No dust is settling on Lindsborg on this Kansas Day 2018...
• Liz Lahodny of Lindsborg Realty, Kimi Stolzenburg of Hairymolarys, and Debbie Jacobson of Bank of Tescott will explore metal designs for moveable-yet-durable benches that can be purchased for business districts. We hope to be able to talk details in a few weeks. Meanwhile, we encourage everyone to create, if possible, outdoor seating on their properties now before spring is upon us. Even if a location is not serving food or making retail sales, outdoor seating is a sure and lively symbol of community welcome and ease. (If in the downtown area, please consult with City Hall about ordinances that describe acceptable seating placements and weights.) In addition, Ad Hoc is expressing interest in working with the City of Lindsborg in revamping Lucia Park seating and making the parking lot on the 100 block of South Main St. more flexible/useful during festivals, special events, and other community building celebrations. Funding could be sought in grants, memorial donations and crowdfunding. Discussions continue; however, pressure is being felt to arrive at a consensus plan with appropriate details attached.
• CVB director Holly Lofton and Mike Dreier of Fuqua Insurance have teamed to send a virtual can of Lindsborg-brand Elbow Grease to television host Mike Rowe, known for his love of rolling up his sleeves and doing jobs, sometimes kinda odd and icky jobs. Mr. Rowe has a new cable television show that highlights volunteers, and Holly thought our distinctive Lindsborg award might well be of interest to him. Why a “virtual” can and not the real thing? Mike Rowe is an email-only kind of guy; there seems to be no physical address. Thus, we’re sending the photo shown below. Maybe Mike will come to collect a non-virtual can himself some day? Thanks, Holly and Mike.
• The popular Chocolate Lovers Affair is on again for this year. That's 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at the J.O. Sundstrom Center. The Lindsborg Arts Council presents this evening for enjoying chocolate creations, lively friends new and old, and an art auction — as well as the naming of an Artist of the Year. Tickets at the door for $20, with LAC members receiving a complimentary refreshment. Would you or your business like to join in? Please consider buying a table or making a cash donation to help LAC assemble “Lindsborg Experiences” for auction. Anyone may donate a piece of art for auction. Anyone may be a creator of chocolate centerpieces. Drop off donations at Vision_Tek downtown with Amy Dreier. Also contact writer Ann Parr or Tayla Mace at The White Peacock with questions or donations.
• Lindsborg *does* love a groundbreaking. On April 2, Lindsborg Community Hospital is tentatively scheduled to start construction on patient-centered building improvements. Now included in the plan is an addition to expand the number of clinic exam rooms for existing health care providers, as well for as a new physician scheduled to begin work in 2018. The hospital also will, as long planned, remodel and repurpose the space vacated by Auburn Pharmacies, as well as move laboratory services closer to the main entry for patient ease. There’s much more to the plan, of course. The hospital’s Betty Nelson will provide more information to the community over the next few weeks about these plans as well as entry and service locations through the construction period. The expansion/improvement is made possible by a major gift from the late David J. Nutt, who remembered Lindsborg’s many kindnesses to him and his family during his growing-up years here. Mr. Nutt recently gave gifts to LCH, Bethany College, other institutions, and the community-at-large totaling an amazing $15 million. The Nutt Trust is being administered by the McPherson County Community Foundation.
• Makers Street Art Walks, scheduled the second Friday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m., continue to gain traction. We thank everyone who has helped. Scheduling note: Be prepared for an especially juicy version of Makers Street on Friday, Feb. 9. It’s Heart Art night. See new paintings by Lindsborg’s Mike Hartung displayed at Collections and Essentials. Make a heart sachet at The Ivory Thimble. Participate in making a Lindsborg community heart at Small World Gallery. And much more. It’s a perfect evening to dine, relax with a cuppa, and rove with friends.
• The Lindsborg Sesquicentennial Committee is way into party planning for the 150th year. Among the dates to save: Dec. 31, 2018, for a special event at the J.O. Sundstrom, and Feb. 20, 2019, the anniversary of the day that Lindsborg was named. Around the July 4th holiday, plan to be here for four days worth of savory and colorful celebrations that build on the Old-Fashioned Fourth of July that Molly Johnson and friends have organized in Swensson Park over the last few years. Plus, there’ll be dedications of art throughout the year. PS: Did *you* remember to contribute 150 words on some of the many people, places and things that have made Lindsborg what it is? Get the deets and please make contributions of 150 words here: http://www.lindsborg150th.com/150project.html
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Three cheers went out during our Monday morning huddle for:
• photographer Jim Turner and his more than 40 years of service thus far to the community, Bethany College and beyond. Jim’s business enterprises continue, as well as his work with Bethany. However, Jim has decided to sell the 129 N. Main St. location. We’ll look forward to seeing you, Jim, in new places — including with your drone and GoPro cameras.
• GO McPherson. This economic development organization recently featured a Facebook promotion about Lindsborg as a place of culture and for visitors. Thanks, Kasi Morales and GO McPherson, for your partnership with Lindsborg.
• Bethany College. It just finished choral education for a breathtaking 900+ middle and high school men, then launched into rehearsals for this year’s productions of Handel’s Messiah. Hats off to Dr. Mark Lucas, the Bethany Music Department, and the entire college community of faculty, staff, students and volunteers.
• Circles of Lindsborg, which received the kind donation of an automobile for a Circles participant who has been walking seven miles to and seven miles from work each day. A game-changing gift, yes? That’s the way Circles works: making connections to social capital and education with families to help them put poverty in their rear view mirror.
• Lindsborg advertisements are now popping up in booklets placed in the hands of all those attending performances at McCain Auditorium at K-State and the Lied Center at KU. Thank you, Lindsborg CVB and City of Lindsborg, for helping us reach new and compatible peeps. (One-time visits often turn into return visits, college decisions, retirement decisions, life decisions.)
• Next up in the First Bank Kansas Smoky Hill Showdown between Bethany College and Kansas Wesleyan University are the men’s and women’s basketball games this coming cSaturday night, Jan. 20. And it’s a home court advantage for BC. The year-long showdown offers points to each institution for wins and scores throughout the athletic seasons, as well as for community service projects. So far, Bethany is ahead in the showdown count. Cheer on those Swedes!
• Community policing works best with, yep, community. One way to engage? Drop by "Coffee with a Cop" at Blacksmith Coffee Shop from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan 23.
• Could you offer an hour or two to helping work the gate or concessions at a freshmen boys basketball tourney on Saturday, Jan. 20, or Monday, Jan. 22? Please contact a Lindsborg Kiwanian or Chris McClure of Smoky Valley Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Also in sporting news: MAYB basketball tournaments will be back in Lindsborg on Saturday, Feb. 3. Restaurants and coffee shops, please be prepared.
• More dates to know:
Makers Street Art Walk, 5-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9
Chocolate Lovers Affair/Art Auction, 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center
Hospital Auxiliary Hog Wild Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast, 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Mar. 10, Lindsborg Senior Center
“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” Martin Luther King Jr. 1929-1968
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Ad Hockers are planning and looking ahead:
• A significant piece of incomplete work is before us: additional outdoor seating in the downtown footprint. There is consensus that more seating options in shaded areas would add a lot to the area’s livability and visual message. Ad Hoc already has surveyed seating needs/opportunities, as well as discussed the qualities we seek (durability, weight, styles). Now it’s time to commit ideas to paper and circulate, then work on a funding plan. We have talked about making it possible for families to make memorial donations toward seating that can be marked with a dedication. There may be other ways to fund these amenities. Who would be willing to work on helping us toward specifics? Can we make some progress in time for spring?
• Ad Hoc is seeking commitments of $30 a month for advertising and social media boosts in 2018. Sharing Lindsborg as a place to live and visit to fresh audiences remains a worthy collaborative project we do with the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau. Twenty organizations and businesses were signed up in 2017. Because our advertising plan is expanded this year, we’d like at least that many again in 2018 — and we are far from it right now. Please consider. Then if you are so moved, please contact David Hay of First Bank Kansas, Megan Dauer of American Family Insurance, or Kathy Richardson at Small World Gallery.
• The 2018 Messiah Festival weekends will offer great opportunities -- if we can harness them in advance through word of mouth and promotion. For example, here’s partial details of what is shaping up to be a juicy Palm Sunday weekend.
Friday, March 23: Evening Downtown Jazz Walk as part of the Lindsborg Landmark Concert Series, spearheaded by Mike Dreier of Fuqua Insurance and funded by local business donors. Last year’s Jazz Walk was the first, and incredibly successful it was, especially with younger people and families. Groove along from location to location to hear multiple styles of jazz, culminating in an all-performers jam to end the evening. If you’d like to help, please contact Mike.
Saturday, March 24: Lindsborg Vaffeldagen, our quirky day of waffle edibles, waffle people, and waffle games. Initiated by volunteer powerhouse Carla Wilson and staffed/funded by businesses, Vaffeldagen has gained statewide recognition and beyond; in 2017 it was the subject of a four-page spread in KANSAS! Magazine along with the Liberal Pancake Race. The CVB has been receiving queries about it since last fall. What can you do to Waffle On?
Sunday, March 25: Messiah Sing Along at Bethany College’s Presser Hall. On this occasion, anyone may feel the glories of a big chorus in this special performance of selected works from Handel’s Messiah with full orchestra and big organ. Advance tickets are $10; bring your score — or pay $10 if you wish to purchase one.
• We have seen some new faces at our Monday gatherings recently. We know that first thing Monday mornings don’t always work for everyone, so we’re always happy to see an expanding and revolving cast of good peeps in the room. An informal, no-agenda Ad Hoc gathering is set for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month at The Ol Stuga. It’s called Ad Hops. Come to relax and chat and connect; hop in and hop out at your convenience. Everyone is welcome. Try it on for size, please. The next Ad Hops is Wednesday, Jan. 24.
• In another sign of growth and outreach, Bethany College and its Music Department are preparing to welcome a record-setting 900 5th-12th grade young men to the vocal workshop called "Real Men Sing” on Thursday, Jan. 25. Help yourself to a thrilling choral performance experience that day. Plan now to attend the 2:30 p.m. all-voices finale performance that will include the singing of “God Bless America.” Presser Hall. Be there if possible at this extraordinary event.
The direction of sales tax revenues offers one window on a community’s economy. In 2017, Lindsborg sales tax collections went up 8.78 percent as compared to 2016 -- and that's welcome news.
City administrator Greg DuMars reminds us that sales tax alone is an imperfect window — mostly because such a range of factors influence it, among them energy use and food purchases. However, Greg said it is reasonable to believe that an increased number of visitors to Lindsborg accounts for some of this sales tax increase.
Because sales tax collections from people outside the community help pay for city services that residents use, we’re certainly glad for this particular 2017 report. It also means we're on the right track in attracting dollars to Lindsborg.
Also of note:
• Lindsborg makes an appearance another list on the website of a national organization that studies and ranks small- and mid-sized cities. Livability.com just included Lindsborg on its current list of eight cool places that differentiate themselves through their European feel. We believe that everyone who reads this newsletter contributes to that feel, and many beyond that. So we thank you for helping bring distinction to our town. https://livability.com/topics/community/8-us-towns-that-make-you-feel-like-youre-in-europe
• From 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, the City of Lindsborg will throw open the doors to our new emergency medical services building, just south of the Lindsborg Safety Center. We encourage you to tour it if possible and learn more about these vital services. The new building allows perishable and expensive medicines and medical equipment on the City’s two EMS rigs to be stored at proper temperatures in a cleaner environment. The building also allows for overnight stays by EMS personnel serving Lindsborg but who live in other communities, thus allowing the City to throw a wider net for staffing and avoid EMS burnout. Finding and training volunteers and properly equipping emergency rigs will be an ongoing challenge for small cities like Lindsborg, just as public safety as a whole will be. If you meet someone who works with Lindsborg EMS or another public safety element, please shake their hand and thank them.
• Volunteers who have been exploring the possibility of a VikeFest for Lindsborg early next month are refocusing on 2019 for the inaugural event, including Vikes on Bikes running along the Meadowlark Trail. It should be worth waiting for. Meanwhile, please keep your inner Viking on tap.
• If you want visual exploration for yourself or your family on a wintry weekend, please consider dropping by the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery. For those who like to explore chamber music, the Sandzen hosts a concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, with tenor Scott Wichael and pianist J. Bradley Baker.
• Bethany College professor Nelson Smith and KSU art professor Geraldine Craig are seeking donations of sewing patterns for a piece of art they have been asked to create for the KU Med Center-Salina. The piece, titled "Pulse," will use layered pattern pieces to build a surface suggesting the architecture of the body. Drop any patterns, any number, by the Sandzen Gallery or at the Smith-Craig home studio in Lindsborg at 314 N. 1st. Warm congratulations to Dr. Smith and Dr. Craig on receiving this commission.