mention that, earlier today I was Googling liquor licenses issued by the state and saw some site that mentioned Pancheros in Bismarck.

There's a semi-blog by a former resident of GF that I visit often. It has anecdotal reviews and some history of all sorts of fast food restaurants. Pancheros certainly has a write-up, it sounds just like Qdoba. All we'll need for the Urban Taco Trifecta is a Chipotle.

Anyway, you may want to visit the site - it's informative and often quite humorous:
http://www.99w.com/evilsam/ff/index.htm

Anonymous said...

What happened to patience in this city. I wait at traffic lights like everybody else, and it doesn't bother me unless I'm in a foul mood or in a hurry. And if you really want to do something about it, call or write to the city administrator or some other city engineer to complain about the problem. Another solution, bring it up at a city counsil meeting.

Anonymous said...

The new light on 42nd really bothers me. Is it really necessary? Are they going to build a new entrance to the Alerus there?