Archive for the Hillsborough County, FL Category

Tampa Choo-Choo in the news

Posted in Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , , on June 7, 2013 by

“The push for rail is not about relieving congestion or getting people from point A to point B, but is rather about developing high-density communities that qualify for HUD affordable housing grants, EPA grants for supposedly improving air quality, Department of Transportation funds for mass transit, and Department of Energy grants for supposedly reducing dependence on oil”

Read the article


Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Opinion with tags , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Sometimes money is a powerful incentive.

A running joke from my college days was that you didn’t buy beer, you could only rent it. The same may be true for jobs created through typical state and community incentive plans.

CCS Medical announced they were laying off over 100 Tampa Bay area employees and moving their headquarter operations to Texas.

The reason given in a CCS press release was that “Selecting Texas for our corporate relocation was an easy choice. The state of Texas has a superior business climate and a strong workforce.”

In other words, “The Texas Workforce Commission has committed up to $506,000 in training funding; and the City of Farmers Branch is providing $250 per job created, up to $37,500, in direct incentive funding for the corporate relocation.”

Perhaps the prime goal of the new Hillsborough Economic Prosperity Stakeholder Committee should be to increase area employment in such a way that incentivized job-creators don’t later take the money and run.

Unless the true value of doing business in our Bay Area is more than just the value of bribes, pay-offs and extortion, we are only renting jobs.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Advanced Placement Goals

Posted in Schools with tags , on May 6, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Dansk: Eksamenslæsning English: Student prepar...

The Associated Press today reported that there is a strong correlation between increasing numbers of students taking Advanced Placement classes and a decrease in the percentage of those students actually passing the AP exams.

Question: What is the correlation of students passing AP exams between schools which reward administrators for quality rather than quantity?

In business management it is a truism that you get from your employees what you reward.

Reward teachers like Jaime Escalante for getting his low-income Los Angeles students to pass AP calculus exams.

Don’t reward school administrators for merely filling seats in AP classes while offering students little hope of success.

Reward excellence, not attendance.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Small loans fight poverty

Posted in Economic Development, Opinion with tags , , , , , , , on April 28, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

S. 2027: Microfinance and Microenterprise Enhancement Act of 2011


While I agree with the sentiments of Ken Schatz (Small loans fight poverty, letters April, 26, 2012)
I don’t think he fully understands that our money only goes overseas.

While the bill reads in part: “Microfinance institutions and providers have played an increasingly important role in enabling micro-entrepreneurs to graduate from extreme poverty to sustainable living patterns through financial services such as micro-credit, savings, and micro-insurance, as well as skills development, business mentoring, value-chain linkages, and facilitation of producer groups”, not a dime of it goes to help any U.S. citizen/taxpayer.

 In the fiscal year 2010, the United States Agency for International Development provided not less than $262,000,000 in funding for microenterprise development in at least 64 countries, benefitting over 1,600,000 microentrepreneurs and 1,900,000 savers; yet looking at the USID location map ( I can find not a single loan or grant to anyone in this country.  Ironically, Pakistan was one of the largest recipients of U.S. microfinance assistance.

  If Florida sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio should be encouraged to co-sponsor any assistance bill, it should be to create and support microfinance institutions for returning U.S. military troops and their families.

 Fred Jacobsen, Pres.

Stealing from the poor

Posted in Ethics with tags , on April 27, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Only a Poor Old Man

Naked did you not drop from the womb? Shall you not return again naked to the earth?

Where have the things you now possess come from?

If you say they just spontaneously appeared, then you are an atheist, not acknowledging the Creator, nor showing any gratitude towards the one who gave them.

But if you say that they are from God, declare to us the reason why you received them.

Is God unjust, who divided to us the things of this life unequally?

Why are you wealthy while that other man is poor?

Is it, perhaps, in order that you may receive wages for kindheartedness and faithful stewardship, and in order that he may be honored with great prizes for his endurance?

But, as for you, when you hoard all these things in the insatiable bosom of greed, do you suppose you do no wrong in cheating so many people?

Who is a man of greed?
Someone who does not rest content with what is sufficient. Who is a cheater?

Someone who takes away what belongs to others. And are you not a man of greed? are you not a cheater? taking those things which you received for the sake of stewardship, and making them your very own?

Now, someone who takes a man who is clothed and renders him naked would be termed a robber; but when someone fails to clothe the naked, while he is able to do this, is such a man deserving of any other appellation?

The bread which you hold back belongs to the hungry;
the coat, which you guard in your locked storage-chests, belongs to the naked;
the footwear mouldering in your closet belongs to those without shoes.

The silver that you keep hidden in a safe place belongs to the one in need.

Thus, however many are those whom you could have provided for, so many are those whom you wrong.

From St. Basil the Great, Homilia in illud dictum evangelii secundum Lucam: «Destruam horrea mea, et majora ædificabo:» itemque de avaritia (Homily on the saying of the Gospel According to Luke, “I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones,” and on greed), §7 (PG 31, 276B – 277A).
Translation by Peter Gilbert

Hillsborough Economic Prosperity Stakeholder Committee

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL with tags , , , on April 5, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Hillsborough taxpayers paid many tens of thousands of dollars on County economic development studies to determine which specific industries should be targeted in order to create local high-paying jobs.

Those “target industries” included:

  • Biotechnology & Medical Devices
  • Medicine & Medical Management
    • Electronic Health Records
    • Medical Simulation & Training
  • Cross-Business Functions
    • Shared Services
    • Business Analytics
    • Information Technology
    • Headquarters Enabling Functions
  • Financial Services
    • Middle/Back Office Operations
  • Defense & Security
    • Security and Technology
    • Security/Intelligence Consulting

Question: how many of these target industries are represented on the new Hillsborough Economic Prosperity Stakeholder Committee?

Answer: none, they all went to the land development industry.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Differing accounts of Jim Norman’s windfall

Posted in Ethics, Hillsborough County, FL, Politics with tags , , , on March 31, 2012 by

I am a long time subscriber to both the Tampa Bay Times and the Tampa Tribune; appreciating their sometimes differing editorial opinions.

However, when it comes to reporting facts, I expect both to be in total agreement.

Today, the Tribune reported that Florida State Senator Jim Norman’s ethics case centered around a $500,000 “loan” from Ralph Hughes, while the Times reported it as a “gift”.

Please, if in fact this was a loan, answer why this has not been repaid to the Hughes estate, widow and orphans?

Contrariwise, if this was a gift, have the Normans reported it as income to the IRS?

Why are both newspapers pussyfooting around as to how the Normans seemingly continue to profit from this dirty business?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen