JBelle: In any community, some are hailed, some are railed. I hear so many good things about Jim Elder and his restaurants. He is everywhere at once, helping in all kinds of meaningful ways, accessible to all. I hear many wonderful things about Steve Gibbs and Art Spirit Gallery. He is (almost) a patron saint of the regional arts community. Forgive me, I am a little blank this morning because I know there are others that I can’t pull up at the moment; business people who step up and do more than what’s required just because they believe you have to do right as well as be right. I don’t hear about the kindness of HH much, Wondering; who is to say why that is? But around here, the Cowles are legend, the Johnstons/Fix/Hansens are legend, the Murphys are legend, the Barbieris are legend; all because they gave much and then gave more and happily dished supplies and in-kind out the back door whenever they could. I’m not a big fan of the food service at the Resort; the ingredients never seem fresh to me. That’s a personal opinion! It’s not lost on me that many people go there and just love it. And that’s fine with me because that means the lines are short at the places I really like.
John Austin: I am one of a dwindling few it seems that appreciates what Duane Hagadone has accomplished here. He told me years ago that if he had come from somewhere else and offered to invest millions in the dying downtown, he’d have been welcomed with open arms (and probably urban renewal bucks.) But, since he was a local guy willing to risk his own dollars, he has been scrutinized and even chastised. I think there was a whole lotta truth in that long-ago comment.