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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Ernesto wasn't a hurricane, but Florida taxpayers will still feel its effects.

Closing schools for two days cost the district $4 million, with most of the money paying employee salaries for the county's largest employer. The district employs 21,616 people, including 12,025 teachers, nearly all of whom were paid for staying home and putting up hurricane shutters.

Students and teaches will make up the days on Sept. 21 and Oct. 20, which the school board approved months ago. Barring any other storms, the district won't get more time to prepare for the FCAT but district spokesman Nat Harrington said the loss of time likely won't hurt students.

"Every day is valuable, but teachers in the past have made up even more days and done well on the FCAT," Harrington said.
This emphasis on a test still over five months away makes me wonder about schools in Florida. Are we educating our students or teaching them to pass one test?

Assistant County Administrator Vince Bonvento, who oversees the county's disaster-response efforts, estimates the county spent about $100,000 preparing for the storm. That does not include overtime pay for sheriff's deputies and fire-rescue officials, which Bonvento said would be the county's largest expense.

The county spent roughly $36,000 on three truckloads of ice and three truckloads of water.
Didn't these guys hear what Groucho Marx said. "Just peel an onion, that will make your eyes water."

That was a sarcasm break brought to you by TFM. Now back to the Post article.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said overtime costs will be "minimal." Deputies were sent home once officials realized the storm wouldn't be as strong as expected. "We started ramping down on overtime costs, and the amount of units we had to have in place," Bradshaw said.

Fire-Rescue spokesman Capt. Don Delucia did not know Wednesday how much the agency will pay in overtime, but said about 120 additional paramedics and fire-rescue officials were called into work because of the storm. About 11 additional employees were needed at the 911 call center, Delucia said. Some of those employees and paramedics were sent home early, Delucia said.


It's unlikely any of those costs will be reimbursed by FEMA, Bonvento said. In order for that to happen, the president must declare the county or an adjoining county as a "federal disaster area," Bonvento said.
The article chronicles more of the expenses local government incurred to ready for Ernesto. It would be easy to criticize the National Hurricane Center for blowing the call on this storm. I don't criticize the NHC, weather forecasting will never be a perfect science in spite of the billions spent trying to long range forecasting already/ Unlike my friend Rick at SOTP, I don't think throwing more money at the problem will solve it either.

Government wasn't the only taking a financial hit from Ernesto. The private sector did as well too.

Ernesto cost the Keys $8.9 million after tourists were forced out Sunday afternoon, said the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
Businesses had to close and board up because of the storm too. To some workers it may have been a holiday, but there is a price.

Yet the price would have been bigger if Ernesto had been a hurricane. So we shouldn't complain and count our blessings instead.

Linked to- Third World County, Bright & Early,

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