EDITORíS DESK: OWN soldiering forward

       If you've ever worked or played on a team, you know how tricky that can be sometimes. Mistakes get made, and it's not always clear what went wrong. Even when things go right, there's the sense that - despite all the team's efforts to establish sensible policies and practices - the outcome was somehow a miracle.
       The reason I mention this phenomenon is that, in fairness to the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), I think it helps to recall the inevitability of team-project foibles before ripping its board members about their current low point in the design guidelines phase of their historic-overlay effort. It's so hard to anticipate all the problems that will crop up in any group project. How will personalities clash? What might be forgotten? And, as volunteers, just how much time can you donate before you have to say, no matter how twisted a project has gotten, that you can donate no more? Sure, looking at the design guidelines with perfect hindsight, maybe somebody could have predicted that having a consultant working from his home in Mexico, instead of here on the Westside, could prove to be a problem. Maybe the complexities of the three-party contract could have been foreseen. And maybe OWN's officer appointments to its historic overlay guidelines committee ought to have been considered for their volatility potential.
       Yet amidst the wreckage of the moment, there are positive signs of life. The OWN members who remain are soldiering forward, eyes on the prize, undaunted by the Murphy's Law frustrations and a project whose grand sweep (taking in almost all the older Westside) has impressed even an official with the State Historical Fund. This thing could come to pass yet. All it takes, as OWN President Welling Clark notes, is a good team effort. And maybe a little miracle...

- K.J.