Thumbs up to downtown hotel proposal. Developers' growing interest in downtown Janesville is perhaps the best indicator of whether revitalization efforts are working. A proposal to build a four-story, 33,000-square-foot hotel just west of the Rock River along Milwaukee Street shows the downtown's comeback is for real. In previous editorials, we've said the ARISE plan is having its intended effect, and a new downtown hotel would all but end debate over the initiative's wisdom. With the hotel only one block from an almost-completed town square, the synergy created between the two sites would be undeniable. The hotel would likely create new demand for more restaurants, further fueling downtown growth. Meanwhile, a second proposal to build a hotel on the city's east side near the former Menards and Pontiac Drive is also good news for Janesville.
Thumbs up to Edgerton aquaponics greenhouse. Forget about having students gather around the classroom aquarium to feed the goldfish. Edgerton put an exclamation point on its science curriculum last week in unveiling plans for a $150,000, 30-by-50-foot aquaponics greenhouse to sit between Edgerton High School and Community Elementary School. Students will oversee and observe a mini-ecosystem, in which waste excreted by fish is used to support plant life. Life sciences teacher Tony DeWar said the operation could even involve selling vegetables to the school's food service company or donating them to a food pantry. As an added bonus, the project is free of taxpayer grumbling because most of the funds came for a benefactor, Bill Wartman. Administrators from other school districts can be forgiven for feeling envious.
Thumbs down to the end of HHFFRRRGGH name. The HHFFRRRGGH Inn off East Racine Street had a confounding name, but wasn't that the charm? Now the new owners plan to reopen the restaurant as Sidelines Sports Pub & Grill--how pedestrian. Think of all the sports bars in this nation with a name referencing some part of a playing field. The list would probably consume all the space on this page. But can you think of a vowel-challenged name as peculiar as HHFFRRRGGH? Some have speculated HHFFRRRGGH represented the initials of the original owners. But the explanation featured in a Sept. 30 story about the name change suggests it stems from Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, a character from a Steve Martin movie, "The Man with Two Brains." New owner Mo Sikich said scrapping the HHFFRRRGGH name was a "tough call." "But you got people who can't really spell it, and you can't really Google it," he said. That's very true--and all the more reason to love it.
Thumbs down to Linda L. Gray. The East Troy attorney agreed to a proposed 60-day suspension after pleading no contest to a charge that she wrote herself into one of her client's wills. Gray drafted a will for Marianne Armaganian in 2013, giving $298,742 to Gray after Armaganian, who wasn't related to Gray, died in 2015. It's not clear why Gray behaved unethically because court records don't shed light on Gray's motives, though she agreed a referee appointed to the case could use the allegations “as an adequate factual basis to support findings of misconduct,” according to a Sept. 26 court filing. While the legal profession is mostly reputable, this case is a reminder of the damage lawyers can do when they abuse their powers. The state Supreme Court is the final arbiter in the case and hasn't yet issued a decision, but a 60-day suspension seems like a small price for Gray to pay.