The Way I See It
By cj pollick
Clearwater To Buy Royalty Theatre? - If you read the current article in the Gazette about Clearwater officials thinking of buying the Royalty Theatre in downtown Clearwater for about $2 million and another $6 million for "renovation" costs, you perhaps are wondering where they might find that large sum of money. After all, city officials have been saying they are struggling with city budget cuts due to lower expected city revenues in 2009.
Royalty Theatre is valued at $592,000 and the Lokey Building at $713,000; of course, there have not been many people interested in buying those downtown properties. Therefore, a city expense of $8 million for this project appears to be a city project for another day (possibly several years from now.)
One city council member is "very supportive" of this project, other city council members are not. Makes some tax-minded folks wonder how at least one council member plans to make city budget cuts for 2009 and also find several million of taxpayer funds for this novel idea.
Isn't elected life about how to best spend taxpayer money as if you were spending your own money?
Clearwater Native Goes To The Olympics - Clearwater's Zach Railey will race in the Finn Class sailing event at the Beijing Summer Olympics. Zach is the U.S. number 1 ranked sailor in this competitive Finn Class and has hopes of bringing back the gold from Beijing, China.
At age 23 he is one of the youngest sailors participating in the Olympics.
Good luck Zach, we wish you the best in Beijing.
Another Beach Business Bites The Dust - The Pac N Send at the corner of Baymont and Poinsettia has closed its doors, adding to the list of beach businesses that have dissolved this past year leaving numerous empty storefronts.
Big East Baseball Championship Tournament - The best eight baseball teams from the Big East will play for a coveted NCAA playoff birth at Bright House Network Field in Clearwater from May 20th to May 24th. The Bright House Field is located on Old Coachman Road, Clearwater.
Big East schools such as USF, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Connecticut and others comprise the Big East. The top eight ranked baseball teams in the Big East will qualify for the tournament in Clearwater.
Ticket prices range from Field Seats at $8-adult/$4-seniors (55+) to Premier Seats at $10-adult/$6-seniors. Further, baseball tournament passes are available by calling 727-467-4457.
Are you a college baseball fan?
Don't miss the Big East baseball tournament at Bright House Field, Clearwater.
She Acted When Others Did Not - Irena Sendler, age 98, died at a Warsaw, Poland hospital last Monday.
Who was Irena Sendler?
She was a young social worker in Poland during the Nazi take-over who helped to save about 2,500 Jewish babies and small children who would have been killed. Sendler risked her life in moving many hundreds of young Jewish children to safety during 1940-43. In fact, after the war she continued to help many of the children who had lost both parents and had no family for assistance.
Irena Sendler wrote the names of the children she saved on pieces of paper and placed them in a bottle under an apple tree where she later was able to help many children with name identification. Irena Sendler was rightfully awarded one of the highest honors by Jewish survivors in Jerusalem; however, due to communist leader oppression in Poland in 1965, she was not able to attend ceremonies in Israel. After the decline of communism in Poland, Sendler was honored in Jerusalem in 1983. According to one survivor named Elizbieta Ficowska, "She not only saved us, but she saved our children and children of generations to come."
Imagine the courage of this young woman during a time of great fear of the Nazis during 1940-43?
Many people may not have heard of this courageous Polish woman's name, but the surviving 2,500 Jewish survivors know her name and what she did to save them.
Sen. Obama Nears Democrat Party Victory - Sen. Barack Obama leads Sen. Hillary Clinton with 1,876 delegate votes to 1,702.5 (as of Monday) and Idaho Democrat party chair was expected to cast his supporting vote to Obama late Monday.
The campaign for the presidency is just about over for Sen. Hillary Clinton, she is reportedly low on campaign funds and clearly can't obtain enough delegate votes to overcome Sen. Obama for the Democrat party nomination.
In a few weeks Sen. Clinton will concede the Democrat party victory to Sen. Obama and ask for her supporters to support Sen. Obama. However, it had been reported in national publications that many Clinton supporters will not support the Obama campaign and may not vote (or might support GOP Sen. John McCain.)
How might Sen. Hillary Clinton react to the Democrat party loss to virtual political newcomer Barack Obama? Would a defeated and unhappy Hillary Clinton accept a vice-presidential position if asked by Sen. Obama? On the other hand, many political pundits believe a Clinton name on the Democrat ticket might hurt rather than help Sen. Obama's chances of beating Sen. John McCain in November.
Folks, the 2008 presidential election campaign should be most interesting after June 2nd when it is McCain vs. Obama.
AIG In Trouble? - If you had followed the trials and tribulations of AIG when Eliot Spitzer was attorney general of New York, you know that AIG was in great financial shape when Hank Greenburg was chairman. However, the flamboyant Eliot Spitzer wanted Greenburg out of leadership of AIG and made an example of how to punish a solid U.S. financial giant to the tune of billions of dollars in losses.
Yes, the venerable AIG was brought to its financial knees-- in great part, thanks to a young rogue attorney general who had political aspirations (and later was caught with prostitutes and resigned as governor.)
Hank Greenburg, one of the brilliant minds of the insurance and financial industry, was indeed ousted from AIG, even though a large stockholder, and has fought civil lawsuits ever since Spitzer wanted him out. Now, the elder Hank Greenburg is indicating on national television that AIG is perhaps in financial trouble and clearly needs new corporate leadership, similar to the days when he was chairman of the company. Yes, Greenburg stated he has no interest in coming back to AIG's leadership team.
Is AIG in financial trouble, as Hank Greenburg infers?
It might be interesting to observe the next AIG shareholder meeting, unless it is delayed.
Healthcare Premiums - According to a study completed by the University of Minnesota, healthcare premiums in America have increased more than 10 times personal income increases from 2001-2005. The study concludes that health insurance premiums have increased over 30-percent during the last five years.
Sen. McCain believes one solution to the healthcare mess is to offer a $5,000 tax credit to families and $2,500 tax credit to individuals who buy individual health insurance. McCain's idea is to help individuals obtain favorable tax treatment of premiums paid (much like deductible corporate healthcare premiums.)
Further, Sen. McCain wishes to create more competition regarding health insurance by allowing one-set of insurance policy benefits in all 50 states, federal law, versus 50 current individual and various state healthcare mandated laws.
Would this idea help cure the problems with healthcare in America? Probably not, but the tax credit is good idea as well as establishing one set of federal healthcare rules (instead of 50 different state healthcare laws.) Thus, McCain wishes to create more competition, create tax advantages, create simplified laws and allow for an open, free healthcare market.
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