opinions

A thanks for kindness

On October 25, I fell in the parking lot near Publix at US1 and Prima Vista. My warmest thanks to the couple who came to assist me, and to the staff from Ace Hardware who provided a pillow so I could get to my knees and then get up. Again, thanks to the police officer who drove up as I got to my feet. He felt he didn't deserve thanks because he "didn't do anything." He did his job. He saw someone in need and stopped to see what he could do. So to all these folks, big thanks for your kindness, and may it return to you tenfold.

Beggars Banquet

The person who wrote the article "Beggar's Banquet of Tech", must not be aware that there is a company that offers low income or no income at no charge. However, every three months they are checked to see if they still qualify. This cell phone may save a persons life.

Natural Nature

The most outstanding specimens of native Florida plants are the southern live oak and laurel oak. Both are magnificent shade trees. Because a primary human benefit is shade, it’s a shame to see so many of these beautiful trees have most of their branches removed and consequently their leaves, so that the tree is essentially stripped of what makes it so magnificent and beneficial to us and the natural environment we live in. Both County and City ordinances recognize these native trees for their importance in cooling our homes; reducing noise; producing oxygen; filtering pollutants; absorbing carbon dioxide; and increasing the economic value of our property. Trees also contribute to our general well-being. These benefits primarily come from the leaves, so if the branches are pruned off, so are the leaves, and the benefits disappear.

Oak trees have lived hundreds of years without pruning. Southern live and laurel oaks grow only where hurricanes happen. Pruning increases the risk of losing branches or uprooting because the weight of the branches becomes distributed to the ends (lion’s tailing), and removing low branches (raising or over-lifting) makes the center of gravity higher in the air. An oak’s naturally spreading shape and low center of gravity helps them stay rooted to the ground. Their many leaves buffer their branches in wind. They do not need to be pruned to withstand strong winds. By the way, no there is no scientific evidence that laurel oaks are short lived or not as hardy as live oaks. Nature needs more than one type of oak because the acorns are different and they drop at different times, to provide food for wildlife and birds. So don’t be afraid to keep your laurel oak.

As oaks mature they become shade trees, filled inside with many small branches and all over with many leaves, so that there is not much light that penetrates to the ground. This provides resting, nesting, and hiding places for birds, which are in serious decline, and small animals. Because of this, the live oak tree is considered the most biodiverse tree in North America. Pruning the branches to grow a lawn underneath defeats the purpose of the tree. Although evergreen, some leaves will drop off in cooler months to make mulch underneath the tree. No need to buy chemically dyed wood chips!

There is a lot of money made by people who prune trees. The more of the tree they cut off, the more they can charge. If the person pruning your tree damages it, they also make money cutting the tree down and then more money when they replace it. You should know that people who prune trees are often untrained. There is no specific training program for people who prune trees in Florida. Because of this, the State of Florida does not license them as professionals. Certification by the International Society of Arboriculture does not confer a license to the person pruning native oak trees. You may be told that the person pruning your trees has a license. That is a business tax issued by the City or County. Pruning trees is easy money with lack of regulation and accountability. Also, tree pruning is a leading industry for illegal immigration and human trafficking because of the demand, by you, for unskilled labor to prune your trees. Save your money and benefit the environment by allowing your oak trees to grow organically.

Poor hospitality and lack of compassion

Never have I been as disgusted with the health care system as when my husband became a cancer patient. As the wife and primary caretaker, I bring him to appointments, make sure he follows med routines, and care for him when he is sick. It is very stressful and doctor offices add to it by not keeping appointment times. I am not an UBER driver. Waiting 30 to 45 minutes each appointment is unforgiveable. It cuts into the precious time that I have not in a doctor's office with my husband. My other complaint is that the staff ignores me and if I ask a question the answer is directed to my husband, We are in it together. When you treat my husband you are treating me as well. It is bad enough that my husband is often treated as a number and dollar signs. Ask yourself why you got into this job in the first place. If it is purely for money or success rates shame on you. Surround your office with people who care, starting at the front desk down to the cleaning crew. Yes it is a stressful job with high burnout. Hold seminars for your workers on how to cope. Make sure to include how to guides for family and caretaker interaction. We are not going away and are the most important part of a cancer patients' treatment.

(1) comment

patriot1968

In response to Poor hospitality and lack of compassion--as a health care worker, my heart goes out to you. I have seen a huge change in the quality of both the services and the people providing them over the past 25 years. However, I also am disgusted with a system that funnels the vast majority of the money made in this industry to upper management and middle "moles" who make the asinine rules for us front line workers but know NOTHING about what we do. My workload has doubled in the past 15 years with very little increase in income. The CEOs and managers, however, earn staggering bonuses. Technology has actually made health care worse, IMHO. Front line health care people are under the gun to complete a ridiculous amount of computer documentation. This is a remote task that detracts from hands on patient care. Ask yourself about a society that pays a web designer double that of a health care worker who is in charge of caring for sick people and may need to make a life or death decision at any minute. What's wrong with this picture?

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