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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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 Post subject: Downtown
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 12:28 am 
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Responding to the request for public input on the subject of loitering downtown, as written in an article in the Leader, I have always remarked at what a different scene is downtown in Merrill compared to Tomahawk. You never see kids hanging on the corners in Merrill. I always thought that Tomahawk was a little more laid back and not as uptight about things like that. Personally the kids don't bother me. And if they're hacky-sackin in the front of a store I'll walk next to them or through them or whatever, probably handing out some sort of flippent remark like..."Hey, how goes it , you crazy sackers?" They say hi and I remember my youth, just hanging out as well. However,....I do see the concern of the business people, and understand why they might be nervous with the situation. They don't want to discourage the tourist spenders, and I don't blame them for that concern at all. What I am wondering about though is if the kids can't hang downtown, they're going to hang elsewhere. Hopefully it won't be in the back alleys, out of view, and harder to monitor by the police department. Now at least the P.D. can see who is who, and who is on the "scene". Ideally, the parks would be the acceptable place to hacky and frisbee and loiter. The parks are made for loitering, that's what park benches are for, sitting and loitering. I would assume though, that the kids would be bored to just see their miserable friends, instead of the constant motion picture going by every minute. There are some thoughts to start the thread, as requested. Forum on, good people.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:16 pm 
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I've been many places that place signs that there is no biking on the sidewalks, I can understand that and think that might be a good idea.

Other than that I think this is kind of stupid. If they are completely blocking a sidewalk there is a problem and something could probably be written to handle that situation. On the other hand if crowds are such a problem on the sidewalks we need to ban ALL of the parades, car shows, "sidewalk sales", etc. They all have the same effect of putting too many people on the downtown sidewalks making it difficult to visit a business.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:48 pm 
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I have a problem with blaming the kids for all the problems in the down town area. Most of them are just looking for somewhere to meet and hang out with their friends and face it, where else do they have to go.

When I was in High School, (in the 60's) we had the Hole, the resturant above the Bowling Alley, the old A&W root beer stand, and a few other places where we could go to meet our friends. What have the kids got today, their choice is to go to the friends house, or down town and sit on the street corner. Face it, they are probably just bored and looking for something to do. Perhaps if people would look at creating a place where they could go with out getting in trouble for just being there, the problem would go away without trying to make criminals out of them. I'm not saying they are all angles, but the majority are just kids like we were that want somewhere to go during the summer and have a little fun with their friends.

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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2004 10:58 pm 
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Has any one looked at trying to open a teen center or "dry bar" with video games, computers for on-line chats & games, music, etc??

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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:24 pm 
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I think we have this same discussion every spring on this board.
The problem with "establishing" a place for the kids to go is that the "establishment" would be highly supervised and as we all remember, teenagers do not like to be highly supervised.
Personally, I would rather see the kids hanging out on the "main drag" rather than having them hanging out in some field somewhere getting drunk and/or high. But if Tomahawk really does want to become nothing more than a retirement community they should keep on their present course of action so that young families won't want to live there anymore. Offer little employment opportunities, little to zero shopping, and add to that nothing to offer teenagers and Tomahawk will become nothing but a town of the retired folk. Nothing wrong with that, if that's what they want it to be.
Just my humble opinion of course.....


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:52 pm 
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Last summer my husband and I were kind of bored, and I asked him if we could go sit downtown and see if the kids were as bad as some comments were said of them. Well, we went and sat on a corner, and there were kids around - they were doing just kid stuff - but what we noticed was the same cars cruising the strip. We decided to jump in our car and follow one of the pick-ups to see where they went. We followed this one pick-up and it went to McDonalds then back to downtown. Then we decided to go back to the strip, sit down and count how many times we watched certain vehicles cruise by. So we went back to our bench and counted. Most of the vehicles averaged 5-9 rounds, then I guess they found something else to do. I guess that's what all the excitement is about being downtown, and we chuckled at our own curiosity. It was a pleassant way to spend an evening, and we had a change to chat and say hello to others passing our way, plus we really enjoyed just watching folks go by. I guess maybe this is what the kids do too, and as an old bus driver, I know that some of them don't have much to go home to, or want to hang out there. We have a nice downtown, and I'm glad that the kids are able to enjoy it too. Maybe if more adults came and just spent an evening there, the kids would be a little more careful of language when they hang out there. I always thought it would be cool to have a band night in the park by the bridge (I don't know the name of the park, but it's across from Dairy Queen). Offer different kinds of music. There is a nice dock to stage it, and folks could bring their own chairs. It'd be fun to have sing alongs, or local youngsters play, and maybe the school band would play too. We have alot of talent in our area, and it would be nice to hear it.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:02 am 
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Marty, I think that's a great idea you have about offering music every week or so. There truly is alot of untapped talent in our area and I know there are alot of young people who are extremely talented in the area of music.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:11 am 
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Years ago they use to have Music in the Park in Washington (Toddler) Park. If I remember right, quite a few people went to that. I dont remember if it was a once a month thing or once a week, but I do remember it featured local kids and local bands. My nephew and his band played there at least once. Maybe that idea should be resurrected.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:42 am 
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Bands in the park would be nice, but the type of music(?) played at Toddler Park was not for me. :eek:


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:34 pm 
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Music in the park would be a nice offering. Maybe different types, for different tastes on a bi-weekly basis, could be a possiblity. As far as the kids hanging on Wisconsin Ave. I think it's a select few that give the entire lot a bad name. At one time (in the past 3-6 years) certain groups would hang on certain corners. Most often the different groups didn't mix. One corner was the jock corner and one was the hacky sack corner and so on. I can see how a group congregating can be a scary thing for some older people, especially if not exposed to teenagers. Is there an answer for entertaining these kids? I don't know. It seems that over the years many things have been tried with little success. Do we leave these kids on their own? Could the newly formed Jaycees be a resource for organizing something for these kids? I think in the past organizers of kid things have not carried through to keep things going. These aren't bad kids in the down town.

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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 8:29 pm 
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The problem with musical events in Tomahawk is that no one supports them so they can't go on. The first couple nights get good turn outs then it just dies off. And with young kids playing music, especially original music, older generations want nothing to do with it, so they don't come, and they're the only ones that would come in the first place. You can't expect teenage kids to play absolutely spotless old-people-friendly music. Kids playing music is one of the most valuble resources they have to try to enjoy and excite their sport-academic-revolved-Northern-Wisconsin lives. There is their effort to be an aspect to the quality of life in Tomahawk, but no one supports them.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 12:23 am 
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One time on my way home from the post office I was driving a Dodge pick-up truck that apparently had some electrical problems. It died right in the middle of the intersection by the F&M Bank. I got out and began to push it off the road when all of a sudden a group of about five or six kids that were on that bench ran out to my truck and all started pushing. I jumped in to steer and it miraculuosly started and I drove off happy to be running and was unable to "Thank" those kids for the unsolicited assistance. They could have sat there and laughed and remained sitting, but those were Good kids and I truly appreciated that.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2004 8:05 pm 
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Hello Tomahawk !
I agree with Old Scout. The hole was a place to go
and a place to hang out. I don't get to Tomahawk as much as I'd like to and am not sure what the downtown is like now for the kids now. What about a youth center ?


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2004 8:25 pm 
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These are mixed age groups that sit downtown. I think most of them live in those apartments. I can
understand why in summer/hot weather nights they
are sitting on the benches etc. to keep cool, instead of sitting in their upstairs apartments.
Then there are the other groups that I've been told are a certain group of kids rounding up their
groups to go elsewhere to party and that this is where they meet before they leave to get rides together etc. No one has ever done anything to us
as we drove by in the past. Maybe once someone gave us the finger! Don't even know if it was meant for us or someone across the road? The certain kids that are found sitting outside on the benches etc., I don't think are interested in a youth center. Why not ask them though? I think they are beyond that and looking for a place they
can smoke and not pay to get in. Why not do a newspaper article Kerry on these people and see
what they are really looking for? Why not? What would it hurt? Nothing...instead of guessing about them...find out...you have good reporters
who could do a great job and just make it a survey/poll type of thing. Let us know Kerry what
the Leader can do to support these people and find
something appropriate for them to do and spend their time. We would be interested to know what they think.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 6:17 am 
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I think the music thing is a great idea. It gives the kids something to do. It also benefits the town because music has a way of drawing people. If properly organized, people would travel here to play and get exposure. And if shows were put on regularly, it could possibly become added income for the town.


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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:16 pm 
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Have an "open mike" session at the band stand once a week???

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 Post subject: Re: Downtown
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:17 pm 
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Have an "open mike" session at a
park once a week???

<small>[ July 06, 2004, 11:18 PM: Message edited by: Jeff Boettcher ]</small>

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