Arsons of Ideas – Saving Downtowns with the Fred FactorJanuary 21, 2007
“Timothy Bishop doesn’t go out and rebuild downtowns. He is an arson who lights fires in the hearts and minds of downtown citizens.” – Pug Ostling
In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 they burned books. In Ellensburg, Washington, they are igniting fires in their business community by reading them.
Yes, Timothy Bishop and a lot of other people are in the process of saving downtown Ellensburg. (See Just Try to Stop This Downtown Train). Their association has started a book club specifically for the downtown merchants – to read and discuss ideas that can re-energize their businesses.
Here’s a link to the full list of books to be discussed this year at Brown Bag Business Basics, just in case you want to join in. It’s a cooperative project of the Ellensburg Public Library and the Ellensburg Downtown Association.
You’ll notice that on February 15 they will be discussing Mark Sanborn’s The Fred Factor.
That ought to be enough time for us to get Mr. Sanborn to offer up a little “value added” tidbit for Tim’s book club. You see, Mark wrote an article for our blog recently and has been hanging around asking how else he can be of service. And Bishop is getting ready to reinvent their fundraising effort for what he calls “Round 2.”
We think Mark will be glad to help the book club as he will surely recognize these four “Ellensburg Factor Principles:”
- Nobody, and I mean nobody, can prevent Ellensburg from being exceptional.
- The quality of Timothy Bishop’s relationships is evident from the nationwide donations and the comments from Pug Ostling, David Burris and Shelly Schlumpf on Just Try to Stop this Downtown Train.
- Not that they have much choice, but the Ellensburg Downtown Association is doing it all with ingenuity, imagination and pluck – not dollars.
- Ellensburg is truly reinventing itself – combining the talents of a book club, the D&M Coffee Shops, Alpha Kappa Psi and lots of other volunteers.
Yes, “Fred Ellensburg” we call them.
Here’s Pug Ostling again, to close today’s ceremonies. But, before we do that – please, log on to www.savedowntown.org and donate $10 or more to this good effort. Here’s Pug:
“On the economic chessboard of Ellensburg’s future, King Wal-mart, Queen K-mart, et al, position themselves to gobble up the small pawns of independent merchants; corral the knights and horses; and monopolize the formerly castle-controlled real estate. But for what it’s worth, my money’s on The Bishop.”
And the Fred Factor. Stay tuned.