I’ve been trying to stay connected with local news, but don’t find myself with a lot of time recently. That’s unfortunate, because I’ve come to really love this place, and feel a real need to stay informed with what’s going on not only in Jacksonville, but out here in the beaches communities as well. The Times-Union was running a special not too long ago, so we had them start dropping the newspaper in the driveway again. I still can’t bring myself to listen to my old station. It’s honestly just to painful for me. A lot of memories come flooding out of the speakers each time I turn it on, so I don’t. It may be petty, but it is what it it. I learn more out listening to people anyway, and I’ve got something in the works that will give me an opportunity to do just that. More on that later, but not today.
But having the paper dropped in the driveway again made me aware of some of the political maneuvering going on in Congress, with Virginia’s delegation trying to strip out funding for dredging the St. Johns River in an attempt to deny us a nuclear carrier. Not that Virginia needed the help. The Obama administration and the new DoD had put the brakes on moving a carrier here anyway. They said they wanted to “review” the decision, after the Navy said it was the right thing to do. You’d think the Navy would have the best idea where to keep its ships, but I also know things don’t always work that way. With no one from the Florida delegation on the relevant subcommittee, and only two on the HASC, it’s not hard to see how a powerful Virginia congressman got the funding pulled. Of course, there’s so much more to the dredging issue than just the carrier, but that’s how politics is played at the national level. Fortunately, the Senate has yet to weigh in on the matter, and we’ve got more juice on the relevant committees there.
But staying connected is important. I’ll admit to some sloth after I lost my job. I tried not to let it happen, and I mostly fought it off pretty well. But it was difficult to generate a lot of enthusiasm for a while. I think I’m back. I’ve just got to find the time to read the paper around all the writing I’m doing these days. And as I said … there are some changes blowing in the wind.