Michigan State seems to be way overmatched by North Carolina in the National Championship Game. 14 minutes and change to go and UNC leads 61-43. MSU might as well be playing at home, as the game is in Detroit … but Carolina just seems to be too much for the Spartans to handle. Still a lot of time to go, but it’s a big, long hill to climb.
Over in Tallahassee … the legislature is past the halfway point, and a body controlled by conservative Republicans, many of whom have taken a “no new taxes” pledge, are facing a deficit of $6.1 billion. So, to provide political cover, they’ll turn to “user fees”. From “Florida Capital News“:
If approved, they would hit everyone who drives a car, files a lawsuit, goes fishing or takes out the garbage. College tuition could zoom 15 percent.
The legislature has also “zeroed out” “Florida Forever” … the state’s signature preservation and conservation program. It’s $300 million budget gone. Still to come is a potential complete re-write of the business tax code. It would be difficult to imagine a Republican legislature increasing taxes on businesses during a recession, but I suppose not impossible. About 1200 state jobs are likely to be cut, 800 currently vacant but that still leaves a lot of state employees in a bind, and the rest likely facing salary cuts. The session ends in 26 days.
The committee studying the City Budget begins crafting it’s recommendations tomorrow. I joined this study late, but I’ve learned an incredible amount about how the city crafts it’s budget. There are so many challenges in our consolidated government, and Jacksonville has been, by almost any measure, fairly fiscally responsible, but still finds it’s self with some serious challenges. I think when the report is released that people will be surprised at how involved the process is, and yet how basic some of the issues are. I know I have been.
I’ll likely spend some time Thursday at City Hall at the committee meeting discussing the city’s landfill dilemma. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days talking to people about the issue, from longtime political observers to current city councilmen and one who voted on the original contract. There will be public comment on Thursday, along with another iteration of the Mayor’s presentation. No matter what, it’s going to be close.
Driving to improv rehearsal tonight, traffic was at a crawl on I-295 from I-95 to Old St. Augustine Road. Why? Someone had managed to flip an SUV in the eastbound lanes. That’ll make for a really bad evening. The only camera I had was the iPhone, and since we were staring to get moving again, it was difficult to get any composition on the shot. I had to make sure I didn’t have a wreck myself while trying to get a shot of this carnage. I hope everybody was OK.
And speaking of improv … yes we rehearse and I’m getting a little disappointed with people making the “you rehearse improv?” joke. We rehearse to build trust among the players, to learn the structure of the games, to develop characters, to learn new games, and to laugh and have fun. All to make sure the audience has the best possible experience. And if you don’t believe it, just give it a shot sometime with no rehearsal. Stand up in front of 50 to 100 people with someone you’ve never been on stage with before. Get a relationship and location suggestion. Build a scene. Make it funny.
Nah, I wouldn’t want to do that either.
And now, with 10 minutes until midnight, and North Carolina running out the clock on their 5th national championship (tying Indiana), it’s time to get this up to the server and call it a night.