Monday, December 17, 2007

Open Thread #56

I realize that this blog has been on auto-pilot for the last month or so. Still, I've been happy to see you guys carry on the conversation while I have been preoccupied. Traffic has not decreased during my absence. I promise that things will be getting back to normal here after the holidays.

Now...since it's getting very close to the big day, why not share some memories of Christmas in Grand Forks?


Deb said...

Does anyone know what's up with all the backhoe work and excavating going on west of town, just to the north of Hwy 2? Seems like something big.


dale said...

I haven't seen anyone else comment on it, but the traffic to get into the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show was ridiculous. We were at about 42nd and the funeral home at 7:20 and didn't walk into the arena until after 8:00, missing the beginning of the show.

The problem? Zero traffic control at 17th, traffic light running green for about 30 seconds on the 42nd Street way. That, and not closing off all side roads coming onto 42nd south of 17th, resulted in an insane backup. I'm sure that there were many behind us who missed most of the first half of the show.

A second problem was the $5 parking fee, which significantly slowed down the whole process. Not sure what can be done to deal with that, but it sure didn't help.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the traffic was insane! By the time we finally reached the parking lot for the Alerus (the north end) the cars were still backed up almost to the Alerus on the interstate! Come on people!!!! I did not see one cop helping direct traffic. And two people doing one persons job didn't help. I know it was cold, but I think one person can manage to give the ticket and handle the money! They need to have a system more like the airport. Have a gate system and have "ports" set up around the Alerus where you get your parking pass and put it in the machine to get out. Ridiculous!!!!! I know the people we had to crawl over to get to our seats were less then thrilled that we arrived late, however, we were not at fault. We tried to get their early or at least on time.

Anonymous said...

The comment section in the Herald had numerous complaints about the parking issues at the TSO show. Many of of them from out of town, out of state, and Wpg. Several admitting they'd never come back to a show at The Alerus. Sounds like it was a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

"Now...since it's getting very close to the big day, why not share some memories of Christmas in Grand Forks?"

Katie said...

I just wanted to say that I attended "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at Red River High School this weekend, and have to applaud the young actors/actresses. They did a great job, and it was a great way to get me in the mood for the Holidays!

ec99 said...

I was stuck in that same traffic jam. The attendance was supposed to have been 6000+, what would happen if there were more. Just hopeless planning. Great show though. Did Marilyn H. write the review under another by-line?

Anonymous said...

I was a bit surprised a few days ago to read in the Herald that the Alerus receives about half of the city sales tax revenue. For them to be such a high priority for local funding, you'd think they'd learn to handle routine functions better, such as getting people into the parking lot without major back-ups. It's hard enough as it is to attract talent to the larger venues in this city -- if customers start to stay away because the traffic is too much of a hassle, it will further drag down the Alerus, eliminate any chance of bringing in any more decent shows, and make it the waste of taxpayer dollars that some people already say it is.

MattFacingSouth said...

Just came in to see if anyone mentioned the traffic at the Alerus.

You did not let me down.

We left 10 minutes before the end of the show just in case it was the same getting out. The last time I was in traffic like that was trying to get into an A's game near playoff time (sadly, this was in 2006, because the '07 season sucked a big one).

That was but a small taste of California for you all. Most of the problems out there are due to insufficient traffic system design for the amount of throughput vehicles. No surprise there, I guess - that's the definition of "bad traffic."

Love it - thanks GF for bringing a taste of home to me for the holidays!

Joe C said...


The work being done is for the airport's new east/west runway. Once the city finally closes the landfill is the day the new runway can open.

Anonymous said...

I gotta give kuddos to the employees at retail stores... Usually by this time of year they are frazzled and grumpy but so far this year I have no complaints with customer service. Makes the holidays a little nicer when people are a little nicer.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article in the Herald today. Very informative. Because of this article, I now know that the traffic issues at the TSO show were the driver's fault.


Orator said...

Our office went the the TSO show as part of the Christmas Party. We took a bus, and it took us 1/2 hour to get from Odegard Hall at UND to the show. Once inside, we told a staff member of the traffic problems outside. Her response: "that's because everyone waits until the last minute to get here:. Wait a minute... we left EGF at 7:15. Since when does it take more than 45 minutes to get across town? Great show through ... maybe next year they can play the Ralph.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Alerus is where it was built. There is only one access road (S. 42nd St) to the center, and it gets extremely congested. This was the first event where everyone coming in had to pay the $5 (UND Football exempts Fighting Sioux Club members from the fee). That created the longer lines to the show. Many people have blamed the fact on no traffic control from the police, but honestly...the police would have been out there directing people into a line. That doesn't make sense. They need to let people get deeper into the parking lot before taking their money for parking, not stop every car on the way in right in the front of the parking lot...or just add a couple bucks to every ticket and be done with it.

Anonymous said...

Nice article in the Herald today by Chuck Haga concerning public works director Todd Feland and the landfill issue. I don't take sides on the landfill issue but I wanted to mention something in the article that upset me. A quote by Dexter Perkins in which he is speaking about how well Feland handles the pressure of his job. The quote goes something to the effect of "I don't know if he goes home and beats his kids or what". He is speaking about how Feland deals with pressure and stress. What kind of idiot statement is that from Perkins? Even if meant as a joke you don't say something like that to a reporter who will publish it. I'm also a little disappointed in Chuck Haga for using the quote. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive but it bothered me.

TLH said...

I have to agree with you anonymous@6:19--I thought the same thing. What a strange thing to say and then of course his wife had to tell the herald the kids are fine. Very strange.

Anonymous said...

"Ben Franklin Crafts going out of business"

Ryan Schuster got the scoop this time.

Anonymous said...

it's been going out of business for a long long time... taking forever to clear the inventory.

ben said...

Ryan hardly got the scoop - go into the archives section and click Grand Cities Mall - the Ben Franklin story was reported on this blog in GFL had the scoop by only about three months on that one. Good try though, Ryan!

Anonymous said...

Ryan, good to see you're posting here and patting yourself on the back. Sorry that you're so misinformed. While you're here, tell the mental midgets at the herald that beating your kids is not a humerous topic. Morons.

Nick said...

Whoa. Taking the heat of Ryan Schuster, putting it on the 'anonymous' that made the initial post: me!

C'mon, kids; it's the holiday season...what's the point of the negative posts?

This blog suffers when GFG isn't able to monitor it, sad to say. It used to be a halfways intelligent place to visit a few times a day. The bulk of the entries are more whining than newsworthy as of late, and full of elementary mispellings, besides. (humerous? Geez.)

Dave Collins said...

Well said, Nick. Ryan is a good guy, and a class guy. He wouldn't post anything hiding behind a shield of anonymity, positive or negative.

Why do more and more people continue to write in blogs what they are not brave enough to say to someone in person? Just a thought and a question.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Schuster said...

This is the real Ryan Schuster (cue Eminem music, please stand up, please stand up). Thanks, Nick and Dave.
The posters are right that GFlife reported on Ben Franklin Crafts closing before I did (possibly before I even started working at the Herald as I've only been here for about three months). Tu wrote a story in September saying Ben Franklin was holding a liquidation sale and speculating that they would be closing soon. My blog was just updating that they are now holding a "going out of business" sale and are definitely closing at Grand Cities Mall.
GF Life does a great job and often is able to get things up before we can, partially because it takes us longer to verify information and we generally don't report on things we can't verify yet (Hooters, Olive Garden, etc.) But I am trying to get as much stuff out there as quickly as possible and trying to add worthwhile posts to my blog, which you can check out at:
Thanks all.

Nick said...

Serves me right, coming in anonymous...look at the trouble I created.

Dave, I have to agree with your comment on anonymous posters; it's certainly had a negative effect on this otherwise outstanding blog.

Merry Christmas...from the heart. I really believe most of the posters here have the best of intentions; just wish we could be a little more positive in our viewpoints. And gosh no, I would hope we don't always agree.

Merry Christmas.

akm said...

It should be noted that none of the Herald bloggers are compensated for the time they put into blogging. It's all extra work, so let me just say that the extra effort is appreciated.

local boy said...

GF Life > GF Herald

Anonymous said...

GF Life = GF Herald

Anonymous said...

I think this blog has took a serious down hill turn, and is worse than the hearld.

Charlie said...

Ditto to the last post.

dale said...

GFLife != GFHerald;
GFLife == AreaVoices == "New Media";
GFHerald == "Old Media";

There ya go. (Assuming GFLife, GFHerald & AreaVoices are declared as CStrings :-)

Anonymous said...

Why does the Herald dominate the discussion on this blog so much? Is it that powerful an entity in this community? Jeesh!

That's all anyone talks about anymore.

Angie said...

What's the title of this blog? I think it has something to do with Christmas memories. Right?!?!

Some of my best Christmas memories here in Grand Forks are the simple things, like watching my daughters expression when she opens her gifts. Or better yet, the excitement she has when she makes gifts for my husband and I and brings them home from school for us to open.

akm said...

I moved here sight unseen two years and five days ago for a job. I remember driving through town the first time, and feeling so warm (and yet still so cold!) when we saw downtown with the lights on top of the buildings and on the trees. We went to the symphony's production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. My first Christmas season in Grand Forks was filled with hope and excitement and newness. The last two years have brought familiarity and comfort. I have learned to look beyond the snow piles and look to the beauty of the snow clinging to the tree branches in the morning. And I still love the lights on the buildings in the downtowns. Don't ever stop that!

naturalplastics said...

ha ha that sounds like Dexy Perkins alright. I'm sure they took that sentence out of a paragraph.

Yay for my first christmas in grand forks!

Anonymous said...

I also love the lights downtown. I also appreciate the cheerful staff (most of them) working retail. I wish we could all take some time to just enjoy all we have to be thankful for fuss less about what we buy. Really.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Messiah at the Fritz?


Anonymous said...

I have a few daycare questions (We will be moving to GF next year):

1. What do you pay? Or what are the general prices?

2. Are providers flexible with their hours?

3. Do the providers expect you to drop your kid off and pick them up at the same time every day, or are they open to a flex schedule? (I don't have 9-5 hours)

4. If the daycare provider is sick do they have someone to watch your child for you?

5. Any other information you can think of?

6. What about holidays?

7. Do the providers charge you for days they are sick or vacation days?

Daycare is a HUGE expense for any family, and it seems like the GF area could use more providers. I would love some advice/opinions on local providers.

WannaGrapple said...

Hi folks,

Since this is an open thread and I see lots of diverse topics being discussed, I hope this will be ok as well!

I will also be moving to Grand Forks soon, and would like to know if there are any Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ) or Submission Grappling classes being taught anywhere in town?

I sure hope so...


Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:23

Google Childcare Resource and Referral for Grand Forks and you will find a number to call. They will send you a listing of all licensed childcare providers in Grand Forks. They will not make a recommendation but will provide all the information you need to go hunting.

Anonymous said...

I found my daycare through chilcare resource and referral. It's a great place to start

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we take the kids to Child's Play. Its a new drop-off daycare at the srip mall near Menards. Think its $3.50/hr. There's a 4 hour limit though.

Anonymous said...

Dexter Perking, LOL, the 1960's are over.

wannagrapple said...

Guess there is no grappling in GF, eh?

How tragic. :-/

Hopefully there will be a club at the U or on Base. Hopefully.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know if Grand Junction is still open? It seems so dark in there when I drive by. I hope they are not closed I love that place---just have not been there this past month.

Anonymous said...

Jujitsu is offered at Center Court fitness center... I believe it might be a part of a fighting club that practices there - I believe it's more of a mixed martial arts class. You could call Center Court to get more info...

wannagrapple said...

Anon said: "I believe it's more of a mixed martial arts class"

w00t! Thanks alot!! Some MMA training would be absolutely ideal... I do love the jitsu alone, but including some some striking sure keeps it honest, eh?

Thanks again for the tip, I was really beginning to despair. At least if it's MMA oriented jujitsu then there will be some groundwork as part of the training.

I did notice that North Dakota features a regional fighting championship that looks pretty good. DFC = Dakota Fighting Championship (you can google it, I wasn't sure if direct links are allowed on this blog). So, hopefully once I am there I will get a chance to support this local event!

Anonymous said...

I've taken my 12 month to Little Keepers on S. Washington. The price is $4.50/hr. the staff are wonderful and my child loves being there.

Anonymous said...

There is definitely a MMA club/class that meets (i think) twice a week at the gymnastics center attached to center court fitness center. These guys are also active in supporting/helping out with the DFC events. The one at the alerus center in the past was pretty successful. So yeah, there's a MMA community here, not huge, but active.

wannagrapple said...

Thanks Anon! That truly is good news. I wish I had been there when DFC was at the Alerus center, but just knowing that there is some training available makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! :-)

Thanks again for the info!

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