We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

GOOD news features in today’s Gazette!

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John Eyster
Saturday, February 2, 2013

GOOD news features in today’s Gazette!

I am starting GROUNDHOG DAY with Unusual HOPE. Whatever JIMMY THE GROUNDHOG in Sun Prairie reports as to the coming of SPRING, I am GRATEFUL for the GOOD news feature articles in today’s Gazette! I hope you will read these stories and add your comments.

The front page feature by NEIL JOHNSON does NOT look like GOOD NEWS on the surface with the picture of the beautiful 3-story Victorian Home at 211 Albion Street in Edgerton complementing the headline, “Blaze displaces family of 13.” The sub-title starts to tell the GOOD NEWS, “Community steps up after fire hits home.”

Be sure YOU read the whole story so you too know the GOOD NEWS! Perhaps YOU will want to participate in writing the GOOD NEWS too. There is a community fund set-up to help the Gonzalez family with details published in a box complementing the article.

The sense of the GOOD NEWS is Neil’s quote of Victor Gonzalez, father of the family that escaped the fire yesterday morning, as he reflects on the situation, “We pretty much have the olden days insurance – the 1900s insurance. That’s your neighbor taking care of you. We had nothing hours ago, and now we have everything. The policy chief even offered us his home to stay.” What a fantastic testimony of the QUALITY TO COMMUNITY in EDGERTON, WI!

Neil closes the article with more comment by Gonzalez, “All the despair we’ve felt, all the loss, it’s outnumbered and outmatched by the kindness from all of these people. Some people we know, some we don’t. How do you even give thanks for all of it? You just say ‘thank you,’ I guess.”

I hope that Neil and the Gazette will continue to inform their readers with this situation as it develops over the days ahead.

And then, when you turn to page 3A you will see MARCIA NELESEN’s feature, “Labor of love: Couple plans to restore historic home” – yes, the LOVEJOY MANOR at 220 St. Lawrence Avenue. The pictures made me the MORE happy about the GOOD NEWS that REBECCA WASHECHECK and CHARLES COONER have purchased and plan the restoration of this VICTORIAN which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

This is a saved from the ashes story – the Lovejoy Manor did NOT suffer a fire. It did suffer the ravages of an owner who has been accused of numerous scams and illegal actions in the Janesville area for years. I noted that Brad Goodrich is identified in the article as a “minister.” I have read Gazette articles reporting on the accusations against Brad in the Janesville area. I read Jennifer Valley’s statement reported by the Gazette, “He claims to be a minister, but nothing about the way he lives is Godly to me.” Jennifer Valley and her husband had a $28,000 lien on Goodrich’s $700,000 home on the Rock River.

If you want to read the details reported by Marcia Nelesen in a Sunday, June 20, 2010 Gazette article, check out “Faith and Fraud: Clients claim Janesville man mixes both.” I am not allowed to insert a link to a Gazette article. You will find it if you use an online search engine. Read the article to be aware of the dimensions of accusations against Brad. As a clergyperson, I have to express sadness that the “minister” identity is claimed by Brad.

That June 2010 article reports on Brad’s attempt to claim property tax exemption for his home located at 8797 N. Stone Farm Road, Edgerton, assessed in 2010 at $768,900. I was well aware of that attempt to gain property tax exemption for his personal real estate in the Town of Fulton. He tried to claim that the home was “church owned” and should be exempt from property tax. Fortunately, our alert Town Board stopped that scam. The June 2010 article reported, “Goodrich is now delinquent on the property taxes for his home.”

On the basis of reading the June 2010 article, I NOW want to find out what the situation is vis-ŕ-vis Brad Goodrich in February 2013. I’ll check out the data and report via my WE THE PEOPLE blog later this month. Do YOU have any specific information/data? I’ll be reading comments as always.

The Gazette article describes some of the changes which Brad made at the LOVEJOY MANOR which were destroying its architectural integrity. The City of Janesville was able to STOP the slapping of stucco on the exterior of that VICTORIAN HOUSE. Many were very concerned about the future of the LOVEJOY MANOR.

Bankruptcy with a bank taking over a historic property like the LOVEJOY MANSION is NOT usually GOOD news, but I would assert that the FORECLOSURE on the LOVEJOY MANSION was a very significant action to SAVE that historic home.

NOW we have the GOOD NEWS that Rebecca and Charles have purchased the home from the bank and are planning to restore its VICTORIAN ARCHITECTURE! Read the story to learn the very significant special qualifications which each of them brings to the project to reassure us that the restoration will be HIGH QUALITY! Thanks to MARCIA and the GAZETTE for sharing with us readers the GOOD NEWS of Rebecca and Charles’ ownership and plans for the LOVEJOY MANSION!

I am again reminded of the wonderful benefits of a LOCAL NEWSPAPER which focuses on LOCAL NEWS! These two GOOD NEWS stories are very encouraging and, I would assert, INSPIRING! THANK YOU to NEIL JOHNSON & MARCIA NELESEN for YOUR high quality journalism! THANK YOU to SCOTT ANGUS and editorial staff at The Janesville Gazette for planning space for these major feature articles! THANK YOU to Sidney “Skip” Bliss, President/Board Chairman of Bliss Communications, Inc. If you are interested in more information about the corporation, you can use this link “Bliss Communications, Inc. – Radio – Newspapers – Internet.” I was reminded that Bliss Communications publishes newspapers in Janesville, Monroe, Delavan, WI along with Marinette, WI/Menominee, MI. The corporation also owns several radio stations, including our local WCLO (1230 AM) and WJVL (99.9 FM).

What is YOUR reaction to the LOCAL NEWS FOCUS of The Janesville Gazette?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 9:24 am Monday, April 29, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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