tep right on in to Between the Lines. Grab a seat. Buckle up. Enjoy the ride.
We’ve got a lot going on here. Special shout out to our readers in Parkville, including the new ones joining us this week and in recent months. I love me some Parkville, especially the quaint downtown. There’s a lot going on in Parkville. Sometimes you just have to force open the shades in order to see it.
Excited to welcome aboard our new columnist Guy Speckman. That name will likely sound familiar to longtime Between the Lines readers, as I’ve occasionally dropped his name over the years to share some of his comments and observations from his work in the Savannah Reporter.
Speckman’s column will make you think and make you smile at the same time. You’ll notice right away his writing style fits in with what we like to do here in The Landmark. At some point in the past 19 years, he and I developed our own mutual admiration society as he kept his eye on things in Andrew County and we were observing the goings on in Platte County.
Guy and his wife Leslie recently sold the Savannah Reporter and then promptly took off on a trip to Belize or some other exotic destination that only media moguls from Andrew County know about. I shot him a text message asking him not to forget the little people and to please give me a call when he was done living that life. He did, we talked about the meaning and life and whatnot–mostly whatnot–and then the next day it hit me (I’m a slow learner) that I should ask him to bring his Ponder the Thought column to The Landmark.
So I shot Speckman another text and offered him three times what I pay Chris Kamler and Brian Kubicki. He seemed excited. Then in an act of total transparency I informed him I pay Kamler and Kubicki zero dollars. I feared this would ruin the negotiations. But Speckman said zero times three sounds like a lot and therefore it was a very fair offer.
“The pay seems more than it’s worth but it’s your money,” he told me.
So here we are.
You’ll find Guy Speckman’s Ponder the Thought column on the upper left of page 3. You’ll also find him as a guest on an upcoming episode of Landmark Live, when we’ll bring him on for a “get to know the new guy” appearance.
Guy said something about maybe meeting up at a winery and now I’m worried the trip to Belize has changed him. I’m not sure I want to live in a world where Guy Speckman likes wine. The Guy Speckman I know has always preferred Bud Light, but to each his own. You be you. I’m not here to be anybody’s life coach or control anyone’s choice of beverage, no matter how off base or elitist that choice might be.
All I’m saying is if you drink too much wine the hangover is much worse than if you drink too much Bud Light. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
You’ll notice something unique in the column headline of Guy Speckman’s Ponder the Thought each week. That something special is a comma. There will be a comma in his headline every week, appropriately placed or not.
Why? It’s a tribute to Guy’s mom, who passed away in 2014. His mom proofread the front page of the Savannah Reporter each week as well as Guy’s column. I’ll let Guy tell the story from here:
“She was exceptionally offended by our use and misuse of the comma. As a tribute to her, a comma remains in the title of this column each and every week, appropriate or not.”
This week? You’ll notice the comma in his headline is left dangling, like a hanging chad in a Florida election.
By now you’re wondering whether Hearne Christopher’s very interesting and almost-regular column will remain in your Landmark. Your answer is yes. We’ll rotate Hearne’s column around in various spots within the paper, kinda like a Where’s Waldo kind of thing.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this should be a fun election season around these parts. Filing opened Tuesday for county offices. We’re already guaranteed one race in the Republican primary, that being in the first district county commission post where Dagmar Wood has an opponent in Dan Mason. We’re already guaranteed one county race in the November general election, where there is already at least one Republican for second district county commissioner (Joe Vanover) and at least one Democrat (David Park).
We’re also guaranteed a choice on a couple of countywide issues, as the county intends to place tax questions on the ballot in either August or November. The current half cent sales tax for parks/stormwater expires at the end of this year and the county plans to put tax questions on the ballot to replace it. A committee has recommended the two separate tax questions on the ballot to be 1. A quarter cent for parks/stormwater. 2. A quarter cent for law enforcement operations.
More on that at a later date. I’m marinating some thoughts for you.
Filing has opened for state races as well. Vic Allred, incumbent state representative in district 13 in Platte County, has not yet filed for re-election. Democrat Vic Abundis has announced for the seat.
So if Allred jumps in we’ll have Vic vs. Vic. Call it Vic Allred vs. Vic Abundis in a battle to determine the biggest Vic in Platte County.
A Vic measuring contest, if you will.
(Find Ivan Foley trying to find Guy Speckman at a local winery or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)