Statement from Rep. Tim Walz on the Obamacare ruling:
Statement from Rep. Tim Walz on the Obamacare ruling:
Here's the news release on the event next week -- it's Wednesday, I incorrectly said Thursday in the Morning Mail today.
FOOD TRUCK SUMMIT – A food truck lunch will be held at Kutzky Market to Support Food Truck Rule Changes in Rochester (Wednesday, July 1; 11am-2pm).
Rochester, MN – Calling all hungry foodies and Rochester residents: a food truck rally is coming to town. To support changes to Rochester City rules, local food trucks and food truck supporters will come together for a food truck lunch event.
The recent removal of the BB's Pizza truck from Downtown resulted in an outpouring of community opinion, becoming the Post-Bulletin's most popular story of the week. It also evidenced a deep desire for a change to current City rules.
On the First of July, the Rochester Trolley & Tour Company will ferry hungry food truck enthusiasts between Downtown and Kutzky Market parking lot (1005 6th Street NW). At Kutzky Market, a number of food trucks will serve their unique food and refreshments. Attendees will have the opportunity to voice support for (or opposition to) changing existing rules as it relates to food trucks.
Charette Happens, of Design Rochester, will be on hand to guide a discussion about food trucks in Rochester and what the community would like to see happen in the future.
The Food Truck Summit aims to be the beginning of a much-needed conversation in Rochester about how the City will address food trucks going forward. Despite featuring food trucks, this event takes no concrete position nor agitates for a specific new rules. Instead, it aims to engage all stakeholders with the hope of creating proactive, forward motion.
FOOD TRUCK ATTENDEES:
Old Abe Coffee Co
Don’s Crumbled Beef
Anthony’s Wood Fired Pizza
Mama Meg’s Parlour
Tonic Local Kitchen & Juice Bar
(with more to come)
TRANSPORTATION FROM DOWNTOWN:
Trolley boarding station, Marriott, 101 1st Avenue SW. It will run every 15 minutes. 11:15am, 11:30am, 11:45am, 12pm, etct
First Trolley to Market: 11:00 am
Last Trolley back downtown: 2:00 pm
Here's the latest on construction progress at Mayo Civic Center:
Demolition of what was the MCC Grand Lobby is nearly complete.
This is from Council Member Mark Hickey's email report to
Ward 5 Neighborhood Speed Signs:
As I talk to the people in Ward 5, I often get complaints about excessive speed on neighborhood streets. The city does not routinely post neighborhood speed limit signs, which are typically 30 MPH on residential streets. The thought is that we can’t put signs everywhere. Based upon the success of the radar speed sign on Viola Road, I had the idea to use this same tool to reinforce proper speed limit habits in neighborhoods. The idea is to identify several problem speeding spots in Ward 5 neighborhoods and to post a permanent 30 MPH speed limit sign along with a temporary radar speed sign for a period of two months. I believe that combination of a temporary radar speed reminder coupled with a permanent speed limit sign will have the potential to provide improved adherence to the posted speed limits on a long term basis. This is a twelve month pilot program in Ward 5 and, if it is successful, could be rolled out city wide. A few sites have been tentatively selected, but if you have a suggested neighborhood speeding hotspot please send me an email. We will need six total sites for the first year of the program. The Post Bulletin had a nice summary of this program in today’s paper (Radar Speed Sign Story)
News release this morning from Rochester Downtown Alliance:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No Thursdays on First & 3rd Thursday, June 25, 2015
ROCHESTER, Minn.---June 22, 2015--- In support of Rochesterfest 2015, there will be no Thursdays on First & 3rd(TOF) Thursday, June 25, 2015.
“The Rochester Downtown Alliance is supportive of Rochesterfest’s relocation and wishes the organization the greatest success this year,” said Jenna Bowman, Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) Executive Director.
Conversations regarding this support came up in 2014 when Rochesterfest was seeking a new location.
“As an organization that has started and maintained successful events, we know the importance of having the community’s support,” She said.
TOF will return to its normal schedule of every Thursday in June, July, and August next year.
While there will be no TOF June 25, the RDA will be hosting Movies on the Plaza, downtown Rochester’s movie night, Saturday, June 27 with a screening of “Muppets Most Wanted.” Attendance is free and patrons are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket.
TOF will resume on Thursday, July 2 with the first ever Themed Thursdays. The July 2 theme is Red, White, & Bluein honor of the Fourth of July holiday. Themed Thursdays feature a variety of fun and engaging activities for the whole family. Visit DowntownRochesterMN.com/ThemedThursdays for more information about specific activities.
For more information on events and activities in downtown Rochester, MN, please visitwww.DowntownRochesterMN.com.
Some notes, quickly, from Wednesday night's P-B Dialogues meeting -- apologies for not getting them posted earlier, and frankly it's a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I'm going to do this as briskly as possible.
The most interesting item to me was Olmsted County Commissioner Ken Brown saying that once the Lake Improvement District comes forward with a firm plan for assessments and a firm request for assistance, he can imagine the county board kicking in a couple hundred thousand dollars. I believe he explicitly said $200,000, and he linked it to a like contribution from Wabasha County, but he said "there's no way on earth" they'll approve as much as $900,000 for the project.
He did say there are four votes on the county board for helping the project -- and county board chairman Jim Bier won't be among them. The four-vote majority would include Lou Ohly, who attended the meeting at the library and also chimed in.
Republican state Rep. Nels Pierson attended, spoke up for Lake Zumbro as a regional attraction, the place where he met his wife, and then he noted all the taxes he pays as a property owner in that area. Though I don't recall that he came out for or against more county money for the project, I believe his point was that he's against high special assessments for LID property owners. Unless the counties are going to make up the difference, I'm not sure what the alternative is. More state money? He might be able to do something about that at the Capitol.
That reminds me -- Republican Sen. Dave Senjem had a column in the paper a few weeks ago that fairly directly said the county should pony up more.
We need to follow this process a lot more closely. Frankly, I think part of the reason the whole lake improvement process seems messed up is we haven't been reporting every turn of the screw. As I look back at the reporting we and other media have done, it's been pretty spotty. As both Bier and Brown said Wednesday, the Olmsted County attorney's office and other county officials have spent a LOT of time on this issue, and just checking through what records are available, I can see why.
We'll plan to do much better going forward. (And I'll note here, it's not possible for us to follow all boards, commissions, districts, etc., within city and county government as thoroughly as we'd like, much less all the same in area counties. But now that this issue has risen to the surface, we'll give it our full attention. There's a lot of money and a lot of competing interests at stake.)
It's too bad that the key people from the Lake Zumbro Forever organization weren't able to be there, and also that no one from the Wabasha County Comission joined us. It wasn't for lack of trying on my part. I contacted the Wabasha County administrator and county board chairman Don Springer early this month -- never heard from Springer, but administrator Michael Plante said board member Cheryl Key would join us on the panel. At about 4 p.m. Wednesday, she sent an email to say she wouldn't be there after all, no further details.
Bier said that according to early agreements on the project, the lake improvement district expected to assess an average of $6,000 per parcel. He said that now appears unacceptable to lakeshore interests, but he was adamant that assessments for the majority of appropriately identified properties would need to be in that range. He also said that would include ag property.
He and Brown noted the LID has the authority to approve bonding to be paid back over 20 years, which I think most people would say is a pretty generous length of time for spreading out special assessments on property tax bills.
The LID is the only one in the state that covers an area in two counties.
Part of the reason it's in the news now is that July 1 apparently is the deadline for matching the $3.5 million in bonding already approved by the state, but apparently no one thinks that's a hard deadline; the Legislature would be flexible on that, according to the county board members and others. Personally, I think that seems like a big assumption, but presumably they know something about what they're talking.
Nonetheless, Bier said this issue needs to get resolved ASAP.
He also said, "I don't think there'd be a high appetite" for much county spending on this project. "We've got a lot of other things to do" that are higher priorities, he said.
Here's the latest from the National Weather Service, by way of Rochester Emergency Management:
A second round of Saturday thunderstorms could happen late Saturday afternoon. After speaking with NWS La Crosse, the models are inconsistent with time of arrival, and intensity of the storms – making it hard to predict. Chances are the severe thunderstorms will be well south of I-90. If you are responsible for outdoor activities, keep an eye on radar later this afternoon. Storms will pop-up along the cold front moving through later today. There is a slight chance of severe thunderstorms in our area.
Here's a hand-written note I received from someone I'll assume is a non-reader in Chanhassen -- I made the call to Star Tribune customer service:
Dear Mr. Furst,
I hope you can help. In Chanhassen, Minn., the Star Tribune is delivered seven days a week. For years, the paper was delivered by 5 a.m. The last few months it has been delivered more often around 6:30 a.m. And on Sundays the paper is shorted -- not enough papers at apartments for all the subscribers. Managers have called the office and have been told someone will call back to help, but no one ever calls back.
This problem is just north of downtown Chanhassen. The service has seriously broken down. There seems to be no way to reach the editor or publisher of the Star Tribune, so I ask if you could inform the top management at the Star Tribune that they have a messy, bad delivery problem in Chanhassen.
It might even be good if your paper could expand into the Twin Cities -- cover the Twin Cities news well and get an early, strong, honest delivery system going. You would be welcome in Chanhassen.
The dredging and restoration of Lake Zumbro has become a hot topic recently, as promoters press for Olmsted County to contribute more money to the project, and the county board says they've already kicked in a great deal.
The issue is complicated by the fact that the lake and the lakeshore property spans both sides of the Olmsted and Wabasha county line. Adding to the political pressure on the county to do more, a Republican state senator is pressing county officials for more.
A week from today, the Post-Bulletin will gather together some of the key people involved to talk about the issue and answer your questions. The P-B Dialogue public meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. June 17 in the library auditorium.
Joining P-B Managing Editor Jay Furst will be Olmsted County commissioners Jim Bier and Ken Brown, Sheldon King of Lake Zumbro Forever Inc., and others. Wabasha County Commission members also have been invited.
Post-Bulletin Dialogues are one-hour, informal question-and-answer sessions with newsmakers about local and area issues. For more details, call Jay at 507-285-7742.
FYI…National Weather Service predicts heavy rain late Thursday into Friday. Rainfall amounts could be 3 inches, and rainfall can be heavy at times. In past heavy rain events, we’ve experienced street flooding causing cars to stall. A three inch rainfall triggers the Reservoir Emergency Action Plan and includes site inspections.
At this time, the exact area of impact is unknown. Rochester appears to be on the northern edge. Here is the Thursday/Friday graphic from the Storm Prediction Center: