MIAMI BEACH MAYOR LEVINE’S REDUNDANT SEWER
By David Arthur Walters
His messianic mission may be public relations poppycock
It is reasonable to assume from the fact that there has been no major work connecting the pipes pulled into the holes since the completion of the 54” redundant sewer main horizontal micro-tunneling, from 11th Street along Euclid-Washington Avenue Corridor to Commerce Street for over a month now, that the statements of officials that the noisy drilling had to proceed for long hours for seven days a week because the job is time sensitive and the city in peril from failure of existing sewer main were poppycock i.e. metaphorically, soft dung associated with Mayor Philip ‘Get It Done’ Mayor Levine’s messianic mission to save the city from epic inundation from storm-water and sewage.
That the connection of the pipes has been forestalled for over a month and that the delay may continue another month clearly shows that the horizontal drilling of the tunnel could have easily been conducted during normal business hours, no more than 8 hours on weekdays and none on weekends, yet residents and businesses were deprived by Mayor Levine’s of the quiet enjoyment of their premises under the false premises promulgated by the mayor’s propaganda machine, which glorifies him as the salvation of the city from global warming.
And that despite the fact under the city’s charter he is supposed to be a weak mayor, merely the chairman of the city commission with one vote.
You see, he managed to subvert the intent of the founders by using his own money and the endorsement of his intimates the Clinton’s to win his seat and a slate of commissioners that render him a strong mayor with a week city manager at his feet.
As a matter of fact, the existing sewer main over on Alton was never in imminent danger of bursting, and the redundant main may be a boondoggle if not a “better safe than sorry” project.
Magnetic tests revealed a few wire wraps had deteriorated, so the engineers determined that the piping, a kind of pipe used in the 70s that does have a bad reputation, had a “potential incipient risk of failure.”
That means that the defects were the very beginning signs that the pipe might fail. There was absolutely no imminent threat to the city that would require City Manager Jimmy “Nice Guy” Morales to fast-track the construction and violate the civil right of the portions of the community affected to be free from unnecessary and unreasonable noise.
That right is specifically set forth in the city’s charter, and its spirit is embodied in the state constitution, yet it was callously disregarded by the mayor and his minions at the three drilling holes, at 11th and Euclid, 3rd and Euclid, and Washington and Commerce, for weeks on end. The noise was unbearable and deafening as shown by the decibel readings, yet nothing was done to curtail the hours.
Leo Ostreicher, who lives near the central drilling hole at 3rd and Euclid, said that “The mental, emotional, and psychological adverse effects from being exposed to such deafening, excruciatingly loud, inhumane noises made me wonder about the similarities to the way we used to treat terrorists by water-boarding them in order to make the crack and talk. We will do anything to make it stop.”
Now the city has taught us yet again that an administration can terrorize portions of its stakeholders, running roughshod over a few of them in one or another part of a domain with impunity, no matter how loudly they scream and yell, while the rest of the community, as long as it is unaffected, applauds the political leaders, because most people do not care that much about what happens down the street or in another part of the world for that matter—the warlike Mohists knew better, as did the Jews who treated strangers well.
Indeed, Mayor Levine, after he was re-elected, identified those who voted against him with “screamers and yellers,” and vindictively said they would not be heard until the next election. The Miami Herald has just revealed that his storm-water pumps are pumping several hundred times the excrement into the bay, so the city manager, a Harvard law grad, and the city attorney, are demanding a meeting with the editors to somehow manipulate the dark side of the salvation plan before too many people start screaming and yelling.
The hole at 3rd and Euclid, by the way, was unnecessary, according to the drillers, who believed they could have drilled the hole from 11th to Commerce in one shot. The drillers happen to be the best money can buy with many years of experience at far more complex projects. But officials feared that the slight bend off Euclid onto Washington going south would cause the pipe to get stuck. As it were, the unnecessary hole even after it was created delayed the work for over a week because the opening got clogged with concrete and a heavy machine fell into it.
The noise was even worse and endured for longer at the 11th Street entry hole. According to a doctor on the premises, it possibly damaged an unborn baby. Neighbors raised quite a clamor. To his credit, David Mancini, the general contractor took what seemed like forever to build a wooden box and a buffer to muffle the noise, but it was inadequate.
Mancini & Sons allegedly employed a public relations firm, Media Relations Group, to make the bad situation seem better than it was. The PR firm designated Jeannette Gorgas as its “Public Information Officer.”
A Public Works official wrote that the contract for the job specified that the contractor must hire a public relations firm to handle complaints, but he did not provide a copy of the contract or quote the relevant clause as requested. Why would such an abnegating clause be written unless the noise was expected to be unreasonable and unnecessary?
The neighbors said Ms. Gorgas was absolutely useless except to act as a buffer between them and the city. When that occurred to them, the mayor’s office was contacted. He refused to grant an audience, and referred the matter to a minion.
Ms. Gorgas went so far as to buttonhole me at the 3rd Street hole, and tell me that the manager of the Villa Italia Hotel there had emailed her to say there was no problem with the noise and to stop sending him updates. That was contrary to the statements of the owner and employees, therefore several requests including a public records request were made to Ms. Gorgas for that email. There was no response; therefore; I assume that she prevaricated, and that her title is a misnomer. That is not to say that she did not perform an essential function of public relations companies, to make wrongs seem right, bad things seem good.
A gentleman by the name of Bruce Mowry partnered with David Mancini on the project. Mr. Mowry, who is water resource engineer from the private sector, has been described in a newspaper report as Mayor Levine’s right-hand man for the salvation of the city from global warming. Terrorized neighbors and businesses naturally do not think much of him, but I have found him to be honest and straightforward albeit grammatically coy at times.
For example, to the best of my knowledge, he did not say that Mayor Levine’s could care less about the torture of persons residing or doing business near the holes was due to any imminent threat of inundation by sewage. He said the expedition of the project was necessary because the project was “time sensitive.”
Well, we know what “time sensitive” really means: Time is money. Money is the beginning and end of all things, formulated by Marx as M-C-M.
Mr. Mowry will occasionally admit to a possible “mistake,” such as placing two huge industrial Caterpillar diesel engines at the front gate of occupied buildings instead of an unoccupied building under construction nearby. Otherwise what appears to the unwitting public to be “mistakes” are for him “technical issues.”
Again, it appears obvious that all the downtime in this project demonstrates that the horizontal directional drilling of the tunnel and the pullback of the pipe could have been done during normal business hours, saving the community for unspeakable torment. Still, I contacted Mr. Mowry for the sake of journalistic balance, and asked for an explanation. Well, there is a technical issue, one of those things that arise in the fog of war on Nature.
“We are working on the connection at 1st Street,” he said. “We had to place well points for dewatering and since we had to drill into rock it has taken longer than anticipated. They are also working on 11th Street to finish the water lines and in the next couple of weeks we will do open cut of the street to install the remaining pipe on 11th Street to Jefferson pump station.”
There is a moral to the story, and it may be a story of immorality. A wealthy media man can claim that the sky is about to fall, set himself up as a messiah to save mankind from corruption and thus the earth from great floods. He may be suffering from delusions of grandeur that overcompensate him for low self-esteem, so at first we do not know if personal salvation or public salvation is his motive. Perhaps both are at play. He may be crucified if things do not go well, even if he is the best man alive at the time.