A case for electric bleachers, May 12, 2005

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2005

That dude in Illinois who killed his daughter and her friend is the new poster boy for capital punishment

I’ve always been anti-capital punishment. I’m not a liberal, just a Catholic. I’m antiabortion, too. Be that as it may, it’s almost an indefensible position after something like that happens.

I like what Howard Stern said when he was running for governor of New York a few years back. To Stern, it wasn’t a question of whether to use the electric chair for jerks like that, but electric bleachers for him and all those like him.

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I received a call recently from a realtor. She was calling to tell me how upset the local realtor community was that I was allowing Harry Cross to write a column for the paper. The objection was that it wasn’t fair to the other realtors in town.

I listened politely but I wasn’t too concerned about it their concern. All the realtors in Suffolk spend all their money in the yellow pages and out of town newspapers. Real estate is probably the one topic that almost everyone cares about. Since we aren’t getting the ads, Harry’s column is about the only real estate we have and we need to have it. So Harry’s column is going to keep running as long as he wants to write it.

His last column, however, did border on being too political. His touting of the Unified Development Ordinance likely belonged on the opinion page. We’ll watch it a little more closely next time.

First Virginia Beach, then Norfolk, now Chesapeake. Will Suffolk be next? Over the past week the big daily newspaper has trumpeted the real estate tax cutting ways of neighboring communities. I’m sure our city council members are feeling pressure to act accordingly.

In the wake of last week’s city council meeting, the most vocal tax cut supporters – Roger Leonard, Robert Pocklington, George Mears, all seem a little disheartened. While it’s likely council will follow the recommendation of the city manager and leave the rate alone, I think they are going to be feeling a lot of pressure from constituents in the hinterlands to reduce the rate. I still think we’ll see a five-cent reduction, but if I’m wrong, it won’t be the first time today. Our Web poll is still more than 2-to-1 in favor of tax relief.