Et omne aliud is Latin for “and everything else” and sounds a hell’a’va lot better than “everything else,” which is exactly the topic of today’s post. Let’s start with Jamestown.
J&N Stone & 42nd Street
- It appears that Davenport, Florida, Commissioner Rob Robinson has taken it as his personal mission to address the issues raised last month about J&N Stone’s dumping. While I don’t know exactly what he did, I do know that he made his opinion on this matter known to them. Word on the street was that he raised a red hot branding iron, labeled Bad Neighbor, in their direction and they folded! Regardless, J&N has apparently gotten the message. Way to go, Robbie!
- J&N Stone did put “caution” tape around part of the dumping site as they start work on cleaning it up but it was torn down by Irma. Here’s hoping they can afford more tape, as they have eight acres of formerly pristine land heading up the waters of Horseshoe Creek to get cleaned.
- There is a road upgrade planned for the section of 42nd Street alongside J&N. It’s not going to be blacktop but some gravel-like, truck-resistant pavement. That should ease the number of potholes on that street and return to residents on the Northside a functional non-17/92 entrance.
- Commissioner Robinson asked that residents of the area note that this section of 42nd Street is not a City of Davenport road but a Polk County road.
- Only one more note but one worth noting: the City of Davenport this year has invested in excess of $100,000 of grants and municipal funds into upgrades for Jamestown Park that will benefit the whole Northside area and the Davenport region as a whole.
Hurricane Irma: Storm of the Century … So Far
One lesson that powerful hurricanes, like Irma, expose are vulnerabilities. Irma did just that.
- Power was lost in a state that seems to always have problems with electricity, but many communities with power lines underground didn’t lose power. A lesson for Davenport? We lost power here for between four and five days. A lot of food went bad; a lot of tensions were raised. While it’s expensive to transfer power underground, is the price tag worth it to ensure that voters and residents can take another Cat 2 hurricane without loss of power?
- Because our former city manager, Amy Arrington, lied to City Hall during her decade-long tenure here, stating that our main government facility had a back-up generator, when it didn’t, Davenport was plunged into a bit of a crisis.
- We had a few odds against us during the hurricane, such as MRE’s not actually being MRE’s and electricity being out just long enough for all our refrigerator groceries to go bad, but overall Davenport did spectacularly well. Besides exposing vulnerabilities, hurricanes also expose winners and oddities.
- Winner #1: While Polk County suffered wastewater issues, Davenport was A-OK; all toilets here flushed in their intended directions.
- Winner #2: The Davenport Dolphins, who spent their time grilling up hot dogs for residents at Wilson Park.
- Winner #3: To those who mostly never get enough credit, our city staff, for serving water and food to well over 30,000 regional residents through the West Orange Street distribution point.
- Winners #4 & #5: Commissioner Barbara Pierson for being out there with staff during the entire distribution effort and for working background on everything Irma. And, to former commission candidate Abel Gonzalez, thank you too for helping when you where able. (Pun cute. Huh?)
- My Doggone Neighbors: After the power was finally turned back on, those running generators were apparently unaware that electrical normalcy had been restored. We generator-less ones laughed for hours.
- Grocery stores: As it turned out, grocery stores weren’t as prepared for Irma as one may have thought. After the hurricane, I decided to re-stock my fridge at Publix. My fav grape jelly, Polaner, was tops on my list. Meandering through each aisle, I was amazed at what was empty on their shelves. You could get any size storage bag, for instance, but fuck-all (That’s British.) if you wanted a gallon-sized freezer bag; and that stood with whole milk too, not even a pint to be sold, unless you’re a skim baby; and eggs, only the gourmet eggs were left on the shelves at a budget-ceasing price of $6.99 a dozen; and, lastly, the jelly. You could buy strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, orange, apple, peach, apricot, pomegranate, pineapple, mango, and cherry, but grape? Oh, the horror of my find when I discovered that grape, yes grape, was the only flavor one could not buy at Publix after Hurricane Irma. Bitch.