Tuesday Council Highlights: Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge Gets an Enthusiastic Sendoff, Library Park Gets a New Name, Social Media Gets Reviewed and a Bike Park is Proposed

It was only fitting that a Redding City Council meeting that started with an announcement of the Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge would speed along and cover a lot of ground.

That was the case Tuesday as one of the first orders of business involved Mayor Brent Weaver and Ryan Schuppert, vice president of the Redding Trail Alliance, teaming up to introduce the Challenge.

(Details of the challenge, which starts today, can be found here)

Ryan Schuppert helps unveil the Mayor's Mountain Bike Challenge.

Ryan Schuppert helps unveil the Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge. Photos by Jon Lewis.

Schuppert screened a short video that showed why Redding, with its urban network of trails tied to the Sacramento River and its surrounding countryside laced with single-track, is a perfect fit for the Challenge.

The friendly competition is intended to boost tourism by showcasing Redding’s bike-friendly surroundings to snowbound riders and encourage locals to take advantage of the ample resources, Schuppert said.

“There’s just no reason why Redding is not in the top 10 on every healthy city list” with such an abundance of recreation opportunities, Councilwoman Francie Sullivan said.

The Challenge is a team effort.

The Challenge is a team effort.

Weaver, an avid mountain bike rider, encouraged fellow riders to join him for a social event at 5 p.m. Thursday at Maxwell’s Eatery, 1344 Market St. in downtown Redding. Volunteers with Shasta Living Streets will provide secure valet parking for bicycles.

Prior to introducing the Challenge, Weaver surprised Brian Sindt, a project manager with the McConnell Foundation, with a special recognition for his work in developing bike trails in the Swasey Recreation Area, around Keswick Reservoir and along Clear Creek.

Mayor Brent Weaver, left, and Brian Sindt.

Mayor Brent Weaver, left, and Brian Sindt.

In other action Tuesday, the council:

Bike Park

–Listened to a proposal from Jamie Lynn to develop a bike park in Caldwell Park. Featuring chutes, ramps, ladders, jumps and undulations for bicyclists of all ages and abilities, the park would be located adjacent to the Sacramento River Trail between the Aquatic Center and North Market Street.

Lynn, a developer, said the facility would attract outdoor enthusiasts and families, promote fitness and clean up what has become a seedy section of the popular park. Best of all, he said, it could be built without tax dollars. “A lot of people want to see this happen,” he said.

The idea will be reviewed today at 4 p.m. by the Community Services Advisory Commission.

Science Bowl

–Heard a report from Redding Electric Utility’s Matt Madison on the 20th annual Redding
Regional Science Bowl, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Simpson University.

The Science Bowl is a math- and science-related question-and-answer competition involving high school and middle school teams from eight north state counties. This year’s contest, “the biggest and brightest so far,” Madison said, has attracted 30 high school teams from 15 schools and 18 middle school teams.

Winning teams from both grade levels will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy, to compete in the National Science Bowl in late April. “The kids will impress and amaze you,” Madison promised.

Library Park’s new name

–Voted 5-0 to accept a recommendation from the Community Services Advisory Commission and change the name of Library Park to Carnegie Park. The park, located behind the Lorenz Hotel, was established 115 years ago to complement the Carnegie Library, which opened in 1903.

In a report to the council, Community Services Director Kim Niemer said the Carnegie Library remained in use until the Shasta County Library on West Street was built in 1962. After a couple years of debate, the council voted to demolish the Carnegie Library building in 1965.

The Carnegie Library opened in 1903 and was demolished in 1965. Photo courtesy Shasta Historical Society.

The Carnegie Library opened in 1903 and was demolished in 1965. Photo courtesy Shasta Historical Society.

That demolition left Library Park without a library, Niemer said. While the park itself continues to play a key role in downtown Redding, many people associated with it said some confusion has surfaced in connection with its name.

“With construction of the Redding Library on Parkview Avenue, some have begun to associate South City Park with the library facility. For some, the name Library Park without a library is confusing,” Niemer’s report says.

The name change has the support of the Shasta Historical Society, Niemer said, and the society is interested in working with the city to create a plaque that will educate park visitors about the history of the site and the library that once was.

Social Media

–Heard a report from Matt Morgan of Optimize Worldwide, who for the past year has been shepherding the city into the brave new world of social media.

Matt Morgan reviews the city's social media program.

Matt Morgan reviews the city’s social media program.

Deputy City Manager Greg Clark said the city’s use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the neighborhood-specific Nextdoor.com Web site has allowed it to get important and timely messages to the public. Traffic on the social media platforms has steadily increased, he said.

As an example, Clark said the city issued 30 traditional press releases in 2016. So far in 2017, the city has issued 10 press releases, but has sent out an additional 50 messages via social media. Topics have included meetings on the Blueprint for Public Safety, the Redding Area Bus Authority’s “Beach Bus” service to Whiskeytown Lake and water conservation updates.

The city’s one-year, $24,000 contract with Morgan’s company has reached its end. The work completed included a review of the city’s resources, analysis of its existing social media efforts, meetings and training sessions, and development of 17 different social media sites on six different platforms.

With the groundwork now in place, Clark recommended the council continue utilizing Optimize Worldwide’s services and suggested that question be brought up during a priority-setting workshop scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 22 in the council chambers.

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
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