Big Sugar Summit: Dr Gail Hollander, “Raising Cane in the Glades.”

#bigsugarsummit

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Big Sugar Summit: Dr Gail Hollander, “Raising Cane in the Glades.”

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So excited hear this lecture. As I said before there will a final video with all the bells and whistles and slides professional done by some else. This is only part of the lecture so I hope when the video is done you’ll watch.

The title of the lecture was

“The History of Big Sugar in the Everglades Agricultural Area”

Dr Gail Hollander is an Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University. She is the author of “Raising Cane in the Glades: The Global Sugar Trade and the Transformation of Florida.

raisingcane

The book is available on Amazon.

Over the last century, the Everglades underwent a metaphorical and ecological transition from impenetrable swamp to endangered wetland.  At the heart of this transformation lies the Florida sugar industry, which by the 1990s was at the center of the political storm over the multi-billion dollar ecological “restoration” of the Everglades.  Raising Cane in the ’Glades is the first study to situate the environmental transformation of the Everglades within the economic and historical geography of global sugar production and trade.

Using, among other sources, interviews, government and corporate documents, and recently declassified U.S. State Department memoranda, Gail M. Hollander demonstrates that the development of Florida’s sugar region was the outcome of pitched battles reaching the highest political offices in the U.S. and in countries around the world, especially Cuba—which emerges in her narrative as a model, a competitor, and the regional “other” to Florida’s “self.”  Spanning the period from the age of empire to the era of globalization, the book shows how the “sugar question”—a label nineteenth-century economists coined for intense international debates on sugar production and trade—emerges repeatedly in new guises. Hollander uses the sugar question as a thread to stitch together past and present, local and global, in explaining Everglades transformation.

Here is the video.

Who owns U.S. Sugar?

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We know who U.S. Sugar owns but who owns them?

“US sugar is owned 30% by the Mott Foundation. 30% is owned by the Mott Children’s Health Center. “They don’t put their money in Florida” Mary Barley told us at the Big Sugar Summit. “The other 40% is owned by their pension fund and the employees.”

mott

We even know some of these people!

mbw sanchez-full coker-full

“Funny because one of the top four things that the Mott Foundation does is the “environment and clean water.”

“US Sugar are convicted Felons” said Barley. “They plead guilty to knowingly putting hazardous waste in the water. In our water. Then backpumping it back into Lake Okeechobee. ”

“Why should we allow convicted criminals to buy our politicians?”

“Big Sugar add .01 percent to Florida’s economy. If that.”

http://www.mott.org/

http://www.mott.org/FundingInterests/programs/environment

http://www.mott.org/news/news/2015/20150612-Great-Lakes-St-Lawrence-Leadership-Summit

This year’s summit also will mark the 10-year anniversary of a landmark agreement between the United States and Canada to protect and manage the Great Lakes region’s shared freshwater resources. Those efforts were further advanced in 2008 with federal passage in the United States of the Great Lakes Compact, a first-of-its-kind legal framework that is helping to preserve the lakes as environmental and economic assets.

Mott grantees were among those who helped shape and inform the Compact’s creation, and they continue the hard work of protecting freshwater for future generations.

– See more at: http://www.mott.org/news/news/2015/20150612-Great-Lakes-St-Lawrence-Leadership-Summit#sthash.YHAvG4P2.dpuf

???? I’m so confused. How can this even be?
How can these people destroy us, pollute us and be like la de da on their website?
Apparently It’s Complicated.
or the Mott Children’s Health Center, a corporate takeover offer to buy U.S. Sugar for $293 a share could have meant a payday of $125 million — enough to care for 12,000 children a year for more than 14 years.

Last year, the offer was taken off the table. Then this spring, U.S. Sugar suspended its dividend. That has left the charity with a big block of paper that, for the purpose of financing its operations, is essentially worthless. There is no market for the stock in U.S. Sugar, a private company, and the medical center cannot make the company buy back the shares.

Angry former employees of U.S. Sugar say that the needy children of Flint are the victims of the same financial maneuvers that have undercut the workers’ retirement plan. The Children’s Health Center was carrying the U.S. Sugar stock on its books at $153 a share in 2005, they say, when the offer emerged for $293 a share.

The “offer thus presented the opportunity to receive 91 percent more,” the former employees say in a lawsuit against the company and some other shareholders. A no-brainer, they say: The children of Flint would have been much better off, had the health center sold its shares.

so check this out!

http://www.mlive.com/flintjournal/business/index.ssf/2008/12/us_sugar_deal_not_the_sweetest.html

Gov. Charlie Crist is proposing that Florida buy all of U.S. Sugar’s land — roughly 181,000 acres — for $1.3 billion, then lease it back to the company for seven years so that farming can continue while the state starts building systems to restore the flow of water to the Everglades.

After seven years, the company would sell off its extensive sugar milling and refining assets, and production would cease. Control of the company would remain with the current shareholders.

U.S. Sugar’s Chief Executive Officer Robert H. Buker Jr. has estimated that shareholders could receive $365 a share during the course of seven years under these arrangements.

The board of U.S. Sugar on Monday recommended the state’s buyout proposal over the rival proposal, an offer of $300 a share in cash for all of the company’s stock, made by the Lawrence Group, a large and reclusive father-son agriculture concern.

Robert E. Coker, a senior vice president at U.S. Sugar, has said that a letter from the Lawrences summing up their offer was insufficient and did not amount to a firm proposal. He also called it a hostile offer that could not be compared with the Florida bid.

The Lawrences dispute that, insisting that their offer is complete and hostile only to the company’s management, which does not want to be replaced.

The board is expected to send its recommendations to U.S. Sugar’s shareholders for a vote. But no matter what the board recommends, the major shareholders of U.S. Sugar may have no choice. Some of the biggest ones are philanthropic institutions in Flint that long ago signed confidential agreements that they would not sell their shares to anyone trying to take over the company.

That would appear to preclude them from accepting the Lawrence Group’s offer, even if it proves superior — which could set the stage for a legal showdown. The boards of public charities are required by law to maximize the value of the assets under their control, on behalf of their beneficiaries. In this case, the beneficiaries include thousands of impoverished children in Flint.

U.S. Sugar’s shares are a big part of the portfolio of the Mott Children’s Health Center, a charity that provides low-cost care to needy children in Flint. Another major shareholder is the Mott Foundation, named for the Flint industrialist who was once the biggest shareholder of General Motors. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint also owns a block of U.S. Sugar shares.

There have been estimates that Mott Children’s Health Center and the Mott Foundation would get $100 million each from a deal while the Community Foundation of Greater Flint would get $33 million.

These institutions have not had a chance to sell their shares until now, because there has been no market for the stock since U.S. Sugar went private in 1983. That was not an issue for years, because U.S. Sugar was profitable and paid the charities dividends they could use to finance their operations.

and this

https://philanthropy.com/article/Leader-of-Mott-Foundation/167127

Leader of Mott Foundation Charged in Lawsuit by Sugar-Company Employees

Descendants of Charles Stewart Mott, the industrialist who created the foundation that bears his name, have been accused of cheating employees at a sugar company out of an opportunity to sell shares in their retirement plan at an attractive price…

and this from SFWMD when they used to be mensches.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/rog_2009_0814.pdf

The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation gave away more than $100 million
in 2006. Among the 545 grants were $100,000 to the Civil Society
Institute in Druzhby Narodiv, Ukraine, and $300,000 to the Genesee
County Land Bank Authority in Flint, Mich. Is it too much to ask that next
year’s grants include employment assistance to Belle Glade and
Clewiston?
The Mott Foundation. Kings of Pollution and Poverty.
belleglades bellegladeimage19-1x Belle_Glade_plant_gallery 3855162822_3890b12b35_z
So that’s the Mott Foundation and there seems to be an issue with the pension fund. It’s look like from the articles that everyone was on board with deal Charlie made for the land. What happen?
No. really maybe those three on the top can fill us – Robert Coker, Judy Sanchez or Bubba Wade. What happened? Why the hold out?
Are you just holding out to make more money on that land for the pension fund? Is this what is destroying our chances of clean water and no more discharges?

Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

As always, if you have something to add please add it.

What was penny a pound?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_of_the_Everglades

“Restoration of the Everglades, however, briefly became a bipartisan cause in national politics. A controversial penny-a-pound (2 cent/kg) tax on sugar was proposed to fund some of the necessary changes to be made to help decrease phosphorus and make other improvements to water. State voters were asked to support the tax, and environmentalists paid $15 million to encourage the issue. Sugar lobbyists responded with $24 million in advertising to discourage it and succeeded; it became the most expensive ballot issue in state history.[62] How restoration might be funded became a political battleground and seemed to stall without resolution. However, in the 1996 election year, Republican senator Bob Dole proposed that Congress give the State of Florida $200 million to acquire land for the Everglades. Democratic Vice President Al Gore promised the federal government would purchase 100,000 acres (400 km2) of land in the EAA to turn it over for restoration. Politicking reduced the number to 50,000 acres (200 km2), but both Dole’s and Gore’s gestures were approved by Congress.

http://aec.ifas.ufl.edu/agcommcase/sugar.html

The purpose of this case study was to examine the impact that environmental activism can have on agriculture by focusing on the Florida sugar industry’s reaction during the 1996 “sugar tax” amendment campaign. During the campaign, proponents and opponents of the three proposed Everglades-related amendments to Florida’s constitution spent more than $40 million to sway the public. As a result of the public relations and political campaigns, communicators from Florida agricultural industries realized that they must increase their efforts to project a positive public image.

In 1996, the issue finally was contested when a small, but well-funded environmental activist group named Save Our Everglades Committee authored three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, collected enough signatures to get the proposals on the November 1996 ballot, and began a campaign aimed at voters in support of the amendments (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997). The Florida sugar industry spent $24 million and the Save Our Everglades Committee (SOE) spent over $14 million on the most expensive public relations campaign in the state’s history (Marcus, 1997). The three proposed amendments were as follows:

• Amendment Four: if passed, this amendment would put a penny-a-pound tax on all sugar grown in Florida. If passed, it has been estimated that sugar farmers would have had to pay $1 billion (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).
• Amendment Five: this proposed amendment, commonly known as the “polluters pay” amendment stated that those in the Everglades Agricultural Area “who cause water pollution within the Everglades Protection area or the Everglades Agricultural area shall be primarily responsible” for paying the costs of clean-up (Kleindienst, 1997).
• Amendment Six: this amendment was designed to establish a state trust fund reserved for Everglades clean-up.

The fight

For several months before Election Day in November, Florida voters were the targets of television and radio advertisements, direct mail pieces, persuasive phone calls, and door-to-door campaigning — all related to the proposed amendments. The sugar industry, which is comprised of two large corporations, a farming cooperative, and numerous small, independent farmers, was unprepared to face a serious challenge from a well-organized activist group. In addition, the industry was surprised by early polls that indicated widespread public support for the measures.

The sugar industry considered the proposed amendments a threat to its very existence. Seldom if ever before had a single agricultural commodity been singled out as “primarily responsible” for nonpoint-source pollution (pollution that is not the result of a direct, detectable environmental accident or contamination). One sugar industry statement said that “there are few times in the life of a business when one event can have a literal life or death impact; for U. S. Sugar and the Florida sugar industry, the threat of the $1 billion tax was such an event” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).

For two months, the public relations battle continued, with each side of the argument accusing the other of distorting facts and deceiving the public. On November 6, Amendment Four was defeated, while Amendments Five and Six passed. Although the second two amendments passed, the sugar industry claimed the victory since the penny-per-pound tax was voted down.

Over the course of the campaign, the sugar industry responded to being referred to as “Big Sugar” (a derogatory term) by attacking the founders of SOE. The industry referred to chairperson Mary Barley as “a millionaire land development heiress” and to financial supporter Paul Tudor Jones as a “mega-wealthy Connecticut commodities broker” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997). In addition to attempting to promote a negative image of SOE, the sugar industry also aired television and radio advertising portraying employees of the South Florida Water Management District (the regulatory agency with primary jurisdiction over the Everglades) as bureaucrats with a reputation for squandering public money on luxuries such as limousines and jet planes. This particular advertisement provoked then-Governor Lawton Chiles (who had remained quiet about the amendments issues thus far) to write a letter to the sugar industry chastising it for intentionally damaging the reputation of the water management district’s employees (Marcus, 1997).

saveeg

The sugar industry also distributed a number of press releases geared toward informing the public about the progress the sugar industry had already made toward cleaning up farm run-off. The message conveyed in several of the releases (that phosphorous levels in farm water had been reduced by 68% in just three years of voluntary management practices) was well-received by the mass media. In addition, just two weeks before the election, the start of the sugar harvest was delayed so that almost 2,000 employees could go door-to-door and personally ask communities to vote “no” (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).”

An amazing effort by Save the Everglades!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polluter_pays_principle

In environmental law, the polluter pays principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. It is regarded as a regional custom because of the strong support it has received in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Community (EC) countries.

http://www.everglades.org/2012/02/enforce-polluters-pay/

(Miami Herald LTE, Jan 31, 2012) For 15 years Florida taxpayers have been carrying dirty water for the sugar billionaires. When Florida’s voters passed the Polluters Pay Amendment to Florida Constitution, the sugar industry was supposed to pay 100 percent of their pollution cleanup costs. In one of the most cynical abdications of governance in history, the Legislature has refused to implement Polluters Pay. In doing so, they have dumped billions in extra property taxes on the homeowners of South Florida and enabled Big Sugar to dump millions of tons of excess pollution on the Everglades.

So not only do the sugar billionaires get unearned taxpayer dollars through unnecessary federal import quotas and subsidies, but they get their pollution cleanup costs paid by the taxpayers of South Florida. Our legislators need to swear off their addiction to sugar campaign money and make them pay all their cleanup costs.

Albert Slap, Key Biscayne

Fast forward to our present legislators and Rick Scott and you’ll hear in the video they changed the law.

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-make-polluters-pay-in-everglades/2109203

The measure, HB 7065, would rewrite the state’s plan to clean pollution flowing from farms in the Everglades’ agricultural zones to the protection areas in the south. Supporters say the legislation is needed to codify the agreement between Scott and the federal government that calls on Florida to spend $880 million over 12 years to build storm water treatment and water storage to intercept runoff from the farms, preventing further pollution of an ecosystem that is vital to the state’s economy, environment and drinking water needs.

The legislation, though, does far more than that. It would roll back the enforcement of water discharge permits, clearing the way for farming operations to pollute regardless of how much the state erred in issuing them a permit or policing it. That opens a door for polluters and increases the pressure on regulators at the South Florida Water Management District to follow the Legislature’s lead in going soft on the industry. Even the district opposes that measure. It would rather keep the permitting process intact than create a public impression that the system is corrupt.

The measure also caps the industry’s financial obligation for funding the cleanup. While the legislation would extend the $25 per acre agriculture tax until 2024 — eight years longer than under current law — it holds that those payments and improved management practices would “fulfill” the industry’s obligation for the cleanup under Florida’s “Polluter Pay” requirement in the state Constitution.

That is an outright sellout. Extending the agriculture tax generates less than $7 million per year — pennies compared to the $880 million that taxpayers will spend to treat the polluted water. The very governor who forced the water management districts to cut their budgets now intends to ask Florida taxpayers to commit $32 million a year for 12 years for this program — all in addition to the money that will come from property owners in South Florida. Meanwhile the industry responsible for two-thirds of the pollution entering the Everglades walks away from any long-term obligations even before the new water projects are in place.

Just two weeks into the legislative session, HB 7065 has sailed through two committees and is headed for the House floor. This bill has leadership’s blessing, which is why Scott and the Senate are likely the last defense. Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-New Port Richey, who is shepherding the Senate bill, which is much better, needs to do what the House and several of his bay area counterparts failed to do and insist that the polluters pay their share. Shifting these costs onto the public is unfair, and every dollar the state spends on behalf of polluters is a dollar it won’t have for police, schools and other legitimate priorities.

http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=13332

Audubon and other organizations have objected to these changes to the Everglades Forever Act. We are hoping for some serious discussions about increasing the amount of money sugar growers pay to clean up the pollution coming off their land. We have also objected to the part of the bill that nullifies enforcement of discharge permits. This section of the bill seems deliberately written to eliminate the basis of a recent legal challenge to three discharge permits for the dirtiest Everglades farms.

The Senate companion bill – SB 768 – has none of the offending provisions.

Why Your Voice is Important

The sugar industry has dozens of lobbyists.Money has been given to legislators and political committees. Many members of the Florida House have already made up their mind on this bill. Some have been, by their own admission, heavily lobbied by the sugar industry.

– See more at: http://audubonoffloridanews.org/?p=13332#sthash.Lbu29sfm.dpuf

 hypocracy

“Back when he first ran for governor of Florida as a self-styled outsider, Rick Scott lambasted his opponent in the Republican primary for taking campaign money from U.S. Sugar, one of the worst corporate polluters of the Everglades.

Scott indignantly squeaked that Bill McCollum had been “bought and paid for” by U.S. Sugar. He said the company’s support of McCollum was “disgusting.”

“I can’t be bought,” Scott declared. Seriously, that’s what the man said. Stop gagging and read on.

Four years later, the governor’s re-election campaign is hungrily raking in money from U.S. Sugar, more than $534,000 so far.”

 So to review, and please if I got this wrong help me out!
In 1996 the Save the Everglades Committee authored three proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution, collected enough signatures to get the proposals on the November 1996 ballot.

Amendment Four: if passed, this amendment would put a penny-a-pound tax on all sugar grown in Florida. If passed, it has been estimated that sugar farmers would have had to pay $1 billion (U.S. Sugar Corporation, 1997).
Amendment Five: this proposed amendment, commonly known as the “polluters pay” amendment stated that those in the Everglades Agricultural Area “who cause water pollution within the Everglades Protection area or the Everglades Agricultural area shall be primarily responsible” for paying the costs of clean-up (Kleindienst, 1997).
Amendment Six: this amendment was designed to establish a state trust fund reserved for Everglades clean-up.

We lost the penny-a -pound tax but we got polluters pay and the Everglades trust. Then under Rick Scott, The measure, HB 7065, would rewrite the state’s plan to clean pollution flowing from farms in the Everglades’ agricultural zones to the protection areas in the south. Supporters say the legislation is needed to codify the agreement between Scott and the federal government that calls on Florida to spend $880 million over 12 years to build storm water treatment and water storage to intercept runoff from the farms, preventing further pollution of an ecosystem that is vital to the state’s economy, environment and drinking water needs.

What it ended up doing was rolling back the enforcement of water discharge permits, clearing the way for farming operations to pollute regardless of how much the state erred in issuing them a permit or policing it. This opens a door for polluters and increases the pressure on regulators at the South Florida Water Management District to follow the Legislature’s lead in going soft on the industry.

Then, the very governor who forced the water management districts to cut their budgets now intends to ask Florida taxpayers to commit $32 million a year for 12 years for this program — all in addition to the money that will come from property owners in South Florida. Meanwhile the industry responsible for two-thirds of the pollution entering the Everglades walks away from any long-term obligations even before the new water projects are in place.

So we went from polluters paying to us paying, the voters.

Remember us.

Slick.

Sick.

Slicky RIcky

omg

But don’t forget folks your getting ten bucks back on your inflated cell phone bill and no taxes on your textbooks.

Where was the news when this happened?

So it all comes down to one thing really. We have to make sure that we have legislators that cannot be bought off by an industry that pollutes, that really does nothing for our economy and fills the pockets of corrupt politicians. We have to pay attention and we must vote.

 

Our Fairy Godmother Mary Barley

Our Fairy Godmother Mary Barley

Mary Barley

Mary Barley

For some great amazing reason there are many of us that walk around with our water issues in our head. All day long. In our dreams. It’s what we think about when we are driving the car and when we wake up in the morning. It’s what has brought us together. The overwhelming need to fix this.

Way before we were doing this Mary Barley was on the case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairy_godmother

Fairy Godmothers are magically-gifted women who monitor magical forces across the kingdoms. Whenever events are right for a fairy tale to recur, the relevant Fairy Godmother steps in to make sure that the tale in question runs its course with as few fatalities as possible.

Mary Barley has been watching out for our clean water for a long time. She has fought the dragons. She has the vision of the Everglades, of clean water, of no more discharges.

http://www.upperkeysfoundation.org/advisory-board/mary-barley/

Having served as Chairperson of The Everglades Foundation since her husband’s untimely death in 1995 in a plane crash while on Everglades business, Mary Barley currently serves as vice chairperson of the Foundation. She is also President of The Everglades Trust, and serves on the Boards of the National Coalition for Marine Conservation, World Wildlife Fund Marine Leadership Committee, Atlantic Salmon Federation (U.S.), and the Sierra Club Foundation.

In her fight for Everglades restoration and taxpayer equity, Mary has crisscrossed not only the State of Florida but the nation, to bring the plight of America’s Everglades to the public’s attention.

As one of the nation’s preeminent Everglades conservationists, Mary spearheaded the passage of two Everglades protection amendments to the Florida Constitution.

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/2008/1105/mary-barley-crusades-behind-the-scenes-for-the-everglades

For more than a decade, Barley has waged a campaign to save the Everglades, one unprecedented for engaging all the region’s power players (some of them grudgingly, to be sure) to work for real change across a collapsing ecosystem. A self-described “environmental rabblerouser,” Barley is a millionaire widow who took up her husband’s cause after his death in a 1995 plane crash that occurred as he was on his way to meet with the US Army Corps of Engineers about the Everglades.

The next year Barley faced off with the region’s potent sugar industry herself, helping win a state constitutional amendment requiring polluters to bear the brunt of cleanup costs. In 2000, she was there when President Clinton committed to an $8 billion restoration effort.

The Everglades Foundation

The Everglades Foundation was formed by a group of outdoor enthusiasts, environmentalists and residents of Florida who were concerned over the decline of the Everglades and the resulting damage in the nearby natural and protected areas such as Florida Bay. The original founding members, George Barley, a wealthy Orlando developer, and billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II, spearheaded the organization’s growth, and shared the same concern over the steady decline of the environmental balance in this unique and delicate ecosystem, due to poor water management and pollution.[2]

The Foundation was created and founded in 1993, and is currently operated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. This organization is supported by noteworthy performers, professional athletes, and business persons. Included in the list is Jimmy Buffett and golfer Jack Nicklaus.

George Barely unfortunately died in an airplane crash on the way to meet to acoe.

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/06/25/obituaries/george-barley-61-everglades-protector.html

Published: June 25, 1995

MIAMI, June 24— George McKim Barley Jr., a real estate developer and leader of efforts to preserve the Everglades, died on Friday morning in a plane crash near his home in Orlando, Fla. He was 61.

Mr. Barley, Florida’s leading opponent of price supports for the sugar industry, was on his way to Jacksonville to meet with the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss the restoration of the Everglades when his chartered twin-engine Beechcraft 58 went down. The Federal Aviation Administration said engine failure might have caused the crash.

Mr. Barley was widely known for his statewide campaign to levy a penny-a-pound tax on Florida sugar to help pay for pollution damage to the Everglades.

Mr. Barley, who was born in Jacksonville and graduated from Harvard University in 1956, founded George Barley Inc., a real estate brokerage and consulting company, in 1961.

Mr. Barley is survived by his wife, Mary, and three daughters, Lauren, Catherine and Mary, also of Orlando, and five grandchildren.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1995-11-21/news/9511200586_1_air-orlando-beechcraft-baron-barley

Mary Barley is the President of the Everglades Trust.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/06/it-is-time-for-every-state-legislator.html

Mary Barley, president of the Trust whose husband, George was a founding member of the Everglades Foundation, said in a statement: “As toxic algae and pollution threaten our waterways, we draw attention to the hypocrisy of politicians who claim to care about our environment, but instead protect the corporate interests, like Big Sugar, that contribute tens of thousands of dollars to their campaigns.”

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2011/07/when-did-mike-collins-start-taking.html?m=1

I read somewhere that Mary Barley put a big billboard near Mike Collins house. LOL That is so awesome.

Here is Mary Barley’s video from the Big Sugar Summit.

Thank You Mary Barley for caring about the Everglades and our water and caring about us up in the Treasure Coast!

Then this Happened: Amendment One Lawsuit!

So last week I wrote this

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/06/20/stealing-amendment-1-money-should-be-a-crime/

The legislature taketh and then they taketh some more.

“How do I know the funds will be spent wisely?
Florida’s conservation programs have a great track record of spending these funds wisely. Amendment 1 ensures that funds are used solely for conservation purposes and cannot be used for any other purpose by the Legislature. Using the state’s existing successful programs as a model, objective criteria will continue to determine how funds are spent in order to keep politics out of the process.

Now that Amendment 1 has passed, who will be in charge of the money?
While citizens can dedicate funding for water and land conservation in the state constitution, we cannot appropriate funds via the constitution. Appropriations are solely the Legislature’s responsibility.”

Citizen Amendments explained by the University of California.

http://www.iandrinstitute.org/Florida.htm

“FLORIDA

Florida’s constitution of 1968 allows citizens to amend the constitution by initiative. The initiative provision was first put to use in 1976, when voters adopted an amendment sponsored by Governor Ruben Askew requiring public disclosure of campaign contributions. During the period 1968-2006, voters over 80 percent of initiated amendments, the highest approval rate among active states. Most amendments have been placed on the ballot by the legislature — of the 110 amendments approved through 2006, 22 were initiatives and 88 were legislative measures.

The state legislature and courts have frequently sought to curtail citizen lawmaking. In response to passage of the first initiative in 1976, the legislature approved bills that banned the collection of signatures at polling places, and imposed a 10-cent-per-signature “verification fee” on submitted petitions.

In 2000, environmentalists won a major victory with passage of an initiative mandating creation of a high-speed rail system capable of speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour, and in 2002 voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a minimum living space for pregnant pigs, an amendment that was ridiculed by some officials as trivializing the constitution. Unhappy with these amendments, in 2003 Governor Jeb Bush vetoed funding for the high speed rail project and in 2004 led a successful initiative campaign to repeal the high-speed amendment. In 2006 the legislature placed an amendment on the ballot requiring a 60 percent affirmative vote to approve initiated constitutional amendments. With the passage of the 60-percent majority amendment, Florida became one of only two states in the nation to require a supermajority for constitutional amendments, and the only initiative state with such a requirement.

In recent years, state courts have been very aggressive enforcing the single subject rule, striking several measures from the ballot after signatures had already been collected.”

Remember the part about the single subject rule.

Our legislature is making is harder and harder for us to have a voice.

muchness

Anything to gag us. Because we elected kings, queens, lords apparently they feel like they have no responsibility towards us. Only for their corporate welfare.

Any group of people that have taken away my right to free speech have got to go.

a room full of voters

a room full of voters

My friends worked really hard for amendment one. Then they worked hard begging for land to build reservoir only to have our water management district, our legislatures and rick scott kicked us and our water in the heads.

The legislature are unable to follow directions.

Then today this happened.

http://postonpolitics.blog.palmbeachpost.com/2015/06/22/breaking-enviro-groups-sue-legislature-over-amendment-1-spending/

Three environmental groups filed a lawsuit this afternoon against the Florida legislature, claiming lawmakers misappropriated funds intended for land and water conservation and land purchases to protect the environment.

The 10-page lawsuit was filed by EarthJustice, a non-profit public interest law firm that has represented environmental groups in more than 20-years of lawsuit over restoration of the Everglades. The groups who launched the lawsuit are the Florida Wildlife Federation, St. Johns Riverkeeper, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida and Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation.

“The constitutional amendment is clear,” said Earthjustice attorney David Guest. “A third of the tax on real estate deals is to be used to prevent every last inch of Florida land from getting chewed up by development. But most lawmakers are simply not listening. That’s why we have to go to court.”

The lawsuit was filed in Leon County Circuit Court in Tallahassee.

I just have one word. YAY!

Here is the brief. It’s like poetry.

http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/Complaint%20Concerning%20Constitutional%20Challenge%20To%20Statute%20Or%20Ordinance.pdf

This past weekend we got to listen  both David Guest and Manley Fuller.

Who does this stuff? Hero’s do.

So who is David Guest?

http://earthjustice.org/about/staff/david-guest#

Personal Story

As managing attorney for the Earthjustice office in Tallahassee, I have savored waging litigation wars with big corporations and their friends in government agencies. In courtrooms around Florida I have tried environmental cases for almost 30 years. In one way or another, they have been mostly about water. Before development, half of Florida was under water during the wet season and its 1,500 miles of coastline were teeming with life. But its beauty invited its consumption. Millions of acres were drained and converted into agricultural, industrial, and urban developments. As a result, rivers and lakes are being polluted and closed off to the public, ground waters are being depleted by uncontrolled withdrawals from aquifers, and the ecosystems that depend on water are threatened.

Most of my career has focused on going to court to fight for everything that can still be saved. Protecting rivers and lakes has not just required many weeks of bitterly contested trials against big corporations in their hometowns. It has also meant late nights poring over ancient maps, military records, and 150-year-old handwritten diaries. It has meant interviewing hundreds of witnesses in dingy restaurants and motels. (One interview was interrupted while the witness removed a 4-foot Black snake from the living room and chased it out the screen door with a broom.) And it has meant many hot days wading waist-deep in alligator infested rivers, marshes, and swamps, finding relief only with the driving rain of the late afternoon.

In the course of my work for Earthjustice, I have moved to the cities of the phosphate mining district of Southwest Florida for trials long and short. I once moved my whole office to a town of 3,000 on the shore of Lake Okeechobee for a six-week jury trial. And I have spent weeks at a time living out of motel rooms in small coastal towns while trying cases to protect manatees from speeding motor boats, estuary sea life from marina development, and sea turtles from the destruction of their nesting beaches.

My earlier water pollution cases were against the EPA, pulp mills and sugar companies. Now, I have come to realize that water contamination is an increasingly serious public health threat to disempowered people. My new cases are trying to halt the growing number of algae outbreaks in Florida lakes, streams and estuaries that kill wildlife and sicken humans.

Solving the hardest environmental problems by taking on the worst actors head-to-head can change people’s attitudes about what is possible. That’s why I’m with Earthjustice.

and here is a good article about Manly Fuller, President of the Florida Wildlife Federation.

http://www.floridasprings.org/protecting/help/good/citizen_wakulla/

Manley Fuller has a history of speaking out for rivers. First, in 1982, there was the battle over the extent of protections offered by the North Carolina Wilderness Act — he succeeded in getting a tract of wetlands and rare coastal peat forest protected. Then there was the controversy over the proposed dam on the New River along the North Carolina-Virginia border — the dam was never built. Then there was the dam on Alligator River . . . and many others

I’ve been involved in land conservation and battles over wetlands and rivers for twenty years now,” Fuller tells me over the phone, “But this time I wasn’t actively looking for a local conservation issue. This problem I just couldn’t avoid because it was right in front of my face.”

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Here is the video from Saturday.

and this is a clip from our rally last summer.

In 1993, Fuller, who is president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, moved into a small ranch house two miles south of Wakulla Springs State Park. Like others, he was drawn to Wakulla County because it’s still quiet and rural and home to one of the most beautiful spring-fed rivers in the state. Wakulla Springs, however, also lies just eight miles from the sprawling interface of Tallahassee, and most residents knew it was only a matter of time before the developers began knocking at their doors.

Here is his video from the Big Sugar Summit

Our legislators may have lost their muchiness but the people who want clean water still have their humanity and for that I am thankful.

Sierra Club’s Big Sugar Summit a HIT! A Call to Action!

bigsugarsummit

Sierra Club’s Big Sugar Summit a HIT! A Call to Action!

Many thanks to Sierra Club, Florida  for an amazing day and the yummy food. Sierra Club Florida packed a day with every thing we really need to know to begin our journey to be experts on the subject of Big Sugar. You could done an entire day on each section but I think ( and correct me  if I’m wrong) this gave us the perfect overview as a place to start. I can see each part be broken down more because there is a lot information to get and loads of work to do.

Lucky for all of you there is loads of video. I shot a lot but there was an awesome videographer there who shot every single moment and that will be available soon. He will include all the bells and whistles and bless him for doing so. So consider this your very long teaser to when the big version comes out. A call to action!  I’m going to put all my video here and then I’m going to break it down.  When the whole video is complete you’ll be the first to know.

There are so many aspects to be interested in and I can see us picking the one or a few to really focus on. So I’m hoping we can put committee together to work on that special subject we were interested in. Saturday was was our associate degrees in Big Sugar. Now we need to work towards our BS, MS and PHD.

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a packed room

There were a lot of different people and I hoped you all walked away with the good feeling I did- a feeling of hope that we can find our way through this together. There are things that must be done and we need to find a way to do it. WE

The water must go south. We must stop the discharges, save our drinking water and stop the salt water intrusion. We must.

We must help our friends the Miccosukee’s to fix their water issues.

Not listening is no longer an option.

So here you go. This should keep you busy for a while and give you something to think about. Please share in the most positive way.

Sierra Club’s Big Sugar Summit

Introduction by Frank Jackalone, Frank is the Sierra Club’s senior field organizing manager for Florida.

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frank

Here is Mary Barley. Our Fairy Godmother! Thank you Mary Barley for your wisdom and leadership!

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mary barley

Dr Gail Hollander ,Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University. Author, Raising Cane in the “Glades”: The Global Sugar Trade and the transformation of Florida.

Dr Stephen Davis is wetland ecologist at the Everglades Foundation.

Richard Grosso, Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Clinic, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University

Julia Hathaway

Dr Enrique Cesar Santejo Silveira
Molecular Oncology Research Center
Barretos Cancer Hospital
Barretos, SP, Brazil

Jim Stormer
Retired Environmental Administrator, Palm Beach County Health Department

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David Guest, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice, Florida Office

Wolfram Alderson , Founding member of the Institute for Responsible  Nutrition.

Chairman Colly Billie, Miccosukee Tribe Keynote Speaker

Shelia Krumholtz
Executive Director, Center for Responsive Politics

Daren Bakst
Research Fellow in Agriculture Policy, Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, The Heritage Foundation.

Manley Fuller, President Florida Wildlife Federation

Hope you all enjoy and get something from the many different views!

Sugar: It’s Killing US!

Sugar: It’s Killing US!

like sugar

Direct from the sugar people. Truth

https://experiencelife.com/article/sugar-breakdown/

When it comes to evaluating sugar’s negative health impacts, the threat of extra pudge is just the beginning. Even great health threats—including inflammation-based diseases—may lurk at the bottom of the sugar bowl.

New research is revealing disturbing links not just between sugar and obesity, but also between sugar and inflammation. Inflammation, of course, has been implicated as a major factor in a number of vitality zapping diseases, from cancer and diabetes to atherosclerosis and digestive disorders.

The Refined-Carb Connection

On the spectrum of dietary dangers, processed sugars are on a par with unhealthy fats. “High-fructose corn syrup is the primary cause of obesity in our culture,” says Elson Haas, MD, author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition (Celestial Arts, 2006, New Edition). “Our bodies simply aren’t built to process all that sugar.”

Still, to date, sugar doesn’t have nearly as bad a reputation as it probably deserves. One of the reasons it slips under the radar is that connecting the dots between sugar and disease requires widening the nutritional net to include all refined carbohydrates (like processed flours, cereals and sugars of all sorts). This may seem like a fine point, but it’s an important distinction.

Most dietary sugars are simple carbohydrates, meaning that they’re made up of one or two sugar molecules stuck together, making them easy to pull apart and digest. Complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole grains, legumes and many vegetables, are long chains of sugar molecules that must be broken apart during digestion, therefore offering a longer-lasting surge of energy. The presence of naturally occurring fiber, protein and fat in many whole foods further slows the sugar-release process.

The more processed and refined the carbohydrate, as a rule, the faster it breaks down in the digestive system, and the bigger the sugar rush it delivers. That’s why refined flours, sugars and sugar syrups pose such a problem for our systems.

The body is exquisitely designed to handle small amounts of sugar. But refined carbs deliver a larger rush than our bodies were designed to accommodate, or even cope with. In ancient times, hunter-gatherers coveted the occasional piece of fruit or slab of honeycomb as a rare treat and source of rapid-fire energy for, well – hunting and gathering.

Today, sugar lurks behind most cellophane wrappers, and the energy it provides is more likely to get socked away on our hips than burned while stalking dinner. Being active goes a long way toward vanquishing excess sugar in the bloodstream, but it doesn’t negate the need to watch your intake. To make matters worse, unlike the fruit sugar (fructose) our ancestors savored, today’s sugary treats are made with refined sugars (usually some derivative of table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup), which can overwhelm the body’s ability to balance blood sugar.

“Refined sugar is a genetically unfamiliar ingredient,” says Jack Challem, a nutrition researcher and author of The Inflammation Syndrome (John Wiley & Sons, 2003). “A lot of health problems today are the result of ancient genes bumping up against modern foods.”

Take it a little further with this report from Haaaaavard.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/family_health_guide/what-you-eat-can-fuel-or-cool-inflammation-a-key-driver-of-heart-disease-diabetes-and-other-chronic-conditions

What is inflammation?

Inflammation’s aim is to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders, to remove debris, and to help repair damaged tissue. Inside arteries, inflammation helps kick off atherosclerosis and keeps the process smoldering. It even influences the formation of artery-blocking clots, the ultimate cause of heart attacks and many strokes.

What is an inflammatory cytokine. Back to the mothership.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2785020/

Cytokines are small secreted proteins released by cells have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells. Cytokine is a general name; other names include lymphokine (cytokines made by lymphocytes), monokine (cytokines made by monocytes), chemokine (cytokines with chemotactic activities), and interleukin (cytokines made by one leukocyte and acting on other leukocytes). Cytokines may act on the cells that secrete them (autocrine action), on nearby cells (paracrine action), or in some instances on distant cells (endocrine action). There are both pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines. There is significant evidence showing that certain cytokines/chemokines are involved in not only the initiation but also the persistence of pathologic pain by directly activating nociceptive sensory neurons. Certain inflammatory cytokines are also involved in nerve-injury/inflammation-induced central sensitization, and are related to the development of contralateral hyperalgesia/allodynia. The discussion presented in this chapter describes several key pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines, their relation with pathological pain in animals and human patients, and possible underlying mechanisms.

What is the connection between cytokines and the immune system.

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/role-of-cytokines-in-the-immune-system

Cytokines are important mediators of immune responses that allow integration of the behavior of cells in time and geographical location as immune responses are generated.

Cytokine-directed treatments are being developed by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry as therapeutic agents for a number of autoimmune diseases.

Here is our friend Dr Jill Smith from Penn State who explained this all to us. It was her presentations that helped me to understand inflammatory cytokines.

http://www.ldnscience.org/ldn-researchers/61-researchers/researcher-profiles/123-dr-jill-p-smith

Dr. Jill Smith is a Professor of Medicine in the Gastroenterology Division of the Department of Medicine, Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University. Dr. Smith has a long track record of conducting pre-clinical scientific research as well as translational clinical trials in patients.

Over the course of her twenty two years at Penn State University she has mentored thirty eight post-doctoral Fellows and students, thereby ensuring continuing excellence in medicine for future generations.

Dr. Smith’s research focus is on disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. In her role as a Professor in the College of Medicine’s Internal Medicine Department she treats patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Simultaneously, in her role as Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology she teaches and conducts basic science research in the graduate school. For over two decades, Dr. Smith has conducted industry-sponsored trials and investigator-initiated research involving inflammatory bowel disease. One of her areas of expertise is in translational medicine.

Another area of expertise for Dr. Smith involves her research on pancreatic cancer. Dr. Smith’s team discovered that growth of pancreatic cancer is controlled by a small protein called gastrin. They further discovered a novel receptor on human pancreas cancer through which gastrin exerts its effects. Dr. Smith’s discovery led to her being the recipient of the Basic Science Research Award, a prestigious award given by the European Pancreas Society for outstanding discoveries in science. Ongoing research using this novel receptor or targeting therapy and early detection of pancreatic cancer is underway. Dr. Smith is also is a co-discoverer of the role of another protein called OGF (Opioid Growth Factor) that inhibits growth of pancreatic cancer. This discovery has been confirmed in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials treating patients with advanced pancreatic cancer with OGF.

Dr. Smith was the first ever researcher to carry out a clinical trial of low dose naltrexone. The results of the successful trial in patients suffering from Crohn’s disease has spearheaded ongoing clinical trials by other researchers at several institutions worldwide.

Knowing Dr Smith she will find the cure for pancreatic cancer.

LDN CONFERANCES

http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/conf2007.htm

This one was Vanderbilt University

Sincere thanks also to Cyndi Lenz and Adam Lenz who videotaped and photographed the entire conference, providing the multimedia files accessed through this webpage.

This is audio you should listen to -Dr Grossman

http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/_conf2007/T_Grossman.mp3

Listen to his talk about sugar and cancer at about 13:27

“Cancer cells can only eat sugar” The first thing that Dr Grossman does in his practice is put people on a low sugar diet.

Dr Mercola on sugar feeding cancer

http://www.mercola.com/article/sugar/sugar_cancer.htm

The 1931 Nobel laureate in medicine, German Otto Warburg, Ph.D., first discovered that cancer cells have a fundamentally different energy metabolism compared to healthy cells. The crux of his Nobel thesis was that malignant tumors frequently exhibit an increase in anaerobic glycolysis — a process whereby glucose is used as a fuel by cancer cells with lactic acid as an anaerobic byproduct — compared to normal tissues.1 The large amount of lactic acid produced by this fermentation of glucose from cancer cells is then transported to the liver. This conversion of glucose to lactate generates a lower, more acidic pH in cancerous tissues as well as overall physical fatigue from lactic acid buildup.2,3 Thus, larger tumors tend to exhibit a more acidic pH.4

This inefficient pathway for energy metabolism yields only 2 moles of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy per mole of glucose, compared to 38 moles of ATP in the complete aerobic oxidation of glucose. By extracting only about 5 percent (2 vs. 38 moles of ATP) of the available energy in the food supply and the body’s calorie stores, the cancer is “wasting” energy, and the patient becomes tired and undernourished. This vicious cycle increases body wasting.5 It is one reason why 40 percent of cancer patients die from malnutrition, or cachexia.6

Hence, cancer therapies should encompass regulating blood-glucose levels via diet, supplements, non-oral solutions for cachectic patients who lose their appetite, medication, exercise, gradual weight loss and stress reduction. Professional guidance and patient self-discipline are crucial at this point in the cancer process. The quest is not to eliminate sugars or carbohydrates from the diet but rather to control blood glucose within a narrow range to help starve the cancer and bolster immune function.

From the University of California Television

Irony

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Sugar U: Effects of burning sugar cane on your lungs

In preparation for next Saterday’s Epic

bigsugarsummit

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/06/05/big-sugar-summit-update-awesome-speakers-check-it-out/

One of the topics will be

Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?

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Here is a dramatic scene from the now defunct tv show “cane” that was cancelled due to the writer’s strike even thought all the scrips were written.

Here is an actual burn

Is this harmful to us? I decided to check in with the mother ship.The NIH.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1459926

The Impact of Sugar Cane–Burning Emissions on the Respiratory System of Children and the Elderly

Abstract

We analyzed the influence of emissions from burning sugar cane on the respiratory system during almost 1 year in the city of Piracicaba in southeast Brazil. From April 1997 through March 1998, samples of inhalable particles were collected, separated into fine and coarse particulate mode, and analyzed for black carbon and tracer elements. At the same time, we examined daily records of children (< 13 years of age) and elderly people (> 64 years of age) admitted to the hospital because of respiratory diseases. Generalized linear models were adopted with natural cubic splines to control for season and linear terms to control for weather. Analyses were carried out for the entire period, as well as for burning and nonburning periods. Additional models were built using three factors obtained from factor analysis instead of particles or tracer elements. Increases of 10.2 μg/m3 in particles ≥ 2.5 μm/m3 aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) and 42.9 μg/m3 in PM10 were associated with increases of 21.4% [95% confidence interval (CI), 4.3–38.5] and 31.03% (95% CI, 1.25–60.21) in child and elderly respiratory hospital admissions, respectively. When we compared periods, the effects during the burning period were much higher than the effects during nonburning period. Elements generated from sugar cane burning (factor 1) were those most associated with both child and elderly respiratory admissions. Our results show the adverse impact of sugar cane burning emissions on the health of the population, reinforcing the need for public efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate this source of air pollution.

Keywords: air pollution, biomass burning, children, elderly people, health effects, Poisson regression, respiratory diseases, time series

Simon said there are two kinds of rhinitis, the medical term for excess mucus, congestion and sneezing. Cane smoke causes irritant or environmental rhinitis, where particles clog or irritate nasal passages.

“The smoke from sugar cane is an irritant,” Simon said. “It’s a lot like being in a smoky bar, where you end up coughing and sneezing.”

This is what the Sierra Club has to say about burning sugar cane.

http://www.sierraclub.org/florida/calusa/sugar-cane-burning

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Sugar U: Fanjuls some history and a little trouble in Paradise.

Sugar U: Fanjuls. Some history and a little trouble in Paradise.

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The Fanjul Bro’s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanjul_brothers

The Fanjul brothersCuban born Alfonso “Alfy” Fanjul, José “Pepe” Fanjul, Alexander Fanjul, and Andres Fanjul — are owners of Fanjul Corp., a vast sugar and real estate conglomerate in the United States and the Dominican Republic. It comprises the subsidiaries Domino Sugar, Florida Crystals, C&H Sugar, Redpath Sugar, Tate & Lyle European Sugar, La Romana International Airport, and resorts surrounding La Romana, Dominican Republic.

The Fanjul brothers’ were born in Cuba and are descendants of the Spaniard Andres Gomez-Mena who immigrated to Cuba in the 19th century and built up an empire of sugar mills and property by the time he died in 1910. In 1936, his descendant Lillian Gomez-Mena married Alfonso Fanjul, Sr, the heir of the New York-based sugar companies the Czarnikow Rionda Company and the Cuban Trading Company. The couple’s holdings were then combined to create a large business of cane sugar mills, refineries, distilleries, and significant amounts of real estate. Due to Fidel Castro‘s 1959 Marxist Cuban Revolution, the family moved to Florida along with other wealthy, dispossessed Cuban families. In 1960, Alfonso Sr., the father of the current CEO of Fanjul Corp. Alfonso Jr., bought 4,000 acres (16 km2) of property near Lake Okeechobee along with some sugar mills from Louisiana and started over on the US. Alfonso Sr. and his son Alfy Fanjul got the firm off its feet and Pepe, Alexander and Andres joined in the late 1960s and 1970s.[1] Pepe Fanjul Jr. joined the sugar firm in 2002. As of 2008, the company owned 155,000 acres (630 km2) in Palm Beach County.

José-y-Alfonso-Fanjul-Nuevo-Herald

Here are some great articles and blogs on the Fanjul’s.

Make sure you read  http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com for great commentary!

Here’s a little classic salsa to set the mood!

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2013/06/big-sugars-money-ball-by-gimleteye.html

But managing water is a state responsibility; Big Sugar’s interest in counties goes deep into the bread and butter of local politics: land use zoning. While Big Sugar wages water use and water quality battles on many levels of judicial review, fighting tooth and nail to dictate every last term of its water pollution control measures, it wages war on the land use zoning front by ensuring complicit county commissioners are well funded. If not sugar cane, then rock mines and inland ports and shopping centers and subdivisions strategically placed to thwart the aims of environmentalists to protect the Everglades and our rivers and streams and estuaries.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2010/05/fanjul-family-big-sugar-influence-under.html

Jose “Pepe” Fanjul, one of four brothers who control a sugar empire that includes Domino and Florida Crystals. Fanjul and his family have held at least two fundraisers for Rubio at Florida properties this year, while donors associated with Florida Crystals have given Rubio at least $81,100 since 2009.

(also some money from the Koch Brothers. Koch Industries, the conglomerate run by conservative activist brothers Charles and David Koch: $37,200. (Koch has donated $17,000 to Sen. Paul since 2010.)

Now, contrary to what almost anyone could have imagined, the 76-year-old Fanjul has begun to reassess old grievances and tentatively eye Cuba as a place for him and other U.S. businessmen to expand their enterprises. Quietly, without fanfare, Fanjul has started visiting the island of his birth and having conversations with top Cuban officials.

“If there is some way the family flag could be taken back to Cuba, then I am happy to do that,” Fanjul said in a rare interview, publicly discussing his recent visits to the island for the first time.

Here’s an early story on the Fanjul sugar interests well worth reading: “The power and wealth of the Fanjul family is enormous, so much so that they can quietly control their public image. But behind that image lies a family with a reputation for ruthlessness whose riches were made on the backs of migrant laborers and at the expense of America’s public resources and tax dollars. Without the artificial federal price supports of sugar, their industrial advantage and wealth would collapse.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2008/08/dear-alfie-and-pepe-fanjul-no-nyet-non.html

The Fanjuls of Coral Gables and Palm Beach are among the richest farmers in America. The family interests own Florida Crystals/ Flo Sun in lands formerly of the Everglades.

AG049

I wouldn’t care except that the Fanjul’s sugar growing interest in the Everglades Agricultural Area is a home-grown Florida polluter whose influence in the political sphere has contributed to the destruction of millions of acres of publicly owned property and irreplaceable natural resources. What adds to my ire is that in the execution of its business strategy, Fanjul lobbyists and attorneys take maximal positions in defense of the last dime of profit– even when lands like the 50,000 acre Talisman Farm have been committed to public ownership– causing years and years of delay.

Here are some other articles worthy of reading.

From 2003

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/29/opinion/america-s-sugar-daddies.html

Sugar growers in this country, long protected from global competition, have had a great run at the expense of just about everyone else — refineries, candy manufacturers, other food companies, individual consumers and farmers in the developing world. But now the nation’s sugar program, which guarantees a domestic price for raw sugar that can be as much as three times the world price, needs to be terminated. It has become far too costly to America’s global economic and strategic interests.

The less defensible a federal policy is on its merits, the greater the likelihood that it generates (or originates from) a great deal of cash in Washington, in the form of campaign contributions. Sugar is a sweet case in point. The Fanjul brothers, Florida’s Cuban-American reigning sugar barons who preside over Palm Beach’s yacht-owning society, were alone responsible for generating nearly $1 million in soft-money donations during the 2000 election cycle. Alfonso Fanjul, the chief executive of the family-controlled Flo-Sun company, served as Bill Clinton’s Florida co-chairman in 1992 — and even merited a mention in the impeachment-scandal Starr report, when Monica Lewinsky testified that the president received a call from him during one of their trysts. Meanwhile, brother Pepe is equally energetic in backing Republicans, so all bases are covered.

The Fanjuls harvest 180,000 acres in South Florida that send polluted water into the Everglades. (A crucial part of their business over the years has been to lobby not just against liberalization of the sugar trade, but against plans to have the sugar industry pay its fair share of the ambitious $8 billion Everglades restoration project.) The Fanjuls had been Cuba’s leading sugar family for decades before Fidel Castro’s takeover. Crossing the Straits of Florida, they bought land in the vicinity of Lake Okeechobee, which feeds the Everglades, and imported platoons of poorly paid Caribbean migrant workers. Their business was aided by the embargo on Cuban sugar. The crop is protected from other competition by an intricate system of import quotas that dates back to 1981.

The government does not pay sugar producers income supports as it does many other kinds of farmers. Instead, it guarantees growers like the Fanjuls an inflated price by restricting supply. Only about 15 percent of American sugar is imported under the quota rules, and while the world price is about 7 cents a pound, American businesses that need sugar to make their products must pay close to 21 cents. Preserving this spread between domestic and world sugar prices costs consumers an estimated $2 billion a year, and nets the Fanjuls — who have been called the first family of corporate welfare — tens of millions annually. The sugar exporters who are able to sell to the United States also benefit from those astronomical prices. The Dominican Republic is the largest quota holder, and one of the big plantation owners there is — surprise — the Fanjul family.

The sugar situation hurts American businesses and consumers, but its worst impact is on the poor countries that try to compete in the global agricultural markets. Their farmers might never be able to compete with corn or wheat farmers in the United States, even if the playing field were leveled. But they can grow cotton and sugar at lower prices than we can, no matter how advanced our technology. Our poorer trading partners bitterly resent the way this country feels entitled to suspend market-driven rules whenever it appears they will place American producers at a disadvantage.

In fairness, the United States is not alone in distorting the sugar trade, and the European Union’s massively subsidized exports of beet sugar make it the biggest culprit. The American sugar lobby uses that fact as a shield, arguing that the crop not be included in any regional trade deals until distortions are addressed by all countries at the World Trade Organization. But quotas are set between trading partners, not on a global level. Right now the United States is negotiating the creation of a hemispheric free trade area that would benefit many United States industries, including other agricultural sectors. It is ridiculous for the sugar lobby to argue — as it does vociferously — that sugar should not be included in the agreement even though it is one of the few products that some Latin American republics can hope to ship to the American market.

So far the Bush administration has rightly rejected the sugar lobby’s push to keep the commodity off the table. The danger, however, is that American trade negotiators might still prove far too deferential to sugar industries when hammering out the trade deals’ specifics. For instance, any move to phase in elimination of sugar quotas over a period longer than a decade (as was done in the North American Free Trade Agreement) would undermine any promise a trade deal might hold for poor farmers in Latin America. The strength of the protectionist sugar lobby in Washington — which unites Southeastern cane growers and Midwestern beet farmers — was apparent in the success of Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana last year in bashing Nafta’s modest sugar provision during her re-election bid.

If the sugar trade were liberalized, world prices would start creeping up and domestic prices would fall, which would benefit both the developing world and the American economy. The industry itself cites ”alarming” studies that if the United States imported an additional two million metric tons — roughly the amount Central America exports — domestic prices would be cut in half. But that is no argument for opposing trade liberalization. That is an argument for the handful of individuals who control the sugar business in this country to start thinking about a new line of work, and be grateful for the long run they had.

Harvesting Poverty: Editorials in this series remain online at nytimes.com/harvestingpoverty.

The Fanjuls are looking back to the future with Cuba

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sugar-tycoon-alfonso-fanjul-now-open-to-investing-in-cuba-under-right-circumstances/2014/02/02/4192b016-8708-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html

Now, contrary to what almost anyone could have imagined, the 76-year-old Fanjul has begun to reassess old grievances and tentatively eye Cuba as a place for him and other U.S. businessmen to expand their enterprises. Quietly, without fanfare, Fanjul has started visiting the island of his birth and having conversations with top Cuban officials.

“If there is some way the family flag could be taken back to Cuba, then I am happy to do that,” Fanjul said in a rare interview, publicly discussing his recent visits to the island for the first time.

This, I’m sure, will make Marco Rubio’s head spin.

http://news.yahoo.com/here-s-where-marco-rubio-gets-his-campaign-money-204131516.html;_ylt=A0LEV79NuX5VmnIAgronnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTE0MjRrZ2t1BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDRkZYVUkxMl8xBHNlYwNzYw–

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement on reports of Cuban-American sugar tycoon Alfonso Fanjul considering investing in Cuba:

“At a time when the democracy activists on the island are facing even harsher reprisals from the brutal Cuban regime, it’s pathetic that a Cuban-American tycoon feels inspired to trample on the backs of those activists in order to give the communist thugs more money with which to repress. The only little old thing that is standing in Alfy’s way of realizing these sleazy business deals with the devil is US law. He doesn’t talk about the arbitrary arrests of pro-freedom leaders in Cuba or the continual beatings endured by the peaceful Damas de Blanco. Oh no, for Alfy, the only hindrance to turning a profit off the suffering of the Cuban people is pesky US laws and he is working with groups to undo those laws. It is sickening to read that he brings up the separation of the Cuban family when he is doing all he can to exacerbate that problem. Shame on him..”

A little trouble in Paradise!

Despite the Fanjul family’s influence over U.S. policy and access to government officials at the highest levels of power, Alfy Fanjul has never become a U.S. citizen. He remains a permanent U.S. resident who maintains Spanish citizenship. Alfonso Fanjul served as co-chairman of Bill Clinton’s Florida campaign in 1992 and is a major contributor and fundraiser for the Democratic Party. His brother Pepe, who is a U.S. citizen, contributes to the Republicans.

How to grow your own sugar cane. DIY

BIG SUGAR ENTERTAINMENT or not: Fanjul’s try to control movies, TV, what’s next?

BIG SUGAR ENTERTAINMENT or not: Fanjul’s try to control movies, TV, what’s next? Maybe a reality show. That would be fun.  (The making part. Not the thousands of swarming lawyers trying to stop you)

sugar-th

Kudo’s to all these documentary filmmakers. One especially Amy Serrano. And big Kudos to my friend Michael Posner, founder of the Delray Beach Film Festival. Read on and you’ll see why.

I did a little recon to see what else is out there on the subject of Big Sugar and I found:

CBC Big Sugar 1 of 2 Documentary on the Political History of the Sugar Industry

Part 2 of 2

This film was made by a Canadian

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0820840/

Very interesting eye-opener. Very well made film that makes the viewer understand that the name Big Sugar is as fitting for describing the business as Big Tobacco is to tobacco. Very similar businesses indeed. It was quite shocking to learn that the industry today probably is worse than tobacco industry, as I am aware of there are no slaves in the present tobacco industry… And shocking to learn that the industry is so heavily subsidized in the USA. It’s funny that what may eventually make people use less sugar is not the corruption, lies and misuse of power that the industry represents, but instead the effect it has on their own health. Who cares about other people, specially the poor?

The Price of Sugar narrated by Paul Newman.

The Price of Sugar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Price of Sugar is a 2007 documentary by Bill Haney about exploitation of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic involved with production of sugar, and the efforts of Spanish priest Father Christopher Hartley to ameliorate their situation. It is narrated by actor Paul Newman. The documentary shows the poor working conditions in the sugar cane plantations, and political control exerted by the Vicini family to stifle efforts to change the situation….. the movie has resulted in several lawsuits from the Vicini family.

http://www.vicinigroup.com/

Story in TIME magazine and CNN explaining the Fanjul Casa de Campo sugar business:

FOR TRAVEL--- CASA DE CAMPO, LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, AERIAL

FOR TRAVEL— CASA DE CAMPO, LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, AERIAL

Sweet deal why are these men smiling? The reason is in your sugar bowl

By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

Occupying a breathtaking spot on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo is one of the Caribbean’s most storied resorts. It bills itself as “a hedonist’s and sportsman’s dream,” and that’s truth in advertising. The place has 14 swimming pools, a world-class shooting ground, PGA-quality golf courses and $1,000-a-night villas.

A thousand miles to the northwest, in the Florida Everglades, the vista is much different. Chemical runoff from the corporate cultivation of sugar cane imperils vegetation and wildlife. Polluted water spills out of the glades into Florida Bay, forming a slimy, greenish brown stain where fishing once thrived.

Both sites are the by-product of corporate welfare.

In this case the beneficiaries are the Fanjul family of Palm Beach, Fla. The name means nothing to most Americans, but the Fanjuls might be considered the First Family of Corporate Welfare. They own Flo-Sun Inc., one of the nation’s largest producers of raw sugar. As such, they benefit from federal policies that compel American consumers to pay artificially high prices for sugar.

Since the Fanjuls control about one-third of Florida’s sugar-cane production, that means they collect at least $60 million a year in subsidies, according to an analysis of General Accounting Office calculations. It’s the sweetest of deals, and it’s made the family, the proprietors of Casa de Campo, one of America’s richest.

The subsidy has had one other consequence: it has helped create an environmental catastrophe in the Everglades. Depending on whom you talk to, it will cost anywhere from $3 billion to $8 billion to repair the Everglades by building new dikes, rerouting canals and digging new lakes.

Growers are committed to pay up to $240 million over 20 years for the cleanup. Which means the industry that created much of the problem will have to pay only a fraction of the cost to correct it. Government will pay the rest. As for the Fanjuls, a spokesman says they are committed to pay about $4.5 million a year.

How did this disaster happen? With your tax dollars. How will it be fixed? With your tax dollars.

It is not news that sugar is richly subsidized, or that the Fanjuls have profited so handsomely. Even as recently as 1995, when Congress passed legislation to phase out price supports for a cornucopia of agricultural products, raw sugar was spared. Through a combination of loan guarantees and tariffs on imported sugar, domestic farmers like the Fanjuls are shielded from real-world prices. So in the U.S., raw sugar sells for about $22 a pound, more than double the price most of the world pays. The cost to Americans: at least $1.4 billion in the form of higher prices for candy, soda and other sweet things of life. A GAO study, moreover, has estimated that nearly half the subsidy goes to large sugar producers like the Fanjuls.

A spokesman for Flo-Sun, Jorge Dominicis, said the company disagrees with the GAO’s estimate on the profits the Fanjuls and other growers derive from the program.

“That is supposed to imply somehow that our companies receive $60 million in guaranteed profits,” he said, “and that is flat-out not true. Our companies don’t make anywhere near that kind of profit.”

Dominicis, like other proponents of the sugar program, contends that it doesn’t cost taxpayers a penny and is not unlike government protection of other American industries. “If our [sugar policy] is corporate welfare, which I don’t believe it is, then all trade policy is corporate welfare,” he says.

Flo-Sun is run by four Fanjul brothers, Alfonso (“Alfie”), Jose (“Pepe”), Andres and Alexander. Their family dominated Cuba’s sugar industry for decades, and they came to this country with their parents in 1959, after Fidel Castro seized power. The Fanjuls arrived just as a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to control the flow of water in the Florida Everglades made large-scale development possible. The total acreage planted in sugar cane there soared–from 50,000 acres in 1960 to more than 420,000 today.

Within that swampy paradise lies yet another subsidy. Each year, according to a 1997 estimate, the Army Corps of Engineers spends $63 million to control water flow in central and south Florida. This enables growers to obtain water when they need it or restrain the flow during heavy rains. Of the $63 million, the Corps estimates $52 million is spent on agriculture, mainly sugar-cane farmers, in the Everglades.

Even with the additional production from the Glades, propped up by price supports, the U.S. can’t produce all the sugar it needs. The Federal Government rations access to the lucrative U.S. market by assigning quotas to 40 sugar-producing nations, most of them developing countries. And, remarkably, the Fanjuls have found riches here too. Every year, the country that receives the largest sugar quota is the Dominican Republic. With a per-capita income of $1,600 a year and an unemployment rate hovering around 20%, that Caribbean nation needs all the economic help it can get. And who is the largest private exporter of Dominican sugar? The Fanjuls, thanks in part to their long-standing relationship with the Dominican Republic’s politicians. Through a subsidiary, Central Romana Ltd., the brothers grow sugar cane and operate the world’s largest sugar mill there. The profit margin is substantial, partly because cane cutters on the island earn about $100 a month, making production costs much lower than in Florida. From their Dominican plantation the Fanjuls export roughly 100,000 tons of raw, duty-free sugar each year to the U.S.

Whether they sell sugar from their holdings in the Everglades or from their mill in the Caribbean, the Fanjuls are guaranteed a U.S. price that is more than double anywhere else in the world. As might be expected, having it both ways has propelled the Fanjuls into the ranks of the richest Americans. Their wealth is counted in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

And although they appear frequently in the society pages, the Fanjuls won’t be caught dead in the financial section. As Emilia Fanjul, the wife of Pepe, once confided to a society reporter, “We like to be private about the business.”

Depending on the season, the Fanjuls can be found shooting game in Scotland, skiing in Switzerland or relaxing at their spectacular Casa de Campo. These 7,000 acres overlooking the sea have long been a favorite playground of the wealthy. But Palm Beach is still their real home, and Florida is still the heart of their financial empire. They now farm an estimated 180,000 acres of cane-producing land in the Everglades–43% of the total–making them one of the two-largest sugar growers in the state.

For decades, this region has been home to one of the worst jobs in America–hacking cane with a machete. Until the work was mechanized in the 1990s, the growers had to bring in thousands of cane cutters from the Caribbean every season. Yet in preserving the subsidy that has made millionaires of the Fanjuls, Congress has cited the fact that it saves American jobs.

Migrant-labor organizations and legal-aid groups in Florida have long waged an ongoing battle with the Fanjuls and other growers over the abysmal conditions. Greg Schell, an attorney with the Migrant Farmworkers Justice Project in Belle Glade, Fla., contends that of all the growers, the Fanjuls have treated their workers the worst. “They are in a class by themselves,” he said. A lawsuit seeking back wages and benefits is expected to go to trial next spring.

Every few years, critics of the sugar program attempt to roll back the subsidy that has enriched the Fanjuls and kept sugar prices high. And every time they fail, largely because of the power of the sugar lobby, which includes not just large growers like the Fanjuls but thousands of small sugar-beet farmers in other parts of the nation.

Though by no means the largest special interest in Washington, the sugar lobby is one of the most well-heeled. And among growers, the Fanjuls are big givers. Family members and corporate executives have contributed nearly $1 million so far in this decade, dividing the money fairly evenly between political parties.

This knack for covering all political bases carries all the way to the top of the Fanjul empire. Alfonso Fanjul served as co-chairman of Bill Clinton’s Florida campaign in 1992. His brother Pepe was national vice chairman of finance for Bob Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996 and was host to a $1,000-a-head fund raiser for Dole at his Palm Beach mansion. After Clinton’s 1992 victory, Alfie was a member of the select group invited by the Clinton camp to attend the President-elect’s “economic summit” in Little Rock, Ark.

That’s access.  Source: CNN.com

The Sugar Babies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sugar_Babies

The film officially premiered at the Montreal International Haitian Film Festival, but preview screenings in Paris and Miami led to heated controversy.[1][2]

The Miami screening of the film, which included many members of the hispanic media of South Florida and from the Dominican Republic, was the subject of a cease and desist order one hour before the time of screening, as well as a bribery scandal when several radio producers came forward to state that Dominican diplomats had offered them bribes to disrupt the screening and give the film a bad review.[3][4] The Paris screening of the film was also the subject of a sabotage attempt.[5]

The film made “Official Selection” at Unifem‘s Through Women’s Eyes Film Festival, the New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival, and the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival. The film also made “Official Selection” at both the Miami International Film Festival and the Women’s International Film Festival but was ostensibly withdrawn from both South Florida festivals due to pressure from the sugar industry.

The Sugar Babies won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Delray Beach Film Festival,  continues to be screened in film festivals and educational venues, and is on tour with Amnesty International in France.

The Sugar Babies won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Delray Beach Film Festival: Love you Michael Posner!

(Michael Posner is President founder and programme director.) (PS My film got it’s first award at the Delray Beach Film Festival)

http://www.sptimes.com/2008/03/09/news_pf/State/Filmmaker__festival_a.shtml

Filmmaker, festival at odds

The creator accuses Florida’s powerful sugar industry of blackballing Sugar Babies.

Associated Press
Published March 9, 2008


MIAMI – From their perch atop Florida’s sugar industry, the Fanjul family wields political and cultural power from the sunny sands of Palm Beach to the corridors of Washington.

Now filmmaker Amy Serrano believes the family has used that power to block the showing of her documentary critical of the family’s umbrella company, Flo-Sun Inc., at the Miami International Film Festival. And she says her project about the Fanjuls is not the only one to run into trouble in recent months. She points to the fight the CBS-TV series Cane faced before it was aired.

“I feel like my film has been blackballed,” said Serrano of her documentary, The Sugar Babies. It’s about the mistreatment of Haitian sugar workers in the Dominican Republic, where the Fanjul family and other companies harvest cane.

Gaston Cantens, a spokesman for the Fanjuls’ West Palm Beach Florida Crystals Corp., called any accusation that the Fanjuls exerted undue pressure ridiculous.

Serrano’s film was rejected from the festival, which ends today, days before the final lineup was announced. The rejection came despite initial support from the festival’s organizers and acclaim at more than a dozen other festivals worldwide.

Serrano said she has no proof the Fanjuls were behind the decision but maintains explanations for her film’s rejection and the subsequent response from another Miami festival were suspicious.

Films about other sugar families are running into direct opposition from their subjects.

The Dominican Republic’s Vicini sugar family recently hired a Washington, D.C., law firm to sue the makers of another documentary, The Price of Sugar, for defamation.

Cantens said the sugar industry is tired of one-sided portrayals of “big sugar.”

“For years we kind of took it on the chin,” he said of stories alleging worker mistreatment and environmental pollution. “We’re tired of taking it on the chin, and we’re fighting back.”

The Fanjuls’ political influence is no small thing. It was the Cuban-American patriarch Alfie Fanjul’s telephone call that interrupted President Bill Clinton during an indiscreet moment with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. The family and its network have already given more than $300,000 so far in the 2008 election cycle to political committees and candidates from both major parties.

Serrano, a Cuban-American and Miami native, said festival officials initially gushed over her film in November. Back then, she told organizers she had already exhibited it elsewhere, including for students at Florida International University in Miami. It was a private showing but made local headlines when media showed up with the Dominican consul, who denounced the portrayal of his country.

Film festival officials originally said the FIU showing was fine, according to e-mail exchanges with Serrano. But, on Jan. 25, Serrano got another letter telling her the showing was a problem because of the media coverage, which disqualified it.

Festival director Patrick de Bokay denied the Fanjuls pressured him, saying “you have to make hard decisions, and you cannot take all the films.”

Bokay said he offered to hold a special screening for The Sugar Babies at a later date.

That would mean much less publicity – and less controversy, Serrano said.

Days after the film festival’s rejection, the Women’s International Film Festival in Miami, which opens March 26, also began to backpedal on its invitation to show the film, Serrano said. Eventually the organizers offered a small theater with a forum to bring in different views.

Serrano, who has lined up a number of other festivals, plans to decline.

The Fanjuls dropped their lawsuit against Cane, a Cuban-flavored mix of Dynasty and Dallas set among South Florida’s sugar fields, only after producers changed details.

I wrote about this yesterday.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/06/11/throwback-thurs-cane-the-tv-show/

That’s all that I can find right now.

Do we need another documentary that will not get shown because of political pressure from the Fanjuls?

I think we need something that will amass a bigger audience. Like a reality show. I don’t actually watch reality shows but I bet you guys that do would have some great ideas.

You have to watch this so funny

Rebekah Jones

Geographer & Environmental Enthusiast

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