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The Journal Gazette

Friday, September 14, 2018 1:00 am


Transformative vision for North River area

The latest buzz about a new small arena/event center in the North River area has merit.

The arena could be built on Lawton Park to give it a riverfront location directly across from Headwaters Park.

This prime location sits between Clinton Street and Spy Run Avenue, next to our revitalized downtown. This spot would also provide for good traffic flow.

To accomplish this, I would move Lawton Park across Clinton to become part of the proposed new mixed-use development. That would make more room for Lawton's Kids Crossing, ball diamonds, skateboard park and the Parks Department's greenhouse. All could be integrated within any new housing, professional offices and shops located there. And, maybe even a new downtown grocery store that so many people want.

And, hopefully, Headwaters Junction will be built, so both sides of Clinton can be knit together as another core attraction.

A new enclosed bike/pedestrian bridge will need to be built across Clinton, probably near Science Central. I'm imagining an impressive bridge like the Purdue Fort Wayne access bridge across Stellhorn Road.

Beautiful bridges bring their surroundings to life. Clinton already has the great MLK bridge, and soon the bridge across the St. Marys River at Superior Street and Spy Run will be beautifully remodeled and expanded for easier bike and pedestrian use, and better river vistas.

I think any of these changes and improvements could help unify riverfront development between the Van Buren Street bridge eastward to the three rivers' confluence and the Columbia Street bridge.

In my mind's eye, the North River area is our new downtown north and partners with the Wells Street Corridor growth.

I'm sure this idea will be controversial and much easier said than done, but it could be extraordinary.

Tom Smith

Former Fort Wayne City Council member

Mean-spirited Pence piece

“Divinely inspired sycophant,” an opinion piece by Michael D'Antonio and Peter Eisner (Aug. 30) was stunningly mean-spirited. Surely staff can find less inflammatory sources besides the Los Angeles Times to share with Fort Wayne readership.

Rebecca Osbun

Fort Wayne

Individuality strengthens spiritual connections

Steven D. Smith of Fort Wayne (Aug. 27) writes: “Judeo-Christian churches in the United States have lost all moral authority.” I cannot speak for all Christians – even as pastor of Fort Wayne Baptist Church I cannot speak for the members of my congregation – I can only speak for myself. That is all anyone can do. Therein lies the answer to his question.

I cannot address the problems of “Christians” any more than you can address the issue of any group with which you identify. We all need to stop thinking that way. We must deal with individuals as individuals. As a Christian I believe in love, acceptance and grace – the essence of Jesus' teaching. By my understanding, that is all I can do. My personal politics, I believe, are informed by that understanding. 

Smith speaks of churches and Christianity as if there is a single monolithic entity. No such thing exists. Nor has it ever. 

How does anyone accept the moral guidance of churches? They do not. They accept the moral guidance of fellow Christians, for good and ill. They accept the love and friendship of people they come to know as people. Christianity should be about relationships: with God, with other people and even with our own sense of self.

If we see the disenfranchised, the abused, the persecuted and the other not as a group but as a collection of individual people, then they are no longer aliens, no longer strangers; but people who need love and respect and grace as much as we do. That is my request of my fellow Christians. See no group, respond to no group, condemn or praise no group. If we approach individuals as individuals then we can act in a Christ-like way, or as it is also known, like decent human beings.

Scott Carter

Fort Wayne