News release from MnSCU, with Rosenstone standing behind prezes:
News release from MnSCU, with Rosenstone standing behind prezes:
Here's the full news release on H & M coming to Apache Mall:
GLOBAL FASHION RETAILER H&M EXPANDS IN MINNESOTA
H&M to Open New Location at Premier Shopping Destination, Apache Mall
H & M, Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M), one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, famous for offering fashion-forward apparel at affordable prices in a sustainable way, is thrilled to announce a new location in Rochester, Minnesota. Measuring approximately 22,000 square feet, the new location at Apache Mall is set to open in the fall of 2016. H&M is especially excited to expand its reach in Minnesota, a quickly growing market for the retailer, and add to the eight locations currently open in the state.
The new H&M location will offer Rochester residents a one-stop shopping destination for quality clothing for the whole family, with collections for ladies and men, as well as separate “store within a store” sections for accessories. The Apache Mall location will also carry H&M’s children’s collection, for newborns up to fourteen years. The breadth and variety of H&M collections make it easier for any consumer to find fashionable products, no matter their personal style. With an emphasis on design, quality, and sustainability, H&M offers inspiring, high fashion at an unbeatable value.
H&M prides itself on its support of local economies by adding jobs with each new location. As a continuously expanding brand, H&M constantly searches for new talent to grow within the company. With the opening of the Apache Mall location, H&M is proud to add to the current, ever-expanding total of approximately 16,000 US employees. The brand continues to grow in both new and existing markets while remaining focused on quality, high profitability, and sustainability. In 2015, H&M was ranked number 21 on Interbrand’s list of 100 Best Global Brands and was selected by Great Place to Work as a top 25 Best Multinational Workplace. For available job opportunities, please visit career.hm.com.
Sustainability is an integral part of H&M. The brand is growing and making significant long-term investments for sustainable development. In 2013, H&M launched Garment Collecting, a clothing recycling project in store and was the first global fashion company to implement such a program. Since 2013, 53.6 million lbs. of garments have been collected globally. H&M was also selected in 2015 as a U.S. EPA Green Power Leadership Award winner. The company has committed to sourcing renewable energy wherever possible in order to reduce indirect emissions stemming from the company's purchased electricity use.
Since H&M opened the doors to its first U.S. store on New York’s Fifth Avenue fifteen years ago, the U.S. has been one of the retailer’s most successful markets. H&M is proud to offer U.S. consumers quality fashion at competitive prices at its four hundred and seventeen locations across the country, and looks forward to continued expansion at the best properties worldwide.
News release regarding Ash Wednesday:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Church takes Ash Wednesday to the Streets
On Ash Wednesday, 10 February, ministers from several churches will be offering “Ashes to Go,” a new approach to a centuries-old Christian tradition, from 7 - 8 a.m. near the bus stops on 2nd Street and 1stAvenue downtown.
Ashes To Go is part of a new nationwide movement that has clergy and lay people visiting transit stops, street corners, coffee shops, and college campuses to mark the foreheads of interested passers-by with ashes and invite them to repent of past wrongdoing and seek forgiveness and renewal.
In the Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the holy season of Lent, a time for reflection and repentance in preparation for the celebration of Easter. For centuries, Christians have received a cross of ashes on the face at the beginning of that season as a reminder of mortal failings and an invitation to receive God’s forgiveness. Ashes to Go provides the opportunity to participate in that tradition for people who may have lost their connection to a Faith Community or have never participated before.
“This is an opportunity to meet people where they are…for a moment of prayer in the midst of their busy lives,” says the Rev. Doug Sparks, Pastor of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Rochester.
“Ashes to Go is about bringing the important traditions of our faith out from behind church walls and into the places we need them every day,” says the Rev. Emily Mellott, who maintains the website AshesToGo.orgwith resources and stories about this ministry. “As people get busier and busier, we need the church in new and non-traditional ways. We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our working lives. The people who accept ashes on the street are often people longing to make a connection between their faith and the forces of daily life, and Ashes to Go helps them feel that connection.”
In Rochester, this is the fourth year several ministers from the Ecumenical Community are offering Ashes to Go. We will gather just before 7 a.m. on Ash Wednesday and find a corner near several bus stops in hopes of meeting people for a moment of prayer as they make their way to work!
Contact the Rev. Dr. Douglas Sparks, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-272-1777 for more information. More information about the Ashes to Go movement can be found at www.AshesToGo.org.
The closing of the SEMVA Art Gallery last month, along with rising real estate values and rents, has many people asking, including artists: what's the future for arts organizations, galleries and performance space in downtown Rochester?
The question is especially relevant as the future use of the now city-owned Chateau Theatre is being worked out, and with Destination Medical Center planners shifting into overdrive to show results this year.
Several arts leaders and advocates will come together at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, at our next Post-Bulletin Dialogue for conversation about the future of the arts downtown. Managing Editor Jay Furst will moderate the informal, 90-minute talk in the Rochester Public Library auditorium.
Joining the conversation will be Andy Westreich, of SEMVA; Bari Amadio, CEO of the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust; Patrick Seeb, director of economic development and placemaking for DMC's Economic Development Agency; Megan Johnston, Rochester Art Center executive director; Gregory Stavrou, Rochester Civic Theatre executive director; Audrey Betcher, Rochester Public Library director; Steve Schmidt, executive director of the city's music department; and a surprise guest or two.
Post-Bulletin Dialogue meetings are free and informal Q & A sessions with audience members about issues in the news. They're videotaped and posted on the library website, and this one will be livestreamed onPostbulletin.com. If you have a question or comment and can't attend, go to the Furst Draft blog at Postbulletin.com.
RPU put out a news release about its water quality, after Flint emergency...Answer Man addressed RPU water Friday.
Here's the release:
Rochester continues to provide safe drinking water
ROCHESTER, MN— Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) continues to provide safe drinking water for Rochester residents to drink and use.
In response to recent news reports regarding water quality, RPU would like to share pertinent facts regarding the Rochester water system.
· Rochester’s water source is from the Jordan groundwater aquifer, which is historically of high quality and lead-free.
o RPU continues to meet all state and federal drinking water health standards.
· The main source of lead in drinking water is older water service lines and household plumbing.
o RPU adds polyphosphate at the wellheads for corrosion control, by coating water service lines and household plumbing to prevent the leaching of lead into drinking water.
· RPU collects and tests water samples from inside 50 homes every three years to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act.
o RPU has never exceeded the 90th percentile action level limit of 15 ppb (parts per billion). The 90th percentile is the value required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
o RPU’s 2014 Water Quality Report, as required by the Minnesota Department of Health, measured 6.4 ppb of lead.
· Current water sustainability studies have shown the Jordan aquifer in Rochester will provide a high quality, long-term source of supply for future generations.
o A sustainable source allows RPU to continue its proven treatment methods.
Here's where it gets tricky for political candidate Sean Allen.
Allen, who's running for Rochester City Council president, is a prominent businessman who happens to co-own one of the hottest restaurants in town. He co-owns what's called a "boutique" real estate company, Midwest Landing. And he's a neighborhood activist.
All four roles intersect at an event coming up next week.
Allen announced last month that he'll challenge City Council President Randy Staver for his job in the November election. "As I've thought about the leadership of our community, I think we need to have more visionary leadership, more independent leadership," he told the Post-Bulletin when he announced his candidacy on Dec. 16.
He's made a few allusions since then to the fact that Staver works for Mayo Clinic, and in an interview with the website Med City Beat, he said, "I don’t have a problem with Randy Staver. Personally, he’s a very nice guy. But I do think we need more people who are independent on the council — people who are not attached to any other organization in the community directly."
"In 2001, Sean was asked to join the Rochester Area Foundation staff to lead the First Homes Initiative. As executive director of First Homes, Sean oversaw the creation and financing of more than 1,000 workforce housing units. In addition, Sean developed the Imagine Kutzky initiative with Kutzky neighbors and through First Homes invested more than $20 million in the Kutzky Park neighborhood. Sean is still an active member of Imagine Kutzky, an organization that advocates for great urban design in the core neighborhoods."
If you're not aware of Imagine Kutzky, here's how that organization is described on the Kutzky Park Neighborhood Association website:
"Imagine Kutzky is a reinvestment initiative and partnership established by the Kutzky Park Neighborhood Association, First Homes, and Rochester Area Foundation. As an organization, the Kutzky Park Neighborhood Association was increasingly put in a position of reacting to development proposals, often in negative terms. In an effort to become proactive and preserve our neighborhood, as well as promote neighborhood-friendly development where needed, Kutzky Park neighborhood leaders began planning Imagine Kutzky."
The group's mission statement is "to preserve, enhance and promote Kutzky Park as a vibrant and sustainable, mixed-use urban neighborhood."
So it's a spinoff partnership from Allen's former employer, with presumably a different focus than the neighborhood association.
In any case, Imagine Kutzky is planning a public meeting next week on "the future of Second Street Southwest between 11th Avenue and U.S. 52." According to an email from Imagine Kutzky, the meeting was sparked by the dispute over the proposed $65 million Holiday Inn hotel project on Second Street and issues related to that project, including talk of a pedestrian tunnel from Saint Marys Hospital to the north side of the street, and the developer's request for tax-increment financing.
The TIF request led to an email Sunday from the CEO of the company that owns three other hotels in the area, objecting to any public money for that project. The email went to city council members, Mayor Ardell Brede and the Post-Bulletin; we posted it online Monday.
Allen has big problems with the Holiday Inn project. When he put up his campaign website, that project was Blog Post No. 1. Here's some of what he said about it:
"The December Destination Medical Center Corp. meeting was an interesting showdown between locals versus out-of-towners, and the locals lost.
"The city representatives (Council President Randy Staver and Council Member Ed Hruska) fell over themselves trying to persuade the DMCC Board to give them enhanced tax increment financing powers for a ho-hum hotel on Second Street Southwest. The DMCC Board members balked at the suggestion that this enhanced TIF power – a power that no other city in the state has – would go to something as pedestrian as more parking and a tunnel for a Holiday Inn.
"I have a number of issues with this particular project, but chief among them is competitive advantage. The City Council is picking winners and losers – and I don’t say that lightly. When a private developer proposes something that gives them a competitive advantage (a direct tunnel to St. Mary’s) over other similar businesses in the area, and then asks the City to pay for it, I have a problem."
He also has concerns about design, transportation aspects, the impact on the neighborhood and more.
Fair enough. He's making it a campaign issue, apparently, and it's a good one. There's a lot of interest in it, a lot of angles related to DMC, and the P-B has aggressively reported on it. I might try to pull together a Post-Bulletin Dialogue meeting about it as well.
Imagine Kutzky contacted me about the P-B possibly partnering on a meeting, but that didn't seem appropriate, considering the group's involvement in the issue.
They're going ahead with a meeting next week. Here's the email they sent out today: "Due to the high level of response to this subject/email" -- the Holiday Inn project and the email from TPI Hospitality, which opposes the Holiday Inn proposal for TIF money -- they'll have a public meeting for "further education and interaction around some of the urban design topics that have been raised ... The goal of this session is to further the conversation and engagement around the development of 'Midtown' Rochester."
The event will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 -- at Forager Brewery.
Though the campaign season hasn't officially begun -- the filing period is months away -- it's an interesting choice for a locale.
Also interesting is that City Council Member Michael Wojcik -- who's also up for re-election this year -- recirculated the email today with this note: "Please join concerned neighbors, community leaders, and one really concerned city councilman at this event to discuss the future of the evolving neighborhood around St. Marys. Can we build a safe people-oriented place for neighbors and businesses in a city so dominated by automobiles?"
Wojcik's comment is limited to the transportation angle, but the angst about the Holiday Inn project is about a lot more than transit -- and the event at Forager would seem to be more than just an information session.
Here's the news release from MnSCU on Chancellor Steven Rosenstone tapping Joyce Helens, president of St. Cloud Technical and Community College, as acting president of RCTC, effective Saturday (strangely):
Joyce Helens Named Acting President of
Rochester Community and Technical College
Peg Shroyer to serve as SCTCC acting president
ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 7– Joyce Helens, president of St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC) since 2006, has been named acting president of Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) effective January 9. The appointment follows the resignation of current president Leslie McClellon. During this temporary assignment, Peg Shroyer, vice president of academic affairs at SCTCC, has been named to serve as acting president of SCTCC.
“As an experienced sitting president of a highly successful technical and community college, Joyce Helens is the ideal person to guide RCTC though this transition,” said Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. “She is a thoughtful and effective leader who works collaboratively with students, faculty, staff, and community partners to get things done. Her deep experience means that she will be ready on day one to help RCTC prepare for the search and recruitment of its new, permanent president.”
Helens’ accomplishments include leading the enhancement of SCTCC’s mission to a comprehensive technically-based community college and initiating new programs to meet the changing needs of the region. Previously, she served as executive director of the University of Alaska Statewide System Corporate Programs, dean, chief instructional officer, and interim chief executive officer at University of Alaska Anchorage Community and Technical College, president of Peninsula College (WA), and executive dean of Continuing Education and Economic Development at Collin County Community College (TX). She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Martin’s University and a master’s from Portland State University.
“I am honored to have been selected for this role, and I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, and students at RCTC as well as the members of the Rochester community who are so committed to the continued success of the college,” said Helens.
Shroyer has served as vice president of academic affairs at SCTCC since 2009, providing leadership for academic matters related to technical/general education and four academic divisions. Her responsibilities have included oversight of all academic budgets, curriculum and academic programming, connections to the community and K-12, and custom/contract training. Previously, she served Spoon River College (IL) as dean of the Macomb Campus and dean of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, and Itasca Community College where she taught for ten years and served as the administrator of the Center for Continued Learning and the director of the Computer Education Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College (CO), a master’s from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
“I have had the privilege of working with President Helens for many years, and I am honored to have been selected to serve as acting president during her absence,” said Shroyer. “The college is in excellent shape and I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and members of the St. Cloud community to continue our momentum until she returns.”
Chancellor Rosenstone has initiated a search for a permanent president for RCTC with the goal of having a new leader in place at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year. He expects to recommend to the Board of Trustees at their January 27 meeting that Helens be named to serve as interim president until the permanent president is in place. Helens also will serve as chair of the RCTC presidential search advisory committee. Once a permanent president is in place at RCTC Helens and Shroyer will return to their respective roles at SCTCC.
The future of the arts community in downtown Rochester will be the topic of the next Post-Bulletin Dialogue, set for Monday, Feb. 8, at the Rochester Public Library auditorium.
The closing of the SEMVA art gallery on the Peace Plaza last month was the latest development to raise concerns among arts leaders that Destination Medical Center development pressure, available space and rising costs threaten the viability of downtown as an arts destination. Also up for grabs is planning for the future of the Chateau Theatre building, now owned by the city.
Joining P-B Managing Editor Jay Furst for the Dialogue will be Gregory Stavrou, Rochester Civic Theatre executive director; Bari Amadio, CEO of the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust; Megan Johnston, Rochester Art Center executive director; Patrick Seeb, director of economic development and placemaking for the DMC's Economic Development Agency; and possibly others.
Post-Bulletin Dialogues are monthly, informal public meetings on issues in the news, with most of the 90 minutes devoted to audience questions and comments. For more details, go to the Furst Draft blog at Postbulletin.com.
We confirmed late Wednesday that Bard Medical will close its Stewartville operations this year -- a grim way to start the year for the area economy.
We'll have more on the Bard story today, but here are quick notes from Stewartville City Administrator Bill Schimmel:
Confirmation of the closing was from Mark Thorburn, Bard's on-site director of manufacturing and distribution.
Current employment is 185 full-time and temporary workers, not the 250 that's been reported (which, frankly, from our archives and reporting seemed high).
Timetable for the closing of the three plants is undetermined.
Meetings with employees are happening this week.
Mayo in Rochester apparently is benefitting from a contract dispute between physicians and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Here's an interesting story on the dispute between Doctors Nova Scotia, representing the docs, and the provincial government, and how the workload has resulted in Mayo doing some test work that's cost about $1 million (Canadian?) to date.