Movers and Shakers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 17, 2004

In China they limit the families to one girl, so they say. There being only two kinds of children, M and F, it cuts down on the chances of there being a second baby because what do you do if it is another girl? Abortion, sell, or trade seems to be the only options other than abstinence. This can lead to much frustration, especially for hot-blooded males and there are zillions of them in China due to the limit on Chinese females.

In our country there are, in the current generation, based on the way many of them dress, enough over-sexed females to march on Washington, overturn the Supreme Court, and to cause Bill Clinton to weep. I’d suggest that our males would march but based on the amount of male libido enhancers marketed we must not have very many ready for anything, let alone marching. No movers and shakers here.

But up in North Suffolk, Bob Williams is filling up the landscape with home and business construction. City officials decry the rapid infiltration of new residents who sop up the land and tie up the traffic. Everybody has got to be somewhere and many think Suffolk is the place to be.

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Many of them are not sure where they live; it could be Isle of Wight, who cares until election time and not many care then. One man I know leaves Suffolk at six in the morning, enters and leaves Isle of Wight, enters and leaves Chesapeake, re-enters and again leaves Suffolk, crosses a bridge and tunnel, crosses Newport News and works in Hampton. He says he is confused and tries not to think about such things as he drives home. He ignores city and town signs and reads only highway numbers. Bob Williams and others are putting pressure on the UDO rules as they shake the tree.

Downtown, wherever that is, we have other movers and shakers in the form of Mickey Garcia, Deme Panagopulos, John Brown, Chip Wirth, Buddy Gaddams, and others willing to stick their necks out. This group ought to have a representative on the Council, maybe with a vote. However, many citizens spread out in the larger Suffolk fear much of downtown development risk is reduced when our taxes are used to pay someone’s rent, Prentis House-Tourist Bureau, or Professional Building, School Board Administration. And could it be true that our IDA has generously donated our tax dollars, $250,000, to the Cultural Center?

The group of four, mainly ladies, who founded the idea of restoring the Suffolk High School and transforming it into a Cultural Center, whatever that may eventually turn out to be, are movers and shakers. At one point they agreed, as I was told, to raise a million and receive a million matched by the city. (Our taxes) They maneuvered that to three million by the city but I hear nothing about matching that. I guess the rest of the millions will be from the sale of bonds, purchased by those reasonably assured of its success.

I am not one of them and still am not sure who will end up in that building and what kind of culture they will provide. I haven’t yet seen the &uot;business plan.&uot; It’s a safe bet the City Recreation Department will rent space there and I guess that could be considered culture. We just hope that doesn’t end up being rented by other city departments to keep it alive. There is considerable doubt this pigeon will fly on its own. Of course they say that about the Hilton.

I would think outlying communities like Chuckatuck, Whaleyville, Driver, Hobson, Sandy Bottom, and others within the 430 would be screaming for a little more money in their direction. It appears to me the vast bulk of collected taxes are ending up in the village of Downtown. And it finally is turning the corner on to East Washington, which really needs some attention. But isn’t that still downtown? As for eliminating beggars from city streets…have the city pay them their average weekly take and make them stay home, if they have one. The city spends gobs on other foolish things, buy them off the streets and that money will be spent in downtown.

Robert Pocklington lives in Suffolk and is a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at