I was just at the Porter Theatre last eve for the Conn-Area musical dress rehearsal. The city has this BEAUTIFUL resource and sems to be dead set against capitalizing on it/ WHY O WHY????I haven't been to the Porter Theater in a while--at least 2-3 years ago for a production of The Nutcracker, where some male patrons were decked out in camo and bright-orange hunting caps--but it seriously is a pretty place with tons of potential. Get on it, Connellsville! And on that note, while the State Theater is gorgeous, Geibel should probably using Porter for its musicals. It just makes a lot more sense.
I could see such much going on there. Imagine the concerts! The Carnegie Library in Homestead has become a venue for a lot of bands of national note. WHY can't we do that with the Porter. Bring in PEOPLE. They need to EAT and DRINK. Voilà. An opportunity for new restaurants. I LOVE the eateries we have here. But I also want VARIETY! Just because new places open doesn't mean I would stop patronizing my faves. But perhaps I could eat more in town instead of going Utown, or Gburg, or THE BURGH when I want variety. And bring PEOPLE in and they might want to SHOP. Voilà again. MORE business opportunities!
Make the town more attractive instead of looking like the slums. Who could argue with that?! Well, apparently those in power! The city looks like CRAP! BETTER LOOKING city=PEOPLE choosing to live here=MORE BUSINESS=A city RISING LIKE THE PHOENIX from the ashes!!!
This accurately sums up--albeit somewhat oversimplified--a lot of the problems not just in Connellsville but county-wide. We have lots of excellent resources from a rich history to nature to neat places to even people that could do a lot of good for the community and the economy, but those resources don't have the support they need to flourish. The reasons for that are likely very complicated, but examining just one place like the Porter Theater opens up a bunch of potential uses, which brings with it lots of potential revenue and positivity in general. Local politicians are always going on about the county's bad reputation and have a tendency to put band-aids on the problems by doing stupid things like putting pretty pictures on trucks without fixing real, huge problems like poverty rather than actually working to capitalize on what we already have.
Fayette County was once very, very prosperous, and we just haven't figured out how to recover. Some people have good ideas and lots of thoughts and opinions without much of a way to execute them. Others have more pull but don't listen or don't try as hard as perhaps they could. And then there's the fact that a lot of great people who could do wonders for the area leave.
The fixes aren't always obvious or easy--I mean, we all know Connellsville is broke and literally falling apart--but I'm a firm believer that a little can go a long way. So let's try!
This has sparked lots of good discussion, which is always good to see. Some of that discussion also focused on the importance of supporting small businesses, and which is what motivates a lot of small-business-oriented posts on this blog and even the Fine Dining posts. I haven't highlighted one in a while, but I was certainly promoting lots of stuff around Christmas. Christmas may be over, but those businesses--and even people just selling artwork on the side--are still here, and they still have lots of cool stuff for your buying pleasure. But a lot of local businesses still struggle, and it's hard to say whether that's because people don't care about them or because they don't know about them. For that matter, one of the coolest and most informative things that turned people on to small businesses was a scavenger hunt a few years back. I can't remember who sponsored it or what the point was, but the clues led to various local businesses, and I did discover some neat little places I'd love to check out when I'm in the area. I know there's a committee dedicated to small businesses, so come summertime, get on this! I'll come in for the weekend and do it myself and spend my monies. I'll blog about it. It'll be fun, beneficial times for all.
The bottom line is people want change and improvement. They're opinionated and angry, and they very well should be. We just need to make things happen.
The most common sentiment, though? Fr. Bob for mayor! (and Pope)