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Urgent letter to Russian people: Embrace peace Putin’s way dangerous in the long run

Jim Morin, MorinToons Syndicate


From parallel to diagonal, parking changes approach D

iagonal parking once was common in downtown shopping areas. Some communities have it to this day. But as automakers built larger and longer vehicles after World War II, the space dedicated to parking began to impinge upon the space dedicated to traffic lanes, and vice versa. What was a community to do? Adopt parallel parking, of course. It permitted more space for traffic lanes, though allowing for fewer parking spaces per block. Parallel parking added a supreme challenge to driver’s education students, not to mention just about everyone else. Downtown Dixon is home to many parallel parking spaces. That status is about to change, slightly, when one side of one block is converted to diagonal parking as part of the city’s streetscape project. Those who still have trouble parallel park-

What we think

We see little to worry about regarding the The conversion of one part of downtown decision to convert a relDixon to diagonal parking is on the way. We atively small portion of the downtown to diagosee potential benefits and few drawbacks. nal parking. It might entice more shoppers who don’t like ing – or who have not yet appearance factor and bought a new car with extra space for greenery. to parallel park or who want to park closer to that high-tech automatic Besides, Burke said, parallel parking feature studies have shown that their shopping destina– will want to rememthe downtown has plen- tions. It will certainly give ber this location: the ty of parking available, part of the downtown south side of First Street, if people are willing to between Hennepin and walk a little bit farther to somewhat of a retro look. And diagonal parkGalena avenues. their destination. That’s where 10 paralThe mayor has a point. ing is cheaper to install, according to the engilel parking spaces will be Shoppers who frequent converted to 19 diagonal malls and big-box stores neers. It remains to be seen parking spaces, with one must hoof it the length of space designated for a football field or longer, whether Burke’s concerns materialize. Diaghandicapped parking. at times, to reach the onal parking means The Dixon City Council products they wish to narrower sidewalks, approved a $5.7 million buy. streetscape project this But the same shoppers, estimated to be about 5 feet wide. Passing week, which includes apparently, have a difthe parallel-to-diagonal- ferent perspective while pedestrians might find their shoulder room a parking project. driving along a storebit more snug. Add a Council members lined downtown street, baby stroller and a couaccepted the argument looking for a parking ple of kids, and there by merchants that cusplace. tomers want more parkPark a block away from might well be a few right-of-way complicaing in the downtown, the store they wish to tions. which diagonal parking patronize? Perish the Regardless, this diagowill create. thought! nal parking proposal is Mayor Jim Burke urged While the council lisfor only one side of one the council to retain tened to Burke’s viewblock. Let the city build it the all-parallel-parking points, it sided with the and see how it works. format, emphasizing the merchants.


Restaurant turnaround sets example JOHN VanDYKE Harmon

I would like to commend whoever has changed the way the Burger King restaurant is run. I used to not like the thought of going there until about a few months ago. The management is friendly and caring. When you go through the drive-

thru, they are friendly on the intercom, treat you like they care, and do not forget that you are sitting there waiting for your food. The food comes out just like it looks on the picture of their ads and what is placed on their windows. Burger King could really be an image for others to follow when it comes to pleasing and satisfying their customers. My hat is off to the management and staff.

Community barn dance a big success NANCE ANDERSON Morrison

“Denim and Lace,� St. Mary’s barn dance on April 25, overflowed from the parish hall onto the church patio in an evening with a huge attendance of elegantly clad Morrison young ladies and their charming escorts.

Enthusiastic dancers of all ages; great dance music; raffle gift baskets; delicious refreshments; and remembrance pictures of each couple – all of these contributed to make this a special and fun evening. Thank you to all who attended and helped to make this such a memorable family event. Note to readers: Nance Anderson serves as the public relations chairwoman for St. Mary’s Church.

YOUR GOVERNMENT ONLINE City of Dixon – www. City of Rock Falls – City of Amboy – www. City of Prophetstown – City of Sterling – www. City of Oregon – www. City of Morrison – Village of Ashton –



Jennifer Baratta Jim Dunn Sheryl Gulbranson Larry Lough Trevis Mayfield Jeff Rogers

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

“We are writing this open letter to you, the citizens of Russia, to offer you our perspectives, as leaders of European Union, the United States, Canada and Japan. We are addressing you in the hope that you and your leaders will return to the mutually profitable policies that we had hoped would make you our partner in the global economy. ‌â€? This is the letter that should have been written weeks ago. Indeed, the world’s economic leaders must write it immediately – if they expect to have even a chance of heading off the prospect that war will soon erupt on Europe’s eastern front, in eastern Ukraine. The writing of it doesn’t require an act of penmanship – but leadership. And just this once, the leadership must come from Europe, not the U.S. president alone. But don’t hold your breath while waiting. Europe’s leaders, from Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron to Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, have shrunk before our eyes and shirked their responsibility to lead in a time of extreme crisis. (Neville Chamberlain, call your office.) With Russia’s troops massed at the Ukraine border, Europe’s leaders must now tell Russia’s citizens what they urgently need to hear – in the hope that it may not be too late to do any good. â€œâ€Ś We hope you and your leaders will urgently return to the insightful policies you were pursuing as this year began. Your path seemed destined to bring to you, your children, and ultimately your grandchildren the long-term prosperity that comes with the responsibilities of long-term global partnership. It is not too late – if Russia returns to the leadership path that produced Sochi’s successful Winter Olympics and had many of us, the leaders of the G-8 nations, looking forward to returning to Sochi at your president’s invitation. ‌â€? INSTEAD, RUSSIA’S aggression in Crimea and eastern Ukraine forced the United States and Europe to order economic sanctions that target a few wealthy, connected Russians. But the sanctions are limp (“calibrated,â€? President Barack Obama calls them). Europe’s leaders lacked the backbone to stand and act firmly. They sent precisely the wrong message to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and equal opportunity.� Nelson Mandela, former South African president, 1964


martinSCHRAM Martin Schram writes political analysis for MCT News Service. E-mail him at martin. schram@

Why did Europe’s leaders fail to lead? And why is it urgent that they lead immediately? The answers can be seen in a quick glance at the big picture. It is, actually, two paint-by-the-numbers pictures. The Lack-of-Leadership Picture: A) 370 – that, in billions of dollars, is how much trade the European Union nations do with Russia each year. B) 26 – that, in billions of dollars, is the trade the United States does with Russia a year. (No wonder Obama finds it so much easier to apply tough economic sanctions against Russia for its reckless military threats and actual aggression in Ukraine.) C) 25 – that’s the approximate percentage of fuel that the European Union countries get from Russia. D) 33 – that’s the percentage of natural gas that Germany gets from Russia via the pipeline that runs through Ukraine. The Urgency Picture: A) 71 – the percentage of Russians who said they now “trust� Putin’s leadership, according to an independent poll published last week in The Moscow Times and other news outlets. B) 51 – the percentage who now say Putin had made Russia a “great, respected power.� C) 36 – the percentage of Russians who held that view just 1 year ago. Europe’s titular leaders, being professional politicians, know that with numbers like that, Russia’s president will never stop posing as a leader by threatening to catapult Europe into the sort of unshirted hell that Europe hasn’t seen since the dark old days of the early Cold War. So they must lead Russia’s citizens by at least making the truth real and palpable. Only then can there be a chance that Russia’s people can influence their leader to act in the name of prosperity – by returning to the prosperous path of peace. “... We are reaching out to you to make clear that your progress and prosperity is not just your dream. It is our dream as well. But only by walking the path of peace together can we make our mutual prosperity a reality.� sss Note to readers: Martin Schram is a veteran Washington journalist.

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