NEW CASTLE —
(First of two editorials)
New Castle has two very different — and very interesting — proposals to use a now-vacant downtown building.
And it is up to city officials to decide which — if either — should be granted nearly $2 million in public funds to make one of these visions for the Cascade Center at the Riverplex become a reality.
This is the building at the corner of East Washington and Mill streets, once viewed as the foundation for a rebirth of downtown development. It now sits empty.
But not for long — at least in the dreams of the two groups vying for control of the structure. They want to put the building to constructive use, and the city has the task of making a crucial step toward determining the downtown’s future.
Seeking to gain control of the Cascade Center are the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp., which touts it as valuable office space, and a nonprofit New Castle Center for Arts and Technology, which sees the building as an arts and educational facility modeled along the lines of Pittsburgh’s successful Manchester Bidwell Corp. Spearheading this proposal is Dayna Shaw Sear, executive director of the Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County.
Both proposals, by the way, call for using the space once designated for the Mill Street Grille for another restaurant, believing they can make a new effort financially viable.
This week, representatives of the two proposals sat down with the editorial board of the New Castle News to outline their plans, hopes and expectations. We found both presentations to be intriguing and potentially rewarding for the community.
We also thought the two projects provide the sort of intellectual spark needed in New Castle to examine the future of the downtown and the city as a whole.
Even though the two proposals are, to some degree, in competition with each other, this is about more than one group beating out the other.
Greatly boiled down here, the economic development corporation is in talks with a business looking to relocate between 50 and 100 office jobs now in Ohio. If a deal can be struck, the corporation sees this as a catalyst for bringing more businesses to the downtown and putting so much empty space there to actual use.
The arts and technology group also has the goal of reviving the downtown, mainly through nonprofit arts programs and employment training facilities tailored to fit local business needs. Supporters of this concept also say there is room in the massive building for their proposal and for the jobs the economic development corporation is hoping to attract.
While the two proposals have potential, they also come with concerns.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at some of those and discuss the aggressive role the city needs to play to best serve the citizens of this community.
NEW CASTLE —
(First of two editorials)
Our Opinion: Lousy voter turnout is a missed opportunity
Tuesday’s primary in Lawrence County had its share of winners and losers. But — based on the numbers — the biggest winner has to be voter apathy. Countywide, voter turnout in the primary was a whopping 17.1 percent. In case you missed it, our use of the term “whopping” is sarcasm.
Our Opinion: Pennsylvania’s primary system is controlled by parties
Should Pennsylvania’s primaries be open to independent voters? That’s an interesting question and one we have explored in the past on this page.
Our Opinion: State audit says city school district failed to collect from non-residents
Audit information about non-resident students who didn’t pay tuition at New Castle raises more questions than it answers. At least so far. We expect more details when the Pennsylvania auditor general’s office completes its report and the New Castle school district provides its response.
Our Opinion: Make the most of your power to vote by casting ballot tomorrow
So what kind of turnout will there be for tomorrow’s primary? Recent history suggests somewhere between low and lousy. This year’s elections are devoted to local races, and there are few major ones being contested in the primary.
Our Opinion: Privatization of county jail is worthy of examination
Generally speaking, we support government efforts to seek more efficient ways to provide essential services. So we have no problem with the decision by the Lawrence County commissioners to solicit proposals for the private operation of the county jail.
Our Opinion: We endorse candidates for New Castle board
The New Castle school district is often a study in contrasts. There are complaints about the district on everything from taxes to nepotism, from test scores to ethical slights. Yet at the same time, plenty of students within the district excel. It’s a tribute to the hard work of those students, their families and the educators who support them.
Our Opinion: You should be frightened, outraged by IRS abuse of power
When people talk about government posing a threat to citizens, a common topic these days is unmanned drones. But a more credible threat may be the Internal Revenue Service. This agency, responsible for collecting taxes and enforcing related rules, has the ability to make life miserable for the average individual.
Our Opinion: Our endorsements for City Council race
The city of New Castle needs help. Financially distressed and operating under Pennsylvania’s Act 47, New Castle must find ways to reverse its population loss and fiscal challenges.
Our Opinion: Court frowns on gerrymandering, but only slightly
Pennsylvania legislators have received the green light to put their own political interests ahead of yours. That’s a key point in the latest Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on legislative apportionment in the commonwealth.
Our Opinion: Study says distracted driving deaths are under reported
Suppose you operated a piece of heavy machinery at your job. And suppose it’s machinery that moves quickly with little effort. What would happen if you decided to take one hand off that equipment — while it was still in motion — and instead focused your attention on a telephone call?
- More Editorials Headlines
- Our Opinion: Lousy voter turnout is a missed opportunity