A couple of days a go, I mentioned a story that staff writer Harry Hitzeman wrote in the Daily Herald. In it, he asked readers to stop criticizing Elgin. He was so adamant in his story, he told people to complain to him if they had something to say.
Well, he got his wish. As of this blog post, 26 comments have been posted to his story, many intense and all passionate. Some were actually removed because they violated the paper's rules for civilized discussion. Needless to say, Hitzeman struck a nerve.
The comments at the Daily Herald have subsided. And fortunately, it appears they've ended on a positive note. The one below is from someone with the user name Mencken. It says:
"I would like to thank the Daily Herald for sending a reporter to cover the "Walkabout: Theatre on Your Feet" event that Elgin hosted. This event is a very positive thing for Elgin, and for all the people who participated in it, even those from neighboring communities who may have spent money in Elgin stores. Through events like these communities grow, and when the people become active, communities flourish. It is a step in the right direction, and Elgin should do more like this. The best way to fight crime is for the people to develop a sense of place and ownership of their community, and be on the streets living and working, creating no dark corners for crime to thrive.
Illinois has a poorly designed sales tax where the city that collects it keeps it, thus pitting town vs town in sales tax wars. Thus strip malls everywhere. The Walkabout brings people from other towns into Elgin, they spend and the sales tax goes into the city coffers. With enough events, enough spending, more businesses opening, etc, the city might actually improve.
Thanks again to the Herald for covering this good news."
So what are your thoughts? Do we need more events like Walkabout to help downtown Elgin improve its image? Do events like these help to create safer neighborhoods?