A few odds to end the week:
— I appreciate readers who ask why my column isn’t in a particular Sunday Chronicle. Let’s talk about that for a minute.
I very much enjoy the Chronicle column and am thrilled they asked me back into the opinion pages. Right away though, I sensed a real challenge: How do I make this column separate from Just Wright Citrus? I didn’t want to write a blog in print.
Something else I noticed right away. After writing for print all my life, a year of on-the-spot internet writing totally changed my approach. Just Wright Citrus is fairly immediate, you know? I write the night before but am often tinkering with it right up through the morning it’s published.
After talking with some friends, I decided to reduce the column to twice a month. That would give me time to roll up something decent in a timely manner without it getting caught up in the blog.
Well, the change in printing at the Chronicle has messed with some deadlines, as is to be expected. My deadline to get the column to Editor Jim Gouvellis, which had been the end of day Thursday, is now noon Wednesday. That’s a five-day gap between the time I hit the “send” button on my laptop and when the newspaper appears in my driveway tube.
It requires another set of thinking. I can’t be turning in anything on Wednesday that is so timely that the subject’s circumstances could change by Sunday.
I wrote up something Tuesday night but decided Wednesday morning it was more blog material because of that timeliness issue.
And that’s enough about that.
— Emptied out the piggy bank Friday and discovered something. We assume the coin hierarchy as: quarter, dime, nickel, penny. But spending two hours separating coins tells me that, really, the nickel is the odd duck of the bunch.
In a pile of coins, no trouble finding the big-bad quarters, quaint and cute dimes, and copper pennies. Nickels don’t stand out. They’re the Jan Brady of the coin family.
A full piggy bank, by the way, means I’m spending cash in the community. Probably most of it on Wawa shakes and Cattle Dog frozen hot chocolate, but that’s beside the point.
Speaking of banks, a shout-out to the Brannen Banks in downtown Inverness. After years of direct deposit paychecks, I’d lost touch with my local bankers. Just Wright Citrus brings me back because I enjoy depositing checks in person.
I was in the bank the other day and there were a few other customers. I asked for coin roll wraps and said I was emptying the piggy bank.
“What I want to know,” the teller said, “is this a real piggy or a bank?”
It was quiet for a moment. Everyone awaiting an answer.
“Well,” I began, “are we off the record?”
Love my small-town bank.
— This is why I review the county commission email:
Someone sent the commissioners a copy of a public records request he gave the sheriff’s office and the answers received. It had a lot of interesting things in it but one stood out:
The sheriff sold a helicopter for $1 million and didn’t tell the commissioners, which means he didn’t tell us.
I don’t know about you, but that burns my britches. Sheriff Mike Prendergast pleads poverty to the county commission to get money for much-needed deputies, and he’s selling expensive taxpayer property with no accountability to the public.
Unfortunately for us, that’s the law. He doesn’t have to explain squat how he spends his agency money. Not a single thing. Promises made to get a budget passed in September can be tossed aside in October.
I better move on before ruining my Friday.
— Care to guess the location of today’s photo? That’s a state historical marker on U.S. 19 for Centralia, a long-gone lumber town in northern Hernando County.
I pass by this way several times a week and was always impressed that someone thought it logical to place a historical marker on the side of the highway from hell. Did they expect people to pull off U.S. 19 to read this thing?
Well, of course, I did. Guess they were right.
Have a great weekend friends. Empty the piggy bank.
Join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.