New digs! Follow me there!

I just put this page together and it’s in it infancy. I’m so sick of all the propaganda and thuggery. On all sides. I’m sick of peoples egos getting in the way.

So please follow me here/

Treasure Coast Free Press

I’m also the Editor of Treasurecoast.com

I’m having a blast over there. We reworked our website and posting some great stuff. I’m looking for writers if you are local. You can contact me at clenz@mac.com

treasurecoastlogo8

Free Treasure Coast Thanksgiving Dinners

Last year I didn’t have the energy to drive to Orlando so I stayed home and spent the day with Pastor Guy at Jensen Beach Christian Church and helped to serve and eat Thanksgiving Dinner.

I did the same thing the first year I lived here serving at another church. It was a great experience.

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Here is a list of wonderful places serving up Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving day. You can go and eat or help or both.

Free or low cost thanksgiving dinners

Jupiter

El Sol Jupiter
106 Military Trail
Jupiter
561-745-9860

Martin County
Jensen Beach Christian Church
1890 NE Church St
Jensen Beach, FL 34957
noon to six

Thanksgiving Feast: 1,000 meals will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis. Gertrude Walden Child Care Center, 601 SE Lake St., Stuart, 9-11 am, Nov. 24.
Thanksgiving Meal: First United Methodist Church of Stuart, Fellowship Hall, 1500 S Kanner Hwy., 11 am-1 pm, Nov. 24. To volunteer or to donate food: 772-781-0223.
Indian River County
First Church of God, 1105 58th Avenue, is again opening its doors to the community on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26 for a complimentary dinner served 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
Thanksgiving Dinner: For homeless & home alone. Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1850 6th Ave., Vero Beach, noon, Nov. 24. RSVP: 772-567-2253.
Thanksgiving meal: For homeless; 1-3 p.m. Nov. 24, Homeless Family Center, 720 4th St., Vero Beach. To donate or volunteer, call 772-567-5537; HomelessFamilyCenter.com.

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Thanksgiving Dinner: IRMC cafeteria, 1000 36th St., Vero Beach, 11 am-2 pm; 4-7 pm, Nov. 24. $7.95. No reservations. 772-567-4311, ext. 1600; irmc.cc.

ST Lucie County
Mustard Seed Ministries Thanksgiving feast: Donate turkeys, money, volunteer, call 772-465-6021. Receive a meal 772-460-5414. Orange Ave., 9th Street, Fort Pierce and Discovery Church, 7650 S. U.S. 1, Port St. Lucie. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 24.

If you hear of anyplace else just let me know. Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why? Because reading matters. It really does.

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

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

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

Here is the new poll in order :

 

Here is each book :

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

Authors: Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite

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

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

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

The Everglades: River of Grass Marjory Stoneman Douglas

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

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

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

The Swamp

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

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

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

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

The Lorax

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The Lorax is free online.

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

ecosystemsbook

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

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

The Diversity of Life by Edward O Wilson.

diversityoflife

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

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

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

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

A Land Remembered by Patrick Smith

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

 

And lastly

The River Kidz Present Marty the Manatee

martythemanatee

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is from Jacqui’s blog:

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

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

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

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

 

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

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Help Save the Everglades from more destruction, STOP ROGG (River of Grass Greenway).

Please sign the petition! (Even if you don’t live here you could visit)

https://www.change.org/p/help-save-the-everglades-from-more-destruction-stop-rogg-river-of-grass-greenway

Please share this page!

Published on Jun 26, 2015

“These are all images from the ROGG plan that look to be on the path that will be removed. Please sign the petition we have on Change.org to stop this project. https://www.change.org/search?q=rogg July 1st is the deadline to submit public comment to Mark Heinicke at email: MHEINIC@miamidade.gov and by postal mail to: Mark Heinicke, Project Manager of the ROGG and Project Planner with the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Planning and Design Excellence Division, 275 NW 2nd Street, 4th Floor, Miami, FL 33128-1794, phone: 305-755-7811.

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Shannon Larson at 904-654-0200 ancientrees@hotmail.com; Betty Osceola at 786-385-6743 oohopee@aol.com; Houston R. Cypress at 786-897-4582 EvergladesActNow@gmail.com; Karen Dwyer at 239-404-2171 dwyerka@gmail.com
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, CONCERNED CITIZENS & ALLIES TAKE TO THE STREETS OF MIAMI TO PROTEST PAVED 76-MILE BIKE HIGHWAY
The proposed River of Grass Greenway would be a 76-mile hard surface pathway 20 to 40 feet wide, running from Naples to Miami cutting through six national and state parks – some of the most ecologically sensitive lands in the nation – estimated initial costs to build ROGG will cost taxpayers $140 million dollars. Long-term costs even more costly. At ground zero in restoration efforts, eyes around the world are watching to see if Florida can save the Everglades. Yet, the so-called River of Grass Greenway project is independent of the massive 30 year Restoration Project, and could interfere with CERP. Opponents claim the 76-mile bike highway would destroy wetlands, disrupt watersheds, encroach on indigenous lands, disturb historic battlefields, undermine restoration efforts and open the door to commercialization of the Big Cypress and Everglades. They say the area is readily accessible and already has more than enough highways, trails, bike paths, swamp walks, observations towers, and vast array of existing recreational opportunities. “Shutdown the ROGG: Defend Nature by leaving it undisturbed” reads one of their signs and “Moccasins on the Ground NOT pavement” another.
Recent words by Bobby C. Billie, Spiritual Leader and Clan Leader of the Council of the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Aboriginal People who will be leading the event: “The most important thing with this project is the destruction of the Natural World that the Creator has given us. The indigenous people know the Creations the Creator has given us; the Water, the Air, the Trees, the Plants, the Grasses, and all the Insects living in the Grasses, must survive in order that we may survive.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/stopping-rogg-and-the-human-impact-on-mother-earth-zero-impact-is-mandatory

We took in a 5 day workshop led by Betty Osceola and Bobby C Billie mostly though other Nations from around the country had shown up in support of this historic peaceful opposition.We chose the opportunity and challenge to put ourselves out in the care of our Indigenous Nations hosts while walking for 5 days across Tamiami Trail (41) and the Everglades from Naples to Miami. We chose to endure and learn about Mother Nature and her wounds that continue to bleed. We have connected in spirit to help right some wrongs, crimes, against not only Mother Earth but the area and all of its life,its waters, its air, its wildlife, and its Indigenous people. The Everglades has been encroached upon and has been damaged for many years and continues to be treated as if its a place for development to conquer.The Everglades needs to be repaired and have zero impact of plans and projects forced upon it. Why must we come up with an idea and think its good when its not, is it the people we hang around with, is it a mob mentality of only a fool cant see that its right? I’ve lost respect for many of the blowhard egotists I used to see as icons and saviors of our community and planet and see that they sway with the group they follow or out of fear for the job they hold. Shame on us for supporting this so blindly without research or our knowledge of current actions needed to help restore some health to the Everglades. Why would any choose to continue to make strides backwards before any movement forward has even been made. Where were the numbers from the so-called Enviro-groups that can only support special interests because of funding? Shame on both Collier County/The City of Naples, Everglades City and all the entities that have pledged support of this salt to the wounds project. This project, its roadway, its lights,its bathrooms,its concessions, its many parking areas are all adding more damage to the land and desecrating the sovereignty of the Indigenous people that struggle with our ways and try to steward a seriously sick area of nature. NO ROGG/ NO IMPACT/NO WAY, THIS HAS BEEN A BAD IDEA FROM THE START AND IS A MEANS FOR MORE DEVELOPMENT. SEEK YOUR SPIRIT,I COULD NOT SUPPORT THIS WITH GOOD CONSCIENCE AND I CANT SEE HOW ANY WOULD.

http://wlrn.org/post/everglades-bike-path-yea-or-nay

Since the project was proposed in 2012, environmentalists have petitioned and protested, saying the path would set back Everglades restoration. Supporters and ROGG committee members say the path would create a safe way for people to enjoy the park and increase Everglades education.

Revision 7-15-2015 at 4:29 pm – NEW DEADLINE Aug 1, 2015 – Extended July 15th deadline provides the ability to send more comments to mheinic@miamidade.gov Here are some abbreviated ideas statements one could reword as they like to make points they might not have already made about ROGG.

1 There is not enough space to install ROGG as planned on US 41 and maintain current level of safety for motorists or current quality of habitat adjacent to US 41 ROGG will eliminate from existence due to ROGG being installed on top of them.

2 An ROGG plan conceptual idea of narrowing the outside width of US 41 by 8 feet (25%) in unspecified sections to facilitate a stealthful speed reduction based on fear of head on collisions is a deadly idea to even consider and should be permanently dropped.

3 Motorist safety will be cut by 50% due to ROGG and design B-9 due to ROGG taking up 50% of the historically available space to safely pull off US 41 (Tamiami Trail).

4 The May 2015 plan aside from a few design details is mostly a promotional brochure touting statistics based upon totally subjective data to skew results in favor of developing this culturally, environmentally and financially destructive idea.

5 Many have asked why are they wanting this – This project’s origin is at or very close to a road building family (the Bonness family) in Collier county that has a good chance reap millions (145 of them) if the project is built.

6 We do not want to see our Indigenous neighbors that actually live on the ROGG path on US 41 have to put up with the negative repercussions ROGG will cause to their lives significant religious sites that ROGG construction will unavoidably be the direct cause of..

7 Hundreds if not Thousands of mature Cypress near US 41 are currently planned to be cut as per the preferred alternatives shown in the May 2015 ROGG master plan.

8 Between ROGG construction operation and maintenance for 20 years the plan estimates cost to be $225,000,000 dollars of taxpayer money. Their estimate did not include design, construction set up or Mitigation for environmental harm which will be a huge that plan authors chose to not include anywhere. This is an unjustifiable financial burden to put on taxpayers for a path anywhere other than urban areas crying for good paths that will actually save local lives lost due to the lack of them every year.”

facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/StopROGG?fref=ts

How much more are we going to do to the Indigenous people. We are killing them with water issues and this is just more disrespect to their traditions and sacred sites? That one. How long will this site be up when people start demanding starbucks and other places to eat and drink along the way? Before you know it will be  a road because because people won’t want to ride their bikes. Or a tram ride. All in the name of moeny. It’s a lot of money spent that will interfere with the restoration of the Everglades.”

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.

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

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

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

What was penny a pound?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fight

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

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

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

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

saveeg

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

An amazing effort by Save the Everglades!

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

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

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

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

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

Albert Slap, Key Biscayne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Your Voice is Important

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

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

 hypocracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember us.

Slick.

Sick.

Slicky RIcky

omg

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

Where was the news when this happened?

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

 

Our 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.