I was hesitant to rent "Walking Tall". Up to now the movies that are made in Squamish, well, they're usually horribly un-watch able. "Say It Isn't So", "Freddy got Fingered", "Insomnia" were ok but none have really had the feeling that it was Squamish. Turns out my hesitation was not warranted as "Walking Tall" hit almost to close to home. Their mill closed down. Our mill closed down. They have a crystal meth problem. We have a huge crystal meth problem. They had a guy walking around beating up people with a 2x4. Heck we have more then our share of those. The only real difference was in the end the solution for all their downtown problems was a gun. Luckily it appears our downtown problems might be solved with a little smart growth.
Everyone can agree that something just isn't right. Somehow our lives are spent doing things we'd rather not do in places we'd rather not see. Smart growth on the ground is basically the product of people saying we can live better. They tackle transportation issues knowing highway sprawl and big box is not the answer to our communities problems.
Interestingly enough the first meeting of this program was scheduled the exact same day that a press release was distributed saying there would be yet another American owned big box visible from the highway. Home Depot is on the way and the timing of this couldn't be more ironic. It's kind of like having a birds and the bees conversation with your pregnant teen. A little snooping around and you could easily tell they?ve already been screwed. Years ago balls of limited vision were put into motion that would see our downtown move to the highway and we can't go back and change the sad fact that the movie theatre wasn't put downtown.
However all is not bleak as this "smart" growth process is definitely a step, albeit it late, in the right direction. At the meeting the usual suspects in the audience represented the public. It was good to hear the Mayor whole heartedly support the ideas of this meeting as the impression was given that this would not be another study to sit on the shelf. If this is true I look forward to the buffer of trees staying along the trail that runs between the highway and the immanent Wal-Mart big box bonanza. After all it was abundantly clear that one way to increase the livability of our community is to plant trees and hide the shame. Lucky for us they're already planted. If we truly are all about "smart" growth then the trees should stay.
In the mean time, keep posted for there will be yet more opportunities for the public (psst... that's you) to give their 2 cents. Sure times are tough and there certainly isn't much spare time kicking around but if you could share your opinion it could make a difference in shaping this town. After all, who isn't in favor of living better?