On the Snout : Septic Tanks , Martin County, Stupid Headlines.

on the snout

On the Snout: Septic Tanks and Martin County

When I first moved here I lived in my house for about nine months before I bought it. I love my house. I wanted to live in an older house near the Indian River Lagoon on the same land the AIS Indians lived on thousand of years ago. Ancient sand dunes.

Sacred land.

An incredible lagoon. With flying fish. Dolphins that live here and grace us. Water that I swam in. I bought a Kayak.

I chose this house by myself with the help of local real estate person. She never told me that there were discharges that would come and destroy my life and make it impossible to take my family to the water which is why I moved here in the first place.

When I purchased my house I called the water department to get my water hooked up. I was told who ever lived here never paid some assessment and it would cost me 2500 dollars to hook up. Then I found out I would have to pay thousands of dollars to bring the plumbing to the street where the water hook up. The nasty guy on the other end of the phone told me I could put it on my credit card when I asked if I could pay it off at a hundred dollars a month. The whole thing would have been paid off long ago.

He did me a favor.

I love my well. I have a great well guy that keeps it going and I have great water. So I’m keeping the well along with my money.

But having to deal with Martin County makes me very nervous.

This situation to me is no different from the Bear Hunt we just had. There is no in-between and no consideration for the people who live here. Let me just throw this headline at you!

I’m not opposed to sewage hook up but when the issue of our septic tanks came up  I did a lot research and I called my brother in law who builds green houses in Colorado.  These places have all kinds of poop disposing systems.  I asked him a bunch of questions and he told to be kind to my septic and it will be kind to me.  Nothing goes down there unless it came of out me or in the case of the washing machine and dishwasher I use all those eco products that you buy at the health food store and enzymes.  I had one issue once when i was out of town and the pump on my well went and I had a flood.

As I go around I simply cannot believe the things that people put down into their septic tank. Kitty litter (why not just put it in a bag), Food from the disposal (again why would you do that ?) all kind of chemicals , medications. It reminds me of the things I used to see working in the er. “You put what where? No kidding!” “Where did you put the penny?” “Oh up my nose.”

When I tell my patients all these things are really not a good idea they are responsive. Many of them simply have not thought it through. They are thankful. It’s so easy to be kind and educate people.

So instead of writing a headline that says this  TC Palm:
Research: Septic systems ‘primary’ source of river, reef pollution
Write something about educating people on what they need to do for their septic tanks.

When I moved here before the discharges the water was awesome.

This was June 2013

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This was August 2013 after the discharges

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toxic green algae photo credit Lorena Cedeño Teal

I understand the hot spots of old palm city and golden gate. I have smelled the stuff from the north fork and its brutal. Why is PSL not doing anything about that? Why is their poop our poop? Why are they not educating their citizens on how to deal with their septic systems. Why?

But at the same time that we are being vilified houses are being built with septic. The septic has been extended so builders can build more houses. Houses in Rio on the old Frances Langford property have been approved. They will all have septic because the sewage doesn’t go up that far. How does this make any sense?

When I drive up Indian River Drive all kinds of houses are being built.

The subject of septic tanks come up frequently because of our lagoon. There are indeed spots are filled with bad things that probably come from septic and the same time you have Ocean Breeze adding all kinds of new units? Where is their sewage going? What about the new houses that are going to built in Rio near Palmer? What is that awful smell when you drive up Indian River Drive and your across from the Power Plant? It smells like dead fish.

The other thing is many millions have been spent so developers can develop. Like the sewage half way thru Rio so this guy can build his monstrosity but the rest of us  get screwed. The circle with the plants that endlessly have to be maintained.

Martin County hired Dr Brian Lapointe to do this study. He has done others and has always come to the same conclusions.

It’s the poop!

Vero Beach

http://www.veronews.com/news/sebastian/government/lagoon-crisis-likely-caused-by-septic-tanks-says-expert/article_cf70128e-7eb1-11e3-b94a-001a4bcf6878.html

Brevard

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130630/NEWS01/306300039/Septic-tanks-suspected-Indian-River-Lagoon-s-algae-woes

Loxahatchee

http://www.loxahatcheeriver.org/pdf/2010%20Final%20Report-Complete-Edited.pdf

American Planning Association Meeting

http://www.floridaplanning.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Sewage-Pollution-Eutrophication-in-Floridas-Coastal-Waters-Brian-Lapointe.pdf

So here is the article from the TC Palm:

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/research-septic-systems-primary-source-of-river-reef-pollution_19606724

There are more but you get the pictures.

That’s why this blog is literally on the snout!

I hate to even post because I can’t post the whole thing and you have to be a subscriber to see the rest. It’s pains me but I think this is one of the reason we can’t widen our circle of friends is because we can’t share articles. (as opposed to kicking butt with the Bear Hunt and the endless shareable article and blogs)

Research: Septic systems ‘primary’ source of river, reef pollution

is the title. Is this what we can expect from the TC Palm from now on?  Really? This headline is straight out of the Sunshine State News. Ex Editor Nancy Smith would be proud.

The huge plumes from the discharges from Lake Okeechobee have nothing to do with this?

Nothing?

Please see before and after photos above.

This headline sounds like its funded by Big Sugar.  ( who btw was running some very expensive ads a little while back)

“Septic systems are a primary source of St. Lucie River pollution, according to a soon-to-be-released study Martin County-commissioned from the Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

The finding refutes an opinion popular with some local officials and environmentalists that Lake Okeechobee discharges and fertilizer in agricultural runoff are the primary sources.

“We’re not saying there are no pollutants from (agriculture); there are,” said Brian Lapointe, a Harbor Branch research professor and study team leader. “But sewage from septic tanks is a significant contributor, in fact a primary contributor, to nutrients damaging the estuary and the reefs offshore.”

There is a lot of science in his study that need to be gone thru.

““We confirmed that the areas with a high concentration of septic systems had nitrates and phosphates in the groundwater and in the ditches leading to the St. Lucie,” Lapointe said. “Then we found that sewage is getting into the estuary and being taken by tides out to the reefs, where it’s causing a chain reaction that’s literally killing the reefs.”

How he managed to do this when we are continually get discharges from Lake Okeechobee baffles me.

Hey if that’s the case just open up the gates and let it all out!

But they can’t. Because it’s not that simple.

Maggy Hurchalla sent this out in an email sent out this morning.

“No one I know ever questioned the fact that septic systems are polluting the river.
That’s why we amended the comp plan to put our strong local restrictions back into ch 10.
The pro-development commissioners took them out in 2009 and announced that the minimum state rules were enough.

Those state rules are totally inadequate. They allow new subdivisions to have 5 septic systems per acre. They allow new apartments and condos to use septic systems. They allow super sized systems of 10,000 gpd.

The Commission adopted the amendment to the Sewer chapter of the comp plan almost a year ago. It’s still being challenged by developers. The judge ruled in the county’s favor. It is now waiting for a final opinion. Doug Smith and John Haddox voted against it. They were joined by ex-mayor Sasser from Pahokee and the One Florida group and the King Ranch and other AG interest.

The arguments against the amendment included;
– It was unfair to limit septic in new developments until all existing septic systems had been hooked up to sewer. They seemed to think you shouldn’t close the barn door until all the horses that got out earlier were caught.
– the amendment was not about helping the river. It was created by an environmental extremist (me) to stop growth.
– big agricultural septic systems don’t pollute.

Martin County has fewer septic systems than any other county on the Lagoon because we had strict rules for new development from 1982 to 2009.

That is not an excuse for doing nothing. We know that areas of high density and high water tables and old septic systems are causing problems. They don’t have to be waterfront to cause problems  if their drainage ditch goes to the river.

Sasser went so far as to suggest that Lake O discharges were a problem only because out septic effluent flowed back into the Lake and then back to the river.
That kind of dumb doesn’t need an answer.

(me hahahaha funny)

The study does not show that septic systems are a bigger problem than Lake discharges.
It does not show they are the only problem.
It does not show that they are a worse problem in Martin than in other counties. The North Fork has a big problem coming down from Port St. Lucie.

The study does show that we have stuff  in the water coming from septic tanks. We knew that. Now we know it for sure.

Sewering the whole county all at once is not a good solution.
Setting up a funding source and connecting up the top priority areas first  is a good solution.
CRA funds could be used to help subsidize hookups in Old Palm City and in Golden Gate.”

Thank You Maggy for reaching out to me!  See if I can live with this! Why because its a fair assessment of the situation. It’s grounded in Maggy logic.

Charles Grande, Former PSL Commish said this.

“How sad the headline implies septics are “The” source as opposed to one of several, and certainly not The big one. Without Lake O discharges, the other sources make it tough on our waterways but, we can address those problems locally, over time, and the waterways will survive. When they dump the Lake on us, our water ways are impacted beyond our ability to respond and living things (plants, animals, and people) die. Everyone should read Maggy’s response stressing “The study does not show that septic systems are a bigger problem than Lake discharges” and “The study does not show they are the only problem?”

Thank you Charles.

Kevin Stinette, former Indian Riverkeeper said this:

It bothers me to see “Septic systems are a primary source of St. Lucie River pollution, …” and then, “The finding refutes an opinion popular with some local officials and environmentalists that Lake Okeechobee discharges and fertilizer in agricultural runoff are the primary sources.”
All are primary sources.
Taking sides and contending that one or justifies the other makes no sense. Our estuary needs to go on a nitrogen diet. We need to stem the flow of nitrogen wherever we can. Stormwater runoff, discharges from canals and septic tank sources all put more nitrogen into the water than the system can handle.
It is hard to argue against Dr. Lapointe’s assertion that, “… sewage from septic tanks is a significant contributor, in fact a primary contributor, to nutrients damaging the estuary and the reefs offshore.”
Why argue over whether either source is “a” contributor or “the” contributor? Big sugar loves to foster such arguments, as though they are justified in having hijacked our water treatment systems south of the lake because coastal residents have septic tanks. People who don’t want any constraints on pollution love to join in arguing that we shouldn’t have to clean up after ourselves because agricultural discharges are so obviously destructive in the rainy years.
Hooking up to municipal sewers only injects the waste deeper into our aquifer where it will eventually migrate into our waters.
While we make the transition to sewers, there are solutions short of $11K hookups. Why don’t we consider grey water systems to use water from washing machines to water lawns? Other water conservation measures would limit the mix of grey water in septic tanks give the bacteria more time to digest nutrients and slow the migration of nitrogen toward our waters. Maximizing vegetation between septic tanks and canals and rivers could turn the nitrogen into trees and shrubs and assist in sequestering carbon dioxide.
We need to confront nutrient pollution on all fronts, not square off to argue about who is doing the most damage.”

So as we can all see the situation is complicated. Do we have a septic issue? Yes DO we have Discharge issue? Yes DO we have a nitrogen problem? Yes Do we have very knowledgeable people that disagree? Yes

There are a lot of issues.

The last one I want to address is this quote from Dr Lapointe.

“The utility department would pay 30 percent of the cost; property owners would pay 70 percent, about $11,750 per parcel.

“The fix is expensive,” Lapointe said, “but living in paradise ain’t cheap.”

Pretty cavalier! Apparently he does not know that in June 2012 (I’m not sure what the numbers are now)

More than 27 percent of kids on Treasure Coast going hungry

There are people in this county that are old, disabled and get 15 dollars a month for food stamps. That’s if they are lucky.

I’m sure they will be able to come with that 11,750. Maybe we could set up GOFUNDMESEPTIC HOOKUP SITES!

There’s so much more to discuss but that’s for another day. Please me join me at this meeting.

I think there are some places that need to be hooked up and we have to figure out a way to do that. But I also think there is a lot of education that needs to go on so lets all put our thinking caps on. And please lets stop making grand headlines when they are not quite true or right for the people that live here.

thinking caps

Brian Lapointe, a research professor at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Fort Pierce, will talk about his team’s study on the impact of septic systems on the St. Lucie River estuary and nearshore reefs.

What: Martin County Commission meeting

When: 9 a.m. Nov. 3

Where: Commission Chambers, 2401 S.E. Monterey Road, Stuart

Information: www.martin.fl.us

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Stupid pills: Throwback Thurs Marco goes to Stuart.

Stupid pills: Throwback Thurs Marco goes to Stuart.

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http://martincountytimes.com/wpbf-senator-rubio-meets-his-indian-river-lagoon-critics-at-stuart-city-hall

“Where have you been for the past 13 months?” called out one protester.R

Another held a wanted poster with Rubio’s face on it, calling him “No Show Rubio” and accusing him of “murder of our rivers.”

After begging him for a year he finally showed up. The initial meeting was invited Republicans only. Some people we knew stuck their tongues out at us as they walked by into the meeting. Truly a dagger into the hearts of the “clean water” River Warriors which is non partisan.

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In the end we were invited in if we promised to be quiet.

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Marco Rubio

The speakers were all very respectful to Marco Rubio.

He was given a bottle of dirty river water. He was given an explanation by Mark Perry our expert on all things St Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon and Estuary.

What the issue? Not that we were decimated and destroyed by the discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

This is the issue.

To be far almost everyone takes sugar money. Florida’s own Debbi Wasserman Schultz is the worse. She’s a great buddy of Marco Rubio.

This week this happened.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/423243/rubio-sugar-subsidies?GE1yGQlf72Ql5Rrv.01

Rubio: Our National Security Depends on Sugar Subsidies

“If we eliminate our sugar subsidies first, Rubio warned, “other countries will capture the market share, our agricultural capacity will be developed into real estate, you know, housing and so forth, and then we lose the capacity to produce our own food, at which point we’re at the mercy of a foreign country for food security.”

Read the rest of the article. Then read the comments. They wonderful. People are really getting with this program.
Here is some excellent commentary from our friend Mista Gimleteye!

“With a little more space, Mr. Mann might have added some pungent details. How Rubio, for example, while leader from Miami in the Florida legislature, strongly supported Big Sugar’s right to pollute the Everglades at taxpayer expense. That was in the early 2000’s, when Rubio was Jeb Bush’s point man in weakening federal and state agreements to protect the dying River of Grass from Big Sugar’s fertilizer runoff.

A decade of litigation by Friends of the Everglades and the Miccosukee Tribe resulted in an $880 million dollar agreement in 2012 by the Gov. Rick Scott administration that is now shifting the entire burden, again, onto taxpayers and away from the sugar industry.

Instead of siding with taxpayers, Marco Rubio chose the team that controls the state: billionaire insiders like the Fanjuls of Coral Gables and Palm Beach who run the sugar industry and insure its prerogatives like a syndicate.

What Mann doesn’t quite explain is how Rubio’s logic in defense of Big Sugar works. Rubio’s defense of Big Sugar as “national security” is rote memory from the Big Sugar’s playbook: “if you don’t let us grow sugarcane and pollute, we will put suburban sprawl on the land we own.” That’s not a threat: it’s gospel that is blithely accepted by Democratic leadership as well as Republican, gliding past the awareness that strong growth management regulations in favor of the Everglades once attempted to guide sprawl away from what taxpayers have already spent billions to protect.

The Big Sugar nonsense goes on: “If you don’t heed our threat, instead of dealing with us (sensitive sugar billionaires you can negotiate with in good faith) you will have to deal with owners of zero lot line homes who want more Lowes and Home Depots and Friday’s in wetlands.” The only problem: Big Sugar has never negotiated in good faith with the public or, to be more accurate, only negotiates from a position where it defends its profits down to the very last penny.”

I know this is a lot of stuff. It’s important stuff. But the most important thing to remember is when we needed our Senator to show up for us he didn’t. We begged. We tweeted. We emailed him letters. We sent him letters.
He couldn’t be bothered.
This is what happened to us.
No show Rubio. How in the world can this person expect to be president if he can’t show up in his own state?

Florida! Let the Good Times Roll!

Florida! Let the Good Times Roll!

florida-fun

Sometimes I think I live in this other world where we see things and then there is this other place where things get reported and the only thing I can say is “huh?”

From the Florida Water Daily

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-lake-water-waste-20150704-story.html

What if instead of draining away about 2 billion gallons of water a day, there were better ways to put that water to use?

“nearly 200 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water was drained to the east and west coasts to ease the strain on the erosion-prone dike that protects South Florida from flooding.”

*SEVEN MONTHS OF DRINKING WATER: The amount of Lake Okeechobee water drained east and west and out to sea was enough to supply about seven months of drinking water for the nearly seven million people in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. Water plants in southeast Florida churn out about 840 million gallons of drinking water a day.

*NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF EVERGLADES’ WATER NEEDS: Everglades advocates have called for moving almost 500 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water south each year to help replenish Florida’s struggling River of Grass. The volume of lake water drained east and west for flood control between January and June equated to almost 40 percent of that Everglades restoration goal.”

What can I say. I have posted hundreds of hours of video of people pleading to save our water.

This is recent letter to the Miami Herald from Maggy Hurchella.

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article28476553.html

When you kill the environment to get more water, you end up with less water and you end up with very dirty water.

This is the same James Moran who lectured a crowded meeting room in May.

The crowd was there to ask the SFWMD Board to buy land and send the water south.

Moran said that was impossible and unnecessary, “And I don’t know why you claim it will save the Dade County water supply. They get their water from wells.”

He finally seems to have figured out that Miami-Dade’s wells are in aquifers that are recharged by water flowing south from Lake Okeechobee.

Too late.

Maggy Reno Hurchalla, Miami”

These are people in charge of our water. We know what’s happening. They don’t.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/levelthree/water%20conservation

On the website on SFWMD they have loads of information about water conservation and have been on the news multiple time even having the nerve to tell us to conserve ( I don’t have an issue conserving but I do have an issue with them not conserving. Not just not conserving. Just totally wasting millions and millions of gallons of water send out to tide and destroying our estuary.

Then this happened and i knew the world was just turned upside down.

Rick Scott gets an environmental award.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-developer-to-give-gov-rick-scott-environmentalist-award-7782775

“But Rodney Barreto thinks Scott has been a tree-hugging warrior for Mother Gaia. The Miami developer, who also chairs the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, announced via email this week that at the BlueGreen gala this fall, he’ll honor Scott for his conservation work.

“Governor Scott has been instrumental in helping develop a strong connection between fish and wildlife conservation and traditional outdoors activities like hunting and especially fishing,” Barreto says in a release.

Local environmentalists are aghast at the news. “It’s laughable,” Alan Farago, president of Friends of the Everglades, tells New Times. “In terms of the environment, I think he’s the worst governor in modern Florida history.”

Aghast doesn’t even cover it.”

Fishing. Yes I dare you Rick Scott to come swimming in the Indian River Lagoon.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2015/07/gop-puzzled-by-gov-rick-scotts.html?spref=tw

“Today, a report by AP’s Gary Fineout, “Florida Gov. Scott against at odds with Florida Republicans” sheds light on the award, in the context of a deeply strained relationship between court-penalized Republicans, shuddering at the prospect of having to draw fair districts, and an isolated governor.

What to do with a governor hunkered down in his coastal multi-million dollar estate from which he doesn’t emerge, except to his private jet clutching talking points? Give him an environmental award! Cheer up his mysterious spirits, unknowable except to special interests and cronies.”

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-environment-award-rick-scott-maxwell-20150728-column.html

“On Tuesday morning, I began reaching out to other sponsors of the event. But Tuesday afternoon, the foundation had removed all the sponsors’ names from its website.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

Even the sponsors know its BS. But it will interesting to see who sponsors this event. Let’s stay tuned for that one.

Here is the new guy he picked for the SFWMD board.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article29209648.html

Accursio, 52, whose family owns and farms 2,000 acres in South Miami-Dade County, has been among farmers bitterly complaining about Everglades restoration efforts flooding fields and causing crop losses in the region.

Big Sugar Summit: Wolfram Alderson “Sugar is Toxic “

Big Sugar Summit:  Wolfram Alderson “Sugar is Toxic ”

“The only food item that isn’t on the label is added sugar.”

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Wolfram Alderson, Founding Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Nutrition

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I’m looking forward to the final video with all the slides but this will get you really excited about seeing the entire finished product.

This piece is so important because not only can I share with you guys but I can share with my patients. Most medical people do not pay attention to this information and do not know anything about Metabolic Dysfunction. My own ARNP told me my fatty liver was genetic ( which I don’t doubt its part of it being that I’m Jewish and my ancestors ate things like chicken schmaltz, chopped liver, bagels and cream cheese. The list goes on.

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One of things that I learned is that its impossible to loose weight when you have fatty liver disease. The whole thing makes me very sad when I’ve spent a life time taking good care of my liver and now its screwed up.

Sugar is a huge part of this and also a huge part of the inflammatory process.

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I can tell people this stuff (Including my own cardiologist who looked at me like I have 14 heads) (and my cousins who blow me off.) I can tell them that a peanut and jelly and white is not a heart healthy diet. I can tell them they can give me a smoothie with whole milk if they don’t have almond milk because whole milk has less sugar in it that low fat milk. I can tell them anything that is low fat is high in sugar which is worse for us that the fat and in fact we need fat for our brains.

greatist.com/eat/healthy-fats-best-foods-for-brain-health

The Best Foods for Your Brain (And Why We Might Owe Fat an Apology)

(I’m talking good fat so don’t get too excited.)

“The Top 3 Dietary Fats for Better Brain Health

1. Polyunsaturated Fat
Polyunsaturated fats contain the essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega-3 and omega-6. Our brains need these fats to function properly (studies also show that eating high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids are linked to reduced rates of major depression, but our bodies are unable to produce them. This means it’s important that we include these fat sources in our diets.

2. DHA
An omega-3 fatty acid, DHA has been shown to help brain functions like memory, speaking ability, and motor skills. Increasing dietary levels of omega-3s has been shown to help improve conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.

3. Saturated Fat
Saturated fat is actually one of the main components of brain cells, and is therefore necessary for healthy brain function. In one study, it was found that people who ate more saturated fat reduced their risk for developing dementia by 36 percent. Saturated fat also provides benefits for the liver and immune system and helps maintain proper hormone balance.”

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Because if you have dementia does it really matter if your cholesterol is high?

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/statin-side-effects/art-20046013

And if you have fatty liver disease what are these statins doing to you? For a long time every doctor is ordering statins for people and what is the connection between this dementia. No offense to them but they don’t have to take care of our elderly parents with dementia.

As nurses, teaching nutrition is our greatest gift because we need a doctors order to tell patients to take  Omegas but we certainly don’t need one to tell them to eat foods rich in omegas. We can tell people “Eat a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat, trans fat, refined carbohydrates and salt, and rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.”

or

“Eat good whole foods. Don’t eat anything from a can or a box. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.”

Why? Because there is sugar in everything. It’s added to make thing taste better.

Sorry for the rant. Back to Wolfram. Here are some noteworthy quotes.

“75% percent of our healthcare costs are related to preventable conditions.”

“You are what you metabolize not what you eat.”

“74% of food at the supermarket has added sugar in it.”

“Sugar is hidden in our food supply. 47% in sugary beverages.”

“Total fat consumption has little impact on obesity.”

“if you look back at the last decades at the low food marketing scam which has been selling us low quality carbohydrates with processed food and added sugar in it.”

“The human organism can survive without carbohydrates but not without protein and fats.”

All of us in healthcare need to embrace this and learn more and make it part of our lives the daily conversations with our patients so I hope we can engage Wolfram in more of these conversations.

Like for instance. What do you do for a fatty liver besides cutting out all the bad foods?

Thank you Wolfram for coming to our conference and we hope to hear lots more from you!

This was my blog post from before the conferance

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/06/19/sugar-its-killing-us/

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Big Sugar Summit: Julia Hathaway, Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?

Big Sugar Summit: Julia Hathaway, Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?

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burnt sugar field pahokee

Here is our amazing friend Julia Hathaway at the Big Sugar Summit!   I learned so much from her speech and now I know all the things that can be done with sugar cane if it is green harvested. Brazil and Australia do it!

We can green harvest too. Imagine something good  coming out  this whole mess!

http://sugarcane.org/sustainability/best-practices

Reduced Use of Agrochemicals

Application of pesticides on Brazilian sugarcane fields is negligible and use of fungicides practically nonexistent. Major diseases that threaten sugarcane are fought through biological control, introducing natural enemies to fight pests and advanced genetic enhancement programs.

Brazilian sugarcane growers also apply relatively few industrialized fertilizers, using on average 75 kilograms per hectare. That’s 50% less than the amount typically applied to corn in the United States and 30% less than what’s used for beet sugar in Europe.

Brazilian sugarcane needs fewer chemicals due to the innovative use of organic fertilizers created during sugarcane processing. For instance, sugarcane mills recover residues called filter cake (which is rich in phosphorus) and vinasse (loaded with potassium, organic matter and other nutrients), which they use in place of traditional fertilizers.”

Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?

You can help by going here and filling out this questionnaire.

http://stopsugarburning.org/contact-us/

http://rrvsga.com/sierra-club-activists-call-for-sugar-cane-clean-up/

Sierra Club Activists Call For Sugar Cane Clean-Up

CBS 12 (TV): Sierra Club Activists Call For Sugar Cane Clean-Up By: Jonathan Beaton

“Hundreds of environmentalists gathered Saturday in West Palm Beach, determined to clean up Palm Beach County’s sugar cane industry.

CBS12 attended Sierra Club’s Sugar Cane Summit, talking with activists about what they call our country’s love of fructose and the dangers the crop potentially poses to you and your family.

Wolfram Alverson, a California nutritionist attended the event, telling CBS12 America is too dependent on sugar, saying with each passing year more and more cases of childhood diabetes are diagnosed.

“In fact we’re seeing type 2 diabetes in the womb now so it’s being transferred from mothers to their children, even before they’re born,” said Wolfram Alverson.

Another troublesome aspect of the industry is how the crop is harvested and what gets left behind.

Julia Hathaway with Sierra Club says it’s common practice for some sugarcane to be burned, sending toxic fumes into the air and possibly into our water supply.

Leftover crops she says could be recycled and used for good.

“That can be used to make products including bio-plastic and parts you can use as mulch,” said Julia Hathaway.

For now, Hathaway says she and her fellow activists have their work cut out for them, raising awareness so lawmakers and companies can make changes, for a better Palm Beach County. “It’s a big problem and it’s a big hill to climb but we’re worth it and we should stand up for ourselves.”

http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/sierra-club-activists-call-sugar-cane-cleanup-26720.shtml

If you would like more information or to be involved go here.

http://stopsugarburning.org/get-involved

Here is a piece I did a few weeks ago on sugar burning your lungs.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/06/16/sugar-u-effects-of-burning-sugar-cane-on-your-lungs/

Here is a video of a sugar burn.

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Big Sugar Summit: Keynote Address: Chairman Colley Billie, Miccosukee Tribe

Big Sugar Summit: Keynote Address: Chairman Colley Billie, Miccosukee Tribe

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So honored that Chairman Collie Billie came and he was the keynote speaker at the Big Sugar Summit.

http://blog.nmai.si.edu/main/2014/02/meet-native-america-colley-billie.html

Meet Chairman Collie Billie

“I would like to take this opportunity to bring attention to the plight of the Florida Everglades in the hopes of inciting awareness and support for our struggles to help, protect, and defend this unique ecosystem for the next generations.

The Everglades is our mother. Until recently, it has protected and nurtured us. In our time, the delicate balance of the Florida Everglades has been pushed beyond its breaking point, and the Everglades is dying a slow death. We once were able to drink the clean water of the Florida Everglades. We were able to swim in its waters and eat from the land. Mismanaged by governmental agencies over the past 50 years, the water in the Florida Everglades is now heavily polluted. For this reason, crucial elements of our way of life are no longer possible.

The dire situation in the Everglades is a direct reflection of the struggle of the individual tribal member. We were once people who were able to thrive independently within the sanctuary of the Everglades, and our position has always been to be left alone to live as we used to live before Columbus. Our original way of life has been made virtually impossible because the land that we used to depend on is not the same. In a sense, we have been forced to come out into the non-Indian world and learn how to be a part of it and live in it. One of our responsibilities as members of the non-Indian world is to emphasize the quandary of the Florida Everglades to create positive change. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was started around the year 2000. Thirteen years and over a billion dollars later, it has been unsuccessful in doing what it was purported to do—to re-establish the original path of water from Lake Okeechobee into Florida Bay. For example, the one-mile bridge that was recently constructed on the Tamiami Trail for the purpose of restoring sheet flow to Florida Bay has not done so. Yet there is a two-mile flyover bridge planned for the same purpose.

Historically, the problem with the restoration of the Everglades has been fragmented efforts with no solid, unifying direction. Projects have been based on the perspectives of people versus what is actually required for the Everglades to survive.

For the Miccosukee people, true restoration is to allow water to flow uninterrupted from Lake Okeechobee and wash out into Florida Bay. And that water must be clean. Only when the polluted water is cleaned can the Florida Everglades and its wildlife begin to recover.”

Here,  Chairman Colley Billie is  speaking to the Department of the Interior. If you follow the link you can read the whole thing.

http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP06/20140407/101763/HMTG-113-AP06-Wstate-BillieC-20140407.pdf

‘However, the Tribe strongly opposes the National Park Service’s (NPS) continued efforts to

construct a series of massive skyway bridges on the Tamiami Trail (Trail) including the currently proposed 2.6 mile bridge that will cost $193M because: (1) the bridges will not be permitted to operate as designed due to flooding and water quality concerns; and (2)there already exists a series of culverts that could effectively deliver water, during high water seasons such as if properly maintained at a fraction of the cost. At a minimum, NPS should be held to the requirements of the FY14 Omnibus with respect to securing all the should be held to the requirements of the FY14 Omnibus with respect to securing all the necessary funding for the project before being allowed to move forward with bridging.

My question is why is no one listening to Chairman Colley Billie and the Miccosukee Tribe? This goes beyond Florida to the Federal Government who apparently does not care at all and are willing to let our friends, the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, be polluted. This is shameful.
We have a lot of priorities. This needs to be on the top of the list.
How can we get behind this and make sure that the Miccosukee Tribe has clean water? This must be done.
Please send a message to your US Congressman about this issue. Your more than welcome to use this blog post and the video. If you live in Florida send to your representatives so they clearly understand what they have done by completely ignoring all of us.

Big Sugar Summit: Richard Grosso, Environmental Legal Eagle!

Big Sugar Summit: Richard Grosso, Environmental Legal Eagle!

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

http://evergladeslaw.org/about/history/

History of The Everglades Law Center

Our Beginning

“In 1990, a small group of law professors and lawyers created the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, Inc. to establish a nonprofit law firm dedicated to meeting the needs of the public interest in environmental issues facing Florida. In 1995 the organization hired Richard Grosso, the former Legal Director of 1000 Friends of Florida, as its Executive Director, to establish a legal representation program at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The name of the organization was officially changed in October of 1996 to the Environmental and Land Use Law Center, Inc.

The firm began to expand, adding three additional attorneys to the team, including Senior Staff Attorney Lisa Interlandi in 2001 and now Executive Director and General Counsel Jason Totoiu in 2006. In 2006, the firm changed its name to the Everglades Law Center to reflect its unique role in providing legal, strategic and policy advice to the dozens of organizations and individuals working to restore the Everglades.

Today, the Everglades Law Center celebrates over 20 years of providing legal counsel to nearly forty national, state, and local environmental and conservation organizations. We tackle issues from the Kissimmee River Basin to Florida Bay. We also assist clients on issues affecting other imperiled landscapes and watersheds throughout Florida. Our lawyers are strategically located across the greater Everglades ecosystem.”

http://www.1000friendsofflorida.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Grosso-sea-level.pdf

Planning for Sea Level Rise: Legal Issues Facing Florida
Richard Grosso, Esq.
Professor of Law
Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Clinic
Shepard Broad Law Center Nova Southeastern University
3305 College Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 33314
grossor@nsu.law.nova.edu
We are so thankful for Richard Grosso!
Speaking of Environmental Law I thought this was interesting and humerous.

HO YA GONNA C(S)ITE?” GHOSTBUSTERS AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION DEBATE

CHRISTINE ALICE CORCOS[*]Copyright © 1997 Florida State University Journal of Land Use & Environmental LawI. INTRODUCTION “Ghostbusters,[1] the phenomenally successful[2] Bill Murray/Harold Ramis/Dan Ackroyd comedy is generally considered to be an amusing takeoff on horror films of the thirties and forties, a kid’s movie, or a satire on academia, intellectuals, city government, yuppies, tax professionals, and apathetic New Yorkers.[3] What no one has con sidered this movie to be is a thoughtful introduction to environmental law and policy, suitable for discussion in a law school class,[4] or a serious examination of the competing interests in the environmental regulation debate. Yet, the film’s premise is that ghosts, like television advertising, marshmallows, and non-biodegradable packaging materials, can be classed as pollutants—messy, disruptive, loud, dangerous entities that need to be rounded up effectively and confined forever.[5] Further, a government’s inability to admit that an environmental danger, represented here by psychic pollutants, might exist[6] increases the likelihood that such a danger may damage the environment, just as the government’s unwillingness to recognize the true dangers of the pollutants at Love Canal put nearby inhabi tants at risk.[7] Thus, the film contends that the traditional reaction of the independent-thinking American to a danger which government is unable or unwilling to respond to is a kind of justified vigilantism. Too much government, like too much dependence on government, creates an environment suitable for disaster.”

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Great clip from a great environmental law film.

A compelling story about water!