To the editor,

While better late than never, I applaud the Chamber for finally addressing retail issues (Grand Forks Herald, Jan. 3: "Closings keep coming in GF").

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They already have an excellent model in the Grand Forks Downtown Development Association (DDA). This public entity, financed by both private and public money is a great success.

According to a recent profile, the DDA helps sponsor 11 events downtown. (Herald, Jan. 5: "Blue colors downtown"). In the past, there was a South End Development Association to promote South Washington. This could be resurrected, along with a new Columbia/32nd organization. These public entities could help restore vitality not only to retail, but add improved quality of life citywide.

While I have switched from talk to rock and NPR, I encourage city leaders to ignore the "just say

no" attitude of the shock jocks and their callers at the Thompson-based media company, kNOx.

Do it!

C.T. Marhula

Grand Forks