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Wade Heath: Here’s an idea to honor veterans in Lodi

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Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 6:06 pm

Have you ever noticed the banners promoting city events on the lamp posts throughout Lodi’s beautiful downtown area? So have I. However, some of the banners just repeat the same thing. Here’s an idea. Instead of having multiple repeats, why not mix promotional banners with banners honoring Lodi’s own brave men and women of the armed forces?

It’d be a great way to pay tribute to those who have fallen while serving and celebrate those who are currently standing for freedom abroad. I know the city is strapped for cash, so how about local businesses pitch in a few bucks and, as a community, we’ll proudly hoist banners once per year with a photo, the branch of service and the dates of active duty or the service member with “honored by” and then the business’ name that footed the bill.

It’d be a simple way to applaud our brave citizens and at the same time promote local businesses.

City council, the ball is in your court. Reach out and let me know what you think: wade.lodi@gmail.com.

Saved Bowl

A huge shout out belongs to Jack Fiori for his more than five year effort in fundraising for the aging Grape Bowl facility. New restrooms, ADA compliant areas, ticket booths and even a refreshed stadium entry complete with a plaza is just a portion of the upgrades and additions.

For me the Grape Bowl will forever be a nostalgic and inspiring piece of my past and of small town America, respectively. There was nothing like being down on the sidelines with the Flames, snapping up photos for the school newspaper and capturing the raw emotion of the coaches and players in the heat of game battle. The Bowl also holds a special place in the hearts of generations of Lodian’s who took that magical walk to be handed their diploma during their final moments of adolescence.

Bravo to everyone involved in the resurrection of the Bowl and may it continue to be the home of Lodi’s biggest events for years to come.

A decade of words

Here’s a startling thought. Ten years ago this month, I began my column with the Lodi News-Sentinel as a high school intern. Jeez do I feel old! My monthly spot on the Panorama page reporting on notes from Lodi High quickly turned into a regular home on the opinion page as one of the youngest editorial columnists in News-Sentinel history.

During that time my frequency of production has not been as consistent as I’d like, but the team at the Church Street office has done an incredible job over the years polishing my paragraphs, printing my words and selling the space I occupy. Don’t think for a second I’ve ever taken it for granted.

The biggest thank you, though, belongs to each and every one of you who read and support this column as well as one of the last family owned newspapers in the United States.

For those of you who have been with me the entire ride I am humbled and grateful for your readership.

As for newer readers, know that my infrequent columns lately have been due to several other projects I’ve been working on and the best is yet to come.

Cheers to 10 more years!

Columnist Wade Heath can be contacted at Wade.Lodi@Gmail.com.

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