Price Of Progress - On Clearwater Beach there was a need to close Coronado Drive to roadway traffic over Mother's Day weekend.
Of course, the roadway closure due to construction, resulted in a large traffic jam Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Word on the beach last weekend was: "Did you notice the traffic on South Clearwater Beach?"
Price of progress?
Let's hope the answer is yes.
Goodbye Holiday Inn - Some folks remember when Stan Musial was involved in the ownership of what was then, the Beach Hilton (now Clearwater Beach Holiday Inn Sunspree.)
Much has changed over the years in management of that hotel property. I'm told that one of the best poker games in Clearwater was regularly held at the old Hilton property on Clearwater Beach.
Soon twin towers of modern highrise condominiums will adorn this large piece of beach property.
More condominium development on Clearwater Beach.
Belleair Beach To Fill Position - The vacant Belleair Beach city council seat will be filled by council appointment. This council seat vacancy was created when one councilmember unexpectedly resigned after the last city election.
Interestingly, there are two potential candidates that are attorneys who wish to serve the city as a council member. Adding another person with a legal background to the city council is an interesting option for current council members. (There are several important city issues that might need legal input before moving forward.)
The good news is that there are more new citizens willing to serve the City of Belleair Beach. New faces, new ideas and perhaps some new direction with city tax revenues in Belleair Beach over the next few years would not be a bad idea.
Senior Center In Clearwater - How can it be there is such a problem getting a Senior Center in Clearwater when all the "Hispanic" Centers seem to be thriving?
Guantanamo Bay - The U.S. Military has a retention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. That prison is holding many dozens of prisoners that will soon be tried by military or U.S. courts. A Supreme Court decision is expected in June that would decide the fate of the prisoners. (Military court trial or not.)
President George Bush has gone on record as saying he would close the prison and try the prisoners in court if the decision was his. However, he awaits the high court decision in June.
Clearly it is time for the awaiting prisoners to have their day in court.
In most cases, it is the military court that would have jurisdiction over captured prisoners from a military action.
Citizens Insurance And Risk Management - Is there any logic in giving tens of millions of tax dollars to the state-run insurer of last resort due for unfunded homeowner losses?
The premiums charged by Citizens Insurance were not high enough to pay for claims costs. Yes, it makes you wonder how high the premiums should be on homeowners' policies in Florida, but the fact of the matter is that the state insurer does not charge enough premiums for resulting costs of claims. If it was a private insurer, like Poe insurers in Tampa, it would be closed due to lack of enough reserves.
More capital, more reserves, higher premiums and changes in coverage is what traditional insurance companies are explaining to state officials as necessary to cover homeowner losses.
Where are the Allstate's, the State Farm's, the Prudential's, etc.?
Not interested in insuring property in Florida. They know the insurance risk and reward scenario and are not interested. Not worth the risk, state folks at those large insurance companies.
That means we are left with small, "take-out" insurance companies and state-run Citizens Insurance Company (the insurer of last resort.) Poe Insurance Companies reflected how vulnerable the small "take-out" insurers can be in insuring Florida homeowner risks. Poe and investors lost 100 percent of their investments in those small insurers. (Not many people talk about how much money they lost in the investment ventures to help create more markets for Florida homeowner business.)
I way I see it, limits must be placed on policies up to a maximum of, say, $1-million. Furthermore, additional limits must be placed on all policies to help shift risk to owners who do not comply with modern hurricane guidelines. Why is all of that important? We need to become a part of long-term insurance solutions in order to create competition. Supply and demand. We need more quality insurers to help design homeowner products that would result in good coverage at sensible prices.
Should we rely on the worldwide reinsurance market for insurance relief for small insurers that can't afford to write new business? Those reinsurance people know the risk game and charge high premium rates to underwrite such excess risks for homeowner insurance.
That means even higher premium rates.
Revised insurance coverage with input from the major insurance companies.
What about the millions given to Citizens?
The way I see it, we could have created a large state-run reinsurance pool for the small insurers to participate. Private capital funds need to be created for excess loss risks instead of spending tax dollars for relief of Citizens. The recent injection of tax funds into Citizens is a temporary solution to an old problem. We need better solutions for long-term planning.
Future of Florida homeowner insurance rates?
Not good. Another small Florida insurer recently asked for a 22 percent rate increase over current rates.
Survived The Titanic - Not many Americans are still living that remember news of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912.
The last American survivor who witnessed the sinking recently died in Massachusetts at age 99. Her name was Lillian Gertrud Asplund and she was only five-years-old when the Titanic hit the iceberg. Her father and three young brothers died in the tragedy; Lillian, her mother, and a younger brother survived.
Lillian dealt with her loss caused by the sinking of the Titanic for 94 years. Quite a price to pay. Her mother never got over the loss of her husband and three sons, said Lillian. Of course, never did Lillian. She never married and helped to take care of her mother until her death.
In an early newspaper article her mother was reported to have said, "I could see the icebergs for a good distance around. My husband said to go ahead and he would get another boat (with the three other young children). He smiled as he said those words."
The last person who remembers the sinking of the Titanic is now gone. The Asplunds returned home broke. They lost everything on the Titanic. More than a ship sunk with the Titanic.
"Fools say they will reform tomorrow - the wise did so yesterday.
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