The Big 3 Must Go; and Other Thoughts on Rescuing Lakeland from Itself

I haven’t written much about the meltdown at LPD because The Ledger has done an exemplary job dogging the story. The reporters and editors and even business management deserve kudos for keeping at it and committing lawyers and money. Well done. But now that it’s all exploded — and I’m back from the old country […]

Benefit Equality Vote Friday or Monday; Simple Choice for Gow and Edie

It appears the Lakeland City Commission will hold a vote of sorts on whether to allow same sex employees to include their committed partners on the city’s health insurance policy and other basic benefits enjoyed by other employees. The circumstances are a little odd, so let me explain briefly: As The Ledger reported a few […]

Let’s Talk About Jack Myers’ Values

Back in 2010, before Marshall Goodman came under investigation for his expensive taste in Star Wars toys and general incompetence, the ex-USFP poobah hired former Polk County Commissioner Jack Myers to a $50,000-per-year part-time consulting job. No other candidates were considered, no resumes accepted. Just Marshall Goodman’s good word. As The Ledger put it at […]

It’s Not About You, Elected Officials

Seth McKeel responded yesterday to a critical Ledger editorial with this preamble: In response to The Ledger’s editorial “Florida Legislature: Blame Legislators For Cuts,” I take personal offense to the accusations and unfair remarks levied at me by the editorial board. First of all, he should actually take professional offense. I don’t think anyone addressed […]

Hoo-boy, Class Warfare — Harrison Edition

This does not make me happy. As close readers will know, my daughter is about to graduate from the theater department at Harrison School of the Arts. That will allow me, mercifully, to miss this latest and most unfortunate spasm of educational fratricide detailed across the top of The Ledger’s front page. In very brief, […]

Serious People Do Their Jobs — And Get Better Results

I’m not going to belabor this, but it’s important to point it out. While Dennis Ross was tweeting “Pres. just said he will veto CR to fund our troops because Planned Parenthood & DC abortions are not funded. Shows his radical priorities,” the actual President of United States was carefully and secretly weighing the intelligence […]

The Sad, Sad Devolution Of Dennis Ross

I’m so old, I can remember back in 2006 when Dennis Ross publicly urged his fellow Republicans to help the scandal-plagued Polk County Opportunity Council get up on its feet–at a time nobody else was urging that. “We have to change that `elitist Republican’ image and support PCOC,” said Ross, R-Lakeland. “If the party is […]

Winning! Week 10

Week 10 saw the announcement that Dan Stetson was leaving the Polk Museum of Art and a paean to Palatka. Lakeland Local flirted with joining forces with the Seminoles, but instead continued our money-free existence and we took a look at the ramifications of Bush and Rice at SEU. Lakeland Local columnists took on sociopathic […]

Mayor Fields Looks to the Near Future

On April 20, 1992, Gow Fields took his seat as the appointed Lakeland city commissioner representing the Northwest District. Recommended for the position by the departing commissioner, Fields appointment was challenged by a group of area ministers and citizens. The group wanted a Democrat in the Northwest seat. The city commissioners stood firm with their […]

City Commissioners Approve Hookah Bar on Second Vote

At today’s city commission meeting, after much public comment and a spirited discussion, the commissioners voted against the conditional approval of a hookah bar in downtown Lakeland. However, after a long recess and the Utility Committee meeting, Commissoner Edie Yates asked for additional discussion on the issue. The commissioners then voted to approve the hookah […]

Actually, Jack Myers Loves Government

I read with some interest a few weeks ago that Polk County Commissioner Jack Myers plans to run for Paula Dockery’s Florida senate seat. I read with particular interest his brief rationale for running:

“Everyone needs jobs. Everyone needs less government,” Myers, a Republican, said Saturday.

Ah yes, less government. If there’s anything Jack is about, it’s less government. Riiight. For starters, after running hard against the relatively modest gas tax approved by the 2000 County Commission, he voted in 2005 for the largest tax increase in Polk County history.

A Simple Question for Polk’s Republican Officials and Candidates: Did ACORN Steal the 2008 Election for Barack Obama?

This is a truly astonishing poll. 51 percent of Republicans think that pathetic little ACORN engineered a massive conspiracy to turn the 2008 presidential election into an electoral college rout. Only 27 percent are sure Obama actually won. We live in pretty Republican county here, so I want to know what the people’s representatives and would-be representatives think: Do you agree with a majority of your party that ACORN stole the 2008 presidential election? If not, does this level of delusion within your party concern you? Email me at I will be tracking all of you down for an answer, so you can save time and effort by emailing first.

Two Candidates File to Run against Yates for City Commission Seat

Two Lakeland residents have filed to run in the special election for the District D (Southeast) City Commission. They will face off in the December 8th special election against incumbent Edie Yates. Election code called for the special election when candidate Edit Yates was left unopposed when James Goetz withdrew from the race. Their names and more inside…

Evidently some believe working hard is a Socialist value.

Presented inside is the full text of a news release from the Polk County Public Schools. Please take a moment to read it.

Want to know what the President plans to say? The White House released a summary. It reads in part:

The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.

The Dockery-for-Governor Boom and a Delayed Answer to Some Pointed Questions

Bad blogger. Bad. Bad. Bad. The vagaries of work and the end of the school year/beginning of summer nethertime have allowed me to abandon both of my readers out there – and Chuck. I’m sorry.

In my absence, Paula Dockery has become a viable candidate for governor. If you doubt it, check out this poll published in The Sentinel last week. It has her trailing Bill McCollum just 44-28 in the Republican primary.