Just poking around

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Indian village, Mattanock Town, is back on the drawing boards, perhaps in time for the big doings across the river in Jamestown. I understand a serious attempt at a proper business plan is under construction by people that know how to do such things. This has been the holdup, along with Chief of Suffolk Herbert desiring to move the village from the proposed Lone Star Lakes to some obscure location in Driver. It’s good news in spite of the fact no casino can be considered as a moneymaker for teepee construction. The State has a lottery for taking money from the wrong people but the Nansemond tribe can’t even consider it. I’ll bet Chief Herbert would like one to raise money for his village enhancements.

We haven’t heard anything at all about the city’s attempt to recover $3 million wasted on the Hilton seawall and I’m curious about something else. Remember when the city fought the fire fighters in court claiming they, the antiburners, should not be allowed to criticize the city? Well, the city lost and expected to be reimbursed the $150,000 it blew, by the Virginia Municipal League. Were they reimbursed…and if so, what does the League think about being stuck with the costs of a frivolous lawsuit? How about it, Dennis Craff, lay it on us…you be the spokesperson.

I almost blew my morning coffee through my nose when I read about the Historic Landmarks Commission, HLC, pushing Frank Sheffer to move ahead with renovations to our glorious Main Street car wash. Get this: David Freeman, director of Neighborhood Development Services, said the city is concerned that continued delays are having negative impact on the structure. Like what about the city image? Who would have cared if it had suddenly burst into flames? I drove by it this morning; it doesn’t look bad, now that it is closed. It looks kinda sad with the paint falling off. I was embarrassed for it…like I was many years ago for our elderly school librarian who came out of the girls’ bathroom with the back of her dress tucked in her bloomers.

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Now that I am dieting I had to cut my IHOP breakfast to three eggs, 3 pancakes, and pork chops this morning. I tell you, they are going after the dinner-out crowd. All kinds of bargains that appeal to the likes of me who don’t want to pay $19.95 for the entree. $7.95 works for me, and IHOP’s Tuesday night, &uot;Buy One Get Second Free,&uot; is right up my alley. Some think they aren’t &uot;dining&uot; if you can’t nurse a four-dollar glass of house wine. I settle for water and a twist of lemon…comes free with the meal. I don’t do this just to save money for property taxes…it’s because I was raised in the depression and have no desire to impress anyone including the &uot;I’ll be your server.&uot;

While mowing the trails in my woods I came upon three box turtles. I had to stop and shoo them out of harm’s way. One stood his or her ground and I had to wait for some kind of movement perpendicular to the path. The turtle was closed up, legs withdrawn, and unafraid. I waited patiently, no horn on the tractor to blow, and waited. Finally I got a bit irritated, shut down the engine assuming the noise disturbed whoever was inside the shell. Still nothing happened. So I picked her up, figuring it was a she, and to my astonishment discovered it was an empty shell. I asked the two other turtles, who were safe by the edge of the path and they told me she had been forced to move, no longer able to afford the shell, her home of many years, because of property taxes. I feel her pain.

Here is another question for Dennis Craff, spokesperson. Here’s the situation…the Executive Director of the Small Business Administration, EDOTSBA, pronounced edotsba, appealed to the Suffolk Industrial Development Authority, SIDA, pronounced sida, to renew its $3,000 allocation to his organization next year. IDA members were feeling generous and upped it to $5,000. It’s free money for business owners dolling up their buildings. The move passed unanimously and only God knows what the total outlay will be. So tell us Dennis, where does IDA get the money? Didn’t that once belong to us taxpayers?

Remember when Puerto Rico was raising a fuss about the U.S. Navy using that nothing little island just off the coast of Puerto Rico for bombing practices, which they had used for the past 75 years? Demonstrations were held, Hollywood left wingers, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and fellow demagogues went down there to demonstrate to get the Navy out?

Well, here is our answer…always be careful what you ask for, you just may get it! We quit bombing the island of Vieques.

In February Rumsfeld announced that the U.S. Navy would also close the Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station in Puerto Rico, eliminating 1,200 civilian jobs as well as 700 military positions. This naval facility is estimated to have put nearly $300 million annually into the local economy. The next day a stunned Governor Sila Calderon, held a news conference in San Juan, protesting the base closure as a serious blow to that commonwealth’s fragile economy. The governor stated,

&uot;The people of Puerto Rico don’t now or never did have an interest in closing the Vieques bombing range or the Roosevelt Roads naval base.&uot;

I just love Rumsfeld.

Robert Pocklington is a Suffolk resident and regular News-Herald columnist. His column appears on Thursdays and Sundays. He can be reached at robert.pocklington@suffolknewsherald.com