After deadline: Ski jumping story has 1,892 fans, and few folks who aren't

Construction of the new Olympic-caliber ski jump facility at Mount Fronenac, midway between Red Wing and Lake City, could begin before Labor Day. The project is estimated to cost $6 million to $7 million.

FRONTENAC — Not a fan.

That was the message from Judy Johnson, a neighbor to the ski jump that'll be built on Mount Frontenac. Judy emailed me last week to voice her opinion.

It's not that Judy dislikes the majestic beauty of ski jumping or thinks those flying athletes are going to hurt themselves. She and several others live within a stone's throw of the planned ski jump that will rise more than 150 feet over the surrounding area. The facility, with its space for catering events that could host more than 100 individuals peering down from above, doesn't sit well with all the neighbors.

I tell you all this as a preface for some bragging. We all have Post Bulletin Facebook pages, and we link our stories to them so people can follow us on Facebook. My post about my story on an update of the project was shared 54 times and, according to Facebook, reached 1,892 people.

For my Facebook feed, that's a lot. And the vast majority, from the feedback I got, seemed to be in favor of the ski jump. After all, we're talking about the ski jump equivalent of a major sports stadium being built in Red Wing's backyard.


What's not to love? Well, 150 people sipping drinks, eating finger food and staring down at my backyard might be a problem. It seems no matter how good the news we write, there's someone who sees the glass half empty.

I got a preview of the anti-ski jump crowd at the April 4 Goodhue County Board of Commissioners meeting, where several gave their concerns about the ski jump.

"I live on the south side of the hill," said Steve Gergen, summing up much of the opposition talk. "I have friends that come out and do target shooting." He wondered if the people perched on high would have a problem watching his friends shooting down below. He also questioned whether anyone had done a study on increased traffic on Goodhue County Road 2.

This little piggy

One of our hard-working interns found that out last week when her story about the Miracle of Birth Center at the Olmsted County Fair had one angry caller upset about, well, the Miracle of Birth.

Seems the farrowing crate in which the sow resides while the piglets enter the world, according to the caller, is inhumane treatment of pigs. Of course, keeping the mother motionless while fragile piglets are squirming around -- it could be argued -- is more humane for the piglets.

The caller proved the axiom, there's two sides to every story.

The scrapbooks


All this reminds me of my days as a sports editor in West Texas. We ran a story about a local private school's six-man football team getting ready for the state playoffs. The photo with the story: Boys on the team putting on their pads in the locker room. (Get it? Getting ready for state.)

Anyway, a lady called me the morning that story ran and left nine minutes worth of messages. I know this because our voicemail cut off after two minutes, and she left me 4 /2 voicemails on her displeasure.

It seems the photo did not make for good scrapbook art, and she was beside herself that we hadn't thought that through. She assured me, she was not a parent of any of the boys in the photo, nor did she have a child at the school. Still — and I can still hear her voice to this day — "You just aren't thinking of the scrapbooks when you do something like this!"

Concerned I'd done wrong, I called the mothers of the boys in the photo and asked them how they felt. Each thought it was great. With no helmets, they could actually see their sons' faces.

All those moms, big fans.

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