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Quality of Life Index // OUR TIMES AS TOLD BY STATISTICS

Percentage increase in the number of telephone calls made in the Tampa Bay area immediately after the announcement of the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial: 20

Average monthly bill for water, sewer and garbage pickup service in unincorporated Hillsborough County: $80.70

Average monthly utility bill in Temple Terrace: $63.63

Average monthly utility bill in Tampa: $48.80

Percentage increase in the number of homicides committed with handguns in Tampa since 1986: 22

Percentage increase in handgun murders in Miami during the same time: 3

Starting hourly wage for Tampa Police Department dispatchers: $9

Approximate percentage decrease in the level of nitrogen, a nutrient that degrades the water quality of Tampa Bay, since 1972: 33

Percentage decrease in levels of the nutrient phosphorus in Tampa Bay during the same time: 67

Total number of births in Hillsborough County, January through June: 6,539

Births to unwed mothers in Hillsborough during those months: 2,345

Sources for the Quality of Life Index

Telephone traffic: GTE Florida spokesman Jim Marzano. He said traffic on GTE's telephone network was normal during the verdict, but spiked up immediately after. Throughout Tampa, activity came to a virtual standstill as the verdict was read. As city of Tampa sanitary sewers director Ralph Metcalf said, "There were no cars in the street. It looked like (the movie) The Day the Earth Stood Still."

Utility bills: City of Tampa budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 1996.

Handgun murders: Dearborn, Mich. Police Chief Ronald Deziel writing on gun control in the Sept. 24. editions of The Detroit News. Dezeil, the spokesman for the Law Enforcement Coalition, cited a study by the University of Maryland. He noted that Florida liberalized its concealed weapons law in 1987, and in the five years that followed violent crime in the state increased 17.8 percent.

Dispatchers' salaries: Staff report. Assuming a 40-hour week for 52 weeks a year, that equals an annual salary of $18,720.

Nutrients in Tampa Bay: "The State of the Environment," Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission 1994 Annual Report.

Births to unwed mothers: Vital News, September 1995 news letter published by the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services Office of Vital Statistics.

Compiled by RICHARD DANIELSON with contributions from BARBARA HIJEK and KATHERINE SHAVER.

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