Talking about Parenting

Published 4:02 pm Thursday, December 6, 2018

+By Chris Kovatch


Some time has gone by since I have written for the paper. Carnival rules my life in September and October normally, but this year also encompassed November. Jackson started Driver’s Ed, which also added a new dynamic to our evening scheduling. I am glad to be back to sharing my thoughts with anyone who cares to read them.

I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with the City Tuesday before last that focused on businesses on 16th Street and ways to improve it appearance and appeal to visitors. One of our dance studios has been located on 16th Street since 1992.

I honestly did not know what to expect from the evening and the feedback that would be shared. I must say that for an initial meeting on this renewed topic it was quite productive. All of the ideas and feedback shared was done so in a professional manner. A lot of the businesses on 16th Street are locally owned and dependent on our community utilizing the services they offer or goods they sell.

Owning a business is not an easy task. There are good times and then there are not so good times. I left the meeting with a feeling that ‘we are not in this alone’. Our studio has been in operations since 1982 and in those 36 years we have employed staff members and taught thousands of kids about dance. It is a good feeling to know that our presence in the community is valued.

The focus of improving what can be referred to as the ‘Gateway to Orange’, both north and south sides of 16th Street, is vital to growing Orange. Some of the projects discussed are quite an undertaking and some were simple things that individual residents and business owners can do.

Initially, we can all work to control litter and improve the overall cleanliness of 16th Street. That is probably the easiest fix and one that will have an immediate impact. Business owners and residents can commit to keeping their properties free of trash. While we are not likely the cause of the mess, we can lend a hand to keeping it under control.

Business owners can also look for ways to improve the appearance of their parking lots and buildings. While this does cost money, it can also lead to a growth of the business as well. The City EDC may also have some tools to assist with this.

At the moment, aside from cleaning up trash to aid in bettering the appearance, the best thing to do is be involved and have an open mind.

Everyone at the meeting was focused on the same goal. We can achieve so much more working together as opposed to working against each other. We must also realize it isn’t going to change overnight. It needs to be a long-term plan with clearly defined goals and ways to achieve them. Finally, all of Orange is part of the solution, not just a handful of people.

Change is coming to Orange. I, for one, want to be a part of that change. I want to ensure what makes Orange home to me remains while improving the quality of life for all of its residents.