3/12/12, No. 24

@Jaxonpool _______

DearT-UPrivatize the sewers:  Welcome to my world, where all things should be privatized.  Recently the University of North Florida here in Jacksonville has been helping struggling local institutions such as the MOCA Jacksonville and WJCT, the local NPR affiliate.  The Dec. 27, 2011, Folio Weekly reported that the university is in talks with WJCT about establishing a partnership.  This year all state support for public radio and television was zeroed out by Gov. Scott.  Michael Boylan, CEO of WJCT, has suggested broadcasting lectures, concerts, and maybe University of North Florida sporting events as well as utilizing university professors as the basis of roundtable discussions.

Michael Boylan, he’s funny!  Does he think anyone’s going to want to watch or listen to that stuff?

Still, I am all for privatizing WJCT.  Students from the U of North Florida already have started to help, as reflected in the most recent pledge drive: Yo! Dude! Pledge!   What an improvement privatization has made!.

Another struggling institution is the Skyway, and university officials have voiced an interest in partnering with the Jacksonville Transit Authority or JTA.

Of course, I am against the JTA because it is a form of public transportation, and I am for privatizing it.   More importantly, I oppose the Skyway because it is something out of a Potemkin Village.  To the unknowing, its presence on our city’s skyline makes Jacksonville l look like an interesting place.

So it is likely to make the city all the more appealing to outsiders, like certain undesirable types—the kind of people who might be tempted to move to a place based on its excellent transit system.. In the final analysis, public transit systems are just sewers for moving human waste around from one destination to another.  And this one doesn’t even do that.  Real people drive cars.  And that is what Jacksonville is made of, real people.  Which is to say, Americans.

animal helmet

Americans.  The ones who were born here.  Who don’t ride bicycles.  Or wear a helmet.

One time I saw a couple of young German tourists with their backpacks approaching the turnstiles for the JTA Skyway.

And I thought to myself, ‘This is rich!’  His girlfriend probably saw this mass transit line on a city map and assumed it was a useful and well-used part of Jacksonville’s transportation infrastructure.  Like something they would find in Europe.  Wrong! . Perhaps, with the university partnership, the Skyway can be extended, running a line from downtown to the U of North Florida and back.  This would make it easier for students who flunk out of the U of North Florida to resume their educations at the downtown campus of FSCJ.  A direct line would allow the university to ship out the failing students.  As standards rise, transporting them by the carload may become necessary.

To be exciting like Barcelona or Bilbao, Jacksonville needs an architectural achievement.  But only if it is private!

Consider what other cities have done. .

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The Milwaukee Art Museum

The Space Needle in Seattle

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco

Berkman Plaza II in Jacksonville (designed by Frank Gehry)

The U of North Florida also could help the City of Jacksonville (to replenish its billion dollars-plus in under-funded pension liabilities), the JEA (to begin construction of a new nuclear plant), Tortilla Flats (to help them develop a more palatable burrito), and the Jaguars (to sign Andrew Luck).. Perhaps the university can come to the rescue of Food Lion, that venerable grocery chain.

Maybe the University of North Florida can save the Mayport Ferry?

My next campaign will be to privatize all Public Service Announcements.

However, the real purpose, of course, behind my writing this letter to you now is that I feared you might forget about me.

Lemule Blogiver.

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