Thursday, October 11, 2007

Building Bridges

It's heartening to see someone reconsider a good idea initially perceived as out of reach, and take steps to make it happen. An example of this is the article in today's Sentinel about St. Mary's getting city help to build a pedestrian bridge over Seventh Street at Wellington Avenue.

I wrote about this back in March. St. Mary's employees were apparently so vocal about this when their building project came about that their CEO put a long explanation into his monthly communique' this past January about how a bridge just couldn't be built because of the expense.

It's likely that pressure has continued from employees and perhaps some customers who would benefit from a walkway between the surgery center, oncology clinic, and the main hospital, and as a result St. Mary's reached out to the city for help. Perhaps Bob Ladenburger is learning something from Tim Foster in this area.

It's absolutely correct that the same issue exists with Mesa State, with one of the differences being a cohesive, focused voice from those who would stand to benefit from a pedestrian bridge over 12th Street. Perhaps the Criterion can make this an area of focus, especially with their new web presence. Those with concerns in this area could then be organized into a presence that can't be ignored, and then perhaps Mr. Foster will take a page from Mr. Ladenburger's game plan and start the process of making this happen.

A pedestrian bridge over 12th Street for the benefit of Mesa State students, staff, and neighbors is long overdue. Barring any substantive movement in this direction from the College itself, the city should make it a prerequisite for any future in-kind contributions to the College's expansion efforts. It would be nicer if the College would earmark some of the $5 Million it just received from the City over the next 10 years toward some kind of progress in this area, and soon.

Bridges can be a good thing, not only in the context of achieving a greater measure of safety and helping to ameliorate the effects of significant growth, but to achieve understanding and cooperation between institutions with strong leadership and varying missions and visions for the future. Here's a start. Well done.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


This is my favorite season of the year. The heat of summer is gone, replaced by a more comfortable climate for quiet walks, thinking, and just being at home. The more temperate conditions (when it's not raining) have an invigorating quality for me that helps me to focus and get things done. It's also a subtle reminder that all things end, be it summer, youth, a period in your life, or indeed life itself.

Jan will be gone 6 months on Monday. This coincides with what would have been our 19th anniversary.
That being said, I feel compelled to reflect on a colleague whose untimely death in a foreign place that I will probably never see is having a profound impact on many in my profession.

Jason Lhotka was tied to my place of employment more than the average Sheriff's Department employee. When I first started working here, his girlfriend was one of my peers. After he graduated from Mesa State, he did an internship at the GJPD that included processing requests for audio tapes. He was quiet, articulate, and driven. We did not always see things the same way, but he was always respectful, even in disagreement. The Lord obviously had a greater calling for him when He called him from the slopes of Kilimanjaro, and I hope that his wife and young son will draw some comfort from knowing that Jason is at peace in His kingdom. He will be missed.

Not much more to add at this point. I've attached a link below to a recent live performance by an icon of my generation, singing a song that was an anthem for young men my age and from the looks of it still is. The Boss has a few more wrinkles, but the fire is still there.

Enjoy your weekend. Maybe see you at Oktoberfest.

Springsteen: ‘The Promised Land’
Springsteen: The Promised Land