By Leo Coughlin
Nobody asked me, but -
. . . "This is a moment of Zen for me," Curtis Holmes said at last week's Largo City Commission budget hearing. The prominent Largo citizen and candidate for seat 3 on the commission in November's election was referring to the city's mind-boggling policy of spending millions for outside contractors to perform services Public Works could easily do, yet PW is laying off workers.
. . . Curt Schilling, a great pitcher but one of the world's all-time jerks, is talking of running for the Senate from Massachusetts. Of course, he has no chance of success, but the image of this blowhard in a room full of blowhards is mind blowing. A memorable encounter with this fathead when he was with the Phillies will never be forgotten.
. . . Clearwater will have to go a long way to fill the shoes of Chief Sid Klein, stepping down as Clearwater's top cop in January after a 46-year career in law enforcement, almost 30 of them in Clearwater. Klein's not only a great cop, but a great human being.
. . . The real fun in this business is to be out front on many stories and then watch the opposition (Hi, Big Paper!) try to play catch-up days or weeks later with a puny story. Like the boy from Walnut Hill said, "It ain't braggin' if it's true."
. . . They don't come much dumber than Tom Ridge, once again proving that anyone can get into Harvard.
. . . And speaking of matters regarding Hahvud, the recent Crowley-Gates Brouhaha, that rivaled in TV coverage the orgy over the passing of Tim Russert, demonstrated two notable points - 1. Gates proved that you need not be very bright to be a professor at Cambridge, and 2. Always cooperate with the police, for two key reasons: there is a duty to do so, and it is practical and makes sense.
. . . The shame in Largo is that the apathy of the citizens has corrupted the elected City Commission and, in turn, allowed the city administration to run wild with glaring incompetency. Example - in November's election Mayor Pat Gerard has no opposition because the opportunity to kill off the opponent was seized; Gigi Arntzen also has no opponent. Rodney Woods who, like Arntzen, has turned in a very undistinguished performance, does have opposition - Curtis Holmes who, many hope and pray, will prevail.
. . . Go figure - Largo is furloughing much needed police officers while $1,000 a day in extra, supplemental funds is being dumped into the loser entertainment Cultural Center. But, of course, that is part of the sacrosanct Byrnes empire.
. . . Once a recent "legal opinion" got passed around most of the legal community had quite a laugh over it.
. . . Our witty friend observes - health care reform opponents are using England's National Health Plan as an example of how government sponsored health care doesn't work, but hey, it has kept Keith Richards alive, so it can't be that bad!
. . . I don't get it - how does a foreigner who can't speak English win - or even get into - the championship tournament of the Professional Golf Association of AMERICA?
. . . The debt goes up and up - the national debt more than doubled, from $2 Trillion to $5 Trillion from 1981 to 1992; then it doubled again, $5 Trillion to $10 Trillion, from 2000 to 2008. Wow!
. . . The word out of Largo City Hall is that the City Commission will be seeking a new city manager by the end of the calendar year.
. . . At least two members of the Largo City Commission, who have not used the city's carousel of health benefits during their terms of office but will collect the value of same when they leave office have built up a nest egg of at least $50,000 each. No wonder they want to keep those jobs!
. . . A quick look back - a note from this column on October 21, 2001: . . .The word is that county property values have gone up 41 percent since 2000. Those of us with sense back then figured there would come a day of reckoning. It has come.
. . . Newspapers all over the country and national sports commentators continue to refer to the Rays as a team in "Tampa." Once again, Tampa has no major league baseball team located there. This is maddening to this agent.
. . . Why would an ordinary citizen go to a public forum openly carrying a gun? And why would that be allowed? It's not a Second Amendment issue, but a security concern. Just asking.
. . . Notable quote - "Take care to protect yourself against every desire for having more, for life does not lie in the abundance of things one owns." Anybody know the author?
. . . One of the great and persistent mysteries of contemporary life is how Charles Grassley of Iowa ever got to be a senator and how he has stayed there so long. He's one of those people whose looks betray exactly what they are - he looks dumb as can be, and is. The guy is a complete moron.
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