Imperfections and all, Beloit is a great community that confronts its issues.
NEWS COVERAGE COMING OUT of last week’s board of education assembly in which School District of Beloit faculty and staff laid bare a stunning list of problems, most notably severe disciplinary issues, understandably sparks emotions from despair to anger.
But let’s add a little perspective.
It’s hardly all doom and gloom around Beloit. The area is a terrific place with all sorts of positive things going on. Let’s list a few. just from recent editions of the newspaper.
WE’LL PICK FOUR DAYS, from last Thursday’s paper through Monday. It’s just a sampling of featured stories written by Beloit Daily News staff writers.
• The Beloit International Film Festival held its “Reveal Party,” an event to unveil the schedule of movies to be shown at the acclaimed showcase later this month. A sizeable crowd gathered downtown at Suds O’Hanahan’s for the reveal for the festival which runs Feb. 24-March 5.
• Several business operators were honored Thursday night at the Downtown Beloit Association’s annual meeting. Last year 16 new business with more than 40 jobs chose downtown Beloit for a location.
• Construction began on the learning center for the Nature at the Confluence environmental complex. It’s opening up the most historic spot in the community — where Turtle Creek joins the Rock River — and will provide an important venue for generations while extending the City Center improvements across the border into Illinois.
• R.H. BATTERMAN, one of the better known companies in Greater Beloit, announced plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary this May. The surveyors and civil engineers from Batterman have been instrumental for decades in public improvements all across the community.
• A big crowd gathered at the Turtle Town Hall on Saturday for the annual pancake and whole hog sausage feast, with proceeds going to support the Turtle Fire Department. This event has been a staple for many years and draws a line of hungry people for hours, waiting to get in to eat. It’s also worth noting a large number of those attending make a point of stopping by the table manned by Mark Finnegan for VetsRoll, tossing a few dollars in to support the annual trip to Washington for aging veterans.
• Jay Bryant, completing his 11th and final year as Beloit Memorial High School head basketball coach, was honored before the Knights’ game. Next Bryant will lead the Knights into the playoffs.
• Fairbanks Morse employees were recognized for delivering 2,750 Meals on Wheels to clients. That’s a lot of food. And a lot of caring.
AND SO IT GOES, day-in and day-out. Disturbing news happens, and trying to sugarcoat it would be a disservice to the people of the community. The first order of business when it comes to solving problems is acknowledging and understanding the issue, so reporting it straight is what we do.
But we urge all readers to keep perspective. Good news abounds and the newspaper is filled with it every week, as a cursory look at any edition or the list above surely proves.
Don’t assume the worst or believe our home is somehow unique with its challenges. Every community has its share of thorny issues. What matters is how communities cope and attack those problems.
On that score, we’ll stack Beloit up against any city. Look around at all the beautiful improvements of the past quarter-century. Impressive, indeed, as are the everyday efforts that create those good stories we mentioned earlier.
Don’t get angry, or embarrassed, or lose perspective. Cheer the good. Acknowledge the bad — and resolve to fix it. As a community that’s who we are, and what we do.