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Canal Walk success will take time; Gleefully awaiting that next phone solicitation

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Canal Walk success will take time
Having read "Hey, where is everybody?" — the story about the new canal area (Cover Story, March 13), I just want to emphasize one thing. The project is rolling. Developers, using their own capital, are finalizing plans that will convert wasted space into restaurants, offices, apartments and retail attractions. That kind of facelift takes time. Innsbrook was a few buildings, a lake and some fields for years before it grew into the fringe city it is today.

Year by year it grew.

What distinguishes the 15-year canal plan is that it relies on the private sector for growth. Government and boosterism can only do so much. A market-based strategy for growth is the healthiest, and the most lasting, as entrepreneurs take control of the opportunities down there. Our tax base will improve as new ventures take hold. Tourists will come back. Shopping downtown — what a concept!

The Canal Walk will gradually grow into a vibrant new place we all can enjoy, so check back in 10 years.

The critics and the media just need to be patient. In the meantime, celebrate the pioneers and the ribbon-cuttings, as a dilapidated area comes back to life.

Good things take time.

John W. Maloney



Gleefully awaiting that next phone solicitation
Kudos to Kerry Dougherty on her piece about phone solicitations (First Person, March 27). I and many others are in complete agreement with her thoughts and actions when we receive such irritating solicitations by telephone. I know that these solicitors have a job to do, and you try to be nice and say "no thank you" or "please remove my name off your list," but instead of just hanging up, they continue on blabbering as if you hadn't uttered a word! This is the reason most of us just slam the phone down and curse under our breath as we walk away from the telephone.

I intend to try out some of Dougherty's snap-back questions on the very next … excuse me please, my phone is ringing. Let's hope it's you know who!

Glenn E. Webb



Correction:
Last week, in "The Pleasure of Poetry," we neglected to mention that the Poetic Principles series is also sponsored by the New Virginia Review. Style regrets the omission.

We also ran the wrong photo with the Street Talk about the James River Festival of the Moving Image. The festival's fund-raiser was held at the National Theatre. Style regrets the error.

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