Miami Herald: Written by Jenny Staletovich. December 5, 2017. Federal wildlife managers on Tuesday cleared the way for a Walmart-anchored strip mall in one of the world’s rarest forests, a tract of vanishing pine rockland inhabited by butterflies, bats, snakes and fragile wildflowers found no place else. In approving a conservation plan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said they do not expect the sprawling box store and mall, a parking lot or 900 apartments to threaten the survival of more than 20 endangered plants and animals — including the Miami tiger beetle — that live in the pineland. The approved plan divides what was once about 90 acres of forest scattered across 138 acres near Zoo Miami into two 20-plus acre preserves connected by a pathway, with the mall and apartments at the center. The plan differs little from the proposal submitted by a Palm Beach County developer two years ago, despite more than 3,000 comments filed by critics with the agency during the review. Continue reading "Federal wildlife managers clear way for Walmart in vanishing South Florida forest"read moreWashington Examiner: Written by Ted Ellis. December 4, 2017. If you’re like me and are trying to eat well in preparation for holiday indulgence, you know how difficult it is to truly avoid sugar. It is simply a part of the American diet, present in not just sweets but everything from bread to spaghetti sauce. For its seeming ubiquity, you might think sugar comes at a low price. But for taxpayers, that sweetness doesn’t come cheap. For decades, domestic sugar producers have been protected from fair competition. In recent years, their influential lobby has ensured producers’ inflated profits through $260 million dollars’ worth of federal subsidies and restrictions on fairly priced imported sugar. That’s why a bipartisan group of 64 senators and representatives as diverse as John McCain and Elizabeth Warren are co-sponsoring the Sugar Policy Modernization Act, which aims to introduce market reforms into the industry and bring our outdated, Depression-era sugar policy into the 21st century. Continue reading "Sugar policy reform: Stop paying off the plantation owners"read more
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