Two community groups joined forces for an online forum on March 18 in an effort to improve communication and education in the city.

Members of the youth-led Rochester Community Initiative were part of a forum planned by In the City for Good, a grassroots organization tackling a variety of issues related to city growth.

According to the group's website, the Rochester Community Initiative was created in an effort to make Rochester “a more just and equitable place for all of its residents through engaging events and programs, fundraisers, and other charitable activities. We also work to provide community members with a platform to speak their truth.”

The forum offered an opportunity for Rochester Community Initiative members to discuss the group's goals. Thumbs up to the collaboration of two organizations aimed at improving lives in Rochester.

A recording of the 90-minute forum can be found on the In the City for Good YouTube channel.

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Bad apples

The Rochester Car Scene Facebook group has more than 1,500 members and gathers a few times a week in local parking lots to show off their rides and talk cars.

But a recent incident has sullied the group's reputation and shown how quickly things can take a turn for the worse over social media.

On March 12, one of the group's meet-ups ended with calls to police and demands by local businesses that the group no longer meet in their parking lots.

Members of the Car Scene group say they're victims of one bad apple spoiling the bunch. Things went sour when members of two truck-focused groups crashed the gathering and started causing trouble. The police showed up.

The Car Scene group is now left to salvage its battered reputation, which members say they've worked for years to create. Thumbs down to those bad apples.

Private investment in DMC dips

It's not as much money as last year, but it's difficult to look at $144.1 million and say that's a bad thing.

New private investment in Destination Medical Center dropped by $128 million in 2020, compared to the previous year, which of course did not include a pandemic.

“To have come through this last year with this level of investment in place is remarkable,” DMC Corp. Board member Paul Williams said as the investments were presented.

The new private investment brings the total documented private spending in the DMC initiative to $1.1 billion.

Private investment plays a key role in releasing state funding for infrastructure in Rochester. If the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development verifies the entire $144.1 million in private investment for 2020, the state will add approximately $3.9 million to its annual release of funds for public infrastructure projects.

Thumbs up to the DMC's unique private-public partnership in carrying the initiative forward.