BY CHRIS BRIDGES, EDITOR
Whenever I drive through Winder and Barrow County, I am amazed at the constant change that is occurring.
It seems something is always being constructed — especially in Winder — on every available lot. From a new fast-food restaurant to a new mini-strip mall, Winder seems to be the headquarters for construction.
(As a note, I’m not sure building on every available amount of space in Winder is always good. We are certainly not set up to handle it traffic wise and many new businesses are gone within months of opening. Some strip malls sit half or three quarters empty while new ones are being constructed across the street.)
I wish I had taken the time to keep a record of how many new things have popped up since I moved to Winder in the late summer of 1997. I would probably be amazed at the number now.
Many of the businesses that were here when I arrived are gone, having closed their doors long before this current economic crisis arrived. Some places do remain open and thriving and I make a mental note of them when I drive past.
The ongoing plans to save the old Winder hotel is something I hope can be done. It’s a tragedy what has happened to that building. Why it was allowed to reach the state of decay it is in now is beyond me.
I think the same thing when I see the old Peskins’ building a block away. The building has been empty for years and why city officials have allowed the owners to ignore their responsibilities concerning this historic structure baffles me.
Growth and change will always happen. I am not against either. However, perhaps we need to do a little better job of remembering our past in Winder and not be so quick to throw up new structures while ignoring the old ones which have been left crippled by neglect and the passage of time.
The old hotel and Peskins’ building are just two examples of this.
The response to our debut issue of the Barrow Journal has been overwhelming. It’s natural for people to take notice of a new product (newspapers included), but our phone lines at our office on East May Street began ringing last Thursday when our premier edition was distributed and office manager Susan Mobley has been doing all she can to keep up since.
People have also stopped by the office to get a subscription or classified ad deal and also to talk about the new paper in Barrow County.
I was approached by several people at the Apalachee High School football game last Friday night about our new venture and our sports section. Thanks for those compliments as well.
As I stopped by our office late last Wednesday night, a man was buying a copy of the first edition from our newsrack out front. As I sat in my car and watched him, it made me very proud to be a part of this. We had officially arrived.
We realize response is going to be strong to start with. Our job is to keep you interested once the novelty of the newness wears off.
Rest assured, we are working hard to produce a product you can look to each week for quality news coverage for Winder and all of Barrow County.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. E-mail Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've only lived here since 2003, but I've seen it too. Lots of things have closed and opened, and the traffic has gotten worse, but I do think this boom will end up being positive if it's managed properly.
I've seen the Winder 2020 thing and some of the planning documents, and it looks like city planners are paying attention. :)