Florida city commissioner is being called a hero for confronting mayor who cut off power to residents

They say a crisis brings out the best and the worst in people. It also reveals the best and the worst in our leaders.

A city commission meeting in Lake Worth Beach, Florida has gone viral after Commissioner Omari Hardy took his fellow city officials to task for their seeming indifference to their constituents during the coronavirus crisis.


Hardy confronted Mayor Pam Triolo and City Manager Michael Bornstein, who he said refused to call an emergency meeting last week, per Hardy's repeated requests, to discuss issues coming about from the coronavirus crisis. And he let his frustrations show.

"You're calling me disrespectful because I've interrupted people, but this gentleman has turned off people's lights in the middle of a global health pandemic," Hardy said, referring to Bornstein.

When Triolo tried to call a recess, Hardy wasn't having it. "A banana republic is what you're turning this place into with your so-called leadership," Hardy said.

"We cut people's utilities this week and made them pay—with what could have been their last check—to turn their lights off in a global health pandemic! But you don't care about that. You didn't want to meet."

Triolo walked out, saying "Out of order. You're done."

Coronavirus Florida: Lake Worth Beach city commission meeting turns ugly youtu.be

Hardy is being hailed a hero by people who have watched the video and see him as a staunch supporter of the citizenry he serves. He wrote a post on Facebook about how overwhelmed he was by people's responses to the video.

"It was not about me. It was about the people in our city who are struggling, whose futures are uncertain, whose finances are unstable, who may be wondering if they will be able to work and earn a paycheck during this pandemic, and who came home on Tuesday or Wednesday to find the lights off, or the water off, at a time when water and lights couldn't be more important. It was about them. It is still about them."

"I was heated, yes. I was loud, yes," he wrote. "But I was trying to get across an important point: that elected officials work for the PEOPLE. The PEOPLE put us on that dais. The PEOPLE put us in those chairs. The PEOPLE put those titles before our names. Everything we do is for the PEOPLE, and when the PEOPLE need us, it's our job to step up for them. I was frustrated with three of my colleagues because they had forgotten who we work for."

Thank you, Commissioner Hardy, for showing us what a true public servant looks like.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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