Around Town: Still waiting on an answer from FPL about ‘smart meters’

DONNA FIALA

There is something that puzzles me. Florida Power & Light (FPL) announced they would install a “smart meter” on each home, which would read the usage every month electronically rather than have a meter reader go to each and every home, thereby creating great savings for FPL and the homeowner.

Now that the smart meters are installed, we residents receive a letter from FPL that our rates are going up. Does that make any sense? It certainly doesn’t to me. Is anyone else upset over this new twist? I’ve called to ask why, but so far I haven’t received an answer that makes sense. Let me know if you get a better answer by emailing me at donnafiala@gmail.com.

• The wonderful people at Eagle Creek have been working through a problem that you might find interesting. As the intersection expansion at U.S. 41 East and County Road 951 (Collier Boulevard) moves forward, the state has started to move forward with plans to build a noise wall in front of Eagle Creek that is 21 feet high.

Right now, the lushly landscaped entryway into this marvelous community is lovely. A drawing of what a 21-foot wall looks like with a person standing at the base of it makes it appear as though you will be driving into a prison. The residents are united in wanting to reduce the height of the wall and build it on top of a lushly landscaped berm instead. They have even offered to donate the land for the berm, help with the landscaping, and maintain the landscaping in perpetuity.

The Florida Department of Transportation, the Collier County Department of Transportation, the residents and I are working closely together and heading in a positive direction for a win-win conclusion. The roadwork begins late this fall, so when you drive by you will know what is happening in that area and you will want to watch to see the final outcome on the “wall.” Thanks go out to Nick Casalanguida, Jay Ahmad and Marlene Maxim for all your help and guidance. By the way, we are all against an overpass for that intersection and have made our concerns known to FDOT and county transportation officials.

• Every once in a while I will mention something about my Amish family in Ohio. This is one of those times. It recently was my first experience to attend an Amish church service, but hopefully it won’t be my last. The Amish don’t have a church building to worship in, but instead they move from one farm or shop to another every other week.

The week in-between is used to prepare for 150 people to come to your home. A “bench wagon” is taken to the home of the next family who will host the church on a Saturday, and is either pulled by horses or a tractor. The bench wagon contains the tables, tablecloths, backless benches, dishes, silverware, glasses and cups that will be used for church and a light meal afterward.

This gives the family a week to unload the bench wagon, set up the shop or barn with the benches plus a few chairs from the home for people who cannot sit for a few hours on backless benches. Sometimes the host family will rent or borrow carpets for the floor, and sometimes will rent portable restrooms.

The tables are set up in the basement of the home, and will later be used to serve the meat, bread and vegetables that are supplied by the host family, plus pies that are brought in by church members. Members walk or arrive in their horse and buggies. Church service begins with singing until the ministers walk into the church service.

Women sit on one side of the room with the children, men sit on the other side, and young people over 10 years old sit or stand in the back of the room. The service is conducted in Pennsylvania Dutch with a few English words thrown in now and then, and lasts about 3 hours. All ages worship together.

Afterward, the fellowship of church members is enjoyed over food and the best pies you ever tasted. Everyone welcomed me and made me feel at home among them. The following week all of the dishes and linens are washed and loaded back into the bench wagon to get ready for a Saturday pick-up and delivery to the next family’s home for the following week’s church service.

- - -

Connect with Donna Fiala at donnafiala@gmail.com.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features