This, that, and the other thing:
— The effort to build an assisted living facility for military veterans has quietly ended for now.
Veterans Village of Citrus County notified officials it was giving up plans to build a nursing home adjacent to the Resource Center off C.R. 491 in Lecanto.
“The Board of Directors of Veterans Village has elected to pause the project until interest rates come down, building supplies are more readily available and building costs are less,” an email reads. “We will be returning the grant money given to us by the Hospital Board. Please tell the commissioners that, if they prefer to sell the property rather than holding it for us, they should do so.”
Dr. Paresh Desai in 2015 came up with this request: Lease 8 acres of county-owned property next to the resource center where veterans' services are now provided, at $1 a year, as organizers sought grants and other financing for an assisted-living facility.
For some reason, it never quite took a foothold. And each year it didn’t, commissioners began to question protecting valuable property so close to Black Diamond. Yet, they always extended the $1 memorandum of understanding because commissioners wanted to see the project succeed.
The county was willing to part with 8 acres for a worthy community cause. With Veterans Village now taking a pass on that location, the county suddenly has the potential to make a few bucks for the animal shelter project. Unlike Betz Farm, this piece has no strategic value to taxpayers that I know of.
Let’s hope the Veterans Village idea returns somewhere. Seems like a perfect fit for Citrus County.
— A while back Commissioner Jeff Kinnard suggested the state rename a portion of the Suncoast Parkway in Citrus County for Jim Kimbrough, the retired bank executive from Crystal River whose pro-parkway push was a mainstay for decades.
It’s a great idea! Let’s honor Jim while he can still appreciate it.
So, of course, it’s not allowed.
Rep. Ralph Massullo’s office notified the county that Massullo intended to file a naming bill for Kimbrough, only to find out that state law forbids naming roads, buildings, you get the drift, after a living person.
I see the purpose behind that, but sheesh.
— And this is why I’m staring at a donut hole at 10 p.m. Wednesday where several paragraphs of Just Wright Citrus material once sat waiting for your morning eye:
Not my fault. Let me explain.
This may come as a shock, but someone actually edits the blog every night before it’s published. Someone other than me. He prefers anonymity and I’m fine with that.
Not only do I get great editing, I trust my friend to throw out red flags. Usually, it’s along the lines of, “Do you really want to say that?” or, "Turn off your caps lock."
(You should see some of the stuff that ends up in the delete heap. Actually, you shouldn't, which is the point. Let’s move on.)
This time, my friend raised more than a little red flag. He directly challenged me to make a point I was making without insulting someone, and darned if I stared at that for an hour and couldn’t come up with a way to make the point without insulting someone. Or tiptoeing around it so much to lose interest altogether.
I trust solid editing, so an entire segment of the blog went out the window. Leaving me with…a donut hole at, oh look, now it’s 10:05 p.m.
When you get these ‘B’ side head-scratchers, it’s safe to bet something fell apart at the last minute and I’m scrambling. Might not be professional to admit that, but I’d rather you know than fake my way through it.
— When I heard of Norine Gilstrap’s passing, I thought of the old Democratic guard that ran the politics here when I arrived.
Norine’s husband, Bob, was tax collector and when he died, the governor appointed Norine. I recall a warm, charming, Southern woman who, like all the other Democratic women I met in Citrus County, was sharp as a tack politically.
Norine loved her family and Citrus County. She served as a beacon in this community for decades. Her presence was a blessing.
Enjoy your Thursday, friends.
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Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.