Friday, October 23, 2009

A major blow to Tracy vitality?

In Saturday's Press, the editorial board gives a preliminary thumbs up on Page 10 to a proposed business district that could add some juice to downtown Tracy's vitality.

Right across the fold on Page 11 and earlier on Page 4 are stories that explore one of the major threats to that mojo. Fear.

Amore's Italian Restaurant was trying something different to bring more business — and more life — to its downtown locale: dancing at night. Whether it was rented to private parties or open to the public, it was an unusual evening when Amore's wasn't host to folks enjoying an atmosphere that isn't often found in Tracy.

The Oct. 10 shooting that killed an unsuspecting patron has effectively put the kibbosh on Amore's experiment.

That cold-blooded killing in and of itself is a tragedy, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of Niam Bey, who was by all accounts a good guy and family man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The secondary tragedy is that this incident could prevent other entrepreneurs from pioneering similar night life options.

It wasn't hip-hop music that caused the fatal shooting, nor was it alcohol or the many people who went in and out of Amore's to kick back a few, chat, dance and have a good time. And it certainly wasn't the restaurant, as Amore's had security present and, from police and witness reports, did what any responsible establishment would do.

But all of that and more are getting at least part of the rap, instead of just blaming the jerk with a handgun who decided to get in a fight and randomly blast away.

It's unfortunate. Because that kind of blame-it-all attitude could poison attempts to keep Tracy's downtown on a path of business, culture and retail by day and food, fun and libations by night.

Here's hoping that the fear loses out, and that downtown's mojo continues to grow.


Anonymous said...

Mr. mendelson: what's your take on Gang involvement in the Amore's shooting? As you might know (or not) all three of the young men arrested are self-proclaimed "Norteneos". Mr. Johnny Martinez, one of the arrested, is beleived to be a Nortenoe "Shot-Caller" in Tracy.
Although I agree with you that Amore's, alcohol or RAP music were likely causes for this shooting, a long festering problem of Steet Gangs is the major problem?
- The Nightwatchman

Anonymous said...

i just dont see the big deal about nightclubs, except its all about the adults. the children in this town have nothing. young children wondering at night wondering what to do. theres alot of empty buildings, why not open a skating rink or an arcade for the CHILDREN. its sad that the kids have to wonder the streets with nothing to do, and the adults thing of themselves, going out drinking and DRIVE home, nice huh? think of the children, a place where we know they are, a place they can have fun and off the streets. just a thought.