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Monday's Quick Hits: About protests, economic incentives, the NCAA tournament and litter

Let's toast ...

Brian Moore, Spring Hill's most persistent peace activist. He's wrong on drones, which we'll talk more about some other time. He's indulged in several vanity campaigns for office, including president. And if the United States tried to fend off space aliens trying to destroy Earth, he'd probably organize a protest against it.

But reading about the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq in Sunday's Times, it reminded me of how many days that Moore and the other members of his organization, the Naturecoast Coalition for Peace & Justice, were willing to spend demonstrating against this tragic waste of money and lives.

So give him credit. He was sure right about that.

One more thought ...

on the subject my Sunday column, the need for a better-trained workforce in Hernando County.

The guy I wrote about, Chasco Machine & Manufacturing owner Jeff Roth, and I spent a lot time talking about the good old days in the Midwest, where he and I grew up, and the gold-plated vocational programs available to high school kids. One of those programs gave Roth all the training he needed to start his successful machining company.

But Roth, as many business owners do, also talked about the need to provide tax incentives to bring more companies to Hernando.

Fine. That's the way of the world today. But there's a trade-off, and it's certainly reasonable to think that the more money spent on incentives, the less that's available for vocational training.

You can find ...

recent information on the effectiveness of state incentives in a column last week by the Times' Robert Trigaux, tampabay.com/writers/robert-trigaux.

Enterprise Florida, the state's job recruiting agency, has attracted companies that created 20,000 jobs to the Tampa Bay area over 16 years.

But it spent more than $80 million doing it.

I look forward to ...

the NCAA basketball tournament as much as anybody, but maybe a little less so after watching the ESPN documentary Advance and Survive, about North Carolina State's amazing run to the title in 1983.

It's not that the show wasn't good. Just the opposite. You should definitely catch one of what will no doubt be countless replays.

It was just a bit of a downer thinking about how much better the college game was back then. Here's a partial list of players in that year's tournament: Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Ralph Sampson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.

Put them in this year's tournament and somehow I doubt Gonzaga is a No. 1 seed.

I recently wrote ...

about litter as a problem that we as a culture had mostly solved. Then on Sunday I foolishly left my cell phone on top of my car, which I didn't realize until I got where I was going. Which meant I spent an hour or so walking on the side of roads in rural Pasco County, looking for my Blackberry.

Never found it. But I did find lots of other stuff you tend to overlook driving along at 50 mph: empty Marlboro packets, empty beer and even vodka bottles, and plastic foam cups scattered like shells on a beach after high tide.

It was even more depressing than losing a smart phone, or at least a Blackberry.

Monday's Quick Hits: About protests, economic incentives, the NCAA tournament and litter 03/18/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 6:13pm]
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