Fuss pots

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Special to the News-Herald

Imagine &uot;officials&uot; kicking out the swimming records in Virginia Beach because the pool was short by less than an inch. Now c’mon, get real – if that holds, then we must measure the swimmers.

Long-armed people have an advantage in that, all else being equal, they may reach the wall quicker. Long-legged swimmers, even acknowledging they may have more body to propel, get more distance in the air on starts. If we are going to quibble over an inch of pool, they why not make adjustments for the body dimensions, like they do body weight in boxing? Certainly these are important factors for obvious reasons. But on the other hand then they don’t factor in the height of basketball players. So we are back to the length of the pool.

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There is a fair and easy way to determine if the swimming records should stand. Merely divide that single inch by the number of inches in a legitimate pool to arrive at the percentage that must be shaved from the current record swimming times. That’s about .003 percent. If they still stand that’s good.

&uot;No go,&uot; you say, &uot;tear out the pool and swim again? Then I’d say stuff the records because I don’t believe there’s a sports official capable of correctly measuring anything of that length. We should never be afraid to try a new approach. Remember that amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic.

The odds are good you have not seen this famous list. You do remember that Bill Clinton pardoned a flock of people of doubtful character just before his term ended. Each week I will name of few of his close associates that he didn’t have to pardon.

This week, it’s Jim McDougal, who died while in solitary confinement; Mary Mahoney, White House intern who was murdered in July 1997 right after she was go public with her story of sexual harassment; Vince Foster, former White House councilor and colleague of Hillary, died of a gunshot wound to the head; Ron Brown, Secretary of Commerce, died in a plane; Paul Tulley, Democratic National Committee director, found dead in a hotel room.

Ed Willey, Clinton fundraiser, husband of Kathleen Willey, gunshot to the head, ruled suicide;

Jerry Parks, head of Gov. Clinton’s security, gunned down at an intersection; James Bunch, supposedly had &uot;black book&uot; containing names of influential people seen with prostitutes, gunshot, suicide; and James Wilson, had ties to White Water, apparent hanging suicide. All this was taken from the Internet. Much more is available.

So we haven’t sold the &uot;shell building&uot; constructed for our Economic Development Department. Pointing a finger at that is as silly as pointing at 16 words in President Bush’s reasons for going to war with Iraq.

As far as I can tell by looking, the shell building is still there; still ready to occupy. And if some big business comes into town looking for space it is handy – better than having to build one quickly.

The fact that it’s ready is an indication that we welcome new business and encourage it. Tom O’Grady and staff have done very well for Suffolk and this should not be considered some sort of a boo boo. Maybe they could drop the price some, we just want it occupied and profit should be critical at this point. We could put the Hilton Inn there.

If the city finds it difficult to find financing for Hilton-on-the-Wharf, maybe they should consider a combination of a hotel and condo. Some of the big shots in town could buy and own parts of the hotel – say the top floor – for their own use. The more rooms they can sell to local businesses, the less of a hotel there is to finance.

This is a trick the city could use to CTA in the event they are unable to find true financing for the entire hotel. That financing, they said, would be so easy to find many moons ago.

Remember, every day, practice safe eating, always use condiments.

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