How was that again?

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2005

Have I got this right: Commonwealth’s Attorney Ferguson throws in the towel and states he can find no solid evidence that &uot;borrowing&uot; money from the city coffers is in any fashion a provable crime. Keep in mind that in certain instances the money remains, to the date this is being written,

&uot;borrowed.&uot; The Commonwealth insists that city internal bookkeeping, in this case, is appalling and

18 months of digging failed to fix proper amounts of missing dollars to potentially culpable employees.

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The city is disappointed by this lack of finality but will now go ahead, in its own fashion and own time, with collection of amounts due it by &uot;admitted guilty.&uot; They have somehow come by the numbers that the Commonwealth could not locate. One could conclude that the occasional friction between city and Commonwealth still exists. Or is it possible that there are no phones connecting the two entities, no meeting on the street for 18 months, no exchanges of mail? The saga continues.

Whoa there Chrissy, enough is enough. We let you off the hook when you temporarily switched political parties last year and messed up Republican plans to hold fast with the Virginia budget. We supported you, congratulated you for getting the delegates off dead center – only because we like you. But now you go too far; we consider the car tax as no different than taxing our underwear, most don’t go anywhere without it, and rejoice in escaping any form of legal theft. Gilmore took heat for it and you appear to maintain your political stiff upper lip by preventing us from the joy of seeing the annual auto tax disappear. Shame on you if this is correct. Never mind that stuff about sticking to your guns. Remember, there is this thing called a ballot.

IDA, although guilty of slipping city funds to the Cultural Center that could become an annual subsidy, has scored wisely again by &uot;selling&uot; outside businesses on the idea that Suffolk is the place to locate. We just love to see vacant land become industry with jobs for our residents. That nine to 15 dollars per hour rate will be welcomed by our ever- growing labor pool, many of whom are currently working for just above minimum wage. Fifteen dollars an hour, $30,000 a year, will help more remain in their homes that escalate daily in market value.

&uot;Starter&uot; homes now start at $200,000. Our first family home cost only $10,000 but that was back when dinosaurs roamed.

Here we go again…the school board coolly announces it would like to spend $121 million

in their next budget…without accounting for low aptitude scores. Is this more of the &uot;throw money at it&uot; scheme? Is there anyone who is willing to take Dr. Liverman to task for Suffolk’s continued low ranking? The traffic congestion in easterly cities is causing teachers there to look west for teaching opportunities. If our pay doesn’t compare favorably to easterly schools, our living and driving conditions sure as hell do. One would think anyone working east would gladly take a cut in salary just to avoid the commute and breathe fresh air (winds from the paper plant in Franklin excepted). And I’m not so sure our low scores can be blamed on the teachers.

Tourist Bureau, you are doing your level best to make Suffolk the apple of the tourist eye, but the latest piece, Good Time Bulletin, is a bit much. That is unless you consider local citizens as tourists. Everything in it may have local appeal for a Hampton Road resident’s day trip, and there are many new North Suffolkians that haven’t seen Riddick’s Folly, the railroad station, and the Suffolk Museum. But I can’t see someone in a neighboring state jumping in the car to visit us. A lot of the piece seems contingent upon the Hilton and the Cultural Center as tourist attractions, and we know the city surely hopes it all comes together. Keep us informed – but wouldn’t it be cheaper to put it in the local papers than mailing?

Sorry, you don’t get off that easy. You must suffer through these: Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: &uot;Does this taste funny to you?&uot; I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn’t find any. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh. A man takes his pit bull to the vet and says, &uot;My dog’s cross-eyed, is there any thing you can do for him?&uot; &uot;Well,&uot; says the vet, &uot;let’s have a look at him.&uot; So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes. Finally, he says, &uot;I’m going to have to put him down.&uot; &uot;What? Because he’s cross-eyed?&uot; &uot;No, because he’s really heavy.&uot;

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