jump to navigation

Opposition to museum tax proposal goes to Facebook January 25, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Museums.
1 comment so far

Less than a week ago, the city council of Joplin, Mo., voted to put a tax referendum on the April ballot to fund a move and expansion of the Joplin Museum Complex to Memorial Hall.

Already, the opposition to the one-sixth-cent sales tax has organized on the Internet, with a “Save Memorial Hall” group on Facebook, according to the Joplin Globe. (Although the title of the group makes it sound as if Memorial Hall would go the way of the wrecking ball, which it is not under the proposal.)

As of Monday night, 219 people have joined the group, including two city council candidates, Kelly Maddy and Erik Wright, reported the Globe.

Maddy said he is not opposed to relocating the museum, but he does not support the current proposal because he believes the hall should remain as it as, a memorial to veterans, and that options for museum relocation should have been studied by the council. […]

“I’m very much in favor of the museum finding a great location and having the museum downtown,” Wright said, “but there’s a bunch of questions that went unanswered. The City Council voted on this very quickly, and there’s a lot of concerns as to what are they going to do for venues, events, and the fact that we would be losing Memorial Hall.”

Of course, not everyone is against the proposal …

Allen Shirley, president of the Friends of the Museum, said some people who initially were against the proposal based on what they heard from others have given the plan reconsideration after hearing a complete presentation.

“We’ve not had a chance to present our plan to the public yet,” Shirley said. “That is what we are in the process of doing now, setting up opportunities with veteran groups and organizations to express the facts involving our plan. …

“We have between now and April to get our message out, and we will be working with various members of our organization with groups to give them straight information and, maybe just as importantly, to answer questions.”

Perhaps the museum’s education efforts will bear fruit come the April election. But it sounds like the opposition has gotten a head start.

Motel living January 25, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels, Signs.
add a comment

Here’s a nice video of the sights and sounds of two Route 66 icons — the Wigwam Motel of Holbrook, Ariz., and the Blue Swallow Motel of Tucumcari, N.M.

Benld church will be converted to monastery January 25, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, History, Preservation, Religion.
add a comment

A 103-year-old Russian Orthodox Church on Route 66 in Benld, Ill., will be converted into a monastery — instead of being razed — because of declining attendance, reported the Springfield State Journal-Register.

Mindful of Holy Dormition’s rich history, but acknowledging a declining membership and church rules that say an unused building must be torn down, Russian Orthodox officials have decided to convert the Macoupin County church and surrounding structures into a monastery.

“Services will still be held at the church, but the property will be a monastery operated by the community of nuns,” Waters said. The monastery also could serve as a site for retreats, community outreach programs and other activities. […]

Residents and tourists to the Benld area, about 45 miles south of Springfield, have long admired the church, which is on old Route 66. Organized in 1907, the church served generations of Benld-area families and weathered the ups and downs of rural life.

Holy Dormition Cathedral once served 200 families that hailed from Russia and Eastern Europe, drawn to the central Illinois town by mining jobs. Now only 20 families attend the church.

The Illinois Times has an interesting article about the history of Russian Orthodox churches in Illinois, and has photos of the Benld cathedral.

A closer look at the Wigwams January 25, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Motels.
add a comment

The Press-Enterprise newspaper in the Los Angeles region posted a story about the origins of the famed Wigwam Motel on Route 66 in on the San Bernardino and Rialto line.

What got overlooked in the story is that the motel was a haven for prostitution and other shady activities for many years. The property was turned around by Jagedish and Ramila Patel after they bought it in 2002. The family renovated the grounds, chased out the bad elements, and improved the whole neighborhood. They won the Cyrus Avery Award in 2005 for their efforts.

There’s another Wigwam Motel on Route 66, it being in Holbrook, Ariz. It’s also well-run and well-preserved.

A tour of Cross Ministries January 24, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Religion.
add a comment

Here’s a 10-year-old video of someone who visited each of the 10 stations of Jesus’ crucifixion at the Cross Ministries complex off Route 66 in Groom, Texas.

The site is simply known as the Big Cross.

A video farewell to Bob January 23, 2010

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, People.

Here’s a video tribute to Route 66 artist and ambassador Bob Waldmire, who died about a month ago.

%d bloggers like this: