The Rochester City Council has put an end to the Historic Third Street experiment dubbed the parklet.
The parklet, approved last August, was a built-out wooden deck over a section of sidewalk and could be used for additional outdoor seating for an adjacent business. In this case, Grand Rounds. The proposal was opposed last year by some neighboring businesses who argued that the removal of parking spots to accommodate the parklet was a steep price to pay for something that benefited only one business.
To make way for the parklet, the city removed a 30-minute parking meter and two loading zones from the crowded street. City staff has recommended those be replaced with three 90-minute meters once the parklet is removed.
Thumbs up to the council for trying something new as it considers re-developing Historic Third. An additional thumbs up for recognizing the experiment should end.
Catalytic converter thefts
Prius owners, beware.
Police in Rochester, Winona and La Crosse, Wis., have reported a rash of catalytic converter thefts.
In Rochester alone, nearly 30 of the pollution control devices have been removed from parked cars betwteen the end of September and mid-November.
The thieves appear to be targeting Honda Odysseys and Toyota Priuses. Catalytic converters contain valuable metals such as platinum and palladium, and can cost as much as $3,000 to replace.
Most of the thefts have occurred in large parking lots, and authorities ask that people report suspicious activity. Olmsted County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Behrns also recommended that vehicle owners review their insurance policies to make sure they are covered for this type of theft or damage. Thumbs down to converter thieves.
One last shot
In a season plagued by on-again, off-again schedules, the volleyball teams from Kasson-Mantorville and Chatfield saw a rare opportunity.
COVID-19 had spiked the opposing teams in both of their season-ending matches. So, when Kasson-Mantorville coach Adam VanOort got an email at 4 p.m. from Chatfield coach Molly Orte-Thomas, asking if his team would be available for a match in a couple of hours, VanOort didn’t think twice.
“It's been a weird year," Orte-Thomas said. "We’ve just felt thankful for every practice and match we’ve gotten.”
Thumbs up to area fall sports teams and coaches for making the most of a difficult season.