December 1, 2005 Letters December 1, 2005 Letters Letters Hurricane ReliefWe have much to be thankful for this holiday season, but many of our fellow Floridians will not be celebrating as usual.Recently, Florida was severely hit by Hurricane Wilma, which tore across the southern part of our state, destroying much in its path.Below are some emerging statistics of damage caused by Hurricane Wilma:• Insured loss from Wilma is between $9 billion and $12 billion, according to the preliminary estimate by the Florida Department of Financial Services.• There have been more FEMA filings for assistance to date from Wilma than from last season’s Charley.• Preliminary dwelling damage figures from Red Cross shows that nearly 89,680 homes counted so far have been touched by Wilma, compared with a final total from Charley at 89,752.• Agriculture and aquaculture damage/loss is estimated at more than $2 billion, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.• Damage estimates to farmland homes and communities have not yet been tallied but damage is extensive. The Farmworkers Association of America says farm workers who can’t afford to miss even one week’s pay are facing four months without work due to Wilma.This season’s hurricanes have exacted a heavy toll on the fishing industry and on Floridians who make their livings upon the sea. According to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission up to 1,200 fishing families in the Keys alone may be directly affected, with a collective damage assessment to the industry statewide at $123 million — so far.Insurance, federal and state agencies and other relief organizations are not equipped to cover all of the needs of Floridians impacted by these storms. In response, Gov. Jeb Bush established the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund for unmet needs and designated the nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation to manage it.As one of Florida’s leading newspapers, the St. Petersburg Times, wrote: “The Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, created by Gov. Jeb Bush after last year’s historic storms, has an impressive record of raising money and getting it to communities that need it most. . . . This is the modern equivalent of neighbor helping neighbor.”contributing to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, you will help put Floridians lives on the road to recovery.Recovery is a long process. A report this past summer from the University of Florida stated that an estimated 1.3 million Floridians have completed repairs from the 2004 hurricane damage, but repairs were still under way for 696,000 residents and had not yet begun for another 348,000. The situation has been adversely impacted by damage during the 2005 season. The fund’s efforts matter now more than ever and depend on the contributions of businesses and citizens.To date, the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund has raised over $22 million from citizens in every state and has funded 270 organizations to provide long-term recovery assistance for the thousands of families whose needs were not adequately covered by government and insurance funds. Your contribution will make a tremendous difference as we rise and rebuild. Please give to those in need in Florida. (www.flahurricanefund.org) Steve Uhlfelder Volunteer CEO Florida Hurricane Relief Fund
The coach of the Cameroon football team Denis Lavagne has been evicted by the country’s sports minister Adoum Garoua. A press release from the sports ministry says the decision is due to poor results by the team, the most recent being the two -nil defeat to little rated Cape Verde in the last round qualifiers for the 2013 african cup of nations.The same decision also appoints Jean Paul Akono as the coach to be assisted by Martin Ndtoungou Mpile, who was also deputy to Lavagne.Lavagne will continue receiving his bonuses until the 31st of October 2012 when his contract expires. The frenchman who is contesting the minister’s decision,said “?The minister has no right to suspend me” ?”I’m still the coach of the indomitable lions until I have a contrary decision from the football federation fecafoot.”In the meantime, the federation’s secretary general Tombi a Roko Sidiki told supersports.com this morning that the minister’s decision was not taken unanimously.?We back the decision to suspend Lavagne because we saw it as the best way to take Cameroon’s football out of the sorry situation now,’ he said ?we need someone who can pilot the team through the turbulent waters.’However, the cause of disagreement remains the choice of his successor. ?Jean Paul Akono does not have the right profile to lead the team, Tombi said. Nevertheless, he refused to name the federation’s choice of coach. Denis Lavagne coached the lions for ten months and won the LG cup in Marraketch Morocco last November. On his part, Akono will be in his second stint at the helm of the lions after a short stay between 2000 and 2001. He won gold for Cameroon at the summer Olympics in 2000.