Re-post from http://flaglerlive.com/26596/pt-waste-pro-contract


waste pro garbage contract palm coast garbage haulers

Magic, but not at customers’ expense.

FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam’s weekly commentaries are broadcast on WNZF on Fridays just after 9 a.m. Here’s this week’s.

Twice a week for the past two years, my 7-year-old son has

set his morning clock to the sound of Waste Pro’s garbage truck clanging through the neighborhood. The moment he hears it he rushes to the window and gets set for what’s become a sacred ritual.

Greg and Willy, the two haulers who’ve been on the route all this time, have played right along. The moment they appear below the window they honk, wave and do their work as they always have, cleanly and efficiently and to my son of course, magically, because a garbage truck is nothing if not a giant hat that makes a lot more than rabbits disappear. If Willy Wonka had been a trash hauler, Greg and Willy would have been his trusty Umpa Lumpas.

Five days before last Christmas, which also happened to be my son’s birthday, Greg and Willy also showed that they could make certain things magically appear. They’d left three gifts beautifully wrapped, with a card to my son, at the end of the driveway. It’s not an exaggeration to say that in my son’s eyes and ours, these men are heroes who make trash hauling glitter.

All this to say that I love Waste Pro. But Waste Pro’s contract is up this year, and Palm Coast is playing lazy games. Rather than bid it out, the city administration is pushing hard to renegotiate a five-year extension of the contract rather than bid it out. We’re not talking about a minor contract here. It’s close to an annual, $8 million deal. For households, the cost is more than two thirds the average property tax bill. Not bidding it after five years would be just plain irresponsible, especially considering the skimpy information the administration has allowed to filter down to the city council members, though the council’s own pathological lack of curiosity is to blame for that.

It’s no disrespect to Waste Pro to bid out and have options. Not in these economic circumstances. The city is not obligated to go with a low bid, or to abandon Waste Pro. But it is obligated to seek the very best deal for its residents—not to stick with what’s comfortable, what the city administration likes because it can;t be bothered with a transition (though it had no problem switching health insurance carrier when it meant more favorable rates for its own employees), what may or may not fit in the mayor’s garage, what even some of us and our children have become used to.

The Palm Coast City Council will decide at its Community Center meeting Tuesday evening whether to merely stick with Waste Pro or go out to bid. Let’s hope their decision doesn’t stink up the joint.

New arrivals


The paper was brought to Erickson, huh, this was something new. The route was supposed to be from North West to South East, this was big news he knew and could change everything. He was to pass down the quarterly to Mr. Browsky in the south pass off state street promptly as possible. Confusion spread his thoughts although his demeanor didn’t show. These changes weren’t supposed to be made without the proper feedback of the others, who does this guy think he is – no, there must be a complication.

Randal was sitting in his car struggling to sleep that night, Thomas was feeling tired. Tired of being forced to ride the bike all day long to stay out of the car, tired of Randal always making plans to drive away to another town because of a new disability check, or a new church donation, or his sister loaning him money, always when Thomas wanted to sleep at the mission. Of course the money would be spent half way through the month on coffee, and gas. He was tired of being alone. The world was crashing down, Dwight and Dave were not to be seen. Before he knew it was 6:00 am. Time to get on the move. They sluggishly rode their bikes over to a bench by the main highway as they did every day off and on until noon. The heat waves of the road were giving Thomas a headache so he turned his face to look at a hawk circling. Sometimes he whistled with the song birds to humor himself, he wondered only if the dumb birds flew above the tree line or if it was the courageous bird proving his leadership and mate ability to soar new heights. Either way it is a gamble. The hawk appears swiftly out of nowhere and usually captures the bird, the birds the hawk couldn’t capture; maybe the hawk remembers that particular bird. Thomas laughed to himself about the time he saw a pelican with a fish half way in its mouth, screaming “Hey! Get that  out  of  your  mouth!”  the pelican dropped it and stared back. .!: Thomas turned back to the road – tap, tap, he felt on his shoulder behind the bench was a man shading the sun “Do you know anything about how to route a computer?” Thomas gasped, and didn’t know what exactly to say, he wasn’t expecting followers this early. “Yes, if you have the wires.” Thomas said, this was the stupid code they had agreed on, if one felt the need for usage. This man moved so his face was no longer dark, obviously he did not take the lucent talk seriously as he had a scraggly goof faced display of a smile. He put out his hand. “Hey I’m Buddy,” I shook it “Thomas.” He stared at me for a minute as if evaluating, “Well it’s too bad I don’t have any wires,” he chuckled “That is some code you boys came up with, I spect you are the one I came to see.” When he began this trip four weeks ago, every town they stop in they would eventually make friends of other homeless or street stirs they like to say. “Yes, what town did you come from?” When they find someone who has lost all hope or could not afford to stay at the shelter and has no one, one of the two street stirs eventually will meet them and give directions, a map of the next town where they can find hope. Then equipped with the code, or just casual asking of where one was from they might be able to keep traveling until something better. “I came from Makin. Talked to a guy from Tifton, who said another couple of guys before him were traveling west to Waycross and then Savannah. Said enter through the main route if you weren’t at the shelter. Y’all would be wearing them hats so as I’d know who to talk too. The guys at the shelter with hats had no clue about computers,” again the Buddy chuckle, then asked for a light for his cigar “Sure enough here you are though. Ain’t that something, don’t smell bad either” he said as he lit the cigar and directed my sight to his armpit, with a wink.. “helps the smell” and it actually did. “I’m with another guy Randal, he’s at Micy Dees.

Read more…

Waycross to Savannah


Randal was edgy, time had taken too long, they were suppossed to be here weeks ago, and they had stop checking in as they were suppossed to. The mission in waycross hadn’t allowed Randal to stay, and for no apparent reason at that. The last two and a half weeks, he’d been sleeping in his car – by leaving early in the morning, riding his bike  all day – no one noticed when he slept in the car late at night. Dwight and Dave hadn’t called, they could have gotten picked up by police for any number of reasons, such as tresspassing, noise disturbance, drinking if they did that I don’t know. These problems were reserved for those that are dumb, or just stop caring, not for people like us… ppl with hope. :,) 

We thought we had been defeated, just when realities foggy perception of hopeless failure in this battle to keep moving minced transformeing into another road block, the derision of our plan… it was time to keep going and hope for contact of any kind from them. Thomas some how new the had to switch it up, they had to stick together from now on, him and Randal. Looking forlorn, Randal said “Oh. Yeah, we better just keep moving. There’s nothing here Thomas. Thomas we have waited long enough. And I have to go to the hospital and sleep in a clean bed, shower and get my treatment.” _ “O.K. just when we decide to move on, now you want to delay! You are rediculous, when we start planning you have to tell me these things, you are not the boss, you are not my father and just because you have the car doesn’t mean you get to decide every decision on a whim. Will you give me a little respect old man. And you just have to have your DAMN COFFEE! @ every day and every check point you are at a starbucks or mcdonnalds. Jeesh! You are worse than my crackhead father…” “Thomas I’ve been out here a lot longer than you, and I need my treatment.” Replyed Randal securily. I’ve begun to lose myself. My temper and feelings were melding together, and I felt useless to do anything about it. Alright, I told myself, this is just a journey, and hopefully it’ll be an enjoyable one. When all else fails  Go with the Flow…

lets see if I can pick up a job in valdosta before waycross


Since last friday I’ve been in Valdosta Georgia seeking jobs staying in a shelter. After losing my wallet I met up with a group of people in Tifton GA, reclaimed my ID and started thinking of a plan with Randle. We will keep moving, hoping someone will help us, those of us that can to work, and increase our numbers. Strength in numbers and keep traveling town to town. Read more in post “Plan B” In the last week We’ve stayed at the salvation army, checking in at nights. During the day I go to the library, job seek and talk to “the locals”
Jobs I’ve Applied (I do have an Associates Degree from college and physically capable):
Dollar Tree Milissa
Blazers Tavern
Club Paradise
Knights of Columbus
Vintage Clothing
Kangaroo
Chevron Peter and Laura
Nursing home
General Dollar Beth
Gate Gas Station
Chocolate store
fudge store
Cracker Barrel
 Dairy Queen
Animal Hospital
YMCA
Jims gym
Discount Grocery
McDonnalds
Wendys
Farm
JC Penny
Wall Mart
Staples
Days Inn
Dennys
Cash Advance
House INN restaurant
Cup cake
Bakery
Fruit and Wine
KMART
Hilton
Food lion
Duncan Donuts
Office Max
Marchals
Starbucks
Dominos
Better World Books
Fed EX
UPS
TD Bank
Regions bank
Colony Bank
Bank of Valdosta
Parking Meter personal with Energy corp
Sears
Movie Theater
 *I really did bust my but this week and I had two interviews with a gas station and the movie theater! Waiting for the call backs… maybe I should follow up. If I get hired I’ll stay here and get an apartment, if not I will continue with Randle to Waycross.
Dwight and Dave are doing good they’ve been camping in woods, actually had someone outside Tifton give them a lift! They have food stamps for food, and have finally made it to the small town of Douglas not far from Waycross.
Only got another week until we have to meet up in Waycross, in the mean time I’ll have some posts by other people on the street in the shelter, and some short stories – if you wanna hear more of a particular story let me know these things.

Plan B


We plan on leaving Tifton GA and meeting in Waycross; Dwight about 22 my age and his uncle Dave Vietnam vet, with Randal my car pooler and (me)Thomas. They are to take the straighter northern route through Douglas and we are to take the southern route to Valdosta and through smaller towns. Those we have grown close to we will miss, but they do not want to part with their beloved town of Tifton and who can blame them. I will always remember those who have helped me, as I walk on black water I will remember those talks and even the smallest of comments from the unnamed.

They are to walk and hitch hike the 65 mile journey to meet in two weeks. We are to stay in Valdosta for a week and a half and then to Waycross.

The idea we stumbled upon with much thought, fighting, and hair pulling, but the plan finally came – we are to flee the area tomorrow morning. The vision is to travel until we receive enough help or work to sustain ourselves.

Hopeless and waiting, waiting for change will be others, many others. We will give them a hand and guide the way, away. If they chose to join, our numbers will grow, by sheer size we will find hope, hope in ourselves and the will to keep running this race.

If we move alone, we will do so proudly. Always reminded of but never living in the past we will move forward. We bring drink, little food, sleeping bags and tent for the rain. We will make mistakes and take the wrong path, but all roads the same place.

My eyes opened, I look to my right and see Dwight the tall goofy brown haired figure looking at me and banking the metal loft pillar. In southern accent “Hey Tom wake up it’s time for breakfast haha you crazy man it’s pancakes and sausage today.”

“ugh yeah I’m going to miss that”
“…Me too”

“So are you sure you really want to walk all that way? You know I’d give you a ride but it’s not my car and Randal says there is not room with his COPD asthma medicine in the back seat. He needs it to survive.”
Dwight “Um, yeah that kinda sucks but at least we both have cell phones and can stay in touch.”
Thomas “right, and remember to call every day at eight so we know it’s alright and keep your cell phone charged.”

Dwight “What do we do when we get there?”
Thomas “We will cross that bridge when we get there, or sleep under it I guess” They both laughed at the pun.

Thomas and Dwight hugged, Randal and Dave exchange serious looks with a hand shake. Out of the corner of my eye I do believe I saw a slight smirk in on the side of Randals lips. He was ready.

So two started walking down one road, and two drove off into eastern sunrise without money, family, or opportunity. But they had each other and for the time being a small spark.

The story of me


Without going into too many details I was three months out of basic training in the land of the free home of the brave. I went straight out of basic to the city of my long-lost father, after a week of searching my wallet with a large some of money was stolen, the police never found the perpetrators. I slept outside for three months for no other reason than because I had no ID or a way to buy an ID.

I car pooled to another shelter, Brother Charlies, in Tifton GA where I had my bank card mailed to me with the remaining $400.00. They usually don’t let people stay without an ID for various reasons. In this time I was told I could work in a shelter owned thrift store 35-40 hours a week, in return Id be fed, bathed and sheltered. The two girls on payroll at the thrift store were awesome to say the least and they forced me to accept cloths pro bono even when I insisted on paying cash. A very reliable place in my book, Brother Charlies even let me use their address to send my birth certificate, after a month I had my ID and a plan…

I now had a supply of cloths, an ID, a bicycle, and a phone. Had I filed for unemployment three months earlier I would’ve qualified, now however, I do not, furthermore it is unacceptable to sit and waste away now it’s time to find a job.

Five months later…

*I’ve been working two or three days a week at labor halls, I’ve applied to over fifty locations, two interviews.

Since I was not working at the thrift store I had to pay most of my labor hall money to Brother Charlies for rent, which honestly isn’t that much.

*Brother Charlies was the only address I could use.

I’ve run out of places to apply in this small peanut farming community.

Time to exercise plan B

What this WordPress is about


Primarily three topics over social responsibility:

Houselessness;

Everything related cause and reaction, (crime, disability, adoption services, unemployment, services of great help, crazy ex super stalker relationships etc.)

To donate – link on right hand side “buy for a homeless” takes you to secure trusty paypal. Funds  go to ID recovery, phones, housing and supplies.

Non-Profits, Businesses and Churches;

Those helping people from the BIGGEST to the smallest, from the most known to the least known. Donating to organizations, and donating to individuals.

With the Democratic capitalistic system is much success, reward and innovation for entrepreneurs and the rest, with that risk and poverty and social responsibility.

Sustainability

Always looking for more information so post your sites address and maybe even a special press will be in order.

…and of course a few personal stories and updates on my situation…

New posts will be every week for sure, and every couple of days! Enjoy and feel free to laugh when you’re suddenly bored and “wandering what the poor people are doing today.”