Lakeview has, again, gotten the fuzzy end of the lollipop on the Northside Park closing. Now, I understand, there are problems with the site that would make it good policy to relocate from the old caliche pit; my opinion, Council acted in haste and a replacement park should have been built or at least budgeted before closing Northside. There are vacant properties reasonably close to Northside.
It seemed to me Council was "nudged" by the emotional appeal of Gloria Griffin, whose 9 year old son drowned there 23 years ago. I cannot claim to "feel" her pain, my closest would be the death of my Mother this year, but Mother was 83 and in poor health. It was the anticipated order of things, parents precede children in death. The loss of a child is a much harder thing to bear.
Still, in the 23 years since her son's drowning, no one else has died in this allegedly deadly park. Then we find that the City has two churches contesting for a lease on the property to be used as: a park. Now that may turn out to be a good budgetary move by the city, but it kind of undercuts the safety issue don't ya' think?
If we were to apply the same standard to other city owned properties (no deaths in 23 years) we would close half our streets, the thoroughfares might remain as they are TXDOT roads, but streets, sidewalks and fadaluvagod erect a tall fence around Lake Nasworthy, cut off all public access, maybe drain it: it's an absolute deathtrap, especially now that "everybody knows" it has an alligator.
On this I have to agree with Councilman Morrison, it was a "stupid, stupid thing".
Now shifting gears without a segue; I would not usually pick on a particular business, but an exception I am making. Eyemart, should I find myself needing new spectacles and you have exactly what I need for half the price of X, I will go to X.
I have a longstanding exception to my normal practice; Sunday morning, I read the comics first. I have all day to catch up on the news, it is one of life's little luxuries with which I indulge myself. Before I can do that, I have to tear off your half-page perforated ad. Yes, a minor item, yes that is great ad placement in that it guarantees I will see it, but in that it mildly honks me off every time I see it, it is not, in this household, a plus for your business.
I have resisted the urge to comment on the smoking ordinance. Terms such as "carpetbagger" and "nanny" might offend, so I won't use them. I am glad that Council seems willing to amend the ordinance to allow the Colonel's Pipe and Cigar shop. Entirely appropriate, I cannot imagine either an employee or customer who found smoke offensive wanting to walk in the door of a tobacco shop.
Now we see bar owners coming before Council requesting an exemption. Sorry guys, in the face of a 60/40 vote, Council isn't going there, at least not until some businesses have actually closed, by which time it will be too late for them. I've got to ask; owners, where were you when I was asking for support as treasurer of the opposition? We got outspent at least 5/1, over half of that money from the Austin American Cancer Society. I could give better numbers, but Smoke-Free has not filed a campaign finance report covering the 10 days prior to election. Speak Out San Angelo's is posted online at city's website.
I think this is an unfortunate intrusion on the rights of property owners, but it was approved by a large majority of voters in a large turnout election. My "barkeep" handle aside, it has been several years since I was personally involved in the trade. I don't have "a dog in this hunt", I drink at home where the smoking law doesn't reach (yet).
A final note, you make the call if it is connected. On this day in history, Utah, home of the teetotalling Mormons, became the 36th state to approve the XXI amendment to the Constitution, repealing Prohibition. Hmmm.