Things we don’t see on the tv: Sneaky fracking guys. Politicians. City of Ember. Will we get the sunshine we deserve?

Things we don’t see on the tv: Sneaky fracking guys. Politicians. City of Ember. Will we get the sunshine we deserve?

Most of the people I talked to  this week were in a better mood that usual. Everyone except for the GOP seemed to love Papa Francisco including myself.

#hope  #compassion #inspiring

It’s always when we’re trying to do something else when people take advantage.

http://www.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2015/09/22/florida-legislators-file-bills-that-would-prevent-communities-from-regulating-fracking#.VgP2y_ujL7Q.twitter

Florida legislators file bills that would prevent communities from regulating fracking

Posted By on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 7:45 AM

“On Sept. 17, the League of Women Voters of Florida held a town hall on fracking. The event, which featured speakers from both pro- and anti-fracking factions, was well-attended by people concerned about the idea that utility companies are eyeing our state as fracking’s new frontier.

What better time, then, for two state legislators to quietly file pro-fracking bills, while so many activists were occupied?

On Sept. 17, Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, introduced SB 318 (aka, “Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources”). The bill summary is completely blunt about what it’s proposing: “Preempting the regulation of all matters relating to the exploration, development, production, processing, storage, and transportation of oil and gas.” Not only that, if a municipality has already decided that it does not wish to allow fracking within its jurisdiction, this bill would declare “existing ordinances and regulations relating thereto void.” The bill would provide an exception for certain zoning ordinances (it doesn’t say which zoning ordinances, but we like to think that it would at least respect your right to not have fracking companies set up shop in your residentially zoned backyard) but only if those ordinances were in place before Jan. 1, 2015. Interestingly, the bill doesn’t contain the word fracking anywhere in its text – nor does it contain the words “hydraulic fracturing.” Instead, it refers to fracking as the very innocuous-sounding practice of “high-pressure well stimulation.”

Read the complete text of that bill here.

Meanwhile, over in the House, Rep. Ray Wesley Rodriques, R-Fort Myers, filed a bill the same day that would do essentially the same thing as SB 318. Rodrigues’ bill, HB 191, declares that it’s the state’s job to regulate all things relating to the oil and gas industry, “to the exclusion of all existing and future ordinances or regulations relating thereto adopted by any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state. Any such existing ordinance or regulation is void. A county or municipality may, however, enforce an existing zoning ordinance adopted before January 1, 2015, if the ordinance is otherwise valid.”

You can read the text of that bill here.

Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, is one of the legislators leading the charge against fracking – he’s put forward a bill for the 2016 session that would ban fracking in the state completely: “We have a very unique geology here,” he says, pointing out that the fragile limestone bed beneath our soil would not be able to withstand the practice of shooting chemicals into it at high pressure. “Our geology does not allow for fracking to be done safely.”

Soto predicts that these pro-fracking bills will likely “sail through the House,” but that there will be a battle in the Senate. Soto says that if people do care about how fracking could impact the state, or about the state’s attempt to pre-empt home rule, they should contact their legislators. “We need all the help we can get from Floridians across the state,” he says. “We’d love support for the ban. Other states have done it. New York did it last year, so it’s not like it can’t happen here.”

If these bills pass, he says, “there would be no sanctuary against this in any county in the state. … it’s concerning, to say the least.”

Something similar happened recently in Texas. The small city of Denton, Texas banned fracking within its borders in late 2014. Less than six months later, the state of Texas signed a bill into law that banned any bans on fracking, nullifying Denton’s law. A story in the Dallas Morning News pointed out that “numerous studies” have tied fracking to earthquakes, and here has been a marked increase in seismic activity in the Dallas area recently. On Sept. 21, an earthquake that measured 2.6 M on the Richter scale shook the city. The San Antonio Current says it was the “more powerful than any of the other multiple earthquakes that hit the area this year.”

Although the U.S. Geological Survey has said that the cause of recent quakes in Dallas is not clear, a study released in May by Southern Methodist University concluded that stresses caused by “oil and gas activity” in the area are likely contributors.

Then I found this article.

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/185402-florida-house-democrats-denounce-fpls-fracking-fee

“That was the message from a press conference held Monday afternoon in St. Petersburg, as state Representatives Dwight Dudley (D-St. Petersburg), Jose Javier Rodriguez (D-Miami), and Amanda Murphy (D-New Port Richey) spoke out against a decision last week by the Florida Public Service Commission that would allow Florida Power & Light to collect up to $500 million per year from customers to further invest ratepayer money in natural-gas production. FP&L has roughly 4.6 million customers, but none in the Tampa Bay area (where Duke Energy and TECO are the main providers).

“Consumers are getting screwed again,” Dudley said in a phone call with Florida Politics late Monday afternoon. “A five-member panel of unelected people decide they’re going to allow this huge corporation get $500 million a year from ratepayers to subsidize and pay for fracking – drilling exploration and production of natural gas and oil,” he said with obvious disdain, adding, “It’s a staggering ripoff.”

More unelected people stealing thing from us.

Fracking is not happening right now in Florida. In late April, a proposal by Naples Republican state Senator Garrett Richter that would put “responsible regulations” in place for fracking failed to advance.

What’s it to him?

Our savings BTW will be 2 bucks a year. We can buy what two cucumbers with that. I can’t even buy the ingredients for my smoothie with that (cucumber, cantaloupe, almond milk, local honey and ice cubes). FPL wants 500 million dollars from you and can’t even buy you a smoothie.

Then I found this from last legislative session.

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/politics/bills-offered-to-regulate-floridas-oil-and-gas-resources_97915246

Drilling has come under increased scrutiny in the past year, partly because the Collier-Hogan well, south of Lake Trafford, was fracked at the end of 2013.

Richter’s bill (SB 1468) defines the process as a “well intervention performed by injecting more than 100,000 gallons of fluids into a rock formation at high pressure” to create fractures to increase production at an oil or gas well.

He said the bill was crafted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, with input from other stakeholders including Collier County and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

Dee Ann Miller, a spokeswoman for the DEP, said the agency collaborated with Richter on the language of the bill but could not confirm if it would suggest changes or push for its passage.”

You can go on the link and read the rest. He said. She said.

But here is deal. We want no fracking. Just one more thing we do not need here.

My county Martin County said a big fat no to fracking.

oursantaferiver.org/wp/martin-county-wants-no-fracking/

My friend and tireless advocate for the water Merilee Malwitz-Jipson  came to town. ( Where was I?)

The vote was unanimous and unequivocal, with Palm City, and Indiantown Commisioner John Haddox leading the way with the motion to sign a state-wide ban on fracking.

Why are they in such a hurry?

http://m.dailykos.com/stories/1425188

The worst oil price rout since 1986 is beginning to claim victims in the shale oil patch, and now its every man for himself.

Investors in $158.2 million of Goodrich Petroleum Corp.’s debt agreed to take 47 cents on the dollar in exchange for stock warrants for some note holders and a lien on Goodrich’s oil acreage, according to a company statement today…
“In the industry it’s called ‘getting primed,’” said Spencer Cutter, a credit analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “It’s every man for himself. They’re trying to get in and get exchanged, and if you can’t you’re getting left out in the cold.”

Investors in shale oil frackers like Goodrich aren’t the only ones writing off huge losses.

 Earlier this month, Halcon paid about 65 cents on the dollar to investors in $1.57 billion of the company’s debt, in exchange for being third in line to get paid if the company fails…
“The bubble is bursting,” Cutter said. “And if oil stays where it is, the worst is yet to come.”

 With creditors of fracking companies taking huge losses on their investments, and with more losses coming, it isn’t surprising that frackers have been basically locked out of the bond market, and regulators are worried that banks are overexposed.

 On one side are the bankers who have been grappling with the plunge in oil prices and the need to shore up billions of dollars in credit extended to the energy industry. On the other are regulators eager to prevent another financial crisis while not knowing what it might be. Caught in the middle are the small- and medium-size exploration and production companies that rely on credit lines that use their energy reserves as collateral.”

So it very interesting that a person who was prescient of bank is all for fracking.

So again as happened last year there are people in our legislature that say they are for local control. They tell that to you when they are running. “I’m for you!”

Here is a trailer for program that at UCF. It’s called Booktalk. My son was really involved with the project. It was a program that made trailers from books and then showed them to kids so they would get interested in reading. The two people in opening are my son Adam and Dr Kenny.

This project was first place btw https://showcase.ucf.edu/doc/winners2005.pdf at tt 2005 Showcase of Undergraduate Research

Digital Booktalk”
Matthew L. Walsh, H. Adam Lenz, Justin Pegram, Jonathan Gabriel
Faculty Mentor:
Robert Kenny (Film and Digital Media)

The Book is CIty of Ember.

cityofember

“The City of Ember is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Jeanne DuPrau that was published in 2003. Similar to Suzanne Martel‘s The City Under Ground published in 1963 and Helen Mary Hoover‘s This Time of Darkness published in 1980, the story is about Ember, an underground city threatened by aging infrastructure. The young protagonist, Lina Mayfleet, and her friend, Doon Harrow (the second protagonist), follow clues left behind by the original builders of the City of Ember, to safety in the outside world.”

Every time I thing about electricity I think about this trailer. I think about the darkness and I think about the light. Then I think about the sunshine that is completely devoid in the State of Florida.

At about 1:07 “I’m your man!” That’s what I hear when people who do not have our best interests at heart do bad things. Then he says “it’s alright!”

Will they save ember or will the city be lost in darkness forever?

Will we be in the darkness forever?

http://floridapolitics.com/archives/191150-harvard-says-florida-one-of-americas-most-politically-corrupt-states

Harvard Law School’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics is out with a fascinating new report measuring legal and illegal corruption in American states, and Florida does not fare particularly well.

The deep dive is here, but here’s the short take:

  • Illegal corruption is “moderately common” in Florida’s executive branch.
  • Illegal corruption is “very common” in the state’s legislative branch.
  • No state has a high ranking for illegal corruption in its judiciary.

When it comes to “legal” corruption, Florida falls into the “very common” category in both the executive and legislative branches.

Florida is also listed as one of America’s most corrupt states, along with Arizona, California, Kentucky, Alabama, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Texas.

The Safra Center compiled its corruption rankings in part by surveying news reporters covering state politics across  the country, in addition to the investigative reporters covering issues related to corruption during the first half of 2014.

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New Poll: Florida Legislators Reading List. PLEASE VOTE! and why reading matters.

A few weeks ago I put out a call for books that people thought would be good  for our Florida Legislators to read. I got a great response. Thank you all so much.  I put up my poll. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the 27 people who cared and took the time to vote.

I’ve done this before. Sent books that I thought was important. Not just to politicians but to friends. I think I have bought at least 50 copies of my favorite book “The Art of Racing in the Rain.”

I can tell you that people from both sides that have never read “The Swamp.” Many have not even heard “Paving Paradise.” Most can’t be bothered. They just don’t want to hear about it.

Our elected officials need to be bothered. They need to read.

If you don’t have time put it in your bathroom and read a little  everyday.

Why? Because reading matters. It really does.

“New technology allows us to see the living brain at work. Reading can help unlock remarkable powers. Reading builds new connections in the brain which in turn helps to create stepping stones to understand other people’s worlds.
A good book literally has the power to change you.”

We should be asking the candidates what was the last five books they read. Take note question askers.

I forgot one book and I apologize to  fellow  WordPress blogger and future Martin County Commissioner Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch. I totally forgot The RiverKids Workbook. Yikes. So I’m adding it in. Because like me you guys forgot also.

Here is the new poll in order :

 

Here is each book :

paving-paradise-pittman-waite-cover-alt

Paving Paradise:Florida’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss.

Authors: Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite

“In an award-winning newspaper series, two investigative reporters from the St. Petersburg Times chronicled how federal rules meant to protect the nation’s wetlands were more illusion than law. Now, that series has been expanded into a book, delving into how we got to this point, starting with land speculators making waterfront property out of sand dredged from the bottom of the ocean. Now, read how the nation’s wetlands protections were formed in clashes between developers, bureaucrats, judges, activists and con artists over Florida swamps.”

This is an exhaustive, timely and devastating account of the destruction of Florida’s wetlands, and the disgraceful collusion of government at all levels. It’s an important book that should be read by every voter, every taxpayer, every parent, every Floridian who cares about saving what’s left of this precious place.” — Carl Hiaasen

I am amazed, horrified and delighted that you wrote Paving Paradise! You have uncovered the perfidy that we always knew existed … You have named the key figures that led to the loss of thousands of acres of Florida wetlands.” —Nathaniel Reed

The Everglades: River of Grass Marjory Stoneman Douglas

200px-Everglades_River_of_Grass

“The Everglades: River of Grass is a non-fiction book written by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1947. Published the same year as the formal opening of Everglades National Park, the book was a call to attention about the degrading quality of life in the Everglades and remains an influential book on nature conservation as well as a reference for information on South Florida.

Douglas was a freelance writer who submitted stories to magazines throughout the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Her friend Hervey Allen was an editor at Rinehart, responsible for the Rivers of America Series. Allen asked her to write a story about the Miami River, but Douglas did not find it very interesting, calling it only “an inch long”. She began learning more about the Miami River though, and in her research, she instead suggested to her editor to write a story about the Everglades. Douglas spent five years researching the Everglades, consulting with Garald Parker of the US Geological Survey, who was studying the Everglades hydrology systems, and eventually wrote nearly 40 papers on the ecosystems in the Everglades.

The Quarterly Review of Biology reviewed the book and commented on Douglas’ “convincing evidence” in her assertion that the Everglades are a river instead of a swamp, and declared that “it is hoped that this excellent account of the area and its history may provide the needed stimulus for the establishment of an intelligent conservation program for the entire Everglades.”

The Swamp

IMG_0342

“The Everglades was once reviled as a liquid wasteland, and Americans dreamed of draining it. Now it is revered as a national treasure, and Americans have launched the largest environmental project in history to try to save it.

The Swamp is the stunning story of the destruction and possible resurrection of the Everglades, the saga of man’s abuse of nature in southern Florida and his unprecedented efforts to make amends. Michael Grunwald, a prize-winning national reporter for The Washington Post, takes readers on a riveting journey from the Ice Ages to the present, illuminating the natural, social and political history of one of America’s most beguiling but least understood patches of land.

The Everglades was America’s last frontier, a wild country long after the West was won. Grunwald chronicles how a series of visionaries tried to drain and “reclaim” it, and how Mother Nature refused to bend to their will; in the most harrowing tale, a 1928 hurricane drowned 2,500 people in the Everglades. But the Army Corps of Engineers finally tamed the beast with levees and canals, converting half the Everglades into sprawling suburbs and sugar plantations. And though the southern Everglades was preserved as a national park, it soon deteriorated into an ecological mess. The River of Grass stopped flowing, and 90 percent of its wading birds vanished.

Now America wants its swamp back. Grunwald shows how a new breed of visionaries transformed Everglades politics, producing the $8 billion rescue plan. That plan is already the blueprint for a new worldwide era of ecosystem restoration. And this book is a cautionary tale for that era. Through gripping narrative and dogged reporting, Grunwald shows how the Everglades is still threatened by the same hubris, greed and well-intentioned folly that led to its decline. ”

The Lorax

The-Lorax-book-cover

The Lorax is free online.

“Long before “going green” was mainstream, Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke for the trees and warned of the dangers of disrespecting the environment. In this cautionary rhyming tale, we learn of the Once-ler, who came across a valley of Truffula Trees and Brown Bar-ba-loots (“frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits as they played in the shade and ate Truffula Fruits”), and how his harvesting of the tufted trees changed the landscape forever. With the release of the blockbuster film version, the Lorax and his classic tale have educated a new generation of young readers not only about the importance of seeing the beauty in the world around us, but also about our responsibility to protect it.”

ecosystemsbook

Between roughly 25 and 31 degrees north latitude, a combination of flat topography, poor soils, and limited surface water produce deserts nearly everywhere on earth.  In Florida, however, these conditions support a lavish biota, more diverse than that of any other state east of the Mississippi.

In this first comprehensive guide to the state’s natural resources in sixty years, thirty top scholars describe the character, relationships, and importance of Florida’s ecosystems, the organisms that inhabit them, the forces that maintain them, and the agents that threaten them.  From pine flatwoods to coral reef, Ecosystems of Florida provides a detailed, comprehensive, authoritative account of the peninsular state’s complex, fragile environments.

The Diversity of Life by Edward O Wilson.

diversityoflife

In this book a master scientist tells the story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse and why that diversity is threatened today as never before. A great spasm of extinction — the disappearance of whole species — is occurring now, caused this time entirely by humans. Unlike the deterioration of the physical environment, which can be halted, the loss of biodiversity is a far more complex problem — and it is irreversible. Defining a new environmental ethic, Wilson explains why we must rescue whole ecosystems, not only individual species. He calls for an end to conservation versus development arguments, and he outlines the massive shift in priorities needed to address this challenge. No writer, no scientist, is more qualified than Edward O. Wilson to describe, as he does here, the grandeur of evolution and what is at stake. “Engaging and nontechnical prose. . . . Prodigious erudition. . . . Original and fascinating insights.” — John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, front page review “Eloquent. . . . A profound and enduring contribution.” — Alan Burdick, Audubon
My Florida by Ernie Lyons

Publications of books “My Florida” and “The Last Cracker Barrel,” compilations of Mr Lyons columns from the Stuart News, can be purchased at Stuart Heritage Museum, 161 SW Flagler Avenue, Stuart, FL.(http://www.stuartheritagemuseum.com)

Here is a blogpost about Ernie Lyons that could simply be emailed.

http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/04/08/remembering-to-enjoy-the-real-florida-ernie-lyons-slrirl/

A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith

A-Land-Remembered-Smith-Patrick-D-9781561641161

A Land Remembered focuses on the fictional story of the MacIveys, who migrated from Georgia into Florida in the mid-19th century. After settling, this family struggles to survive in the harsh environment. First they scratch a living from the land and then learn to round up wild cattle and drive them to Punta Rassa to ship to Cuba. Over three generations, they amass more holdings and money, and move further from their connection to the native, untamed land.

 

And lastly

The River Kidz Present Marty the Manatee

martythemanatee

I love this book and I’m including it because it was geared towards a second grader. It simply is a marvelous accomplishment and enjoyable to read. I sent my niece’s in Colorado a copy each because I want them to know about what goes on here at Aunty Cyndi’s house.

When I call them on the phone they asked me “How is Barney?” then “How are the Dolphins?” then “How are you?”

“The first verse of the River Kidz’ Song, written by River Mom, Nicole Mader, and the River Kidz goes:

“The River Kidz are here; Our mission’s quite clear; We love our river and ALL its critters; Let’s hold it all dear…”

The rest of this wonderful song can be found on page 36 of the new workbook below.

After over a year of creative preparation, and community collaboration, the River Kidz’ 2nd Edition Workbook is here!”

This is from Jacqui’s blog:

The really cool thing about this workbook is that it was written “by kids for kids,” (Jensen Beach High School students for elementary students). The high school students named the main character of the book after Marty Baum, our Indian Riverkeeper.  The students had met Mr Baum in their classroom (of Mrs Crystal Lucas) along with other presenters and field trip guides like the Army Corp of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, and politicians speaking on the subject…

The books will be going into all second grade public school classrooms and many private school classrooms beginning in February of 2015. Teacher training  will be underway this February at the Environmental Studies Center in Jensen.

River Kidz will make the booklet available to everyone. Some will be given away, and some will be used to raise money at five dollars a booklet. To purchase the booklets, please contact Olivia Sala, administrative assistant for the Rivers Coalition at olivia@riverscoalition.org —-Numbers are limited.

In closing, enjoy the workbook and thank you to Martin County, Superintendent, Laurie J. Gaylord for encouraging the workbook and for her  beautiful  letter in the front of the booklet. Thank you to Martin County School Science Leader, Valerie Gaylord; teacher, Mrs Crystal Lucas; Mom, Mrs Nicole Mader; Sewall’s Point artist, Ms Julia Kelly; Southeastern Printing’s Bluewater Editions’ manager and River Dad, Jason Leonard; to River Kidz founders Evie Flaugh and Naia Mader, now 14/13; years old–they were 10 and 9 when this started,—- to the Knoph Foundation, and the Garden Club of Stuart, and to the hundreds of kids, parents, students, businesses, politicians, state and federal agencies, and especially to Southeastern Printing and the Mader Family who made this concept a reality through education, participation.”

 

So that’s it. I’m going for the top five. Also if you have read any of these books please feel free to write a review and I’ll post it.

Thanks in advance!