Raves from Merritt Island

From Merritt Island where Hometown News is very popular! We love the crossword puzzle and Rant & Raves are some of our favorites! Thank you all!

What's with waste management?

The first I found out about a new waste removal contract was when I saw an insert in my utility bill from the city of Palm Bay at the end of July.

I found out the information was put on the city website and social media. I keep my distance from social media and the Internet in general, for fear of being scammed. That’s what happened to my retirement account – I was scammed out of it.

As a ranter stated, it would have been a better idea to include the information with my bill. So now I find I am faced with an increase of $33.60 every three months. The new company has a multitude of negative reviews on the Internet and a check with the BBB shows they have had 4,056 complaints in the last three years.

Why would a contract be signed with Republic Services under these circumstances? Is this another instance of corruption within the city of Palm Bay? I eat Ramen noodles three times a day because it is one of the few things I can afford while trying to live on a Social Security Disability check. I had to give my three beautiful Maine Coon cats away because I could no longer afford to feed them.

Regardless, cutting back to just one meal of Ramen noodles per day, will still not cover the increase in my utility bill.

Thank you city of Palm Bay and Republic Services of Florida.

Masks are still debatable?

To the 75-year-old (and all others willing to hear) who refuses to be restricted by the wearing of a mask out in public these days... a few thoughts:

Perhaps now, in spite the ever changing state of our current understanding of the novel Coronavirus, it may be crucial for us all to have some faith that my fellow citizens might consider, without prejudice, the evidence and understand that each one of us could potentially become silent vectors, transmitting infection.

The growing consensus is getting harder to dismiss: the virus is novel, it is spread by aerosol sprayed from our mouths and noses as well as contacts with contaminated surfaces. Anyone infected, regardless of age, can be asymptomatic for four to five days, or asymptomatic and variably shedding virus.

This doesn’t necessarily mean avoiding all human interaction. It does though, or at least it should, prompt reasonable, socially responsible behaviors to include the considerate wearing of masks designed to protect, especially!

Why has this simple act of kindness become too much for too many to perform? Is it truly an assault on anyone’s personal liberty?! It is a minor compromise at most and of little cost to anyone who believes that Democracy can only function where compromise exists.

Sure, we can wait for full access to testing and tracking, or a vaccine, or herd immunity, or a Corona mutation of lesser virulence, or the government to finally commit to a full funding of public health. But why should we have to without acting ourselves? If it’s true, that most of us do our best based on our level of awareness and we have personal agency to act, then shouldn’t we urge people to raise their awareness-level, without prejudice, or partisanship in order to act in kind? I think so. Well, if it’s not yet clear, this is my attempt to do so!

Imagine if we all had some faith in others right now?

Real storm news coverage

A few weeks ago a deadly derecho storm, with winds in excess of 100 mph in an almost 800 mile area, caused massive destruction to several Midwestern states. For several days almost a million people didn't have power. I have family in Iowa and they were directly affected. However, except for the Weather Channel, we received almost no immediate coverage.

There are many events happening in the country that don't have to do with the Corona virus.

Big changes coming to trash pickup

We just received a notice from Brevard County for residential solid waste collection contract renewal. A price increase from $139.70 to $194.28 and an annual increase yearly after that.

This is absolutely ridiculous to propose a price increase of these amounts. Waste management drives by our piles of yard waste and it sits on the edge of the road for weeks. I should not have to call in and request a pickup. If your trucks come down the road they should see we need a pick-up. If they don't pick it up we should get a refund and not have to pay them.

They miss picking up household waste or recycles at least once a month. If they do that on every route one time a month think of the free savings they get. We get excuses: drivers were sick or didn't show up. We had to pull drivers to run other routes. etc. Sometimes no one even answers the phone. Brevard county needs to find a new company to use.

Get rid of waste management.

Lead by example

When I was growing up, I was always told that you lead by example. During these uncertain times during COVID-19, this applies even more to all of us. I was really surprised to read an article in a daily newspaper that acknowledging the Palm Shores Road Safety event with a large group there gathered. My question to them, including Sheriff Wayne Ivey and representatives from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida Highway Patrol, Space Coast Area Transit, fire departments and volunteers, where are your face masks? I can't believe they don't believe the CDC guidelines. This is very sad and shameful.

To think, you're leaders and models for our community and you're showing us what not to do.

Derelict vessels reemerge

I suppose you have noticed another boat has sunk in the river south of Island Lincoln Mercury. This is an all too familiar sight. They anchor, live on it for a while, ( how do they dispose of the human waste?) and eventually it sinks.

It is left to decay until the county hires a contractor to salvage it at a significant cost to the taxpayers. Meanwhile, the boat is leaking fuel, lube oil, and whatever else into the river we are trying so hard to clean up.

Why isn't the owner held accountable They should be required to post bond when they initially anchor. Florida Fish and Wildlife can tell you who owns it with the hull ID number. Please someone take action to prevent any further problems.

RE: Tropical Storm Isaias: "Much Ado About Nothing"

To the person griping about the weather coverage for Isaias, all I can say is "Wow". I guess your long tenure in Florida (three months, right?) gives you the perspective to comment on your first hurricane.

Yes, the weather reporters can get a little excited and colorful at times. But if that prods people into getting prepared, then that is good.

For the hurricane experts

Although I grew up in the north and lived various places in the military and with an airline, I've been in Florida about 38 years total--24 in Dade County and the rest in Brevard County. There were a number of storms over the years that we prepared for, but many weren't as strong as forecast (thankfully). But some were. We had moved to a new house a few weeks before Hurricane Andrew. The forecasters initially thought the storm would turn and miss Miami. It didn't. The good news is that we were on vacation. The bad news is that we didn't do any prepping. Both our new house and the former house we had not yet sold were in the middle of Andrew's track. We had over $500,000 damage between the two houses. Most (all but about $20,000) was covered by insurance. Plus it took a lot of hard labor for my family to clean up the mess.

While we lived on the Indian River in Merritt Island, Hurricanes Matthew and Irma came by. Although the damage to our house was relatively minor, we had over $75,000 damage to our seawall, dock, and yard between the two hurricanes. None of that was covered by insurance. And again, a lot of hard labor to clean up the mess.

So, I recommend you take Isaias as a practice run. It's not a question of "if" there will be a hurricane that does serious damage; the question is "when". Somehow, I have this feeling you will be the type of person who sits on his butt sipping a beer waiting for the government to bail them out after a devastating storm.

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