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Hurricane Digital Memory Bank December 5, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Hurricane, Internet, News, Southern Living.
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Lest we forget, the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank is a repository for stories, images and files related to the 2005 hurricane season. Complete with a Google Map, too. Browse or submit your own experiences and help historians accurately record this hellish season.

Here’s the note they sent me:


On a recent web search we found your blog postings that relate to the recent hurricanes. We at the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank (http://hurricanearchive.org) invite you to upload your postings or stories to this public database as part of a nationwide memory bank that will help historians write the history of these storms. A collaborative project between George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, the University of New Orleans, and the Smithsonian Institution the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank is collecting, preserving, and presenting the stories, images, and responses of the devastating 2005 hurricane season.

If you decide to contribute, your stories will be credited to you and you will retain copyright over that data. When we display images, blog postings, or podcasts, we also create a bibliographic citation as a reference for those using the memory bank for research. If at any time you change your mind, you may contact us (info@hurricanearchive.org) and we will delete your materials.

Still wondering who we are and what we do? This project builds on prior work by George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, and other partners such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress, to collect and preserve history online, especially through the ECHO (http://echo.gmu.edu) project and the September 11 Digital Archive (http://911da.org). Check out these sites and see what you think.

We are collecting all types of information, and we encourage you and your friends and family to submit stories, documents, images, or audio files through our website: http://hurricanearchive.org.

Thank you!
Hurricane Digital Memory Bank Staff

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War, Dinner, Katrina but No Crabs and No Beach House November 24, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Hurricane, Life in the Woods, Southern Living.
1 comment so far

Heading into the kitchen for the day and packing for a quick trip to Georgia tomorrow to visit some soldiers fresh back from the war.

I’d rather be on the beach or dangling toes off a dock on the bay, dangling string and chicken necks to feed the crabs and ultimately, myself. I had to turn down a three-day freebie beach house stay due to prior plans, thanks to the Army keeping them on call all weekend.

“Yes, soldier, you may spend Thanksgiving with your family, but only if they live nearby because we may call you at any moment even though you’re stateside. Happy Holidays, but don’t go anywhere!”

What a pile of holiday crap.

Happy T’giving, folks. Remember the people who lost homes from Hurricane Katrina; many are spending the winter in tents (and worse) along the Gulf Coast. Say a prayer for them and for the kids fighting overseas, maybe some of both will be home come Christmas.


Reeling in Jeb – Florida Nixes Plans for Offshore Oil Drilling November 11, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Flotsam/Jetsam, Government, Hurricane, News, Politics, Southern Living.
1 comment so far

Panhandle (aka The Emerald Coast) Floridians guard their beaches to the point dogs are only allowed with permit and even then only for a couple hours in the morning and evenings. Street and home lighting cannot be turned directly onto the beach to allow hatchling turtles a better chance of getting to the water and not in traffic. In Grayton Beach, vehicles are allowed to drive on the beach, but only property owners and only with a permit sticker.

A year ago, a pro-oil drilling politician could not be found in Florida. But increased pressure from Governor Jeb Bush and a group of conservatives led by California Republican Richard Pombo had some lawmakers rethinking the “let’s keep the beaches white and the tourists happy” mentality. It seemed inevitable as pump prices and hurricanes pushed them toward allowing oil and gas drilling off the East Florida pristine coast.

A year ago it wasn’t a republican/democrat issue in Florida. Today, it still is not and, at least for now, the beaches are still sugar white and the water still emerald green and clear.

But it’s not just Florida’s beaches:

The measure would replace the current patchwork of bans on energy exploration that cover the eastern Gulf and much of the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards. Instead, drilling would be allowed along the entire Outer Continental Shelf, but states could vote to block drilling within about 125 miles of their shores. (Source: The Orlando Sentinel)

Not because some GOPs didn’t try, though. The defeated plan was a compromise to keep drilling 125 miles off the coast.

The proposal that was killed Wednesday night would have allowed Florida’s Legislature and governor to oppose drilling within 125 miles off Florida’s coasts, but open up drilling beyond the 125-mile mark, including millions of acres that have been long-sought by the oil and gas industry. (Source: The Miami Herald)

But some stood their ground. Crossing over the Republican/Democrat line, politicians such as Rep. Connie Mack, a Republican from Ft. Myers, drew a line in the snow white sand in Florida yesterday and despite pressure from officials who (erroneously) claim Gulf drilling would decrease the country’s reliance on foreign oil, voted no. Another, Rep. Katherine Harris, a republican from Long Boat Key is actively lobbied to remove the offshore drilling measure before it reached the House floor.

Both Florida senators, Mel Martinez (R) and Bill Nelson (D) oppose drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

So who was pushing the measure so hard it seemed inevitable?

Governor Jeb Bush, who was opposed to any Florida offshore drilling at all when reelected in 2002 and Rep. Tom Feeney, Oviedo. Also voting for the drill was representative Adam Putnam of Bartow, Ander Crenshaw of Jacksonville, and Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami, Jeff Miller of Pensacola, all Republican. In all, eight republicans out of the 25-member congressional delegation voted for the compromise.

Jeb’s reaction to the bipartisan vote: “It’s a temporary victory politically, but it’s not an ultimate solution.”

Feeney, who in a nationwide released video created by “a business group,” extolled the virtues of offshore drilling, stated the measure would “…protect our beaches and also allow Americans to have a steady supply of affordable gasoline.” Feeney didn’t explain how coastlines would be protected because no one has a plan yet.

It’ll be okay, I’m sure pro-drillers will come up with something later. Maybe following an accident or after a hurricane sends Valdez-quantities of crude into the Gulf.

Fuel shortages, if they do exist, stem mainly from refineries damaged during this year’s hurricanes and to a larger extent, worldwide demand. Drilling more oil and gas from the Gulf would not alleviate the pump prices and heating oil bills and who says it should be solely the responsibility of the United States if it is indeed a worldwide crisis?

Although not sworn in, oil company moguls at a Senate hearing Wednesday did explain why the price of fuel was going up at the same time their coffers stretched to hold the $25 billion in profits earned last quarter. Actually, they didn’t, but they unblinkingly admitted it was not their fault.

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Who Goes to the Beach in Late October? October 26, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Southern Living, Today’s Surf.

Invisible people:

October at Ed Walline Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 

October on Ed Walline Beach in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida


A Birthday Eve Chipin October 16, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Life in the Woods, Southern Living.

How many people can say they get a Chipin for their birthday? Not many, I wager. A Chipin is a chihuahua-miniature pincher combo and this particular one is eight weeks of alpha female attitude. I’ll post a photo of her tonight or tomorrow after she’s settled into her new home.

My jungle garden In the meantime, here is a photo of my front yard, aka the Jungle Garden. Already broken in by Mike the border collie and Bunny, the American bulldog, it is canine heaven here in the woods. Thibodeaux (yep, I’ve already given her a name) should have a glorious life here in the woods, unless she gets lost under the vegetation or kidnapped by a palmetto bug.

Thibodeaux won’t be the runt of this pack; she’ll have two kittens, Deuce and Smudge waiting to kick her puppy ass. I caught them working on a plan to take her out just this morning.

Surf Condition for 10.10.05 – Green October 10, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Today’s Surf.

green flag Today’s beach condition in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

It is heaven this week; chilly in the mornings and warm enough to swim in the afternoons. Smooth seas, quiet beaches and sunsets so brilliant they make athiests drop to their knees in awe.. ahhhh, I love October.

Info for Evacuees in Panama City or Walton County August 31, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Hurricane.

By Christopher Mitchell (cmitchell@wmbb.com) News 13 On Your Side Wednesday, August 31, 2005 If you’ve evacuated from the hurricane and are now in Walton County, here is some critical information (provided by the Walton County American Red Cross) you’ll need to get you through the coming weeks: Free Emergency Shelter: The American Red Cross in Walton County (850-892-6297) has opened a host shelter in DeFuniak Springs for up to 300 evacuees. It’s located on Highway 83 in Defuniak Springs. To get there, take Highway 331 north (from either I-10 or from Highway 98 or Highway 20) until it dead-ends into Highway 90 in DeFuniak Springs. Turn right on Highway 90 towards downtown. Take left onto highway 83, and go a few hundred yards. You will see the National Guard Armory on your left, behind the county’s health department. Food, cots, showers provided. Medical Help on a Budget: The DeFuniak Springs (DFS) Walk-In Clinic (9 West Orange Avenue, Defuniak Springs – 850-951-1800) is offering inexpensive ($20.00) office visits for evacuees that need medical help. They are open Monday through Friday, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Missing Family Members: Call the National Missing Persons Hotline at 866-438-4636. The hotline operators may be of help in locating missing relatives in the hurricane-afflicted areas. Missing Military Personnel: Call 800-448-1294 if you have a missing loved-one in the military working in the hurricane-afflicted areas. FEMA: 800-621-3362 Other Needs (ie: space for RV’s, tents, etc.): A radio station called “County Station 98.7” is working to gather information from panhandle residents on what they can offer you in the way of places to park your recreational vehicle, ect. Call them at 850-969-9300 to see what someone can do for you when there’s no where else to turn. Donations Hotline: 800-495-7663 Please know that our hearts are with you during this very difficult time, and WMBB-TV is “on your side.” We will do everything possible to provide you with important information on our nightly broadcasts at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00. We also have a morning show which begins at 5:00 a.m. and lasts until 7:00 a.m. Please stay tuned to WMBB-TV (ABC) during these times. Our newsroom hotline number is 850-763-6000. -Christopher Mitchell, Walton County Bureau Reporter for WMBB Local Relief Points

  • Pocket Change in the Panama City Mall is opening their Balloon Room for Free to children who have evacuated here from the storm. Local residents can admit their children for a donation.-
  • To donate to the American Red Cross, call 1-800 HELP NOW or drop off donations at 430 E 15th St. Panama City 32405
  • Salvation Army is taking cash donations and canned goods drop off at 1824 W 15th St. Panama City or mail to P.O. Box 540, Panama City, 32402
  • American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Washington Co. Ag Center – 1424 Jackson Ave. (Hwy 90 West) in Chipley
  • BankTrust is collecting cash donations and bedding. Drop off at 2315 Hwy 77 in Lynn Haven, next to the Post Office.
  • Free meals for evacuees, tomorrow 5:30 – 7:30pm, Grace Episcopal Church, Back Beach Rd.
  • Bay & Mosley High Schools collecting cash donations – bring to Bay/Mosley football game, Friday 7:00pm, Tommy Oliver Stadium
  • Free meals for evacuees, Thurs – Sat, Woodlawn Methodist, 219 Alf Coleman Rd. (bring ID)
  • Free picnic lunch for evacuees with children – Thursday, 11:00am – 2:00pm, Junior Museum of Bay County, 1731 Jenks Avenue, Panama City

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida June 17, 2005

Posted by Leita in Florida, Southern Living.

Here’s a photo of SRB, folks ask about my locale and it’s easier to show than describe: