Time to Beautify Winters

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The corner of Grant Avenue and Matsumoto Lane are seen during the construction of a Starbucks store in July 2017. Winters Express/File photo

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By Helen Hosier

A few of us were conversing over a cup of coffee and discovered we were all thinking that it’s time to beautify Winters. Is there some organization or committee that exists who is going to do this? Does a “Beautify Winters” committee need to be organized?

Will someone please step forward and inform us or volunteer to get this going? Here are some thoughts:

Ask home and business owners, or renters of residential or business properties, to evaluate their situations and do what they can to improve as needed what requires attention. This should be done at the home or business owner’s expense. It shouldn’t require city expense.

If home or business owners cannot afford this, and help is needed, what can be done to facilitate this? Ideas anyone?

Is there any town ordinance on the books that needs to be enforced in regard to the care and maintenance of property in the town?

A very large hotel is being built, as everyone knows, what kind of reputation will Winters have if we don’t start now to clean it up and beautify it? Why would people come to stay in a town that is unattractive and uninviting? This is not a blanket assessment of the entire town, but if the shoe fits, put it on!

Winters has the potential of becoming another destination place, like Carmel, for instance, but it’s not there yet. What are some things that can be done to enhance the appearance of the town with just some cosmetic changes? There’s a sign on the freeway just before exiting that says “Winters Historic District.” Oh, really. Where does that start? Why not a few signs that direct the visitor where that historic district really begins. A railroad ran through the eastern side of downtown at one time; the street that leads them downtown is actually called Railroad. Why not identify it as of having some historical significance?

Why not get rid of the weeds on Railroad where all you see when you drive on down to the historical district is ugly overgrown weeds on street corners. It’s disgraceful! And how shameful if you just happen to turn west and go a short distance and see the first residential place and the business-so-called next door in such disrepair. Imagine what that says to the visitor looking at the big, beautiful hotel on the same street! Imagine looking out hotel windows at that ugly mess!

Not only is it time to get the weeds pulled and cleaned up on the street corners, but how about some new plants and flowers? On the corner across the street from our famous eatery is one of the biggest unkempt weed-filled messes in town and a sign announcing a big project that isn’t going to take place, it needs to come down. Doesn’t the town pay for a gardener?

In the downtown parking lot on Railroad and Main, sits a big trash container with all kinds of stuff, including sometimes discarded couches and furniture. Good grief! Why can’t the city or whomever provide a container that conceals that ugliness! It’s almost beyond belief the way we present ourselves as a “charming historical place” to the world. We’ve lived in Fullerton, southern California (a classy Orange County town), in Salinas (not too far from Carmel), in Sunnyvale, in Houston and Dallas, Texas, in South Bend, Indiana, and Winters. I thought we were coming back to a charming small town. It’s time to beautify Winters.

Are there some strong, athletic boys – we feature them a lot in The Winters Express, could they be invited to a “Let’s Beautify Winters” day and they set an example for others to follow? Just a thought. What about painting the bridge and doing some other things that would help where it’s needed? There are plenty of eyesores to be seen. How about beautifying the backs of the businesses on Main Street that are on Newt’s Expressway? I’ll bet Newt would have approved of that! Imagine looking out of your hotel window on the unsightly back entrances below!

We live on East Main Street, a big corner lot to take care of. But we do it and it costs us lots of money each time. Most of the people who live on this downtown street take pride in their residences, but there are some glaring examples of things that need attention. There are other homes and places that hopefully will pay attention to this article and join in an effort to help beautify the town.

I was recently honored as one of the town’s Elders, 90 or over. One of the hardest things about being an elder is the inability to do what I once did. I’ve heard many elders voice this. Hindered by our limitations we are unable to put our hands and shoulder to the wheel. Our generation would have stepped up. We honestly were different in many ways. But I would urge today’s elders to encourage family members, younger friends and neighbors, to take care of your town, whatever is needed, be responsible citizens, take pride in your community. And while you are at it, and this is for everyone, act kindly to everyone, be tenderhearted, give others a smile, and pray for each other.

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