Tuesday, December 30, 2008

City Talk - Shopping local message echoed by many in area

On behalf of the Rolla City Council and Rolla City employees, I hope you had a memorable Christmas, and will be blessed by the peace and serenity that manifests itself during the holidays.

Throughout the last several months several members of the community, including well-known merchants, business owners and community leaders have been repeating the “Shop Local” mantra that is being heard daily on the national news, and communities and cities all across America. If the busy parking lots in shopping centers, strip malls and throughout town are any indication of the success of this often repeated message, it may very well be that many of us have once again done a significant portion of our holiday shopping here in Rolla and Phelps County. The convenience and ease of staying in town makes it all the more appealing when it’s 5 degrees below zero, and it’s difficult to tell when the next ice or snow storm is going to make its impact on our roads and highways. The Rolla and Phelps County area have much to offer, and I’d like to continue encouraging everyone to patronize first the merchants, businesses, restaurants and hotels in our area. I’d also like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all the individuals and groups who have so vigorously spread the “Shop Local” tag line. It seems to be working!

If you happen to be visiting the Rolla area this weekend, and have been away for the last several months you have probably notice that the intersection of Highway 72 and State Route 63 at Ridgeview Road looks a little different than it did this time last year. While some of the establishments located at Bishop Commons on the corner of Bishop Avenue (State Road 63) have been open for a couple of months, the new flagship Walgreens store adjacent to Bishop Commons at Ridgeview Road and State Road 63 is nearing completion. These additions to this strategic and highly traveled intersection have been a long time in coming, but demonstrate the retail strength and vitality of our community.

In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that Rolla City Hall, located at 901 N. Elm Street, will be closed on New Year’s Day, Thursday, Jan. 1. The Solid Waste Department will be picking up Thursday’s trash on Wednesday. For more information regarding the City of Rolla holiday trash pick-up schedule, please call 364-6693.

The Centre, Rolla’s Health and Recreation Complex, located at 1200 North Holloway Street, will be open on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on New Year’s Day, Thursday. Regular operating hours at The Centre resume on Friday, Jan. 2. The week of Jan. 4 through Jan. 9 is “Free Class Preview Week” at The Centre, which means all group fitness classes are free for anyone interested in participating. For more information, please call The Centre at 341-2FUN (2386).

Another important communication tool the City of Rolla is making available to the residents of our community is a BLOG that is linked on the City’s homepage at http://rollacity.blogspot.com. The City is now posting my weekly City Talk column and Police Chief Mark Kearse’s City Chat column on the City’s BLOG at http://rollacity.blogspot.com. We welcome your comments, input and feedback.

Wishing you and your families, friends and neighbors a happy and prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rolla Channel 6 captures holiday happenings in Rolla

Without trying to sound too much like a cliché, I think you’ll agree that it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Rolla, Missouri. My sincere thanks goes out to all of the Rolla businesses and agencies such as Fidelity Cablevision, Rolla Municipal Utilities (RMU), and the City of Rolla’s Public Works Department who light up our downtown area and help us get into the spirit of the holidays.

Fidelity puts up all the lighted stars along Hwy. 72 and Hwy. 63 South, RMU puts them up along 10th Street and the downtown business district, and the City’s Public Works Department puts up the stars along Hwy. 63 North from Blockbuster Video to Interstate 44. The Public Works Department and Traffic Division also creates and displays all the holiday banners in the downtown business district, puts up wreaths and lights at City Hall (901 North Elm Street), and of course, displays and decorates the 20-foot-tall Christmas Tree in the City’s Downtown Festival Park.

Many events held last weekend helped kick off the holidays, and if you didn’t have a chance to attend the Rolla Christmas Parade hosted by the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce last Saturday in downtown Rolla or the Christmas Band Concert (8th-12th grades) at Rolla High School last Thursday, you can see these events in their entirety on Rolla Channel 6 (RC6) throughout the holidays.

Both of these events, which were produced by Gabe Mankin, RC6 Video Production Manager and his two video production assistants, Kile Crews and Daniel Galarza, who attend Rolla Junior High School, are examples of the many community events and educational programs that are being produced and aired on Rolla Channel 6. If you would like to receive a DVD copy of either of these events, RHS sporting events, Rolla City Council, Planning and Zoning and RPS board meetings, you can order them through Rolla Channel 6. To place your order, simply call Gabe Mankin, RC6 Video Production Manager, at (573) 426-3377. You may also place your order in person anytime Monday through Friday during normal business hours at the Rolla Channel 6 offices located at Fidelity Cablevision at 1304 Highway 72 East.

In addition to the above mentioned events, RC6 will also be airing other holiday happenings in the days to come, including a holiday greeting from the City of Rolla and Rolla Public Schools. Public service announcements showcasing The Centre, Rolla’s 63,000-square-foot Health and Recreation Complex and the Rolla Recycling Center located at 2141 Old St. James Road, and the first episode of “City Minutes” will also be airing on RC6 throughout the holidays. So be sure to tune into RC6 – Rolla’s premiere Education, Government and Community channel.

RC6 is a jointly funded education and government cable channel provided by the City of Rolla, Rolla Public Schools, and Fidelity Cablevision. The mission of RC6 is to enhance the City of Rolla’s and Rolla Public Schools’ public information and communication systems, involve the community in local government and Rolla Public School decision-making, and provide useful information to the public.

Monday, December 8, 2008

City Talk - Holiday season kicks off with Rolla Christmas parade

If you haven’t made plans yet for this morning, be sure to put the Rolla Christmas Parade on your schedule for 10 a.m., (Saturday, Dec. 6) on Pine Street in downtown Rolla. In many ways it seems that after the Thanksgiving Day holiday, the Rolla Christmas Parade officially kicks off the holidays for many residents in the Rolla community.

Coordinated by the Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce, the Rolla Christmas Parade is in its 38th year, and promises to be one of the best parades ever. If you want to watch the parade again after seeing it live on Pine Street be sure to tune into Rolla Channel 6 (RC6), which will be filming the parade in its entirety.

After the parade you will also want to attend the 14th Annual Christmas at the Historic Old Courthouse located at Third and Rolla Streets across from the Dillon Log Cabin. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with historic tours of the 1860 Courthouse and 1838 Dillon Log Cabin Museum, Christmas gifts, and live entertainment in the Municipal Court Room on the second floor of the Old Courthouse. Families are also encouraged to visit and have your pictures taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus and visit the Kid’s Corner to make paper ornaments. Free holiday refreshments will also be available for everyone to enjoy.

The entertainment begins at 11:30 a.m. with “Sometimes Tuesday” Mountain Dulcimer Group followed by the Mark Twain 4th Grade Steamboat Choir at 12-noon and Rolla Community Children’s Choir at 12:30 p.m., Rolla Jr. High Choir at 1 p.m. and Rolla Sr. High Choir at 1:30 p.m. There will also be an antique clothing display and historic military display open to the public in the Old Courthouse.

While you are at the parade stop by the Bandshell in the City’s Downtown Festival Park off 9th Street where members of the City’s Public Works Department recently set up and decorated a 20-foot-tall Christmas Tree. Rolla City Hall is also decorated with lights, wreaths and a large Christmas tree in the lobby, all thanks to our Public Works and Administration Departments. The Frisco Caboose will be decorated and lighted for the holidays as well, which is only fitting when you consider that our town’s history and development was due in large part to the railroad.

Beginning next Friday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. through Dec. 21 be sure to attend the Christmas in the Park dazzling light display in Lions Club Park located on Hwy. 63 South across from G & D Steakhouse. The event is free, but donations are welcomed. Christmas in the Park will be open 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday. For more information regarding this fun event, please call Rolla Lioness Club member Jaci Huebner at 578-9090.

There are of course numerous other holiday events, festivities and gatherings planned throughout the month of December, but I thought I would just hit some of the highlights you don’t want to miss. For a comprehensive listing of events and happenings, please visit the City’s Website at www.rollacity.org/events, and tune into the community calendar on Rolla Channel 6.