• Over the years, there have been many problems discussed at the Metropolis city council. Back in 1988, it was the lack of parking uptown. Wouldn’t we like to have that problem now? Of course, much of that problem was caused by having Happy Hearts right across from the courthouse, where the MetroChamber is now located.

This column originally ran March 2, 1988.

What do birthdays and parking spaces have in common?

They were both hot topics Monday night.

The birthday of course was not mine — heck, I have forgotten when it is, or at least I’m trying.

The birthday was Superman’s 50th.

But if his birthday falls on Feb. 29, and that only comes every four years, how old is he?

How ever you count birthdays, the superhero has been around 50 years in comic book form.

A WPSD crew was in town last week and KFVS was here Monday to do news features on Metropolis and its connection to Superman.

Phyllis Harris says she has been getting many calls at the Chamber about Superman and his 50th birthday.

Of course, the local celebration of Superman’s 50th year started last summer and will conclude the second weekend in June at the 10th annual Superman Celebration.

We don’t know what has happened to the Time magazine story about Superman’s 50th birthday. Time spent a great deal of money sending a writer from Chicago and a photographer from St. Louis.

Maybe there will be something in next week’s issue.

Nationally, CBS-TV made a big thing of Superman’s birthday with a special at 7 p.m. Monday.

I hope to see a videotape of it some night this week.

Instead of celebrating Superman’s 50th, my Monday night was spent at city hall in the middle of a discussion on parking spaces.

Whether this proposed restaurant locates uptown or not, I think it was important for the businesspeople and city officials to meet and discuss future parking problems.

When I say, “future problems” you may say, “We already have problems.”

That is true, and the current problems were mentioned, although not discussed in detail, Monday night.

Of course, we all know the parking problems uptown are mostly at noon when Happy Hearts is operating and the other restaurants are busy.

Now that there is an operating restaurant on Seventh Street again, parking there has gotten to be a problem.

And, when something special is going on at the courthouse, it is hard to find a place around it.

Putting things in perspective, we need to keep in mind that you can always park closer to Metropolis stores than the ones in any mall.

If the city decides to sell or swap one-half the lot, we should use this as an opportunity to solve the present problems we have.

For two years the Metropolis Business and Merchants Association has been trying to get the county-owned land — where the Hinners Building burned — open for public parking.

The Massac County Jail Commission now owns that land and is expected to make a decision by March 15 on whether a jail will be built there.

If it is not to be used for a jail, then it certainly should be opened up for parking and public events.

Using that lot for employees of uptown businesses and agencies would ease some problems in front of the business places.

Having to provide extra parking places for people attending Happy Hearts for the noon hour is a tough problem to solve. Pushing them off onto the First National Bank (now Legence Bank) parking lot is not the answer.

However, at a time when our big problem is lack of shoppers, surely we can find a convenient place for both customers and employees to park.

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