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Time Is A Unifying Gift©️

Celebrating the passage of time is my favorite “holiday.” This is a time in which most desire blessed memories of what has passed, welcome the best of times, and pray for more time.

Time: past, present and future. It’s not a religion, and it’s not a political view. Time is now and what we make of it. Time is what we have, can help heal and speed away unexpectedly. Treasure all the moments you’re offered by time.

Around the world, we collectively rejoice, love, kiss and pray. Time is treasured at this moment, as we treasure each other. Time is a gift. Celebrate it now and and every tick-tock you hear. 1-1-2019©️

Live, love, play ©️

EAD Creations ™️

#givetime #lifeistime #time #blessings

Where Do All the Boxes Go?

Plans for Port of Tampa to be part of the solution.

Barbara Smith wrote in the Business Insider in August that cardboard is the “beige gold,” and globally criminals are making millions as e-commerce booms. This and other changes are strangling recycling systems and the profits of companies and local authorities. Recycling has not escaped the rapid shifts brought on all sectors by 2020.

As consumers unpack box after box, tucked inside another box surrounded by styrofoam, different problems arise in addition to the illegal trade that is skyrocketing.

The recycling systems have not and can not keep up, especially after Covid-19 shut down many operations for sometime. The shut-down of facilities occurred as management regrouped and armed staff with Personal Protection Equipment and new protocols.

Meanwhile the massive demand shifted from “clean,” commercial cardboard and paper sources, to a “dirty,” residential overload of waste, cardboard and a mix of both. Much of the waste had to burned. In July, for example, Hillsborough and Pasco counties burned approximately 20,000 tons of waste the recycling systems could not handle.

Problems and Solutions for Residential Recycling

Ninety percent of all products in the U.S. are shipped in corrugated cardboard boxes. Commercially, these boxes are typically used once and recycled. Residential trends show single-use boxes are often reused for storage and become contaminated. Other bad habits have led the recycling industry to ask that residents stick to the basics. Now as we approach 2021, these are increasingly important to meet recycling goals.

Florida has struggled to keep up with the goals set in 2008 by the Florida Legislature’s Energy, Climate Change Economic Security Act which established a statewide, weight-based recycling goal of 75 percent by 2020. The last time the state met the “staggered,” projected goals set by the act was in 2014. Here are a few suggestions to help meet increasing demands:

  • Stop “wishcycling,” a term described by Sandy Skolochenko for those who put something in a recycling bin without checking whether it is actually recyclable. Skolochenko is a Business Development Specialist with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEACS). In an article for Coastal Review published this month, Skolochenko highlights the system overflow of home garbage and emphasizes not to throw masks and gloves away in recycling bins.
  • Understand the oil and other residue left on simple things like a pizza box gum up the system. Plastic bags are notably at the top of the “do not recycle” list. The advice for recycling plastic bags is to return them to the stores. Remember not to recycle masks and gloves but do properly dispense of them in waste bins.
  • Stick to the basics of residential recycling: plastic bottles, tubs, jugs and jars, glass bottles, metal cans, paper and cardboard. Again, the emphasis is on basic and clean recycling to help get through this particularly industrial, commercial and residential recycling shift.

Tampa Is Close to Striking Beige Gold

Seeds for a blossoming partnership have been planted at the Port of Tampa for a new cardboard and paper recycling plant. The Tampa site is one of only two in North America of its kind. The reported $180 million facility is the product of New Jersey-based Kamine Development Corporation (KDC which creates sustainability infrastructure) and Celadon, a technology company. The deal does include almost 100 jobs.

Wade Elliott, Vice President of Business Development Port of Tampa told The Free Press, “This is a great project for our region. The proposed facility will enhance sustainability and benefit the port regarding exports of cargo.”

As step one in the process, the Hillsborough County Commissioners held a public hearing in October approving the plans thus far. The vote is going to the Tampa City Council today. Check back for an in-depth feature from The Free Press.

Local Recycling Information and Resources

  • Floridadep.gov/waste-recycling
  • Tampa got.net/solid-waste-programs
  • Pinellascounty.org/recycle-guide
  • Pascocountyfl.net/recycling
  • My manatee.org/utilities//trash_recycling

Navigating the Way Out

Tampa Bay — (previously published May 2020; much is now open but not cruising).

Recommendations from around the country and state include the following standard practices we can expect to see and maintain.

Masks

In Hillsborough County wearing face masks is strongly encouraged but not mandated in high-traffic areas particularly where public distancing is not possible. Proper social distancing is essential.  If you’re engaging in essential services and businesses, masks are recommended.  For details on mask usage, see Hillsborough County’s Emergency Policy Group’s latest update.

Air Travel

Readers may hear that arrival times at airports require up to four hours prior to your flight. In actuality because the airports are at new lows for travel, Tampa International is still requiring two-hour arrival times prior to your flight.  Other area airports report similar lows in travel from April’s data. 

You can expect all high-contact areas to be decontaminated, only McDonald’s and one coffee shop are open at Tampa International, and you must wear a mask at all times in the airport and plane.  Also airlines have suspended on-board flight services which includes all drinks, water, alcohol, food and snacks.

Vacations Rentals

Tickets were handed out today in Holmes Beach to visitors staying in a vacation rental.  While rentals are listed online, Florida has not yet given clearance and violators are being ticketed. 

Restaurants

Here are some of the recommended changes by the National Association of Restaurants for business opening during Phase One and beyond. 

There will be continued move towards no contact with high-contact items such as the leather billfold that holds the tab.  Salt and pepper shakers and condiments will be disposable, as well as menus, disposable silverware and plates.  

Outdoor seating is being added and ventilation requirements are changing. Restaurants will be amping up automation and offering more high-tech applications for POS services. Buffet-style offerings are out for now.

From witnessing events and businesses open in the tri-county area, readers can expect everything to be continually sanitized with social distancing and 25 percent capacity indoors and expanded outdoor seating, masks and screenings.

Patrons may call or visit restaurant websites for more information about each restaurant’s current operating hours and common practices.  Diners interviewed all have witnessed good service and continuous sanitizing in place, and common dining cutlery, dishes and menus are being used.  Space is limited.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores will continue to operate at the minimum required of patrons, continuous sanitizing, and masks can be worn by choice. If you are ill it is advised that you do stay home. Masks are optional but required for employees.  One resident reaching for a grocery cart recently spoke of being grabbed around the arm by a man who yelled at her, “Where’s your mask?” 

Public Transportation

Nationally, the advice about public transportation is to not use it unless absolutely necessary. When using buses and trains, it’s advisable to wear a mask and gloves if you feel you cannot properly distance yourself from others and high-contact areas.  

Coming will be an increas ridership in taxi cabs and services such as Uber and Lyft is expected with changes including the use of plastic shields in vehicles with protocols for disinfecting the vehicles and mask recommendations plus screenings.

Cruising

Royal Caribbean extended its hold on cruising through June 11th with hopes to resume on a limited scale after while Carnival announced it will begin offering travel in August. For more information about the cruise industry, see http://www.cruiseindustry.com.

Beaches and Local Parks

Pinellas county offers a dashboard online service to reserve parking spots and space at the beaches. See the website at www.pscoweb.com.  Since opening on May 4th, the beaches continue to be widely popular with beach goers maintaining social distance. Beaches do quickly reach capacity and will be closed to additional traffic.  As the area looks forward to honoring Memorial Day, you can expect to see much busier roads and traffic to all the beach access areas. 

In Apollo Beach, the public park on the Bay remains closed as is the dog park and other park facilities on Gulf and Sea Blvd.  At Simmons Park in Ruskin, only the boat ramp is available with hours 8 am – 6:30 pm. 

The beach at Little Harbor remains closed and patrolled.

Retail

Stores are opening to 25 percent occupancy including Pet Supermarket in Sun City Center where hand sanitizer is mandatory at the door, and plastic shields are up at the registers. You can expect to see similar practices at the larger retail stores.

Mickey-isms

Five Years – What Would Mickey Say?

Those who knew my father ask me what he would think of 2020. My brother and I know he would still watch sports, as aggravating as he may find the business of it. He always muted the sound anyway. He would have more to say about the Middle East than has been discussed, distrust of China, and he would rail against communism. He told me 30 years ago whites will be the minority. He only would have CNN on in order to closely watch the stock market stats scroll across his television with the sound muted of course. His other opinions are absolutely not repeatable but only to those who get his humor and intelligence know Mickey would have given great advice. We need his input more than ever.

Things My Dad Taught Me

Five years ago (12-1-15) my dad passed peacefully at a beautiful hospice facility in Florida. It was just a few miles away from where he’d practiced medicine most of his life. The peace my brother and I found there helped my dad transition to Heaven in God’s Grace.

Being at hospice was, however, not my father’s plan. He’d chosen to die at home which did not happen.

I’ll start right here with what I’ve learned from the good doc, Mickey. These are only a few of times with dad that I’m thinking of now. He always made me laugh until I cried. I wish I’d saved some of his stories to share here. There are just too many!

As a doctor he had a stellar reputation and was proud of so many diabetics and others he kept healthy and walking. The list is long but here are some of the strange but normal Mickey-isms.

1. Always have a plan B.

My father grew up in a rough part of Philly called Strawberry Mansion. Each street of row houses were of different and divided ethnicities. His mom was a bad-ass card player, a family trait, but not motherly. He grew up rough and learned young to plan ahead and live independently. He said a piece of grass growing through the cement crack was his yard. He worked his father’s newspaper stand in downtown Philly while “I was still a toddler drinking milk from the bottle,” he insisted.

Stumpy, a one-legged man mentored my dad in sex (at seven), cigarettes, life in general. Herchey Metterman was his life-long friend. He sued the federal government and won — a fact that amazed my dad. They all had mob connections, learned a lot about unions, gambling in Atlantic City and getting lost in New York City a lot, on purpose.

For Mickey though, his plan was education for elevation. He hated the cold weather and eventually moved to Cocoa Beach. For his children, he saved money, asked a lot of us, separated us but kept us bonded, and made us study and excel.

2. Apply yourself at work and always continue to educate.

Read, read and read more. My mother (gone 11 years) and father were avid readers. Mickey was able to attend a privileged high school and college after earning full scholarships. He graduated early, was offered medical scholarships and became a foot surgeon (because that was what they offered for free) by 23. He continued to learn, teach and lead in his field. As I mentioned, he was a special man to many patients. I ran barefoot at the barn. He treated my feet too, set my broken leg, and didn’t yell that much.

3. I’m going to die when I’m 50.

For the love of God, he told me this a thousand times. Heart problems were common in his family, primarily the men including his dad and brother who did die young. Mickey lived to 83 after a triple bypass about 20 years prior. The key: Mickey always did 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups every morning, every day. He loved yard work and between these exercises he stretched out his life expectancy. I’m so grateful. He also passed on the love of exercise to me, my brother and his grandchildren. Until the end, he did yard work in his old office attire with no shirt so the ladies could check him out. Despite the attire, they looked and offered casseroles which is apparently really important.

4. Mickey did have a heart.

I always knew he loved me and my brother, my cousins and his relatives. As far as my mom, I recall ducking the flying ash trays thrown between the two. My parents divorced six months after I married. It didn’t take long for Mickey to seek out his high-school girlfriend. They lived another 20 years before his love died of lung cancer (she was a non-smoker). While they were in their honeymoon phase he left her love notes, expressed feelings and emotions I’d never seen. Lesson learned here for me is to love and love hard. Let there be no boundaries when you find your soul mate (assuming it’s healthy love). Act like a kid as much as possible. Check the box “yes, I love you.”

5. Stop being a door mat. You’re too nice.

My dad always told me I was too nice, vulnerable and gullible. He told me many times to stop being a door mat, to stand up for myself, to be independent and to embrace my heritage. A kinder version would be in the song Rhiana sang, “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” I’m embracing this dad. And as my former boss and friend, Al, told me before he died, “This isn’t social work Liz.”

6. Never pay to take a job.

Plain and simple. Mickey didn’t believe in network marketing or anything you pay to start. He believed in old fashion work for pay, to save, live within your means and invest. Ironically I truly suck at networking marketing. His words stuck or influenced me beyond his grave.

7. Marry within your religion.

Mickey, married twice but never within his religion. Considering he was an opinionated man, his beliefs took over rather than blended. The difference caused chaos and divorce from two women he did love. His true love was of the same religion. I regretfully repeated this pattern against my dad’s advice. I’m divorced. In the end my father had studied so much about quantum physics that he proclaimed himself an atheist to the pretty hospice nurse dressed in hot pink scrubs. He’d been flirting with her that day just prior to a heart attack at night that led to his passing.

8. Tupperware story and friends.

My dad shared a story with me that happened to his mom. One Tupperware party changed who she trusted and befriended. She hosted the party but no one came. He said she never had another party, ever. He told me this as I was losing many friends. He said people will let you down. Stay strong he said.

After enduring a serious surgery then an even more scary bout of cancer, I routinely missed a monthly Bunco game. I was fatigued, sick and scared. The ladies said, “Who can be sick for a year?” They cut me out. Actually it was for the best as I was struggling for two years only to then suffer the loss of my dad and other close relationships after cancer. Lesson learned here is to treasure your health and any support you have. I had my brother and several dear friends who helped me. I’m grateful and I tell God every night. I no longer play Bunco but I still have parties.

9. Sports and Stocks

Mickey taught me so much about investments, baseball, football, boxing, betting, blackjack, craps, sand in a sock as a weapon, guns, muting announcers he hated and the art of watching sports all day. My children inherited a love and great understanding of sports so it’s a blessing that I feel at home at sporting events and parties in full swing. My dad’s tombstone reads, “He had a good turn at bat.” Mickey was an excellent investor and knew when to jump in or out. What now Dad? Help!

10. Women

I can think of so many funny things Mickey said and did. He was hysterical, a great writer and joke teller, pool player and card shark, a bad-ass drill Sergeant, a brother, uncle, husband and he was our dad. He was a lady killer and found a couple of beauties he called “arm candy” a time or two. Not a nice statement but definitely a Mickey-ism. He often told me to wear heals when I dressed up to show off my legs. He’d get arrested for that now. For me, it works every time.

Beyond looks, Mickey encouraged not only his children but many he met to seek out education as a means to success. When he heard someone say, “That takes eight years!” He’d reply that eight years pass anyway. Make the most of it.” He was a great man who believed in his children and provided “the good, bad and the ugly” which shaped my brother and me into strong, smart and funny people. Dad, you’ll always be my hero and know you’re loved, prayed for and adored.

PS According to dad, WD40 fixes everything! Peace and love ©️2020