On January 12, 2015, a fire broke out in the Metro Station near L’Enfant Plaza in Washington.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigated the cause of the fire and found it to be “a prolonged short circuit that consumed power system components.”
If you have ever seen an electrical fire, you know that the result is black, acrid smoke which can kill. In a subway system where everything is underground, you need to have fans that will help vent the smoke to the outside. Without those fans, people can die from the smoke.
In fact, that is exactly what happened to 61 year old and grandmother Carol Glover. Stuck in the tunnel with the smoke from the fire all around her, she died after she was carried off the train. In addition, 95 other people were injured and required medical attention. Of that 95, 86 needed to be taken to the hospital.
Because the threat of smoke within a subway is so well known, subways systems have huge fans to ventilate the smoke from the tunnels with the idea to keep people safe from breathing the smoke, but also to aid in people – including emergency personnel – to be able to see.
The fans themselves are inspected regularly to make sure they operate and can function in an emergency. That way, if there is a fire, the smoke can be cleared from the tunnels.
Of course, that is assuming that the inspections actually took place.
Court documents obtained by WTOP show Mechanic AA Seyoum Haile was fired by Metro the month after Carol Glover died on a smoke-filled Yellow Line train. Metro found that preventive maintenance activities that Haile had signed off on for a fan shaft near the smoke incident had not really been done.
The Metro investigation found that no computer logs from the Rail Operations Control Center or radio recordings showed any evidence that the appropriate tests had been done Nov. 6, 2014, despite paperwork filed by Haile that indicated the tests had been completed.
One of the lines is in the song is, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired of being treated this way…”
We have to say that whether you agree with the movie or not, somehow we think that is a sentiment that many political sides can agree to. We are sick and tired of being treated in such ways were we are almost second class to the political class.
The question is, “what do you do if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired of being sick and tired?”
Unless you have been living under a rock or outside of this area, you know that muck in the Indian River Lagoon is a real issue with lasting impacts.
But how much do you know about muck, its causes and solutions?
Stepping up to the plate is Dr. John Trefry.
Dr. John Trefry is a chemical oceanographer and professor at Florida Institute of Technology. He was a co-discoverer of deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Atlantic Ocean in 1985 and has sampled super-heated (400°C, 750°F) vent fluid from many locations including the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Dr. Trefry also has been carrying out biogeochemical studies in the Arctic for the past 18 years with the challenge of identifying impacts from global climate change versus regional human activities. Dr. Trefry was the medalist of the Florida Academy of Sciences in 2002, served for eight years on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Outer Continental Shelf Scientific Committee, and has been a long-term associate editor of the journal Marine Chemistry. He has presently stepped up his long-term research efforts to address the plight of the Indian River Lagoon.
At the Cocoa Beach City Commission meeting of July 21st, during comments concerning the variance which was later granted to the Ocean Dunes Condo project, many people took to the speaker’s podium and said they would remember this vote this coming November.
The clear and sometimes stated implication to Commission members was “you vote for this, and you won’t get our vote in November.”
We aren’t sure that we like the idea of using votes in a future election as weapons or blackmail for or against an issue. Voting for someone in an election often takes a view on more than one issue. Locally, some of those issues are going to be things like taxes, infrastructure, safety, quality of life, etc. Very seldom is there one defining issue that will cause us to vote for or against a candidate.
Such is the case here.
We won’t vote for others because of the votes four Commission members cast on the variance for the Ocean Dunes Condo. We have often said and still believe that intelligent people can disagree on issues – even controversial and volatile such as this one. People can look at issues differently and come to different conclusions.
We have no problem with that.
During their comments, Commissioner Miller, Commissioner Martinez and Mayor Tumulty addressed the “process” of the variance. They talked about how we got to the point of the variance being before the Commission itself. They talked about the process in such glowing terms, believing that if only people looked at the process, they would come to the same conclusion of being for the variance.
(We are going to look at and dissect the comments made by all of the Commissioners for the basis of their vote in a later post.)
We therefore want to look at the “process” itself, and the reactions to that process. (more…)