(There’s a point to this photo. Read all the way to the end.)

I’d like to use this news item about the city of Riviera Beach and computer hackers culling $600,000 from them to explain why communication isn’t as easy as you think in our city.

Basically, e-mail is a first step. But you might have to do more.

Our city’s e-mail system is quite, quite selective, to the point I have even e-mailed something to myself and it got caught up in the SPAM folder.

After cases such as the one in Riviera Beach, I think we all now understand. Hackers  can freeze up everything and hold us hostage for cash. Baltimore also has been hacked, and here is an article with more depth to the situation than I can provide.

So I want to share some phone numbers here. Mine, of course, is 954-498-5337. The main city number is 954-797-2200. The mayor’s office number is 954-797-2221. The rest of the phone numbers are available here at Plantaton.org/contact.

Use them. We are a public service. Also, to the folks in Plantation IT who tried to calm my frustrations about routine items being diverted to my SPAM folder: I’m sorry. You were right. Keep a tight rein on our cyber-security, and we’ll adapt.

And, I want to talk a little bit about email. I am a professional advisor to the American Heritage high school newspaper, and this year I implored our two editors to share the message in the photo you see. We had all grown tired of reporters saying “I e-mailed my source, but I never heard back.”

I’m suggesting the same applies when trying to contact someone in the city. (See the numbers above.)

And to Angela Lin and Amber Bhutta, the American Heritage editors this year (pictured at top): Great working with you!

This newsletter originates on NickSortal.com and is shared via various platforms. The best way to get it is to subscribe to my Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/NickSortalPlantationCityCouncil. Sharing is encouraged. My email is NSortal@Plantation.org and my phone is 954-498-5337.