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KONK REACTOR column
[Published in the KONK Life newspaper on January 31, 2013.]
More Sides Now
Last summer I wrote a BOTH SIDES NOW column here with a “point / counterpoint” discussion of a number of local hot-button issues raised in the Voice and elsewhere. Let’s do it some more…
Point: I never see anybody working on Roosevelt Boulevard. That project probably won’t be finished until after I’m dead. And why didn’t they tell us how much trouble it was going to be?
Counterpoint: Ain’t armchair quarterbacking fun? The TRUTH of the matter is that the project is ON SCHEDULE. Just because YOU don’t see them doing what YOU think they should be doing doesn’t change that. They’re proceeding according to their plan – a plan that they very much DID make well known to anyone who bothered to listen.
For two years before the project started, there were meetings all over town to discuss it, including public forums by Last Stand, the Chamber of Commerce and others. Most of us knew what to expect and it’s going according to plan. Indignant whining about misperceived incompetency only shows YOUR ignorance…
Point: I’ve heard that there’s a push to rename the Key West International Airport after the pilot Freddy Cabanas. Is that really a good idea? Just because he died in an accident? Doesn’t that send the wrong message?
Counterpoint: Like so many facilities named in honor of someone, it all depends on what you know about the honoree. Anyone who’s lived in Key West for a generation or more is aware of Freddy’s extraordinary connection to Keys aviation, and the airport itself. Flying since he was a child, he represented Key West in aerobatic shows all over the map. He was also a top flight instructor and tester, certified on many aircraft. Beyond expertise, he was also a loving and charitable member of the community. He wasn’t just some guy who had an accident; he was FAMILY here in Key West. It would be hard to find one more deserving of the honor.
Point: The City shouldn’t be giving away millions to that brewery restaurant going into the old Waterfront Market. That’s my tax money you’re tossing around!
Counterpoint: Once again you must know the whole story to get this right. The building is owned by the City and has been sitting empty for years bringing in no income and wasting away. It’s not at all uncommon for the leaser of a building to expect the building owner to correct deficiencies before signing a lease – it’s standard business procedure. In this case, the leaser is willing to make the repairs themselves, as long as the city will LOAN them some of the money to do so. The City is the one who comes out ahead – they get a reputable tenant without having to spend the money to bring their building up to snuff. And the payback of the loan will be added to the monthly rent.
Races blocking streets
Point: I’m sick of these racers who keep causing our streets to be blocked off for a bunch of bicyclers or runners. We shouldn’t let them interfere with our traffic like that.
Counterpoint: Yeah, we do have a lot of races here, and some of them aren’t scheduled as well as we’d like (generally due to OTHER events they must work around). But the vast majority of them are held early Saturday morning when the streets are fairly clear. A few of the longer ones (e.g., triathlons) run later into the day, but they try to stay away from the busier roads. Remember: these events bring lots of racers with money to spend here before and after the races.
Also consider this: we here in Old Town have to put up with all kinds of events blocking significant thoroughfares all the time. To us, race interference antagonism is quite the quaint issue…
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