Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Travers, Russell both deserve honors, respect

| November 19, 2023 1:00 AM

I am deeply distressed by the nasty tone of the conversation around the new indoor sports facility breaking ground at Travers Park. This has gone so far as to cause a council person to resign, signs suggesting pickleball players hit children, and a letter in local media suggesting we just take the $7.5 million from those “fancy donors.”

My heart is broken over the vitriol of this conversation, especially because Frank Travers and James Russell would have been best friends. They were both natives with long roots in this town. They were passionate about youth sports. Instead, we have this ugly rhetoric that acts like one memorial destroys another.

Travers Park is 18 acres; the indoor sports facility is maybe half an acre. How does that destroy the park? How can giving high school students and others a place to play in the winter destroy the honor of Frank Travers?

For a year, we have been talking about this. If there is another place to put this facility, where is it? Instead, I hear lies and insults thrown at anyone who disagrees with the status quo. This is an incredible gift; why are we spitting hate at the givers?

Let us heal this rift and tone down the hate. May I suggest a sign that honors both men at Travers Park and tells both stories? They are the same story of service to the health and joy of Sandpoint.



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