EDITOR’S DESK: Jackson leads the way
Last week, when this space was devoted to a discussion of the media's love affair with tragedy, I offered the thought that the most “newsworthy” news from the Jan.
17 Chesham Circle fire would be how much the community stepped up in response. As indicated by our fire follow-up story on Page 1 of this issue, I think it's safe to
say it was a BIG step. Individuals, small businesses, corporations, churches... All were chipping in. Perhaps most astounding is the Jackson Elementary community
donating more than $1,000 in cash. That's in hardly more than a week, from a school that is far from well-heeled. Close to 60 percent of its students come from Title
1 families. But (as a game show host might say), that's not all. School offices were also inundated with donations of toys and clothes. Even the school's younger
students were bringing in things to cheer up their two classmates/fire survivors - one of whom (Tyler Sabino) barely escaped with his life. So here's a three-fingered
salute (the "W" for Westside) to Jackson and all the others who took time from their lives to lend a hand to folks who've had a bad turn... without a care as to whether
the media paid attention or not...
A similar, yet different sort of situation exists on Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street. The merchants there are stepping up for their part of the Westside, but in their case they need a spotlight on their situation to make progress. So hopefully the Avenue Merchants will have some helpful VIPs at the gathering they've called on Feb. 4...
Shifting now to city politics (can't you hear the gears grinding?), I'm curious how people will vote on the charter amendment proposal to increase the number of district City Council members. I basically agree with Scott Hente that it might help district reps like him because they would have proportionally smaller areas to cover. But Randy Purvis' concern about potential vote buy-offs is not to be discounted. That kind of big-city corruption was just what I was afraid of when the so-called "strong mayor" form of government came before the voters last November.