THE MEDIUM: Hurricane Matthew’s largest impact to Southwest Florida: Further water quality stress

THE MEDIUM: October, 2016. Written by Rob Moher.

We are all grateful to have avoided any direct impacts from Hurricane Matthew in Southwest Florida, while at the same time our hearts go out to our fellow east coast residents who did not fare as well, and to the hundreds who have died in the Carribean as a result of the storm. It is for all of us, a tragic reminder of the power of nature and the importance of planning ahead for these events.

Unfortunately, Southwest Florida may yet see some of the worst impact from the Hurricane in our estuaries in the days to come. This storm has dropped enormous amounts of rain on already saturated soils to our north and east, generating runoff that ultimately will wash even more pollution into our waterways. It is also putting strains on an already overloaded water management system.

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TCPALM: Thumb down: Lake O discharges resume after storm

TCPALM: October 7, 2016. Written by Editorial Board.

The Army Corps of Engineers halted damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee in advance of Hurricane Matthew, but the floodgates reopened almost as soon as the storm had passed.

That's bad news for the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, which are poised to get doused with even more water from a swelling Lake Okeechobee.

Releases could surge as high as 5,500 cubic feet per second, or 3.5 billion gallons a day, from the Port Mayaca Lock into the St. Lucie Canal. That's about three times the volume prior to Hurricane Matthew.

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MIAMI HERALD: Sunshine State survey: Economy and environment are the major concerns of Floridians

MIAMI HERALD: October 6, 2016. Written by Mary Ellen Klas.

A summer of water woes and uneasiness about the state’s economic future have led Floridians to identify the economy and the environment as their top concerns as they head to Election Day, according to the 2016 Sunshine State Survey released by the University of South Florida on Thursday.

The annual poll, done by the University of South Florida and Nielsen Surveys, found that 63 percent of all Florida households say they experience some financial stress, 28 percent blame their economic insecurity on low-paying jobs, and a slim majority of Floridians — 51 percent — would support a $15 state minimum wage.

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THE WEEKLY STANDARD: The Democrats' Sweet Tooth

THE WEEKLY STANDARD: October 7, 2016. Written by Kevin Cochrane.

In the depths of the Great Depression, two progressive congressmen added a little noticed amendment to the Agricultural Adjustment Act that over the next 80 plus years grew like an octopus with its tentacles touching every single American. At its inception, the Jones-Costigan Amendment was intended to help struggling U.S. sugar farmers ride out a few rough years by installing sugar import quotas and paying small subsidies to domestic producers. It was but a small part of the whole bigger New Deal. But it's one that wouldn't go away—even after it had far outlived its usefulness.

By the 1950s it was estimated that Americans were paying 50 percent more for sugar than the rest of the world because of Jone-Costigan. It was an attractive business protected by the most powerful government in the world. So attractive in fact that four brothers from Cuba, the Fanjuls, soon arrived along with their father and began a fledgling sugar cane business in south Florida. From those beginnings, protected by the quotas and supported by the subsidies, the Fanjul Corporation now is among the world's largest sugar producers and processors —an American success story. Sweet, eh?

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: Times recommends: Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate

TAMPA BAY TIMES: October 7, 2016. Written by Opinion.

Florida voters tired of gridlock in Washington have a clear choice for U.S. Senate. Democrat Patrick Murphy of Jupiter has served just two terms in the House, but he is a centrist who is right on the issues and works in a bipartisan fashion. Incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Miami is on the wrong side of most every issue, and he changed his mind about seeking re-election after he was crushed by Donald Trump in the Florida presidential primary. A Senate seat should not be a consolation prize for a failed presidential candidate killing time until his next run for the White House.

Here are 12 reasons Florida voters should replace Rubio with Murphy:

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POLITICO: New mystery entity pushes local governments to oppose Negron's Everglades reservoir plan

POLITICO: October 4, 2016. Written by Bruce Ritchie.

TALLAHASSEE — A shadowy entity created last month is asking local governments in North Florida to pass resolutions opposing Sen. Joe Negron's Everglades land-buying proposal.

Stand Up North Florida is trying to rally opposition to the proposed $2.4 billion reservoir project, saying it will dry up conservation spending elsewhere in Florida. A representative during a High Springs City Commission meeting on Sept. 22 refused to say who was funding the group.

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MIAMI HERALD: Who is a better friend of the Everglades, Rubio or Murphy?

MIAMI HERALD: September 30, 2016. Written by Mary Ellen Klas and Kristen M. Clark.

For all their differences on national issues, how Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Patrick Murphy handle one uniquely Florida issue — pollution from Lake Okeechobee — could have a profound impact on the future of the state.

The two U.S. Senate candidates both say they’re committed to Everglades restoration — and boast of accomplishments in Congress to prove that dedication — but they differ on how the problem should be solved.

 


TCPALM: Guest column: Water from Lake O must go south

TCPALM: October 2, 2016. Written by Mark Perry.

We are now at 247 days of constant discharges from Lake Okeechobee, totaling more than 216 billion gallons into the St. Lucie Estuary and southern Indian River Lagoon.

More than 400 billion gallons have gone to the Caloosahatchee River Estuary from the lake during this same period. The destruction to the environment and the economies in these coastal communities has been devastating, including threats to human health from contact with the waters.

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TCPALM: Editorial: Time to talk about ending sugar protections

TCPALM: September 30, 2016. Written by Editorial Board.

In a Sept. 16 New York Times op-ed on "The Shady History of Big Sugar," historian David Singerman details how the industry's "machinations" have, for more than a century, helped fuel both sugar consumption and sugar profits.

The latest evidence were revelations published earlier this month in JAMA Internal Medicine showing that over the course of five decades, the industry gamed vital research on the connection between diet and heart disease, paying scientists to downplay sugar's culpability.

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WPTV: Algae making reappearance on Treasure Coast

WPTV: September 28, 2016. Written by Jon Shainman.

STUART, Fla. - At former Martin County algae hot spots in Rio, and under the Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart, there was no algae easily spotted Wednesday.

But at a marina in North River Shores, there were small green specs.

At the St. Lucie Lock and Dam, on the other side of the gates, you can see green slicks of algae as fish poke their heads above the surface.

But just because we aren’t seeing massive algae blooms, it doesn’t mean the news is all good.

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