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LETTERS: January 19th Issue

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Re.: Jacksonville Development

Preservation of a National Historic Landmark verses development has come to the forefront in Jacksonville as building contractors, real estate brokers and city government move forward with plans to increase the city density and ultimately, open urban expansion. In 2008, new building codes were legalized to allow an almost a 100% increase in development on every city lot, and Code 18.11.020 was written to define the changes. Building height also increased to 35 feet and afterwards our skyline has gradually increased, blocking historic views and historic structures and eliminating the privacy to adjacent residences. 

Apparently, asking the City Planning Commission to moderate these building codes, is of no interest, even after an extensive review of the current codes by them. I have to remind myself as a member of a capitalistic society that development is the cornerstone of our economy. If that case, then stand back and watch as we, “build the history out of Jacksonville.”

Take pride in the new Jacksonville and show our children how we have enriched their future. Significantly, the members of our City Planning Commission must be given credit for their commitment to the preservation of their building codes, which will permanently alter the landscape of Jacksonville and become our legacy. 

If you are of the belief that local history belongs to all of us, and deserves priority over profit and development, then I ask you to attend the Public Hearing on Code Amendments, January 18 at 6 pm at the Jacksonville Elementary School, 655 Hueners Lane, Jacksonville. 

Thank you 

Steven A. Gardner 


RE.: Aging Farmers

I’m average! We’re coming up on 30 years of farming but mom is thinking of putting the farm up for sale. It’s just getting too hard to bring people into our produce stand & labor is all but impossible to acquire in a profitable fashion. Add failing equipment and aging bodies and it doesn’t look great for us. Sure hope we can find another farm family to take over.

Guy Giesbrecht


There is so much more to this story when looking at farm land from 2012 to 1017. I feel like this is the tip of the iceberg. I would love to see a follow up article on how vineyards, 4h projects, back to land retires and of course cannabis regulations are ultimately completely changing the face of agricultural land. Prices of farm land since 2012 have skyrocketed and many many family farms have been sold to accommodate these industries. We need to lift the ban on rural residential farming and protect or agricultural lands.

Courtney Zehring


Hey Messenger: Why is the Little Caesar’s Arena not called the Little Caesar’s Coliseum?

Dear W.P.: This sounds like a joke, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer. For those who do not know, the Little Caesar’s Arena is a brand new, sports arena being constructed in Detroit, Michigan. I did some digging and found that there is a casino only a few miles away called the Caesars Windsor. This is the same hotel brand as the Caesars in Las Vegas. This little hub is very interesting because half of it is in Detroit, Michigan, and the other half is in Canada, with the Detroit river between them. Anyway, the Colosseum at the Caesars Windsor is the event venue inside of the Caesars Windsor. I am already confused, how about you? I’m pretty sure this is why they did not want to name the stadium “Little Caesar’s Coliseum/Colosseum.” The two places already share the word, “Caesar,” adding another one would be a Google NIGHTMARE.

Also interesting: The creation of this particular hotel and casino so close to the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which runs through the river connecting the USA and Canada, was a major factor in legalizing gambling in Detroit.

Hey Messenger: Do you think I should break up with my boyfriend if he has a female best friend and he always tells her his problems first? They’ve been friends since middle school and they dated around that time. I know he doesn’t like her anymore but I don’t know how she feels.
Thanks, M.

Dear M.: Maybe. This situation is not inherently wrong. It is only wrong if you think that it is. However, you should at least talk to him first. He might not know you don’t like it. When it comes to relationships, not many things are just always right and always wrong. Those involved have to set the boundaries and expectations. These boundaries and expectations need to be clear and they need to be agreed upon. I would recommend having this conversation with him, first. If he does not agree with your expectation that he always come to you first, then you can think about whether you want to move on from this relationship. First things first.


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