View and comment on plans for City’s future at open house

  • Celebrate how planning benefits the community

How do you get to work or school?  Where do you live?  Where do you shop?  Many citizens do not realize that these decisions are all impacted by planning.

October has been designated National Community Planning Month by the American Planning Association (APA), and proclaimed such by the Pine City council, as a way to highlight the role of planners and planning in our community. This year’s theme is “Changing Face of America”; it reflects on how planners help envision the future and address the needs of communities, planning for a more dynamic population.

The month-long celebration is an opportunity to recognize how planning shapes Pine City, and the work of planners and the planning profession in creating communities of lasting value.

Residents of Pine City are invited to celebrate National Community Planning Month in coincidence with events held across the country by attending an open house October 23, 2012 from 5:30 – 6:30 P.M. at City Hall’s Council Chambers (in the Pine Government Center, 315 Main Street S.).  At the open house, one can review draft documents of the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan; as well as meet local planning commissioners and learn how to get involved in local planning efforts.   Immediately following, the Planning Commission will hold their regular meeting.

Planning is the process of envisioning, mapping or otherwise conceiving how a community will look, grow, and define itself—its characteristics, attributes, and identity. As our communities continue to change and grow, planners play an important role in ensuring that new developments are designed and built in harmony with existing surroundings. Planners must carefully balance the needs and desires of residents against the challenges presented by growth and change not just in the physical realm, but also economically and socially.

Planning also strives to give residents choices.  From the type of home an individual lives in, such as a condominium, apartment, town home or single-family, to how an individual gets around, whether taking mass transit, walking, bicycling or driving, planning helps ensure communities address the needs of everyone.

“It’s important to realize that planners are more than just those in the profession,” said Nathan Johnson, Pine City’s city planner.  “Early city planning provided a good framework, aspects of the community people still enjoy.  Today, our commissioners and many in the community at a grass roots level are making significant contributions to planning for Pine City’s future.”

Johnson said the City will recognize one such individual as “Citizen Planner”, Jessica Paulson, at the event.  Additionally, due to their improved appearance, Chris’ Food Center and the home at 925 3rd Avenue SW will be recognized.  To learn more about National Community Planning Month, visit

The American Planning Association represents more than 44,000 members including professional planners, academics, business leaders, students, and engaged citizens. APA advocates for good planning practices to keep communities safe, healthy, and prosperous.


Tackle cancer with the Dragons Oct. 17

This fall, football teams from across the state have been doing what they can to tackle cancer.  Among them is Pine City High School who is trying to make a difference on Wednesday, Oct. 17 during the final regular season game.

In a partnership with the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund, the school has chosen to sponsor a “Tackle Cancer” night, where fans attending the game can make donations toward funding additional cancer research.  Each of the teams that have participated in a Tackle Cancer game have had a reason to get involved, but for Pine City high school, it’s deeply personal having just lost a former teammate, Derek Rootkie, to cancer.

Rootkie, No. 56, passed away on Sept. 8, 2012, after a courageous battle with leukemia, at just 18 year’s old.   His diagnosis came just shy of six months prior, in March, and the town pulled together for him in a myriad of ways after finding out—from various fundraisers to displays of his jersey number on vehicles, store windows and yard signs.

Besides football, Rootkie played other sports, excelled at drums and was into activities such as demolition derbies and hunting.  Despite being in the midst of intensive treatment, Rootkie was able to walk with his graduating class at the spring graduation ceremony.

“There are many, many families in our football program and in our community who have been affected in some way, shape or form by cancer,” said Pine City Activities Director Bill Christianson. “I think Pine City having a tackle cancer event is a great way to honor and recognize those families near and dear to our hearts in Pine City and across the state who have been affected by cancer.  We want to do what we can to help out.”

For the past 29 years, Shaver has covered Minnesota high school football for KARE- TV.  He and his wife are both cancer survivors.  The Shavers’ foundation has raised more than $4 million in the battle against cancer to date.

With assistance from the Minnesota Football Coaches Association (MFCA), over 140 Minnesota High School football teams have chosen to take part in the inaugural fundraiser.   The initial goal was to raise roughly $20,000 for the fight against cancer, but the grand total will likely far exceed that.  The foundation received over $7,000 from just the first 10 teams taking part.

The upcoming, Great Polar Alliance game at Pine City High School between the Agates of Two Harbors and the Pine City Dragons kicks off at 7 p.m. and will give everyone from the area an opportunity to donate to the Tackle Cancer initiative.   There will be collection boxes at the Pine City campus throughout the week and a “big, visible presence” at the Agates vs. Dragons football game, according to Christianson.

“We’ll take cash, checks, nickels, pennies, dimes – anything we can get,” he said. “We know it’s a tough economy right now, but whatever people can give is great.  Little-by little we can do big things hopefully.”