Friday, June 22, 2018

Will Florida Power And Light (FPL) Ever Be Held Accountable For Its Failed Cooling Canal System For Two Aging Nuclear Reactors In South Florida? ... by gimleteye

Southern Biscayne Bay and a national park is a sacrifice zone for toxic water seeping out of FPL's cooling canal system from two aging nuclear reactors.

Environmental groups (including Friends of the Everglades, of which I am a volunteer board member) have sued under the Clean Water Act, for FPL's ongoing pollution.

Pollution, by the way, that the State of Florida under Gov. Rick Scott and his predecessors essentially ignored despite binding, legal agreements. Scott and his Cabinet, especially Ag. Secretary Adam Putnam, ignored the appeal of citizens and rubber-stamped a siting plan for two NEW nuclear reactors at the same Turkey Point location despite legitimate concern about the impacts of climate change and sea level rise in one of the lowest floodplain areas in Florida.

In the meantime, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a license extension to two outdated reactors at Turkey Point. Because of the NRC's compartmentalized mandates, it has not -- to date -- incorporated a full review of the failed cooling canal system in its consideration of the license extension request. The environmental groups, led by Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, just submitted a detailed letter to the NRC, explaining why.

The letter serves as a good background on the cooling canal controversy, free of FPL's polished spin.

f Sacetasfoe Nrcscopingcomments Tp3&4 062118 on Scribd


Thursday, June 21, 2018

America: Filled with Haters. By Geniusofdespair

I really can't understand why people hate people that look different.  I do admit I sort of hate Kim Kardashian. I secretly want her to age badly. I know why I hate her, I always wanted to be pretty and have a great body. I am actually jealous of her because she has it and I don't.

But then there is the Whites hating Blacks, and the Whites hating Hispanics, and the Whites hating Jews and the Whites hating Gays...that I really don't get. Maybe because I personally don't hate any groups.

I don't think Whites hate Hispanics because they are jealous but I theorize it is because they will dilute the White race in the United States by their numbers.  Even though Donald Trump markets the Hispanics coming in as dangerous, talking about Hispanic gangs all the time, no one is really afraid of Hispanics.  He also calls them job thieves. They aren't taking the jobs that White Americans want. It is all a diversion that is more palatable than, we don't want you taking over our Nation with your numbers and inter-marrying with our lily white kids.

Donald Trump knows how to tap into fear and hate (besides knowing how to lie).

I was leaving Monty's with an unknown woman also leaving. About 7 people came towards us on those electric scooters. I said "Oh No" thinking, now the zany scooters will be traveling in packs. I was sort of amused as some of the people didn't seem steady on the scooters. The woman next to me said "Darwin." I thought, how odd. What did she mean by that? Then I realized all the people on the scooters were Black and she was referring to them negatively when they were just having fun. It upset me. I was concerned about the Scooter Craze and she was concerned with who was on the Scooters.

So, where am I going with this? I guess I am thinking that Donald Trump is making hatred towards others more acceptable. Instead of accepting the differences; whether people have a disability, a different color or a non-Norwegian look (i.e. they are Hispanic) Trump is making an issue out of it all. Even Democrats, I am so tired of his blaming Democrats for every crack in the sidewalk.  He governs Democrats as well as Republicans. He is treating North Koreans better than two thirds of United States' citizens. They are not some enemy, Donald, they just disagree with you and resent being lied to. It is okay for his two wives to emigrate into the United States and bring their families, but it is not okay for Jose or Maria to bring in their families. Too much hate. Too many lies.

In 1966 in South Africa, Robert Kennedy said:

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.  and:
Hand in hand with freedom of speech goes the power to be heard, to share in the decisions of government which shape men's lives. Everything that makes man's life worthwhile-family, work, education, a place to rear one's children and a place to rest one's head -all this depends on decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people. Therefore, the essential humanity of men can be protected and preserved only where government must answer-not just to the wealthy, not just to those of a particular religion, or a particular race, but to all its people.
 And the last word with John Oliver, regarding the Donald-Kim Summit and Trump's lies about it, and his sucking up:

VOTERS: November 2018 will be the most consequential in your lifetime ... by gimleteye

Count me among the repulsed and outraged over the Trump and Republican policy of "zero tolerance" at the border, causing more than 2,000 children to be incarcerated by the US government, many forcibly removed from their parents.

The appropriate context for the immigration crisis, roiling America, is not the tide rising on our southern border. It is the bright, inescapable fact that tens of millions of refugees are on the move around the world. According to AP: "The United Nations refugee agency reported this week that nearly 69 million people were forcibly displaced in 2017, a record for the fifth straight year.

Trump says, he has to be strong because he doesn't want those crises here. Hence, the cruelty.

What is behind the mass migration? Yes, war. Yes, civil strife. Yes, radicalization of religious majorities. But the root cause is economic instability, and the main reason for economic instability is climate change.

Right now, in one nation -- India -- the drinking water for 600 million people is at high risk because of a rapidly warming climate.


According to the NY Times: "A government report released on Thursday said that India was experiencing the worst water crisis in its history, threatening millions of lives and livelihoods. Some 600 million Indians, about half the population, face high to extreme water scarcity conditions, with about 200,000 dying every year from inadequate access to safe water, according to the report. By 2030, it said, the country’s demand for water is likely to be twice the available supply."

Donald Trump and the Republican Party may be in retreat today on family separation, but they haven't even acknowledged the reality of climate change and that is because their campaign funders -- the mostly hidden sources of big, unlimited campaign contributions from the fossil fuel supply chain -- have persuaded THEM that there is nothing we can do about it.

No one should be under the illusion that climate change will exempt the citizens of the United States. From Maine lobstermen, to farmers in the heartland, to owners of property in Miami, ask yourselves this question regarding immigration and refugees: do you trust autocrats like Trump and Rick Scott dictating terms of immigration, refugees, climate change (which they deny) and operating in darkness, insisting we should all just be grateful for how good the news is on Fox?

November 2018, VOTE, because that's the future you will be choosing.

When It Comes To Highways and Development: A Clear Case Of Fraud And Political Malpractice ... by gimleteye

Here is what I would say to residents of Kendall crying about commuting time and the helplessness of families strained by disastrous transit: many of the same county commissioners who decided yesterday to adopt Mayor Gimenez' plan to add more lanes into former Everglades wetlands are the SAME OFFICIALS who benefited from and profited, politically and economically, from the advancement of suburban sprawl that created traffic nightmares in the first place.

This fact is underrepresented in local media accounts. Call it: the power of advertisers. At any rate, consider the following from yesterday's Miami Herald report on the 9-2 vote and the comment by county commissioner Joe Martinez:

"... Martinez, who represents West Kendall, called the extension a matter of fairness for the western suburbs who pay the county's half-percent transportation tax but have no transit options beyond the Miami-Dade bus system.

"They have been paying the half cent, at almost $400 per household per year," Martinez said. "And received nothing for it ... except traffic gridlock."

Why, so much gridlock? Because of zoning decisions by electeds like Martinez himself. You don't have to look further than this Eye On Miami report from 2007 (!) when I had the stomach to pay closer attention to the fraud and political malpractice than I have, today. We keep this record and archive, for moments exactly like this.

Lastly, readers should understand that not-so-long ago, citizens had recourse to challenge political malpractice by local county government. There were provisions in state law, created by bipartisan consensus in the 1980's, that empowered citizen challenges to bad decisions that ran counter to sound economics and public safety and the environment.

A series of Republican administrations in Tallahassee, triggered by Gov. Jeb Bush, and culminating in the two terms of Gov. Rick Scott is primarily responsible for undercutting the ability of citizens to use state courts to fight bad land use decisions. Democrats in the state legislature sat on their hands, too, because of the money race. And now we have a Congressional majority supporting the anti-regulatory agenda of a chaotic president. So: no state authority. No federal authority. (Except when it comes to protecting the rights of polluters and the invasion of privacy.)

Gimenez is dead-wrong on his logic for expanding SR 836, and somewhere in the recess of his soul he knows it. Gimenez, once upon a time, could articulate the argument as well as anyone on the commission. But there is power to be accumulated and money to be made in the meanwhile and a political machine to feed.

Only voters can change this equation, if they are informed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Low voter turnout is unacceptable ... by gimleteye

Sometimes you just want to grab voters by their shirts and shake them: get to the fucking polls! Do your job as citizens!

In Florida's most populous county, the most important news of the day/month/year is not that a Democrat, a woman, a non-Hispanic won election to the county commission, defeating a Republican Hispanic woman who represented the lobbyist class and the development supply chain.

The news that should make EVERY citizen recoil in horror: in Miami-Dade County, an unknown number of immigrant children are being held in detention centers after being ripped from their parents by the Trump administration.

If you are not DISGUSTED, you are not American.

If you are not motivated to get off your ass and VOTE, well then: pathetic you.

Let's be clear: 15 percent of eligible voters participated in yesterday's county commission election in District 5. That means 85 percent did not. Disgraceful.

I look at it another way.

85 percent of district voters failed to connect their responsibility to vote and the tragic consequences of a Republican president, Donald Trump, and a GOP Congress that supports incarcerating children under the supervision of private corporations and hourly employees minting millions from this "service". "NBC News’ Julia Ainsley reports: "The cost of holding migrant children who have been separated from their parents in newly created 'tent cities' is $775 per person per night, according to an official at the Department of Health and Human Services — far higher than the cost of keeping children with their parents in detention centers or holding them in more permanent buildings."

What Trump and the GOP Congress are doing and supporting is un-American. If you failed to vote, that makes you complicit. Complicit, as in a crime. Complicit, as in I stood by and watched the world's great democracy sink beneath the tide of history.

By failing to vote, you are a stain on our history, our traditions, and our democracy.

So thank you, voters who did elect Eileen Higgins; the best candidate for District 5 in Florida's most populous county.

But for the non-voters here and throughout the nation, the next time there is an election, pin this fact to your choice to vote or not: one political party in the United States of America stands for ripping immigrant children from their parents because a "chaos" president thinks building a wall at our southern border will solve our immigration problems.

Now watch and listen to the consequences:


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Biggest Upset in Miami Dade County History: Eileen Higgins is County Commissioner for DiEileestrict 5. By Geniusofdespair

Eileen Higgins with Her Communications Campaign Manager. Eileen easily beat the favorite and better funded - Zoraida Barreiro.  We have now lost a charter member of the unreformable majority and replaced him with what might be the difference on all the shitty votes in the County. If only Sally Heyman would realize she is a Democrat, we might move things the right way with Higgins, Levine-Cava, Suarez and Monestime.


More photos from the victory party:

Happy Higgins.

Well funded Barreiro was trounced by Higgins.

Eileen Higgins and Cindy Lerner

As for the 836 Expansion:

Zoraida Barreiro pointed to pleas from homeowners for an alternative to Krome Avenue or Florida's Turnpike as a way to connect with the 836.

"This is something that is needed in that area. The residents of Kendall want it," Zoraida Barreiro said during the debate hosted by Glenna Milberg and Michael Putney. "They've been asking for it. They need it. It's been horrible traffic in that area. That's going to help."

Higgins said building new roads hasn't helped traffic in Miami-Dade yet, and pointed to warnings that low-lying areas in the west have significant risks for flooding from a rising water table.

"I worry very much about putting any sort of development, including roads, outside the Urban Development Boundary," she said. "Anybody that witnessed the horrific flooding in Houston, when they begun to encroach upon their wetlands, knows the danger of taking our protected wetlands around from us, given what's going on with sea-level rise."


Higgins will not be sworn in until Friday but the hearing on 836 is tomorrow. I wonder if she will be speaking from the floor? I wonder if the vote can be postponed.


MEANWHILE...

County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava has a motley crew of 3 running against her.

 

They are a bit behind on the fundraising front.

Short-Sighted Manipulation of People of Kendall. Guest Blog by Richard Grosso




Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s desire to alleviate traffic congestion in West Kendall is understandable. His attack on those raising concerns is not. The opposition to the extension of the 836 highway outside of the county’s urban boundary is based, not on “misinformation,” but serious concern, based on history and the realities of development practices and economics, that the county would be making a huge mistake.

Addressing traffic problems in the 21st century with a 1970s solution of building more highways is a bad investment given what we now know about how quickly new roads fill up with new traffic and open areas to new development, and about the critical need to shift away from infrastructure for cars and toward real mass transit. Miami-Dade County’s land use plan specifically reflects these understandings and, for these reasons and others, contains explicit prohibitions against building new public infrastructure — like this highway extension — beyond the Urban Development Boundary.

The looming decision of whether to invest $650 million into another highway expansion or modern mass transit comes at a pivotal point in this county’s history, as it is coming to terms with the necessity of re-working its water supply and flood-protection system, reducing its vulnerability to climate change and sea level rise, and restoring the Everglades upon which it relies for so many economic, recreational and other purposes. It is concerning that some in county leadership may not understand that building a highway through the Bird Drive Basin wetlands would compromise the restoration project water managers are still designing for those lands to prevent flooding and restore previously impacted wetlands in western Miami-Dade County.

The PR campaign to promote this highway may be selling fool’s gold to West Kendall residents, and the county would soon be looking for yet another new road in a few years when this one fills up with new traffic — whether or not it leads to new development in the area.

Miami Herald


Big week in Miami-Dade County: District 5 county commission and SR 836 Extension at County Commission ... by gimleteye

Many years ago I founded the Hold The Line Coalition in Miami-Dade. It was an effort that grew out of earlier efforts to protect the Urban Development Boundary from the titanic forces of suburban sprawl. Not state laws or even the threat of an economic collapse in housing markets dented sprawl's momentum.

Today, traffic is so congested and intractable for many reasons but one in particular worthy of note this week: the un-reformable majority of the county commission permits massive new development to proceed without adequately planning, funding and implementing reasonable transit alternatives.

There is a county commission election today in the district serving much of Miami Beach and central Miami. The outcome will indicate whether voters have made the connection between traffic nightmares and a nightmarish county commission.

Eileen Higgins is the right candidate at the right time for District 5. Her opponent, the wife of longtime incumbent Bruno Barreiro, represents the lobbyist class and the sprawl supply chain who count on the county commissioner from Miami Beach to vote -- like the one TOMORROW at the county commission -- for more and more sprawl into former Everglades wetlands.

There is resistance to the plan by Mayor Carlos Gimenez to expand one of the arterial roadways in Miami-Dade into farmland and toward the Everglades. If you want to be part of that resistance, please show up at the county commission on Wednesday to lend your support.

If you want to be part of a rising tide of resistance and live in District 5, VOTE FOR EILEEN HIGGINS.


Here is a note from Sierra Club:


MIAMI GROUP
ACTION ALERT! #HOLDTHELINE

Dear Sierra Club Miami Group members and supporters,

Please take the time to call your county commissioner and key swing votes to stop the expansion of the State Road 836 toll road, and attend the County Commission Meeting, Wednesday to speak against it.

Why is this project a bad idea?
· This project would lead to increased urban sprawl
· This project would endanger freshwater resources
· This project would put citizens at risk: The lands in this area are low lying and flood prone.
· ​This project would displace agricultural land and harm our agricultural economy.

This project sits in direct conflict with everything the County should be doing to make us more resilient in the face of sea level rise. There’s an urgent need for infill development in high density areas near existing or planned transit corridors.

The only way forward is to look for sustainable solutions with a plan to build our infrastructure based on smart growth in policies and investments that encourage infill development, walkability, and transit oriented development which could be achieved by implementing the Seven50 plan (seven50.org),which could be operated in conjunction with the SMART plan to offer a better menu of transportation options with a chance to build a strong, competitive, environmentally responsible and resilient region.

Read more on these risks.

What to do

Steps 1 & 2: Call & Email your own Commissioner and the swing votes in bold, ask them to HOLD THE LINE and deny SR 836 application 8, and to support transit-oriented infill development instead. Green means already in support. Plain means no need to call.


District 1: Barbara J. Jordan
Downtown 305-375-5393
District 305-636-2331

District 2: Jean Monestime
Downtown 305-375-4833
District 305-694-2779
District2@miamidade.gov

District 3: Audrey M. Edmonson
Downtown 305-375-5393
District 305-636-2331
District3@miamidade.gov

District 4: Sally A. Heyman
Downtown 305-375-5128
District 305-787-5999
District4@miamidade.gov

District 6: Rebecca Sosa
Downtown 305-375-5690
District 305-267-6377
District6@miamidade.gov

District 7: Xavier L. Suarez
Downtown 305-375-5680
District 305-375-5680
District7@miamidade.gov


District 8: Daniela L. Cava
Downtown 305-375-5218
District 305-378-6677
District8@miamidade.gov

District 9: Dennis C. Moss
Downtown 305-375-4832
District 305-245-4420
District9@miamidade.gov

District 10: Javier D. Souto
Downtown 305-375-4835
District 305-222-2116
District10@miamidade.gov

District 11: Joe A Martinez
Downtown 305-375-5511
District 305-552-1155

District 12: Jose “Pepe” Diaz
Downtown 305-375-4343
District 305-599-1200

District 13: Esteban L. Bovo Jr. (Chairman)
Downtown 305-375-4831
District 305-820-8424
District13@miamidade.gov


Where & When?
Step 3: Speak out at the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners Meeting on Wednesday, June 20, 8:30 a.m.

Address: Stephen P. Clark Government Center;
111 NW 1st Street; Commission Chambers
Miami, Florida 33128. 2nd Floor

Take Metrorail to Government Center!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jeff Greene, The 'Money' Wrench in the Florida Governor's Race. By Geniusofdespair


Billionaire Jeff Greene is now a candidate for Florida Governor on the Democratic side. He told the Miami Herald that he turned over a new leaf since he married a former party girl of Malaysian descent and fathered 3 boys.

On the plus side he went to John Hopkins and Harvard so ain't as dumb as Trump. He is definitely an improvement over Scott.

He said: "I got married 11 years ago. I have three boys, 5, 7, and 9. That changes your perspective...I'm thinking 'How am I going to take care of these little guys and what kind of world will I leave them.'"

He signed the billionaires' pledge giving away his fortune to philanthropic causes when he dies. He has also pledged millions to help other Democratic candidates throughout Florida.

Greene said of Trump: "I can see fraud when it's there in front of me, He's a fraud."

On the negative side:

He had Mike Tyson as his best man. A little nutty there, but that was 11 years ago.

He was a Republican, but than so was I.

He was a party boy, but than so was I (girl).

Greene has no political experience, a curse and a blessing.

He thinks he may still belong to Trump's Palm Beach club (what a dilemma to not know what dues you are paying).

Anyway, Phil Levine (worth about $100 million) does not have a clear path to the nomination with Jeff Greene's entrance (about 4 billion). Bob Graham is a paltry multi-millionaire (Graham's total net worth is reported to be between $7.35 million and $31.7 million) and less likely to part with his money for Gwen. However, Gwen Graham could profit from this 'money' wrench in the race, by letting the other two duke it out and coming up smelling like roses (except for that damn pipeline vote). I do think Graham would do better with independents.

P.S. Greene runs a school for the "academically advanced child" that I found disturbing in the elitist sense:


Thursday, June 14, 2018

On Transit And The Environment, In Miami-Dade It Is Always A One-Way Conversation ... by gimleteye

Why do we have the same "dialogue" about transit and the environment, every few years in Miami-Dade? Because it is not a dialogue. A dialogue is between parties. What we have in Miami-Dade are dialogues for "show" and to maintain appearances.

In fact, this critical policy area affects everyone's life here. Every single day, commuters are confronted with the consequences of poorly planned transit and the constant shifting of goal-posts where it comes to our quality of life.

Transit and the environment is a one-way conversation. Between big sprawl developers, large-scale farmers, and their industry associations, supply chains and the politicians they support.

Although there is citizen resistance to the one-way conversation, every time there is an issue like the extension of a major highway (in this case, SR 836) it needs to regenerate. Gov. Rick Scott and the state legislature made sure that citizen resistance to growth and transit plans had minimal traction through the administrative courts. And over time -- especially after the Citizens United decision by the Bush Supreme Court in 2010 -- developers and their attorneys turned to challenging protesters and imposing significant costs like counter-lawsuits against the resistance.

Moreover, among protesters -- from neighborhood associations to civic groups and environmentalists -- there is no institutional connection between one generation of opposition and the next. Because there is no institutional connection, there is no funding or money to fund the resistance beyond the indignation against the next tranche of assaults against the environment and quality of life through zoning decisions at the county level.

The Knight Foundation -- which has the funding capacity to provide that institutional connection -- could have chosen to assist this critical area of public policy in the past. There were many, many chances. But the Knight Foundation leadership never had an appetite for conflict with developers, their downtown law firms and lobbyists. The celebrity culture has not been kind to Miami's natural environment or to the cause of middle-class commuters from distant suburbs to downtown jobs.

On the other hand, the connection between electeds and the developer class is hard-wired. The money is always there. It is used to exploit the profit formulas of converting low-cost farmland (former Everglades wetlands) into suburban sprawl. Citizens are fragmented. Finance and insurance is united to a single goal: build as much, as fast, and as profitably as possible. Advocates for sprawl have perfected marketing pitches that include paid-for local crowds to support more of everything that is bringing traffic to a crawl and closer and closer to the Everglades.

Next week, the county commission is poised to approve a major roadway extension using the argument -- long known as a lie -- that expanding highways relieves traffic congestion. Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who is term-limited, and retreaded county commissioner Joe Martinez are leading the way. Gimenez and his staff, in a meeting with environmentalists, asked for an "alternative" to widening SR 836. The invitation was a baited trap.

Citizens have had victories along the way, but these are skirmishes in a battle that has defined our political culture.

On June 19th, there is a landmark opportunity for one county commission district to change direction. In District 5, voters will elect a new county commissioner. Eileen Higgins is challenging the wife of Bruno Barreiro who resigned his seat to run for Congress. Barreiro had been a charter member of the unreformable majority who rubber-stamped zoning changes and expansion of development beyond the urban development boundary.

Electing Higgins would send a message, if voters have enough sense to give her a chance on the county commission to change the one-way conversation.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Read this paragraph and let it sink in. By Geniusofdespair

...The problem facing America runs much deeper than Trump’s personal awfulness. One of our two major parties appears to be hopelessly, irredeemably corrupt. And unless that party not only loses this year’s election but begins losing on a regular basis, America as we know it is finished. - Paul Krugman (read the entire column)




Has that sunk in? Do I have to put a big black box around it? My heart is beating rapidly. What he said has taken me to a place I never wanted to go. Why? Because I believe it is true.

Who is Paul Krugman you might ask. Here is his bio in the New York Times:

Paul Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as an Op-Ed columnist. He is distinguished professor in the Graduate Center Economics Ph.D. program and distinguished scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center at the City University of New York. In addition, he is professor emeritus of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

In 2008, Mr. Krugman was the sole recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade theory.

Mr. Krugman received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1977. He has taught at Yale, M.I.T. and Stanford. At M.I.T. he became the Ford International Professor of Economics.

Mr. Krugman is the author or editor of 27 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. His professional reputation rests largely on work in international trade and finance; he is one of the founders of the “new trade theory,” a major rethinking of the theory of international trade. In recognition of that work, in 1991 the American Economic Association awarded him its John Bates Clark medal. Mr. Krugman’s current academic research is focused on economic and currency crises.