TCPALM: November 4, 2016. Written by Gil Smart.
Our long environmental nightmare might soon be over.
For the moment, that is.
On Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers stopped the discharges from Lake Okeechobee — 279 days after they began.
I went to take a look at the St. Lucie River in Stuart on Thursday afternoon. It was brown, not green. There was no algae in sight. And with it gone, and the dry season upon us, the sense of immediacy that gripped the region is diminishing. You can feel it.
And that's good. But maybe not entirely.
Continue reading "Gil Smart: Will you bring algae into the voting booth?"
Fort Meyers Florida Weekly: November 2, 2016. Written by Roger Williams.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself this question: Do you like money?
If the answer is “Yes,” the voting-booth choices you have in nearly every federal, state or local office this year are as clean and simple as polished marble.
Outside of the race for the White House, there is only one choice for Florida voters who like money: water.
Continue reading "Down to the water wire"
TCPALM: November 4, 2016. Written by Isadora Rangel.
After talking about being the son of a bartender during his announcement to run for president last year, Marco Rubio walked off stage in Miami and hugged a middle-age man in a tan suit.
That man was Jose "Pepe" Fanjul, the patriarch of the family that owns sugar giant Florida Crystals and whom Rubio has credited for helping him win the U.S. Senate seat he's defending this year.
The Fanjuls and their company have supported Rubio since his first election to the Florida House in 2000 and stood by him as he became the speaker, a senator and a presidential candidate. And Rubio has stood by many of the company's positions, in particular related to the environment and Lake Okeechobee discharges.
TCPALM: November 3, 2016. Written by Erik Eikenberg.
Much has been made of the devastating environmental effects of toxic discharges of Lake Okeechobee water into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers, but little has been said about the importance of increased water storage to Florida’s economy.
The untreated water gives rise to regular outbreaks of smelly, slimy algae that has suffocated sea grass and killed game fish, wildlife and even domestic pets that consumed it.
TCPALM: November 3, 2016. Written by Tyler Treadway.
After 279 days and more than 218 billion gallons of water, Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River are stopping.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday the gates at the St. Lucie Lock and Dam will shut Friday morning and stay that way except for occasional releases of local rainfall runoff.
The end of the summer rainy season, a drier-than-normal forecast for winter and Lake O's elevation drop below 15 feet 6 inches prompted the halt, said Candida Bronson, acting operations chief for the Corps in Florida. "Barring an unexpected heavy-rain event, we expect the recession to continue."
Continue reading "Corps to stop Lake Okeechobee discharges to St. Lucie River"
SUN SENTINEL: November 2, 2016. Written by Andy Reid.
Nearing the end of a U.S. Senate campaign filled with name-calling, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy on Wednesday tried to portray himself as voters' best choice for bringing compromise to Washington, D.C.'s partisan bickering.
Murphy, a Democrat, on the campaign trail hasn't shied away from labeling his Republican opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio, a liar and a no-show senator.
But Murphy barely even mentioned Rubio during a speech Wednesday before the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
Instead Murphy told hundreds of local community leaders about his bipartisan efforts to land more funding for Everglades restoration and to cut government waste. He said he wants to go the Senate to revive the "spirit of trying to get things done."
Continue reading "Murphy tries bipartisan sales pitch in race with Rubio"
WFSU: November 2, 2016. Written by Jim Ash.
A non-profit group is launching what it calls a grass-roots campaign to fight incoming Senate President Joe Negron’s 2.4 billion-dollar plan for a massive reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.
The Port St. Lucie Republican says it’s necessary to fight water pollution, but the Lake Okeechobee Business Alliance says it will destroy the local economy.
Alliance founder Julia du Plooy describes herself as a stay-at-home mother of an 8-month-old daughter and a concerned citizen. U.S. Sugar opposes the plan, but du Plooy insists her non-profit group is not an industry front.
Continue reading "Some Lake Okeechobee Locals Damning Reservoir"
LEHIGH ACRES CITIZEN: November 2, 2016. Written by John Scott.
To the editor:
In Matt Caldwell's recent letter, he addresses what he calls "scurrilous lies." His record in the Florida legislature speaks for itself, but I feel a direct response is in order:
In 2014, 75 percent of voters passed Amendment 1 to fund acquisition of conservation lands for Everglades restoration. Caldwell and the legislature instead decided to use the funds to pay for state budget expenses, usually done from general revenue.
He missed the point others have made that he undermined the 1996 Polluter Pays Constitutional Amendment (requires polluters in the Everglades Agricultural Area clean up their own mess) and insulted our intelligence by stating that he was in 10th grade in 1996. He was not in 10th grade in 2013, when he sponsored HB 7065 to amend the 1994 Everglades Forever Act, stopping implementation of the Polluter Pays mandate and limiting the sugar industry's long term obligation to fund Everglades restoration.
Continue reading "Response to 'scurrilous lies'"
NEWS-PRESS: November 1, 2016. Written by Patrick Riley.
Huddled beneath a chickee hut outside Lake Park Elementary School in Naples on Tuesday morning, third-graders Corey Owens and Tristan Fredrickson studied the sheets of paper laid out in front of them.
On them were pictures of wood storks, river otters, anhingas, ospreys and snail kites — all inhabitants of the Everglades.
“The Everglades keeps us alive and helps the animals,” said Corey, 9. “And we get water from there.”
Continue reading "Now or Neverglades tour visits Lake Park Elementary"
MEDSCAPE: October 31, 2016. Written by Aseem Malhotra.
I was recently asked to speak at the UK parliamentary "Sugar Summit." This event was convened by Rend Platings, a mother so disturbed by England's chief medical officer's revelation that, as a result of obesity, today's generation of parents may be the first to outlive their children, that she launched a campaign, Sugarwise, to help consumers identify foods with added sugar.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes, chaired the event, whose audience was made up of a number of representatives from such high-profile UK retailers as Tesco, Caffè Nero, and the Jamie Oliver Group, as well as such influential stakeholders as the UK Department of Health, Public Health England, the British Soft Drinks Association, and the Food and Drink Federation.
Continue reading "Sugar is the New Tobacco, so Let's Treat It That Way"