Sunday, March 11, 2012

Conch Republic Summer Time

Today is the first day of long evenings and dark mornings for most of the US except Arizona, Hawaii and those few bizarre counties on the edge of Indiana that do their own thing. Clocks sprang forward last night at two in the morning. Except in Arizona where they moved from Mountain Time to Pacific Time.

We sprang forward in Florida too, both time zones, The panhandle in Central Time and the peninsula in Eastern Time. Newspapers everywhere did what they do which is tell people to change their clocks so we all do it together.

They warned us on Saturday of the impending change, even here in the Conch Republic. Except...

...the bright sparks on the night desk put up the Fall headline:

I wonder how many residents obediently did as they were told and instead of springing forward, fell back?

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Amelia Near Whitehead

I was impressed by this raised bed which is now in a race against time as summer and searing heat seems to be upon us.

Friday morning I was drizzled upon by summer-like rain clouds. In winter rain is usually associated with cold fronts but lately it's been raining seemingly at random.

There is a major murder trial underway in Key West this week. A Miami visitor to Fantasy Fest two years ago stands accused of stabbing a popular young Key West man in a dispute. The defense, according to the Citizen's reports, is based on making the victim the aggressor, which is bound to upset those involved.

Not too long ago a hotel worker was stabbed to death in a dispute with a colleague over a boat, as reported by the paper. I was dispatching that night but as odd as it may seem I don't learn the details of the investigations until they are reported in the paper as the investigation is not relevant to what I, a civilian, do in the 911 center.

I prefer it that way as it gives me separation from the random cruelty and some of the stupidity of daily life which so often manages to create a web of pain that spirals far out of control. The murder trial currently underway may bring justice but it will certainly bring grief as well as an inherent by product of the process of investigation and defense. Much better to leave the knives at home.

The dramas of daily life are carried out behind closed doors usually, in the lives of those who live on the edges of these public streets in this very public little town where thousands live and millions visit to claim an emotional piece of tropical paradise.

My wife is casting around for a new job in next year's school district as the outgoing superintendent, apparently determined to wreak as much havoc as he can before an ungrateful citizenry dismisses him, is dismantling all alternative programs that help and support children with problems and frequently with problematic families. These would be the future occupants of expensive jail cells, the future hopelessly unemployed with no diplomas to their name.

My wife will do fine in whatever job her seniority lands her as she works hard and is smart and loyal, uncomplaining and patient and genuinely likes teaching. The children she has to abandon to their uncaring fate bring tears to her eyes as she prepares one final 100% graduation rate at her alternative school.

The future is bleak when we consider the direct correlation between education and success. The US spends half the entire planetary budget for weaponry, far more more than the next most spendy nations, yet education is failing and jails are ever more crowded.

And here we see the little acorns of future failure being planted before our very eyes.

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