Winners & Losers: Kassim Osgood, Corrine Brown
WINNER, HOPEFULLY: Robert Van Winkle, a developer who claims to be getting on the ball of redeveloping the Park View Inn, one of Jacksonville's most highly esteemed examples of the “Pitiful Neglect” school of architecture, and a lugubrious eyesore that has been prominently located right in the middle of the city so that visitors and residents alike can admire its splendor.
In spite of numerous promises through the years to level it and build a space elevator, the structure continues to tag along, serving as a residence to urban wildlife, drug addicts, and possibly a few ghosts who never checked out.
Supposedly, the space will be transformed into a parking area and some stores, although whether that pans out remains to be seen. If so, Van Winkle is a Winner – assuming he doesn't wander off and take a nap like all those who have come before.
LOSERS: The Hilliard Flashes High School football team, which has dropped the ball – literally. Four losses in a row – all of which were tremendous losses, mind you – to teams which they have previously done reasonably okay against. Come on guys, get it together. At least win once in a while, or not lose so badly, or something. Hopefully there's a good excuse for this, or maybe it's a once-in-a-century kind of thing.
This sounds like the perfect backstory for a made-for-TV movie.
WINNERS: JEA and Public Service Energy Group, which recently opened a 100-acre solar power farm near Baldwin. The farm consists of 200,000 panels, which will generate 15 megawatts, or enough for about 1400 homes. PSEG actually built it, but JEA will buy power from it for 20 years. This isn't a massive revolution in power generation, but it is a huge diversion in terms of Jacksonville, where until now there has been little to no large-scale use of solar power. Hopefully we can see similar projects like this in the future, as it's significantly cleaner than the lovely coal smoke we're currently pumping into our air supply.
LOSER: Jags player Kassim Osgood, for not packing heat when dating a cheerleader with baggage. While watching television in cheerleader Mackenzie Putnal's apartment, the two were attacked by Putnal's psycho, plastic bag hat-wearing and gun-waving ex-boyfriend, Julian Bartletto.
The encounter ended when quick-thinking Putnal escaped off a balcony, retrieved her own piece, and proceeded to engage her former beau in a gunfight. Osgood wisely determined that Putnal wasn't worth getting caught in the crossfire, so he escaped to a neighbor's house and called the police. On the bright side, at least one Jaguar was able to beat the coverage!
Hmm... after seeing a photo of Osgood's friend, pictured on the right, maybe he's not such a "loser" after all! Note to anyone who might have a jilted ex on the prowl: change your locks, keep a weapon nearby and practice!
WINNER: Some dude, for obviously not caring what anyone thinks. An unnamed individual broke into a couple of houses across from Sandalwood High School recently and stole several things, including a box of Cheez-Its and a hat. This was all in the middle of broad daylight, and he posed for a picture taken by a concerned resident, before going about his merry way. Chances are this guy was really high at the time and had no idea what was going on. It'll be interesting to see how this story unfolds later.
LOSER: Corrine Brown, as usual. Although a longtime prominent Democrat and champion of her own local principality, Brown has managed to earn the ire of the ACLU and ACORN over her opposition to proposed Florida amendments 5 and 6, which would redistrict the state in a way that would lessen gerrymandering and split up Brown's carefully drawn racial bloc. Insisting that this would eliminate African-American representation in Congress – and presumably accusing voters of racism – Brown exposes her own Borgian ties to a specific group of voters that she has guilt-tripped and falsely obligated into supporting her political cult over the years.
Corrine Brown, as usual, is a loser.
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.