Depends on how you react

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2002

One newspaper account paints the raising of money for the Hilton as a negative and another describes it as a positive. The News-Herald headline read &uot;Hotel Funding Package Nearly Secured.&uot; The Pilot read, &uot;Suffolk Hotel Delayed Again Due To Finances.&uot; What does that tell you about reporting? It’s not the example of a glass being half full or half empty because in either of those cases it does not matter. So is this a deliberate attempt by one reporter to paint a negative picture, and an attempt by the other to raise expectations? You don’t know because both writers may have been disappointed about what they felt they had to report. And how you regard either headline depends upon how you feel about having a Hotel on Constant’s Wharf. So the lesson is, don’t jump to conclusions.

You may have missed the four day Isle of Wight festival, a typical small town fun event, and missed out on the purchase of some great wines. Eight wineries and a bunch of hobbyist vintners competed for attention and ribbons. I was surprised to learn there are more than 70 licensed farm wineries in Virginia, to say nothing about grandpa’s fixin’s out in the shed. And did you know that the proper temperature for serving wine depends upon the variety of wine? All these years I have probably been serving my guests incorrectly but have never heard a complaint. Of course my guests do not swirl the wine, smell the wine, or even taste the wine with the tip of the tongue or sniff the cork on the few occasions I serve wine from a corked bottle. They slug my boxed wine, aged on the truck, and I don’t know if their reaction means they like it or just want to get rid of it.

So many times our citizens complain that our federal government is out to get us, subdue us, chain us to our workbench, control our every move, and other such nonsense. &uot;They want to steal our civil liberties,&uot; they shout as though our federal, state, or even local governments could operate without our OK. &uot;Little by little they chip away at our freedom,&uot; they whine as though collectively we would stand for it. The laws are always written by people we send to capitols or city halls and we can live with those laws or remove those people merely by getting off our butts and voting. Silly laws can be changed, an ordinance revised, a resolution ignored. But

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why complain about having to be fingerprinted when a concealed weapon license is renewed? Soap and water is plentiful, it takes little time, it doesn’t hurt. I’d be at least a little concerned about gun owners finger prints having been altered, deliberately or by accident, maybe a bad burn. Do those that complain also scream about driver license renewals, annual fishing license, boat and trailer plates, automobile plates, decals, and how about annual payment of taxes? I’m a little suspicious of the person who would take the trouble to resist fingerprinting the second time around when the gap is five years. I guess it depends upon how one reacts to sensible laws.

Our Department of Tourism is still pushing adventure cruises down the Nansemond River profitable for the city of Norfolk. If there is any money in it for Suffolk it is still to be reported. I didn’t realize the DOT was in business to entertain folks by arranging their activities for them. For some reason I thought their role was to provide increased business for the downtown merchants who would then pay more taxes so ours wouldn’t go up. Now they are pushing arranged canoe and kayak trips for Wild River Outfitters, a touring company located in Virginia Beach. That’s very nice of them. Even a special trip, &uot;Travel to the Heart of the Great Dismal Swamp&uot; with a Virginia Beach touring guide and lunch at the Washington Ditch observation deck. This includes kayaking on Lake Drummond, a walking tour with naturalist Vickie Shufer and historian and archaeologist George Ramsey, in tow. The brochure clearly states that the cost is only $80 per person and space is limited. I wonder how much Suffolk makes on the deal, after expenses of our two Tourism directors. I’ll bet the local businessmen are excited.


These quotes are from 1957 citizens: &uot;When I first started driving cars I never would have believed gas would get to 29 cents a gallon.&uot; &uot;If cigarettes go up again I’m gonna quit – a quarter a pack is ridiculous.&uot; &uot;I never thought I’d see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric, they are even making electric typewriters now.&uot; &uot;Did you see where that baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year?&uot; &uot;Times are getting tough, some married women are having to get a job.&uot;

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular columnist for the Suffolk News-Herald.