Wednesday letters: JFK and Crown Mountain
The day our world changed
All was well with the world that mid-morning on a Friday, Nov. 22, 56 years ago, as we planned for Thanksgiving. A busy mother of three young children, I worked in a large NW University and looked forward to a welcome day off the following week.
In a quick trip to the women’s lounge at break time, I greeted a fellow employee. She was applying lipstick with a shaky hand. Her face was pale and her jaw slack with pain. “Are you ill?” I ask. She grips the counter. “The president has been shot in Dallas…” she says “ How bad?” I ask. “Very bad,” she replies.
Numb to details, I try to grasp the unthinkable; that this seemingly indestructible lover of life, President John Kennedy, with all his youth and promise, could be torn by a human bullet. This could not be fatal.
But as news travels throughout the university, the announcement comes: “The president is dead.” Some cry out. Others stand silently, tears pouring down their cheeks. Night has descended; a disastrous fork in the road has been taken. You’re frozen with thought of the unknown ahead. A nation and all its people will never be the same again, you think.
School is dismissed. Outside, the day is dark and wet and wind is blowing. You hurry through the gloom toward your car to head home.
In following days, until the funeral on Monday, the TV is never off. You wear black like the widow. As the nation watches the funeral, your daughter draws a picture of horses pulling a wagon with its flag-draped casket. At five, her little face is sorrowful.
Years have passed, children have grown, married, become grandparents. You’ve become involved again in the trivial, tempered sometimes by the universal. You’re now understanding the true extent of President Kennedy’s death. The immediate public response to that day and death was the greatest seen in modern times then. The pain that followed could not be separated or made indistinguishable from one person to the next. Briefly, fleetingly, but together, as mortals, it belonged to all of us.
Voters mandated no indoor rec center and Crown Mountain
Crown Mountain Park’s decision to pursue building an indoor recreation center with taxpayer funding was soundly defeated (79% against): that was a mandate! Following that, the Crown Mountain board was granted a permanent property tax increase for capital and maintenance expenditures for the existing facility, by a narrow margin of voter approval.
Now it has been revealed, by a watchful meeting attendee, that the Board is again pursuing an indoor facility, using an approved budget expenditure of $25,000 for a feasibility study as well as preliminary drawings.
The community has spoken. There is no need for additional outreach as put forth by a Board member. The recent approved windfall has now prompted the Board to double their P.R. funding to $15,000 and an additional $100,000 for consulting. There is no misperception by the public, as stated by a Board member. This frivolous spending to sell us on this pursuit using our money is, in my view, a complete contradiction of the above mentioned mandate.
Since there is no oversight for the Board’s actions, I would encourage the public to get involved. There will not be an opportunity to vote on any future expenditures. Any indoor facility regardless whether funded by donations, dues, fees etc. will require staff, salaries, maintenance — I see another tax increase request in the future.
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