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Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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Girl Talk
It was s’posed to be a happy, little sidewalk …
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

October 01. 2013 10:38AM
I remember the day the press release came in over my email. I was in need of a news story that week, and the information that fell into my lap fit the bill perfectly.

The press release came from the South Dakota Department of Transportation announcing that the City of Brandon had been awarded a $75,000 Safe Routes to School grant. The plan was to construct a 400-foot sidewalk from the Switch Grass neighborhood behind Brandon Lutheran Church to Brandon Valley Middle School. The path was intended to keep kids safe, encourage kids to walk and/or ride their bikes to school, and of course, offered a shorter route to the school. It also provided incentives – bike helmets, water bottles, etc. – for the kids who used the path to come to school.

The plan sounded ideal to me. The state was supplying the funds for the path for the community’s benefit and the kids would be rewarded for commuting to school via two feet or two wheels.

But it turns out that the plan for the “happy, little sidewalk” wasn’t sitting so well with some Brandon homeowners as they expressed at a subsequent City Council meeting. The affected homeowners didn’t want the foot traffic in their backyards and all that comes with it, i.e. litter and possible loitering.

For months, the proposed Safe Routes had divided some members of this community. Last week, the City Council put a June 2014 deadline on the project. If a plan cannot be agreed upon by that time, the City will need to return the funds to the state and honestly, kids will likely continue to tromp across the grassy easement as they have for years.

Over the next nine months, I hope that all parties involved came come to an agreeable solution.

After all, it was supposed to be a happy little sidewalk …

Boot on the pole
Bob Miller of the famed Brandon Steakhouse gave me a call regarding last week’s “Girl Talk.” The boot on the pole, he said, reminded him of a hunting story that featured boots on the fence posts.

Miller said it was Gene Johnson who enlightened him as to why boots could be spotted periodically throughout the countryside.

“Years and years ago we would go hunting in the Platte area,” Miller said. “The driveways were five miles long but there would be pairs of boots on the fence posts.”

To satisfy Bob’s curiosity, Gene told him that when a farmer could afford new boots, he’d place his old ones on the fence pole for someone less fortunate.

So, now when Miller’s out cruising the countryside and spots a pair of boots – or just one boot at the post office, “I just laugh,” he said.
Community organization needs
There’s still a need to restock shelves of the Brandon Area Food Pantry with some popular back-to-school needs this month. Those needs include personal hygiene items (i.e. deodorant, bar soap, women’s feminine products, shampoo, crème rinse), bottled juices, peanut butter, jelly, hot chocolate mix, fruit snacks, saltine crackers and Kleenex.

While always appreciated, the Pantry has a large supply of canned goods on hand. Monetary donations are always appreciated.

Before donating, please check the expiration date, as expired food items cannot be distributed.

The BAFP is located at 406 Main Ave., and is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To donate to the food pantry or for more information, call 582-7001.

The Brandon Lions Club also wants your aluminum cans. Proceeds from the sale of aluminum funds requests to the Club for vision and hearing impairment needs.

The Lions Club collection shed is located in the Sunshine Foods parking lot.

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