More questions for Scott? You can ask him yourself today -- March 17-- at noon when Scott Maxwell hosts an online Q-and-A at OrlandoSentinel.com. We can talk politics, current issues, whatever you want. And if Scott doesn't know the answer, he promises to sound very confident while faking it.
You guys have had a lot of questions lately — about everything from unfinished high-rises and legislative votes to the Citrus Bowl and even poker protocol. So I've been combing public records, tracking down officials and crunching numbers to get you the answers.
Valid question, Troy. When the Sentinel first wrote about the new home of SuperChannel 55 TV ministry — the $40 million, 18-story blue tower off Interstate 4 — the story said the project would be "completed next year." That was in 2001. The latest estimate is 2012. "We appreciate everyone's patience," SuperChannel president Claud Bowers said Tuesday. The delay is largely the result of the ministry's debt-free construction plan, meaning it builds only when it has donations from viewers. But Bowers said the site is currently "active." As for the permitting, the city says everything is in compliance. "All building permits are basically open-ended," said Mark Butler, assistant to the Altamonte Springs city manager. "I don't know of a city that has close-ended building permits." Butler says you could do the same with your own home construction … though your neighbors probably wouldn't like it.
Scott, did you think the Notre Dame announcement about moving their game to Miami will be used as another stunt make people panic into doing renovations on the Citrus Bowl? — W.T.
It does seem predictable, doesn't it, W.T.? Every time some monster-truck show takes a hike or the current bowl gets a mud puddle, bowl boosters start demanding taxpayers cough up more money they don't have. So let's wait for it in 3 … 2 …
Scott, can you hear it? "Notre Dame out of neutral-site game at Citrus Bowl in 2011." It's getting louder… FLUSH!!!! The entire Bowl is going down the drain … rather than spruce up an existing stadium that props up our tourist-based economy to the tune of $100 million annually. — Tom
OK, Tom. Let's put down the pompoms and actually talk numbers for a minute. If we use your logic of it being a sound investment to spend $175 million to attract fewer than a half-million people to town each year, then we should be giving Disney (which attracts somewhere around 40 million visitors) around $14 billion in tax money. The bottom line: The theme parks bring more people to Central Florida in a single week than the bowl attracts all year. You'd be better off touting a quality-of-life argument for sprucing up the bowl, rather than these economic-stimulus arguments that don't pass the straight-face test … unless you want to start cutting the construction checks yourself.
Scott, do you like to play a high pocket pair aggressively, or do you slow-play and hope you don't lose to that moron who held and flops two-pair because his/her 3-5 was suited? — Jason
I might just throw a three-bet out there, Jason, and then keep watch for straights and flush draws.
Scott, could you list all the Florida legislators who voted to raise all those fees on our car tags, etc.? I'd really like to see a list, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. — Eddie L.
You bet, Eddie. As you probably know, rather than closing tax loopholes for special interests, legislators decided to balance last year's budget on the backs of everyday Floridians — raising title-fee costs, for instance, from $24 to $70 and increasing drivers-license costs from $27 to $48. So who thought that was a boffo idea? Well, every member of the state Senate, where SB 1778 passed unanimously. In the House, however, a few local reps stood up on your behalf. They were Democrats Scott Randolph, Darren Soto and Geraldine Thompson and Republican Dorothy Hukill. Among those voting to pass costs along to you: Republicans Dean Cannon, Steve Crisafulli, Eric Eisnaugle, Alan Hays, Mike Horner, Kurt Kelly, Bryan Nelson, Pat Patterson, Scott Plakon, Steve Precourt, John Tobia and Ritch Workman. They know you're not happy and have talked about rolling some of those fees back. We'll see.
Which politician do you think is the best campaigner/schmoozer? — Rob
Charlie Crist, hands down. The guy does earnest better than most nuns. He remembers names, listens well and generally just makes you want to like him … even if you don't. In fact, the only person I've ever met who was better at schmoozing than Crist was Emeril Lagasse. I met Emeril at an event several years ago. He was greeting people as his handler whispered info about the guests in his ear. When Emeril got to me, he pulled me aside, looked me square in the eye and started thanking me for everything I had written through the years and said the world was a better place because of it. Now, I knew darn well that this chef from New Orleans had no more read my column than he had "Microwaving for Dummies." But the guy sold his shtick with gusto. If Crist and Lagasse ever teamed up on the campaign trail, they'd be a tan and tasty force to be reckoned with.
Scott Maxwell welcomes your questions and poker tips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-6141.
You have questions, I have answers
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