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

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Announcing the iDebate

We are pleased to announce the first-ever iDebate
on Marco Island.

The iDebate is guaranteed to be fair and balanced and is sponsored by Joey's Pizza.

The iDebate is a forum where all of the city council candidates will respond and discuss those questions and issues posed exclusively via the internet on the Marco Island Blog.

Between now and the iDebate to be held on January 10, 2007 anyone can submit a question to the candidates. No candidate will know the questions until posed during the debate.

For complete details and to start submitting your questions click on the Marco Island Blog's iDebate link on top or on this icon.

We look forward to your interest and participation in this grassroots democratic process!


  • I have just been watching a replay of Monday night's City Council meeting. The topic was on the selection of a new City Manager. It seems to me that there is entirely too much emphysis placed on the new City Manager himself. The city manager is just an employee of the city. He is not the boss of the City. He is just the first among the employees. It is the City Council that determines the direction of the City. The City Manager should be given orders by the Council and he should carry them out. He selects the means to do the job and not the end. We are making the City Manager into a much more important person than he should be. Almost anyone can do the job if he is reminded what his duties are. Our problem has been that the City Council has alowed themselves to be led around by the nose. They are in awe of the Manager's persona. And that is because our City Manager is over qualified. Our City Council is putty in his hands. What we must do is elect a City Council that is more knowledgable about City governance. Then the citizens will be running the show and not the Manager. What we have now is a City Council that is totally enept to do the job. January cannot come too soon.

    By Anonymous Humphrey Sarlo, at Thursday, November 01, 2007 12:26:00 PM  

  • i agree and also at it from a similar perspective. when children are manipulative, corrupt, immoral, self-centered, egotistical, deceitful, don't we always question where are the parents and what are they doing? namely, whose responsibility is it to curtail and otherwise stop the manipulative, corrupt, immoral, self-centered, egotistical deceitful behavior? in this context, isn't the moral, ethical, and legal responsibility of the actions of any city employee that of the city council?

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Friday, November 02, 2007 8:03:00 AM  

  • There are four spelling errors in my above comment. How can anyone be so grammatically challenged and dare to opine? Nevertheless I stand by my remarks.

    By Anonymous Humphrey Sarlo, at Saturday, November 03, 2007 2:43:00 PM  

  • not to worry - good ideas are more important than simple typos!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, November 03, 2007 5:59:00 PM  

  • In my opinion, to put a ruling on short term housing rentals on Marco Island would cause a Grand Revolt! Why would the city even consider such a thing? People from all over the world love our island. They come for relaxation & spend a large amount of their vacation funds right here on the island. What is the difference between an occasional bad 'one week rental' and 'a month rental'? Answer: The weekly rental LEAVES after a week - the bad monthly rental STAYS for 4 weeks !!! Have these grumpy people (some of whom are not the best of neighbors either) who want to ban short term housing rentals ever thought about how many houses would actually go on the market on Marco Island if that were to happen. Then our housing market would be even more flooded then it is right now with our property values dropping even lower. Marco Island is paradise - that is for sure. But guess what - it is not the only paradise beach area in our country. Do we really want to run off more tourists & folks who love coming here by ruling in one more ignorant restriction. In the past, Marco Island City Council has chosen to allow Marco Island the reputation of being extremely 'dog unfriendly'. Because of a few disgruntled people, are we going to choose to develop the reputation of becoming 'people/tourist unfriendly' as well? Think about it - PLEASE.......
    Thank you! Ms. Duck

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:26:00 AM  

  • They the city consider such a thing because they only act when one of their special friends wnats something so they give it to them. They have friends that want turist to go to special places and not the rest of us to to take up the benefits of guest. Can not wait to see them be kicked out of office.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, November 18, 2007 8:43:00 PM  

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Waterways Further Impacted?

Several residents have observed that the clams, oysters - namely any hard-shelled mollusk - that are attached to our seawalls are falling off. In the observed areas, at and above the median water line the mollusks appear to remain, while below all mollusks appear to have fallen off.

(click image to enlarge)
Image of seawall - wiped of shell life where dewatering has recently occurred. Also, note slime on surface as also reported by residents.

(click image to enlarge)
Image of seawall - wiped of shell life where dewatering has recently occurred. At waterline, shells, below, no shells and new grass growth.

While we claim no connection - merely an observation - all of the areas where the dewatering effluent was dumped into the waterways exhibit this anomaly. But yet in other areas where dumping the dewatering effluent into the waterways has not yet occurred, the mollusks appear to be intact.

(click image to enlarge)
Image of seawall with population of shell life where no dewatering has occurred.

It is unknown if this observation is simply the noting of a natural cycle, the result of some unusual though known phenomena (e.g.. red tide), or the results of dumping hydrogen sulfide/sulfuric acid laced effluent into the waterways.

We put forth this confirmed observation in the hope that those with marine biology or similar background can opine on this issue.


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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Relating to Hydrogen Sulfide

All of the off-island supporters of the present dewatering effort have trivialized the effects of hydrogen sulfide. Even on-island supporters of the dewatering escapades have ridiculed those claiming to have suffered ill effects from the gas. Some have even gone as far as stating publicly that those complaining of symptoms are "pulling a stunt".

Well, for those of you that have not had to live what we have had to live through, have not been at ground zero or downwind from a dewatering effort, or have been fortunate to not have had any ill effects, here is but one simple example of the effects of microscopic, barely perceptible levels of hydrogen sulfide.

(click on image to enlarge)
Source: Popular Science, November 2007

We have all experienced this discomfort - an appreciably unpleasant burn from infinitesimal levels of hydrogen sulfide molecules. Can those that ridicule the over 800 people afflicted from the dewatering now appreciate what it must have been like when the levels of hydrogen sulfide were millions of time greater?


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Friday, October 26, 2007

A Candidates Way Of Responding To A Future Constituent

By Joe Batte
Note: Mr. Batte is a candidate for the Marco Island City Council.

It was nice meeting you Wed Eve. at the Mackle Park Meeting. Thank you for taking the time to ask in your email to me, the very critical questions that every candidate better be ready to answer. Let me do so in summary, & perhaps we can follow w/telephone contact if necessary. I am also posting this writing on my web site because I feel you have hit upon many of the critical issues and concerns that residents have shared with me.

If you have looked at my web site, www.votejoebatte.com, I have tried to address some of your questions. No quality candidate can run on a single issue. However I must tell you the overriding issue I see, revolves around your question #5. This current council has no credibility w/their constituents because they have ignored their concerns. A new council must change this to where the people begin to feel that their concerns are important and will be acted upon. I call this constituent buy in. The lack of harmony in our community was born from this. All the issues, such as fiscally irresponsibility, ignoring health concerns, lawsuits, POP petitions, Recall, bloated bureaucracy, strp, are all symptoms of this council being out of touch with its constituents and DEAF to their concerns. Not to mention their being dishonest (Asbestos-Dewatering) & I can go on. This is the reason I am in the race. Major expenditures must have voter buy in via referendum. No longer will an elitist city council majority determine the destiny of their constituents. No longer will a City Manager have such latitude to spend taxpayer dollars. Harmony will come when qualified Councilors achieve the above!

As for Tourism, this is important to the life and well being of our Island, given the needed revenue it produces. However, we must always support Tourism in line with the input & guidance we get from the residents and voters, the shareholders of our city. We must insure that we maintain the quality of life our residents came here for. Reaching out and listening to the people in this regard is critical. And working with the Tourism industry to represent our residents concerns in this regard (for a change)is critical.

I will move to STOP the STRP when elected. The 70% of the Island already sewered, combined w/the remaining residential onsite treatment facilities, closely monitored and inspected, seems to be a good mix for me. But most importantly, this is what the people want, and the current science seems to say that total sewering is not a good idea, i.e. Katrina in New Orleans. If I have my way, the proposed second deep injection well will never see the light of day. Its bad science, & we don't need it.

As for short term rentals, I must say we have all been affected by this problem that hurts our quality of life. A new effort has begun by Counselor Kiester to form a citizens committee to deal w/this. I am confident good recommendations will come forth. While I am concerned about quality of life here, I must say that I am equally concerned with government not taking away rights that people have to rent their property. Whatever recommendations come from this committee, there must be emphasis on developing STRONG ordinances with real TEETH so that current laws and new laws can be enforced by our law enforcement community to protect the quality of life!

As for our Charter and the change to "upscale tourist destination", once again we must address the concerns of our residents and the reasons folks came to Marco. Accordingly, because of this as well as several other issues, once elected I will move to establish a Charter Review Committee to get us better in line with the current views of our residents and constituents. I will call upon key community leaders to participate in this endeavor.

As for our current financial situation, I see grave concerns here. Our city budget has been stripped by this administration. Voodo economics and dangerous attacks against the Cap, along with this councils attempt to exclude Marco from State Tax Reform, building a unnecessary bureaucracy, & spending millions on a utility (STRP) program that is unnecessary and unwanted by the voters, while seeking new fees and taxes to try to fund our needed infrastructure repair, demonstrates this council's inability to govern & warrants their immediate removal. This city must get a taste of fiscal conservatism & I plan to give them the first fork full! In this area, I plan to move to have a full internal AUDIT of our current expenditures and fiscal crisis and critical government program operations. Lets learn where the money has gone, what deals were made, and get justice and restitution where needed. I think the taxpayers deserve this!

Final Comment:
The folks I talk to want to be REPRESENTED by their elected officials, not ignored by them. The new council I see in March, will change the current atmosphere at city hall. Staff will carry out the policy of council, not the opposite. Council will determine policy based upon resident input, sought out by council, coupled with their good judgment and advice and recommendation from staff. Staff will be polite and responsive to the needs of our residents & council will ensure that our employees are held accountable for their actions no matter what position they hold. The new council I see will reach out to citizen groups to participate in governance. Never again will major public health issues be ignored for the sake of a utility program! And to preserve our ability to make certain our elected representatives will always be just that, our representatives, I will move to change the charter and have councilors serve for 2 year terms. As a Councilor I will see myself in a position of Public Trust, and I want this Trust to be renewed every two years via election by the people! Lets never again get stuck with non representative Elitists for 4 years! I will LEAD & not be LEAD & with a thorough and continuing knowledge of the views of the PEOPLE, I will never go wrong.


Joe Batte
Candidate, Marco Island City Council


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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Moving On

The single factor most responsible for the divisiveness, acrimony, fiscal, health and environmental problems on Marco Island is moving on to the city of Naples.

What recalls, petitions, endless letters and emails, lawsuits, appeals, science, abysmal newspaper coverage, a modicum of TV reporting, myriad 119 requests, and complaints with the FBI, U.S. Justice Department, EPA, FDEP, BCSO and more could not accomplish just happened on its own. Or did it?

May the citizens of Naples have the good fortune of a city council that has the utmost respect for the people they serve so as to prevent a replay of what transpired on Marco Island on a broader scale.

And as to the majority of the city council of Marco Island: so who now is going to tell you what to do?

Try all of the people your purportedly represent for a change.

We could only be so lucky.

Maybe not now, but on January 29th for sure.


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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Super Poll #4 Results

The Marco Island Blog is proud to display the results of
Super Poll #4:

Quality of Life, Health, Safety & Support

- click on any image to enlarge -

- click on any image to enlarge -


The response was immense. The number of votes recorded were far greater than Super Poll #1 and far greater than we anticipated.

We are 95% confident that the above noted results represent the 13,825 registered voters of Marco Island with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.15%.

We found some results quite startling. To ensure the results, we further applied several sophisticated analytics algorithms to discount any irregular voting. And as some respondents found out, their attempt to vote several times were successfully prevented.

Many voters opted to have their poll sent to the council. On this regard we did hear from one councilperson during the voting. The councilperson stated that the emails sent to the council would not be read because some were anonymous. After thoughtful consideration it was decided not to remind the councilperson that the reason some Marco Islanders choose to remain anonymous is due to the present governance's track record of dealing with people that don't agree with them. But we did assure the councilperson that the voting was true and accurate.

When our analytics and data mining derive
near unanimity on an issue, there is an unquestionable mandate on that issue. If the government in power is on the opposite of that mandate, then they have lost the legitimacy of their office. Clearly, the quality of life question, being harmed by the dewatering effort, and not trusting the information coming from the present governance are so lopsided that the results speaks volumes.

When we come across a statistical dead heat, then their is near certainty that any government effort in that endeavour is an exercise in futility. Such is the results of "waterway ordinance" question (No. 6). Meaning - the government should get out of whatever it is they are doing since the community is evenly split and therefore the status quo - on this issue - is what's best. That is what should happen in a federalist democracy - but we all know that special interests will keep pushing the envelope - as is the case here. It is hoped that this analysis is used as the basis to drop the waterway brouhaha before it wastes even more money for no appreciable community benefit.

Lastly, this blog's favorite - and utterly surprising - is the results of question number 9. When 85% to 95% of the voters state that the present governance does not support the life and health of its constituents ... its as if the poll was taken in Cuba or N. Korea. Rest assured it wasn't - those residents are not allowed to use computers or vote. Thankfully we can - but they and us appear to have the same opinion of our respective governments. Incredible.


  • You have misrepresented the results of this data by not including the actual number of respondents. To imply that this is a scientifically valid study is just wrong. To be able to claim that this represents the 13,000+ Islanders requires a radomly selected group which you did not do. For example, if you had an independent consultant randomly select households who are year round residents to respond then you can claim this sample represents the island. Your results are obviously skewed and unfortunately therefore worthless.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 22, 2007 10:25:00 AM  

  • first of all, the explanation states "based on 13,825 registered voters" - it does NOT say that it represent 13,825 registered voters. in order to come up with the margin of error and the confidence level a population number needs to be used. the best representative number of a population is an official number - like the number of registered voters.

    to base the margin of error and the confidence level on some arbitrary number like the number of people that are on marco on full time or part time or sometime is folly.

    using the base - the 13,825 and the margin of error and the confidence level - 10th grade statistics can be used to compute the number of votes - so there is nothing hidden here.

    in fact, the actual number of votes was published in the newspaper that used these graphs on october 18, 2007. the number of votes is simply omitted here for no reason other than custom.

    generally, when one hears or reads the news, one hears or reads the sound bite "z% of the people polled said they would vote for so and so" but one rarely hears the number of respondents.

    if it makes people happier, the number is 353 - which if the reader is as astute as he/she/it thinks he/she/it is - then the reader will know that this is a huge number to represent a community of either 13,000 or 50,000 (the latter being some purported number of the people on the island during season). of course the reader knows that national polls that represent the electorate of nearly 200,000,000 poll approximately 1,100 people.

    and do these million-dollar polls ensure that the person they are polling is the registered voter? of course not.

    and lastly, to state that the results of this poll are worthless is outright wrong.

    over 300 people took the time to answer some questions. that's 300 people that took the time to answer questions about marco island.

    can someone have taken the poll that does not live on marco, never visited marco and could care less about marco and just did it as a joke because they had nothing better to do with their time?

    of course.

    is it likely? of course not - its not even probable.

    to state that the people contacted were not random is baseless and is therefore an incorrect statement. the people that were contacted to take the poll are people that are on email lists that have direct involvement with marco. the lists are all inclusive - even one list that was put together by the city of marco island of its supporters. the notice to take the poll was also sent to a list of approximately 8,000 - clearly all of these are not anti-present governance people. hence, it request to take the poll could not have been more random.

    did everyone contacted take the poll? no. but interestingly nearly many people did go to the page and opted not to vote. why did they not vote? perhaps to complain about the results - which is identical to those that dont vote in national or local elections and then complain about the election and the results.

    in a representative democracy where the elected officials care about their people this information is priceless. people concerned about marco island took the time to vote. for good or bad they noted their opinions.

    and if the present governance took their oath seriously the voices of these people would count for something.

    maybe those seeking the city council will not claim that the voice of concerned people is worthless.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Monday, October 22, 2007 12:07:00 PM  

  • Please advise with which college you are (were) a tenured faculty.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 22, 2007 12:35:00 PM  

  • the purpose of this blog is to provide a venue by which people can state their comments, opinions, insights, research, etc.. these comments, opinions, insights, research, etc.. will stand or fall on their own - not based on the individual who made them. hence personal attacks are not tolerated.

    if you want to besmirch, attack, intimidate the messenger - especially against those that unlike you that post their real names - you should try the naples daily news blog or the marco eagle blog.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Monday, October 22, 2007 1:35:00 PM  

  • You are using the Ph.D. designation with your name in order to add credibility to your data. You also state in your recent book that you are currently a fully tenured faculty member. There is no intention to 'besmirch' you.

    Please advise with which university are you a faculty member.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 22, 2007 1:51:00 PM  

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Effluent Discharge in Front of School - Update

It has been confirmed that there was a sewage/effluent discharge in front of Tommie Barfield Elementary on October 5, 2007.

Via a public documents request, we obtained from the city of Marco Island the following "malfunction" report.


It must be pointed out that the city government administration responded quickly and professionally to the request.

The following images in the slide show depict some of the residue from the cleanup.


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

City Manager, MD !!!

He can now perform medical diagnosis!!!

From: Bill Moss [ mailto:bmoss@cityofmarcoisland.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2007 10:02 AM
To: mminozzi@comcast.net; friartuck3725@cs.com; terridisciullo@comcast.net ; WdTrotter@earthlink.net; Rob@popoffs.com; councilmanforcht@comcast.net; CharlesKiester@comcast.net
Subject: Fwd(2): Health problems on Dogwood Dr.

Dear Councilors:

The dewatering that is occurring at the below referenced location is being directly discharged into a sanitary sewer force main. It is being inspected several times each day. After two Councilors informed us of the below referenced complaint, Mr. Joel went to the site and smelled no odors. He also talk to three adjacent residents, including Mr. Willmeng. Two of the neighbors said that did not smell any odors, including one who was sunbathing that day. One did say she occasionally smells odors from the adjacent mangroves.

While I do not know what is causing the apparent illness, I am confident it has nothing to do with dewatering of the lift station at that location.

Bill Moss
City Manager

What science! What skill!

So let's see if we get this straight: he does not know what is causing the illness in one sentence and in the very next sentence is "confident" that it has nothing to do with the dewatering.

And of course just because the ever truthful Mr. Joel did not smell an odor during one visit proves that odors are never present. Oh, and of course the fact that at high levels hydrogen sulfide can not be smelled continues to escape these geniuses.

The sad part is that the seven have entrusted the health of the residents and the environment to this banality.


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A Question

Residents and businesses that use the city’s sewage treatment system have to pay a fee. Fair enough.

So here is the question:

Are the contractors that have implemented the latest STRP aberration of pumping the dewatering effluent directly into the sewage treat system paying a fee?

Their contract is quite explicit – it is the contractors’ responsibility. Meaning, they have to pay for it out of their fees.

The misguided notion that “the plant can handle it” is also irrelevant. A car can be driven 15,000 miles a year. That same car can handle being driven 30,000 miles a year. Isn’t the wear, tear and maintenance cost greater by driving twice as many miles during the same period?

Not that the present governance will enforce the contracts on the STRP mind you.

But this is an alert to the next city council in that they may want to start documenting this situation so as to hold those councilors, “staff” and contractors responsible.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What This Blog is For

Recent ruminations with "community" members have revealed a curious misconception: this blog is against the City.

Clearly those that propose, propagate or otherwise believe such a notion have not read this blog and rely solely on innuendo for information.

Never once - in writing or via any other means – has this blog been against the City. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

We strongly support the cityhood of Marco Island, having its own police, fire and emergency services, its own public works, its community and park initiatives, having its own government and much much more.

Perhaps this erroneous belief is derived from the fact that this blog associates with everyone - everyone that wants to be associated with. And if some of those are truly against the City of Marco Island, then we merely respect that opinion - just like we respect and communicate with those that think that the present governance is a godsend.

For those that haven't noticed, this blog is an OPEN forum. Not one comment is moderated, all postings are welcomed, all submissions have been posted.

That only "one side" has made submissions is a serious indictment on those of the “other side”. Progress and consensus are derived solely from communicating with those that don't agree with you. It comes by putting out your ideas and opinions for everyone to see and thereby making them available to be contradicted, criticized and condemned. Let the ideas and opinions pass or fail on their own merit as adjudicated by the rigors of a populace debate. That practice is the foundation of a successful democracy. And that is the purpose of this blog.

That supporters of the present governance opt to ignore this venue is their right - but they do so not from being denied access. It is a fascinating study in human callowness that these same fine folks post serial ad hominem attacks on the local papers' blogs using aliases but yet won't write on this blog their position with their real names. But yet they are the same ones spreading the noise about this blog being anti this or anti that and not fair or balanced and a plethora of other baseless aspersions. And the fact that others accept these condemnations without having the intellectual honesty to verify something for themselves is yet another fascinating study, this one on human sciolism.

Is there any media outlet that is neutral, completely fair and balanced? Never has been, never will be. Is there a bent by this blog?

Yes, this blog is biased. It is biased against the present governance when it ignores the citizens with whom it doesn't like or agree. It is against the present governance when it lies to its citizens. It is against the present governance when it falsely accuses it citizens. It is against the present governance when it permits and promotes the harming of the people and the environment. It is against the present governance when it is irresponsible with our money. It is against the present governance when it allows commercial interests to get a pass at the backs of its citizens. It is against the present governance when it violates the rights of its citizens. It is against the present governance when it denigrates its residents and uses its powers for vindictive reasons. It is against the present governance when any citizen is besmirched or falsely accused of crimes.

These aren't the actions of error prone government or that of a bungling bureaucracy. If it was, they could be forgiven. But these are the actions of a systematic abuse of our democratic, federalist and Jeffersonian principles by callous greedy individuals that are beholden to the dollar, the fame and to the hatred that drives them so dearly. Their actions are the very fuel by which we struggle to document their transgressions.

This blog is for the cityhood of Marco Island, for democratic, federalist and Jeffersonian principles, is against the abuse of government, and we stand for the free publications of all views. If that makes us biased, then that is an indictment with which we agree and of which we are proud.

If you don’t agree with these principles or with anything else for that matter, write your views down, send them in, and they’ll be published – guaranteed. And in the process you’ll prove our point.


  • I for one can not thank you enough for taking the time and effort to educate the citizens of this island. I have learned a tremendous amount (albeit frightening) about the hazards of hydrogen sulfide. I look forward to each and every one of your posting because I know that I will get the facts, not a "spin". The city has been great at candy coating all the negative issues that face our island. Insinuating that you are anti-city, biased or, negative is beyond ridiculous. YOU CARE, which is much more than I can say for the city leaders.
    The city leaders have shown utter contempt for its citizens. The most recent being its suggestion the the residents who claim to have health problems are "making it up" because they don't want to pay for the sewers. The total idiocy of that remark was profound seeing as Environ had just given its test result. All I can say is please keep up the good work!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, October 10, 2007 8:52:00 PM  

  • thank you very much!!

    By Anonymous dr. mario sanchez, at Wednesday, October 10, 2007 10:27:00 PM  

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Another STRP Feature

Collapsing manhole area in less than one year. Once again proving "Ill Conceived, Ill Designed, Ill Implemented"

(click images to enlarge)


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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Solution to City’s Deferred Payment "Contract"

Those who elected the "Deferred Payment" option to the STRP have been entreated to yet another pretense by the present governance in the form of a contract that demands, restricts and contracts much more than what originally conveyed.

Here is a simple solution – keeping in mind that this is not legal advice, nor is the author an attorney (thankfully): Attach the unsigned contract to the following letter:

To The Present Governance of Marco Island,

I choose the deferred payment plan as presented to me when I made the selection.

Contumeliously Yours,

Your Name
Your address

The best solutions are the simplest ones. Especially when dealing with those seeking for you to relinquish your rights through a contract for a project that you never wanted, voted for, or authorized.


  • It is not proper to expand the language of or change the wording of an agreement that has been already agreed upon. It's like changing the rules in the middle of the game. Since when did that become an acceptable way of doing business?

    By Anonymous karenglaub, at Wednesday, October 10, 2007 5:59:00 PM  

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sewage Release in Front of Elementary School

On Friday October 6, 2007 some children leaving Tommie Barfield Elementary were entreated to a sewage release in front of the school. They noted the effluent and the odor. City workers responded - they spread a white powder on the areas soaked with the effluent and pumped the nearby lift station(s). There is no mention and/or explanation from the present governance. The following is a possible explanation of what could have caused the sewage release in front of the elementary school. The author/resident has asked to remain anonymous and merely provided the following as a public service until if and when the present governance factually describes the events/causes that led to the sewage release in front of the elementary school.


In an effort to gain capacity at the plant for the addition of dewatering effluent to the force main system, it is entirely possible that certain lift stations would be temporarily shut down. As the flow from the gravity lines usually going to that lift station does not get moved on down the line to the plant it starts to back up. It fills all the pipes and then fills the manholes in that area. This process is called surcharging and is often done to lessen flow at the plant during periods when equipment is down for repairs or flow is too high to handle. It is not an approved process, but it is done everywhere.

Usually if the decision to surcharge certain parts of the system is by design then the lift stations are operated occasionally to keep the sewage contained within the piping and manhole structures, however, if this is done, all you do is gain the time that it took the system to fill up and then you have to operate just as you would if you hadn’t surcharged the system in the first place because the sewerage is still entering the system at the same rate day after day.

Obviously if this surcharging get’s away from the operators, or they didn’t know it was happening as in the case of a non telemetered or alarmed lift station, the event that you observed yesterday might be the result. The manhole at the lowest part in the system served by the inoperable lift station will be the first to lift, spewing sewerage around its location and thereby relieving the hydraulic pressure. If more than one manhole is at the same level, then you would likely see them all lift.

One additional point is the use of multiple pumper trucks. This would be indicative of a surcharge event because if it simply was an explosion in the wet well, there would likely only be one pumping truck needed to clear the wet well. So we may not have had an explosion after all, but rather surcharging of that part of the system. This may be indicative of them getting ready to send dewatering effluent to the plant and they may be seeing just where they can shut things down to gain hydraulic capacity for this dewatering operation.

One additional thought pertains to sending the dewatering effluent to the plant and lays out like this. [The city has] dug a great hole on San Marco across from Walgreens. This is no doubt to tap into the force main that runs from that location either directly to the plant or to cascading lift stations further down the line. That is a great distance from there to the plant and it could conceivably take a day or two for the dewatering effluent to arrive at the influent structure. If after three or four hours of this chemically different influent starts mixing into the primary basins it starts to adversely affect the biomass at the plant, they cannot simply shut it off. Even if they react immediately to stop putting the effluent into the system, there is still as days worth or more in the pipe and that will just keep coming.

This is the risk they run by doing this, and as pointed out in the open letter [by Butch Neylon] to Rony Joel.


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Friday, October 05, 2007

The Complete Guide to the City Council

(the majority that is ...)

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Moss [ mailto:bmoss@cityofmarcoisland.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2007 10:24 AM
To: CharlesKiester@comcast.net; terridisciullo@comcast.net
Cc: agabriel@wsh-law.com
Subject: Fwd: Concerns Regarding Potential Sunshine Law Violation

Mr. Moss asked to have this forwarded to you.

Bill Moss
City Manager

----- Original Message -----

Chairman Minozzi:

I wanted to let you know that I am very concerned about Councilor DiSciullo's comments on a local newscast earlier this evening about her visit to a local dewatering site location. My concern stems from her reference to Councilor Kiester's becoming adversely affected by his presence at the site.

I just want to be sure that her communication relative to this event was not a violation of the Sunshine Law.

Please do not respond to my message, and take whatever action which you deem appropriate to
address this matter.

As you know, I have referred to my concern about inappropriate communications in a previous council meeting, and I feel that this matter needs to be addressed as expeditiously as possible.

Thank you for your consideration.

Bill Trotter
Vice Chairman


  • What a smoke screen by Trotter anything to take the focus off the real issue. What he needs is a few hours in front of some of your homes along with Ms. Douglas and see what this smell is like. One can only wonder whats in it for him, how big a piece of the pie did he get.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Monday, October 08, 2007 8:21:00 PM  

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Violating (yet another) Florida Law?

2007 Florida Statutes
Title XLVI

823.01 Nuisances; penalty.--All nuisances that tend to annoy the community, injure the health of the citizens in general, or corrupt the public morals are misdemeanors of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083, except that a violation of s. 823.10 is a felony of the third degree.

OK, even for Marco Island, this law is not that hard to parse, is it? Uhm ... let's see -
  • hundreds of people being annoyed by the noxious odor from the hydrogen sulfide,
  • hundreds of people claiming to have had their health injured in general by the hydrogen sulfide.
Anyone want to bet that the City of Marco Island's police department is not up to the challenge? How about the Florida Department of Law Enforcement?

Don't hold your breath. Or maybe you should.


  • how about one from the U.N.?

    Security Council resolution
    1373 (2001).

    Section 95, Paragraph 1, Sub-Paragraph (e)

    "... exposes people to the risk of death or serious bodily harm or exposes another persons property to the risk of extensive damage by causing a fire or flood or the harmful effects of explosives, gas, electric power or other similarly dangerous substances or forces, or commits other similarly dangerous acts, or increases or aggravates such public
    endangerment or impedes the steps taken to avert or alleviate it,
    shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of five to fifteen years in addition, according to the
    court discretion, also by the forfeiture of property.

    (2) The same sanctions shall be imposed on a person who
    a) threatens to commit the acts described in paragraph 1 above, or
    b) provides financial support, supplies material resources or provides other support for such acts.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, October 04, 2007 7:41:00 PM  

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Measured Levels of Hydrogen Sulfide #5

As measured on San Marco Rd. The dumping of the known lethal toxin continues ...

(click image to enlarge)

Despite promises, studies by purported "scientists", ill residents, the present governance continues to endanger the public and the environment. Their fanatical bent install sewers as a precursor to commercialize the island is disgusting and reprehensible.


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A Plea to the Vacuous

Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2007 08:33:45 -0400

To: citycouncil@cityofmarcoisland.com, bmoss@cityofmarcoisland.com, jon.Iglehart@dep.state.fl.us, skorf@sfwmd.gov, Joan_Colfer@doh.state.fl.us, ken_rech@doh.state.fl.us,
From: marcorez@comcast.net
Subject: Hydrogen Sulfide Gas.
Cc: lwilliams@marconews.com, editor@misuntimes.com

This is an appeal to those of you who hold the majority on our current city council regarding the fast completion of the current sewer districts.

This is also an appeal to the conscience of those four city councilors who are prepared to forge
ahead with the dewatering necessary to complete the STRP, with little or no regard for the health and safety of our citizens.

While I don't expect any response from you, I fully intend to expose you for this callous disregard to the danger of releasing hydrogen sulfide gas into our neighborhoods and other public places.

At approximately 5:15pm on Tuesday, October 2nd I was at the intersection of North Barfield and San Marco Road, where I detected the odor of hydrogen sulfide gas. I am familiar with this odor as I have had recent contact with this gas and can immediately recognize it.

There has been recent construction activity in this area with the commencement of the dewatering of the Granada lift station. A large pipe was brought from the lift station construction site and terminated into the catch basin/outfall/drain in front of the Burger King restaurant. Earlier today the pumping started and I decide to check on the city approved process of discharging the hydrogen sulfide laden groundwater into the storm drain system.

Like many Marco Islanders, I had been assured by the city staff that this process was safe and that all precautions has been taken to prevent the discharge of this dangerous gas. I noticed that some of the drains in the area had been covered to eliminate the escape of this gas. However, I could still smell it.

There was a brisk wind at the time and the odor came and went with the wind gusts. It was proving difficult to locate the source under those conditions. I walked along the sidewalk in front of Burger King and turned south on Barfield, still on the sidewalk, in the direction of the Estates. I was just passing the drive-up area of Burger King when I walked into a gas cloud of Hydrogen Sulfide. I lost my breath and my eyes immediately started to sting, I knew exactly what was happening.
Fortunately I had the presence of mind to note the wind direction. There were little orange marker flags in the swale fluttering in the breeze, so I darted into the wind holding my breath and squinting my eyes. Luckily there was no traffic in the area and I safely got some distance away from the cloud. I could hardly see as my eyes were now watering heavily. This had been by far the worst contact I had experienced with this gas.

After a few minutes my eyes stopped watering and I made some phone calls on my cell phone to various city councilors to alert them of this danger.
After a short time Terri Disciullo arrived and confirmed that she could also smell the gas, and in fact had first detected it while travelling along San Marco Road in her car. Chuck Keister was also at the scene and confirmed that there was hydrogen sulfide gas in the air. He later complained to me that he had gotten a strong headache. We all left the scene shortly afterwards.

Do you remember the photo of Nicholas in his stroller that I showed you at the council meeting?

This occurred within 300 feet of where I took that photo. If this had happened to Nicholas and his mother, would she have been so fortunate to understand the danger they were in and try to escape. If the stroller had run off the sidewalk and overturned in the grass swale, would Nicholas's mother have had the presence of mind to grab him and run? Or would she and Nicholas have succumbed to the lethal fumes as those two unfortunate workers in the manhole?

The four of you who continue to thrust this project forward with no regard for the likes of Nicholas make me wonder if you have any conscience at all.


Just in case you need a reminder................here's Nicholas and his mother, Anna Gionet . Thank you for your attention, if I got it???

Godfrey Davies.


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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dial *DEP to Report Environmental Crime

Note: Concerned citizens of Marco Island may think the following is a joke given the ... joke that is the Florida DEP. So, what the heck, give it a try, it's a free call! Call them to report "major environmental crimes" - such as the pumping and dumping into the open and waterways of a known lethal toxin like hydrogen sulfide. And if that doesn't work (it won't), then maybe when the citizens revolt you can call them to report the "civil unrest" - see below in red!

TALLAHASSEE – Floridians now have a new tool for protecting the state’s natural resources. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in partnership with Cingular Wireless, today unveiled *DEP. Visitors and residents can now simply dial *DEP from Cingular cell phones to report major environmental crimes, which include illegal dumping of hazardous materials, construction debris, oil drums and biological waste.

“*DEP will assist officers in immediately responding to environmental emergencies,”
[where "responding" means conferring with and issuing permits to those that are committing the environmental emergencies - like emitting toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide into the air, streets, swails, lawns, waterways, etc...] said DEP Division of Law Enforcement Director Thomas S. Tramel. “Law enforcement will now have additional eyes on the roadways to help spot and easily report major crimes against the environment.”

The program will allow for statewide consistency in the way Floridians, particularly motorists with cell phone only access, report environmental crimes. Calls will be answered at the State Warning Point and information forwarded to DEP law enforcement officers for investigation.

"*DEP is another example of how wireless technology is improving the quality of life in our communities," said Dan Norman, Vice President and General Manager for Cingular Wireless: North Florida. “It seemed especially fitting to announce this program during Earth Month.”

*DEP is an emergency line for reporting environmental crimes only. Callers without wireless access can report environmental crimes to the State Warning Point by calling (800) 320-0519. General environmental inquiries should be directed to DEP district offices during business hours.

DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement is responsible for statewide environmental resource law enforcement, providing law enforcement services to Florida’s state parks and greenways and trails. Agents investigate environmental resource crimes and illegal dredge and fill activities and respond to natural disasters, civil unrest, hazardous material incidents and oil spills that can threaten the environment
[they respond when the incident CAN THREATEN the environment - they don't respond when the incident DOES THREATEN the environment].

From 1999-2003, DEP’s Division of Law Enforcement investigated 3,365 criminal environmental cases -- an increase of nearly 414 percent over the previous five years. In 2000, DEP launched the Environmental Crimes Strike Force to combat major crimes against the environment and public health [Except on Marco Island]. Its first operation, Operation Green Lightning, resulted in 156 arrests – the largest environmental law enforcement sweep in U.S. history.

Source: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/news/2005/04/0426_03.htm


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