Park Towers medicals

Park Towers is 16-stories housing mostly seniors, many of whom do not speak English. The building is located on the north side of Center Street.

In a recent consecutive eight-day period, five medical calls were made at the building on weekends when management was not available. A medical means a tenant had called 911 for help. The response is always a fire engine and ambulance, and most of the time a police car. The combination depends on what is believed to be needed when a call is made.

But in this eight-day period no one left the building on a gurney, meaning that more help was needed in the emergency room. One tenant followed the ambulance crew and waited while a gurney was prepared at the ambulance door. When the gurney was ready, he climbed aboard.


How the Mayo Clinic does business

Certain things happen only in summer, like persons leaving Mayo Clinic wheelchairs all over town.

One expert estimate is that each chair can run $1,000.

One was seen outside Victoria’s Restaurant. Another was collected by a man in a suit from the flat parking lot behind the old CJ’s bar.

Another is being used by a homeless guy to carry his duffel bag and more recently this case and two plastic garbage bags.

One report is that this a common scene in town.

Downtown east side needs DMC aerial picture touch

The Destination Medical Center plans include aerial views of beautifully built and lighted streets downtown.

This is on the west side of Broadway Ave.

Let’s look at the east side:

Looking down from a tall building, the east side offers a mish-mash of roof lines, too many parking ramps, no massive lighting to create people-attracting focal points and no plan to change.

Should somebody start talking about this side of Broadway or is this the picture for the next 20 years?

Police commission changes direction

The police public oversight commission changed direction now with its plans to develop a social media policy as part of the aftermath of an incident where an officer made comments on Facebook about Islam and Muslims.

Unless city human resources decides to work on the same issue, the police department has 60 days to offer a version which has not been developed yet. If the human resources decides to move ahead, more time will be needed and thus the 60-day limit would be removed.

This action on a social media policy was not a surprise agenda item but the move to develop, not just review, was.

Until now the commission has been a review and recommend body, not a policy making body. Commissioner and retired Judge Lawrence Collins repeatedly emphasized the review and recommend approach in almost every previous commission meeting.

Yet under the ordinance policy development was possible. Collins did not take a strong stance against the change.

One item not on this month’s agenda, but was expected, was the legislative changes in use of body cams. Acting Chairman W.C. Jordan was expected to reopen commission discussions on body cams as soon as legislative action was complete. But as acting chair, even though he could participate in any discussions other actions would not have been possible.



Future of train as relates to parking ramp

Safety, not long-term use, of the coveredĀ  train tracks was the only concern expressed by planning commission members as part of their review of the Parking Ramp No. 6.

By covering the tracks, a design feature, the area becomes a long tunnel which can attract people, garbage and more. But commission members did not go in-depth on these issues, even including who police the area for garbage.

Only incidentally does the long-range future of the tracks get noticed. Usually mentioned quickly is a trolley or light rail. Proponents of a trolley do exist.

But at no time have city officials publicly discussed related issues like taking passengers from the First Ave. station to workplaces around the city.

Of course money is another issue which the city does not have.


Security now getting city hall attention

City halls safety is now getting attention, according to City Attorney Terry Adkins at the last committee-of-the-whole presentation. He said an analysis is now going on.

But when the analysis will be finished and what actions might be taken was not discussed. City Council President Randy StaverĀ  said the problem is going to be keeping the facility open to the public.

However, currently the main doors to city officers already close at 5 p.m. daily.

Adkins said that he always has a police officers stationed in his office to take care of some regular duty issues but also threatening issues. Adkins said often people will want immediate action on a case and don’t like the response.

No future plans yet for Parking Ramp No. 6

The fact that the Rochester planning commission rejected the needed Parking Ramp 6 did not seem to bother the city council at the committee-of-the-whole meeting week.

The only mention was a request from Councilman Michael Wojcik to have a University of Minnesota design team look at the plan. This team has been working with the city to develop the coming comprehensive plan.

Then Oct. 23 is fast approaching where the Destination Medical Center is expecting a city transit proposal which got no mention during the same meeting. Whether or not concerned members of the public will see the proposal before the DMC board also is not known.

The fact that the city council appeared laid back – i.e. no mentions – is not what affected drivers may accept. Many of the 300 parkers who will be displaced when the south part of the Second Street Parking Ramp is demolished want to know what is going on.amp actio

Also likely among those parkers are contract holders. The city has not announced whether the contract owners will still be able to use this service once Second Street changes,