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Walk with ‘Mo’exposes downtown
I have lived in Oak Harbor since the 1960s. Since that time the downtown has made many changes. New stores have appeared and gone away due to lack of buyers’ interest.
I walk down Pioneer Way almost daily with my dog, “Mo.” I am amazed when I see all the debris and cigarette butts on the streets and sidewalks. There’s a total lack of garbage receptacles. The ones that are there get full and are overflowing at times and the city does not dump them. I have called the city many times and asked them to please come and dump them. This is usually on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning when the city wants tourists to enjoy the downtown. What is that? Does anyone really care?
As I walk my dog I pick stuff up and can fill a plastic bag each block. Then I have to walk two more blocks to dump the junk. Some of the shops never seem to care that their windows are dirty. Some open at 11 a.m., which tells me they’d rather sleep in than deal with shoppers.
I am rather appalled with the giant puddle that’s been allowed to stay for over a decade. Anyone parking in at least three spots would need wading boots to get out of their car. I am not an engineer, but I think the problem could be fixed pretty easily.
The downtown has had brilliant moments, usually when Kristi Jensen opens a hip shop. Unfortunately, due to the other boring stores, she’s been forced to close her shops.
Right now the downtown has Kristi’s Harborside Village. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing something special. The decor is lovely, shops interesting, bathrooms pristine.
The rest of the shops down there need to make their shops more interesting. The Casual House has been a very nice shop for many years, but in this time of recession, the prices seem high, yet they stay in business. This proves that if you have what people are looking for, they’ll shop, spend money and you’ll be successful.
We can all argue about whether the street should be one way or not. We can ask the public to shop locally. We can spend thousands to change the look, but it’s the little things, I think, that make the difference.