Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Journalism Article: Residents fight to keep 70th safe

By :Joey Stych
Slug: Arnesonpkwy

Recent highway construction in Edina has funneled cars off of highway 100 and onto 70th street, dividing the community between those who want convenience and those who value safety.

A group of 70th Street residents have come together in an attempt to save the dignity of the neighborhood, and to help keep their children safe. These citizens hope to recreate 70th Street as Arneson Parkway, increasing the appeal and safety of the neighborhood.

Though 70th Street has always been filled with commuters, it recently became more dangerous because of increasing speeds of passing cars and the rise in the number of cars using the street due to construction on Highways 100 and 62. Most traffic is headed to the heart of Edina, near Southdale shopping mall and the Galleria.

“I would love to be able to get out of my driveway faster,” said Virginia Ma, a senior at Edina High School and resident of 70th Street who feels blocked in by traffic. “So many people speed by Cornelia every day.”

Parents are becoming uneasy about letting their children cross the street alone and also worry about their childrens’ trip home from Cornelia Elementary School, which is on 70th.

“When school gets out, speed violations always seem to be at their worst,” said Cornelia parent Josh Sprauge, “but we have ideas that will help to improve neighborhood conditions.”

Sprauge is not only a concerned parent but also the head of The Greater West 70th Street Homeowners Association. The board of 70th residents seeks not only the improvement of street conditions, but also better enforcement of speed limits and increased signage on highways to inform drivers of alternate routes to the Southdale area.

“The city needs to eliminate state aid for 70th so that we are able to decrease the speed limit in the area. But this is only one of many options we have in slowing cars down,” Sprauge said.

State aid on 70th is financial help Edina receives as a way of repairing city roads. Because the road is funded by the state, 70th is also under the state laws for speed limits.

Sprauge also said the board is looking into adding more crosswalks and stoplights to Arneson as possible solutions to the speeding problem.

Making these changes would not only affect the residents of 70th Street, but also the people who use it.

“I use 70th Street three or four times a week to get to work, and construction would make it very difficult to get there on time,” said senior Kate Kincaid, who works at Creative Kidstuff and rushes from school to reach the Galleria on time.

The current speed limit on 70th is 30 mph, but according to Ma this is “loosely followed.” She also predicted that with a decrease to 25 mph and the increased monitoring of the law, traffic would come to a standstill.

“Even though construction would be hurtful to the community at that time, families could really benefit from Arneson Parkway in the future,” said Ma.

The Greater West 70th Street Homeowners Association already mapped out this change, but Sprauge said: “This will not be possible overnight, or without the support of the city.”

Sprauge and his cohorts began their movement at Edina City Hall and have provided city leaders with a letter stating the purpose of Arneson Parkway and the changes that need to happen for it to be possible.

“I think that building Arneson Parkway would slow things down for everyone,” said Kincaid: “But it’s worth it. 70th is ridiculous.”

The next meeting of the Greater West 70th Street Homeowners Association is at 6:00 PM on November 13. For More information, including the meeting location, visit the association’s website at www.save70th.org.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Zephyrant

The front page of Zephyrus is not at all appealing or very journalistic. First of all, the I-35W bridge story is not timely in the least, and no one at Edina really cares anymore seeing as it doesn't affect their daily lives at all. Also, the second story about Thanksgiving charities was NOT front page news, seeing as there was no controversy, excitement, or new information. This article seemed very biased, and the big thing that made me mad was that the author couldn't even get their acronyms right. The article says "Volunteers Enlisted to Help People (VEAP)" and last time I checked, VEHP is not the same as VEAP. The charity is actually called Volunteers Enlisted to Assist People, and it amazes me that the editors and the author were unable to catch this mistake.

Next is the first of two articles written about the same subject: the new cigarettes that are targeted at women. Even though these articles are written differently, they could have been grouped in to one objective article. Also, I feel like these articles were written to "make up" for the sexist article in the last issue, which I will discuss later.

The illegal music article was very relevant to the students of Edina, but it was written horribly and without quotes. This would have been a great place to get student input on the subject but the paper just didn't find it necessary to the article.

The article about the girls only gym class and the boys only english class started with a generalization that was very concerning to read and turned me off from the article in the first sentence. Also, the Zephyrus date piece was worthless and a waste of space.

I really enjoyed the way that the classroom pets article was written, and also the teacher coaches article because they were well written and I felt like I actually learned something about the people who have an impact in my life. Overall they were great articles to read, however the rant about Jerry Seinfeld wasn't a good read, and the entire opinion piece clashes with another story about the Bee Movie opening. Also, why should I care about her opinion of Jerry Seinfeld, and why should he care about her? The other article on the page was the dominating perspective article, which to me was hard to read and lazy, seeing as more than half the story was quotes.

I thought that the central article of this issue was terrible. I found it extremely difficult to read partly because of the colors, and also because of the fact that the articles were not tilted clearly. However, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the articles on this page except for the one about the 90s fads. I didn't like this article mostly because the author used "I" throughout the whole thing, which most people learned not to do in 6th grade, and also because his opening was cliche.

The freedom of speech article was just uninteresting, period. Everyone knows that we have freedom of speech and no one cares or thinks about it, and this article doesn't make me care about it. The response to the letter written to the editor was just a bad move in general. I'll admit that it was good that the editors took some responsibility, but at the same time the article sounded like they just didn't care about what the reader thought and insisted that it was a tasteful article. I don't understand how something like this could get past a board of female editors and cause this much commotion.

Finally, the back page of this paper is just horrible, because they tried to be funny and failed miserably. With the silhouettes the writers said that the answers were "on the back" but the answers were never provided. Is this their Idea of a joke? The first part of the Soulja Boy article was very vivid, interesting, and fun to read, but once it got to the steps I gave up reading because the wording was so difficult to understand.

overall, I think that Zephyrus really needs to work harder on their stories, and learn how to edit their paper. I just read over this whole paper, and it took less than a hour, how hard could it be for them when they have a class period every day to do it?