In the News Today, Oh Boy

A couple of news items that are near and dear to Lakelanders. (And a bonus headline.)

Townsend interviewed in Ledger’s “Five Questions”

Last night the Ledger posted an article where Lakeland’s paper of record asked the Downtown Lakeland Partnership’s Julie Townsend* five questions about her organization’s continuing fight against Florida wasting taxpayer dollars to give CSX corporate welfare.

Yes, the project that used to be called Central Florida Commuter Rail. The project that used to be responsible for forcing CSX to build a new ILC in Winter Haven and running many more longer trains through downtown Lakeland.

You remember that don’t you? But I guess the Ledger believes we have always been at war with Oceana.

Back to the Townsend questions. I finished the article and wondered why 20% of the questions ere wasted on:

CSX officials have said that if the purchase of the 61 miles of track goes through, there will be money available to help to install quiet zones along the rail corridor in<0x00A0>downtown Lakeland, but if the deal falls through, the quiet zones are probably off the table. Which is a bigger issue for the DLP: quiet zones or the increased number of trains the Orlando deal will bring?

Townsend gave a courteous answer “To my knowledge, CSX has never offered to pay for quiet zones….”

I wish she had said, “Stop misleading with talk about quiet zones. It’s the wasted tax money and traffic stupid. It always has been” (To paraphrase a Bush.)

Reshelve BooksFile Storms Under Aquatic Birds (genus Gavia)

Part of our reading area has a state Senator, Rhona Storms. She was in the news recently:

The economy is a shambles. State revenue is in a free-fall. House leaders in both parties stand accused of misusing their political powers. This week, state Sen. Ronda Storms identified another menace: The Dewey Decimal System — Libraries Offer Plenty For Storms To Stew Over

Some might give Storms credit. The Dewey Decimal system is a proprietary product of OCLC. Libraries use the company to catalog books and must pay a small price per item placed in their catalog. (Assuming they want to use OCLC’s common cataloging info. They could save the money and not join with OCLC, but it would cost them more to do all their own original cataloging. Trust me on this one. I spent seven years dealing with OCLC and catalogers on a daily basis.

There is a system that is owned by the American people: the Library of Congress system, but cataloging under that system also has costs.

Storms proposes libraries use the BAM method. You know where bookstores place items under big signs in some odd sort of order. You know how easy it is to find the book you need at Borders or Books-a-Million?

(I’ll wait for my sarcasm challenged daughter to catch that last sentence.)

OK, it is simply silly that Storms believes only “little old librarians” will be upset to lose proper shelving of books. So will every single library patron. It’s not a miracle that you can look up a book and go to a shelf and find it properly placed. It is the result of a lot of hard work and a precise system of cataloging.

It may save a few dollars to not use Dewey, but I promise that when your child needs that book on loons the night before the paper is due…you will be glad you don’t instead find a biography on Rhonda Storms.

And as a bonus, this headline from today’s Ledger:

Woman Accused of Biting Hubby’s Thingy

Seriously? “Thingy”?! It’s a penis people.

The Orlando Sentinel, where the Ledger got the story, wasn’t much better: Angry wife jailed after biting husband’s you-know-what

Note that the Sentinel’s URL does reference “penis.”

* – Townsend is the wife of Lakeland Local writer Billy Townsend, but that makes no difference to me.

Creative Commons License photo 1 credit: Cat Carter for ylakeland

Creative Commons License photo 2 credit: becflies2001

(Cross-posted at