Sunday, October 31, 2021

The Electric Vehicle an All-New Experience for The Driver, Biker, Bicyclist and Pedestrian


WEST COAST        

Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD
AuthorIn Search of Robin  

I almost got run over by a Tesla a week or so ago. It was not really my fault or the Tesla driver's fault it was the car's fault.

I had an early-morning appointment at my doctor's office, which is in a small building with an attached parking lot in the rear. I pulled in and parked in one of the available slots at the rear of the building walked up toward the back of the building and then started around the corner of the building to the front entrance.

As I stepped out of the corner which was into the driveway from the front entrance into the parking lot, I was nearly run down by a very large black Tesla. I'm not sure who was the most startled, me or the driver of the Tesla. The problem is he couldn't see me coming, and I could not hear him coming either.

One of the fascinating characteristics of electric vehicles, cars and trucks, is they are extremely quiet, even the best gas or diesel-powered automobile makes a slight sound when it's running.

Not so with the electric car. No sound, nothing. They make a little noise on the highway when they're up to speed from passing through the air but when moving slowly through a parking lot or down a city street, there's virtually no sound from the car.

So, it's easy for them to sneak up on you.

We are all going to have to change our transportation habits.

I put together a list of things you need to consider when you're a pedestrian crossing a street, walking through a parking lot, riding on one of those so-called bike paths that is carved out of streets with two simple little white lines, your whole level of awareness needs to increase.

Instead of walking along the parking lot, cell phone in hand, checking text messages you're much better advised to be in heads-up mode looking in both directions and glancing behind you all the time.

When you are walking around the corner of a building, or any structure, for that matter, and the turn leads you into a driveway or an alley, you need to stop before you walk around that corner and look around the corner to see if there's a car or a truck coming because if it's electric, you may not hear it.

All of this is really kind of a sea change for the way we function these days as we wonder somewhat aimlessly through parking lots, across streets, around corners, looking at our cell phone and listening with our ears to what might be oncoming traffic. That approach to life is not going to work anymore in the very near future.

I think bicyclists have an awful lot to worry about also.

I don't know about you, but when I ride my bicycle, I can often find myself drifting into a very comfortable place enjoying the ride, enjoying the scenery, looking for people to say hi to, looking for other bicyclists and just generally not paying a whole lot of attention to what's going on around me.

That approach to bicycling isn't going to work either.

Same problem. You just cannot hear that electric car coming up behind you. It's there before you know it, and if you suddenly turn into its path, the result is not going to work out well in your favor.

So, along with all of this comes a change in the way we are going to have to drive. Looking at the proposed sales figures of electric vehicles for the next five to seven years the number of these vehicles coming online and on the road is just going to be something a little short of staggering.

When there was just Tesla and a couple of other companies sort of fooling around in the electric car market it really wasn't much of a deal.

However, as these cars become more plentiful and with lower costs, they make excellent vehicles to take children to school, to go get groceries and run around town presenting a whole new series of hazards for us to look at.

I'll be writing a series of posts on electric vehicles. I think they're great; I think they're good for the economy; I think they're good for the environment I think they're good for people in general.

But we are going to have to refine the way we ride, drive, work, and walk. So, if you're going to be out there walking your dog, riding your bike, taking your kid to school or just wandering through the parking lot at your favorite mall, keep your head up, your eyes open, and rely a little less on your ears as the way you keep from getting run over.

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Friday, October 29, 2021

Election Time is Coming – Will You Vote?


WEST COAST        

Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD 

In southern West Coast Florida counties, election day is Thursday.

These elections often don't draw much interest from the voting public, but there's an old adage in politics that says. “The government that affects you the most is your local government.”

Below is a table showing seven southern Florida West Coast counties and the breakdown of registered voters along with the links to the supervisor of elections website.

If you live in one of these counties and would like some general information about upcoming elections, voter registration, mail in ballots, and absentee ballots, this link is the source for Election information in your County.









































 Source: County Supervisor of Elections Active Registered Voters as of 6/23/21    

For general election information and how elections are conducted on a statewide basis you can check out the Florida Division of Elections. The Florida Division of Elections facilitates coordination and interpretation of election laws and establishes uniform standards to ensure fair and accurate elections in Florida.

For the best up-to-date information on local, state, and federal elections visit

In both upcoming election cycles 2021, and 2022 we are likely to see a growing number of new faces entering the political arena from a broad spectrum of political views and ideas. If recent trends are any indicator, we could see large numbers of candidates in races for Mayors, SWchool Boards, City Commission members, County Commission members, State House and Senate representative seats as well as U.S. Congressional races, which will take place in 2022.

Incumbency has always been a powerful benefit in second, third and fourth tier elected posts in our state, federal, and local governing bodies.

I think we're going to see a change in that this year. In many cases, incumbency may be as big a detriment as it has been an asset in the past. And therefore, I would certainly encourage you as a voter, to take a strong look at the first time candidates who may be running for your local mayor, or your local county commission seat, or your Florida State House or Senate seat. The person that's been serving there for the last 15 years may not necessarily be the best person to represent your interests going forward.

Our society is changing at a dramatic rate. In fact, somebody a lot smarter than me once said, “In government change is not really the issue it's the rate of change that's the problem.”

In the past, government has been afforded the privilege of being somewhat sleepy based and having ample time to make decisions that affect people's everyday lives.

The public is growing weary of that approach to governing, and this new crop of political candidates at least proposes to change that.

It's unclear if they'll be able to do so, but one thing is for certain, voting for the people that have been there in the past will only assure that what's been going on in the past will continue.

In most political circumstances, a new face may well be better able to provide new solutions to even some of the oldest problems.

You, like many others, may tend to just pass on this election.

I would encourage you to please not do that. 

Every one of these offices is important. Every one of them elected will cast votes in your community, in your county, in your state that will somehow affect you. If you want to have your say represented, then pick a candidate who represents you and vote for them.

E-mail Doc at mail to: or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Florida News Connection  

October 26, 2021


Trimmel Gomes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida's surgeon general Dr. Joseph Ladapo is facing bipartisan rebuke for refusing to wear a mask at the office of a state senator who told him she had a serious medical condition.

Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, said Florida's top health official requested to meet with her in August as he seeks confirmation, but she had not yet made public her breast cancer diagnosis. All she asked of him was to wear a mask, and he refused. She asked him why he couldn't wear a mask, and she said he wouldn't answer.

"More important for him to take a stand against masks than to put a piece of fabric over his face for ten minutes to talk to me, and he is just unfit to serve in that position, so I wanted people to know," Polsky stated.

Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, president of the Senate, sent a memo to senators Saturday in support of Polsky, saying the encounter "was unprofessional and will not be tolerated."

The surgeon general's stance is no surprise since he is opposed to mask mandates, and he has called into question the safety of COVID vaccines.

Polsky has stage-one breast cancer and said she is very concerned for the well-being of those with compromised immune systems, including Gov. Ron DeSantis' wife, Casey, who announced her own breast cancer diagnosis earlier this month.

Polsky said getting COVID would mean having to skip critical treatments.

"I want her to please be very, very careful so that she can get her treatment in a timely manner," Polsky stressed. "And I would say to the governor, please don't put an anti-science person in as our number one public health professional."

A Department of Health spokesperson confirmed the meeting but said Ladapo did not make the comment. Lapado's actions are being criticized by Democrats, who say he should not be confirmed.

Content for this Post is provided by Florida News Connection, a Bureau of Public News Service.  Public News Service is a member of the The Trust Project.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Immigration a Different Look

WEST COAST        

Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD
In Search of Robin  

Instead of building walls and putting up barriers it's time we open the gates of opportunity. I have watched with interest as global troubles everywhere from Afghanistan to Guatemala have increased the number of refugees and immigrants trying to gain entrance into the United States.

At the same time, I have been amazed at the large number of jobs that are currently available in the American economy that are going unfilled.

It seems to me, we may be staring the solution to our inability to fill open jobs right in the face and not fully recognizing it.

If all of these jobs are available, and many if not most of these immigrants are looking to enter the US in search of a better life and opportunity, then are we missing the opportunity to marry these two sets of circumstances together?

Maybe it's time to rethink our approach to immigration both from overseas and at the southern US border.

Let's start down South at the border.

Let's begin by giving everyone over 18 years of age a three-year work visa with an automatic 3-year renewal barring any serious law enforcement infractions.

Let's include with that three-year visa, work training, English training, and training to help reach full citizenship.

This package would include an absolute guarantee of U.S. citizenship if the recipient of the work visa meets these criteria:

Six years of continued employment in US workforce.

No criminal activity.

Fluid in English

A simple non complicated 10 or 20 question test along with a statement of loyalty to the United States of America would result in full US citizenship for the individual, his or her spouse, and their children.

US domestic employers, would employ these individuals on their work visa, reporting quarterly on the status of all their work visa employees. The same employers would be responsible for providing training for the workforce, English language training,

Let's look, for example, at the number of refugees who are available and looking for entry into the United States of America.

A similar program to the one above would be established for European immigrants who would include in addition, full vetting of any political activity and deep background checks.

These Afghanistan refugees and immigrants would be granted the same three-year work visa with an automatic 3-year extension if there is no criminal activity, and a guaranteed simplified path to citizenship at the end of that sixth year, for the individual, their spouse and their immediate children.

It just seems foolish to me to be turning people away from our shores and from our borders who are willing to come to the United States and work. If participants in this program failed to seek employment, they should be deported. If applicants for this program failed to meet the study requirements, they should be deported following due process.

It's time to quit looking at the borders and the immigrants who want to come here as a threat, and start looking at them as an asset that we can bring into our workforce, which will improve not only our economy but also our society.

Not a lot of people will agree with this approach; they think the United States is for people that are special. Well, here's a new way of looking at it.

These people are special, at least most of them. They are fleeing tyranny, political oppression, totalitarian governments, devastated economies, and all most of them are asking for is an opportunity to work and participate in an economy and a society that will allow them to raise their children educate them and give them a better life then they have fled from.

Will there be those that fail? There certainly will.

But I suspect, if given the chance, and the training, and the support, many of these people will go on to be highly successful themselves and raise children who will be even better educated and more successful than they are.

It's time we take a proactive look at immigration and what it can do for us rather than focusing on what it might do to us.

If you agree with this idea or would at least like to see it explored a bit more, repost on social media and like it so that all your friends can have an opportunity to weigh in.

It's time we rekindle the fire under the melting pot and turn the US into something even more special than the last few centuries.

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