Area Briefs 9/12/13

Google Maps program coming locally

Google’s certified photographer is scheduled to bring the newest Google Maps expansion to Stillwater and surrounding areas later this month.
The new program brings the popular Google “Street View” technology inside local businesses, and the photographer is seeking Stillwater-area businesses to participate.
Google has been mapping the world for nearly a decade now, from above and at the street level. Now they want to map the inside of the world’s public access places by bringing the Street View technology from the street into and throughout small businesses, parks, venues, malls and campus buildings. Private living spaces as well as other facilities that contain sensitive private information are not included nor allowed to be captured for the program.
Google wants to give people using smart phones and other devices a visual look inside businesses to help them decide if it is the place, products, ambiance or environment they seek. The best way to accomplish this is to provide a Google Virtual Tour that is accessed right in Google Search and Google Maps, so they added this feature to Google Maps.
Equipped with portable Street View camera equipment, Google’s photographers begin outside and moving in 15 foot increments, work their way through the front door and continue in and throughout the public sections of the business, capturing a series of 360-degree high-resolution images. The process is streamlined and non-intrusive and only takes about 30 to 60 minutes on site. The resulting “Google Virtual Tour” becomes a permanent part of Google Search, Google Maps, Street View, and the businesses’ Google Place page.
Restaurants, boutiques, galleries, dental-professional offices, eye care centers, automotive showrooms, kitchen-and-bath showrooms, hotels, resorts, as well as colleges and universities are welcome to participate.
There is no charge for the hosting and 24/7 exposure, however there is a small one-time fee for the initial photography and publishing work.
Business interested in participating must sign right away as space is limited. Go to

Lunn to speak on levy

LAKE ELMO — Independent School District 834 Superintendent Corey Lunn speaks on “Levy 2013: Investing in Excellence,” at 6:30 p.m. at the Lake Elmo Public Library.
Lunn will discuss and answer questions about the operating levy renewal referendum on the Nov. 5 ballot. When combined with a new funding tool created by the 2013 state legislature, the levy will generate $16.2 million, equal to a five percent increase in the district’s budget.
Visit or call 651-773-4926 for information.

Spiral Foods members drive starts

HASTINGS — Spiral Natural Foods Co-op & Grocery in Hastings announces its fall membership drive now through Oct. 27, with a kick-off event  and anniversary celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the co-op’s new store location.
Spiral is run by General Manager Baard Webster and governed by a board of directors comprised of member-owner representatives. The mission of Spiral is to connect consumers to farmers and food while being a source of nutritional education and outreach in the community. Spiral is open to all, and everyone is welcome to shop at the co-op.
All new member-owners are entered into a raffle, and member-owners investing from now through Saturday receive two entries in the drawing. At the conclusion of the drive, two names will be drawn for a chance to win a $50 Spiral gift certificate. Board members and current members will be periodically available in the store throughout the drive to answer questions about member-ownership.
Member-owners receive in-store discounts and have the opportunity to take on leadership roles and take part in store decisions as part-owners. Spiral, in turn, increases its buying power through member-owner equity, which enables the store to give back to the community and its customers in the form of lower prices and enhanced community outreach programs. Local farmers and producers also benefit from Spiral’s support of their products.
For more information, please contact Marketing Specialist Stephanie Cold at [email protected], or Webster at [email protected] or 651-437-2667.