Houston is going to be celebrating for a while now. The Astros have won their first World Series, and the city is getting a well-deserved bit of partying in after a very tough year. No one is going to begrudge the city for throwing the biggest end of the year party ever for a sports team. No one will judge us for drawing that party out for more than a week or two. At this point, we’ve got a free pass.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be on guard about our behavior. Partying is great, but when people party, and party, and party, there’s always a greater risk of someone getting hurt.
Particularly, we need to worry about drinking and driving, and the accidents that habit causes.
I say habit because it can become a habit, particularly when things get festive for longer than a weekend or so.
Texas already has a drunk driving problem. It ranks among the top states for the practice already. According to the CDC, whereas the national average is 1.9% for drivers who report having recently driven drunk, 2.1% of Texans report the same. Stunningly, with the rate of deaths by age for 100,000 people, at the age of 21-34, Texas scores 10 per 100,000, almost double the national average of 6.1 per 100,000. And that was before the Astros won the World Series.
Texas has an issue with driving and accidents. It’s a dangerous state to be on the road, without a doubt. And now, with excessive celebration heading into the most festive period of the year, that danger is all the greater.
Also, keep in mind, our infrastructure is not what it was before Harvey. Roads have been under great strain after all that flooding. Under equal strain are the police and fire departments, as well as the hospitals, which have all had to deal with a great deal this year already. Now, with resources depleted and workers exhausted, they will be forced to work all the harder to keep people as safe as possible.
So, congratulations Houston, you have earned a good time after the tough year. No one would take that away from you, but it may be worthwhile to try to act a little more responsibly than normal when indulging in the celebrations. The city has a right to party, but it also needs to be able to look after itself, and for all of us to look after one another.
If Harvey has done anything positive, it’s shown that nothing can beat Houston, especially when we all work together. We can all work together again to make sure everyone has a good time, celebrates, and still stays safe. Doing that will not just save lives, it’ll save resources, and keep the end of the year happy and free of sadness for all of us.
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It’s a well-known, perhaps well-worn, stereotype that Florida is full of crime. From the Florida-man memes to the highlighted stories on the local and national news, there’s a general assumption that people in Florida just can’t get along with each other, and they can’t help but commit (sometimes bizarre) crimes, but how true is that stereotype?
Well, there’s some truth to it, certainly. Florida does have some of the most dangerous cities, in fact, it has 11 out of the top 100 most dangerous cities. Although, it is worth pointing out, most states don’t even have 11 cities, so part of Florida’s high number on the list is simply because of its size (more on that in a moment). Also of note, in that list, the highest ranking of any Florida city is 20. That doesn’t mean Florida deserves a prize, but it does mean many places are more dangerous than any of those 11 cities.
In fact, Florida overall doesn’t rank that highly on the dangerous state meter. According to 247wallst.com, Florida is right in the middle of the pack in terms of danger at number 18. Consider its reputation, that really isn’t that bad.
That doesn’t mean Florida doesn’t have its problems, though. There is a lot of crime in many of the cities for several reasons. Clustering people together in hot, humid conditions that don’t abate for the entire year is a recipe for people to get fed up and act out. There is also always a rise in crime before and after natural disasters, which of course, Florida gets more than its share of from hurricanes.
There’s also a great mix of people in Florida, including a mix of races and socio-economic levels, which can lead to a lot of tension.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues, though, is that Florida is a tourist location, and it’s a location that doesn’t necessarily always bring the best tourists. That’s not to say all tourists are bad. Most are nice families going to Disney World or people looking to relax down in Miami, but there are some who come looking to cause trouble. The nature of having such a massive tourist economy built on a party image means some people come and party too hard.
In fact, law firms even advertise their ability to help out-of-staters who have gotten themselves into trouble, whether it’s drug law problems or a case of public intoxication.
So, there are problems down in Florida, but those problems are often exaggerated. Florida is the third most populous state in the country, and that means there will be stories there if you go looking for them. The same would be true in any other populous state (California, New York, Texas, any of those top few states, really). The thing is, no one goes looking for them there. Florida’s reputation is largely manufactured by the media because it sells well. People like the stories.
Which means, the reputation is unlikely to change anytime soon, even if the facts don’t match up to it.
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