ToquiNotes: So Who Can You Trust ... and Other Stuff
- CSX completed their railroad replacement project Thursday and traffic returned to normal after Main Street was reopened. There was plenty of fuss from the public and businesses about it and, to a major extent, rightfully so. Notification was given to the city and then the public five days before the project began, which didn’t give many - particularly – businesses much time to prepare contingency plans. The problem was that anyone that knows anything about a project such as this knows that CSX had to know months ago that this project was coming. You don’t simply decide a week prior that you’re going to do something of this magnitude. For those who think I’m bashing CSX without giving the corporation a chance to respond, realize that in 20 years of journalism I’ve attempted to contact CSX corporate officials (not just a local supervisor who shouldn't be asked about these decisions made elsewhere) maybe three or four dozen times. I’m still waiting on a return call. Basically, what I’m saying and the vibe I got from everyone involved or impacted by this most recent project is that CSX doesn’t really answer to anyone. Then again, maybe it’s just me.
- Back to city departments. A major league shout out to the city's police, fire, public works and parks and recreation folks and others I may be remiss in mentioning. Left work Friday to find P&R employee Dennis Napper battling huge win and sheets of rain to wrap a Main Street banner that had blown free around a telephone poll to stop it from blowing in traffic and then ran into Police Officer Jamie Hamrick standing in a pouring rain storm to direct traffic around a tree in the road on Johnson Avenue. Everyone earned more than their pay Friday. Good job folks.
- Ever wonder how much money West Virginia loses in tax revenue on residents driving into another state, say Ohio, and bringing back tons of airborne fireworks that are illegal in the Mountain State. I would imagine it’s substantial. I’m not endorsing the use of airborne fireworks, but if state lawmakers believe it’s curbing the action then they’re kidding themselves. Basically, there are now a set of rules in place that are almost impossible to enforce.
- Anonymous phone calls tell me more about the person making the call than the subject said caller is discussing. Do yourself a favor and use a name, preferably your birth one.
- The nice thing about a Web site is that you can see what people are interested in. Eventually, you can determine decent trends and adapt your reporting accordingly. What I can tell you fairly clearly is that when it comes to development, folks would rather know that a restaurant is coming to town as opposed to a multi-million dollar facility. And, it’s not even close.
- Speaking of restaurants, everyone always talks about a Red Lobster and an Olive Garden’s noticeable absence from the area followed by the obligatory reasoning that they won’t come here due to there not being enough roofs – households for those not following. Since that issue has traveled nowhere for 10 years, can someone tell me why we don’t have a Sonic? Anyone that’s visited this drive-in restaurant knows how much fun it is and would probably agree it’s a great family, and reasonably priced, venue. Anyone else feel like me? For that matter, anyone have any other restaurant suggestions?
- And finally, be sure and head up to the Bridgeport Recreation Complex today at noon to catch the Connect-Bridgeport staff – plus our mercenaries – battle the folks at WDTV in a charity softball game. Yours truly has prior plans and will not be in attendance. And trust me, that isn't much of a loss. As for the charity, the game is benefitting the Derek Hotsinpiller Memorial Scholarship Fund and likely hurting the stomach lining of those watching. In all seriousness, I can honestly tell you memorializing Derek and the Hotsinpiller name is worthwhile no matter how bad the charity event is. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’ve never met a person who portrays the characteristics of decency and courage better than Pam Hotsinpiller. I’ll also gladly tell you that with her son Dustin, the apple didn’t fall anywhere away from the tree.