Ramblings from Reggie: Paid leave ‘just plain silly’

I found the Rockford School Board’s actions of putting Superintendent Dr. Dennis Thompson on a paid leave odd. He is a credible person whose integrity has never been questioned in this community.

So why all the drama? The man would have continued to do his job while debating an offer. When you’re in a position like Dr. Thompson, you are probably getting phone calls constantly from potential suitors and head hunters. The action of putting him on leave was like a kid getting his feelings hurt, just plain silly.

Another bad rumor from a weatherman leads to panic. It was continually said that the Alpine Dam was ready to break during last week’s flood. More drama in the name of “Don’t turn off your TV, you need us.” Anybody who listens to these clowns anymore really needs to get a hobby. They are mostly wrong, and they are interested in one thing only—getting ratings.

OK, I’ve had it with the Barry Bonds bashing. Thank you for breaking the record so you can fade away into retirement. Using Bonds as the poster boy for what’s wrong with baseball is like blaming Larry Morrissey for the flood. Close, but not quite the truth.

The culprits for the steroid mess are the stewards of Major League Baseball and, especially, the commissioners. Like a lot of people in charge, they want to divert attention away from the truth. They ignored drug use in the 1970s and 1980s with amphetamines, and they ignored steroids in the 1980s and 1990s. They needed the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa chase to bring the game back from low ratings, and they ignored the obvious. Making Bonds the poster boy is wrong, wrong, wrong.

We are always having the wrong conversations. The only other thing I will say about the flood is this: governments are supposed to protect the people. Our elected officials need to stop playing politics and start getting down to the real work. Fix our infrastructure, spend our money building roads, fixing the power grid, fixing our bridges, rebuilding the East Coast that’s a disaster waiting to happen, and serving the citizens as they were elected to do. There is an agenda to be worked on; unfortunately, it’s not their agenda.

If you haven’t been to Roma Bakery in a while or have never been, it’s time. They are a Rockford legend, and you owe it to yourself to have them make a cake for a special occasion—or just stop by and get some rolls for the office. If you ever have a special occasion at the legendary Maria’s and request a cake, it was Roma’s. Stop in, you’ll thank me for it.

Check out Swilligan’s The Pub at www.myspace.com/swilliganspub. I have never looked at MySpace until our site was put up (I know, I’m a geezer), but wow, the flurry of activity is mind-blowing.

My brother has been going to the 320 Store forever, and he told me I had to get a watermelon from them. We did, and it was the best I have ever had. That’s what older brothers are for—beating the crap out of you and giving you good advice.

I had a great conversation with Jim Hughes from the County (deputy director of Regional Planning & Economic Development), and he tells me great things are on the horizon. It’s good to know people are working hard to make things happen.

Anybody interested in purchasing the Cubby O’Brien stained glass piece that used to be behind my bar can bid on it now on e-Bay. A true piece of Rockford history. Item No. 260141809429.

I’ve officially quit listening to Bruce Butler on WNTA. In my opinion, he is arrogant and off base with his black-and-white statements. His attack on the mayor for not postponing his honeymoon because of the flood was uncalled for. Maybe his honeymoon(s) weren’t important to him. The job of being mayor is thankless and tireless, and all of them deserve a break for a couple of weeks, especially for a honeymoon.

Butler’s unrelentless blind attacks on people are mean-spirited and unstable, in my opinion. WNTA would be better served getting a real local guy who doesn’t seem so angry. He says it’s his show; he can do what he wants and say what he wants. All true. But I exercise my finger every time he comes on.

Congrats to Daniel of Chocolat by Daniel and other winners of the Heart of Rockford Awards. A lot of people work very hard to make downtown a work, living, shopping and dining haven. Take advantage of it, maybe even on a horse and buggy!

Business is picking up downtown. Our Cubs contest is off to a great start, and people are buzzing about the Waterfront and the NFL season. Go to Church and Mulberry, and enjoy Swilligan’s. There’s too much going on to write in this column at Swilligan’s—you’ll have to stop in. Come downtown, the bridges won’t fall on you!

Reggie Roberson is owner of Swilligan’s “The Pub,” 200 N. Church St.

from the Aug 15-21, 2007, issue

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