Thursday, June 18, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Newspaper with an editorial page required for residence
By Kim Evans
Community columnist | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, my name is Kim, and I’m a Bloomington rubber-bander. I’ve fulfilled the classic scenario for many townies like me: We grow up here, not fully appreciating all this community offers. In search of some perspective, we move away for awhile. That’s what I did; shortly after graduating with a psychology degree from IU, I seized the opportunity to relocate with my soon-to-be-husband. Thirteen years, one baby and a more marketable associate’s degree later, there was nothing more I wanted than to come back here.
We lived in a very small town for eight years. While the kindness of the people in this small town was unsurpassed, the lack of town leadership started to get to me after awhile. There was no organized forum for public conversation. I hungered for a local newspaper with an editorial page.
So, as I launch my stint as a community columnist, I’d like to get a few things off my chest by sharing a sampling of brief letters to the editor I would have written to my small town newspaper:
Is there anything that can be done about the “antique shop” across the street from my home? I am concerned that my property value is being adversely affected by this eyesore with unfinished plywood siding, old rusty bathtubs on the front lawn, two buildings crammed so full of junk no human could possibly walk through, not to mention the conservative talk radio blaring all afternoon. Isn’t there a local ordinance that at least requires finished siding on buildings? Thank you.
I’m writing to convey my shock that a policeman knocked on my front door today and asked to speak to my husband and me about a complaint that a toddler was running around our front yard. That naked toddler was my daughter playing outside on a hot summer day. Is there a law against a toddler playing naked in her own yard on a hot summer day? Thank you.
Is there any way our town can find a more effective way to corral the loose, aggressive dogs across the street? I fear they will attack my child (yes, the naked toddler) if we dare take a walk to the park. Just how effective is a town official walking the streets with a box of dog biscuits tucked under his arm? Didn’t Mayberry have its act together better than this? Thank you.
When will the “renovation” work be done to our town park? We previously enjoyed going there to swing and play, but now all the playground equipment has been ripped up and there are dangerous trenches in the ground, filled with green liquid. I haven’t seen anyone working on it for several weeks and would like to know what the master plan is. (Is there a master plan?) Thank you.
Is there any way that residents can be forewarned when the town plans to flush out the water system? On several occasions we’ve been shocked to suddenly have rusty red water flowing from our bathtub faucet as we prepare to give our child (yes, the criminally naked toddler) a bath. How hard would it be for officials to hang door tags about this? Thank you.
Why are chickens residing in the town limits? Don’t get me wrong, I love chickens, but I don’t live on a farm, and I don’t love being awakened by a rooster crow at 5 each morning. And the smell of chicken poop knocks me over every time I’m in the back half of my yard. Isn’t there an ordinance that addresses this issue? Thank you.
Ah, it’s good to be back in Bloomington. Life handed me the perspective I needed. Along the way, I discovered some of my bottom-lines: town ordinances, freedom for toddlers to play naked in their own yards, and a local newspaper with an editorial page. Everything else is gravy.
Kim Evans is a Bloomington native and IU graduate who “rubber-banded” back to town in 2005 to open her graphic design studio, raise her family and circle back to her writing. She can be reached at email@example.com.