Letters to the Editor 2/18/16
LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE
Many thanks to Illinois Times and Bruce Rushton for the profile of Springfield’s Legacy Audio (“Sounds good”) in the Feb. 11 edition. It made me smile. This company is truly a gem in Springfield’s business jewel box, and Bill Dudleston and his employees deserve the credit for what the company has accomplished in both the national and international marketplaces over the years.
I first became aware of Legacy many years ago when I came upon an ad for a beautiful set of speakers in one of the audio magazines. My first thought was “Wow! Who makes these?” I looked to the bottom of the ad to find that they were not only made in Illinois, but in Springfield. As a committed music lover and audio geek, I’ve had a set of Legacy speakers on my bucket list ever since. In the past, I have even used Legacy as a fine example of the outstanding yet often unknown businesses that do grow and prosper here.
Congratulations to Mr. Dudleston and his team, not just because they offer great sounding speakers, but because they offer excellence.
Now I’ve got to go figure out a savings plan for a pair of Legacy Focus SE’s.
A SECOND CHANCE
Over the past few weeks, a lot of excellent letters and OP-ED’s here and in the State Journal-Register have called on the city not to be so quick to demolish another of our city’s historical gems, the YWCA building. I have not seen one word calling for this city landmark to be turned into rubble.
A little historical perspective: Looking back to 2008, we can see how truly visionary was the plan by the administration of the late Mayor Tim Davlin to use downtown TIF funds to rehab the “Y.” With the TIF funds, Governor’s View LLC would turn this building into beautiful condominiums or apartments to meet the growing demand for downtown living space. Without them, the project was a no go. Unfortunately, the shortsighted city council turned down the project on a 4-6 vote.
In a Nov. 11, 2008, editorial criticizing the vote and calling on Governor’s View LLC to work with alderman to revive the project, the SJ-R wrote prophetically: “Successfully converting it to condos may spur the development of the city block behind it.” It also wrote that this was “a textbook case for how TIF should be used. The YWCA building is run-down but salvageable. The project is not feasible without public funding.” The editorial concluded, “Not allowing this project to go forward is irresponsible and halts progress being made downtown.”
By contrast, the same city council initially cast the same 4-6 vote, rejecting another Davlin TIF initiative to move the Lincoln-era Maisenbacher house to save it from demolition. Fortunately, one of the “no” voting alderman changed his mind, and on a second vote, the plan passed. Because of that one vote, today we have the trendy Wm. Van’s Coffee House, blending new and old, greatly improving and enhancing the Lincoln home area.
Just think how much farther along we would be in developing the “Y” block now if it were anchored by a beautifully rehabilitated YWCA, similar to Wm. Van’s.
In life, we don’t get too many second chances. Our city has one now. Let’s not repeat the mistake of seven and a half years ago. This time, let’s go the extra mile to preserve this historic gem.
MORE THAN FOOD
I opened my newspaper and said, “Oh no. Not Julianne Glatz” (“The kitchen is closed, Bruce Rushton, Feb. 11). I had just read her column about maple syrup in the Illinois Times.
My sympathy to her family and many friends. Her column was not just about food. Her warm stories of her family and life were priceless and so well-written. Julianne graced the Illinois Times.