Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Badger Motor Car Company

Watched a very good movie last weekend called "A Good Lie"  The movie centers on four young Sudanese refugees (known as Lost Boys of Sudan) which are helped by Reese Witherspoon a brash American woman after they win a lottery for relocation to the United States.

Not a movie that was made for awards but more for enlightenment about the Second Sudanese Civil War where 2.5 million men, woman and children were killed in Sudan from 1986 to 2005.

Of these 20,000 children from the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups walked over one thousand miles barefoot to seek refuge in a refugee camp.  3,600 of these children were able to make it to America and this is their story.

The stars of the movie were actual refugees and I would say half of the film was their journey. It really puts our troubles in America into perspective. Its sad, moving, haunting and funny at times and a true story.

The trailer focus's on the last half of the movie but the first half was what got me!

http://youtu.be/O5mrvffezmM

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I'm working on an article for a magazine on The Badger Motor Car Company  of Columbus - a rather daunting task but Fred Stare the driest writer I have ever read is helping me.

 NOT that I'm complaining. It's just that I have to caffeine up on this project. 


So much history in Columbus that very few know about. 
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Council is considering bonds and how much Columbus can afford to borrow and what the ramifications are looking ahead.

My personal opinion is IF bonds are needed, if we want to use the city credit card it is not something to take lightly. We all saw the problems with our last budget and borrowing money just to fix things we can't afford is only fixing a symptom, not fixing a problem.  We need to fix the problem. 

You don't use a credit card because you are short of money. You use it because you HAVE to use it.  Just because we CAN borrow a certain amount does not mean we SHOULD borrow.  HOWEVER - roads need to be fixed and while I'm a little more conservative on what roads need to be fixed I agree they need to be looked at.  

I guess the reason I'm not fully on the road bandwagon is every time someone complains about roads I ask  "Which road exactly are you talking about that needs to be fixed" and the answer, almost 100% of the time is the "151/73 exit and James Street" sigh . . not our road and it's getting fixed.  So then I say what other roads and the answer is normally some vague "there are other streets . .  all of them".  

I agree - there are streets that are in pretty poor shape and I agree with the others that they have been neglected and a good amount money needs to go into high profile streets. My personal recommendation was $1.6 million at 1% interest. So of course that raises some eyebrows, almost free money should we borrow while it's cheap?  We will get more solid facts and figures later this week.    
But my objective is that I want to make sure that down the road we have enough borrowing power for a new fire station and library.  Fire Station for public safety and that is a no brainer, our fire station is ridiculously small and libraries are portals to knowledge and allow people of any income the ability to access high-quality information.  Our library has some pretty fantastic street cred in literary circles and is embarrassingly small for a town our size.  

Hey - The Columbus Library was sighted as one of the top 10 in the Nation and we just got a pretty sizable grant because of it.

We need money for roads and we need to make sure we are good for down the road.  There are lots and lots of things other departments want. Get in line!  We have a fire squad truck that is almost 25 years old, we have dump trucks that are 20+ years old.  The Columbus debt level is . . . good enough, which to ME is too much. Less debt means more money down the road.

That is my debt spiel.

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I believe I said Napoli's is back open.  Also the Firemans Tap has not closed YET but will shortly and I'll have news on that in coming days . . no jinxing.  Lots of stuff going on under the lime light with developers from Madison asking questions.  I'm very optimistic about Columbus. Lot's of good vibes are happening.