Statewide: October 14, 2010 Archive
Community leaders from across northwest Minnesota will gather on the University of Minnesota's Crookston campus Oct. 27 to learn about Minnesota GreenStep Cities, a new program designed to help regional municipalities become more sustainable.
The informational meeting is sponsored by the Northwest Clean Energy Resource Team. The goal is to connect Minnesota communities with resources to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
GreenStep Cities is described as a "challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices."
The city of Blackduck was the first northwest Minnesota city to officially join the effort. The program has been piloted in Bloomington, Edina, Falcon Heights, St. Louis Park and Victoria.
Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior's North Shore is celebrating its 125th anniversary this weekend. Proprietors say its Minnesota's oldest resort.
The resort opened in 1885, many years preceding a road up the North Shore. The property was first a homestead for Swedish immigrant Charles Axel Nelson, who named the property "Lutsen."
Travelers heading up the shore, usually by water, found the property a convenient stop, with Nelson routinely opening up bed space by booting the kids out. In the early days a stage road only operated during the winter. A real highway wasn't built until 1918, and it was not paved until 1930.
Eventually the family home morphed into the first lodge building, and the resort became a destination for hiking, hunting and fishing. The small town of Lutsen sprang up around the resort.
Renowned mail carrier John Beargrease was a frequent visitor in the early days, before 1900. Gangsters Al Capone; Baby-face Nelson; and John Dillinger were all guests, as was entertainer Arthur Godfrey and industrialist/politician Nelson Rockefeller.
The resort added downhill skiing just after World War II. The Nelson family sold that part of the business in 1980, and the family sold the resort in 1988.
The original lodge was lost to fire in 1948. Today's main resort building, in a Scandinavian log style, dates back to 1952.
Lutsen's Erin Mathe promises a weekend with members of the original families on hand, and a lot of special events.
Life has been getting tougher for Minnesota resorts. Let's hope Lutsen can do another 125 years.
Posted at 9:50 AM on October 14, 2010
by Elizabeth Baier
Filed under: Southeast Minnesota
The man who got the world excited about walking while working is leaving the Mayo Clinic.
James Levine, a physician and researcher at the clinic's main campus in Rochester, is heading to The Cleveland Project for University Hospitals Case Medical Center. It's a new initiative promoting healthy living in Cleveland, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin.
Levine is credited with creating the Office of the Future. In 2005, he proposed stationary computers at treadmills to increase workers' exercise opportunities. He also led researchers of NEAT-- short for "non-exercise activity thermogenesis" -- at Mayo.
In 2006, he took his idea into Rochester Public Schools. At the time, he told MPR that classrooms need to be redesigned so children and machines can move.
It turns out his idea was a big hit. Workers around the country abandoned their ergonomically-correct chairs for walking, or simply standing, at their workstations. And teachers designed stand-up desks to get kids to moving in classrooms, too.
This is exactly the kind of activity Levine has long advocated for. Over the past decade, obesity has become recognized as a national health threat and a major public health challenge. In 2007 and 2008, approximately 72.5 million adults in the were obese, based on measured weights and heights, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Levine will soon bid farewell to Minnesota. But the man who introduced the standing phenomenon to the world says his mission to get people moving and healthy will continue.