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Opening Arguments

First one this week

Sometimes we make mistakes for no discernible reason. Then there are the slips with an easily understood origin (at least for the one making the slip).

Last week, I wrote both a blog post and an editorial inviting former City Councilman Dr. John Crawford, who is asking for public input on whether to seek elective office again, to initiate a discussion on what constitutes "small" and "big" government. He has a deserved reputation as a fiscal conservative, but he was also in on some quite activist government, e.g. the smoking ban and Harrison Square.

Dr. Crawford called me yesterday to accept the invitation, so look for a guest column from him on the editorial page soon. He also pointed out that I referred to "Harrison" Square only in the editorial and wanted it known that he had nothing whatsoever to do with this "Franklin Square" that I mentioned in the blog post. Twice.

Oops. Franklin Street was the major street of Michigan City, Ind., where I lived and newspapered for eight years before coming here. It went all the way from the southern edge of the city right through downtown to Lake Michigan. One day some urban planners got the idea to "boost" downtown by closing the street to traffic and making it a pedestrial mall, and Franklin Square was born. Just the thing to improve traffic at your downtown stores -- close off the main direct access to your biggest tourist attraction.

In defense of my feeble mind, both Franklin and Harrison Squares represent development projects better left to the private sector but irresistible to the modern sort of city official who fancies "economic development" a part of the job description. Sometimes it's hard to keep those urban pipe dreams straight.


Tue, 05/25/2010 - 8:35am

I commend you for admitting your mistake. Few public figures will do that today.
We're still hearing "clarifications" from Rand Paul and that Democratic liar who claimed to have served in Vietnam while he was actually helping Toys for Tots.
Everyone goofs and everyone lies (although usually about things not so easily checked).
For once I would like someone to say, "I was wrong" or "I lied," and then shut up. Don't tell us how it was sort-of true.