Carson’s downtown remodel can succeed if emphasis is on people
September 7, 2007
We are all concerned about Carson City’s economy.
When we look at what mid-sized American cities do to create excitement and opportunity around retail and service growth, reinvigorating the downtown tops the list. When this is proposed, people always worry that narrowing roads will hurt access to stores. However, what happens ideally is creation of a corridor where people are again able to walk around in their downtown. When they walk more, they shop more. They buy more wisely. They buy more locally made items. They stop to eat. They browse. It has happened over and over and over in American cities.
I sense a fear of change that may really be a distrust of government. People are perhaps afraid that the remodel of downtown will be badly done. This becomes a fear of becoming just like every other American place, particularly the place that must not be named – California. In a quest for uniqueness, many in Carson City support construction of a 19th century railroad.
Here’s my view. Neither the remodel nor the railroad will succeed without the other and without ties to each other. The danger of a downtown remodel by itself is that it becomes a bland exercise in bricks and mortar without places that bring people together in a healthy manner – without history, conversation and culture. The danger of building a 19th century railroad by itself is that it becomes an exercise in steel and wood where no one thinks about human interaction. The remodel and the train must actively reflect who we are – our history and geography and living people.
A vibrant retail and service economy is about engaging people. We might do nothing. We might be very cautious and careful and continue to see Carson City’s income slide as it becomes the hollow core of urban sprawl across several counties. Or, we can muster our unique possibilities and boldly apply our best inclinations – including people, bringing them together and celebrating our place.
Restoring a balance between cars and people in downtown Carson City will allow the bypass to do the job for which it was designed and will create a catalyst for broad economic viability. The cure for our fears is to get involved and make sure that it is done well.
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Where were the politicians during welcome home ceremony?
On Saturday, my wife and I attended a lovely welcome home ceremony for the 593rd Transportation Company of the Nevada Army National Guard. They had just completed a one-year tour in Iraq doing inherently dangerous work. My hat is off to Major General Cindy Kirkland, her commanders and staff, for a great job.
I did find it disappointing that not a single Nevada politician could be bothered. I recall speeches upon departure that essentially told these young people that this would be the most important thing they would do in their lives in the struggle of our time. Additionally that the 593rd, like all other units, is touted the as the beacon of America’s Freedom! Wow, left me breathless! I guess all of that is true, unless it is a three-day weekend.
A pass can probably be given to those of the Nevada Congressional Delegation that live in Las Vegas. Dean Heller, whose district includes the vast majority of members of the 593rd, should be ashamed. But more galling is our good governor, The Honorable James A. Gibbons, a retired combat veteran of the Nevada Guard. When not federalized, the Guard belongs to him! These are literally his soldiers! Way to support the troops Jim! I am sure you are still puzzled why your approval rating is so low.
Church is honoring history while serving growing congregation
It was with both sorrow and consternation that I read the letter to the editor from Mr. John W. Blaikie in your Sunday Edition. Sorrow, because Mr. Blaikie was so misinformed about the First Presbyterian Church of Carson City, then and now.
The old sanctuary of the First Church is a work in progress and that should have been assumed when the construction of the new sanctuary was observed. When the original sanctuary is rehabilitated by the Carson City Historical Society the old sanctuary will be truer to the original building than even the Blaikie Family will remember it!
The old sanctuary was vacated for two reasons, first it sits on a REAL earthquake fault as verified by several engineering studies and additionally was getting too small for a GROWING congregation.
Mr. Blaikie decries the absence of the beautiful stained glass windows that existed in the west wall of the old sanctuary. That original west wall was removed to enlarge the sanctuary for an ever-growing congregation.
Had Mr. Blaikie but turned around he would have seen the beautiful, stained glass window had been moved to the East wall. The Rose Window has been removed from the old sanctuary and has been put in safekeeping until it can be re-installed in the new sanctuary, under construction. The same has been done with the organ and the organ pipes that will be re-installed in the new sanctuary.
Mr. Blaikie refers to the beautiful cherrywood pews in the old sanctuary that had been given as a gift. I helped work on the old pews after the sanctuary was closed and worship had been moved to the multi-purpose building until the new sanctuary is completed and the pews I worked on certainly were not cherrywood!
Mr. Blaikie mentions the diminishing attendance of the church. He went to the second Sunday service (the overflow) because normally there would not be room for the Blaikie Family (depending on its size) at the first service. Our church is one of the fastest growing Presbyterian churches in the state.
It grieves me that a past member of the church would have so many negative thoughts about a church that was adequate to the needs of Carson City years ago before the city and that church experienced the growth that we are seeing in both today. The First Presbyterian Church of Carson is growing to meet those needs. That is our mission statement!
The story straight from the mouth of Max Baer Jr.
On Aug. 21, I took the time to e-mail Max Baer Jr. because I read about CBS wanting the Bodine’s Casino named changed because of copyright infringements. I wanted him to know how much we loved Bodine’s Restaurant and how disappointed I was that the name would have to be changed.
To my surprise Max Baer Jr. personally called me that evening. He felt it was important to respond to my concerns right away. We had a great conversation! I am so glad he took the time to call me. When he got excited about what he was describing he spoke loudly and animated at times. Not because he was mad but because that is how, I think, he expresses himself. In conclusion to our phone call I had a much clearer understanding of all of the events that have been occurring with him. It is not for me to speak for him so if you have any questions ask him. He is very willing to share his story with anyone who is interested. It will clear up so many misunderstandings from others.
Has Clara Dodd ever taken the time to contact Mr. Baer? Well maybe she should before she personally and publicly attacks someone. It would also be important to check your facts as well!
As for the Good Ole Boys of Carson City I could go on and on about how I feel about Good Ole Boys and how wrong it is but I will keep this directed to Clara’s letter.
I think it was a tragedy to our town, our taxes and our children that The Beverly Hillbilly’s Casino will not be here with us. It would have been a great tourist attraction that people from all over the country and possibly world would have come to see.
As for being childish, isn’t there child in all of us? Don’t we all hold onto our dreams and hope someday to make them reality? I just wanted to share my experience with everyone.
The label that fits all of us – humans
I attended the “Support the Troops” rally at Mills Park in Carson City and was surprised at the lack of attendance. I listened to the speakers and the words they had to say. Most of what they stated I agreed with, if you support the troops you need to support the war and if you support the war you need to support the troops. It shouldn’t be a one-sided support like Vietnam. There was a group of people across the park with signs and American flags that had their own opinions of the war. I feel that everyone is allowed to express their opinion on how they feel about the war and what is going on in the United States.
As I listened to the speakers I noticed they started labeling people and areas. One of the speakers labeled the protesters. I approached the speaker after he was done and asked why he felt he had to label humans that may not agree with him. He apologized if the labeling offended me and I thanked him for understanding my concern. I must say the protesters were also labeling the people at the rally and if I had been out there I would have done the same. Another speaker said they were headed to San Francisco and then called it “Commie Town.” I approached her, introduced myself, told her my name and that I was a Vietnam Veteran and asked her why she called San Francisco “Commie Town.” She said nothing but turned and walked off quickly. Why?
A speaker also compared Senator Harry Reid, Senator John Kerry and others with Jane Fonda. In my opinion Jane Fonda is in her own class. Because of her actions in Hanoi, two POWs were beaten to death and the others just beaten. What Jane Fonda did was not right and I feel she should be tried as a war criminal. My opinion.
They had tables there with American flags, books, CDs and T-shirts collecting money for their cause which is good when the cause is good. What surprised me was the T-shirts were not made in America. Why? The rally had an agenda that went beyond “Support the Troops,” it was also a political rally for a gentleman running for president. That is fine as long as there is no labeling and the truth is being told.
I consider myself a human being, I don’t label people or say things against other humans that have their own opinion, and I don’t mind expressing my opinion if someone wants to hear it. It would be a better world if people could become humans and treat others as humans.
229 assault helicopter battalion, 1st cavalry division
There’s a circus at City Hall
Clara Dodd seems to have gotten her Depends in a wad over Max Baer Jr. and his desire to build a resort destination that our entire Carson Valley Area can be proud of (see “Your Opinion” on Sept. 5).
What seems to be most upsetting to this lady is that Carson City has to pay $2 million in extortion money to the new owners of the old Wal-Mart Building for renovations … that upsets me too, Clara, but let’s look at some real-time facts here:
1. CC Supervisor Shelly Aldean coaxed Max into buying that building from her company (they own the shopping center), then turned around and fought him tooth and nail to prevent him from laying his “Golden Egg” in Carson City. She should be recalled for that … but that’s a subject for another day.
2. “Business is business,” and the new owner of the old Wal-Mart Building agreed to a sales price with Max Baer that did not include renovations to the building to make it more “rent-able” to Burlington Coat Factory. If Max had agreed to the $2M renovation, he would have asked for an extra $2M to be added to the sales price … he didn’t. On the other hand, the new owner could have negotiated a $2M REDUCTION in the sales price (if he could have gotten away with it).
3. Tenant improvements are normally paid for by the TENANT. Carson City should not be held ransom for this upgrade to a private business. Fair is fair … give $2 million to EVERY business on Carson Street.
Mayor “Nero” Marv has been playing his fiddle while Carson City is going down in flames … no sales tax revenue … will have to raise property taxes to make up for all the businesses that are ditching and moving south … poor Linda Ritter … let’s blame her! Meanwhile, Douglas County is “eating our lunch.”
What a bunch of clowns we have in City Hall! Marvelous Marv and his buddies on the council, along with the existing casino operators and the “Tooterville Trolley” Railroad Hobbyists that are supposed to be “saving our town” are prime candidates for the loony bin.