By Sylvia Gurinsky
Bravo to the Budget and Finance Committee of the Miami-Dade County Commission for deciding to maintain the "Cone Of Silence" that restricts lobbying during a bidding process. Commission Chairman Bruno Barreiro, whose strong suit apparently isn't government reform, wanted to eliminate it entirely, but wiser heads prevailed.
A word about the retirement of a class act in baseball, pitcher Greg Maddux. In addition to his glittering statistics on the pitcher's mound, he had the distinction of saying no to New York Yankees' owner George Steinbrenner - twice. Here's to Maddux for his stinginess with hitters (except when he was facing the Florida Marlins, of course), and to proving that there were things more important than money.
Finally, a thought about NBC's move to put Jay Leno at 10 p.m. I happen to think it's a smart move. I do understand the complaints of drama producers that it takes away five potential hours for them, but is the network really going to take a chance anyway with a costly drama that doesn't have franchise potential these days? (It used to be that the network in last place would roll the dice; that's how ABC got out of last place, with dramas like "Desperate Housewives," "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy." But NBC isn't going to spend that kind of money in this economy.)
Here's a reality check about dramas: During the 1970s, on average, networks would produce 24 episodes of dramas. It was even more during the 1960s. Today, viewers are lucky to get half a season, whether on cable or network. That's not good for gaining loyal viewers. Also, they can now catch shows on DVD or online - both new and classic shows.
At the very least, Leno's will retain viewers who are turned off by Conan O'Brien. Let's face it, to go from Allen, Paar and Carson to Triumph the Insult Dog is a major letdown.