The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 22, 2013

LEVINE: More options a good sign for clinic location

By Scott Levine
Herald Associate Editor

---- — I know for the people involved, Thursday’s decision to look for more locations for a Community Health Care, Inc., clinic is likely seen as setback.

But it’s not.

Since news broke that the city was moving in a direction to place the clinic in the parking lot next to Clinton Park, the Herald has been inundated with letters, calls, emails and hearsay about people opposing it.

Downtown officials were upset. Business owners were upset. Historical preservationists weren’t on board.

And so, we were planning on writing a story this weekend looking at the issues associated with the location and as an editorial board, we had planned to write an editorial opposing the location.

Then, Thursday happened.

The Sisters of St. Francis, community members and the city came together to look at other options. Sure, it’s tough to have to start over. But as a community, it’s nice to see a group take information from the public and use it when making decisions.

We applaud the group for changing course and eyeing different possibilities to locate the clinic. We hope they stay firm and choose a different location. And there’s no doubt this clinic is needed.

People need medical care in Clinton. Some have more difficulties affording that care than others. This clinic will provide options for more people in our community and the citizens and the city will benefit from having another option for people’s health care.

I’m not against the clinic. I don’t believe the people opposing the clinic from being placed next to Clinton Park are against it either. As a parent, I use that park with my children. It’s a nice area and several events call that park home each year. Those events, along with surrounding businesses, utilize that parking lot.

And as a father concerned with the safety of my children, I would be discouraged from using the park with even more traffic surrounding the park.

As a citizen, I also hope we could preserve our parks in Clinton. Quality of life is something that is necessary for the growth of Clinton, and quality parks are a main caveat of that expansion.

So now where does the clinic go? It’s one thing to oppose a location, but it’s another to help in finding a new location. Officials representing the downtown and historic preservation were represented at the meeting. That’s a good sign, and hopefully citizens are brought along as the decision nears its conclusion.

Right now, the story doesn’t look great for the clinic. But in the end, it will be a positive, and it shows just how strong the will of the community is and how well we can work together when we find a need and set our sights on a common goal.

Weekly picks

My college football picking isn’t going well as I went 17-8 last week, but the season is almost over so the agony will end soon.

Iowa is a touchdown favorite this week against Michigan. The Wolverines are coming off a miracle win last week, but they still aren’t clicking on offense.

The Hawks had a week off to correct a few problems, so I’m thinking Iowa will take care of business. But, Michigan has plenty of talent on both sides, so it might be closer than the spread would indicate.

Like always, feel free to go toe-to-toe with me, and log on to www.clintonherald.com and click on the College Football Sweepstakes. If you do well, you will be in a drawing for a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift certificate.

Indiana vs. Ohio State; Michigan State vs. Northwestern; Wisconsin vs. Minnesota; Nebraska vs. Penn State; Michigan vs. Iowa; Oklahoma vs. Kansas State; Memphis vs. Louisville; Virginia vs. Miami; Cincinnati vs. Houston; Illinois vs. Purdue; Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse; Massachusetts vs. Central Michigan; Alabama A&M vs. Georgia Tech; Georgia Southern vs. Florida; Idaho vs. Florida State; Texas A&M vs. LSU; Brigham Young vs. Notre Dame; Boston College vs. Maryland; UTSA vs. North Texas; Middle Tennessee vs. Southern Miss; Marshall vs. Florida International; Kentucky vs. Georgia; Tulsa vs. Louisiana Tech; Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee; Baylor vs. Oklahoma State.