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From Left Field

May 25, 2011

Finally, end in sight
    Finally, and at long last, something may be done to rid the city of the eyesore at Monroe and Second streets which for years was a part of a bustling downtown as Holthouse Drug Co.
    Mayor John Schultz has confirmed that the current owner of the building, Don Spice, recently approached him about selling it to the city. Before the situation can progress any further, city council will have to give its approval for the mayor to enter into negotiations. But one can bet on that being a quick 5-0 vote!
    How much would it cost the raze the building? One contractor gave a rough estimate of $90,000.
    If the city can purchase the location, "we will control the site and hopefully construct something that will have a more pleasing appearance," the mayor said later.
      Schultz will present a resolution at the next council meeting on June 7 that expresses council’s interest in acquiring the property.  If the okay is given — and that's a given — negotiations will begin with the owner to acquire the property.  If that is accomplished, then specifications will be determined so that bids can be taken to demolish the structure.
    There are no doubt some fresh ideas about what to do with the space, but  simply removing the eyesore will be a long-awaited major accomplishment.
    
Thank you, Detroit!
    The sign at St. Joe School said, "Pray For Sister Margaret Rose May She Rest In Peace." And the first thought was, surely this grand lady has earned unimaginable peace.
    When someone who's done so much for a community dies, the cliches roll out — "will be missed" and "touched so many lives" and the like — but in this case they don't begin to measure up to the magnitude of Sister's contribution. In the wake of her passing, people have searched for words to sum up her life and her contributions, yet it seems this is one of those oh so rare cases when the contribution was indescribable.
    Oft repeated in recent days has been the phrase, "She didn't care whether you were Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant..." Sister didn't, of course, and, in part, that is the reason she touched so many lives, an overwhelming amount of lives ... more lives than any of us will ever know.
    The city Chamber of Commerce created an award — the Humanitarian Award — just so it could honor her. That should tell us something.
    And with all that, she was fun — fun to talk to, fun to be around, fun simply to meet and greet on the street. She was 76 going on 25.
    It was heartbreaking to lose her and she will forever occupy a place in so many of our hearts. As we say goodby, sweet lady, we will always remember how Detroit gave Decatur, Indiana, much, much more than automobiles.

Not just anywhere
    Some of the shenanigans at a recent North Adams school board meeting notwithstanding, what this community is really all about was underscored once again last Monday.
    That a group of mothers could get together and raise some $50,000 for playground equipment was, simply put, overwhelming. Things like that aren't done just anywhere.
    Then a call is sent out for volunteers to erect the equipment and 40 to 50 people show up on a chilly Monday. Others contribute by providing lunch and coffee and ice to keep the soda cold. Some city employees pitch in. With a few hours, the vast majority of the work is finished.
    Unreal!
    

 

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