DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Volusia County toots its own horn regarding its "beach warning flags" on rough surf conditions such as rip currents or the presence of dangerous marine life like sharks or jellyfish, but its own website is extremely difficult to read, even with a hand-held magnifying glass.
A Headline Surfer® snapshot shown here using a MacBook cutting tool (grab) with the exact size and likeness from the county's website shows washed out colors and print that is not clearly visible to the naked eye.
See for yourself here or please click the link that will take you directly to the county's webpage for Beach Warning Flags: http://www.volusia.org/services/public-protection/beach-safety/beach-warning-flags.stml.
The internet newspaper emailed Volusia County Beach Safety Ocean Rescue Director Mark Swanson, but he did not respond.
In fact, Swanson, on the job since 2013, has not responded to any of the internet newspaper's previous emails since four of five drownings since Memorial Day weekend and the June 9 lightning bolt strike of an 11-year-old Georgia boy, Bowen Tyre, fishing with his dad in knee-deep water (there were no lifeguards or beach safety police anywhere in the vicinity for at least 5 minutes after a nearby surfer performed life-saving CPR. The boy remains in serious condition at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando).
A text message sent to beach safety Capt. Tamra Marris, the agency's designated spokeswoman, went unanswered as well.
These series of emails were copied to senior county administrators including Country Manager Jim Dinneen, his executive secretary, Marja Kolomyski; Deputy County Clerk Marci Zimmerman, County Attorney Daniel Eckert, county spokesman Dave Byron and the elected County Council members, County Chair Jason Davis, at-large representative Joyce Cusack, DeLand-area's Pat Patterson, Daytona Beach-area's Joshua J. Wagner, Ormond Beach-area's Doug Daniels, New Smyrna Beach-area's Deb Denys and Deltona-area's Fred Lowry.
None of the senior administrative officials nor any of the elected leaders have responded to any of the emails and only Kolomyski, Davis, Wagner and Cusack have returned calls on other related issues. Only Davis has made the time to answer the internet newspaper's questions.
Davis, however, could not be reached for comment Saturday night before publication of this sidebar story.
Davis has said there should be no skimping on funding for anything that could compromise public safety. And clearly, work needs to be done on the county's web page regarding the bech warning flags.
Headline Surfer® did a google search for "beach warning flags" and "international lifesaving federation" as referenced in Volusia County's ambiguous baech warning flags verbiage and found a graphic that can be enlarged by clicking on it, unlike Volusia County's web page.
Here is the link that describes flags used for Florida beaches in conjunction with the International Lifesaving Federation: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/cmp/programs/flags.htm.
A copy of the graphic is shown below as large as Headline Surfer® can present it, at 600 pixels deep. Saved as a jpeg, the state of Florida graphic is 2592 pixels deep -- No magnifying glass needed on that page nor when resized by the internet newspaper.