Sunday, June 07, 2009

Catching Up, Random Thoughts

I have now been to two meetings concerning the historic district ordinance proposal. At both meetings, the powers-that-be insisted that they were there to discern what the people wanted. If this were the least bit true, there wouldn't be a third meeting. They would just scrap the idea that the people clearly don't want.

If you haven't been to a First Fridays, (every first Friday evening of the month, downtown Racine) you will be amazed at the amount, and quality, of the people congregating downtown. I remember well the genesis of this event. It was an idea starting with former first lady of Racine Joyce Smith. I admit I was very skeptical, wondering why a Friday instead of a whole weekend. I still think downtown Racine should have a weekend festival. Anyway, Joyce Smith was right and I was wrong about First Fridays.

For a place nearly devoid of development, yes I am talking about Racine, one must wonder why the city is looking at increasing the cost and the uncertainty of development projects via a new ordinance.

Even the liberal Journal Times opposes the historic district ordinance. I guess that makes us LiberTEA Racine folks a bunch of flaming liberals.


Anonymous said...

I thought Howard Tarnoff and some of the downtown merchants came up with the idea. The Smiths were not longer in office nor are they downtown merchants. They also haven't been involved in any downtown events. I challenge you to correct the inception of this event.

Denis Navratil said...

Anon,I will correct my recollection if I am proven wrong. I remember well being invited to participate in a meeting about First Fridays. I remember well Joyce Smith doing much of the talking and that she got the idea while travelling in Michigan somewhere. After that my recollection is a bit fuzzy. It is quite possible that the idea didn't take off right away and that perhaps HT got it going a few years later. But I think HT was the driving force behind Gallery Nights, a different event alltogether. In any case, I stand by my statement that the IDEA was Joyce Smiths. Whether she was involved at all with the implementation, I'm not sure. But who cares? The event is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Denis As you know a lot of people just dont like Jim or Joyce Smith. First Fridays is not something original to Racine. Many different places hold First Fridays, Second Saturdays (Kenosha), and Cyber Sundays (WWE). The concept and name was already being used in other communities before it started in Racine. Regardless of who had the idea to start it in Racine it's good to hear Racine's version of it has been a success recently. It's also great that the Smith's arent invloved with it!