Wow…the online article that Bob Putnam wrote has caused quite a stir! Bob is, as many of you know, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, a PCHS grad and a member of the Port Clinton High School Academic Hall of Fame. My family moved to Catawba in 1962, so I am now officially a 50 year native. I would rather he not use the rubble at the old Middle School as a graphic, since that rubble marks a major improvement in local school facilities. He also failed to mention one of the biggest economic events in the history of our area, the closing of the Erie Army Depot in the mid 1960s, that cost well over 1,000 jobs. I think it ironic that his article appeared in The New York Times five days before Mike Rose is scheduled to give his presentation at the Elks Lodge on his plan for Waterworks Park. For years, downtowns across the country have stopped being retail centers. They are now financial centers as well as dining and entertainment centers. He talks about the loss of manufacturing jobs in Ottawa County, and it is very true. Other economic opportunities have sprung up to replace those jobs, but haven’t quite been able to do it. I’m talking about skilled trade jobs (marinas) and construction/building trade jobs. The increase in single-parent households is certainly not exclusive to Port Clinton. There have been many individuals who have come to Port Clinton seeking opportunity, entrepreneurs, developers and the like. They have made their fortune by working hard and responding to the changes in the marketplace that Putnam described. We have written about “job skills deficit” in The Beacon, but the incentive to work or to get training in the new local job market appears lacking in our community. Yes, very sad. I will be interested to learn what Mr. Rose has to say tonight. How about we take the park aspects of Waterworks Park and move them to the block now empty since the demolition of the old Middle School? Develop the waterfront, centralize the park. Keep the access to the waterfront for local residents.