Short takes on today's issues

June 21, 2014 

Got milk? We all know that wonderful phrase though countless advertisements starring -- well -- Hollywood stars, all talking about the value of a healthy diet.

Got car? Well, that, too, can be vital to a healthy diet. Or at least simple sustenance -- for homebound seniors dependent on volunteers to deliver a meal once a day.

Let us repeat that: Once a day.

Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee County serves 255 delivery routes where needy seniors wait for a hot meal at least once a day.

Today, though, this vital social service agency finds 87 routes "urgently" need volunteer drivers. Our wonderful snowbirds are gone, and we need to step up.

Anyone who has ever performed this humanitarian task knows the appreciation of seniors who lack the resources for independence.

In the Herald's Richard Dymond's Thursday report on this, Meals on Wheels volunteer Marlena Johnsky -- a praiseworthy 22-year participant in this great endeavor -- affirmed our first-hand statement: "It's extremely rewarding."

Yes indeed.

This is a call for a "pay it forward" moment. Then, one day, somebody will be there for you in your time of need -- repaying that generosity.

Want to volunteer? Call 941-745-7072 or visit mealsonwheelsplus.org.

Non-starter on climate

Can Manatee County government diminish climate change impacts? Will private property restrictions and other land-use regulations be effective? Or are there other avenues to pursue?

The climate change issue came up this week in a report by the Herald's Kate Irby in which environmentalists criticized Manatee County's efforts over the years.

The expectation of county action is somewhat puzzling. Can the county just say no to developers who meet all legal requirements for building on sites that meet codes?

Should that be the case, we'd expect lawsuits about unlawful taking of property. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a Florida property owner in a Bert Harris case over a county's development demands.

People will live where people want to live -- along the Gulf of Mexico on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, the shores of the Manatee River.

Climate change is a national and international political issue, not one for local governments -- though there are smart measures that can be implemented. Solar energy, for one. Buses that are energy efficient. And other ways to reduce fossil fuel consumption and air pollution.

But local government cannot slow the rise of the sea level.

Quote of the week

"Because of you, I got to enjoy another Father's Day. It feels awesome to stand here or just to stand anywhere for that matter. If it wasn't for all of you, I wouldn't be here."

-- Gary Trapp, 69, a Whitfield Estates resident, talking Tuesday to an audience of some 20 people as he thanked the East Manatee County Fire Rescue staff who saved his life last month.

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