Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Sliming of Florida Politics ... by gimleteye

Again, Florida politicians are scurrying about, trying to camouflage their reputations and avoid being targeted in November by angry voters.

There's Rick Scott, trying to unseat Bill Nelson for US Senate: Scott, whose very first act as governor was to chainsaw the budget of the science agencies charged with protecting Florida waters. No funding, no science, no problem.

And Adam Putnam, whose loyalty to agricultural polluters in Florida led him to lobby Congress to WEAKEN federal laws protecting state waters. Putnam, currently the state agriculture secretary, wants to succeed Scott as governor. He will do anything to accommodate Big Sugar.

And Matt Caldwell, whose district is over-run by toxic algae including potent neurotoxins that can cause brain damage, spends his time bashing groups trying to get some -- any -- enforcement of pollution laws by government. Caldwell is running to be the next state agriculture secretary.

Scott, Putnam, Caldwell.

For context, read a recent article by John Moran, writer and photographer who captured the awful mess Florida politicians allowed to occur.

The Sliming of a Florida River
by John Moran, July 2018

The Great Toxic Slime Outbreak of 2018 has befouled the Caloosahatchee River, the river of my childhood. I needed to see for myself, so I grabbed my cameras and headed south to Fort Myers and Cape Coral. A heartbreaking sight awaited.

Gov. Scott has declared a state of emergency in seven counties to combat the noxious green algae fed by water discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

The governor directed state health officials to warn Floridians and visitors of the dangers of toxic algae. Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, will assist impacted businesses. And the governor once again blamed the Army Corps of Engineers for the slow pace of Everglades restoration projects.

Missing from Rick Scott’s emergency declaration—and indeed, missing from his entire tenure as governor—was a targeted response effectively dealing with the source of the pollution. Real leadership demands an acknowledgment that Florida’s water woes are a time-release disaster of our own making.

An epidemic of indifference has led to this riot of slime, and the response of officialdom has clearly been incommensurate with the severity of the ongoing crisis we face.

I believe we’re missing the big picture in part because our political leaders are reluctant to connect the dots and help us see that we are killing Florida’s waters with our lifestyle choices and business practices.

Nobody wanted this to happen, but that’s no excuse for the choices we’ve made. My message to our political leadership is clear: It is the Earth that lies at the very center of our existence and makes possible life itself, to say nothing of human endeavors like the economy.

That famous line about “the business of government is business” is shallow and shortsighted. We must aim higher: The business of government is wellbeing.

And to our business leaders, I say there can be no longterm wellbeing in Florida if we continue to use and abuse our waters like there’s no tomorrow.

Look in the mirror, Florida: Choices have consequences. Sustainability must be more than a marketing buzzword. Real sustainability must be at the foundation of our vision for Florida in the 21st century, for without it this will not be a place our children’s children will want to live or work or play.

Florida’s waters are the very foundation of our economy, our way of life, and our identity on the world stage.

This is the truth that must be said: Our waters are a mess. We are failing the test of responsible stewardship. With apologies to the great Caloosahatchee, Denial remains the mightiest river in Florida.

For the love of Florida, listen to the pictures and then listen to your heart.


John Moran is a Florida nature photographer based in Gainesville. The following photos taken recently of the Caloosahatchee River, courtesy of John Moran.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Big Sugar boosters attempt whisper campaign against Bullsugar ... by gimleteye

The writer Carl Hiaasen quoted the late Nathaniel Reed in a New York Times obituary last week, "He'd say, ‘Don’t be discouraged. Get angry, show up, make your voice heard, and when they ignore you, make it louder the next time.’"

The group "making it loudest" was formed during the toxic algae outbreak of the winter of 2015/ 2016 when the state's rivers, bays and estuaries downstream from Lake Okeechobee were poisoned primarily through the influence of Big Sugar on South Florida's water management infrastructure. That group is Bullsugar, and this year -- and election year -- the slime is baaa-aaack.

Yes, the slime is back and it's dangerous. Cyanobacteria is linked to severe neurological disease. The state of Florida has been downplaying the risk, avoiding the science, and failing to protect citizens through rigorous science, effective regulation and enforcement against polluters.

One change from 2016: Big Sugar launched a whisper campaign against Bullsugar, a grass roots group founded in Martin County, calling the group "liberal" and "extreme". As if anything could be less radical or conservative than pointing out taxpayer money is being squandered as quid pro quo to Big Sugar's campaign contributions.

Rick Scott and Adam Putnam and Matt Caldwell come foremost to mind as defenders of the polluters: Scott is Florida's term-limited governor seeking to unseat US Senator Bill Nelson, Putnam being the state's Agriculture Secretary seeking to be the next governor, and Big Sugar's legislator of the year, Matt Caldwell, a state representative being offered as Putnam's successor.

Where Big Sugar sees a political ladder, bolted together with unlimited contributions, Bullsugar sees bowling pins set to be knocked down by angry voters. For Big Sugar, that's a problem.

Yes, these are all Republican, but Bullsugar doesn't shy from explaining: when it comes to accommodating the state's biggest polluters party affiliation doesn't matter: Big Sugar is an equal opportunity contributor and Florida Democrats are just as susceptible if not more so -- with a few startling exceptions -- to sugar's sticky, treacle and influence.

One of the Democrat standouts for honesty is Chris King, seeking the party's nomination to be next governor. King has made Big Sugar's corrupting influence on state politics a rallying cry of his campaign. King recently told the Tampa Bay Times:
"Sugar corporations bear clear responsibility for the billions of gallons of toxic algae water pumping out of Lake Okeechobee and threatening public health," Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King said after campaigning in communities most hurt by algae blooms around Lake Okeechobee. Then he moved on to the corporate headquarters of U.S.Sugar in Clewiston. "After traveling deep into sugar country to call out their vise grip on Florida's environment, it's safe to say Big Sugar wasn't a big fan of our campaign today. We've led the debate against Sugar and forced the conventional politicians I'm running against to take a stand and return their sugar industry cash, and I'll continue to call out Big Sugar's abuse of Florida's environment –– even if the political establishment doesn't want to hear it."
Sugar's whisper campaign against Bullsugar seeks to negate the hundreds of thousands of Bullsugar followers on Facebook and the web.  Big Sugar has mobilized paid-for "fake news" to spread rumors and innuendos.

By throwing enough bulls** against the fan, the polluters want voters to be confused and to avoid learning how its polluting ways is putting Florida citizens directly in the path of cyanobacteria; a form of toxic algae that scientists are studying for links to severe neurological diseases including Alzheimer's.

For saying so, Bullsugar is attacked for being "impolite" and "rude" and "unreasonable". They grumble, Bullsugar won't compromise like other "more polite" groups. That is bulls**.

There should be no choice or compromise when it comes to public health. No choice or compromise when it comes to requiring the polluters to bear the costs of their pollution. It is thin-skinned of the state's political heavyweights to take offense at a small grass roots group, but that's what happens when one's fingerprints are all over the slime.

It is time for voters to reset the direction and to reject green slime candidates like Rick Scott, Adam Putnam and Matt Caldwell.

They don't like that Bullsugar is compiling voter guides because -- horror! -- taxpayer and voters might start putting two and two together and figure out that they've been voting against their best interests. So when you hear Big Sugar's whisper campaign; hold your breath, cover your ears and turn your backs. If it feels sweet and sticky, run.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nathaniel Reed ... by gimleteye

Nathaniel Reed, a champion of Florida's environment, passed away after an accident while fishing for salmon on a river in Canada. He was 84 and had lived a full and purpose-driven life.

I met Nathaniel in 1988 in Key West. We shared a love of fishing, and he was a mentor in advocacy for protecting Florida Bay and the Everglades. Nathaniel was an idealist whose ideals were tempered by pragmatism. He was friend and, as a result of a long career in public service -- both in state and federal government appointed positions -- a unique one.

Our fishing was in Florida Bay with a guide, poling a narrow draft skiff to catch and release bonefish, permit and tarpon; species that inhabited shallow water, seagrass flats when the tides, the current and weather were right. I last fished with him, west of Key West with his longtime guide, Gil Drake, a few years ago. It was a windy, grey late winter day in the Marquesas. We were after permit; notoriously finicky and hard to see much less catch.

It had been discouraging fishing and cold. Gil's back was aching from poling the boat sideways to wind and current. At lunch he anchored the push pole off the fishing tower, on the far side of the Marquesas in a little channel against a sand bar. The boat rested in about two and a half feet of water.

We had unwrapped our sandwiches and started to eat when Gil said, "Fish, two o'clock." Nathaniel dropped his sandwich, grabbed his fly rod and cast where Gil was pointing. We waited a second, then the line went tight and streamed off his reel. Nathaniel didn't bring that permit to the boat -- it scampered off --, but we all had a great laugh. Nathaniel's laugh, always being the loudest. The unstated joke of that moment; it's the grace of God that puts a permit on your rod when you are not even looking. That is how I will remember Nathaniel.

He caught a lot of fish in his life, way more than I ever will, but when I fished with him, it wasn't about the fishing. Our conversation was like downloading an encyclopedia on history, the environment and politics.

Nathaniel was a moderate Republican. He was from a family of wealth and privilege, and the idea of noblesse oblige rankled some powerful politicians who opposed him. They missed the point. Protecting the environment is not about deal-making, although -- yes -- there are always deals. It is about responsibility. Nathaniel could support a bad deal and grit his teeth, but he never forgot the score.

Nathaniel was from a generation of Florida leaders who didn't need to be persuaded about the value of Florida's natural heritage because they, too, had experienced it directly. In the Everglades. In the rivers and bays and streams. Democrats AND Republicans. He was outraged by what happened on his watch.

Nathaniel's brand of Republican has been burned out by the conservative right. Although he served as a political appointee under conservatives, like Richard Nixon and Gov. Reubin Askew, the ethos of protection and conservation -- of assessing the costs of toxics and pollution where they originated -- has sharply diminished.

Nathaniel was not just among the early generation of environmentalists, he was among the generation that created and implemented both big national environmental laws and state ones, like the Growth Management Act. I know of no other non-elected Floridian who had been so involved at both these levels of government.

He was unfailingly cordial and correct in a way that is also endangered. He valued knowledge. Knowledge of the natural world, knowledge of the law, knowledge of business and farming and the science of things. And he remembered just about everything. He was a terrific story-teller, in a voice filled with laughter.

For environmentalists in Florida who have faced such a steep climb, humor has its purpose. It is an antidote to the pain of listening to charlatans and demagogues rattle on about "shared adversity" when, in fact, the net result is so much loss over so many years.

Nathaniel had a mental rolodex of agency staff and scientists and engineers. He had a serious, in-depth understanding of the operations of Florida's water management system, at a level of intricate detail. He was an informal advisor to US senators, congressmen, and to governors who would listen. Answers to specific problems, for Nathaniel, were never more than a phone call, a fax, or email away. He brought these skills to the Everglades Foundation as an original board member.

Earlier Nathaniel served on the board of the South Florida Water Management District. Like many environmentalists, he was deeply disappointed by the slow, agonizing progress forward on Everglades restoration. He was diplomatic, even though his opponents -- whether sugar barons or the state's large development and water resource engineers -- scorned him. He was always up for an honest fight.

As founder of 1000 Friends of Florida, Nathaniel brought together the gamut of Florida development interests and legal minds to implement, protect and improve the state's Growth Management Act. Under his leadership, 1000 Friends became the most important state advocacy organization for the effort to tame low-density, urban sprawl and to reinforce protection for the state's treasured natural resources. It was a terrible blow to him and so many citizens when successive governors and Republican legislatures eviscerated the agency charged with promoting growth management, the Florida Department of Community Affairs.

Nathaniel's heart was in the Everglades. He never gave up hope that if the right energy could be mobilized, if the right resources and political pressure applied, if the right laws could be written and enforced, if property rights could be protected at the same time as the jobs that depend on a stable environment, that we could succeed in restoring a badly damaged ecosystem. Success was always, for Nathaniel, within grasp -- just like a permit at the end of his line. A permit he would always let go at the end. Because that is what grace and good fortune is about: accepting and releasing the bounties God has blessed us with. They are not for us to take. They are what we hold in trust for future generations.

No: we are not here to dominate the earth, but to nurture and to share its blessings. God speed, Nathaniel Reed.

Bullsugar calls out Big Sugar's rigged political system ... by gimleteye

Toxic algae bloom on the St. Lucie River, Florida

Big Sugar farms on over 400,000 acres -- roughly 800 square miles -- south of Lake Okeechobee, the liquid heart of Florida. The big players in the industry are billionaires; Florida Crystals owned by the Fanjul family and US Sugar Corporation, owned by the descendants of Charles Stuart Mott. Through its campaign contributions, Big Sugar controls the levers of government in Florida.

It needs levers. Big Sugar needs control because profits depend on micromanaging rules and regulations of water pollution (think, Lake Okeechobee and toxic algae) and the operation of the nation's most complex flood control system whose primary purpose is keeping sugar farms dry in wet season and wet in dry season. Regulatory and political capture is Big Sugar's game, pure and simple.

Oh. There is one more season that matters to Big Sugar: election season.

This cycle is exceptional because a massive toxic algae outbreak in Lake Okeechobee is focusing voters' attention on Sugar's role in ways that could upset its best laid political plans.

So Big Sugar is lashing out at the group taking a stand against a rigged system at the root of the toxic algae outbreak. That group is Bullsugar, whose purpose is to call out the fakery and to direct public attention toward real solutions to protect Florida's environment and jobs.

By its very name, Bullsugar elicits anxiety from the polluters it shadows.

In 2016, Big Sugar suffered a stinging defeat in the Republican presidential primary. It bet the farm on US Senator Marco Rubio to be the Republican nominee for president. That investment came a cropper. (By the time John C. Hotten published his A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words in 1859, the phrase has come to refer to any failure rather than the specific failure to stay on a horse: "Cropper, 'to go a cropper', or 'to come a cropper', that is, to fail badly." In the word of our president, Sad!)

Pepe Fanjul, of the billionaire Florida Crystals empire, was first to hug Rubio when he left the Miami stage after his campaign debut. From there, it was all downhill. Rubio's shellacking by Trump shocked political operatives who calibrate Big Sugar's risk. The reason Rubio did so poorly among Republicans, garnering scarcely 25% of the primary vote, was his pathetic response to a massive toxic algae outbreak on both coasts -- the same kind that is occurring today.

If the toxic algae outbreak was the wild card in a normally predictable game, what surprised Big Sugar even more was Bullsugar's role. The grass roots start-up organized in Martin County on Florida's east coast. Its staff quickly mobilized hundreds of thousands of supporters through social media.

The role of toxics in Rubio's thrashing by Trump in the GOP primary generated practically no attention in the mainstream media. Nor did Democrats wake up to the phenomenon in the subsequent US Senate race; an election that Rubio handily won.

Big Sugar did not immediately adapt to this unwelcome development in its careful communication strategy. But it has.

State Representative Matt Caldwell, campaigning to be the next Agriculture Secretary, recently attacked Bullsugar in Sunshine State News: "From the base vulgarity of your name to the harassment and abuse hurled toward fellow Floridians to the constant stream of twisted misinformation spread to the public, your organization has all the hallmarks of a hate group." (Read more about Sunshine State News, here.) Caldwell's claim is a laughable, sad commentary of our current politics.

Big Sugar picked Caldwell from the GOP bench as an up-and-com'er through his role unseating the only Republican county commissioner in Florida with the guts to call out the rigged system that permits Big Sugar to pollute Florida waterways at the expense of taxpayers. In 2012 Ray Judah, a long-serving and popular official in Collier County was blind-sided by a television ad campaign later revealed to be organized by a political committee headed by Caldwell, resident of an adjacent county. US Sugar Corporation was the sole benefactor and spent a million dollars in the dark money blitz. It worked, and Caldwell was on his way to calling Bullsugar a "hate group".

In this election cycle, Big Sugar's political plans are clear. It is spending hundreds of thousands -- if not, millions -- to push term-limited Gov. Rick Scott into the US Senate seat held by the Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. Although Nelson has always been respectful of Big Sugar, Scott is an energetic ally who proved his chops by bending state authority even more closely to Big Sugar's will. Scott, of course, is a friend of Trump. To succeed Scott, Big Sugar is pushing Adam Putnam -- now Agriculture Secretary -- to be governor. Big Sugar never had a better friend than Putnam, whose family wealth derived from a land sale to the state at an inflated value compared to its appraisal. To succeed Putnam, Big Sugar has thrown its weight behind Caldwell to be the next Agriculture Secretary.

Whether Big Sugar's election plans are a golden ticket or a trap door depends on Florida voters in November. Informed voters should take a close look at the results of the Bullsugar candidate questionnaire, the one that is getting Matt Caldwell and Sunshine State News all hopped up, because the only way out of this rigged system is to loosen the grip of the polluters who refuse to clean up their pollution at the source and instead force taxpayers to pay and pay and pay.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

For Florida Voters: A Summer Of Discontent (Driven By Massive Pollution) ... by gimleteye

June 27 satellite photo of algae (on left) in Lake Okeechobee moving toward the St. Lucie River. Image courtesy of Planet Labs, Inc., produced by Earthrise Media. (S-308 - Port Mayaca Spillway to the C-44 canal)
Funny, about polls and voters and the environment. If you put the question to voters but lead off with questions about crime, immigration, about jobs and leave the environment -- out of context -- to the end of the list, public attitudes skew away from the environment.

But when cancer strikes, or a disease linked to toxics like Alzheimer's, and news breaks out; suddenly environmental issues percolate to the top of voter concerns. If acres of toxic cyanobacteria line the beaches you love or the rivers where you recreate or the estuaries your property borders or your jobs depend on; well then, concerns for the environment tend to bloom just like blankets of algae in Lake Okeechobee on a day overheated by climate change.

For certain lawmakers aspiring to higher office in Florida, this creates an unwelcome problem.

It's unwelcome because lawmakers -- for example Rick Scott running for US Senate, Adam Putnam running for Scott's job as governor, and Matt Caldwell running for Putnam's job as agriculture secretary -- long ago attached their political future to polluters who, surprise!, are the biggest funders of campaigns. Polluters like Big Sugar who command water management in Florida and the laws regulating its operations. Polluters, who profit by shifting the costs of their pollution to taxpayers.

Solving environmental problems makes a great talking point until an explosion of pollution -- which is happening now -- points to the record of failure; failure that starts by shifting public focus from the polluters to future taxpayers. Kicking the can down the road on the environment starts looking like a nightmare when your family's health is at imminent risk.

When pollution events explode on the ground and in the news in July, only a few months before a mid-term election in which Florida -- again -- will play a central role in the outcome of the Trump investigations, the problem magnifies. Big Sugar, thoroughly invested in the status quo, demands the mobilization of a counter-wave of outrage.

That is why every trick that Big Sugar deployed over decades to misdirect the public anger is being pulled out again. The tricks are thread-bare, like old and out-of-date clothing, used too much. For example: that septic tanks along the waterways in Martin and Lee counties are to blame. That development and dairy farms north of Lake Okeechobee are to blame. That sunlight is to blame. That the dam holding back Lake Okeechobee is to blame. Big Sugar and its political fingers point in every direction but their own. That fact that phosphorous and their legacy pollution of the Everglades continues to spread. The fact that every regulation governing the operation of the dike and flood control structures is exquisitely calibrated to put industry needs ahead of public health.

Until the guacamole thick algae came back, carrying with it major concerns about the health effects on hundreds of thousands of primarily Republican voters, the tricks had been put back into their bag and stowed away in the closet. Why? The severe algae outbreaks of winter 2016 abated. In response, Florida lawmakers came up with a $2 billion plan for a reservoir south of sugarcane lands to "solve the problem once and for all".

At the time, independent scientists tried their best to explain why the plan won't work: not enough surface area to clean up the pollution. For many years, the National Research Council -- the nation's preeminent science experts -- had sanely reached the same point. Neither reason nor science deterred the lawmakers from grabbing an expedient solution; expedient being defined as that which costs their main campaign funders, Big Sugar, the least.

Today, Florida politicians are blaming federal bureaucracy for being "too slow" in completing other Everglades related projects; projects, by the way, that were only agreed to by the state after being sued in federal court under the Clean Water Act by environmentalists. Yes, the same Clean Water Act that the Trump administration and the GOP Congress are determined to undermine, erode, and neuter because -- they swear -- the states are better places for laws to protect people and the environment. Oh, and there is one more place for Scott, Putnam and Caldwell to blame: environmentalists.

In their bag, this is their most thread-bare trick of all.

How the trick works: try to divide environmentalists into those you can work with and those you can't. Tag the ones who are unafraid to tell the public the facts and truth. Call them, "radical". Call them, "extremists". This was the clarion call of the Wise Use Movement in the Reagan era, and it is the same tired trick today.

What are these "radicals" saying? For one, a $2 billion, 30 foot deep reservoir with high walls is just going to be the largest and most massive man-made lake for more algae than we ever built before. That it can't possibly meet water quality standards as a result. And that, even if this "reservoir" is built, it can't store anywhere near enough water to help the estuaries or Florida Bay or the Everglades. The "radicals" said two years ago, that the legislation passed by Florida legislators was "a Trojan Horse" set into the middle of taxpayers. What it can do: help drain or irrigate Big Sugar fields at times of surge demand, either in drought or flood conditions.

Here is what else the "extremists" are saying: that the state of Florida should pull back the long-term leases it granted -- according to a new rule promoted by Representative Matt Caldwell in 2013 and supported by Putnam and Gov. Scott -- on nearly 25,000 acres now being farmed by corporate welfare Big Sugar barons. This is public property, as would the entirety of US Sugar Corporations lands if Gov. Rick Scott had exercised the option to purchase its 187,000 acres in 2010. The Fanjul sugar barons blocked the land deal. It would have been a first step toward a solution, but it never happened because Big Sugar politics got in the way.

This and all the dirty tricks would have been left in the old bag, but for the current terrible outbreak of algae affecting both Florida coasts in a hot July leading up to the mid-term elections. So next time the words "radical" and "extremists" are applied to Big Sugar's targets -- like Bullsugar or Sierra Club -- pay attention to what political candidates these groups decided to endorse. If you can't give money to Bullsugar or to Sierra Club to help fund their efforts, then by all means give your votes to the candidates they support. Only if enough citizens exercise their right and responsibility to vote, can we ever hope to change Florida's polluting ways.

Note: I am a volunteer board member of the Bullsugar Alliance, Friends of the Everglades, and a past leader of the Florida Sierra Club.

Monday, July 09, 2018

This is the cartoon that is turning Florida politicians into balls of sweat -- especially those who take money from Big Sugar ... by gimleteye

Add caption

Florida Pheonix: Scary Green Monster Attacks South Florida (Politicians flee!) ...

Scary green monster attacks South Florida

Caloosahatchee river algae in a mason jarThe “Green Monster” is back – a fluorescent toxic algae outbreak that’s been sliming Florida’s east and west coasts, sparking bad-news headlines and leaving ruined beach vacations in its wake.
Since this is political season, Florida candidates are formally expressing Grave Concern as people living in pricey waterfront homes understandably wail about their lost property values and a wrecked way of life. Paradise this is not.
You don’t want to boat, swim, paddle board or do anything aquatic around this bad-acting algae.  In the short-term, you can get respiratory and intestinal distress. In the long term, studies link toxic algae to cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease and ALS. Plus, it can kill your pets.

Melania Trump's Fundraising Letter. By Geniusofdespair

Democrats are certainly evil according to this letter....

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Melania Trump: Has her signature been forged by her husband? By Geniusofdespair

In a fundraising letter Melania Trump sent to my friend in New York, it appears the signature is forged. What do you think?

Donald Trump's Signature

Apparently others have also been struck by the similarity.  Here is what a handwriting expert said:

Well, Yahoo spoke to handwriting expert Sheila Kurtz, who was, quite frankly, amazed.

She has been studying Donald's handwriting for years reportedly, and this was her response to seeing Melania's own signature,

'Hers looks just like his, which is absolutely amazing.'

Amazing? To be honest we thought it might be normal for people in relationships to gain certain similarities - they have been a couple for 19 years after all (12 of them married).

Apparently not, Kurtz explained that this was probably coordinated,

'This is stylized. Maybe they brought someone in to show her how to do it or [it's] a stamp, but it is definitely stylized.'

That seems fair considering how many things she probably has to sign everyday.

So Melania has been coached on how to sign her name.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

HUDSTEAD Update: Long Ago The Swamp Was Drained and Homestead Appeared. By Geniusofdespair

if you want to look at the bid documents...

Why is Homestead my favorite city in Florida to chuckle at? Because of the zany way the place runs and the inbred crackers that run it. The police building was just completed and it needs a new roof?  According to the City of Homestead website:
Thanks to your support and the careful planning of those involved, we've completed our new Homestead Police Headquarters on-time and on-budget!

The 55,000 square-foot, three-story facility is the first new building constructed specifically for law enforcement operations.

The station was designed by Rodriguez & Quiroga Architects Chartered and built by Munilla Construction Management. The impressive facility, constructed on-time and on-budget, is a community centerpiece that aligns with the vision to revitalize Downtown Homestead.

The new Homestead Police Headquarters opened for business Wednesday, February 15, 2017. All are invited to the Grand Opening Ceremony on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

So it appears the building is a little less than a year and half old yet it needs a roof replacement. The City residents appear to be as bewildered as I am.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Bill Nelson: Our Choice for Senator. By Geniusofdespair

I have heard Senator Bill Nelson speak a number of times. He is not a great speaker. He has that laid back Florida twang as a Northerner, I don't quite get.

I have also heard his evil Republican opponent speak and he is worse. That is why Rick Scott is just running negative ads against Bill Nelson. Scott can't speak at all without stuttering through his speech. I guess that is why he pleaded the 5th amendment 75 times. He is just not a speaker.

Rick Scott can claim victory for his two runs for Governor by running more ads. Effective ads. Is that what you want? A Senator who relies on his own money (that he got dubiously) to run ads?

Bill Nelson was born in Florida and has lived here his whole life. Is he smart? What do you think. You have to be damn smart to be an astronaut and in great physical shape.

Rick Scott, born in Illinois (the evil opponent) was pressured to resign as chief executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997, amid a controversy over the company's business and Medicare billing practices. During his tenure as chief executive, he oversaw the company while it defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other federal programs. The Department of Justice ultimately fined the company in what was at the time the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history.

Now Florida is facing one of its biggest catastrophes with the Algae blooms on both coasts. How does Rick Scott have anything to do with that? He made appointments to all the Water Management District Boards. Here is the mission of the Board:
To manage and protect South Florida's water resources by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.

Here is the background of some of Rick Scott's appointees - as you can see they are NOT uniquely qualified to make the decisions based on the Mission:

• Member, Florida Farm Bureau's Statewide Equine Industry Advisory Board, Member, Florida Farm Bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Program, Board Member, The Children’s Healing Institute, Former Member, Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau Board of Directors... Appointed By: Governor Rick Scott

• Director of Community and Government Relations for Lipman Family Farms...Appointed By: Governor Rick Scott

• Attorney Partner: Reed, Griffith & Moran...Appointed By: Governor Rick Scott

• Co-founder and Vice President of Entic, Inc (Real Estate Firm)....Appointed By: Governor Rick Scott

• Title Agent, Attorney's Title Fund/Old Republic National Title Insurance Company ...Appointed By: Governor Rick Scott

And with the crew he appointed - supporting the polluters of Lake Okeechobee - here is what we have now on the coasts:

We have a Governor who cares more about the Sugar Industry, ignoring their pollution, than he does about Florida water so people can safely recreate in and around it and for fish to flourish. Don't vote for Rick Scott.