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Editor's view: Shoppers seek ways to spend

By: Don Chaddock, Telegraph Managing Editor
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While on the wild hunt for lunch last week, I was shocked when I hit the 800 block of Sutter Street. While I knew, in theory, the sidewalks and shed roofs would be removed, reality differed wildly from the images my mind had conjured. Gone were the solid sidewalks upon which numerous soles have trodden. Now, my feet were met by dirt. Also gone were the roofs that provided shade to those passing underneath. Old Sacramento has nothing on Folsom at the moment. They do their big Gold Rush Days over Labor Day weekend. For those few days, some of the streets are covered in dirt to give the area a nice historic feel. In Folsom, we’ve been doing that for weeks and now the sidewalks are part of the attraction. The Historic District Revitalization project is slated to go through November for the heavy work, but will continue on through spring 2011 for landscaping and the like. Kathryn Corbett, of Folsom, stopped me on my way back to the office. I had managed to procure a nice spicy turkey sandwich from The Black Rooster and was fully prepared to devour my meal. “You’re the Telegraph, aren’t you?” she asked as she stood outside Folsom Lake Bank. I never know if an encounter like this will be positive or negative. “Guilty as charged,” I said. “I’m the editor.” She spoke about the construction and how the city should have tried to save some of the trees, at least in the 700 block. She also thanked me for a column I wrote on the subject. “I went to all the meetings,” she said. “What really bothers me is they gave us two options. If you were against one, that meant you must be (in support of) the other one.” She said she was initially supported of the project, and still believes it can be good for the town and the district in the long run, but lamented the financial difficulties the work has brought on small business owners. “We can’t lose the independent businesses,” she said. “We need to support them or chains will come in if they close.” She has a point. We need to do what we can to support the businesses in the Historic District. On the flip side, the businesses need to be accommodating to their customers and be open when shoppers are strolling the street. On a recent Sunday, while on a walk down Sutter, I found only a handful of shops open for business. And, if someone claims the shoppers are nonexistent, I’d disagree. People were out and about, peeking in windows of places they couldn’t spend their hard-earned cash. A healthy crowd stood outside the Folsom Hotel and Saloon while more meandered up from the river area, sometimes with a towel thrown over one shoulder. Snook’s was open and had a full store. Most people work between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. during the week, but many businesses in the district insist on being open only during that time frame. This means they are excluding some of the very customers they are trying to capture. Yes, the shoppers are here. But, where are the shops? Telegraph happenings Last week the Telegraph was visited by Cub Scout Troop 558 from El Dorado Hills. They learned about the news gathering process, how the newspaper is printed, how it is delivered to your driveway on Wednesdays and just what an editor really does. Carmel Nicole Cobabe said her troop learned a lot and thanked us for the talk. If your group would like to learn about newspapers, give me a call at 351-3753. Don Chaddock is the managing editor of the Folsom Telegraph. He may be reached at donc@goldcountrymedia.com. On Facebook, “like” the Folsom Telegraph to get updates on stories before they hit the presses.