Sugar Reform Vote Just Became National News (From Bullsugar)

Welcome to the sugar policy awakening of 2018! Today's vote in the House means more than just refining an old government program. Not long ago few people paid attention to this giveaway tucked inside the Farm Bill. Today, with a chance to take a closer look at the program’s impact on the economy and the Everglades, people are suddenly making the connection: we’re paying billions to fund political influence and destroy three legendary estuaries and a National Park.   Continue reading

Ask the Planning Advisory Board to "Hold the Line" Monday, April 9th!

Friends,   Your help is urgently needed today with phone calls or emails on yet another critical issue. I know I sent out a request last night asking for your help on the JPA between the county and FP&L but, the hits, they just keep on coming. “Hold the Line”, a cause that has been championed for years, to protect critical wetlands bordering the Everglades from development and preserve the off-moved Urban Development Boundary from violation, is being challenged by a proposal to construct a toll-road expansion. Twice in the past, we have spoken out and defeated the proposed expansion of the 836 Expressway out toward the Everglades and then down south to around SW 136 Street near Miami Executive Airport (formerly called Kendall-Tamiami Airport). The expansion proposal which would violate the UDB has been resurrected and is coming up for a hearing before the County Planning Advisory Board this coming Monday, April 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the County Commission Chambers. The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), with the assistance of Miami-Dade County making the formal request, is seeking to build the expressway expansion with the stated intention of relieving the awful traffic congestion in the Kendall area which, ironically, is so congested because of past urban sprawl. Unfortunately, the toll road through agricultural and sensitive wetland areas, will be an inducement to further urban sprawl development and not the solution to the daily traffic grind that many Kendall residents find themselves in as they head east in the morning and west in the afternoon to and from jobs in South Miami, Coral Gables, downtown Miami, and South Dade. I live in West Kendall and there is no way I am jogging west towards the Everglades and then driving north to hook up with the 836 running past MIA to get to locations reached off the U.S. 1 corridor. I already have the Florida Turnpike extension to travel northward and then east on the 836 if I am traveling to Miami Beach or north of downtown Miami. The existing 836 toll road is already congested, so I can only imagine, the dumping of more cars on the existing 836 toll road coming from the west. It will bring new meaning to arriving early at MIA for a flight. The expansion of this tollway would involve paving a 500-foot wide corridor of road on around 780 acres, of which approximately 300 acres are designated for agricultural usage and the remaining 480 acres endangered wetlands. Please see the attachments below of a map of the route, the application to amend the Comprehensive Development Master Plan and the letter from the Friends of the Everglades, written by Laura Reynolds. Please join Laura Reynolds, who is representing the Friends of the Everglades and spearheading the fight, and many other environmental activists in attending the Monday, April 9th Planning Advisory Board meeting at the Commission Chambers located at 111 NW 1st Street, Miami. We need to show up so they can see the opposition. The Planning Advisory members also need to hear the opposition, so if you are willing to speak, please fill out the speaker form when you arrive at 9 a.m. Even if you do not want to speak, you can fill out a comment card. The full Commission will be having a hearing on Tuesday, April 25 at 9:30 a.m. Please mark your calendars for that meeting as well. Mayor Carlos Gimenez is conducting a townhall on the “Kendall Parkway” on Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. at John A. Ferguson High School located at 15900 SW 56th St., Miami. Please attend to participate. Please call or email the following Planning Advisory Board members today by clicking on the links below. Most members prefer email only as noted in the chart below. The name of the County Commissioner who appointed each Council member appears at the bottom of each box. Thanks for any actions you can take. Regards, Sharon Van Smith RUF Environmental Chair       Planning Advisory Board Voting Members ‐ As of January 16, 2018 Peter DiPace 7205 SW 109 TerracePinecrest, FL 33156 (305) 250‐4503   E-mail: PeterDiPace.Esq@gmail.com   (Commissioner Jordan – District 1) Prefers email for all materials   Jesus R. Vazquez NV2AGroup One Datran Center 9100 South Dadeland Blvd., Suite 1500Miami, Florida 33156 (305)  986‐6893 E‐mail:Jvazquez@NV2Agroup.com(Commissioner Souto – District 10) Prefers email for all materials   J. Wil Morris  1200 NW 78 Avenue, Suite 300 Miami, FL 33126 (305) 444-3437 Email: mailto: jwilmorrispab@gmail.com   Copy assistant Katrina: Katrinad@morrisbarrow.com (Commissioner Monestine – District 2) Tomas Rementeria 14132 SW 154 Court Homestead FL 33030 (305) 282-9358 Email: dist12pab@gmail.com       (Comm. Martinez – District 11) Vacant       (Commissioner Edmonson – District 3) Wayne Rinehart   15801 Turnberry Drive Miami Lakes, FL 33014 (305) 558‐4090 E‐mail: wrinehart@costarealty.com (Commissioner Diaz – District 12) Prefers hardcopies   Raymond Marin 20900 W. Dixie Hwy. Aventura, FL 33180 (305) 944‐7001  E‐mail: raymondm@hmdcpa.com (Commissioner Heyman – District 4) Prefers hardcopies     Richard Tapia 11380 NW 27 AvenueBuilding 2, Suite 2256 Miami, FL 33167 (305) 305‐5559  E‐mail: RTapia777@gmail.com (Commissioner Bovo – District 13)   For deliveries, pls leave package with secretary Prefers hardcopies   Jose Bared 3399 NW South River DriveMiami, FL 33142 (305) 635‐0891  E‐mail: joseb@jonesdrydock.com (Commissioner Barreiro – District 5) Prefers email for all materials   Horacio Carlos Huembes11889 SW 72nd TerraceMiami, FL 33183 (305) 661‐8181 E‐mail: hcarlos@bellsouth.net (At‐Large  Representative) Prefers hardcopies   Vacant         (Commissioner Sosa – District 6) William W. Riley, Chair1657 NW 17th Ave Miami, FL 33125 (305) 325‐1330  E‐mail: bill_riley@ibew349.org (At‐Large Representative)    Prefers hardcopies Copy his assistant, Nubia Miranda,  Nubia_Miranda@ibew349.org   Robert Ruano, Vice Chair 1544 Murcia Avenue    Coral Gables FL 33134 (305) 962‐6142 E‐mail: rjruano@ecostratas.com(Commissioner Suarez ‐ District 7) Prefers hardcopies   Georgina Santiago 7431 SW 66th StreetMiami, FL 33143 (305) 282-7675  E‐mail: gablespar@aol.com (At‐Large Representative) Prefers hardcopies   Tom Sherouse   938 Matanzas AvenueCoral Gables, FL 33146 (305) 662‐5096, E‐mail: TSherouse@gmail.com(Commissioner Levine Cava – District 8) Prefers hardcopies   Carla M. Ascencio‐Savola7410 SW 82nd Court Miami, FL 33143 305 807-5669 – Cell – STAFF ONLY (305) 598‐8244  E‐mail: savolac@yahoo.com (At‐Large  Representative) Prefers hardcopies     Perley Richardson, Jr.14122 SW 110 Ave. Miami, FL 33176                                            (786) 348‐5083, E‐mail: PRicha7902@aol.com(Commissioner Moss – District 9) Prefers hardcopies         Non‐Voting Members   Ivan Rodriguez Miami‐Dade County Public Schools1450 NE 2nd Avenue, Rm 540‐AMiami, FL 33132 (305) 995‐4501 E‐mail: irodriguez@dadeschools.net(School Board Appointee)     Prefers email for all materials   Larry Ventura  482 MSG/CEV 29350 Westover St, Bldg 232 Homestead ARB, FL 33039‐1299 (786) 415‐7163 E‐mail: lawrence.ventura@us.af.mil(Homestead Air Reserve Base Appointee) Prefers email for all materials – never hardcopies Copy his consultant, Dana Gilbert, Marstel Day, at DGilbert@Marstel-day.com     DGilbert@Marstel-day.com

49th Annual Meeting With Honored Speaker Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez

It is our pleasure to invite you to the Friends of the Everglades 49th Annual Meeting Sunday, April 22th, 2018. Continue reading

Are We For or Against the Everglades Reservoir? (From Bullsugar)

So are we for the EAA reservoir, or aren’t we? This question, swirling around Everglades policy circles all winter, touched off a string of debate-club arguments that left everyone confused and divided. Which is exactly what it was supposed to do. Continue reading

Scientists Grade the Everglades Reservoir Plan an F (From Bullsugar)

It doesn’t work. The first scientific evaluations of Florida’s EAA reservoir plan were publicly released last week, and the findings are bleak: it can’t operate at full capacity without violating pollution standards. But it wouldn’t take much to fix it. Continue reading

What Did Sugar's Record Year Cost Us? (From Bullsugar)

Florida’s sugar industry just posted one of the best years in its history, even as the Everglades and virtually everyone in South Florida suffered one of the worst. It’s not a coincidence. Managing water in Florida means picking winners and losers. When there’s a drought, losers go thirsty. When it rains, losers drown. In 38 years of public records, sugar has yet to lose.   Continue reading

EAA Reservoir Update: Do Not Give Up on Florida's Waterways (From Bullsugar)

Do not give up on Florida’s waterways. Hundreds of the world’s top Everglades scientists, policy experts, and engineers met this weekend to trade information and build consensus on how to keep Everglades restoration moving forward. Continue reading

Rick Scott's Move (From Bullsugar)

It sucks to be right.  This week the South Florida Water Management District handed lawmakers the same, inadequate reservoir proposal they've been peddling to the public for months.   Continue reading

A Last Chance for Florida's Future Rests With Senate President Joe Negron and the Florida Legislature (from Eye on Miami)

This Thursday in Stuart, Senate President Joe Negron is holding a town meeting on the most important legislation to emerge from 2017; a massive new reservoir on public lands south of sugar fields to stop the toxic runoff from Lake Okeechobee and to re-hydrate the Everglades and Florida Bay with clean, fresh water. Continue reading

We Need Joe Negron's Help Now (From Bullsugar)

On Tuesday, the SFWMD presented 4 "alternatives" for the EAA Reservoir that have one thing in common: they won't work. Continue reading