Odds ends

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2004

When I first saw the billboard I thought Jones, Herbert, and Dickens had opened up some sort of business connected with school busses. I didn’t realize until later that this was a cheap shot at three of the eight who the sign insisted were responsible for the coming failure of our local educational system, regarded by many as Liverman’s Emmpire, two &uot;m&uot;s because of the escalating costs of buildings. My second thought was why did he not just give the cost of the sign to his favorite teacher.

This prompted more thoughts like: why doesn’t Social Security give me teacher like raises every blessed year. And how hard would it be to get a copy of our school curriculum so I might be able to toss out what I might consider unnecessary. And being 80, how many more years am I expected to pay for my kids’ education who are all in their fifties. And how educated are our teachers? You know …these are just thoughts.

Now that city fathers have completed the many meetings with the citizens, a good idea, we can now wait patiently while they sum up our vocal contributions and consider acting upon them. There is a hint that property taxes, at least for the elderly, might come under &uot;fairness&uot; consideration so as to lessen the risk of creating more ‘unaffordable’ housing. High city officials show extreme naivet\u00E9 when they suggest we should be happy that our property values are increasing…like who wants to sell? While there were far more Negatives and Threats to our life style listed than positives, which the charts referred to as &uot;Strengths,&uot; fixing them would require literally tons of new money that usually comes from our pockets. There is a thread running through the public mind that far too much money is going to grease Mayor Bobby Ralph’s and friend’s downtown hub.


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It appears that Rep Forbes, who represents cities on both sides of the very Dismal Swamp, is scratching his head determining how he can arrange to satisfy citizens of both Chesapeake and Suffolk. Suffolk did write a large check to help with his state lobbying and our DOT, see if you can remember what department that is, could be hanging her hat on a monstrous Dismal Visitor Center across from the Hilton Garden Inn in which some city officials insist we have no money invested. Oh, the magic of numbers.

Another bit of magic is how the Clinton library, costing fans millions, managed to hide that dress. And how in his marble memorial Billy turned impeachment proceedings into a nasty conspiracy perpetrated by evil persons wanting to bring his administration down for no other reason than that he is too easy to impersonate on TV comedy shows. Nowhere in his stone legacy is a picture of him pointing his right forefinger straight at us. He has found a way to continue the lie via his Stonehenge. Can you imagine, if Hillary becomes President, two Clinton libraries in Arkansas? Or would her’s be in Yankee Stadium?

Still no word from Council on the matter of us naming the mayor, studying cop wages, Chief Freeman should get together with Dr. Liverman and his board, and the teacher union. That group has turned portable classrooms into buildings of higher quality than many on the Washington Mall. And no satisfactory contracts issued to potential investors in our airport expansion. I understand the franchises are so nasty and investor unfriendly that even our legal department puts on rubber gloves when handling them. There is no way our Financial Director will allow the city to risk a dime, except maybe in the cultural center and the hotel. My bet is that the city will forget contracts to individuals, build what’s needed and rent it out.

If I were to institute my own Smile and Scowl labeling I’d give top smile to Jim Parr who is still walking around after giving away 200 pints of blood. It bugs me how so many citizens are afraid to donate a pint, while our kids in Iraq are willing to spill all they have. I smile when I think of 200 young Iraqi zealots willing to trade all of theirs for a ticket to virgin country… there is a positive side to their education. I was very pleased that Sponge Bob has been expunged from Burger Kings across the land and pray the powers will exit such silliness from TV. I enjoyed picturing his deflated battered little yellow body on an ash heap, my number one Scowl. Yes, Bob is right up there with windshield Decals.

Be sure and catch Andy Damiani’s new &uot;Roundtable Talk&uot; show. We did it inside Heirlooms Of Tomorrow, you’ve got to see this place, and his guest was Santa Claus. Until that very day I did not believe in Santa, but it had to be him. Three gaggles of four year olds from local Day Care Centers were lined up anticipating his arrival. Those little faces beamed when Santa appeared in full beard and costume. All but one, there is always one who will bury their face in the teacher’s skirt, not daring to look.

I had joined Santa in the new coffee shop, Java, where we imbibed the mildest cup of coffee they had. I’d heard enough of Santa’s ho ho hoes but within a minute that coffee had me deaf and floating two inches off the floor. I didn’t come down until 6pm that night when I heard that a second TV Talking Head was throwing in the liberal towel. That’s another &uot;smile.&uot; I will miss Tom and Dan like a toothache.

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