"Traan Laten" or "Not. One. Step. Back."

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At David Mohney’s slide show of Rotterdam yesterday in downtown Lex, he talked briefly and eloquently about their demolished Centraal Station (that’s how they spell it), and how the sign was re-arranged to read “Traan Laten,” loosely translated, “Shed one Tear.” The demolition happened. It was mourned — artistically and appropriately. Rotterdam successfully moved on.

But not every conversation has been as productive as yesterday’s.

As the CentrePointe discussion lingers — over a year now — there is much chatter suggesting, much less elegantly, “Quit Yer Whining!”

While it’s the job of a local newspaper to afflict the comfortable/comfort the afflicted, we can all agree to disagree about what does and does not constitute whining.

Still, moving on can never mean sweeping unpleasantries and transgressions under the rug.

The mourning may be done. But moving on brings with it a couple caveats:

-what is to become of the pit? Many people would be relieved to hear — straight up–that the absurd 1980s tower ramrodded through has been abandoned. That’s not schadenfreude. Nobody WANTS to see downtown fail. We’d just all like to hear what we can realistically expect to see there next. It is absolutely private property. Private owners can let it stand neglected (much like Lexington Mall has been allowed to rot and embarrass us) as long as they comply with relevant codes. But after such a significant loss to all of us as a city, private citizens are perfectly entitled to ask fellow private citizens like the Webbs and Joe Rosenberg and Darby Turner — what did they know and when did they know it, and who did they tell? Newspapers aren’t just entitled, we are obligated to ask whiny questions like these. So is the LFUCG.

-what are the legitimate questions for Mayor Newberry, who is running for re-election?

-what is to be expected of private citizen Woodford Webb in his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Commerce Lexington?

-what is to be expected of private citizen and Webb Attorney Darby Turner as Chairman of Kentucky’s Chamber of Commerce?

No doubt, we ALL have a thing or two to learn from the Dutch, but if we want to know a little something about “scorched earth” we can also look to Russian history.

Order Number 227: Not. One. Step. Back.

“The people are beginning to feel disappointment; they are losing faith… Some foolish people at the front comfort themselves by saying that we can always retreat further east, since we have much territory, much land and manpower, and that we will always have more than enough grain…But such talk is lies and falsehood, and only helps our enemies.
We have much less territory, far fewer people, much less grain and metal, fewer factories and industrial plants. To retreat any further would be to ruin ourselves. Every little scrap of land that we give up strengthens our enemy… And so the time for retreating is over. Not one step back! That must now be our watchword.”

That didn’t turn out so well either.

Maybe a little shtrafbat time is in order for the Webbs, the Mayor, et al. Until then, we’d be happy to serve them some cheese with our whine.



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