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

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Water Pipes Ignored

Several years ago this blog exposed the testimony from the public works director that the water pipes on Marco Island were fissured. These pipes, like the ones removed from Collier Boulevard and pulverized and buried, are made with asbestos.

Additional admissions followed: the water is NOT tested as to asbestos fibers.

Like everything else in the cabbage patch, a collective yawn from the vegetables, with the exception of the Marco Zealots that denied, denigrated and argued merely to not have to face that their favorite local vomitorium was using contaminated water.

Now, read this:


400,000 Miles of Drinking Water Pipes
May Have Been Made With The Deadly Substance by Barbara Robson

Prospect is chilling: by best estimates, about 20 million people have had significant exposure to cancer causing asbestos on the job. Three hundred thousand Americans are expected to die of asbestos related cancer in the next twenty to thirty years. Now, the deadly substance is contaminating drinking water around the continent.

Now, alarming levels of invisible, needle like fibers of asbestos have been discovered in tap water. Much of it comes from an estimated 400,000 miles of asbestos cement water pipe. Enough to circle the globe sixteen times. Buried beneath hundreds of North American cities.

Yet scientists and government officials can not agree on how serious this hazard actually is, or even on what levels are acceptable. "We believe asbestos breathed is a definite carcinogen", says Dave Ryan, a press officer for the Environmental Protection Agency, "but as far as asbestos in water, the jury is still out".

The people of Woodstock NY know the worry first hand. In late 1985, so much asbestos was in the tap water that it clogged the town's pipes. Health officials warned citizens not to drink the water, to limit showers and to keep asbestos contaminated water out of humidifiers.

Tara Roberts, a thirty one year old business woman and mother, is the leader of the citizen's group Asbestos Free Woodstock. When she first heard Woodstock's health warning, she thought of her one year old daughter, who had had a cold. On her pediatricians advice she'd covered the crib and put a vaporizer beside it.

"I realized that the vaporizer was probably putting asbestos into the air she breathed," Robers grimly recalls. "I was horrified." For over a year, she has hauled gallons of clean water home, taken dirty clothes to a laundromat that uses well water and showered at the houses of friends with safe water.

Roberts states the 1980s message from the famous town of Woodstock: "Any community with asbestos cement pipe either has a problem or will soon have one."

In the past decade, asbestos contamination in drinking water has been discovered in communities throughout North America. In 1982, Department of Health and Human Services survey of 538 US cities showed sixty five percent of them had some asbestos in their water. Almost nine percent had levels that health experts say should have signaled concern.

In Connecticut, a state that banned installing new asbestos pipes seven years ago,
900 miles of asbestos laden pipe is still in the ground, supplying drinking water for over 600,000 people. The Detroit News informed 4 million water drinkers that 1100 miles of the pipe that lay beneath them showed more than 3 million fibers in a quart of tap water.

Asbestos cement water pipes may be anywhere in North American, from Winnipeg Canada to Texas, and, depending on its condition may cause people to swallow from a few hundred to hundreds of millions of fibers every day.

Unfortunately all too little is being done. Water utilities typically deny any risk for fear of liability. Occasionally the utilities even deny they used asbestos cement pipe. Two decades ago, asbestos cement pipe producers, including former industry giant Johns-Manville, attempted to fix the problem. With Food and Drug Administration approval, they sprayed a vinyl liner inside asbestos pipe and subsequently sold miles of treated pipe throughout New England. A few years ago, tetrachloroethylene, a chemical known to produce cancer in test animals was found to be leaching from the vinyl lining into the water. By 1980 when Manville finally took its vinyl lined asbestos pipe off the market, 1000 miles were buried in New England and New York.

Asbestos cement pipe producers paid for reports that advised water utilities to treat highly acidic water flowing through their pipes. Acidic water can cause the cement to disintegrate, which can result in the release of asbestos fibers.

On almost all fronts denial of the asbestos hazard in tap water seems to run deep. In ostrich like fashion city officials seem to be pretending that because they can't see the asbestos fibers in the water, little need be done.

Winnipeg, a prairie city of over 600,00 is a case in point.

Sixteen years ago, Dr. Francis Konopasek, a physics professor at the University of Manitoba studying asbestos levels in wine and beer wondered if the deadly mineral might be making its way into Winnipeg's drinking water. Upon inquiring he was told, incorrectly, that asbestos pipe was only used to carry sewage, not water. In 1979, a Canadian government report showed that Winnipeg's drinking water was indeed tainted by asbestos. The city had almost 400 miles of asbestos cement pipe in the ground for nearly half a century. Over the next few years Winnipeg tested asbestos levels in its drinking water. In 1983, the year before sampling was stopped, a quart of Winnipeg drinking water contained 12 million fibers.

In the winter of 1986, facing public outcry, the city finally banned further installation of asbestos cement water pipe. But it also brought in Joseph Cotruvo, director of criteria and standards in the EPA's office who gave a different view of the risk. "A multi million dollar study found the weight of evidence is slight that ingested asbestos causes cancer". Not surprisingly, environmentalists were unconvinced.

Unfortunately industry and government officials have been able to hide behind the fact that no adequate studies exist to measure the debilitating effects of drinking asbestos contaminated water. Dr. Irving Selikoff, the world's leading expert on asbestos related disease says that there are sound scientific reasons to suspect a cancer risk from asbestos in drinking water.

In November of 1985 the EPA proposed a nationwide standard for asbestos in drinking water. It stated that consumer protection was needed only when more than 7 million fibers per quart were found, and only when those fibers were long, which means longer than ten microns. In other words the EPA was assuring everyone that hundreds of millions of fibers shorter than ten microns were dandy to swallow!

To get to that dubious position the EPA shunted aside its own 1980 estimate of risk, as well as the advice of its own science advisory board and the opinion of the National Research Council. Instead it turned to a single animal study showing that asbestos Feb. in pellet form to rats was barely carcinogenic.

The author of that study, Ernest McConnell of the National Toxicology Program has acknowledged his surprise. "We would never regulate fibers longer than ten microns, based on my asbestos findings".

According to Mount Sinai's Dr. Landrigan, the EPA is misguided in its attempt to pretend that the short fibers are benign. Furthermore, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a group of scientists and lawyers with a strong track record in fighting for clean water supplies, charges that the EPA is allowing a risk 10,000 times greater than is prudent.

Also in November 1985, the EPA officially conceded that humidifiers could add to the hazard posed by asbestos contaminated water.

In drinking water the cancer risk seems to depend on the amount of asbestos swallowed. When you take a little asbestos and send it out to other parts of the body no one site is going to have very much, therefore the risk theoretically should be low. Asbestos has however, one very dangerous quality, as it accumulates in the body; the microscopic fibers lodged in tissues can remain like little time bombs and cause cancer years later. Since asbestos exposure is cumulative, young people are in particular need of protection. "Adults have three or four decades to develop cancer after exposure", says Dr. Landrigan. "The kids have six or seven. this means that a smaller dose of a carcinogen is as dangerous to the kids as a larger dose of it is to adults".

Controlling asbestos so that standards are met is critical. In Woodstock, pipes crumbled so badly that the proposed standard was exceeded. In one 1985 sample, 300 million fibers of every length were found per quart.

As thousands of other North Americans become suspicious of what level of asbestos may be in their drinking water, the big question is how to take preventive measures. At the very least, water districts should be required by law to tell consumers what type of pipe transports their precious commodity and before major problems erupt they should be required to test their water. If necessary districts should be required by law to quickly remove the pipe, just as schools have been required to remove asbestos pipe and insulation/tiles. Failure to do so dooms millions of people to become test animals in a massive biological experiment involving a known carcinogen.



As long as the now "former" director of Public Works (now head of the Water and Sewer department) is still employed by the city, and his defenders in the syndicate continue to influence decisions, Marco will also follow the ostrich approach (as noted in the article above).

Hurry on down to that buffet!

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another Environmental Problem on Marco Island

Saddling San Marco Rd. around the Key Marco entrance are two swaths of dead mangroves. Despite being evident for years, no action to alleviate the cause has been undertaken by the plethora of governmental layers purportedly in place to prevent such problems. That they caused the dead zone is nothing new.

It appears that the cause is due to the natural flow being blocked by road work. Whatever the reason, the resolve - if any - is exactly where?

Aren't we all glad the the city and the county and the state and the federal government and several private environmental organizations are all in place to prevent and fix these problems!

(click on any image to view a high-definition picture. )





1 Comments:

  • Re: the dead mangroves on San
    Marco road- I am a yearly visitor to MI and I noticed last yr,2009 that section of dead mangroves and wondered what was going on -Shouldn`t Rookery Bay or the Conservancy be looking into the matter and the Marco Eagle investigating as well ? Where are these City Councilmen on issues like this? Seems like all that goes on here are proposals to raise taxes and fix things that don`t need to be fixed.Marco was once a fantastic place and then what happened-

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thursday, August 19, 2010 6:51:00 AM  

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Friday, June 25, 2010

More City Personnel Changes

THE CITY
OF
MARCO
ISLAND


50 Bald Eagle Drive

Marco Island, FL 34145

Telephone: 941-389-5000 – Fax: 941-389-4359




DATE: June 25, 2010

TO: City Council

FROM: James C. Riviere, PhD, Interim City Manager

RE: Organizational Re-Alignment of Public Works and Marco Island Water & Sewer Department


Effective this date, I am announcing the following re-structuring of city departments.


Mr. Tim Pinter is promoted to Director of Public Works. Included in the Public Works Division is the Collection and Distribution (C&D) operations for water and sewer. Thereby, city right-of-way (ROW) and all utility field operations will report to Mr. Pinter.


The Marco Island Water and Sewer Department is established with Rony Joel as General Manager. Mr. Joel is responsible for all water and sewer plant operations which include the north water plant, the south water plant, the wastewater treatment plant and the Marco Shores wastewater treatment plant.


Both Mr. Pinter and Mr. Joel will promulgate more detailed organization announcements.

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Asbestos Remediation Reports

These are the reports that the EPA relied on to "conclude" the violation of the Clear Air Act by Quality Enterprieses & city employees (current and former).

Abestos Remediation Reports - (click link)

Careful reading (not that anyone will do so - akin to how the modern-day politicians and citizens DONT read legislation) of these reports is quite revealing.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

EPA Turns Over (some) Documents

Pursuant to our Freedom of Information Act suit brought against the EPA, late last week the agency turned over approximately 500 pages of documents.

An interim victory of sorts.

In the process of scanning these documents so as to make them available here on the blog. Will advise the readers when the document cache will become available.

In analyzing these documents, some are quite disturbing. One series in particular reveals, when taken into account previously available documents, how city operatives, the syndicate and city employees conspired with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to malign the citizens that were objecting to the toxic gas and the effluent being dumped into the gulf. (A dedicated post will be made on this issue.)

There are still some additional documents sought ... so, onward.

Again, an interim victory of sorts.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gee, What a Coincidence

The readers of this blog are aware of the near-identical situation in Highlands County (northwest of Lake Okeechobee).

There too was asbestos contamination, a morally and intellectually vacuous "enforcement", one Don Quixote tilling at the windmills of corrupt bureaucracies, and of course the same denigrate-the-citizens-and-don't-protect-the-environment Florida Department of Environmental "Protection".

Yesterday the county commissioners fired the county administrator (county equivalence to city councilors firing a city manager).

Check out
http://www.newssun.com/news/0623-eb-wright-termination

As they used to say in the cold war, the dominoes will fall.

Stay tuned in for more good news.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Time is Running Out

By Roger Hall

Dear Council and Concerned Citizens,

It has been over a month since I raised my concern that we should be taking strong action to protect our island and our beaches. I advocated procuring hard boom material while it is still available as well as absorbent boom material, an oil absorbent felt like 5' fence material that would be installed in the water and microbes that would be used to eat the oil that either approaching us or is able to get here. I spoke before the council two weeks ago and informed the council that I had spoken with several suppliers and all of those materials were readily available. The longest lead time was for hard boom material and that was 4 weeks. That same supplier had sold $5 million in materials, representing 50 truck loads to various communities in the Keys and was busy filling that order.

Since that time the following has happened:

Nancy Ritchie, our environmentalist, appeared before the council and assured them that we had 47,000 feet of boom material earmarked for Marco Island. When asked where it was she didn't have any idea. Ronny Joel informed the council that we were going to have 6 big dumpsters to receive the clean up and he had purchased thousands of gloves, bags, and scoopers to use in the clean up. No provisions for prevention were offered

This subject was added to the previously scheduled special meeting to be held the following evening in order to more fully explore our options. That meeting was attended by a representative from the county but curiously was not attended by our environmentalist. It was like having a meeting to discuss an approaching forest fire by not having the fire chief there.

The county representative presented the facts that:

1. There wasn't any boom material reserved for Marco Island that he was aware of.

2. The county was going to protect our beaches by installing 6 miles of hay bales end to end, that would be staked down above the high water mark that were going to protect our beaches from tar balls. When asked how thousands of hay bales placed above the high water mark were going to prevent oil, which is floating in the water, from getting on our beaches, the representative didn't have any answer. When asked where these thousands of hay bales were being stored, again, nobody knew.

3. A plan that was developed some months ago was presented. The county has taken the position that we need to protect the environmentally sensitive areas. the Rookery, and that we can clean up the developed areas later.

4. A map was presented that outlined the oil disaster plan. Unfortunately, while it contained a lot of marks that showed something was supposed to happen, the county representative could not remember what they meant.

BOTTOM LINE: THERE IS NO PLAN!

The agenda for tonight council meeting contains a provision for an update on the oil spill. I don't see any action items relating protecting us from the approaching spill.

The only thing that has saved our island to date is the fact that this occurred in the summer, when the winds are light and have been primarily blowing from the south, pushing the oil north. If this had occurred during the winter months when the winds blew from the west, north west, for weeks at a time, we would be looking like Louisiana. There is over 100 million gallons of oil swashing around in the gulf, it is growing by millions of gallons a day, and it will continue to do so for months. We have a respite but the oil is coming sooner or later. The loop current will carry the oil south, 100 miles off our coast, but it will only take a few days of strong westerly winds to put it on our island.

During the last council meeting it was decided to wait and see what the communities to the north were doing to deal with this spill and take advantage of their experience.

It is now apparent that BP, the Coast Guard, and the federal government are all way behind the curve in planning for prevention. As documented on every news show and in today's papers, more and more of these communities are taking matters in their own hands. That is the lesson.

Tonight, you are going to approve $500,000 for a shed. Wouldn't it make sense to spend that money on protecting our island and its 1 billion dollar tax base?

Thank you,

Roger Hall

Marco Island

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Iron Rhino

On the corner of state road 92 (San Marco Rd.) and US 41 (Tamiami Trail), the Iron Rhino Saloon is a welcomed outpost just a few minutes outside of Marco Island. Serves great fresh food (the gyros and burgers are phenomenal), friendly genuine service, inexpensive and does not use water from Marco Island!

Fun and friendly ... try it. (click on any image to enlarge into HD pictures).




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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Aquifer - At Risk

Please watch this highly informative and animated video about how our aquifer is at risk - from many sources, most notable of which are from sewer treatment plants that use deep injection wells - like the one Marco Island uses.

Make sure your speakers are ON.

CLICK HERE FOR PRESENTATION

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

EPA Settlement Reviewed

By Karen Glaub

Tuesday, Oct.8, 2010, our city officials signed an agreement worked out by Dr. Riviere with the EPA and Quality Enterprises to settle the charges the EPA brought against them for mishandling asbestos contaminated material from the Collier Blvd reconstruction project. While many of us are glad that the agreement was made which kept the Marco Island taxpayers from having to pay any fines, we must look with open eyes at the whole picture.

There has been a large amount of money expended from our city coffers for legal fees to Lewis Longman & Walker, and for cleanup of site C more than once, because former City Manager Bill Moss said the city staff asked Quality Enterprises to put the concrete pipes there to hold down a mulch pile, which somehow mysteriously became crushed into fragments. Also we have never seen an accounting of the city's landfill account which could have been involved in disposal of the loads of a/c soil brought there. It is a costly process to dispose of hazardous materials. Time and time again we were told by Mr. Moss that the costs of the cleanup would be paid by Quality Enterprises. Indeed the CARES settlement required that the contractor would reimburse the city for all expenses connected with the remediation of the asbestos contamination of the three parcels that make up the park, and for any remediation of asbestos contamination needed now and in the future for any part of Collier Boulevard. Did it happen?

This latest agreement which is available for viewing on the website www.marcoislandblog.blogspot.com, also tells us that no wrongdoing is admitted by any party and both Quality Enterprises and the City of Marco Island are absolved from further liability. This indicates that no payments will be forthcoming from Quality Enterprises for the expenses the city paid to the law firm Lewis Longman & Walker, or for further cleanup of the Veterans Park site should any more fragments surface in the future. The site has been blessed by the EPA as clean and hopefully it is, for the sake of future generations.

The mishandling of the asbestos contaminated pipe which was pulled up from underneath Collier Blvd during the reconstruction of that street, was only brought to light by former resident Ed Foster, and CARES, a citizens action group. For what they did, they were attacked and vilified by some who did not want to know the truth, but, in reality, if not for their brave actions, the mishandling would have gone on for much longer and proper disposal of it would never have taken place at all, and so we all owe these people a loud thank you for what they did.

The public officials that allowed this to happen in our midst, were careless in their discharge of their duties and were never punished so we can only hope it was an educational event that they learned something from. We hope they will be more careful in their selection of the contractors and vendors our city does business with and will put the health and safety of the residents above all else. Perhaps our City Council will remember this event and be vigilant going forward, but residents must also pay attention and take action when necessary, so nothing like this ever happens again.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

EPA Asbestos Settlement Agreement

This is the settlement agreement between the City of Marco Island, Quality Enterprises and the United States Environmental Protection Agency in regards to the violation of the Clean Air Act due to the asbestos contamination.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE AGREEMENT

3 Comments:

  • I just love it! Quality Enterprises and the City get to "certify" themselves simply by stating that they were not bad boys (cf Paragraph 17). The EPA then agrees to affirm that they were not bad boys because they said they weren't and fines Quality 87 grand just for laughs.

    Although neither the City nor Quality admit to any violations - the normal boilerplate BS - if anyone had bothered to check Bill Utsler's deposition (taken in relationship to the C.A.R.E.S., Inc. Clean Air suit brought in Federal Court that started the whole investigation) they will find that Mr. Utsler (QE's foreman on the scene) swore under oath that QE did not have anyone on site who was certified to handle asbestos. That is one of the charges so QE had already admitted guilt in 2006 when the depositions were taken and arguably should have been fined $37,500 a day from then until now.

    Note that the EPA reserves the right to bring new charges if new evidence arises. Maybe someone will finally read those depositions!

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

    By Anonymous Ed Foster, at Friday, June 11, 2010 9:36:00 AM  

  • unfortunately you are correct. this is the better-than-nothing resolution which pushes into oblivion the inhumane character immoral acts of ALL the councilors during that time. they knew, you, i, butch, roger and others (not publicly) alerted the council but yet they refused to act as anyone with an ounce of moral fiber would have. this is the sewage (pun intended) nature of the popoff disciullo trotter tucker minozzi and yes even kiester. let time and their maker deal with them justly.

    for the island, no one cares, and this agreement is merely the epitaph on the marker to where morality in america is buried.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, June 11, 2010 10:37:00 AM  

  • Lets look at what this little episode cost the taxpayers. Clean up costs the city paid to AMRC ($83,634), Lewis Longman & Walker, (over $200,000), plus who knows what else we paid for. We probably paid three times more than Quality did in fines for causing this mess.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, June 11, 2010 3:56:00 PM  

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Applying Reason to the High School Initiative Discussion

By Dr. Mario Sánchez

One of the greatest characteristics of the American success story is the freedom to choose. Allowing individuals to choose nearly everything in their lives has created a rich, diverse and prosperous way of life. And part of the ability to choose comes from the freedom to create a choice when implementing an idea by which something can be improved upon.

When it is axiomatic that allowing people to chose almost anything improves the collective American way of life, then it is perplexing why there is so much derision from certain quarters when individuals chose where to send their children to school. Equally curious is the aversion against those that chose to developed what they believe to be an improved approach to the enduring problem of how best to teach children.

But as with all issues, the honest apply a level of intellectual curiosity in vetting the rationale by which the self-evident, in this case choice, is criticized. To wit, herein are the arguments.

But first, two disclosures. First, I am a professional teacher, a tenured professor of computer science, informatics and bioinformatics. What this means is that I dedicate at the minimum 60 hours per week to undergraduate and graduate level students, in addition to the myriad administrative issues associated with the country's largest and highest rated college. While such a position may deem that my views are biased, there is no bias in being a near-decades old recipient of the product of high schools – namely, the university freshman. Secondly I support a high school on Marco Island. In fact I along with Dr. Fay Biles (a thirty-year professional teacher as well) were the organizers of the original initiative approximately three years ago. Our vision then was to establish a high school on Marco Island dedicated exclusively to exemplary, university-level education in the basics: Mathematics, Sciences, English, and Social Sciences. From there another initiative surfaced, with their own ideas, and in keeping with the spirit of choice, that initiative espouses somewhat divergent ideas that I support.

Back to the arguments critical of the high school initiative.

The Lely Argument
A high school on Marco Island will take away from Lely. Lely has the sports programs. "My child went to Lely, is very happy and had a wonderful experience". "My child went to Lely and is now a successful (fill in the blank)." Lely offers real-world experiences in diversity, culture and "other things." "I sent my child to Lely, and it's a great school." "Lely has a great sports program."

First, thank God that your child did well, is happy and had a wonderful experience irrespective where that child went to high school. However, that does not mean that all children did well, are happy or had a wonderful experience at Lely. And for those that didn't have the same experience or success, didn't they deserve the same experience? For example, last year's statistics show that approximately from 25% to 35% of the students in Collier County could not read or perform arithmetic or read at their grade level. Aren't these 25% to 35% of the children entitled to a "wonderful experience" and are they not entitled to having the education so as to be successful at (fill in the blank)?

And therein lies the problem and why I denoted my position at a university – the overwhelming amount of our time is not spent with the happy successful freshman college student, but with the approximately 30% that do not have an 8th grade education and somehow wound up in a college.

So, if an organized group of individuals finds a better way to reach those failed 30%, the result of allowing the existent school systems decades of attempts and billions of dollars expenditures, why not let them try?

Here is another statistic before moving on: Florida ranks 48th in the nation in high school graduation rates at approximately 70% - meaning that 30% of the students don't graduate. Can we not let an initiative that seeks to address that appalling 30% failure rate an opportunity? Or should we just accept this 30% failure rate just because you/your child had a great experience at some existent school?

Then there is the argument that someone's child went to the school that they assume will be impacted by the Marco Island high school initiative. This is rather interesting: just because some parent sent their child to a particular school does that mean that the rest of us must follow suit? Why? What if we as a family or the child as an individual have/has particular learning, physical, dietary, ecumenical requirements? Or just want to exercise a right to chose?

The argument of "our child went there so yours must too" is vacuous at best. One of my sons went to one of the top five high schools in the United States. I wouldn't recommend that anyone send their child to that high school (not just because it is in California, but because it may not be engaging for every child).

Similarly, the best high schools in the world are now in Cuba – there is an exceedingly high level of education taught by premiere scholars and mandated by a brutal regime resulting in a population with a near 100% literacy rate (far better than the United States). Anyone want to send their child to Cuba to be in the best high schools in the world?

Two final points. The sports argument is attention-grabbing as it exposes a greater problem. What if the child is not sports inclined – what value does a sports program then serve that child? A child can be physically fit and not be in organized sports.

We often hear of some student that has received a sports scholarship – again be thankful and happy for that student. But here is the rub: and what about the hundreds of thousands of other students that did not receive a sports scholarship? A better question: why doesn't the local "newspapers" or the school district's propaganda machine not detail the story of a dropout that had no sports scholarship?

Lastly, good students (yes, there are such students despite the cancer of political correctness) will excel anywhere. They will make the best of any circumstance, not spend their time whining and complaining and blaming everyone and everything. Scholars succeeded from good and bad schools alike.

So as to the Lely arguments, they are not rational but merely emotional. The Marco Island high school initiatives – past and present – never decried what happened or did not happen at Lely. In fact, the school was never mentioned, nor will it ever be mentioned. These initiatives simply want a high school on the island implemented using novel and arguably better didactic strategies.

By the way, another one of my sons graduated from Lely.

Tract K
This is really, really simple. The land deed clearly states SCHOOL SITE. This is a legal document. Deltona gave the land to the Collier County School Board for the expressed purpose that the land be used for a SCHOOL SITE.

No one can construe that the land is to be used for a power generating plant or to be sold for profit. The superintendent has no legal or moral right to sell the land to anyone – which is his latest salvo in an attempt to derail the high school initiative.

Now, the City of Marco Island recently undertook exploratory conversations with the Collier County School Board to buy tract K. This movement seemed to be a benevolent idea by which to protect the property from the island's established insidious rapacious commercial interests. While I initially supported this idea, I no longer do so.

Reason being that the syndicate has reared its ugly head by suggesting again that tract K be used for a power generating facility. And while the current council leadership is honest and honorable, it may not be that way forever thereby running the risk that at some time in the future tract K will wind up in the noted wrong hands.

Regardless, it is easier for the Collier County School Board to do what it is legally obligated to do – to provide the land as deeded.

Lastly, the ruse that there is an eagle on the land prevents any development (except the syndicate's power generating facility for some not-so-odd reason) has also resurfaced. The real restriction is quite different than what is being espoused by the syndicate or the "environmental specialist". A properly designed school can be built on tract K in deference to the eagle and related laws.

Taxes
Taxes will increase. No. There will be a fee. No.

Here is a question: Are Marco Island taxpayers happy with the approximately $50million they send every year to the Collier County School Board?

Summary
During the many years I undertook my PhD studies I was fortunate to be part of a large cadre of exceedingly bright doctoral computer science and engineering students. Sadly, none were born in the United States, and only one had a high school diploma from Florida (me – a long time ago).

Our educational K-12 system needs help. And not just locally, but in a state that consistently ranks near-last and sadly in a country that also ranks near-last of the industrialized world. Despite the popular mantras, the problem is not from lack of money, or because of the "unions", or because of inept teachers.

The problem comes from a lack of options, bloated administrations, suffocating bureaucracies and an appreciable portion of parental disengagement.

With the Marco Island high school initiative the people have an opportunity to negate these causes that have wronged all too many of our most precious resource. Be grateful you or your child was or is a success elsewhere, while supporting an idea by which to improve a process that needs improving for the benefit of our community and country.

2 Comments:

  • Do you really expect me, and others, to believe that a Marco High School will be for the 25 to 30% who may not get a quality education at Lely? It is to benefit the elitest people of Marco not the migrants or poorer people of the area. You will at best have token under-advantaged students attending this school. I don't want the school board or city to sell the property. I also want the property to service the people who it was intended to serve, the children of Marco, not their elitest parents.

    By Anonymous Mike, at Tuesday, June 08, 2010 8:15:00 PM  

  • what i want you to believe is what has been proven in practice repeatedly without exception: that when given a choice for exemplary education, EVERYONE will come from far and away, especially those that need it most - in this case, the ones that DON'T live on marco island.

    my original vision was to provide university-level education in the basics. the present movement has other priorities - fair enough.

    but either way, regardless if the school is in marco island or on the moon, those that need it most - minorities, the 30%

    besides, should we just sit around and wring our hands in the HOPE that the existing schools address those 30%? hell, they haven't for decades and after spending TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

    what is wrong with affording locally A PROVEN TIME AND TIME AGAIN process of building something better and they will come?

    lastly, though i have no skin the game, namely none of my children will go to this marco island high school, i will be the first one decrying any discrimination - as i have done so when the island's syndicate used hoary racial tropes against hispanics (and come to think of it i dont recall any detractor of the high school then criticizing the syndicate for their KKK meeting and slurs.)

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Wednesday, June 09, 2010 7:01:00 AM  

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Friday, June 04, 2010

EPA = Ecocide Political Agency

In what is now a weekly occurrence, two more reports/stories were released this week detailing how the EPA's refusal to act as required by law, politicizing every issue, and outright obfuscation has destroyed lives and ironically the environment.

The first story is tragic. After years of asking the EPA to do something, this American community finally had to "sue" the United States in a body associated with the Organization of American States (!) to intervene – then the agency decided to do something:

"Mossville is still suffering. There are still people that are dying," she says.

As evidence, they point to government blood tests showing residents with three times the normal levels of dioxins in their blood. Dioxins are carcinogens, often called the most toxic substance known.

Health surveys in Mossville [Louisiana] show widespread respiratory problems and other ailments. Residents also say many in the community have died young, from cancer.

After YEARS of rebuffing their requests, the EPA in January agreed to test whether Mossville qualifies as a federal Superfund site. Investigators arrived in April. Superfund designation could mean federal funding for cleanup and, possibly, relocation for residents who want to go.

Mossville won another victory in March. An international human rights commission agreed to rule on a case brought by Mossville against the United States government.

"It means they are going to have a legal judgment on their right to live in a healthy environment," says Monique Harden, co-director and attorney with Advocates for Environmental Human Rights

Advocates for Environmental Human Rights filed suit with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the people of Mossville. It was the first time the commission, an arm of the Organization of American States, decided to rule on an environmental injustice case in the United States, according to Harden.

(Source: CNN June 2, 2010 "Toxic town's advocate sees victory ahead")

Then this story; the agency refused to allow the development of micro-organisms that could have consumed all of the oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico at this time:

… is the incomprehensible choice of William Reilly, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, to co-chair the presidential commission to investigate the catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

During Reilly's tenure, the EPA implemented policies that prevented the development of a high-tech method to mitigate the effects of the oil washing onto the magnificent beaches along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida.

Reilly should have known: Innovation had been stymied by his agency's hostile policies toward the most sophisticated new genetic engineering techniques. The regulations ensured that biotech researchers in several industrial sectors, including bioremediation, would continue to be intimidated and inhibited by regulatory barriers. Those policies remain in place today, and the EPA's anti-technology zealots show no signs of changing them.

Characteristically, the EPA didn't let science get in the way of policy. Its regulation focuses on any "new" organism (strangely and unscientifically defined as one which contains combinations of DNA from unrelated sources) that might, for example, literally eat up oil spills.

The EPA ignored the widely held scientific consensus that holds that modern genetic engineering technology is essentially an extension, or refinement, of earlier, cruder techniques of genetic modification. In fact, the U.S. National Research Council observed in 1989 that the use of the newest genetic engineering techniques actually lowers the already minimal risk associated with field testing.

(Source: Investor's Business Daily June 2, 2010 "Perspective: Obama Slips Up On Oil Spill Panel")

All to be added to the agency's legacy in what it failed to do on Marco Island.

1 Comments:

  • Need to teach Amercian History in our schools that focus on the building of the Constitution and the great American orators that are now obscure because of Progressive influences of the early 20th century. Need to inform citizens how this country was created.

    Can you imagine Jefferson reviewing the EPA protocols?

    Restore America.

    By Anonymous ajm3s, at Tuesday, June 08, 2010 6:03:00 AM  

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

EPA Asbestos Fine – Poll Results

After a short two weeks of polling, the Citizens of Marco Island have spoken: who in their opinion should pay the EPA fine for the asbestos contamination.

The results are:

CULPRIT

LIABILITY

Quality Enterprises

40.96%

Rony Joel

15.66%

Bill Moss

13.70%

John Arceri

5.30%

E. Glenn Tucker's Estate

4.82%

Jon Inglehart

3.32%

Rob Popoff

3.21%

Mike Minozzi

2.85%

Ed Issler

2.69%

Bill Trotter

2.56%

Roger Reinke

2.08%

Terry Disciullo

1.43%

Citizens of Marco Island

1.00%

Monte Lazarus

0.83%


 

Interesting.

It is clear who/what was doing the actual deed. But who was supervising QE? And why did the city councilors repeated failed to stop the deed despite being repeatedly informed? (In fact, one councilor was taken "for a walk" and was shown the asbestos). And how about the FDEP's alleged "investigator" who admitted to "letting this one get away"? Or the person in charge of the faux "investigation"? Or the syndicate operatives that denigrated, slurred, libeled and besmirched those that raised the problem?



(click the graph to zoom/enlarge).

3 Comments:

  • Dr. Mario

    How scientific is your poll? How do you explain the result that Monte Lazarus is less culpable than the citizens of Marco Island? Is he from Mars?

    By Anonymous Humphrey Sarlo, at Thursday, June 03, 2010 6:22:00 PM  

  • hi humphrey, the poll is as expert and scientific as it can get. it is statistically significant based on the number of registered voters. there is approximately a 2% margin of error.

    why that syndicate operative got such a low vote i just dont know.

    i too am surprised by some of the results. if it was me, the city councilors would have to pay most.

    thanks for the comment.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Thursday, June 03, 2010 8:37:00 PM  

  • And Dr. Mario I agree with you one hundred percent.

    By Anonymous Humphrey, at Friday, June 04, 2010 5:35:00 PM  

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