EDITORíS DESK: Two to think about
It's not every week when the Westside news scene produces two new and particularly thought-provoking topics.
One this week is the Rose Arveson Shrine and the sad turn of events at a location that has served as a refuge of hope for many souls since 1963.
The other is the proposal by the Rawles Open Space Neighborhood group to submit a master plan for the 38 properties along a portion of Mesa Road south of 19th Street.
Both subjects have their knowns and unknowns. At the shrine, there's the moving story of two sisters who devoted their lives to their mother's memory, based on the miracle they claimed to have observed after her death. Unfortunately, the story's past is kinder than its present, with the finding this week of the dead animals and the injured man and a house that's now condemned. So what will happen to the shrine now? Will some new person or group step forward? It would certainly be a shame to leave it as is. I was astonished to find heart-rending handwritten messages in that broken box by the shrine, open to the elements, some of them dating back over 20 years. Were they ever even read? For the neighborhood, at least, the city's action this week was good news - by addressing the source of the long-time "stench," as one neighbor described it.
As for the Rawles neighborhood, this is hardly the first time several of its residents have surfaced as determined to protect their area as they see fit. They love where they live, and the neighborhood truly is a unique half-minute or so when driving past it on Mesa Road. But here's the unknown: Should that group of "true believers" be allowed to go even further, to get charter-recognized by the city as "representing" the neighborhood so they can formally submit a master plan that has owners of the area's undeveloped properties up in arms? City staff seems to take a pretty loose view of that charter requirement. Do they seriously think a group that has already spent $18,000 drafting a plan just wants "dialog" as the outcome? In any case, it's going to City Council, which has bought into the Rawles "rural ambiance" argument before. Thought-provoking, indeed.