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Blog Directory for Melbourne, Florida

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Open Your Eyes


Hey Brevard County.

It's the weekend...and that means, it's all about you.

Sometimes, we just want to close our eyes about what's happening in our community. It's way easier to pretend the gator swimming around the bottom of the pool isn't really there.

How many gators did you spot this week?

Settle behind the keyboard and open up your eyes.

Talk to Me.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Lawn Police


Pay an overdue library fine with your soul?

In Stephen King's The Library Policeman, "due in three weeks" meant "due in three weeks" and not one day over...or spend all eternity paying a lot more than the ten cent per day late fee.

Imagine the story the King could spin regarding the Lawn Police?

Palm Bay--a city quick to subject business owners with the mighty sweep of a newly penned ordinance--discovers their fair city virtually erased from the map.

Residents return from work to find their home--gone. In fact, the neighborhood is a checkerboard of missing homes.

Where is my house? It was here this morning.

Odd. Only the homes with the neatly manicured yards remain. Even odder. An advertising wicket is stuck strategically in the same corner of every yard--exactly 1.5 feet from the street.

It's a flyer for a lawn service.

"Get Us Before They Get You".


Puzzled, you slap a mosquito away from your ankle and pull out the Cingular. Maybe these guys know something. You slap at your ankle again.

Ouch! Is that a mosquito? Or am I standing in red ants?

Instinctively, you jump back as the pinch travels upward, only to discover--in shock and horror--it's your neighbor, Bob--now chigger-sized and he's screaming--squeaking really-- "Don't call! Don't call! Lawn Police! Lawn Police!"

As you backhand Bob across the street--who needs neighbors anyway, I just want my house back--his parting squeak of a shout rings in your ears as your cell rings up the lawn service.

"There's only one way out of the lifetime maintenance contract!"

Happy Friday.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

SCHIP! SCHIP! HOORAY!



Read it and weep.

The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act--that's SCHIP to you-- passed the House with 265 members wagging their nose at the Prez, who promises to veto the bill.

Sadly shaking their heads--159 nay sayer Republicans conceded they will fall short of the 290 votes needed to override the Bush bully veto. (In expectation of such a decision, Congress will most likely pass a short-term extension of the existing SCHIP program before expiration Sept. 30 and then begin the full court press to override the Presidential slap down).

Amusingly enough, the oft quoted scare tactic, 'er statistic--that if passed SCHIP will cover children in some households with incomes of up to $83,000 a year--is a flat lie. In fact, senior Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) have repeatedly informed the President that he is "dead wrong" about that figure and that their boss is holding kids health insurance "hostage".

The Truth: This ceiling that would apply to families of four only in New York state, and then only if the Health and Human Services Department approves a waiver from the program's rules.

The Bush priorities simply do not include America's children.

Congressman Ray LaHood (R-Illinois) sums it up best. "I'm a little baffled as to why the Bush people picked this issue to fight it out on. It's very sensitive. It's about kids. Who's against kids' health care?"

Exactly.

***

Get your SCHIP Facts here!

The claim: The proposal would encourage families to substitute public insurance for private insurance.

The facts: The Congressional Budget Office projects that about 3.8 million people would become insured as a result of the bill, and about 2 million more will move from private coverage to public coverage. CBO Director Peter Orszag said the substitution rate of one-third was "pretty much as good as you're going to get" absent a mandate on employers to provide coverage or the insuree to buy it.

***

The claim: The proposal would allow coverage of families earning $83,000.

The facts: The bill essentially sets an income ceiling of three times the poverty rate for a family of four _ $61,800. Beyond that, the federal government would not pay a state its full SCHIP match, which averages about 70 percent. New York state is seeking a waiver that would allow its residents to qualify if their income is not above four times the poverty rate _ $82,600 for a family of four. New Jersey would still be allowed to cover families with incomes three and one-half times the poverty rate _ $72,100 for a family of four.

***

The claim: The bill would make it easier for children of illegal immigrants to participate in Medicaid.

The facts: Currently, states are required to seek proof of U.S. citizenship before they provide Medicaid coverage, except in emergencies. (That shoots Tom Feeney's argument right out of the water. Appears to me that "illegals" could currently be benefiting from SCHIP right this very second--veto or no veto--via emergency rooms all over this country). The states now require applicants to show documents like birth certificates or passports in order to prove U.S. citizenship and nationality. The bill would allow applicants to submit a Social Security number instead.

***

The claim: The proposed 61 cent tax on a pack of cigarettes is a tax on the poor.

The facts: Currently, two-thirds of federal tobacco taxes come from those earning less than $40,000 a year. Less than 1 percent is paid by those earning more than $100,000 a year, according to a study by Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation. (That's a shocker).

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Black Out


War is a front and center constant in American history.

Every generation can lay claim to a war. Today's teens will witness Iraq as vividly as my contemporaries did Vietnam.

This week, the attention is focused back to the war of my grandparents, to those Americans newsman Tom Brokaw tributes as The Greatest Generation.

We're back in the trenches of World War II through the lens of the Ken Burns PBS series, The War.

The witness accountings--the war time experiences of those who remained at home--while particularly captivating, have also jogged my memory. As a child, my relatives would often tell the story of air raid drills--how at the sound of the alarm, the blackout shades would be pulled down stat and all would wait in silent darkness for the all clear.

My mother-enmeshed in great book while engaged in such practice--hid in her room with a flashlight, intent on continuing her read. A knock at the door by members of the Civil Air Patrol snapped that chapter closed. The small beam of light had spotlighted the home in the blacked out community like a sunbeam. My mother was sternly reminded that America was in this war together.

Every generation has a story to pass forward of their experiences embroiled in a war, branching us back in an American family tree of battle.

I would imagine as a nation--our collectives hopes would be that no generation in the future would need lay witness or claim to a legacy of war.

Our ancestral ties tells us otherwise.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Roadkill



Super-size me.

Make that a super-sized, tiered homestead exemption and hold the Save Our Homes to go...away. For good.

Not so fast, ruled Judge Charles Francis.

There's a lot of hidden calories in this red herring of a property tax question.

Let's take a look at the Florida Legislature's blue plate special.

Proposing amendments to the State Constitution to increase the homestead exemption from $25,000 to 75 percent of the just value of the property up to $200,000 and 15 percent of the just value of the property above $200,000 up to $500,000, to subject the $500,000 threshold to annual adjustments based on the percentage change in per capita personal income, to authorize an increase in the $500,000 threshold amount by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, and to specify minimum homestead exemption amounts of $50,000 for everyone except low-income seniors and $100,000 for low-income seniors; to provide for transitional assessments of homestead property under the increased homestead exemption that include preserving application of Save-Our-Homes provisions until an irrevocable election is made; to revise Save-Our-Homes provisions to conform to provisions providing for the increased homestead exemption and transitional assessments of homestead property; to require the Legislature to limit the authority of counties, municipalities, and special districts to increase ad valorem taxes; to authorize an exemption from ad valorem taxes of no less than $25,000 of assessed value of tangible personal property; to provide for assessing rent-restricted affordable housing property and waterfront property used for commercial fishing, commercial water-dependent activities, and public access at less than just value; and to schedule the amendments to take effect upon approval by the voters and operate retroactively to January 1, 2008, if approved in a special election held on January 29, 2008, or shall take effect January 1, 2009, if approved in the general election held in November of 2008.


According to Judge Francis, this dish is peppered with flat incorrect language meant to mislead and confuse simple salt of the earth types. Florida folks can't see the meat of the amendment through all the gravy.

Here's the skinny:
The proposal would offer a super-sized, tiered homestead exemption of as much as $195,000 if resident homeowners choose to give up their existing Save Our Homes protections. ...the ballot summary the Legislature approved isn't clear enough that voters would be giving up Save Our Homes to new homesteaders or those who sell after the amendment is approved.

Drop, drop. Fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief the judge's ruling is.

Done and Ordered.

Take this roadkill of an amendment off the January 29th ballot.

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Crowd Control



As teenagers, we used to hang out at Tenneco, a gas station located next door to the Pizza Oven.

Every kid in Eau Gallie put in an appearance in those parking lots on Friday or Saturday night....sometimes both.

Local police patrolled the Tenneco beat quite routinely, moving the ever-growing crowd along their way. Some relocated beach side to the Pines, a slice of beach well-known to Brevard County teens while some opted for the Indialantic boardwalk, back in the day where it was okay to hang out there at night.

Wherever the new destination, the numbers would once again swell to include teens from all sorts of places. The police would return and once again, move the kids along their way. A heightened police presence--more than one officer responding--sometimes meant an owner of a nearby business or a concerned adult--had requested a response to disperse the crowd.

The kids moaned and groaned and complained because that's what kids do best. As an adult, I now know our impulse-driven teens need boundaries. The simple act of breaking up those long ago crowds more than likely kept many teens out of trouble.

With this in mind--in this day and age--I simply cannot fathom a crowd of 300 teens standing in the parking lot of any local business without someone voicing concern to law enforcement via one of the many forms of technology available.

Three hundred kids gathered together is an accident just waiting to happen.

And it did over at the Cocoa Waffle House.

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Edge



Hey Brevard County.

It's your turn.

What pushed you close--if not over--the edge this week?

Let's hear from you.

Talk to Me.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Civilly Right


With all the news coverage focused yesterday on the Jena 6 protest, the pardon of Richard Paey and the restoration of his civil rights received far less fanfare.

Paey--a chronic pain sufferer due to a serious traffic accident and back surgery gone bad--was basically convicted for trafficking his own pain medication. Also a person living with multiple sclerosis, Paey's refusal to plea to drug trafficking charges and his ultimate conviction (three trials later) kicked in the mandatory minimums sentencing guidelines--25 years.

The real kicker? Since his incarceration, prison doctors had hooked him up to a morphine drip, which delivers more pain medication daily than he was convicted of trafficking.

Paey hoped for commutation of his sentence. The Florida Parole Commission had recommended against that request. Governor Crist's unexpected motion for a full pardon and the unanimous agreement by the members of the Florida Cabinet sent a huge message, underscored with a parting shot by the governor.

"If they're prosecuted appropriately, then justice will be done," he said. "Obviously, this case cries out for a review of that process."

Attorney General Bill McCollum--a straight up law and order kind of guy who supported mandatory minimums sentences as a member of Congress--made a surprising comment, stating, "Our laws are very much to blame."

Paey's wife had this to say about that.

"I've changed. I no longer trust the police. I don't trust the justice system," she said. "Only the media got our case right."

Quite the telling observation, considering her husband, Richard Paey is a former attorney.

The response by Illinois Senator Barack Obama to Jena 6 reaches far past the small Louisiana town and straight to the heart of civil rights. "...outrage over an injustice isn't a matter of black and white. It's a matter of right and wrong" ...

There's a whole lot of wrong to be righted in this state, but yesterday the Governor and the Florida Cabinet took a good first step, making a civilly right decision that dropped the mask of politics and revealed the human face of moral values.

Kudos.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vision Statement



I lost a contact lens the first day I wore them to school.

Somehow I knocked it out at the water fountain.

I lost my vision.

Contact lenses were a rarity back then, so the hallway was soon a spectacle of kids crawling about in search of a spectacle. We worked together in an effort to restore blind-as-a-bat Sheree's sight-and yeah, probably to take advantage of the rare opportunity to miss a bit of class as well.

Although not from lack of trying, we never found the contact and I was forced to maneuver about Johnson Junior High--with one hand shuttering my blurry eye-until the Calvary arrived in the form of my mother bearing the spare lens.

I wish Brevard's vision could be as easily restored as mine was that afternoon.

The county has changed, no doubt about it. Whether or not this change is for the better depends on just whose eyes you're looking through.

It's a matter of vision.

The sheriff wants to keep us safe from all things he considers evil.

The commission wants to keep our money.

The state obviously has something against the American dream, judging by its short-sighted response to the property tax fiasco and insurance crisis.

As far as the residents, we've become a bit tunnel-visioned ourselves. Our most vulnerable--those down on their luck, the homeless, those caught up in one of the many Florida laws--are these people part of the vision of Brevard? Or are they disposable, like the contact lenses of today? Do we offer these citizens a hand up or do their backs offer a convenient step-up the political ladder for those whom we elect?

Have we've allowed our vision of this community to be focused from the top, more about what elected officials envision for the citizens but not necessarily what the citizens envision for themselves?

Has this place lost all dimension?

What's your 20/20 for Brevard?

Talk to Me.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Stormy Weather


Sure.

Blame the weather to explain why only 20 people bothered to show up to hear the County Commissioners approve the tentative $1.24 billion budget. Could a better explanation be that no matter what citizens say or do, these five will do exactly what they want regardless of what you and I have to say?

After the tax crisis shenanigans this Commission pulled over the last few months, the one place I hope people show up in huge numbers is the voting booth.

Parents, your kids will be out of school due to the decision to close schools on election day. Take them with you to vote. In fact, make it a new family tradition. If the secret ballot doesn't fascinate the kids, the "I Voted" stickers will certainly impress these future voters.

Plus, the seniors manning the polling places love kids.

It's a win-win situation...well, maybe not for those in elected places who may need a reminder of just who employs them.

Demonstrate Democracy.

Register to vote here.


Dates Registration Closes for 2008 Election

Presidential Preference Primary
December 31, 2007
Primary Election ... July 28, 2008
General Election
...
October 6, 2008




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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Political Jello



This isn't the first time this year that U.S. Reps Dave Weldon and Tom Feeney have attempted to calm the wild beasts of their constituency through use of the editorial page.

Dr. Dave played defense against an August 2007 spot-on FT editorial cartoon by Jeff Parker, Why Don't Republicans Support Children? This past July, the good doctor wrote a script--Rebuilding after a storm-- spinning homeowners storm relief via introduction of a bill permitting individuals to withdraw money from their retirement accounts, penalty-free, to pay for repairs not covered by their homeowners insurance.

Old Tom's known to pen guest columns for the local press. The FT editorial "A foul odor" questioned a $5,000 donation the U.S. Rep. accepted for his legal defense fund. In May, Feeney clarified facts about his Scotland golf trip to the Orlando Sentinel.

Enough, Congressmen.

While you write op-ed columns, our country wriggles in political jello.

It's real simple.

Many children and young adults are uninsured in this country.

Cut out the philosophical calligraphy...and get our kids health care.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Just Wild


I read once somewhere that the early pioneers of Florida could forecast the approach of a hurricane through the observations of wild animals.

The sightings of different species of animals traveling together was a sure sign that a storm was brewing somewhere in the direction that the critters were heading away from.

Perhaps Florida author and historian Patrick Smith can verify this bit of folklore.

One fact I can vouch for--Your Views--as published Sunday by Florida Today--featured the river otters and the field mice nipping at the heels of two Florida panthers on the run from Hurricane SCHIP.

Will U.S. Reps Tom Feeney and Dave Weldon safely reach shelter through the kids insurance storm or will their constituency eat them alive on the way over?

Let the wild rumpus begin.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Press and Ralph Gonzalez


Brevard. We made it through another week.

Whew.

A few weeks back, I linked to a breaking story over in O-Town regarding three men in their 30s found dead in a residence owned by the former Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party, Ralph Gonzalez.

Gonzalez--president of the Strategum Group, an Orlando political consulting firm--was identified as one of the deceased. David Abrami, former political consultant, was also killed.

Jason Robert Drake--also among the dead--was identified by law enforcement as the shooter.

And that was it. The Florida press coverage for this local story with national news legs just--stopped.

Which is weird because so much more has been uncovered...and a few famous political faces keep popping up in places where they don't belong.

One might question--just why isn't the Florida media all over this homegrown story?

Read the latest on this "woefully under reported story"--Untangling the Latest...here.

What do you think? What is the responsibility of the press in the continued coverage of this story?

Talk to Me.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Dog Gone


Clyde was our basset hound that barked way too much.

Our dachshund named Toast delivered the newspaper to our front door every morning; unfortunately, the paper belonged to the neighbor.

And a Siberian Husky--not ours--took a bite out of my brother.

In each case, the neighborhood worked out these doggone situations...eventually.

Yeah, tempers sometimes flared. Words were often exchanged and on more than one occasion, a fist or two was raised out of frustration, punctuated by the well-gestured single finger salutation as neighbors stomped off to their homes, refusing to speak to one another for months.

Eventually, a shot would launch from the Cape, bring everyone running out to watch at the corner and collectively listen to the countdown on the transistor radio. 5-4-3-2-1 .... and the world we knew--sometimes more like Peyton Place than Cheryl Court---would blast off all over again.

But in the meantime--

People slept through the night, read their newspapers in the morning, and the kids played safely outside.

Through all the fireworks, the summit had reached an accord.

All the dogs were relocated to new homes where the living was a little easier for them and for the neighborhood.

Back in the late sixties, early seventies....

... self-reliance didn't require require a city ordinance around these parts.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Flip Flop Five


Move over, Jack.

Tonight, I'm taking on the Commission.

Remember the Commissioners--the same five people who took out a $12,000 full page "incite panic" ad in Florida Today last April to spell out--in black and white--53 scary "dramatic and drastic" cuts to the county budget and then voiced surprise that the public would disapprove of spending so much money in lean financial times?

The same five who threatened to close parks and animal shelters, eliminate school crossing guards, reduce code enforcement, and lay off hundreds, which in reality, amounted to 81 eliminated positions, including Kathy McDaniels' job. The social worker worked for the county almost 33 years and poof! She was gone.

Cutting her job helped save the taxpayers a whopping $1.50 to $19 a year.

The proposed 2007-2008 $1.2 billion dollar budget has yet to be approved and the Commissioners--now that the tax crisis is passed and no one is paying attention anymore--are already back to business as usual.

Sure, they held off on the Sheriff's crime lab request for a few months due to "fears about property tax reform's impact on the budget", even though Parker told the Fab Five then...the loan would be paid back off the backs--'er, the phone calls of inmates, meaning the inmate's families--you know, those people with Family in Jail.

So, whatever the reason, this week four of those same five people decided to give their Sheriff his building--even though Parker never intended to pay for the crime lab with tax dollars from people with
Family Not in Jail in the first place. (Although those people with Family in Jail pay taxes also. I call that the old Double Whammy).

The dissenting commissioner wanted to look at the other properties considered before he voted. How thoughtful.

Jack blasted the delay as "irresponsible".

And you know--for once, I agree with the Sheriff.

***

Let's Play


Did the Commissioners Know?


--For more than ten years, New York families of inmates had no choice but to pay phone rates 630 percent higher than normal consumer rates to speak with their loved ones in New York State correctional facilities?

--Under the New York state's monopoly contract with MCI--working as Verizon-- at that time, the average prison phone call billed at 19 minutes, costing just over $6 and adding up to monthly phone bills of up to $400.

--A 15-minute call from a Florida prison typically costs $4.23. This equates to $0.28 per minute, and is considerably higher than the price of commercial long distance rates-which generally range from $0.03 to $0.10 per minute.

--The Florida Department of Corrections plans to explore phone service options to further reduce phone costs to families. The OPPAGA recommended that "public and private options should be pursued, with the intent of reducing inmate family phone rates while still covering the department's oversight costs."

--
Citing the burden of cost placed on inmate families, the DOC reduced its commission to 33% in June 2006.

--By imposing such burdens on families of prisoners, the practice resembles a form of collective punishment.

Time's Up...for the Commissioners.

Vote Them Out.


(Get educated about inmate phone calls here).

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Jacked


Well, well, well.

Sheriff Parker got his crime lab after all.

The old phone buzzard managed to sweet talk 4 out of 5 Commissioners into the deal by pledging to pay back a $2.7 million dollar loan though funds from his private piggy bank--income made off inmate phone calls to the tune of $250,000 collected annually.

Parker's also got his eye on a nice vacant lot with dreams of building an evidence storage facility alongside his Rockledge dream lab.

Price tag...$300,000.

With Brevard County "embroiled" in a federal lawsuit due to overcrowded jail conditions, one would think the good Sheriff would throw every last dime back into Tent City before shopping for real estate on someone else's dime.

Back in July, Parker smooth talked the Commission with a great one liner. "It is expensive to keep people in jail; but it is the best money ever spent."

Put your money where your mouth is, Jack.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

PTSD


I've been really cranky these last few days, much more than usual.

Chalking it up to a return to routine after the lazy days of summer--or perimenopause, take your pick--I flip through my calendar in an attempt to self-sooth the underlying edginess, turning thoughts toward October and my son's birthday and the impending holidays.

September 11 registers in my brain before my eyes really focus on the date leaping off the page of my Day-Timer.

That morning six years ago--having been called from my office by a colleague--Something is going on in New York--I got to the TV in time to watch the second jet slam into the Twin Towers.

Utter and total mind-numbing disbelief.

My blood still runs cold at the bizarre thought...standing before the invention responsible for changing the world view--a simple television set--to view the world as I knew it...disintegrate.

I could do nothing but watch and think...

All those lives lost...and for what?

Our nation bore collective witness to an event that subliminally resurfaces as August merges into September as a sort of edgy irritability in reminder of what we should never forget.

Just give the grouches that walk wounded among us a break, at least for the next couple of days.

***

Take a moment to pay tribute.

Project 2996

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Red Rover

Tag is out.

No more Duck, Duck, Goose.

The game kids have played at recess--or physical education--for generations has been outlawed in Colorado after complaints by children they had been chased or harassed against their will.

What's interesting about tag is the game has only become more politically correct over the years.

Remember when we played Red Rover?

"Red Rover, Red Rover, send Sheree right over."



On cue, I ran not only over but through the linked arms of the opposite team in an attempt to break past in order to take one opponent back with me to my team.

I can't even begin to remember the number of times I clotheslined myself and usually, on a concrete surface.

So obviously, games of tag have toned down quite a bit, with much emphasis how to tag safe and also, how to tag someone appropriately.

Kids learn to play unique to their development as social beings. Some are more ready than others for the rough and tumble play of tag, a higher developed stage of play, "important to
the development and maintenance of social awareness, cooperation, fairness and altruism." Most kids want to belong and will play along...but others prefer to watch the boisterous nature of tag from the sidelines, not yet quite ready to join in.

Kids being kids, the taggers will more than likely chase those who want no part of tag as a way of including them in their social group. In our litigious society, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, we must duck and cover to avoid a harassment lawsuit by the parents of the goosed, 'er, chased child.

Makes me wish for the old days when a kid's biggest problem was being the last one picked for a team.
***

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."
--Plato

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

Forks


With every viewing, one great line leaps out at me from the Albert Brooks film, Defending Your Life.

"You like pie? I'll get you some pies."

Voila! The waiter presents nine pies to the embarrassed Daniel, a recently deceased guy just trying to maneuver the pit stop between death and whatever comes next without bringing too much attention to himself.

A Dickinsonian reminder of the fear-based decisions forged in his life, Daniel lugs the nine pies back to his hotel, symbolic of the chains fettered to the doomed Jacob Marley.

Ingredient after ingredient, we assemble our own pies-work, relationship, kids, parents, the roof over our heads. Once baked and popped out of the oven--cooled to just the right temperature--we cut the tiniest sliver for ourselves, at the ready to enjoy this bit of spice to our life.

Placing our plate on the kitchen table, we search inside the fridge for a bit of Cool Whip, just a dab to top off our anticipation with a bit of glorious indulgence.

We turn back around to find...

...someone has stuck a fork in our piece of the pie.

Hey, Brevard County.

What's your week been like?

Talk to Me.

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Farewell

"And the master brings the house down."
--Brian Williams, NBC




Luciano Pavarotti
October 12, 1935-September 6, 2007


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Thursday, September 6, 2007

No SCHIP for YOU!


Tom Feeney prefers the use of political swear words-- "Hillarycare" and "secret socialized medicine" and "illegal aliens"--to explain his NO vote on SCHIP,

SCHIP provides health coverage for 225,593 Florida youngsters from low-income households who do not qualify for Medicaid. A study has shown most of the recipients are black or Hispanic, live in poverty and went without any health insurance before signing up for the program.

"I did not support some of the changes that turned this into an international socialized medicine program," Feeney said. "When you mix sugar with rotten garbage, you don't improve the garbage. And you ruin the sugar."

How would he know? I doubt Feeney has ever worried about health insurance coverage for his family.

Time to get your head out of the garbage, Tom. Or are your Party's moral values lurking somewhere near the bottom of the can?

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Top Ten




The Top Ten Reasons Legislators placed the Florida Legislative Special Session on Hold.

#10:
I can't afford the gas to drive to Tallahassee.

#9:
Hey, I'd fly-in if the press would stop nickel and diming me in print about travel expenses.

#8:
No one mentioned TWO special sessions in one year when I ran for office.

#7:
Charlie and Mike mixed paints with the kindergartners.
It's my turn!


#6:
With PIP set to expire, I just can't chance a road trip with so many uninsured drivers on the road.

#5:
This job was a lot easier when no one was paying attention.

#4:
Bob Allen might corner me with an explanation.

#3:
With the housing market flat, my constituents aren't going anywhere, so why worry?

#2:
The Democrats are all ticked off about that early primary thing.

#1:
Marco Rubio is on paternity leave.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bill is Back


"Hello Space Coast...it's good to be home."

Bill Mick is back in town to the cheers of the hometown crowd.

Out in CA, Bill learned that no matter where you live, the issues are pretty much the same.

Since his return to Brevard County, he has already learned something new.

There's no place like home.

Catch Bill up on what he missed.

Give him a call.

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Stick It to Me


People are working harder than ever for less.

The median household income for Americans is $48,200, up a bit simply because it takes more members of a family to work and work longer hours just to eat these days.

Brevard's average wage--$38,785-- has risen just enough to break even with inflation.

While the county is holding its own, many citizens are just holding on. Unemployment is up a point, due to a slumping real estate market that scrooges any career remotely related to housing.

Home values are dropping while the adjustable rate mortgage payments are rising. Property insurance rates are out of sight with health insurance and medical costs also poised for take-off.

With Americans juggling and struggling, the feds have no guilt using our hard earned dollars --at the tune of $109 million--to bankroll seat belt enforcement in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, N. Marianas and the Virgin Islands. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia also received funding straight out of our wallets.

Florida--by the way--received zilch.

When did Click It become Stick It to me?

Happy Labor Day.

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To Charter or Not to Charter

Sounds like the school district has had enough of the misbehaving charters.

As reported by Florida Today, school super Dr. DiPatri is considering the surrender of his authority over the county's charter schools to allow the Florida Schools of Excellence Commission the power of oversight.

What do you think?

Should the charters stay or should they go?

Should Brevard County Schools dump the charters?

Cut 'em loose!
Long live the charters! Keep 'em!


(View Results)

Create a Poll

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Think Tank


Hey Brevard County.

Think.

What made you think outside the box this past week?

What switched on your light bulb?

What sparked your thoughts?

Switch on your genius.

Talk to Me.

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