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The Week in Words: May 2-8

Ben Hedblom, 17, shows off his well-worn shoes.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

Ben Hedblom, 17, shows off his well-worn shoes.

Editor's note: The following is a recap of the week's news events, in the words of the newsmakers.

"I would love — love — to see him shave his head and eyebrows. He's probably wimping out.''

Ben Hedblom, a Land O'Lakes High School senior who during his freshman year bet a teacher he could wear the same sneakers until graduation. The loser would have to shave his head and eyebrows. Hedblom's sneakers are dilapidated, but he still wears them. The experience led him to write a senior project that, among other things, captured the generous spirit of those who sought to help him because they thought he was poor.

"There will be some layoffs this year. There is no way to avoid that.''

School superintendent Heather Fiorentino during a bleak workshop where officials contemplated $28 million in spending cuts for fiscal 2010-11.

"No one forced them to buy that land.''

County Commissioner Ted Schrader, who said Angelo's Aggregate Materials was foolish to buy property in east Pasco for a huge commercial landfill before it had all the necessary permits. Angelo's sued the county last week, accusing officials of trying to block the landfill project.

"In Pasco County, you can't go a quarter of a mile without passing a church. ... These are God-fearing people and they knew the Constitution included God.''

Republican state committeeman Bill Bunting after he and other party officials sent a letter to Pasco-Hernando Community College demanding prayer at graduation ceremonies.

"Hair by itself, by nature, is the best. Mother Nature had something in mind for that.''

Princess Obriot, president of an environmental group called Make Mine Bluegreen, which is collecting hair clippings that can be used to sop up oil from the ruptured BP drilling site in the Gulf of Mexico. The group stuffs hair into panty hose to create booms.

"It's very scary. I'm hoping the current will take it away from us. But it looks like it's going to impact us all.''

Donna Koljeski, an instructor at the Energy and Marine Center in Port Richey, regarding the giant oil slick.

"If you're going to be that stupid to release stuff against federal law, you're going to have to pay for it.''

Shawn Baptist, a firefighter who was fired last year for allegedly violating Zephyrhills' drug and alcohol policy. He filed a lawsuit this week, claiming city officials ignored his privacy rights by releasing privileged medical information.

The Week in Words: May 2-8 05/08/10 [Last modified: Saturday, May 8, 2010 10:38am]

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