EDITOR’S DESK: On the April 4 public meeting

       There's a sappy, oft-heard expression that “things happen for a reason.” A more certain statement would be that good things don't happen unless good people reason out the work that's needed and then take it on. A perfect example would be the No Man's Land public meeting April 4. It's not as if 150 Westsiders separately looked around that day and thought to themselves, "Gosh, I have absolutely nothing better to do tonight than go sit through a two-hour meeting on crime and vagrants. How jolly! Let's bring our friends!" No, this was the culmination of efforts by a few dedicated volunteers who know that politicians are by nature head-counters and that without a big meeting turnout this whole No Man's Land train wreck - bad as it might be - could be shoved to the bottom of the government priority list. So they got together and talked through ideas and worked up a plan. And while the causes of everyone's grief - the drink- and drug- addled bums - continued to leach off others through thievery and begging, these steadfast volunteers drew up plans that would/will require them to give even more time to the community in the weeks and months ahead. It was these folks (a sprinkling of residents, businesses and civic leaders) who set up that meeting, who arranged free use of the hall with the Shrine Club, who talked the law enforcement officers into coming, who went door to door handing out meeting flyers, who worked up an ongoing action plan and who have been showing up at City Council meetings for the past six weeks to remind that body of a place where improvements are needed.
       So what's the point here? Just basically to say thank you to those volunteers for getting this ball rolling... and to spread the word to more of you worthy citizens. It used to be that bad behavior was the exception, but it seems as if that's changing. People who care need to stand together. And if good things come of that, we can say, yes, indeed... they happened for a reason.

- K.J.