Rumors not yet refuted

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 21, 2002

I am writing this on Oct. 11, 2002, and no one from the city hall has yet nailed me for the rumors I passed on in a recent column. Perhaps there was some smattering of truth to them, or I am just being categorically ignored. I’ll assume the former is closer and I repeat. It was whispered in my ear that Sturmont was having difficulty raising money to build the Hilton Inn and that the Mayor was visiting local banks to see if they had any interest in assisting the developers. I now hear that a consortium of banks have agreed to take a chance because they either don’t want to let the city be embarrassed by not being able to complete the project, or they think it necessary we have the Hilton. So what’s the holdup on letting the local citizens hear about it? Are they are having difficulty framing the announcement and softening the blow to certain egos? I don’t much care either way but if true it is a long way from the original hoopla and positive aspects of the grandiose plans for the wharf. I wonder if we can really blame Osama Bin Laden. And there has been a halt to construction of the wharf seawall because even with our added expensive inspector on the job it is still unsatisfactory. All this time local fishermen have been without a place to launch boats at the wharf and finding a nearby location to put boats in has been difficult.

I also suggested a ridiculous low bid by the city cost them a perfect place to build a parking garage for the expected employees that will occupy the skyscraper when it is leased to the school board. And the folks that used to park there have been asked to vacate. But they have opened an entrance to the parking lot located between Main and Saratoga just past Washington going south. That will not do the job and already permanent parkers in that lot are worried and complaining. I’m betting you will hear more about both my passed on rumors as soon as astute and fearless reporters can dig up the facts, if they can.

Someone said that our airport has assumed a title, Executive Airport, it doesn’t rightly deserve. Maybe not, but I’ll bet if a plane is low on fuel it won’t hesitate to land no matter the moniker. And they will continue to land as long as fuel is cheaper than other fields along the way. Part of the complaint is that there are insufficient personnel to man the facilities an Executive Airport requires. And so what if the airport wants to get ahead of the game by assuming a name it will qualify for later. Our Tourist Bureau did the same thing, already doubled in size long before it is needed. There is a solution; transfer all Tourist Bureau personnel to the airport.

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On 9/11 it took only about 20 terrorists to cause physical and economic panic in this country, bring it almost to a halt, and cause us to spend additional billions of dollars to keep wheels rolling on a course that will, hopefully, reinstall normalcy.

That being the case, it shouldn’t take more than our Air Force and 100,000 of our special forces to turn Baghdad upside down, eliminate its service facilities, and bring most of that already troubled nation to a standstill without spilling a drop of oil. But the way congress and the United (joke) Nations are debating it you’d think we were headed for another Vietnam. And Vietnam would have ended much sooner if politicians had been in the first body bags. Shouldn’t we invade before the only safe place to be is up in the space station?

I watched the peanut butter sculpturing contest at the Peanut Fest and told the Mayor his rendering was vastly superior to those declared winners. He told me his model was that of the New York City Twin Towers, a very apt theme. But I was honest and told him I thought his buildings were the two tall towers on Washington that straddling Main. He looked chagrined but made it clear his were short and kind of stubby only because he ran out of peanut butter.

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