Friday, June 5, 2009

Florida environmental and wildlife news for the week ending 6-5-09


Crist signs growth bill, sells Florida down the river
By Howard Troxler
St. Petersburg Times
In the defining moment of his career Monday, Gov. Charlie Crist sold the state of Florida right down the river.

Bailing Out the Land Speculators
By Alan Farago
As Democrats approach a filibuster proof US Senate, every race will be a heated battle. In 2010 one of the key contests will be in Florida where a governor perceived to be moderate, Charlie Crist, is locked in a primary against the former House Speaker in the Florida legislature, Marco Rubio.

Group looks to bring drilling vote to ballot
By Michael Peltier
The News Service of Florida via
With efforts stalled over whether to allow drilling off Florida's Gulf Coast, the fight may go directly to Florida voters.

FWC sets June 17-18 meeting in Crystal River
Press Release
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Take action: Email and urge support for the freshwater turtle ban.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet at the Plantation Inn in Crystal River June 17-18. FWC meetings are open to public participation.

What next for Florida's springs after bill dies?
By Bruce Ritchie
Former state biologist Jim Stevenson said he recently asked a teenager who had grown up in Tallahassee if he'd ever been to Wakulla Springs.

Editorial cartoon by Andy Marlette, Pensacola News Journal


River pipe postponed until dioxin level drops
By Peter Guinta
St. Augustine Record
Georgia-Pacific's paper plant in Palatka will not be allowed to build its proposed new 40-million-gallons-per-day pipeline into the middle of the St. Johns River until the company lowers its discharge of dioxin, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said Monday.

New jobs or healthy river: Which is more important?
By Ron Littlepage
Florida Times-Union
I'm fearful that we will soon face a classic confrontation - the health of the St. Johns River vs. jobs.

Crist Environmental Enforcement Initiative Fizzles
Press Release
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
The Crist administration's touted 2007 pledge to toughen anti-pollution enforcement in Florida has been a failure, according to an analysis of state enforcement statistics released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Judges: South Florida water managers did not violate Clean Water Act
The Associated Press
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Related: Earthjustice criticizes Okeechobee reversal
A federal appeals court has reversed a Miami judge's ruling that Florida water managers violated the Clean Water Act by pumping contaminated water from farmland into Lake Okeechobee.

Zoning Commission gives nod to expanding rock mining in Everglades
By Andy Reid
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Rock mining would claim more former Everglades land under a development plan endorsed by the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission on Thursday.

Progress Energy warms up to solar energy
By Robert Trigaux
St. Petersburg Times
Hard to believe, but the electric company that once routinely panned solar power as too expensive and inefficient is about to introduce a whole bunch of new solar initiatives for its customers and eventually market it all here under a brand name called SunSense.

What we think: Kill destructive water bill
Orlando Sentinel
It's a tough slog getting water managers today to meet or even think about meeting their responsibility to safeguard Florida's water supply.


Taxpayers will feel the cost of sprawl
By Charles Pattison
Tallahassee Democrat
This year's growth management bill, SB 360, was opposed by most of the leading newspapers and conservation, planning and advocacy organizations, including 1000 Friends of Florida, the Florida League of Cities and the Florida Association of Counties. The governor signed the bill Monday afternoon, despite many requests to veto it.

Crist's environmental record hurt by growth legislation, critics say
By William March
Tampa Tribune
Reader poll: Is the governor still green?
Gov. Charlie Crist's long-standing reputation as an environmentalist could take a hit because of his signing this week of a controversial bill on growth management.

Gov. Crist changes his colors
By Mark Lane
Daytona Beach News-Jouranl
Gov. Charlie Crist has worked hard to get out from under his party's image as reflexively anti-environment. Until this week, it kind of worked.

Great news for developers, not so good to everyone else
By Ron Littlepage
Florida Times-Union
Legend has it that Juan Ponce de Leon came to Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth.

Home building and construction is to Florida as opium production is to Afghanistan
By Gimleteye
Eye On Miami
Opium production is 60 percent of the economy of Afghanistan.

Crist's environmental image takes a hit
By Beth Reinhard
Miami Herald
Gov. Charlie Crist waited until 5:05 p.m. tonight to quietly send out a press release saying he had signed a "growth management'' bill that environmentalists say will result in worsening sprawl.

Crist refuels the bulldozers
By Kenric Ward
TC Palm
Gov. Charlie Crist cleared the way for developers by signing Senate Bill 360. Watch out, Treasure Coast.

Governor Gridlock
St. Petersburg Times
Gov. Charlie Crist just made it easier to pave over what's left of Florida.

Reckless rollback
Florida Today
Brevard County residents, you've just been had. And you can thank Gov. Charlie Crist and Republicans in the state Legislature for guaranteeing that you'll get stuck with the bill for more urban sprawl and traffic gridlock when growth returns to Florida.

Gov. Charlie Crist made a bad call on growth limits
Miami Herald
A new growth-management law signed by Gov. Charlie Crist this week broadly redefines ''dense urban land areas'' as land with less than one home per acre.

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