Now that the Florida Road project is just about finished, whats going to be done with that blocked-off section of road at Cedar Avenue? It used to be a neighborhood access. Perhaps it could be declared the citys smallest and ugliest park. Sign me, Flo Reeda
The tiny parcel isnt without charm. After all, theres a bus pullout with a spiffy new bench offering commanding views of traffic. But thats about it.
Hilltop barriers were installed to keep motorized interlopers away. At the base, the curb and gutter provide an unmistakable hint that its no longer an open road.
However, the asphalt remains in place which is park-like in an inner-city kind of way, except that most paved-over urban parks are flat basketball courts.
Playing hoops at Abandoned Cedar Avenue Park would be difficult considering the slope. A better use would be for wintertime gravity sports.
At least thats one possible use offered by City Manager Ron LeBlanc, whom Action Line ambushed during the lunch hour last week at the downtown Subway.
We really dont have any plans for that property yet, he admitted between bites of sandwich. First, weve gotta get Florida Road done, but maybe we could turn it into a snow-tubing hill, he said with a wry smile.
Uh, theres a piece of lettuce on your tooth, Action Line replied. Never mind that Action Line has just spilled a large glob of orange Buffalo Chicken Sandwich sauce on his shirt.
Anyway, when it was pointed out that the curb wouldnt stop sledders from going onto Florida Road, Ron had the perfect suggestion:
We could set up some protective hay bales. I hear the school district has a few of them. Maybe the city could borrow some hay, he deadpanned.
b b b
After the historic City Manager-Action Line Lunch Summit, Ron realized he has another item on his plate: find a new police chief. Thus our city manager asked that the Mea Culpa Mailbag be used for the following important announcement:
Based on the successful Guest Bartender program, the city will begin a Guest Police Chief program. I have mentioned this to several longtime Durango residents, and they all endorsed it, the city manager writes via email.
Rod Barker volunteered to help with the firearms qualification. He really wanted to be a candidate, but as an owner of a saloon with dance-hall girls, he thought the public might see a conflict.
So folks who want to toss their hat in the ring can meet with Rod on any Monday, Wednesday or Friday evening in June by the Strater Hotel on Seventh Street for a gunfight. If you can beat Rod, then you can proceed to the written-test phase, our city manager writes.
As word about the Guest Police Chief program spread, my phone was flooded with nominations, Ron says with pride.
John Francis from Wells Fargo volunteered to take one for the team, and Jasper Welch donated office space at his new business for testing candidates.
Ron adds that several people suggested Jack Llewellyn.
His vast contacts with the Chamber of Commerce should come in handy when forming a posse, he writes.
Ron points out that Roger Zalneraitis, the new executive director for the Economic Development Alliance, comes from Kansas.
Given the history of Dodge City and the general lawlessness that occurs after a KU basketball game, he certainly qualifies, Ron says.
The citys Human Resources Department reminded me to reach out to female candidates, Ron says. So when I looked at the time spent in the penalty box at the co-ed hockey league last season, Heather Erb came to the top of the list, he observes.
I had to rule out Kerry Petranek on a technicality because she builds water tools at Stoneage. After all, you cannot take a sewer jet to a gunfight, Ron notes.
It is always better to have a plan than no plan at all, Ron correctly points out. So the Guest Police Chief plan is the best I have for now. Perhaps this will need to be modified as we explore other alternatives.
Email questions to email@example.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you have additional nominations for the Guest Police Chief program.