Monday, February 25, 2013

Mitch Perry Report 2.25.13: surviving the boil-water weekend

Posted by on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Beginning on Friday afternoon and lasting throughout most of the weekend, more than half-a-million Tampa residents were told to boil their water and/or try to find the bottled variety. The instructions were released after a rodent chewed through a power line at the city's water treatment plant.

You might ask, where's the redundancy? Where's the backup? Well, supposedly the David L. Tippen Water Treatment Facility has a second electrical line, but it shorted out, sending a surge that then caused the standby power supply to burn out.

Several Tampa restaurants closed and others were limited in what they could provide for Friday night and all day Saturday. Stuff happens, but there was a significant extra cost to local businesses that the mayor and other officials acknowledged. I hope we learn on Thursday at the City Council meeting about the possibility of this happening again.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed Seth McFarland's performance at the Oscars last night, but as predicted in the age of Twitter, the host received massive criticism from certain quarters.

The sequester begins at the end of this week, and I think one area that will affect Americans is taking trips and experiencing flight delays due to a lack of air traffic controllers.

On Saturday, I got around to reading the long but important Time magazine article about outrageous prices that hospitals charge patients — or some patients, anyhow.

Saturday morning MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes devoted nearly a half-hour to Gov. Rick Scott's Medicaid decision, and the associated political and medical impact of what other GOP governors are doing about the issue.

In a related story: Although Scott has received a lot of criticism within the Republican Party for last week's announcement about Medicaid, one GOP local chairman stood up for Florida's governor, saying what he did was good for the state and for his political future.

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