The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Clearwater Beach Improvements - If you have not visited Clearwater Beach in the past two weeks, perhaps it is time you did.
Beach Walk is open and absolutely wonderful. The Sandpearl Hotel is fully completed and a gem on the beach. Sandpearl Hotel has been full and that is good for all Clearwater Beach.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium Showcases Changes - If you reside on Clearwater Sand Key, then don't miss the free admission to see recent changes made at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Island Estates.
The free admission is for Sand Key residents on Friday, April 25th from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Light food and drinks will be available for purchase. To RSVP call 727-441-1790.
This is a wonderful opportunity to observe and support your nearby city aquarium.
Belleair Beach City Meetings - Most every city official in Pinellas County and the State of Florida must sharpen their thinking to balance city budgets due to declining revenues due to property tax cuts.
In Belleair Beach, where a new City Hall is being built, city officials are contemplating how city tax funds should be allocated to the city broadcast on Channel 340 Bright House. One estimate for upgrades and volunteer training costs was $100,000.
City volunteers man the camera and digital recording equipment during city meetings in order to download the publication for later broadcast at Bright House. Thus, training city volunteers is a constant concern or funds allocated to contract for such services.
How many Belleair Beach citizens watch city meetings on Channel 340? It is not known, but with city officials questioning whether it is necessary to videotape more than one city council meeting a month, the $100,000 cost for this enterprise might become a city budget expense worth cutting.
SKCA President Joe Calio Resigns - On April 2nd SKCA President Joe Calio resigned due to health reasons. Many of us who had worked with Joe over the past years knew that you could always count on Joe when things got tough.
Personally, I remember when beach renourishment was a major issue for Sand Key residents and Joe helped to lead the way to get the message to elected officials, both local officials and statewide.
(Interestingly, another Sand Key citizen, Nick Fritsch, recently stated that the State of Florida is planning to cut funding for beach renourishment.)
Additionally, it was Joe Calio who had a hand in helping to organize the Sand Key Sailing Center into what it is today. Of course, there were many people who were a part of all the many Sand Key projects over the past years - - but, Joe Calio was always there to help. (A good political campaigner too.)
We wish Joe good health and time to enjoy Sand Key without all the volunteer meetings. Clearly Sand Key has come a long way during the past 20 years, in part, due to the volunteer efforts of Joe.
Joe, we wish you the best.
Price Of Gas - If you are like most people, you find the price of gasoline outrageously high. $3.50 or more a gallon.
Some oil and gas experts have opined that the price of oil should be about $60-$80 a barrel instead of the current $115 a barrel.
Why is the price so high?
Foreign control of oil production, limited refining stations and taxes.
It is clear that America must find new sources of domestic oil and gas.
Cuba has stated that they will have oil wells offshore located nearly halfway to the Florida Keys. Other foreign nations may soon begin to explore oil opportunities in International Waters off of America's coastline in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico, why not American oil companies?
If American politicians expect America to remain oil dependent due to pressures from environmental groups, the citizens will pay the price in high taxes and high oil prices. There must be sensible solutions to develop oil facilities within American territories and, of course, keeping an eye on protecting our environment.
Imagine the economic stimulus we would enjoy if the price of fuel could be cut in half!
Hillary Clinton Takes Aim At Barack Obama - In Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton ran a series of negative ads attacking her Democrat opponent Barack Obama. Of course, Sen. Obama did not help himself by making a derogatory comment about small Pennsylvania cities. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton's attack against Obama clearly alienated minority voters in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Rural Pennsylvania, as expected, voted against Obama.
Democrats across the nation are wondering if the in-fighting between Obama and Clinton might alienate disgruntled Democrat voters in November. Some disgruntled Democrats have already said they would likely vote for John McCain in November as a vote of frustration. Democrat Party leader Howard Dean had asked for delegates to make their decisions of candidate support in June to avoid a fight among democrats lasting until September. But, neither Obama nor Clinton appear willing to accept a truce. Thus, a fight between the two candidates through the summer is likely. The primary in North Carolina might become the most important for Sen. Obama.
The benefactor? Sen. McCain, whose major issue at the moment is choice of a conservative running-mate.
Modern-Day Pirates - Piracy at sea is a big problem for owners of cargo and passenger ships that travel across the waters of Nigeria and Somalia.
The incidence of at-sea piracy in those waters has increased each year; in fact, one large French luxury liner is currently being held for ransom by pirates off the coast of Nigeria.
Some people might ask, are these pirates like in the old movies?
No, these are well-armed military types that have all of the latest technology. When these pirates attack a ship they act quickly using small, fast boats complete with modern automatic firearms and other modern weapons. The financial cost of ransom settlements and other insurance matters is becoming expensive and problematic to not only to the underwriters at Lloyds of London, but also to communist nations such as North Korea, where one of their cargo ships was recently attacked by pirates.
The problem has grown to the point where U.S. Navy vessels that travel in those waters offer assistance when possible, such as when a U.S. Navy vessel helped a North Korean cargo ship under attack by the pirates.
Yes, piracy at sea is a problem in the waters off Somalia and Nigeria. One might think that the local governments in Africa might do something to stop such activities - - but, they have not.
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