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Happy Halloween.

great-pumpkin

Today is Halloween and for some unknown reason, we feel compelled to get all “preachy.”

Growing up, we celebrated Halloween. Kids would come to school dressed in their favorite characters. At night, the streets would be alive with kids knocking on doors and yelling “Trick or Treat!” when the door opened. A proud, but often bored parent, would stand with the kids, smiling as the homeowner handed out candy to kids while making comments on how cute, how beautiful, how scary, or whatever adjective fit, the kids.

It was a magical time.

The church in which we were raised used to host a “Haunted House” for kids in the church and the neighborhood. It was almost a right of passage to go from walking through the Haunted House to being one of the people scaring kids in the Haunted House. It was fun watching kids bobbing for apples remembering that you used to do the same thing as well.

We also remember our Youth Pastor whose wife managed to sew an orange jumpsuit with a green collar for her 6′ 4″ husband. Each year he’d carve a friendly face into a pumpkin, and wear the pumpkin over his own head. We’d go with him to a local hospital where he would put the whole costume on and walk around the children’s wards giving candy and or small party favor type gifts to kids.

Yep. Our Youth Pastor walked through the hospital as the “Great Pumpkin” – over six and a half feet of orange suit and pumpkin head.
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It Takes A Busybody.

Via KARE in North Dakota comes this tale of a woman who has decided that not only is she the arbitrator of what is “obese,” but also what makes a good parent.

The woman has decided to hand out the following letter instead of candy to some Trick or Treaters:

Halloween Nutcase Letter

The text of the letter reads:

Happy Halloween and Happy Holidays Neighbor!

You are probably wondering why your child has this note; have you ever heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? I am disappointed in “the village” of Fargo Moorhead, West Fargo.

Your child, in my opinion, is moderately obese and hould not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season.

My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.

Thank you.

Really?

Are you kidding us?

Apparently not:

I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight… I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it,” the woman said in a morning radio interview with Y-24. She wouldn’t identify herself.

At least the “village” of Fargo Moorhead doesn’t have to wonder where it’s “idiot” lives.

While the woman wants us to remember one saying we also remember the saying “Trick OR Treat.”

Here’s hoping the “village” and the kids of that village show her the “trick” part.

Not that we would ever advocate the infamous flaming bag of dog poo, t.p.’ing the woman’s home and yard, etc., but we wouldn’t stop someone from doing it either.

Where do these people come from?

(h/t This Ain’t Hell)



Free Speech Gone Awry.

Belleview Courthouse

Belleview Courthouse

Bellevew, Illinois is a town of about 45,000 people in southwest Illinois. Like many cities, Belleview gives money to businesses in order for the businesses to renovate, or make improvements. The funds for these improvements are generated from “tax increment financing” or “TIF” funds.

Two such business owners looking for the city to receive TIF funds are Dianne Rogge, an environmental engineer for Jet Aviation and her business partner Michael Buettner. The two bought a few buildings on Main Street in downtown Belleville. Their plans included renovating the upper floors of the buildings into apartments, and converting the bottom floor which was a bar into a small grocery store and sandwich shop.

The work progressed smoothly with Rogge and Buettner paying for the upstairs renovations.

The two owners then turned their attention to the first floor renovation and applied for a $15,000 grant to help renovate the interior which is thought to cost roughly $100,000.00.

The City Council turned down the request because in their view the business plan for the first floor area was incomplete. Before turning the request down, the City asked Rogge questions on revenue projections and plans for other businesses – questions which Rogge said other applicants were not required to answer.

The City, for their part, made an offer to help with the renovations in other ways:
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Football Player Suspended For Poem.

poetryNick Andre is a 16 year old junior at Rittman High School in Rittman, Ohio. Andre also played defensive end for the school’s 1 – 7 football team.

As part of an English Composition class, Andre was told to write a poem. Andre chose to write about the football team and what he considered teammates acting in a manner that put themselves above the team.

Here’s a snippet of the poem, entitled “Stupid”:

Losing season
Favoritism
Nonstop passes from best friend to best friend
Continuously doing what doesn’t work

Another few lines go:

Dropped passes but yet still the superstar
Yeah, right
Where’s my scholarship?
I can drop passes

Andre was told to read the poem out loud in class and he did.

The world then came crashing down on the young man’s head.
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Remember Half Time Shows?

One of the things we really miss about football games on television is half time shows. Networks have a supposed “need” to broadcast talking heads in a studio as opposed to the much more entertaining half time shows with great marching bands, majorettes, flag bearers and everything else.

We miss the bands.

(We also miss broadcasting the National Anthem before regular season games as well, but that is a post for another day.)

Take a few minutes and watch this great half time show put on by the Ohio State University Marching Band.

How cool was that?



The Matrix In Real Life.

For some reason, this made us laugh.





A Parking Lot Gets Taken For City Use As A Parking Lot.

Image courtesy Business Journal / Karen Ducey

Image courtesy Business Journal / Karen Ducey

Myrtle Woldson is a 103 year old woman who has something the City of Seattle wants – a parking lot.

Ms. Woldson’s short term parking lot is near a proposed expensive viaduct construction project in Seattle. With that construction project is going to come an increased need for short term parking.

The City offered to buy the property but Ms. Woldson refused to sell. That lead to the City Council of Seattle voting 8 – 0 this past Monday to take the property by eminent domain. (The Council resolution on the issue can be found here.)

Their plans for the property?

To keep it as a short term parking lot.

Yep. The City of Seattle voted to seize the woman’s short term parking lot to keep is as short term parking lot.

If that is confusing to you, it is confusing to a lot of people.

What makes the idea of the City taking control of the parking lot is that Seattle is currently running a parking lot – at a loss of $1.5 million a year.

Another factor is that the city, which has a poor track record with at least one parking facility, could end up managing a lot that Beck said is very busy during the summer tourism season. Consider Seattle’s record running the Pacific Place mall garage downtown. Over the years, the garage has lost money, according to the city — including a nearly $1.5 million loss in 2012.

If you are like us, you might be thinking “maybe the City wants to build a short term parking garage on the lot.” Ms. Woldson may not have the money or the desire to build a parking garage on the property, so maybe – just maybe – the City wants to alleviate the parking problem with a garage.

The problem with that theory is that the City says there are no plans for the property other than keeping it a short term parking lot.
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Follow Up To SR A1A Meeting.

Satellite-Beach-Antique-Grunge-Background-ROHOn Thursday night, the City of Satellite Beach held a public meeting to discuss the “SR A1A Redevelopment Conceptual Plan.”

The “meet and greet” portion of the meeting went as planned and the overall 7:00 PM meeting for the presentation of the overall view of the project went off as planned.

To be honest, in some aspects we think the “q and a” portion of the meeting got a little off track. Not by a lot, but we began to see people starting to get into specifics of why or why not to make a specific improvement.

Instead of specifics, the meeting seems to have been more to get people thinking about possible improvements rather than offering improvements at that moment in time.

There are several components of this project. By that, we mean the Florida Department of Transportation is going to pave A1A from SR 192 north to the Pineda Causeway. That’s the given part of this project. But additions to the plan, who pays for those additions, etc., those are the devilish details to be worked out later.

The question for Satellite Beach residents at this moment is “what can we do to make ‘our’ part of SR A1A better?”

The key to this process and citizen involvement is to get input from citizens. Those thoughts should not be in or out of the box. In fact, destroy the darn box.

Those ideas can range from bike lanes, sidewalks, different signage, turn lanes, etc.

But as we said, right now, no one can say for sure who is going to pay for the suggested improvements.
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