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

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

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

On Restricting Free Speech

The present governance of the City of Marco Island, as if it has nothing to do in light of the failed STRP and the resulting health crisis, is seeking to impose an ordinance restricting the right of free speech.

Specifically the present governance seeks to “… consider its current ordinance requiring residents to obtain a permit before distributing or posting "any commercial or political sign, advertisement, circular, notice, statement, banner, emblem or design" within city parks.

This is yet another unnecessary action by the present governance that purports to do one thing by erroneously using something irrelevant as a basis.

The present governance’s legal enabler supports the move by quoting the U.S. Supreme Court decision Hill vs. Colorado. This ruling has nothing to do with obtaining a permit. This ruling merely restricts protestors – anyone for that matter – from approaching another person for the purpose to pass literature, or to advise them in any way.

The case of Hill vs. Colorado arose because of the type and nature of protests near to abortion houses. So as to protect the right of the abortionists to conduct their trade, the state of Colorado adopted a law where the protestors can approach a person entering the abortion house only under certain restrictions. Namely, "the statute requires that anyone within 100 feet of a medical facility's [euphemism for an abortion house] entrance needs to obtain permission from a passerby before approaching them within eight feet to pass out literature, educate, or counsel them."

However, the U.S. Supreme Court, realizing that it was in effect restricting our most cherished right, went to great lengths in explaining what the protestors could do. The ruling ensured that the following was permitted:

The buffer zone does not completely cut-off the protestors' means of communication with the public. The statute leaves open "alternative communication channels" - there is no limit on the number of protestors; there is no restriction on the noise level; and there is no adverse effect on the ability to read any protesting signs.

The consent requirement of the statute is not a prior restraint on speech. The consent required by the protestors from the passersby does not impose any form of censorship or filtering of the protestor's message.

The decision by the present governance to implement an ordinance complying with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Hill vs. Colorado) of what can not be done AND what CAN BE DONE will be made irrespective of that decision or any other decision. Their guiding force is politics and their beloved commercialization special interests. Hence, it is no surprise that the legal enabler is using a mostly irrelevant decision. But it sure sounds good and official.

The present governance should be prepared for yet another legal challenge if there is one word of this unnecessary ordinance that does not comply with what can NOT and with CAN BE DONE as dictated by the laws of this country (outside of Marco Island of course).

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Words from Honorary Marco Island Patriot

In preparation for the next round ...

"Time indeed changes manners and notions, and so far we must expect institutions to bend to them. But time produces also corruption of principles, and against this it is the duty of good citizens to be ever on the watch, and if the gangrene is to prevail at last, let the day be kept off as long as possible."

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hydrogen Sulfide State Regulations

Dozens of states have regulated the amount of hydrogen sulfide that can exist in ambient conditions. Namely, the amount of hydrogen sulfide that is allowed in the open.

The following information (the chart was recreated to improve visibility) first appeared in this blog on August 26, 2007 (Important Update to Hydrogen Sulfide Toxicity) and quoted a University of California at Berkley 2006 study - the most recent and comprehensive to date.


(click the image to enlarge)

How to read this chart: The X-axis - the numbers across the bottom - signify the maximum exposure in MINUTES. The Y-axis - the numbers going up the left side - signify the maximum amount of ambient hydrogen sulfide permissible in PARTS PER MILLION. The legend on the right gives a symbol for each state. So, for example, the maximum amount of hydrogen sulfide permissible in ambient conditions in the state of Montana is .05 parts per million for a maximum of 60 minutes.

Note the extremely low levels of hydrogen sulfide permissible in the open air and in such a short periods of time - measured in MINUTES.

Now compare those restrictions to the levels of hydrogen sulfide experienced on Marco Island - over MONTHS.

Also note that Florida is mentioned in the legend - but there is no value. That is because Florida does not restrict hydrogen sulfide - despite that it is an accepted toxin that unquestionably hurts people and the environment.

You would think that even though hydrogen sulfide is not regulated in this good ol' boy state, those entrusted with our health would act out of conscience.

And we are being asked to pay another $200,000 for what?

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City Manager Protects Contractor ?

Note: Title to this piece is by this blog and best signifies the outrage. Further, referring to Environ as "scientists" is now a farcical misnomer. Engaging this business by the city manager is nothing more than retaliation against the citizens of Marco Island. To ask to waste $175,000 to prove -again - that we and the environment are being poisoned - when we already know that - is despicable cynicism by the reprobates seeking this action and those that will vote for it.

Open Letter to the Marco Island City Council by Mr. Butch Neylon follows:


Dear Councilors;

I have just seen the latest information regarding the additional $175,000 price tag from Environ to do the additional monitoring for H2S surrounding the dewatering process associated with the current contracts for the STRP. In a word,
OUTRAGEOUS!

For many months now, I have been asking you to enforce the contracts and place the responsibility for these extraneous costs and conditions with the contractor. I know Mr. Moss says “We do not believe the contractors are contractually obligated to pay the monitoring expenses.”, and although there is no provision to specifically monitor for H2S there is clear responsibility placed with the contractor to comply with all laws in the prosecution of the work as shown in the following:

2.1. Contractor shall have the sole responsibility of satisfying itself concerning the nature and location of the Work and the general and local conditions, and particularly, but without limitation, with respect to the following: those affecting transportation, access, disposal, handling and storage of materials; availability and quality of labor; water and electric power; availability and condition of roads; work area; living facilities; climatic conditions and seasons; physical conditions at the work‑site and the project area as a whole; topography and ground surface conditions; nature and quantity of the surface materials to be encountered; subsurface conditions; equipment and facilities needed preliminary to and during performance of the Work; and all other costs associated with such performance. The failure of Contractor to acquaint itself with any applicable conditions shall not relieve Contractor from any of its responsibilities to perform under the Contract Documents, nor shall it be considered the basis for any claim for additional time or compensation.

If any doubt remains as to who is responsible to execute the work under this contract and what standards they agreed to by signing the contract, please read the following clause:

13.3.2 Contractor agrees that in performing its Work, it will not create, use or dispose of any hazardous chemicals or substances in an unlawful or hazardous manner and shall be solely responsible for the lawful, proper and safe handling, storage and removal of all hazardous wastes, chemicals and substances which are introduced to the site, or removed from the site, by Contractor's operations. The term "hazardous wastes, chemicals or substances" shall mean those materials and substances prohibited, proscribed, or the use of which is controlled by any agency of the federal government or the applicable state or local agency having jurisdiction of such matters. In the event Contractor encounters material reasonably believed to be hazardous wastes, chemicals or substances, Contractor shall immediately stop work in the area affected and report such condition to City in writing. Contractor shall comply with all federal, state and local regulations dealing with the use, storage or disposal of all hazardous wastes, chemicals and substances. Contractor shall be responsible for any and all claims and damages resulting from its use, handling, storage, removal and disposal of such hazardous wastes, chemicals or substances from the Project, and will indemnify, defend and hold City harmless from any and all liability associated with such use, handling, storage, removal and disposal including all associated attorney's fees and costs and costs of all cleanup operations wherever and whenever required by any governmental authority or City.

You have received many emails and much information is posted on various blogs and websites clearly identifying sulfides and hydrogen sulfide gas as hazardous substances. Additionally, Environ showed us that the H2S concentrations were above the acceptable limits prescribed by law, and therefore could cause harm to our residents. Once again, I ask who is responsible to comply with the laws regarding execution of these contracts? Please read the following clause:

14.1. Contractor agrees to comply, at its own expense, with all federal, state and local laws, codes, statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations and requirements applicable to the Project, including but not limited to those dealing with taxation, worker's compensation, equal employment and safety (including, but not limited to, the Trench Safety Act, Chapter 553, Florida Statutes). If Contractor observes that the Contract Documents are at variance therewith, it shall promptly notify Project Manager in writing.

You have been told that the contractors may be entitled to compensation due to the delay caused while the H2S problem is sorted out, specifically, I cite the following from the City Managers email “The contractor may be eligible for compensation due to the delay. One week may not be serious, but a delay until after the air monitoring status report date of October 15th may be problematic, from both a contractual and road closure perspective.”

The following contract clause clearly shows the contractors are NOT entitled to any additional compensation for this or any other delay. Their sole recourse is to seek an extension of time.

9.3. No interruption, interference, inefficiency, suspension or delay in the commencement or progress of the Work from any cause whatever, including those for which Owner may be responsible, in whole or in part, shall relieve Contractor of its duty to perform or give rise to any right to damages or additional compensation from Owner. Contractor expressly acknowledges and agrees that it shall receive no damages for delay. Contractor's sole remedy, if any, against Owner will be the right to seek an extension to the Contract Time; provided, however, the granting of any such time extension shall not be a condition precedent to the aforementioned "No Damage For Delay" provision. This paragraph shall expressly apply to claims for early completion, as well as to claims based on late completion.

This situation and the pressure exerted by Staff to force quick and costly decisions is clearly not in your or the city’s best interests. There are many alternatives to the proposed outrageous testing quotation, and you as councilors need time to adequately research them.

To pressure you into making decisions in the magnitude of $175,000 in a day when there is no actual time pressure is disingenuous. There are many alternatives to this testing and many other issues surrounding the H2S that need to be addressed in a careful and competent manner and that will take some time.

Need I remind you of the problems and expense associated with the simple change of the road median on Collier Boulevard. You had several weeks to go over that situation and ultimately went back to the original design when the quick fix proved to be unworkable.

This mad dash to complete this project has got to stop! We all need time to assess where we are and where we are headed. You just spent $58,000 taxpayer dollars for testing that confirmed that this dewatering process has likely harmed the health of many of our citizens. We have already heard that we can put the piped at a shallower depth if we add expensive lift stations. The plant to send this sulfurous groundwater to our new treatment plant has not been adequately researched, and you are being asked to make these critical and costly decisions with no time to adequately assess the consequences.

A prudent person would stop now, and not proceed until all alternatives have been explored and evaluated. There is no downside to this action. I offer the following contract clause to support this statement:

19.2. Owner shall have the right to suspend all or any portions of the Work upon giving Contractor not less than two (2) calendar days' prior written notice of such suspension. If all or any portion of the Work is so suspended, Contractor's sole and exclusive remedy shall be to seek an extension of time to its schedule in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Contract Documents. In no event shall the Contractor be entitled to any additional compensation or damages. Provided, however, if the ordered suspension exceeds six (6) months, the Contractor shall have the right to terminate the Agreement with respect to that portion of the Work which is subject to the ordered suspension.

As Councilor Tucker is noted for saying, “This is a no-brainer,” suspend the dewatering and associated pipe installation at this point. Cap off the ends, fill the trenches, restore the swales, and pave the roads. Put the contractors on notice that their methods of dewatering violate the above noted contract clauses, and have likely endangered the health of our citizens.

Have the City Administration and the Utility Department step back, stop spending our money to support those who agreed to do these projects using their own resources. Put the contractors on notice to come up with acceptable methods of treating the sulfurous ground water to eliminate the release of toxins into our air or water. Portable anaerobic liquid and vapor phase treatment units that will render the sulfurous effluent harmless are available and will cost a whole lot less that the $175,000 that Environ wants just to monitor, not fix the problem.

This is the contractors responsibility. They agreed not to break the law, or harm anyone when they signed the contract. We have every right to expect them to perform this work in a safe and workmanlike manner and it is high time you placed the responsibility for that where it belongs. The City Manager, the Public Works Director, the City Project Managers and yes the Contractors work for you, and you work for the citizens of Marco Island.

Stop careening from one critical, costly emergency to another and restore some sanity to this process. If you do not the contractors will not and we, the taxpayers of Marco Island will all be left holding the bag. You have the authority to correct this if you will only exercise it.

Respectfully;

Butch Neylon

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OK, Now I'm Getting Really Worried

Have been watching all this craziness that the city has given us. Wound up on your site today (been here before) due to an email received today by CARES. Maybe I'm looking at something that is not important, maybe its been studied already, just don't know. But I figured that whoever is managing this blog would probably be the best person to ask this question or possibly bring up this issue.

Got really big questions about Rony Joel's "Make the smell go away machine". This Homer Simpson-esque contraption has been built without any actual science being involved. Can't understand why someone that is supposed to be 1) a professional, 2) a steward of the city and its residents, would make this thing by the seat of his pants. Anyhow, the basic premise of his foolish invention is to remove the gas by agitating it, then having the gas leave the area through this chimney like appendage.

Now I read in your blog that at higher concentrations this gas appears to have no odor. Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr. Joel's machine does just that....increase the concentration of the gas that is exiting the chimney?

Just searched on-line and found that hydrogen sulfide gas has a specific gravity that makes it heavier than air! the following is taken from the michigan.gov website;

FACTS RELATING TO H2S
What is H2S?
  • Hydrogen Sulfide is a colorless, transparent gas with a characteristic of a rotten-egg odor at low concentrations and not detectable by odor at high concentrations.
  • Chemical symbol: H2S
  • Specific Gravity: 1.192 (heavier than air)
  • Explosive limits: Lower: 4% , Upper: 44% volume in air
  • Ignition Temperature: 500o F
  • Solubility in water: 2.9 volumes of gas , per volume of water at 20o C
So, is Mr. Joel's invention making the problem worse? Is it possibly more of a death trap than a help?

Just Wondering

Bob

Not leaving my full name because I feel the need to remain anonymous in this city run by a retaliatory government.

1 Comments:

  • the only sure answer is that no one knows - certainly not the present governance since they are incapable of following centuries old practices of concept, requirements documentation, analysis, design, TESTING, then implementation. they haven't done that with the STRP and certainly didn't do it with the plywood contraption (requests to get the above process on that device went unanswered).

    the plywood contraption - now with the new name of "Homer Simpson-esque" to add to the "Iron Maiden" and "Trojan Horse" could have concentrated the h2s at the top. but one thing is for sure - it did NOTHING to stop the spread of the lethal gas at ground level as measured by the "scientist" and by the MIDEP (a citizens group that measured the toxin with a certified device).

    what the "scientist" failed to mention, and of course it would not occur to the present governance, is that air temperature, air quality, humidity, wind speed are SOME of the factors affecting the concentration of h2s.

    go to one of these toxic dumping sites right after a rain when the air is heavy and there is zero breeze, and rest assured that the h2s levels at ground level are lethal. this was proven as such at the last measurements at apataki ct.

    you are correct - agitation of the liquid that is infused with h2s just makes the h2s come out better and faster. like shaking a bottle that has a gas in it.

    since the fdep is corrupt beyond belief, it is better to dump the lethal water undisturbed as much as possible into the waterway (and harm the marine life) as opposed to agitate it and have the h2s harm the people in the neighborhood.

    the present governance has managed to do both.

    By Anonymous Dr. Mario Sanchez, at Thursday, September 27, 2007 12:02:00 PM  

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Open Letter to Marco Island City Council

Dear Councilors;

In voting to cease dewatering and continue testing the air to determine the extent of the hydrogen sulfide problem, you have done a wonderful thing. There is little doubt that most Marco Islanders know this gas is harmful and stopping the open air discharge will go a long way towards improving conditions in the affected areas.

In reading some of Mr. Joel’s comments, however, I would like to caution you on allowing this groundwater to be pumped into our existing sewage collection system and sent to the treatment plant for disposal. This is an incredibly bad idea.

Introduction of this highly sulfurous material into the treatment process will upset the balance at the plant thereby risking discharge of substandard treated wastewater. Additionally the sulfur will coat the membranes and possibly clog them. At any rate it will lessen the time between cleaning and lower their overall life.

This is a very expensive item, and if the membranes lifespan is reduced by introducing this material into the treatment process that will result in premature replacement of the membranes, which of course is incredibly false economy.

The real solution to this problem is to get out of the dewatering business all together. This is not the responsibility of the Marco Island Utilities, nor is it the responsibility of The City of Marco Island, it is the responsibility of the contractors. Your job as councilors is to see to it that the City Administration enforces the terms and conditions of the contracts that these contractors signed.

You don’t have to be scientists, or engineers, or contractors, you just have to be City Councilors, and recognize that this is not the way to handle this problem. The contractors are responsible for methods and means, the contractors are responsible for complying with all safety regulations, the contractors are responsible to hold Marco Harmless for any and all lawsuits arising from or in connection with the work.

It is time you stepped back from micromanaging something you don’t know the first thing about and enforce the contracts.

Regards,
Butch Neylon

1 Comments:

  • They were never councilors hence they tried playing scientists and engineers and contractors at the behest of two corrupt individuals Joel and Moss whose sole purpose is to commercialize the island irrespective of whom they hurt, the damage to the environment or how much its costs. Hence they are nothing but puppets.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 6:54:00 PM  

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Orchestrated Ruse that Backfired

History in Brief
By the early days of World War II, word had spread that the Nazis were doing horrible things to the Jews in their captivity. To get at the truth some called for an independent review of the practices specifically those at the camps.

In but one example, pressure from Danish King Christian X grew so strong that the Nazi’s finally relented to an inspection of one camp. Theresienstadt (aka Terezín). By the time the Red Cross arrived at Theresienstadt, the Nazis had built a “model city” as a façade to the camp. The Red Cross “experts” and “scientists” were impressed and left issuing a glowing report. Soon thereafter the Nazi’s resumed the notorious operations of the camp.

The Nazis were so clever and so proficient at orchestrating the scrutiny and environments where the inspections were taking place that they could – and did – fool the “experts” and the “scientists”. In another example of how they effectively orchestrated a ruse, they artfully told the “experts” and “scientists” when and where to look during the assessment at Auschwitz, leaving “experts” and “scientists” to proclaim that the showers were for – well, for taking showers. Consider
Three months after their inspection of Theresienstadt, the Red Cross visited the Auschwitz death camp in September 1944 but failed to notice that the purported shower rooms there were really gas chambers. In 1948 the Red Cross released a three volume report in which the findings on the Auschwitz visit were included: "Not only the washing places, but installations for baths, showers and laundry were inspected by the delegates. They had often to take action to have fixtures made less primitive, and to get them repaired or enlarged" (Vol.III, p. 594). Apparently the Red Cross representatives couldn't tell the difference between the fake shower heads in the gas chambers at Birkenau and real shower nozzles in a genuine shower room.

One of the commandants of the Cuban revolution was sent to prison for 20 years for decrying the murders (and much more) by Castro et al. For years, human rights organizations decried the treatment of
Comandante Huber Matos. To “show” that Comandante Matos was being well treated, the regime orchestrated an elaborate ruse by brining in doctors to perform an examination. They witnessed Comandante Matos yelling and screaming, promptly departed and proclaimed that he was insane. Forgetting for a moment that by spending years in a Castro prison is enough to drive anybody insane, the fact that Comandante Matos was urinating pieces of his kidneys – and therefore causing the yelling and screaming- was obfuscated.

Not in America? State Farm Insurance Company is being sued under the RICO statutes for hiring “experts” and of course the well paid “scientists” to tout the insurance company’s line that the damage from Katrina was caused by flood waters.

Governance of Marco Island
Speaking of well orchestrated ruses, the present governance of the City of Marco Island tried one by placing the “experts” and “scientists” hired to measure hydrogen sulfide in strategic places. Further, the governance turned on and off pumps as if on cue.


Did the ruse work? Apparently NOT! As we all know by now, the “experts” and “scientists” measured levels well above the limits set to protect our health – as this blog has been reporting for months. Can you image what the real readings have been, and would have been if
  • The “scientists” that were hired to monitor the hydrogen sulfide in our environment could set up anywhere, as opposed to set up near a street that had long ago been dewatered?
  • The dewatering was turned on in sufficient force, as has been normal, as opposed to a trickle which according to two witnesses was “like coming out of a straw” and “so weak I didn’t even think it was on”?
  • The “scientists” weren’t directed to be so far away from the source of the second area of inspection?
  • The “scientists” were detecting a fresh dewatering area as opposed to an area that had been in the process of being dewatered for over ten days before they arrived?
To set up an environment to minimize the highly toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide caused by the dewatering process is an orchestrated ruse that backfired – really fast. The present governance is with infamous historical company. Those who continue think otherwise after this performance are living in a willing suspension of disbelief.

Let's see how the present governance's propaganda arm spins this one. In the meantime,

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

What it Means to be American

Special to the Marco Island Blog

To define the nature of ourselves as members of a living nation-state, we must ask ourselves not once, not twice, but repeatedly this question: what does it mean to be American? Does it mean placing our hands over our hearts and staring at the flag when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? Does it mean the routine gathering under the stars at July 4th? Does it mean the mindless defamation of all things French at every turn? No, not really. To answer this question in its most profound sense, a remembrance of history is in order to lay the foundations of our inquiry.

After much fruitless negotiation with King George III, the thirteen colonies decided to break away from England in order to protest the many grievances held by the colonists, known collectively as the Intolerable Acts: namely, the restriction of town meetings, the unfair trial of British soldiers (British soldiers found guilty of crimes in the colonies would not be tried in the colonies but in England), the forced housing of British soldiers in colonial homes, and the forced remuneration of monies lost during the Boston Tea Party. The first battle of the war occurred in 1775, and the nation as we know it officially came into existence in 1788 with the ratification of the Constitution. The colonists rebelled not against England and not against the monarchy, but against the unfair strictures of their rights.

From its very beginning, the United States was (and still is, to a certain degree) a social experiment. In fact, the term “the United States” is fairly recent – an earlier term would have been “these United States:” the people comprising those states were reluctant to join a larger nation for fear of historical repetition: in fact, the Constitution was preceded by the Articles of Confederation, making the early America not a federation but a confederation – it called for a weak central government and strong states. This early attempt at confederacy failed due to a severe imbalance of power: the states began to manufacture their own currency, laws diverged wildly, and the central government was almost powerless to stop any of it. The second version – the Constitution we know today, sans the coming Amendments – called for a much stronger central government, a federation, and delegated powers to the states not explicitly delegated to the larger government.

This federal system, at least in theory, attempts to strike a balance between individualism and collectivism, and this partially provides our answer. The Founding Fathers, like mostly everyone else born in the last 300 years, were and are children of the Enlightenment – children of an age of reason, wisdom, and the light of science, which among other things championed representative government. Of course, the Enlightenment was a revival in large part of the social and political discourse of the Ancient Greeks, among whom was Plato, who held that direct democracy was the second worst form of government (the worst was tyranny, in his eyes). The Founding Fathers knew this, and as such established both a legal system and a political culture of elitist democracy – essentially the masses of people would be allowed to democratically elect a layer of representatives who would then represent their constituents to government organs in order to participate in the perpetual balancing act between the needs of the citizen and the state.

This balancing act, for the experiment to work, would have to be reflected at all levels of government – from the local city councils to the chambers of the national structure. It would also have to be reflected within the citizen himself – as Plato was keen to say, a well-ordered mind yields a well-ordered person, which in turn yields a well-ordered state. This was true then, and it is true today. So in fact, our Constitution would allow for a fractal system – at any level of social magnification, the structure is always the same – one of balance between self and society.

This is what it means to be American – to successfully strike a balance between self and society, a balance between serving the self and serving the community in which we live. This is in line with the Platonic concept of the ‘reluctant ruler’ and the ancient Roman quasi-legend of Cincinnatus. Cincinnatus was an ancient Roman farmer, described as a humble and simple person, who readily served as the leader of the early Roman Republic when called upon, and promptly returned to his farming when his tenure ended. In Plato’s political masterpiece The Republic, a similar concept is illustrated with the perfect ruler who, ironically enough wants nothing to do with politics and instead wants to attend to private matters. This person is ready to shift the responsibility to another like-minded person, and so on: this eliminates the chances of graft and corruption, mainly because no one is interested. This disinterest in power and fame, like the behavior of Cincinnatus, has its roots in the well-ordered mind, which ultimately creates the well-ordered state.

The phase "e pluribus unum" was created to illustrate this balance for the population at large: though we come from many different places, the acculturation process is one where we bond through our common elements. Cultures from around the world seem to enjoy hard work, clean water to drink, and not having to deal with rampant crime, among other things. The bonding through these common elements creates a kind of cascading reaction that spreads via behavior – the traits of the individual are reflected in the collective, and vice versa. The literal translation reads: “from many, one,” and from here we see the true meaning of the phrase “we the people.” It is the realization of the particularly American dichotomy, that the self is aware of the whole, the whole is aware of the self, and in realizing these things we become strong. Every civilization that has collapsed, is collapsing, or ever will collapse is caused by the imbalance between the self and the collective.

It is this commitment to balance that not only makes us American, but also tasks us with leading the greatest country in existence. This is not mere hyperbole – even the people that hate our country want to come here, primarily so they can be allowed to say how much they hate us. Many would say that the belief in our greatness is unfounded, that it is a belief in a myth of a golden past – detractors point to the less-than-shining moments of our nation’s history, and ask us to explain them. We can explain them – we simply say they were periods of imbalance – and not only can we explain them, we can correct them by correcting the imbalance. In correcting the imbalance, the old teach the middle aged, the middle aged teach the young, who in turn repeat the cycle, and in saying this, we are reminded that “the only enduring work of man is that which is reborn with the next generation.

By Michel A. Sanchez
Historian

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3rd Water Main Break on Winterberry

Occurred early September 22, 2007. The 2nd break occurred the day before in the afternoon. No water advisory was issued for the second break.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Power Search Features

Two new Power Search features have been added to the Marco Island Blog.

You can search all postings of this blog by clicking:

Power Search This BLOG!


And you can power search (more like scour) the City of Marco Island's web site! Simply click

Power Search The City's Web Site!


The scouring of the city's site will be enhanced shortly.

Both power search features will remain accessible from the top of this blog.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NEW Super Poll - #4

Please take a moment to complete a new Marco Island Survey:
Quality of Life, Health, Safety & Support

The survey is anonymous and the results will be published. Your input will be invaluable information to the new City Councilpersons as they manage the city's future.

Click The Button ->

Thank You.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Measured Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide #5

As measured on Apataki Ct.. Toxic levels continue ...

(click image to enlarge)

3 Comments:

  • All this hard work trying to protect us for what? From what I hear NO ONE is going to present your findings at tonights council meeting.I believe Environ will be presenting their first findings. From what I hear NO ONE is going to be giving out flyers that direct people to your blog. I have had to direct many people to your blog. It's a real shame! The information you provide is priceless. It's our health and, the health of our city. I have heard that some politico's have thoughts that tonights council meeting is "not the right time" to introduce the information obtained.
    I sincerely hope that what I have heard is incorrect! If not then the people who claim to want to represent us if elected in January are just as reprehensible as the current governance! I for one am totally disgusted and frustrated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, September 17, 2007 4:47:00 PM  

  • thank you. i am reminded of churchill's speech to parliment:

    "We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering."

    with the utter disdain by the present governance towards the residents - bar those terrible few that suffuse their realism and compromise ethics in their bent to commercialize the island at all cost - their actions and lack thereof are certainly of the grievous kind.

    churchill's quote above was followed by the more quoted one "... wage war by land, sea and air ...". to eject the disgrace perpetrated by this governance on ethics, morals, and democracy would have required a war - a war too few were willing to wage.

    ergo we are resigned to waiting for the next council and suffer the indiginities and the assault on our health until then.

    thanks again.

    By Blogger Mario R. Sanchez, Ph.D., at Tuesday, September 18, 2007 8:03:00 AM  

  • I left the Island on 9-19 to get away from the hydrogen sulfide smell in my home on Banyan Court for a few days.
    The ground water and gas was being dumped into my swale in front of my home for many days.
    Even though the dewatering has stopped, the smell is still in my home.
    I returned on 9-25.
    It is like it has seeped into the fiber of my home, and I don't know how to get the smell out.
    That lingers!
    Angela Sanders

    By Anonymous Angela Sanders, at Wednesday, September 26, 2007 5:40:00 AM  

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sulfuric Acid - In Pictures

For those in the present governance that can't (or won't) read and still believe that an unnatural heat is needed to create sulfuric acid.
(click image to enlarge)

Seems like all one needs is sulfides and bacteria ... something the effluent being pumped into the waterways has plenty of ... and look! - something about hydrogen sulfide too!

source: National Clay Pipe Institute

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Sulfuric Acid - YES

In the August 24, 2007 post on this blog entitled “Wasting $58,000”, the specter of sulfuric acid being dumped into the waterways as a byproduct of the dewatering process was raised. Specifically, that post stated:

We suppose and induce that the hydrogen sulfide is reacting with organics in the water, as well as metals, and creating sulfuric acid (H2SO4) – ergo the color.

and

Without testing the waterways in and near the discharge areas, the premise that there is sulfuric acid is merely a hypothesis.


The present governance responded during the subsequent council meeting by having a city employee put on a performance regarding hydrogen sulfide and related matters. One of the statements made by said employee was that sulfuric acid can not be derived from hydrogen sulfide without a heat source.

This blog was contacted privately by a proponent of the present governance and STRP who politely and professionally called our attention to the present governance’s position on sulfuric acid. We then decided to look into this matter further to answer our own question and either agree with the city’s position, or refute same.

A number of chemistry professionals were asked the following question: “Is it possible for sulfuric acid (H2SO4) to be derived from hydrogen sulfide (H2S) without a heat source, other than what would exist normally in ambient conditions”?

All came back with “yes”. One analogous source notes:

“What you are referring is that SO2 is converted to H2SO4 by aerial oxidation and addition of water, when SO2 is released into nature. This is a slow process and the H2SO4 produced is just at the ppm-level of concentrations.”


Concurrently, the matter was researched. We found that there is published research supporting the “yes” answer. In but one EPA paper

“… recent survey information on the sewer lines to illustrate whether damage has occurred from the conversion of hydrogen sulfide to sulfuric acid”.


Hence, professionals said yes – that sulfuric acid can be derived from hydrogen sulfide without an unnatural heat source, and further, that there are research findings supporting their conclusions.

With these results, the above noted proponent was re-contacted and informed of these findings in general terms. We informed the proponent that as a professional courtesy we would wait for the present governance to re-evaluate its claim in light of our findings whereby the present governance could issue a “clarification” and thereby avoid having been proved wrong again in public.

A response never came – not even an acknowledgment.

The scientific details, along with the supporting published research are available upon request.

Therefore, claims that heat is essential for the creation of sulphuric acid is incorrect. The conditions and elements needed for the formation of sulphuric acid can and do exist naturally in our environment.

We do not know if in fact sulphuric acid is being pumped into the waterways. Neither does the present governance. The science and evidence exists proving that it is all quite possible that sulphuric acid is being dumped onto the swales, front yards, streets and into the waterways under normally existing conditions.

For anyone to dismiss the possibility that sulfuric acid can exist in the effluent dumping, in light of demonstrable science, shows an irresponsibility to our health and that of the environment.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Measured Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide #4

As measured on Apataki & Maywood. Toxic levels continue ...

(click image to enlarge)

We understand that the present governance will report whilst the monday's city council meeting that their "experts" found no harmful levels of hydrogen sulfide, if any. They will also, as they have already done to several sources, proclaim that the readings on this blog are "suspect".

While we are used to the baseless Ad hominem attacks by the present governance, we find suspect their readings, and suspect that their claim of our readings being "suspect" is in itself suspect since they have no first hand knowledge of the methodologies employed to obtain our readings.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Measured Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide #3

As measured on Apataki Ct. Toxic levels continue ...

(click on image to enlarge)


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What Exactly Does the FDEP Do?

After months of others pleading with the FDEP to do something to protect our health, there is no action. Plenty of emails, meetings, calls, and hand waving, but nothing that will stop the contamination of the island and the threat to our health.

Consider this email exchange:

September 12, 2007
Dr. Sanchez,

The DEP does not have the legal authority to regulate airborne H2S from these types of dewatering projects. The Collier County Health Department oversees these issues.

The South Florida Water Management District issued the dewatering permits for this project. They are thus performing compliance for the permit conditions. We are in a support role, primarily in the area of water quality sampling.

Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention.

Jon

Jon M. Iglehart
FDEP
South District

-----Original Message-----
From: mariodbiq@gmail.com = Dr. Mario Sánchez
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2007 8:12 AM
To: Iglehart, Jon
Subject: highly toxic levels measured of H2S

mr. iglehart

i have been asked to send to you our measurements of hydrogen sulfide from a dewatering site, as measured on 9/7/2007. please see the attached.

the entire report, along with the videos, can be seen at http://marcoislandblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/measured-levels-of-hydrogen-sulfide.html#links

though there was a strong breeze, we were picking up these measurements as far away as approximately 100 feet from the source.

these measurements suggest a highly toxic environment. the citizens of marco island are being subjected to highly dangerous levels of a known toxin. and as can be seen from the videos, the same level of damage is being directly introduced into a waterways.

it is time for the state authorities to clearly, unequivocally and immediately stop this offensive activity once and for all before any more people become seriously ill.

mario r. sanchez, m.s., ph.d.


This is a curious response given the FDEP’s mandate as found on their web site (http://dep.state.fl.us)

“The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the lead agency in state government for environmental management and stewardship. The Department of Environmental Protection is one of the more diverse agencies in state government, protecting Florida’s air, water and land.”

Fact: hydrogen sulfide is a known lethal toxin. Fact: the FDEP’s mandate is to protect Florida’s air, water and land. Fact: toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide are being pumped on Marco Island into the open (air), into the waterways (water) and onto the ground (land). But the FDEP has no authority to regulate hydrogen sulfide from “these dewatering projects”?

What? So who does? Really, when the FDEP is funded do the plutocrats say “the FDEP must protect the air, water and land – but not if it’s from toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide”???

Albert Einstein ran across the very same irrational nodes of the Iron Triangle. Since these very same bureaucracies thought of him as an idiot too (so you see, we Marco Patriots are in good company!), in frustration he said “Insanity [is] doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Dr Einstein then chose to ignore them and then took his issues directly to the people.

Given that the present Marco Island governance is not interested in protecting our health or that of the environment, we turned to the FDEP. But as we have learned, the FDEP is not going to protect the air or land on Marco Island and has abdicated their responsibility to protecting the water by pointing to yet another bureaucracy – which hasn’t enforced the restrictions they placed on the dewatering process. Therefore, continuing communicating with the FDEP, insisting that they do something different than doing nothing, is insanity.

The 2005-2006 state of Florida budget shows a line item for “Environmental Protection” – presumably in part being FDEP’s budget – of $3,499,906,958.

So, what exactly does the FDEP do?

2 Comments:

  • Why Mario, it's quite simple. The FDEP spends $4 billion to protect the air, water and land ... not the people, birds and beasts who breathe the air ... not the fish, vegetation, invertebrates and mammals that populate the water ... not the plants and insects that cover the land. These are left to God and the Patriots of Marco to protect on a somewhat smaller budget.

    Ed Foster

    P.S. But do follow Jon's subtle suggestion and get your data to the DOH (U.S. as well as Florida). They're supposed to protect "health" not the "environment." That's how beaurocracy (sp?) works.

    By Anonymous cares-chair, at Thursday, September 13, 2007 9:40:00 AM  

  • oops - you're correct ed.

    i have operating under the mistaken impression that dumping toxic levels of a known toxin onto the land which runs into the water which on the way dissipates into the air had something to do with damaging the land, water and air. which it appears that an irrelevant bi-product of this contamination is that those living things that inhabit the land water air are hurt.

    it is truly up to the marco island patriots.

    thank you for clarifying this for me.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Thursday, September 13, 2007 12:07:00 PM  

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Toxic Effluence on Apataki Ct.

In this recently released video we are entreated to a medieval looking contraption that was installed purportedly to do something (unknown what) with the fetid water being pumped out into the open.

Preliminary readings show hydrogen sulfide levels at the point where the effluent emanates from the orifice of this device to be consistently at or above 100PPM.

2 Comments:

  • What ever that thing is it doesn't appear to be very high-tech. Probably just more smoke and mirrors. Isn't that a storm drain adjacent to the water discharge? I thought they weren't putting that into the canals anymore. Isn't that were the storm drains eventually end up? I ask once again WHY the television stations are not present to cover this. Have they been called?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, September 11, 2007 1:16:00 PM  

  • The tv stations are too busy covering fund raisers, daily car crashes on I-75 etc and the current woes of the real estate and construction companies. This is one of the worst stories of peoples health and the environment being compromised because of our city's actions. The EPA, FDEP, SWFMD and all the wildlife have turned away from us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, September 12, 2007 9:35:00 AM  

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Measured Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide 2

The graph depicts hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels measured on the dewatering site on Amber Drive on September 8, 2007 starting at approximately 6PM.
(click on image to enlarge)

This site has been dewatering for approximately 8 days before these measurements were taken. The volume of fetid water being dumped into the swale was nearly a trickle. Contrast these measurements with those taken on Woodbine (see post below) where the dewatering is relatively new and the force of the water was quite substantial.

The measuring equipment was positioned in ranged from within one foot to four feet from the source.

Correlating the measurements to the position of the H2S detector, the force of the dewatering and the wind speed, suggests that the stronger the force of the water, the greater the concentration of H2S. Additionally, the stronger the wind, the faster the rate of dispersion over a smaller area, and conversely, no to near no wind allows for the gas to concentrate in an ever growing area and move slowly with little dissipation.

(click on image to enlarge)

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We Could Only be So Lucky ...

(click image to enlarge)

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Measured Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide

This graph depicts hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels measured at the dewatering site on Woodbine Ct. on September 7, 2007 starting at approximately 7PM.

(click graph to enlarge)

The variations in measures (from near zero to the near-lethal levels of 139PPM) are due to the distances from the sources of the effluent to the measuring device.

The highest levels were taken 1-2 feet from the source, the measures of 2-4PPM were taken as far away as approximately 100 feet from the source. The mid-range toxic levels were taken approximately 20-40 feet from the source.


Please refer to the studies (on this blog) as to the health effects of exposure to hydrogen sulfide at these levels.


Updated on September 9, 2007. The following are the videos taken of the above contamination site.




3 Comments:

  • I hope that you intend to notify the media. They may be our only hope. I am sure that you realize that the city will try to discredit your findings. I would hope that you are absolutely confidant that the meter used was calibrated accurately. I would also hope that you had more than one meter from another manufacturer to further demonstrate the levels of hydrogen sulfide found. Unfortunately I believe that the city will attack your methods and the equipment used.
    Environ is probably in their back pocket. This is a horrendous situation with gruesome consequences.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, September 08, 2007 8:05:00 PM  

  • agreed and understood. given the cost of the device , one - for a limited time - is the best that can be done at this time. but you are correct - two at the same time is essential for a sound study. i have asked the manufacturer to provide documentation certifying accuracy and calibration. i suspect it is because subsequent readings at another site that has been pumping for over a week yielded much smaller reading (i will post these later today).

    and yes, the city will attack anything that does not fall into their plan of commercialization at all costs. because after all that is why the city is doing this project - health and sanitation are irrelevant. but ... since the city has no credibility with honest, rational open-minded people, its almost like a badge of honor.

    thank you for the post.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Sunday, September 09, 2007 9:11:00 AM  

  • The Department of Health and Human Services has established 0.02 ppm (that's 2 one-hundreths of a part per million or 20 parts per billion) as the level that provides an acceptable risk (MRL or minimum risk level) to adults in good health who are breathing it for a period of 15 days.

    Ed Foster

    By Anonymous CARES-CHAIR, at Sunday, September 09, 2007 8:26:00 PM  

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Winner

A most clever and discerning subscriber to this blog correctly deciphered a riddle that has been posted for some time. Not only did the reader solve it, but also described its significance for the grand prize.

What riddle?

The background picture to the slide show at the top of this blog is part of the key, as well as some of the articles. The subscriber correctly identified the individuals and the correlation to the salient present-day events here in the soon to be regained paradise.

The perceptive and historically savyy reader writes:
The four in the front row, from left to right, are: Goering, Hess,von Ribbentrop, and Keitel. Goering was the War Minister, Hess was one ofHitler's deputies, von Ribbentrop the Foreign Minister, and Keitel a field marshal - precisely the people needed to convince everyone that everythingis going well, when it is not. Goering himself said it best:

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But afterall, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is ademocracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders."

That last sentence is eerily relevant to our issues given the small number of city apologists that can be “brought to the bidding of the leaders” irrespective of what their “leaders” do or fail to do and the resultant consequences on health, our inalieanable rights and the environment.

For solving the significance and correlation, the intuitive reader won a stay at a suite (no, not on Marco Island). The reader has chosen to remain anonymous for reasons we naturally understand.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Super Poll #1 - Results

The voting have been tallied and the results analyzed.

96% of of the respondents chose to have their votes emailed directly to the City of Marco Isl
and. Of those emails, 13% used their names, while the remainder chose to remain anonymous.

We appreciate the very many of you that took the time to poll and trust that you will find the results of interest.


(click on any image to enlarge)

Question 1:
Has this councilor been forthright at all times in all matters before the city council?


Question 2:
How often does this councilor represents the best interests of the people?

Question 3:
How often does this councilor represents the best interests of commercial or special interests?

Question 4:
To what extent does this councilor fully understand all the issues prior to voting on them?

Question 5:
To what extent is this councilor interested in all of the facts - irrespective of their origins - of every issue that comes before the council?

Question 6:
Would you support the next city council in instituting a criminal and fiscal investigation of councilor -

Question 7:
If such an investigation yielded malfeasance, misfeasance or violation of any law, would you support an active and aggressive prosecution of councilor -


Question 8:
Overall, do you believe that Marco Island as a whole community has benefited from the actions of councilor -

Question 9:
If there was an election today, and all of these councilors were running for re-election, which of these councilors would you vote for?
=======
The poll used nearly 9,000 data points, has a 7% margin of error and has a confidence level of 96%.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Warning & Beseeching

The “MINUTES OF TELECONFERENCE WITH MARCO ISLAND, CONTRACTOR AND DEP AUGUST 30, 2007” contains the following statement:
“JI [Jon Iglehart] suggested pulling some groundwater samples in future areas to see what the hydrogen sulfide levels are before beginning dewatering.”

This suggestion must become a mandate.

Yes, groundwater samples must be tested for hydrogen sulfide (and any other toxin). But more than that – the results of the tests have to be extrapolated in order to calculate the release of hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere once that groundwater is dumped onto the open. Such a measure will determine the levels by which hydrogen sulfide will diffuse into the air – which as noted in Harming Homes Environment and Health – is highly toxic to people. Even minuscule levels for just 3 minutes is very dangerous (see Important Update to Hydrogen Sulfide).

To do otherwise will once again put the public at risk from the poisonous effects of hydrogen sulfide exposure.

Since the dumping of this toxic fluid into the waterways was deemed detrimental to marine life, why will it now be dumped out into the open? Will that make the liquid less lethal? No, unless safeguards are instituted to ensure that the residents are not subjected to any harmful toxins as established by modern scientific standard.

The city’s contractors have gone from impairing human health, to contaminating the waterways and harming the marine life, and now to considering contaminating once again the air and therefore harming everybody (and everything) that breathes.

We hope that the problem is not merely being moved around again and thereby force the environmentally conscious citizens to chase the problem in virtual circles.

The city “staff” is/are on a one-dimensional track on this project (and that dimension is not our health). The state of Florida with its Labyrinthic bureaucracies collecting billions in tax revenues purportedly to protect our health and that of the environment can no longer operate under outdated and thereby mistaken misinformation as related to hydrogen sulfide and other toxins (e.g., asbestos and sulfate).

We plead to our elected officials that are personally responsible with protecting our health to stop this circuitous folly by ensuring that whatever is now going to be dumped into the open meets the highest health and safety standards in existence anywhere in the country.

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