Save the Halpatiokee Nature Trails! Move the Bridge! Stop destroying us!

Many kudos to Shari Anchor who leads us in this fight to save this important piece of land.

http://www.tcpalm.com/opinion/shari-anker-lessons-from-our-battle-to-save-two-preserve-state-parks_67688320

The story of the Port St. Lucie Crosstown Parkway Bridge tells how we lose Florida’s natural beauty, resources and ecosystems, even if they exist in our preserve state parks. It’s the story of a battle that must be fought if we are to save any of them.

In 1990, the city surveyed federal, state and regional natural resource/regulatory agencies about building a bridge through the North Fork of the St. Lucie River Aquatic Preserve using two potential routes. All agencies commented both routes crossed very environmentally sensitive lands and waters, impacting important wetlands, but of the two, they were firmly against what is now known as Route 1C.

Undeterred, the city manager stated that since there was unanimous disapproval, the next step was to go “political.”

Then-Sen. Ken Pruitt was enlisted to lobby for the cause. Engineering consultants were hired for millions of dollars to make the case that Route 1C was the “most beneficial.

In 1996, the city began purchasing properties along the Route 1C corridor, even though the National Environmental Policy Act dictates an objective Alternatives Analysis and Environmental Impact Statement be completed prior to route selection. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection demanded, unsuccessfully, that an environmental-impact statement be performed for the entire proposed Crosstown Parkway from Interstate 95 to Hutchinson Island. Project segmentation does not accurately assess impacts.

By 2006, the bridge project was being reviewed by the Department of Transportation, which solicited input from reviewing agencies such as the DEP. Many agencies “red-flagged” the proposed bridge crossing because of impacts to parks, wetlands and wildlife. No matter, the environmental impact statement declared a road piercing the heart of important public lands was the very best possible route.

If the city chose any other route, the bridge would likely be built by now and for tens of millions of fewer dollars. What’s holding it up is that pesky irritant called the law, at least according to the Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County and the Indian Riverkeeper. We filed a federal lawsuit in 2014, arguing the Federal Highway Administration and the DOT violated Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act when they approved Route 1C.

Section 4(f) states there shall be no taking of parkland for incompatible uses such as road infrastructure if any other route exists which would have less or no impact to parklands. Route 1C would take the most parkland, from the aquatic preserve and from the Savannas Preserve State Park Buffer Preserve.

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Taking no parkland, another route, known as Route 6A, would fully comply with this law.

Likewise, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act dictates every effort must be made to avoid the destruction of wetlands. Other less-impacting routes must be chosen. The Army Corps of Engineers states that Route 1C “is the most ecologically damaging” route, with the most impact to the most acreage of the highest functioning and quality wetlands, thereby likely not in compliance with the act.

The South Florida Water Management District has requested a “formal finding” as to whether a bridge through the aquatic preserve is compatible with state law. Of the 10 types of activities permitted in aquatic preserves, none of them involve bridge construction.

Another sleight of hand at work here is the strategy to mitigate for the “worst-case scenario,” suggesting that was what was intended from the get-go. A big, expensive mitigation package was supposed to make it OK to take highly ecologically valuable preserves. Nothing in the law absolves the parties from choosing the least impacting route.

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The Overton Park decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971 established that park land must receive priority status in law, otherwise the economic and social factors at play in highway construction would always prevail and no park lands could survive.

It’s up to us to make sure the laws designed to protect park lands count.

Shari Anker is president of the Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County.

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Here is a link to the lawsuit.

http://www.conservationallianceslc.org/uploads/5/0/3/6/50361177/lawsuit_to_move_bridge_location.pdf

Thank you so much Shari, Marty, the Conservation Alliance of St Lucie County and the Indian Riverkeeper.

This must be saved.

The thought of having a bridge crossing over to the Island and all the construction that will come after that just slays me. People will not be happy with a bridge. They will want giant apartment buildings, places to eat and that whole of the Island that is just beach will destroyed. People complain it’s hard to get there. It should be. It should be hard. No one’s asking anyone to hike in. Just drive in the comfort of their car for an extra 15 minutes.

Let’s get this part done first.

Here is a video I put together of the area last year. You don’t have to sign that petition any more but you should watch to see what we are talking about.

Oral arguments on Oct. 6th at the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building Courthouse in West Palm Beach. More info on time when we get it.

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writing 101: why i write

I used to write. Then I stopped.

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Last January I made a commitment to my blog to use it for the highest good.

I started out just posting video. This a great way to post all the video from a particular event and send to everyone so they could watch and share.

As a documentary filmmaker I let the film do the talking for me.

Then I started to write. I felt that if one person read what I wrote and it resonated with them I would be happy. One became two, became ten, became fifty. The US became Australia that became Brazil that became all kinds of countries.

I am so humbled.

I can’t stop writing. This is one my issues. My friends complain that it takes a week to read one of my blogs.

There are many things to talk about. What I have found is lots of people have the same questions and concerns that I have but not the time to think about it. I do on my blog what I do in my daily life. I educate. I write about the water. I write about the environment. I write about mental health. I write about Golden Retrievers.

I make list of things I want to write about and then I loose them.

My daily life is that of a psychiatric home health nurse. The writing I do for that is no of your business and protected information.

I have to have an end to that day and a beginning of one where I live in the universe with my fellow travelers.

Thank you all for being here! I am so grateful.

Must watch Video on Bear Hunt. Then funny bear video.

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The national news (Newsweek) are painting us as ok with this bear hunt.

http://www.newsweek.com/florida-totally-cool-black-bear-hunting-season-347367

Asked whether bears are the biggest threat to bears, Wraithmell responds: “I don’t believe that’s supported by science right now…. In addition to habitat loss, major causes of mortality for bears in Florida are roadkill and euthanasia for nuisance bears.”

This is the video from the hearing in Ft Lauderdale.

http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/9215-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-4/

Here are some comments I jotted down as I listened.

“Letters after Letters and we are being ignored.” (Sound familiar?)
Vivian Handy : 28 biologists redefinition was not due to the population number but when it was delisted as threatened. This will effect the success of dening. The hunt will introduce noise and fears, pregnant mothers could be short and the cubs could be shot.
People talk about Florida’s reputation. (Just kick us in the head.)

http://www.newsweek.com/florida-totally-cool-black-bear-hunting-season-347367

Persons with masters wetlands biologists says this  ignorance greed trumping science

the humane society of the united states was there.

Chuck O’Neal: Your hunt is based on cherry picked data

We don’t even know how many bears we have!

You are appointed and not elected and you don’t have to listen to the people
we’ll see you court. We’ll see you in the media

Jon Ullman the sierra club: ” Its about development. ”

Your not going to get rid of the nuisance problem by opening up the hunt

If your going to kill something you should eat not stuff it.

I can’t believe these are the people making decisions for our animals.

There’s no explanation. This is rigged.

Ronald Bergeron, one of the commissioners,  said he can’t vote for any quota is against the hunt because he doesn’t see the science. He believes that bears are an icon of Florida. He think the train has moved very rapidly.
(at about 2:00) He lays out the scenario about when hunting is appropriate.

2:08 water in the WMAS  blamed sfwmd
position paper on water level (Have to go look for that)

Just so people know we have plenty of hunting in Florida but here on the FWC has proudly put a hunter with a dead bear on their website.

http://myfwc.com/hunting/

We NEED people to go hunting the Everglades for pythons and we need divers to go after Lionfish. We have alligator hunting, hog hunting, deer hunting, dove hunting, duck/waterfoul hunting, Raccoon, opossum, skunk, nutria, beaver, coyote, bobcat, and river otter, Quail, turkey and wild hogs.

Dove hunting really?

apparently so. If you google dove recipes there are plenty. Like this one.

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Stop the bear hunt, save the panthers. manatee’s you’re next. SOS SOS Please help us! save our Florida!

It’s never too early to start thinking about who we  need for Governor and we need to start doing this right now. We simply will not survive any of Rick Scott’s cronies and I’m sure he’s got his own people up his nasty evil sleeves to pass on this murderous deregulation.

I’ve been told the end game is total deregulation so polluters can pollute and builders can build where ever they want. I see it going on here even in Martin County where this guy wants to build these really ugly places where you have your business downstairs and you live upstairs. The location is right near our beautiful greenway and Haney Creek.

This is not the Martin County I moved to. The one I moved too had a clean lagoon, lots and lots and lots of green. The old road near my house was upgraded to a pretty road with little circles just ripe for a developer to build what ever he wants and the sewage lines are not moved up near the lagoon where we could all hook up but close enough for developers to develop.

I read on twitter last week that the most protected animal in Florida was the developer.

But  right now I want to talk about black bears.

We used to have black bears here on Hutchinson Island. My friend, fellow wordpress blogger and future Martin County Commissioner wrote a blog about it.

http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/02/25/black-bears-of-hutchinson-island-our-wild-past/

“According  to historian Alice Luckhart, the black bear population on Hutchinson Island was completely wiped out by about 1930.  (http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/feb/03/historical-vignettes-when-bears-roamed-hutchinson-/)

Before modern man came and planted bean fields and produced honey, the bears ate turtle eggs, palmetto berries and the riches of the Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie River. But they they became a problem, so we “wiped them out.”

We wiped them out.

We must stop wiping things out.

must.

We must live in the sunshine. We live in the sunshine state but do not have sunshine. Only evil darkness that lurks like the boogeymen under our beds. Koch roaches.

I spent the last few years documenting our water issues. We didn’t get what we needed and there is lots to do but I really believe in my heart that we were meant to go through what we did together to make us better, smarter, well educated advocates who have a really clear vision of what the big picture is. We literally saw people following the orders of rick scott. It’s our job to educate others. Asking for things will not work. The will of the people does not work. We are seeing this with amendment 1.  The people of Florida voted for amendment one and the legislators stole it.

We need a Governor who will remember that he represents us and not his evil cronies.

You watch this trailer and then you tell me if you want to go out and kill a bear. For what? Bear doesn’t taste good. No one wears fur.

Who is the enemy of the bear? Humans.

This week there was a big meeting in Fort Lauderdale. This is what happened.

http://www.wptv.com/news/state/harvest-numbers-set-for-revived-florida-bear-hunt

“The bear hunt, approved by the commission in June and set to start Oct. 24, will last from two to seven days. While the hunt is supposed to end in each region once the preset quotas are reached, hunters are guaranteed a minimum of two days of pursuing bears.

  • The state has sold 1,948 bear hunting permits SO FAR.

    I’m go to throw something else out here. The purpose of government is to protect us. I never really thought about this until I went for training to be a weather spotter. The mission of our weather service is not to entertain us or drive us crazy when storm are approaching.  Life and Limb. That’s it!

    Florida fish and wildlife have the nerve to have this on their website.

    https://license.myfwc.com/Customer/InternetCustomerLookup

    Whether fishing or hunting, we hope you enjoy your time and we appreciate your thoughtful participation in the preservation and conservation of the natural resources in the great State of Florida. Thank you.”

    Hypocrites.

    http://www.clickorlando.com/news/fwc-officials-to-set-bear-hunt-limit/35058086

    FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. –

    “Despite throngs of protesters, bear advocates were dealt a crushing defeat Wednesday when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved the killing of 320 bears next month during the state’s first bear hunting season in more than 20 years.

    “When this many people are speaking out and advocating for the bears, how would it have hurt them to put it off for a year and get better science behind it?” Terri Miller asked.

    The decision by FWC comes after a series of bear attacks on people and pets.”

    Except those bears are not the one’s getting killed. The hunters are going into the forest and chasing the bears out of their habitat into the populated areas.

    Only in Florida.

    Of course there is no science because the government of Florida doesn’t believe in science. They only believe in cronies.

    Here is the video from Ft Lauderdale yesterday.

    http://thefloridachannel.org/videos/9215-florida-fish-wildlife-conservation-commission-part-4/

    We need your help.

    What can you do?

    Go here and stay connected with whats going on.

    https://www.facebook.com/stopbearhunt?fref=nf

    This is an online bear hunt protest on Facebook. It will take place every Friday and you can send a message to the people who are in charge. Tell them you won’t come to Florida if this hunt goes through.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1064535313556616/

    and you can sign this petition.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/how-you-can-help-stop-the-upcoming-florida-black-bear-hunt.html

    Thank you so much everyone! It’s very important that people from outside Florida speak out and condemn this.The majority of the people of Florida do not want this bear hunt. We need to take our Florida back.

I’m Sober, Now What?

Guest Blog: Thank you Darcy Flierl!

I’m Sober, Now What?

by Darcy Flierl

Don’t ask me what to do when you become sober. I’ve yet to successfully give up anything. Rather, I’m a “replacer”.   I gave up nicotine last year, I replaced it with walking and eventually I replaced it with food. Now, I’m struggling with what to replace my poor eating habits with and it’s looking like I’m replacing it with research on how to eat better. I don’t know if I’m actually eating better, but I sure can tell you a lot about it.

An old friend suggested I write about how a recently sober person can manage the first year of sobriety, how to manage the discomfort and emotion that comes up when one gives up their drug of choice. First, let’s review the difference between use, abuse and addiction. We also need to clarify that drug use, abuse or addiction is all about dopamine and that our drug of choice can be prescriptions, weed, alcohol, heroin, sugar, coffee, sex, porn, exercise, even a person or relationship!

“ In the brain, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine systems, one of which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Most types of reward increase the level of dopamine in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs increase dopamine neuronal activity. Other brain dopamine systems are involved in motor control and in controlling the release of several other important hormones.” (Desai, Vishal. “Role of Copper in Human Neurological disorders”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Retrieved 15 Aug 2015.) Basically, whatever your drug of choice is, you are searching to increase your dopamine levels. The danger of some drugs is that when consumed, you are increasing your dopamine levels to unnatural states that are impossible to duplicate without the drug.

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So, what makes an addiction anyway? Last night I had 2 drinks. I used alcohol. Five years ago, during my divorce, I was consuming a bottle of red wine a night, I was likely abusing alcohol to avoid uncomfortable feelings.   When you “use” your “drug”, you get some personal enjoyment, a nice dose of dopamine, but no one gets hurt because all returns to normal and you are back to living your life and your brain is accepting of that. Abuse is shakier ground. Likely you are seeking out that dopamine to avoid feelings, thoughts or responsibilities. When you abuse a substance, you may be doing it unconsciously, but it truly is a choice, on some level. When we “abuse” our “drug”, we begin to suffer some negative consequences. This IS the crossroads. This is the moment one does or does not cross the threshold into addiction. I’ve never crossed the threshold of addiction with alcohol or anything else I may have dabbled in throughout my life, with the exception of nicotine. Nicotine, taught me ALL about addiction. Nicotine is almost worse than other drugs because although no longer considered “sexy” and even with the grim reaper effect, one doesn’t suffer social consequences like jail, so it makes it much easier to continue the addiction.

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DOC VS GLOCKS: TAKE A BREATH!

I’m going make a request of all of you and especially of all the doctors out there. If someone goes off in your office take a breath. I’m not asking you to sit in a corner and om. One breath. Maybe two. Maybe three.

Shallow breathing causes anxiety. Deep breathing causes relaxation.

If that doesn’t work take this into a private place and sing it.

I guarantee when your done you will feel better. Guaranteed or your money back.

While your calming yourself down think about what your dealing with. Your dealing with people who feel that they are being harassed. What do you do? Make it worse.

I’m referring to the original mess when the pediatrician in Ocala was trying to council a mother on guns and she went off with the question. This is where it all went wrong. I remember getting upset with my pediatrician when my son was young when he told me my son was allergic to my dog and I needed to get rid of my dog. I didn’t. He was allergic to the bird btw and cats.  I didn’t go off on him. I just ignored him. Of course, we all know now the thinking on that has changed.

You have the right to disagree with your doctor and he has the right to disagree with you. I know it frustrating. But the issue here is the “going off” behavoir.  I understand! Last year when I sitting in the hospital after getting my gall bladder out I had a a parade of doctors yelling at me. (except for my surgeon he was awesome and when it’s time for my appendix to go I want him!).

I have suggested to some of my workmates when I wrote my “How to meditate” program that it was the Doctors and the doctors offices that needed it. This makes my clients laugh which is also a great way to calm down.

One you take that first deep breath it gets easier every day until the day comes that you take that one breath and all the upsetness goes away.

I think if everyone just went to their corners and took a breath this ridiculous law would have never happened.

After you’ve take your deep breath. Tell that person in the nicest doctor voice you have. (Think George Clooney on ER).  (Really channel that inner George Clooney awesome tv pediatrician)

Say this.

“I hear you!”

Then take another breath and offer that person a private place to calm themselves down and in fact offer that deep breath to them.

If you have a mother that is going off on you don’t get mad. How much sleep has she had? Has she been eating? What’s going in her life? Is she usually rationale? You have no idea at this point what her coping skills are and what she has been going thru. We all have bad days. Even you the doctor channeling George Clooney on ER.

Make it a better day.

http://www.artofliving.org/in-en/meditation/meditation-for-you/meditation-for-doctors

“Dr. Devi Shetty, a famous cardiac surgeon in Bangalore (whom I once happened to meet on a visit to India). He told me something very interesting which I’d like to share with you. He said that while a doctor’s body needs to endure long hours of standing to perform an operation, his mind has to be equally or more fit to endure the stressful long hours. This is when he let me in on his secret: meditation.

Dr. Shetty also said that a surgeon getting into pressure and anxiety does not help the patient and so meditation helps keep the mind calm and relaxed so that we are able to support the patient in turn. I was quite touched by his words and immediately felt the need to write to you and share this.”

Let’s make it a better day for all and be a little kinder to our fellow travelers. Yes this means you the doctor and you the patient and even you the NRA.

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How to Love an Addict

How to Love an Addict

by Darcy Flierl

Addiction. We’ve made progress over the last decade. The stigma is decreasing and we are openly discussing it. Once upon a time, if your parent, spouse, or child suffered from alcohol or drug abuse, it was the family secret. Now, I talk to people every day who are open about how addiction has afflicted their lives. Perhaps it’s because loved ones are dying due to this disease? Perhaps it’s because as individuals we are becoming more aware of our own dependencies? The fact is, it’s everywhere, and the proof is in the increase in substance abuse providers popping up daily. The proof in in the number of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings one can find on any given day. The proof is in our county jails and the proof is in the ache of our own hearts, especially if you’ve ever loved an addict.

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As a an addictions professional and expert in prevention, I’m often asked, “How do I help my child….my friend….myself?”. There is no shortage on research, books and articles on this subject. Resources from support groups and treatment centers are plentiful, yet lovers of addicts are always left feeling hopeless and frustrated. I wish there a was Wiki- How to Love and Addict Guide and one could just follow the prescribed 10 steps on Voilà your loved one is healed and the family is on the road to recovery!

The truth is there is not one thing any one of us can do to help our loved one stop using alcohol and drugs but there are many things we can do to help our loved ones not use alcohol and drugs. Confusing? Contradictive? Yes! Just like addiction.

Here are my- 3 steps to helping your loved one suffering from the Disease of Addiction:

  1. Set up boundaries- this is an individual process and a mental health professional can assist you in establishing these boundaries that are unique to your situation. Boundaries might include limiting assistance: house, food, money, transportation and even termination of the relationship.
  2. Only give what you have to give-Many families will invest countless hours and thousands and thousands of dollars in services for their loved ones. If you have the resources and the individual is open to treatment, than by all means provide the help. If providing these resources is a detriment to your physical or emotional well being, than it’s not a healthy decision. Remember that helping isn’t always helping. Sometimes it’s called “enabling”. Enabling is a term every addict lover needs to understand. In addictions, enabling is the act of making excuses, stopping the bottom of falling out for the addict and leads to an obsession surrounding the addicts behaviors.
  3. Get a therapist- For yourself! Loving an addict is a long, difficult and painful road and sometimes doesn’t have a happy ending. Guilt, shame and desperation are often many of the “rest stops” along this journey. A Therapist can provide ongoing education and empowerment to you as you come to terms with the fact that in the end, everyone makes their own decisions in life and ultimately we are all powerless. If you don’t have the financial resources for a therapist, there are many helpful on line support groups.

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