Fallout from the 'nuclear' comment is still in the air


Published: Monday, January 29, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 29, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

Comparing SpringHills to a nuclear bomb or nuclear devastation by members of the Gainesville City Commission last week created an explosion of wisecracks by the Alachua County Commission the next day.

Chairwoman Paula DeLaney questioned whether county commissioners should wear hazmat suits when they talk about the development with the city.

Commissioner Mike Byerly worked the phrase "mushroom cloud" into the discussion.

When the commission learned that the Florida National Guard would make a presentation at tonight's joint city/county meeting, County Attorney Dave Wagner quipped, "Are they bringing guns?"

And when Commissioner Lee Pinkoson said discussion of SpringHills with the city could be lively, Growth Management Director Rick Drummond said, "That's why we're going to bring the National Guard to the joint meeting."

The SpringHills development was eventually removed from the meeting's agenda by the county. On learning the proposal would not be discussed, Gainesville City Commissioner Ed Braddy replied in an e-mail by asking, "But can we at least discuss nuclear disarmament?"

Back for more:

Grady Hartzog retired two years ago as one of the longest-serving city officials in Newberry.

Now, Hartzog, who served Newberry for roughly 30 years including as city manager and mayor, has stepped back into the ring for another round. Hartzog, 66, has taken over as city manager in Chiefland.

"I had this challenge before me, and I wanted to take it," Hartzog said.

Goodbye Starbucks:

The Starbucks at W. University Avenue and NW 13th Street will close Feb. 28.

The store is the last business in the last building standing on the three-block site that is to become University Corners, an eight-story building with condos, hotel rooms, shops and restaurants.

After developers failed to reach an agreement with Starbucks, the Florida Department of Transportation condemned the building, which sits partially on state-owned property. Officials with the department see the new development as a way to rectify what they call dangerous conditions at the intersection. Starbucks opted earlier this month not to appeal a ruling in favor of DOT, allowing the store to be closed and the project to move forward.

"I'm pleased that the last hurdle in the development has been cleared and that now we can place all our attentions on the successful completion of the project," said Frank Darabi, a consultant on the project.

Even with the Starbucks issue settled, University Corners must still receive approvals from Gainesville city commissioners before moving ahead.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top