Politician Panders

There it was, a tweet from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue:

Why is a career political insider speaking to people about hurricane preparedness?
This opinion is not about Ms. Berger alone, nor is it limited to Democratic politicians. I feel the same when Republicans do it. It could be Rick Scott or Marco Rubio and I’d be just as irritated.

But turning to Ms. Berger, I wondered if she has some special experience regarding hurricanes. So I checked her bio.
No. She doesn’t. She worked for Montgomery Ward in Pittsburgh before moving here in 1989. She did clerical work for the court system. Then she started working as Burt Aaronson’s assistant 20 years ago.
Nothing in her bio shows anything close to expertise about hurricane preparedness.
So let’s be clear about why Berger was there and why this was tweeted by a county agency.
It’s politics. It’s a politician pandering to an audience of frequent voters. And the pandering is amplified on Twitter by an agency subject to her budget votes.
But don’t worry. Berger sits in a heavily gerrymandered district so she’ll be pandering to us for several more years until she’s term-limited out and the next one comes along.
Cynical? You bet.

Another Gas Leak at Glades & 441

Palm Beach Fire Rescue reports another gas leak at Glades and 441. Glades Road is closed eastbound from 441. We observed it but were not able to get a photo.
They provided an update a few minutes ago:
Hopefully FPL Florida Public Utilities will do a thorough job of figuring out why these gas leaks are happening and work on preventing them in the future. This is three in the past couple months.
We reported on a gas leak at Shadowood only two days ago. There was a gas leak across Glades at Westwinds (Home Depot plaza) in April.

BREAKING: Gas Leak at Shadowood – Evacuations

Update: Leak has been stopped. The south side of the plaza is mostly blocked off while work continues.
Photos from the scene, around 3:30 pm, at bottom.

Palm Beach Fire Rescue reports on Twitter that there is a gas leak at Shadowood Square.

Shadowood is on the northeast corner of Glades and 441. The plaza includes Regal theaters and a number of shops.

In an update we were advised that several businesses have been evacuated in the plaza.







Brush Fire Causing Smoke in Boca

We heard from a reader and checked it out for ourselves. There is heavy smoke in the sky over West Boca, and per our reader it’s in East Boca as well.
When we first went out the moon had turned red. We went out again and it’s gone. There is soot in the air.
We did see two related updates on Twitter:
Hopefully it will be better in the morning. We wish the best for our firefighters and other first responders dealing with this.
We’ve seen reports that the brush fire covers 2500 to 3000 acres of land, and we should expect the smoke to persist for a couple days.

Accident on 441: Photos

Yesterday while working on a story about the work at Glades and 441, we heard fire engines. Then we saw the accident that had just happened on 441, mostly in the northbound lanes headed toward Glades Road.

If you look close in the picture above (click on it for a larger view) you can see the Sports Authority sign in the background.

As we understand it, the Infiniti in the center of the above picture was traveling northbound and the other car, with a teenage driver, was coming southbound and attempted to make a left turn or U-turn in front of them. The passenger in the Infiniti appeared to have a leg injury and you can see her on a stretcher to the side of the car. We think the young driver may have been ticketed.

Above is another shot of the scene, taken as the first responders were helping her onto the stretcher.
On the lighter side, as we were walking up to the accident scene we noticed an iguana, which you can see in the lower left of the picture below. The accident is on the far right, and you can also see how it backed up traffic on the left. 441 was limited to just the right lane. Cars were turning into the plaza as a detour.

The iguana can apparently tell I’m a lawyer. As I got closer he ran down the hill and jumped into the water to get away from me.