Three things we're noting today:
First, check out a new blog that focuses on Central Massachusetts (mostly Fitchburg) transportation. There some nice insight on the whys and therefores of stop signs and other items. Interestingly, the blog notes last week's stop-sign furor was as much politics as transportation logistics. It sort of comes back to our point that council politics and time can be better served on other issues.
Second, the Sentinel reports today on the goal to create full-day kindergarten. There's some concern about closing down the dedicated kindergarten and pre-school centers, but the idea of full-day kindergarten is one the city should strive to acheive. We'll admit that this proposal would mesh nicely with our oldest hitting kindergarten, and we'll also admit that we're not sure we'd want her in full-day or part-day. But we'd like the option.
Most importantly, we're pretty sure there are families in Fitchburg who don't end every day with a bedtime book, and those kids need more of a running start out of kindergarten. Giving those kids a chance to get a full day of learning and interacting with other kids is an important part of the educational puzzle. It appears as if a lot of the issues revolving around this are political (the Sentinel's headline says it all). It's up to the school administration to make this enticing as possible to everyone involved. But, we're encouraged to see a plan being formulated to get full-day kindergarten in place.
Third (and finally), the story in today's Sentinel regarding Harper's Furniture and the long list of folks who have inquired about purchasing the building. We're glad to hear a building like this is getting some attention, but here's our concern:
On a lark, we checked the Assessor's Office database to see how much the property is worth. According to the records, it's at $330,000 (and was sold in 1998 for $225,000). We're shocked by how little the property is worth, in comparison to say, our home. That's a big building with potential commercial and residential use and the city assesses it at less than $90,000 more than my house. To me, it means one of three things: The city has way overvalued my home, it has way undervalued this property, or downtown property just isn't worth very much.
We wouldn't be surprised if it was the first, would be displeased if it was the second, and are afraid the third is the real answer.