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Dear Santa: Please bring us a new library -- and bookstore

Dear Shirley, It was bound to happen. The proposal of a new library and the threatened demise of book stores in Grand Forks have been weighing heavily on our minds. The other night, I was dreaming there was a beautiful new Grand Forks Public Libr...

Dear Shirley,

It was bound to happen. The proposal of a new library and the threatened demise of book stores in Grand Forks have been weighing heavily on our minds. The other night, I was dreaming there was a beautiful new Grand Forks Public Library in the same general Academic Gothic style of architecture of UND buildings, and it was located on the old Leever's lot. The site was very visible and fairly easy to access from all parts of the city. And right beside it, there was a Barnes & Noble bookstore with a nice coffee shop and soda fountain. I guess I got the Barnes & Noble thought from reading Ralph Kingsbury on the Herald business page.

He really would like to see Barnes & Noble in Grand Forks. And for good reason.

It could be any good bookstore, Shirley. After all, this is Grand Forks. I like to think we lead. We do not follow other cities. After all, we are the University City. Education is the biggest business in this town. We need to have at least one good bookstore.

I really don't know what the recommendations will be for location of a new library -- or if there will be a new library. The library consultants are planning to make their views on location known in the spring. Right now, plenty of people feel distressed at the thought of bookstore closings in Grand Forks.

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And as far as I am concerned, the public library should be the heart and soul of the community.

I usually don't get worked up about community issues. I figure the general sentiment will prevail, Shirley. But I have been attending meetings of the library board and some of the meetings of the task force headed by John Hovey. Susan Mickelson as library board president has been doing a fine job of leading the library through the installation of the new director, Wendy Wentz, and the process of planning for the future.

I think in a city like Grand Forks we get more involved in community issues than is possible for people in big cities such as Tucson. Here in Grand Forks, your voice can be heard.

And by the way, I watched with dismay as your Arizona Cardinals dismantled the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. I don't know if this will be a permanent dismantling or just a setback on the road. I know you watch golf all the time, Shirley. Do you watch football?

We escaped the snow and blizzard conditions this week, but we have been dealing with a blast of cold air. I mean really cold, and the dog hates going outside. She didn't even chase a huge cottontail rabbit the other morning.

Still, the excitement of the Christmas season surrounds us. Christmas cards are arriving each day. The stores are busy with shoppers in spite of the times. We know there are more people this year in need of shelter and food. There are people ringing bells for the Salvation Army all over town. At Columbia Mall the other day, I heard an elderly gentleman explain to a bell ringer that he just gave at the last kettle he passed.

I guess you would call that "North Dakota nice."

Tonight, the Moscow Ballet will perform the Great Russian Nutcracker at the Chester Fritz Auditorium. It will use some local children as dancers. And Santa and his elves have set up a workshop that opens today with games and music in Lincoln Park Clubhouse. It will run this weekend and next weekend and on weekdays by appointment. Some people I know have been holding club meetings and bridge clubs over there.

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Members of the local Lions Clubs are tending their display called Christmas in the Park. People can go over to Lincoln Drive Park and see the displays as they drive their cars through for $5.

I trust you have lots of lights and glitter, too, in the desert. Do they do a lot of decorating at Tucson Estates?

Love from your sister Marilyn, trying to find time to see the movie "The Blind Side."

P.S. It's a long time since I have heard so many talk so favorably about one movie.

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.

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