Friday, October 22, 2010


It seems like to us a lot of people are trying to take credit and thank the wrong people for the Quiet Zone. Just in case you didn't get the October 20, 2010 Tribune, here it is:

* "Dealing with the railroad, we feel like it's a huge achievement," said Matt Denison, president of the Board of Public Works and Safety.

* "It's taken a long time and a lot of negotiating, and the city getting involved strongly, Mayor England said."

Then we received the following email dated October 20, 2010 and wanted to share this with you our readers:

Peter et al,

This is indeed good news, barring any unforeseen hurdles presented by Norfolk Southern, as was the case with the last Notice of Intent filed.

I certainly hope that the MSPA intends to send a formal letter of thanks to our mayor and the City of New Albany for seeing this process through despite several setbacks. While many of us advocated strongly for the quiet zone, it would not have become a reality had not the administration approved our request, allocated funding and assigned staff (namely Matt Denison), to handle the myriad, tedious details involving in the establishment of the quiet zone. Matt has been extremely professional throughout this process, and we all owe a big thank you to him. and the city, for bringing this to fruition.

Ann Streckfus

Freedom of Speech would like to ask: What in the hell is wrong with you people?

This administration has done nothing other than send the Notice of Establishment out, which Valla Ann wrote in Valparaiso with Tammy Wagner of the Federal RR administration.

All the city had to do was transfer it to their letterhead and sign it.

Our question to Ann Streckfus, why didn't you give the credit to the one person who spent her own money, time from her business and we will even bet, today Valla Ann is still talking with Norfolk Southern and INDOT checking on the Quiet Zone.

Why can't you thank the one person who raised $468,000.00 to make this project happen?

Are you that jealous of her, obsessed with her many accomplishments or even her ability to make things happen?

Are you people that selfish and stupid that you would deny her that honor or a simple "thank you?"

You people make us sick!

How about Freedom Of Speech giving credit to the "one person" who made all this possible and who made our quiet zone happen.

Let us tell the real story and forget about all the above bullshit, and crap floating around and being written in our local Tribune!

So here's the real story...

A private citizen decided about 6 years ago to make a "quiet zone" happen. Most people just turn away and hope that someone else steps up to the plate and gets it done.

Especially with a project of this caliber.

A private citizen and business owner Valla Ann Bolovschak has been working diligently for about 6 years on completing the requirements in order for the crossings between Fifth Street to 14th streets to qualify for the "Quiet Zone" designation.

Now we are not talking about making a few phone calls, calling INDOT or calling Norfolk railroad or even sending several faxes.

We are talking about trips to Virginia, Chicago and hosting several meetings with Norfolk representatives at her Admiral Bicknell Inn.

That's not even counting many meetings and several trips she made to Indianapolis to meet with INDOT at her own expense.

Does any one of our readers remember that famous January 5, 2005 council meeting?

Yes, we are talking about Valla Ann confronting Mayor Garner about not attending Norfolk Southern meetings and her famous line was "Jimmy G. you work for me."

(That was truly a night to remember, one of the best council meetings we ever attended.)

When we researched the process of a "Quiet Zone" procedure we were amazed how she was able to complete this task so quickly and other various projects that she was totally committed to.

Why Valla Ann took on this project:

* Establishing a "Quiet Zone" would have a positive impact on property values and tax assessments, thereby increasing revenue for the city

* Enacting a "Quiet Zone" will greatly enhance our "Quality of Life," for area residents which is one of Valla Ann's priorities for her neighbor's and the City of New Albany

A WIN-WIN situation for everyone involved!

Valla Ann started this back in 2004. She established the good relationships with Norfolk Southern, the Federal RR administration and INDOT to raise the money

Valla Ann actually negotiated with Norfolk and INDOT and raised
$483,000 worth of improvements to make this project happen!
This does not mean that they will never again sound their horns. It WILL mean that they don't have to unless they perceive a need to do so.

This, our readers of Freedom Of Speech, is a fine example of determination, hard work, long hours, to see a project through.

It also shows that problems we have in New Albany that there are solutions.

You just got to roll up your sleeves, do your homework, over come obstacles, find solutions, and have the conviction and passion to make a project of this caliber happen like Valla Ann Bolovschak did.

Anyone interested in the other details or facts can contact Valla Ann.

She will show you her file drawers of paperwork from 2004 forward that authenticate her journey.

Nobody on Main Street or in this administration has a clue, she did this Quiet Zone pretty much solo because nobody had the patience and determination that she did to complete.

Congratulation Valla Ann our entire community benefits when it's a WIN-WIN situation like this for all of us. It has been a long journey for you in getting this Quiet Zone but we always knew you would make this happen.

Patience is a virtue and six years has been a long time, but look at the end results you achieved!

We the citizens, of New Albany would like to publicly "Thank You, Valla Ann" for our new "Quiet Zone." New Albany will be the 5th Quiet Zone in the entire State of Indiana.

Let's celebrate on November 4th and 12th when the parties involved will be here!

Freedom Of Speech Staff