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About the Weekly Snapshot
The Weekly Snapshot showcases the best of architecture, landscapes, people and history of American cities and counties.
Each Friday, a photograph depicting a local scene will be selected to appear on our Web site. At the end of the month, one photo will be selected to print in American City & County magazine.
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Guess Who's Reading American City & CountyA sharp-eyed reporter at the recent National League of Cities Congress of Cities snapped this image of Santa looking for chimney infrastructure information. Photo courtesy of Dave “the Elf” Gibson.
Holiday DancersThe Torrington, Conn., Holiday Tree Lighting & Light Up Main Street celebration included these colorful ballerinas from the city's Nutmeg Ballet Company. The dancers were preparing for a performance of the Nutcracker.
And now — the cleanupNew York City sanitation workers prepare for cleaning operations after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Workers used hand brooms, leaf blowers and a mechanized broom to remove tons of litter last month after the annual celebration.
Repairing a sinkholeWhen a 70-foot deep sinkhole appeared in the Brooklyn section of New York City last summer, emergency crews from the city's Department of Environmental Protection worked to repair the damage. The crews installed 120-inch diameter pipe from Hobas Pipe USA and returned the sewer to service.
Beautiful ButterflySanta Clarita, Calif., installed its newest art piece, a representation of a butterfly titled "The Western Tiger Swallowtail." The piece by artist LT Mustardseed is constructed entirely from steel recycled parts. The piece will be a permanent fixture in front of the city's Central Park as part of the Common Spaces: Art in Public Places campaign.
Celtic FestivalDavenport, Iowa's annual Celtic Festival includes a rough-and-tumble match by the Quad City Irish Rugby Club. The club has been playing rugby in Davenport for more than 50 years. The city created this river front site in Centennial Park that has become home for rugby players during the Celtic Festival. Photo taken by Seve Ghose.
In a tight spotFirefighters from the Saint Paul and Edina, Minn., fire departments rescue a dummy from the bottom of the drive chamber at Saint Paul Regional Water Services treatment plant. The maneuver was part of a training exercise on working in confined space. The photograph was taken by Jodi Wallin, Public Information Officer for Saint Paul Regional Water Services.
Early VotingMarion County, Ind., Clerk Beth White helps Warren Central High School seniors complete a mock ballot. The yVote! program, launched in 2008, gives students a hands-on demonstration of the county's voting equipment and educates them on the election process. Over the last four years, White has visited 27 public, private and charter high schools and registered more than 2,500 students to vote.
Let All The Children PlayThe new Let All The Children Play playground in East Meadow, N.Y., is designed to allow children of different physical and mental abilities, including those in wheelchairs, to play together. The two-acre playground was developed by the Nassau County Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums in partnership with the Let All The Children Play Foundation, and designed by Patchogue, N.Y.-based BBS Architects.
On the move in AshevilleThis photo captures an Asheville, N.C., Transit bus at dusk on Clingman Avenue, which connects downtown to the city’s thriving River Arts District and unique West Asheville neighborhoods. On the far side of the road is a new bicycle climbing lane and new streetscaping. The photo was taken on a Nikon D90 by Philip Kleisler, business services manager in the Asheville, N.C., city manager’s office.
Published Sept. 7, 2012
Out of the blueSt. Cloud, Minn., recently converted its regional wastewater treatment facility from using chlorine gas to disinfect treated water to using an ultraviolet light (UV) system. The UV system is inserted in the channel that treated water flows through, and it has the capacity to treat 18 million gallons per day. It results in no disinfection byproducts entering the Mississippi River, and is safer for staff and area residents than the previous chlorine process. The picture shows the system in operation. Photo submitted by Patrick Shea, director of public services.
Published Aug. 31, 2012
For the love of golfSix-time Major Champion Nick Faldo and Charlie Rymer conducted a golf clinic for The First Tee of Raritan Valley this week at the new TaylorMade Performance Lab at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, N.J. Galloping Hill Golf Course is owned by Union County, N.J., and managed by KemperSports. The county, TaylorMade and KemperSports have turned the popular municipal golf course into a modern, 27-hole teaching facility. In the photo, Matt Biancamano, age 15, from Metuchen, N.J., gets swing instruction from Faldo as Charlie Rymer and other First Tee participants watch. Photo courtesy of Galloping Hill Golf Course.
Published Aug. 24, 2012
On the right tracksCourier Place Apartment Homes opened in Claremont, Calif., in January on a 3.4-acre infill site adjacent to the city's Metrolink Commuter Rail station. The city provided $4.91 million for the $21.3 million development and was involved in the design, entitlement and construction. Additional public funding came from the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission, which provided $2.75 million in financing. Built by Jamboree Housing Corp., the 75-unit workforce housing project just received its LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Photo by juantallo.com.
Published Aug. 17, 2012
The Olympic spiritOn July 13, 17 members of the Salem, Ore., Police Department participated in the annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run. Law enforcement officers throughout the state take turns carrying the torch as it makes its way to the Oregon Special Olympic Games. The runners set out on an 11-mile run through town and were joined for a portion of the run through historic downtown Salem by Special Olympian Matt Annal. The run garnered local attention via Twitter as the department micro-messaged the community with photos and updates. Consequently, Salemites set up at spots through town to cheer for the runners. Photo by Angie Hedrick, community relations analyst, Salem Police Department Crime Prevention Unit.
Published Aug. 10, 2012
Making connectionsThe International Bridge in Rancho Cordova has been named the 2012 Transportation Project of the Year by the Sacramento Chapter of the American Public Works Association. Completed in 2011, the bridge is the largest infrastructure project in the city since it incorporated in 2003. It crosses federally owned Folsom South Canal and provides a bypass to Highway 50 between Sunrise Boulevard and Mather Field Road. The bridge project also included bicycle and pedestrian passageways and improvements at the International Drive intersections with Kilgore Road and Sunrise Boulevard. This photo was submitted by Ashley Downton, administrative secretary for the city.
Published Aug. 3, 2012
Just another day at the officeJim Baker Reservoir is a 955 acre-foot exchange reservoir located in Arvada, Colo. Owned and operated by Westminster, Colo., the reservoir stores exchange water for Clear Creek and provides passive recreation opportunities for residents of Adams County, including a pedestrian and bike path around the reservoir, shoreline fishing and picnic areas. Bob Krugmire, water resources engineer for Westminster, took this panoramic photograph on July 26, 2012.
Published July 27, 2012
Clear, cool mountain lakeGreen Lake, located in the mountains west of Denver in Clear Creek County, Colo., was reconstructed in 2010 to provide high altitude water storage for the nearby municipality of Black Hawk and the county. The project tripled the water storage capacity of the Clear Creek County Water Bank. This photo was taken in June by Bert Weaver, director of community development for the county, while working at the lake with Lisa Leben, special projects division director.
Published July 20, 2012
Time to hit the beachFort Lauderdale, Fla., attracts thousands of visitors each summer to its beaches. This month, Eloise Pennington, warehouse coordinator for Fort Myers, Fla., was one of them. She submitted this photo, which was taken while on vacation in the sunny city. Published June 29, 2012
Living historyOn June 15, the Torrington, Conn., Police Department held a car show to raise money for its D.A.R.E. program, which teaches children skills to live drug- and violence-free lives. The police department has eight officers who lead the 17-week program in grammar, middle and high schools. Martin Connor, Torrington city planner, submitted this photo of some of the Model T cars parked in front of Torrington's City Hall.
Published June 25, 2012
Dancing in the streetsLast month, Santa Clarita, Calif., residents gathered in the city's historic Old Town Newhall district for a Toga party, organized as part of the city's "Senses on Main Street" monthly block parties. Each event has a different theme and showcases live music, entertainment, interactive art activities, gourmet food trucks, and adult drinks. For more about the events and more photos, read "New life in Old Town."
Published June 18, 2012
Chase the rainbowAfter a spring rain last week, this rainbow appeared over Saint Paul, Minn. Jodi Wallin, who works in public information for Saint Paul Regional Water Services, captured this image, showing the Wabasha Street Bridge and the city's Nice Ride free bike sharing bikes in the foreground.
Published June 11, 2012
A place for reflectionThis photo of the palm trees lining the driveway to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Fla., was submitted by Jerry Britt, who works next door at the University of Florida's Indian River Research and Education Center. The laboratory conducts research related to several objectives, including developing new control methods for insect pests of citrus and other subtropical fruits, vegetables and ornamentals; and understanding the impact of horticultural crop production on water quality and water conservation.
Published June 4, 2012
We can be heroesThis month, the Newark, N.J., Police Department observed National Police Week with a display of crime-fighting technology. Batman and his Batmobile (a modified Camaro), the department’s Scuba Unit, and its Segway appeared at the event. National Peace Officer Day was created by federal legislation and signed into law by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Since then, it has been observed every year as National Police Week, to honor all law enforcement officers on the week of May 15. In this photo taken by B. Jones for the Newark Press Information Office, Batman greets Newark residents, ages 6 and 8. Officer Gennaro Ortiz, who plays the role of Batman, was named Essex County Officer of the Year by Essex County for 2012.
Published May 29, 2012
Take a walk in the parkYreka, Calif., last month celebrated the completion of a new pedestrian bridge in its largest park. The bridge was installed as part of the city’s Greenhorn Creek Floodplain Restoration and Trails Project, which also included widening the creek’s floodplain and repairing another bridge over the creek. The project was funded by four different organizations/agencies and contributions from a number of other groups. Benjamin Matts, project assistant for the city, submitted this photograph.
Published May 21, 2012
Ride for those who diedOn May 9, more than 200 bicycling police officers participating in the 16th annual Police Unity Tour visited the Newark, N.J., Police Memorial on their way from Ground Zero in New York to Washington, D.C. The officers came from across the nation, the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada, and Australia to raise awareness of and funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum. Here, bikers head out from Newark after visiting the memorial. This week, May 13-19, 2012, is National Police Week, a collaborative effort of many organizations dedicated to honoring America's law enforcement community. In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
Published May 14, 2012
A real Texas party
Mesquite, Texas, hosted the 6th annual "Real. Texas. Festival." April 27-28 with headline entertainment by country music artist Pat Green. At one point during the concert, the crowd showered the stage with green glow necklaces. The festival, which attracted 30,000 attendees, also included a car show, a barbecue cook-off, indoor rodeo, eating contests and a midway.
Published May 4, 2012
Now it's our turn to care for the treesTigard, Ore., Mayor Craig Dirksen visited with students at a middle school to celebrate Arbor Day. The students are holding paper mustaches to resemble the main character in Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax." Photo sent by Kent Wyatt, senior management analyst for Tigard.
Published April 27, 2012
Celebrating Earth Day
Winter Park, Fla., and Rollins College presented Earth Day in the Park on Saturday, April 21, in the city's Central Park. The event showcased how the city and the college are making the community more sustainable. It included educational workshops focused on recycling, native landscaping, growing organic food and awareness of endangered species. Music was provided by the Rollins College Music Department and WPRK, the college radio station. The city’s Forestry Division demonstrated how to plant a tree with a 25-foot tall Live Oak, and it gave away trees for residents to plant at home. The photo shows Heather Henson's Ibex Puppetry Parade entertaining attendees.
Published April 23, 2012
Halloween night on the Metro
To complement the National Building Museum's exhibit "LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition," ZGF Architects recreated a section of Washington's Metro transit system in miniature. The designers not only displayed the versatility of the toy bricks in their creation, they exhibited their creativity by depicting "a typical Halloween night on the Metro, when a rider experiences all sorts of scary characters and situations from the train platform up the escalator and to the street beyond." The National Building Museum's LEGO® exhibit, which also includes models of 15 of the world’s most iconic buildings, is on view through Labor Day, Sept. 3, 2012.
Published April 16, 2012
Erick Gill, public information officer for St. Lucie County, Fla., captured a shot of this rainbow over the Fort Pierce Inlet in between afternoon thunderstorms blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean.
Published April 5, 2012
Up on the roof
In February, Minneapolis completed installation of 429 solar panels on the roof of its Royalston Maintenance Facility, located near Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins (shown in background). The project is one of six new solar installations on publicly owned Minneapolis buildings that either produce electricity or provide hot water. They are all located in the Energy Innovation Corridor, which showcases energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and smart technology along the new Central Corridor light rail line. The solar projects were funded by Department of Energy grants – from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – and Xcel Energy rebates. Photo submitted by the Minneapolis Communications Department.
Published April 2, 2012
Heroes being heroes
On March 11, firefighters from across the country, Canada and Germany participated in the 2012 Scott Firefighter Stairclimb at Columbia Center in Seattle. More than 1,500 firefighters representing 291 departments climbed 69 flights of stairs to the top of the Columbia Center wearing 60 to 80 pounds of gear. Everett, Wash., firefighters donated their time, and as a team raised $17,729.64 for charity to fight blood cancers. Photo by: Everett Fire Fighters, City of Everett.
Published March 23, 2012
On March 15, 2012, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker hosted a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron at City Hall. The mayor and the prime minister discussed Newark’s economic development, public safety programs, and prisoner reentry initiatives. In addition, the leaders discussed public safety and education. After the meeting, the two leaders took a walking tour of the downtown area, visiting local businesses. In this photo by Newark City Photographer Anthony Alvarez, Police Director Samuel DeMaio and Police Chief Sheilah Coley share information about crime-fighting strategies and technologies with the British Prime Minister and the mayor. The four discussed the Newark Police Department’s community roll calls, police clergy-alliances, prisoner reentry initiatives, youth truancy, and innovative community/youth court programs.
Published March 16, 2012
Golden justiceThe Rockingham County, N.C., Justice Center received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification in January from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 175,400-square-foot building contains court facilities, accommodations for the county’s law enforcement departments, and a 300-bed detention facility for minimum- and maximum-security detainees. Richmond, Va.-based Moseley Architects designed the building, and Roanoke, Va.-based Branch & Associates served as general contractor.
Published March 9, 2012
Mayor flips for kids
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, Mesquite, Texas, Mayor John Monaco helped cook pancakes at a local IHOP as part of the restaurant's National Pancake Day Celebration. The event aimed to raise $4,000 for the local Shriners Hospitals for Children. The mayor also met with the restaurant's General Manager Julio Dominguez and other members of the management group that oversees many IHOPs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They presented the mayor with a framed letter of thanks for his assistance over the last year.
Published March 2, 2012
The Great Hall of Everett Station
This month, Everett, Wash., celebrated the 10th anniversary of its multi-modal, multi-use Everett Station. The 64,000-square-foot building is home to Amtrak, Greyhound, Sound Transit (buses serving the Puget Sound region), Community Transit, Everett Transit and The Sounder Train (commuter train). The building also includes bike lockers and racks, a community room available for rentals of all types (weddings, funerals, celebrations) as well as a job resource center. At the time of the opening, Everett Station also was home to a four-year university consortium that included the major public universities in Washington. For more history about the station, visit HistoryLink. Photo of the station's Great Hall by Kate Reardon, Everett public information director.
Published Feb. 24, 2012
Helping those in need
Rancho Cordova, Calif., employees regularly participate in fundraising, and their most recent efforts focus on helping Customer Service Specialist Evelyn Richardson's 3-year-old granddaughter Bevin. Bevin was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, which affects her hips, knees, and left ankle, causing her to walk with a limp, and requiring daily medication and weekly injections. City employees are collecting recyclable plastic bottles and soda cans to raise money for the family's team in the Arthritis Foundation's Arthritis Walk in Sacramento in May. Money raised for the walk goes toward finding a cure for the disease. To date, the family's team has raised $1,260, $255.42 of which is from recycling. To learn more about Bevin, visit the family's blog, and for more about the city's fundraising efforts, visit the city's website. Photo by Ashley Downton, Rancho Cordova administrative secretary.
Published Feb. 21, 2012
Lighting the way to the Capitol
In January, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, the National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall hosted a lighting ceremony for 174 LED lights on the National Mall in Washington. The bulbs and the retrofit kits needed to install them in the historic bronze streetlamps replaced high intensity discharge and compact fluorescent lighting with solid-state lighting. The lights, donated by OSRAM SYLVANIA and installed pro bono by Pepco, the electric utility that serves the city, will reduce energy use for the streetlamps by up to 65 percent and are expected to last 25 years. For more information about efforts to restore the National Mall, visit the Trust for the National Mall website.
Published Feb. 7, 2012
'Yankee' library returns book to its 'Confederate' home
Cathy Vollbrecht, public information administrator for Stafford County, Va., sent in this photo of a 220-year-old court ledger that was returned to the county in December 2011 after it had been missing for 150 years. The ledger — an "order book" transcribed in 1791 that describes the activities of the Stafford County Court from 1749 through 1758 — was removed from the Stafford Courthouse by a Union soldier during the Civil War, according to a hand-written note on the inside cover of the ledger. It eventually made its way to the Jersey City Free Public Library's New Jersey Room, where the room's assistant manager recognized that the book was inconsistent with the library's collection policy and contacted the Library of Virginia to arrange for its return. The volume is being scanned, microfilmed and conserved by archivists at the Library of Virginia, where it will remain.
Published Jan. 30, 2012
Designed for action
The East Oakland Sports Center in Oakland, Calif., opened last summer, replacing an outdated facility in an existing park. The 25,000-square-foot facility includes a natatorium, a dance and aerobics studio, a fitness center, locker rooms, and a learning/media center. The building was designed by Berkeley, Calif.-based ELS Architecture and Urban Design to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver specifications. Photo by David Wakely.
Published Jan. 20, 2012