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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Checking in (*STARRING* UPDATED LINKS!!!)

So the summer comes to a close, and my mind wanders south. (Anything to keep an audience.) I'll be writing again in October. I've received your many emails, and I want to thank you for sending them- especially the hostile ones . I haven't been keeping up with what is going on with journals and journalism in South Florida as I would like to. I have noticed that Rebecca is doing ****incredible work**** week after week (shout out to Rebecca), I hope that it isn't getting in the way of ****other ventures****. Chuck Strouse, has got the ball rolling again even if the edge is dulled considerably- just start dating again guys, for our sake. (Oh yeah, update on Jim Mullin here soon.) School chum, NYU alum has been doing good things, as has my man at Bunettiquette, but I won't link til I get to take issue with his most recent post. (The links on the side.) I also have kept up with Pulp and I just finished a copy of Florida Pulp. You beat me to it Bob and I am glad you did, excellent work. As regular readers know, I soured on Bob's support of a certain Maryland based, Herald columnist. Without divulging private convo's I will say that someone wrote me a further explanation on their position and I will say that I may have been misunderstanding someone's column. Don't get me wrong I still have my differences of opinion... Karma came 'round and gave me the input of a nasty little commenter on the last post, so everything evens out.

I won't touch on much else here. Below is something from the Sentinel dealing with some of the updated Census info (saved you the link jumping for once). 'Ista has cited this info in various articles on this blog, but I think the Jerome Burdi and company did a good enough job for me to give it a temporary re-run here. The only thing left out by Burdi and Co. which I think is worthy of note, is that Detroit and Cleveland had to get poorer to edge out Miami! The difference in income levels between the cities stand at less than $150 per anum, meaning that the areas are slumming it up together in the same shitty neighborhood. For whatever reason the actually disparity in Miami income is greater than its partners in grime too. Neither Cleveland nor Detroit have absentee condo owners using their addresses to avoid state income tax. I would have thought that this little feature of Miami demographics alone would assist us, not to mention that the last Census demo update (used for the article below) preceded the local housing market "dip" (I will refrain using the "C" word less I draw the ire of the broker community; they're suffering enough.) With election season and all I thought I'd just bring this up.

(South Florida Sun-Sentinel) Aug. 31--Almost 50,000 more South Floridians were living in poverty in 2005, despite state unemployment rates and job creation that are the envy of the rest of the country.

Even adjusting for population growth, the percentage of people living in poverty increased slightly in South Florida counties and the rest of the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The reason for the disparity is unclear. One theory is that high-income residents may have been primary beneficiaries of the economic upturn, said Dick Ogburn, assistant to the director for research and budgets at the South Florida Regional Planning Council.

Palm Beach County had 11,891 more people living in poverty in 2005 than in 2004. In Broward County, the number was 17,563, while Miami-Dade County recorded 20,192. Statewide, the figure increased by 152,624.

The percentage of people living in poverty rose to 11.1 from 10.3 in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Among large U.S. cities, Miami had the third highest percentage of people in poverty, behind Detroit and Cleveland. In Miami, more than one of every four people lives below the federal poverty line.

Poverty is defined on a sliding scale. A family of four is considered in poverty if the household brings in less than $19,971 annually from any source.

But numbers on a chart don't reflect the growing caseload that social service agencies are struggling to meet, said George Matsoukas, president of American-Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) Family Charities of the Palm Beaches west of West Palm Beach.

"We get constant phone calls from people that have needs, that have needs to pay rent, that have needs to not be homeless, a need to just get through the month," Matsoukas said.

The report also warned that the percentage of people with no health insurance grew in 2005. An estimated 20.7 percent of Floridians had no coverage, compared with 19.9 percent in 2004 and 18.2 percent in 2003.

For the average Floridian, the news was mixed. The median annual income in the state dipped $182 to $42,433. In Broward, the median income inched up $376 to $46,673. Palm Beach County recorded a major jump from $44,996 to $48,099.

The income jump didn't impress Scott Badesch, president and CEO of the United Way of Palm Beach County.

"The fact is that when you're poor, a median income doesn't mean anything, you're still poor. What else has gone up? Housing prices have gone up drastically, gas prices have gone up drastically -- in reality, your salary is not going up," Badesch said.

Staff Writer Jerome Burdi and staff researchers John Maines and Jeremy Milarsky contributed to this report.

P.S. Ista's apology about the weird ads someone managed to get onto this site in the middle of a post. Some ad company with unscrupulous code writers...

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