Courthouse gets a facelift

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 8, 2003

I know it must be my lack of culture but I still can’t see the benefit of a Roman Fountain spouting water on the courthouse premises.

Like most such &uot;tourist attractions&uot; it will pale to insignificance and become a place of neglect. But it must be a thing of grandeur; it took 10 important people to symbolically lean on silver shovels for the wall breaking. And $50,000 installed?

The folks in Oderzo, Italy are surrounded by fountains, other old world structures, plazas, statues and could consider ours to be a rather feeble attempt to honor such a prominent Suffolk citizen. And Amedeo hadn’t achieved fame or even attained the age of a teenager when he left Oderzo. The Italians may know others of the Obici family but they had to be told of our Amedeo’s contributions to Nansemond County.


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Seems to me he would be better honored if they had left the original hospital intact. We can show them old pictures of it at the wall dedication in August when guests from that city arrive. (Who will be picking up that tab?) Or at least we could rescue the statue of Mr. Peanut, donated by Amedeo, from it’s hidden (and neglected) &uot;park&uot; on Main. I suppose we could count the $616,000 proposed to &uot;restore&uot; the golf course near his home on the river as an honor to him. . What’s your guess as to how many times folks from Oderzo will make the trip to Suffolk to visit the &uot;Wall?&uot;

It is pride-swallowing time for the Nansemond Indians who have been forced to a different wall by our city manager. Where is the appointed Task Force that hasn’t met in months? Have they nothing to say, did they just nod &uot;yes&uot; to the manager’s wishes? They once challenged him when he wanted the teepee village located on Dumpling Island. The bead and arrow horse-trading witnessed the village size go from 100 acres owned, down to four acres leased, now back to six leased, take it or stuff it.

I can imagine what is going on in the mind of Dot Dalton and envision her with drawn bow and arrow looking for a vital organ. Maybe if Chief Bass reveals his &uot;business plan&uot; the acreage will increase. Charming Steve Herbert doesn’t see it as an ultimatum but Linda Johnson did and was the lone vote against sticking it to the tribe in this fashion. It’s beginning to look as though the city will be in both the Marina and Golf Course business.

When a drunk driver kills an innocent human being who was walking or in another car, why do they refer to it as &uot;involuntary manslaughter?&uot; The killer drunk volunteered to guzzle alcohol and also volunteered to drive. A fatality should be sufficient to earn that person a life sentence if it was a second DUI. A third offense warrants a death sentence and have you ever wondered why they sterilize the needle when administering a lethal injection? This nonsense that the drunk could not help him or herself, and is ordinarily a good person, doesn’t cut it. Remember the father in John Grisham’s book, &uot;A Time To Kill?&uot; If a drunk driver killed your child, would you settle for &uot;involuntary?&uot;

How many times did you have to see those &uot;brilliant&uot; high school kids being battered by their peers before you decided the whole pack of them, beaters and beaten, should be removed from highs school and put back in elementary school, say third grade? But the same thing goes on in the Marine Corp and VMI. Plebes are abused by seniors who have also been abused, directed to do so by a code dating back to when two-stripe cavemen performed circumcisions with a flat stone.

This kind of personal effrontery is considered cute and necessary by many institutions who often prematurely lose the services of potentially good men and women who decided it wasn’t at all necessary and said &uot;to hell with it.&uot; But those who have undergone such degradation think otherwise, that it was somehow good for them. These kids might better be taking a remedial reading class.

In my coverage of the Council meeting I failed to mention Mr. Williams, who correctly pointed out that $700,000 had been appropriated for &uot;improvements&uot; along E. Washing-ton and neighborhoods. He said he had looked all over the place for the money and could find it nowhere. He also remembered that there was to be $700,000 aimed in that direc-tion each and every year until goals had been attained. Now Mr. Williams is a very bright and articulate individual who appeared to be &uot;tongue in cheek&uot; with his approach to the council members. But I suspect he will keep asking that question. He should start with his council representative and hammer him until he gets an answer.

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist.