This and That: Back in Town Edition

Friday’s Columbus (GA) Ledger-Enquirer published a story about a Lakeland family’s trip to the town. The Colley family traveled from Lakeland to Columbus to see Scott Colley. The met the young man on the eve of his deployment to Iraq with the 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion’s Headquarters Company.

USF Lakeland has started a Public Relations blog! The first post concerned a Lakeland resident who stayed in town to get his degree: “Looking ahead, David Fleming sees himself completing the Ph.D. program and becoming a university professor. But no matter how far he may go from Lakeland, he’ll always be glad he stayed home to go to college.” I see he majored in psychology. I wonder if they’ll still have that degree program at USF Polytechnic?

Writer Robin Mizell published an Assignment Zero profile of Special Agent Tommy Ray, Cold Case Assessment Team Coordinator for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, “Using the Internet, and any other tool available that facilitates information sharing, Ray, 55, puts the faces of homicide victims where people will see them and remember. And when someone does remember, he gets a call.”

“Construction on a 900-square-foot home at 821 Munn Ave. is quickly taking shape, thanks to more than 70 women who have signed on with the Lakeland Habitat for Humanity.” — Orlando Sentinel The house is part of the Women Build initiative, but anyone can help. Call 863-682-3812 for more information. (Bias Note: I’ve volunteered for Lakeland Habitat.)

No matter what they call the school, people are expecting big things from USF Polytechnic. “Most of those graduates are going to come out making $50,000 a year, when the general wage here in Polk County is $32,000. That’s a big difference right out of college,” said Laura Taylor of Lakeland’s Economic Development Council.” — MyFox TampaBay

The article continued, “The campus is expected to give Polk County a big financial boost as well. It’s expected to attract high tech firms to Lakeland which will increase it’s tax base.” That depends if they settle in Lakeland and not East of the campus. Does anyone know if the city plans to annex the campus and surrounding area?

On June 25, Nancy Elizabeth Daus Sullivan Benoit was killed by her husband, wrestler Chris Benoit. Nancy Benoit has a Lakeland connection: “She made her in-ring debut on July 7, 1984 at the Lakeland Civic Center in Lakeland, Florida for Florida Championship Wrestling.”

10 thoughts on “This and That: Back in Town Edition

  1. I think it is incredibly parochial to think or hope that USF Polytechnic will attract technology businesses only to the Lakeland market. Your focus seems to revolve around wanting only that community to benefit from this wonderful new AREA asset. Let us not forget that tax dollars from all over the county and ultimately the state will be involved in making this campus a reality. Furthermore, the Florida high-tech corridor initiative does not begin and end at the Lakeland city limits.

    There are significant technology companies located throughout Polk.

    We would all do well to remember that all of us are better at some things than others … but none of us are better than all of us together.

  2. I think it is incredibly parochial to think or hope that USF Polytechnic will attract technology businesses only to the Lakeland market. Your focus seems to revolve around wanting only that community to benefit from this wonderful new AREA asset. Let us not forget that tax dollars from all over the county and ultimately the state will be involved in making this campus a reality. Furthermore, the Florida high-tech corridor initiative does not begin and end at the Lakeland city limits.

    There are significant technology companies located throughout Polk.

    We would all do well to remember that all of us are better at some things than others … but none of us are better than all of us together.

  3. For those who believe Bob has accused me of something to do with a Catholic school: parochial: very limited or narrow in scope or outlook; provincial.

    I don’t know if you were writing out of passion or misunderstanding, but I get the impression you didn’t actually read what I wrote.

    Who said the hoped-for “high tech corridor” began and ended in Lakeland? That’s a fear I don’t have. I addressed the article. I asked about annexation for a simple reason: tax dollars.

    The article included: “It’s expected to attract high tech firms to Lakeland which will increase it’s tax base.” I rightly pointed out Lakeland’s tax base would only grow if the companies settled in Lakeland. I was thinking, “of course they could settle elsewhere.”

    Would you prefer the city of Winter Haven annex the land around the university? It isn’t provincial for a community to benefit from taxing the businesses that occupy that community. Does Winter Haven plan to give the state the tax dollars generated from the businesses around the CSX terminal?

    I thought not.

    As for your meta-message, that it is somehow misguided that this blog, and myself, trumpet my community. I find it odd considering your vocation and the mission of the organization you represent. Everything you’ve written there — about the city of Winter Haven, and of “East Polk” — speaks volumes. You are an unashamed Winter Haven promoter, and I don’t find fault in that. I expect it.

    I live in Lakeland and write about Lakeland. Of course I limit these blog entries to items that affect Lakeland and those who live here. That’s the pure definition of “hyperlocal.”

    Yet, this blog includes links to Polk County organizations, and individuals outside the city. And at your site?

    I believe you may be wearing “parochial” colored glasses.

  4. For those who believe Bob has accused me of something to do with a Catholic school: parochial: very limited or narrow in scope or outlook; provincial.

    I don’t know if you were writing out of passion or misunderstanding, but I get the impression you didn’t actually read what I wrote.

    Who said the hoped-for “high tech corridor” began and ended in Lakeland? That’s a fear I don’t have. I addressed the article. I asked about annexation for a simple reason: tax dollars.

    The article included: “It’s expected to attract high tech firms to Lakeland which will increase it’s tax base.” I rightly pointed out Lakeland’s tax base would only grow if the companies settled in Lakeland. I was thinking, “of course they could settle elsewhere.”

    Would you prefer the city of Winter Haven annex the land around the university? It isn’t provincial for a community to benefit from taxing the businesses that occupy that community. Does Winter Haven plan to give the state the tax dollars generated from the businesses around the CSX terminal?

    I thought not.

    As for your meta-message, that it is somehow misguided that this blog, and myself, trumpet my community. I find it odd considering your vocation and the mission of the organization you represent. Everything you’ve written there — about the city of Winter Haven, and of “East Polk” — speaks volumes. You are an unashamed Winter Haven promoter, and I don’t find fault in that. I expect it.

    I live in Lakeland and write about Lakeland. Of course I limit these blog entries to items that affect Lakeland and those who live here. That’s the pure definition of “hyperlocal.”

    Yet, this blog includes links to Polk County organizations, and individuals outside the city. And at your site?

    I believe you may be wearing “parochial” colored glasses.

  5. The city has already annexed the property for the new Campus location according to the Map of the Corporate Limits of Lakeland as of June 18, 2007 (PDF file).

    I am a bit concerned, also, that you cannot understand that there will be more then 5 degrees offered by the polytechnic model. Polytechnic is a way of learning, not a course concentration. It seems that you are the one who is just simply misunderstanding or uninformed. Yes there will be 5 areas of concentrations, but the other departments will still be available just not as large. Is that really a big problem?? Does every state university campus have to be all things to all people. I think that would be a true waste of the tax payers money.

  6. The city has already annexed the property for the new Campus location according to the Map of the Corporate Limits of Lakeland as of June 18, 2007 (PDF file).

    I am a bit concerned, also, that you cannot understand that there will be more then 5 degrees offered by the polytechnic model. Polytechnic is a way of learning, not a course concentration. It seems that you are the one who is just simply misunderstanding or uninformed. Yes there will be 5 areas of concentrations, but the other departments will still be available just not as large. Is that really a big problem?? Does every state university campus have to be all things to all people. I think that would be a true waste of the tax payers money.

  7. Chuck,
    We appreciate your comments on the new USF site, but next time, don’t give the city of Winter Haven any ideas about annexation. Right now I’m imagining, David Green, is most likely at his desk with Bob on speaker phone saying what an excellent idea annexation of the college is and planning on sending you a fruit basket for the idea. Doesn’t matter if it cuts thru or around another city! They’re already at Hwy 60’s backdoor, next it’s I-4! When will they stop?

  8. Chuck,
    We appreciate your comments on the new USF site, but next time, don’t give the city of Winter Haven any ideas about annexation. Right now I’m imagining, David Green, is most likely at his desk with Bob on speaker phone saying what an excellent idea annexation of the college is and planning on sending you a fruit basket for the idea. Doesn’t matter if it cuts thru or around another city! They’re already at Hwy 60’s backdoor, next it’s I-4! When will they stop?

  9. Dee Dee: I’m sure no one from Winter Haven government reads my little Lakeland blog. As for annexation, I would bet the city politicos already have an idea what is next on the table.

    Aaron: I repaired your HTML code, I hope you don’t mind.

    I appreciate your concern, but you misstate a couple of my positions.

    1) Where did you get the idea I thought there’d be only 5 degrees offered? I’d prefer USF Lakeland would have stayed on the course to become a large Liberal Arts college. I never said USFP would offer a bare 5 degrees.

    I hope that USF Polytechnic doesn’t attempt to offer the full complement of degrees that say, the University of Louisville, offers. As I’ve stated before, I’d like to see USF Polytechnic become the MIT of Florida. Focused, and well-respected, but with an eye for turning out well-rounded students.

    2) You wrote “the other departments will be available, just not as large,” but you also wrote that it would be a waste of money for every state campus to be all things to all people. I’m not sure those statements fit together.

    I don’t agree that every campus should give every class, but this area of the state, in the not-too-distant future, will support a large Liberal Arts university. Wouldn’t it have been nice if your child could had gone to a USF Lakeland no matter if she wanted to be an engineer, lawyer, artist, or historian?

    3) Currently USF Lakeland has only a single department — “Information Technology” — and four divisions that report to Tampa.

    You wrote “the other departments will still be available just not as large.” I want to make sure you mean “departments” and not “classes.”

    So I ask you, do you believe USFP will have a Theater Arts department? A French Department? A Music Department? Assuming they’re created….and I don’t believe that’ll happen….they’re not the focus of USFP. Assuming they’re created, budget cuts would move such “non-technical” departments under USF Tampa.

    4) Yes, I believe “dab-smack” in the middle of the I-4 corridor deserves a nationally respected, and diversified, university that offers locally managed departments that serve a vast majority of our local youth.

    5) My bias is “learning is for learning” and not “college is a way to get a job.” If you want that, why not USF Vocational School and be done with it?

  10. Dee Dee: I’m sure no one from Winter Haven government reads my little Lakeland blog. As for annexation, I would bet the city politicos already have an idea what is next on the table.

    Aaron: I repaired your HTML code, I hope you don’t mind.

    I appreciate your concern, but you misstate a couple of my positions.

    1) Where did you get the idea I thought there’d be only 5 degrees offered? I’d prefer USF Lakeland would have stayed on the course to become a large Liberal Arts college. I never said USFP would offer a bare 5 degrees.

    I hope that USF Polytechnic doesn’t attempt to offer the full complement of degrees that say, the University of Louisville, offers. As I’ve stated before, I’d like to see USF Polytechnic become the MIT of Florida. Focused, and well-respected, but with an eye for turning out well-rounded students.

    2) You wrote “the other departments will be available, just not as large,” but you also wrote that it would be a waste of money for every state campus to be all things to all people. I’m not sure those statements fit together.

    I don’t agree that every campus should give every class, but this area of the state, in the not-too-distant future, will support a large Liberal Arts university. Wouldn’t it have been nice if your child could had gone to a USF Lakeland no matter if she wanted to be an engineer, lawyer, artist, or historian?

    3) Currently USF Lakeland has only a single department — “Information Technology” — and four divisions that report to Tampa.

    You wrote “the other departments will still be available just not as large.” I want to make sure you mean “departments” and not “classes.”

    So I ask you, do you believe USFP will have a Theater Arts department? A French Department? A Music Department? Assuming they’re created….and I don’t believe that’ll happen….they’re not the focus of USFP. Assuming they’re created, budget cuts would move such “non-technical” departments under USF Tampa.

    4) Yes, I believe “dab-smack” in the middle of the I-4 corridor deserves a nationally respected, and diversified, university that offers locally managed departments that serve a vast majority of our local youth.

    5) My bias is “learning is for learning” and not “college is a way to get a job.” If you want that, why not USF Vocational School and be done with it?

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