The Unbearable Importance of Being Gow

I never intended to write about Gow Fields again. Really, I didn’t. But there he was Friday, six months out of office, headlining my Kiwanis Club with a 20-minute speech about the awesomeness of his time on the Lakeland City Commission and as mayor. I feel like I need a shower. So bear with me […]

Lakeland City Commission Adds Fairness and Inclusion to List of Principles and Values

Commissioner Walker saying that breakdown of principles & values have resulted in the decline of this country. #lkld — Lakeland, Florida (@lakelandgov) June 2, 2014 In some respects, I agree with Commissioner Walker. The breakdown of principles and values cause the decline of many countries. We may not agree about that exact list of principles […]

Now is the Time

There comes a time in every community to say “What was good enough before, is no longer good enough.” 25 years ago I stood in front of a city council, similar to Lakeland’s, and said “I am a breeder for Fairness.” I made a compelling argument for the City of Louisville to add a law […]

Of corruption and customer service: Putting a bow on 11 months of City Hall critiques

I’m in a confessional mood these days. I’ve got longish essays in various stages of development about the Jameis Winston case, Lakeland’s “gangs”, and the manifold ways in which I’ve benefitted from my 400 slave-owning great great grandfather’s ill-gotten wealth. All of them will have a confessional air if I can ever finish them. Other […]

Rogers, Kaline & Verlander

photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local

Will the transfer wars cost Lakeland the FHSAA hoops championships?

I am told that Lakeland is on the cusp of losing the FHSAA state basketball championships as the result of a power struggle between our city’s state legislators and the Florida High School Athletics Association. My well-placed source for this story reached out to me directly, and I trust this person implicitly. To boil it […]


photo credit: Tom Hagerty for Lakeland Local

Your City Hall Just Lost a Leader

Tamara Sakagawa, community redevelopment manager for Lakeland since 2002, has resigned. Sakagawa, 40, oversaw the redevelopment of Dixieland, downtown and the midtown redevelopment areas.Sakagawa declined Thursday to discuss why she is leaving her job. Her last day will be April 11. — The Ledger In that resignation, Lakeland lost the person most responsible for making […]

Of Inertia, Sexism, Maturity, and The Total Vindication of The Ledger

It really is astonishing. For eight months, we liberal media types in Lakeland pushed with all of our limited might against a giant bureaucratic rock of inertia. And yet we could not move the unified dead weight of Doug Thomas, Tim McCausland, and the City Commission — the people with the power to act to […]