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Thanksgiving ThoughtsGreenville

Thanksgiving is upon us again with the December holidays in hot pursuit. Looking back over the last year or two, it’s easy to focus on all the rhetoric about how bad things are here in the U.S. Yes, things have been tough, but they are getting better and I never forget how lucky we are to live in this great nation. My friend just got back from a freighter trip in the Indian Ocean, riding shotgun against ubiquitous Somalian pirates. His mission was successful, but his comment after spending some time in foreign ports was: just take a look around when you are in another country, and you’ll see how good we have it here in the U.S. I heartily agree and have first hand experiences to validate his experiences. Here in Greenville, things are even better than many parts of America. The local economy keeps making gains, especially in automotive as BMW announced they will be running at near capacity in 2011 to meet worldwide demand. Other manufacturers, especially hi-tech industries are either considering or committing to the Upstate. Healthcare is going strong and Greenville is maintaining it’s reputation as a great place to live, especially for retiring seniors and young families. The real estate market has not taken quite the beating as other parts of the country and foreclosures have not penetrated the entire market. Yes, I’m grateful to be an American living in Greenville, SC USA.

Bicycle Update on McDaniels Ave. Bi-Pass BridgeCommunity

The Swamp Rabbit Trail bridge that avoids McDaniels Avenue is nearly done! It’s located between Cleveland and Falls Parks in downtown Greenville, near the plane memorial to Major Anderson. The busy portion of the biking and pedestrian trail has had to share an awkward bridge crossing for years and has been a safety issue with auto traffic. Masons are finishing up the stonework around the buttresses and the concrete approach ramps still need to be poured, but it soon should be complete and open to the public. Nearby along the same bike path, there have also been improvements to the parallel bridges near the Vietnam Veteran Memorial and a new guardrail at Woodland Way.

Medical Helicopter at GHS

The Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center now has a Bell 407 helicopter and flight crew stationed at the hospital which is ready to take off in three and a half minutes from an emergency call. Thanks to a partnership between the hospital system and Med-Trans Corp, victims within a 100-mile radius will have a much better chance at receiving medical attention when time is important. Another huge benefit is that the emergency medical technicians on the flight crew will have a close relationship with the physicians and nurses at the hospital, which ensures better training and cooperation.

Model Train Museum

Photo Taken By Daniel E. MarkleFrank Ruby has a thing for model trains and plans to establish a large HO-scale train museum in Greenville. He got the idea after hearing about the world’s largest exhibit at the Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg, Germany, which attracted a million visitors last year. Frank is the owner of local Blue Ridge hobbies and president of the Minature World of Trains. His vision is to create a large museum that appeals to tourism but will also educate the visitors about American train history as well as future developments such as high speed rail. The project is will be a non-profit endeavor financed with grant funding and tax deductible contributions, with a targeted open date of early 2012.

Current WeatherCurrent Weather

Temperate fall weather is expected this week with highs in the 70s and lows around 50. Looks like there will be chance of showers for Thanksgiving but that will make backyard football all that more interesting. Let’s be thankful for the rain too.