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CURRENT STORIES


Big money, big music, big project

by John Miller

MANAGING EDITOR

This and that:

LOTS OF CASH: I agree with President Bush's critics when they say that $87 billion is a lot to ask for when our federal deficit is soaring and the economy is stagnant.

But I also believe the money needs to be spent on the military and on solidifying our interests in Iraq.

But hey, here's an idea: How about trying to trim some of the fat out of some of these budget requests. You can't tell me that they couldn't find $15 billion to $20 billion to cut out of that request.

We've all had to scrimp and cut corners when budgets are tight. Why don't we expect our leaders to do the same?

The Bush administration needs to come back to the table with a more fiscally sound request that won't leave our children's children paying for the war in Iraq.

THAT AIN'T COUNTRY?: The latest word from the Dixie Chicks has them not feeling welcomed in country music.

Apparently member Martie Maguire told the German magazine Spiegel that "we don't feel part of the country scene any longer. It can't be our home any more."

She went on to say that the Chicks haven't received much support from country artists since lead singer Natalie Maines stirred a controversy by criticizing President Bush.

Maguire also told the magazine that the group now considers itself to be a member of "the big rock 'n' roll family."

It's worth noting that the latest Dixie Chicks tour grossed more than $60 million, making it the top-grossing country music tour of the year, according to the Austin Business Journal.

Now if that doesn't make the Dixie Chicks country, I don't know what will.

The group would be better off sticking to performing. I don't want to hear President Bush sing, and I don't want the Dixie Chicks running the country.

THE REAL DEAL?: Much has been said about Charles Pointe, the $750 million planned community in Bridgeport.

Skeptics have questioned why there's been little visible activity since the project was first announced three years ago.

After meeting with developer Jamie Corton and his team of nationally known experts, I'm left with the impression that this is the real deal.

Corton's team has some heavy-hitters from the world of real estate marketing, finance and master planning. These are gentlemen who make big money by making big projects happen. They aren't going to waste their time if they don't see real potential for success.

Here's hoping these experts aren't wrong. Charles Pointe is exactly what our stagnant economy needs.

Managing Editor John G. Miller can be reached at 626-1473 or by e-mail at jmiller@exponent-telegram.com