A wonderful sight to see

A couple dozen volunteers showed up at the Marion post office Saturday morning to collect donations for the Marion County Emergency Food Bank.

It was great to see so many people show up, and from so many different sources. I was joined by a few of my fellow Kiwanians. There were some Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. And there were some people who came simply because of community spirit. There were children, parents, and retirees in the group.

All that is fine and dandy, but it wouldn’t have meant much if there hadn’t been any donations to take to the food bank. There were quite a few donations, though.

This can be a difficult time of year, both for the food bank and the people it serves. Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when lots of people think about the less fortunate and donate. Summer, which is nearly upon us, isn’t a time when so much thought is given to the needy, despite it being a time of extra need. Families with children are about to lose inexpensive (possibly free), nutritious school lunches for the summer.

The food drive on Saturday was a good start. As a community, we should work to keep that giving spirit going year-round.

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I had a conversation May 15 with Todd Heitschmidt, and he wanted to clear up what he sees as misconceptions about a possible location for new restrooms at Central Park.

He told me there has never been a proposal to have the restrooms directly west of the fountain. Instead, the proposal was for the restrooms to be west and slightly south of the fountain. That wouldn’t obstruct the view of the fountain from Main Street, although it would leave the restrooms in the background of views of the fountain.

Heitschmidt wanted to clear up that the design, which nobody has current drawings of, would be concrete but would have stone siding to make it look like a limestone block building. He also said City Administrator Doug Kjellin hasn’t given an opinion on where the restrooms should be located, only providing cost information to the park board and city council. Lastly, Heitschmidt told me the need for public restrooms is specifically to attract bus tours to town.

The ideal location remains a matter of opinion, and reasonable people can disagree on matters of opinion. Anyone with strong feelings on the matter should contact the park board, planning and zoning board, or city council to make their voices heard.

— ADAM STEWART

 

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