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Granite Falls Advocate Tribune - Granite Falls, MN
  • River Ramblings.....

  • It was a momentous day on Tuesday. The official groundbreaking for the new nursing home that the City of Granite Falls will build, although ceremonial, was the first tangible step on the way to providing a greatly needed upgrade to skilled nursing care in the community. Built for a cost of $540,000 in 1959 and opened in...
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  •     It was a momentous day on Tuesday. The official groundbreaking for the new nursing home that the City of Granite Falls will build, although ceremonial, was the first tangible step on the way to providing a greatly needed upgrade to skilled nursing  care in the community.
        Built for a cost of $540,000 in 1959 and opened in 1960, the Granite Manor has served hundreds of residents and their families extremely well over the years. When upgrades were needed, the local hospital board and city council have never shied away from making the improvements. When more nursing home space was needed in the early 1980s, they gave the okay to expand into the former hospital space after the new hospital was built.
        That same can-do attitude is still flowing through the hospital board and administration. The new skilled nursing care facility will be many times more expensive to build than the city’s first nursing home but that’s what it will take to build a much needed new facility. They haven’t backed down and the community will be better served for their diligent work on this significant project.
        It was wonderful to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday. It was a very big day for Granite Falls.
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        We attended the summer meeting of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities in Rochester late last week. Held at the Kahler Hotel, located across the street from the ever expanding Mayo Clinic. That gave us a close up view of some of what happens in that growing cosmopolitan town.
        Rochester grew by more than 12,000 people between 2000 and 2010 and is now estimated to have a population of nearly 110,000. That is nearly 25,000 more people than Duluth. The clinic estimates that they will add more than 30,000 jobs in the next 20 years. That will push Rochester’s population higher yet. Adding to all that bustle is the very nationwide and international profile of the visitors  who come to Rochester for what can be described as the most respected health care facility in the world. It is amazing to see up close and more amazing when you realize what the Mayo Clinic offers to all of Minnesota.
        One of the presentations at the summer conference was a session on racial diversity in rural Minnesota. That there is a changing racial profile across the state isn’t news anymore but that phenomena takes on many different forms around the state.
        The facilitator of the session was Clarkfield native and YME graduate Anita Patel. She holds the position of Vice President for Racial Justice and Public Policy for the YWCA of Minneapolis. It is probably no surprise to most who know her that Anita is an engaging public speaker and a skilled facilitator.
    Page 2 of 2 -     Anita led the session by introducing Peggy Flanagan, a Native American former Minneapolis school board member and is now the Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund. She talked about growing up in St. Louis Park where nearly everyone was different than her and  how she learned to work given that situation. Afterward, Anita had us talking about racial differences and opportunities in a lively discussion that made plenty of us stop and think about our communities in a different light and what we might do to reach out to be more inclusive.
        Another area of diversity that intrigues me and that we talked about is the need for greater community involvement by young adults. Granted most of them are busy getting on with their lives but we all need them to become involved with the decision making work on city councils, school boards and other community based organizations.
        That will take some time but the need is there and the chance to play a part in the community is, too, and it’s more than a little rewarding.

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