Off Key

| July 1, 2016

By Bob Frederickson

Rocket Fueled Spin Control

When a Space X Falcon 9 rocket test landing fell woefully short of expectations recently, company CEO Elon Musk went into full fledged spin control, calling the landing “a rapid unscheduled disassembly.”

In other words, it crashed.

175 mile an Hour Winds Coming to Tampa Bay Area?

No, we’re not talking about a hurricane, but rather a new area attraction called ‘iFLY’ that lets patrons experience the thrills of skydiving without the inconvenience of actually jumping out of an airplane. Massive fans will suspend ‘jumpers’ in place to simulate the sensation of an actual jump.

The experience can be yours starting later this year when iFLY opens in Brandon (or sooner depending on how hurricane season unfolds).

Efficiency in Government

Sarasota City Commissioner Susan Chapman’s legal expenses in her battle over an alleged Sunshine Law violation have reportedly topped $347,000. That’s over $6.50 for every man, woman and child in Sarasota. Now if this were you, would you maybe have considered settling this thing before your bill got to this lofty level?

But such are the un-tethered heights of absurdity that can be reached when spending other people’s money.

Learning from Disney?

Just wondering if in light of Disney’s recent experience, county parks officials may be considering signs warning of ‘Gators in the Area” in and around Benderson Lake, home of the area’s new ‘world class’ rowing facility.

‘World Class’ would also likely describe the level of negative publicity the area would receive if a paddle boarder, rower or angler fishing from shore ever experienced a gator attack like the one at Disney World that took the life of a two-year-old wading in shallow water recently. Of course, the cost to any potential victim and their family would be far greater, but that doesn’t mean the county shouldn’t consider its exposure as well. Certainly, Disney probably wishes it had a do-over right about now considering its current plight.

I seem to recall there once being signs warning of gators in the area back many year ago when the place was still known as North Metro Park. But I haven’t seen them lately, despite still occasionally see gators in the lake, or on the banks, especially on cold winter mornings. Signs are visible at other county parks, notably Rothenbach Park at the eastern end of Bee Ridge Road, where there are at least three or four such postings around a much smaller body of water.

With the World Rowing Championships coming next year, perhaps this is something to consider…

Most Beautiful Beach?

It’s a good thing Dr. Stephen Leatherman (a.k.a. Dr. Beach) didn’t visit Siesta Key Beach in the immediate aftermath of the Memorial Day Weekend. The view might have given him pause over his recent glowing evaluations of the place. Over 22,000 visitors to the park over the three-day holiday weekend left the place totally trashed, looking more like a landfill than the crown jewel of the county’s park system.

Which makes one wonder, why do we even have litter laws? When was the last time you actually saw or heard of one being enforced?

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