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

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

eLibrary - All Crimes and More Recorded!
Click this BIG button for ... All the evidence in one place! The documentation in pictures, documents and video of what was done to Marco Island .. and more!
Today is: Click here:Today's Meditation

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Open Letter to E.W. Scripps Co. Management

A free, independent and factual press is both rare and indispensable in our present day form of government. without this characteristic to what has been shown to be the fourth branch of government, we the public loose confidence in a government that for all practical purposes exerts its powers unchecked.

Irrespective of the size of the community - from New York City to Marco Island - reporters that perform as noted above are a godsend to our democracy.

The issues that face Marco Island are both daunting and haunting. Irrespective where one is on the issues, it is essential that the factually based news be reported - and reported without sensationalism and without fear of offending those that the story does not paint in a good light. Facts are facts. If the free press refuses to report the facts for fear of retribution or for any other reason, our system of government suffers, our community suffers and so does the press.

You presently have a reporter in Ed Bania that fits this bill. You know he is doing the right thing when apparatchiks of the city lobbied you to have him fired. Marco island has asbestos dumping; a governance that threatens, intimidates and violates the civil rights of its citizens; federal authorities are investigating the city and some of its people; there is litigation; etc ... you know the stories.

These stories had to be reported, they had to be told, they had to be documented. That is what a free press does - that is what you have done - that is what you should continue to do with the right person in Ed.

Ed tackled these facts in a fair and balanced and factual manner. He didn't make these stories - he dug them out and reported them as supported by the evidence. It is essential that he continue in this vain for the problems are not yet resolved and rest assured that there are more are to come.

To do otherwise would be a disservice.

I strongly urge that you view ed as an invaluable and indispensable resource for the benefit of our system of government, for the citizens of marco island and for your organization.


Note: the above was emailed on July 29, 2007 to
kwlowe@ewscripps.com,
cpdoyle@naplesnews.com,
pplewis@naplesnews.com,
rhsandy@marconews.com

2 Comments:

  • Are you kidding me? He is so biased. He could not write a fair and balanced story if he tried.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, July 31, 2007 9:44:00 AM  

  • this letter of recommendation was written for several reasons:

    1. not aware of one story by ed where the facts stated were wrong or exagerated. it is asked that if there is such a story to please post it here and the recommendation will be reconsidered.

    2. everything that a government (in this country) does must be done openly and hence must be documented irrespective of how trivial or how serious.

    3. quotes from city apologists and propagandists have been noted in ed's articles un-edited.

    4. even if only one city transgression was documented by ed and the paper, while scores of opinions were put forth to the contrary (which is not the case), it is well worth it - a government must be held accountable for each and every action it takes in any and all mediums available.

    again, a challenge is put forth: document JUST ONE instance where ed's articles are factually incorrect - post it here - it will appear un-edited.

    let's see when this comes.

    By Anonymous mario sanchez, at Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:55:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sewer vs. Septic - Hysterics Redux

With the latest posting by the city of a taken out-of-context report, it would do everyone well to consider how the scientific community works in this regard.

A hypothesis is put forward. Funding is obtained to conduct the research. Years of research is formulated into a "paper". This "paper" is presented to a peer-reviewed journal for validation of the methods and for ensuring that the conclusions are substantiated by the facts presented therein and by generally accepted scientific principles and the body of knowledge contained therein.

But from one that has done this repeatedly, both as an author/researcher and peer-reviewer, there are issues with this process. The first problem is when lay people take these reports out of context, or simply post as-is, for political purposes - as the city has just done.

The second problem is that in many cases, there is another "paper" or report that contradicts the new study. For those of you following the idiocy on diet and health then you are already aware of the myriad papers decrying salt, cholesterol, fat, air, water and a plethora of other benign foodstuffs we consume. All while there are other reports vindicating salt, cholesterol, fat, air, water and everything else. Sugar is latest bugaboo that causes diabetes and arthritis - contradicted by long available information that the world's largest producer and consumer per capita of sugar pre-1959 had virtually no incidence of diabetes or arthritis.

This second problem stems from bad science, politicized science (global warming is a perfect example), and from the first problem described above.

As to the latest throw-it-up-and-see-if-it-sticks sham from the city: The report is preliminary. It has yet to undergo peer review. The Florida Keys is a completely different environmental, oceanic and geographic place from Marco Island. The soil and earth layers are as different from Marco Island as night is to day. The human influence is markedly different. The keys have been regulated for decades - so much so that many infrastructure improvements have been thwarted. The death of Florida Bay at the hands of both fertilizer run-off and from choking the water flow from the north due to unbridled development (Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties) is a direct influence. The list of differences is nearly endless.

And for those that don't want to listen to a scientist that uses these very same data and that has lived in S. Florida all of his life to witness the evolution of man and his environment, here is something to further fuel the hysteria.

IDENTIFICATION OF COLIFORM POLLUTION SOURCES USING MULTIPLE ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE , SELECTED MOLECULAR TECHNIQUES AND GIS SPATIAL ANALYSIS

NOAA/NOS, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, Charleston, SC
School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
South Carolina Department of health and Environmental Control, Columbia, SC
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, MRRI, Charleston, SC
School of Public Health., University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Clemson Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Discharges of wastewater from sewage treatment plants (STPs), septic tanks, farm animal operations (FMOs), urbanization and wildlife pollution sources may adversely affect estuarine water quality, often closing shellfish beds for harvesting and downgrading water quality classification in rivers and streams.

Development of methods for differentiating human versus wildlife coliform bacterial sources is needed to properly manage bacterial pollution emanating from different sources. Several methods for differentiating human and wildlife coliform bacterial sources were evaluated including Multiple Antibiotic Resistance (MAR), Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), and Ribotyping (RT). Water samples were collected from several river and estuarine watersheds in SC and selected pollution sources (STPs, septic tanks, FMOs, and wildlife). Samples were enumerated for fecal coliform bacterial densities (MPNs or MF) and E. coli were isolated by API biotyping. Samples were then analyzed by MAR, PFGE, and RT. Adjoining land use in several areas was further analyzed by GIS and multivariate statistics to predict significant land use metrics affecting fecal coliform densities and to identify human pollution sources. Results indicated that the % of E. coli comprising the coliform group and MAR was highest at sewage treatment plants and in urban areas adjoining sites with septic tanks or influenced by sewer discharges. Wildlife areas had negative MARs or resistance to only a single antibiotic and a lower % of E. coli. PFGE and RT provided DNA differentiation of bacterial pollution sources. Multivariate statistics and GIS provided methods to locate human pollution sources, identify land metrics affecting coliform MPNs and quantify presumptive Total Maximum Daily Load estimates of fecal coliform sources in shellfish harvesting areas. These findings indicate that these methods may be helpful in identifying different sources of fecal coliform bacteria.

Read the red carefully. This just-published and peer-reviewed report substantiated by quite sophisticated techniques says something quite different.

So once again - for every report that says one thing, there is another that says something else. While you should not expect the honesty from this present governance to produce all reports on this issue, by now you should know that you need to get the complete picture yourself - that is, for those of you that actually consume what the present governance propogandizes.

A final suggestion - read everything - even if you don't agree with it. To do otherwise fuels ignorance.

3 Comments:

  • Biologists fingerprint bacteria
    to find source of water contamination

    The greatest single threat to water quality in coastal waters is fecal contamination -- and the culprits, in the case of Virginia's Eastern Shore, often are not human.

    In the last several years, there have been many closings of tidal creeks to shellfish harvest because of high levels of contamination. "People couldn't figure out why this was occurring," says Virginia Tech Biology Professor George Simmons. "They thought it was human waste getting into groundwater.

    "But, contamination was happening even where there were no houses or only a few houses with well-designed septic tanks. So where were the E. coli coming from?"

    Virginia Tech researchers led by Simmons are measuring the presence of the bacterium, Escherichia coli, known commonly as E. coli, to establish water quality -- and are 'DNA fingerprinting' the bacteria to trace them to their source.

    Simmons explains, "We use E. coli because it occurs in the intestinal tract of all warm-blooded animals (including humans) and it can be cultured and grown easily. If we find E. coli in water, there is a suggestion that we have fecal contamination and that other, more dangerous organisms such as viruses, bacteria, or protozoa may be present. So, if you find high levels of E. coli, you must close areas to shellfish harvesting, for example."

    As well as being an indicator of other more harmful contamination, E. coli itself can be harmful. "There are some pretty bad strains that can cause anything from a mild stomach upset to death. Some strains are hemorraghic (cause internal bleeding)," Simmons says.

    Contamination becomes extremely critical when talking about water quality in areas where shellfish are grown or harvested. Shellfish filter water, so contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa become concentrated in them. To be safe, shellfish must grow in extremely clean water.

    Simmons and colleagues, including students, discovered that there have been dramatic increases in the populations of certain species of wildlife, many of which are active on the edge of the marsh. "The animals defecate there, then water covers their scat (feces) and the scat goes back out with the tide and contaminates the water."

    Simmons, an Alumni Distinguished Professor, started looking for the source of coastal water contamination in 1990, working on a ground water project on the Eastern shore.

    "When we first started, we were looking for leaky septic tanks," he says. "We thought if people fixed them, the problem would go away. But we couldn't find any leaks. So I started doing some basic field biology, going out and looking at the contaminated areas and designing experiments.

    "I was working with a man who had a clam bed that had very high levels of E. coli. It was not from a septic tank. So, out of desperation, I covered the groundwater seeps (areas about the size of a bathtub where groundwater goes down into the water table). I made a sort of tent out of clam netting, a very fine mesh. The E. coli count went to almost zero in the seeps.

    "I had found I could manipulate the E. coli count directly. Then I knew animals were using the groundwater seep areas to defecate," Simmons reports. "But we needed to know which animals were using them."

    He had to learn what various scat deposits look like - deer, water fowl, raccoon, etc. By examining the scat, he found raccoon was dominant in the area of study.

    "A man was about to lose his clam bed because of contamination. I showed him the data and said he must take some raccoons off his farm. He removed about 100, and about six months later the creek was reopened and another creek that bordered his land that was about to be closed was saved from closing," Simmons reports. The clam-bed owner has hired a trapper full time to keep the fur-bearing populations down around the marshes in the vicinity of the clam beds.

    "One reason fur-bearing animals are such a problem is that no one traps them anymore," says Simmons. "An old oysterman told me that when he was a child, every kid trapped raccoons during the winter. Now, they don't do it anymore."

    While Simmons' research made clear the need to control the raccoon population in one area, the same research can help preserve wildlife in other areas.

    "The field work was very strong on the Eastern Shore. High E. coli counts in natural areas mean you have one or more animal populations out of control. But what if you go to a place that has a high count and nobody knows where it's coming from?"

    Simmons' group decided to collect scat from known animals such as goose, raccoon, muskrat, and deer. "Everybody thought waterfowl were causing the contamination and wanted to shoot the birds. But we exonerated this whole group of wildlife. It wasn't waterfowl.

    "Everybody has an opinion. But if we don't have data, everybody's opinion is valid," Simmons points out. So the Virginia Tech researchers started building a library of E. coli DNA from animals. They collect scat, grow E. coli, and genetically fingerprint the E. coli from the different animals by analyzing the E. coli DNA.

    "It's expensive and time consuming to check water quality this way. It takes about a week to develop a DNA fingerprint and costs about $1,000 per sample," he explains. "But we have 15 or 20 animals' DNA now, including humans. In geographic areas where the field data is lacking or weak, DNA technology may be the only option to solve a water quality problem."

    By Anonymous Mario Sanchez, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:29:00 PM  

  • Coastal Water Contamination Increases with Population

    The increase in coastal area population is directly correlated to an increase in contaminated waters and shellfish bed closings. Over 85 percent of all beach closures and advisories in 2004, over 19,950 days, were a result of excessive counts of bacteria in the beach waters.

    The increase in coastal area population is directly correlated to an increase in contaminated waters and shellfish bed closings, according to University of North Carolina Wilmington Research Professor Michael A. Mallin.

    In his article “Wading in Waste,” which appears in the June 2006 issue of Scientific American, Mallin pointed to a recent study which has shown that over 85 percent of all beach closures and advisories in 2004, over 19,950 days, were a result of excessive counts of bacteria in the beach waters.

    Living in Wilmington, N.C., Mallin has seen firsthand a boom in population and the development that comes with an increasing popularity of costal areas. Large areas of farmland, forests and wetlands are being turned into resorts, strip malls, restaurants, office complexes and other industrial areas.

    With this development comes another change. Soil, which acts as a filter for removing the fecal bacteria and other viruses from runoff water, is replaced with impervious materials such as asphalt and concrete. When storm water runoff moves across these impervious surfaces it carries pesticides, fecal matter, heavy metals and other dangerous materials with it. This polluted water in turn contaminates shellfish beds, recreational areas and drinking water. This contamination causes illnesses such as gastroenteritis, conjunctivitis, cellulitis, ear infections, respiratory infections, hepatitis and Guillain-Barre syndrome.

    This problem is especially true in coastal areas where development is heavy and wetlands have been decimated. Storm water runoff is not treated like human sewage is, so heavy rains can cause an overflow of polluted water into streams, lakes and estuaries. In coastal areas where sewage hookups are not an option, septic tanks cause other problems. Areas where septic tanks are located in sandy soil are susceptible to becoming saturated with contaminated water, resulting in runoff into shellfish beds and into fresh and seawater areas. The problem is magnified in areas with less then 10 percent of wetland coverage and a high percentage of impermeable surfaces.

    Working at the UNCW Center for Marine Science Mallin has conducted a decade long study of tidal creek areas in New Hanover County, an increasingly populated area in southeastern North Carolina. The study found that the average fecal coliform counts were higher in the creeks with higher population and a higher percentage of developed land in their watersheds.

    To reach this conclusion, Mallin and his team collected and analyzed more then 1,000 samples of fecal coliform bacteria and E. Coli throughout six different tidal creeks in New Hanover county and compared them to various demographic and terrain characteristics in the surrounding area. The article also states that when wetlands are replaced by impervious surfaces in watershed areas, rainfall will increase the amount of bacteria present in the surrounding area. Oftentimes shellfish beds will be closed automatically after a rainfall because of the tendency for these areas to have a higher bacterial pollution after storm water runoff runs through the area.

    As mentioned earlier, contamination by fecal bacteria is the leading cause of beach closings in the United States. These closings now affect roughly one third of the nation’s monitored beaches. Mallin cited other researchers who have found that a high population or area of high tourist interest during the beach season; is directly correlated to the number of closings. Beaches such as Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Doheny State Beach in Orange County, Calif., are two of the more commonly contaminated beaches, closed 54 days and 312 days, respectively, in 2004.

    These areas have a population of over 300 people per square mile and often times can see a fecal bacteria indicator count of thousands of colony forming units (CFU) of E. Coli and Enteroccus for every 100 milliliters of water when the highest acceptable level is 235 (CFU) and 104 (CFU) respectively. At one point, the Enteroccus level for Doheny State Beach reached 38,800 (CFU), which anyone can tell, is not normal or safe.

    Mallin does offer some solutions for these problems.

    He suggests that having a plan for environmentally sound development and coastal population growth is the best way to approach the future. By minimizing the amount of impervious surfaces when constructing new residential areas, office complexes and commercial areas will keep dangerous runoff down because the water will be allowed to filter through soil and dangerous contaminates will be removed. Construction companies can use a new semipervious concrete that allows water to permeate into the soil and also can support the weight of automobiles.

    Parking lots can also be downsized in tourist areas, as large lots are designed to hold enough people for the holidays and shopping seasons as opposed to everyday traffic. Preserving wetlands and if possible, expanding them will increase these naturally filtering soil; an area of greater than 13.5 percent of wetlands per watershed area is desirable.

    Finally, Mallin suggests that when planning for coastal development, communities should put restrictions on the amount of area covered by asphalt, concrete and other impervious surfaces to between 10 and 15 percent.

    Source: University of North Carolina Wilmington

    By Anonymous Mario Sanchez, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:36:00 PM  

  • "Potential human pathogens (Salmonella and I/. cholerae) were isolated during this study from several sampling stations in Na-
    ples Bay and surrounding waterways. Fecal coliforms have routinely been used as indicators of water pollution by human pathogens. While fecal coliform counts are indices
    of fecal contamination, they may not be appropriate indicators of water quality in reference to certain types of pathogenic bacteria. The results of this study suggest that fecal coliform counts are not reliable indices for the presence of Salmonella and V. cholerue in an estuarine environment. If such is
    the case then other more accurate methods must be developed to determine the presence of pathogens in estuaries. Whether the
    presence of these bacteria in Naples Bay represents a significant health threat is not known at this time and warrants further monitoring of these waters and the human population. "

    Source: Recovery of Selected Pathogens from Naples Bay, Florida, and Associated Waterways

    By Anonymous Mario Sanchez, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 7:52:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Monday, July 23, 2007

Deep Injection Wells - Detailed Information

The use of deep injection wells as a means by which to process the Marco Island sewage is another contentious issue. Part of this contention stems from the lack of information and misinformation being promulgated by the city and it's proponents of the STRP. Adding to the confusion are some anti-STRP activists making certain claims about the efficacy of deep injection wells.

The best judge of this issue will not be the "experts" - but as always - the public. The public should be informed on this (and all) issues. To that end, the following is a detailed explanation on deep injection wells are provided by the EPA. Additionally, information formulated by the Sierra Club from a near identical situation (in Miami) is also provided.

We urge that every citizen of Marco Island take the time to become informed on this very important environmental and social issue.

EPA - Deep Injection Wells (web based)
EPA - Deep Injection Wells (download the PDF)
Sierra Club Deep Injection Wells
Article of Interest ...

We trust that you find this information informative.

3 Comments:

  • Fate and Pathways of Injection-Well Effluent in the Florida Keys

    Eugene A. Shinn1, Ronald S. Reese2, and Christopher D. Reich1

    1USGS Coastal Geology Center, St. Petersburg, Florida
    2USGS Water Resources Division Office, Miami, Florida

    Summary
    Introduction
    Methods
    Geologic Setting
    Results
    Rock Analysis
    Water Chemistry
    Ground Water
    Contamination
    QC/QA
    Conclusions
    Future Studies
    Acknowledgments
    References
    Appendices

    Executive Summary

    * Twenty-four wells (21 locations) were core drilled into the limestone beneath the Keys, reef tract, and outer reefs to determine if sewage effluents injected in Class V wells onshore are reaching offshore reef areas via underground flow. These wells were fitted with PVC casings and well screens and were sampled every three months for a period of one year. Analyses showed consistent hypersalinity in most wells and a marked increase in nitrogen (as ammonia) in offshore ground water. Other forms of nitrogen (NO2 and NO3) and phosphorous were not particularly elevated in offshore ground water but were above the levels found in surface marine water. The highest levels of nitrogen (NO2 and NO3) and phosphorous were in shallow onshore ground waters. Sources for the nutrients in the shallow onshore ground water consist of septic tanks and cesspools (@ 24,000 and 5,000 in the Florida Keys, respectively), agricultural fertilizers, and natural vegetation. Ammonia concentrations were low in shallow ground waters beneath the Florida Keys, probably because of oxidizing conditions.

    * Tidal pumping is particularly active, especially nearshore. Hydraulic heads sufficient to elevate well water as much as 7 cm above sea level during falling tides were detected in all nearshore wells. During rising tides, the situation was reversed and water flowed into the wells. Tidal pumping implies considerable water movement both in and out of the upper few meters of limestone. Tidal pumping is a likely mechanism for mixing and transferring nutrient-rich ground water into the overlying marine waters. Although tidal pumping should cause rather complete mixing and dilution of any freshwater-based effluents entering the limestone via the more than 600 disposal wells in the Florida Keys, the ground waters in the 30- to 40-ft-depth range (9-12 m) nevertheless remained slightly hypersaline relative to sea water throughout the year.

    * Fecal coliform and fecal streptococcal bacteria were associated with three Lower Keys offshore wells and two shallow onshore wells at Key Largo. On occasions, these bacteria were detected farther offshore, once in a well 4 miles off Key Largo. The bacterial analyses for Key Largo (both onshore and offshore) are supported by two independent bacteriological researchers using more sophisticated methods than the standard 100-ml membrane-filter method used in this study. Fecal bacteria can serve as tracers; thus, we conclude their presence is possible evidence for offshore transport of ground waters originating on Key Largo. Elevated nutrients (ammonia) and slightly elevated dissolved total phosphorous in offshore ground waters, however, cannot be tied to onshore sources with existing data.

    * Rock analyses of material from our cores do not prove or disprove the hypothesis that limestone beneath the Keys or reef tract is serving as a sink for phosphorus or other nutrients. The data, however, do not rule out phosphorus uptake by limestone adjacent to disposal sources. For the purposes of this study, monitoring wells were not positioned sufficiently close to injection wells to determine if uptake of phosphorous is taking place. Ground waters were found to contain more dissolved solids than could be accounted for if hypersalinity resulted from simple evaporation of sea water. These data indicate that ground waters in the vicinity of our wells are dissolving solids from the rock rather than precipitating material within the rock framework; however, as mentioned above, our wells were not positioned sufficiently close to disposal wells to determine if localized uptake is occurring.

    * Examination of rock cores from these wells revealed a general distribution of reef- and grainstone-facies belts. The Upper and Middle Keys are composed of a thin coral reef facies that extends only a few hundred feet seaward of the Keys. Reef facies give way to mudstone facies within a few yards of shore on the Florida Bay side of the Keys. On the seaward side of the Keys, beneath Hawk Channel and White Bank, the Pleistocene limestone is a mixed grainstone, packstone, and wackstone facies. Corals are rare or absent. The Pleistocene limestone beneath the outer reefs 4 to 5 miles offshore, however, consists of reef facies with the same coral fauna as that found on Key Largo. This pattern of two major reef-facies belts separated by a 2- to 4-mile-wide belt of grainstone facies may have as yet undetermined effects on groundwater circulation beneath the Florida reef tract. Grainstone is approximately an order of magnitude less permeable than the coralline Key Largo Limestone facies.

    * The Q3 surface, a major subsurface unconformity thought to form an effective confining zone elsewhere in south Florida, was not detected in wells drilled more than 1 mile from shore. This unconformity, however, was detected in all wells drilled on or near the Keys. What was found to be a more effective and widespread confining layer is the Holocene sediment deposited on the Pleistocene limestone during the past 6,000 to 7,000 years. These relatively impermeable sediments are extensive, forming a belt up to 5 miles wide beginning about 0.5 mile offshore. Holocene sediments generally consist of low-permeability lime mud just above the Pleistocene surface, overlain by more permeable carbonate sands and reefs. Leakage of ground water by tidal pumping is not likely to occur through lime-mud-dominated areas such as Hawk Channel but is likely to occur through isolated porous and permeable Holocene reefs situated on Pleistocene limestone highs, and in places where Holocene sediment does not cover the limestone bedrock. Leakage is therefore limited to 1) a shallow-water 0.5-mile-wide nearshore belt of exposed Key Largo Limestone, 2) Holocene patch reefs, which grow on mud-free topographic rock highs, and 3) along the seaward side of the outermost reef in 35 to 65 ft (10-20 m) of water, where Holocene reef and sediment accumulations are thin or absent.

    * This study did not address direct measurements of lateral groundwater movement or a hydrologic mechanism for transporting hypersaline ground water away from the Florida Keys. More recent work, however (Halley et al., 1994), shows that sea level in Florida Bay is higher than on the Atlantic side of the Keys more than 50% of the time. Higher sea level on the bay side of the Keys provides a potential for groundwater flow toward the Atlantic most of the time. Use of tracers (dyes or harmless bacteriological tracers) injected into the center of tightly spaced clusters of monitoring wells is a simple way to ascertain the net direction and rate of groundwater movement. Knowing the direction and rate of groundwater movement is needed for prediction and modeling efforts in the future.

    Disclaimer
    Note - Research conducted in the Florida Keys has noted that isolates identified as coliforms on standard coliform media (mENDO, mFC, Marine Colilert) may instead be indigenous marine microbes, which are capable of utilizing the same substrates. Unless isolates are verified using more advanced media based assays (API or BioLog) or genetic sequencing (16S rDNA) there exists the possibility of recording false positive results.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:24:00 AM  

  • Conclusions

    This study has shown that:

    1. Holocene sediment is the most significant confining bed in the offshore Florida Keys reef tract.
    2. Onshore and nearshore, where Holocene sediment is absent or thin, diagenetic processes such as development of soilstone and paleosols, along with boring and infilling have rendered the upper few feet (~1m) relatively impermeable. This surface therefore serves as a semi-confining bed.
    3. Onshore and nearshore, the Q3 unconformity between 25 and 35 ft deep (7.6-10.7 m) serves as a semi-confining bed.
    4. The Pleistocene limestone below and between confining beds is extremely porous and permeable and readily transmits fluids both vertically and horizontally.
    5. Tidal pumping serves both to diffuse, dilute and transmit fluids vertically where not confined by Holocene sediment or diagenetically altered unconformities.
    6. Chemical reactions between phosphorous and limestone are shown to be absent from the analyses done on selected samples, however, it may be possible for reactions to occur closer to the disposal wells.
    7. Nutrient levels in the offshore ground waters are elevated above those of overlying sea water.
    8. Nutrients can probably leak to the overlying sea water through Holocene reefs and wherever Pleistocene limestone is not covered by Holocene sediment.
    9. Because their levels increase offshore, the source of nutrients (mainly NH4) could not be directly linked to onshore disposal wells.
    10. Fecal bacteria were detected in ground waters from wells as far as 4 nmi offshore but were not detected in offshore surface waters at these sites. Fecal bacteria therefore may be the best indicators of lateral offshore movement of contamination from onshore sources.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:31:00 AM  

  • source:
    http://sofia.usgs.gov/projects/grndwtr_seepage/

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:33:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Red Tide Information

Several prominent reports were issued this month as related to "red tide". As we know, red tide is a phenomena that is prevalent in our costal waters.

Red tide is an algal bloom that occurs in part when there is too much nitrogen in the waters. The red tide bloom will damage sinuses and pose other health threats - especially if contaminated shellfish is consumed. Approximately 60,000 Americans are poisoned every year as a direct and indirect result of the algal blooms. The poison from the red tide bloom becomes airborne thereby irritating our sinuses, throats, eyes and lungs.

The following are some quotes from the EPA, FDA, and from a leading university research center on this subject.

Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are necessary for growth of plants and animals and support a healthy aquatic ecosystem. In excess, however, nutrients can contribute to fish disease, red or brown tide, algae blooms, and low dissolved oxygen. The condition where dissolved oxygen is less than 2 parts per million is referred to as hypoxia. Many species are likely to die below that level- the level of healthy waters is 5 or 6 parts per million. Sources of nutrients include point and non-point sources such as sewage treatment plant discharges, stormwater runoff from lawns and agricultural lands, faulty or leaking septic systems, sediment in runoff, animal wastes, atmospheric deposition originating from power plants or vehicles, and groundwater discharges.
Excessive nutrients stimulate the growth of algae. As the algae die, they decay and rob the water of oxygen. The algae also prevent sunlight from penetrating the water. Fish and shellfish are deprived of oxygen, and underwater seagrasses are deprived of light and are lost. Animals that depend on seagrasses for food or shelter leave the area or die. In addition, the excessive algae growth may result in brown and red tides which have been linked to fish kills, manatee deaths and negative impacts to scallops. Increased algae may also cause foul smells and decreased aesthetic value.
There are three types of shellfish poisonings which are specifically addressed in the NSSP Model Ordinance: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP) and amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP), also known as domoic acid poisoning. PSP is caused by dinoflagellates of the genus Alexandrium (formerly Gonyaulax). NSP is caused by brevetoxins produced by the dinoflagellates of the genus Karenia (formerly Gymnodinium). Both of these dinoflagellates can produce "red tides", i.e. discolorations of seawater caused by blooms of the algae. Toxic blooms of these dinoflagellates can occur unexpectedly or follow predictable patterns.
Researchers at University of North Carolina Wilmington announce the continuation of funding to study the effects of inhaled Florida red tide brevetoxins and ultimately yield treatments. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences awarded UNCW the five-year $7.53 million competitive renewal to further delve into the acute and chronic effects of inhaling toxic particles generated by red tides on Florida's west coast.

Daniel Baden, William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Marine Sciences at UNCW and program director for the study, said, "With an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of toxin action, we can recommend appropriate therapeutics for intervention and provide some measure of effects in humans. While it is not presently within our power to prevent red tides, it is certainly possible and advisable to reduce, treat and ultimately prevent inhalation exposure to these noxious agents."

By measuring red tide cells in the water, the toxin they contain, the airborne toxin in sea spray, the toxin transported ashore by wind and the amount people inhale, the team is rapidly increasing understanding about one of the most far-reaching human exposures to a natural toxin.

Florida red tide toxins affect the pulmonary, nervous, immune and genetic systems in animal models and may similarly affect humans.

sources: www.epa.gov www.fda.gov www.uncw.edu Popular Science

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Friday, July 20, 2007

Your City Employees at Work

Introduction
A source sent to us a handwritten note suggesting a questionable practice by a City of Marco Island employee. The following details our findings.

Case Details
The City employee referenced in the handwritten note is Laura Litzen, City Clerk for the City of Marco Island. The allegation is that Ms. Litzen, acting as a real estate agent, sold a property to a husband and wife that since then have gained employment with the City. The note suggests that such is an ethics violation and a conflict of interest.

Facts

1. Ms. Litzen is the City Clerk and Human Resource Director for the City of Marco Island.

2. Ms. Litzen has been employed by the City of Marco Island since 3-16-1998.

3. Ms. Litzen works in Department 512.

4. Ms. Litzen is a licensed real estate agent.

5. Ms. Litzen is the agent of record for the sale of the real property located at 365 Rookery Ct., Marco Island Florida.

6. Closing of the sale of the property at 365 Rookery Ct. occurred on 7-31-2006.

7. The market value of this real property is $828,620.

8. The buyers of this property on this date were Deborah McCabe and Jeffrey McCabe.

9. The law firm involved in this real estate transaction is Rhodes, Tucker & Garretson.

10. Mrs. McCabe is employed by the City of Marco Island as an Administrative Assistant.

11. Mrs. McCabe works in Department 512.

12. Mrs. McCabe has been employed by the City of Marco Island since 5-30-2006.

13. Mr. McCabe is employed by the City of Marco Island as a Computer Support Specialist.

14. Mr. McCabe has been employed by the City of Marco Island since 2-12-2007.

15. Mr. McCabe works in Department 513.

Laws & Regulations
Florida Statute
112.311
(5) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state that no officer or employee of a state agency or of a county, city, or other political subdivision of the state, and no member of the Legislature or legislative employee, shall have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect; engage in any business transaction or professional activity; or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his or her duties in the public interest. To implement this policy and strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of the state in their government, there is enacted a code of ethics setting forth standards of conduct required of state, county, and city officers and employees, and of officers and employees of other political subdivisions of the state, in the performance of their official duties. It is the intent of the Legislature that this code shall serve not only as a guide for the official conduct of public servants in this s
tate, but also as a basis for discipline of those who violate the provisions of this part.

Opinion
Florida has rather broad conflict of interest statutes. Any government employee can have any employment outside of their governmental positions and such would not be construed as a
conflict of interest with one exception: if that employment is with an organization that is providing a good or service and said employee is a decision maker in obtaining such goods or services.

Reviewing the Florida statutes and the mock cases found at the state’s ethics web site (http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/) supports this contention.

The fact that there are employees of the City that were hired before and after the sale of the real property does not appear to violate the state’s broad ethics laws. The fact that one employee appears to be a subordinate of the other employee also does not appear to violate the state’s ethic laws.

There is no evidence to suggest that the sale-employment was a quid pro quo. There is no evidence to suggest that the City Clerk influenced the appraised value of the house for the purpose of the sale.

What is of interest is that the appraised value of the property is $880,000 to $1,200,000, but the purchase price was $640,000. Although a seeming anomaly, there does not appear to be any reason to suspect that the City Clerk, or the employer-employee relationship with the McCabes has any bearing on this matter.

(click image to enlarge)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Company Convicted for Improper Asbestos Removal

A federal grand jury in San Diego found San Diego Gas and Electric Company guilty on three counts of violating asbestos work practice standards and one count of making false statements on July 13. The charges relate to the company's removal of asbestos from 9.23 miles of underground piping at the former Encanto Gas Holder facility in Lemon Grove, Calif., in 2000 and 2001.

In addition, Kyle Rhuebottom, the project manager for the prime contractor on the site, and David Williamson, a company employee, were each found guilty of one count of violating asbestos work practice standards.

According to court documents, the company knew the piping at the Encanto facility was coated with asbestos, based on analytical testing. Once the company decided to sell the property, they solicited bids for demolition and removal of the asbestos-coated piping. Despite knowing that the piping coating contained asbestos, the company began removing the pipe wrap without treating it as regulated asbestos containing material.

The jury found that the company, Rhuebottom and Williamson failed to contain the asbestos or place it in a leak proof container. The jury also found that the company failed to provide adequate notice in advance of the asbestos removal, failed to adequately wet the asbestos during removal, and falsely claimed that a company employee was a certified asbestos consultant.

Asbestos is made up of microscopic bundles of fibers that may become airborne when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed. When these fibers get into the air they may be inhaled into the lungs, where they can cause significant health problems, including death.

The defendants are scheduled to appear before United States District Judge Dana M. Sabraw, Southern District of California, on
Sept. 6, 2007 for further proceedings.

More information on EPA's criminal enforcement program: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/criminal/index.html

More information on asbestos: http://www.epa.gov/asbestos/

1 Comments:

  • the only difference between what sdg&e did and qe has done is that the latter did it in south florida where the u.s. attorney's office and the regional office of the epa are lax in their enforcement.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, July 19, 2007 4:25:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

You Are Too Stupid

In another incredibly revealing statement from a councilperson making the rebuild-my-image circuit, you now have proof that “they” think you are too stupid to think for yourself. We use the semantic inference of “they” since the present city governance has long stopped being one of “us”.

In a factually incorrect propaganda piece appearing in one of the local journals, the councilperson states “… we look for ways to reduce their exposure and risks of future cost increases”.

The “their” refers to those residents that refused to fall for the scam and “lock” in the 2006 connection rates/fees for the STRP. And by refusing to fall for the city sponsored ruse, these residents have in fact left their options open for hooking up to an optional STRP at lower rates.

Everything is relative as a noted scientist was fond of saying. And though here on Marco Island the present governance does not follow laws of physics, economics or … well just any law they don’t like, they do succumb to the relative application of what they think of “us”. They sought to reduce “exposure and risk” for residents that already did so on their own by actually becoming informed with facts and guided by reality. In essence, these residents discounted the lies put forth by the “staff” – a lesson never to be learned by the majority of the council.

In plain language – the residents did not believe for one moment that costs were going up and up and up and had to be locked in at the highest level. The residents knew full well that prices were plummeting.

And what the residents also know full well is that the days of the present governance are numbered – and so is the sham of the STRP.

So … here is the quiz: wait because prices are dropping on a project that will be stopped, or lock in the highest rates? Uhm … let’s run this one by a fifth grader.

So you see, while “they” think we are stupid, “we” will be taking advantage of lower costs – like zero costs when the STRP is stopped when the “us” are back in governing of the people, by the people and for the people.

1 Comments:

  • Some good points here. The most cost effective option is to stop this project and all other wastefull construction projects now on the drawing board.

    Millions for a new Police HQ, hundreds of thousands spent for a new audio visual system, light posts every 50 feet(that do not by the way conform to UTCD setbacks - the city is open to a lawsuit if anyone hits one of these things)
    Keeping an overstaffed Police dept. while paying millions for Collier Co. Sherif protection ....the list goes on and on...HELP

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, July 18, 2007 12:27:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Monday, July 16, 2007

The "Friday the 13th Pack of Lies" Refuted

CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAIL ...

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Friday, July 13, 2007

Present & Future Councilors ... Consider -


Engrave in granite.
(click images to enlarge)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Thursday, July 12, 2007

If You Think This is Bad - Wait

Wait until the season when your city council orders more con/destruction before this present mess is over ...




Click on Arrow to Play Movie

2 Comments:

  • OH MY GOD!!!! Ruthie and I are soooooo happy to be up in Minnesota for the summer!!!!!

    By Anonymous John Putnam, at Friday, July 13, 2007 9:47:00 AM  

  • Marcoislandblog:
    Thank you for your efforts on Marco Island.
    A question for you.
    In case you do not know, the word on the island is other newspapers are courting Ed Bania, the reporter at the Marco Eagle. We hope he decides to stay in the area. If not, how can we expect anymore fair and accurate reporting about what's going on here?

    By Blogger marcolady, at Friday, July 13, 2007 2:26:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Monday, July 09, 2007

Message from POP!

Fellow Marco residents:

This brief message hopes to do two things: update POP's progress and thank all of you for your support, encouragement and loyalty to POP's "common sense" proposed charter amendment.

The first objective is easy: Last week POP submitted well over the required number of signed petitions to the Supervisor of Elections. That office will certify the required number of petitions from registered Marco voters and deliver the certified petitions to Marco's City Hall. Thereafter, the petition will be placed on a city council meeting's agenda for processing. We can depend that city council, led by Tucker & Minozzi will do anything and everything possible to stop you from voting on the issue. It ought to be interesting, particularly since the council's newly hired, high-priced Miami attorneys will be out to prove that they're worth their "big bucks".

The second objective is actually impossible to do! - There's just no way that POP can express the appreciation for the way you good folks out there stepped up to the plate and began hitting home-runs for POP. Without your generosity POP would not have been able to accomplish all those mailings. But even more importantly, the hundreds of notes you sent in with your comments and encouragements were truly what made our work worthwhile. I plan to make a collection of those remarks and will post them on this website for your own info. It would be such a pleasure to meet individually with each of you...Perhaps one day, when political sanity is restored to Marco Island, POP will be able to host just such an opportunity!

Meanwhile, please keep yourself informed of the changes that are beginning to form on Marco Island's horizon. The defeated STRP funding plan and the promised defeat of the Tucker/Minozzi motion to extend their terms by eight months show that Marco Islanders are becoming fed up with a preposterous government. Hopefully the upcoming city elections promise the departure of a city management group that has overstayed its usefulness, its respect and its welcome. POP's charter amendment, if approved by the voters, would assure that this doesn't happen to us so easily again in the future. An aroused American citizenry historically has always been awesomely effective, has it not?

Russ Colombo, Chairman
Preserve Our Paradise (POP)

6 Comments:

  • Russ, The island owes you a great debt. This is a major step in bringing representative government back to Marco Island. Thank you for your efforts.

    Roger Hall

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, July 09, 2007 5:10:00 PM  

  • russ

    from all of us that are desperately waiting for a respectful government on marco that serves all its citizens, a heartfelt thank you. you have persevered for all of us.

    mario sanchez

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Monday, July 09, 2007 5:26:00 PM  

  • Russ, I thank you for this effort. Letting the people of Marco Island participate in holding our City Manager accountable is one more layer of protection for the powerless. Thanks for being a pro-active citizen. If you ever decide to run for City Council, you have my vote. Byron Erickson

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, July 09, 2007 6:47:00 PM  

  • Very good indeed! Anticipating the voting for by you chaps for this post! Best from the UK,
    Alan

    By Anonymous Alan, at Monday, July 09, 2007 7:50:00 PM  

  • Hopefully our council will see the light and allow this vote to take place, but if not, the next council assuredly will.

    By Anonymous John Putnam, at Friday, July 13, 2007 9:55:00 AM  

  • Mr. Colombo:
    Thank you for your efforts on Marco Island.
    A question for you.
    In case you do not know, the word on the island is other newspapers are courting Ed Bania, the reporter at the Marco Eagle. We hope he decides to stay in the area. If not, how can we expect anymore fair and accurate reporting about what's going on here?

    By Blogger marcolady, at Friday, July 13, 2007 2:24:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

City Retaliates Against Councilperson DiSciullo

The City of Marco Island retaliates via it's publicity arm (a.k.a. the Naples Daily News) ...


(click the image to enlarge)

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Anyone Surprised?

Dear Editor,

A few days ago I was shown a draft “yellow sheet” used for city council meetings, which supposedly was sent to a Marco Island City Councilor regarding the expediting of two more sewer districts (Lamplighter and Sheffield) of the STRP program at the July 16 “called” meeting of the city council. At first, I thought it might possibly be a fake.

Having just received an on-line copy of the agenda for the 16th where, in fact, this item is on the agenda, I must wonder why only certain councilors are given advance knowledge of upcoming agenda items; others not. I recently complained to City Manager Bill Moss about this very issue regarding the need for a “called” meeting to deal with beach vegetation for July 16. I never received a final response to several email exchanges.

I, personally, am fed up with the obvious machinations of this administration (look at the tape of the June 18 council meeting regarding extension of the election date to November, 2008; if you don’t think that was a “set-up” then you really were born yesterday).

Just to put those in this administration on notice, I will call for a “forensic” audit when the guard changes this February. Committing money that the city does not have, in my opinion, is not only being fiscally irresponsible, but may be downright illegal.

Chuck Kiester
Marco Island City Councilor

1 Comments:

  • A “forensic” audit is a great idea. Back in the 70's we had a similar situation in Long Island NY.
    Sewers were also a point of contention there. To make a long story short, most of the politicians that pushed for that project wound up serving jail time for various corruption violations.

    Let's see what happems here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, July 18, 2007 12:15:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lessons on Progress

With the campaigns for city council barely underway and heading towards an indeterminate date, there are already calls for the candidates to continue with the island’s “progress”.

Those that are seeking more of the same must view where we are today as a marked improvement over where we were from the time of the last election. Or since when the present governance took control. Or perhaps since the Mackle brothers first set foot on Marco Island.

While some call for the candidates to continue with the “progress”, quite a number of citizens have noted a lack of progress or progress in the wrong direction, and have voiced their utter dissatisfaction with many aspects of the present governance’s deeds.

Clearly, there are two diametrically different points of view of where we are as a city today. Why this dichotomy of viewpoints on Marco Island?

In science and as in business, programs or endeavors without metrics, benchmarks or milestones can not be measured objectively. In such cases any evaluative associative description is subjective and therefore argumentative. This is especially so when goals are amorphous and accomplishments serve dramatically diverse or questionable purposes. Namely, one person’s triumph is another person’s abject failure.

And that is case with governments in general, and with the present governance on Marco Island in particular.

The city has undertaken myriad programs without the means to evaluate their success (or failure), while it has undertaken some programs with the ability to objectively gauge the outcome. The STRP is a prime example of the former, while the purchase of the utterly useless “blue man” is a prime example of the latter (note: if the purpose of something is to have no use, then when it serves no use, its purpose is served and must be objectively judged as being a success). Some believe that the STRP is progress, while others think quite the opposite. Some believe that the "blue man" is an utter waste of taxpayers' money, while others believe that funding the arts is a social obligation.

Hence some argue that Marco Island has made “progress” and is better off today than some time in the past, while others argue that we are much worse off. Fair enough - the diverse opinions and points of view are understandable. And should be encouraged.

What is not understandable is how anyone who values or appreciates the basic foundations of democracy and human decency can claim any progress irrespective of the inability to make a value judgment. For us on Marco, to read some making calls for more “progress” given the present governance’s unquestionably abysmal track record for obeying laws or for disrespecting the citizenry is undeniably utterly repulsive.

To suggest more of the same via praise is tantamount to affording accolades to Mussolini because he made the trains run on time. Or it’s like claiming that Hitler made “progress” because he turned a ruined nation into a highly efficient world power. Or better yet and more in tune with today’s times – its like praising Castro because his modality for social engineering brought about one of the highest literacy rates in the world through a grade school educational system light years ahead of ours (at an infinitesimal fraction of the cost too!).

No one of conscience or with a rudimentary education can issue praise and call for more of the same “progress” when the institutionalized policy by those who promulgated the “progress” harms people, violates laws or imbues denigration on the citizenry. One would think that anyone with scruples, or anyone smarter than a fifth grader would dismiss any arguable “progress” when such “progress” is not only founded on opinions, but derived at the hands of a governance that commits illegal, illicit and immoral acts.

What is even more unclear is why the people who espouse such prostituted views are even acknowledged. Acknowledging such individuals and engaging them in any way is ludicrous an insensible. As if we needed yet another analogy, reading or responding to such stupidity is like engaging those who put the Holocaust in perspective because of the “progress” made in the interim.

Understand that there is dissipation in engaging these individuals who by calling for more of the same “progress” show how they sold their souls to politics and money and hatred – a lesson learned long ago by the interminable list of victims left by the “progress” of the governments mentioned above.

Those of you who even read the inanity from the present governance’s propagandists would be better off learning the same lesson.

3 Comments:

  • Another excellent essay. It is sad that the local papers pay and give prime placement to the idiotic ramblings written by Don Farmer when thoughts such as these go unrecognized. It is too bad the papers feel they have to relate to IQ's in the double digits. I know the citizens of Marco Island are much more intelligent then our papers recognize.

    Roger Hall

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, July 08, 2007 11:03:00 AM  

  • Every citizen - irrespective of where they stand on any issue - should be outraged at Farmer's remarks. Demeaning everyone and anyone to serve nothing more than being a political hack for the city is indicative of how the free press is no longer free or a press. Reading this nonsense is like reading the Holocaust deniers. That is why many don't read this person's noise and best left ignored and let him and those that support him perish in the trash bin of non-history - a fate we can all accelerate by simply ignoring the Village Idiot.

    By Blogger Mario R. Sanchez, Ph.D., at Monday, July 09, 2007 9:03:00 AM  

  • I wish all our citizens had access to informed writings as this. Unfortunately, many don't have computers and thus don't have all the info they need to make informed decisions. Also it's disappointing to note that one of our local newspapers hasn't published any opinion letters from the people since June 21. I can't believe our citizens have suddenly become struck dumb.

    By Anonymous Karen Glaub, at Monday, July 09, 2007 8:15:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home