Archive for February, 2010

As you are well aware, a year ago President Obama signed into law a very controversial stimulus package to the tune of $787 billion dollars. This plan was to stimulate business and save jobs in all 50 states. So, how is that working where you live?

 Here is what is happening in Florida.


Last year, the state of Florida was awarded $5.54 billion in federal stimulus money and has spent about 19% or $1.03 billion dollars.


Agency /Department Purpose Spent Jobs Created/Saved
Education Employ teachers $778.4 M (24%) 25,912
Transportation Build roads/bridges     93.4 M (7%)     866
Agency Workforce Training/child care     96.5 M (36%)  2,881
Environmental Improve water/sewer     15.3 M (7%)  330
Community Affairs Low-income weatherization     16.5 M (8%)  196
Office of Governor Energy efficiency programs      6.9 M (4%)     60
Law Enforcement Law enforcement support      2.8 M (3%)     81
Children & Families Homeless/Domestic Violence      4.8 M (17%)    87
Agriculture Expand wildfire control       3.1 M (22%)    18
10 other agencies        13.4 M (43%)  115
TOTAL         1 B (19%)  30,647



In 2009 the federal government sent stimulus grants totaling $161 million to state and local governments. Here is the spending rates compare for the states that received the most money.



Agency Stimulus Money Awarded & Spent
1. California $7 B (50%)
2. New York   991.8 M (9%)
3. Texas        1.3 B (15%)
4. Florida        1.2 B (14%)
5. Illinois        2.5 M (36%)
6. Michigan        1.8 B (25%)
7. Pennsylvania   939.1 M (15%)
8. Ohio        1.1 B (18%)
9. North Carolina        1.1 B (21%)
10. Georgia        1.3 B (29%)
40 other states      19.7 B (24%)

The process is definitely slow and of course the need is great every where. Hopefully the “shovel-ready” projects will get started soon in every state and get some people back to work.

How is the stimulus project working in your state? Please let me hear from you.



*Through December 31, based on preliminary reports.SOURCES: Florida Office of Economic Recovery and U.S. Recovery/Accountability and Transparency Board

 Orlando Sentinel

*NOTE: Florida’s totals, obtained from federal data, differ from those being reported in Florida’s state reports.

** Also includes District of Columbia and 7 territories

SOURCE: U.S. Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board





It’s not over. It won’t be over for years. The nightmare in Haiti continues with lack of services, food, medical care and shelter. Yes,  relief is coming and much has been distributed on behalf of the caring world, but it’s not over. What about tomorrow, or the next day, next week, next month or even next year? The country of Haiti was devastated and the city of  Port-au-Prince was destroyed in one day, but it will take years to rebuild and revitalize that country.











I am sure that all of us have seen or experienced devastation. Our own country over the years has suffered national disasters that we would not want repeated. In Haiti devastation and extreme loss of life and suffering is being experienced by both young and old, rich and poor. 

            We ask ourselves, “What can I do?” Often we see reports of devastation from the constant barrage of newscasts that surround us. What has happened recently in Haiti is no different. We try to escape it. We occupy our thoughts with other things and the mundane of life, but in the back of our minds we know there is suffering everywhere.

            What can I do? I can’t go. I can’t help. I can’t assist in the search for lost people. But not being there does not mean you cannot help. We have all known someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one or known someone who has been devastated by disaster. Sometimes we are at a loss for words as to what we should say to that person to comfort them because we really do not know what they are going through. But you know what that person will remember without you saying a word? It is your embrace! I cannot go to Haiti. I cannot be there to help. I watch the news reports and say to myself, “Do something!” I cannot physically be there, but I can do something.

            I can give money, offer prayers, and assist in packaging up goods and food that will be taken there by others. I can do something! All of us together can “hug” that country. We can “embrace” those who are suffering with whatever we can contribute.

            I can help. I can make a difference! You do not have to stand on the sidelines and not get into the game. All of us can do something. All of us can make a difference. Please start today. (Please check out to the best of your ability, the charity you are contributing to so that your money is really being used for the cause.) Check out any organization at sites for the Better Business Bureau (; the Foundation Center (, or Charity Navigator ( Don’t use Web sites that ask for detailed personal information, such as your Social Security number, birthdate or bank account and pin information.

            Find a way to donate money to Haiti. Join a group, church or synagogue that is packaging up food, clothing, and personal hygiene packages to be sent to the needy and suffering people of Haiti. There are groups forming all over this country who are packaging up goods, food, water and clothing that will be shipped to Haiti.

            There has been extreme loss of life, loss of family, monetary means of support and that will continue for weeks and months and years as the country gets rebuilt. Who is going to do that? You are! All of us together can make a difference that will last for generations to come. Do something today! Please.

Please do not forget about Haiti and the massive needs of the people.
Find a way to help through a  legitimate charity, your church or synagogue to make a difference today.