Okay, deep-freeze time, so I'm conducting business at home today instead of venturing over to the 3rd Place, even though I know it's nice and toasty over there. I need to keep reminding myself that my own personal comfort does not trump the larger implications of weather patterns. I truly appreciate the climatology scientists, like neighbor Mark Seeley, who give us broader perspective weather-related news, rather than the local TV weather "personalities" who pander to the I-me-my part of my brain. That whole "I'm giving you great weather for the weekend" routine where the meteorologist personalizes the delivery of the elements as if the networks are mini-gods benignly dispensing perfect conditions to faithful viewers. You rarely see one of them take credit for tornadoes or floods, as in "Gee, we're so sorry we destroyed those towns along the river last night..." 

On to "your" local news...

I joined the branch library board this past fall, in part to share whatever knowledge I have about constitutions & by-laws for non-profits. With the ongoing budget challenges of city service delivery and the increasing growth of the branch library's main fundraiser, the annual Art Festival, to provide needed support, it was determined that a review of practice and policies was in order. It's a great group of neighbors, some who have served for a number of years due to their deep passion for the library and literacy in general.

They certainly understand that strength comes from usage and believe the colloquial wisdom that if "you don't use it, you lose it." So, they are expanding their organizational reach to be more inclusive of the actual groups who use the library while seeking out ways to encourage more use. Some of this is made more challenging by the somewhat limited hours the library is open, but it is a beautiful facility much loved by neighbors near and far, and its sustainability is tied to the continuing needs it is able to identify and address. If you don't have kids at home, you may not know how popular the summer reading program is, or the children's programming which yesterday saw 47 kids and their parents braving the cold to attend. 

Our Carnegie library is about so much more that storing books, as important as that is to many. You look at the schedule and see things like Mandarin Storytime for pre-schoolers, senior exercise programs, baby lapsit storytime, conversation groups, book clubs, concerts and music, and on and on. It's a busy place. Carnegie, whatever faults he may have exhibited while amassing his enormous steel & RR fortune, certainly believed in giving back. The numerous libraries he donated are a testament to his belief that knowledge and education were the keys to success, and in the larger sense, civilization itself. (longtime board member, Mary Griffin, pointed out that there are always steps up to every Carnegie library because they represent the elevating status of knowledge. Sounds good to me.)

As demonstrated by the many programs, computers and services provided by our library, it is still a place where the tools to improvement are available. And there are more tools to come. Online learning classes, educational support and job-hunting advice are just a few of the services that our library can provide. The branch library board does not necessarily need more concise and updated governing structure to help it pursue these and other programming opportunities, but a strong foundation will ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of their efforts. It's a wonderful and interesting group of people and neighbors are always welcome to get involved. If you're interested, contact our Head Librarian, Susan Henry.


Green Line coming June 14!
It's big, it's relatively fast, it's green and it's finally got a launch date! It's the newest light rail line in the metro and it's coming to our neighborhood. The folks in the CEZ have been working on ideas for the launch party to greet visitors with events and visuals that give a sense of our current character and future potential. If you're interested in getting in on that conversation, contact Amy Sparks, just click on the D12 heading.

For all the updates on D12 news visit their website, it's really chock-full of interesting items.


SAP Elementary

Wolfridge Calendars
It is not too late to add a beautiful calendar to your collection. The kids are selling them as a fundraiser for their environmental program up on the North Shore. Pick one up, the photos are incredible.

Car break-in
A parent reported a break-in to his car as he picked up his child after school. It was around 5pm so daylight, there were other parents around and whoever it was broke a window to get it and steal a briefcase. It doesn't seem possible, especially since the parent was only gone for a few minutes, but there you have it. Don't leave valuables in your car, even if it seems safe. 

Murray Middle

Class of 63 Wants to Give
I met with members of Murray's class of 63 who wanted to find out more about needs Murray might have that they could contribute money towards. They want to organize the rest of their classmates to make a difference for a school they loved. For those of you who don't remember, Murray was a high school up until the 70's and they have some very loyal and generous alums. The class of 65 has been soliciting their classmates for several years to come up with a nice sum to that will be matched by the Foundation to celebrate their 50th Class Reunion next year, and several alums have been instrumental in the ongoing support of the Wolfridge Environmental class. Very exciting.

Como High

Open House Showcase
Como is having their annual Open House Showcase for prospective students and parents this Thursday from 6:30-8:30pm.

UMC Nursery School Open House
Another Open House, this one this Saturday, Jan. 25 from 10-12pm at the school which is housed in the Methodist Church lower level, entrance on Knapp Place. Contact Molly Breen for more info. Great program and great staff.


Snowplowing: the Good, the Bad and the Trying Harder
Neighbors weighed in on the city's snowplowing prowess after the recent snowfalls. Some felt there were important streets not getting plowed, others felt that the plow operators were driving a little fast and out of control in their hurry to clear the streets. Some notified the city of their concerns and got an apology and vow to do better. I noticed a few more plows and thought they were driving at safe speeds. To be fair, there are many cars out during the snow emergencies, making plowing difficult. I didn't see any of those cars ticketed or towed, so maybe they are trying to present a "kinder and gentler" profile.

Peapods Winter Fun Ideas
Dan Marshall and Millie Adelsheim of Peapods Natural Toys & Baby Care have some great ideas for not only surviving winter but having fun. Check them out here. Bubbles that shatter in the freezing cold instead of popping, magnetic fish and fishing poles and puppets are but a few of their neat suggestions.


Pets & People Art Exhibit at Driftwood
Two of my favorite groups together in an art show by Sam Robertson - how can you miss? Opens this Saturday, Jan. 25 and closes on Feb. 1. I don't have the hours but you can check it out here at the Driftwood Community Arts website.

Alec Soth in the New Yorker
CEZ and nationally known photographer, Alec Soth, has posted a bevy of images on the New Yorker's Instagram site. Interesting, funny, weird...that's Mr. Soth. Read about it on the Line

March 1 Progressive Dinner
Don't miss it, 'nuff said.

That's all for now. Take care of yourself and be a good neighbor.