Another On-the-Cheap State Agency Blows Off Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

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The Miami Herald this morning chronicled the pitiful case in which caretakers for severely disabled Justin Estinfil, 12, [CORRECTED: Justin Estinfil should be Kevin Estinfil.] have tried for months to get perfectly-sensible heating blankets for him ($360 a year) and perfectly-cautionary extra surgical masks for themselves ($288 a year) from the state's Agency for Persons with Disabilities, but no. APD thinks it needs to save taxpayers' money, and if there's a creative reading of the law that gives them a straight-faced escape, then, by God, they're keeping that money. And actually, the state needs every penny of it because Att'y Gen'l Charlie Crist has been spending thousands of bucks to beat down legal challenges from Justin's caregivers. (Example of why Justin needs the special thermal blankets: With his worst-case cystic fibrosis, he is subject to temperature drops down to 93 degrees, and since he cannot communicate to regulate the heat, an electric blanket is dangerous.) [Miami Herald]

Back to the Original On-the-Cheap State Agency
Dept. of Children and Families "communications director" Erin Geraghty has inadvertently given a pass to any Floridian who feels oppressed by any state law. Commenting yesterday on the state law that DCF has been slam-dunk-violating for months (not moving mentally-ill prisoners to treatment facilities within 15 days), she said, "In a perfect world, there would be no wait list [for treatment facility beds]. There are quite a few groups looking into why this is happening, but no determinations have been made." OK, Erin, fair enough. "In a perfect world I wouldn't have to rob banks. Everyone would have enough money. However, I am asking other people about my bank-robbing. No determinations have been made yet exactly why or what to do about my continuing bank robberies. For now, leave me alone." [Florida Times-Union]

You'd Think Yr Editor Would Be Done with the State Gov't on This Topic É
É but no. In fact, Gov. Bush's father was in Tallahassee on Monday and publicly fought back tears at how badly the governor treats the most vulnerable citi-naaah, he was weeping for joy at the governor's leadership abilities [Orlando Sentinel]. And yesterday, a privately-funded study of how the 50 states stack up, healthwise, put Florida at number 40, and it's number 49 in percentage of people under age 65 without health insurance [Miami Herald]. OK, now we're done. For today.

Jeez, Sign Them Up for the Baghdad Front Lines
Naval Station Mayport (Jacksonville) sailors Brittane Stanard, 21, and boyfriend Khalil Mabuyi, 25, were arrested and charged with administering a 30-minute-plus, 150-hit-plus thrashing to Stanard's 5-yr-old daughter (number counts courtesy of a downstairs neighbor who heard the whole thing). It was, Stanard admitted to police, "an old-fashioned beating." [FirstCoastNews.com]

A Neat Subject for Behavioral Study
Can you think of behaviors that, under certain circumstances, are the absolute worst things that one can do at the time but which humans (not just F-Staters) seem prone to select as their reaction of choice? Yr Editor submits the find-live-artillery-shell behavior, which happened Monday to Angela Cassell of the town of Mims (in the Mims-Titusville megaplex). She found an unexploded mortar shell in her sister's closet and concluded that the thing to do was carry it out to her car, drive it down to the sheriff's station, take it inside, and lay it on his desk. [WKMG-TV (Orlando)]

Your Daily Loser
Steven McLendon, 22, was arrested in Pensacola after allegedly using MySpace.com to arrange a meeting with a 14-yr-old girl (who was, of course, an undercover cop). In e-mails prior to the meeting, McLendon sensitively noted, "I do have morals, you know, because under [age] seven is nasty." [Associated Press via WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)]

More Things To Worry About Today
It must be nice to know that needy Tampa urbanites can find a nice cockfight without having to drive all the way to Belle Glade [Tampa Tribune] . . . . . Things are back to normal at the Miami Air Traffic Control Center, whose computer system crashed for about an hour Monday, resulting in only four near-misses [South Florida Sun-Sentinel] . . . . . And speaking of normal, St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa believe it has hit a seasonal normal, since its emergency room has reported an average of eight cases a day recently of people hurting themselves hanging Christmas lights [St. Petersburg Times] . . . . . And a hardy Floridian named Archie Jenkins, 44, was robbed and shot in the head but still managed to drive himself to the hospital in Cocoa [Florida Today].

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