On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why did the City Council Turn down the Preserve Our Paradise Petition?

This is the rest of the story regarding the article submitted by Chairwoman Terri DiSciullo to the Eagle dated 8/24/06 titled: Guest commentary: Why the City Council turned down the Preserve Our Paradise petition. In an effort to verify the Council’s “informed decision” to reject a petition signed by more than 1,400 registered voters of Marco Island, I examined the City Charter and Florida Statutes referred to by the author.

Any one interested in verifying what I say here should read the City Charter as it relates to paragraphs 6.01(1) (the paragraph under which the petition was submitted) and 6.01(2) (the paragraph under which the City Attorney advised the Council that the petitioners violated certain provisions. I am not an attorney. However, I can read and my understanding of the two paragraphs lead me to a different perspective on their intent than that held by Ms. DiSciullo and the City Council.

Paragraph 6.01(1) states “Ten percent (10%) of the qualified electors of the city shall have the power to petition the council …” This is the paragraph under which the petitioners initiated their petition. Ten percent of qualified electors did in fact submit a petition to the City Council in compliance with paragraph 6.01(1) of the City Charter, and therefore it appears the Petitioners were in substantial compliance to this paragraph.

Ms. DiSciullo claimed the decision was based on the City attorney’s advice that the petition had failed to meet the requirements of the charter i.e. Section 6.01(2). A reading of this paragraph reveals that its purpose is to offer direction on how to petition. It offers the following guidance and fails to impose any qualifying activity to make a petition: “A minimum of five (5) electors may commence initiative or referendum proceedings by filing with the city manager or other designated official, and affidavit stating they will constitute the petitioners committee…” It does not state “will” or “shall” or even “must”. By using the word “may” the obvious intent is to permit a contingency and therefore implicitly defers to the mandatory requirements of Paragraph 6.01(1) above, which are declarative in purpose. A reading of 6.01(2) clearly shows that its purpose is instructive and not mandatory.

It appears the City Attorney may have inappropriately advised the City Council on the Petitioners omissions as pertains to Section 6.01(2) and again when he “emphasized” that the petition had failed to meet the requirements of the charter. It also appears the City Council failed to perform due diligence by not seeking out a second opinion. It is clear that the Council wanted to reject the petition as Ms. DiSciullo admits in the article and it seems they were thrown a lifeline by the City Attorney. Unfortunately, close examination reveals the line is flawed. Finally, Ms. DiSciullo states that the City Council determined that the charter provisions be followed exactly as written and adopted by the Marco Island electorate. I suggest that the City Council perform their duty, revisit their decision and comply with this statement. The Council should comply with paragraph 605(1) of the Charter and address the sufficiency of the petition in compliance with F.S. 166.031 or they will disenfranchise the voters and cause harm to our election process.

Byron Erickson

1 Comments:

  • I was at the city council meeting when a council person stated that this initiative must be stopped.

    The council could have avoided the confrontation long ago by listening to the citizens then and accepting the will of the citizens - always when it's legal and appropriate. To express disatisfaction with a city employee is our right, and is legal and is appropriate.

    So, even now more of the same - this time by what appears to be yet more wrong advise from the wrong (lawyers). Ergo more disenchantment.

    By Blogger mario, at Thursday, August 31, 2006 3:11:00 PM  

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Progress – Backwards

A present-day cultural icon once said in his native tongue “Para atrás, ni para coger impulso!” – which for the benefit of the seven people in Florida that don’t speak Spanish, the infamous saying translates to “Backwards, not even to gain momentum!”

The Argentinean doctor’s 40 year old saying, in a misanthropic sense applies to Marco Island. But as another, though honest icon, once wrote, how “curiouser and curiouser!” it is as we progress backwards.

Congratulations and much appreciation to council members Ms. DiSciullo, Mr. Kiester and Mr. Forcht for voting against continuing the sewer project.

As to the rest of the Sanhedrin, you may want give at least a semblance of being informed, lest you look any dumber – not the citizens of course as that image is irreparable, but to the other interests you serve.

Here are the facts, yet again, for you curious four:
  • There is no study of any kind that connects any septic tank to any form of pollution invading or otherwise affecting anything. This author, after reviewing every report provided by the city, will attest to that fact. Did you miss a report? The email from Mr. Moss stating unequivocally that there is no such study suffices. Check out the report yourselves.
  • The sewage processing plant handling paradise has had spills. Ergo, they – the government – have in fact harmed the environment. This fact has been documented on this site and by the state of Florida.
  • Sewage treatment plant spills in other paradises like California and Washington have increased many times over this year as compared to last – as also reported on these pages.
  • Every citizen, visitor, tourist, part time resident, full time resident, Cuban that was just dropped off on Residents Beach by human smugglers, illegal alien, worker, weekend over-60 Harley enthusiast and coyote (you know, the ones playing golf on the Marco Island golf course) will benefit from, or be adversely impacted by the sewage treatment plant.

So, let’s keep making multi-million dollar decisions with serious health consequences based on misinformation.

And then onto POP. With history to guide us, as provided by some members of the city council and by nearly all of the “staff”, could this fine organization not have anticipated what happened?

When people and governments act in good faith, the intent is what counts. Those who seek the perennial advice of lawyers seldom act with good intentions. Knowing how some of the council acted and said when it came to this initiative, POP should have entered into this endeavor only after covering all of their bases. POP must have known after months of contention and personal insults that the government would go to any length to block the initiative. Read: block what the voters want. In this case, until POP reviews its legal options, the reason for the defeat appears to be a requirement by statute. The long-distance response by POP is that it just isn’t so. So once again we are left to wonder. Which begs another question – why wasn’t the senior representation of POP at the city council meeting representing their/our interest when this matter was being debated?

A suggestion to the council: listen to your voters and in the rare case when the informed majority is “wrong”, don’t alienate them. [Yes citizens, sometimes the majority in the American democracy are wrong, as in dead wrong – like slavery, legalized discrimination of women and blacks, infanticide, the House Un-American Activities Committee, etc..]You were not voted into a body which forms a representative form of government to do what businesses want or to act on what you guess is correct. Federal representation is where we entrust our representatives to make judgment calls and to do what they think is best, since there are many issues for which we can not opine intelligently since do not have access to certain information (e.g., military secrets). But at a city level, where there is a sunshine law? If you do what the majority want, and that majority is just as informed as you are, then there would be less contention, less lawsuits, and more leeway. And democracy would actually work well.

3 Comments:

  • Excellent post. Roger Hall

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, August 26, 2006 5:05:00 PM  

  • here will be about 70 property owners affected by the installation of sewage lift stations on Marco over the next 7 to 10 years. Most owners do not know that there is a city ordinance restricting the use of some easements. It's referred to as Sec. 30-579(6) and reads is as follows:

    (6) Easement dedication.
    EASEMENT DEDICATION
    There are hereby expressly dedicated, perpetual non-exclusive public easements of ten feet along the rear lines of all lots for underground and overhead utilities, surface and underground drainage, and easements of six feet on each side lot line for the same purposes, but limited if used to one side of any one lot. Where more than one lot is intended as a building site, the outside boundaries of said building site shall carry the easements. The use of such easements by the city shall be supreme to the use by any other party. All other easements shown on this plat are hereby reserved in perpetuity for the purposes noted.

    This ordinance tells me that since one of my side lot easements has been used for water, electric, phone and cable TV then the other side lot easement has limited usage.

    To me a lift station control panel is not one of the stated uses - i.e. underground or overhead utility, surface or underground drainage. Neither is it limited. It is a permanent above-ground structure with unlimited access 24X7.

    The city claims that an easement placed on these 70 properties years ago, by Deltona, allows them to use the second easement without restriction. I disagree. When the City Code of Ordinances was adopted, they were all adopted. No one has been able to show me where Sec. 30-579(6) was excluded from the adopted code.

    Doug Enman

    dougenman@yahoo.com

    By Anonymous Doug, at Friday, September 15, 2006 9:23:00 AM  

  • One consideration not spoken of during the process of money spent here on
    Marco, is the expense to resewer the original districts that have the old
    clay pipes. I brought this up a year ago but with the problems on
    Yellowbird this week, I think this matter should be brought to the attention
    of the people. You see, after we spend the 135 million for the STRP, the
    city will come after us to spend another 100 million to replace the old clay
    sewer pipes in the old districts. The cost to the taxpayers city will be on
    going. The construction or I should say the destruction and reconstruction
    of our roads will be on going. It is my guess that the cost of sewer rates
    will double. I question if those people who pay the special assessment for
    their districts will subsidize those in the older districts. We have
    already paid through our taxes for the Condos and hotels along So. Collier
    to have their pipes replaced. Unless we get good people involved in the
    future planning for our city, we will continue to have dissention. You may
    pass this along for comments if you wish. I'm open for suggestions and I
    know most people want what is best for the resident taxpayers. Thanks....
    Fran

    By Anonymous Fran, at Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:43:00 PM  

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Friday, August 11, 2006

More Bad News for the Citizens on Sewer Systems

As this medium has been attempting to have our elected officials reconsider their decision to go ahead with sewers, we once again bring to their attention how - for the most part - beuracratic control of processing sewage is not what they have been promissed or have promissed us.

Since us citizens are the ones that have to suffer the long term consequences of today's actions, we raise to the level of liability the health and economic impact when these processing plants fail. And notice that its not if they will fail, but when.

This gem from the August 4, 2006 New York Times:Washington is the second most environmentally regulated state in the country - second only to California - which as has already been reported in these pages, has the most polluted beaches from sewage.

It is once again urged that consideration must be given to the liability when these plants fail. It is not too late to reconsider.

Once again it is proven that it is folly to take the word of the EPA and the myriad governmental departments when they attest to the adequacy of the treatment plant and related systems. As one can clearly see, it is meaningless. Don't believe it? Ask the folks in California and Oregon and Washington.

With many on the council making their only priority anything that is good for business is good for Marco Island, consider how good business will be when the beaches start closing due to sewage contamination. If you think that the real estate cabal on the island can't sell now because of hurricanes and interest rates, watch them sell when the daily paper has a section right under the tide schedule showing which areas of the beach are closed. (Fiction you think? Pick up a copy of the San Diego Union Tribune).

Can we please reconsider this sewer deal? For the sake of Marco Island's economic health and more importantly, for the sake of our own health?

8 Comments:

  • A few more factoids:

    Estimated amount of raw sewage that leaks from sewer lines on the way to sewer plants each year in the United States: 850,000,000,000 gallons (Source: EPA)

    Number of raw sewage overflows into U.S. rivers, lakes and coastal waters each year in the United States: 40,000 (Source: EPA)

    Number of Beach Closure days in the United States during 2004 due to sewage pollution: 20,000 (Source: Wall Street Journal)

    Amount of raw sewage discharged into Florida communities and waterways during 2004 (excluding hurricanes): More than 56 million gallons (Source: Florida Clean Water Fund Report)

    Amount of raw sewage discharged into Collier County communities and waterways during 2004 (excluding hurricanes): More than 1 million gallons (Source: Florida Clean Water Fund Report)

    Number of sewer spills on Marco Island between June 2003 and June 2004: Your choice ... None, not one ever! (Source: A. William Moss, Marco Island City Manager) or 8 (State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection records)

    For more about what to expect if the STRP is continued, see www.marcocares.com

    Ed Foster
    Chair, C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

    By Blogger CARES-Chair, at Friday, August 11, 2006 3:11:00 PM  

  • Can we ask Florida's Department Of Environmental Protection to intervene to prevent these problems?

    By Anonymous Greg on Tahiti, at Friday, August 11, 2006 6:08:00 PM  

  • You can ask ... but they won't do anything. The FDEP has a set of rules they follow when issuing a sewer permit. If you follow the rules, you get the permit. What CARES found out in the recent case to obtain a temporary injunction is that if you don't follow the rules you still get a permit ... if the FDEP permitting officer doesn't think the rules need be followed. Amazing but true!

    Ed Foster
    Chairman, CARES

    By Blogger CARES-Chair, at Saturday, August 12, 2006 3:00:00 PM  

  • This gem (probably old news to some) provided to me by the county attorney Thomas Palmer:

    ============
    Fla. Stat. § 381.00655

    LexisNexis (R) Florida Annotated Statutes
    Copyright (c) 2006 by Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. a member of the LexisNexis Group.
    All rights reserved.

    *** THIS DOCUMENT IS CURRENT THROUGH THE 2006 REGULAR SESSION, ACTS 1 TO 117 ***
    *** ANNOTATIONS CURRENT THROUGH JULY 7, 2006 ***

    TITLE 29. PUBLIC HEALTH (Chs. 381-408)
    CHAPTER 381. PUBLIC HEALTH: GENERAL PROVISIONS


    GO TO FLORIDA STATUTES ARCHIVE DIRECTORY

    Fla. Stat. § 381.00655 (2006)

    STATUS: CONSULT SLIP LAWS CITED BELOW FOR RECENT CHANGES TO THIS DOCUMENT
    LEXSEE 2006 Fl. ALS 252 -- See section 5.

    § 381.00655. Connection of existing onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems to central sewerage system; requirements


    (1) (a) The owner of a properly functioning onsite sewage treatment and disposal system, excluding an approved onsite graywater system, must connect the system or the building's plumbing to an available publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system within 365 days after written notification by the owner of the publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system that the system is available for connection. The publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system must notify the owner of the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system of the availability of the central sewerage system. No less than 1 year prior to the date the sewerage system will become available, the publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system shall notify the affected owner of the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system of the anticipated availability of the sewerage system and shall also notify the owner that the owner will be required to connect to the sewerage system within 1 year of the actual availability. The owner shall have the option of prepaying the amortized value of required connection charges in equal monthly installments over a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of the initial notification of anticipated availability. Nothing in this section shall operate to impair contracts or other binding obligations relating to payment schedules in existence as of October 1, 1993. Nothing in this paragraph limits the power of a municipality or county to enforce other laws for the protection of the public health and safety.

    (b) The owner of an onsite sewage treatment and disposal system that needs repair or modification to function in a sanitary manner or to comply with the requirements of ss. 381.0065-381.0067 or rules adopted under those sections must connect to an available publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system within 90 days after written notification from the department. In hardship cases, upon request of the owner, the department may approve an extension of not more than 90 days for sewerage connection. The department may approve only one extension. This paragraph does not authorize the owner of the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system to create or maintain a sanitary nuisance.

    (2) The provisions of subsection (1) or any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding:

    (a) The local governing body of the jurisdiction in which the owner of the onsite sewage treatment and disposal system resides may provide that any connection fee charged under this section by an investor-owned sewerage system may be paid without interest in monthly installments, over a period of time not to exceed 5 years from the date the sewerage system becomes available if it determines that the owner has demonstrated a financial hardship. The local governing body shall establish criteria for making this determination which take into account the owner's net worth, income, and financial needs.

    (b) A publicly owned or investor-owned sewerage system may, with the approval of the department, waive the requirement of mandatory onsite sewage disposal connection if it determines that such connection is not required in the public interest due to public health considerations.

    HISTORY: s. 2, ch. 93-151.

    By Anonymous mario, at Monday, August 14, 2006 12:18:00 PM  

  • "Number of sewer spills on Marco Island between June 2003 and June 2004: Your choice ... None, not one ever! (Source: A. William Moss, Marco Island City Manager) or 8 (State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection "

    Hey congratulations to Marco Island Utilities. Apparently they know how to run a sewage processing system.

    By Anonymous Randy Egan, at Friday, August 18, 2006 12:53:00 PM  

  • Just checked DEP records shows Marco Island had 9 reported spills during the period June 2003 and September 2004. Guess Moss misspoke or some such thing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 11:59:00 AM  

  • Confirmed the DEP records. Additionally, there are other "incidents" that don't qualify as spills - but i as of yet am unable to ascertain what in the world an "incident" to a sewage treatment plant means. I have two calls in and am awaiting a return call.

    One technique I found quite "amusing" in Lalifornia was that the spills were no longer reported in the papers - hence the 1% that read the papers assumed there were no spills. Oddly enough, right under the tide tables there was a longer list of beach closing due to sewage seeping into the ocean that due to tides made the way to the beaches and hence the beach closings. So, ignorance is bliss.

    As a scientist I also found that those who rely on what they are told (esp. by the media) fall to the worse fault in logic: "Absence of proof is proof of absence". NEVER is that true - and worse still when we rely on "our" government to provide the evidence on this matter.

    By Anonymous Mario, at Tuesday, August 22, 2006 6:56:00 PM  

  • sign of things to come ?

    BOIL WATER NOTICE

    September 25, 2006

    Due to a breakdown of the Lime Reactor and a power failure, the turbidity of the treated water leaving the Lime Plant has increased. As a result, finished water turbidity standards have been exceeded. The water system is currently working to repair the Lime reactor. After the repairs are completed, Marco Island Utilities will collect and analyze water samples for two consecutive days throughout the distribution system for bacteria.


    The Marco Island water plant routinely monitors your drinking water for turbidity (cloudiness). This helps in determining if the facility is effectively filtering the water supply. A finished water sample taken from the Marco Island water plant on September 22, 2006, showed a turbidity level of 1.35 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTUs). This is above the standard of 1 NTU. In addition, the Marco Island drinking water system generated a turbidity/treatment technique violation for the month of September-2006, because the combined filter effluent Turbidity exceeded 0.3 NTUs in more than 5% of the samples, which were collected during the month. Exceeding the 1 NTU standard for Turbidity, and exceeding the 0.3 NTU standard in more than 5% of the monthly samples, are violations of Rule 62-550.817, Florida Administrative Code, and 40 CFR 141.173.

    Please note that since the Marco Island public drinking water system also provides drinking water to the Goodland Water District, all customers of these water systems are required to be notified of the Turbidity violations.


    What should you do?
    DO NOT DRINK THE WATER WITHOUT BOILING IT FIRST. Bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice. Using ice makers and the ice produce should be restricted during this boil water notice.

    Turbidity has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.

    The symptoms above are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.

    For more information, please contact Ron Weiss at 239 394-3353. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1(800) 426-4791. Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.


    Lisa M. Douglass
    Public Information Coordinator
    City of Marco Island
    50 Bald Eagle Drive
    Marco Island, Florida 34145

    239-389-5037
    www.cityofmarcoisland.com
    ldouglass@cityofm arcoisland.com

    By Anonymous mario, at Monday, September 25, 2006 9:10:00 PM  

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sellout Redux

Is it a hotel wanting to become a timeshare, or a condo wanting to become a hotel? Or vice versa? Would the new facility change density from 16 units per acre to 26 units per acre? Is the 7% that is supposed to be reserved for rentals (a.k.a. transients) – is that annualized or is it monthly? And does anyone know how such a restriction will be monitored? Better still, does anyone know how it will be calculated? And if the corporate entity that owns whatever it is that is being put up is found to be in violation of this section of the ordinance, does anyone know what the penalty is?

You know what, in Marco Island, answers are not needed, clarifications are not essential, specificity as to enforcement is inconsequential, and living up to the promises that density will be reduced is for not. Marco Island is for sale to corporate America at any price under any terms. So the Enron’s of the world, come on down to Marco Island because what you want is what you’ll get.

These where not only the questions but the issues and dilemmas and contradictions and concerns that still existed up until the very moment that the city council voted on an ordinance to amend the land development code for the RT district. As expected, an ordinance totally opposed by the citizens and supported solely by a corporation and its hired “professionals” passes.

Praises to council members Kiester, Trotter and Forcht for voting NO, and politely opposing yet another sell out. Thank you. But what we need is a trio of Patton’s (perhaps a Patton, a Sherman and a Salah al-Din) –
enough of the political niceties since it leads the community nowhere.

What a ...
  • A citizen gets up to oppose the ordinance, and in his own way suggests that the city is giving up too much. His recompense? The Marriott’s slug lawyer berates and ridicules him. How appropriate.
  • Absolutely not one person can define in any terms what density is or how it’s gauged. The “STAFF” backpedals on the issue and even one council member calls it “voodoo”. But yet, the ordinance which will affect density, passes.
  • The Marriott VP proclaims that the 7% rental availability (whatever it means to whomever) is difficult to manage but not impossible. But if the 7% is per month as opposed to it being annualized (as the corporate god wants), then it’s impossible to manage. Excuse me? We all know that corporations will say anything, but are the folks that were in favor of this resolution really that stupid to believe such a claim? Or is it that they just don’t care?
  • An eloquent and professional appeal by the president of MICA is put forth. During the short speech this author happens to look at Councilman Tucker. He is playing with his cell phone.
  • Nearly every time the staff was asked a question, they quoted the Marriott. Doesn’t the staff do their own independent research? Here is a novel idea, since the city gives everything to any business that asks for it anyway, let’s fire the staff and just call the businesses for answers.

This author privately asked a prominent city person that has been deeply involved in this issue since day
one a question: “Except to the Marriott, what is the benefit to Marco Island and the community from this deal?” The answer: “Absolutely none.” As a lay observer, that is the impression – there is no benefit – though the detriment to the confidence of the citizens who in near unanimity opposed this deal is appreciable.

A suggestion: let’s not address and certainly not pass any ordinance without every element fully understood and all reasonable ramifications explored. We can only hope.

Pictures: The Marriott Trio.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Marco Island Bridges

WOW---over 900 Marcoites have taken the Survey and 98% recommend an "In-kind" replacement!!! This is a tremendous response--particularly when most folks are off the Island this time of year!! Would be great if it were the Marco 1,000!!!! Please forward this e-mail to all your neighbors, friends, etc. Keep up the good fight--we will prevail!!

Marco Bridge Supporters---You'll Love This!!! Not only are your voices being heard------your voices are bringing the Coast Guard to a standstill!!!!!

A message was left on my answering machine on Friday, August 4, 2006 by the US Coast Guard Legal Office. Message asked me to contact them "to discuss an issue they were having with the Marco Bridge Project and the Marco Bridges Website!! I contacted the Coast Guard Legal Office in Miami today per their request and they asked me "if I would consider sending the Surveys from our Website to a different e-mail address (instead of Mr. Shapley, District Mgr Bridges, and Mr. Overton, Marco Project Mgr) because our Survey's were clogging their e-mail system---and a serious problem if they were out of the office and opened their mail on their Treo hand-held PDA's.

I told them I would look into it and see what I can do!!!!! (May take me a few days----important to make a lasting impression!)
Keep spreading the word to all to visit www.marcobridges.com and take the Survey! Marcoites can take care of Marco--our Paradise!!!!

The Public Works Director, Mr. Joel has indicated the City will submit it's formal permit request to the Coast Guard today Aug 7,2006 or tommorrow!! The Coast Guard has 30 days to review and approve or request additional information.

With the great response to our Survey, I can now engage the U.S. Coast Guard and our local State\Federal elected officials directly via letter\e-mail correspondence. I will keep all supporters informed of all correspondence sent and all responses received back.

Again, thanks for your support. I welcome any and all comments, suggestions, etc at info@marcobridges.com or (239) 394-4348.

Bill McMullan
USAF Retired

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

News?

Yes, There Are Animals
Bizarrely making the headlines in what passes as a newspaper in a dying industry (see latest stats below under SOURCE), is this story of amazement (to some) about how a coyote has been visiting a golf course.

Notwithstanding the blessing to the environment in particular and to rational people in general, if coyotes and wolfs and chupacabras terrorized every golf course in the world into oblivion, is there any wonder as to why an animal would be anywhere? Certainly animals are not (yet) bound to zoning ordinances, although our animals will soon be forced to hook into the city’s sewer system from their dens and burrows and nests and warrens if they want to continue to live on Marco Island.

So as to further perplex the soul, the same folks that are amazed about one coyote are even more aghast that ANOTHER coyote has showed up. Which of course no one saw, but was identified as such via their … paw prints. You really can’t make this up.

Well, as an effort to educate the public, this blog strives to be based on science. So here is a 4th grade-level short class on those things that bark and howl: coyotes (Canis latrans) are members of the Canidae genre of mammals – basically they are dogs. And like all dog species and Nazi U-boats of the Kriegmmarine, they live in packs, hunt in packs, and play golf in packs. “Packs” means that there are more than one. So, when you see one, rest assured there are others.

Next week’s newspaper headline: “Third Coyote Terrorizes Golf Course”. And ad nausea until the total number in the pack is exhausted – or until fictional news appears, such as Israel is bombing the Hezbolians into oblivion, or one of the two only remaining 20th century murderous dictators may be on his death bed.

Conspiracy
Was there asbestos at the site? Was it just a misstatement by a city official? Were the tests forged? Were the pipes crushed, pulverized or just removed? Watergate revisited? Or should we call it Asbestosgate?

Experts and those with first hand knowledge of the incident are invited to submit to this blog their input.

In the meantime, we trust that the documents are not sealed until 2062 (a la the Kennedy assassination papers).

It Sinks – Again
This past Saturday entreated us to yet another sinking of the crane that is working on a Mac-Mansion next to the west Winterberry bridge. No, No, don’t panic – it’s the WEST Winterberry bridge (raising the EAST Winterberry bridge to the height of the San Francisco bridge will commence soon after 99.9999% of the Marco Island citizens vote against raising it).

We have to feel sorry for those fine folks that run the crane and are just doing their business. It must have been a tsunami that sunk the crane – again.

Speaking of tsunamis, did the city go to the second sinking and check the environment? Did any fuel or oil or some other toxin spill into the water? Uhm …

Source:
USA Today, June 5,2006: Newspapers offered a mixed story Monday as new data showed a circulation decline industry wide — by alarming rates at some. Average weekday circulation fell 2.5%, to 45.4 million, in the six months ending March 31, vs. the same period last year, according to a Newspaper Association of America (NAA) analysis of Audit Bureau of Circulations data from 770 dailies. Sunday circulation fell 3.1% to 48.5 million at 610 reporting newspapers. The numbers reflect a continuation of a trend that began in the 1980.

1 Comments:

  • I wish it weren't so but the asbestos tragedy is no conspiracy. It really did happen. Here are the facts.

    When Public Works Director, Rony Joel, announced to City Council that asbestos-cement (A/C) pipe had been crushed in the open air as part of the reconstruction of South Collier, several CARES members walked along South Collier and the Glon Property (our public "park" which had been converted to a waste dump) and picked up over 50 pounds of A/C fragments. These were given to American Managment Resources Corporation of Fort Myers, an asbestos monitoring firm. They sent the samples to a North Carolina lab that found that they contained 10% Crocidolite (the most dangerous form of asbestos) and 15% Chrysolite (a less dangerous but still hazardous form of asbestos). The EPA considers anything over 1% dangerous.

    CARES alerted the City and the public to this hazard. The City denied our report. Mr. Moss issued a statement saying Rony Joel had been mistaken in his statement to the Council, he apologizes and now states that no A/C pipe had ever been crushed. Mr. Moss also convinced the FDEP director, Jon Iglehart, to back up his story and testify that Quality Enterprises and the City were following "good management practices."

    CARES appealed to Governor Bush who lit a fire under the DEP and forced them to send an inspector. The inspector had been at the Glon Property several times before but claimed to have seen nothing amiss. However, when CARES pointed out that there was asbestos all over Site C of the Glon property, the inspector was forced to take samples and have them analyzed by a Miami lab. That lab found even higher levels of asbestos than the NC lab found.

    Faced with the DEP, Mr. Moss then stated that "staff has confirmed the presence of a small amount of asbestos at Site C" [it was all over about an acre of the Site] and, even though it probably wasn't necessary, the City would hire a asbestos-remediation firm at City expense to clean it up. By taking responsibility on the City for the cleanup, Mr. Moss may have subjected the taxpayers to an unknown liability in future health claims.

    Sixteen inches of soil were removed from Site C to clean it up. Who did the City hire to oversee the cleanup? Why, AMRC, the same company CARES hired for its analysis. By hiring AMRC, the City left itself open to a witness-tampering charge which is a RICO offense.

    So far the City has spent over $80,000 of your money on the cleanup but there's still asbestos on the island. It's buried in the fill along South Collier where it probably will remain because no one wants to disturb it. There's a pile remaining on Site A of our "park" while the City, the DEP, and Quality argue about who is responsible for getting rid of it. And there may be pieces lying along our roadways because CARES found pieces that apparently had fallen off trucks on the way to the dump. The EPA requires specific handling techniques and careful record-keeping when removing and transporting asbestos-containing material. Obviously these weren't followed but no one will admit to the obvious!

    These are the facts. You will find more info on the CARES website: www.marcocares.com

    By the way, who did the City hire (and still hires) to monitor air-quality at Site A of the Glon Property? Why, no other than AMRC!

    Ed Foster
    Chairman, CARES

    By Blogger CARES-Chair, at Wednesday, August 09, 2006 9:19:00 AM  

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