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

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Errata

In closing the year, a few odds and ends.

Propaganda and the Party Line
Some time ago the present governance heralded a just released “scientific” study justifying their propagation of the ill fated sewer program. Snippets of some quote by some pol that did not read the full report appeared on the city’s web site and since then the usual councilpersons and their obligatory apologists have misquoted the misquote of something that they themselves did not take the time to read.

So of course this author made the mistake of actually reading the original report. And worse, furthered the mistake by actually talking to the lead scientist that conducted the study and was the lead author of the final paper. Hence then, for the record …

The original scientific report is entitled “
Human Fecal Indicator Bacteria and Pathogenic Viruses in Offshore and Human Recreational Risk in Nearshore Water of the Florida Keys”. The lead researcher/author is Dr. Erin Lipp from the University of Georgia.

True to form the report is quite interesting. Sans the excruciating technical details in the 53 page report (God forbid anyone else has to get bogged down in the details), the study identified a bacteria that can only come from us defecating humans and can live (in a matter of speaking) in the ocean long enough to be measured. This bacterium was identified in the ocean and gulf waters off the Florida Keys. Great. Now here is the line from the report that the blind apologists loved:

A critical local and regional source of stress is the widespread use of in-ground wastewater disposal (~30,000 septic tanks and cess [sic] pits).

My, my, my. Those pesty septic tanks and there be that darn fecal in the water thing again. The local pseudo-intelligentsia went to town.

Uhm … but for someone that has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and has prestigious research to his credit, the quoted sentence is a red flag.

After coming across this gem, this author emailed Dr. Lipp (after having a very pleasant and collegial conversation a couple of weeks earlier – she had provided the full report) and posed the following question. “Only from septic tanks?” To date, there has not been a reply to the email or to several phone calls. Here is why.

As per the United States Geological Survey, Monroe County and two environmental organizations, in the Florida Keys, there are 25,000 septic tanks AND 7,000 cesspools AND … ready for this … 700 shallow injections wells plus 3 Class I injection wells. The 7,000 cesspools – an open area where sewage is deposited – are illegal. The Key West treatment plant lacks nutrient removing tertiary treatment systems and therefore releases millions of gallons into near-shore wells.

So … all of that fecal thing they measured came from exactly where?

Do we all remember how the greatest president to ever grace us with his infidelity won the first election? “It’s the economy stupid!” Well, “it’s the cesspools and shallow injection wells stupid!”. Just in case the island geniuses missed it, “it’s not the septic tanks stupid!”.

The shallow injection wells are so offensive that the USGS commissioned a series of studies where they actually drilled test shafts near the shallow injections wells and found --- there be that darn fecal thing again.

Just in that extremely remote chance those that claim to herald the end of human civilization due to septic tanks missed it, here is but one of the USGS depictions from one of their many studies:


(click image to enlarge)

But wait, there is more. Let’s go back to the original study quoted by the como-se-llams, because they overlooked the following gem (no surprise since they didn’t read any part of the study):

Fecal indicator bacteria can be derived from a variety of sources in addition to humans and this trend may reflect the multiple land based sources of pollution to this area.

No, seriously? Of course, that quote would never appear on the city’s web page.

To date, this report has not undergone the rigors of a scientific study – namely, it has not undergone a peer review. Additionally, this report to date has not been published in any scientific journal.

So … using the existentialist logic employed by one of the candidates for city council when responding to the question “why did you say that the people who were complaining of hydrogen sulfide poisoning were doing a stunt?”, this “study” is a stunt (recall that said candidate went into a speech about peer-reviewed published studies and such would only make observations credible, ipso facto, the 900+ plus people complaining of hydrogen sulfide symptoms were doing a stunt – just like the thousands of Vietnamese and US veterans decrying the use of Agent Orange were doing a stunt and hence not to be believed because Dow Chemical and Monsanto (two of the makers of Agent Orange) had no scientific study supporting the Vietnamese’s or US soldiers’ claims that the defoliant caused grotesque birth defects).

Let’s end this section with a prophetic sentence from the same pseudo-scientific report the special interest denizens trumpeted as validating their ruse:

At Higg’s Beach in Key West, which is frequently closed due to high indicator counts, the estimated risk was 7.9/1,000 and was 2.5/1,000 at Bahia Honda State Park.

Those numbers are microbial risk assessments based on viral detection. The EPA limit is 0.1/1,000.

Keep drilling those deep injection wells boys and keep laying down those sewer pipes in Marco Island and you can be quoted on the next EPA study too!


Propaganda and the Party Line Part II
Analogous to the above sickening guffaw is this urban legend that the governor will mandate sewers on Marco. This myth has become so ridiculous by evolving via the old telephone game that it has morphed into “… and I personally spoke with the governor himself and he told me that if we don’t put sewers in he will order them using the National Guard.” Everyone on Marco supporting sewers either spoke with the governor or knows someone that spoke with the governor.

These claims reminds one of the Ferris Bueller movie where everyone claimed to have known Ferris and spoke with him despite the fact that no one had – but it was cool to say so. Similar to this nonsense are Elvis sightings and tons of asbestos planting by septuagenarians. Oh, and the pictures of same.

At first blush, it would seem that those souls that actually paid attention in sixth grade civics class would have scoffed at the notion that the governor could order such a thing, given that we are – well, sort of – a democracy. But then reality must take hold for after all this is Marco Island and the U.S. Constitution and natural law and regulations don’t and won’t apply until the councilor whose partner is the largest Republican party contributor fades from this earth. Hence this author’s mistake number two by looking into the matter.

So as to save the space and the reading time for those that decry the length of the articles appearing herein, we have documented evidence from the governor’s office that no such conversations took place, that there will be no mandate from the governor and that the Florida National Guard is not coming to enforce anything (except perhaps to execute by firing squad the city councilor that LEGALLY deleted his emails only to be charged by the politicized regional policia). Aside from the fact that the Guard is too busy in Iraq, the governor’s office was kind in what he said and what he did not say. He did not say what the present governance has been promoting. We have the documents and the records of the communications. Case closed.


Speaking of Emails
Thereby ensuring the complete and utter corruption of whatever feigns as the Collier County legal system, the only councilor that has been steadfast against the STRP and other special interest sleaze was “charged” with violating the (lack of) Sunshine Laws for … deleting emails.

When this charade first surfaced, the author started reading myriad cases on this particular issue only to come across an avalanche of decisions unequivocally proving the sham of the charges.

Not that the “law enforcement” pressing this issue care about legions of cases disproving their contention mind you. Here is but one out of over a dozen nearly identical decisions:

Moreover, the Supreme Court has rejected a similar argument that the mere placement of a document in a public official’s file makes the document a public record. In Shevin v. Byron, Harless, Schaffer, Reid & Associates, 379 So. 2d 633 (Fla. 1980), the Supreme Court rejected the decision of the district court of appeal that "in effect said that section 119.011(1) applies to almost everything generated or received by a public agency.” Id. at 640. Instead, the Supreme Court held that only materials prepared “with the intent of perpetuating and formalizing knowledge” fit the definition of a public record. Id. [Times Publishing Company vs. City of Clearwater, Case No. 2D01-3055]


If to support the present governance on Marco Island, the Collier County juris prudence would pursue any venue, even those analogous to the wonderful work of other unbiased legal pursuits such as that of Chief Justice Roger Taney.


Hate Slate
Just when you thought you heard the last of formerly-defunct, recently-resurected, local neo-nazi sponsor of klan-like rallies hate group, here they are again. So this time they create this “anonymous” (they are so brave and macho, aren’t they?) web site replete with lies and slurs, and then spam a bunch of people (the spam in this case is NOT a federal crime contrary to what the island’s self proclaimed computer savants have claimed – besides, Hate Slate members would be exempt anyway), and life goes on here on Marco and for the English and poli-science majors that imagine themselves to be “journalists”.

So for entertainment purposes, we back-tracked the web site (domain) to the IP address 208.109.80.14. This IP address is for a server hosting several other nonsensical web sites, all provided by Godaddy.com. Of interest, the server that hosts the Hate Slate’s anonymous web site also hosts a puerile blog about podcasts and a porn site. How appropriate.

The identity of the person that registered the hate web site is “protected” – a service readily accomplished by paying a fee. Too bad (for them) that the veil of cover is readily and easily breached.


Speaking of the Hate Slate
The best quote from the best book of the year is so apt for this group:

As a child in the deep south, I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan; as an adult, I was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along.
“My Grandfather’s Son” by Clarence Thomas

Yep, one person started to wonder the same thing when caught unprepared (and un-armed) at their first rally when the shouts of “Shoot Them!” resonated off the church walls and into the hearts of the then city manager and one city councilperson in attendance.


Distilled Water
Just about the time there was an outcry about pipe pitting, this author wanted to look into the matter scientifically. So, a high-end water testing company was hired – as in paid for – to test the water at a modest Marco Island abode.

The high-end water testing company came with all sorts of sophisticated equipment and fancy looking devices and slug around a bunch of big science words. And of course took enough water – at the point of entry into the house – to fill a bathtub. The report was eagerly awaited.

And then it came in the mail. Everything that was tested for – and it was a lot – given how much was paid it didn’t seem like enough – was NOT FOUND.

Read that again. Everything that the high-end water testing company tested for in the water, they could not find. Meaning, that there was no traces of anything in the city water.

This was found to be quite odd, so clearly there was a mistake. A call was placed, and lo and behold, the high-end water testing company confirmed that there is nothing – nothing at all – in the water. So the conversation went like this:

ME: You found nothing?
HEWTC: Nothing.
ME: There were no traces at all of those elements and bacteria you tested for?
HEWTC: That’s right, no traces whatsoever.
ME: Nothing?
HEWTC: Nothing.
ME: So, we get distilled water from the City of Marco Island?
HEWTC: It seems that way.

The high-end water testing company (HEWTC) is the same company used virtually daily by the City of Marco Island.


You Can’t Make this Up
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is on the phone with the present governance’s astute public works director who is assuring the federal agency that there is no dewatering occurring on Marco Island. The agency puts the comic character on hold, calls the revolutionaries and asks them to take some pictures. The good fellas proceed to do so of the dewatering that, according the gumba on hold, was not occurring. The pictures are taken … with embedded GPS coordinates and GPS time stamps, and are immediately sent to the EPA.

We just can’t wait to read the present governance’s response to the EPA’s demand letter. As was written in these pages, the EPA knows a lot more than the present governance wants the rest of us (especially federal agencies) to know.


Speaking of Pictures
The Nuremberg File has been updated continuously over the past year, now with 222 pictures. We particularly like the ones with the GPS coordinates and the ones taken after the EPA was assured that no dewatering was happening on the island.


And Lastly …
Speaking of dewatering, on December 28, 2007 at 8am the lift station, on Winterberry Drive and approximately across from the tax office, was being pumped out. A portable pump was sucking some liquid out of the lift station and into a grate that lead into a waterway. And that lift station has purportedly yet to be used.

Here is an idea … The new city emblem can be a small group of nice Hispanic guys sporting Gucci sunglasses and cell phones wearing neatly pressed shirts with the letters QE (more predictive would be “QED”) embroidered above the pocket with a background of gleaming new trucks similarly emblazoned and sitting around a portable pump that is sucking out effluent from a lift station.

What an epitaph to Marco Island – QE crews pumping out lift stations for eternity.

Enjoy!

3 Comments:

  • Dr. Mario, great work of satire. Too bad the but of the satire is us poor citizens who, through our ignorance, have let this corrupt city government lead us down the primrose path. We do not deserve the opportunity to make things right in the coming election. May we be so lucky.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, December 29, 2007 7:55:00 AM  

  • could it simply be that they were pumping the sewage out of the field lines from the septic tanks of peoples houses.most peoples septic tanks are in thier front yard close to where they was digging and i think its a state law that says you cant put a septic tank within a 100 feet of a well,thats why it happened, mabie in the future we could get someone who knows what thay are doing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, January 01, 2008 8:21:00 PM  

  • it's possible - i didn't consider this possibility when i spoke w/the county and environmental groups. in the keys there is a lot of old stuff (ergo the cesspools). the geology is certainly different than ours. but the input i received is that the sewage system is the major cause of the problems - exfiltration and the treatment facility and so many wells. doing the basic use analysis, 25,000 septic tanks supporting a few people each over such a vast area didn't bring about the catastrophe. for anyone that has actually grown up in south florida (as opposed "i arrive on marco 200 years ago from michigan") the issue of the keys has little if nothing to do with septic tanks. florida bay has been dying for years and that is one cause - the messed up way the everglades was drained and contained and prostituted by the same type of people who are now on marco island wanting sewers. it is hard for someone that grew up here to see aliens (as from up north) propagate their greed through development using a ruse that has absolutely nothing to do with the perceived problems. such is the history of south florida. marco island will too succumb to this prostitution for money and greed are king.

    By Anonymous Mario Sanchez, Ph.D., at Wednesday, January 02, 2008 9:18:00 AM  

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Just In Case ...

Just in case this one gets censored too ... The "threatening" email and the vandalism. Someone has deemed these two acts to be casually related as they appear in the same piece.

1 Comments:

  • The blog's position is that these two events are unrelated until proven otherwise. We also contend that there will never be a fair and impartial investigation into the vandalism therefore there will always be an unnecessary and un-called for cloud of suspicion around the councilor.

    By Anonymous Mario Sanchez, Ph.D., at Friday, December 21, 2007 6:39:00 PM  

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"May Land Marco Island City Official Behind Bars"

As reported by CBS-WINK News 6PM December 18, 2007


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Monday, December 17, 2007

EPA Demands City

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has made a demand on the present governance of Marco Island to produce certain information as related to the dewatering efforts.

For the demand letter,
CLICK HERE.

The operatives for the present governance have reacted in a way that seems inappropriate. By turning the matter over to the city attorney, it appears that there is something to hide, some legal defense litigation strategy to prepare.

The city should not hide behind legal wrangling for it furthers the air of suspicion, buttresses those that find all actions by the present governance dishonest and despicable, and “lawyering up” does not mitigate any liability by the present governance or the contractors. Namely, it will make matters worse.

Residents not intimately involved in this matter, as interested parties in the present governance are asked to accept that the U.S. EPA has information that neither the present governance or their facilitating lawyers are privy to. And since unlike the impotent FDEP, this agency has the wherewithal to act with data to act on, cooperating quickly and honestly would behoove all.

On this one, arrogantly obfuscating will make matters worse and simply exacerbate the inevitable.

It is urged that the city simply turn over the information - a tasks that can be handled readily, inexpensively, and most of all honestly by the staff and contractors that undertook the dewatering process.

Skip the lawyers, turn over the information or simply admit you don’t have it. To do otherwise is expensively foolish.

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A Marco Island Classic!

Another Great Marco Event - Christmas Parade.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pacifism – Just in Case

Last week’s furor has waned to a level where perhaps we can evaluate the causal episode objectively. The brouhaha started when a resident wrote what some believe to be a threatening email to a councilor and where shortly thereafter the resident’s property was vandalized.

Here is the email:

To the "Marco Axis of Evil"

The four of you are a disgrace not just to democratic government, but to the human species.

I sincerely hope that you have "slipped up" somewhere along the line. I can guarantee you that once the elections are over, I will be actively involved in the charge to demand a full audit of every penny. If there is an opportunity to get even one of you bastards on anything, I hope we have the satisfaction of being able to ruin you financially --hopefully with criminal charges also--and see your families suffer as you have made so many families on this island suffer though your actions.

And [councilperson], you are the one who should suffer the most. Because you are most directly responsible for this situation. Your lies to get elected caused this. And your continued support in the face of overwhelming opposition by the HUGE majority of Marco Island voters, will not be forgotten.

I hope your family suffers for your actions as mine has--and will continue to for years and years to come. You will be held accountable.

The vandalism was reported to be a punctured tire, bleach being poured on a lawn and eggs being thrown.

Is the email threatening? Did those suggesting that the vandalism was retaliation to the email fall for the logical fallacy of post hoc ergo proctor hoc?

We asked a sociologist with no interest or information on island issues if the email could be considered a threat to wit the response is “the email is clearly written in a threatening manner and therefore it would be expected to be taken as a threat”.

As to whether or not the vandalism was in direct retaliation to the email is a finding we may never know for the rather obvious reason that the investigative arm of local law enforcement is well beyond politicized - which in this case will be a real shame since there will always be an unintended aura of suspicion on the councilperson.

Let’s move on.

Though we all must promote, encourage and support free speech, not all speech is protected. Additionally, while forced or self-imposed censorship it undoubtedly completely contrary to the foundations of this country, some discretion in using that right should be exercised especially in volatile environments.

The reaction to how we have been governed in the past few years has led to widespread resentment and therefore to the explosive environment. The bitterness has been exacerbated through the use of derogatory, denigrating and violent terms by anonymous and ignoble supporters of the offending governing practices. Newspaper sponsored articles further demeaning in vulgar terminology those who disagree with the present governance furthers the forsaking nature of desperation.

But still, irrespective of how we are governed, even intimating threats towards those that govern us are unacceptable. Threats are an act of violence and as such they are objectionable as expounded by Mohandas Ghandi: “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent”.

In the context of Marco Island, let’s keep in mind that regardless of what many think to be utterly inane and bizarre decisions by those that have been elected, BY US, some of the elected that make weird decisions are honorable decent people. Disagree with their policies and question their decisions, but personal attacks and threats in any form are abhorrent.

So what is the populace to do? While anger is a normal human emotion, directing rage as intimidation towards the governance through words or deeds is ill advised. Anger is readily interpreted as threats, threats are acts of violence, and threatening the body that masters it through their inherent power is unwise. Hence, approach the real or perceived abuse of government through pacifism in deeds and in words lest a torrent of malevolence prevail otherwise.

2 Comments:

  • Wishing some one ill out of fustration and desperation is a far cry from the individuals that performed actual violance. Let's not try and treat them as the same.

    One needs to be shown how to express their fustration in a more positve manner(get out the vote). The other needs to be aressted.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, December 16, 2007 7:52:00 AM  

  • agreed - they should not be treated one and the same and i hope i did not come across that way.

    they could be unrelated events. hence we must at this time treat them separately.

    i chose to treat the free speech issue as that is the only aspect of this matter that is clear and documented.

    violence is not acceptable - as i said in the article. whomever perpetrated the violence must be punished. and if and when we know who did it and for what reason then we can comment at that time.

    of the two, the violence if far worse. hence i agree again that they should not be treated equally.

    but i posit that it is best to fix through recommendations that what we know for a fact, as oppose to try to fix something that we know very little of.

    the shame is going to be that we may never know who did the violence.

    for now the best and most we can do as prudent people is simply condemn it. and when we know who and why, then we can further the discussion then.

    i do find it odd though not surprising that, at least to my knowledge, no one from the present governance condemned the vandalism.

    By Blogger Mario R. Sanchez, Ph.D., at Monday, December 17, 2007 9:55:00 AM  

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Latest Candidate Non Poll Results

While we wait (and wait) for our illustrious investigative arm of local law enforcement to issue its finding (don’t hold your breath) as to which political action hate group incited the vandalism on a resident’s property after said resident arguably went too far in exercising his free speech rights by purportedly threatening a councilperson (reminder: screaming “FIRE” in a crowded theater is not protected free speech), let’s report purely for entertainment purposes, and thereby serve to lower the level of tension, the conjured results from the most recent candidate contest.

The novel and feigned polling was posited to one voter thus: if you had 2,000 votes to vote on each candidate based on membership in your PAC and your affiliation thereof, how would you apply 2,000 votes to each candidate?

The results are:(click on image to enlarge)

Upon tallying the results, the voter was made aware that the first six “candidates” are not on the ballot, and that assigning negative votes is something only done in certain Latin America countries which presently Marco Island is not yet a part of one, to which the voter responded “So what’s the problem?”

We see the voter's point.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An Encompassing Analysis - NOT

The present governance issued a report developed by Public Resource Management Group (click here for full report) where the impact of stopping or continuing the STRP is "analyzed".

Let’s make a giant leap of faith and assume that everything in that report is accurate. Then where can we find;

  1. The financial impact to the city when 44% of the roads will be torn up?
  2. The impact to the island’s businesses with several more years of construction and strife?
  3. How furthering the decline in real estate values and property taxes will affect the tax revenue base to the city?
  4. The effect on the environment when four times as much toxic water and fumes will be produced as compared to what has already occurred?
  5. Both the financial and emotional impact to the residents as their health is affected when four times as much toxic water and fumes will be produced as compared to what has already occurred?
  6. How tourism will be affected with several more years of the above?
  7. Assurances that the EPA will not fine the city for continuing the dewatering practice, and if not, have the potential fines been budgeted for?
  8. The risk assessment and resultant actuarial studies in the event law suits come forth due to the health consequences of furthering the polluting of the environment?
  9. And how exactly did the STRP go from $135,000,000 to the $183,371,431 noted on the report?
The two biggest problems with the STRP has and always will be that it was put forth based on lies, and it went forward on woefully incomplete analyses.

One should applaud the present governance's effort to do a study on such an important topic, though a complete one will better serve the entire city. For to do otherwise, as this report presently does, will fuel further suspicion towards our government.

So as to once and for all cease this completely inappropriate practice and utter disregard for our input when it comes to our money and health, can we get a COMPLETE report that answers the above questions?

And then maybe we can objectively make a decision, terminate the suspicions, squelch the conspiracy theories, and institute an open and trustworthy governance.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

POP Debate - Round 1 Video

The following video clip is of just the first round of the Preserve our Paradise debate held on December 6, 2007 at Mackle Park.



Click the arrow to start.

2 Comments:

  • Is it possible to view Round 2 and Round 3, in addition to the public's questions that took place at this debate?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tuesday, December 11, 2007 1:01:00 AM  

  • we understand that POP will be soon hosting the entire video. once they do, we'll mention same here. the video posted on this blog is all that we were able to capture. sorry.

    By Anonymous mario sanchez, at Thursday, December 13, 2007 11:39:00 AM  

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

POP Debate Exit Poll

A vote by those attending the Preserve our Paradise Debate at Mackle Park tonight yielded the following results:

(click on image to enlarge)

By Percentage of total votes:
1. Joe Batte = 83.6%
2. Roger Hall = 82.8%
3. Butch Neylon = 81.2%
4. Andrew Guidry = 71.3%
5. Frank Recker = 22.1%
6. Jerry Gibson = 18.4%
7. Wayne Waldack = 13.9%
8. William Trotter = 13.1%

A total of 246 numbered (controlled) ballots were cast. Each ballot the voter could select only four candidates. Each ballot was numbered and tabulated by three people in plain view of the media. The ballots are available for inspection for verification.

Some images ... (click arrow to play)

1 Comments:

  • Dr.Sanchez:

    A HUGE vote of thanks (no pun intended)to you and your assistants for the professionally prompt way in which you conducted, tabulated and presented the straw vote results Thursday evening's "Evaluate The Candidates".

    Preserve Our Paradise and the residents of Marco Island extend our sincerest appreciation to you & your staff.

    By Anonymous Russ Colombo, at Friday, December 07, 2007 12:05:00 AM  

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Civility and Historical Familiarity

For our form of government to escape the fate of the Roman Empire, civility, respect and a modicum of decorum must be the norm in all civic events. Personal attacks, offensive and degrading comments serve nothing more than to harden the sides, minimize options and sequester compromise.

When the present governance once again ignores logic, facts, pleas and even people becoming ill, some of those in disagreement react overtly and at times overreact improperly. Why?

If you have come to expect nothing different from your government, why the surprise and why the reaction? If they ignore your input, then why bother giving it?

By insisting on being subjected to the same indifference does not grant anyone the right to be impudent to any councilor. Disagree with them, find them contemptuous, report them to some impotent alphabet-soup agency or simply vote them out of office. Respect the office and afford respect (watch the new documentary on the Tate-Bianca murders and you will hear the parole committee address the murderer as 'Mr. Manson'). That is what makes this system sort of work.

If you are going to act uncivil when the present governance ignores you, stay at home, kick the dog, throw your remote at the TV or triple-up on the servings at the buffet. If you know you are going to be ignored in a forum where reason and proportion have died, simply don't go. Or go to be entertained (so exactly how did a $200,000 property next to a sewage treatment plant get on the agenda for $1,000,000 before the results came back from the appraisals that were contracted for without a priori council approval?)

On the other hand, castigating the citizens for booing is equally offensive, puerile and undemocratic. Booing is simply the opposite of applauding. If those that control public forums lack historical context to such an extent that they reprimand citizens for booing, then ban applauding. Just as well since other forms of free speech are banned.

We have more serious problems, so incivility is not catastrophic, just as Rome's downfall was exacerbated by worse political strife (the Bard's Julius Caesar anyone?), but it wasn't the cause of its demise. The predominant cause was lead poisoning in part from the potable water - the pipes (fistulae) that carried the water into the houses from the aqueducts were all lined with lead leading to plumbism. Oddly, the public works people knew about the effects but insisted that the dementia was caused by other factors, such as from wine.

Sound familiar?

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Project StupidScape

From the-you-can’t-make-this-up category, the present governance under the misnomer of Project Greenscape is considering yet another regulation by which to regulate … landscapers.

And you would think given the makeup of the majority mindset in the present governance, the regulation would seek to ensure that those fine folks that take care of our yards are legally in this country. For after all, the mindset comes from the Mrs. Kline School of Racial Tolerance. Mrs. Kline (played by Betty White) was asked how she knew two Hispanics were casing the neighborhood, to which she replied “Because they weren’t carrying leaf blowers.”

But no, because pursuing such inanity as emphasizing federal laws is alien to Marco Island. Besides, if we demanded proof of legal residency from landscape employees, the residents on Marco will run the risk of having to figure out how to use this odd and arcane mechanized device called a lawnmower.

So what is it that the present governance is trying to regulate? Who knows, but one of the options to becoming certified is to take a class from (ready for this?) from the FDEP!

What a inspired idea - take a class from the same goofball inept organization that sanctions the contamination of our waterways, that authorizes toxic gas to be introduced into the air thereby harming scores of people, and that sends cease and desist letters which are summarily ignored. Perfect.

If we require that landscape contractors take a class from the FDEP, the next thing that will happen is that the landscapers will be aerially dispersing Agent Orange as a weed killer, Mustard Gas as an insect repellent and asbestos as mulch.

Oops, sorry about the last one – we already have that – from another City of Marco Island approved regulated contractor.

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