09 April 2010

Royce Files Digest Spring 2010

Lots of things to discusss. So let's get on with this digest.
Red River Basin Flood
Spring has finally sprung upon the landscape on the Great Plains. The always anticipated spring snow storm never arrived. The flood waters continue to recede in Red River Valley. As of yesterday I could see most of the paths by the river. This by no means will abate the continuing debate concerning future flood control. It was just heating up as the crest arrived a few weeks ago.
A North Dakota diversion seems very popular. It gets more good press then a Minnesota diversion which the Corps of Engineers have stated would be the most cost effective solution. Neither solution seemed to answer adequately the concerns of pushing floodwaters further north. Our hydrology correspondant, DJ George, has advocated some form of water retention for years and not only because of flooding but to increase available water sources in the Valley. U.S. Representative Colin Peterson seemed to echo DJ a few days ago.
An issue that got put on the backburning because of the last floods has been the need for the community to have another source of water so not to deplete the aquifier as the region grows. Of course this is sort of a historical debate (see Garrison Diversion). And argiculture will not want land taken up by large holding ponds which cuts in their revenues.
For now it looks like a North Dakota diversion will be the submitted plan to the Feds. Whether the stipulations for retention will appear is yet to be determined.

Internationally Speaking
If you look to the right sidebar of the page, you will see the flag counter. I've had this tool on here for a while and have been keeping track of the increases in traffice from other parts of the world. As expected mostly United Staters are stopping through. They are followed by the Brits and some Canadians. Mostly English speaking places. I'm not sure why I'm not pulling in much Irish since I do write about Eire a wee bit. I think I need to get an Irish correspondent.
The fourth ranking nation is Malaysia!!! Not sure why anybody from Malaysia would come here. Maybe its my now rare football reporting and the beer ads.
Germany rounds off the top five most certainly because of the beer ads.
Since I have a mostly Finnish girlfriend, I am hoping to pull in an audience from Suomi (Finland.) I think I should do a post about an authentic wood heated sauna (pronounced SOW-na). The Finns love their saunas. And I do too although I mostly grew up with the electric or gas buring ones. I also like Finnish hockey player and captain of the Minnesota Wild Mikko Koivu. Never met him but we've been in the same place a few times. And my mostly Finnish girlfriend met someone in Finland whose friend was once his girlfriend. Maybe all the girls in Turku say that. 

Football UpdateMy last football update rambling on. I'll try to be more succinct In the English Premier League it looks like Chelseas have the upper hand after defeating Man U at Trafford. The league is not out of reach for the Red Devils but has become dependant on other teams taking a swat at Chelsea. Arsenal have an outside chance at topping the table but injuries may be a factor, especially since talisman mid-fielder Cesc Fabregas is out for the season. Man City and Everton and even Liverpool seem to be contenders for the 4th, the last Champion league place.
The Mighty Fulham have been advancing well ahead of expectations in the Europa League despite not being much of a glamorous side. West London team is now into the semi-finals and along with Liverpool are the only English clubs left in European competition. Man U, Arsena, and Chelsea bowed out of the Champions league in the last month.
In the fantasy world, my season and others has been sticken by injuries to the big guns Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas amongst others. I'm barely grasping for 4th in the league. Hopefully a  return to form of Fernando Torres will keep me from dropping more points. I am actually kind of amazed at how well I am doing despite not having stepped foot in England.

On the Minnesota WildI mentioned above that Mikko Koivu and I were in the same place a few times. We were both at the Xcel Energy Center and many times with my mostly Finnish girlfriend. (I am really pushing for more Finnish readership here.)
The Wild have had an up and down season. New coach Todd Richards got out to a bumpy start but things improved come November and December. The addition of Guillaume Latendresse was a turning point both for club and player. Still, it seemed the Wild were hampered by injuries and another Finn, goaltender Niklas Backstrom, having an average year. The Wild also saw a lot of newcomers come into the squad this season for periods this season. The post Olympic period was not very good. When the Wild needed to win they just didn't have enough. On the weekend I go to final game of the season. 

On Being One of the Best Places to Bike in America
It seems Bicycling magazine thought well enough of Fargo's efforts to create a more bike friendly city to name Fargo-Moorhead as a potential/future best bike city. Here's the blurb.
As I have known for the few years I have been here, the community is very bikeable. Plenty of quiet roads and commuting distances are not out of reason. A great bike shop and a recent addition of a bike coop have helped make biking more popular. Paths along both sides of the Red River are popular routes as is rail to trail segment in the south part of the city. During the warming months I ride from both sides of town.
However, with a lot of growth on the southwest side, some destinations are not as friendly to get to. And the article is right on with the major impedance being car-oriented culture. It's not just that we over rely on cars, it is that we are not expecting a bike and hence don't live with them well. As a daily commuter I see this often. Well, got to bike away.
Slan.

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