By Leo Coughlin
Nobody asked me, but -
…"Drill, Baby, Drill," has a horrifying ring to it now doesn't it? That calamitous mess south of Louisiana and Mississippi and drifting out there in the Gulf heading for God knows where makes many of us heartsick. The thought of that beach in Pensacola being despoiled is nightmarish. Along the "Redneck Riviera," from Pensacola to Panama City, folks are terrified. And the Gulf fishing industry has been struck a crippling blow. Some of it may come here.
…Believe it or not, the Holsopple and Whitehurst lawsuits are still going on in Indian Rocks Beach. This stuff rivals a Dickens tale for fascination. The litigation for each of them has been active for well more than four years now. These court joustings have been around so long, the betting is that few people could even tell you what they are about.
…It's too bad Branch Rickey doesn't have a number that they can permanently retire from baseball. He's the guy who should get the credit for breaking the color line in 1947. Jackie Robinson was great, but it was Rickey who was instrumental - and greatly overlooked these days.
…Our witty friend observes - "China canceled a series of Bob Dylan concerts because they said his lyrics are too politically charged. They understand his lyrics? Now I know why I never understood them - he has been singing in Chinese!"
…The Rays might as well move over to Tampa. If the idea of locating in St. Petersburg was to give some national publicity to our Pinellas County beautiful city then the idea has gone into the toilet. All over the country in the sports talking media - radio and TV - the Rays are always referred to in the Tampa context - "Red Sox will be in Tampa for the weekend." "Tampa comes to play the Yankees" etc. To repeat - TAMPA DOES NOT HAVE A MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM.
…The common demand, striking fear into hearts in Europe 65 to 75 years ago was "Ausweis, bitte!" Yes. A demand for identification papers. I predicted here several times over the years that we would eventually inch to an internal passport system in this country. It has already started. Unless you are engaged in an activity that requires a license you do NOT need to produce identification to anyone. However, always give police your correct name. Never lie to the police.
…The White House Correspondents Dinner used to be a relatively low-key gathering of professionals and their friends to break bread with the president and have a few laughs. Now it is a celebrity, "gotta be seen" affair. Such a bore.
…No official announcement yet, but a familiar and veteran figure will return to the Largo political wars this November. Now that it has been demonstrated that one person with intelligent ideas can spark and enliven an otherwise lackluster, do-nothing City Commission, perhaps some of the apathetic lethargy in Largo can be overcome. Two commission incumbents up this November - one's been there too long and the other has shown very little in the way of vigorous performance.
…The idea of holding municipal elections in Largo every four years is being talked of. It is a good idea and makes sense and if followed through with would have Largo join Clearwater and St. Petersburg in having elected folks serve four-year terms. It might help the voter turnout. Throw out the aberrational (for Largo, that is) 68.8 percent voter turnout in 2008 (presidential year) and the average in this century is 10.97 percent. Not good.
…Golfers from all over the nation are streaming to Largo, we hear, because they want to notch a hole-in-one on their escutcheons and the place to do it seems to be the Largo municipal course where they are commonplace - two more last week. One was turned in by a 9-year-old. In terms of challenge the LGC is the equivalent of a miniature golf attraction.
…The needle seems to be stuck here on Largo doings, but what the heck - there is a bombshell blockbuster happening about to come to fruition and be announced. Stand by.
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