Shades of a Florida election

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 23, 2003

When the dust settled on election night Mr. Carter had a substantial lead over Kirk. Pretlow. Though there were no hanging chads the totals were incorrect and &uot;truth&uot; later indicated the margin of victory for Mr. Carter was a scant 16 votes. Hmmmm, better count again. So first we heard there might be a recount if Pretlow filed. Then we heard he might file; later, he has filed. Now we will know, hopefully, the actual, real, final, tally sometime in December. C’mon now, it’s not like it was 15 million votes, we’re talking about a few thousand, and it’s getting serious. First they must round up a passel of judges to oversee the action. I guess ordinary citizens are not qualified, or can’t be trusted. I can almost visualize the scene now, judges circling the counters watching for slipups or a ballot surreptitiously being slid under the table. I’d find it humorous if it wasn’t so vitally important to the two contestants. As far as the city is concerned it makes no difference who wins.

Can we say that same sex marriages are a bad idea when opposite sex marriages aren’t working out so well nowadays? Some &uot;straight&uot; couples brag about it being their second wedding anniversary. But if two women marry, who moves first when the preacher says, &uot;You may kiss the bride?&uot; If two men marry who gets to toss the bouquet to waiting &uot;bridesmaids,&uot; or to whatever you call a group of gay men hoping one day to find the right man? It’s very confusing to me who grew up in a time when ‘gay’ meant only happy. I was thinking about two males today when working with electric tools. I had only one extension cord and had to alternate plugging in a circle saw and a drill motor. Quite often I’d mistakenly pick up both male plugs and try joining them – of course it was impossible. It wasn’t that God would not approve – it’s just that neither tool would work properly.

One reason judges, motivated by sobbing defense lawyers, don’t jail the drunken driver is that penned up he can’t support his family. But if the violator goes back to the highway, boozes again and kills someone – well the judge is not responsible, or is he? But which family should suffer, the drunk’s or the family of the person killed? If the very first offence called for a very stiff fine there might not be a second. If the second offence earned a month in jail it might prevent a third. A third – throw away the key.

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It looks a lot like Suffolk has lost control of urban sprawl in spite of stringent UDO created to keep a lid on housing. Both the Planning Commission and Council knuckled under and OK’d 528 homes on 227 acres up north. Each will cost around $245,000, an average home nowadays and occupy a good part of the average four-tenths of an acre. Being so close together are they creating a future slum? Slums were new once. Imagine the place with about 600 children, 1,000 dogs, 55 loud stereo fanatics, and maybe 10 Harleys tooling around the curved streets. It will keep two cops on duty full time to settle domestic and neighborhood squabbles. Given a little time there will be a need for another school. I was told the developer would sue if denied the right to build but some feel so what. Surely they could find one judge that recognizes potential insanity. I hope they don’t force the &uot;cluster&uot; plan on these developers, its claustrophobic enough already. In return for this huge favor the developers donated 5 acres for a Suffolk Public Library.

One of my daughters found a way to stop developers in their tracks. She purchased the old Saunders estate, 157 acres at the corner of Kings Highway and Crittenden Road. There is one house on it now and nothing will be added expect a horse barn. I’m glad she settled on Suffolk for her first-class business of boarding horses. It will be called &uot;Horspa.&uot; The nearby neighbors have already thanked her for halting the advance of residences. Another &uot;gift&uot; to Suffolk was when the Pretlow family sold 75 acres to build a veterans cemetery. We need more houseless purchases like these.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be contacted via e-mail: