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Posts tagged ‘city’

Entitlement–a surging sociological disease

I’ve moved into an apartment in downtown St. Petersburg, and I noticed something odd. Notes–lots of notes left on people’s car windshields about where and how they park. Yes, I’ve received these notes, and so have many others. ‘Please park farther up,’ ‘please park farther back,’ ‘please don’t park here,’ ‘please park there…’

Let me be clear, there is no assigned parking in this area; it’s just a bunch of people feeling entitled to parking a certain way in a certain place for whatever reason and feeling even more entitled to tell everyone else how they should be doing it. Maybe it’s a psychological disorder–people with surging grandiosity complexes who have hallucinated a seniority system in their own minds, where they are at the top, that they believe should apply to all others.

Most likely, however, it’s just another sad, vapid display of entitlement. America is nearly crippled with this disease of entitlement. Screw welcoming someone new to the neighborhood! Let’s try to push them around so that they understand just how important I am, and that I am entitled to act like a horse’s ass, and they are obligated to obey me and agree that I am entitled to my self-appointed bullshit.

These are the same people who stand in the middle of the supermarket with their cart jackknifed so that no one could possibly get around them. The same people who talk on their cell phones as they are going up to the bank teller, expecting everyone else to wait for their conversation to end. The same morons who walk down a sidewalk with a group of friends side-by-side headed right towards you, expecting you to either walk right through them or stumble off to the grass to get around them, because they feel entitled to have you move versus stepping to the side so that everyone can walk freely at the same time…

Here’s the thing, I’m not interested. No, I do not agree that you are entitled to anything more or less than anyone else. Not for any reason. No, I will not treat you with increased reverence or even fear because you throw an infantile temper tantrum or demand some sort of un-earned and ill-deserved respect. Frankly, you and your banal antics bore me. It’s not unique, you know–you’re common. Far too common if you look around to this national epidemic of entitlement.

Another very sad side-effect of this disease, it makes those inflicted with it look small and maybe even a little slow-witted. Though they think they look important or scary. Sad. Perhaps there will be some treatment, cure or immunization in the future to save generations to come. Meanwhile, we must attempt to arm ourselves with the only defenses available: kindness, graciousness, hospitality and generosity.

And so, in the end, I will leave this infirmed individual to that parking space in question, in the name of courtesy–a trait that is far too uncommon in society today. Not that I agree that anyone deserves a particular parking space for any reason, but because it is simply generous of me to let it go and move along. And so I will.

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St. Pete’s GREEN tint

Do you know all about the GREEN efforts in St. Petersburg, Florida?

Recently, St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster along with the St. Petersburg City Council have been hosting public budget summits to offer the community an opportunity to speak up on what they consider top priorities to help address the city’s budget deficit. Overwhelmingly, people have expressed that they would prefer to pay more versus having services cut in the city—though they also would like some assurance that the city is using its funding as efficiently as possible in the process.

To this end, several community members expressed that they think the city needs to have a stronger focus on “going green” to not only help the environment but also to help cut energy costs for the city. Foster quickly interjected that St. Petersburg has many green initiatives; that the city has accomplished a lot with plans to do more.

And, on May 29th, the city held a ribbon cutting ceremony at The Coliseum (one of 21 city facilities) to recognize the successful completion of the city’s most recent green energy-saving investments.

New solar panels for water heater systems, HVAC systems, chiller plant replacements, and lighting retrofits were installed at the Coliseum and City Hall. It is reported that these green changes will save $22,117 annually in energy costs.

The May 29th ceremony was an opportunity for the City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County officials, along with representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy and local contractors to gather, recognizing the completion of projects valued at $2.38 million.

The funding source for the energy saving projects, which began in 2010, was the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 

The City of St. Petersburg reports that over the years, the city has partnered with more than 25 local contractors, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and professional consultants to complete the city’s list of green initiative projects. Some of these projects include:

  • Jordan School renovation
  • Water Resources Administration building
  • LED Traffic Signal conversions
  • USF-SP and Progress Energy solar energy system
  • 13 Fire Station upgrades
  • Hybrid fleet and E-Z GO utility vehicles
  • 2,300 acres of public parks system
  • Water Conservation efforts
  • Earth-Friendly Recycling program
  • 10 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations installed downtown

As Florida’s first green city, St. Petersburg continues to be a pioneer in its commitment to living green. In 2007, the city received its green designation and in 2008, the city adopted an Executive Order to focus on specific program areas, including:

  • Reporting of financial and emission reductions
  • Meeting LEED standards for large new construction or renovation projects undertaken by the city
  • Using alternative fuels
  • Converting street lighting system to more energy efficient systems
  • Developing and implementing a prototype solar project

More information on St. Petersburg’s green initiative can be found at: www.stpete.org/green.

 

‘Lens’ design contract approved by St. Petersburg City Council–New Pier

The ‘Lens’ – City of St. Petersburg

Below is my Twitter feed from yesterday’s St. Petersburg City Council meeting about the Pier issue, using “Storify.”

  1. DaphneSt
    #stpete All council members vote yes on Pier resolution except for W. Newton. Motion passes.
    Thu, May 17 2012 19:24:06
  2. The ‘Lens’ design contract was therefore approved by council.
  3. DaphneSt
    #stpete Councilmember Curran “it’s easy to sign a petition-it’s difficult 2get involved” We want a project integrated in the com & downtown
    Thu, May 17 2012 19:21:18
  4. Councilmember Curran is making a case for public involvement versus criticism. She defended the ‘Lens’ design that was criticized by some in the audience as “not traditional-looking enough for downtown,” and cited the Dali Museum structure and its success and the forward-thinking design that the inverted pyramid was in its time. She also stressed that the new Pier is to be a project integrated in the community and downtown. Curran also conceded that the city needed to have done a much better job in communicating with and educating the public throughout the process, from beginning to now.
  5. DaphneSt
    #stpete Pier issue–Newton says that no one who wants to continue their political career will go against 16,000 votes. Re: #voteonthepier
    Thu, May 17 2012 19:15:22
  6. DaphneSt
    #stpete Councilmember W Newton “I’m definately not voting for this. If the people can’t vote, Wengay ain’t voting.” Tweeting on Pier meeting
    Thu, May 17 2012 19:12:02
  7. DaphneSt
    #stpete Councilmember Gerdes says he will vote to put the Pier on a public ballot if petitions meet threshold though not legally obligated
    Thu, May 17 2012 18:50:29
  8. DaphneSt
    #stpete petitions will not obligate city to bring Pier issue to popular vote by law.
    Thu, May 17 2012 18:44:37
  9. It appears that voteonthepier.org may obtain 16,000 petition signatures they are working to collect to have an opportunity for a public vote on the Pier. Based on a question by Councilmember Nurse, he was informed that legally, regardless of the number of signatures obtained, the city is not obligated to bring the issue to a public vote. Note: Most councilmembers agreed that if this number of signatures is obtained, they would make arrangements for a public vote regardless of legal requirements to do so.
  10. DaphneSt
    #stpete Councilmember Nurse- “Pier will either be torn down or it will fall down. Not even safe for garbage trucks. It’s coming down.”
    Thu, May 17 2012 18:43:20
  11. DaphneSt
    #stpete Councilmember Danner “The Pier has never been about history; it has always been about the future” Ref: Million Dollar Pier current
    Thu, May 17 2012 18:35:32
  12. DaphneSt
    #stpete Councilmember Kennedy not convinced design team is committed to project due to a contract clause that’s causing concern for $800,000
    Thu, May 17 2012 18:24:32
  13. Councilmember Kennedy expressed concerns that were also echoed in a lighter fashion by Councilmember Kornell about a particular clause allowing the architect/builder to pull out of the contract. After greater explanation, concerns were alleviated and confidence in the commitment of the architect/builder were restored.
  14. DaphneSt
    W. Newton Lens not the best idea & motion Nov vote: “I will not vote on something unless the people can vote.” Motion w/o 2nd dies. #stpete
    Thu, May 17 2012 18:17:45
  15. Councilmember Newton motioned to open the decision to allow for a public vote on the Pier and place this on the November ballot. No one on the council seconded the motion. The motion died.
  16. DaphneSt
    Lens Public presentation to be held in weeks at Coliseum St. Pete from developers. Details of event still under dev Tweeting from #stpete
    Thu, May 17 2012 18:06:13
  17. This presentation is coming too late to help gain the public trust and garner support for the ‘Lens.’ Recommend a streaming video of this presentation along with TV coverage to help reduce barriers to the information and allow for on-line questions submissions prior to the event.
  18. DaphneSt
    Seems like #stpete really should put The Pier issue up for public vote. That’s been said before, I know. Tweeting from City Council meeting
    Thu, May 17 2012 17:52:27

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