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COLUMN

Council Watch

Billy Manes paying attention to local government so you don't have to

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Item: The city approves a small business facade program agreement between Palmer Feed Store Inc. and the city of Orlando.

Translation: More stationary folks with more land-bound concerns will remember that the old chicken shack known as Palmer’s in Parramore nearly burned to the ground last March. It was the worst chicken fry ever! The city, possibly realizing that this isn’t The Jetsons and we don’t eat expensive magical pellets as meals, is stepping in to help Palmer’s restore itself to its 1947 rustic glory. Palmer’s estimates the cost of refurbishment to be $26,560, of which the city will loan (interest-free) a maximum of $20,000 through its small-business facade program for a new canopy and storefront. Poverty has its privileges.

Item: The city approves the 2012 NBA All-Star Game Weekend one-hour extension of alcoholic beverages sales from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Translation: And so does alcoholism! Like it does every time an event is deemed “special,” Orlando is once again encouraging reckless liver beating as a means to gin up more economic development for the area in the shadow of the 2012 NBA All-Star Game Weekend, Feb. 24-26. That $80 million financial impact projection isn’t going to meet itself, and a little social lubrication never hurt anyone who wasn’t already in it for the sheer danger of looking like a fool and maybe driving. In a related development, the city is also approving the official signage for the event, which will apparently be inescapable next month. Of particular note, some of the signage includes a “sparkle swoosh,” which is exactly what you see just before you run into a tree. Drink up!

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