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The Live Wire Weekend Edition: Chief Chitwood’s Moron Moment

| September 17, 2010

The Live Wire is an experiment. Think of it as a cross between a book of hours and a web version of the doors of perception. You contributions are welcome, in the comments or by email. The previous Live Wire edition is available here.

Today’s Live Wire: Quick Links

Ines Sainz and Locker Room Hormones

Ines Sainz

It’s the seasonal scandal of American locker rooms: woman reporter walks in, jocks harass, media react, splitting between those who defend the woman reporter and those who claim, all calendars suggesting we’re in the 21st century to the contrary, she asked for it.

From Linda Lowen: “Ines Sainz is the latest casualty of that conflict as the debate rages over whether she was sexually harassed by members of the New York Jets (and their coach) on the field and in the locker room. A common argument: “If she was, well, she was asking for it. Look at the way she was dressed.” Another argument: “She’s the self-proclaimed hottest sports reporter in Mexico, so if she’s going to advertise it, someone’s gonna wanna buy.” The fact that she’s an attractive blonde who isn’t afraid to show her curves doesn’t endear her to many women who might otherwise rush to the defense of, let’s say, Erin Andrews. See Lowen’s full post.

Another Ginn Co. Default

GoToby reports: “Palm Coast real estate developer Ginn-LA (Bobby Ginn and financial partner Lubert-Adler) lost a valuable property in Lee County, Florida. The 4,157 acre parcel is located next to Florida Gulf Coast University. It has two approved Development Orders; a 336 unit residential community and a 27-hole golf course. The property was reclaimed at a public auction in Fort Myers by Alico, Inc., the land management company from which Ginn-LA Naples Ltd purchased it five years ago. Alico held $1.7 million in tax certificates and a $52.2 million mortgage on the property.” See the item with more links.

Reading Tea Party Leaves in Florida

From the Miami Herald: “In Florida, the nation’s largest political battleground, the lessons from the primary season that wrapped up Tuesday are even harder to discern. The state featured one of the earliest and most dramatic battles for the proverbial soul of the Republican Party when a grass-roots favored conservative, Marco Rubio, overtook the moderate Gov. Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate race. Crist bowed out of the GOP primary to avoid a rout and is now running as an independent against Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the Nov. 2 general election. But the unprecedented, three way-race in Florida defies the classic tea-party narrative, in which an ideologically pure political outsider triumphs over the weak-kneed establishment.”

When “Scumbag” Comes Home to Roost

It’s the consequence of having a vulgar boor for a police chief. The Volusia County Council doesn’t hire the Daytona Beach police chief. The Daytona Beach City Council does. But Daytona Beach and Volusia County are, like the Daytona police and the county’s sheriff’s department, for good or ill, co-dependent entities, and what one does often reflects on the other. So when the Daytona Beach police chief calls the Volusia County sheriff a “moron,” he might as well be spitting in his backyard. Mike Chitwood, the Daytona Beach police chief, did just that last week during a public police department crime trend meeting. “Chitwood was frustrated,” the News-Journal’s Lyda Longa reports, “because he said the sheriff had refused to work with him on developing a county ordinance that would address tighter restrictions on scrap metal dealers. Johnson said Chitwood never asked him for assistance on the matter at all.”

Not that it would matter either way. Chitwood has always had an issue with contempt of anyone not him. He’s the sort of cop who likes to perpetuates the notion of cops as a modern nobility (a notion as old as the origins of Europe’s aristocracy of the sword, which this country was founded, ironically, in part to demolish, if anyone still reads Paine) and of anyone they catch as “scumbags”–his favorite moniker for suspects, most of whose innocence-until-proven-guilty he has no patience for. That Chitwood is enabled by his city manager–Jim Chisolm, something of a boor in his own right–won’t help the matter: neither appeared inclined to apologize to anyone Thursday.

Coke, Pepsi, Haydn and Mozart

Rapping with Haydn.

Dr. Dick writes one of the jazziest symphony orchestra blogs we know–that of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in Pennsylvania. (Incidentally, Harrisburg’s population is about 50,000, some 25,000 less than Palm Coast’s. Why is it that it can support a symphony orchestra, but Palm Coast can’t even support its auditorium properly? No, it’s not location: Harrisburg is about as distant from Philadelphia as Palm Coast is from Jacksonville. The numbers are here. It’s the culture that isn’t. Anyway, back to Dr. Dick.

Last year he took on the ever-enduring Mozart-Haydn debate: “Haydn has never been regarded as a “great” composer on the same level as his contemporary, Mozart, or his student, Beethoven. He wrote “charming” music that “delighted” his audiences – those funny little inside jokes, the combination of rustic dances in the midst of courtly music, bringing into the prince’s salon a whiff of country air, the dirt on a peasant’s boot – but he is not credited with plumbing emotional depths or rising to great heights to “inspire” us. Basically, most people think Mozart did it better and Haydn prepared the groundwork to make Beethoven possible.

“This is not just an orange complaining that an apple isn’t as good as an orange: Haydn would never have thought it was required of him to DO any of that. Not that he wasn’t capable of being spontaneous or random or more subjective on occasion: it wasn’t his primary motivation. Just as Beethoven could write fugues (or tried to, but being Dionysian about it, didn’t write “proper” fugues, according to the followers of Haydn), Haydn could depict chaos in some of the most astounding harmonic progressions heard in the 18th Century.” (See the full post).

That said, we had an odd reaction early this morning. We clicked on a little Bach, usually the best writing-inducing narcotic we know next to caffeine. And it sounded, amazingly, too much like ill-timed espresso. Maybe it was too early. Or too sacredly close to last night’s follies from Flagler Beach. So we went for Franz Joseph instead, and the results weren’t half bad. So here it is. Your moment of Haydn. This is the first movement from one of his zillion symphonies–the 36th, in E-flat major, with Antal Dorati and his Philharmonia Hungarica.

Haydn’s 36th, First Movement
Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

The Way of the Wall Street World: FedEx Lays Off 1,700, Then Raises Its Earnings Outlook

Outta there.

It’s the Jack Welch syndrome, on and on. Remember Welch, the GE CEO who fired employees every time he needed a stock boost? When you absolutely, positively need one, just apply the same cleaver. FedEx just did, closing 100 facilities and laying off 1,700 people, including 175 in Lakeland.

The same day: “In another sign of confidence in the global economy, FedEx Corp. on Monday raised its earnings outlook for the current quarter and full year. The world’s second-largest package delivery company said an overall boom in air and truck shipments is being driven by its speedy international priority service, where it ships high-value goods. International priority shipments are expected to jump 20 percent this quarter – showing that customers are increasingly willing to pay more to get packages faster. The company, a bellwether for U.S. economic health, expects to earn between $1.05 and $1.25 per share for its first fiscal quarter that will end Aug. 31, up from 58 cents a share a year ago.” Too bad the benefits of the global economy don’t trickle down at home.

John Tanner, the Former State Attorney, is Daytona State College’s Latest Board Chairman

Tanner lost to R.J. Larizza a couple of years ago. He’s now the new chairman of the college’s board of trustees, but he may not want to get too comfortable on a board that’s been the plaything of Forough Hosseini, wife of Mori, the big developer, and Kent Sharples, the college president married primarily to his ego. Then again, Tanner is a consummate politician. He may fit right in. It’s only September. One more chairman on that board and it’ll have a baker’s half dozen within a year.

Historian Douglas Brinkley Lecturing at Florida Southern Sept. 24

If you’re out Lakeland’s way, you may want to drop in at Florida Southern College at 7 p.m. Sept. 24. From Lorrie Delk at Lakeland Local: “The Lawton M. Chiles, Jr., Center for Florida History at Florida Southern College will host Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University, contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine, and widely acclaimed presidential historian, to open the 2010-2011 Florida Lecture Series. Brinkley, who in 2009 published “Wilderness Warrior,” a biography focused on Theodore Roosevelt’s pioneering crusade to create national parks and preserve environmental havens such as the Everglades, will discuss “Saving Wild Florida: From John James Audubon to Barack Obama.” The lecture takes place at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Branscomb Auditorium on the FSC campus. The event is free and open to the public.”

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