Don’t squander Newton’s future

Don’t squander Newton’s future
 
Date June 07, 2006
Section(s) Opinion
Brief  
 
To the Editor:

Yesterday while driving past the skeleton of the Newton shopping center to pickup groceries at the soon-to-be-closed Aldi’s, the popular Bruce Springsteen song, “My Hometown” played on the radio. The troubled, haunting lyrics forced me to pull into the mall parking lot and privately mourn the destruction of my hometown.

Springsteen’s lyrics capture the essence of Newton’s tremendous loss, “Troubled times had come to my hometown … Now main streets whitewashed windows and vacant stores, seems like there aint nobody wants to come down here no more. They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks, Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they aint coming back. To your hometown.”

Newton is my hometown. A town overflowing with myriad childhood memories of sitting on the steps of the old Churchill Hotel watching the Greyhound buses roll in, or riding my single speed Schwinn bicycle to the Newton Carnegie Library to checkout a Nancy Drew book, or stopping by Bigelow’s restaurant after school (Central Middle School) for a cherry coke. Today, these memories are but pictures in my mind, as Newton’s history has been effectively obliterated by Newton economic developers and city council members.

Somewhere along the way Newton transplants formulated a plan to re-structure my hometown. The results are quite obvious; the previous, incompetent decision-makers were replaced by, in my opinion, more inept, self-serving leadership. While Pella, on the other hand, embraced and capitalized on its heritage, Newtonians watched horrified as its history was being erased.

During Monday’s city council meeting Bryan Friedman, Newton’s Community Development director delivered his department report. In the course of his presentation, he remarked that hopefully Newton’s disappointment with Whirlpool’s decision to pullout would not taint Maytag‘s legacy and landmarks. Friedman cited the possibility that Newton citizens could eventually refer to the Maytag Park and the Maytag Bowl as the “M park and the M bowl,” by refusing to utter the name Maytag.

This startlingly revelation was a bona fide eye-opener, that perhaps the individuals at the helm of my hometown demonstrate a dysfunctional mindset about Newton’s future. I highly doubt that those of us who love our hometown would ever adopt this mentality. Fred Maytag is etched in genuine Newtonian minds as a revolutionary, visionary entrepreneur, whose conventional wisdom allowed this community to successfully thrive. Maytag‘s landmarks are a testament to the Maytag family’s contribution to my hometown, Newton.

As Andy Karr’s article reported, I was extremely critical of certain city council members and the manner in which they continually conduct business with taxpayer’s money behind closed doors. I’m certain countless Newton citizens agree with that opinion, while others may disagree. Yet, I firmly believe that it is my constitutional right to express my opinion, without being admonished by those in power. The wise old saying reminds us that, “The truth hurts.” Morgan and Hansen’s “bristled response” that city business is not pre-planned may very well validate this writer’s opinion. Please do not squander Newton’s future.

Deana Williams

Newton

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2 Responses to “Don’t squander Newton’s future”

  1. Lisa Flett Says:

    I am searching for anyone who may have information regarding the Maytag Hotel and/or the Maytag Hotel Coffee Shop. My father (Marion Crosson) was the Assistant Manager of the Maytag Hotel until his death in 1965 and my mother (Joan Bergstrom Crosson) worked as a waitress in the Maytag Hotel Coffee Shop until her relocation to Wisconsin in 1966.

  2. henderson shauntay Says:

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    Pros and cons of henderson shauntay.

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