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I'm tired of Springfield bashers

I'm tired of people knocking the city of Springfield.

You hear it in conversations. You read it on Internet forums.

There are people who mourn the changes they've seen in the city they love. There are also smug sarcastic types who express their satisfaction in leaving the city for a suburb. Others seem to take pleasure in seeing an urban center with problems.

I'm not turning a blind eye to the city's problems. My wife and I bought a house 15 years ago in the neighborhood where a convenience store operator was recently murdered. We understand the nature of living in the middle of a city.

I'm tired of not seeing enough police in my neighborhood. I grit my teeth every Wednesday afternoon to see how much trash is left on the street from the weekly garbage pick-up. I anticipate on every nice day that my neighbors will blast their sound systems so loud that I can't hear my own television. I can't stand the fact that when my wife and I walk Lucky the Wonder Bichon we have to be aware of other dogs that are allowed to run free.

Yes, and we have that pesky bunch of Control Board guys from Boston who sometimes make decisions that help the city and sometimes keep things from happening that should.

These are all conditions, though, that can be solved and it's that realization that allows me to see the glass half-full rather than half-empty.

Why do I stay in Springfield? Because I do believe that if we can work through our problems, it will be a great place to live once again.

The present administration has made significant changes for the better and I hope voters will allow it to continue making progress.

The following in no particular order are some of the features of the City of Homes that have earned my loyalty:

The diverse population and the businesses it brings: I love the fact that we have a true melting pot here. Ethnic markets, restaurants and festivals give people the chance to share their cultures.

A higher education community: Springfield is home to four colleges, which bring in thousands of students to the city each year and contribute both financially and culturally to the community.

The Springfield Technical Community College Technology Park, Indian Orchard Mills: Here are examples of how the past and future of Springfield link together. The STCC Technology Park is an example of public and private funds that used a historic facility to generate new businesses. Indian Orchard Mills shows how a 19th century manufacturing facility is still cutting edge in the 21st century.

Real development potentials: The new Federal Courthouse will undoubtedly serve as a mini-economic engine. The development of Union Station, the Technical High School Building, and the sites of the York Street Jail and the former Basketball Hall of Fame all have significant promise. Once the Smith &Wesson property is cleaned up, there is room for more industry.

Good corporate citizens: MassMutual, Big Y and Peter Pan are just three of the most prominent entities in the corporate community which make a point of contributing to this city.

A great city library system and great parks:

These two city departments provide important quality of life factors.

A historic housing stock:

Perhaps you take it for granted, but visitors to this city love neighborhoods such as Hill-McKnight.

People with vision:

There are private citizens who make a real difference. Look at the people who have made the Zoo in Forest Park such a nice place to go, or who manage the farmers' markets in the city that get fresh produce to residents or who are trying to convert the Bing Theater into an arts center. People care in this town.

Tourist attractions that are indeed attractive:

The Springfield Museums, the Titanic Historical Society, the Indian Motocycle Museum and the Basketball Hall of Fame are an interesting line-up. We need a transportation museum, a monument to Thornton W. Burgess and a Timothy Leary center for the psychedelic arts, though, to represent more of our heritage.

So when it comes to Springfield, is your glass half empty or half full?

These are my opinions alone. Send your comments to or to 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA, 01028.