I was hanging out with my old buddy Jim Binckley the other day. For those of you who’ve yet to be introduced to this member of the Tales of Two Cities cast of characters, Jim and I have been friends since our senior year of high school in Columbia. His family moved to Columbia in 1967. Mine came in ’68.
Whenever we get together, the politics of Columbia inevitably come up.
“Did you see Barbara Russell’s letter to the editor in the Flier?” Jim asked.
I hadn’t seen it.
“It has got to be one of the worst written paragraphs.”
The letter began as follows:
“The biggest problem with Council Bill 29 regarding the redevelopment of Columbia's village centers, and it has been there from the beginning and is still there despite all of the possible amendments, is this: The developer/property owner gets to design and present the proposal for redevelopment of the entire village center, with advice only from the community. The developer/property owner is the entity (others being residents and businesses in the village, the Zoning Board or the Planning Board) with the least interest or investment in the village centers except for a financial interest.”
Now I don’t care where you fall in the debate over the merits of CB 29 but you’d have to admit that this paragraph is a real mouthful. She doesn’t do a very effective job of making her point, whatever it is.
That got me to thinking. I decided to create a new irregular feature for Tales of Two Cities that highlights some of the more interesting words from local letters to the editor and assorted op-ed pieces. I’ve even created a new place on Where I Put Stuff called “In Others Words…”
The ground is very fertile here.