Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Florida, Florida Florida

C.I. spotlights me Monday and by Tuesday I've got more e-mail than I ever have all saying stuff like "I had no idea" or "Thank you for writing about Florida."

That's so cool that so many people were even interested. To be honest, it really does seem like outside of Florida, no one cares too much.

I always enjoy Ruth's stuff but I really enjoyed her last Ruth's Morning Edition Report because she found a show that was talking about Florida:

Of all the programs I listened to this week, the one that I felt delivered day after day was KPFA's The Morning Show. Let's take two issues that were cited as worth more attention in the poll in the latest gina & krista round-robin.
Wally addressed what was going on in Florida at The Daily Jot this week. As Andre Lewis noted, this is an issue that "doesn't seem to be getting attention." Her guest was Sushma Sheth, of the The Miami Workers Center, who raised issues that really have not been getting out in the mainstream media.
As Wally pointed out November 2nd, the first heavy rains were when the effects of Hurricane Wilma were more noticeable as roofs collapsed. Ms. Sheth pointed out that the official response was "basically every family for themselves." She discussed how "buildings that had not been kept up to code . . . caved." The collapses and the fact that other buildings were not up to code has led to mass evictions in Liberty City and Miami Beach. Some people have been forcibly evicted in the early morning hours.
Ms. Sheth also pointed out that issues of relief supplies were confusing such as attempting to determine "who had at ice at what time where?" There was a lack of leadership in all areas from the government's response on all levels. While this inadequate response was ongoing you also had people losing wages due to businesses being closed and this especially hit hard persons living pay check to pay check. Also harshly effected were immigrants who not only suffered from poor housing and lost wages but also found, when attempting to get relief, that they had to produce documents before receiving relief from governmental institutions.
The Miami Workers Center is calling for:
1) A halt to economic evictions.
2) An halt to foreclosures on homes.
3) A halt to threat of losing utilities due to loss of payments.
The economic impact from Hurricane Wilma is very real and the threat of evictions, foreclosures, lack of service is a very real concern. Another concern is that some of the same mistakes may be made again if the planning for future responses relies upon the same voices.
Public transportation was not a concern to those planning responses to the aftermath. There was no attempt made to waive the requirement for bus passes nor was there apparently any thought that relief supplies need to be better distributed and better publicized for those who rely on public transportation since a good portion of the day can be spent traveling from one area to another.

I'll add two more things to that and call it a jot.

First from the Sun-Sentinel, Sharon Robb's "Against the wind:"

Joey Pedraza wanted to salvage his high school season. The Pine Crest junior missed more than 20 days of training because of Hurricane Wilma and wasn't sure whether he would be able to recover in time to challenge for another state title.
The state champion in the 500-yard freestyle last year for St. Thomas Aquinas, Pedraza wanted to win at least one title for his new team at the state meet.

That's for George who wondered how it effected school athletics. If you use the link this is a pretty long story that you'll enjoy reading.

Second, also from the Sun-Sentinel, David Fleshler's "Legislative hearings to be held in S. Florida on coping with hurricanes:"

A state Senate committee will have hearings next month in South Florida on how to improve the way the state deals with hurricanes.
The Senate Domestic Security Committee will schedule five hearings in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties to discuss power outages, gasoline shortages and other hardships that came with Hurricane Wilma. Times and dates have not been set.
The public will have the chance to speak, and senators also expect to hear from power companies, police, fire departments and others involved in dealing with hurricanes, said Kathy Mears, spokeswoman for Senate President Tom Lee. The hearings are intended to produce ideas that can be implemented in the coming session of the state Legislature.

If everyone talking about showing up for these hearings shows up, it's going to be something. Maybe that will get on the news.

Thanks for the e-mails and thanks too to KPFA's The Morning Show and Andrea Lewis for talking about it when not many seem to care. If you don't know KPFA, it's a Pacifica Radio station in California.

My aunt called yesterday to ask about Ava & C.I. She'd just read their "TV Review: Kenny & Faith let their hair down" Tuesday morning and then went back through their other TV reviews. She thinks they're the funniest TV reviewers around. Agreed.

Mike's Motto: The Common Ills community is important and the Common Ills community is important to me. So I'll do my part for the Common Ills community.