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Steve Otto Columns

Otto: Charlie Change is back

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Published:   |   Updated: November 4, 2013 at 05:31 AM

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a feeling all of us are going to need that extra hour of sleep we picked up over the weekend.

What used to be the start of the holiday season in early November is being steamrollered by the next political season, although I suppose that one never truly goes away.

Maybe it has something to do with the date. Five years ago today Barack Obama beat out John McCain for the job he currently holds. On Nov. 4, 1922 Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tut ankh amen, launching a legendary series of curses.

This morning Charles Joseph “Charlie’’ Crist Jr. is expected to make it official that, yes, he is going to be running as a Democrat to replace Rick Scott as Governor of Florida.

Just like that, it’s likely to be over; not the race of course, just the setting of the field.

There will likely be other contenders on both sides, if only because nobody likes the current Governor and most everyone else can only shake their heads at his challenger.

The really, really bad news in all of this is that Gov. Scott is apparently launching a two-week, ten city barrage of commercials attacking Crist timed to begin with the Crist kickoff.

Scott has said he will have $25 million in his war chest, which ought to give you some idea of the political ads you are going to be fed between now and Christmas.

I refuse to lower myself to suggesting the Governor is only a paler shade of the Grinch who stole Christmas but we’ll see.

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A little good news for a change. Tuesday will be the dedication of MiraclePlace, the latest addition to Metropolitan Ministries’ extraordinary facility on North Florida Avenue.

In fact “addition’’ seems inadequate for this $23 million project that includes 52 new apartments and a host of new buildings on the campus. MiraclePlace will open up rooms for 52 families and upward of 200 children. The guidelines say families can stay at the facility, where there are a number of programs to get them back into independent lives, for up to a year.

Morris Hinztman, who has created and nurtured Metropolitan from the beginning, will lead the dedication along with Mayor Buckhorn and Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

As outstanding as this new facility is, it doesn’t overshadow the fact that there will still be a long waiting list of homeless families looking for shelter at Metropolitan, where in the past five years the need for services has increased 325 percent.

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Finally, and those of you who read “Current Biology’’ magazine already know this, scientists have apparently figured out what dogs are saying when they wag their tails. There’s more to it than this, but they do say that dogs who wag their tails more to the right are happier than the ones who wag to the left.

I’m not sure how you measure that and so I conducted a five minute study following around the house Koko the dog who would turn around and look at me and wag her tail in a circle.

I don’t know exactly what it means but it earned me a few licks and that was worth it.

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