Beacon Opinion: The madness of Palm Beach County

By Luther Hollis
Opinion Editor

I’m not quite sure if the cloud of madness that seems to consume Palm Beach county is just plain human stupidity, ignorance or both. Maybe it’s in the water.

Jupiter czars tighten their grip
Jupiter officials are adding a new layer to the cake of madness. The Palm Beach Post reported that there was a vote on Tuesday to bring about a new punishment to those “who let their lawns go higher than the town code allows.”

These grass-loving homeowners “could be fined as much as $1,000 per day, according to a 4-0 vote tonight by the town council.”

Surely, those with longer grass would require more watering to feed the thirsty lawns; Jupiter can’t let its residents take away water from Celine Dion’s personal backyard water park; that’s a big no-no.

My question would be, how many Jupiter residents are going to incur home liens before they turn into an angry, torch wielding mob in search of town council heads? Madness I say, madness.

Piranhas in Palm Springs
In the second case of Palm Beach County madness, let us look into the recent story of piranha fish being found in a Palm Springs community pond. The residents of Lakewood Townhomes were inundated by a funky smell coming from their little ol’ fishing pond.

The odor was caused by a terrible poison designed to kill fish in localized bodies of water. Why were they killing the fish? Because some wonderful individual decided to stock the pond with red-bellied piranha. For those of us old enough, all I can think about is the ‘70s movie “Piranha.”

In the movie, piranha infest an American river causing death and chaos to summer campers and boaters.

Who thinks it’s cool to harbor these “exotic” fish and animals, and when tired of them simply toss them into our own ecosystem? Maybe Palm Beach County should create a new “eco-czar” position to fine people $1,000 per day for exotic fish and animal possession. Madness.

The murder trend hits home
There’s the wackadoo in Ohio that had rotting bodies in his backyard and home. Now, Boca Raton brings us the man who had a body in his apartment for the past three weeks or so.

Back in 2000 I worked as a telemarketer in Boynton Beach. It seems that telemarketing in Palm Beach County attracts a wide array of personalities.

I have gotten some crazy updates about people with whom I used to work. They have gone on to much more infamous “careers” charged with child molesting, bank robbing and now cold-blooded first-degree murder.

As reported by the Sun-Sentinel, Christopher Sharpe is charged with murder after the body of Pamela Powers, his ex-girlfriend, was found in his apartment.

When I worked with Chris, I never could have guessed that he would end up killing someone. He was a rowdy kind of guy, but he was a funny guy too. I guess the prosecution will be having the last laugh.

You might think that these stories are common to Anytown, USA, and they are; they just take a different meaning when they are close to home. When you think of the insanity that occurs throughout the world on a daily basis, you try not to focus on the madness that happens in your own backyard. Well folks, welcome to Palm Beach County; we’ve got crooked commissioners, piranhas in our ponds, $1,000 per day tall grass fines and an ex-coworker charged with murder. Madness, pure madness.


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