I don’t normally post my Hilton Head Monthly stuff here, but I figured I’d make an exception for this interview with Mayor Tom Peeples, who announced this year he’s not running for reelection after serving four terms, making him by far the longest-serving mayor the town has seen in its short history. I covered the guy for four years at The Island Packet, talked to him countless times by phone, usually at least a few times a week, visited his office, and maybe even saw him tipsy a time or two at various island weekend events (odds are I was equally tipsy at such events), so I even ventured a first-person lede here.
Mayor looks back, forward
(Hilton Head Monthly 4/30/2010) The single angriest moment I ever witnessed from Mayor Tom Peeples during four years covering the town happened in a meeting on the contentious debate over limiting the airport’s future runway length in 2007 The meeting drew one of the largest crowds in town history into a standing-room-only council chambers as the public both for and against expansion gathered.
The debate wore on, the crowd grew restive and some skeptics shot jeers and boos at council members on the dais. With a sharp whack of the gavel, Peeples brought the room to silence, lifted his voice to its full-bodied boom and told the crowd they could either quiet down or get out. About half the room picked up and left.
The single most emotional moment I witnessed out of Peeples also came at the same meeting, a few minutes later. With the public comment portion of the hearing closed, council members were left to state their positions on the measure that would prevent the airport from expanding the runway without first getting town permission. As Peeples explained that the town was taking the controversial measure because it defended the core ideals of the island’s founders, his voice began to crack and waver, and it appeared, to those in the audience at least, that a few tears lined his eyes.
“It guarantees that you, the citizens of Hilton Head Island, can come to a public process just like this if there is a need to discuss lengthening the runway,” Peeples told the crowd. “Obviously the fact that so many people are here must (mean) that’s a good idea.”
That broad swing of emotions — transforming from forceful arbiter to spokesman for personal passion — is indicative of the balance Peeples struck over his 15 years as town mayor. Never too much a dyed-in-the-wool politician, Peeples positioned himself as a pragmatist and consensus builder, but wasn’t afraid to let people know when something went against what he saw as the values of Hilton Head that first drew him to the island and local politics many years ago.
Peeples made a surprise announcement in April that he won’t run for reelection this November after serving four terms. It opens up room for an exciting election season, and one that will usher in a new era of leadership for the town that has known the same mayor for more than half its lifetime.
READ THE REST because it’s got all the municipal government fun you can stand!
your bike isn't this cool, but it still beats a car
(Brokelyn 5/3) In case it’s not clear why your favorite brokesters-in-arms are celebrating Bike Month, let’s break it down for you. 1) It’s getting to be waaay too nice to spend an hour or so every day underground. Bike instead, and that’s $4.50 round-trip right there, plus sunshine; 2) Dodging speeding SUVs, racing over the Brooklyn Bridge and stand-up peddling past ice cream trucks is a hell of a workout, and with exponentially better scenery than stale Fresh Prince reruns on the gym TV. BAM! You just saved a $100 membership fee. You get the point. Brooklyn equals bike-friendly, biking equals health-friendly and wallet-friendly, wallet-friendly… well, let’s just go celebrate Bike Month in Brooklyn. Here’s a starter list and some great-sounding (free) events:
READ THE REST or else we’ll see you in the basement of the Alamo.
falling prices, landing soon?
(From Brokelyn 4/27)
Like professional soccer, Budweiser American Ale and turning off your car alarm, megaultrahyper retailer Walmart has never really caught on in New York City. But don’t think they’re sitting there in Arkansas saying to themselves: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Target Town.” News came out this week that Walmart is planning yet another New York City invasion, and this time they could land on the shores of Jamaica Bay at the new Gateway II shopping center, reports Crain’s New York.
Walmart (whose total square footage of its stores is larger than Manhattan, btw) has attempted a few other incursions into the city before. But every time they try to crack the city, community and labor groups rise up in protest and block the way. Community leaders in Jamaica Bay are already vowing a fight too, but maybe they should save their energy. Because even if Walmart does come to Brooklyn, that doesn’t mean Brooklyn will come to Walmart.
READ THE REST because it comes with an industrial tube of mayonaise and a High School Musical-themed laxative
From one of my favorite-named blogs of all time, Broke-Ass Stuart’s goddamn website – The Broke Ass of the Week.
(The Guide 4/1) Did Lewis Black, the frazzled and perpetually angry “Daily Show” commentator and comedian with a liberal bent but an intolerance for foolishness of all varieties, realize he had booked a show next door to the home territory of Joe Wilson, whose outburst at the president last year made him a frequent target of late-night mockery?
“Perfect,” Black said when this was brought to his attention during a phone interview. “That explains the ticket sales.”
Black is making his first-ever appearance in Savannah on Thursday, though his broad appeal and track record as the frustrated, indignant Greek chorus to the nonstop drama that is the nation’s political and cultural ridiculousness gives little doubt he will have trouble filling the Johnny Mercer Theatre.
When: 8 p.m. April 3
Where: Johnny Mercer Theatre, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave., Savannah.
Information: 912-651-6556, 800-351-7469, www.savannahcivic.com
In fact, Black has gone from an exasperated mouthpiece for informed discontent with his “Back in Black” segment on “The Daily Show” and occasional Comedy Central specials to something resembling a mainstream comedian. He’s now got two HBO specials under his belt, as well as a series of movies and voice-over roles, a “Law and Order” role, a History Channel special, various commercials, several books and a stint on the 2007 USO tour with Robin Williams and Kid Rock. Continue reading
Happy snow day!
The cold brutal winds of February, the soaked sneakers trudging through brown slush, the dark edges of night pressing in from both sides like an angry vice can mean only one thing: L@VE!
Why the holiday ostensibly meant to celebrate and honor amore is situated in the middle of the most depressing, soul-crushing part of the year, I can’t comprehend, except that it probably has something to do with the shady cabal of Hallmark and Hershey conspiring in deviousness to study the holiday-deficient stretch of the winter calendar and deciding it was prime to STRIKE, suckers. But here it comes, and there’s a bunch of stuff going on around town, which I wrote about here, including my favs:
An animal dating and mating program at Prospect Zoo, including a live-animal demo (!!); and a short-movie festival at 3rd Ward with three-minute films all featuring three things: a reference to at least one of the three wise monkeys, a celebrity death and something uncontrollable. Then there’s the un-lovey-dovey stuff, like the Rejection Show at the Bell House and the free Wake for Love and Relationship Obituary open mic at the Knitting Factory; plus the pajama-clad BK Meatup at the Bell House.
Not to say there aren’t people out there who do acts of Good on this emotionally manipulative hollerday, but it rarely resembles the inside content on your typical greeting card (remember on the Real World London where the punk guy’s GF sent him a pig’s heart stuck through with steel nails? Now that’s luv).
I particularly liked this post today from Robert Radish at the Y! Music Blog about Inappropriate Punk Rock Candy Hearts. Quote he:
Picture this scenario: you had a job interview in some foreign section of town and, if it went anything like our interviews, it was an unquestionable disaster, due to vague reasons of “not addressing the room” and less vague ones like “completely and totally flubbing questions about the economy for an economic reporter job.” Your morning hopes of being able to splurge on a $6 Hennepin in celebration have been replaced again by the afternoon reality of drink-special consolation. What you need is some sort of function or operation to help you find a cheap drink, and fast!
Thanks to the ever-expanding effort to leave no aspect of modern life un-apped, you are in luck. The Cocktail Compass from L Magazine and Night and Day Studios gives you access to a database of happy hour information for 866 bars (167 in Brooklyn, 662 in Manhattan).
Read the rest, because there’s only like three more paragraphs anyway
(Ed. Note: the above hypothetical situation is based on true experiences, which were earlier documented on this blog. If you can find them, you win a share of my career shame.)