Saturday, September 30, 2017

A FOOTBALL FREE WEEKEND

Protest cuts both ways. Some are overt and obnoxious; some are just quiet and effective.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


In response to the NFL Players idiotic protest disrespecting our country, its flag and history, we are taking a football free weekend.

No NFL or college football all weekend, zip, nada, none.

No ESPN, No sports news shows, no halftime dribble, no replay programs: nothing football

In addition, we are trying to avoid all NFL sponsors, and their products. Here is a partial national list. You can see more by Googling NFL Sponsors

Anheuser-Busch      Barclaycard US       
Bose                           Bridgestone             
Campbell's Soup Company
Castrol                       Courtyard Marriott
Dairy Management, Inc. (Fuel Up to Play 60)
Dannon                     Extreme Networks
FedEx                        Frito-Lay
Gatorade                    Hyundai Motor America
Mars Snackfood       Microsoft
Nationwide                News America
Papa John's              Pepsi
Procter & Gamble    Quaker
Verizon                      Visa
USAA

Locally, we pretty much know who the local advertisers are, so we will shop elsewhere over the weekend at least – probably longer.

Petty, silly, you say no appreciation for the player's point of view – not really.

I just think it’s more of a way to impose a way of thinking on a national audience that doesn’t buy it.

I totally support their freedom to squat, kneel, lay down, roll over, kick and scream whatever nonprofessional way they can think of to disrespect their fans and the people that used to support them.

As to the NFL owners, it is not too surprising what a lot of money, a big head and a small perspective can let them accept.

Regarding the “celebrities” that hopping on the protest wagon – same thought. We don’t have to watch your movies, buy your music or buy the products you support.

Protest cuts both ways. Some are overt and obnoxious; some are just quiet and effective.

So far, my weekend without football and hucksters has gone quite well. It actually seems refreshing.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign

Please comment below.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The NFL Players protest and me

It is time for those of us who hold the NFL purse strings to speak up with our wallets.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

I have found myself deeply offended by the actions of the NFL players regarding our country’s flag and the National Anthem.

The real offense to me is the lack of respect for those who revere and honor this country along with those who have served to protect the very freedoms these “professional athletes” exploit.

There isn’t much I can do about it except this. All the money that flows to the NFL, and their deep pocketed owners comes from one place – all of us.

Every time you buy a product that is advertised on any cable sports network showing football, or any NFL game a small part of what you pay goes to the NFL.

Every time you go into an “Official ________  of a team”  business a small part of what you pay goes to the NFL and the Team Owners.

If the people who own these teams cannot or will not manage their employees, then they do not deserve my support in any way.

My view is simply I do not have to watch the networks that promote the NFL, I do not have to buy tickets to their games, and I do not have to pay to be offended by those who disrespect this country.

So, to the extent possible I have resolved not to buy products from beer to cars that support the NFL, and not to support those businesses that advertise in NFL games.

It is a small gesture but if enough of us take a similar step, it will get the attention of the people who run this sport because in the end, it is not about protest, the right of expression, player's health the fans or any of that dribble – it’s all about all about money.

I support the right of every American to express their views and concerns. But protest like everything else in life is all about timing; and the and the moments we reflect on our heritage and the sacrifices others have made for our freedom are simply the wrong time.

It is time for those of us who hold the NFL purse strings to speak up with our wallets.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rick Baker is not Donald Trump’s surrogate

Before you decide to vote for the Democrat running for Mayor of St. Pete remember this: he has lied to you from the first day he took office


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


Kriseman is trying to make President Trump a major local campaign issue.

Kriseman hints that Baker is another Trump, questions who Baker voted for and tries desperately to tie everything that Trump does back to Rick Baker.

Let’s begin with some clear facts.

Rick Baker is not a Donald Trump surrogate.

Baker has never run for a partisan office and has always governed as a pragmatic problem solver not a parochial partisan.

Further, Rick Baker has been consistent in his approach to governing. During his nine years as Mayor of St. Petersburg, his focus was on St. Petersburg and the needs of its citizens.

No partisan politics, no mayor’s office full of political cronies, consistent respect for the needs and desires of the public, fiscal responsibility, solid planning and passion for those in St. Pete that need help the most.

I know because I worked for him.

While there is no doubt that events in Washington affect what happens on the ground in St. Petersburg, all local mayors have a process to access resources in Washington, it is just a shame Rick Kriseman does not who they are or how to use them.

Looking at some facts:

Who set up the initial funding for a new St. Pete Pier? -  Rick Baker
Who ignored your choice for a pier and ran the project over budget? - Rick Kriseman

Who established Midtown and Tangerine Plaza? – Rick Baker
Who has let mid-town slip away? – Rick Kriseman

Who helped all St. Pete schools grow and improve? - Rick Baker
Who let St. Pete become home to five of the worst schools in Florida? - Rick Kriseman

Who built the strongest Neighborhood Association program is St. Pete's history? – Rick Baker
Who set out to reduce its influence? – Rick Kriseman

Who has consistently told you the truth? – Rick Baker
Who has lied to you since before he took office? – Rick Kriseman

Do you see any presidential influence in any of those decisions?

Neither do I.

Who set up St. Petersburg as a sanctuary City? – Rick Kriseman to gain political favor and attention.

Who lied to you about a major sewage dump? - Rick Kriseman

Who has consistently ignored your desires as expressed in referendums? – Rick Kriseman.

As a voter in this mayoral election, you should be less concerned with political party and presidential politics and more concerned about your future.

Your local government is the one that has the greatest impact on your day to day life. It provides you safe water, functional sewers, waste disposal, police and fire protection and establishes your quality of life.

You should be able to trust the Mayor, who runs it.

With Rick Kriseman as mayor, your life is a lot more likely to be influenced by the Democratic party than it is to be affected by Donald Trump’s influence on Rick Baker should he be elected Mayor.

Rick Baker is his own person. Not Donald Trump’s, Jeb Bush’s, or Bill Edwards.

No pandering, no political games, no vying for favor in Washington; just working truthfully and honestly for everyone in St. Pete every day.

If you live in South St. Petersburg what has Rick Kriseman done for YOU in the last four years?

Kriseman has no record in the African-American community in St. Petersburg.

So Kriseman buys ads telling African-American voters to vote against Rick Baker because Baker is on Trump’s team. The truth is Baker has never met, talked to or worked with Donald Trump.

Why is Kriseman selling a lie to the African-American voters in St. Pete?

Because he cannot run on his partisan record.

Before you decide to go vote for the Democrat running for Mayor of St. Pete remember this: he has lied to you from the very first day he took office.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Add Capacity Not Tear Down Major Evacuation Route

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert



We watched the impact of Hurricane Harvey on Texas and Louisiana and Irma's impact on almost the entire state of Florida.

We know Tampa Bay is vulnerable to hurricanes, tropical storms, storm surge and major flooding. Certainly the state wants all of our major evacuations routes available during times of emergencies and crisis. It is hard to imagine as Gov. Scott travelled the state telling people to get out of harm's way of a hurricane that was about to engulf the entire state, he could even fathom the idea of some major evacuation route in Tampa Bay being eliminated.


Major Evacuation Routes include I-275
But USF architecture student Joshua Frank and some others want to tear down a major evacuation route in Tampa Bay. Frank was even offered a unique opportunity no one else was offered to advance such an extreme proposal to a taxpayer funded entity.

In the midst of our hurricane season, Frank was invited by Hillsborough MPO Chair Commissioner Les Miller to present his "tear down I-275" proposal to the MPO at the August 1st MPO meeting.

Frank, an urban architect student who is not an engineer or a transportation expert, provided a copy of his presentation titled "From Bifurcation to Boulevard Tampa's Future Without I-275" to the MPO prior to the meeting. His presentation can be found on page 201 of the MPO Agenda packet. His proposal is to tear down almost 10 miles of I-275 north of downtown and replacing it with a street level boulevard that includes a street level fixed guideway transit corridor.

Frank's presentation did not include any footnotes, no cost estimates or anything about such proposal's impact to local roads, evacuations or first responders. His presentation did not include any transportation/traffic modeling, any comparison modeling or how mobility/traffic congestion would be impacted if I-275 was torn down from downtown to Bearss Ave.

Frank did include in his presentation some examples of highway tear downs (as if they simply just happened) but he left out some very pertinent information about them. We will put some context to the examples.

Embarcadero in San Francisco:
The Embarcadero Freeway was an elevated 1.2 mile freeway that ran along the waterfront. It was part of State Route 480 that was not a freeway or an interstate into downtown San Francisco. Demolition of the freeway was put to a vote in 1986 and was soundly defeated by a margin of two to one which was a major setback for then Mayor Dianne Feinstein.

In 1989, the Embarcadero was severely damaged by the Loma Prieta earthquake, and of course, had to be closed. In January 1990, the CA Department of Transportation estimated they could fix the existing freeway and make it sturdier for between $14 and $15 million and do that in four months - much quicker than expected.

There was much politicking going on as then San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos supported demolishing the freeway. Agnes had 14 years experience with the California legislature, both as a staff member and as an elected official, that gave him experience navigating state and federal agencies. He even hired his own consultants to haggle.

Opposition to demolishing the freeway was growing again, especially from Chinatown. In January 1991 the CA Department of Transportation conceded it would cost as much to fix it as to rebuild it from scratch. Agnes used that and his politicking experience to convince the State and Feds to give San Francisco money for the demolition. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors narrowly voted 6-5 on February 27, 1991 in favor of demolition.

Agnes, who was up for re-election that same year as the incumbent, was defeated by an opponent who opposed tearing down the freeway.

Central Freeway in San Francisco: 
The elevated double decker Central Freeway in San Francisco was also damaged by the 1989 earthquake, It was a less than 1.2 mile long spur off US Highway 101 (not an interstate). The damaged northern portion was removed by the state in 1992 and an off ramp was built off Highway 101 just south of Market Street.

From 1997 to 1999 numerous ballot initiatives were put on the ballot regarding demolishing the Freeway where both sides won. The initiatives in 1997 and 1998 were citizen led. In 1999 two referendums were put on the ballot. One ballot initiative was from citizens who wanted to rebuild the Freeway and the other one was put on the ballot by four San Francisco Board supervisors to replace the Freeway with a street level boulevard. The boulevard won in that election and four blocks of the north of Market Street portion of the Central Freeway spur was rebuilt as street level Octavia Boulevard that opened in 2005.

There are now accident and traffic issues related to the Octavia Boulevard. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFTA) has done studies since the boulevard opened and what did they find?

Most of the traffic the freeway carried, however, has not disappeared and now city planners are tracking its displacement on city streets…The most obvious finding in the study is that traffic levels, while somewhat reduced on Octavia Boulevard itself since the freeway came down, nonetheless continue to choke the study neighborhoods and affect numerous areas further afield.
2012 Central Freeway/Octavia circulation study stated that after Octavia Boulevard opened
 ..traffic patterns were redistributed with various effects to local and citywide circulation conditions.  
The heavily‐utilized arterial network in the Study Area is the central transportation challenge confronting the community, both presently and in the future. Traffic congestion is significant during both AM and PM peak periods, impairing surface transit operations and degrading conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists.
No surprise! About 100K vehicles used Central Freeway before it was removed. The traffic did not go away. It was diverted elsewhere as traffic was increasing.

And Octavia Boulevard has had some of the most dangerous intersections but the central planners just say it will take a while to work out all the roadway kinks…

According to this 2014 article Octavia Boulevard is bumper to bumper during peak commute times creating havoc and dangerous intersections for cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles.


The latest solution currently being tested is to close a segment of Octavia Boulevard to cars. Of course the traffic does not go away, it gets diverted elsewhere while deliveries and ride-share services also get impacted.

Things can never be looked at in a vacuum.

Today San Francisco is embroiled in another contentious tear down of a one mile segment of I-280. Opposition is brewing and at a public meeting held last year it was reported

Boos and hisses rang through the rec center as Kelley discussed the proposal to raze I-280. 
Surrounded by angry neighbors at the rec center, former Mayor Art Agnos — no stranger to fighting development, as evidenced by the recent “No Wall on the Waterfront” campaign — told the San Francisco Examiner he will personally combat any effort to tear down I-280. 
It’s a switch in position for a former mayor who, in the 1990s, not only tore down the Embarcadero Freeway, but played a key role in tearing down the Central Freeway at Octavia Street as well. 
“Listen,” he said, “there’s no one in this city who has demolished more freeways than I have.” But tearing down I-280 “will absolutely choke all of this area.”
Inrix traffic scorecard rated San Francisco as third worst traffic in the country (behind LA & NYC). Who thinks San Francisco is any model to follow?

Westside Elevated Highway in NYC:
The Westside Elevated Highway was an elevated highway of about 5 miles that was part of state road NY-9A (not an interstate) that ran along the Hudson River in Manhattan. It started crumbling due to lack of maintenance. There were decades of political wrangling over it. In 1973 a dump truck accident caused the highway to collapse and forced it to close. All but the section from 57th Street to the Henry Hudson Parkway was dismantled. West St. ran under the elevated Westside Highway and NYC decided to simply improve the existing street level street by adding landscaping, a bike path, a park and a landscaped median. No new boulevard was built.

Boston's Central Artery:
The Central Artery rerouted that segment of I-93 through Boston into a 3.5 mile underground tunnel as part of  Boston's infamous Big Dig project. The Big Dig cost almost $15 billion, had a cost over run of almost 200% and is the most expensive public highway project in US history. It caused a women's death and the tunnel continues to be plagued with leaks including corrosive salt water from Boston Harbor and road salt spread during freezing weather. All the corrosive salt has caused the light fixtures to fail and corroded the structural steel reinforcements holding up the walls and ceiling - adding more and more maintenance costs to the costly project.

Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle:
The Viaduct is a less than 2 mile double-decked elevated section of State Route 99 (not an interstate) that runs along the waterfront in downtown Seattle. It was damaged by an earthquake in 2001 requiring $14.5 million of emergency repairs from the Washington State Department of Transportation. The viaduct continues to have settling issues, i.e. issues of sinking and cracking. In 2009 there was agreement between the state, King County, city of Seattle and Port Seattle to replace the viaduct with a four lane two mile underground tunnel. At an estimated cost of $4.2 Billion, over a Billion dollars a mile, this is the most expensive transportation project in state history.

There was much criticism over the tunnel decision. The project started in 2013 and was scheduled to open in December 2015. But due to a boring accident, the project was delayed, is four years behind schedule and has incurred $233 million in cost overruns.

And the 2 mile tunnel is tolled with 4 rates: $1 daytime non-peak, $1.50 evening off-peak, $1.75 morning rush hour and $2.50 evening rush hour. Translated to take the tunnel during evening rush hour it will cost $1.25 a mile. The Eye has travelled 30 miles on I-95 Express managed lanes in South Florida during rush hour for $10 which is 30 cents a mile.

And there are no exits in the tunnel to mid-downtown Seattle - it is a tunnel for going through Seattle.

All of the highway tear downs have been contentious, even those that were severely damaged by earthquakes or collapsed due to an accident and lack of maintenance. None of them can be compared to demolishing 10 miles of a heavily travelled interstate that serves as a major evacuation route in a state likely to be impacted by hurricanes.

Boston's Big Dig fiasco was a 3.5 mile interstate segment demolished that was replaced by a tunnel not a street level boulevard. Seattle's Viaduct is being replaced with a tunnel not a street level boulevard.

Obviously we can't build tunnels in Florida….same reason our homes don't have basements…

I-275 is a major evacuation route in Tampa Bay and used by first responders - when every second or minute may matter. In addition, the arterial, connecting and parallel roads along that route are already negatively impacted today and many are failed roads.

Bearss Avenue is a major interstate access and exit point for those in North Hillsborough and South Pasco. There is a lack of major east west roadways in that area and the current ones are failing and congested.

Trains are rendered useless when there are mandatory evacuations as they shut down when evacuations are in full swing. All trains in South Florida were shut down by Saturday. Tri-Rail shut down on the Friday before Irma and was not back in service until 8 days later on 9/16. SunRail shut down early on the Friday before Irma and started limited service today, 9/18.

Tampa Bay is expected to grow by 1.2 million by 2040 and most will bring their vehicles.

We must have all evacuation routes available.

Tearing down any interstate is not an option. Yet according to this SaintPetersblogarticle:

Gwynn [FDOT District 7 Secretary] has told neighborhood activists that FDOT is seriously reviewing Frank’s concept, but there is a caveat to his open-mindedness on the subject. 
“The only concern is we have a lot of traffic coming down from I-275 now, and if we turn it into a boulevard that demand is still going to be there,” he muses. “Some of it might go down I-75, but a lot of it is probably not. Traffic is like water. It takes the path of least resistance.”
FDOT must reject the tear down proposal now.

FDOT must plan for traffic congestion relief and mobility not gridlock or more dangerously congesting our local roads and neighborhood streets.

The "tear down the interstates" crowd wants I-275 north of downtown to become a fixed guideway transit corridor.

Some powers to be, some politicos and perhaps even some at FDOT are proposing to improve I-275 north of downtown by ONLY adding a fixed guideway transit corridor.

This is absurd. 


A simple math problem states what is required.

I-275 must have additional vehicle capacity.

Or we will have gridlock.


====================================================

Note: Want to weigh? Go here (FDOT's Tampa Bay Next initiative) and tell FDOT they must add additional vehicle capacity to I-275 and reject any proposal to tear down I-275 that is a major interstate/evacuation route.  

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.


Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Kriseman on hurricane IRMA – Proactive or reactive?


Kriseman is right about one thing; St. Petersburg is lucky that the full force of IRMA did not hit the City of St. Petersburg on his watch.




St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, former Mayor Rick Baker tapped his current boss and other allies to help open a FEMA Disaster Recovery Registration Center where people would have access to the FEMA online site to register for disaster relief.

Rick Baker FEMA Sign up
The center at 6090 Central Avenue, an Edwards property,  also had limited cell phone charging stations and free food for those who dropped by.

From Tuesday through Friday the served about 1350 meals and about 600 people signed up for FEMA

Rick Baker FEMA Sign up
Details are in the Tampa Bay Times by Charlie Frago: Rick Baker to assist in opening of FEMA Disaster Recovery Registration Center

  

The Kriseman administration took the hint and opened the Enoch Davis Center and the Sunshine Senior Center starting about noon on Friday the September 15, several days after the Edwards/Baker registration effort began.

Note that the centers were closed over the weekend.

Rick Kriseman FEMA Sign up
It seemed a bit like a halfhearted effort given the number of City employees and citizens who would have likely volunteered to work at the City locations over the weekend.

Of the Baker/Edwards effort FEMA spokesman Keith Clair said. "We're just glad they're helping people get their information entered into the system." 

If you need more in formation on FEMA check out: Tampa Bay Times Staff, Need FEMA assistance after Irma? Here's what you need to know.

The Kriseman administration seems to be providing a lot of visuals and broad statements about IRMA not a lot of hands on directed attention.

For example: Kriseman posted on Facebook, “I am extremely disappointed that Duke Energy's self-imposed midnight deadline will pass without power being restored to all of St. Pete. The information provided to me by Duke Energy's CEO and other executives throughout the week gave me the confidence to be patient, and as such, I had encouraged the same from our residents.”

You can assume that the Duke CEO or at least someone close to the CEO’s office follows Facebook, so they got the message.

There is, however, no indication that Kriseman picked up the phone and actually talked to anyone at Duke Energy. He did request a meeting with Duke Energy Officials, no indication if they have accepted the invitation.

The real difference between Baker and Kriseman continues to show up.

You can bet in a situation like this Rick Baker would be communicating directly with the DUKE CEO, not via Facebook.

Baker is a proactive leader who steps out and takes action for his City while Kriseman likes to hang back, wring his hands and blame others when things go wrong.

Kriseman is right about one thing: St. Petersburg is lucky that the full force of IRMA did not hit the City of St. Petersburg on his watch.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hurricane Irma – Social Media ad gouging


The public does not need a web page or social media site that looks like a cross between a pinball machine and a carnival poster.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


We heard lot about price gouging from Governor Scott and Attorney Pam Bondi, and I haven’t seen much of that.

Local TV Channels curtailed most of their advertising for continuous, at times almost too much, hurricane coverage.

I periodically had enough and dropped off to Amazon Prime for a movie.

Local media social media sites and apps were a different story.

They were beset with flashing ads, scrolling crawls and dysfunctional displays of hurricane information.

Side bars, banners and scrolls displayed often confusing information.

Hurricane maps were surrounded by useless text and even more often useless ads. I was not looking for a car at the moment, and it was a little late for hurricane windows at that point.

Even more annoying were the popups, blinking notices and auto start ads with varying volume levels.

As you might imagine we have a number of computers running here and I was looking for continuous feed of the hurricane track with no banner, side bars, scrolls and no ads, so we could have distraction free real-time tracking information that would stay up for up for hours with no interruption.

I could not find, although there may have been one, a local media web site or social media page that would let you open a hurricane tracking map with no banners, scrolls or ads, text boxes and expand to full screen and stay open indefinitely.

IF YOUR MEDIA OUTLET HAD SUCH A SITE AND/OR PAGE COMMENT BELOW.

After considerable searching, I found such a site.

The NBC affiliate in Dallas, Texas Channel 5 had a simple page with limited text and no ads with several options one of them a real time Irma tracking map that would clearly expand to full screen with no banners, scrolls, popups or ads. The page would stay up for 5 to 6 hours at a time and when it did drop it went to an NBC logo and all you had to do was scroll down click the link, and it was good to go for another 6 hours or so.

So, here’s the point. Just because your social media whiz kid can cram a crapload of banners, scrolls, widgets, popups, auto start ads, blinking boxes, pictures, hyperlinks and text boxes full of useless or out of date information on to you web site or Facebook page doesn’t mean you need to.

At times like these, the public does not need a web page or social media site that looks like a cross between a pinball machine and a carnival poster.

People are looking for simplicity, clarity, ease of use, and they ARE NOT SHOPPING.

It is a good bet that a lot of first-time users of local social media, and those slick apps were more than a little turned off by what they found.

It is a little difficult to understand why the same thinking that limited ads and provided clarity on the broadcast side did not prevail on the social media side.

Probably a message for management in there somewhere.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

Please comment below.

Friday, September 15, 2017

After Irma – Things to know before you take your boat out


Leave the salvage efforts to the experts.



St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.



Looks like it may be a pretty nice weekend, and you may be tempted to take the boat out for a cruise around Tamp Bay, up the intercostal waterway or out on one of our fresh water lakes.

First of all, you might want to think carefully before you make that decision.

There will be a lot of floating debris in all of our water ways. Though a lot of stuff gets washed out and up onshore by the tide, a lot of it floats around in Tampa Bay for a long time.

Pieces of docks, construction material, metal roofs and even sunken boats are common scenes following an event like Irma.

A lot of the material floats just under the water making it almost impossible to see. Dock boards are especially notorious for floating just below the surface.

Obviously if you hit one of these objects, it could do a great deal of damage to your boat and/or motor and also to you and any passengers onboard.

It is a good idea to stay away from any sunken or partially submerged vessels or boats and remember that the rigging from a sunken sail boat may still be attached to the hull with long steel cables.

Watch for sailboat masts sticking up out of the water especially at dusk and it is a very good idea to get off the water before it gets dark and you lose all visibility.

I was a charter captain here in Tampa Bay for years and invariably someone tries to pull an abandon boat off a shore or a partially sunken one back to port. Sometimes the results are humorous sometimes they are tragic, but almost always you end up damaging something on your boat.

Be very careful if your boat is powered by an outboard motor, as an improperly secured tow may cause the stern of your boat to sink suddenly when you apply power swamping your vessel in just a moment.

Most modern pleasure vessels are not designed to tow much of anything, and any salvage attempt is a dangerous effort no matter how small the boat you are trying to save.

Leave the salvage efforts to the experts.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Monday, September 11, 2017

What to do after IRMA is gone

Staying safe after the hurricane is your first priority.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.


If you have evacuated and are returning to your home or just venturing outside after the storm passes, here are some suggestions to keep you safe.

Check out this Red Cross Link Be Red Cross Ready

From the Red Cross site:
 “Preparing to return home after evacuating will keep you safer while inspecting and cleaning up the damage to your home. Before traveling, ensure local officials have declared that it’s safe to enter your community and that you have the supplies you will need. Follow the suggestions below for returning to, inspecting and cleaning your home.”

Items to Take When Returning Home:
·         Government-issued photo ID and proof of address
·         Important phone numbers
·         Bottled water and non-perishable foods
·         First aid kit
·         Cleanser/ hand cleaning gel for personal use
·         Hygiene products and toilet paper
·         Insect repellent and sunscreen
·         Long sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy waterproof boots and work gloves
·         Flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries
·         Cameras for photos of damage for insurance claims
·         Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.

Things to watch for:
·         Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
·         If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
·         Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
·         Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
·         Stay out of any building that has water around it.
·         Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
·         Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
·         Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
·         Check for smells of leaking gas
·         Watch out for an increased presence of rats and other rodents which may feed off spoiled food or animal carcasses. Contact animal control authorities for information on how to dispose dead animals found on your property.
·         Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
·         Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
·         Don't wade into the water. Standing floodwater on your property may hide a host of dangers including live electrical lines and fecal matter from overflowed sewage lines.
·         Do not let children play in any water or touch objects that may have been exposed to possibly contaminated water.
·         Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
·         Watch your back. Use teams of two or more people to remove debris and heavy objects that weigh more than 50 pounds.

Take care of yourself:
·         Stay Hydrated
·         Take your medications
·         Take frequent breaks 
·         Wear sunscreen
·         Wear gloves, long pants and boots when removing debries
·         If a task looks dangerous call for help
·         Don’t try to do everything in one day

Finally, don’t take any unnecessary chances. Nothing at your home is worth a serious injury or your life.

Think before you act.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Be sure to follow me on Pintrest (Doc Webb),  Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

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Disclosures: Contributor to Rick Baker for Mayor Campaign 

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