Gaming out The Ledger’s “change in our editorial position”

You may or may not have seen new Ledger Publisher Kevin Drake’s “Open Letter to Readers” editorial on Sunday. If you missed it, you’ll be relieved to know that during his month as publisher, “it has become obvious to me that Polk County is a special place.” We can all breathe a little easier knowing […]

In Which Billy Eats Some Crow About The Ledger

In a rather harsh article that came out almost exactly one year ago, I declared: “Within two years, maybe sooner, expect The Ledger to compete with Lakeland Local full-time as an online-only magazine.” I was responding to The Ledger’s decision to dump salary, errr, lay off a number of long-term, experienced employees–including a couple of […]

Blueberries, Transparency and, of course, Baseball for Week 17

On Lakeland Local for Week 17: The Illusion of Transparency in Gifts to Legislators was Kemp Brinson’s take on a column published by St. Pete Times columnist Howard Troxler on April 23rd. Citrus Building Sold to TLC Church was the first local report of the sale. Kevin Bouffard had the story the next day. A […]

Beautiful Weather, Baseball and BackChannel Make Week 16 Triathlon

It looks like the Lakeland Local was out enjoying the weather this week. Week 16 coverage was a lot of triathlon and baseball and just a bit more. If you found yourself out biking and running, take a few moments today to relax and read Sugar-Coated Reforms: A Budgetary Rant, The Labels Came to Lakeland, […]

Winning with Week Nine

Sports played a part in coverage this week with commentary on football recruiting and Cleveland Heights. High Speed Rail received two shots to the back of the head when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the Governor could turn down the cash and Scott made one last “No and Hell No!” call to the Feds. […]

2011 Week 4

12 in 6. Not by design, Lakeland Local has published 12 articles in each of two of the four weeks of 2011. The other two weeks carried 15 and 9 articles. Math majors will point out those two average to 12. We try to publish Monday to Friday, save for this weekly media roundup on […]

2011 Week 3

Comments centered this week on why a pair of Lakeland Local columnists were not Libertarians. Kemp Brinson kicked off the discussion with a Martin Luther King Day post Why I’m Not a Libertarian. Billy Townsend ended the weak explaining Why Billy is Not a Libertarian. No other Lakeland Local columnists chose this week to announce […]

That Was the Week that Was – New Beginnings

This is the first of weekly columns that will link to important local stories of the previous week. Pardon me, but for this first column I’ll point to only columns in Lakeland Local. It was a pretty big week for us… The week ended with news of Ledger Layoffs and a related commentary, but we […]

Ledger Endtimes, Part One: Time For Skip To Go, Too

This will burn every bridge I have remaining with Ledger management. But it doesn’t matter much. The nature of the newest layoffs clearly suggest that The Ledger’s days as a daily print product are numbered. Within two years, maybe sooner, expect The Ledger to compete with Lakeland Local full-time as an online-only magazine. But trust […]

More Layoffs at the Ledger

I’ve received numerous calls, tweets and questions about today’s layoffs at the Ledger. At this time, the paper has not reported the news. I’ve heard some names and a few details, but without official confirmation anything I post would be hearsay. That said, I respect the work and the people who were given the news […]

The Almost Charmingly Relentless Bad Faith Of The Orlando Sentinel’s Editorial Page

The Sentinel editorial page was at it again recently, stomping feet and calling people who object to corporate giveaways and freight train disruption in their downtown cores “haters” and other such silliness.

We sure are selfish over here. After all, these freight trains and this looming industrial corridor really aren’t that big of a deal. Don’t we understand that CSX provides a valuable frieight service, for which we should all be thankful? And, I mean, these Orlando folks have just wanted commuter rail for so long. It’s been such a high priority. It’s so important for mobility. And did I mention the freight traffic really isn’t that big a deal? Surely, if they could, those Orlando folks would keep it because it’s really a minor issue, right?

Hmmm. From the Sentinel, A1, Oct. 15, 2002, Part 3 of a 4-part series called Breaking the Gridlock.

Headline: Rerouting Trains Could Ease Backups; But Diverting Them From Orlando’s Center Would Come At A Steep Price

“Twinkies and beer, it turns out, do a remarkably good job of blocking traffic. Of course, anything packed in a mile-long freight train stops traffic. Just ask Central Florida drivers. About a dozen times a day, their trips through Winter Park, Orlando and other parts or urban Orange County are halted by engines and freight cars rumbling across the region’s urban midsection.