As a renter and one who has no decent credit this is a problematic happening. This event has solidified, even more, the near impossibility of the poor and even the middle class to have many choices on where they live and how they are going to get there, how close their home will be to jobs, medical care, public transportation, other conveniences like markets or stores and even safety and security. In the apartment complex where we live now, there have been constant break-ins, both of apartments and residents' cars. I am sure that desperation drives people to do desperate things. But I definitely do not feel safe here anymore.
So far, before moving in my new landlord has gotten $2000 (1st and last month's rent) and when I move in I need to pay $1000 more and a $250 non-refundable pet deposit. The electric company charged me a $390 deposit and the water company charged me a $260 deposit. I was thinking as a I spent the good portion of the day driving to place these deposits in cash, how does someone with even less money than what I have--do this or someone that is not working with no car? How do they drive to these places let alone come up with fees of this magnitude? No quick answers here. But this is slowly, bit by bit, wiping out what is left in my bank account. I have not even tackled getting the garbage and sewer set up yet, that is coming up next week.
Now the current news story in the Tampa Bay area are residents in Tampa getting water bills into the thousands of dollars, some 5 times the normal amount of their previous payments. What is unknown is how that happened, what is known is that this involves 500 plus households. Residents cannot get through on the utilities' customer service number and are referred to the website instead where they can file a complaint with an online form. That does not help the senior citizens, most of whom are not connected to the internet.
I have been working with TRUTH and truth activists regarding the Oil Spill and the human impact surrounding the crime scene in the Gulf of Mexico for over a year now. I was involved in the activism regarding the legislation before the crime was ever committed in the Gulf on April 20th, 2010 with Hands Across the Sand. See: http://www.handsacrossthesand.com.
Right after the crime was committed, I was one of the few that got it---that boycotting BP was not the answer even though activists were doing that in HUGE waves, that the real fact involving this event being allowed to happen at all was the breakdown of our own government. See more on my blog: click here
Dispersants make the crude oil even more toxic. And this process also allows for the crude and dispersants to be evaporated together, thusly permeating through our soil, our freshwater supplies and our air. It is coming down as toxic rain, burning away the leaves and any chances of growing untainted, organic local foods in this region.
There is no evidence that the spraying of the dispersants have stopped. There is even more evidence to prove that the well is either not capped or the seabed floor is leaking as oil is still washing up on the beaches and marshes of LA, MS, AL and the panhandle of Florida. Those living on the coastlines, from Western Florida all the way up to Louisiana give eyewitness accounts of the tarballs, constant air traffic and spraying, even over land which is not legal. Many take pictures, but the mainstream media will not touch any of this. A fingerprint matched sample of sand from a Sarasota Beach in September, 2010 (173ppm) was briefly addressed by the mainstream media but no warnings to citizens were ever issued. Of course not, the winter tourist season was about to begin.
For every bit of Gulf Seafood tested independently, not with the government issued sniff tests which are a joke, all came back as positive for the crude and/or chemicals. One recent sample consisting of 2 pounds of shrimp bought at a local dock in LA came back with a reading of 193ppm. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh1g0NeUUP4
People here in Florida are still fishing, buying and eating Gulf Seafood both in restaurants and at home. It is all still readily available at the fish markets and grocery stores. Symptoms from eating contaminated seafood might not show up for 5-10 years. I find it unbelievable that no medical warnings or hazards have ever been issued. As for me, I follow the Precautionary Principle, if there is a chance it is contaminated, I will abstain, thank you very much.
Are we the people being controlled by our access to water? This is not unheard of and happens in many other countries. Why would we think it could not happen here? Because here in Florida, we have saltwater immersion. Our freshwater supplies are intricately linked to the waters of the Gulf, they flow into each other. How do we know what is contaminated and what is not? The only way we will know for sure is if our water is tested. Can we really count on our government to test and report? Or for the mainstream media to put out news of this accurately and truthfully? For citizens to do it, they need time and money. http://www.testingthewater.org
The scariest part of this is the number of people that are sick. Even people's animals are affected. I have been contacted by no less than 10 people who say that their pets are sick, ie., that their dog has an undiagnosed upper respiratory infection or another woman who said she woke up and her bird was dead at the bottom of the cage. Are we canaries in the coal mine? An experiment? An activated depopulation operation? Some of the symptoms are the same as those of flu and colds, unspecific upper respiratory infections, diarrhea, migraines, dizziness, bleeding. Most of this is documented in Dr. Riki Ott's book, NOT ONE DROP, her account of the Exxon Valdez Spill in Alaska in 1989. She is one of the survivors.
As I am writing this, I just received news that another Big Oil insider had died a mysterious death. There have been quite a few of these events lately. Last summer it was Matt Simmons. On January 19th, 2011 it was Dr. Tomas B. Manton. See: click here
From Dr. Tom Termotto: " Tom was the former President/CEO of the International Oil Spill Control Corporation which was one of the very first oil spill control companies in the world formed outside of the rubric of the Oil & Gas Industry. In this capacity he helped create many of the protocols and establish many of the standards that are still in use today throughout the realm of oil spill control. He became an increasingly vocal critic of the BP response to the Gulf Oil Spill, and wrote five searing articles in that regard. He was particularly distressed that the US Federal Government allowed BP to completely take charge of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster area, as his experience taught him that the offending oil company should never be given command over the oil spill response
I can only encourage people to find out where their own water comes from. People all over the US are talking about FRACKING, but what is happening in the Gulf appears to be a dead story for most nationally. It is not over for those of us that live here! As for me, once I make my move, I will be sampling local water and what comes out of my tap and sending those to a lab for testing. Pure, uncontaminated fresh water is life and a basic human right. Can we count on our government to take care of that? Think about that. As for me, I will not only be testing, but finding a way to get local food that is not contaminated and working on developing a network with the people that I know and my neighbors. I like my waves in little ripples...
Hillsborough County Soil and Water Board, Seat 5
January 21, 2011