Log in Subscribe

Fly on the Wall, Edition No. 8


Here we go again, as the Fly buzzes around town and sees what's up.

That's not a trash can!

On Thursday, as the Fly was rushing into the county parking garage after another amazingly exciting County Commission work session, he ran into yet another in a string of indignities.

Some soul who decided to be unlike others who just toss their trash into the spot next to their vehicle's had taken a candy wrapper, folded it and stuck it under the spoiler of the Fly's automobile.

The Fly thought it was just another sign that there are people in the world who just can't bear to carry a paper to the proper disposal site. Though it beats finding cigarettes mashed out on the tail lights, I guess.

All tied up

The Manatee County School Board was one member short on Monday night, and while most of its votes go unanimous, there was one that was a 2-2 tie. Robert Gause was not present and the issue involved an employee.

After the vote ended tied, there was silence for a moment, and then one of the members (the Fly was looking down at his laptop at that moment) said to School Board Attorney John Bowen, "Now what?"

Bowen got a save for advising the board to break the issue they were voting on into two separate issues, and vote on both. They did and the measures passed.

Red light, green light, one-two-three

Sometimes the Fly just can't resist making a smart comment, like when the people from the Automated Transportation Management System project did a County Commission workshop on Thursday.

They did a good job, but the Fly has been hearing about these systems since the 1970s, and all they seem to do is cause a string of red lights. Or maybe that's the intent.

So of course the fly dropped his clever line, "So this means I'll stop at every intersection on State Road 70?"

The Fly grew up in New York City, and the "Push button to cross street" signs and buttons were ubiquitous throughout the city, and people obediently walked over and pushed the buttons, and do so to this day.

So one day, The New York Times asked the burning question: "Are those buttons connected to anything?" The answer: Not any more. There was some system that used computers (from the "Mad Men" era) but it had long been dismantled.

The Fly remembers one of the few intersections in the city where a right turn on red was allowed. It was on the Woodhaven Boulevard exit of the Long Island Expressway (near the Queens Center mall), and drivers were supposed to stop, then make the turn. Pedestrians were supposed to push the button, wait for the green "Walk" signal, and cross.

Well, unless you wanted to become a hood ornament, you made sure that a) you had the light to cross, and b) the driver of the vehicle approaching the red light was really, truly going to stop. Most people just tapped the brakes and did a "California stop" and pedestrians who believed they'd obey the signal and come to a complete halt were taking their lives into their own hands.

It's finally here!

Not Christmas, but the first two of six stories on the Bradenton City Council races. The Fly worked long and hard on this, and the best part was explaining why it wasn't on the site yet.

Ward 2 is today, Ward 3 on Sunday and Ward 4 on Monday. Read and enjoy, and don't forget to vote on Nov. 3.

That's all for this week.


No comments on this item

Only paid subscribers can comment
Please log in to comment by clicking here.