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.

 

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Stealing amendment 1 money should be a crime.

Stealing amendment 1 money should be a crime.

We need an amendment that says if lawmakers do not support our citizen amendments they get charged with a crime. After all it is stealing.

CSFTS logo

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/fred-grimm/article24812611.html

Instead, as Craig Pittman and Michael Auslen of the Tampa Bay Times reported, that great pile of Amendment 1 money is going to pay for items that normally would have been funded out of the regular budget. For stuff like park maintenance.

But the legislators, in cynical disregard of their constituents’ intent, earmarked $13.65 million of the Amendment 1 money to bail out a water storage project that auditors from the South Florida Water Management District had found was wildly out of whack in terms of cost effectiveness.

That’s just $3.75 million less than what Florida Forever will be getting for new land purchases.

The $13.65 million will bail out agricultural outfits like Alico, with major Florida holdings in citrus, ranching, farming and the very lucrative operations known as “water farming.” Alico is the largest of landowners around Lake Okeechobee paid to store water behind earth berms, meant to keep it from exacerbating the problems of the polluted estuaries of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. As the Tampa Bay Times reported, a 57-page auditor’s report last year found these water farming contracts cost the public 10 times more if these than storage projects had been built on public land. Water farming is a massive boondoggle.

Which might have been beside the point, given that the South Florida Water Management District had run out of money to fund water farming anyway. But all that Florida Forever money presented the likes of Alico another fat funding source.

http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/sections/page/faq

The money will be used for water and land conservation, management, and restoration in Florida. The funds dedicated by Amendment 1 will:

  • Restore, manage, and acquire lands necessary to protect Florida’s drinking water sources and protect the water quality in our rivers, lakes and streams;
  • Protect our beaches and shores;
  • Protect and restore the Everglades and other degraded natural systems and waterways;
  • Manage fish and wildlife habitat, protect forests and wetlands, and restore conservation lands that are an important part of Florida’s economy and quality of life;
  • Provide funding to manage existing state and local natural areas, parks, and trails for water supply, habitat and recreation.

All this will be achieved with no increase in taxes.

Why did we need to amend the state constitution? 

Since 2009, the Legislature has dramatically reduced funding for water and land protection, cutting key programs by more than 95%. Amendment 1 would ensure that water and land conservation projects are adequately funded – the funds cannot be diverted to other purposes – without increasing taxes. The only way to secure significant, sustainable resources for water and land conservation, management and restoration for the long-term is to take this issue directly to Florida voters through a constitutional amendment.

The legislature taketh and then they taketh some more.

How do I know the funds will be spent wisely?
Florida’s conservation programs have a great track record of spending these funds wisely. Amendment 1 ensures that funds are used solely for conservation purposes and cannot be used for any other purpose by the Legislature. Using the state’s existing successful programs as a model, objective criteria will continue to determine how funds are spent in order to keep politics out of the process.

Florida Forever and its predecessor Preservation 2000, for example, have been the most successful state land conservation programs in the nation, protecting more than 2.4 million acres of critical water resources, natural areas, wildlife habitat, parks, greenways and trails. Restoration of the Florida Everglades is the most comprehensive ecological restoration project in history. Florida’s land managing agencies and water management districts have done a tremendous job restoring degraded natural systems, including the state’s longleaf pine forests, the upper St. Johns River watershed and Rookery Bay. Amendment 1 ensures funding so that this critical restoration work will continue.

Now that Amendment 1 has passed, who will be in charge of the money?
While citizens can dedicate funding for water and land conservation in the state constitution, we cannot appropriate funds via the constitution. Appropriations are solely the Legislature’s responsibility. Fortunately, Florida has a number of excellent programs already in place for making project selection decisions. The state has a stellar track record of selecting conservation projects based on objective criteria and science, which includes review by citizens and oversight panels composed of experts from the appropriate fields. The existing Acquisition and Restoration Council is one good example. Amendment 1 does not change these existing project selection systems. So while the Legislature must appropriate the funds, the existing tried and true systems in place for project selection would not change now that Amendment 1 has been ratified.

Oh! Remember this?

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/04/15/pr-firm-plays-both-sides-of-the-road-makes-stupid-remarks/

One source for money to revive the water-farming contracts was money from the taxpayers from the rest of the state, via the Legislature. But the water district’s governing board, under state law, is not allowed to hire its own lobbyists to pursue funding.

Instead, Alico did it for them.

The company employed 16 lobbyists last year, and it turned them loose on the Legislature to get $13 million to pump new life into the project. Alico spokeswoman Sarah Bascom said the company was just helping out a state agency in need, and its lobbyists did not specifically ask for money for Alico’s own contract.”

June is educate your legislators in mental illness month. I said so!

@joenegronfl

who said

http://fcir.org/2012/07/26/florida-slips-even-lower-in-mental-health-funding/

“More specifically, state Sen. Joe Negron, R-Palm City, advocated cuts to so-called soft services, which include mental health and drug-addiction programs, because many of these services address what Negon views as “a lack of willpower, a lack of discipline, a lack of character.” Negron was the chair of appropriations for health and human services in the state Senate.”

This attitude has got to change. We cannot have legislators that do not believe in taking  care of our most vulnerable people and do not believe in science.

Mental illness knows no parties. It is a bipartisan disease.

mental-health1-1050x641

Let’s educate our legislators. Let’s make a difference.

Let’s make June “Educate your legislators on mental illness month.”

Society is Judged By How They Treat the Most Vulnerable.

What does this say about us?

http://www2.nami.org/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm?ContentFileID=93487

Mental Illness Is Common
Of Florida’s approximately 18.3 million residents, close to  660,000 adults live with serious mental illness
and about 181,000 children live with serious mental health conditions.
Untreated Mental Illness has Deadly and Costly Consequences
In 2006, 2,440 Floridians died by suicide.
Suicide is almost always the result of untreated or under-
treated mental illness.
Public Mental Health Services
are Inadequate to Meet Needs
Florida’s public mental health system
m provides services to only 26 percent of adults who live with
serious mental illnesses in the state.
Florida spent just $38 per capita on mental health
agency services in 2006, or $686.6 million
Nationally, an average of 70 percent is spent
on community mental health services and 28 percent on state hospital care.
by the numbers
Criminal Justice Systems Bear a Heavy Burden
In 2006, 7,302 children were incarcerated in Florida’s juvenile justice system.
Nationally,
approximately 70 percent of youth in juvenile justice
systems experience mental health disorders, with
20 percent experiencing a
severe
mental health condition.
In 2008, approximately 24,600 adults with mental
illnesses were incarcerated in prisons in Florida.
Additionally, an estimated 31 percent of female and 14
percent of male jail inmates nationally live with
serious mental illness.
Many Residents Rely on Public Services for Needed Care
Approximately 10.1 percent of Floridians are enrolled in Medicaid.
Housing is Unaffordable for People who rely on SSI or SSDI.
The average rent for a studio apartment in Florida is
119 percent of the average Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) payment, making housing unaffordable
for adults living with serious mental illness who rely on SSI.
Here is an article from Science Daily

Brain circuit problem likely sets stage for the ‘voices’ that are symptom of schizophrenia

Scientists have identified problems in a connection between brain structures that may predispose individuals to hearing the ‘voices’ that are a common symptom of schizophrenia. Researchers linked the problem to a gene deletion. This leads to changes in brain chemistry that reduce the flow of information between two brain structures involved in processing auditory information.

Here is a video by ROCHE that is a simple explanation on schizophrenia.

The biology of schizophrenia.

Mental Disorders as Brain Disorders: Thomas Insel at TEDxCaltech

Do our Legislators Need to be Credentialed?

Our Legislators Need to be Credentialed.

politicians

As a nurse I have to be credentialed into order to work. I had to go to school, take my boards, pay for my license. I have to complete continuing education. That’ s just to keep my license. Then in order to be a nurse and have a job I have to do the following.

1. Have my level 2 back ground screening ; get fingerprinted (Florida and FBI) ; always  be open to a drug test;

http://floridasnursing.gov/help-center/what-is-a-level-2-background-screening/

sign a “good moral character”affidavit

http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/backgroundscreening/docs/APD%20Affidavit%20of%20Good%20Moral%20Character%20August%202010.pdf

There’s more. There is a big long list of things you have to do even after you go to nursing, take your boards, pass the test, get the license.

Even to be a MRC volunteer you have to do these things.

I also have to have an active CPR certificate.

I don’t have problem a doing any of these things.  I would want to the person taking care of me to have to do the same thing. If we had our politicians following the same rules I bet  we could get  rid of a good amounts of politicians out there.

There are many other employees in health care and other various fields that have to do the same thing. including: Various City Governments AND Water Management Facility  Employees. Interesting.

Employees yes

but Boss’s NOT. hmmmm…..

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/getdoc/b059be98-4e2d-45fc-b823-92573ab76e11/A9R6E83.aspx

A positive note is if your candidate is in health care or any of these other fields that require either level one or level two then you know they’ve been checked out!

So I wondered what do politicians have to do to run so they can be charge of all the rules and laws that essentially run our lives  and I found this.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=A0LEVi38SWpVXFoAAMAnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBybGY3bmpvBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–?qid=20090502234123AAZjMrW&p=politicians%20credentials

“To become a politician you would need to major in Deceit, lying, thieving and expenses or bribe taking.”

CSFTS logo

LOL

But really they don’t have to produce anything.  Not even a CPR card.

FBI GUY: If your a politician and your taking money and your voting on matters that affect the people your taking money from you shouldn’t do that. It’s pretty simple.

What can we do about the death of Florida Bay, our water, our river, our eastuaries? Bring me the person in charge!

What can we do about the death of Florida Bay, our water, our river, our estuaries?

Feeling frustration? Yes me too.

This just in from the keys free press.

Why is Rick Scott destroying Florida?

http://pdf.keysnews.com/weeklys/freepress.pdf

 Opinion piece that is in this weeks Florida Keys Free Press at http://pdf.keysnews.com/weeklys/freepress.pdf that reads as follows:

Florida Bay needs clean water now

Unless the South Florida Water Management District takes immediate action to restore flows of clean fresh water to the southern Everglades, its governing board and the man who appointed them, Gov. Rick Scott, will go down in history as the people who destroyed South Florida’s coastal fisheries.

Most estuaries in the district’s jurisdiction are on the verge of collapse. By assaulting the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers with billions of gallons of filthy runoff and depriving Florida Bay of clean fresh water, the district is knowingly destroying many of the iconic waters that make Florida the Fishing Capital of the World.

The discharges out the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers get the most media attention, since they’re urban waterways and always in the public eye. But what’s going wrong in Florida Bay is also reprehensible and costly, especially in the context of Florida Keys tourism. One of Florida Bay’s most popular and prolific fish species, the spotted sea trout or “speckled trout,” has virtually disappeared. Recent studies confirm what veteran anglers like me witness on the water — a near absence of the second most commonly caught fish in Florida Bay, which also happens to be the state’s most commonly targeted species.

You really have to work hard at destroying an estuary to crash spotted sea trout populations. Female trout spawn as frequently as each full and new moon from March through October, broadcasting hundreds of thousands of eggs into waters where they’ve spawned for millennia.

These offspring can survive in a pretty wide range of salinity levels. However, water that’s too salty causes brown algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching seagrass meadows, killing seagrasses and depriving juve- niles of essential cover. Annual hatches of shrimp and crabs, which provide nutrition for juvenile trout, depend upon spring- and summertime influxes of fresh water as well. Without clean, fresh water mixing in the bay, the little trout and many other species don’t get enough to eat. Extremely salty water also interferes with a juvenile trout’s ability to breathe.

Boating and fishing are two of Florida’s biggest economic engines. So you’d think the state that touts itself as the Fishing Capital of the World would bend over backwards to ensure that its most fertile coastal waters get the right amount of clean water at the right times, to maximize the numbers of fish and other marine life these waters can produce. After all, recreational fish- ing in salt water alone generates at least $7.6 billion, with more than $1 billion of that income generated in Everglades watersheds.

Instead, fishermen like me embrace science-based fisheries management and adhere to catch limits recommended by scientists, only to watch fisheries and the ecosystems they belong to crash because of water mismanagement.
We’re tired of being ignored. Florida Bay needs more fresh water, the same water that’s destroying the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee. To restore our coastal fisheries, the district needs to expand water storage, clean the water and send it south from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades and Florida Bay. … Our fisheries are running out of time, our jobs are on the line and our patience has run out.

Capt. Matt Bellinger, Bamboo Charters, Islamorada

One way you can help this weekend is to attend one of these rallies.

http://floridawaterlandlegacy.org/sections/page/may30events

Finish the Job: May 30 Eventsmay30eventsmap-updated

Click on any city below for more information.

Alachua

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: 15935 NW US Hwy 441, Alachua, FL 32615
(Parking at Lowes, Sonny’s BBQ, or other nearby lots. This is the stretch of 441 that everyone uses to get to Spring Country!)

Lead organizers: Heather Culp, hculp@floridaspringsinstitute.org and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, merrilleeart@aol.com

Bradenton

When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Manatee County Courthouse, 1115 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205

Lead organizer: Sandra Ripberger, sandrarip@yahoo.com

Fort Myers

When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Lee County Alliance of the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., Ft. Myers, FL 33919

Lead organizers: Ray Judah, ray.judah@icloud.com and John Scott, greenguy@smartgreenhelp.com

Jacksonville

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: Walter Jones Historical Park, 11964 Mandarin Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32223

Lead organizers: Jimmy Orth, jorth@ju.edu and Lisa Rinaman, lisa@stjohnsriverkeeper.org

Melbourne

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: Grills Riverside, 6075 N US Hwy 1, Melbourne, FL 32940
On the Lagoon, east side of US Hwy 1, just north of Pineda Causeway.

Lead organizer: Spence Guerin, spenceguerin@earthlink.net

Miami

City of South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard invites you to a public meeting with the Water and Land Legacy Coalition.
When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: South Miami City Hall Commission Chamber, 6130 Sunset Dr., South Miami, FL 33143

Lead organizer: Tabitha Cale, tcale@audubon.org

Orlando

When: 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Where: Eagle’s Nest Park, 5165 Metrowest Blvd, Orlando, FL 32811

Lead organizer: Deborah Green, watermediaservices@icloud.com

Stuart

When: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Terra Fermata, 26 SE 6th St., Stuart, FL 34994

(Stick around for the Dirty River Jam, benefiting Indian Riverkeeper!)

Lead organizer: Marty Baum, indianrivguy@yahoo.com

Tampa

When: 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Where: Cypress Point Park, 5620 W. Cypress St., Tampa, FL 33607

Lead organizers: Elizabeth Fleming, efleming@defenders.org, Kent Bailey, kent.bailey@florida.sierraclub.org, Frank Jackalone, frank.jackalone@sierraclub.org

ToDo%20FB%20EventBannerWithDate

This has got to be fixed. All these people are in charge

SFWMD

The Legislature

Rick Scott

Seems to me like its a concerted effort to destroy Florida. or at least privatize it.

or even better!

and we are still being destroyed

Dolphin Ecology Project: Let’s help our Southern IRL Dolphin Family

Dolphin Ecology Project

dolphineo

Yesterday, I caught up with Nik Mader of the Dolphin Ecology Project at Paddlefest 2015.

DSC_0005

We have around 100 resident dolphins in the southern Indian River Lagoon. They live here like we live here.

who

Nik reminds us what happens to the water happens to the Dolphins.

So if this happens to us it happens to the dolphins.

St Lucie River middle estuary, February 2015.

We can go to our houses. This is their house.

http://www.dolphinecology.org/FindOut/

The Dolphin Ecology Project is establishing a long-term field research and monitoring program to collect these data and evaluate how dolphins respond to changes in ecosystem health. Throughout the year, Project staff, scientists and volunteers photograph individual dolphins for identification and observe their activities, along with sampling environmental parameters and identifying and measuring the abundance of important dolphin prey species. Over time the Project intends to gain a better understanding about how dolphins utilize the different habitats that comprise the Florida Keys. The Project’s educational goal is to increase public awareness about dolphins and the interrelated nature of the Florida Keys’ habitats and the importance of South Florida ecosystem restoration efforts.

http://www.dolphinecology.org/help/index.html

Volunteer to help with this exciting Project! Contact the Volunteer Stewardship Exchange of The Nature Conservancy at 305-289-9060. Become a Dolphin Ecology Project Member. Your contribution will support the ProjectÕs research and education programs, ensuring a sustainable future for humans, dolphins, and the ocean environment. 

If you go to the link above there is a  membership form link on the left, you can print the form and send it in with your tax deductible contribution.

They also have a nice poster with all the local dolphins on them and their t-shirts are beautiful.

Let’s make sure we support this wonderful project that supports our neighbors, the dolphins of the southern indian river lagoon.

Most of all lets support our good neighbors the dolphins of the southern indian river lagoon.

jump_frame

Who could blame them if this happened?

“So long and thanks for all the fish” from the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

SFWMD: Employee Review: Advice to Management. Pray for no catastrophe because you won’t be able to deal with one.

@SFWMD

@JaxStrong

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

Remember this day. The day of Issac. I’ll never forget. I thought I was going to marooned on Floresta. I thought the river was overflowed.. The water was half way up the mailboxes , the ground was caving in on Primavista, Federal was totally flooded. All the news channels were focused on down south and boy did those folks have it bad.

http://gotowncrier.com/2012/09/letter-sfwmd-to-blame-for-the-flooding/

shot the day of issac going north on the Roosevelt bridge

shot the day of issac going north on the Roosevelt bridge

But the SFWMD is pointing their long fingers at everyone else. First, they blame Acreage residents for “building in a swamp, and they deserve what they get.” Well, for the record, The Acreage is not and never was a swamp — at least not before the SFWMD came onto the scene. The vast majority of land in The Acreage is scrub land, not swamp land. Pine trees don’t grow in swamps.

Now, more recently, the SFWMD is blaming Gov. Rick Scott for the flooding. They claim that he cut their funding, which somehow caused the canals not to work right. But Rick Scott has been governor for only a few years. Why hasn’t the SFWMD fixed the canals previously? So basically, the SFWMD can try blaming others for their negligence, but ultimately, the flooding was all their fault — not the Indian Trail Improvement District, not the Acme Improvement District, not Rick Scott, not Isaac, not Santa Claus and not anyone but the management of SFWMD.

Employee Review from Indeed

http://www.indeed.com/cmp/South-Florida-Water-Management-District/reviews

Best Days are in the Past
HR Professional (Former Employee), West Palm Beach, FLMay 8, 2014
Pros: benefits and co-workers, working in beautiful s fl
Cons: executive management, hr and compensation
Politics overwhelmed every work day with the science and technology taking a back seat.
Yes (9)No (1)

employee review

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-South-Florida-Water-Management-District-RVW5935370.htm

FEB 2015

OK place to work, but VERY political environment.

Current Employee – Senior Real Estate Professional in West Palm Beach, FL

I have been working at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)

Recommends
Positive Outlook

Pros

Benefits such as health insurance, vacation leave, sick leave and holidays are all very good. The work itself is fulfilling. Central Palm Beach County, Florida location is good.

Cons

Three words – Political, Political, Political. The SFWMD is dictated by the Governor, and it was never so bad as now. Since the new governor came into office four years ago, the organization has become mediocre (versus the envy of the world) and the employees have lost numerous benefits including paid vacation accrual, holidays, educational reimbursements, leave buyout at termination and a much weakened defined benefit program.

Advice to Management

Do the right thing regardless of what the state politicos want you to do. Make efforts to regain trust and loyalty of your employees.

JAN 2015

Used to be a family, now it is a political whip for the Gov.

Former Employee – Anonymous Employee

I worked at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)

Recommends
Neutral Outlook

Pros

Great benefits, however getting worse with the current political agendas. Great work life balance and investing opportunities. For an agency of the State, they provide a semi-competitive salary. Excellent computer technology and top of the line systems. Better than even some large private companies, this organization attempts to provide the best tools to it’s employees in order to be more efficient.

Cons

After the reorganization, moral has dwindled. Benefits continue to be cut, and the agency is headed toward being run like a state agency. Highly political. Decisions often made contradict laws and rules of Florida.

Advice to Management

Don’t lose the “family” feeling by beating up employees just to satisfy the Governor.

Dec 2014

Used to be a great place to do great work

Current Employee – Anonymous Employee

I have been working at South Florida Water Management District full-time (More than 10 years)

Doesn’t Recommend
Negative Outlook

Pros

The work has the potential to be very fulfilling and meaningful. Above average benefits.

Cons

Working for a governor and state legislator who think government employees are akin to welfare cheats. Pay is below the market rate (and that’s OK) – but now no raises for 7 years, people who are working at higher levels still aren’t getting promoted, and work that is supposed to be getting done, isn’t because the staffing has been cut back too far.

Advice to Management

Pray for no catastrophe because you won’t be able to deal with one. No enough of the right (trained) staff and funds.

Yikes. Not what you want to be reading right before Hurricane Season.

This is already happening.

Yes they have used eminent domain before.

http://florida.newszap.com/okeechobeenorthlake/119601-113/luna-family-continues-to-fight-sfwmd-in-court-over-land

“OKEECHOBEE—During eminent domain trial proceedings Wednesday, surveyors from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) admitted that property the district is trying to take was never surveyed.

The district is trying to acquire over 300 acres along the Kissimmee River in northern Okeechobee County that belongs to members of the Luna family. The district now says the property is needed for the Kissimmee River Restoration Project.

“The family is willing to grant them easements, that’s all they (SFWMD) need,” said Mr. Wright.

But instead of taking easements, the district is also wanting to take approximately 263 acres in fee simple. This means the SFWMD would then own that property outright and could do whatever it wants with the land.”

As we can see SFWMD is not the happiest place on earth. Not only have they screwed up but somehow they have made what was a non partisan issue partisan. All this time we have been going there they just told us they couldn’t do what we asked but they never said “We think we have a better idea.” Why?  Because they don’t.  They apparently don’t believe in sea level rise, or salt water intrusion, or in CERP that was suppose to be a water storage project south of the lake, or the fact that Everglades are dying, and wells in south florida are filling up with salt water.  They are full speed ahead to privatize our water. Stay tuned to a water bill near you.

what ever happens we’re gonna need a bigger boat.