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The Five Biggest Mistakes In Lubbock’s Last 30 Years

Killing the Tornado Jam because it was killing the grass.

Lubbock has a great music festival but killed it off because of the damage done by a muddy year. Big deal, more people went to the park that day then went to that park all year. Grass grows back, tourism doesn’t. I know some people think there’s more to it than dead grass, but there isn’t. Why build a park if you’re not going to let it be used?

Allowing “fear” to rule the town.

From the image of the “Windy Man” to the prospect of legalized alcohol in our town, we have allowed churches to push around the majority of the citizens. Now, the majority of the citizens belong to churches, but not all are extreme and predict the downfall of all civilization when a “hot button” issue, like making Lubbock a wet county, comes up. When we looked at the common sense of alcohol sales (less time going to get booze, means less time behind the wheel) we found that we could predict the real effect of alcohol close by. Accidents and incidents are DOWN. Sorry, but it’s true. The supermarkets didn’t lose business, they gained it. Lubbock didn’t go down the tubes; it removed a giant wart from the middle of its forehead.

Not funding a coliseum on our own.

Before United Spirit Arena, Lubbock had a chance to fund it’s own arena. Now that United Spirit Arena is built, it effectively blocks any chance we’ll ever have of having our own. And what’s wrong with USA? Nothing really, except it’s built for basketball and basketball comes first (and that includes practices). Now, by hosting three or four big shows a year it doesn’t make it profitable for another coliseum to come in, and United Spirit Arena doesn’t really market itself, it pretty much just waits for people to contact it. You can’t really calculate these things, but it’s my guess that a venue that marketed itself would pick up at least twice what USA is doing.

YouTube

Turning our backs on our music idols.

Like Buddy Holly before her, turning our back on Natalie Maines has to be the single most embarrassing moment in the history of Lubbock. We allowed a bit of Bush era flag waving to keep us from celebrating the biggest celebrity to ever come from Lubbock (Just check Buddy or Mac Davis’s sales next to the Dixie Chicks). A star like Natalie could have opened many doors for this town, but we slammed the door in her face.

Electing David Miller.

Now I’m entitled to my opinion and I met with the man behind closed doors. As a gentlemen, I will not reveal specifics, but it seemed to me that paranoia and a lack of an agenda ruled his world (that’s the nicest things I can say). His tenure was fraught with embarrassments including the Chippendales fiasco. It was also his legacy that led to tearing down South Beach/The Warehouse/Einsteins and moving the Buddy Holly/Walk of Face/Terrace of whatever. I went into details on this not to long ago, but I believe this whole mess to be a political “gift” to forces in the Depot District. Miller’s “purity police” are also responsible for regulating strip clubs out of city limits which is bad for convention business and sports recruiting (no one says it out loud but both groups of people want to see local “talent” when they visit). How is it we didn’t learn from the strip that pushing things just outside city limits doesn’t make them go away?

Runner up: Allowing 34th street to fall into disrepair. For many people that area is the “heart” of Lubbock. We should take action immediately to beautify the area and zone it so that it doesn’t become another strip of vacant buildings. We could create an “antique” district or something. Add some cool streetlights and green spaces. We could save this area; all it would take is for someone to have the balls to do it.

I would love to hear your “runners” up and comments. Please be aware that this has been my home for over 25 years. I want to help this town be better; I don’t just want to criticize.

Here’s some video from the Tornado Jam just so you realize how much we lost.

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