Archive for May 1, 2008

A Jumper on the Bridge During Morning Rush Hour Sure Screws Up Traffic

I talked to daughter this evening. She asked if I remembered that she had been planning to take her two small children and meet some friends at the Jacksonville Zoo yesterday. “Yeah, I do remember! Did y’all have fun?”

“Did you, by any chance, happen to see a news item yesterday about traffic on the bridge being shut down completely in the morning? The same bridge I had to cross to get to the zoo?”

“OhmyGAWD, you and the kids were stuck in that? Your daddy and I saw it on the news when we got home from work, and the news report mentioned that the bridge was closed for about 2 and 1/2 hours and the SWAT team was on hand along with a negotiator. I told your daddy that since the SWAT team was there, seems like they could have just shot his ass off the bridge and saved everybody a lot of time and gas money. I didn’t even think about you maybe being caught up in it.”

She said that the radio program she listened to just said traffic was backed up with a lane closure on the bridge. As the bridge is currently being painted, it isn’t anything unusual and traffic just runs a little slower than normal. She also said she was wondering why somebody just didn’t push him off the bridge so everybody could go. (The possibility exists that we are both type A personalities.)

The jumper finally agreed to surrender to police, and the day at the zoo was enjoyable although it started much later than planned.

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South Florida Stuck with $3 Billion Sewage Bill

TALLAHASSEE — South Florida counties must eventually stop pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of sewage every day into the ocean, under a bill the Legislature passed Wednesday that also sticks the counties with the $3 billion cost.

”It’s the same old story: The state leaves the county with the big price tag,” said Broward County Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, who has been monitoring the measure from Tallahassee.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach would have until 2019 to upgrade six water-treatment facilities that now pump about 300 million gallons of nitrogen- and phosphorus-laden water one to three miles off shore. The sewage, which is now lightly treated to remove only the most hazardous substances, would have to be treated to higher standards for reuse as irrigation water or for wetlands restoration projects.

By 2025, the South Florida Water Management District, which covers the three counties, would have to halt pumping into the ocean. The measure would only affect South Florida, because the three counties are the only ones in Florida still sending sewage into the ocean.

The mandate to upgrade the facilities unanimously cleared the House on Wednesday after unanimously passing in the Senate on April 16. The measure is now on its way to Gov. Charlie Crist, who has said he supports it.

For years, divers and environmentalists have protested the practice of releasing the brownish mucky water into South Florida’s tourist-friendly ocean, contending the sewage damages coral reefs and fisheries.

Testifying before a Senate committee earlier in the session, Dr. John Proni, director of the Ocean Chemistry Division of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, said his initial research pointed to an increase in bacteria levels where the sewage is dispersed.

When asked by senators if he would swim in the water, Proni replied that he “would prefer not to.”

The bill’s passage is tough news for South Florida leaders. Lobbyists for the counties have been fighting the measure, contending they are already strained by budget cuts and property-tax rollbacks.

”We’re all for cleaning the environment. We just need some state funding,” Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson said during a recent visit to Tallahassee. A study conducted by the University of Florida estimated that household water bills would likely go up $20 a month if the measure was approved and the cost passed on to taxpayers.

When the measure passed in the Senate earlier this month, the bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Burt Saunders, a Naples Republican, argued it was necessary because the water is “a valuable resource that right now we’re just dumping into the ocean.”

Saunders, who chairs the Senate’s Environmental Conservation and Preservation Committee, said the three counties can treat the sewage for reuse in land irrigation and wetlands restoration.

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Director John Renfrow said it was too soon to determine a definite time line or plan of action for the project.

”We’re going to have to study a lot of different elements,” Renfrow said. “How much is it going to cost? What to do with the extra water? The only thing on our side is time, because its going to take some time to plan this thing out.”

Source: Miami Herald

Maybe I’m just not getting the finer points of this discussion, but why in the hell should anybody in Florida except those areas involved have to pay anything for cleaning up the sewage down there? Oh, sure, let the government pay for it. Well, those government funds come out of the pockets of taxpayers all over Florida, and we don’t feel like we should have to pay for south Florida’s shit sewage.

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Florida Keys Alligator Dies from Eating Toy Turtle

BIG PINE KEY, Fla. – Wildlife officials say an alligator in the Florida Keys has died after eating a toy turtle the size of a cookie-cutter.

The 9-foot male was known by locals as “Bacardi” because of his No. 151 tail tag. He was found dead in the popular Blue Hole quarry on Tuesday, and officials determined the cause the following day.

A necropsy showed the plastic toy stuck between the alligator’s stomach and intestines, blocking his ability to digest food. The average weight for alligators his size is 250 pounds, but Bacardi weighed only 188 pounds.

Officials also found a plastic toy soldier in the alligator’s stomach.

National Key Deer Refuge manager Anne Morkill called the alligator’s death “needless and due to someone’s carelessness.”


Well, right off hand I would guess that it was due to the alligator’s carelessness, but in this case China is obviously to blame with their evil gator-starving plastic toys. I think it was deliberate on their part. First they went after the Tibetans, and now they’re trying to kill our alligators. Bastards.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Jacksonville to Promote Navy Partnership

NAVAL AIR STATION JACKSONVILLE, FL — NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr. traded his car for a jet and landed on the First Coast to meet with standout sailors and prepare for a ride on an aircraft carrier.

Trading his Chevy Impala for a private Learjet, Dale Jr., the driver of the Number 88 car in NASCAR’s top-tier Sprint Cup series, landed at NAS Jacksonville at around 9:55 Thursday morning.

After meeting with reporters, Earnhardt received a plaque and two NAS Jacksonville baseball caps from the base’s commanding officer, CAPT Jack Scorby.

Inside the air terminal, near the place where his Learjet was parked, Earnhardt met with 25 specially selected sailors, chosen from the 116 units located at NAS Jax.

The NASCAR star signed autographs and carried on conversations for about 20 minutes. It was a true thrill for Petty Officer Adam Linton.

“I got a hat for my senior chief. He’s about to retire on the 6th, so I got him a hat signed by him,” GM2 Linton said.

Earnhardt is gearing up to kick off a new recruiting drive with the US Navy, which sponsors the Number 88 car he owns that competes in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide series.

“It’s a tangible sponsorship, if you will, you’re not really kinda just running around hawking a product,” Earnhardt said. “I’m glad that they chose me to help them.”

Still, Earnhardt says his pairing with the Navy is not just about allegiance to the red, white, and blue — it’s also about good, old fashioned green.

“Our relationship mainly stems from that service that they provide us financially,” Earnhardt said.

The regular driver of that Navy-sponsored Number 88 car, Brad Keselowski, was along with Dale Jr. during his hourlong stopover at NAS Jax.

After meeting with sailors, the two drivers headed into a safety briefing to prepare for their flight to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Earnhardt and Keselowski were scheduled to spend a day onboard Theodore Roosevelt in the Atlantic off the First Coast and then return to dry land Wednesday night.

But as Earnhardt boarded a plane bound for the carrier, it seemed he’d much rather be back in his usual machine — riding not on air, but on four rubber tires.

The Navy’s new recruiting effort will officially kick off on May 24th, when Dale Jr. is scheduled to drive the Navy “Accelerate Your Life” Number 83 car that he owns during a race in NASCAR’s Nationwide series.

After that kickoff event, new Navy recruits will be able to sign up for a special Dale Jr. Division when they ship off to boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois.

The boot camp company will be made up of 88 new recruits, patterned after Earnhardt’s Number 88 Sprint Cup car.

During the recruits’ two months of training, Dale Jr. will visit them at boot camp and attend their graduation.

The Navy says the campaign is costing taxpayers about $800,000 and is aimed at both meeting its recruiting goals and also raising general awareness of Navy recruiting.

Source: First Coast News

Nice recruiting slogan! It almost makes me want to join except for the whole being a grandmother thing.

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DC Madam Found Dead in Florida

TARPON SPRINGS, FL (AP) — Police say a woman believed to be the one convicted of running a high-end prostitution ring in Washington has been found dead of an apparent suicide in this Florida Gulf Coast town.

Tarpon Springs police say a body they believed to be 52-year-old Deborah Jeane Palfrey was found in a shed near her mother’s mobile home Thursday morning. She left a suicide note, but police did not disclose its contents.

Palfrey was convicted April 15 by a federal jury of running a prostitution service that catered to members of Washington’s political elite, including Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican.

She had denied her escort service engaged in prostitution, saying that if any of the women engaged in sex acts for money, they did so without her knowledge.


Is that like having a maid service and if any of the maids actually cleans a house, they do so without my knowledge?

Actually, a prostitution ring/house cleaning service might be pretty lucrative. Swampie’s Sparkle Cleaning Services, where you won’t even have a dirty MIND when our girls get finished. Hey, don’t blame ME, I just send the attractive and scantily clad housecleaners over to scrub out the bathtub at $250 an hour with a 2-hour minimum. I’m shocked that they may be providing additional services.

In the meantime, I’m sorry that all my housecleaning customers were disappointed that my most requested housecleaners are temporarily unavailable until they make bail. Perhaps I can offer the customers with the unsanitary tubs a complimentary sponge bath from Nurses Bambi, Spicy, and Blaze from Swampie’s Visiting Nurses, Inc.

I shouldn’t make light of this situation. The woman in question didn’t hurt anybody but was facing years in prison and leaves behind a grieving family.

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