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Letter to the editor

Revealing, unsettling and provoking all at the same time

June 15, 2011 - Dear Editor,

I always read with interest the letters you choose to publish from Bill Kalmar. He sometimes offers viewpoints that can astonish (a few years back he wrote about crawling under sinks in public bathrooms to turn on hot water), confront, and provoke without coming across as a total curmudgeon. His short letter two weeks ago on the new Orion Center was revealing, unsettling and provoking all at the same time.

The new Orion Center is indeed a multiple use facility for the benefit of the township. Thoughtful seniors knew from its inception that it really wasn't a replacement for the old drafty church in the village currently being used for their activities even though the now resigned township supervisor presented the project as a "new senior center" every time he addressed the membership.

While Kalmar is upset that the new facility is referred to as the "senior center", the real concern is that seniors will eventually get pushed out of the new facility by, as Kalmar noted, "…families, children, tourists, and those planning wedding anniversary, graduation and other activities" that also have the right to use the facility. Kalmar referenced the defeat of the 2006 bond/millage election for a tri-community senior center and implied that it was a referendum against the existence of a senior center.

I would imply it was a rejection of a $9.85 million bond issue which he opposed in letters to this paper at the time. Using his reasoning, the recent defeat of the school bond issue should be interpreted as the community not wanting a school system.

I hope the new facility works out as a mixed use building and I hope to be part of a group that will try to ensure that it is a hospitable environment for township seniors. My fear is that without a sense of a space for themselves, seniors, especially those who are disadvantaged, will long for the good old days in that drafty old church and begin drifting back into obscurity.

Bill Thompson

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