Ground growth in reality
The writer of the May 13 letter, “Let us restore the sparkling jewel,” who envisions a picture-perfect Daytona Beach like the communities of New Smyrna Beach or Key West, may want to take a closer look.
Take New Smyrna Beach first. Pockets of economic erosion chronically persist there, too. Stroll past vacant stores on Canal Street and greet the homeless bench-resident at the corner of Canal and Sam Avenue; cross the bridge to Flagler Avenue for a continuing view of the fight against vacancy signs — where merchants come and go with rapidity, in spite of the ever-improving landscape.
As for the hope of a Key West atmosphere in Daytona Beach, the writer hasn’t visited the island as of late. Beautiful Smathers Beach reeks of urine from homeless wanderers sleeping off last night’s celebration while waiting for the next Mallory Square sunset party. Long-standing Duval Street resident, Fast Buck Freddie’s, is no more, replaced by a CVS that treats the “Duval crawlers.” The famous boulevard’s landscape is dotted with empty stores and quaint shops discounting everything in their struggle to stay afloat. Even the kiosk vendors have left for greener pastures, proving that a tourist economy is not for the faint of heart.
So, off with the rose-colored glasses. Daytona Beach is growing in an improving economy that promises to provide jobs, thanks to a tireless city manager and our visionary City Commission. Their western counterpart, Deltona, is fighting to do the same, because Economics 101 teaches us that higher per capita personal incomes improve a city’s landscape. There’s still room here for retirees searching for a sleepy beachside bungalow, but they will have to share Daytona Beach with merchants like Joe’s Crab Shack who shouldn’t have to strain for survival.
James Tager will be taking the helm at Flagler County Schools as superintendent, earning a base salary of $135,000. At first I thought I read that wrong, so I looked at the article three more times.
(READ: District OKs Tager contract)
On Long Island, the base salary for a school superintendent hovers around $240,000. Yes, $240,000.
Teachers on Long Island can make close to $130,000 if they have the years, education, and stipends for being after-school student advisers.
Of course, houses are three times higher, taxes are five times higher, and insurance is somewhere in between.
I wish James Tager well on his new assignment. He sure isn’t doing it for the money.
How’s your car?
Several weeks ago my wife arrived at a local hospital emergency room with a broken hip. Six weeks after a partial replacement, and then finally a full replacement, she returned home. All this time she was on heavy drugs for pain. After she felt she no longer needed them, she started having severe withdrawal effects — so severe that she was taken to the emergency room by ambulance (where she was given another prescription for the same drugs she had been on for weeks and sent home). She is now undergoing severe withdrawal effects again, and the only help is from friends who have had similar problems. All this time, no one from the hospital or any of her doctors have ever called to ask about her well-being, even after canceling two appointments because she is so ill at home.
During this period I had to take my car to the dealer in Daytona Beach for annual service. It took two hours, and since I arrived home I have received calls from them asking about the service and if everything was going well. well. Even on the day I wrote this, I was contacted about my satisfaction with their service, asking if all was well and if there was anything they could do to to improve their service.
Meanwhile, I feel the hospital and doctors are more concerned about the good old dollar than the well-being of their patient . Maybe they should work at an auto dealer for a while and learn how to ask, “How is my patient?”