People with questions can call the City of Fort Lauderdale 24-Hour Neighbor Service Center at 954-828-8000. A 42 inch water main break in Fort Lauderdale will leave the city and neighboring municipalities without water service for at least 24 to 36 hours.City spokesman Chaz Adams said residents and businesses should be prepared to be without water service until at least Friday morning.City Commissioner Ben Sorensen said a private contractor cut into a 42-inch water line going to the Fiveash water treatment facility.City officials were forced to shut off the water supply from the wellfields in order to repair the line.“Please only use water that is absolutely necessary. Please turn off all water for landscaping. We are working to avoid any disruption in your water service, however, please prepare for 24-36 hours without water in the City of Fort Lauderdale,” wrote Sorensen on Twitter.Neighboring municipalities that receive their water from Fort Lauderdale are also affected. They are Davie, Tamarac, Oakland Park, Lauderhill-by-the-Sea and Wilton Manors.
Oh, please tarry with me just for a “momento,” because there are a few voices or should I say a “chorale” of voices telling me all different sorts of things. One is being belligerent calling me a slew full of the names. One of the names that my “inner tenor” keeps whispering so low that it is barely audible is the name, hippo, hippo, hypocrite. I respond with a question. “Why are you calling me hypocrite, inner one?” The voice inside is getting louder now. “Well you see ‘peanut’, you and every man, woman, child who loves and covers the NFL keeps harping about the lack of quality of the now former NFL replacement officials.” I counter with, “What part of incompetent don’t you understand?” “Well for one thing I need to have a serious one on one conference with you. Do you have an hour or two?” “Oh sure,” I am thinking to myself, “I always have an hour or two to talk to myself; what’s up?”“Well first things first.” Now the voice is becoming nastier and more formal. “Do you remember Friar Tuck; the slightly obese aficionado of barley and hops; the guy who helped Robin Hood to steal from the rich, so he and his boys could become rich?” “Yeah I remember the good friar. But I thought Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor.” The voice is getting impatient now. “Whatever, hey ‘nut’ will you just shut up and listen. The “regular” refs had a Saturday Night Live moment in January of 2002. The New England Patriots were at home playing the Oakland Raiders in an AFC divisional playoff game.The Raiders had their foot on the Patriots neck and it looked as though New England might be going home with their heads hung low. “Terrific” Tom Brady was hit from behind by Raiders DB Charles Woodson, causing him to lose control of the ball as he tried to pull the ball back. The Raiders recovered what even Stevie Wonder knew was a fumble, but Patriots coach Bill (independent video producer) Belichick challenged the call.The officials otherwise known as the “regular refs” without irrefutable evidence to dispute the decision on the field reversed the call, stating that Brady was trying to throw the ball as he was being hit.The replay clearly showed that Brady was instead trying to cradle the ball back into his chest, which was not a pass, but a clear fumble. This fumbling and bumbling changed the course of the NFL and became known as the “Tuck Rule,” and it helped to create to the so-called Patriots ‘Die-nasty’. These were not the part time lockout defying refs from 2012. These bumblers were the full time, part time officials.” The voice is beginning to get rabid now. “Brey, Brey do you remember the Colts and the 49ers game at Candlestick Park in back in October 1998?” I answer timidly, “no.” “Well I do,” the voice says rather arrogantly. The Colts were smacking around the “Niners” beating them down by the score of 21-0 in the second quarter, but a few “shady” calls by referee Walt Coleman’s cronies allowed the 49ers to come from behind and win 34-31. Two particular calls that were overtly shaky were two bogus holding calls that cancelled out two end zone interceptions by Indianapolis.” “Okay, okay, enough already,” I am now pleading with the voice. “I get the point.” But the voice had to have its final say. “Peanut, I saved the best for last.” I don’t answer; the voice is not listening to me anyway. “Remember the “Immaculate Reception? The game that punched the ticket of Steelers running back Franco Harris into the Hall-of-Fame? At least with the Immaculate Reception call in 1972, Franco caught the ball. Unlike the recent Packers, Seahawks “scrum” in end zone that was the conclusion to their game; there was no simultaneous possession for the refs to contend with. You can argue until the cows come home whether it was a legal catch and whether it ricocheted off of a Steeler.” The voice is getting tired now I can sense it, thank God. “Nutt, my point is, the referees and officials whether they are regular, irregular or perpendicular to the horizontal will be flawed. Any profession that depends on the human eyes or ears is prone to make mistakes. By the way, last Sunday near the end of the Packers/Saints game at Lambeau the regular refs blew an apparent Saints fumble calling Saints running back Darren Sproles down by contact; welcome back fellas. Until the games are manned by robots we are going to have to just roll with the punches. Hey Peanut; you can take your hands out of your ears now”(Aubrey Bruce can be reached at: email@example.com or 412-583-6741. Bruce can also be heard on the ‘Odd Couple Sports Show’ where he is the AFC North and NFL analyst. The show is hosted by Adam Ragle streaming live on the WCWA Fox Sports Toledo 1230AM. Bruce is featured on Tuesdays from 10-11am during the NFL season.) Hey, hey, hey. No, yin and yang; this is not the alter ego of Bill Cosby, ‘Fat Albert speaking to you. This is one helluva relieved football scribe who is very, very glad that the “regular” refs are back patrolling the sidelines of the NFL.
Newly acquired Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell answers questions during a news conference at the NFL football teams headquarters in Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 13, 2014. Mitchell signed a five-year deal with the Steelers. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the last couple of weeks; you noticed the Steelers have been quite active with their roster leading into the free agency period. They managed to make several cost cutting moves while keeping the bulk of the roster intact. But what does all of this mean?First we need to examine what they’ve done. The team decided to make immediate salary saving impacts by releasing offensive lineman Levi Brown (who never even played a down for them after he was traded for last season), cornerback Curtis Brown, linebacker Larry Foote and then just this week, one time super star linebacker LaMarr Woodley.Both Curtis and Levi Brown were obvious cuts as they added nothing to the team. Woodley, while providing so much to the team from 2008-2011 became expendable after he couldn’t seem to shake the injury bug the past few years. His salary was far too high for the production he was putting up.Foote was a little less obvious. His salary was only 1.5 million dollars; he’s a veteran leader and still has some gas left in the tank. He missed all of last season due to injury but it seems he should have been kept to help groom Jason Worilds and Jarvis Jones. Instead, he became a cap casualty.Additionally the team restructured the contracts of Troy Polamalu and Heath Miller.Each player was entering the final year of their current deal before the team stepped in, restructured both and gave each player new three year deals, ideally keeping both in the black and gold for life. Heath makes a little more sense than Troy in this case. While both are still players who can contribute, Troy is clearly in the sunset of his career and three years may be ambitious.Pittsburgh also managed to talk Ike Taylor into dropping his 2014 salary from 7 million to 2.75 million without giving him any additional years or a bonus. Proving he’s a true team player, Taylor eagerly signed the contract, ensuring he’d stay with the only team he’s ever known.To add to the restructures the team re-signed back up safety Will Allen and young up and coming linebacker Jason Worilds. Worilds signed his one year transition tag but the team clearly plans on signing him to a long term deal.As the team entered free agency on Tuesday they also made a quick splash by signing former Carolina panther free safety Mike Mitchell to a five year deal. Mitchell put up a very strong 2013 and is seven years younger than Ryan Clark, who is now guaranteed to leave. Nobody expected Clark to be back but many thought the job would go to Shamarko Thomas, instead the team went a surprising route.What do all of these moves mean? It’s actually pretty obvious. Agree with it or not, the Steelers are sticking with the idea that they are not a team who is rebuilding but rather a team who is in it to win it. They think they have the pieces to win now and they are doing their best to build around those pieces.Oddly enough, their most important piece, Big Ben Roethlisberger, hasn’t been a part of any moves as of yet. With only two years left on his current deal and big salary cap hits applied to those years, it only makes sense to restructure his contract. Will that happen, and if so, when?Only time will tell. Just as only time will tell if the Steelers moves here in March will pay dividends next season and beyond.Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.