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

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Bad Exposure from Bad Leadership

The recent days’ events have brought a most unfavorable light upon our island. From the images and statements memorialized on two networks (videos on this blog - marcoislandblog.blogspot.com), we have been portrayed as a community plagued with asbestos, as a community devoid of leadership, as a community with questionable management, as a community at war with itself.

The images are damming, incredible and farcical. We are treated to a city manager claiming conspiracy theories as to why toxic material continues to be found on a site purportedly cleaned up months ago. The same city manager declares that more asbestos is found on another site. We are subjected to images in what appears to be migrant workers hunched over with rakes shuffling through a contaminated field, only to find out that they too missed the asbestos because …they were told not to dig. The only statement assuaging any health risk comes not from city officials, but from a reporter stating that asbestos is “safe” when not crushed – as you see a bulldozer running over the lot. And all the time, the City Council is nowhere to be found.

The rudderless government on this island needs to get a manager that can actually manage and hence affect the immediate and near-term solution that many of these problems warrant. Asbestos being missed once is a mistake. Asbestos being missed three times despite repeated warnings is a crime – literally.

The elected City Council needs to start taking control of this government and hence effectuate their sworn duty of governing “for the people, and by the people” beyond contemplating the best location of a dog park, how to fix the racquet ball courts or what citizens group to sue next.

The Chamber of Commerce, the City Council, MICA, Celebrate Marco and all organizations immensely concerned with declining property values and declining real estate sales must understand that these trends are not caused by citizens petitioning their government for a redress. These trends do not arise from storms, interest rates or as they say, from a bunch of malcontents. These commercially beholden groups must understand that these deleterious trends comes from the very actions and words of a city management conveying malice towards its own citizens, ignoring the pleas that a toxic substance needs to be dealt with completely, promoting assessment inequities, and spewing absurd and irrational conspiracy theories – all implicitly sanctioned by an deficient and mute City Council.

When we are served by a non-derisory city management and a non-contemptuous Council, we can once again become a community prospering with a fair living standard, appreciable commercial interests and media coverage decrying only that Marco Island is a great place to live.

2 Comments:

  • And now the San Marco Catholic Church is in it for the money through the open endorsement of the PAC Celebrate Marco.

    Yet another fine moment for the Catholic Church.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:39:00 AM  

  • I saw the picture of the people picking up asbestos in the park. Does anyone on this Island know anything about removing asbestos. Maybe the laws are differnt in Florida but I was a licensed asbestos remover for the city of NY. If anyone attempted to remove asbestos like that in New York City tey would have been arrested. I had Lung cancer from asbestos and know the dangers of being exposed. Not only were those people cleaning exposed but anyone passing by and anyone washing the clothes when they got home. What took place at vet Community Park was a crime.My Left lung was removed and I have Asbestoses in my remaining lung. I moved to this Island to get away from all the polution and this is what I get

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, October 31, 2006 7:19:00 PM  

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Marco Island Asbestos Coverage: CBS & NBC News

Expanded news coverage on the 6PM News on October 27, 2006 - Both Networks - Aired Concurrently.

More on conspiracy theories ("... who is playing tricks"). City Manager now admits that the pile in the other lot "... tested that pile and found asbestos fiber".



Notice in all of these declarations of tricks and wild conspiracy theories and who planted what and if the site was ever cleaned properly and now the declaration that yet another pile has asbestos - NOT ONCE does the City offer a concern for the health of the citizens (even with a school one mile away) nor does it proclaimed an extensive effort to assuage any health concerns.

Here is a question for the real estate cabal and their comrades on the City Council: what do you think hurts Marco Island more? The citizens you besmirch for raising the inequities of the sewer project, or your city manager proclaiming on multiple national media venues conspiracy theories and having a bunch of migrant workers with plastic bags and rakes shuffling through asbestos and not once trying to assuage any health risks?

2 Comments:

  • open letter to city council of marco island
    October 28, 2006

    Dear Councilors;

    Again we are faced with asbestos concrete pipe shards on Site “C”. We now have a criminal investigation which is promised to be thorough, and I truly hope it uncovers the root cause of this travesty. I have provided all the information as I have to the Marco Island Police and will cooperate in any way I can to see this matter solved once and for all.

    I am, however, concerned, about the proposal to have the original firm that supervised the cleanup last April, supervise this new effort. This material was either planted there by a person or persons unknown, (very doubtful), or it is the remnants of material that was missed the first time around. My expectation is the latter is correct and to re-employ the same company who may be responsible for an incomplete job the first time is less than prudent.

    To buttress this point, AMRC issued their second clean bill of health to Site “C” late on Thursday, and shortly thereafter a Marco Island Police Detective unearthed another piece of broken pipe. That finding was added to others later that night and more was discovered the next day. It should be crystal clear at this point that AMRC is the wrong company to handle this apparently ongoing cleanup effort.

    One additional troubling matter is the totally baseless accusations made by City Manager Moss regarding someone planting this material and mentioning the recall in the next breath. Besides bordering on paranoia, this was clearly a political statement designed to throw mud on the recall. Once again our City Manager wades in to defend shoddy workmanship on behalf of a contractor rather than weighing the evidence and protecting the Citizens of Marco Island.

    At the very least AMRC has shown that they are not reliable or dependable enough to continue with this cleanup. To rehire them will be an irresponsible act and will leave the ensuing cleanup forever suspect. There are two strikes against them right now. This is the time to realize that no one on Marco Island, and apparently none of the firms we have hired to date, have the expertise to get this done and done correctly. Let’s hope that AMRC’s air testing is better than their clean up efforts.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), is the premiere authority on matters of this type, and it is high time they were asked to help. It is also high time that you as our Councilors take control of this situation and do exactly that. In the past and even now in this current situation, our City Manager has displayed an inexplicable passion to protect contractors instead of the citizens of Marco Island.

    Ultimately this is a public health issue and politics or favored contractor status should not enter into this decision. You must do your sworn duty, take control of this situation, and call in the appropriate government agencies. Anything less will forever cast a cloud of doubt over Site “C” and your ability to command the authority and respect the office of Councilor affords. You are our representatives, you have the authority to correct this situation, please do the right thing for Marco Island.

    Respectfully;
    Butch Neylon

    By Anonymous mario, at Sunday, October 29, 2006 10:57:00 AM  

  • Due to the newsworthiness of the revelations contained below, could you please distribute this to all on your lists.

    News Flash:

    The Marco Island Secret Sky Information Network Group, (MISSING), a secret local government radar installation located atop the Embarq Tower (Formally the Sprint Tower), in the center of Marco Island has released the following earth shattering information in an effort to diffuse the current misinformation being spread regarding the recent discovery of asbestos once again on Site “C” of the future Veterans Park.

    MISSING has confirmed that on July 4, 2006 at precisely 10:10 pm, under the cover of local fireworks displays, three interstellar cursers from the Planet Borqe in the Exacersian Galaxy made an emergency landing on Site “C”. They were on the Island for only 121 milliseconds while repairs we made to their command vessel’s septic system, and then they immediately launched back into space utilizing their extremely powerful anti magnetic gravitron engines.

    Now with the revelation that pieces of asbestos have been discovered on Site “C”, (Not to be confused with Area-51), MISSING has decided to release the details of this Borque landing in an effort to explain how these asbestos chards came to be on Site “C”.

    MISSING spokesperson, Imma N. Idiot told this reporter earlier today that Borque Interstellar Cruisers use broken pieces of Asbestos Cement Pipe as heat shields and since they can travel at up to one thousand times the speed of light, sometimes these AC Pipe pieces will loosen up. Idiot then went on to say it is obvious that the finding of this material below the surface of Site “C” mere months after it was certified clean by AMRC, can only be caused by the pressure of the anti magnetic gravitron engines pushing the loose pieces from the cruisers heat shield into the surface of Site “C”.

    AMRC was not available for comment, but Marco Island City Manager Bill Moss said upon reading the MISSING report, “I knew it was planted, didn’t I say that on TV? We are going to make every effort to recover the cleanup costs associated with this new discovery directly from the Borquen Treasury.” After a short discussion with Idiot, Moss went on to say that since the Exacersian Galaxy is more than ten thousand light years from Marco, payment might be delayed an eon or two, much the same as with QE.

    For the Marco Island Daily Dud;

    Dulie Noted

    By Anonymous Dulie Noted, at Tuesday, October 31, 2006 8:26:00 AM  

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Friday, October 27, 2006

CBS News Video Coverage of Asbestos on Marco Island

This video clip aired on the local CBS affiliate on October 27, 2006.



Note Police Chief Reinke stating "It appears that the clean-up is not complete. There appears to be asbestos pipe in the site.".


If there is anyone other than the city manager that believes the city manager's claim that someone is planting the asbestos, why didn't the police monitor the site from yesterday when the site was deemed "cleaned" until this morning when more asbestos was found?

Regardless of who planted the asbestos (space aliens, malcontents, Quality Enterprise, whomever), the city's number one responsibility is to the HEALTH OF THE PUBLIC. Having people there with rakes and shovles and a tractor kicking up asbestos poses a serious health hazard and must be curtailed immediately. To do otherwise is in itself criminal.

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NBC News Video Coverage of Asbestos on Marco Island

This video clip aired on the local NBC News affiliate on October 26, 2006.





The asbestos is shown and the conspiracy theory is raised by the City.


Editor's note: Notice that the City does not claim that the site will be cleaned up immediately regardless of how the asbestos got there. An opportunity to quelch any concern was squandered - instead a conspiracy theory was offered.

3 Comments:

  • Marco Island tax dollars being wasted again...a criminal investigation??? Look to the city council!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, October 27, 2006 1:16:00 PM  

  • Instead of the City Manager acting mature and like he is responsible and say nothing in the interview other than "No matter how the asbestos got there our first and most important job is the SAFETY of the public and we will work to ensure that" - what does he say? Its a conspiracy that someone planted the stuff there. What he is doing is changing the focus from the city's criminal negligence to some other people.

    Do these people wonder why people want to leave?

    By Anonymous Fred (Ohio), at Friday, October 27, 2006 2:09:00 PM  

  • City Council gave Moss a raise and a bonus for his handling of the asbestos issues. What a joke this Council is. Moss is running this city not the Council. They are his puppets and we are the fools who pay his salary. Any responsible manager would have acknowledged his mistakes and resigned. Moss has been given too many chances to clean this up. What are we waiting for? Why didn't we resubmit the recall petion for Moss under the City "guidelines"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, October 31, 2006 3:25:00 PM  

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Recall For Dummies: Intelligent Fecal Matter

Recall For Dummies is a series of short informative articles on the matters related to the Recall. The articles are provided in this open forum so that all opinions, corrections and contrasting points of view can be freely posted.

This Issue: Lesson 1 - Intelligent Fecal Matter

Introduction
On Marco Island there are 15,000 existing users of the sewer system and 6,000 residents that are on septic. The 6,000 septic users are being forced to go on the sewer system. The existing users are the folks that have been on sewer since day one, and the new users are the folks that have septic and are subject to the STRP. The existing users are the folks that have used the sewage treatment plant, and the new users are the folks that have never used the sewage treatment plant.

Facts
According to the City’s OWN LEGAL BRIEF – not the brief submitted by CARES – but the one submitted by the City:
  • The sewage treatment plant has to be upgraded (“fixed”) even if not one new user is added to the sewer system
  • The sewage treatment plant has to be expanded (“given more capacity”) to accommodate even one new user of the sewer system
  • The Existing users complained about paying for expanding the plant
  • The Existing users are exempt from paying for the plant expansion
  • The Existing users will not use one iota of the expanded plant
  • Only New users will pay for expanding the plant
  • Both New users and Existing users will pay for upgrading the plant

Now, with the numbers provided BY THE CITY in their budget documents, upgrading the plant (to be paid by both existing and new users) will cost $29,077,783. Note that this is to upgrade the plant that only the existing users use – not to expand it to handle the 6,000 new customers.

Of the 21,000 total users, 6,000 (29%) are new users. 29% of $29,077,783 is $8,307,938.

That means that the new users to the treatment plant are being forced to pay over $8 million for something they have never used. It also means that the existing users have opted not to pay for the extra capacity that they claim they will not use.

Questions
How can existing users guarantee that they will not use any portion of the expanded facility? How can the City guarantee that the existing users will not use any portion of the expanded facility?

Why should new users of a sewage treatment plant pay to rebuild the old facility – a facility they have never used?

Another way to look at this issue: If the community as a whole does not benefit from the expanded capacity (as the City’s legal brief states), and that is the reason why only new users have to pay for the expanded capacity, then the community as a whole did not benefit from the old treatment plant that only some residents used.

And yet another way in case you missed it: If the community as a whole does not benefit from the expanded capacity (as the City’s legal brief states), and that is the reason why only new users have to pay for the expanded capacity, then why should the new users pay for the original capacity that hey did not use or benefit from?

Has the City of Marco Island violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – the Equal Protection clause – on this issue?

Summary
The City Council has refused to address this inequity.

A known inequity, specified in the City’s very own legal briefs, left without being addressed, is a serious and ethical indictment on this Council.

And as such, this known inequity is in part the basis for the recall.

Helpful Tables: (Click to Enlarge)

1 Comments:

  • As a professor of biological science, I can say with authority that the Intelligent Fecal Matter Model seems to be correct. A simple experiment that I myself perform for my students illustrates my point: I place a freshly harvested sea sponge inside a blender, and hit the "blend" button. What remains is a symbiotic sludge. Most people, including my biology students, believe the sludge is not intelligent – but lo and behold, after several hours the sponge has reassembled itself! Is it magic? No – its science! It is this experiment and others which confirm the fact that bacteria, like other pack animals like dogs, dolphins, chimpanzees, etc, can form what’s called a collective consciousness.

    This collective consciousness, much like the neurons in our brain, can collectivize (and thus be rightly deemed the Communist Collective Consciousness Protocol, which is eerily similar to the CCCP, the Cyrillic characters of the former USSR) and learn new concepts. Thus, it can be said that bacteria can learn.

    That being said, it is possible that fecal matter, if kept in a fecal-friendly environment for a long-enough period, can know which part of the treatment plant it needs to be in.

    By Anonymous Professor S. E. Wage, at Friday, October 27, 2006 3:14:00 PM  

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The Two Types of Crimes on Marco Island

Here on Marco Island we are entreated to two different types of crime: those that are reported and pursued (Type 1), and those that are evident and summarily ignored (Type 2). Let’s deal with the Type 1 crime and the fine job our police department is doing.

For the majority of us, we become aware of these “serious” incidents when we chance them in the local print mediums. As but two examples, this week’s journals inform us that a fishing pole was stolen and a car window was broken. The crimes were reported, and there is not doubt that all that can possibly be done by law enforcement authorities on these cases is being done.

Now let’s look at the second type of crime. These are the crimes that occur but for some unfathomable reason, they don’t warrant the attention and the resultant action of the city or of law enforcement authorities.

Here are some examples
  • Asbestos was found on a lot on Marco Island. Regardless of how it got there, isn’t the fact that it is there a crime? The EPA and the DEP are aware of this fact.
  • There is a video (on this blog) where at a Celebrate Marco meeting a person calls out for someone to be “shot”. Isn’t that a felony?
  • At a city council meeting, the city attorney and the city manager intimidate voters. Isn’t voter intimidation a felony? By the way, this whole exchange is caught on video.
  • The city councilperson Tucker accuses someone of planting asbestos. Isn’t the planting of a toxic substance a felony? This deed has also been recorded.
  • If it turns out that the “planting of asbestos” accusation is false, isn’t the false accusation of a felony in itself a crime?
  • Several people witness boats dumping raw sewage into the bay (source: MIE Oct. 19. Pg 5). Let’s see if we got this straight – homeowners are being forced to replace perfectly working septic tanks to the tune of nearly $30,000 that don’t pollute one iota into the waterways, but boaters are seen willfully and maliciously dumping raw sewage into the same waterways. Isn’t dumping of raw sewage into the waterways a crime?
  • Celebrate Marco receives money and gives political speeches and campaigns for issues. Why don’t they have to register as a Political Committee?
So, who if anyone in law enforcement is pursuing these crimes? No one it seems.

Why the double standard?

Perhaps a stolen fishing pole and a broken window demand far greater interest in the crime solving world than inducement to violence and depositing/planting toxic material in a lot.

Or is the reason because the Type 2 crime has irrefutable evidence (like videos), whereas the Type 1 has no such evidence. If so, then Franz Kafka is making the decisions as to which crimes to pursue.

Or is the dichotomies between pursuing the two types of crimes due to the fact that the perpetrators of Type 2 crimes can be easily identified and just happen to be “important” people?

Or is it perhaps that the real estate cabal has a hand in all of this and doesn’t want the bad news of the Type 2 crime to become widely known for fear that it would further adversely affect real estate prices?

Who knows why these truly serious Type 2 crimes are ignored. But the fact that they are simply disregarded demonstrates that at least this city has more than two types of crimes – the city has two standards of enforcement.

So much for equal protection under the law.

Would it be too much to ask to have someone look into these matters?

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Marco Island City Council Sue Citizens - AGAIN

In an effort to prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote,
the City Council of Marco Island fulfilled its threat to sue the
citizens of Marco Island.


(click to enlarge)







(click to enlarge)

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Celebrate Marco Advisory

This blog is committed to providing the venue by which all points of view can be put forth.

To that end, the latest advisory from the Political Committee “Celebrate Marco” has been made available on this blog (click the “comments” link under this article). Please note that the PC "Celebrate Marco" is not associated with Celebrating Marco.

Warning and Notice:
This blog, its administrator, hosting service, and contributors DO NOT condone;

  • violence (“shoot them”)
  • racist remarks (“you people”)
  • “ministers” making political speeches
  • character assassinations
  • suppression of different points of views.

Hence the PC "Celebrate Marco" is not endorsed in any manner. This advisory is merely provided as a public service - an "FYI" only - For Your Information.

3 Comments:

  • CELEBRATE MARCO PRESS RELEASE

    OCTOBER 3, 2006


    On Thursday, October 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at the Parish Hall of the San Marco Catholic Church, Celebrate Marco will be having one of the biggest celebration events in the Island's history. This event "Celebrate Marco Presents - A Salute to Marco Island's Public Schools", will honor the great work of our local schools and be a salute to both the Tommie Barfield Elementary and Charter Middle Schools for their great academic achievements and for the tremendous community effort to get a new facility for the Charter School. The celebration will include a marvelous hour of entertainment and recognition of those education leaders and supporters who are making all of this happen. A school jazz band and choirs will put on a festival display to lift all of our spirits and show those outside Marco Island what kind of great community we are.

    In addition to this great event, Celebrate Marco will also be participating in two other celebrations in the next few months. On October 28 from 5-9 pm we will be helping in a community event, "Spooktacular" at Mackle Park. This is an event for the children of our community and will include costume contests, games, crafts, snacks and music. On March 10, 2007, from 10 am to 2 pm at Mackle Park, Celebrate Marco, in cooperation with Nancy Richie, City of Marco Island Environmental Specialist, will hold a "Community Conservation Celebration". It will be day to learn about and celebrate the beauty that surrounds us. Various agencies and organizations will participate and there will be exhibits, contests and much more. More details to follow.

    For additional information please call Monte Lazarus at 239-394-4104 or at bengoshi@marcocable.com

    Celebration Flyer
    Email us: Info@celebratemarco.com
    Our Logo

    Join Us!

    MUCH TO CELEBRATE

    Our young but growing city has had more activity, more issues to resolve than ever in our short history. Our Marco Island is having serious growing pains and the patience and acceptance by many of our people runs on the frizzled edge. Progress, however, never comes without some pain. We live on a paradise island that has been faced with more challenges than ever and the level of anxiety has increased. For that reason we must put what is happening in perspective. There are many things to celebrate.

    We all know that for years before we became a city in 1997, very little of our tax dollars were returned to our island. The County let our roads, our bridges, our facilities and our overall appearance go with minimal maintenance and little, if any, planning. We also know that our prior water company, Florida Water Services, also did virtually no maintenance or future planning for many years prior to takeover by our city in 2003. This left our community with an urgent need to plan, design and implement many improvement projects.

    Specifically, our community demanded that traffic flow be improved, that serious drainage problems on main roads be corrected, that the island be made to look more beautiful, that we enact a long term plan to assure that we have adequate drinking water and a safe environment,. They demanded that our city become safer. They asked for improved recreational facilities. In the past four years, alone, major steps were made in implementing a long term plan to address all these needs. We had to do this while battling numerous major hurricanes and fighting off the threat that our water resources would be taken over by a small city some 600 miles away. Yes, one could say that maybe too much was done too soon. Many, however, would also say that if all we did was dialogue and not act to address these demands, that the lack of patience and anxiety would have been much greater. Let me be more specific on what has been achieved in the last several years, alone.

    Crime and emergency response time was the lowest ever in 2005 and our hurricane response plan was a “model for the nation” during Hurricane Wilma making Marco one of the safest places to live in the country.

    Collier Boulevard is on its way to becoming one of the most functional and beautiful main roads in the country. Widened sidewalks, a full curb and drainage system, ornamental street lights, additional turn lanes, increased median landscaping and electric wires being put underground all contribute to making this an effort that meets many of what Marco Islander’s wanted.

    Several Island groups worked together to assure that County tax dollars are kept for maintaining our pristine beaches and that County plans for a large boardwalk, monorail and tramway over Tigertail Beach was disbanded…keeping that area as a unique natural asset for all of us. Several sections of our beaches were re-nourished, there was added playgrounds, additional bocce courts, re-work of our softball fields and new recreational programs for all.

    We have added many roadside trees to main roads and began implementation of a program to remove most of our overhead electrical wires and poles and to install ornamental lighting in many areas. In addition to greatly improving our appearance, the burying of electric lines makes us less vulnerable to high winds and lightning storms.

    Many turn lanes have been added on Collier Boulevard, Bald Eagle and Elkcam as well as, finally, improving the design around the South Heathwood/Bald Eagle triangle. All this will significantly improve traffic flow without the need to four lane these beautiful roadways.

    The successful battle to take over ownership of the water and sewer resources gave Marco Island control over its lifeblood and assured a reliable source of quality drinking water and a healthy environment. It also assured that our people would have input and political control over planning and rates. No such input would have been heard if the little town, some 600 miles from here, had grabbed control.

    Finally, the city tax rate on our property has been continually reduced to its lowest level, ever, in 2005. Our city has also received one of the best bond ratings of any city in the state and some of the lowest interest rates on its bonds. We also were successful in getting flood ratings improved to lower insurance rates.

    All of this contributes to people wanting to live on our island. Our property values have soared in the past 4 years alone and Marco Island recorded more increased value than almost any other city in the country last year.

    Yes, there are many things happening on our small paradise island. All of this, however, has been reasonably well managed and will significantly improve our island when completed. It is, however, very difficult to see the end result, the vision of the plan, when one has construction dust in ones eyes. That is why it is so important to “put things in perspective” and to celebrate our progress. That is why we formed “Celebrate Marco Inc.”. To put unity back in our community and celebrate the great achievements of our community and its marvelous organizations.

    To learn more about Celebrate Marco please attend our one hour “celebration” on Thursday, August 17 at 7 pm at Mackle Park. For additional information please call Monte Lazarus at 394-4104.

    Celebrate Marco Inc. Directors: Jim Curran, Steve Stefanides, Jack Patterson, Tom Owens, Vickie Kelber, Monte Lazarus, John Arceri, Pat Neale, Lee-Willer Spector,Roger Raymond, Gary Elliott



    “THE EIGHT EFFECTS”

    A CELEBRATE MARCO WHITE PAPER


    CELEBRATE MARCO HAS CONCLUDED THAT THE GROUNDS FOR THE RECALL OF THREE COUNCILORS, AND THE REASON MOST SIGNED THE PETITION, HAVE BEEN BASED ON THE WAY IN WHICH THESE COUNCILORS VOTED ON AN ISSUE. AS SUCH, THESE GROUNDS ARE ILLEGAL IN THAT BOTH THE FLORIDA STATUTE AND SUPREME COURT RULINGS DO NOT ALLOW FOR RECALL BASED ON THE WAY AN ELECTED OFFICIAL VOTES OR ON HIS OR HER POPULARITY. AS SUCH, WE CONSIDER THIS RECALL INITIATIVE AS FRIVOLOUS AND AS AN ABUSE OF DUE PROCESS.


    WE BELIEVE, THAT AS A RESULT OF THIS BEING A LEGALLY FLAWED PETITION, THE COURTS WILL RULE TO DISMISS THIS RECALL EFFORT.


    AS A RESULT, THE RECALL EFFORT WILL HAVE ONLY ACCOMPLISHED THE FOLLOWING EIGHT EFFECTS WHICH MUST BE CONSIDERED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE RECALL COMMITTEE:

    1. DISRUPT AND DIVIDE THE COMMUNITY

    2. EMBARRASS AND DISCREDIT THE REPUTATIONS OF DEVOTED INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR FAMILIES

    3. PLACE FEAR IN THE MINDS OF OTHER INCUMBENTS TO VOTE THE WAY THEY SEE ISSUES

    4. ELIMINATE THE WILLINGNESS OF QUALIFIED CANDIDATES TO RUN FOR CITY OFFICE (EXCEPT THOSE WILLING TO FOLLOW THE ORDERS OF THIS GROUP)

    5. COST THE TAXPAYERS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN LEGAL COSTS (COMBINED WITH THE CARES SUITS AND DELAYED BOND ISSUES AND HIGHER INTEREST RATES WILL COST TAXPAYERS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS)

    6. VOID THE 6000+ VOTES FOR THESE THREE COUNCILORS TWO YEARS AGO AND PLACE A CLOUD OVER THE REPRESENTATIVE FORM OF GOVERNMENT ON MARCO ISLAND

    7. PARALYZE GOVERNMENT LEADERSHIP AND STAFF AND DIVERT ATTENTION AWAY FROM CITY NEEDS, DESTROY MORALE, INCREASE EMPLOYEE TURNOVER AND COST THOUSANDS OF HOURS IN LOST PRODUCTIVITY

    8. TRASH THE ISLAND’S IMAGE SO BADLY THAT THE IMPACT ON PROPERTY VALUES COULD BE SIGNIFICANT.


    ALTHOUGH CELEBRATE MARCO FEELS STRONGLY THAT THE EFFECTS IDENTIFIED ARE THE DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY OF A POORLY AND ILLEGALLY DEVELOPED RECALL INITIATIVE, WE HAVE CONSISTENTLY STATED THAT WE ARE AGAINST ANY FORM OF LAW SUITS AGAINST ANY CITIZENS SIGNING THE PETITION AND JOINING THE RECALL COMMITTEE.


    BOARD OF DIRECTORS, CELEBRATE MARCO

    THE "OLD GUARD" RESPONDS

    Last week in our local papers, Roger Hall, the leader of the recall initiative, called the leaders of the Celebrate Marco movement a bunch of "old guard, pro-business" people. Although I never write letters to the editor I felt it important to make sure the facts about this "old guard" and Hall's "new guard" are well known.

    Yes, some of us are "old" and, although most of us do not have any business interests on the Island, we, of course, strongly support our local businesses. Then who are we ? We are long term, full time Islanders who have put our hearts and hands into building a better Marco Island. Our board members have been involved in almost every civic, social and city organization on the Island. Our involvements have included: President or Board members of Sunrise Rotary, YMCA, Citizens for a Better and Safer Marco, Healthcare Center, Senior Softball League, Charter Middle School, Italian American Society, Chamber of Commerce, Charter School Basketball, Marco Art League, American Cancer Society, Christmas Island Style, The Film Festival and the Association of Condos. We have also Chaired the city's Code Enforcement Board, Planning Board, Waterways Advisory Committee, Police Pension Board, City Council, Charter Review Committee, Governmental Advisory Commit tee, Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Our people love our Island and work to make it a better place to live, to project a positive image about who we are and a place to be proud of.

    Roger Hall has been a resident of Marco for about one year. His only involvement in our community has been to lead a recall petition drive to throw out of office three of our elected councilors and go for a fourth councilor in April. An action that is placing a cloud of negativism over our beautiful island, is dividing our community, disrupting our city, embarrassing and discrediting the reputations of individuals and their families, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal fees, trashing our Island's image so badly that the impact on property values could be significant and driving some to show public disrespect for our religious leaders. I guess this is the "new guard".

    Marco Islander's have a choice as to who to believe, which is best for our Island. Those who destroy or those who build.

    John Arceri

    “THE RECALL FACTS”

    CELEBRATE MARCO RESEARCH PAPER


    Celebrate Marco has completed a review of the proposed recall of three elected city council members. The recall process will cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars and cause significant disruption of city operations. The recall initiative requires a thorough review of the facts. Based on its review, CM strongly urges that the recall be rejected for the reasons highlighted below. CM has focused its review around two key parts; the misleading and inaccurate statements made in the petition and the accompanying letter (the petition package) and the questionable motivations of the group leading the effort. The results of the CM review are described below.

    Misleading Aspects of the Petition Package (Petition and Letter)

    The petition letter states that Florida law puts the “power of recall in the hands of the people”. That is misleading because it implies that recall actions have no limits. Florida Statute 100.361 governs recalls. The statute is clear that there are very specific and narrow grounds to warrant a recall of an elected official. There are seven grounds for recall; malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform duties and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude.

    The petition letter states that, if enough signatures are obtained there is no way the recall process can be stopped. Again, not so. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that an accused elected official has an opportunity to defend himself or herself and stop the recall action based on “lack of legal sufficiency” (State v Tedder, 106 Fla, 140). Other Florida courts have used this ruling on other cases (Thompson v. Napotnik, 923 So. 2nd 537 5th DCA (2006))

    The petition charges the three councilors with having voted to expand the sewer system on August 21, 2006. The fact is that the same sewer expansion program has been voted on, and approved by previous and present councils numerous times in the past three years. The petition is also erroneous in stating that, on August 21, 2006, the councilors being targeted for recall “voted to extend the STRP to three new districts”. No such vote was taken on that date. In fact, on that date five city councilors voted to approve the assessment methodology for future sewer districts.

    The petition charges the three councilmen with voting for a program that, in the petitioners’ opinion, is unfair and inequitable. The petition fails to mention that the design and fairness of the program, approved by these councilors, has been upheld by the review and decisions of the Circuit Court and has been found to be legally sound and fair.

    The petition letter states that those who sign the recall petition are “collectively referred to as the ‘committee’”. The Florida Statute 100.361 does not use the word “collectively” but states that “those signing the recall petition shall be designated as the ‘committee’” and that the leader of the petition will “act for the committee”. Therefore, unlike other petitions, those supporting a recall petition, are considered members of an official committee and may be responsible for the actions of their leadership.

    Apparent Wrong Motivation for the Recall Action

    For those who closely follow public issues, there is an obvious link between some who helped organize CARES, POP and now the recall efforts. The petitioners have targeted three councilors that voted for the sewers, as well as mentioning in the petition letter their desire to recall the fourth councilor who voted for sewers. The petitioners did not, however, move to recall, or show any intent to recall, any of the three councilors who voted against sewers. This selective recall action proves that the reasons for recall are clearly based, specifically, on the votes taken by those councilors being targeted for recall.

    The Florida Supreme Court (Garvin v Jerome, 767 So. 2nd 1190 (2000)) clearly states that officials should not be faced with recall based on their votes on an issue and that the recall process is not to be used as a substitute for the elective process. Such action would compromise the elective process by removing a duly elected official solely on the basis of a vote. That is contrary to Florida law and they cannot be recalled on that basis. The three councilors who are involved in the recall were elected to office two years ago with some 6,000 votes.

    When the POP referendum to change the city charter was thrown out for failure to meet the specific requirements of the city charter, the group involved in these efforts called such failure a “technicality”. They took the position that the people’s wishes were more important than the need to follow the legal requirements of the charter. In the description of the recall the petitioners also clearly state that decisions to recall should also be placed “in the hands of the voters and to prevent City Hall or the courts from interfering in the process”” and not depend on the legal requirements of such action. It is clear that the motivation of this group is to try and bypass the representative form of government and put the law in their own hands.

    Unable to achieve their goals through the accepted elective/representative process, the petitioners have directed their efforts to overturn the governing process that has been successful, not only for Marco Island, but for all cities in Florida and the nation. The latest recall effort also ignores the effect this action would have on the remaining councilors who may be subject to recall next year and to candidates in future elections in our community.

    September 20, 2006

    Florida League of Cities
    Environmental Quality
    Priority
    Wastewater Treatment and Reuse (1757)

    507. In most instances, municipal wastewater is properly treated and recycled back into the environment.The improper siting, installation and maintenance of packageplants and septic tanks often does not accomplish the level of treatment needed to protect the state‚s ecosystems, and acts to exacerbate non-point source pollution problems.
    The Florida League of Cities will support legislation that:

    507.1 Requires septic tank siting decisions to consider the cumulative impacts of septic tanks on a given area; prohibits the use of septic tanks in potable water wellfields and high-density urban areas; and allows their limited use in rural areas only when soil conditions, topography and water tables are suitable, municipal services are not available, and best available technologies are used.

    507.2 Severely limits the installation of new, small package sewer treatment plants, increases the regulation of existing package plants, including strong measures to prevent improper operations, neglect or abandonment, and requires the closure of package plants when central sewage treatment is available.

    507.3 Develops support statements for on-site treatment and disposal systems or best available technology and associated regulations of those systems.

    507.4 Provides funding sources to upgrade and replace old or failing septic tank systems where municipal sewer services are not available or where demonstrated environmental damages are occurring.

    507.5 Requires regular inspection and maintenance of septic tanks, and requires lending institutions to require certification of a properly operating septic tank prior to the approval of a new mortgage.

    507.6 Increases the minimum lot size requirements and lowers the density requirements for the use of septic tanks, and eliminates grandfathering provisions for older, platted lots.

    507.8 Increases the setback distances for septic tanks from surface waters, wetlands, storm sewer pipes, and retention/detention areas, and eliminates grandfathering provisions for older, platted lots.

    507.9 Provides incentives for extensions of and hookups to municipal sewer services.

    507.10 Recognizes that reclaimed water is a commodity, and that ownership and control of reclaimed water belongs to the entity that produces the end product.

    507.11 Prohibits any state agency from requiring a reclaimed water provider to serve a specific water user, class of water users, or a geographic area, and that ensures decisions regarding the selection of customers to be served with reclaimed water shall be within the sole discretion of the reclaimed water provider.

    507.12 Prohibits Florida Forever funds from being used to support the construction or planning of potable water transmission lines.

    507.13 Supports further research for infield pilot testing for large-scale aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) systems.

    507.14 Provides funding to construct distribution systems for reclaimed water.

    “THE SEVEN MOST MISUNDERSTOOD POINTS ON THE SEPTIC TANK REPLACEMENT PROGRAM (STRP)”

    CELEBRATE MARCO RESEARCH PAPER

    Celebrate Marco has reviewed the STRP issue and has attempted to identify the most confusing, misunderstood and questionable aspects of the Program. Our research has identified 7 such areas. CM has listed below some key facts associated with each of these 7 areas.

    It is CM’s primary mission to try and clarify issues and provide fact-based information. Please call 394-4104 if you need additional information or want details of research back-up.

    1.Why are we replacing septic systems when our waterways are okay?

    It is true that our waterways are not yet polluted. Test results, however, have shown an increasing trend in pollutants in many areas of our canals. The State DEP, who monitor the test data, have stated that our waterways have reached a “level of concern”

    We are the only waterfront community in southwest Florida, from the Keys to Sarasota, that rely on septic systems to treat human waste. Possible pollution of our waterways from septic systems, real or perceived, combined with the fact that we would be the only community not addressing this potential problem, may have a serious impact on property values

    Waiting to correct a waterway pollution problem, when it is upon us, will be extremely costly. Typically, the cost of remediation of an existing problem is several times higher than prevention.

    Delaying completion of a central sewer system could result in future waterway pollution, mandates by state and federal agencies to install sewers with no financing options, with no delay (ie. massive disruption to the Island), with a loss of presently available government grants and with an expectation of much higher future construction costs.



    2. If septic systems could become a problem why not develop and implement a septic system maintenance program?

    Regular septic systems, new or old, maintained or not, are not designed to adequately treat nutrients from human waste. These septic systems are very close to our waterways and leach nutrients into the water. Nutrients are a fertilizer and create algae growth in our waterways which, in turn, removes oxygen from the water, darkens the water and reduces fish life.

    Septic systems were never intended for installation on Marco Island because of a) the composition of its soil (sandy and allowing waste to flow through too fast - without adequate filtering) and b) the high water table and close proximity to pristine waterways (not enough soil depth to allow proper filtering before entering the waterways.)



    3. We have heard that central sewer systems frequently overflow, fail and pollute waterways. Is this true?

    Presently, all condominiums, commercial establishments and 40% of single family homes on Marco Island are connected to the Island’s central sewer system. This system treats 70% of the Island’s human waste. This sewer system has been serving Marco Island for almost 30 years with not one recorded incident of serious leakage, shutdown of our beaches or any other health related problems.

    Unlike other central sewer systems that dump much of their treated sewerage into local waterways, the Marco Island sewer system treats all of the wastewater and either uses the treated water as re-use for irrigation, or injects it into deep well holding tanks. Treated water is not dumped into the Island’s waterways.

    Many other central sewer systems combine human waste with storm water runoff. During major floods or heavy rains these systems get “overloaded” and untreated water overflows into adjacent waterways. Marco Island’s sewer system, however, treats only human waste and is completely independent from storm water. As such, the Island’s sewer system is not susceptible to flood related failures.



    4. The planned Program is so massive that, as had happened when the County installed sewers in the 1980’s, it will create great disruption and inconvenience. How is this program different?

    The City has learned a lot from the past experience of the County and the present Program incorporates many different features to minimize disruption. First, the city plans on installing sewers in the remainder of the Island over an extended period of 7 years. Next, the Program consists of 15 smaller and separate sewer districts again limiting the scope of the construction at any one time. Finally, the city plans to complete most construction during the off-season to, again, limit inconvenience.

    The first two districts of the new Program are nearing completion in the Tigertail and South Barfield areas with minimal inconvenience and disruption to the Island.



    5. We understand that the existing sewer plant needs extensive work and only the new sewer customers will be paying the costs? The old sewer customers go “scott free”.

    The existing sewer treatment plant has been fully paid off for by the existing sewer customers. These people paid an initial assessment for connection plus a monthly fee of $50 for many years to pay this off.

    The existing treatment plant must be expanded to treat the new customers coming on line as part of the 7 year sewer completion program. This is not an expense that would have been incurred if there was no expansion. As such, the costs to expand the existing plant are being paid for by only the new customers through an assessment cost.

    In addition to expansion, the city will have to upgrade both the existing plant and the expanded portion to meet new treatment regulations and to include modern technology. These upgrade costs will be paid for by both, existing and new sewer customers as part of their monthly charge of $50 for treatment costs. All will be paying for these upgrades.



    6. What is being done to reduce the costs of new sewers and what are the options for financing this large one-time cost?

    The city has been able to reduce the costs of initial assessments by applying new, presently available grant monies to the Program and by taking advantage of very favorable construction bid prices at this time

    The city has also tried to alleviate the financial burden by offering a wide menu of financing options (in our review one of the most comprehensive in the region) to new sewer customers to cover the one time assessment costs. These options include:

    1. Pay all up front with a 6% discount
    2. Pay off over a 20 year period with low interest financing available to the city
    3. Defer all payments until the property is sold (will include accrued interest as well at that time)
    4. Lock in the assessment cost in today’s dollars with the city taking the risk of future inflation
    5. Those with high cost, on-site treatment plants, that are far superior to regular septic systems, do not have to connect to sewers until 10 years after sewers are available to them.



    7. We have been told that the real reason for expanding the sewer system is to enable developers and realtors to build more facilities and increase the density of our population. Is this true?

    The installation of sewers does not increase density. The sewer expansion is to the 60% of the single family homes presently on septic systems and the number of allowable homes to be built (the density) is the same whether there are sewers or septic on these properties.

    The density limits for Marco Island are established by the city and approved and monitored by state agencies. Density control is considered an extremely critical requirement and is well controlled by this process.


    COMMUNICATIONS – MONTE LAZARUS (394-4104, BENGOSHI@MARCOCABLE.COM)

    Celebrate Marco's Communications Committee is responsible for disseminating factual information about Celebrate Marco's mission, objectives, functions, actions, and issues significant to Marco Island, its residents, visitors and businesses. As such the Communications Committee serves as Celebrate Marco's education and information arm.

    Specifically, the Communications Committee will:

    Produce and circulate a “Celebrate Marco” Newsletter
    Encourage “Letters to the Editor” from Celebrate Marco members
    Analyze and research issues and prepare and disseminate factual papers on critical issues
    Coordinate face-to-face communications with media representatives, other people and parties. Be the primary contact for all media relations and prepare press releases.
    Encourage participation, when necessary or desirable, in city council meetings
    Encourage Marco Islanders, through publicity, to participate in community activities
    Provide speakers to groups regarding issues important to Marco Island
    Cooperate with the Internet Committee in creating a web site, providing web information and circulating e-mails
    Assist in membership recruitment

    MARKETING – ROGER RAYMOND (642-7981, ROGER@MSTARMUSIC.COM)

    Celebrate Marco’s Marketing Committee is responsible for “selling” the Celebrate Marco ideals and importance, to encourage membership, to raise funds and to promote a positive feeling about Marco Island, its residents, visitors and businesses. As such, the Marketing Committee is the image and excitement wing of Celebrate Marco committed to making all on Marco Island feel like part of the one great community.

    Specifically, the Marketing Committee will:

    Advertise Celebrate Marco events, forums and meetings
    Increase Celebrate Marco membership
    Develop and sell promotional products such as shirts, pens and other Celebrate Marco items
    Develop and implement fund raising strategies



    INTERNET – GARY ELLIOTT (642-8541, GARY.ELLIOTT@INTERIORSINTERIORS.COM)

    The Internet Committee is responsible for developing, building and managing Celebrate Marco internet web sites and to coordinate all e-mail correspondence. This committee strives to advance Celebrate Marco communications through the internet and to expand its communications abilities in both speed and scope. As such, the Internet Committee is the broad band communications wing of Celebrate Marco. This Committee works very closely with the Communications Committee which will provide much of the information for internet consideration.

    Specifically, the Internet Committee will:

    Develop, build and manage the Celebrate Marco website
    Monitor the web sites of other organizations of interest and importance to Celebrate Marco’s mission
    Coordinate entering information on news media websites
    Retrieve and disseminate all Celebrate Marco e-mails to all interested individuals and groups
    Utilize the internet for communications to and from members and other critical contacts.
    Update membership records



    EVENTS

    The Events Committee of Celebrate Marco is responsible for planning, designing and implementing all of its events and to support other community events led by other Island organizations. These events shall include information meetings, social functions, fairs, forums, and special dinners. The Events Committee will strive to hold events designed to bring unity back to our community and to foster a positive feeling about living, visiting and doing business on Marco Island. As such, the Events Committee is the real “unity” arm of Celebrate Marco.

    Specifically, the Events Committee will:

    Design, plan and execute all of the events for Celebrate Marco.
    Research other ways of bringing excitement and a feeling of community unity
    Support events run by other organizations that are designed to foster unity in the community
    Cosponsoring and cooperating in other community events


    “CELEBRATE MARCO INC”

    BOARD MEMBERS

    JAMES CURRAN CJAMESCURRAN@AOL.COM
    394-6663

    MONTE LAZARUS BENGOSHI@MARCOCABLE.COM
    394-4104

    JACK PATTERSON J.PATTERSON06@COMCAST.NET
    642-9735

    JOHN ARCERI ARCMI@COMCAST.NET
    394-9202

    VICKIE KELBER VICKIEONMARCO@COMCAST.NET
    389-2836

    ROGER RAYMOND ROGER@MSTARMUSIC.COM
    642-7981

    GARY ELLIOTT GARY.ELLIOTT@INTERIORSINTERIORS.COM
    642-8541

    LEE WILLER SPECTOR LWILLER6@COMCAST.NET
    642-1004

    PAT NEALE LUCERAINC@AOL.COM
    642-1485

    TOM OWENS BABADONNA@MARCOCABLE.COM
    394-1548

    TARIK AYASUN TURK1949@COMCAST.NET
    394-6099 (X10)

    By Anonymous Celebrate Marco Is SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CONTENT, at Friday, October 20, 2006 8:27:00 PM  

  • these people hide behind Tommy Barfield School and other puppet charities to cover up their real adgendas.
    DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THESE LOVERS OF THE CHILDREN!
    Thet are corrupt as the day is long the sewers are going to make millions for many of them.
    So they get people of the clergy to speak on thier behalf(sacraficial Baumgartner) They Celebrate Marco HUh
    go tell my 81 yr. old neihbor widow who is now selling her home of 26 years cause she can't afford marco any longer.
    You people who fight the cities corruption and hear these imposters stand there and tell us they are so involved in Marco (see the phoney Celebrate Marco List)
    Don't cower to these special interest cowards
    You people of CARES POP EARNMARCO and RECALL have stuck your necks out and have defended many defensless people on marco. YOU ARE ALL HEREOS!
    Fight these cowards - they are scared and for good reason.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, October 20, 2006 11:03:00 PM  

  • Monte,

    Thanks for your letter regarding "the facts" about the recall. John Arceri sent it to me by e-mail yesterday and I responded to him as follows. (In case you didn't know, John and Mike both went to Manhattan College ... I went to the rival school, Fordham ... hence the banter about an old rivalry.

    John, are you sure Celebrate Marco isn't a political committee. This sure sounds political to me!

    And are you sure you are a group "for the people," i.e., the permanent residents of this island? The second sentence only mentions business and real estate as your real concern. And, please stop the disinformation crap about suits costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal related costs. The City brought suit against its citizens in the bond validation case, and if you're referring to the asbestos suit, read the contract. Quality Enterprises is responsible for ALL city legal expenses related to the South Collier reconstruction. Now, if we could only get these councilors to force your buddy A. William to enforce the contract, there would be NO legal costs. That's like in NADA, ZILCH, ZERO.

    And John, the most recent Florida case law is clear that the people needn't "convict" a councilor of anything. If they don't want him in, he's out. It's as simple as that. You vote 'em in; you vote 'em out. You know how that works, John. That's why you didn't stand for re-election last time. The people had had it with you and you knew it. You're a smart man. (I expect nothing less from a Manhattan graduate.) Too bad your schoolmate Mike and his friends aren't. Then again, maybe they'll read the writing on the wall and resign after all .... for the good of the community, I'm sure. As a matter of fact, are you sure Mike ran for re-election two years ago? Seems to me I heard somewhere that he never ran for office against an opponent. Don't mean to take it out on poor Mike; E. Glenn is far worse!

    Your friend from Fordham who truly would like to Celebrate Marco.

    Ed

    Monte, this nonsense about CARES costing Marco hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs just has to stop. It's flat out not true. Go read the South Collier contract. If you'd like, I'll e-mail you the pertinent sections. Quality Enterprises is response for ALL legal expense both for the City and for its employees, Messrs. Moss and Joel. I think there's a lot to celebrate about Marco and I'd like to join you in doing so, but I can't support a bunch of people who spread such disinformation as "fact." Bill Clinton did that and I didn't like him for it either.

    You really should check your "facts" about the STRP too. As Mark Twain said: "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." All this contention will come to an immediate end when you and your fellow travelers wake up, smell the coffee, and do a little honest SCIENTIFIC research rather than blindly following others.

    Ed Foster

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, October 26, 2006 1:49:00 PM  

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Voter Intimidation Epidemic

Note: Major Differences between Marco Island and Los Angeles:
1. On Marco, we have the city officials intimidate ALL voters, not just Hispanics

2. On Marco, we don't fire the people who committed the voter intimidation
3. Florida does NOT have an attorney general that actually enforces laws


Calif. Campaign in Turmoil Over Letters Aide to GOP Candidate Sent Mailing Saying Immigrants Are Barred From Voting
By Sonya Geis-Washington Post Staff Writer. Friday, October 20, 2006


LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19 -- A California Republican's congressional campaign went into meltdown Thursday after he said a staff member was responsible for sending thousands of letters to new voters with Hispanic surnames telling them -- wrongly -- that it is illegal for them to vote if they are immigrants.

Tan Nguyen, the GOP candidate for California's 47th District, said in a statement that a staff member had sent the letters without his knowledge and has since been fired. Nguyen, himself an immigrant from Vietnam, has focused his campaign on keeping illegal immigrants out of the country, a deeply felt issue in suburban Orange County. Tan Nguyen, who is challenging Rep. Loretta Sanchez in Orange County, said a staff member sent the letters without his knowledge and has been fired.

Written in Spanish, the letters advise recently registered voters that it is a crime for those in the country illegally to vote in a federal election, which is true. They also say, falsely, that immigrants may not vote and could be jailed or deported for doing so, that the federal government has a new computer system to verify voter names, and that anti-immigration organizations can access the records.

As many as 14,000 letters were sent in the district, now represented by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D). The letterhead identified them as coming from the California Coalition for Immigration Reform.

The group denied responsibility, and California Attorney General Bill Lockyer launched an investigation into possible violations of two state laws that prohibit intimidation to suppress voting. On a radio program, Lockyer confirmed that his office was focused on a Republican congressional candidate.

Sanchez said she has called for a federal probe into possible violations of the Voting Rights Act.

Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh said: "When I interviewed him to determine why he was becoming a Republican, I was less than convinced that he switched parties because he doesn't believe in the values of Democrats. Then, after getting the nomination, he wanted the Republican Party to carry him across the finish line. And I told him that's not how it works."
Nguyen had spent $427,000 of his own money on the race as of September, according to campaign filings.

His campaign materials describe immigration as the focus of his campaign. He praises the Minuteman Project and opposes Bush's proposed guest-worker program.Nguyen himself immigrated to the United States at age 8, one of thousands of Vietnamese to flee in boats. He worked as a stockbroker before entering politics.

Orange County is known for heated immigration politics. One-third of its residents are Hispanic, according to 2004 census data, and the area is home to large populations of Vietnamese and Middle Eastern immigrants. It is also the birthplace of several anti-illegal-immigration movements. Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minutemen, is a resident, as is Barbara Coe, founder of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform.

"Certainly this is a very polarized area," Sanchez said. "When you have people like the creator of the Minutemen living there, and Gloria Tuchman, who worked on the anti-bilingual law, and Barbara Coe, one would say that it's a pretty volatile area."



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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Lay Interpretation: 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – Equal Protection

The "Equal Protection" clause ends thus:

…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The first question to consider as related to Marco Island is thus: is there any component of the STRP that will benefit directly or indirectly anyone not subject to the special tax levied on SOME homeowners?

If the answer is yes, then the equal protection clause of the U.S. constitution has apparently been violated.

If a component of the STRP goes to improving the sewage treatment plant for the benefit of all citizens and businesses – and not to just deal with the extra load (no pun intended), then the equal protection clause has been violated. If a component of the STRP goes to improving the roads beyond replacing them to their original status prior demolition, then the equal protection clause has been violated. If the STRP creates one new or improved anything – like a sidewalk – then the equal protection clause has been violated.

This clause of the U.S. constitution was enacted to address the disparity in treatment by the government that existed (and some argue still exist) between the races and sexes. Later, the courts started applying the tenet to any citizens that were disfavored in any way when contrasted with an equal class of citizens. And as such the courts started to consider taxation and special assessments.

In one tax case, the Supreme Court found that a community violated the equal protection clause when some homeowners’ taxes were computed differently than how other identical homeowners’ taxes were computed. In another case, the Supreme Court found that a community violated the equal protection clause when businesses had to pay for a road improvement through a special assessment but yet homeowners on the same street did not get assessed. There are quite many more such cases.

In the comments section to this post, there are two opinions that support the contention that the STRP does in fact violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, the deciding insight and expression should be left to legal scholars and specialists such as the ACLU or a law research center.

The second question to consider is thus: given the state of the so called legal system, is there any merit to even consider pursuing the above noted position?

1 Comments:

  • REAL PROPERTY; TAXATION; ASSESSMENTS -- Assessing property owners for roads in industrial areas while paying for similar roads in residential area out of general revenues is impermissibly discriminatory. -- Gotham Park Associates v. Borough of Carlstadt, A-2679-01T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2003), Unpublished; June 18, 2003: "Pursuant to two municipal ordinances, [a municipality] imposed a special assessment on properties in the industrial area of [the municipality] adjacent to the roads that were repaired." Two property owners challenged the assessments contending that they violated the Local Improvements Law. In addition, they claimed that the assessments "violated the equal protection clauses of the United States and New Jersey Constitutions because only commercial property owners were assessed for the road improvements and residential property owners were not." The lower court ruled that the commercial property owners "failed to overcome the presumption of correctness of the assessments even though they had attempted to show no increase in the value of their properties due to the road repair project." On the other hand, it found that the special assessment violated the equal protection clauses. On appeal, the municipality argued that the special assessment did not violate equal protection and that amendments to the Local Improvements Law validated the property owners' equal protection claims.

    After the constitutional challenge, the lower court noted that the challenge was "based upon the idea that these property owners are a sub-class of industrial properties within [the municipality], which have been illegitimately discriminated against in terms of being made vulnerable to special assessments." Their claim was that non-industrial properties had "consistently and persistently and repeatedly been not subject to a special assessment." The evidence showed that where road improvements affected residential property, the municipality treated the appropriations as ones to be paid by general taxation, not by special assessment. Accordingly, the lower court found that there "appear[ed] to be a clear cleavage in treatment between industrial property and non-industrial property in [this particular] municipality" and that the municipality "didn't even try during the trial to make any dispute or bones about." The lower court understood that "a classification made by legislation is presumed to be valid and will be sustained if it 'rationally related to a legitimate state interest'." Scouring the evidence, the lower court was "satisfied that the disparate treatment [was] unrelated to any legitimate end." The Appellate Division agreed with the lower court's ruling.

    ++++++++++++++++
    ++++++++++++++++

    Allegheny Pittsburgh Coal Co. v. County Commission of Webster County

    Ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court:

    Essentially the Court established that so long as adjustments in the assessments are accurate enough over a relatively short period of time to roughly equalize the differences in proportion of the tax burden between the assessments levied against a similarly situated class of property owners, the Equal Protection clause will be satisfied and the scheme of assessment upheld. The Court established further that the Equal Protection clause is not automatically violated by errors in state law or mistakes in valuation of property for purposes of taxation. In fact, the Allegheny Court found that the Equal Protection clause does not require immediate wholesale readjustment based upon the latest fluctuations of the real estate market. Ultimately, the test put forth by the Court in Allegheny concluded that the actual constitutional requirement is the achievement within a "seasonable time" of a "rough equality" in the treatment of similarly situated property owners.

    The Court went on to find that the system of general readjustments of assessments employed by the Webster County assessor of "comparable" properties was neither prompt nor substantial enough to balance the inequalities established in the record before the Court. The Court found that the assessments in Webster county would not have come into equilibrium for approximately 500 years under the assessment scheme utilized by the assessor. This disparity was according to the Allegheny Court beyond the parameters of the test as formulated and applied.

    By Blogger mario, at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 6:16:00 PM  

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Friday, October 13, 2006

So How Long Have You Lived on Marco Island?

What is this incessantly puerile and sanguine penchant some people have for asking how long someone has lived on Marco Island as a means by which to classify the individual? Does it really matter how long someone has lived here before that person can offer some insight or some advice or some recommendation? Does one have to have lived here for some specified time before they can become responsible citizens?

Once again in this week’s obituary we were entreated to yet again another character assassination where the premise was in near totality based on the claim that the accused has been living on Marco “for only three years”. The week’s emails showed us where one activist and one internet industrialist confused as an activist were besmirched in part because of “how long they lived on the island”. Given every other attack and public proclamation from the longevity police, it is clear we are engulfed in the mindless flu pandemic.

So which god proclaimed the acceptable time one has to have lived on Marco before that objection to their civic involvement is not questioned? Or is it a city ordinance? Or better yet, is it some diktat from the real estate special interest cabal?

A lesson to be learned comes from businesses and universities. How often do we hear that consultants and CEOs and leaders are more often than not brought in from outside the organization to effect change? Additionally, it is the standard for universities not to hire their own doctoral graduates to teach – they always seek professors that have studied at other universities. The reason for this outsider practice is to provide the organization with a much needed fresh perspective, a new eye if you will, that is free from the baggage and the bias and the history that tends to influence us all.

In case the aggressors don’t change their mind as to this inane longevity question, here are some equally absurd assertions/questions to pose in support of their character assassinations:

  • “And Ed doesn’t even speak Spanish!” (Important since construction workers are illegal, are from Mexico, and the rest of the state speaks Spanish – including the governor and the two politicos seeking his job)
  • How long has Roger had arthritis?” (Important for obvious reasons – can’t relate to 99% of the Marco population if you don’t have this curable affliction)
  • “Raymond has received only 209 code violation warnings from the city’s code enforcement bureau!” (Important since one has not suffered enough indignities by having been anonymously accused by the neo-Nazis that patrol the neighborhoods under the guise of walking their dogs of such immensely serious illegalities as their garbage cans not having been removed by some arbitrary time)
  • “Did Bill declare bankruptcy and have IRS liens before coming to Marco Island?” (Important since, if true, would make Bill a successful businessman per amerikapitalism standards, and then Bill can take a leadership role on Marco Island as we continue our unabashed commercialization efforts)
  • “Are you a CPA?” (Important only to attempt to humiliate the chairperson of the city council. This author was so taken aback when this question was posed that he felt compelled to violate the “comments on attorney’s fees only” rule (just like every other speaker did) and proclaim “I don’t have a CPA either – but how many of you geniuses have a Ph.D.?”)

This author finds it interesting that many on paradise make it an issue of where they came from and how long they have been here. You are here now, it’s good that you have a history, but it’s important to only yourself that you came here decades ago from Rustbelt, Ohio.

By the way, this author was deposited in South Florida in 1962, so all of the above will not be deemed credible.

6 Comments:

  • Now, now everyone knows you must be a Florida cracker, Realtor or PhD to involve ones self in local politics. And yes, you must be bilingual, that's a given. This information is included in the packet you received upon moving to Florida. I guess some people didn't bother to read theirs....slackers! Signed dragonslayer212 PhD (in sarcasm)

    By Blogger dragonslayer, at Sunday, October 15, 2006 8:45:00 AM  

  • Why is it these 'transiant trouble' makers on Marco are the only ones who sign their real names to all the blogs and forums, while the rightous sewer/big development lovers hide in the shadows like true cowards when they blog(i.e ILOVEMARCO,SUNALSORISES,ED34145,MARCOGLENN,VALSHARK MARCOGIRL,etc..etc...etc.
    What are ya hiding from Celebrate Marco?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 16, 2006 9:42:00 AM  

  • I think one becomes involved in politics when the politicians dont do the job they were elected to do and some think that they can fill the void. Also from community involvement in trying to do better - the problem is that in trying to do better one is sure to disturb those that think everything is fine.

    By the way, doesn't cracker mean a slang term for a white person, usually considered pejorative?

    Jikes - I hope we haven't resorted to that now. I thought it stopped when I was called "you people" at the church by the church folk (at the Celebrate meeting).

    One packet that I am pursuing is the packet that I did NOT receive from the city of marco island or the contractor the city gave a permit to when I purchased my NEW house warning me that I would suffer a $30,000 assessment in a matter of months for the septic tank the city approved - since I purchased the house AFTER the STRP was being considered by the city ... As soon as I get that packet I'll post it.

    By Anonymous mario, at Monday, October 16, 2006 2:54:00 PM  

  • Great point!

    By Anonymous Mildred Reed, at Tuesday, October 17, 2006 8:40:00 PM  

  • mario, I commiserate with you Marco residents who are getting involved. A Florida cracker is a person born and raised in Florida and has no prejudice to race. Living here in Cape Crapola is having the same negative effect as you good folks are feeling. I could care less if someone lived here 6 months or 106 years. It is not only your right, but civic responsibility to stand up and tell it like it is.

    By Blogger dragonslayer, at Thursday, October 19, 2006 7:50:00 PM  

  • dragonslayer - you are correct - another definition i missed - and on the other points ... agreed!

    By Anonymous mario, at Friday, October 20, 2006 1:43:00 PM  

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

All Views Welcomed ...

If you are brave enough to wear this on a T-Shirt, go to TSHIRT!

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After the Dust (Asbestos) Settles

As the congratulatory and appreciative statements and proclamations pass through the vacuum which are the media and the island’s political forces, the most salient, damming indictment must remain forever present in the minds of the citizens: it took the arduous efforts of a citizen and a citizen’s group to do the job that the government we pay dearly for did not do, and refused to do.

So as we laud the efforts of the city government in a near sycophantic fervor for effectively and efficiently (albeit questionably) handing out code violation warnings for such immensely serious problems as a barking dog, consider what the government and the majority of our elected officials missed – and fought hard to negate.


These groups that place a check on the powers and actions (and in this case non-action) of government are owed a world of gratitude. Whether one agrees with these organizations or not, they are doing all citizens an immeasurable service.

It may be just a matter of egos or politics to see this fact of democracy clearly. Our founding fathers saw the importance quite clearly - that is why they included the right to petition in the constitution.

1 Comments:

  • The founding father should have included in the founding documents right to petition free of slander and character assassinations by PACs like Celebrate Marco.

    By Anonymous Fred(OHIO), at Tuesday, October 10, 2006 3:46:00 PM  

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Zecchino Journal

Please click the "comments" link below for a facinating story.

10 Comments:

  • "I'll live to see you and that son of yours rot in the gutter!" My father, Vincent Zecchino, M.D., made this declaration on August 9th, 1984 in presence of my attorney and Rhode Island Court officials among others.. I was in court to finalize my divorce. My son, Michael Paul Zecchino, was four and a half years old. My father was more than ten years in Dementia. His behavior, though unsettling to those around him, was typical.
    His above statement was in reply to an offer from the Court, as conveyed by my attorney. The Court had imprisoned Michael's mother for repeatedly flouting visitation orders, in addition to other problematic behaviors.
    The Judge stated the Zecchino name was known as a wealthy one. Noting I'd given all I had to settle the case, the Judge asked Dad, for the sake of propriety, to give Michael's mother ten-thousand dollars. She was seen as unfit. I was seen as a good father. Total custody would be granted me. This would most benefit Michael. He was a normal happy boy in my presence. He behaved otherwise under his mother's influence.
    My lawyer was astonished at Dad's hateful reply to such a generous offer from the Court. He long knew my father personally and by reputation. He couldn't believe this was the same Vincent Zecchino. But Dad's behavior was typical of a type of Dementia which runs in his family. My lawyer pleaded that ten thousand dollars literally meant the emotional and psychological survival of my son. Dad was unmoved, instead he gleefully repeated his 'rot in the gutter' declaration to anyone in the Court who would listen.
    My lawyer, known as a gentleman and family advocate, later stated he could barely contain himself in face of Dad's cold callous cruelty and my son's resultant assured destruction. He didn't know how I did. He was placated somewhat when I told him of Dad's diagnosis, made during hospitalization and outpatient treatment at McLean Hospital, Boston years earlier, aggravated by age, treatment non-compliance, and extortion..
    Dr. Marleen Loughran and I married in August of 1985. She also was taken aback by Dad's angry irrational statments and compulsive physical violations of others' boundaries. Marleen well knew the behavior. During her training and career as Psychologist, she'd witnessed it firsthand on locked wards for the criminally insane at Rhode Island's Institute for Mental Health. She nonetheless had difficulty reconciling it to a prominent Orthopaedic Surgeon. Even then, it seemed to her that Dad was repeating others' words. Whose?
    My name and that of my late mother, Julia M. Zecchino crown Lifespan's Providence, RI, Zecchino Pavillion. (www.lifespan.org) The name Vincent Zecchino atop the building is purported to be that of my father. It isn't. Dad long used both 'Dr.' and 'M.D.' in conjunction with his name. In 2003 and 2004, he several times gigglingy admitted to Marleen and others that his lawyers 'crossed out "Paul's" first name'. Why would George Allen Wilson, II of Cheffy, Passidomo of Naples, FL and Girard R. Visconti of Providence, RI do that?
    They can best answer that question on their own - at a future arraignment, so say some individuals. But Julia Zecchino, long before her murder, as well corroborated by others, long reassured all of us to not be overly concerned about Dad's 'increasingly violent behavior'. He doused her and her bedroom with alchohol and tried to set her ablaze. He tried to strangle her in 1985. Feigning infirmity, he many times tried to crash her side of their car into utility poles. He regularly injected himself in the Basal Ganglia with substances he refused to identify. Though fearing for her life, in manner typical of the abused, Julia refused to report her husband's 'increasingly severe and noticeable abuse'. Patricia D. Stoye, Marco Island PD Victim Advocate, long corresponded with Dad. Why did she miss what so many others observed? How did Stoye miss Julia's atrophied untreated fractured arm? It was broken when Dad yanked Julia downward onto a concrete step. Others knew of it. Why didn't Stoye? And what about 'all those track marks on Julia's arms'? The Hospital surely didn't put them there. Dad did. With what was he injecting her? For what reason? Poison experts consulted provided interesting observations. As Julia always said, "It's all over money".
    Julia reassured us, despite Dad's 'unmanageable private behavior', all our assets were in a Living Trust from the 1950's in her name and mine. She was adamant, all would be well when Dad predeceased her. Eight years younger, physically strong, she was long expected to outlive Dad. Julia did say if Dad outlived her, we 'wouldd have a lot of trouble from some of his distant relatives who'll do anything for money'. To whom was she referring?
    Perhaps to Dorothy Lavelle Adams, a/k/a 'Dody', 'sister' Helen Lavelle O'Keefe, and Girard R.Visconti, Esq.? Visconti greatly profited Adams, O'Keefe and their respective families. Among others, he wrote to Rhode Island State Police and Collier County Chief Judge Hugh D. Hayes - in hope, say some - of not so much discrediting me as getting me shot on sight. His letters are viewed as 'typical criminal overstatement'. He doesn't merely portray me as a son undeserving of what is rightfully his. Visconti's overblown statements falsely and actionably paint me as Public Enemy Number One.
    Why would he do that? Perhaps because subsequent to Julia's death, the Living Trust which should have passed to "Paul and his family" didn't? Perhaps because though fully cognizant of that fact, Visconti, Wilson and others went right ahead and unlawfully invaded, diverted, and looted the Trust? What does Dad say? He says, "you can't prove what I did to her (Julia)...You'll never prove what I did..You can't prove anything..." Prove what?
    Professionals certified to give court testimony understand why these people don't like me. I am the Son and Sole Survivor. That means I have rights and protections under the law. They don't. Though you always hope your worst concerns are unfounded, what are you to believe? Ask Visconti, Wilson, Adams, O'Keefe, and others routine questions? They answer not with truth but rather with silence, lies, and "Judicial Terrorism".
    In 1978 Dad settled several malpractice suits. One clearly showed 'personality disorder exacerbated by Dementia'. Many of you surely recall the late '70's. Malpractice was 'Tort du Jour'. Doctors were sued for being Doctors. Dad was sued. Dad settled. End of story.
    But something odd then occurred. My parents became very frightened. They took extra precautions to secure both their Providence home and our family homestead at Point Judith, Rhode Island. The latter was the home from which we were unlawfully driven by Girard R. Visconti's actions, taken at the behest - so we've learned - of 'nieces' O'Keefe and Adams.
    My parents said people were watching them, awaiting opportunities to break in. Dad could barely speak of this. Julia told me and others 'an old lawsuit came back at them'. They were disconsolate, stating "They'll take everything". It made no sense. Dad's apartment complex was a corporation separate from his practice. Our wealth, customary of professionals of the era, was long in an irrevocable Living Trust in name of Julia and me. Who was taking what?
    My parents said insurance wouldn't cover them. Dad unconvincingly admitted fault. Weeping, he said he diagnosed another doctor's patient and the 'little girl died'.
    Forensic professionals say this exceeds the language of Dementia. It is language typical of those being extorted. By whom? Over what? Usually nothing. Paying a penny to the blackmailer starts the process. Once started, it never stops.
    Dad's 'little girl' story was far fetched. Julia agreed. Rhode Island is a small state. News of the trivial travels statewide within minutes. In 1979, Dr. Vincent Zecchino, M.D. was prominent.. A patient death at Rhode Island Hospital? Front page news. Dad's involvement in, let alone responsibility for it? Earth shattering news. Neither The Providence Journal, www.projo.com , nor any other paper, TV, or radio news desk knows anything of it..
    Court archives show settled malpractice suits and nothing else, save for a 'bizarre' Small Claims suit Dad filed against the Star Market. That case proved interesting reading for all in review, who again noted patterns of extortion and documentary evidence of long term Dementia. But no malpractice suit.. Of what and of whom were my so parents afraid?
    In 1978, as told by Julia Zecchino and others, Girard R. Visconti, Helen O'Keefe, and Dorothy Adams 'swarmed' my father. Years passed, the situation worsened.
    In 1993 Dad closed out all longstanding friends and legitimate family including Marleen and me. He welcomed in distant relatives whose motives are obvious. In banishing us, he screamed, "Don't you dare ask me for another check for Five-Hundred Thousand Dollars, because this time I won't give it to you!" What's this?
    I wrongly interepreted it as Dementia talking. It's called Psychotic Transference. Given her professional bragging, how did Stoye miss it? Simply put, Dad blames the two remaining people he loves - Marleen and me - for others' misconduct against him.
    $500,000?. In 1998, my son, age 18 and seriously troubled, arrived unannounced at our Manasota Key home. His motives were nefarious and not missed by others. He angrily spoke of 'five hundred thousand dollars' in his name which either I or my father supposedly denied him. I suggested he speak to Dad, as Dad had refused to speak to me for five years.
    But Dad spoke regularly with Visconti, Adams, O'Keefe, and Linda Zecchino, of www.holidayfoods.com, which recently sold for millions to Schwann foods. Linda is Dad's helpful 'cousin'. Following Julia's murder - for which Marco PD admits there exists no Death Report - Linda arrived at the funeral home with Dad in tow. Somberly dressed in pedal pushers, halter top exposing ample midriff, sunburst orange thong exploding from her waistline, and in a touch most classy, carrying an umbrella, Linda smoothly arranged for cremation against all stated plans for wake, funeral, and family plot burial. Linda also, thru Visconti, took Promissory Notes from Dad for Five Hundred Thousand Dollars each. She credits Small Business Administration loans for getting her catering business going yet she oddly doesn't mention, let alone thank, Dad for his Promissory Notes. Why not?
    See the pattern? People use Dad in his diminished state to unlawfully loot The Living Trust. To make it right in his troubled mind, Dad blames Marleen and me. Why did Stoye and PD Marco miss classic exploitation? Who looted in $500,000 increments? Linda Zecchino, among others. Who get the blame? Paul and Marleen, of course.
    Gets better. During Michael's visit, he called his mother five times daily. Remember being 18 and 1500 miles from home in a tropical paradise with pretty girls on the beach? You called Ma five times a day, right? Sure you did. Very curious. Michael's mother, at behest of Adams, Visconti, and O'Keefe, told him to discover our intineraries, defenses, and assets. In particular he was told to look for 'life insurance papers'. Highly signifigant. It links all to Obfuscation of a Living Trust for massive unlawful gain. Murder is involved.
    The $500,000 Dad accused us of taking? Michael's mother told him I 'blackmailed' it from Dad and kept it in cash form (!!) in my home. Michael's mother, acting on instructions from Dorothy Adams, told him to ransack our home until he found the cash. Good grief!
    Michael, as is his custom, blurted it. He asked me where I kept $500,000 cash. I explained that sums of this sort trip red flags and last I checked, his grandfather wasn't known for throwing money around casually, let alone to blackmailers. Or was he? Was Dad again blaming us for others' misconduct? Isn't this more Psychotic Transference?How did Stoye, in light of her qualifications, miss it? How did George Allen Wilson II, Mark V. Silverio, and Girard R. Visconti miss it? Or did they?

    Laymen and experts alike get it in a second. Greedy people exploit those in Dementia. Did they obfuscate a Living Trust? That's prison time. Can you now see why Pat Stoye filed a restraining order against me for ulterior motives using lies for evidence? Isn't it clear she filed this not for Dad's protection, as falsely claimed, but to cover lawyer misconduct and the exploitive cruelty of greedy relatives with my body?

    Does Dad's statement now make sense? Persons not in their right mind who suffer from long term blackmail, experience a 'split'. Under severe stress, a person identifies with his tormentors. Many know it as Stockholm Syndrome.

    Who wants to see my son and I rot in the gutter? Dorothy Lavelle Adams, among others. I am the speed bump in her road to riches. How did Dorothy split Dad? Ask Visconti. They work as a team. Why do the Marco Island Police act on behalf of Adams, Visconti, Wilson, and O'Keefe?

    Next installment, will detail recent events on Marco. Unlike those above, I like questions.

    I don't want sympathy. I don't write to complain. I write as a good consumer reporter. Two forensic psychiatrists speak for all when they call this a 'criminal problem'. Stoye filed a restraining order against me with ease and no regard for consequences. This indicates practice. This should cloud any police action in which she is involved. If they did this to us so easily, they're probably doing it to others. There's a lot of wealthy elderly people on Marco. Their adult children may not worry about inheriting, but they'll surely be upset to find themselves in legal hot water merely for trying to protect their parents from estate grifters.

    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    17 October, 2006

    "Truth leads a wretched life -
    and always survives the lie."
    - Cathy O'Brien

    By Anonymous admin, at Friday, October 20, 2006 9:09:00 PM  

  • Frank J. Williams speaks of his 'legacy of justice'. He proves talk is perverted as well as cheap. I wrote to Williams in the spring of 2004, directed to do so by my lawyers. I told him I was alive. I'd been declared dead as had my wife, Dr. Marleen Loughran Zecchino, and son, Michael Paul Zecchino, by Naples, Florida attorney, George Allen Wilson II, of Cheffy, Passidomo, Wilson, and Johnson. Wilson's firm is described as 'very good at doing people out of rightfully belongs to them". Rhode Island Judicial Nominating Commission Chairman Girard R. Visconti, Esq. directed Wilson to 'finish the work' of crafting new trusts and gifting papers so that millions could be handed to Lifespan HMO. (www.lifespan.org) The millions were purportedly a 'gift' from my then 92 year old father, Vincent Zecchino, M.D. Dad by then was more than thirty years into a type of Dementia which runs in his family. It first clouds judgement. My murdered mother, Julia M. Zecchino, was cremated July, 2001 against all plans for wake, funeral, and burial in a family plot in St. Anns' Cemetery, Cranston. She died, according to friends, protecting my interests. Visconti, Wilson, and Frank J. Williams among others can be proud - they undermined the dying acts of a murdered mother.
    Interestingly, organizations at the national level well know of Williams and Visconti. They were not at all surprised to hear of our experiences. They say this is a business in which they take estates from elderly persons of reduced capacity. To conceal their misconduct, they make trouble for responsible adult offspring via misuse of the Courts. Physical retaliation is not unheard of, either.
    Looted millions did not really come from my father any more than that is his name which crown's Lifespan's Zecchino Pavillion..

    It's mine.

    The Zecchino Pavillion was to be dedicated, October, 2001 as 'Dr. Vincent Zecchino, M.D. Pavillion'. Dad, as his illness and psychoses became more manifest, overstated things, using both 'Dr.' and 'M.D.'. But 'they hit a speedbump'. 'They'? Visconti? Wilson? Lifespan? Brown? What sort of speedbump? The "Paul Vincent and Julia Zecchino Living Trust" speedbump? If you erase 'Paul' from 'Paul Vincent and Julia Zecchino Living Trust of 1957', it matches the name atop Lifespan. What a coincidence! In this case, one of dozens. Dad even admitted that's what they did.
    Upon Julia's demise the Trust was to pass to me. It didn't.. Wilson and Visconti spent a year diverting it. We've also been unlawfully denied Trust proceeds for years. There is considerable fraud involved including false postings, false declarations of being dead, false representations of Dad's wishes and yet more serious wrongdoings - and Julia Zecchino wasn't the only murder. George Wilson, directed by Visconti, represented that an 'X' on trust papers was my her signature. Pure nonsense. Julia was literate. She would have signed her name, or not at all. She didn't sign. That's why she was murdered. She was injected to death at her Marco Island, Florida, 'Dunnfoire Condominium'. She was comatose, paralyzed, lying unattended in her own waste. Nursing care had been denied. 'Corrupt and incompetent' Marco Island Police admit they have no death report..
    Who declared Julia Zecchino dead? George Wilson? Visconti? Williams? Just asking. Honest people answer questions honestly. Visconti, Wilson, and the 'lice' answer with silence, lies, and retaliation. They retaliate with criminal attacks as well as with 'Judicial Terrorism'. 'Judicial Terrorism' is the misuse of Courts against the innocent who stand between well connected thugs and that which they covet. Visconti and Williams are said to be masters of it.
    For years, legitimate family, longstanding friends, and professionals in review insisted a Living Trust was unlawfully concealed - 'obfuscated' - so that wealth could be illegally denied us and instead handed to Lifespan, Brown University's Dr. Michael Ehrlich - of University Orthopaedics - as well as the typical lice, in this case distant relatives, who swarm elderly demented uncles to take all they can.
    Dr. Michael P. Ehrlich is Brown's 'Vincent Zecchino Professor of Orthopaedics'. Both President Emeritus Sheila Blumstein, Visconti's Barrington neighbor, and Ruth Simmons deny receipt of any funds from Dad. At least a million dollars is required to endow a professorship. How could they not have received money from Dad? Can anyone have an endowed Brown professorship for the asking, at no cost? Or are Simmons and Blumstein admitting they took funds not from Dad but instead from the Living Trust? As with the others - see below - Blumstein and Simmons notified Visconti pf my queries.
    I wrote Williams. He ignored me. But, as with Ehrlich, Dr. Joe Amaral of Lifespan, and others seen as liable, he didn't ignore my letter. I shortly received another threat from William's pal Visconti. He was upset that I visited my father, despite his assiduous efforts and those of others to divide our family so as to plunder it. Visconti threatened to get an injunction against me.
    He was again repeating his age old threat to get a Domestic Violence Restraining Order against me. He knew he lacked standing and grounds to do so. As such it's an illegal threat, one of many that flows from his rented pen.
    Just as we were about to deliver my father to the safety of our Manasota Key, Florida home and as well deliver legal consequences to the 'lice', Visconti apparently persuaded 'Victim Advocate', Patricia D. "Pat" Stoye of the 'corrupt and incompetent' Marco Island Police, to write page after page of lies so as to obtain a Restraining Order against me for ulterior motives. Claiming this was to protect Dad from me, it instead kept me away while the 'lice', directed by Visconti and Wilson, tied up loose ends with Dad and made a clean get away.
    They falsely alleged I sprained Dad's wrist on December 8th, 2004, among other nonsensical manipulative claims. The date is signifigant for three reason. First, documentary evidence clearly proves it was physically impossible for me to have done as was falsely alleged. Secondly, Visconti's wife, a Superior Court official, was notified of our concerns on December 7th. Thirdly, and most important, Visconti was notified on either December 7th or 8th by a prominent Judge known for his integrity that he saw our concerns as valid.
    What a coincidence! The Order was seen as 'easily dismissible' given obvious ulterior motives and false evidence. It became something no one dared fight coincident with the 'lice' - long in contact with Visconti - selling a condo for $700,000 which Dad had handed them free, just a couple years previously. How much 'justice' did that amount of money buy? What was Visconti's interest in this? Williams?
    One can only wonder. Visconti wrote the Rhode Island State Police claiming I scared him. He stopped short of swearing out a complaint because didn't want anything coming back at him. His letter paints me as Public Enemy Number One. Many in review believe he wasn't making a legitimate complaint, he was trying to get me shot. Perhaps so the Living Trust of 1957 could flow to him subsequent to my death? I wrote to Stephen O'Donnell of RISP and received a much belated reply, one suggesting RISP is so fearful of Visconti they dare not even mention his name, referring to him only as 'a Visconti'. What on earth is wrong with these people?
    Does it chill anyone to consider that Williams is one of four Guantanemo jurists? Given our experiences and what one reads about Visconti, Williams and their off-stage associates, it seems a safer proposition stand trial before Castro.

    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    20 October, 2006

    "Truth leads a wretched life - and always survives the lie."
    - Cathy O'Brien

    Paul V. Zecchino
    7245 Manasota Key Road
    Englewood, FL, 34223-9306
    941-474-6818 home
    941-468-1707 cell

    By Anonymous admin, at Friday, October 20, 2006 9:10:00 PM  

  • So what has been the outcome of this sorted tale. Have criminal charges been filed? Have you received any of your trust money?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, January 26, 2008 3:05:00 PM  

  • Dear Anonymous -

    Thank you for your kind interest. Haven't received any of our Trust money.

    One can sue 'crime syndicates' but seems they've ways of avoiding payment.

    No criminal charges filed. LE at various levels 'interested', saying 'these things take time...eventually someone slips up'.

    Recently, individuals have come forward, corroborating that a housebreak I experienced a while ago was in fact orchestrated by some of those about whom I've written.

    Cops said whoever committed the break was 'definetly someone who knows you'. They ruled out the usual suspects and had no other breaks in the area.

    Items which any thief would have taken were left. Curiously ink, jars of the stuff, was taken. Those surrounding my father knew I signed legal documents in a particular kind of ink. They were forging my signature at the time, and we've always wondered why someone would steal ink, ink which can easily spill all over oneself and one's clothes - risky for thieves.

    But those pulling this 'chicanery' needed my particular ink, as document examiners would right away see its absence as indicative of trouble.

    My father gave it away when for years after this break, he'd ask where I kept my ink.

    Typical of those held under coercion, he was speaking not his words, but the words of his extortioners.

    While under the false malicious Restraining Order cooked by George Allen Wilson, II, "Perjury Pat" Stoye, and Mark V. Silverio, Dad sent numerous letters - violations all - accusing me of stealing ink.

    Not wishing to violate the law, I didn't reply. Dad then wrote repeatedly to my wife, accusing her of stealing ink.

    Who stole the ink? Why is ink so prominently on peoples' minds?

    To answer the question directly, I've not received a penny from my Trust. As the Judge said in Daphne duMaurier's 'Rebeccca', "Blackmail is a serious crime. It hurts many people before the culprits are caught - and they're always caught."

    All the best,

    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    17 February, 2008

    By Anonymous snoqtjgp, at Sunday, February 17, 2008 1:48:00 PM  

  • PS -

    Check out today's - Sunday 17 February, 2008 - Sarasota Herald Tribune article re elderly increasingly shorn of assets by ever more sophisticated operators.

    Here's the link:

    www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080217/BUSINESS/802170566

    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    17 February, 2008

    By Anonymous paul vincent zecchino, at Sunday, February 17, 2008 4:09:00 PM  

  • Update: Are those old spirochetes, The Zecchino Estate Grifters, upset about something? It's not my writing, according to those in review. Might it have something to do with long overdue legal consequences of their actions? Who can say?

    Time, as ever will tell.

    February, 2008, they started the new year off a'right by filing www.collierclerk.com Case No. 08-619-CA against the undersigned and my wife, Dr. Marleen Loughran Zecchino.

    Haven't they a gift for overkill? As many ask, why are they upset about what I've written? If, as they claim, all that I say is false, then surely it's due either to malingering or just plain vanilla bad craziness on my part.

    Either way, sensible people would request I write more. But these bugs whine and demand the Court stop me from writing altogether.

    Have they heard of the First Ammendment? No? Never too old to learn.

    Why does publicity unsettle some people?

    Stay tuned. Truth, like a stockbroker from an open window - they jolly well know the identity of that person dead before their time to whom I refer - outs. Always.

    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    19 March, 2008

    "Truth leads a wretched life-
    and always survives the lie."
    - Cathy O'Brien

    By Anonymous Dr. Paul Vincent Zecchino, at Wednesday, March 19, 2008 7:00:00 PM  

  • Trying to reach Paul Vincent Zecchino:
    www.dogsbite.org

    By Anonymous Trigger, at Tuesday, April 01, 2008 2:25:00 AM  

  • Most of this is laughable, truly fiction from the mind of someone with a personality disorder, among other issues. There is more than one side to this story.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, October 06, 2009 1:07:00 PM  

  • Dear Anonymous -

    Haven't you a gift for irony? You demonstrate considerable determination in tracking down this report, beneath which you post a blanket denial devoid of specifics. You level a tediously predictable leftist thug ad hominem attack.

    And yet, you forfeit a fine opportunity to present your supposed 'other side of it' when you both decline to present it and as well, fail to identify yourself.

    American citizens posessed of adequacy and truth are in increasing numbers, telling their stories.

    Why not tell yours? Why do you lack the courage of your convictions? Or haven't you any convictions? If truth is on your side, why hide behind the banal monniker of 'anonymous'?

    Are tediously predictable insults uttered coincident with signifigant parallell developments your stock in trade?

    Enjoy the view from your crib. And do give our finest regards to the ones who run you.


    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasota Key, Florida
    03 April, 2010

    By Anonymous paul vincent zecchino, at Saturday, April 03, 2010 9:54:00 AM  

  • Get a job and don't worry about the $$$ you ain't gettin(pussy)!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, December 09, 2010 7:53:00 PM  

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

An Observation …

Why do we call Resident’s Beach “Resident’s Beach” if it’s not available to all people by virtue of the fact that they are merely residents? To call something “Resident’s” anything explicitly regulates what follows with only one condition – that one need only be a resident.

Even totalitarian regimes like China don’t require their PEOPLE to pay $130 so they can enter into the Great Hall of the PEOPLE. So why should Marco Island?

It is understood that the City of Marco Island is broke and can’t afford to pay whatever it costs to maintain the restrooms, snack bar, showers, picnic tables, chickees, barbecue grills, playground, umbrella chickees and the decorative water fountain on “Resident’s” Beach. So, to pay for these wonderful and utterly essential services, a fee has to be extracted from those that want to go there. Fair enough – but at this point the beach is no longer merely for residents – it’s for residents who want to pay or can afford to pay or claim to be residents and pay.

There appears to be an intentional oversight (by those who came up with charging for “Resident’s” Beach) of the fact that beaches are a natural resource that should be available to all. Coastal communities throughout the U.S. have either voluntarily or through court order made beaches freely accessible to all people – not just residents, and not just residents that pay extra. A per-use fee is at times in place, which is understandable (one of the most spectacular beaches in the world is in the U.S. and charges $1 to enter and park – money that is earmarked to recover and preserve an adjacent estuary). Also understandable is that there are a plethora of spectacular beaches where absolutely no fee is required – and they too have restrooms and life guards etc.

So, until the nation-wide trend (or the courts) catch up to Marco Island, let there be a little less hypocrisy and call the beach what it really is – “For Those Residents that Pay $130 per Year Beach”. Such a nomenclature will look just fine in the tourist brochures right next to the “Marriott Beach Resort for the Hotel Guests Only that Pay $130 per Night (Off-Season) Beach”.

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The Best & Future of Marco Island

No - it's not the real estate or the commercialization ... It's the families ...

Let's see if the present course will keep these scenes on Marco Island.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Open Letter From Recall Chairman Hall

Congratulations to the voters of Marco Island and thanks to all of you who have helped in the process.

Yesterday, the City Clerk of Marco Island Laura Litzan, acknowledged receipt of petitions for the recall of three councilmen: E. Glenn Tucker 1,606, William D. Trotter 1,597 and Michael F. Minozzi Jr. 1,572. All of these were well above the minimum of 1,342. This represents a major milestone in our quest to End Arrogant Rule Now on Marco Island.

The next step is for Ms. Litzan to turn the petitions over to the Supervisor of Elections for Collier County to determine whether the petitions contain the required number of valid signatures. We have vetted the signatures with the voter rolls and don’t expect that the final numbers will be significantly different than the count listed above. Once the signatures are certified they will be returned to the City Clerk and she will notify the affected councilors and they will have five days to file a 200 word defense. The Clerk will then provide us with enough copies of the petitions and the defense for 30% of the voters. We then have 60 days to obtain approximately 2,100 signatures per councilman. If we are successful in getting those signatures and the process is allowed to function as designed by the legislature, the Superior Court Judge would call for a special election not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days from the date the second round of petitions are certified.


I would hope that we can keep the recall on our island and solve our own problems. The primary supporters of these councilmen, the business community, object to this process on the basis that it is putting the island in a bad light. Unfortunately, the councilmen have indicated that they are going to use our tax dollars in an attempt to hide behind the legal system in Naples rather than face the voters on Marco. I point out that if they do that they will be shinning a far bigger negative spot light on Marco Island. Mr. Tucker says they need to go to the courts to protect their reputations. Regardless of what happens in the future, today’s events have placed their names in the history books of Marco Island. The honorable thing for these councilmen to do is to face the voters. I can assure the councilmen that using the City’s treasure in an attempt to use the court system to prevent us from voting will do nothing but insure their reputations will live in infamy.

I have spoken with dozens of our residents in the past month. Most of them are disgusted with the direction our island has taken and most would leave if they could. This is a turning point for our island. We need to take control, manage the growth, clean up the mess that has been made and restore the peace and tranquility that we all came here for. Now that the names of our petitioners are in the public record, we can expect an attack on our petitioners from Celebrate Marco, the Chamber of Commerce and other business interests. I ask that you stand firm in your convictions because the Marco Island they envision isn’t any place we want to live.

Thank you for your continued support.Roger Hall, Chairman Recall Committee


4 Comments:

  • Mr. Tucker's reputation took a turn for the worse when he flipped his position on the STRP. His character took a hit at that time, and appears to be permanently damaged. The citizens of Marco Island deserve an apology for his lies and false accusations during the asbestos mishap. His disrespect of fellow council members further damaged him. All the lawyers and judges in Florida cannot redeem his reputation on Marco Island. He will have to find another reason to take this to the judiciary.

    By Anonymous Byron Erickson, at Thursday, October 05, 2006 5:39:00 PM  

  • Agreed although I think that Council Tucker could care less about his reputation. ITS THE MONEY

    By Anonymous Fred (Ohio), at Friday, October 06, 2006 5:57:00 PM  

  • Mr Tucker is a complete sham, this guy needs to be reported to the Fla. bar assoc.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, October 10, 2006 10:08:00 PM  

  • On October 10, 2006 I spoke with Dave at the Board of Elections yesterday. He thinks that he will have the petitions certified by the end of October. Due to the general elections they will have to work weekends to accomplish it. Regards, Roger

    By Anonymous Roger, at Wednesday, October 11, 2006 8:49:00 AM  

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Recall Petitions Delivered!

Today at approximately 1PM EST, recall petitions were delivered to the City of Marco Island! After some hesitancy by the staff of the city, the following counts were certified:
  • 1,606 Recall Petitions on Councilperson Tucker
  • 1,572 Recall Petitions on Councilperson Minozzi
  • 1,597 Recall Petitions on Councilperson Trotter
Congratulations to Roger Hall and the citizens brave enough to weather the intimidation!
Democracy in action.
One trusts that the democratic process will proceed unobstructed.

3 Comments:

  • RECALL UPDATE!!!!!

    At 1 PM on October 4, 2006, Mr Roger Hall presented 4,766 Recall Petitions to Marco Island City Clerk, Ms. Litzan. Specifically, Mr. Hall submittd 1,583 petitions for the recall of Councilman Trotter, 1,583 petitions for the recall of Councilman Minozzi and 1,609 petitions for the recall of Councilman Tucker. Mr Hall was required to have 10% (1,340 petitions) of the registered voters of Marco Island. It seems Mr Hall has exceeded that number.

    The petitions will be counted, copies made and then provided to the Supervisor of Elections, Collier County for Certification. In the absence of legal objections (injunctions, restraining orders, etc.), upon Certification, the individuals named in the recall petition have five (5) days to file their response to the petition. At that point, Mr Hall has 60 days to get 15% of the registered voters (approx. 2,010 ) to sign petitions to be submitted to the Supervisor of Elections. When and if certified, a Circuit Judge will set a Recall Election in no less than 30 days and not more than 60 days. Stay tuned!!

    Bill McMullan Please visit www.eyeonmarco.com for more information on this and other significant issues affecting our Island Paradise.

    Also, if you do not wish to receive emails\updates from www.eyeonmarco.com please resond to this message and put remove in the title. Thanks much.

    By Anonymous Bill, at Wednesday, October 04, 2006 9:24:00 PM  

  • oh its onky a handful of malcontents that are pushing this recall effort, please disregard these signed petitions they don't speak for the REAL leaders of this city.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, October 10, 2006 10:10:00 PM  

  • From: "Laura Litzan"
    To: "Roger Hall"
    Subject: Re: Recall
    Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 16:04:10 -0400

    Mr. Hall

    The required certified copies of the petitions were delivered to each
    Councilor today.

    Laura Litzan, City Clerk
    City of Marco Island
    50 Bald Eagle Drive
    Marco Island, FL 34145
    Phone: (239) 389-5010
    Fax: (239) 389-4359
    llitzan@cityofmarcoisland.com

    By Anonymous mario, at Sunday, October 29, 2006 11:13:00 AM  

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Voter Intimidation - Prosecution

At a recent council meeting, the city manager inquired of the city attorney whether citizens that signed the recall petition could be forced to pay for the legal fees incurred by the city to fight the petition. In the constitutionally protected opinion of this blog and of several citizens, raising the specter of penalizing citizens for exercising their right to vote is voter intimidation. Hence, the city manager is considered as having committed voter intimidation. By not refuting the inquiry, and further propagating the threat by stating that the matter would be researched, the city attorney is also considered as having committed voter intimidation.

The city council of Marco Island for all practical purposes acknowledged the voter intimidation by calling an emergency meeting on September 28, 2006. In that meeting, the city council recognized that voter intimidation had occurred by virtue of the claim made by the council that a number of citizens contacted the council with concerns to this effect. The city council then voted unanimously to not seek retribution from its citizens.

By then the damage had been done and further buttressed by the retreat.

It is again in the constitutionally protected opinion of this blog, the city’s action of voting to not seek retribution/fees from the citizens that signed the petition confirms that a crime has been committed, and that such backpedaling does not negate prosecution.

Voter intimidation is a crime. State and federal laws specifically prohibit voter intimidation of any type. In a previous article, this blog denotes the state statute. The federal law is part of the Voting Rights Act and subsequent legislation.



In a legal opinion:

Edward B. Foley, Director, Election Law @ Moritz &Amber Lea Gosnell, Class of 2006, Moritz College of Law

  • While there is no set formula for classifying acts of vote suppression, the following three categories help to distinguish the different techniques. Voters can be prevented from potentially voting for the other candidate (1) by direct threats of intimidation, (2) by suppressing turnout through disinformation and scare tactics, and finally, (3) by efforts to keep the other candidate's message from being communicated.

  • The first type of vote suppression, direct threats of intimidation, is subject to criminal punishment under both federal and state law. Among the federal laws that can be used to challenge direct intimidation, the most important is the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act states that "no person […] shall intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce any person for voting or attempting to vote." Although other provisions of the Voting Rights Act concern racially discriminatory practices, this provision outlaws intimidation regardless of motivation.
==============
Those voters believing to have been intimidated are free to request state and federal law enforcement to investigate and prosecute.

Citizens wishing to file a state complaint may be in for a surprise. Calls to the attorney general’s office of Florida were treated with disdain and ignorance. Calls to Florida state attorney’s office were similar, finally terminating at the Ft. Meyers office. There, a paralegal (that incredibly wished to remain anonymous) stated clearly a crime had been committed and suggested that the only way by which the state attorney’s office would pursue the matter was if the citizens did all of the investigation, then called the local police department and filed a complaint. Welcome to the “good-ol boy network”, and good luck.

Citizens wishing to file a federal complaint can complete the United States Department of Justice form Citizens Complaint PDF or Citizens Complaint DOC.

It continues to be the misfortune of this community in its entirety when citizens that disagree with certain policies and pursue a legal and peaceful recourse are entreated to intimidation, threats and slurs. Some will merely accept the zeitgeist, while others will welcome the attacks on those that they disagree with, while still some will pursue a legal and peaceful redress. Some will allow their civil liberties to continue to erode, while others don’t realize that one day it will be them that are threatened, and while others will attempt to stop that erosion.

It’s a choice citizens of a democracy will always face.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

International Incident - TURKs Hijack Plane

BRINDISI, Italy (CNN) -- Passengers from a hijacked Turkish plane carrying 113 people are leaving the aircraft after the two unarmed Turks who hijacked the plane, protesting the pope's upcoming visit to Turkey, agreed to release them.

Italy's transport minister announced the release on NTV, and the network reported that the passengers were disembarking from the plane.

Authorities have also said the two Turk hijackers have indicated they were ready to surrender to authorities, but one of their demands was that a message be delivered to Pope Benedict XVI.
The plane departed Tirana, Albania and was headed to Istanbul, Turkey, when the Turks entered the plane's cockpit over Greek airspace, officials said.

The plane sent out an SOS signal and Greek defense ministry planes escorted the aircraft out of Greek airspace. Greek officials alerted their Italian counterparts, the airline spokesman said.
An Italian air force F-16 fighter jet then intercepted the Turkish Boeing 737, carrying 107 passengers and six crew, and forced it to land at a military airport in Brindisi, in the south of Italy, an air force official told Reuters.

An Albanian passenger interviewed by NTV said passengers had no idea there was anything wrong on the plane, that it was just like a normal flight.

The chairman of Turkish Airlines confirmed the hijacking and said none of the passengers had been hurt.

"The passengers and crew are under no threat," Candan Karlitekin told NTV television.
The airline spokesman said the Turks commandeered the plane to protest Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to Turkey, and because they were angered over the pope's recent comments quoting a 14th century scholar about Islam.

The Vatican said it was monitoring the situation.

Many Muslims were angered by the pope's speech at a German university last month, saying it was an attempt to portray their religion as innately violent.

He later expressed his "total and profound respect for all Muslims" in an effort to repair relations following his controversial comments.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

A Call to Civic Literacy

Literacy is the foundation of a free and democratic society. People who cannot read, or know how to read but fail to do so, are not informed and hence cannot make the decisions that will be beneficial to the community.

“Literacy”, as implied above, is not just knowing how to read, but actually reading. It behooves us, and it is also a civic obligation, to become informed. Hence, we need to read.

Judging from the “opinion” articles printed in the local paper, it’s apparent to this educator that there are many on Marco Island that do not read or are otherwise not informed about material that would provide a basic civic understanding. No offense, because in today’s day and age, illiteracy is quite normal.

To those that decry and besmirch the efforts of the organizations and individuals that vociferously
challenge the city council/city government, you may want to read a few works before you crank up that word processor again. These “kook” organizations that you are assaulting are actually doing YOU a favor. Yes, whether they are right or wrong, whether they eventually prevail or not, whether they are tactful or not, whether they are polite or not, whether they have a hidden agenda or not, whether you like them or not, they are actually doing YOU a favor.

Here is a homework assignment for the critics of the individuals and groups seeking change or a redress. Before you type out yet another misinformed collection of words, read any of the following:
  • On the Duty of Civil Disobedience – By Henry David Thoreau
  • The Federalist Papers – By Publius (“Publius” was a pen name - the real authors are Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay)
  • Martin Luther King’s 1963 Letter from the Birmingham Jail
  • Two Treatises of Government – By John Locke
So, when you fine folks finish reading these fine works, here is a test:
  • Does the government always work towards the best interest of moral people?
  • Is it not OUR duty – each one of us – to seek improvements – as we see it?
This test is on the honor system! Then, when you are done, consider if these “wacky” organizations and individuals that you disparage are evil, or if they are doing us a service.

On equal footing with civic illiteracy is this penchant by the vocal (purported) majority to prefix or couch their criticism of the “goof-ball trouble-making” people and organizations as being in the “minority”. Let’s assume for a moment that the people and groups that are active in advocating change at city hall do in fact represent the “minority” of the citizens.

First, it doesn’t make them wrong. Secondly, they are in good company for it has always been the minority that has fought for justice and equal representation under the law.

Disagree? Consider that the MAJORITY in this country were FOR slavery, were FOR segregation, were FOR Jim Crow laws, were FOR denying women the right to vote, were FOR the internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII, were FOR the decimation and exiling of the Native Americans, and are presently FOR infanticide.

Now consider that it was the minority that were opposed to all of these evils and fought long and hard for their correction. In fact, it was the MINORITY that opposed the British Crown during colonial times, and it was that MINORITY that became the founding fathers of this great experiment in federalism and constitutional democracy. Hence it would seem advantageous for the self-proclaimed MAJORITY to stop publicizing this myth of mainstream-hood for they are in poor company.

If anyone needs any help interpreting these tenets of our form of government, perhaps the city can spring for a tutoring service on Marco Island for the civically challenged ... to be held right before the council meetings.

1 Comments:

  • There is NO Civic literacy on Marco Island by the Majority that they claim to be. Its their way or no way. Do not agree with them and they call for SHOOTING all else.

    By Anonymous Fred (Ohio), at Tuesday, October 03, 2006 2:18:00 PM  

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