Nice gestures

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR driver Tony Stewart deserve kudos for their kind gestures.

The speedway built a 3/16th oval dirt track inside of Turn 3 as a farewell gift to Stewart, a Columbus resident who is retiring as a NASCAR driver after this season but gave the dirt track a test Tuesday. The speedway’s gesture is an appropriate gift for a Hoosier who has accomplished a lot in the sport of racing (three-time Cup champ in NASCAR), and has contributed to the popularity of the Brickyard 400 race (two-time winner).

Stewart, to his credit, has agreed to sign autographs at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fair on Monday. The track at the fairgrounds is a venue where he has raced throughout his career, so returning to see his hometown fans will offer a special moment for many.

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The speedway and Stewart are creating a lot of good will with their actions.

Help appreciated

The Let’s Grow Garden Club has agreed to take over care of the flowers in Friendship Alley, a popular city walkway in the 400 block of Washington Street. City officials certainly welcome that offer because it’s one less thing city workers must take care of, and a club with vast experience in gardening is doing the work.

Special thanks to the city’s longest-running organized gardening club for making sure beautiful colors help brighten the mood of those who pass by and help beautify the city.

Deserving award winners

Kendal Hammel and Allison Lee White were deserving choices for the 2016 Jack Cramer Ideals of Athletic Excellence Award.

Hammel is the longtime North tennis coach whose teams and players have enjoyed considerable success. He has also taught tennis to youths for years as a pro at Tipton lakes Athletic Club. White, a volleyball and basketball standout at East in the 1990s, helps coach youths in basketball in the Columbus Comets program.

Their efforts with young athletes have been helpful and are appreciated.