Wednesday, Sept. 8


Railer spirit stays downtown     Send a link to a friend

(Posted late Wednesday)

[SEPT. 8, 2004]  The petition to whitewash the "spirit path" as normal during the Railers' homecoming week has been the subject of much debate in recent weeks. Homecoming includes a parade starting at the Lincoln Community High School and traveling through downtown. It has been a long-standing practice to paint players' names and numbers on the parade route streets and in front of their homes.

Aldermen said that they have heard opinions in both directions about marking the newly paved and marked streets around the square. Some don't want it messed up yet. Some think that support of our high school students and the team is more important.

A proposed compromise was reached at the last discussion. The boosters club and supporters will go out after the homecoming events and clean off the whitewash.

Authorities and experts on streets were consulted, and there is some concern that the whitewash may adhere to the more porous new surfaces. City engineer Mark Mathon and streets superintendent Tracy Jackson have tried a test patch on Wyatt Avenue and had a difficult time getting it off.

Alderman Patrick Madigan, who had said at an earlier meeting that he was against it, said that he has been talking to people around town and they want to support it. "It's a road. It's going to get messed up. Keep in mind the football team and boosters. Let it go," he said.


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The city received numerous complaints for allowing the Art of Wine to put tent holes in the pavement. It provoked those in favor of the whitewash tradition, muddling matters even more.

Streets chairman Derrick Crane said it was unfortunate that Main Street was put in the middle of this. "It is unfair to them and unjustified. They maintain the integrity and appearance of that street," he said.

The holes that were made have metal sleeves that are now capped. It will be necessary to use a metal detector to find them for next year's event. This was worked out with the city engineer and the streets superintendent.

This is the most appropriate location for the Art of Wine, Crane said. The merchants like that it brings business into that area.

Approval was granted with Aldermen Armbrust and Crane against it.

[Jan Youngquist]

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