By Sylvia Gurinsky
I'm going to take an almost two-week hiatus from this blog (barring something momentous), but first, a few sniglets to close out 2008:
*It's much of Miami-Dade County versus the State of Florida in the battle over the proposed constuction of an underwater, trucks-only tunnel to the Port of Miami.
I've always had questions about this project, mainly for environmental reasons (What would construction, and God forbid, potential accidents, do to Biscayne Bay?). The bad economy creates other issues.
If South Dade has a busway (another ill-advised project), how about designating one of the lanes on the port bridge for trucks only? The "road damage" excuse doesn't mean very much when one considers that trucks are coming from other roads on which they might do potential damage - and a tunnel isn't being built for that.
Better to take the tunnel project funds and redistribute them to projects the county needs much more urgently.
*In this bad economy, it's nice to know that members of the Florida Legislature don't seem to have problems getting jobs in higher education, as a Sunday Miami Herald report showed. Not that it's helped the state's colleges and universities, which have been hiking tuitions and cutting programs. All current lawmakers should disqualify themselves from such jobs while they serve. Period.
As for Florida House Speaker-Designate Ray Sansom's other job.....Resign one or the other, Sir.
*Just when it looked like the current Sunrise City Commission was bringing back John Lomelo's ghost, the city of Deerfield Beach seems to be outdoing Sunrise. Mayor Al Capellini has been arrested on a charge of felony corruption. When Commissioner Steve Gonot was arrested on an unrelated charge, he stepped down from his commission seat. Despite that, both men still plan to run for mayor next year. Oy vey.
Add to that Sylvia Poitier, who has taken over as mayor and doesn't exactly have the cleanest record herself. She's been defending Capellini and Gonot.
The one voice of reason seems to be Commissioner Pam Militello, who wants the city to have an ethics code. For the moment, at least, Poitier doesn't see the need.
That's exactly why Deerfield Beach needs one. They also need a close eye by the state to see if further action will be needed in the new year to clean up that city's government.
*Here's the first prediction for 2009, or maybe the last one for 2008: Caroline Kennedy bows out of the possibility of that Senate seat, saying "thanks, but no thanks."
If she thought it would be like being appointed to a special task force, well, it's not. One of the biggest obligations any public official has is communication with the press, and so far, Kennedy's been holding back. That's not a promising sign.
Would Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis have wanted her daughter in this position? Probably not.
With a disclaimer that prognostication is not my strong suit, here's what I predict: No Senate for Caroline Kennedy, but perhaps an ambassadorship or other post in which President-Elect Barack Obama can thank her for her assistance and endorsement, and not have to answer to the press.
That's it for now. Have a great holiday season, and a happy, healthy and peaceful 2009. See you in January.