9.13.2017

Disaster Relief: Please Consider How You Might Give!







The Best-Kept Secret in Disaster Relief: Southern Baptists

Excerpt:

As Hurricane Irma leaves behind a trail of destruction and pain, the nation again turns its eyes to disaster relief. Just a few weeks ago, Hurricane Harvey brought out the best in many of us. Desiring to aid the victims in Texas, celebrities traded on their popularity to encourage donations and volunteers. Average citizens opened up their wallets, gave of their time, and expended energy as they rushed to help fellow citizens. Local non-profits and large multi-national corporations alike demonstrated that compassion is a universal trait of humanity. No doubt, the response to Hurricane Irma will be just as compassionate and swift.

As people and organizations rush to Florida to aid those affected by Hurricane Irma, one organization that responds to natural disasters is often overlooked — the Southern Baptist Convention's Disaster Relief program. Under the auspices of the North American Mission Board, SBC, the Disaster Relief program quickly moves into devastated areas with well-trained and coordinated manpower, physical resources like food and clothing, and, of course, money.
Christians Far Outgive Government in Hurricane Relief

Excerpt:

From Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to non-denominational Christian groups to the Methodists to the Seventh Day Adventists, each faith-based organization specializes in different areas, and has processes in place that no government agency can drop in and set up on a whim.

If we want a full recovery it's not going to come from the bureaucratic mammoth that is Big Government, but rather, God, and His church, because unlike the federal government, this is the charge for each Christian:

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13
Comment: Two state agencies:

Texas Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
Florida Southern Baptist Disaster Relief

9.12.2017

Naples: Irma Aftermath - "Over-all, your city is a mess"




Ladies and Gentlemen:

The purpose of this message is to provide information to you regarding the conditions in Naples following yesterday's Hurricane Irma.

The reports provided by the national news services fairly represented actual conditions. Hurricane-force winds were ferocious. Maximum wind speed of 142 m.p.h. was reported. The eye wall, the most powerful part of the hurricane, passed over Naples and was followed by the calm "eye". Rather than experiencing hurricane-force winds after the eye passed through, the wind velocity, while significant, did not approach the velocity of the front quadrant. We understand that significant hurricane force winds did continue further inland. Winds continued through the night and began to subside by day break.

Electrical power is lost in most areas. Because of state-wide outages, electrical service may not be restored for days, or perhaps weeks. Water service is not available in some neighborhoods. Numerous water line breaks, caused by up-rooted trees, have drained the water system. The water treatment plant continues to provide water, but full-service will not be available to some areas until the water lines are repaired. We hope to complete most repairs within three days.

The storm surge continued to rise throughout the night. Instead of the predicted 10' to 15' storm surge, we estimate the actual storm surge was at a height at 2' to 3' because of the lower wind velocity in the back side of the hurricane. Some flooding of structures may have occurred in the Tin City area. There are no reports of storm surge flooding of other residential and business properties. Some streets are impassable because of standing water.

Because of fallen trees, getting into the city is difficult or impossible. Almost all streets within the city are blocked because of fallen trees, branches, and power lines. Driveway access may be blocked. Hundreds of the new decorative stop signs are lost. The Naples Pier was damaged. Cambier Park is a mess, and the Fleishmann Community Center was damaged. The Fire Station at the Naples Airport was destroyed. Loss of trees on the public rights-of-way and private property is substantial, as are other landscaping. Expect to find damaged roof-top equipment, such as air conditioning units, fences, pool cages, and attachments to structures, and limited loss of roof shingles.

Again, we caution that it may be some time before electrical service is restored. Your city's staff and City Council have no control over FPL's restoration of service, nor are we able to learn when service will be restored. Also, we do not know when Comcast, Verizon, or other services will be restored.

Over-all, your city is a mess.

And now for the good news. While your city looks wrecked, almost all of it can be quickly cleaned up. Much of the damaged landscape will survive if properly cared for, and trees can be replaced. Water will soon recede, traffic signals will be repaired, and decorative street signs will be replace. We have observed very little structural damage to residential and business properties. We may learn that some homes are damaged because of fallen trees, but wind damage is not readily apparent for most homes, condominiums, and businesses.

Most of the Naples City employees sheltered within the city throughout the hurricane. This allowed continuation of critical services until tropical force winds required that all seek shelter. Personnel mobilized at sunrise today. Their first mission is to clear the main roads so that you may return home. Access to some areas is not possible because of downed power lines and flooding. Naples Police are patrolling neighborhoods, and Fire-Rescue is assisting with road clearing, fire, and medical response.

For those who left the city, we recommend that you do not return to today. You may find that you cannot drive to your home. Because we are focused on a strategic street clearing plan, we cannot help individuals to gain access to their street. We expect to have the main roads partially opened by the end of the day, and most residential side streets in the next few days. Even if successful in meeting this schedule, downed power lines may prevent access, and streets may be partially blocked by trees and limbs. Some streets are flooded. Many driveways are blocked by up-rooted trees. There is access to most business properties, although most are closed as of this date.

There is a county-wide curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Please limit driving to essential tasks. Cautious driving is recommended due to hazardous conditions, missing stop signs, limited line-of-sight at intersections, and obstacles. It is recommended that water be boiled before use until further notice. Of course, the ability to boil water may be limited with the power outages, so bottled water is the best option.

The requirement that landscape firms must haul away landscape debris is temporarily suspended. Property owners and landscape firms may place landscape debris on the right-of-way, immediately adjacent to your property. Please inform your landscape firm that they may place your landscape debris next to the street. Do not place debris on the street or sidewalk. We ask that landscape debris be placed by the street as soon as possible. Your city has made arrangements to pick up storm debris. Contractors are now mobilizing for pickup and will begin soon.

Please share this message with your association members, friends, and associates.

Best wishes,

Bill Moss
City Manager
City of Naples
bmoss@naplesgov.com
Comment: My brother in law has a condo at Bears Paw in Naples

9.11.2017

IBM or Apple? Revisited at 4 Months






4 months ago

Comments: Will IBM ever turn around?

9.05.2017

My IPhone SE upgrade


I upgraded my 45 month old 16 Gig 5S to a 32 Gig SE today. I bought the IPhone SE at Best Buy. I bought the pre-paid phone and then added it to my plan at the AT&T store. Then I sold the old 5S on Ebay for $ 85.00. I had the UPS store package and mail it for me. I replaced my 45 month old Otterbox case as well.

Update on 9/7:

9.02.2017

OHHS '67 Most Infamous Graduate



Comment: Please, Please - don't be at the reunion! From the NYTimes 1987:
For Ms. Miller, it all started June 10, 1986, when she received a call from a woman who identified herself as Celeste White, from Staten Island in New York City. Speaking in an urgent, panicky tone, Mrs. White said she had to see Ms. Miller immediately. She explained that she was the sister of Teresa Taylor, whose husband had so brutally murdered her. Ms. Miller remembered that, didn't she? Ms. Miller did, but not in any detail. All she recalled from local news reports was that Dr. Kenneth Taylor, a dentist who lived nearby in prosperous Manalapan Township, had been convicted of bludgeoning his wife to death eight months earlier.

Sometime late that same Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Ken Taylor murdered his wife, smashing in the back of her head at least nine times with a 20-pound barbell. Telephone toll records would show that between midnight and 5:48 A.M. Sunday, 26 calls were made from Taylor's home to pornographic message services in California and brothels in New York.

Although he did his best to remove any traces of what had happened, forensic experts would discover evidence of a 55-foot trail of blood in the house as Taylor dragged Teresa's body to the garage and deposited her in the trunk of his car. He then placed 5-month-old Philip in the front seat and drove to the home of his parents in Indiana.

Ken Taylor was found guilty of murder, and, on Oct. 4, 1985, was sentenced to serve a minimum of 30 years without parole
More & More Also a TV mini-series

9.01.2017

The fall of Brock Osweiler



Brock Osweiler to be released by Cleveland Browns, source says - Osweiler was beaten out by rookie DeShone Kizer

Excerpt:

Brock Osweiler’s days with the Browns were numbered when the quarterback arrived in a trade.

They’re now over.

Osweiler is being released by Cleveland, which will have to pay his $16 million guaranteed contract not to have him on their roster, a person familiar with the team’s moves told The Associated Press on Friday.

Osweiler will be officially cut on Saturday along with veteran guard John Greco, kicker Cody Parkey and defensive lineman Xavier Cooper when the team trims its roster to 53 on Saturday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is still finalizing its roster decisions.

The 26-year-old Osweiler was acquired by the Browns on March 9 from Houston for a 2018 second-round draft pick. The team did not have any long-term plans for Osweiler, who went 8-6 as a starter for the Texans last season. However, because of his large contract, the Browns were unable to unload Osweiler and he competed for their starting job this summer.
Comment: Why Cleveland traded for him
On Thursday [March 9th, 2017] they started utilizing their assets, mostly in conventional ways—getting free-agent linemen Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter, and receiver Kenny Britt in the fold, and extending the deal of stalwart guard Joel Bitonio. And then they moved to use their cap space in another way—and flip it into another asset. In the trade with the Texans, Cleveland gets a second-round pick in 2018, a sixth-rounder in ’17 and Osweiler (and the $16 million he’s owed this year) in exchange for a 2017 fourth-rounder.

Moneyball in baseball is designed to find market inefficiencies, and one of those would certainly be how a big quarterback contract can hang around a team’s neck. The Browns saw that, in the way the Brock Osweiler contract has become an absolute albatross in Houston—and found an opening.

The result: They flipped late-round picks this year, and acquired a second-round pick next year to take on Osweiler’s contract. And they’re trying to find someone to take Osweiler off their hands now, while they eat a piece of his salary, to acquire something else (though it likely wouldn’t be much).

I’d be surprised if we see Osweiler playing for the Browns in the fall, because this trade wasn’t about acquiring Osweiler. It was about taking advantage of an inefficiency elsewhere and leveraging an asset from it.

OK, so we went through all the unprecedented portfolio of ammunition the Browns took into this offseason, right? When I asked coach Hue Jackson about it on Saturday, he said, “It’s very exciting, but it’s pressure-packed too. You gotta get it right because these are opportunities to take this organization in a whole new direction.”

With this trade, the Browns didn’t acquire a quarterback. They simply created more opportunity for themselves—this time in 2018. They now have 10 picks in that draft, 14 months away, including three second-rounders and two fourth-rounders. Chances are they’ll eventually wind up with more than that. Of course, at some point this will have to be about selecting the right players with all those picks.
Better times
Osweiler left the Broncos one month after their Super Bowl championship after spending four seasons there. He was selected by Denver in the second round of the 2012 draft. The Texans paid him a contract worth $72 million over four years with $37 million guaranteed, hoping to gain stability at the quarterback position for the first time in four seasons. He posted a picture of himself signing the contract on Instagram.

Latest:

8.29.2017

The Bobby Waller Mustang air jump



Robert Waller, 19, 5638 Delhi Rd., was admitted to Bethesda Hospital with face ... The Mustang also had hurtled over a station wagon in a driveway between the ... The front wall at the home of Mrs. Mary Hess, 5678 Lawrence Rd., was struck ...


Comment:  11/11/66 (from the 11/12/1966 paper. Along a row of terraced homes, his V-8 Mustang went airborne over a parked car in the driveway and slammed into the 2nd story of a home. High School memories

Houston, we have a drainage problem



Houston drainage grid 'so obsolete it's just unbelievable'

Excerpt:

Houston's system of bayous and reservoirs was built to drain a tabletop-flat city prone to heavy rains. But its Depression-era design is no match for the stresses brought by explosive development and ever-wetter storms.

Nearly any city would be overwhelmed by the more than 4 feet of rain that Hurricane Harvey has dumped since Friday, but Houston is unique in its regular massive floods and inability to cope with them. This is the third 100-year-or-more type of flood in three years.

Experts blame too many people, too much concrete, insufficient upstream storage, not enough green space for water drainage and, especially, too little regulation.

"Houston is the most flood-prone city in the United States," said Rice University environmental engineering professor Phil Bedient. "No one is even a close second — not even New Orleans, because at least they have pumps there."

The entire system is designed to clear out only 12 to 13 inches of rain per 24-hour period, said Jim Blackburn, an environmental law professor at Rice University: "That's so obsolete it's just unbelievable."

Also, Houston's Harris County has the loosest, least-regulated drainage policy and system in the entire country, Bedient said.

Here's how the system is supposed to work: The county that encompasses Houston has 2,500 miles of bayous and channels and more than 300 storm-water holding basins, which are designed to fill up during intense downpours and drain slowly as high waters recede.

Water is supposed to flow west to east through bayous, which are tidal creeks that often have concrete improvements to make water flow and are connected to the Galveston Bay.

When big rains come, officials also activate two normally dry reservoirs, closing the floodgates to collect the water and keep it from overwhelming the downtown area.

But the main bayou through downtown Houston, Buffalo Bayou, "is pretty much still a dirt mud channel like you would have seen 100 years ago, just a little cleaned out," said U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Jeff East, who is based in Houston.

And because the coastal plain is so flat, only sloping about a foot per mile, the water doesn't flow out of the bayous fast, Bedient said.

Also, some of the bayous, such as Brays, can only handle 10-year storms, he said. Harris County didn't leave enough right-of-way space to expand its bayous, Bedient said. And widening projects have been slow and inadequate.

Because of big early 20th-century floods, Houston designed two dry emergency reservoirs that are only activated in heavy rain, Addicks and Barker, both formed by earthen dams. Addicks is 11.7 miles long (18.8 kilometers) with a maximum elevation of nearly 123 feet (37 meters). Barker is 13.6 miles long (22 kilometers) and has a maximum elevation of 114 feet (34 meters).

Normally the floodgates are open and the two areas are dry parkland with sports fields and biking paths. They were essentially dry on Aug. 25, the day Harvey struck, East said. By the middle of the next day, the floodgates were closed and water levels were starting to rise, East said.

Now the reservoirs are overflowing. Officials are being forced to release some of the water pressing against the 70-year-old dams and backing up into wealthy subdivisions. But those releases could worsen the extreme flooding downstream in Houston.

More reservoirs are needed, Blackburn and Bedient said. In fact, another reservoir had been planned for Houston's western prairies, but development killed that, they said.

Blackburn said studies show those prairies can absorb as much as 11 inches of rain per hour. But he said elected officials allowed subdivision after subdivision to expand outward.

Houston's storm drain and pipe system is minimal compared with that of other cities and at most can take 1½ inches of rain, Bedient said.

But mostly the problem comes down to helter-skelter development in a county with no zoning, leaving lots of concrete where water doesn't drain, and little green space to absorb it, Bedient said.
Comment: Image source . Some interesting Tweets

Oak Hills High School - Class of 1967 - In Memoriam





To highlight several in the above image:
  • Top row - far left = Bev Cave. Was a real beauty in High School. I was kind of like Toad. She always treated me kindly
  • 2nd row, 3rd from the left, Bill Littleton, died in Viet Nam
  • 3rd row, 2nd from the left, Bobby Waller. Unsure how he died but was in a massive car wreck in HS with his Mustang
  • 4th row - far left. Dave Heil. Died in a car crash the summer after graduation
  • 5th row - far left. Glen Bowers. I was going to join the Navy with him but my Father forbade it and made me go to college.
  • 6th row, 3rd from the left, Joel Perry. Was one of my best friends in HS
  • 8th row, 3rd from the left, Paula Gillespie. I thought very cute but never had the courage to ask her out
  • 9th row, far right. Jim Cederdahl. Died in a tractor rollover in 1970
  • 10th row, far right. Neal Williams. Basketball star
Known obituaries: