Archive for Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Maple Leaf Fesitval and much more

October 15, 2003

I hope you're ready for our 40,000 closest friends to be here this weekend. Yes, it's Maple Leaf Festival time and it really started to take shape Tuesday morning.

The trash cans were set in all the strategic spots and the music tent across the street at the post office went up. That's when I really know it's that time of year.

I had been thrown a little bit two weeks ago when I came to the office and saw the Maple Leaf Festival sign strung across High St. at Sixth. I walked into the office and said "It's not October yet, is it?" No, it wasn't. It was Sept. 30. That's the earliest I've seen that sign go up.

It wasn't that big a deal, but it sure got my attention. Seeing downtown Baldwin and the blocks around it transformed every year into the festival is probably my favorite event. I was curious to see what would be next.

But, it was another two weeks before the real transformation started. It's quite a process to turn quaint downtown Baldwin into a big restaurant and curio shop. It happens every year and it's truly a case of "if you build it, they will come." They do every year.

There have been countless hours put into the festival already, mostly from the Maple Leaf Committee members who go at it year round. Now the rest of work, all that physical stuff, takes over. That's dragging out the tents, bleachers, trash cans, no parking signs and the endless supply of whatever that's needed every year.

It's worth it, though. When nonresidents talk about Baldwin, they talk about the Maple Leaf Festival. T here's nothing quite like it. Here we go again. Remember to have fun.

  • **
  • It will be interesting to see how the new booth setup for the festival works out. With more than 400 booths, more than ever before by a long shot, there should be something for ev eryone.

I'm especially curious to see how the booths and the fund-raising efforts for the Lumberyard Arts Center project will turn out. This will be the first time that the old lumberyard has been used in what's hoped to become its new capacity -- a plac e for the arts in downtown Baldwin.

Donations are starting to come in for the project and now's the time for everyone who has longed for a community type center in downtown to step forward and make it happen. Organizers of the project will be at the lumb eryard throughout the Maple Leaf weekend to answer questions and accept donations.

This project is more than worthwhile, folks, so let's show how much Baldwin City supports making the community even a better place to live. It's time to put our money where are mouths are. Bring the checkbook.

  • **
  • Well, we had round six on the controversial book situation in the Baldwin School District at Monday night's School Board meeting that dragged into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Although the board didn't approve a new policy to handle complaints about curriculum materials, it at least took a big step forward by allowing patron discussion, as well as talking about the issue even more as a board. There were about 50 district patrons at the meeting and aroun d 20 of them took advantage to give their views on the subject.

That's what we need more than anything on all district matters, not just this one, and that's communication. If we haven't learned anything else from this whole debacle it's that we all need to be involved in those matters affecting our children.

Otherwise, they're decided at board meetings where it's out of the ordinary to have 10 patrons in attendance.

Although I commend board president Ed Schulte for taking the blame for the "secret Sat urday meeting" on Sept. 27, I don't think it was his fault. Yes, as board president he wanted to discuss the book issue at the meeting recessed from Sept. 22 where around 100 district patrons were on hand and numerous television cameras and reporters. Tha t was because additional issues had arisen from the time the board voted on Sept. 22 in front of a packed house to when it reversed its decision Sept. 27 without a single district patron in the audience.

It did make sense to revisit the issue at the rece ssed meeting. What didn't make sense was not informing anyone else that the board would discuss anything besides the purchase of a new phone system as had been stated at the Sept. 22 meeting.

That wasn't Schulte's fault. It isn't his job to inform intere sted patrons and the media about agenda additions. That's why he and the board has administrators for.oh

Commenting has been disabled for this item.