Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Weather, Politics Both Locational .... Some South Florida History - Back From Florida in NC Thinking on Friends I have in Parkland. #AlyssaAlhadeff Columbine Almost 20 Years Ago. Much Needs to be DONE.

Hard to believe it's been a week since I posted here. This is "off season" in the tropics and when I usually am quiet. I've been traveling and that traveling is going to continue for the rest of the month. I jokingly said I should just rent an apartment down in South Florida for this period but no we are going back and forth so I'm sort of in a mental Jet Lag even though I'm not switching time zones. Speaking of switching time zones I wish.... I want so badly to go to Seattle and visit with the family there however my priorities currently are in Florida even if part of my heart is in Seattle. It's late February but it feels like late March and if that continues the tropics may wake up early this year. Just something to think on so putting it out there....

So back to weather. Much in life is locational whether we want to look at things that way or not.  My spell checker doesn't like the word but it's a popular word in International Relations and as that is one of my degrees I'm going with it. Politics is locational in that issues are felt stronger in some areas than in other areas. Places where people hunt for example view gun rights differently than they do in a quiet suburb filled with strip centers that feature sushi restaurants and frozen yogurt shops. The name Parkland brings up a multitude of places where young men decided to take their anger out on a general population of students that often had no idea who the shooter was or why they hated them so much they needed to be hunted down and shot. In Columbine many of the students knew the killers; in Sandy Hook many of the small children had no idea who was shooting at them as if they were in a movie their parents or older siblings might be watching. In Parkland everyone automatically knew who was doing the shooting and surprisingly they were not surprised as many had known the deranged killer since they were in grade school with him.  If you live in Oregon or Indiana "Parkland" is now part of the lexicon that opens the discussion on Gun Control and brings up the forever question of "just why" and "when will this stop?"  In South Florida "Parkland" is where your sister-in-law lives or your cousin's kids went to that incredibly good school or where your best friend's wife taught and hid in a classroom with your friend's children.

South Florida is an interrelated area that blends together in a megapolis of small neighborhoods that culturally are one. From Kendall to Coral Springs to Boca to Miami Beach it's one general area geographically. Look at the map above and you will see what I mean. They were cities built on the Atlantic Coastal Ridge immediately to the East of the Everglades. Some people love living closer to the Everglades in beautiful homes that though expensive are much more affordable than living in Coral Gables or Miami Beach. Suburban sprawl looks prettier out there in carefully designed places such as Parkland and Weston where there is the illusion of being separated from the sometimes grittier world of Miami. But again everyone eats the same foods, hangs out in the same places and roots for the Miami Dolphins to have just one good winning season. Kids in Parkland root for the Miami Heat and kids growing up in Hollywood Florida get on the expressway and race up to their cousins in Coral Springs to hang out on a Saturday Night. Only people flying overseas or tourists who don't know better fly into MIA if they live in Miami Beach, North Miami Beach, Aventura or Walnut Creek...they live in the Northern part of South Florida just as kids down in Kendall and Coral Gables do fly out of MIA unless they want to fly JetBlue or Southwest in which case they drive up to FLL in the Hollywood area.

South Florida is one general region in the same way people who live in Tampa are aligned with people who live in Sarasota. And, south of the Lake the weather is different than it is up past the Lake as it is a Tropical Savanna Climate Zone prone to tropical weather more than winter weather. Rarely do snowflakes get anywhere near South Florida. Rarely does this sort of school violence get anywhere near South Florida. To be honest Miami has many problems with gangs in inner city areas or not such inner city areas. To be honest Miami has gang problems and some neighborhoods worry on drive by shootings and because of that people when they can afford it move North and West often to the suburbs such as Walnut Creek, Weston and Coral Springs aka Parkland as those neighborhoods basically blend together hovering just up near the Broward County Palm Beach Line.

Small trivia on Broward is it is named after a Florida Governor Napolean Bonaparte Broward who yes you can check out his Family Tree on Geni but the real trivia is he ran for office on the promise to "drain the swamps" literally.  You see back at the turn of the century in the 1900s people thought the idea of draining the Everglades was a really good thing providing more farm land and a wider Atlantic Ridge to build homes on and create new cities. Previously in Miami everything West of 27th Avenue was basically swamps, however after dredging canals and using dynamite they blew up the Miami River Rapids and the water table lowered over land once under water and well it was a different time and place. The Everglades that Marjory Stoneman Douglas loved so much were seen as a menace by many that needed draining vs saving as an ecological safe, serene, natural place to protect.  Another wonderful character who lived down in South Florida was Ralph Middleton Munroe who lived in Coconut Grove, built sailboats that he sailed up and down Biscayne Bay and spoke out to save the environment. I've quoted him in my blog often on Hurricane History.

The latter two wrote books you should buy, borrow or read online they offer an awesome, unique view into South Florida life when people first moved down and loved the beauty of nature and spoke out to preserve it. I'm pretty sure neither would see the beauty in suburbs such as Weston or Parkland however they would enjoy the beautiful sunsets and the closeness to nature. Times change, what seems good in 1910 doesn't seem good or smart in 2010 but it's where we are at in 2018. If you are a developer with a vision then Weston is beautiful and peaceful yet if you are a conservationist you feel sad that the Everglades are eroding from both sides as both Miami and Naples dig deeper into the Everglades every year that goes by with new subdivisions touting living at the edge of the Everglades. Florida's map looked very different when the 3 people above lived and loved life in Florida.

I have a cousin who loves living out near the Everglades in a small place that backs up to a canal where he smokes a cigar if the weather is nice on his patio and stares out at the sun setting into a more pristine world than the one he lived in when he lived in North Miami Beach. Both he and his wife have friends who live in Parkland due North of where they live. Their Stepgrandson (is that a term?) went to Parkland yesterday with other classmates to protest and join in unity. I watched him on Facebook Live. He's a kid, a good kid and he wants to make the world a better place. We all do yet we all end up arguing over the details involved. Gun Control vs Mental Illness vs the System Letting Down OUR Children ..... so many places to start and so many things we need to fix. We need to build high schools that have the population of small towns where our children live most of their day as safely as we build other large government buildings. Dry wall doesn't stop bullets for example and most of West Broward is built with Dry Wall. I know that a few years ago when I lived in South Florida full time there was a school set up in both Miami Dade and Palm Beach for children with special needs and that special need being anger. Broward County did NOT have that school in their school system. To be honest, Broward County School System is often the ugly step sister to Miami Dade and Palm Beach school systems. When I taught for Miami Dade County Schools in North Miami Beach most of the teachers drove down from Broward County where they lived as Dade County paid significantly more money than Broward County paid it's teachers and they had better benefits. 

Weather is locational and in my location today the sun is not out but it's going to be in the upper 70s. It feels like summer, it looks like winter. 

Marco Rubio got slammed by students for not responding the way they wanted last night, but he had the guts and compassion to attend the CNN event and try to listen to the students. Parents who lost children in the Parkland Shooting spoke about their loss; I have friends who are close friends with the parents who lost children... some knew the children who were slaughtered. It's emotional and real in South Florida and the nation watches between a lack luster Olympics and reruns being shown by other stations that didn't want to go up against the Olympics. It's today's new story. Will it be eclipsed by war with North Korea or another school shooting or a large Earthquake or Tornado in the heartland? Stories in the media only have legs until another story comes along that eclipses it. Today being National Margarita Day pushed Parkland off the Twitter Feed in popular hashtags. 

In North Carolina the death of the Rev. Billy Graham is the lead story on all local news channels and the details of his life and the expected funeral are being talked on during most of the time allotted for the news. He was a North Carolina Son.... North Carolina loved him greatly in a different way than people in Oregon or Idaho even though he was loved everywhere. He may have taken his calling across the world to distant arenas to spread the word of God yet he came from and lived in and will be buried in North Carolina.  He spoke of God and Love and his message was not one of hate or anger. And, Ill add something unpopular in some circles but we did take God out of public schools and I think on some level that was wrong. A moment of silence in school didn't kill anyone, however it was replaced by moments of silence while students hid in closets waiting and praying the school shooter would not enter their classroom and kill them. There was a lot of prayer in school the day that the shooter killed 17 people and made the name Parkland synonymous with death and destruction not a park like paradise on the edge of the Everglades to raise your family in a safe, secure place. That's sad. That's very sad.

Something to think on while parts of the country are having ice threats and other parts are facing flooding . We are moving fast from Winter to Spring and the Hurricane Season is less than 100 days away. Hopefully the Parkland story will have long legs and somehow, somewhere, someone will get something done so that the system will not fail our children and their teachers, guns will have more checks made safer by a system that records mental illness and numerous police visits for violence and a way to fight the mental illness that we have not yet been able to achieve. It's easy when a child is 10 to give them drugs but what happens when they are 17 and stop taking the drugs or tell their parents they are and flush them down the toilet? It happens... trust me. And, why.... why are our young children, especially young men, so prone to violence and personality disorders in 2018? A lot of questions.

Excuse the typos.... this post is for my own need to write, a few friends who know who they are and anyone who surfs in on the Internet. Much love.... many prayers and let's communicate with compassion not diatribes about political parties we are one human race and our children go to school together and face the same fears no matter what our political persuasion is in 2018. And, I'll add many of these young soon to be voters are not affiliated as the democratic leaning ones liked Sanders and didn't like the dirty party tricks used to ensure Hilary be the candidate. And, many of the ones that leaned right did not like Donald Trump and preferred other republican candidates. This may be the largest group of young soon to be voters who have no real love for either of the dominate political parties and that is not locational it's an issue from Florida to California to Washington State to Washington DC. Soon this will be their world. I hope and pray they make it better.

Besos BobbiStorm
@bobbistorm on Twitter

Ps... A disclaimer here in that I am not affiliated with either party. Some issues I lean right and other issues I lean left. I vote for the best candidate for the office not a political party. I do not own guns and do not want to and do believe weapons of mass destruction should not be in the streets yet I also believe in the right to own a gun. I don't understand how there are rules and age limits on drinking beer, buying energy drinks (really), condoms, cigarettes, cigarette lighters and yet no age limits on the ability to buy these types of weapons that are the weapon of choice in most school shootings. Mind Boggling.

April 20, 1999 was the Columbine Shooting... why are we still trying to figure out how to fix this problem? Trust me the mother of #AlyssaAlhadeff will not give up, neither were her friends and neither will the students who were studying the Holocaust that day they lost their History Teacher. I have a lot of friends who were friends with Alyssa. It's personal for me not just a news story waiting to fade away.

Her mother will not be silent.
Neither will her classmates.

Fix it! Learn from the past. Do it Now.

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