Man on the Street

Interesting Blogs

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Our group of editors like to read other blogs for ideas, style, and interesting articles by other people.

Many blogs out there in the “world” can be really scary. We found one that has been very popular within the past month called, Stuff White People Like. Just putting the link here and not posting it to the blog roll is probably all we are willing to do right now.

Have you ever seen nine people try to push each other into the bushes? It’s not a pretty site, even with glasses of Pinot Grigrio, or Merlot in hand. It’s easier with a Budweiser though…

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In our opinion it is a funny and thought-provoking cultural view. Any thoughts from ya’ll?

Jim “Big Plan” Palenick At It Again (Updated)

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The purpose of planning retreats by local government units, regardless of where they are held, are to express bold ideas and big visions. That purpose is OK with us, however, when those visions run over wonderful programs, spaces, or currently invested projects, it does stir the ire of our front porch visitors, neighbors, and friends.

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Jim “Big Plan” Palenick is pot-stirring big time over there in Gastown. He got the golfers upset. Not the country club set, the regular daily joes, who can still find a public space to recreate in their chosen physical activity.

“Big Plan” Jim wants to sell off the 90-acre Gastonia Municipal Golf Course because it costs the city a quarter of a million dollars each year to maintain (and staff).

According to various reports, “it’s used only by people who have an interest in golf…”. ( Observer Article, Gazette commentary )

Duh —

And baseball fields only appeal to people who have interest in baseball. Horseshoe pits only appeal to people who have an interest in horseshoe. 

We bet that it costs a pretty penny to operate the baseball fields at Martha Rivers Park (a Gastonia City facility).  To be fair, the City of Gastonia DOES allow non-residents to rent the baseball fields for fundraising tournaments and for-profit tournaments. Those events bring money, but also take money out of the town. 

What about all those underused recreation buildings? — the Adult Center on Franklin, Phillips Center, and Bradley Center. Is “Big Plan” going to review the viability and reuse options for this sites as well? Since he wants to demolish a relatively new privately financed community service structure in downtown — Salvation Army Shelter — to hid the homeless — the line can be drawn that maybe we should hide the poor kids too.

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(Bradley Center, North Modena Street, Gastonia)

Our friends in Gastonia, bless their hearts,  had better be watchful of the new city manager. He is getting ready to hang the “For Sale” sign on the City limits. What happened to the city’s comprehensive plan?

Of course, the Gazette agrees with Mr. Palenick’s viewpoint — their opinion being that ONLY THE RICH PEOPLE should be able to play golf on their dime… “…its not like the absence of a public golf course in Gastonia would leave the golfing community high and dry. Gaston County and the surrounding area offer many PRIVATE [emphasis added] courses…”.

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Seems like the Gazette would like to make a case for the privatization of most recreational activities – yeah, let’s talk about what private citizen’s decide to do when they don’t have the money any longer in the family to sustain the lifestyle with which they have become accustomed…THEY SELL IT TO DEVELOPERS… great advocacy by the Libertarian Mouthpiece… take away a public amenity that contributes to the quality of life.

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(sorry for the flag pole – we deleted it — it wa an overzealous sports editor who is a golf fanatic — Dilbert was chosen as a more appropriate comment)

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The Little Train That Could

Belmont’s train got an locomotive yesterday, replacing the engine that was removed a couple of years ago.

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The placement of the engine drew a crowd to an already vibrant downtown, right at the same time as the middle school dismissal.

Dozens of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders already regularly mingle in the downtown area at the Belmont General Store and Caravan Coffee, waiting for their parents to pick them up.

This event, however, brought out city staffers, employees of the busy downtown merchants, and the chamber of commerce. Train enthusiasts, passersby, and curiousity seekers all stopped to watch the placement

Everyone was busily snapping pictures of the two large cranes that lifted the axles onto the track next to the already placed caboose and dining car. Shortly thereafter, the body of the locomotive was raised and set into place.

This should complete the little train, bringing back some interest in the train-related heritage that Garibaldi Station/Belmont holds within its history. The train station was a museum until just a few years ago. It sat empty until the upscale clothing store, Jolie, began operating.  The volunteers who ran the Train Museum had decided to close because they struggled getting volunteers to staff the facility on a regular basis.

According to the now local entreprenuer, Richard LaVecchia  — owner of several downtown properties, including Piccolo, OldStone Steakhouse, and the old Leader building (now being called, “the Rose Building” — ’cause it was owned and sold by Art Rose) — “…several projects…” are planned, “…where people can get into the locomotive and take pictures”.  

Does the completion of the little train mean the return of a destination place in downtown Belmont?