A Quick Opinion: How long will it take our new neighbors to acclimate to small-town living?

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A Winters Express opinion column

By Charles R. Wallace
Publisher Emeritus

That headline is long enough to be a column. I’ll have to wait and see what makes it into print. The Rotary Pancake Breakfast is still fresh in my mind, and I want to thank everyone, again, for supporting your local Rotary Club. Like it says on the placemats, we couldn’t help our community, and the world, without your help. There were new and old Rotarians in the kitchen and several new people to Winters who stepped up to volunteer.

We have built a lot of houses over the past 10 years and with those houses come new neighbors. More people that we can ask to help keep Winters a great place to live and raise our children. I will admit that I haven’t met that many of my new neighbors, but the ones that I have met have been impressive. Maybe that is because I see them already volunteering and trying to help the community.

I still meet new people, and sometimes it is embarrassing to ask them how long they have lived here, and they answer 15 years. Maybe it is ego, but I should have met everyone that has lived here for under 20 years. Over 40 years I have covered. I used to joke that you were a newbie if you haven’t been here at least 20 years, but maybe I wasn’t kidding.

I found a groundbreaking picture for the Yesteryear page, which should be in this week’s paper, and it just shows you how long Winters has been trying to grow. Well, even I will admit that we are building a lot of houses. Feast or famine. It used to be that if a development got approved in Winters, the next great housing recession was on the way. When they built the houses on both ends of Main Street, the building was stopped by a housing recession.

When the original owners of the land on North Main Street got permission to build they went broke. Not before we got a new million-dollar swimming pool out of them, but someone else is building the new homes northwest of Main Street.

Timing is everything and the current set of developers live under a shining star. I still think the end is near, but like I said last week, I’m having second thoughts about my crystal ball.

One of the newer people helping out at the breakfast was Winters City Council Member Richard Casavecchia. For the past several years he has made our pancake batter, and it isn’t an easy job. I was glad to see him walk into the kitchen this year and put on an apron.

Richard has hit a few bumps on life’s highway, lately. When someone asked me what we were going to do about him, I didn’t have an answer. Partly because I don’t know anything about what really happened, and I think only a handful of people do. I haven’t talked to him about his situation, and I don’t expect him to be calling everyone to explain what happened. I’m sure his lawyer advised him to stay calm and keep on keeping on. If not, I’ll take the fee for free advice.

As far as I know, he is still on the council, representing his constituents, and going through the legal process that will decide his fate. Isn’t that the American way?

Have a good week.

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