Winners & Losers: Jekyll Island, Rogero Road
LOSER: An Alachua County deputy, who had to kill a deer possessing a level of intelligence superior to his own. The deer, which had been hit by a car, was in the process of dying when the deputy decided to speed things along. Not knowing where to shoot it, he called a superior – who instructed him to shoot it in the heart, behind the shoulder. The deputy apparently couldn't find the shoulder as he couldn't find any arms. He also couldn't find a head for whatever reason. Finally, he elected to shoot it in the stomach 17 times. Good job, Barney!
WINNER: Jekyll Island, which is currently hosting an “advance team” that is scouting the area for use as a filming location for the new X-Men movie. If approved, the area could be home to cast and crew from as early as next month to sometime in the fall of 2011. That would bring a lot of business to the area and give it a bit of a publicity boost as well. Actually, the last movie or TV show that I can remember prominently featuring the Jacksonville area was that corny syndicated series back in the 1990s with the Magnum P.I.-like guy who drove around in a convertible...can anyone remember the name of the show?
LOSER: Rogero Road, which has a severely overgrown median. Originally built by the City as a “beautification project” for 2.3 miles, the stretch has now turned into an organic bug garden with weed bushes taking over. According to City Spokesperson Jennifer Savage, “...the city can be responsible for maintaining grass and trees only. If the community wants a more manicured look, it would be responsible for maintenance." What's that growing in the median if it's not grass? The remains of long-dead aliens? And “a more manicured look” than...something awful? Sounds like the real problem might be an abundance of fertilizer coming down from Hemming Plaza.
LOSERS: Nassau residents, again. Fresh off the scandal boat from when four top administrators went to Ft. Lauderdale to party down on the public dime, now our neighbors to the north find out that Sheriff Tommy Seagraves and Assistant State Attorney Wesley White do not get along, at all. The most recent spat erupted when a sheriff's deputy swapped his rims with those of a truck that was confiscated in a drug investigation. The new wheels were rusty and not incredibly valuable, and it was felt at the time that the exchange would actually be a gain for the County. However, Seagraves was not consulted, White began an investigation, and now it appears to taxpayers as if they cannot trust their top law enforcement officer and top prosecutor to work together effectively. Good job, guys.
LOSERS: Homeowners are losing big as both the Duval School Board and the City Council have approved 3.5% and 9% property tax hikes, respectively. This is in response to lowered revenues after other exemptions have passed the Florida Legislature. The problem is, these increased taxes also come at a time of lowered property values, so many people are paying in taxes a much higher percentage of the value of their homes than ever before. Now where's the Tea Party when they're actually needed?
WINNERS: Students in Dodge County, Georgia, who got to drive a school bus down a dirt road last week. Patricia Cuda, who has driven – well, supposedly it was her driving – for the school district for 9 years, apparently allowed a 13-year old and a 15-year old, one of whom was her own child, to drive the bus for about a mile down a dirt road on September 9. To make things even more fun, there were seven other students in the bus at the time. Cuda has been fired, but the kids had a great time. Woo-HOO, let's have a bus mudbog!
In addition to offering up his weekly winners and losers in The Jacksonville Observer, Graham Wellington enjoys bacon, fancy hats and prank calling apartment complexes on Park Street.