Monday, March 31, 2008

SouthCoast Photo of the Month


Here it is the March SouthCoast Photo of the month!


In nearby Tiverton, Rhode Island just off of a walking path in some woodland sits this mid to late 1950's Ford.

How did it get there? How long has it been there? Was it a family car that was 'retired' to pasture? Perhaps this Ford was stolen and then abandoned here years ago after a night of joyriding.

Back when this car was new it must have been a sweet ride. It's kind of sad to see it sitting there rusting, rotting, beat up and beat upon.
_____________________________________________________________________
Are you an avid picture taker? Do you have a shot you're particularly proud of? Perhaps just a shot that you'd like to share? Submit it here for the SouthCoast Photo of the Month! Send submissions to aviewfrombattleshipcove@google.com

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What's in a name?

Recently Mayor Correia pushed through a name change for the new Slade and Small Elementary. The names that have been familiar to generations of Fall Riverites have been discarded for those of "updated role models."

Personally I have been troubled by this decision. Changing names, to me, seems like cheapening the very reason you would dedicate a building to someone. How sincere is the gesture if in the future someone else can simply remove the honor, like shaking an etch-a-sketch. Still, these are new buildings and perhaps now is the right time to dedicate them to "updated role models" but as a community we should have a voice in this. The whim of the mayor should not be the final say.

Apparently I am not the only one who feels this way and earlier this week former candidate for Mayor, Eric Poulin voiced his opinions and concerns in a letter to the editor published by the Herald News. Mr. Poulin was kind enough to submit a copy of his letter to this blog and I offer you the unedited version here.


In a recent edition of The Herald News, I read about Ralph W. Small, a teacher who came to Fall River in 1910 to teach Latin at B.M.C. Durfee High School and who later became a Vice Principal at the school for 29 years. It seems that this educator made enough of a difference in the lives of his students, his school community, and to the people of Fall River that a decision was made to name a school after him. All of that though is about to change with apparently very little discussion or debate on the issue.

I also read about the Slade School, named after the Slade family who operated the Slade’s Ferry across the Taunton River and who rose to prominence in the city’s textile industry. Again, a decision was made to erase this name from one of our schools with little or no debate by the School Committee.

The people of Fall River are being told to forget the names of what some would call “average people,” teachers and ferry operators, and instead what is being dictated is that we need to rename our schools in order to give the students of Fall River “updated role models.”

So, with the goal of providing “updated role models” in mind, two of our schools will soon be renamed the Mary L. Fonseca Elementary School and the Carlton M. Viveiros Elementary School. A review of Fonseca’s resume as documented in The Herald News is impressive. The article states, “She served on the Fall River School Committee for eight years beginning in 1945 and during her time as a legislator, Fonseca is credited with aiding in the establishment of Bristol Community College and the formation of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s predecessor, Southeastern Massachusetts University.” Certainly, with such a resume, one could make a legitimate argument that Ms. Fonseca is worthy of having a school named after her, but must it come at the cost of erasing the names Small and Slade? Fall River’s “Master School Building” report calls for 11 new schools. We have completed some and are obviously completing more but the final phase of the plan calls for 2 brand new elementary schools, one in the Downtown and one in the East End. These would be entirely new schools and perhaps we could consider naming one of them the Mary L. Fonseca Elementary School in her honor and as an alternative to losing the names Small and/or Slade. (I believe that this idea merits some debate at the least.)

As far as the Carlton M. Viveiros Elementary School, Mayor Viveiros is the longest serving Mayor in Fall River’s history. His contributions to education in Fall River during such a long time frame must be well known but unfortunately weren’t documented in The Herald News to the extent that Ms. Fonseca’s achievements were. I confess that I was young at the time so I do not recall a good deal of Mayor Viveiros’ tenure. However, if we are considering changing the names of some of our schools then why not “Dr. Irving Fradkin Elementary School?” Since Ms. Fonseca is unfortunately no longer with us I think that former Mayor Viveiros should be approached about his willingness to give up having a school named after him. It would be a hugely unselfish gesture on his part but could also get Mayor Correia out of some hot water for the way he went about the process of renaming the schools, i.e. to not take any input from the public when school buildings in fact belong to and are funded by the people of Fall River. (This also does not prevent us in the future from potentially naming one of our schools Carlton M. Viveiros Elementary.)

Here is the story from the website of Scholarship America regarding Dr. Fradkin: “In 1958, an Optometrist in Fall River, Mass., had a simple but profound idea—if everyone in his community gave just a dollar to an educational fund, it would be enough to help nearly every student in the community who wanted to attend college. Dr. Irving Fradkin called his plan "Dollars for Scholars," and it has expanded into what, today, is the nation's largest non-profit, private-sector scholarship and educational support organization. Since its founding, Scholarship America has distributed more than $1.5 billion to more than 1.5 million students across the country through various programs including Dollars for Scholars® and Scholarship Management Services®.”

Dr. Fradkin to this day continues to be an advocate for education in our city, state and country. If we are going to rename our schools perhaps one could be named after him, or we could at least name one of the last two schools contemplated in the Master School Building plan after him. While I certainly hope that Dr. Fradkin remains active and involved for a long time to come, as long as we are contemplating the renaming of schools I would suggest that now would be a good time to consider honoring him. If there is or was a bigger advocate for education in our city over the years then they too should step forward and submit their name and enter this debate. (That is if there were any debate but sadly there is not.) I believe that “Dr. Irving Fradkin Elementary” has a nice ring to it and that there is no time like the present to consider making that name change and to honor the good doctor.

Please consider writing or calling the Mayor and members of the School Committee. If we push hard enough for “Dr. Irving Fradkin Elementary” perhaps they will listen. The lack of any debate on this issue, quite frankly, has been very scary and I would have thought that someone with Dr. Fradkin’s resume would make an obvious choice when it comes to naming or renaming a school.

Eric M. Poulin is a lifelong Fall River resident, former mayoral aide and a former candidate for Mayor of Fall River.

I agree with Eric wholeheartedly. Naming or renaming a school, or other building, is something that warrants public input, debate, and discussion. I also agree with Eric that if we're going to rename a school Dr. Fradkin's name deserves to be the first name considered. For 50 years Dr. Fradkin has dedicated himself to helping make the dream of higher education a reality. He wasn't elected to do this, or even asked to do it and that's what makes it all the more remarkable. Eric believes if we push hard enough that we'll be heard. I think it's time we take a page from Ronald Reagan's playbook and tell our mayor that when it comes to these new schools, 'we bought them, we paid for them and we're going to name them'

Monday, March 24, 2008

Credit where credit is due

Anyone listening to the Keri Rodrigues Show this morning heard the story of a Fall River woman, identified as Janet by Keri, who was involved in an accident with a Fall River Police officer. Janet claims that the officer reversed at a high rate of speed and crashed into her but that is not what the officer stated in the official report. The report blamed Janet for the accident.

Janet and her husband Rob tried to resolve the issue on their own but feeling they were making no progress and not knowing where to turn Rob contacted Keri Rodrigues. After Keri got involved Rob and Janet were contacted and a reconstruction of the accident pointed out the flaws in the officer's report. The result was Janet was found at no fault, and her car repairs will be paid for by the city's insurance. Keri played a key role in this injustice getting some attention and getting corrected. This is not only my opinion, it is not just the opinion of Rob and Janet, it's also the opinion expressed by Chief Sousa when he called into Keri's show.

This is the story you heard today on the radio, and if you're a reader of this blog it's a story you read about a week ago in a post that Keri authored. However it is not the story that Will Richmond decided to write about for the Herald News. Richmond's story, which was written and posted online today, makes no mention of this blog, WSAR, or Keri Rodrigues.

I'm proud that Keri posted this story on A View From Battleship Cove, and I'm proud that all of you had the chance to read it here first. I'm perturbed that Will Richmond failed to note that the here is where the story broke first. However, I have no delusions of grandeur. This is Keri's story. Not only did Keri break it, she got involved and was an active participant. Not only did she report the story, she played a key role in how the story developed.

If the Herald News doesn't want to tell you that the story broke here first, fine my ego will recover. If the Herald News doesn't want to tell you that Keri broke this story 'mainstream' on WSAR this morning I have to assume it's competitive pettiness. But for the Herald News not to report that Keri broke this story, for them not to tell you the role she played in helping a Fall River couple, not only are they not reporting the story, they're not giving credit where credit is due.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Media Changes - What do you think?

I think by now everyone is aware of the changes in our local media. Long time morning host Mike Moran is no longer with WSAR and is now penning a column for the Herald News. Keri Rodrigues is leaving her afternoon slot to revitalize WSAR's morning lineup.

What do you think? Mike's first column was in today's Herald News. My thinking is this is a good move for the Herald but is it? Over at WSAR Eddie Garcia and Mike Herren have been getting ample time in the afternoons. Will they be the next afternoon fixture? If WSAR needs to fix its morning ratings why not put a new host there and leave Keri where she is, in a spot we KNOW works great for her? Do you agree?

If you have an opinion on it check out the polls up above.

***Update

What do you think of Mike Moran's Herald News column?

The thinking man's Dion! I'll be a faithful reader - 25%
Um, there's a reason he's not with WSAR and now it's black and white - 40%
Too early to tell - 22%
Maybe he should stick with radio - 11%

What do you think of the lineup changes at WSAR?

This is great, Keri will bring some much needed energy to the mornings and I like Eddie and the Hurricane - 8%
The morning show needs a change but leave Keri on in the afternoons - 14%
I don't want any changes, bring back Mike Moran! - 28%
Keri in the mornings is a great idea but now the afternoons suck - 48%

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Taking a peek at Nude Dancing

How did a city that spent HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS to keep from having a strip club locate in the city find itself facing multiple applications for 'adult entertainment'?

The quick recap is, after battling Paul Viveros for years to keep adult entertainment out of his establishment in the city's industrial park in 2005 the city prevailed. While defeating this one attempt the city tried to create an adult entertainment zone that would meet the letter of the law but make establishing any such business highly unlikely. The courts ruled the city's efforts unconstitutional.

Amazingly after defeating the Oliver's proposal the city seemed to have lost interest in developing a zone that would safeguard the city's best interests.

So more than 2 years later 'adult entertainment' springs up when the Regatta applies for a license. Now our new mayor says it's time to create a zone and people, maybe seeing their last chance start crawling out of the woodwork with proposals.

Let's take a peek at the venues we have to choose from:

The Regatta - Promising to be no " five-and-dime strip joint", the ownership of the Regatta proposed to turn the right half of the building into "upscale adult entertainment club." Thankfully, despite the assurances that "this would not be a crackhouse strip club", the city denied the application. Consider the number of families that visit Battleship Cove and the Marine Museum. Think about the number of people who utilize the boardwalk, and the number of family events that take place at Heritage State Park. Really is there a worst place to put a strip club? Thankfully the Arts Overlay District may put an end to this proposal but if not the Regatta ownership is always willing to settle for an '18 and over' license.

Oliver's - Isn't it a little ironic that the location the city tried so hard for so long to keep from getting adult entertainment may just be the best place to put it? With the Mayor clearly intent on finding a zone for adult entertainment Paul Viveros says “We must finally admit that it is simply the best location.” I have to admit that I'm stumped to think of a better one. Back when Viveros first attempted to establish adult entertainment I was one who thought it was a bad location. Now, I'm forced to admit this is the location that has the least negative impact on the community. The Oliver's proposal may have it's detractors, namely the tenants OF the industrial park, but I would challenge them to come up with a better location.

Davol Street Station - Have you ever wanted to put your fist through your car radio? I did several times last week when I'd hear Michael 'The Hurricane' Herren on WSAR say he thought this was a great location for a strip club. To his credit, Herren revealed that the owner is a friend of his father. I suppose friendship overrides common sense. How can anyone think this is a good location? the only thing that separates the Davol Street Station from our waterfront is the raised section of route 79. Remove that section, which we plan to do, and you have another Regatta. I know 'but the raised hightway IS there now and who knows how long it will take to tear it down'. I get the argument but I'm not buying it. We have to stop screwing up our long term plans for short term gains.

Miller's Pontiac - Think about it, decades ago men would walk in to admire and lust after the waxed bodies on display. Today a local businessman wants to buy the former car dealership so that men will walk in, and admire and lust after the waxed bodies on display. However there is a pretty big difference between a topless Firebird and a topless dancer. While this isn't technically part of the waterfront it is close enough where it should be considered a 'tie-in' location. Al Mac's diner is a local landmark and Bicentennial Park is in walking distance. It's impossible not to realize that in the future when Rt. 79 is replaced by an 8 lane boulevard that this is area is going to be a big 'tie-in' to our waterfront. Allowing a strip club here isn't going to enhance this area, it's going to bring in an element of seediness.

Lefty's view: If I had to pick one of these locations it would have to be Oliver's. It simply is the least objectionable location. However establishing an adult entertainment zone has proven to be an obstacle in the past. I think it's time for our City Councilor's to consider establishing non-adult entertainment areas so if we can't figure out where to have it, we can at least rule out where we won't.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Guest Blog - Keri Rodrigues, "To Protect and Serve?"

Many months ago I asked radio talk show host, Keri Rodrigues, if she was interested in guest blogging here on A View From Battleship Cove. . Today she asked me if she could write a post about a subject that she wanted to share. What follows is Keri's words, Keri's opinion, and Keri's story. - Lefty

"To Protect and Serve?" by Keri Rodrigues

I’m often approached by people in the community for help with situations – when they feel they have no where else to turn. From people who are fighting with their neighbors – to people trying to fight city hall – I get a lot of requests from people for advice and assistance in a multitude of situations.


A lot of these things I don’t discuss on the air, because frankly, they’re boring. Sometimes only the individuals involved would care about what’s happening – or sometimes the situation is too personal to disclose. Either way – I always give it my best shot.


That being said, there are occasions where it’s necessary to share these situations with the general public. This is one of those situations.


A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a guy we’ll call “Rob”. Rob emailed me to tell me about a situation involving his wife and the Fall River Police Department. Apparently one Sunday afternoon, his wife was driving their car out of a parking lot in the city – when a police officer – driving at a high rate of speed – IN REVERSE – struck their car doing $2000 worth of damage.


Here’s the original email:


-----Original Message-----
From: Rob
Sent: Monday, March 03, 2008 11:32 AM
To: Keri Rodrigues
Subject:

Hi Kerri
You have no idea who I am. So let me start with my Name Rob ***** Fall
River native My wife Is Janet I'm 42 my wife Janet is 40 now that this
is out of the way . I need advice on a situation that took place
yesterday morning @ 10:30 It was a car accident involving a Fall River
police officer and my wife. my wife was sitting still in her vehicle and a cruiser backed
into her......at the time of the accident the officer exited his vehicle
looked at what he did said Oh sh.t , went back to his vehicle called his
acting seargent and he went to the site , by the time this seargent was
done , it was my wifes fault she hit him bla bla bla and of course the
police report reflects what the seargent cited her for.


Now I know most husbands would say my wife is honest regardless , Kerri
My wife and I are very honest people and would not lie about something
like this it would be senseless to lie about an accident with a cop .
Its the point of it. We dont friends in high places to fix this mess so
I'm asking for your advice on this one , they wont let me speak to the
chief I tried that this morning. Kerri I'm pretty much at a loss on
this. I have to give credit to my wife she just took the ticket and
continued on to work, See my wife is African American and she knows
better than I when and where to cause a scene and this was one of those
times she just went on her way .

Thanks for listening
Rob *****

I called Rob and got all the details of the story and suggested that Rob call the Chief – Jack Sousa – directly, in an effort to get someone to at least take a look at the police report and get their side of the story. Rob then wrote me back:

-----Original Message-----
From: Rob
Sent: Mon 3/3/2008 8:02 PM
To: Keri Rodrigues
Subject: RE:

Hi Kerri
My wife and I just came back from the police station , We talked to a
supervisor, nice guy but he didn’t help much, I was fed bad information
this morning by someone who claimed to be the assistant to the chief
...... Apparently Police officers cant talk about each other in cases
like this , our next step is internal affairs, Kerri its a false police
report it makes my wife look like she is at complete fault , it actually
has the cruiser traveling up the street which is bogus . If I didn't
know my wife and I looked at this report I would say guilty as sin. Its
funny I was raised to believe the police were honest, upstanding da da
da.....Never in a million years did I ever imagine this, Its disgusting
and totally unnecessary, its a minor accident, though its going to cost us
about $1700.00 to fix give or take a few . My wife hasn’t really gotten
mad as of yet. We really can’t afford to hire a lawyer, so we may end up
having to go about this on our own.

P.S. you sometimes say on your program to contact the chief if you have a
problem , you may want to update that...... they wont let you near him.
phone or in person +

THANKS AGAIN FOR LISTENING
Rob


After hearing back from Rob, I really started to get mad. After all – what does it take to have a conversation with citizens who are concerned about the way they’ve been treated. So I picked up the phone and called the Office of Professional Standards directly (a.k.a. Internal Affairs) – and talked with one of the top guys to explain the situation. They pulled the police report – and very quickly dismissed the idea that the police officer could be at fault. I asked that they fax me the report – and then asked them to call Rob and his wife directly to address the issue. I also told them I would be following this very closely – and explained that I really believed what these people were telling me to be true. They promised to follow up … and moments later, Rob got a call.


A meeting was set up for later in the week:


From: Rob
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 6:20 PM
To: Keri Rodrigues
Subject: RE:


Hi Kerri ,

Just a heads up, my wife and I had a meeting with internal affairs, they reconstructed the accident this afternoon. I'm not totally sure I like what took place as far as that was concerned ,but I will say both Moriarty and the other internal affairs officer looked at the damage and shook there heads with disbelief or so it seemed , I don’t really think we would have gotten as far as we did without your help. I will let you know the results.


Thanks again

Rob


I followed up with Rob a couple of days later – as he was told he’d get an answer in the mail.


He did.


From: Rob
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2008 6:56 PM
To: Keri Rodrigues
Subject: RE:


We won, I cant believe it.....no questions we won , her ticket is going to be nullified. Kerri thank you so much you should be hearing from my wife as well.


Thanks again

Rob

This story has a happy ending … but how many other Fall River citizens have been the victims of police writing up false reports to cover their own asses? How many citizens have been forced to take it on the chin – because they didn’t know how – or didn’t have the juice to get someone to listen to the REAL story? What happens when you don’t have a Keri Rodrigues to butt in and make trouble?


Police officers who abuse their authority – and file false police report should face immediate disciplinary action – and should also face possible charges for abusing their positions. And the Fall River Police Department should be more receptive to complaints from citizens who are concerned about the actions of their officers – without the assistance of nosey talk show hosts.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Too Reasonable for Radio?

For those who have missed, over the last several weeks, the reasoned voice of Mike Moran on WSAR don't despair.

With big changes in store for WSAR's morning lineup Mike's time at the mic came to an end. WSAR stated that they tried to work something out with Moran but scheduling conflicts necessitated a parting of ways.

Slowly but surely those who listened to Mike have expressed their sadness and outrage. There are those of us who looked forward to an hour of discussion and debate with someone who wanted to further the conversation, not win the argument.

There are people who value the insight and perspective that Mike Moran brings to the table. If WSAR is no longer able to give Mike a vehicle to share his opinion, it seems that the Herald News is offering to replace Mike's mic with a keyboard.

In a large ad on page A2 of the Sunday Herald News, the paper announces that a "community icon now in the Herald News." "Mike Moran is now writing for the Herald News." The ad goes on to say that Mike's column will run every Thursday starting on March 20th and that he'll be "bringing an intelligent, reasoned approach to the happenings of Fall River."

Lefty's view: This is a great move by the Herald News. Mike has a built in audience and if it's not a big enough audience for WSAR, it will certainly help sell a few more newspapers. I have no doubt that Mike will be a great asset for the Herald but will Mike Moran columnist hold the same appeal for those of us who liked Mike Moran the talk show host? I'm looking forward to finding out!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Not Mourning for Maureen

If new schools and water mains are supposed to represent all that is good with the Lambert administration, perhaps nothing better symbolizes it's woes like Maureen Glisson.

When Mayor Lambert appointed Glisson as the Board of Elections Commisioner in August of 2002, he said he wanted the office to move in a "slightly different direction". He said he wanted an emphasis on voter registration and census counts. Glisson said she would "hit the ground running". But the Mayor's choice generated criticism from the get go, especially in light of Ruth Medeiros having applied for the position and having more than 20 years experience in the office. In the end, Glisson was confirmed by the council with a 6-3 vote.

The Mayor stressed that voter registration was key part of the job and a big reason why Glisson was hired. In 2001 the number of registered voters was 50,146, in September of 2003 the total was down to 49,766. In 2004 the number 'swelled' to 49,809 but was down to 47,010 in 2005. Apparently that number didn't change much in 2006 but dipped again in 2007 to 46,950. If Maureen generated little controversy in her first 4 years, it would also seem she generated little enrollment.

In 2007 Ed Lambert's name would not appear on the election ballot and much interest was generated in the mayoral election. With 3 City Councilors deciding to run for Mayor, the City Council race heated up. In 2007 the city election would take center stage.

Things started off badly when City Council candidate, Gus Suneson, discovered his name printed out of order on the preliminary election ballot. Glisson's office was shorthanded with Ruth Medeiros out on leave and some people might have started questioning just who kept the office running smoothly. It took three weeks before Glisson admitted the mistake was that of her office.

It was the events of the preliminary election night that caused the most concern. Glisson announced that Nathan Amaral was the 18th finisher in the City Council race the next morning she reversed herself and said it was Michael Canuel who had finished 18th. It would take several days before the Elections office could provide the official results. Suddenly their was serious doubt about the city's ability to conduct it's own elections. The Mayor asked the state to provide oversight and the City Council called Glisson to come before them and explain what happened.

Maureen Glisson found herself as the center of controversy. The Mayor, the City Council, the newspaper and radio station all expressed criticism over her handling of the election. There seemed to be little sympathy for Maureen Glisson.

Really, this should have been the end of the story. It had passed the point where Maureen could redeem herself. She had made mistakes and tried to cover them up. She should have been fired but was instead left out to dry. She was urged to resign by the public but instead chose to weather the storm.

Mayor Correia waited only as long as he had to. Once the city's special election for his vacated Rep. seat was completed Maureen's chain of events came to an end.

There was no question that Maureen would be fired, the only question was when.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Republicans for Hillary

Watching the primary results last night and hearing the coverage this morning, I find it baffling to admit but I'm glad Hillary pulled an upset last night. I'm glad that she's still in the race.

No, this isn't some endorsement of the Rush Limbaugh strategy of voting for Hillary and interfering with the Democratic primaries. To me, that sort of strategy borders on unethical. It's gutter politics and I don't condone it. If Rush wants to influence the Democratic primaries instead of calling for Republicans to switch sides and vote for Hillary, he should write out a nice big check and send it to the Clinton campaign. At least then he would be putting his money where his mouth is.

I'm not ready to switch party allegiance, but I find myself admiring Hillary's perseverance and determination. I don't know! Suddenly Hillary is the underdog and maybe that's what I find appealing. Just as suddenly Obama has gone from a polished orator to a smug one. No longer the underdog his comments about his winning being inevitable just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

There is also the reality that our next president is probably going to be a Democrat. Who would I rather see in the White house (at 3AM!)? Hillary is certainly more conservative than Obama. She has gotten praise for working with members of the senate on both sides of the aisle. She is also praised by Democrats and Republicans alike for her hard work in the Senate. Also no matter how you slice it she does have more experience than Obama.

Obviously Hillary Clinton faces a huge uphill challenge to win the Democratic primary. The reality is her chances of doing so are slim to none. Still, I think Hillary Clinton's campaign is a bit like the movie Rocky. She may lose the fight but will still be considered a champion.

See also...
Republicans for Hillary - Slate.com

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

VOTE!

If you live in the 7th Bristol District today is voting day!

Today we get to elect by special election our State Representative. If you feel it's okay to stay home because the election between Kevin Aguiar and Ray Leary is a forgone conclusion you're wrong!

I think Kevin Aguiar will be today's winner but I predict a low turnout meaning an upset is possible (but not likely) if Ray Leary can get his supporters to the voting booth.

If you support either of these candidates you owe it to them and to yourself to go out and take part of the process and vote.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What's on the radio? Who's on the radio?

One of the great things about blogging is the chance to share my opinions and my thoughts on the topics of the day. Last Friday I had the chance to share, not from the safety of my keyboard but from a live microphone at WSAR!

I'm sure anyone who has listened to talk radio has had that 'armchair quarterback' moment about what they would say to that caller or what opinion they would share. From the comfort of your car or from your house being a talk show host might seem like a pretty good job. In a lot of ways I think it is. However, I have a new found appreciation for what it takes to talk for 3 hours a day. I don't claim to have a new found knowledge!

I don't think we at home appreciate all the prep work that it takes to be able to tackle the variety of topics that fill out the show. I don't think we realize the skill it takes to keep the conversation moving and get people to call in. It is something that I think takes a natural talent and the time and experience to hone the skill.

I'd like to thank Keri Rodrigues for giving me her soapbox for an afternoon and I'd like to thank Eddie Garcia for putting up with a rookie for those 3 hours. It was a lot of fun and I hope to have the chance to do it again.

Lefty