Wednesday, August 8

City to Reconfigure 9th Street at 4th Avenue N

I guess the squeaky wheel does occasionally get some grease. Regular readers of these pages know that I have been harping on about the autobahn, or 9th Street, for some time. The traffic there is too fast for what is really a residential street.

The city did a study, and is going to reconfigure 9th Street at 4th Avenue North before the school year starts this year. As the photo to my left shows, they are going to install concrete pedestrian "islands" at the 4th Avenue North crosswalks. This will allow pedestrians more time to cross the road, as they only have to cross half of it at one time.

This is not without controversy, however. In return for this commonsense measure, the city would like to remove the school crossing at 3rd Avenue North. They say that their studies show more kids crossing at 4th, and they want to encourage the use of the islands.

Well and good, but kids -- especially those that walk to school without parental supervision -- are going to cross 9th at their first opportunity. For many kids, that is 3rd Ave N. As Whittier Principal Mende Kloppel noted at our most recent NC7 meeting, the playground is on 3rd, and that is where they are going to want to go.

The other controversy is parking. Installing these islands means that parking on 9th Street will have to be removed from "4th Alley North" to "5th Alley North". That is regrettable, but I think necessary.

At our meeting on Monday, NC7 voted to endorse the city's plan except for the removal of the 3rd Avenue crosswalk. We voted to retain that school crossing, and hopefully install identical islands on 3rd at some point in the near future.

Expect to see these islands installed this month.

Monday, August 6

Lower North Side and Black Eagle Awarded Weed and Seed Grant

For the past year, a team of people around Great Falls have been working on a grant application from the US Department of Justice for the Lower North Side and Black Eagle to be named a site in the Weed and Seed program.

I just received word that the application, which had to be submitted last Winter, was successful. This is HUGE news, which will allow our community to increase law enforcement in the area. Many congratulations are due to the team, and in particular Jayci Kolar, for a job well done.

Sunday, August 5

All Comers Swim Meet TOMORROW

The city All-Comers Swim Meet has been rescheduled for TOMORROW at the Mitchell Pool at 6 p.m. It was going to be last week, but was postponed due to weather.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to compete this year. NC7 is meeting at virtually the same time at the Civic Center.

However, I encourage all of you to try your hand at the sport. Doesn't cost ANYTHING.

Thoughts on Ubuntu?

Linux is one of the operating systems that I use regularly. My distro of choice has always been Mandriva/Mandrake.

However, I am hearing more and more about ubuntu lately. I would be interested in any thoughts you might have about comparisons between the distributions.

Hope to be Posting Again ...

I have been pretty slow to post this month. I have a family member in a pretty tough medical situation, and been in the middle of a major project at work. However, the project is (almost) finished and the medical situation is almost stabilized. Hopefully, I will be able to add something to the community discussions going on around here ...

I can't believe I was able to do it ...

Lately, I have been reading the 43 folders blog as a means of personal organization. The blogger, a guy named Merlin Mann, just gave a talk at Google about something called Inbox Zero.

It took me a few hours of processing on a weekend, but my email inbox now has ZERO messages in it. This is the first time I have had a completely empty inbox since 1994.

What a cathartic experience. I recommend it heartily.

Friday, August 3

Neighborhood Council 7 Meeting Agenda

Monday, August, 2007
Civic Center, Gibson Room
6:30 p.m.

Please note: This agenda format allows citizens to speak on each issue prior to Council discussion. We encourage your participation. In the interest that all parties can be heard, please limit your comments.


Approval of July minutes
Pedestrian safety measures on 9th Street & 4th Avenue North
Marty Basta, Jim Rearden, Jerry McKinley of Public Works Department
Problem properties
Weed and Seed application status
Single poling place letter response
Whittier Principal’s letter

Neighborhood Concerns

City Commission
Police Advisory Board
Downtown Task Force


Next Meeting – September 10, 2007, Gibson Room, Civic Center

Neighborhood Council 7 Meeting Date CHANGE

Neighborhood Council 7 will be meeting this coming Monday, August 6. This is a change, due to the scheduled availability of City Staff that will be discussing safety issues on 9th Street.

Agenda to follow ...