The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Land Deal And Pinellas County Government - County attorney Susan Churuti had deftly worked with county politicians as a government attorney for many years. She had learned much from former county administrator who liked to do things a certain way. When possible, Churuti would meet with elected folks face-to-face rather than using email and written letters (all public record), the county bureaucratic process operated to the point where most county meetings were merely "rubber stamps" of previously agreed upon county agenda (consent) items.
Business appeared unfettered at the county level until a certain land deal was recently unveiled that included at least the county property appraiser Jim Smith, the county attorney Susan Churuti, some county commissioners, and others who were involved in turning an inexpensive $40,000 piece of vacant land into a pricey land purchase using taxpayer funds. The property seller was Jim Smith, the country property appraiser.
Blame Jim Smith for selling at a profit? Smith was doing nothing more than anyone else would do as a landowner. The issue is: Did Jim Smith use county attorney Susan Churuti to do things he wanted done? (Call it a deal among working associates.)
Could Susan Churuti represent Jim Smith as an attorney while also holding the top legal office as county attorney? Was there a conflict of interest that should have been revealed by Churuti to the county commissioners and county administrator prior to any county land purchase deal from Smith being agreed upon?
Both Jim Smith and Susan Churuti (and perhaps others) now wish this land deal had never occurred. Both are concerned about the upcoming ramifications.
As county property appraiser Jim Smith says he will run again for elected office. County attorney Susan Churuti has been legally quiet about her dealings with this real estate matter; thus, she fully expects to keep her job as county attorney.
Jim Smith will have opposition at election time by candidates who have long waited for this opportunity. Churuti will probably keep her job with an eye towards retirement.
The land deal?
There will be a few harsh words and a brief apology by someone in country government regarding how the land purchase deal was handled.
Turn $40,000 into over $250,000? Hillary Clinton did better than that on a certain investment while in Arkansas (when her husband was governor.) Did Hillary use her "office" to turn a huge profit?
Politicians in office. People wonder how some politicians enter elected office with $100,000 in assets and leave office with $3,000,000. The way I see it, this is yet another reason why we should be glad to have Congressman Bill Young in office. Young has not gained personal wealth in elected office.
August 6th Opens Lobster Season In Florida - For the many people who enjoyed the two-day "sportsman lobster season" last week, the official opening of regular Florida lobster season on August 6th may create added diving opportunities for finding Florida lobster in local waters.
Although the "sportsman" lobster season is hugely popular in the Florida Keys, over 20,000 people participated in this year's two-day event, reports of lower than expected lobster catches were recorded. Of course, increased marine patrols in the Florida Keys helped to regulate the six lobsters per licensed person catch per day.
Water clarity in the Keys was above average this year except for a bit of wind during the two-day "sportsman" season. Water clarity at the Florida reefs was exceptional, best water clarity in many years. Perhaps water pollution controls are beginning to help water clarity problems alone at the only live coral reef in America.
Local NCAA Division I Football - For the many tens of thousands of USF Bull football fans around the Tampa Bay area, there is a countdown to the day of opening football season. On September 1st the Bulls will play Elon College (I-AA) in what most folks consider a pre-season warm-up game. However, after Elon comes a real test for the pre-season 21st ranked Bulls-- Auburn University at Auburn on September 8th at 9 p.m.
After Auburn the Bulls play North Carolina, West Virginia, FAU, UCF, Rutgers, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Syracuse, Louisville and finally ending the season against Pittsburgh.
One tough season for the repected USF football program.
The way I see it, fans of the Miami Hurricanes should expect tough football games when they begin a six-game home-and-away series with the USF Bulls beginning on September 26th, 2009. Miami vs the USF Bulls - - who could have asked for more?
Thanks to people like Le Roy Selmon and a host of other USF fans, one of Florida's largest universities now plays top quality college football - - right at Tampa Bay. Get your season tickets and support the home team. GO BULLS!
Barry Bonds Will Break The Home-Run Record - It is only a matter of days before San Francisco Giant slugger Barry Bonds will break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record.
Bonds will pass Aaron's home-run mark by over a dozen before the professional baseball season is over. And, as expected, Hank Aaron will not be present when Bonds breaks the all-time record. In fact, if Bonds does not break the record in San Francisco, he may be surprised at the reaction by baseball fans.
Even though Bonds has denied intentionally taking steroids, he has been verbally tarnished by others who have said he did take steroids. Of course, people who are fans of baseball believe Bonds should not be honored with the home-run title due to allegations of steroid use.
Interestingly, one ex-baseball player spoke on national television (voice overtake to hide his identity) about steroid use. He said it was rampant and even players in the minor leagues used steroids. Perhaps one of the most interesting comments by the ex-player and steroid user was his description of how steroids might help ball-players. Yes, you gain muscle, and that helps to drive the ball longer distances, but he further stated it does not help the eye-hand coordination necessary to hit a baseball.
Thus, Bonds has the eye-hand coordination to hit a baseball better than most baseball players, but did steroids help him gain muscle mass to help "drive" balls longer distances? Critics of Bonds say, yes.
Barry Bonds will soon hold the all-time home-run record. Should his name have an asterisk because of steroid issue (much like Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa?)
They Call It Blood Sport - In the world of dog fighting there is one American dog breed that has been bred to continue fighting regardless of the pain, the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT.) Its reputation throughout the dog fighting world is legend. That is why people like Michael Vick allegedly pay big bucks on dog fights. Vick, however, is not alone, there are many people who participate in the world of dog fighting. And as most people know, it is a despicable blood sport where dogs are abused.
In places like Japan, they intentionally bred a special fighting dog because their Japanese Akita fighting dog breed was losing dog fights to the "pit bull" breed. Thus, there now is a breed of fighting dog in Japan that is a mix of large mastiff-type breeds and other "pit" fighting dogs. The Japanese refer to this dog as the ultimate fighter. Japanese fighting dog owners typically ask any other fighting dog owner to bring their breed to Japan to fight "in the pit." (And dog owners have accepted the offer!)
Money is bet on these fights and, believe it or not, awards and honors given to the winning fighting dogs. Pictures on the Internet show a type of Japanese fighting dog that is bigger than a pit bull and just as fearless. The Japanese fighting dogs look like a mastiff with a bad attitude, weighing 120-200 pounds.
The world of dog fighting has an ugly side. So-called "bait" dogs are used to help train growing fighting dogs to become better fighters. "Bait dogs" are mixed breeds that are abused and bitten by other dogs in " fight training" until dead.
Folks who participate in this dog fighting activity refer to it as a "gaming sport." Law enforcement refers to this activity as a crime. In all U.S. states except Wyoming dog fighting is illegal.
Pain killers for fighting dogs? One can only imagine what drugs these poor dogs are given prior to a dog fight. Most dogs are ultimately killed or mutilated . . . and they call it a sport.
It is going to be interesting to see if Michael Vick was a part of this activity. However, now that one co-defendant turned evidence, Michel Vick may be in big trouble.
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition