The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Clearwater Holds Big Party, But Few People Attended – According to at least one Clearwater city councilmember, “More people attended the opening of the beach library than the grand opening of Beach Walk (fireworks and all.)
Yes, Beach Walk is a wonderful project, an expensive project, but perhaps the city has learned that some “grand openings” are a waste of money.
Indian Rocks Beach Financial Woes Continue - Regardless of some finger-pointing by IRB citizens to previous city commissioners, the city of Indian Rocks Beach is running out of money (stated a consultant to the city.)
Where is the financial problem?
Costs of solid waste and sewer.
How much will it cost IRB taxpayers to fix the financial problem?
One proposal increases solid waste fees from the current $18.26 monthly rate to $29.22 per month (a 60 percent rate hike.) Sewer rates would also be increased from $23.72 per month to $42.70 per month (an 80 percent rate hike.)
Why was this problem not corrected years ago?
Some finger-pointing is not unwarranted.
Could be time to sell all equipment and outsource trash collection to a private company.
Starbucks To Close 600 Stores - Starbucks Coffee Company announced that it would close about 600 stores across the country in order to improve the "bottom line." Many of those store closures are within the State of Florida.
For example, the Starbuck Coffee Company store at Countryside Mall II and Kapok Cove & McMullen Booth will be closed, as well as the store located at 6th Ave. & 6th St. N. in St. Petersburg.
According to news reports, Starbucks stock/share values declined 45 percent during the past year and is selling at about $14.34/share price.
With the state of our nation's economy and higher unemployment figures, a good cup of coffee might just have to wait for an economic "bounce."
Growing Number Of Troubled Banks - Most people have been following reports of the growing numbers of banks in financial trouble due to non-performing loans. One financial writer felt these could be difficult times for banks and savings institutions much like the days when Resolution Trust Corp. helped to handle the large list of bank and savings and loan failures. One recent large bank was taken-over by the FDIC where losses might exceed $20 billion.
Across the country people are wondering if deposits are "safe" in their hometown bank.
In Florida, the list of banks in financial difficulty is growing.
One banking analysis firm, Baurer Financial, offers a ranking system of banks from 0 to 5 stars. Five stars is the highest rating "Superior", four stars is rated "Excellent," three stars is rated "Adequate," two stars is rated "Problematic," and one star is rated "Troubled." Two Bradenton Banks were rated as below "Troubled," First Priority Bank and Freedom Bank (not the one in St. Petersburg), while Ocala National Bank was also rated as below "Troubled." Old Harbor Bank in Clearwater was rated with two stars (Problematic) and Liberty Bank with five stars (Superior.)
How about our larger banks?
Bank of America was rated four star.
Regions Bank was rated four star.
Wachovia Bank was rated three star.
Sun Trust Bank was rated four star.
Fifth Third Bank was rated four star.
The message? Be careful where you bank (and put more than $100,000 in a savings account or CD.)
McCain And Obama Want Change -- Although both presidential candidates ask for change in the next presidential election, there is one issue that reflects the opinion of the two candidates when it comes to the languages taught in our schools.
McCain believes the language of America is English. Obama recently stated he believes Spanish should be taught in our schools. Thus, instead of teaching the language of America (English) in schools, we would teach two languages of America in our schools (English and Spanish.)
Obama supports appointing liberal judges, McCain supports appointing judges who will uphold the constitution. Obama supports higher taxes, McCain supports lower taxes.
You will decide in November which direction America should be headed.
Major Newspapers Make Cuts - Most every major newspaper in America is struggling due to the Internet and falling advertising revenue. The American economy is hurting even the largest newspapers such as the LA Times and NY Times. (NY Times stock value took another dive last week.)
How have newspaper companies reacted to this financial crunch?
Cut staff, cut expenses and try to increase revenues. Many medium-sized newspapers are being sold or merged into other newspapers as a means of survival during these difficult economic times.
Outlook for the newspaper industry the next couple of years?
Not good. The stagnant American economy is predicted to continue through at least 2009.
All of this makes some people wonder why the major newspaper industry supports political candidates who plan to increase corporate taxes, increase estate (death) taxes and decrease the gross domestic product of this country.
Budweiser Sold To Belgian Brewer - A few weeks ago there was a small informational piece in this column that mentioned that a large Belgian Brewer (InBev) was planning to buy Anheiser-Busch/ Budweiser.
Most folks thought this would never happen, after all, Budweiser was America's beer. Surely the city of St. Louis, unions, etc., would help fight this foreign takeover of America's largest brewer!
Didn't happen, InBev bought Anheiser-Busch last weekend and at least two Busch parks went with the deal. (One of which is in Tampa.)
Changes for the future of Anheiser-Busch?
Yes, InBev has already stated they plan to cut company expenses that they believe are not necessary. How deep are the upcoming expense cuts? Time will tell, but this is just another large U.S. company purchase by foreign investors due to our nation's declining economy (weak dollar) and misguided politicians in Washington who have also done little to help drilling for more oil in America.
While American business is sinking into foreign ownership, our leaders in Washington only seem to care about getting re-elected and protecting their large government pension plans by offering words instead of action. How many American jobs will be lost due to foreign buy-outs of U.S. corporations? This is not a blue-collar vs. white-collar U.S. employee problem, it is about all jobs that could be lost in America due to foreign ownership.
The Cockroach - In the 1960's one writer proclaimed that if there ever was a WW-III the only winner would be the common cockroach. Why? The writer, who was concerned about worldwide nuclear war, went on to explain that humans can tolerate less than 1,000 radio-active doses (rads), roaches, on the other hand, can tolerate ten times that amount and survive. In fact, after nuclear bombs hit Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW-II, it was reported that most everything near the bomb site was killed, except roaches. Roaches survived the nuclear bombs and nuclear fallout.
Ironically, the common brown cockroach has not changed much over the past 300 million years. It is such a simple creature that its genetic makeup is not as complicated as homo sapiens; hence, a survivor. One scientist reported that a roach can survive without its head for more than a month.
The future ruler of Earth?
Don't count out the common cockroach.
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