No one actually asked us, but we couldn’t help noting that:However noble, going green has its practical limits. A proposed geothermal heating and cooling system for the St. Croix County Government Center has been axed in favor of a high-efficiency boiler that costs $675,000 less. It would take 75 years of slightly lower utility costs to make up for the higher-priced geothermal unit investment. That’s understandably too long a wait for a cash-strapped County Board and taxpayers. On the other hand, UW-River Falls has just bought the first of what may turn out to be a fleet of electric utility vehicles for use around campus. The university’s goal is to reduce foreign oil dependence and airborne pollution. Baby steps, to be sure, but surely a sign of necessary things to be done in the near future. Another form of recycling goes beyond plastics and cardboard. Last week’s Journal story on the old Kolpak Refrigeration site showed how that vacated building is now a lively small-business hub. Tom Elbert has transformed the empty 140,000-square feet of space into the River Falls Industrial Center. Tenants range from a die-manufacturer to a copier firm. Except for UW-River Falls, Kolpak was the largest local employer until it closed in 2005. Now it’s come back in a different form, name and owner. Another big River Falls manufacturer will soon close — UFE, in the industrial park. Perhaps there’s hope someday for renewal at that building site.So you’re turned off by the tall, bright public art sculpture at Veterans Park? And the same goes for the “inclusive community” sign on North Main Street as you enter River Falls? Mike Woolsey has produced a 45-minute documentary video on how these two well-intended projects morphed into controversy and derision. Appropriately, Woolsey calls his video, “The Art of Good Intentions.” The documentary tries to give all sides a fair hearing. It’s showing on local cable TV and there’s a copy to check out for public library patrons.Another controversy that’s lost steam is the fate of the huge, history-depicting mural on the north wall of the old Hallmark/Ben Franklin store downtown. A new business owner doing building renovation there had to wipe out a large chunk of that mural. However, local artist David Markson, creator of the first mural, got a new one finished during River Falls Days at Veterans Park. It’s an attractive mosaic of images with loads of vibrant colors. As he did with the first mural for the city’s sesquicentennial, Markson collaborated with amateur artists to paint sections that make up the finished project. Also, April Ingalls of the new business Beyond Lighting, did a neat job of salvaging and touching up Markson’s first mural. What remains is still eye catching to those coming into the downtown from the north. Good intention, good results!BRETT FAVRE. Tuesday’s news clip showed his plane arriving in Green Bay for the Packer training camp. The announcer dramatically said, “Brett Favre has landed.” It sounded like the declaration of a UFO invasion! So what does that name conjure up for you these days? The Journal’s online question this week asked: Are you overjoyed Brett Favre is back with the Packers or are you fed up with this melodrama?
The results, as of Tuesday noon: Overjoyed, 14%; Fed up, 58%; and Both, 28%. Go to www.riverfallsjournal.com to cast your vote.
ri er, falls, opinion, editorial
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