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Article updated: 10/12/2013 5:42 PM

Bar problem doesn't sully St. Charles' image

By Dave Heun

St. Charles wants to avoid the "image" problem it has brewing because of the late evening/early morning nonsense that occurs in some of the city's various bars and on the streets after the bars close.

But is it really the image that comes to mind when you think of St. Charles? For most of us, the answer would be no.

Is the late-night buffoonery that causes police intervention a problem for city officials? You bet. A nasty one, at that. Property damage, physical harm or death represents the triangle of woe that a city can face when residents or visitors drink too much.

Still, it does not seem likely problems at bars would be the first thing to come to mind when thinking of any of the settings in the Tri-Cities.

A city's image is what pops into your mind when you tell someone, "I'm from St. Charles," or Geneva or Batavia.

It's what comes out of the mouths of those you are talking to who do not live here, but may have visited.

"I know St. Charles; I went to a picnic there with my family when I was a kid," is a phrase heard in the past. "I think it was Pottawatomie Park, along the river."

Or another common acknowledgment is, "I know Geneva; my friends and I went to the Little Traveler." That's an image Geneva likes to hear about. Third Street is the magnet for everything that goes on.

"Batavia? I know that town; the bike trails go through there, and they have windmills all over the place," is a common refrain, and an image Batavia has fostered for decades.

Those are city images. Having more bars than you care to admit to can result in a problem, but the Hotel Baker and Arcada Theatre come to mind well before any of the downtown watering holes.

Problems conflict with images, no doubt. But problems come and go. Images stand the test of time.

New treasure spot: A couple months ago, I mentioned that my wife and I stopped in at America's Treasures, an antiques and collectibles location on Bennett Street in Geneva.

More people will know about this place soon. America's Treasures will be leasing the former Erday's location at 10 N. Third St., with plans to operate from that downtown spot starting in November.

Erday's has been empty since early this year and available for lease since April, Mark Coleman of Coleman Land Co. tells me.

America's Treasures loses the exclusive parking spots it enjoyed on Bennett Street, but, "They hope their sales of antiques, furniture and collectibles will increase with the new location in Geneva's downtown," Coleman said.

Free library in Batavia: Boxes that have been popping up in neighborhoods across the country seem to be a big hit among book lovers of all ages.

Another has popped up in Batavia, this one at 340 N. Lincoln St. A fellow named Al Runde built that free library.

We know Heidi Files and Dave Worley put one up in her Whipple Avenue neighborhood in Batavia about a month ago, so the idea continues to catch on.

The decorative boxes hold free books, allowing users to take one to read or to place a book in the box to share with others.

While this is a relatively new concept to individual neighborhoods, it's long been in place at the Geneva Metra station, which has a book sharing rack near the ticket window.

Buses love our fests: Couldn't tell you exactly why we should be thumping our chests about this, but anytime a travel organization says your community festivals are among the best on the continent, it has to mean something, right?

Such is the case with the American Bus Association saying it will list Geneva's Swedish Days and Festival of the Vine events in their list of Top 100 events in North America for 2014.

Being on this list means the association is telling tour groups and individual travelers that these events are worth visiting.

And here's music to Geneva's, or any community's, ears: The association says motor coach groups spend more and stay longer when attending such events.

Step back in time: The folks at Carroll Tower in St. Charles took a step back in time during a recent Victorian tea party titled "Lavender and Lace."

It sounded like everyone who participated really enjoyed the fashions and settings from yesteryear.

Irene Bradley, a retired event planner for a major corporation who is now a resident at Carroll Tower, put together the event.

Another of Carroll's residents, Tom Warren, assisted in setting up the event. He also played the role of a butler and "spoke in a strange-sounding English accent," according to attendee Jerry Hanson.

Hanson said she shared her collection of authentic Victorian garments and accessories.

If you are inclined to long for past eras, it appears a Victorian tea is the way to do it for some.

Bieber's mom in St. Charles: Regardless of what you think about the phenomenon known as Justin Bieber, his mother Pattie Mallette has an interesting story to tell about her own difficult life.

She'll do that at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, and 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Christ Community Church in St. Charles.

Mallette, a New York Times best-selling author, will discuss her life story as told in her book, "Nowhere But Up."

In Jason's memory: The Gould family in Elburn will gather with friends and supporters again Saturday, Oct. 19, at the St. Charles Moose Lodge for the impressive annual fundraiser in honor of Jason Gould.

Calling it "Hogwild About a Cure for Leukemia," the event honors Gould, an avid Arkansas fan who died from the disease in 2006.

Call Sandy Gould at (630) 267-6374 for tickets or more information.

dheun@sbcglobal.net

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