In the Hood: Motels turn into rehabs for people out of state.

In the Hood: Motels turn into rehabs for people out of state.

So this morning I saw this email from a friend of mine.

“JUST SAYING- Monterrey Inn and Marina closed now too. It has become a half way house with the same owner from my understanding. It seems like a number of motels have turned into rehabs or half way houses. It must be very profitable because they’re popping up everywhere. Someone told me that Blue Heron might also be doing the same. I have not confirmed that and I’m wondering if that’s what is going to happen to Jensen Beach Waterfront Inn which is closed for remodeling but nothing seems to be happening there since it was sold.”

So very interesting and has a lot of connotations.

First of all I’m psych nurse with years of experience in adult and adolescent drug abuse and alcoholism. So I’m totally for treatment. But I have some questions.

Did these motels close down because they had to because of water being so disgusting? Is this what happened? The Economic council of Martin County and  Jensen Beach Better Business Association has totally ignored the pollution. Is the end result our friends and neighbors going out of business?

Why are these services not being offered to our own citizens who really have nothing unless they have money to pay for it?  I do know these places exist. When I worked in Ft Lauderdale we had a lot of people flown in for detox and then sent to fancy rehabs in Boca Raton.

I knew I felt this change. People shooting up in the corner store. This guy in front of me upset because he had to spend his four quarters on gas when instead he needed to buy his marijuana.  People asking for money to buy pot. I had to point out how stoned this guy was to the cashier. The time I asked the police about anything was a few years ago when these people were walking up and down the street knocking on doors during the week and peaking into windows. I found some local police at their speed trap hangout and asked them and they were not too interested in this. They totally rolled their eyes.

I just told someone last week that I thought there were a lot of addicts  around here. More than I have ever seen. Out or proportion for such a little county. Drugs everywhere.

I was told people come down from NY and New Jersey. They pay cash. Someone said that some are run by people who are still actively using. Some one else said if they fail the program they are released out to our community.

I did find this article

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2014/06/23/chris-christie-has-very-complicated-views-on-drugs/

“Christie is dealing with a full-blown crisis of heroin and prescription drug abuse in New Jersey. According to the state attorney general’s office, there were 449 overdose deaths from heroin and morphine — an opiate that heroin sometimes appears as during an autopsy — in New Jersey in 2012”

It say’s a lot people are send their children here because there is no place in New Jersey to send them.

Just in Jensen Beach

http://www.rehabs.com/local/jensen-beach-fl/

Someone else said

know someone who owns one…interesting fact ..he said the reason that there are so many in Florida now is because NY and NJ won’t accept their addicts recovering in their state..insurance won’t cover it or something ..so they send them to Florida..and my friend says only 8% of addicts stay clean..and most of the rest of them stay in Florida cause they were in a bad situation where their from and don’t want to go back..and Florida is awesome so they don’t leave..so we end up with a lot of addicts.”

( see article above. They only get so much treatment in NY. Down here they can pay in cash.)

Here are some other places that were mentioned.

Caribbean shores-female rehab
Jensen beach waterfront in
Eden lawn plantation

A place in Rio on Kubin.

My friend also said that she has been approached in the past to do the same thing with her motel.

All these people are imported from other places into out neighborhood with out any guarantee they will go home afterwards or stay here, go on Medicaid, food stamps and use our local services that our own people do not have any access to.

It takes a long time to be seen at New Horizons. If your mentally ill around here you’ve got nothing. If your bipolar and your escalating you’ve got no choices really but jail. If you have a person in a mental crisis you have a better chance of winning the lottery to get the instant care you need. I have no idea how many of these people end up in jail but I bet it’s a lot.

I have friends with a Bipolar daughter and they tell me there is no halfway houses for them. No safe place to go. No help. No support. Yet, we have people invading us from up north that get luxury accommodations because they have cash.

My friend also said

“What is really needed are housing for mentally ill women. there are no specific shelters for bi-polar women who need housing. They can’t stay in hospitals and if they are criminally inclined they don’t go to jail either. They end up homeless and victims of abuse from men and cops. I think we need more specific shelters around Jensen Beach or Stuart. just my 2 cents.” (From a parent)

If your 65 and on Medicare there is no place to go. You might be able to go to Port St Lucie hospital but in all likelihood you’ll get put on the geri unit and not get the benefit of what you need because you’ll be in a mixed unit and not necessarily  have the staff who specializes in CD.

If you want services Martin County is not the place to live. It is what it is. There are hardly any buses. I think it was Sara Heard who said “People drive their cars.” Totally unaware that there are elderly people who are literally shut ins because they cannot drive. I’ve called to make an appointment for people on MTM bus. Those people need lessons in customer service. Most of the people I know that live here are ok with that. They understand.  This is their home. But to have these services for people from out of state who their families have sent to us and don’t want back. Well, that’s a different story.

Remember when we all yelled tourism and no one listened?

Who let this happen?

Who is keeping tract of the recidivism and where these people are going?

What is the plan here?

Here is an interesting article that I found.

http://www.wbez.org/news/puerto-rico-exports-its-drug-addicts-chicago-111852

Puerto Rico exports its drug addicts to Chicago

Island police and mayors direct heroin addicts to Chicago and other cities with promises of housing and treatment.

April 10, 2015

Adriana Cardona-Maguigad

(Adriana Cardona-Maguigad)
Over the summer Angel and Manuel lived together in an empty house near 51st and Throop, an area where vacant homes are common.

It all started about a year ago when I began noticing more homeless men in the Chicago neighborhood where I work. Back of the Yards is a community that faces some of the city’s toughest problems: joblessness, crime, drug use.

Many of these men would be sitting in doorways or shuffling along, many times asking for money.

One day, I asked one of them: “Where are you from?” He told me a story that I later heard again and again and again.

The men told me they were  from Puerto Rico. They were addicted to heroin and they ended up in Chicago because someone in Puerto Rico drove them to the airport and put them on a plane with a one-way ticket to Chicago.

Just again to set the record straight. I’m all for treatment. But not for a few things.

  1. Literally being surrounded by treatment centers
  2. Having people come and use up our resources when we have very little without even a discussion on how to get mental health services for our citizens.
  3. The destruction of our Rio/Jensen beach motels/hotels. Just follow this ball. All these places close down and we loose a whole of rooms that can be counted so new people can come in build because they will say we don’t have enough hotels rooms. Like the guy that wants to annex the land to Stuart to build a new hotel or the people that want to build their little place on the river. Have you been to the St Lucie RIver? This past weekend I took my dog for a walk thru the nature center and had to leave because the stink was so bad.

So this is all I have right now. If anyone has any information please let me know. There is lots to talk about here and it’s conversation time.


Keep calm and put your thinking cap on: Septic Tank Eve. Let’s be environmentally creative.

Keep calm and put your thinking cap on: Septic Tank Eve. Let’s be environmentally creative.

As you all know we are invited to the chambers of the Martin County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday Nov 3 to hear about this subject from Dr Brian Lapointe.

So a few things before.

I did a search of TC and did not come up with one page that had any kind of education. I did the same search with Martin County Commissioners and came up with the same thing. This has been an issue for a long time and we’ve now gone to living life as usual to mandatory sewage.

This was the latest from TC Palm

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/indian-river-lagoon/health/investigation-move-over-fertilizer-septic-tank-drainage-also-contaminating-indian-river-lagoon-ep-37-332670631.html

“Despite growing evidence that septic tanks play a role in the lagoon’s degradation, most elected leaders are hesitant to tackle this part of the problem, largely because many property owners oppose increased septic regulations, a Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers investigation found.

Some scientists and regulatory agencies point to fertilizers as the main source of the nutrient runoff generating heavy algae in the lagoon. But Harbor Branch professor Brian LaPointe believes sewage carries more of the nutrients spurring algae growth.”

He has said this before in many situations. He could be right and he could be wrong but I’m not understanding a few things.”

Why did Martin County Commission go from white to black (or brown I guess) overnight? What happened?

“It’s really unclear how much fertilizer is reaching the lagoon,” LaPointe said. “But one septic tank on 4 acres — that’s enough to create a nutrient problem.”

Algal blooms block sunlight that sea grass needs to thrive. As the algae decompose, they deplete oxygen, which can suffocate sea grass and fish, turning clear, biodiverse waters into a murky dead zone.”

So this is when I say really are you kidding me?

Because we all  know we do not get algae blooms unless we are having discharges.

DSC_0038 DSC_0032 DSC_0031

And why all of sudden is the newspaper so eager to be the mouth piece of Dr Brian Lapointe?

There are a lot of septic tanks. We have the least in Martin County.

“Indian River County: 37,000, roughly half issued before 1983. Of the 900 systems on the barrier island — where they’re more likely to be near waterways — 747 are more than 30 years old

St. Lucie County: 45,000, about 18,000 date back before 1983

Martin County: 40,000, officials didn’t know how many predate 1983″

There are about 120,000 septic systems on the Treasure Coast, the newspaper investigation found. As many as half were installed before stricter regulations were enacted in 1983, making them more likely to drain sewage into groundwater that ends up in the lagoon, according to data from the counties and Harbor Branch.”

But there is so more much! All the stuff that comes from Lake Okeechobee that destroys us with changing the salinity of water. Killing our oysters. Killing the seagrass.

I got some great responses from my friends all who have really good points. Actually better points than Dr Lapointe who only answer is costly septic. Dr Lapointe in fact in all this time has never suggested any kind of education and in fact his remark about paying to live in Paradise went to the hearts of many citizens of Martin County.

My friend Robert said:

‪‬” I frequently find myself in complete agreement with you on environmental issues. This is not one. The problem with septic tanks is that they do work when used mindfully by people who have them properly pumped out and regularly inspected. But that’s the ideal, not the typical situation at all.

Poorly maintained and carelessly used septic systems are a major source of freshwater contamination. The problem is not limited to trailer parks and older homes either. It is a problem that is underground. Out of sight, out of mind. Not at the very least rejecting new building permits where municipal sewer connection is not part of the plan should be sop for all approvals. There should be no, I repeat, zero, variance for rural areas. We are not actually running out of water, we are running out drinkable water. All other issues should be treated with the same standard. Best practices in all sectors, housing, industry, agriculture and anything else contributing to the pollution in our water, soil and air. Now, not in twenty years.”

Actually i think we agree. We have different roads to get there.

He has point. But the point brings me back to what is the best way to manage these? Pump out is an issue and many people can’t afford it. Many people live on 800-1000 bucks a month and 200 dollars for a pump out means they do not eat. That’s not counting  the BS you get when these guys show up trying to get you to spend a fortune. Just pump out my tank please.

See the issue is when you slice open a nasty wound pus usually comes out. This is the unwanted pus.

Where is the education on how to maintain the septics?

Strangely enough there is a Martin County in Minnesota and they did just that.

http://www.co.martin.mn.us/index.php/septic-systems

They have a septic system owners guide from the University of Minnesota.

http://septic.umn.edu/owners/index.htm

and you can own it for 5 bucks.

Cool Beans.

So, maybe while we’re waiting to hash all this out this answer to the question is not lawsuits to inspect but actually voluntarily helping the citizens of Martin County maintain their septics. Why does everything have to end up in court?  Why can’t we just ask people to do this right thing? Why is this such a fight?  Creating mandatory anything will just create more angst for our citizens who have enough angst already. Do we need anymore angst. I say no.

It’s very likely there was a lot of BS which is why Joe Negron did what he did the first place.

I did see this from Commissioner Haddix.

john haddox

So this is good. We can start having a conversation.

Here are some other remarks that need to be considered.

‪Mark said: I think septic tank inspections and needed repair should be required by law. This would solve part of the problem quickly. Functioning septic systems in proper locations are not a problem, actual groundwater monitoring studies by FIT prove this. I believe Lapointe is looking at nitrogen isotopes. Hooking functioning septic systems to municipal sewage treatment creates other problems such as aquifer injection, a good way to ruin an underground water supply, and many municipal sewage pipes leak into the groundwater.

Another good point.

‪Douglas said this: ‬ Since our county has not stood up to Big Sugar I am suspect that the recent Septic Tank issue is centered around kicking the can down the road because they will not stand up and force the water south and they have taken the opportunity to turn Septic Tank effluent into a business. Expect Martin County to get into the Septic Tank Business on steroids. This will force people to comply with and hook up causing thousands of dollars of cost to the home owner. Jupiter has forced people to hook up when they had a perfectly functioning septic field at a cost of $10,000. (approx)

It’s complicated and because it affects a lot of citizens, our lagoon, our St Lucie River it deserves a conversation with more than one expert. I know a lot of researchers from over the years. It all depends on who is supporting your research.

In the last week I did hear from people who want to install some kind of cool compostable system like this.

They were denied.

http://www.composting-toilet-store.com/Septic_System_Alternatives_s/69.htm

I’d have to do some research but I love the idea of getting creative to at least put a dent in the issue voluntarily.

Lets do this. Let’s do some research on those cool enzymes and see what we can come up with product wise.

Martin Commissioners maybe you can figure out a way we can pump the poop from tanks if people can’t afford this so while we’re talking about this we’re making the world a better place. It doesn’t matter where the blame lies. What matters is we come up with creative solutions as citizens. This has been an issue for a long time. Let’s do something about it.

Here is the info for Tuesday again. Hope to see you all there.

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

What: Martin County Commission meeting

When: 9 a.m. Nov. 3

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

Information: www.martin.fl.us

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

on the snout

On the Snout: Septic Tanks and Martin County

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

Sacred land.

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

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

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

He did me a favor.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This was June 2013

DSC_0014

This was August 2013 after the discharges

IMG_12740653543585

toxic green algae photo credit Lorena Cedeño Teal

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s the poop!

Vero Beach

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

Brevard

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

Loxahatchee

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

American Planning Association Meeting

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

So here is the article from the TC Palm:

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

There are more but you get the pictures.

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing?

Please see before and after photos above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(me hahahaha funny)

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

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

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

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

Charles Grande, Former PSL Commish said this.

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

Thank you Charles.

Kevin Stinette, former Indian Riverkeeper said this:

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

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

There are a lot of issues.

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

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

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

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

More than 27 percent of kids on Treasure Coast going hungry

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

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

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

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

thinking caps

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

What: Martin County Commission meeting

When: 9 a.m. Nov. 3

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

Information: www.martin.fl.us

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.

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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

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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!

 

 

Stupid pills: Throwback Thurs Marco goes to Stuart.

Stupid pills: Throwback Thurs Marco goes to Stuart.

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

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

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

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

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

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Marco Rubio

The speakers were all very respectful to Marco Rubio.

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

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

This is the issue.

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

This week this happened.

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

Rubio: Our National Security Depends on Sugar Subsidies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wood Stork is Back!

This morning my friend Bev from San Francisco put this on her Facebook Page.

“I`ve decided to have a most excellent week. ”

I saw that and thought “YA me too! I’m going to have an excellent week.” and I shared her post.

It really changed my usual very bummed out Monday morning mood.

When I go out on one of my adventure trips with my friend Jules I am amazed. She knows the names of all the birds and the plants. To my own defense I can name all the bones in the body and I  can recite the cranial nerves.

On old Olympus towering tops a fin and german spied some hops.

Olfactory

Optic

Oculomotor

Trigeminal

Abducens

Facial

Auditory

Glossopharyngeal

Vagus

Spinal Accessory

Hypogiossal

So there!

I know and love vultures, pelicans. I get a lot of mourning birds in my yard and also these really pretty red woodpeckers. I know these are woodpeckers because they hang on the telephone pole and peck away.

Last year I was driving down my favorite back road and I saw this guy and I had no idea what it was but he looked so cool that I stopped and took a photo.

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This gorgeous one was hanging out in Stuart, FL as of August 28, 2013. It is classified as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Stork aids in new beginnings as there is a spiritual and/or physical birthing taking place. He will aid in carrying the new birthing of ideas, thoughts and new ventures to where they need to be for Spirit’s plan. It is time for actions in areas in your life as Stork teaches to move in air (mind) and land (body) with a balance of relaxation. He instills a sense of calm and peace through the process. Stork helps in solidifying and strengthening the domestic fronts as well. Take notice of communication abilities and the attitudes and emotions that your words hold. Stork will show how to carry your new peace into all areas of your life.

http://fl.audubon.org/wood-stork

The Wood Stork is one of Florida’s signature wading birds, a long-legged, awkward-looking bird on land that soars like a raptor in the air. Like many Florida birds associated with wetlands, the Wood Stork has suffered from the destruction and degradation of our state’s wetlands. Today, the Wood Stork is classed “Endangered” by the State of Florida and the federal government.

That’s another story for another day. Today we celebrate that he’s back and he’s safe.

They usually go back to the same place year after year. I usually drive down this road a few times a week. I’ve been looking for him.

I  did get out of the car and welcome him back. He moved his beak and said said some in woodstorkeez.

He gave me hope that I really will have an excellent week.

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Attention Martin County: Fracking Info please contact commissioners.

Attention Martin County: Fracking Info please contact commissioners.

From Floridians Against Fracking

Need your help here in Martin County, where FPL is headquartered and fracked gas is a commodity to be bought and sold from all over the United Sates and proposed to be shipped via Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline to here.

We need citizen support to ask BOCC to support a ban on fracking in FL.

also, please share with folks in the Indian River Lagoon area:

Here’s a one liner: for phone or email use:

On Tuesday, September 1st, the Commission will be voting to adopt a Resolution in support of a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.  I am calling to encourage you to support adopting this Resolution.

The following is a link to contact all of the Martin County Commissioners by email:

http://www.martin.fl.us/portal/page?_pageid=339,1&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&sc=344&rgg =

Here are the phone numbers for the Commissioners:

Chair – Ed Fielding 772-288-5421
Vice Chair – Ann Scott (772) 221-2357
John Haddox (772) 221-1357
Sarah Heard (772) 221-2358
Doug Smith (772) 221-2359

Confirmation that the vote for the Resolution in Martin County is on this coming Tuesday, Sept. 1st.  Most likely it will take place in the afternoon.  If you know anyone who would like to attend, the address is 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL  34996 (Next to the Blake Library.  The item is not specifically shown on the main agenda, but it is shown under Individual Agenda Items in Section 8A3, page 82.  Please see the following link for the text.  You have to scroll down to page 82.

http://ap3server.martin.fl.us:7778/documents2010/Agenda_Items/adm/2015/8A3-2015-09-01%20Consider%20Adoption%20of%20the%202015-2016%20Federal%20and%20State%20Legislative%20Program.pdf

Please ask all our friends to come out and join us or at least send the Commissioners an email encouraging them to support the resolution.  The following is a link which allows you to contact all of the Commissioners by email:

http://www.martin.fl.us/portal/page?_pageid=339,1&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&sc=344&rgg =

Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who you feel will be interested.