If only you believed in numbers

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By Ralph Damiani

Phew, we missed another one. I can only assume that if you are reading this the end of the world did not happen Saturday - as was predicted.

See, a group called BetCRIS.com released a statement that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the world's population clock will hit 6,666,666,666 and that meant the end of the world was upon us.

This is related to the "fearful" 666 number sequence, of which this is the biggest yet.

Of course, there was a time when the population was 6,666 or 66,666, or 666.666, or 6,666,666, or ... well, you get the idea.

Now, folks like Nostradamus, and even the Mayans, may have predicted that the world would end in the year 2012, but could have the ominous population tally of May 10 suggested otherwise?

Well, the folks at BetCRIS.com offered up some odds.

Odds the world would end on May - 500 to 1.

Odds the world will not end on May 10 - 1/1,000.

"People have long debated what would bring about the destruction of the world," stated Spokesperson for BetCRIS.com, Esteban Siles. "While it may be unlikely that the world will end on May 10, one never can be sure."

Guess they were wrong. Should have taken that bet!

A good idea

There has been some discussion centered around what the county can do for the schools – for if any governmental entity has serious building needs it is the schools.

Well, it is good to hear that this matter is being taken seriously.

The county council members, along with staff, are meeting with school board members, and their staff, to see how the two agencies can work together and how the county can assist the schools.

This is very welcome. As we all know – including members of the council – our schools are of prime importance to us and the council knows this.

Seeing such a process move forward is good for everyone concerned.

Worth recognizing

May 3 marked World Press Freedom Day. Just and open societies protect and rely on the freedom of the press, like the paper you are reading today.

Here, that freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution. Others are not so lucky.

Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought and expression are vital elements to a free society. We need to understand how lucky we are and how rare these items are in the world.

President Bush said that when brutal regimes, and others who seek to stifle liberty, they do so by closing down private newspapers and radio and television stations. They kidnap, arbitrarily jail, and beat journalists. Some journalists have been taken from their families for years, and others have been killed for speaking out. Many were killed by terrorists, extremists, and insurgents who seek to deny people even basic access to information as well as the right to free speech.

I personally witnessed two journalists killed in Africa for failing to comply with the government line.

We should not take for granted our freedoms and understand that that which is free, or requires little cost, is really not worth much.

Good and bad news

The good news is that the state is going to be building a parking garage near the Capitol building. The bad news is that the state is going to be building a parking garage near the Capitol building.

What that means is that for now, a parking spot could be hard to come by as restrictions go into place ahead of the work.

Now anyone who knows what it is like to park near the Round House will simply shiver when they comprehend that parking will “now” be hard.

Was it easy before?

The south lot of the Concha Ortiz y Pino building will be closed as crews get ready to build the garage on what is now a state-owned parking lot bounded by Paseo de Peralta, Manhattan Avenue, Don Gaspar Avenue and South Capitol Street.

During construction, state employees who park west of the Capitol and people visiting the Capitol on state business must park in lots serving nearby buildings.

Construction on the 400-space garage, $12 million project is expected to be completed before the start of the 2009 legislative session in January.

And parking fees – and how many spaces will be available for the public and state employees – have not been determined.

Of course.