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COLUMN

Happytown

The week the city got all gay on the county, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd continued to get all hot on the porn and the Siegel's unfinished mansion overshadowed the region's hunger crisis. Sex and money, then!

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 The Siegels are now struggling to find a buyer for the $75 million behemoth (totally a bargain for the 90,000-square-foot home complete with Olympic size pool, three hot tubs, its own waterfall, y’all,and that’s down from the $100 million they were originally asking for it), and they have had to turn their private Gulfstream jet over to the bank for not being able to make payments on it (though the bank still lets them use it sometimes, if they ask first).

 That’s a shame. Such a shame, in fact, that we’ve chosen to report about it instead of the new report (Food Hardship in Households with Children, 2009-2010) just out from the Food Research and Action Center documenting hunger in families with children in the United States. According to FRAC, the Orlando-Kissimmee area – where families like the Siegels are struggling with the kind of economic uncertainty that makes it impossible to know whether they’ll have to fly commercialfor the rest of their lives – is No. 2 on the list of the Top 10 hungriest metro areas in the nation. A full one-third (33.9 percent) of Orlando’s families with children face “food hardship,” aka the inability to buy enough food to feed the household due to lack of money. Tailing right behind Orlando at No. 3 is Lakeland-Winter Haven, where 33 percent of families with kids go hungry because they’re broke.

 But we hardly have enough room in our heads to really give that much thought right now. We’re still contemplating the “wild ride” we hear the rich are having due to this dreadful economy. It’s downright unfair.

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