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Are ‘live signs’ really a hazard?

The City of Macclenny would be well advised to dump the proposed ordinance bannng “live signs” and instead concentrate on ridding its streets — most notably busy South 6th — of the hodge-podge of ugly signage that is truly a distraction to motorists and the eyes of anyone driving, riding, walking or in the case of late night bar patrons, stumbling along the thoroughfare.

The city commission believes “live signs” that feature warm bodies waving them for pawn shops, restaurants, cellphone companies, etc. pose a danger to motorists because they are often waved directly at oncoming traffic.

Maybe so, but they’re no worse than electronic signs that grace several financial institutions and, more lately, the health department office on Lowder St. Those are  placed in attractive settings and except for one are close to the ground — at eye level — and don’t constitute eyesores.

The commission passed the proposed ordinance on first reading on July 10 and it’s scheduled for a second hearing and final passage on August 14.

Hopefully, business interests affected by the ban will show up, along with others who see this is a further intrusion by government on private small businesses at just the wrong time.

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‘Snazzy’ celebration for teachers of the year

Pretty snazzy.

That’s the best way to describe my trip to the annual Teacher of the Year celebration at the Universal Hard Rock Café this past weekend.

I was there to celebrate with my wife Kelley, Baker County’s District Teacher of the Year. It was quite a soiree.

The venue was amazing. Macy’s puts over $100,000 into the three-day celebration hosted by Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville and Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson.

Macy’s makes no bones about why they throw their corporate support behind the event. The president of Macy’s said that out of 180,000 public school teachers in Florida, the ones being honored at the gala were judged to be the top 68 in the state.

Pretty heady stuff.

Kelley made me wear a tuxedo for the event and I worried that I might be overdressed. I should have listened to her. I fit right in with the event’s tone.

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Cash mobs to support local businesses

So what’s a cash mob? It’s like a flash mob, in that a lot of people met up at a seemingly random location, but instead of dancing and such, they support a local business by spending $10 to $20 there.

It’s a way to support local restaurants, bars and retailers, and meet new people. Readers would vote online as to where/when the cash mob will take place and the business with the most votes would be announced online the day of the mobbing.

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Post-Katrina FEMA rushes into help

It’s still galling to remember how the George Bush-hating media and American Left used the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina seven years ago to club him over the head.

No one had to tell us how destructive it was, slamming with full force into the Crescent City Below Sea Level and taking over 1800 lives along the Gulf Coast and elsewhere as the storm raged inland.

Mr. Bush was following the law waiting for what turned out to be dawdling incompetents to ask for federal assistance as Katrina howled toward the coast. He eventually took control of the evacuation and relief efforts, alas too late to help thousands of people in the storm’s path.

Yet he was castigated, as was the oversight by the federal relief agency FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). The late reaction was turned into a political billy club and effectively obscured from public view the timidity of local politicians and bureaucrats who had primary responsibility for the safety of their citizens.

So, if anything good can be said to come from the Katrina disaster, it’s the role of FEMA. Never again, it seems, will the federal relief agency be caught standing around when disasters hit.

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