Sugar U: The US Sugar Corp

@sugarcard2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Florida,

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

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

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

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

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

 Respectfully,

The Sugarland Rally Committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

olive branch

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

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

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

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

On the corner of “Happy and Healthy”

DSC_0016

US Sugar

US Sugar

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Sugar_Corporation

DSC_0031

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

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

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

DSC_0022

US Sugar Corp campaign to help cancer

Here are some people you may know that work there.

Robert Coker

coker-full

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

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

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

Malcolm “Bubba” Wade

mbw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JUDY C. SANCHEZ

sanchez-full

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

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

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

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

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

I think this tweet says it all.

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

Don’t be a bad arnie!

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

or this

Advertisements

The Uninvited. Barking up the wrong tree.

the-uninvited-movie-poster-1944-1020170508

So you know when you call someone on the phone and you talk and talk and then they interrupt and say ” You got the wrong number.” Then your embarrassed and apologize and try to figure out what number should have been called. Sometime’s you just dialed wrong and sometimes you have the wrong number.

Or you go to the wrong house and the kindly people at the door direct you to the correct place. That!

You know human things that we do. Honestly. Politeness. Respect of our fellow human beings. Every day life with our fellow travelers.

So, our good friend of the Indian River Lagoon  and awesome blogger Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch wrote this blog.

http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/06/01/trying-to-understand-the-structure-of-the-sfwmd-within-government-st-lucie-riverindian-river-lagoon/

“A few months ago when the South Florida Water Management District was ignoring a desperate and pleading public that had come before them begging for the purchase of the US Sugar Option Lands through Amendment 1 monies, to help save the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon and Calooshatchee, I drove to West Palm Beach and met with high level officials. They were very nice but it was a frustrating meeting. Basically I asked them, “What are you doing?” “Why are you acting like this?”

The answer?

“Commissioner, you know the power isn’t in our hands anymore anyway…”
“What do you mean?” I inquired.

A conversation around the table ensured:

SFWMD: “Well after the debacle that occurred 2008-2010 with then Governor Charlie Christ, the recession, and the attempted buyout of all of US Sugar’s lands, basically a water district was trying to purchase a corporation…..the Florida Legislature got fed up.  So later,  in section 373.556 of Florida Statutes, the Florida Legislature made sure the District would never be in a position to do that again….Significant legislative changes have occurred related to water management budgeting with substantial ramification for Water Management District land transactions. In 2013, Senate Bill 1986 provided that certain District land transaction should be subject to the scrutiny of the Legislative Budget Commission. As this bill renewed the authority of the Governor to approve or disapprove the SFWMD budget, as with all water management budgets of the state, we can no longer do things we have done in the past like oversee giant land purchases using the monies from our ad-valorem taxes…There is a lot more to it but that’s the main difference now. You are talking to the wrong people….”

I stood there just staring…..”I didn’t know this gentlemen, so how do you expect the public to know this ? Are you telling me, the SFWMD has no power to purchase those Sugar Lands?”

“I am telling you the legislature is in charge of the budget and we don’t have enough money to buy the lands, and couldn’t without their approval….”

“So why don’t you explain that to the public?” I asked.

Stares….

Long awkward silence….

The reply was more or less: “It’s best not to get involved in such a discussion…..”

I lectured them on the importance of communication and education and said they certainly still have influence even if they say they “do not” …..but this did go over particularly well… the meeting ended. I shook their hands. I felt like an idiot. I drove home.”

Poor Jacqui.

We were the uninvited.

“Shall I tell you who taught you the things you’ve done. The things you’ve said”

So my question is  who does that?  Why not just say so. Why not just say “Your barking up the wrong tree?”

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.

Michael Grunwald at the Elliot Museum

IMG_0342    

 

Last night, with a sold out crowd,

Michael  Grunwald came to talk to us all at the our new and improved Elliot Museum. The event was sponsored by BullSugar and anonymous supporters. It was first of what I hope will be many lectures we can attend at Elliot.

The video taken will be available at Elliot and also from Bullsugar so other’s will be able to watch.

I bought my third copy of this book last night. I have no idea where the first copy went and the second is out there somewhere. This one is signed so it stays in the bookcase.

This is one of my top ten favorite books ever. It’s not an easy read not because it’s hard to understand. There is a huge amount of detail. In order to understand the sad sad story of Everglades you have to understand the detail.  You have to understand the plumbing. The Universe created The Everglades. Man screwed it up. We screwed up the plumbing

 

This was suppose to be a storage project yet there is no storage.

 

and he also said “There is no Plan B”

Which is correct. I think I said the same thing yesterday because we never asked (or maybe we did and they just never answered)  them what was their plan to stop the discharges, recharge the aquifers, send water to the Everglades, stop salt water intrusion and prevent sea level rise. What are the people who are in charge of the plumbing doing to protect our water and deal with these issues?

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/05/13/if-its-thursday-its-sfwmd/

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2015/04/10/so-here-i-am-telling-the-board-of-govenors-about-my-trip-to-the-beach/

 

Also noted Rober Coker     was in the house. Robert is Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, of United States Sugar Corporation. He serves on the board of directors for the Florida Sugar Cane League, the Board of Trustees of BIZ-PAC of Palm Beach County and is a member of the Board of Governors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. He lives here. He is also a trustee on the http://www.stuartmartinchamber.org/trustees.asp

(That’s interesting)

 

People got frustrated at the end because they felt Michael was defending big sugar by saying they had a right to be a business, and they have cleaned up their act. (you’ll have to watch the video when its released).

I think at the end it got a little mooshed up and Michael does not quite understand what our particular issues are  here right now.

Yes, big sugar has a right to be a company, but most companies have to live and die by their own devices not on subsidies created by Corporate Wellfare. So Big Sugar pull yourselves up by your bootstraps. We don’t get Medicaid Expansion why should you get corporate subsidies.

Next, we went out there to talk to talk to these  guys and they  vilified us.

When this whole thing happened in 2013 we were told we had to have discharges to protect the people south of the Lake. What has been done to fix this particular spot so these people will be safe and the lake can hold more water? Why is this not fixed two years later?

The Big sugar corporation is the one behind us not getting the land to build the reservoir. It’s their influence in Tallahassee and SFWMD that is in the way of stopping our discharges, recharging the aquifers, stopping salt water intrusion, and sea level rise. Big Sugar is standing in the way of fixing the plumbing.

 

I could write forever and bore you all to tears but the bottom line is the bottom line.

The plumbing has to be fixed and what is the plan to do so?

Thank You Michael for coming! Hopefully one day you can come back and bring your family and go swimming in our lagoon.

Everyone else be sure to look for this video on Bullsugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Toxic Algae. Poison Poised and ready to kill us.

@BarackObama

@joenegronfl

@RepMurphyFL

@SteveCrisafulli

@JaxStrong

DSC_0030

Green Toxic Algae is poised and ready to be sent down our water ways that will result in the horrible destruction of our Estuary, our sea grass, our oysters, our health and the health of all life that lives in the St Lucie River and the Indian RIver Lagoon.

You can go back and read this blog especially here.

https://cyndi-lenz.com/2014/11/03/a-river-warrior-gets-out-the-vote

I brought the issue up to date and included the video from the Sugarland Rally when we went to Clewiston with open hearts and the Sugar Rulers instead of seeing that one day we would need a solution to this issue basically blackballed our good efforts. Maybe if back then the people would have come and thought for themselves we could have come up with a solution.

and you can go here and read our documentation of this issue for the past 2 1/2 years

https://www.facebook.com/SaintLucieRiverofLight

and you can go here and read Jacqui’s blog

http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com

and you can go here and get some incredible insight into why this is happening. I think between these three blogs you can read all you need to know.

http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com

We have truly done everything possible. We have confronted the ACOE, Rick Scott,  the South Florida Water Management District, our legislators. All have fallen on deaf ears.

On a positive note we have educated thousands of people to this issue.

We have documented these issues so no one can say this never happened.

We could write a book. ( and then leave town lol)

We, not being one or two individuals but an entire community of the most dedicated people I  have ever met. We are all part of one big puzzle. No one greater than the other. Without the pieces we are incomplete. We all have our jobs.  Organically. Not manipulated. And hopefully we’ll stay that way.

We all sit here today and worry about what’s going to happen on Monday when the locks open up.

I come back to my original question when this happened in 2013. How can the intentional destruction of the most diverse estuary in North America be legal? How is the intentional poisoning  of our St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon allowed in the United States of America?

This has got to stop.

We have two events. One on Sunday and one on Monday.

Sunday:

https://www.facebook.com/events/831962766840242/834768046559714/

Sunday 2 pm Phipps Park

Monday:

Say No to the Toxic Flow 7 am 2175 SW Locks Rd, Stuart, Florida 34997

https://www.facebook.com/events/1563265363925897/

http://www.tcpalm.com/franchise/indian-river-lagoon/health/orca-bluegreen-algae-in-canals-poised-for-big-blooms_47535634

DSC_0032

Thank goodness for Orca and the Killroys and Edie Widder.

“Lead scientist Edith “Edie” Widder noted that high concentrations of algae are being found in canals that stretch into agricultural areas of western St. Lucie County but not in the creeks that run from suburban areas into the river and lagoon.”

Lake O May 1 facts:
1) 581 million gallons a day released to the St Lucie River.
2) 1.3 billion gallons a day released to the Caloosahatcee river
3) The discharges waste water that would replenish the Everglades.
4) The discharges strips our basic human right to clean drinking water.
5) The discharges will destroy water quality by moving a toxic into our homes resulting in massive fish kills and making the water unsafe for human contact.

DSC_0045

Other things that you can do. Thank goodness for our wonderful Maggy!

http://contextflorida.com/maggy-hurchalla-keep-fighting-until-legislature-buys-land-for-everglades-restoration/

Every one of us here needs to:

1. Call YOUR legislator. They mostly don’t care if you don’t vote in their district. Other than grabbing them and shaking them, nothing is more effective than a phone call. You can get the phone number of your representatives and senators from several websites – Audubon, cleanwater.com, the Everglades Foundation. The message is simple. Use Amendment 1 money to buy land. Exercise the US Sugar option.

2. Get two other people to do the same thing.

3 Send emails to your legislators. That’s not “instead of.” Call them AND send them emails. Get two other people to do the same thing.

4. Get the Dade County Commission and the Dade legislative delegation to take a strong public stand.

4. Email and call the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House.

5. Sign every online petition you can find that says, “Buy the land. Send the water south.” Get two other people to do likewise.

6. Go to rallies and wave signs.

7. Write letters to the editor.

8. Take names. Most legislators care only about their home district. Those running for higher office are aware that the rest of us matter. They think we are forgetful.

DSC_0002

and sign these petitions:

If you haven’t signed all these petitions, sign ’em and pass them on to others.

PETITIONS

http://www.sccf.org/content/298/Sign-the-Everglades-Trust-Petition.aspx

http://www.evergladestrust.org/petition

http://act.progressflorida.org/sign/everglades/

http://www.savingflwater.com/

https://www.causes.com/actions/1777289-sign-the-petition-to-florida-state-governor-scott

https://www.flsenate.gov/Media/Topics/wlc

DSC_0045

If you call a politician a vulture isn’t that an insult to the vulture?

Here is the fabulous Sharon Lux from the Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance.

I love Protest Art!

I also love Vultures!

DSC_0054

Vultures are defenders of the Environment. These are birds that have a job.

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-beneficial-buzzard-clearing-the-air-about-vultures

One of the main misconceptions about vultures is that they spread disease. This is absolutely untrue. In fact, the opposite is true… vultures actually prevent viruses, bacteria and other pathogens from spreading in the environment. A vulture’s stomach acid is a unique compound that not only allows the bird to ingest disease processes, but also removes said disease from the environment. Once a virus, bacterium or other type of disease goes into the vulture, it never comes back out! Vultures help stop the spread of rabies, anthrax, cholera, brucellosis and many other pathogens that could otherwise harm other wildlife and even humans!

Fun Fact: The Cherokee name for vulture means Peace Eagle – because unlike most meat eaters, vultures do not kill for food.

They don’t kill the alive. They only eat the dead.

Vultures are my spirit birds.

DSC_0037

http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/vulture.htm

The Vulture is the symbol of death and rebirth, the mother symbol,
and represents purification.
For those with this totem,
you will be noticed more for what you do than how you appear.

Vulture or Condor
teaches us how to soar above our limitations.

The Vulture promises us that no matter
how difficult things are at the moment,
rescue and change are imminent.

http://seeingmiracleseveryday.blogspot.com/2009/11/behold-turkey-vulture.html

“I learned that the turkey vulture’s wing span is approximately 6 feet wide (I can vouch for their incredible size from this animal soaring within 10 feet of me on my deck!). Their task in life is to clean up the mess, but an even more interesting aspect of the turkey vulture is that it is the only bird (or presumably only animal) whose feces is disease free. So the turkey vulture kindly cleans up dead carcasses or rotting flesh, then purifies them from any bacteria – making them perhaps nature’s most perfect cleansing animal. They struggle with take off and appear awkward in early flight, but once they are off the ground, they soar like eagles (often mistaken as such at a distance), and can fly for hours without ever flapping their wings, riding thermals and currents. The turkey vulture that appeared to me did absolute acrobatics around me, looping effortlessly in glorious flight.”

http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/raptors-and-vultures/vultures/

“Vultures are under state protection, therefore it is unlawful to shoot or harass them without a permit from the FWC.  If however, the vulture is tearing up a screen porch, or chewing up shingles or roofs, then you may want to consider scaring them with Pyrotechnics.  The Wildlife Services group of the United States Department of Agriculture at 352-377-5556 can provide more information.”

DSC_0039

So in this video RIck Scott came to the locks and while he was there the vultures showed up and when he left they left.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjcgdTvgTB0