You missed a good show

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 24, 2004

If you didn’t see the Air Show at the Suffolk &uot;Executive&uot; Airport you missed a good time. There was plenty to see, but the crowd on Saturday was disappointing to those who worked so hard to provide a variety of thrills. The parachute-jumping competition was nerve wracking to observe from the ground and the model airplane fly-offs made me want to build one. We have a very valuable asset out there on Carolina Road and, hopefully, the city officials will provide for development at a pace necessary to prevent the loss of potential businesses. There is demand, business owners and promoters are on hand; Suffolk leaders need to get cracking. The show put on by the City and Airport Commission deserves to become an annual event but probably won’t until far more of our citizens indicate interest.

A person promoting the Matanock Indian Village suggested I might be a traitor to the Indian tribe. I suggested in this column that the Indians’ lack of a proper business plan was holding up negotiations between them and the City. I could just as easily have said between Indian advisors and the City Manager. At issue is the Indians’ demand for title to 103 acres on Lone Star Lake property. The city manager said, &uot;Not without a professional business plan.&uot; So I will venture a step further – I believe someone is advising the Tribe not to reveal the expected ins and outs of doing business, as though revealing &uot;secrets&uot; will witness the city doing the project on its own. Nonsense, the city’s plate is full with recovering losses on the Hilton seawall, the Sleepy Hole golf course, issuing franchises to expand the airport, and deciding whether or not to take over the roads now &uot;maintained&uot; by VDOT. It’s true the city has considered a marina at Lone Star Lakes but insists it in no way conflicts with Matanock Village. How about a new entrance to Lone Star Lakes? The current &uot;shack&uot; is more primitive than the lakes and forests there.

One of the Indian official’s comebacks is that no one has shown them that a business plan exits for the restored Railroad Station, or the about-to-be-restored high school. Perhaps that’s a valid complaint, but the city has the upper hand and could dismiss the charge if it were true. Those who agree the village would add much to our city image and draw tourists if the village were in some way connected to Jamestown appear reluctant to stir the pot. And the air apparently has escaped from the appointed Task Force balloon. Unless the tribe takes the necessary expected step to placate the city officials the village will not even become a &uot;wide spot in the road.&uot;

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There are so many Virginia roads under repair or renovation that tourists venturing into our state have come to believe warning construction signs are a permanent part of our way of life. Some have suggested we make several changes in state law in keeping with the mess on our highways. Our state flag should represent a man holding a bright red sign flashing alternately &uot;stop&uot; and &uot;slow.&uot; State historical markers could be those wheeled signs VDOT parks by the road with a flashing yellow arrow indicating the road narrows to one lane. The state animal could easily be red-striped barrier-sawhorses with a flashing yellow light you see wherever the road is being torn up. Our state mineral is certainly the asphalt that is being spread everywhere to cover up multiple sins.

The state tree is a diamond-shaped bright yellow sign with flashing yellow lights and the words &uot;Be Prepared to Stop.&uot; On the ground by it are two smaller yellow signs &uot;Merging Lanes&uot; on one, and &uot;Fines Doubled&uot; on the other. The final image promoting sign is our state joke…a diamond-shaped bright yellow sign with two waving red flags attached and the words in bold black letters, &uot;Men Working.&uot;

Did you know that the Spanish words Qattro Sinko came about as the result of four Mexicans sneaking across our border caught in quicksand? And gorillas have big nostrils because they have big fingers? You think you know everything but I’ll bet you never read that Eskimos who sit on the ice too long get Polaroids.

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