Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Town Monday - Priorities

A neighboring big city is tightening the budget which includes closing a city owned park and recreation area, reducing the police force, and by reducing library hours, now closing on Sundays. The mayor of this big city has spent years working to improve the landscaping and parks of the downtown region, building up the police force, and working on the reputation of the city as a place to be. Enter the economic crisis.

Perhaps I am not astute enough to understand all the implications and wormholes that resulted in these decisions, but I do have an opinion. I keep hearing the economy will get worse before it gets better. People might want to vacation a little closer to home. The park, which has cabins and camping, might be a choice destination if marketed properly. Before closing, they charged little to nothing. Perhaps they could charge a small amount to keep the park, a historical treasure, open. Until it closed, I didn't even know what they had to offer. Now, it is too late.

And in times of crisis, people get desperate. Is that really the time to cut back on the police force? Perhaps it won't be as bad as they say it could be, but I'd rather be prepared than not. And as for the library, education seems always to be on the list of economies, yet it seems education is one of the greatest needs our nation has. A strong library system shows the strength of a community.

This was one small dissatisfaction I had with My Town for most of the years I've lived here: the library. As homeschoolers, we are voracious readers. Our house is lined and stacked with books. Because dh works in Big City, we were awarded library cards there. With each card, and we qualified for five, we could check out 99 items. We often had over 200 items out at a time. Picture books were taken out by the crate. The libary system loves us - we increase circulation.

In My Town, the library was small, and during the summer reading program, the children's book shelves were bare. Even during the rest of the year, we'd read most of the worn books in the tired old library. All of that is changing. Plans were laid long before the economic crisis and today, a new libary was opened.

Designed "green" and in a lodge style, it looks like a cool bookstore and a great place to hang out. It also sports many new books. While I doubt we'll be welcome to check out as many books as Big City library, the atmosphere, together with the teen and adult new books will likely draw us in when we didn't bother before.

I'm proud of My Town for making this investment, showing a commitment to the educational growth of all the residents. I will say it looked like a homeschool convention, as I saw at minimum six families, not counting my own, of homeschoolers. Likely, we'll be their biggest patrons.

We had one small "disagreement" while there as they were not allowing books to be checked out. Look only today. William, used to taking whatever pleases him, was very upset that he'd found the Star Wars novel that he always wanted me to read for him, and we could not take it. I promised to return for it another day. Likewise, he can't quite comprehend book stores where you actually have to pay for the books.

My Town Monday brings you to blogs from all over the world. It was invented and is normally hosted by Travis Erwin. But times are not "normal" for Travis right now. Tragically, he and his family recently lost their home and all their possesions when their house burned to the ground. Chris and I will continue to host MTM until Travis feels like claiming it back. If you'd like to show support for Travis' family, go Habitat for Travis. You can also keep his MTM idea alive for him by writing about your own corner of the world. He'd like that, I think.

If you do write a MTM, please let me know by leaving a comment and I'll link to it below.
Other MTM posts:

J Winter in Cincinnati, Ohio

William is 100% recovered from his surgery for adenoid removal and ear tubes. He continues to talk through his mouth but the snoring is gone.

Lauren has had two days of nausea following having her wisdom teeth removed. Is she allergic to the cocktail of anesthesia she had or the Percoset? Maybe the antibiotic? Still working on that. She is resting comfortably.

Please pray for or send nice thoughts to my dad, who is having a stint placed to repair an abdominal aneurysm. I will be going to be with him tomorrow. I will get the MTMs up as soon as I am able, but I will get them posted. Thank you for your patience.


Barbara Martin said...

My MTM post is up.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hi Junosmom,

A teacher who critically examines the world, and can communicate those ideas, has to be one of the best teachers around. (That would be longhand for kudos to you.)

Why was the library not lending books on their opening day? That seems strange; I assume that will change.


Janie said...

Praying for your dad! Thanks for letting me know about Travis - somehow, in my limited surfing while I was sick, I missed it!

David Cranmer said...

I enjoyed your MTM and I'm glad to see William is doing better. My own MTM will go up early tomorrow morning.

Passage of a Woman said...

Cathy, I sent Uncle George an email with my thoughts and prayers that are with him. I know you will keep us posted ASAP. We are believing for his healing and recovery.

Love, Robin

Barbara Martin said...

Libraries need to be visited, and you and your family seem to be avid visitors and readers. New books are always a draw for any book lover.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hi Junosmom,

I just came back and reread your prior posts, and noticed the bit about your father, which I had not noticed the first time.

I hope that all goes well and will keep you both in my thoughts today. My family has a very thorough, unfortunately, knowledge of aneurysms.

Best wishes,

debra said...

My post is up. I will be back later to read, and will send good thoughts and prayers to your Dad.

pita-woman said...

I didn't quite understand the wisdom behind closing the libraries on Sundays either. You'd think if nothing else, they could open an hour or two later through the week to help out.
Otter Creek Park is(was?) a jewel. While we've only been there a few times... once stayed in a group-cabin, once J went repelling, another I took Smokey hiking... we always intended to go back, but never got around to it. I guess it's people like us that helped create the demise(sp?) of that great place.
Hope "L" feels better soon, and your dad too.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Mine is up:

pattinase (abbott) said...

My thoughts are with you. My mother fractured her hip and is not doing well.

Cloudia said...

Aloha Junosmom:
I've been so very busy that I thought I'd answer your question (late) here.
Most boaters go to the public showers in the harbor. we have a small hot water heater that routes the warm water (from a hose to the shore) out a shower head out on deck. I shower under the stars (wearing a sarong.) Hubby wears his trunks. Roughing it!
My royal hawaiian piece of a few days ago would be a good "MTM." Thanks for including me till Travis gets back on his feet. Best wishes & aloha-

Cloudia said...

Oh! And best healing wishes to your Dad.

Kim said...


Somehow, I knew you'd blog about the new library. My dd and I spent the afternoon there yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. What an awesome place to read and study! I loved the feel of the place, and even with such chilling temps, it was toasty warm inside. I am so proud of this library. I know we will spend many hours there.

Prayers for you and your dad,


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