12/10/11, No. 7
Blue Angles to bomb Berkman Plaza Two: On December 5th, 2011, this Letter to the Editor appeared in your paper:
IGNORE MARS PROBE: Choose Blue Angels
On the same day, there were two articles about spending our taxes. One was spending $2.5 billion on a Mars spacecraft and the other about reducing or cutting out the money for the Blue Angels. Space exploration is a waste. At least the Blue Angels represent our military and do goodwill tours that inspire others to join the military. We need them to continue more than we need to throw money into wasted space. —Tom Horrell, Jacksonville
I would like to extend Horrell’s analysis by suggesting something else the Blue Angels could do, something that would well represent our military and inspire young people to want to join it.
For several years now, the Berkman Plaza Two complex has been a 22-story hulking hollow shell standing on the north bank of the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville.
Berkman Plaza Two
Locals have dubbed it ‘the eyesore on the north shore.’ When completed, this project was supposed to be a luxury riverfront condo complex. However, the combination of hurried construction practices and the use of shoddy building materials, especially the use of poor-quality concrete, led to its multi-story parking structure collapsing before the project was even completed. One worker died, “Willie Edwards III, a construction worker and single father pulling extra hours to pay for Christmas presents” (Steve Patterson / Times-Union, Dec. 5th, 2009). Berkman Plaza 2 Still Tied Up In Lawsuits, Downtown Leaders Want Change
The ‘eyesore on the north shore’ is bad for local politics. It reminds people of the kind of disaster that can occur when government regulation and oversight are cut to the minimum. The European socialists lurking among us (such as the “Occupy Jacksonville” ne’er-do-wells currently camped out in front of city hall) may seize upon the Berkman Plaza Two as a rallying cry, “waving the bloody shirt,” so to speak, to press for more governmental intrusion into our personal freedom and free enterprise system.
So I have a suggestion, one that will neutralize this potential left-wing argument. The next time the Blue Angels are putting on an air show over Jacksonville, have them bomb the Berkman Plaza Two! The Blue Angels always put on a good flyover show, and they could REALLY put on a good one by using the eyesore on the north shore for target practice. With the exception (or maybe not) of the recent NATO bombing within Pakistan that killed 25 of that nation’s soldiers, our bomber pilots are pretty accurate and precise and would in all probability miss the Berkman Plaza One.
And while they are at it, they could take out the Goodby’s Creek Condo project at San Jose Blvd and Baymeadows. Similarly standing idle, vacant, and half built for several years now, Goodby’s Creek is a sprawling, five-story, hulking concrete shell. This disastrous structure similarly haunts the city skyline, reminding people once again of the 2008 financial meltdown that was brought on by minimalist government regulation. How can anyone expect people to forget the past with these structures still standing there to remind them?
Goodby’s Creek Condo project
And as for the Mars space probe and rover that Horrell thinks we don’t need, wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to just have it land in Tallahassee at the state capital building and have it roam around inside taking samples, to see if there is any intelligent life? But then, the Florida state capital building would probably qualify under Horrell’s definition of “wasted space.”
Just thought I would let you know my thought.