A response to The Lincoln Journal Star's coverage of a new thrift shop on 14th & B that displaced The Commons, possibly permanently.

Having them claim there was no pride left on that corner in nearly the same breath as they casually mentions something called The Commons was there trying to make a difference... ooof.

I remember being in one of the last meetings I had at the Commons, when a troupe of folks affiliated with the new buyer came in unannounced and started walking around the space, taking pictures and letting a child with them mess with papers and tools that belonged to someone else. There was clearly no understanding that something important was already happening in that space, and that they were interrupting it.

Being at The Commons sometimes meant encountering people with unmanaged mental illness, or who were drunk and wandering around. Like it or not, those people are part of our neighborhood too, and they haven't disappeared because of "Transformations" - they've just been pushed further back into the shadows and alleys where they don't offend "respectable people's" sensibilities.

The group that held the Commons's lease was not given the option to renew with the new landlord, as far as I know. And yet now there is one building that sits vacant, waiting on a tenant? I'd take the noncapitalist, nonreligious community space offered by The Commons over a bakery or another coffeeshop any day of the week. We have plenty of places to purchase; what we are missing is a place to gather in community. It seemed so easy for folks who have a church community to say that our chosen community, bound by commitment to shared values and love of neighbor, didn't merit preservation.

And the name... Transformations. To me it says, we saw what was going on here, all of it including The Commons, and we thought, there is nothing good here worth saving, only changing. What an apt name.