UDO blues?

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 6, 2002

There is an interesting story developing in Washington where a barbershop was attacked by a four-wheeled mechanical device, punching a large hole in said building. The first thing one would do, after removing the remains of the violator, would be to plug the hole. That much ventilation would not be good for business (you can’t have hair blowing all over the place) and that ambience would not suit the folks who do the physical building inspections. But how does one properly plug the hole in a setting where historical significance reigns? Does evil UDO present many hurdles to jump, some of them too high? A person unfortunate to do business in such an area is handcuffed as to color choices, materials and style. It does not matter that nearby buildings do not meet the codes, the one being corrected must, no matter the difficulty or the cost. In our example the proper color of paint may not stick to the existing material so the owner must go hat in hand to the council for the right to use more suitable and modern materials, like vinyl siding. WOW. That wouldn’t cut it on that street, the owner would be setting a precedent terribly dangerous to the environment and unappealing to customers. And certain citizens with delicate tastes might be offended. If I were he I’d just leave the damn hole.

Do you remember how clearly past mayor Milteer stated he would not run for the council again, even if he were begged to, and dragged kicking and screaming. It was a resounding &uot;no&uot; heard in every corner of the Council chamber and his borough. But you probably still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the inviolability of defense lawyers if you bought that. You see, Curtis is young enough to survive another four-year term and there are still a few streets he wants paved, or sewers placed, or other stuff important to him, his image, and his clientele. Remember, you heard it here; he will run again and be elected. Maybe then he will push for the mayor to be elected by the Suffolk city voters instead of by seven biased council members.

While there is nothing funny about the spread of HIV cases there is something funny about a recent headline: &uot;HIV cases are almost split between men, women now.&uot; For some reason that does not seem particularly new to me, who else would it be split between? Oops, oh yes, I forgot about them. Now I get it. Apparently before that headline more of one sex had it than the other. But somehow or other it has evened out and now can spread even faster. I felt a bit vulnerable last time I visited our Health Department for a flu shot. Reading the HIV, and other related nasty diseases, statistic charts on the bulletin board I realized I was sitting directly on a chair that may have also held one of the spreaders or spreadees. Being naive on the subject I didn’t realize it took special kinds of contact to make the transfer and chair sitting wasn’t one of them. I looked it up. I wasn’t interested in how it could be spread, only how it couldn’t. I feel better now and have taken my pants out of the dryer.

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Gosh, it isn’t just me – a lady wrote the Pilot complaining about the outrageous salary increase to the DOT Director. Something about how the director is appealing to tourists who have an interest in history, every municipality has one, and bird lovers who will chance getting lost in the Dismal Swamp. Not every town has a swamp but they all have trees where birds wait to be identified. You have no idea how much pride a bird has when it is observed through field glasses and sees itself compared to a picture in a book. And it gives the &uot;tourist&uot; a thrill to find a rare one. Just looking out the window of our home on a lake we have identified over 75 varieties of winged creatures. Some visiting cutie saw our list and added gillygaloo bird and a dodo. It must have been his lucky day.

Shame on Governor Warner for lengthening the wait line at DMVs across the state. This must be one of his, he thinks, sure ways to make us willing to pay more taxes. You know, squeeze till it hurts. I wonder who is keeping track of the hours wasted by working men and women who sit on those hard chairs, eyes glazed, some asleep, waiting for their number to be called. I’ll lay 10 to 1 the Governor sends one of his staff. Shutting down or shortening personnel in any other State department wouldn’t harm a soul. For the average person, DMV is the only contact with the state, except for paying taxes. Take my word for it, it was a deliberate nasty move. Ask how many lottery workers were let go.

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