Who is the Pacific Legal Foundation and why are our Panthers, Manatees and Bears their Business?

Remember when Michael Grunwald was here and he said “Big Sugar has a right to be in business” and everyone groaned. Well, that’s true. They do. What I don’t think they have the right to get subsidies to stay alive when the rest of the businesses have to put themselves out there and if they succeed they succeed and if they don’t they don’t.

The same thing goes for Pacific Legal Foundation. Conservatives you can’t have it both ways. You either believe in state and local rights or your being a hypocrite. I’m beginning to think more and more every day its the latter. These people tell you one thing and they do another. In other words your being duped. If you want to believe something believe it but don’t be duplicitous.

Yesterday, I wrote this blogpost about how Pacific Legal Foundation is the common denominator with issues with our Florida Panthers, Florida Black Bears and Manatees. They were also on Lawsuit for the Chesapeake Bay.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/07/09/panthers-manatees-and-bears-oh-my/

You can check them out here.

http://www.pacificlegal.org

This is the libertarian’s party environmental platform.

https://www.lp.org/platform

“We support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet’s climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior.”

Let me repeat “environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior.”

(P.S. It looks like they believe in climate change)

So it’s hypercritical for the Pacific Legal Foundation to mess with the free will of our Florida Black Bears.

That’s my logical conclusion.

Duplicitous

So is the Pacific Legal Foundation a libertarian foundation. I don’t think so.

I think they are a Koch Brothers, Scaife Foundation lackeys hiding out in bosom of an unending cash cow and really sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong but where their masters want them to go.

Not free thinking at all. Not what I would expect from Libertarians.

It’s this behavoir, this intrusion into our Legislature this past year that I think made our head’s spin.

Who is the Pacific Legal Foundation and why are our Panthers, Manatees and Bears their Business?

certpacificlegalfnd

Or anything else for that matter.

Just as a reminder we live in a democracy and we vote these people in to represent us. 

About a month ago there was an issue up in Brevard, incited by some behind the scene bs getting all down on Thad Altman for being ok with the purchase of the land to send the water south and not dealing with his section of the Indian River Lagoon.

You can’t have it both ways. Pick a way and do that.

But what we ALL can’t have is people from other places making rules for us. If you want to be an elected official you talk to us your constituents not to the Pacific Legal Foundation or Citizens United. You work for us. If you work for them then give up your office and work for them. Can’t have it.

Other bloggers, writers in other states – we all need to compare notes. I guarantee the same thing is happening everywhere and one day we’re going to wake up and say “What happened?” (as we float down to Miami in our Kayaks.)

We all got upset when Pam Bondi signed on to a lawsuit for the polluters in the case of Chesapeake Bay. Most of us felt that Florida had no business being involved and using our tax money on a case not in our state when her job is to work for Florida. Pam Bondi! You work for us!

What we witnessed this past year was Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature making Florida their own personal slush fund at the expense of all of us. The Tea Party was given verbiage to incite them like “Land Grabs” and they went out like the sheeples they deplore and worked tirelessly for the 1%. Tea Party you have been duped. Brainwashed. You are not free. You are slaves for the Koch Brothers.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Pacific_Legal_Foundation

The Pacific Legal Foundation is a Sacramento, California-based legal organization that was established March 5, 1973 [1] to support pro-business causes. In recent years, it has taken a lead in pursuing anti-affirmative action policies.

legal

It is the key right-wing public interest litigation firm in a network of similar organizations funded initially by Scaife Foundations money across the USA to support capitalism and oppose environmental and health activism and government regulation.

The organization has been  partially funded by a range of corporations and conservative foundations, including by the Koch family Claude R. Lambe Foundation in 1998.

The Koch brothersDavid and Charles — are the right-wing billionaire co-owners of Koch Industries. As two of the richest people in the world, they are key funders of the right-wing infrastructure, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the State Policy Network (SPN). In SourceWatch, key articles on the Kochs include: Koch Brothers, Koch Industries, Americans for Prosperity, American Encore, and Freedom Partners.

These people don’t believe in freedom they believe in pushing their own agenda that call conservative and they have their own Tea Party out their representing them.

Florida is not the Koch Brothers private playground.

And they may be treading into waters other people would not want you to go. After all, one of the reasons given not to buy the land was because of endangered birds that were there. You effectively would take that away from SFWMD and Big sugar and I don’t think they would be too happy about that.

“Tobacco Industry associations

PLF is listed as a “key third party ally” in a September 14, 1999 Philip Morris document.[6]

In 1989, Philip Morris began funding the organization through its Mission Viejo (gated-community land-development company) subsidiary, mainly because the organisation was active in the property rights area and had won cases limiting the States’ ability to expropriate or regulate private property. The Mission Viejo subsidiary was interested in fighting a no-growth initiative which had been blocking some of their development projects. At this stage Philip Morris only gave an annual grant of $5,000 each year, just to keep the organisation on side and available, but it may have also funded specific legal projects.

By 1991 the PLF had a major budget crisis. It was in deficit to the tune of about $1 million, which was about a quarter of its $4 million annual requirements. Not long after, Roy Marden, the Philip Morris executive in charge of maintaining relations with the right-wing think tanks and advocacy institutes, joined the PLF board. Overnight the funding increased substantially to $10,000, and then $22,000 by 1993. Philip Morris also began to utilize the PLF to undertake hidden media and political activities on its behalf.

For instance, it enlisted the organization (together with think-tanks like the Reason Foundation, Hoover Institute, Heritage Foundation and Claremont Institute) to write op-ed pieces that were planted in newspapers attacking the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its determination that Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) was a carcinogen and its attempt to regulate Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). (See page 4 of this planning document.[7])

At this time Philip Morris was also heavily funded two of PLF’s unacknowledged offspring, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest and the Atlantic Legal Foundation. The Washington Legal Foundation was another of a similar kind favoured and funded ($200,000) by Philip Morris, but it was independent of the Scaife-funded, PLF-based network. [8]

The PLF also intervened successful in Keller v. California State Bar, where it established a legal precedent that California lawyers could challenge the use of their dues to the state bar for political purposes. This was an successful attempt to block collective actions by the more liberal Californian lawyers who were involving themselves in such policy areas as class-actions and product liability.

By the mid 1990s the PLF had offices in Sacramento, Anchorage and Seattle and ran several key issues and programs:

  • Judicial Responsibility Project
  • College of Public Interest Law
  • Limited Government Project

It also sloughed off the Center for Applied Jurisprudence which focused on commercial “free speech issues” (i.e., the right to advertise harmful products) and “regulatory reform.” Philip Morris was giving them a $25,000 retainer by this time (and presumably paying also for work done on their behalf).

In 1997-1998 the PLF joined forces with the $10 million funded (by Philip Morris) National Smokers Alliance, in a fierce and vindictive legal attack on Professor Stanton Arnold Glantz, a leader of California’s main anti-smoking organization, Americans for Nonsmokers Rights[9] and attempted to brand him in the public mind as having something to hide … a destroyer of legal document (a ruse the tobacco industry used itself on a massive scale). Glantz had received documents from the early tobacco industry whistleblowers, and he had established the first public-access Internet web site revealing how the industry operated.

Anti-Environment Policies

According to ExxonSecrets.org, the Pacific Legal Foundation has received $110,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. The website goes on to state that:

Anti-environmental from the start, PLF’s early actions supported the use of DDT, the use of herbicides in national forests, and the use of public range land without requiring an environmental impact review. They also supported at least six pro-nuclear power cases before the early eighties while accepting funding from Pacific General Electric (PGE), a utility which has gained a great deal through the development of nuclear power in the Pacific Northwest. In the 1980s, PLF won several cases that are considered landmarks by those working on property rights issues today: Nollan v the California Coastal Commission and First Church, both Supreme Court victories which provide precedence for the takings litigation pursued today (Oliver Houck, “With Charity For All,” Yale Law Journal, 1993). In October 2003, PLF Vice President M. David Stirling had an Op-Ed published in which he defended President Bush’s environmental record and condemned former President Clinton for endorsing the Kyoto Protocol.”

Yikes!

Their the merchants of death! DDT for everyone. You get DDT and you get DDT!

SO Pacific Legal Foundation if you want to help people and their freedom please do so but please stop trampling on us. Florida is not up for grabs. We don’t care what Rick tells you. It’s just not true.

Rick Scott and his love affair with Pacific Legal Foundation!

http://blog.pacificlegal.org/plf-and-the-crafted-keg-work-together-and-free-the-growler/

Today Pacific Legal Foundation and The Crafted Keg received long-awaited news:

Governor Rick Scott signed the bill freeing the 64 ounce beer growler in the State of Florida!

For years, Florida law prohibited craft beer brewers and sellers from offering their beverage in the standard-size container used throughout the country.

http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150417/NEWS/150419897

Florida Gov. Rick Scott plans to sue the CMS, accusing the agency of unconstitutionally trying to force the state to expand Medicaid by ending funding that now helps Florida hospitals pay for uncompensated care for low-income and uninsured patients.

But Todd Gaziano, a senior fellow in constitutional law with the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, said the Florida situation presents the same legal issue as the one in NFIB. Still, he said, the argument of unconstitutional coercion in the Florida case, is “far from a slam dunk.” The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a separate lawsuit challenging the ACA.

“It’s the kind of claim that should not be dismissed at the outset,” Gaziano said. “It’s a claim that presents a reasonable legal argument.” But he conceded that the claim is not as clear, even if the government’s object is the same: to apply pressure on the state to expand Medicaid eligibility.

Sad but true Folks.

Sad but true.

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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.

 

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.

DSC_0013

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.

DSC_0002

frank

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

DSC_0003

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

DSC_0038

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!

SFWMD: Dirty toilets affront to citizens.

SFWMD: Dirty toilets affront to citizens. Big giants spiders a bonus!

http://www.courierpress.com/business/dirty-toilets-an-indicator-of-larger-issues

“Dirty toilets,” I repeat. “They signal customers and employees that management does not care about them as people. Most people take toilets seriously. A dirty toilet is an affront to people who care about themselves, their families, and their fellow citizens. Management can always blame the users of the toilets for persistent filth and disarray, but ultimately it’s management’s responsibility.”

The Bathroom at STA 5/6 gross inside and filled with spiders.

DSC_0080

Here are instructions. Please share with your staff.

http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Toilet

Today I want to talk about toilets. I’m a nurse. It goes with the territory.  I know I’m totally perseverating but that toilet at STA5/6 was really disgusting. Does the toilet at the facility reflect on the people who run that facility? Does that then reflect on its bosses? If that’s the case then SFWMD does a really crappy job. I hardly doubt that anyone from the Board of Governors have been to this place.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/06/09/our-sta-56-and-their-good-neighbor-us-sugar-corp/

http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/pg_grp_sfwmd_landresources/pg_sfwmd_landresources_recopps_se_sta5

SFWMD invite you to recreate.

“Located on approximately 17,000 acres in eastern Hendry County, Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6 (STA-5/6) has become one of the premier bird-watching areas in Florida through a long-standing partnership with the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society. More than 200 bird species have been spotted at STA-5/6 on the seasonal, guided bird-watching tours offered by the local Audubon chapter. The site is also popular as a waterfowl hunting area managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Access to STA-5/6 was expanded in 2013 with a public use area with shell-rocked parking, an informational kiosk, restrooms and a trail that includes a covered shade shelter and a boardwalk. Hiking, bicycling and bird-watching are among the activities visitors can enjoy from the public use area. In addition, a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail runs along the L-3 levee on the west side of the STA.”

I’m quite used to out houses. When I was kid our camp at Sebago Lake in Maine was the first camp in the area to have a toilet. Yet, we all loved the Balin’s outhouse across the road.

My dad took us camping in the woods of New Hampshire.

When my son was in 9th Grade we went on a camping trip to Oleno State Park near Gainesville.

http://www.stateparks.com/oleno.html

We camped in primitive camping

Primitive Camping

Three youth camping areas, each with a covered pavilion, campfire circle, cold showers and restroom facilities. This is primitive camping with NO ELECTRIC. Youth Camping Area reservation can be made up to 11 months in advance by calling the park office at 386-454-1853. Sweetwater Lake Camping Area – primitive camping with fire circle and privy. You must hike approximately 6.5 miles to camping area and pack in all supplies needed including water. Horse Barn Camping Area – primitive camping with fire circle, centrally located bathhouse and 20 stall horse barn are available. Please call the park office at 386-454-1853 for more information.

This place was no problem even for West Boca Ninth Graders.

I’ve been to the outhouse at Splitrocks, WY

splitrock

http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/diy/home/2010/07/best-and-worst-outhouses/?image=0

The best and worse outhouses.

Here I’m even providing directions

I hope this helps! How can we even think your taking care of our water with a restroom like the one at STA5/6.

ACOE and the Herbert Hoover Dike: We should be up in arms together!

To the people of Clewiston, Florida

ACOE and the Herbert Hoover Dike: We should be up in arms together!

Army_CoE_sign_Hoover_Dike

Let’s take a moment to remember when the discharges came back in 2013 and we all went to Phipp’s Park. 7000 of us together in true Solidarity. The day most of us met each other.

That day we all heard this speech from the Indian RiverKeeper Marty Baum.

For many of us this was a call to action. For the people of Clewiston it was a call to flood them and make them float away. Of course, that’s not what Marty said. He didn’t say flood the houses. He said flood the fields and he was referring big sugars ability to keep their water at the exact height needed.

I posted that video of Marty on my old video blog on UVU which was part of WPBT2. I’m not sure what happened to UVU but I posted a lot of content there.

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I posted Mark Perry, the video of the march to the locks, and others that got a decent amount of views. Marty’s video got 2400 views which is huge.

After the Sugarland Rally, when the people of Clewiston were accusing us of wanting to flood them I realized that probably every person in Clewiston probably saw that video. There was no explaining to them what the intention was. Their minds were set.

We heard that we HAD to have to discharges to protect the people that live south of the lake. Most of us understand that. That was 2 years ago and many millions of dollars.

Are the people south of lake any safer today than they were then?

This is from 2013

http://www.hurricaneanalytics.com/2013/02/three_levee_fact

. The levee is expected to fail. I know that sounds bad, and it is. FEMA is apparently planning to update flood assessments this summer and redraw flood maps for Palm Beach and Martin counties. These flood maps are expected to be drawn as if the levee around Lake Okeechobee didn’t exist. In other words, they are not counting on the levees to protect against flooding.

2. The Herbert Hoover Dike is in the highest failure category of the Army Corps risk scale. Current efforts are being directed at reducing the risk category, but as it stands (and even after millions of dollars worth of improvements) the levee protecting the area still carries the highest risk classification (DSAC 1) of any dam in the United States.

3. There is no emergency spillway, nor is one planned to be built. There is no good, controlled way to drain off excess water from the lake should a large amount of rain fall in a short amount of time. Lake Okeechobee fills six times faster than it can be drained, and a foot of rainfall would result in 3 to 4 feet of water rise in the lake. Current levees will start to fail when the lake rises above 18.5 feet above mean sea level (it’s at roughly 14 feet currently), and significant levee problems are almost certain to occur when the lake reaches 20 feet over MSL.

This is from 2015.

http://www.constructionequipmentguide.com/Improvements-Continue-for-Herbert-Hoover-Dike/21625/

“In what appears to be a never-ending task, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews in Florida continue working on the outdated Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee — the state’s largest freshwater lake. Since 2007, teams have performed various tasks to reduce the risk of dike failure due to flooding from high water levels.”

Because of the construction methods used in the 1930s, the dike is susceptible to erosion of the earthen embankment,” said John Campbell, public affairs specialist of the Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). “Over the past six years, we have installed a 21.4 mile concrete barrier known as a cutoff wall into the southeast quadrant of the dike. The cutoff wall is designed to reduce seepage and prevent erosion.”

The cutoff wall extends from roughly 6 ft. (1.8 m) from the top of the dike through the foundation to several feet beyond the limestone bedrock, averaging between 60 to 80 ft. (18.3 to 24.4 m) below the crest of the dike. It’s considered crucial to the rehabilitation effort, although is by no means a solution to a complex problem. Despite a multi-million dollar effort by USACE, the dike remains on a national shortlist of unsafe class 1 dams, with a category defined as either “almost certain to fail under normal operations” or at “extreme risk of failure with high fatalities and economic losses.” Campbell said progress has been made, but there is a long way to go.

“The $200 million invested so far made it possible to install the cutoff wall in the southeast quadrant of the dike between Port Mayaca and Belle Glade,” said Campbell.

TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS and the people are no safer than they were two years ago.

Anyone say Big Dig?

People of Clewiston you should be up in arms!

Up in arms

We should be up in arms because as long as this is the case our discharges will never stop.

We should be up in arms together.

I feel  like Danny Kaye in this clip.

Here are some photo’s I took from the car as Julie and I whizzed by last weekend.

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There was one spot that looked like a giant sand bag. Not a lot of confidence going into hurricane season.

The reason I bring this up is because our campaign to build a reservoir ended with discharges and toxic green algae sightings and it felt like what went around came around and we were back to square one with the ACOE. The people south of the lake are still in grave danger.

Don’t you think that having a reservoir south of the lake would take some pressure off those dikes and help to keep those people safer?

It felt like ring around the rosey.

It felt like deja vu all over again.

So just a note to the folks out in Clewiston. If you want to be upset with someone be upset with the ACOE and be upset with your bosses at big us sugar corp who are against anything that will keep you safe.

gumbe

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Our STA 5/6 and their good neighbor US Sugar Corp

@SFWMD

@joenegronfl

Our STA 5/6  and their good neighbor US Sugar Corp

This past weekend my friend Jules and I went to visit STA 5/6. I wanted to see the STA’s. The Board of Governors were all over these places and how fabulous they were. I needed to see for myself. They could not have been talking about this place. Do you think they have even been here?

What is an STA?

Here’s a good link

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

This is what they had on their website for STA 5

http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/pg_grp_sfwmd_landresources/pg_sfwmd_landresources_recopps_se_sta5

Photo on TOP

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So this is what I thought I was going to be seeing

Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6 (STA-5/6)

Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) are constructed wetlands designed to aid in Everglades restoration. STAs remove phosphorus from runoff water by channeling it through shallow marshes filled with aquatic plants such as cattail, southern naiad and algae. These plants take up or absorb phosphorus from water traveling through, reducing to very low levels the amount of the nutrients reaching the Everglades or Lake Okeechobee.

STAs provide another bonus – prime home and visiting territory to wildlife including wading birds, ducks and American alligators. A variety of nature-based recreational activities are allowed at several of these wetland locations.

Located on approximately 17,000 acres in eastern Hendry County, Stormwater Treatment Area 5/6 (STA-5/6) has become one of the premier bird-watching areas in Florida through a long-standing partnership with the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society. More than 200 bird species have been spotted at STA-5/6 on the seasonal, guided bird-watching tours offered by the local Audubon chapter. The site is also popular as a waterfowl hunting area managed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Access to STA-5/6 was expanded in 2013 with a public use area with shell-rocked parking, an informational kiosk,

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restrooms

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Gross inside and filled with spiders.

and a trail that includes a covered shade shelter and a boardwalk. Hiking, bicycling and bird-watching are among the activities visitors can enjoy from the public use area. In addition, a portion of the Florida National Scenic Trail runs along the L-3 levee on the west side of the STA.

The Trip to STA 5/6

The road to STA 5/6

The road to STA 5/6

Signage for STA

Signage for STA

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sugar fields in Clewiston. Notice the brown stuff near the water.  herbacides?

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These are canal on the side of the road filled with vegetation.

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and then we got lost

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and then we were found.

So when you pull onto Deerfence Canal Road  the STA is straight ahead and to the right to US Sugar Corp.

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Gate for US Sugar Corp

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This is the water coming from the west running along side US Sugar Corp

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This is the water going towards the STA. Note Brown decayed vegetation on right looks like its bee sprayed with herbacides.

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This is the water on the other side of the street going toward the STA

Then we got here. I have no idea what this is or what’s it for.

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but then after the water looked like this.

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Again no judgement I have no idea what I’m looking at

We drove up the the STA’s

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Building at STA 5/6

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STA 5

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sta 6

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sta 5

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STA-5 is accessible from the north or south.

  • From the north: Travel about one mile east of Clewiston on U.S. 27 to C.R. 835, (Evercane Road), or find this intersection about 13.5 miles west of South Bay.Once on C.R. 835 travel south and west about 26 miles to Deerfence Canal Road.
  • From the south: Use I-75, travel about 25 miles west of U.S. 27 on I-75 turn north at Snake Road exit. Follow this road northward 25 miles to C.R. 835 and turn east three miles to Deerfence Canal Road.Once at Deerfence Canal Road go east one mile to STA-5, cross the bridge and proceed to the east end of the public parking area.

MAPS

http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/sta5-pub-access-102213_with_levees_closed.pdf

Here’s some bird watching information

http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xrepository/sfwmd_repository_pdf/sta5_birdwatch_information.pdf

Check the eco-tour it looks like fun!

Again. I’m not a hydrologist or geologist but it seems very dry down there. The canals were low. What good fortune for US Sugar Corp to have all this water just next door! Isn’t it? Who needs a reservoir when you have all the water you need right next door. I could definitely see why no one wants to mess with this.

I’d definitely bring my own potty! and don’t forget to stop by the US Sugar Corp guardhouse that sits next to the STA and say hi.

Sugar U: The US Sugar Corp

@sugarcard2

In a few week we’ll be going to the Sugar Summit that is being put together by our great friends, the Florida SIerra Club. I thought it was a good time to bone up on who’z who and what’s what.

Please feel free to chime in. Even at sugarcard2 – we want to hear from you!

Yesterday, my friend Jules and I went out to Clewiston. The headquarters for US Sugar Corporation resides there.

They call themselves ” America’s Sweetest Town.” Maybe sweet in sugar but not sweet people. The last time I went out there was to shoot “The Sugarland Rally”

Sugarland-540x675The Sugarland Rally was a really sincere effort to bring people together to discuss our water issues together. Lead by our friend Justin Riney. This was their message.

An open letter to Florida residents from The Sugarland Rally Committee:

Dear Florida,

Please read these important details regarding a bicoastal rally we have planned for September 1st on Lake Okeechobee. There are multiple organizations involved in planning this event, and we need your help immediately to get the word out.

 The Sugarland Rally will unite the east and west coasts of Florida in a peaceful, historic demonstration to speak out against the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We support both immediate and long-term solutions, but ecosystems and communities along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries are in crisis. We cannot afford to wait for ecological and economic collapse. We urge all stakeholders–especially local, state and federal governments–to act immediately.

 We chose Clewiston as a central location to unify east and west at Lake Okeechobee, the source that is polluting our estuaries, and because we believe Florida’s sugar industry can be part of the solution. Please don’t misinterpret our intentions–we are NOT holding a rally at Clewiston to protest or point fingers at “Big Sugar.” It’s quite the opposite, actually. We invite Florida’s powerful sugar industry to join us in crafting an immediate solution to the ecological and economic crisis caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Here’s a golden opportunity to earn the respect, loyalty, and trust of Floridians for generations to come–to squash the stereotypes–by standing with the people in support of a solution. Without the healthy longevity of Florida’s land and water, we’re all out of business. Our children and grandchildren are out of business. We invite Florida’s sugar industry to stand with us in support of preserving the wonderful land and water that keeps us all in business. We must think longer term, we must think sustainably, and the time to act is now.

 Our message is a peaceful one to emphasize a powerful sense of unity needed among ALL Floridians, and to urge local, state, and federal governments to act immediately to stop the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We are all entitled to healthy land and water, and it is our responsibility as citizens, working with our government, to preserve these treasured assets and ensure their longevity for generations to come. Let’s all unite as Floridians in support of both immediate and long-term solutions. The Sugarland Rally will be a peaceful demonstration that we can all be proud of.

 Join The Sugarland Rally conversation on the event page at http://www.bit.ly/sugarlandrally, and please share this post with as many concerned Floridians as possible. This is a call to action, and we need your help.

 Respectfully,

The Sugarland Rally Committee

This was a rally to have a discussion to pull us all together.  US= east coast, west coast, and the people of Clewiston. For us it was to make sure we respect the people that live in the south of the lake and make sure they are safe. Human being stuff. Community stuff.

Here is the video I shot. As you can see at the beginning we were quit stoked to be there.

After the rally we went on the invitation of the Mayor to the Roland Martin Marina for some food. When we got there they refused to serve us. Every person in the room stared us down and honestly if they had guns they would have shot us down.

We went next door where I met up with friends Bob and Lisa Riney (parents of justin) and ate lunch and my friends did end up getting a few drinks because Mayor Roland showed up.

Mind you, I’m the video girl, who’s only job was to document the event. And I was starving, hot, tired. So so much for Southern Hospitality. So much for olive branches.

Afterwards in the Clewiston New’s more hate came from the people who were quite verbal, quite nasty and totally unwilling to listen to any kind of reason.

To this day, I still believe in the mission of the Sugarland rally and our extended Olive Branch.

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I can’t tell you why. I’m not a psychic. I can only tell you what happened.

In spit of that, I still worry about the people who live there and how much work is being done on the dike and always hope they will be safe.

When we went out yesterday I even wore my Marshall Tucker Band T shirt. I mean who would shoot a video girl with a Marshall Tucker Band Shirt? (Really didn’t stay there long enough to find out)

This stop BTW just a pit stop on our way to STA 5/6.

On the corner of “Happy and Healthy”

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US Sugar

US Sugar

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Sugar_Corporation

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They also run the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Central_Florida_Express,_Inc.

South Central Florida Express, Incorporated (reporting mark SCXF) (originally known as the South Central Florida Railroad (reporting mark SCFE) and run by the Brandywine Valley Railroad until September 17, 1994) is a short line railroad in southern Florida run by US Sugar Corporation. It serves customers at 26 locations.

U.S. Sugar, the only sugar company in the continental U.S. to transport sugarcane by rail, owns private trackage to take the cane to the SCFE. From there, the SCFE runs around both sides of Lake Okeechobee. The west side connects to CSX‘s Auburndale Subdivision at Sebring, and the east side crosses CSX at Marcy and interchanges with the Florida East Coast Railway at Fort Pierce, with haulage rights to CSX and Norfolk Southern at Jacksonville, Florida.

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US Sugar Corp campaign to help cancer

Here are some people you may know that work there.

Robert Coker

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http://www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/coker_bio.html

Robert Coker is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, of United States Sugar Corporation. He is responsible for managing the company’s federal, state and local government affairs department and the company’s corporate and charitable giving programs encompassing numerous community and employee-relations activities. As a member of senior management, Coker also actively participates in corporate matters involving real estate, environmental regulation, budgeting and allocation of capital.

He is a former Chairman of the Board of Regents for Leadership Florida. He serves on the board of directors for the Florida Sugar Cane League, the Board of Trustees of BIZ-PAC of Palm Beach County and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and serves on the Executive Committee of Florida Taxwatch.

Malcolm “Bubba” Wade

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http://www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/wade_bio.html

Malcolm S. Wade, Jr. is Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development of United States Sugar Corporation. He has been employed by the Company for more than 27 years and has been a member of the senior management team for over 20 years. Wade, a certified public accountant, joined the company as Director of Internal Audit in 1982 and subsequently was named director, vice president and senior vice president of the Administrative Service Group and is currently senior vice president of sugar operations.

For more than 20 years, Wade has been involved in developing and overseeing the Company’s environmental responsibilities. Through his appointments by two governors and the South Florida Water Management District to working groups on South Florida environmental issues, Wade has helped shape public policy regarding Everglades Restoration.

In March 2005, Governor Bush appointed Wade to a four-year term on the South Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board, a position he resigned in 2008 due to the State’s proposed acquisition of U.S. Sugar. Previously, Wade was a member of the team representing South Florida farmers that spent more than a year negotiating with the Interior and Justice Departments, the State of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District to resolve the legal disputes over Everglades Restoration. He represented farmers on the technical mediation committee that crafted the Technical Mediated Plan for Everglades Restoration, which was adopted by the Florida Legislature in the spring of 1994.

He was appointed by Gov. Lawton Chiles to the Governor’s Commission for a Sustainable South Florida, which worked for four years to establish a consensus plan for Everglades Restoration. The work of the commission became the framework for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) approved by Congress and is currently being implemented throughout south Florida.

Wade’s work on restoration issues continued with his appointment by Gov. Jeb Bush to the Governor’s Commission for the Everglades. He is a past member and co-chair of the South Florida Water Management District Water Resource Advisory Commission (WRAC) as well as a past member and chairman of the Lake Okeechobee Advisory Committee of the WRAC. He is also a past member of the District’s Lower East Coast Water Supply Planning Committee and the Budget Review commission. In addition, Wade served on the South Florida Agricultural Council Water Commission, the Caloosahatchee Water Management Advisory Committee and is a director of the Everglades Agricultural Area Environmental Protection District.

Wade is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

JUDY C. SANCHEZ

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www.ussugar.com/press_room/bios/sanchez_bio.html

Judy C. Sanchez is the Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for United States Sugar Corporation. She joined U.S. Sugar in 1994, transferring from its South Bay Growers vegetable division where she worked as a Marketing Specialist.

Mrs. Sanchez attended the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in communications. A fourth generation farmer, she has spent most of her life in and around the sugar cane industry, both in Florida and Louisiana. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, Childcare of Southwest Florida, and the Agricultural Institute of Florida.

She lives in Belle Glade, Florida, with her husband and two sons.

Judy follows me on twitter so I hope she reads this. We night not like what Judy does or says but for her boss’s she does a great job! Check out the tweets!

I think this tweet says it all.

Here are some fun videos for our friends out in Clewiston.

Don’t be a bad arnie!

Sure glad my visit to Clewiston yesterday didn’t end like this.

or this