The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 25, 2013

Letter: ‘Downtown’ isn’t really downtown

Enid News & Eagle

— Congratulations to the person who finally articulated the fact that the Enid News & Eagle supports every money-spending project the city government endorses for “downtown.” Your owners and editors have a right to your own opinion, of course. But I seem to remember from journalism class that such opinions should be restricted to the editorial page, not liberally laced throughout so-called “news” stories, as you do.

A related journalistic error is the News & Eagle’s continual reference to the approximately nine-block area centered on the courthouse as “downtown.” Let’s see what Wikipedia says constitutes “downtown”:

• “… to refer to a city’s core … or central business district …”

• “… downtown was clearly established as the proper term in American English for a city’s central business district.”

• “… generic street name (and often the official name) of the primary retail street of a village, town or small city …”

• “…  it is usually a focal point for shops and retailers …”

Enid’s central core and central business district clearly lies along West Owen K. Garriott, approximately between Chestnut and Garland. The area you continually misidentify is generally the home of “mom and pop” small businesses and portions thereof, of the old wino bowery. Primary retail street? Hardly. Focal point of shops and retailers? Again, hardly.

I would wager the Atwoods-Lowes-Walmart area of the real business district sees more customers in one day that your so-called “downtown” does in a month — and will continue to do so regardless of Tom Sailors’ ballroom and the White Elephant II, which you continually tout.  

One can only think of two reasons you continue this written charade. Either you are catering to the real estate owners in this small area, or being nostalgic. Neither is worthy of space other than on the editorial page.

Austin Wade