Downtowners are visiting Chuckatuck

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

I saw lots of them, including Betsy Brothers, down in the reserved rows closer to the stage. We were in the Kings Fork High School, where, considering the price of it, the auditorium should have had stadium seating. And Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett was there for opening night to see the Russian Cossacks that were to appear as the first show in the Cultural Center. Apparently the CC stage was not yet complete, and as I remember it, smaller. I don’t believe it could have done this show justice … the Kings Fork stage was filled with Cossack dancers as quick on their feet as those famous Irish stompers who pound the floor in unison. For two hours the audience enjoyed the Russian spectacle.

This was a great evening, worth more than the price of the ticket, and the only musical offering of the Virginia Arts Festival I care to see in addition to the Tattoo. Chamber music and other similar groups put me to sleep before I get to the theatre. I obviously lack culture, because I’d much rather see bright colorful costumes on fast-action young bodies doing a wonderful job of representing the culture of their home country. They garnered far more applause than the mayor’s state of the “onion” address at the Hilton.

Was it insubordination?


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Whoops, the city manager really stepped in it when his ad, earlier pulled from the News-Herald, showed up in the Suffolk Sun. You talk about brass; it offended every council member except Ralph and Brown.

There still is that word &uot;insubordination&uot; floating around, but there was not enough collective brass available to call him on it other than to say, &uot;Gee whiz.&uot; I guess it’s the manager’s job to go over their heads when his spending is in jeopardy. What does the council know about budgeting? The &uot;boss&uot; got away with a two-cent cut last year; he probably believes 7 cents is generous. He appears not to be at all concerned with how citizens deal with the extra expense. Herbert trim his budget? Ha.

It’s all about timing

I’d rather be eighty than forty and face what is coming down the pike. I figure I timed my birth correctly when I read that Medicare and Social Security won’t run out until after my life expectancy. Our traveling days were over before gas pump price ballooned and the nation’s oil gauge showed low because the dipsticks in Washington failed 20 years ago to get with the program of alternative energy. Now some nut in Iran threatens to start firing missiles that could end the world, mad cows and avian flu on the horizon, and a wily (Mexican) President Vicente Fox planning to take over the Southwest. You younger folks now have a full platter, and it already takes at least two working members of a family to pay the bills.

So many questions

I nearly forgot, there was a Council election, and guess whose self-aggrandizing political ads were not sufficiently powerful to keep their seats on the dais? The Holy Neck hex remains in place and the mayor gave up his ground breaking ceremony shovel — not only his position as mayor, his center seat too. That meant two down, but Mary Hill may have saved Joe Barlow’s &uot;seat&uot; by taking votes away from Gray.

Many questions now: Will the city manager leave, be tossed out, or remain, but perhaps a bit humbled by the wall tumbling around him? Will the property tax rate see new lows? Will last minute mistakes in the 2026 Comp Plan be undone? Will a new coalition be formed? Will our UDO undergo radical changes, or will it remain smart growth? Will the bridge be repaired and put back in use for automobiles only? Will we accept the responsibility for our road maintenance if we are also stuck with the bridge? Will council member Brown now feel a bit isolated? And who will be mayor … let the games begin.