This is another tidbit of news from the Rock County Star Herald, the weekly newspaper from Luverne, MN.

After considerable discussion, angst, and protest, Luverne’s Board of Appeals and Adjustments approved the variance request for a 73-foot-tall nutcracker on South Highway 75.

The nutcracker motif is an attempt by a faction of some of the more forward thinkers at the Chamber of Commerce and supporters of the very elderly woman in charge of the Rock County Historical Society to capitalize on her donation to the museum of thousands of nutcrackers she used to keep in her home. She taught with my mother, so I am sure she is in her late 90’s.

The city wants a way to allure people to town to look at the nutcracker collection and spend money and move to Luverne. I suppose nutcrackers are interesting to some people. Hard to say how appealing this will be. It has been quite a city controversy.

What mascot or symbol would you like erect outside your town? What have been interesting controversies in your community?

44 thoughts on “Nutcracker!”

  1. About 20 years ago there was a huge controversy here about a vote for a very small city sales tax to pay for a recreation center. The anti sales tax contingent was nasty and vocal. The sales tax was approved, and now people wouldn’t be without the center, which has two indoor pools, an outdoor pool, indoor track, indoor basketball, volleyball tennis and hand ball courts, weight room, climbing wall, and indoor playground for children.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We also have a wonderful indoor hockey rink that doubles as a convention center, and the college and public schools have just finished a huge baseball/softball complex with 4 diamonds.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh lordy, I can just imagine the discussions at those meetings!

    Our police and fire departments both want/need new or remodeled facilities, and several plans have been floated to combine the two into one state-of-the-art building. A favorite idea for a while was to level the East End Recreation Center use the entire block (which also houses the community garden plots..) for this monster. Husband and I went to one of the community input meetings, and dozens of people whose kids use the EERC spoke angrily and/or eloquently about their experiences, and how the lives of their kids would be diminished without it. Enough council members, thankfully, voted it off the list of possibilities.

    Thinking about a mascot…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    The big issue in my suburb is navigation—people get lost here and cannot find their way out of a snarl of roads and traffic. That issue has been pertinent for years, but so far there is no plan to correct it. The lakes, ponds, and puddles interspersed throughout town will probably prevent grid-like navigation for time eternal.

    As for a symbol, for years I thought it should be the $$$ posted somewhere, until I met urban Arizona. Then I thought Eden Prairie people were really quite restrained with their conspicuous consumption. So now I have no suggestions.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. PS, as a child I loved to travel through Pocahontas, Iowa, because there is or was a very large statue of her at the entrance of the town. As an adult I went by it, and I thought it was the cheesiest thing ever.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I like the slogan Northfield has used for years. “Cows, Colleges, and Contentment,” describes the area well. I can’t think of a better icon.

    The big issue here right now is adding bike lanes and trails to many areas of the town. These trails connect many neighborhood parks and neighborhoods, then connect to trails with more use, then to commercial areas and the downtown area. Northfield has declared itself to be bicycle friendly and I couldn’t support it more. There are lots and lots of people complaining about it though. It seems they don’t want the trails to cross their driveways, the way sidewalks always have. There has been a lot of outcry about it.

    Northfield is a relatively expensive community to live in. The median home value is now around $365,000. There isn’t much low income housing and it’s constantly a struggle to build for it. Two apartment buildings were built near my condo over the past couple of years. We already have a trail system in our neighborhood which I use on a daily basis. I can use the trails to ride my bike through planned green spaces that connect neighborhoods. I have used it to ride all the way downtown. For me it’s one of the benefits of living here.

    I find it interesting how often people complain about something, only to enjoy it and use it after it has been built.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. There are lots of things that people seem to object to. The Affordable Care Act is hardly even discussed anymore. I’d bet there would be a lot of outcry now if it was taken away.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Not exactly controversial but it was here in Franklin, Ohio where Pete Rose placed bets on baseball. His bookie, Ron Peters, owned Jonathan’s Cafe, which has since been demolished. Peters died an indigent. Locals want Rose in the Hall Of Fame which is controversial.
    In the early 1890’s, a race horse named Nightingale was owned by prominent Franklin citizens. The bank and several businesses failed after the horse lost a 1895 race. Many bet more than they could afford to lose.
    For me, Pete Rose riding Nightingale works as a statue.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well, we have our statue of We-non-nah (which means first-born daughter) in Windom Parkin central Winona – there is also a roadside plaque about her outside of Maiden Rock, WI on Hwy 35… Legend has it that she jumped from a river cliff to her death, rather than being forced into an unwanted marriage. There was a presentation recently about “Beyond We-non-nah”, which probably gave details somewhat closer to fact, but I wasn’t able to attend…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I knew about this quote but copied it from Wikipedia:
        Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi wrote: “There are fifty Lover’s Leaps along the Mississippi from whose summit disappointed Indian girls have jumped.”

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I, too, was wondering what the JGG did for Blue Earth. I’ve driven past the JGG several times, but I would be hard pressed to tell you exactly where it’s located, and I certainly haven’t associated it with Blye Earth. Beautiful area, though.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Kelly grew up outside of Fairmont, which is a few miles from Blue Earth. There was a JGG canning factory in Blue Earth.

        From, “Jolly Green Giant was once a major canning company in Blue Earth. But the statue is in town because of radio station owner Paul Hedberg. In the 1970s, Hedberg realized that Interstate 90 construction would mean less traffic for Blue Earth.”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. So it was basically meant to be advertising for the company. Doesn’t surprise me, that’s exactly how I perceived it when I saw it. Less obnoxious than a billboard, I must say, but not exactly a work of art.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Green Giant was for a while one of the companies General Mills owned but they sold it and some other company owns it but it has been many years since that Green Giant has had anything to do with a canning company in Blue Earth.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. The big controversy in St. Paul at the moment is about a bike path on Summit Ave. Area residents are up in arms about it. There’s already a bike path on Summit, but the new plan calls for making it separate from the roadway. In the process of rerouting it, many of the beautiful old trees along Summit will be destroyed, by some estimates, hundreds of them. I don’t personally have a dog in this fight, but while I heartily encourage bike riding and much, much better bike paths, there has got to be a better way than taking down or endangering these trees.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. There is a National Bobblehead Museum in Wisconsin. Might be fun to see. I have a vintage Bobblehead called a Watergate bug, which is sitting on my desk and bobs away amiably there. Got it for a nickel at a garage sale. Watergate bugs were not professionally manufactured – mine looks like something someone put together in their basement. I was curious whether the museum might be interested in a donation, and e-mailed them, but they did not respond.

    Liked by 2 people

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