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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jul. 13, 201512:00 PM EST

50 years ago: City considers crackdown on illegal trash dumping

by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Arrests, fines and education were cited as solutions for Duval County’s illegal dumping situation, according to a forum conducted by the County Commission.

Illegal scattering of trash was the focus of comments from a host of officials and others, including health department personnel, justices of the peace, constables, Sheriff Dale Carson and owners of franchised garbage collection services.

It was the consensus that education was the answer, with fines and arrests as part of the teaching process.

County Commission Chair Lem Merritt said the dumping of garbage was becoming “a real problem” and posed a public health menace.

“We are in dire trouble,” he said.

County Sanitarian J.R. Rankin estimated there were 10,000 homes in the county that did not subscribe to a regular garbage collection service.

He said that meant the homeowners were disposing of their garbage by other means and a lot of it was being dumped alongside public roads and on private property without the permission of the owner.

Sanitary control officers reported that letters found in trash dumped often carried addresses of residents of another section of the county. Some such trash heaps were as much as 15 miles from the addresses on letters, they said.

Carson said the problem was educating the public as arrests of offenders were difficult. However, Carson pledged his officers would be on alert for offenders and would make arrests.

• New methods of handling cargo, port facilities and proposed construction were explained to the Established Industries Committee of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce during a visit to Talleyrand Docks and Terminals.

Jacksonville Port Authority Managing Director Dave Rawls guided the tour and explained the operation of the docks and what was needed to get them ready for new business.

Through experimentation and research, he said, the port was able to handle cargo more efficiently through the use of forklifts and loading pallets instead of the time-consuming use of hand trucks and manual labor.

“We designed the type of equipment to fit the product,” said Rawls while explaining the sorting and hauling of coffee that was shipped to Jacksonville.

The proposed marginal docking facilities that would replace the slips in use would enable the authority to handle about one-third more ships.

“Not one square foot of docking space has been added in 40 years,” said Rawls.

He estimated that $100 million would have to be invested to handle the new business that would be coming to the port.

• The story of how a chain of convenience grocery stores founded and headquartered in Jacksonville rose to be second in the nation in sales and number of stores in seven years was told to members of the Financial Analysts Society.

Julian E. Jackson, president of Jackson’s Minit Markets Inc., detailed the management and operation of his 280 stores, including four in Puerto Rico.

“We don’t even try to compete with the supermarkets,” he said. “With us, price is no object. Customers don’t come to us looking for low prices.”

To keep costs down, Jackson said his stores stocked only national brands and the fastest-selling size.

“This gives us a lower inventory and we don’t have to store anything in the backroom but empty bottles,” he said.

Jackson was introduced by Fontaine LeMaistre III, program chairman, at the group’s luncheon meeting at the Roosevelt Hotel.

• An unemployed Jacksonville man was one of four Floridians named by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission to receive bronze medals and $500 for risking their lives to save others.

“I can’t believe it, but it sure sounds mighty good and I can use the money, too,” said Samuel Ragland of 2045 Thomas Court.

The 42-year-old railroad worker had been unemployed since a strike against the Florida East Coast Railroad in January 1963. Ragland supported his wife and three children on $200 a month in union relief checks.

He risked his life in December 1964 while rescuing 11-year-old Harold Brown from a burning house. Ragland was forced to kick out a window and jump with the boy in his arms when flames cut off his escape route.

Asked what he planned to do with his cash award, Ragland took little time to answer.

“I’m going to pay on some bills. I owe the hospital for an operation on my wife, I’ve got to pay on my car insurance and I also have a loan at the bank,” he said.

Another medal winner, Carl Hagan of Tampa, was credited with saving a Jacksonville mother and her two children from the flaming wreckage of her automobile in October 1964.

• City Council enacted two ordinances designed to tighten the budget-making practice of Jacksonville city departments.

The bills, if signed by the mayor, would require the city airport, electric and water departments and WJAX, the city-owned radio station, to itemize expenses in their budgets that were formerly absorbed in the general fund account.

The items to be listed as operating expenses were contributions to employee pension funds and insurance programs, costs of insurance on liability and public property and the value of goods and services provided by other city departments.

In other business, council raised the salary of Special City Council Attorney Harry Fozzard from $7,200 annually to $8,400.

• A Jacksonville A-Team composed of 26 teenagers was preparing to head to the “pickle belt” in Michigan.

An A-Team was a group of high school boys who worked under a U.S. Labor Department program designed to help solve crop worker problems in the country.

Students from Andrew Jackson and Ribault high schools were scheduled to leave as soon as July 20, “depending on when the cucumber pickles are ripe,” said J.I. Mecom, unit supervisor of the Florida State Employment Service.

The students would be working under a standard agricultural contract that guaranteed $1.25 an hour and more if they picked over the minimum.

They would be provided transportation to and from the farms and with room and board prior to their return to Jacksonville on Aug. 27.

Two other A-teams were ready to report if positions could be found.

One was composed of students from Bishop Kenny High and Baldwin senior high schools and the other from Paxon and Fletcher senior high schools.

• Here’s one from the “Ahead of Their Time” department:

Mr. and Mrs. George Powers were told to put the cat out –– out of Duval County.

When they received the directive, the couple, who lived at 2556 Burgoyne Drive, left for Miami hoping to find a good home for Terry, their 85-pound, 10-month-old pet jaguar.

The city filed suit to force the couple to give up the feline on the grounds it was not a “customary pet.”

They said a couple who lived in Dade County called and said they were interested in obtaining the animal after hearing about the controversy at a meeting of the Florida Chapter of the Long Island Ocelot Club in Cocoa.

• The USS Hank sailed away from a berth along the St. Johns River near the Atlantic Coast Line Building. The destroyer was tied up in Downtown for three days as part of a routine two-week training cruise for 102 reservists from the 4th Naval District.

An estimated 40-50 people per hour toured the ship before it began the voyage to Philadelphia, its home port.

The Hank was commanded by Cmdr. J.L. Koons, a former Jacksonville resident.

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