Answer Man: Negotiations continue on new shuttle location

Dear Answer Man, you noted last week that Go Rochester Direct was in negotiations with the Kahler Grand Hotel about a new location in the hotel. Anything new on that?

Owner Kurt Marquardt told my boss yesterday that negotiations continue, other possible locales in the hotel are being discussed for the business, and for now, court action is on hold.

As you recall, the Kahler lost its eviction lawsuit last week against the Revelations, Les Wigs Renee and Merle Norman cosmetics shop, though considering how much the new Kahler ownership wants them out of that space in the lobby, that district court ruling Friday seems ripe for appeal.

Dear Answer Man, in your answer to the person (Monday) who asked whether pedestrians have the right-of-way, you mentioned jaywalking. Several years ago, I wrote you to ask why it is called jaywalking. You never answered. I would still like to know. Maybe it is the one thing for which you don't have the answer?

I read your column 99.5 percent of the time. I guess I am a fan! Hoping for an answer this time. — Flo


Flo, I'm afraid that 99.5 percent rate is just not quite good enough. To get an answer, you have to read me 110 percent of the time. But just this once, I'll make an exception, especially because you've waited patiently for years to get an answer.

The Oxford English Dictionary says the word originated about a century ago in this country. A "jay," going back further than that, was what we might now call a "knucklehead" or "not the sharpest knife in the drawer." The Broadway show writer George M. Cohan, best-known for "Give My Regards to Broadway," referred to "jays" in this way. So a person who strolls across the street wherever he pleases, no matter the traffic, is a jaywalker.

Here's another traffic-related item — more comment than question:

Dear Answer Man, what is with this phenomenon in Rochester where drivers slow down and actually brake when approaching a green light? It's like they are afraid they might actually catch it. I've lived in other parts of the country and never seen this practice. Is there a memo or part of the driving course that I missed, or was there once a hard crackdown on running yellow lights? Please enlighten me.

Also, thank you for your piece a few weeks ago about passing on the highway . I, too, have fallen victim to the driver who travels in the passing lane for a "better view." Thanks for your excellent column. — (signed) I Need To Be Somewhere

Agreed, one typically doesn't need to brake for a green light. Just as frustrating and dangerous is the driver who slows WAY back from a red light...he or she apparently decides, "That light up there is red and I'm going to slow down as far away as possible so I can continue to roll, even at 1 mph, until the light changes, thereby saving my brake pads."

Neither practice is in the Minnesota driver's handbook.

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