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

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

For 2010, Act to Guarantee Your Way of Life

A novel New Year resolution is to simply appreciate the gift already possessed by all Americans: the gift to live with a form of government that best adheres to the tenets of a democracy. In essence, appreciate the gift of being free.

To "appreciate" is not simply to rejoice, hang or honor the flag, claim to be from some special generation, put your hand over your heart or on your forehead during the Pledge of Allegiance, or have served in the armed forces.

To appreciate is to rejoice in knowing that everything you do, and can do, are actions that regardless how trivial, are exercisable just because you can chose to do so.

This freedom is rare in the world. Despite its rarity, even great societies have lost it. Sadly, liberties and freedoms are under persistent attack throughout this great country. And once any measure of freedom is lost, the road to regaining such freedom is long, torturous and rarely found.

You would think that those possessing a rare and priceless thing would work continually to protect it. You would think.

Buy a car, a boat or a house. Incessant and continual care must be afforded lest these things deteriorate, lose their value, become inoperative, or are lost altogether. Wash them, tune them up, care for them, pay insurance for them, watch were you park the car and boat, or make sure you clean your feet before entering your house. Materialism at its best in a rich society.

But where is the same maniacal devotion to protect the very tenets that ensure one can buy a car or a boat or a house without being told which car one may be allowed to use, which government house one may allowed to live in? Such devotion now rests with an ever dwindling few.

Those that labor in the Sisyphusian struggle of protecting our collective liberties are rare at best. Protecting the doctrines of liberty is a practice practiced by a very few, the seeming outcasts of polite society, those small in number that continually exercise their right to keep the government "for the people" honest and open. These true defenders of this great experiment are labeled radical, "those people," slurred about and lied about by the self-appointed goody-two-shoes individuals operating under their own delusional concoction of what "their" city and "their" democracy should be, and who should be included.

Despite these visible defenders, every great society has failed when the very people enjoying their freedoms appreciated them when it came time to vote, when it came time to honor some icon or other, but yet never acted with the same maniacal dedication when they witnessed their rights wane. They did not unremittingly act in order to bring about a measurable improvement, a measurable righting of a wrong. They simply bore witness, and probably just complained. If they had only protested as they would have protecting their possessions or even their place in a queue at the local coffee shop.

Understandably they simply have given up under the weight of prostituted governing bodies and the special interests they kowtow to. But a few others have yet to surrender despite continually enduring the public defamation at the hands of the syndicates in their fanaticism to concentrate their illicit influence.

What an honor though. As Ronald Reagan said, "Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty." Hence, to be the target of syndicated lies and ridicules is to be a fighter against those destroying our liberties. And it is with liberty that we can both protect our liberties on Election Day and act throughout the year to protect our freedom from being washed away by the very same syndicates that slur with impunity.

But our freedoms are not guaranteed by simply voting. Deterioration to our freedoms is enabled by being spectators while others do the constant fighting. Guaranteeing the eradication of our freedoms is ensured by those special interest syndicates plaguing government bodies to garner favor for their own agenda while denigrating, besmirching and lying about those they don't agree with in the process.

If these syndicates have the right to manipulate, fabricate and coerce for their benefit, don't those that disagree with them have the right to petition their government for a redress? To exercise their freedom to speak and opine? To peacefully assemble and to associate? To expose the syndicates and their corrosive effect on our liberties?

When these fighters that openly challenge the syndicates disappear, so do your freedoms – as proven time and time again when great nations in the course of human history have collapsed.

And America is not divinely immune to that terrible fate.

There are a few of us who have witnessed their own great nation buckle under the weight of coercion by syndicate elites also witnessed syndicates puppeteer the elected representatives, witnessed the majority guise their apathy through votes and pontification, and witnessed the elimination of the openly critical by the syndicate-government.

These few of us are afraid.

We are afraid that history will repeat itself here in America. As we are frightened, we proffer a warning to the inactive concerned that watch as others act: when those great nations buckled, the actively passive were the first to be eradicated since the vocal activists had long been censured and hence there was no one left to protect the "privately concerned" when the goons came calling in the middle of the night – under the cover of darkness then, akin to under the cover of anonymous postings, legislation by committee, bills that no one reads, or vague indeterminate references in the written musings of today.

We often hear that it costs to be free. What we never hear is that this cost must be paid daily.

What makes this incredibly beautiful and wonderful country composed of all races and creeds work so well is that the very inalienable rights to freedom guaranteed by law are the means by which we can pay for this daily cost to retain our freedoms.

So, to truly appreciate your rights to freedom, life, liberty, speech and many more in the coming year, you must act daily and continually so that these rights endowed by our Creator are never abdicated thereby guaranteeing your way of life and ensuring same for your progeny.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Charter Amendments Wording NOT on Ballot

The January 26, 2010 ballot, nor the pamphlet sent out by the City for purportedly explaining the charter amendments provide the exact wording by which the City charter will be amended.

In essence, the brochure and the ballot do not contain the exact language one is voting on.

Note that the brochure states: "A YES vote on any question means [sic] the voter wishes to change the Charter language on that question." - change the language to exactly what?

For the exact wording on how the City charter will be amended, CLICK HERE (the underlined text has ALL of the new wording).

1 Comments:

  • Because I chaired a citizens’ committee, “Preserve Our Paradise” (POP) that studied our City Charter a few years ago for areas of possible improvements, many have asked me to share my thoughts on the proposed charter amendments contained in the upcoming election. I’m not qualified to advise my fellow Marco residents on how to vote; however, I don’t mind telling you how I intend to vote in this election:
    Simply put, my one and only “YES” vote (out of all eight questions) will go to question “B”. This question plainly clarifies the 8-year term limitation on councilors, a good and sensible thing to do.
    I will vote “NO” on ALL of the remaining questions. To my mind, each of them contains unacceptable flaws in language, timing and/or purpose… They are like hand grenades: harmless until the pin is pulled. Here are two examples:
    Question “A”, [Clarification and Update of City Charter] – this would grant the government power to “comprehensively” amend or change the Charter whenever they wished to do so. I note that there are no limitations or specifics defined here. No, thank you.
    Question “F”, [Modified Spending Cap]. This proposal would force Marco taxpayers to guarantee that the city’s spending limitation will never fall below that of year 2008, (approximately $18 million), plus 3% and COLA raises for each intervening year…regardless of financial circumstances and regardless of what the spending cap may mandate. A pretty slick insurance policy for the city but again, no, thank you.
    As long as we’re discussing elections, I‘ll mention that, of the four candidates running for office, the relatively unknown Mr. Magel will not, repeat NOT receive my vote. I’ll share two of several reasons:
    1. Mr. Magel is the only candidate who wants Marco’s spending cap modified as in “F” above. Effectively, this can be an end run around the spending cap provision.
    2. Despite his claim of “independency”, Mr. Magel’s candidacy is reportedly supported by people like John Arceri, Monte Lazarus, Joe Granda, Ed Issler, et al. To vote for such an “independent” candidate requires a giant leap of faith that is unwarranted and can possibly be regretted…just one man’s respectful opinion.
    Russ Colombo
    755 Plantation Court
    Marco Island, FL

    By Blogger Russ, at Sunday, January 10, 2010 7:09:00 PM  

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Syndicate's Biggest Fibs of 2009 - Vote Now! Vote Often!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

County Abates Part of Cistern Conversion Fee!

The Collier County Department of Health has granted a temporary abatement to a portion of the County-imposed cistern conversion fee.

This is great news for water conservation efforts in general and for those desirous in converting their septic tanks into cisterns.

As this blog has proven repeatedly, a cistern derived from a septic tank saves approximately 900 gallons of water every 2-3 days in the rainy season, and the same every 14-20 days in the non-rainy season. With the U.S. weather service predicting longer rainy seasons now to span six months, this is a considerable water savings.

The cost to convert to a cistern is obviated in part by the savings of having to destroy the septic tank. A novel cistern design is being installed that does not need electricity – hence it's cheaper.

Following the initiative of Councilor Kiester, the Marco Island City Council voted unanimously to eliminate the City-imposed cistern fee. The city council has also sent a letter to Collier County requesting that the County's fee be eliminated.

Following up on the City's letter, the Collier County Department of Health received a call from this author pleading the case based exclusively on our combined obligation to conserve water and to minimize storm water runoff. An email was sent following up on the conservation. Councilor Kiester also followed up with a letter.

And today we received the good news.

The Collier County Department of Health decided to forgo $160 of the $295 fee. They pointed out, correctly so, that the remaining $135 was for out of pocket costs that they had to pay. Also, the elimination of this fee applies to those who have already applied for a cistern permit, and to those applying in the near future. The department will evaluate the program as it goes forward. Fair enough.

To some, these two fee abeyances may seem trivial. But if you think about it, this is a huge accomplishment: when was the last time a grass-roots conservation movement actually garners the cooperation of two government entities and implemented a real water conservation program that also protects the environment?

This opportunity of fees being abated is a welcomed sign that the city and the county are willing to be partners in conservation and in protecting our environment. It is now up to the citizens of Marco Island – you have every opportunity to act to conserve water, protect the environment, and to save money in the long run. Everything has been done for you – you can act, or …

Our expressed gratitude to Councilor Kiester for being the constant and vocal driving force, and to the Collier Department of Health for their professionalism and proven interest in the environment.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Syndicate Uses Intelligent [de]Signs

Yes, just when you thought the Intelligent DEsign was vogue, we are treated by the syndicate to Intelligent Signs.

In the first picture, located at the intersection of Kendall and Renard, the sign is clearly illegally placed. But this is not the point as doing something illegal by the syndicate and getting away with it is nothing new.


But then, the sign somehow realizes on its own that it is placed illegally, and having absolutely nothing to with the calls and emails to code enforcement that were summarily ignored, the sign moves 20 feet to the right ... so it can claim that it is now on "private property". And hence this second picture of the same sign taken just a week apart.

Truly incredible! Intelligent Signs!

And lastly, there is yet another sign on the opposing corner, also allegedly on "private property". (Ins't placement being inches from a public street make the positioning on public property?) But what is really really really novel about this picture is that if you look really carefully at the top right hand corner of the picture, you will see part of car.

Well, that is a van that was sitting at the intersection "guarding the signs"!
Yes, when these pictures were taken, a woman jumps out of the van and demands to know what the photographer was doing via the moronic circuitous question "Can I help you?" and without even waiting for a response, the woman shouts "These signs are legally placed! They are on private property!" [snarl, grunt, humph, hey its one of those illegal mexicans taking pictures on my island - as interpreted from the facial expressions]

Can it be that the syndicate is now hiring people or otherwise enlisting their minions and operatives to guard signs so that people can't take pictures of them?

What a shame, and we thought that this sydincate candidate was for the environment - think of all that fuel that the sign guard was wasting as the van idled. But yet we understand, those are expensive signs - they are Intelligent deSigns.

(click on any picture to enlarge for forsensics ...)

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Actually Doing Something for the Environment

Some "environmental" organizations are merely political. Others say a lot, do much arm waving and posturing, but rarely take on a cause. And yet others act seemingly by happenstance.

Regrettably we have seen too many of these outfits when it comes to Marco Island.

It is a welcomed act when the City Council of Marco Island voted unanimously to abate the City's portion of the cistern conversion fee, and penned a letter to the Collier County Health Department asking them to do the same. CLICK HERE FOR THE LETTER.

This effort was spearheaded by Councilor Kiester, for which we are grateful.

As a reminder, it is unquestionable that a cistern-from-septic saves an appreciable amount of water by each house.

Following up on the letter, this week this blog spoke with the County Department of Health and again asked that the county's fee/tax for cistern conversion also be abated.

Here is our follow-up email to the conversation;

dear councilors kiester, recker & forcht,

i had the pleasure today to speak w/ dr. craig who, along with her team at the dept. of health here in collier, was kind enough to explain the details of the locally-imposed cistern fee. if you will recall, that fee is $295, and under your authority you had directed the city manager to send a letter asking that said fee be abated. dr. craig delineated all of the elements of that fee and how, with the exception of a $50 state fee, how these elements in effect cover actual expenses.

i expressed to dr. craig that all parties desirous in conserving water and being genuine stewards of our environment need to have a stake in each and every opportunity to conserve water and to protect the environment irrespective how small it may seem to some. namely, we all need to have 'skin in the game' each and every time we can. we have already proven that cistern use saves an appreciable amount of water per house ergo this is one of those opportunities.

we citizens have a major stake in the cistern-conversion process - in part upwards of $2,200. the city of marco island city council showed their leadership, seriousness and commitment to protecting the environment by unanimously voting to abate the fee for cistern conversion imposed by the city - hence the city has a stake. on behalf of the citizens of marco island, today i simply asked the local department of health to do the same and follow the lead of this city council - and in this case abate their portion of the $295 (which is $245).

dr. craig promised me that she would look into the possibility next week.
i want to again thank dr. craig and her team for their genuine interest, speaking with me, and for considering our request.
thank you.

------------------------------
-------------
\ mario sánchez, m.s., ph.d. /
------------------------------
-------------

And here is Councilor Kiester's own initiative as a true steward of our precious environment;

Mario,

Thanks for the update on your negotiations with the County Health Department. Also thank you for spear-heading the septic-to-cistern opportunity for hopefully all the citizens of Collier County. As a retired urban & regional planner, I am well-versed on the need to conserve potable water everywhere, but especially in Southwest Florida. We already have had water shortages which has required the water management district to impose restrictions on the watering of lawns the last several years. That is why I am personally pushing for allowing permeable driveways on Marco (similar to Sanibel) which our current code does not allow.

As Marco’s elected representative to the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (currently vice-chair), I intend to bring this issue to the attention of my fellow city and county commissioners so that other counties can enjoy the benefits of this opportunity should they wish to follow Collier County’s lead.

Last, but certainly not least, I thank the Collier County Department of Health for considering the reduction of fees so as to encourage the conversion as has the Marco City Council.

Chuck Kiester
Marco Island City Councilor


The City of Marco Island city council actually did something for the environment. We call on the Collier County Department of Health to do the same. Additionally, we call for those local, regional and national private, public and pan-public organizations that claim to be for the environment to petition the Collier County Health Department for the cistern fee/tax to be abated.

In essence, we are asking for those who claim to be for the environment, to put "skin in the game" and actually do something for the environment.

And the citizens can help too - a simple email to the Department of Health will go a long way.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Proof: City of Marco Island Violated Federal Clean Water Act

This recently declassified document from the EPA proves that the City of Marco Island violated the federal Clean Water Act.

Once the City pumped effluent into the waterways, irrespective if the City believed they obtained a permit after the first drop went into the Gulf, the City violated federal law.

CLICK HERE FOR THE DOCUMENT

If the City had simply ordered the contractor to stop, and left all liability and responsibility with the contractor, then the City arguably would not be liable now - or at the minimum the "staff" present and past. But as we all know, the City protected the contractors, encouraged the dumping, lied to the FDEP (as if that mattered to the FDEP), and pumped and dumped
ad nauseum.

So now the consequences will follow. By law the EPA must prosecute, or can (and will) be sued to ensure prosecution.

1 Comments:

  • Mario,

    It is quite clear from this and your previous postings that had the City of Marco Island, or any sitting member of the Council, or any "prominent citizen" (whatever that means!) asked for an investigation, it most likely would have been forthcoming.

    Unfortunately for the Island, the City Fathers and those whom you are fond of calling the "Syndicate" simply stated that those who brought the allegations to the attention of the FDEP were "angry old men with too much time on their hands" and should be ignored. So they were.

    Jon Iglehart has shown himself to be a person who willingly takes any excuse he is offered in order to squelch controversy. He has failed in his job and should be removed by Governor Crist. In that, Iglehart is no different than Mr. Issler's "majority of Marco citizens" who voted in the last election as they were told to do. For the sake of the city, I hope the electorate has awoken. If so, they have you to thank for playing a major role in rousing them.

    Ed Foster
    Former Marco Resident and
    Former Chairman, C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

    By Blogger Edward, at Friday, December 11, 2009 10:46:00 AM  

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

So Why Wasn't Asbestos Dumping Investigated?

We learned from police reports (MIPD & FDEP) that the dumping, staging, pulverizing and removal of tons of asbestos was not investigated.

As to the FDEP's non-involvement, we found in the MIPD final report the October 25, 2006 entry by the MIPD Detective Guerrero that the FDEP would not investigate:

"Regarding the current findings on site-C [the few pipe fragments], Harris [FDEP Investigator Dave Harris]stated that DEP would not be conducting an
investigation, but if their assistance was needed they would be available."

Since we can't accept/believe/understand that the state of Florida's institution charge with investigating such contamination simply left it up to an investigator to decide on his own to not investigate, we issued a formal Florida Statute 119 public records request of the FDEP asking who ordered the Investigator Harris to not investigate. Here is their reply:

From: Bevis, Grea
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 10:41 AM
To:
Cc: Hazleton, Bonnie; Hartman, Tracey
Subject: Response to Question 12/1/09

With regards to your question below, no one directed or “ever suggested” to Agent Harris to not look into or investigate any matters related to Marco Island.

Thank you,
Chief Grea Bevis
DEP-Division of Law Enforcement

Are the citizens to conclude that an investigator for the FDEP simply took it upon himself to not investigate dumping, staging, pulverizing and removal of tons of asbestos - though it is the FDEP's legal mandate to do so?

1 Comments:

  • By now we shouldn't be surprised at this revelation. This "investigator" should have to state under oath who told him not to do this and/or why he chose to not act on behalf of the people paying his salary. The term "public servant" certainly doesn't apply to him.

    By Anonymous KarenGlaub, at Sunday, December 06, 2009 2:28:00 PM  

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Grand Jury Impaneled !!!

The Florida Supreme Court, after considering a second motion, has GRANTED a request by Crist to impanel a grand jury to investigate municipal corruption in several Florida counties.

(click here for the order)

Collier County is one of those counties - naturally. A grand jury to investigate the repulsive shenanigans of the local good ol' boy network is a welcomed initiative supporting the rule of law.

We are now in the process of submitting to the grand jury a request to incorporate into their criminal investigation of Collier County the following events/issues:

  • The process and eventual rejection of the recall petitions by a Collier County judge
  • The STRP
  • The staging, crushing, pulverizing and illegal removal of asbestos - and the lack of prosecution
  • The dumping of millions of gallons of effluent into the waterways - and the lack of prosecution
  • The law enforcement agencies involved or not involved in investigating the asbestos and effluent dumping
  • Voter intimidation
  • The syndicate
We continue: backwards not even to gain momentum!

1 Comments:

  • Mario, if this happens it will be the most important event in the history of Marco Island. I believe it will wake up the voters to the self serving abuses perpetrated by A,M,L,J, (letters of first names are used due to a previous formal threat by A to sue me if I used his name} and their crowd that have destroyed the tranquility of our paradise. You are to be commended for the perseverance and intelligence that it has taken to bring things to this point. Thank you for your efforts.

    By Anonymous Roger Hall, at Thursday, December 03, 2009 10:57:00 AM  

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