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

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

John Edwards for City Attorney

Why Not? He's a lawyer with typical lawyer ethics, and in light of whom the city was considering, and the events that transpired with the previous city attorney, Edwards would be a marked improvement.

(as reported on Fox, Rush Limbaugh, etc ...)

A NATIONAL ENQUIRER investigation has uncovered John Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter – the mother of his “love child” – has been secretly receiv­ing $15,000 a month as part of an elaborate cover-up orchestrated by the former presidential contender.

The money is being funneled to Hunter by a wealthy colleague who was closely tied to the Edwards’ campaign. This same man is also shoveling cash to Edwards’ pal and former aide Andrew Young – who tried to take the heat off the ex-Senator by claiming he is the father of Rielle’s baby.

And The ENQUIRER is also exclusively revealing that Rielle’s baby is a girl named Frances Quinn Hunter and was born at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

“A super-rich pal – who was closely involved with the campaign finances – is helping John. It’s likely this man doesn’t know all the dirty details of John’s extramarital affair, but is acting out of loyalty and is not asking a lot of questions – only writing the checks,” revealed a source very close to the situation.

A year-long ENQUIRER investigation exploded spectacularly into the open on the night of July 21 when our reporters caught Edwards making a secret late-night visit to Rielle, 44, and their infant child at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel.

Edwards, 55, was confronted by ENQUIRER reporters, but refused to answer questions and instead hid in a public men’s restroom until security escorted him off hotel grounds.

The Beverly Hilton meeting between Edwards and Rielle was pulled off with the help of Rielle’s longtime California friend Bob McGovern, who drove Rielle to the hotel from Santa Barbara, and booked two rooms under his name. Rielle and Edwards met in one of those rooms.

Edwards has refused to comment on The ENQUIRER’s account of that evening and has avoided reporters’ questions.

3 Comments:

  • Well, Mario, in your blind apathy towards all things democratic, you have stooped to a new low. The National Enquirer, that supermarket tabloid, is your source for this muck-raking? Next you’ll be believing what is written in the Marco Eagle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 01, 2008 8:45:00 AM  

  • i'll never get that low!!

    by the way, the story was confirmed by matt drudge - who originally broke the story with his conversation with the mistress rielle hunter - and by the kansas city news & observer, and few others.

    By Anonymous dr. mario sanchez, at Friday, August 01, 2008 9:01:00 AM  

  • The pressure on John Edwards to address fatherhood allegations

    Thursday, August 7, 2008, 02:13 PM

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Some Democratic insiders are saying John Edwards needs to address allegations by the National Enquirer that he fathered a former campaign worker’s child — if the former presidential candidate wants to keep a speaking role in this month’s Democratic National Convention.

    The Charlotte Observer, in Edwards’ home state of North Carolina, has this today:

    “He absolutely does have to (resolve it). If it’s not true, he has to issue a stronger denial,” said Gary Pearce, the Democratic strategist who ran Edwards’ 1998 Senate race. “It’s a very damaging thing. … The big media has tried to be responsible and handle this with kid gloves, but it’s clearly getting ready to bust out. If it’s not true, he’s got to stand up and say, ‘This is not true. That is not my child, and I’m going to take legal action against the people who are spreading these lies.’ It’s not enough to say, ‘That’s tabloid trash.’”

    The national convention is intended to showcase party unity and rally Democrats around the party’s nominee. Prime-time speakers generate enthusiasm for the candidate and the party’s platform. Edwards is widely regarded as a rousing speaker, particularly on poverty, and still has as many as 19 delegates pledged to him, making him a logical choice for a high-profile role under normal circumstances.

    By Anonymous dr. mario sanchez, at Thursday, August 07, 2008 6:34:00 PM  

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Friday, July 18, 2008

A Case for a High School on Marco Island

The most recent idea being contemplated by the Marco Island intelligentsia is to place an array of electricity-generating solar panels on Track K. While this notion is arguably better than the previous suggestions to either commercialize the property (read: build a strip mall) or giving it to the school district so they can sell it (basically the same as the strip mall idea but with a middleman), perhaps those with the best of intentions for this community should consider the ramifications of the contemporary options.

There is no argument that we should do everything we can to be energy efficient, especially from clean sources such as solar power. However, the cost-benefit ratio of today's technology for this particular clean source of energy is not viable.

As proof, consider the analyses of both the state of Florida and certified commercial solar installation dealers. The price to install an array of solar panels on an average home is $20,000. If you act quickly, you can apply for a rebate from the state of Florida that may amount to $10,000. The federal government kicks in another rebate of $2,000 (if you qualify). The average savings in electricity charges to the average home is $25-$50 per month.i Best case, your payback – assuming zero maintenance costs and no time-value of money – is 160 months – 13.3 years.

Though commercial installations are considerably more expensive, they are of near identical fiscal investment-returns.

It can be argued that we should not even consider the monetary implications of using solar, wind, or other clean/renewable energy sources since they do us all good. Fair enough. But the reality is that with very few exceptions, municipalities and citizens alike make the affordability argument of paramount importance in the decision process. Namely, if it's not affordable, then it won't get done. Hence the dearth of solar panels on structures throughout this country.

But more importantly, should we even consider trading questionable energy gains for what is the unquestionable need for quality education in American society? Or have the trillions of arguably misspent dollars on public education jaded the citizenry to respond as if watching a Steven King movie whenever the Kafkaesque term "public schools" is uttered?

For those with such an aversion, consider for just a moment the benefits from having on Marco Island a high school for exceptional education:

  • Consider that over $50,000,000 departs this island annually in the form of taxes for the purpose of public education. Assuredly, the public non-high schools on the island don't consume a fraction of that money – just ask any teacher.
  • Consider the fact that Track K was specifically earmarked for such an undertaking.
  • Consider that a premier high school is a local economic bonanza as graduating middle school families don't flee, non-resident families will migrate to the island, and many people into residency due to the employment required by such a school.
  • Consider the wealth of auxiliary support and employment to the scores of senior citizens that have so much to offer – war veterans, retired professionals and teachers to name but a few. Further, what an extraordinary learning environment for our children to be tutored, mentored, and to otherwise experience first hand these remarkable people and their history.
  • Consider that a top-grade high school offers community and continuing education – exceedingly important activities for senior residents.
  • Consider that a premier high school will create stability for the local economy as it moves away from the present binary but oddly symbiotically unary source.
  • Consider that the argument for a teen-center/youth-center is accentuated for a high school – what better teen center than a high school?
  • Consider that the present option for our children and grandchildren is a "D" rated school … that's a "D" rated school in a bunch of schools that collectively make Florida rank 48th out of the 50 states … the 50 states that collectively make the United States pre-college schools rank 18th out of 24 industrialized countries.ii
  • Consider that FGCU would be enthralled to have a quality feeder program – one that they can support both academically and monetarily.

Perhaps a city leader can charter a blue ribbon commission to explore the options for establishing such an exceptional high school on Marco Island. The commission should be comprised of both supporters and detractors of this idea. Perhaps Councilor Recker can spearhead this endeavor given his public support for a high school during the recent campaign.

The obstacles in bringing a public high school for exceptional education is both the reluctance/apathy by the residents of Marco Island, and the understandable reluctance in having to deal with the Collier County School District. For anyone that has been even remotely aware of the latter's tribulations knows the extent to which that body is intellectually, fiscally and managerially challenged. As to the former, an honest public information campaign in conjunction with the panel will assuage many if not all of the residents' concerns while motivating them to support this initiative.

"If the condition of man is to be progressively ameliorated, as we fondly hope and believe, education is to be the chief instrument in effecting it."iii It is the responsibility of each citizen partaking in this great democracy to be informed, to be intimately aware of the issues faced, and hence to be educated. It is also our duty to provide the means by which the young of our society have the opportunity to learn, for they must be extraordinarily prepared to soon earn the stewardship of this great experiment.

--------------------
i. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Solar Energy Systems Incentive Program.
ii. UNICEF 2005 study.
iii. Thomas Jefferson, 1818.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Try Indicting Bush on Marco Island

First, read the following article from the New York Times of July 13, 2008:

(click to enlarge)

Now, if these Bush-haters are really serious about bringing the president to justice, indict him here on Marco Island ... for after all, the syndicate and their facilitators in the Collier courts ran roughshod over Councilor Keister for purportedly the same things. Actually, for considerably less.

Oh, but wait, sorry, ... forgot ... the syndicate and their brethren in the Republican machine are connected all the way to the Republican governor and potential Republican Vice Presidential candidate.

Never mind.

2 Comments:

  • While what the White House has done with regards to email’s, if true, should be stopped, the analogy you have attempted to draw between Councilor Keister and the White House misses the mark. Mr. Keister broke the law, the White House, even if it were true, did not break any law. To my knowledge there are no Sunshine or Public Records laws on the Federal level such as we have here in Florida. This is not to say I condone this action by the Bush administration, because I don’t but to compare Mr. Keister’s indiscretions to the President of the United States is moronic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:34:00 AM  

  • the u.s. house of representatives has issues several subpoenas for these emails - some before the emails were deleted. besides, all branches of government are required as matter of public records laws to keep all documents, emails, etc..

    anyone with a modicum of american history knowledge would know about the legal requirement to maintain public records - recall the nixon issues, the clinton issue, the hillary issues. the fact that these (except for nixon) got away with their transgressions doesn't justify anything.

    what keister did ignorantly pales in comparison to what the administration did intentionally, yet the former was prosecuted. local politics has all to do with the disparate application of justice.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Thursday, July 17, 2008 11:31:00 AM  

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Revenue Suggestion No. 182

Here is one (of many) suggestion by which the city can receive the well needed revenue and thereby ameliorate, albeit by a small amount, monies that must be extracted from the citizens.

The “government” channel (Comcast channel 12) broadcasts the city council meetings. But when those events are not taking place, the channel is on a loop of public service messages.
Assuredly, it is important to inform the public about such remarkable topics as the annual birthing rituals of the native turtle. But to repeat the languorous messages ad infinitum is not drawing viewers and seems to accomplish nothing other than to fill air time.

Let’s keep those public service messages contained to say, running at predetermined times, and let’s free up the rest of the air time for … public service advertisers.

These advertisers can buy air time to promote their product and service – as long as there is a clear product/service informational aspect that benefits the community. For example, those companies that provide solar/thermal pool heaters (environment), or those that sell home water softener/purification systems (health) are ideal candidates. There are many, many more such companies.

And to manage/produce? Ad agencies produce these all of the time. For those smaller companies, there is the FGCU, and there is always a HD camera. The scheduling, accounting and accountability is handled by the cable companies. Citizens can volunteer to be the coordinators between the city and the cable companies.

(For that matter, there can be a citizen committee dedicated to bringing/implementing non-tax revenue ideas to the city …)

The revenue to some may not be much, but even if it covers the salary of just one new Marco police/fire/emergency professional, isn’t it worth it?

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Friday, July 11, 2008

What a Shame?

What a shame that the law firm of the former councilperson has opted to withdraw its quest to become the city attorney. In the words of Glenn Beck, "here is how we got there."

As we know, the syndicate was reelected by a landslide. Hence, the overwhelming majority of island registered voters, albeit from Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island (and the other 53 states), wanted, and expects business as usual. They are entitled to getting what they want.

But they appear to have run into a bit of a problem. It seems that despite half a year after being reelected and enjoying a 5.5 to 1.5 majority on the council, they have succeeded in doing nothing more than allowing canines to defecate in city parks, can't figure out how to pay for their mess without blatantly hitting everyone up (except businesses of course) for more money, and denigrating a reputable power company (the only one that serves the island by the way). These diminutive actions are not big or fast enough to reach their goal of commercializing Marco a la some sleazy tourist trap in time to run out the concerned full time residents before they leave naturally (as in death).

So, what better way to facilitate what the majority wants than the city attorney position to be of the same mindset?

Additionally, we must be cognizant as to the feelings of our former brethren that fell all over themselves to exult their extolling praises of "supporting the new council" and "we all must get along" and signing Kumbaya – heck, we don't want to be inconsiderate to our former allies, do we?

And besides, who does the minority of the electorate think they are – do they somehow think they are right? The American electorate majority has always been correct, hasn't it? Didn't the majority vote for Jim Crow laws, segregation, the denigration of women, slavery, and infanticide to name but a few crowning jewels of wisdom by the majority – all facilitated by their lawyer/judge cohorts?

What a shame – not!

4 Comments:

  • Mario,

    I have a question; If you dislike our government and those that the majority has elected so much, as you apparently do, why have you not returned to your beautiful homeland of Cuba?

    Just a simple question because I'm curious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, July 12, 2008 8:13:00 AM  

  • Anonymous,
    Where in our Constitution and republican form of government does it say that the minority must be muzzled? If the minority is not allowed to voice its opinion then what we have is a dictatorship. Which is apparently what you want. Well be careful because you might be in the minority some day. At any rate this minority is not ashamed of his name. While you who have won all the marbles must remain anonymous in your guilt. H. Sarlo

    By Anonymous H. Sarlo, at Saturday, July 12, 2008 4:00:00 PM  

  • H. Sarlo,
    The question was rhetorical and while your statements are true they have to do with my question.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:59:00 PM  

  • i dislike corruption. i dislike malfeasance and misfeasance. i dislike moral and intellectual ineptitude. i dislike shams and fronts and facades. i dislike unbridled power ... interestingly; these are the same words and sentiments of jefferson, madison, and many more great american patriots.

    And that is my opinion of what is in power and who is running this place thanks to the majority, and unlike 99.9999% of the people who no call marco home after living nearly their entire life “up north” I’ve lived in florida all my life from 5 on, except for a stint in the marine corps (oh, by the way you racists, that is the UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS) that i volunteered during the Vietnam war as service to this great country and myriad other volunteer efforts. And as a refugee that lost the country that you suggest I go back to – that believe me I would if I could, what I see happening here is exactly what happened there – corruption, malfeasance, misfeasance, moral and intellectual ineptitude, shams and fronts and facades instead of honest discussion (oh, yea, like the strp and how I was ridiculed for raising the health issue and the environmental issue, and now I see the scrubbers on-line before the effluent gets dumped in the waterways – you’re welcome).

    Everyone should be against these things – but many like you sell your soul as a parlay for being with the power crowd or having a special favor done for you or your family or of course for your economic benefit.

    and its not like positive things help the goons that run this place. I sent an email long ago to the brutes in power volunteering my services to investigate the possibility of a high school on marco. My recompense by those you love running “your island”? An email chain – not to me of course – but through the annals (should be spelled “anals” in this case) making a racial slur about me, my son (that has never been involved in anything here whatsoever except to make the mistake to go to a city council meeting once and say and do absolutely nothing) and having my civil rights violated by the then police chief doing an illegal background check on me. It’s in the emails – oh by the way – tell your friends it’s also in the records of the FBI. Enjoy!

    Help this bane kakistocracy? If they don’t like you, you get denigrated, besmirched, slurred, degraded with hoary racial tropes. No matter what you do, volunteer everywhere, work for less so as to further those less fortunate, provide a list of 99 positive goals and tasks for the island … its all irrelevant to the good ol’ boys. So what’s left?

    And these are the goons you support? Good, so when they do it to you when you fall out of favor or another set of despots are elected, go cry foul and hope that people like me come to your rescue.

    the majority voted and they got what they wanted. they always do. Its not always right – try reading an AMERICAN history book. So when barrack Hussein obama becomes president, are you going to sit quietly when your taxes double and you get the same health care as in cuba?

    By Anonymous dr. mario sanchez, at Monday, July 14, 2008 9:08:00 AM  

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Applicable Choice for City Attorney

BRENDA C. WILSON = BRENDA C. GARRETTSON ... of RHODES, TUCKER & GARRETSON ... The Law Firm To Represent the City of Marco Island

Along with the other partner ... you know, the inexistent photographs, denigrating citizens, and deleting emails ... seriously, is anyone surprised by this choice ... by those doing the choosing?

------------------------------------------
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
INQUIRY CONCERNING A JUDGE, NO. 98-231
RE: BRENDA C. WILSON
No. 94,587
[October 28, 1999]

PER CURIAM.

We review the findings and recommendations of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC), recommending that Judge Brenda C. Wilson be publicly reprimanded for various acts of misconduct. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 12, Fla. Const.

On December 28, 1998, the Investigative Panel of the JQC filed a "Notice of Formal Charges" in this Court. The charges are summarized as follows.

During the early morning hours of May 2, 1998, Judge Wilson drove to a Denny's restaurant after consuming alcoholic beverages. Judge Wilson joined a group of intoxicated people and witnessed one of the people handle a video surveillance camera that belonged to Denny's restaurant.

Judge Wilson then accompanied the group to the residence of one of the group's members, where she saw that one person from this group had possession of the camera and was told that it had been taken from Denny's. Judge Wilson did not report the theft of the camera.

Judge Wilson returned to Denny's restaurant, while intoxicated, approximately two weeks later. When questioned by Denny's employees, Judge Wilson claimed she had no knowledge of the theft. When Judge Wilson discovered the employee knew her identity, she asked that her name be kept out of the matter. Only after learning the theft had been reported to law enforcement did Judge Wilson provide the employees with information as to the identity of the person she saw in possession of the camera.

Deputy sheriffs later interviewed Judge Wilson concerning the theft of the camera. Judge Wilson initially told detectives that she went home after leaving Denny's, concealing her knowledge that a crime had taken place. After being informed by the deputies that other witnesses had told them she had accompanied the group to the residence, Judge Wilson admitted being there and told the deputies what had happened.

The Investigative Panel further asserted that Judge Wilson's behavior indicated a potential addiction to alcohol which could affect her fitness to serve as a judge. The Investigative Panel also concluded that if these acts occurred they could constitute a violation of Canons 1, 2 (A), and
5(A)(2) of the Code of Judicial Conduct, and impair confidence in the integrity of the judicial system and Judge Wilson, demonstrating her present unfitness to hold office.

Judge Wilson did not contest the allegations contained in the "Notice of Formal Charges" and waived her right to trial by the hearing panel of the Commission. In addition, prior to the stipulation, Judge Wilson voluntarily began a counseling program with a psychologist and signed a one-year Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., rehabilitation contract in which she agreed to participate in a twelve-step program and actively participate in a support group program for recovering professionals.

The Investigative Panel in its findings and recommendations found the facts to be as set forth in the "Notice of Formal Charges" and recommended the following discipline:

1. A ten-day suspension without pay.

2. A public reprimand by the Supreme Court of Florida.

3. Completion of an alcohol treatment program at a facility approved by the JQC.

4. Continued counseling with a psychologist until the psychologist determines counseling is no longer necessary, with written quarterly reports regarding her progress provided to the JQC.

5. An in-person apology to Agent Christopher Reeves and Sergeant Michael DeTar of the Lee County Sheriff's Office for making false statements to them concerning the theft of the video camera.

6. A written apology to the manager of the Denny's restaurant, for making a false statement to him concerning the theft of the video camera and for asking him to keep Judge Wilson's name out of the matter.

In reviewing the parties' stipulation, we have considered Judge Wilson's admitted misconduct and her voluntary enrollment in counseling, a twelve-step program, and a support group. After considering those factors, we approve the findings and recommendations. However, we require Judge Wilson to appear before this Court to receive her public reprimand. In In re Norris , 581 So. 2d 578, 579 (Fla.1991), this Court found that requiring a judge to make a personal appearance to receive a public reprimand "truly is extraordinary and has been done only when the judge's conduct reflects either a willful disregard of the law or serious, cumulative misconduct on the bench." In our view, Judge Wilson's actions in this case fit within the category of "willful disregard of the law" we referred to in Norris . In the present case, Judge Wilson attempted to hinder law enforcement by asking the employees at Denny's not to identify her as a witness to a crime. Judge Wilson further showed her disregard for law enforcement when she initially lied to two deputy sheriffs concerning her knowledge that a crime had taken place. This conduct is unacceptable from a judge who is sworn to uphold the law and illustrates a serious violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

Accordingly, we hereby command Judge Brenda C. Wilson to appear before this Court for the administration of a public reprimand at 9 a.m. on Monday, December 6, 1999, for the actions noted above.

It is so ordered.
HARDING, C.J., and SHAW, WELLS, ANSTEAD, PARIENTE, LEWIS and QUINCE, JJ., concur.

Original Proceedings - Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission
Miette K. Burnstein, Chair, Tallahassee, Florida, Thomas C. MacDonald, Jr., General Counsel, Tampa, Florida, and Eileen L. Tilghman, Special

Counsel to the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission of Ross & Tilghman, Miami, Florida,
for Petitioner

Richard C. McFarlain of McFarlain, Wiley, Cassedy & Jones, P.A., Tallahassee, Florida,
for Judge Brenda C. Wilson, Respondent

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

M.I.A. in M.I.

In premodern times, the courage of a leader often had to be physical. In the last 500 years it is more often moral. Moral courage is the ability to do what's right even when it is deeply unpopular, even dangerous. Courage is only found where there is the genuine possibility of loss -- loss of friends, reputation, status, power, possessions or, at the extremes, freedom or life.


Prof. Daniel Taylor
Prof. Mark McCloskey
Christianity Today

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