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Archive for Thursday, November 5, 1998

RAIN MEMORIES

November 5, 1998

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To the editor:

Please excuse my sarcasm in thanking city officials for finally bringing flood relief to the West Third Street and South Michigan Street area. Some of them would not even agree it was more than a minor storm drainage problem. Of course I am positive they were not in this area during the tail-end of even a short 1 1/2-inch rain. I also doubt that they have seen some of the basements in the area after said rains, much less during such rains. Even after being called a liar so many times, during my 32-plus years at this address, I am happier. I showed this in my answer to one of the workers (a foreman) who asked me this past Saturday morning if I would not be happy when they finished and cleaned up the area. My answer, "It was 32 years ago this past August or September (1966) when a city official stood in front of 302 Michigan and told us the flood we had just endured was a hundred-year rain and maybe even a 500-year rain. He also said that we would not have another rain such as this during our lifetime." Maybe I have just lived too long, because I cannot remember how many such "rains" we have had, but a conservative estimate would be 30. I have even had to have three of my basement walls shored up at my own expense (more than $6,000).

Jack D. Wagley,

239 S. Mich.

Arts center option

To the editor:

A couple of months ago David Holroyd wrote a letter suggesting that a new arts center building be located somewhere in the block bounded by Eighth and Ninth streets and New Hampshire and Rhode Island. His suggestion made excellent sense to me. He suggested ground level parking with an arts center built over the parking. Little of present parking would be lost. The question I wondered about was how to pay for additional parking construction, added to the arts center budget.

Within the past couple of weeks (LJW, 10-19-98) there is news that the parking board is talking about upgrading city-owned parking in the block Holroyd discussed. The parking board is reported as suggesting that more than $266,000 is needed. Since the parking board is already talking of the need to raise that money, this looks like a good time for some innovative thinking to work on these two issues together.

I think historic preservation demands that an art center expansion not be built around the old Carnegie Library. Can you imagine our courthouse with the judicial and law enforcement center attached onto and around it? An art center in the 800 block of New Hampshire may even be the stimulus needed to bring in appropriate business to complete the Winter block to the north. Meanwhile the Carnegie Library can continue to be a useful venue for a variety of community events, including arts events.

Mark Larson,

706 Ill.

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