Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Welcome to Big Spending like There's No Recession

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Welcome to Big Spending like There's No Recession

Article excerpt

Byline: Ronald L. Littlepage, Times-Union columnist

Spinning around the news dial

This belongs in the category of the government spending money like there is no tomorrow, or no recession either.

U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams has decided that the federal courthouse is such a "sick" building that the murder trial of ex-Jacksonville cop Karl Waldon shouldn't be held there.

A study found that there is so much mold and mildew in the courthouse that jurors in trials lasting more than two weeks could face health risks.

The Waldon trial is expected to last four to six weeks, so Adams said a new venue for the trial would have to be found.

Surely, there is a building in Jacksonville that has space that could serve as a temporary courtroom.

Or, as we know, the courtrooms in the county courthouse aren't always in use, especially in the afternoons when the days grow longer and the golf course and fishing holes beckon.

But, no, such practicality won't do. Adams ordered that everyone pack their bags and head to Tampa, which will cost a bundle of money to house lawyers, transport witnesses, etc.

Hey, why save a dime when you can spend a dollar?


Of course, there's an even bigger point to be made about the problems at the federal courthouse.

If it's not good enough for jurors for a few weeks, what about the poor souls who work there day-in and day-out?

I know that the new federal courthouse is getting closer to completion, but it's inexcusable to make workers expose themselves to another year's worth of sneezing and allergic reactions if the conditions at the courthouse are as bad as the study said.

The best medicine for them is to get called to jury duty.


This is the recession I'm talking about, the one that forced the Legislature to make $1 billion in cuts to the state budget. …

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