They should put up a new sign at the entrance to Granite City:
"Welcome (unless you're a hooker or her John, homeless, a redneck
with a couch on your porch or an anti-abortion protester)."
Kind of a diverse group for the local police to be asked to target,
but city leaders have done that with the stated intent of making Granite
City a better place to visit or watch a parade.
Granite City's been a gritty blue-collar town for more than a
century, but leaders are working hard to clean it up. They are spending
$1.2 million to renovate the street's appearance around City Hall.
Prostitution has been a problem in the city for decades, with the
women even exposing themselves to folks pulling out of the bank
drive-through. Police make routine sweeps, but nothing seems to be as
effective as putting a bunch of their customers in handcuffs and putting
those customers' names in the newspaper.
While we would like to see the homeless accommodated, we understand
the city wanting to ensure they are safe and not setting up house in
vacant buildings. We also have no problem with police making sure the
men aren't engaging in inappropriate behavior on the streets.
Ratty porch couches may be a sign of redneck pride along a rural
route, but they are a blight in a city. We tell residents to cut their
weeds and remove junker cars from their yards, so keeping the porches
tidy is not a stretch.
We applaud those three efforts. Granite City can remake itself by
cleaning up petty crime just like New York City took back Times Square
and saw a revival.
But we hope the efforts to stop the Small Victories anti-abortion
group from protesting during city parades is at an end.
A federal judge again stopped the city's efforts to restrict the
large signs showing aborted fetuses. While we don't like their tactic of
showing grisly images during parades as a way to opposing the abortion
clinic in Granite City, we certainly defend their constitutional rights
to peacefully assemble and make their point.
They will again be in a designated area during the Memorial Day
parade. If you object to how they deliver their message, it is your
responsibility to look away and shepherd youngsters past the signs.