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home : opinion : opinion May 24, 2016

7/30/2013 6:00:00 AM
Letter: Blight in Kingman's historic district
Jim Hinckley
Kingman Resident

International investors see value in the Kingman historic district as evidenced by recent purchases and ongoing renovations. A number of local business owners see value in the historic district as evidenced by their investment and hard work. An incredible number of international travelers see value in the historic district as evidenced by their postings on social media sites, websites, and blogs, and in tour company promotional material.

This perceived value is not entirely monetary. If a community is a destination for visitors, it is a destination for families, for business owners, and for those who are looking for that special place to spend the golden years. It is also a place where the citizens enjoy an improved quality of life, a sense of community and a sense of pride.

With this in mind, may I ask why we find it necessary to ensure the historic district remains a blighted point of contention with the establishment of soup kitchens and similar projects? From this perspective may I respectfully ask, "Where is the leadership that inspires a sense of community and imparts a vision for the future?"

We have a moral responsibility to care for the poor, the needy and the veteran. However, is the historic heart of the city that is on the cusp of rebirth the best place for services that fill this need?

On numerous occasions in recent years we have witnessed discussions pertaining to city revenue concerns. Why then would we apathetically allow the stifling of investment, of business creation, and subsequently, job creation?

Tourism may be a very fickle foundation to support an economy, but with the international popularity of Route 66, it can be an incredible catalyst for transformation and development. It has worked miracles in Atlanta, Ill., Galena, Kan., and Cuba, Mo., so why not Kingman?

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Uh oh...better look out. Now .... is accusing the Shriners and Masons of being some of "THEM".

I KNEW they built those hospitals and do all that charity work just to throw people off their scent.

Posted: Monday, August 5, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

not long after I moved to Kingman in 2008, I knew something was a bit skewed when, at the Andy Devine parade, a bunch of really old men wearing Masonic garb tried to act like young motorcycle fiends on their trikes. Little did I know that they had more up their sleeves than antiquated street performances.

Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2013
Article comment by: Thai Mai Shu

Kingman could be so much more than it is if all of the opposing factions joined forces to move in one positive direction, and that must include the participation of our City Council.

The lack of vision damns the downtown historic district to its own ultimate failure.

Throwing money at a building here and there with no concrete plan or vision of what the area should be is a waste of valuable assets.

The Central Commercial building, the Santa Fe train depot and El Palacio all were good projects but they are not part of a larger vision where a theme dictates the outcome.

Soup kitchens could be easily integrated into the downtown and not be a blight if done with some forethought.

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

@ Ed Tomchin, judging from your response to my question, you must be a moderate or liberal politically like McCain. McCain claims to be a conservative to get re-elected.

Remember when he ran for President he said he could get along with the Democrats? At least he is honest about that. He is what's wrong with the current Republican party. Too many go along to get along RINOs there like McCain.

I hardly ever see Democrats get along to go along. They're always pushing for what they want instead of compromising.

It's time for RINOs like McCain to retire and let those Republicans who still have a spine go against the liberal Democrats. Until this happens the Dems will still be calling all the shots in DC and this USA's people will suffer accordingly.

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@ Anson

The FCC can adopt all the policies it wants to. It all looks pretty on paper, especially in 2012- an election year. However, they clearly aren't implementing the policies they adopted. Actions speak louder than words.

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

@ biker randy

"Ed Tomchin. please explain to me what 'the radicalized right wing politics' is. I have no clue."

I'm referring to most of the posters on this paper, as well as some of the editorship. The radicalized right-wing as exhibited herein have gone so far to the right that many (perhaps most) rational Republicans pull away from them. Even John McCain has condemned those who have become radicalized and work so hard against the common good.

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot


Those are anti-fraud "plans" that aren't implimented yet and probally won't be until we elect a Republican President. And if they are in place prior to that, they will be designed to fail.

The whole purpose was to gain popularity by giving out free stuff. If not, why didn't they set up those fraud and waste preventions prior to the cell phone give aways?

You aren't stating facts when you say "Darn Facts" You are stating Darn Intentions and the cattle trails to Hades are paved with them.

Darn reality...

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: As It Should Be

"If folks would help Cornerstone Mission, either with their time or their money or both, we could keep the poor and homeless fed even better than we do now."

And I'm sure you will make yourself available to shuttle people from downtown to the Cornerstone Mission.

I don't know why there is such a big effort in old town. Without money, your putting lipstick on a pig! Start bulldozing or shutdown the golf course.

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

@ Ed Tomchin. please explain to me what 'the radicalized right wing politics' is. I have no clue.

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Obama used it to buy votes, with no tracking or limits, allowing numerous phones to each individual, costing tax payers millions and handing out more phones than the populations in many cities.”

Now for the facts - on January 31, 2012, the FCC adopted comprehensive reform of the Lifeline program that has for the past 25 years helped tens of millions of low-income Americans afford basic phone service. Access to telephone service is essential for finding a job, connecting with family, or getting help in an emergency.

Reforms include

Setting a savings target of $200 million for 2012.

Creation of a National Lifeline Accountability Database to prevent multiple carriers from receiving support for the same subscriber. The database will build on FCC efforts in 2011 that eliminated nearly 270,000 duplicate subscriptions in 12 states saving $33 million.

Creation of eligibility databases enabling verification of consumers’ initial and ongoing Lifeline eligibility. This will reduce potential fraud.

Establishing a one-per-household rule applicable to all providers in the program,

Reducing burdens on carriers by establishing a uniform, interim flat rate of reimbursement, allowing carriers to obtain a subscriber’s signature electronically, and streamlining enrollment through uniform, nationwide eligibility criteria.

Darned facts!

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: Trained observer

@ Lightfoot

Yes the subject was soup kitchens but somehow you wanted to bring Obama into the topic so you brought up cellphones.

Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2013
Article comment by: Tourism Is Not Good for A Strong Economy

Tourism is a very weak foundation to build an economy. Minimum wage jobs, no long lasting infrastructure, and real benefits realized by very few - gas station owners, hotel owners, restaurant and bar owners.

Instead of tourism we should be working to bring in manufacturers, distributors, transportation companies, and other industries.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

RE the phone issue..though not the major point of this story...

A plumber friend of mine in NJ, who has been out of steady work for 2 years qualified for a free phone. He gave it to his young daughter so she could stay in contact with him from school or when she was with friends. Abuse of the meaning of the system...heck yeah. Unfortunately...he see's nothing wrong with it.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Good God

As a resident and home owner of the downtown area (which I love), the church should take a consensus of what the residents in the area want as far as a soup kitchen. On the one hand, I'm not super keen on the idea because it's a fact crime will go up. However, as a christian, I know it is what God wants. I would have to choose to side with the latter.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Love of money root of all evil seems to be the dominate thread of this story, some worry about how homeless, poor might drop their property values with a soup kitchen being in the down town area or worry about color of buildings in another story not long ago! I do believe in the old good book, some folks will be packing them camels with all them things they love more than anything and trying to ride through that eye of a needle!

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Kingman Resident-1

Why do we need another "soup kitchen"? (That is such a demeaning term) If folks would help Cornerstone Mission, either with their time or their money or both, we could keep the poor and homeless fed even better than we do now. There wouldn't be a need for ANOTHER so called soup kitchen. As far as the downtown blight. Maybe when the "Old Guard", who currently run businesses downtown, pass on then we Kingmanites can get something done. As it is now, anytime someone wants to open a new shop, needn't worry about the city council but the old "buggy drivers" who hate change and want everything to be left alone. Anyone remember the mayor we had back in '05? I rest my case. The only businessman who won't be intimidated is our new resident from Sweden who is trying very hard to bring the old Brunswick back to it''s former glory.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot

Trained Observer

In 1934 F.D.R. started the “Lifeline program,” permitting some households to receive a free landline.

F.D.R., a Democrat, started it but didn’t enact or authorize it, although during the Depression people needed it as they couldn’t even afford government inflated food, much less a phone.

In 1984 Ronald Reagan was the first to implement the program to benefit the impoverished under the Communications Act. You had to have an address and only one phone and service per house.

Bill Clinton expanded it to cell phones.

Obama used it to buy votes, with no tracking or limits, allowing numerous phones to each individual, costing tax payers millions and handing out more phones than the populations in many cities.

I thought we were talking about soup kitchens and homeless shelters anyway, but I digress.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

The "blight" in Kingman and environs are not the poor and needy. The blight is the people who live and work here and their hateful hard-nosed attitudes. Every employer I've ever talked to said their biggest problem is the labor pool (i.e., the work force.)

Many are too ignorant and uneducated to hold down a decent job, and the ones that do find work have an arrogant attitude that generally translates to the customer as "how dare you complain about anything" and "if you don't like it, MOVE."

Then there are the druggies and alcoholics who work long enough to get a paycheck then never show up again. These are as prevalent as the ones who are lazy and shiftless who quit after a few hours because "it's too hard."

And among those who are "educated" there are the radicalized right-wing politics and attitudes that drive sane people crazy. I've never lived in a community where there is so much hatred and disdain for others who do not think, act, talk and believe as those who hate them.

Ask any human resources person to be honest about their biggest problem and maybe you'll begin to actually perceive it.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Mannix

Put the thing right next to the police station.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Butch Meriwether

I wrote a couple of articles about revitalization of old Kingman and by the verbal and written attacks by shop owners downtown, you would have thought I was the devil coming into town to convert all of the Christians to devil worship. I thought I had a bunch of viable suggestions, but they were dismissed by shop owners, property owners and by the city officials.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@ Trained observer

"Lets put the blame for government issued cell phones where they belong. The program began in 1984 under Ronald Ray Guns."

The life line program began under Reagan. It began, as most programs to help the poor do, with the intention of ensuring that all people have access to 911 and other emergency services and to help give poor people a tool that is needed to find employment.

The current cell phone fiasco is the life line program run amok. The companies that provide the service and receive government reimbursement, are at liberty to hand out as many of these phones as they can without verifying eligibility because the current administration, (the guardian of our tax dollars), turns a blind eye.

These phones are tax payer funded. Every time anyone pays a phone bill, be it a cell phone or land line, there is a "fee", (read, tax), included which is turned over to the government to fund this program.

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: Jimi Lightfoot

[Comment exceeded word limit.]

Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

New businesses go to where the customers are. Not where they used to be. Unless they want cheap overhead. Like it or not this is reality. Where the majority of customers go, that's where the new business will go. If you don't agree put your $ where your mouth is.

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Article comment by: julies mom julies mom

This same story goes around time after time and nothing seems to change. The city officials have made it very clear, they will NOT do anything to improve the downtown, and probably never read any of the articles or remarks regarding the downtown. I am completely against concentrating pawn shops, thrift shops, charitable organizations in the same areas, it only brings in the rif-raf! As I have said in the past I believe in feeding the homeless and indigent and the charitible organizations should be a part of our society, but they need to be dispersed throughout the city! The biggest reason why they are concentrated downtown is it is cheaper to rent these buildings...BTW, some of which, should be torn down And any landlord from out of town, which unfortunately, there are many doesn't give a hoot in h**l what their property looks like only that the renters make the rent each month!!!!! And because the residents of the city of Kingman will not shop downtown, most of these renters, who try to make a successful business, cannot make enough money to pay that rent...it is a vicious circle!

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Article comment by: Highly Amused

@ R.

Most of Kingman's homeless congregate downtown at St. Vincent De Paul and Salvation Army are down there and help them more than most places in Kingman, so I would disagree with you that it's more needed in Butler.

In Butler, there is a massive clean up that is needed as people have lost pride in keeping their yards clean. More of a police presence would help, too, as there has been a rash of dog theft over the course of the last 3-4 months.

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