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Items filtered by date: January 2020

Socialism (MERRIAM-WEBSTER) 1) Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods 2) a- A system of society or group living in which there is no private property 2) b- “A system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state” 3) A stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.

In my words…you own nothing!

Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, and Democracy (MERIAM-WEBSTER)

Communism, socialism, capitalism, and democracy are all among our top all-time lookups, and user comments suggest that this is because they are complex, abstract terms often used in opaque ways. They're frequently compared and contrasted, with communism sometimes equated with socialism, and democracy and capitalism frequently linked.

Part of the confusion stems from the fact that the word communism has been applied to varying political systems over time. When it was first used in English prose in the mid-19th century, communism referred to an economic and political theory that advocated the elimination of private property and the common sharing of all resources among a group of people...

Communism and socialism are both frequently contrasted with capitalism and democracy, though these can be false equivalencies depending on the usage. Capitalism refers to an economic system in which a society’s means of “production are held by private individuals or organizations, not the government”, and where products, prices, and the distribution of goods are determined mainly by competition in a “free market”. As an economic system, it can be contrasted with the economic system of communism, though as we have noted, the word communism is used of both political and economic systems…

So, from Bernie Sanders to whomever you pick from the Democrat fruit tree, they want to do away with your Constitutional Republic and replace your Constitution Republic with a duly elected Socialist/Dictator. The stumbling block is your Constitution which provides a litany of Rights and Protections that nobody can change without a Constitutional Convention with 3/4 of the States voting or 3/4 of Congress but even the Supreme Court cannot agree on how to “eliminate” just ONE Amendment! So how would Bernie Sanders, for example, overthrow our Constitutional-Republic, Rule of Law and all the Equal Rights, Right to guns and so forth? He cannot!

Just because a group of fools elects a Communist or Socialist DOES NOT mean that he/she/they can draft a law that states,“ From now on, I Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, or one of the other wannabees, do hereby eliminate the Constitution of the United States and invoke Socialist Rule and abolish all private ownership of all business and equal sharing of all money and everything else that goes with my new government”. It doesn’t work like that.

First, we'd have another revolutionary war but since we Republicans/Conservatives all believe in the 2nd Amendment and all have guns (because we’re smart about this) and you don’t…guess who will win?

Understand folks, that’s the reason why Russia or China will never attack the US because all of us Republicans/Conservatives have guns and… a few Nuclear weapons and…a few submarines that nobody can find…and a few planes that nobody can find! That’s why the fools want to eliminate the 2nd Amendment and our Military…because we will never allow our Constitutional Republic to be overthrown by ANYBODY…not even our own elected fools!

“You elected fools”, just proved that what I say is TRUE… by eliminating our Rule of Law, bypassing our Due Process(6th) Amendment and Equal Rights (14th) Amendment and without any evidence except anonymous allegations ,you illegally “Impeached” our President…how’d that work out? Satisfied now that a bunch of renegades and fools cannot just take over Congress and America?

Thanks to our founders and God for our Constitution!

You saw with your own eyes and heard with your own ears that an elected majority of fools can and will do irreparable damage to your country!
Think twice before you cast a vote and answer this…are you better off now than you were 8 years or 6 or 4 years ago, when we did have a “SOCIALIST” President Obama ?

You bet your bottom you are!

gary smallJ.Gary


Published in Politics
Wednesday, 26 February 2020 20:41

Richard John Lonski: RIP

Fort Myers Beach has lost another true friend and good all around guy.... Rick Lonski.

December 20. 1954 – January 31, 2020.




I met Rick through our mutual Friend Wendy, we often would meet at the Beached Whale to catch local artists and hop around various localities in between band sets and though he was often in pain from life threatening injuries he sustained on the job in Wisconsin, it was rare that anyone knew as he always had a smile for everyone he met and a kind word to say.


He learned early in life he wanted to help others and Rick dedicated his life to doing so.

At the age of 20 he was part of New Berlin Volunteers Fire Dept as Assistant Chief. He remained involved with them from 1974-2000

At 25 he worked for the Wauwatosa Fire Dept. as a Fire Lieutenant and Paramedic and did so for 21 years also till the year 2000.

He was a Paramedic with Flight for Life from 1996-1999

16 years ago, he moved to Fort Myers Beach, Fl. where his infectious smile was contagious to all that knew him.

He was a true friend, a first responder for over 20 years and thus a true hero.


He is preceded in death by Margaret & Henry Lonski. He is survived by his siblings; Jim Lonski, Bob Lonski, JoAnne LaDouceur and hundreds and hundreds of friends here in Lee County and all around the states that miss him already and will continue to do so.



There will be a Celebration of Life on March 12th at Junkanoo on the Beach from 12-4pm located at: 3040 Estero Blvd. Ft Myers Beach  

Please come on out and share your smile as we celebrate his.



In lieu of flowers, any memorial donations should be sent to:

Wauwatosa Fire Dept. 1601 Underwood Ave Wauwatosa, WI 53213

and/or The Fort Myers Beach Fire Dept. 100 Voorhis St. Fort Myers Beach, Fl 33931



Bobby Mimmo



Published in Lifestyle

We are looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 at St. Raphael's Parish Hall located at 5601 Williams Drive, Fort Myers Beach.  We will start promptly at 6:30PM and is scheduled to last 2 hours.

Candidates will be given one (1) minute to introduce themselves.  The questions will be in the open forum style from the audience.  The answers will be in a council type setting so the candidates will be able to interact discussing the issues.  This is your opportunity to see where these potential future council member stand on important issues facing Fort Myers Beach.

Listed below are some of the topics which will probably be discussed. *    Bathrooms at all beach accesses
*    Opinion on the homeless issue and feeding program on FMB
*    Liquor sales by Publix on the south end of the island
*    Outsourcing vs. hiring town employees
*    Controversial Boardwalk on the south end of the island
*    Re-branding of FMB
*    Permitting process
*    Enforcing vacation rental ordinance

the event will be moderated by Doris Grant

Published in Politics

Elvis Aaron Presley, Jr. is a riveting performer with a rare capability to establish a very special rapport with his audience. His incredible singing voice, naturally reminiscent of "The King", and fine sense of humor has thrilled audiences worldwide.

Mr. Presley, Jr. has appeared in 18 countries and 6 islands. Performing for both private and ticketed events, he has appeared in venues ranging from nite clubs and theatres to concert halls and arenas as well as amusement parks and casinos. He has generated 21 DVD’s of his performances and has also had a prolific recording career amassing 39 CD’s culled from both live and studio performances.

In addition to his busy concert schedule, Jr. is the curator of The Private Collection of the King on Tour. Launched in 2013, this spectacular, 53 foot, $500,000 unit with hydraulic side pull-outs and an eye-popping graphic wrap is a one-of-a-kind mobile museum that is sure to thrill any Elvis fan. This collection represents a portion of one of the largest private collections of Elvis memorabilia in the world outside of Graceland. At times, portions of the collection have been on exhibit throughout the United States, Canada (including the Canadian National Exhibition and Paramount's Canada's Wonderland), Europe, and Asia. It existed as a stationary museum for 18 years in Niagara Falls, Canada. However, this marks the first time that the collection has been available as a mobile museum. The collection encompasses motorcycles, costumes, jewelry, movie props, personal items and other exciting memorabilia.

Roll-out exhibits, for larger spaces, are available to accompany the museum and include vehicles, costumes and other memorabilia from such celebrities as Roy Orbison, Liberace, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Muhammad Ali, Barbara Mandrell, Linda Thompson and Skeeter Davis. Many venues (including theatres, fairs, and casinos) utilize the museum as a prelude to an Elvis Jr. concert allowing visitors to view the museum in their venue for several days, a week, or more before the concert.

At this point, you may be wondering just who is Elvis Aaron Presley, Jr.? He is the son of the late Elvis Presley born out-of-wedlock, unbeknownst to Elvis, (at the time) on December 24, 1961 in Gary, Indiana - the result of a liaison between Elvis Presley and Angelique Delores Pettyjohn, a young actress and dancer from Chicago who was an extra hired to be a dancer in the film "Blue Hawaii" (1961) - she returned to Chicago - in child, Elvis' child. (Elvis later made sure Angelique Pettyjohn stared in one of his later movies Clambake in 1967.)

During this time, Elvis was at the height of his fame and Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, feared that a marriage to Angelique, as well as his impending fatherhood, would seriously damage the King’s reputation thereby destroying his wealth and fame. Great pressure was exerted upon the actress to have an abortion. While Angelique was unwilling to abort the baby, she did agree to deliver the baby in secret thereby saving Elvis the shame and publicity of a Hollywood scandal. She also agreed to allow the child to be adopted immediately following the birth.
Colonel Parker, who was an orphan himself, was adopted by a circus couple, he drew on his own experience and began combing the circus troupes for a suitable couple. “Colonel Tom Parker, came from a carnival background and a circus background,” says Presley Jr. “It was his decision that when my real mother was impregnated that she put this child up for adoption because it could have ruined Elvis’ career. Not being married to the actress and having a child born out of wedlock would have ruined him at that time - totally.

He found them in a young Yugoslavian couple known as “The Vargas” performers who were traveling with the Ringling Brothers Circus throughout North America. The young couple very much wanted a child of their own and at the time, was unable to conceive. Arrangements were made and immediately following the birth, when Pettyjohn gave up her son, her words to the couple were, “Take special care of this boy; he belongs to Elvis.” The conditions of the adoption were simple and the young couple adhered to them: first, they were not to reveal under any circumstances, the child’s biological parents until the infant reached his 21st birthday; second, they were not to seek any monetary compensation from the Presley family on behalf of the child.

With the adoption complete, the infant who began life as Phillip Stanic, grew up surrounded by the glittering circus world.

He later trained exotic cats and by the age of 15 was known as the youngest wild animal trainer in the world. He trained his exotics with love - no whips, no chairs & and uncaged. His cats have been featured in many commercials including those for Kit Kat chocolate bars and Cougar Lincoln Mercury automobiles as well as several movies such as Sahara featuring Brooke Shields and Cat People starring Natasha Kinski.

At the age of 16 he discovered he could sing. (Blood tests showed that "Anita Stanic" could not be the mother of Elvis Jr/Philip Stanic) and he began performing in clubs and showcases at night while working with his cats during the day. When Phillip reached his 21st birthday, he was told he was adopted and that his father was Elvis Presley.

After much inner struggle, Phillip realized that he wanted his true identity to be acknowledged. He applied for and was granted on January 21, 1985 the legal right to bear the name Elvis Aaron Presley, Jr. by the United States Federal Court system. Angelique Dolores Pettyjohn, admitted to being birth mother to Elvis Jr.

After sufficient documents, sworn testimonies, and additional evidence presented by independent third parties were presented to a judge and after proof having been made to the satisfaction of the Court "that notice of hearing thereon was given in the manner and form required by law and no objections having been filed by any person, Phillip Stanic by the decision of the U.S. Federal Court", was recognized as Elvis Aaron Presley, Jr

Elvis Jr. will be in concert with Dino Anthony as Dean Martin at the Moose Event Center on March 8th & 9th 2020, seating is limited to only 100, the night also includes chef prepared hours doeuvres with a cash bar .... for ticket information call Jerry: 239-810-4587


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Published in General/Features
Sunday, 23 February 2020 22:58

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

Read your article about giving Obama credit for the current economy but I think people have short memories. All these charts being shared on liberal Facebook pages mask the true disaster of the Obama economy. Look what’s behind all the charts, and you see pretty clearly that the economy recovered in spite of Obama rather than because of him. Its frankly ludicrous and pretty misleading to claim Trump is benefiting from Obama’s economy or that this economy is the continuation of Obama’s efforts.

Here are some facts and reminders:
In the first two years of his term, despite the recession being in full force, he put in place a new entitlement (Obamacare) with a whole host of new taxes and heavy costing compliance regulations. This had two primary effects. First, the “one plan covers all” law raised the deductable costs and premiums for everyone, business and personal alike.

This meant people and companies started shifting previously disposable monies into reserves for those. Second, it created tremendous uncertainty in the market as more and more regulations and costs were being added at the time beyond Obamacare itself.

Small to medium sized companies then began shifting to part time workers to avoid regulatory costs and allow resizing flexibility. Large companies began to simply put themselves into a profitable position and began hoarding cash while waiting for a more business friendly environment. Does anyone remember companies hoarding cash? Large companies did the same and the economy just started moving sideways.

With little or no growth going on people started leaving the workforce. The unemployment rate did go down but it was mainly because people either left the workforce or stopped looking for work. It was because the workforce was shrinking! This is not hard to prove if you just look at the labor participation rates during Obama's term. In Jan 2008 it was 66.2%. when Trump won the Presidency and took over, it was 62.4. Nobody
apparently wants to post that .

What about the Stock market? Well it is true the stock market grew,
almost tripled under Obama, but what is never mentioned is why it grew. Obamanomics supporters always seem to leave that part out. Since business had started hoarding cash they started paying higher
dividends. This obviously caused investors to buy stocks INSTEAD of investing in startups because basically there was very little else to put it. Also, 401ks if anyone remembers were pretty anemic. Remember how yours did under Obama compared to now? Significant IPOs were virtually nonexistent. Does anyone remember their 401k taking a hit? I do!

How about any of these other wonderful events of the Obama economy? The wonderful environmental investments like Solyndra... wasting billions of our tax dollars and others that failed? They were supposed to be part of the great green jobs initiative he was going to use to stimulate the “new” economy with.

Does anyone remember the administration labeling the economy flat lining as the “new normal” with some jobs never coming back?

Because people had left the workforce or quit looking, safety net systems swelled like crazy. Do you remember Nancy Pelosi at one point actually marketing them saying food stamps were good for stimulating the economy. Does anyone remember that?

How about the wonderful failed $800b stimulus with Obama later acknowledging “I guess those shovel ready projects weren't as shovel ready as we thought”. Obama used them primarily for Democratic support organizations and unions. Do you remember Democrats arguing for a second one because the first one wasn’t apparently big enough? Clearly nothing was working at that point.

Or how about certain Obamacare taxes being so punitive that medical device manufactures left the country to get away from them. Eventually that one got delayed but it was too late.

Or how about the Cadillac insurance taxes? Boy unions loved that. Eventually even Democrats called them oppressive and worked to repeal both. Does anyone remember that?

Or how about Democrats, due to the no growth economy, extending unemployment benefits up to 73 weeks beyond the existing 26 because it was clear things were not working.

How about the term “jobless recovery” as literally trillions were being held off shore to avoid Obamas great anti-business economy. Then Democrats trying to pass punishing taxes to leave the US. Does anyone remember the term “corporate inversion” as companies began to flood off shore? Boy the economy was roaring wasn’t it?

Or how about the massive regulatory compliance costs he implemented through bureaucratic regulation. All kinds of lovely reporting and operational business requirements. You know, like expanding the EPA authority to cover ponds in your back yard. Forcing tons of environmental costs and studies. This of course targeting the oil and gas companies in order to delay or kill various endeavors. This in one of the biggest employment sectors in the country. Eventually the biggest problem for US companies in multiple CNBC, CNN, and fox/wsj surveys was stated as regulatory compliance costs.

Or how about trying to kill what was left of the coal industry by regulation. Man that helped jobs.

Does anyone remember banks overseas closing US citizens bank accounts because they didn’t feel like opening their books to the IRS?

Remember the wonderful spike in state and federal employees between 2008-2011? That was supposed to stimulate a ton of growth like the new deal.

Or how about in 2013 where Obama was trying to explain why, for the first time in US history, more small businesses (the traditional engine of recession recovery) were closing rather than opening. He had found himself at that point presiding over the slowest recession recovery in US history.

Or how about his wonderful changes to immigration that started counting people caught at the border as being deported. On the surface looking like he was deporting a ton of people while masking the thousands and thousands under catch and release that got in and helped drive down labor rates. Boy that was a big job creator.

Lastly, The fact is that Obama's economy was so “great” the Democrats lost @1000 elected seats nationally because of it.

The Trump economy is completely different. His unemployment numbers on the chart continue down however the he’s doing it with a now growing workforce as the participation rate is now 63.4%.

Investment and growth are now in full force as the biggest problem businesses now face is finding skilled workers. Millions of jobs go unfilled. Wonder what the rate would be if those jobs got filled? This also is pushing labor rates up.

The stock market continues to sky rocket but new investment is now the big deal and significant IPOs are going crazy. Companies are now starting to move back to the US instead of the corporate inversion policies Obamanomics stimulated.

Clearly people can use just plain charts to say whatever you want but frankly its what’s never mentioned that makes the difference.

IMO it will remain so in November.

Pat Morris

Published in Letters To The Editor
Sunday, 23 February 2020 22:54

Letters to the Editor

To the Editor,

Seems so simple!! I HATE the "climate change" HOAX!!

The same crew did the same thing with acid rain, the Ozone layer scare, Global cooling, droughts and deserts consuming the planet.

Every 10 years this Progressive (anything but progressive) power hungry party scares all the young and vulnerable masses to believe the sky is falling.
We always laugh and say " no one will believe it".

Then comes Al Gore. A scorn, dishonest politician with corrupt science. And yes, he edited all of the initial research just to scare the fools.


Screenshot 84


If you do your home work you will be educated like Maggie here.

Lisa Burke

Published in Letters To The Editor

A free society cannot function without vibrant professional newspapers. In light of that truism, the latest dire news for the industry -- that McClatchy newspapers, publisher of The Kansas City Star, the Belleville News-Democrat and almost 30 other newspapers in 14 states across America, is filing for bankruptcy -- should worry every American who cares about our democracy. In this era of politics whereby many see mainstream media as the enemy, real journalism needs all the public support it can get.

The good news is that McClatchy, a 163-year-old family-owned company that also publishes The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and a host of other legacy newspapers, says the bankruptcy won't immediately affect its newsrooms. The bad news is, recent history indicates that will be a difficult promise to keep.

The chain's bankruptcy plan would give it breathing room from $700 million in debt to strengthen its digital business while operating under the control of its longtime creditor, hedge fund Chatham Asset Management. Hedge fund control of newspapers is a concerning trend, given the funds' penchant for slashing labor-intensive journalism operations to goose short-term profits. Meanwhile, the consolidation of thousands of previously separate, often family-owned newspapers under a relative handful of corporate owners raises dire questions about journalistic independence.

At the root of the problem lies the internet, which has flooded society with so much free information that getting people to pay for it via newspaper subscriptions is an increasingly difficult pitch. There's a huge difference between serious professional journalism offered by newspapers and the unreliable or irrelevant (or worse) noise that fills so much of cyberspace under the "news" label. An information-inundated public doesn't always see the difference.

A president who routinely brings attention to fake news doesn't help the newspapers that are doing a good job , but this crisis long predates Donald Trump. According to a report last year by PEN America, weekday U.S. newspaper circulation since 2008 has fallen by about 36%. Think about that: How many industries could absorb the loss of more than a third of their core business in a little over a decade?

"One problem with losing local coverage is that we never know what we don't know," notes Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan. "Corruption can flourish, taxes can rise, public officials can indulge their worst impulses." We're seeing those worst impulses today from Washington to Naples -- but we're only seeing them because of professional journalism.

We wish the best for our competitor-colleagues and we encourage their readers to keep reading -- and subscribing.

McClatchy's problems, and those of the entire newspaper industry, are unlike other evolutionary market changes because of their unique threat to democracy.

When the horse-drawn buggy gave way to the automobile, craftsmen lost their livelihoods and a way of life disappeared, but it didn't endanger the healthy functioning of our republic. This does.


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Published in Sun Bay Editorials




The Florida House on Thursday afternoon is poised to adopt a bill that will require girls under the age of 18 to get parental consent before they legally can have an abortion.

The House on Wednesday sent Senate Bill 404 to its third reading after a three-hour, often testy, debate in which the outcome never was in doubt, teeing it up for Thursday’s likely adoption.

SB 404, which was sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, and passed the Senate on Jan. 30 in a 23-17 vote, substituted its House companion, House Bill 265, filed by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach.

The bill potentially could be signed into law within days by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has identified the measure as a legislative priority, making Florida the sixth state in the nation to require parental consent for a minor to have an abortion.

When SB 404 was introduced onto the Senate floor Jan. 30, it was contested fiercely by Democrats, who submitted 28 floor amendments – none of which gained any traction in the chamber.

House Democrats, who never took a caucus position on the bill because several of its 47 members supported it – Rep. Kim Daniels of Jacksonville cosponsored Grall’s measure – challenged the measure with 13 proposed amendments, all of which failed.

Among proposed changes were expanding access to the measure’s judicial bypass; allowing other adults and family members, such as grandparents and mental-health counselors, to provide consent; and exemptions for rape, incest and human-trafficking victims.

Rep. Javier Fernandez, D-Coral Gables, pounded the proposal for privacy intrusions, predicting the law will spur expensive lawsuits the state will lose.

Grall said parents’ fundamental right to raise their children – and their responsibilities in ensuring their children's well-being – supersedes a minor child’s “not unfettered” right to privacy.

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, said LGBTQ youth and “young women at the margins” often have strained relationships with parents, adding he's skeptical they could get parental consent and could secure judicial waivers, making “challenging decisions” even more complicated for already overwhelmed, reluctant parents.

The Florida Supreme Court struck down the state’s parental-consent law in 1989. Current state law requires parents be notified only if an unemancipated minor daughter plans an abortion.

A last-ditch amendment by Democrats to exempt rape, incest and human-trafficking victims from the waiver requirement was shot down.

Grall said the exemption was unnecessary, stating any girl facing such a circumstance should “go in front of a judge and explain what happened to her,” which would kick-start a range of services she could be eligible for to be protected.

“Very few judicial waivers are not granted,” Grall said, adding the bypass was created to provide “an opportunity to explain what it is she wants to do.”

Rep. Shevrin Jones, D-West Park, said he wondered, “Will there be an uptick in the number of young people seeing back-alley abortions if this bill passes.” It was uncertain whether he was asking a question or making a statement.

Under SB 404, a parent or legal guardian must grant consent – not merely be notified – before a minor obtains an abortion.

Both bills include a judicial bypass that allows an unemancipated girl to seek permission from a judge within three days for an abortion if she cannot get consent from her parents. There also are exemptions for medical emergencies.

The bill would make it a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, for “aborting infants born alive.”

John Haughey
The Center Square

Published in Lifestyle
Sunday, 23 February 2020 22:35

Calusa Palooza 2020




Calusa Palooza 2020, a daylong, family friendly, water-themed festival culminating with a double-header rock show from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 22, (save the date) in Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers.

During the week prior to the Calusa Palooza festival and Concert for Clean Water, Keep Lee County Beautiful, in partnership with Calusa Waterkeeper, will spearhead the largest-ever cleanup of our waterways in our region’s history, from March 14-22. For more information on the cleanup call 239- 784-0880 or go to:

The music headliner is an original national touring Eagles tribute band, 'Hotel California'. They have been playing Eagles hits since 1986, Also performing will be St. Petersburg favorites Elly and Company.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day starts in Centennial Park with a family friendly, educational activities themed around clean water fun, including a nature workshop, kayak and paddleboard races, paleontology exhibit, master naturalist
exhibit, boating safety training, fishing tutorial for kids, Calusa Waterkeeper Ranger testing demo, rowing demonstration (on-land), musical entertainment, even a live mermaid show. There will be vendors, food trucks and more.

Then at 4 p.m., the Concert for Clean Water will begin, a ticketed music festival 'Calusa Palooza' Elly and Company will play a plethora of country, rock, blues, ’60s surf and R&B music on the main stage from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by the headlining Hotel California performing from 7 to 9 p.m. with food trucks, vendors and beer sales.

“Calusa Palooza has something for everyone,” said Calusa Waterkeeper executive director and event producer KC Schulberg. “We’re thrilled to bring the entire community together for fun activities and a rock concert along the waterfront, all to support clean water.”

Early bird tickets for the Concert for Clean Water featuring both rock bands are currently available, starting at $18 for general admission. The early bird $35 VIP tickets include access to front-of-stage seating. Chairs will be provided. The early bird $50 VIP Plus parking tickets include premium parking within 400 feet of the stage, plus front-of-stage seating and chairs. There is free admission for children under 10 years of age. To purchase tickets or for more information on the event: Sponsorship opportunities are still available.


small smiley face with sunglasses1

Published in General/Features

Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees told a Senate committee Tuesday that the state has established protocols and procedures to contain the coronavirus should there be an outbreak.

“There are no cases of novel coronavirus – COVID-19 – in Florida,” Rivkees said, adding the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rates the risk of an outbreak “as low.”

Rivkees said 17 Floridians have been tested for the virus. None has proven infected.

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) is “fully engaged” with the CDC and county health departments, he said. There are incident-management teams in place and ready to respond should a case be diagnosed, he said.

If people of interest are identified, they will be tested, placed in home isolation and monitored, Rivkees said, noting the DOH has a page on its website dedicated to coronavirus information.

The CDC is sending Florida and other states new test kits, he said, after previously provided kits produced inconclusive results or none at all.

“We’ll have lab testing” capacity soon, Rivkees said. “The kits are being remanufactured and reissued.”

Dr. John Sinnott, chairman of Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine at Tampa General Hospital and director of the Florida Infectious Disease Institute, said to prevent an outbreak, the “single most important thing is hand-washing” and “surface cleaning; this virus lives up to nine days on inanimate objects.”

Sinnott said doctors’ offices and medical facilities must “ensure ventilator equipment is properly cleaned” and workplaces and schools can take measures to reduce risks.

“If you are sick with fever and cough, for God’s sake, don’t go to work,” he said, suggesting employers consider teleworking and “staggering shifts,” while schools reduce “class mixing” and install “more hand-sanitizer stations.”

“No. 1, everyone should have a flu shot,” Sinnott said. “The flu is an immediate threat to Florida’s population right now.”

More than 31 million Americans have been diagnosed with the flu this winter, which is expected to cause 25,000 deaths nationwide, he said.

“We don’t want to be distracted by Wuhan when we have something serious going on right here,” Sinnott said.

Coronavirus likely will fade with warming weather, Sinnott said, but that is uncertain.

“I have suspicions some (transmissions) may be airborne,” he said, fearing “the virus can hover 12-24 hours” in the air.

Rivkees cautioned the CDC has not confirmed the virus can spread airborne nor has it determined “the notion you can get the virus from a surface.”

Rivkees and Sinnott emphasized the CDC and DOH immediately will report any documented cases of coronavirus.

“It has to be transparent. We cannot cover this up,” Sinnott said, because “self-protection is critical” and people must know “how to protect themselves.”

“If there is a confirmed case, it will absolutely be reported to the public,” Rivkees said.

What won’t be reported, Rivkees said, are specifics about people who are under investigation because “patient confidentiality is very hugely valued by the state.”

Sinnott said much remains uncertain about the virus.

“I may be talking to you about an incredibly serious global pandemic or I may be talking to you about a localized Asian phenomena,” he said. “We just don’t know.”

John Haughey
The Center Square

Published in Environment
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