“A Dangerous Game,” the SFWMD/Sugar Land Ads, Farm Bureau, SLR/IRL

Ad in Stuart News, 6-12-15.
Ad in Stuart News, 6-12-15.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may know that I prefer to write a “happy-Friday” St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon post…Sometimes though, the news of the day is too pressing, and it is more important to respond to the “question of the day.”

So here we go…

Early this morning,  I get a call…

“Jacqui, did you sees the ad in the Stuart News? Who is “We”? Is the ad from the SFWMD?Did the South Florida Water Management District pay for this ad? That would be wrong!”

My husband had already placed  the paper by my bedside; the ad’s headline read: WE DON”T NEED SUGAR’S LAND FOR EVERGLADES….With a foggy head, I recalled that there was a full-page ad in yesterday’s paper from US Sugar:

Ad 6-10-15 Stuart News.
Ad 6-11-15 Stuart News.

Getting up, pouring a cup of coffee, and perusing the ad,  I noted the right bottom corner: “Brought to you by: Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau.”

I am familiar with Farm Bureaus as my Grandfather Henderson, a soil scientist, UF teacher,  Gainesville IFAS-Extension employee, and leader of the 1952-1969 “Agronomy Project,” was an active member throughout his lifetime. There are farm bureaus throughout Florida; they are key in education, and supporting the rights of farmers. They are powerful, historical entities.

Of course, the Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau is the largest and most powerful of all… So going to the internet on my phone, I noted who was listed on their board.

I didn’t know anybody except Ms, Judy Sanchez, from US Sugar Corporation, Clewiston. I have met Ms Sanchez. She is really nice and an excellent PR lady;  US Sugar is very lucky to have her. This is her job and she does it very well.  I would imagine the others listed are also “in the business” of the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee too…

Board of Directors WPBCFB 2015
Board of Directors WPBCFB 2015

So why is this ad in today’s paper with the headline WE DON’T NEED SUGAR’S LAND FOR EVERGLADES “dangerous?” Well, I think it is dangerous because to the public it could appear that the ad comes from the SFWMD as it uses information from an Op-Ed written by SFWMD Board Chair Dan O’keefe that ran in the Miami Herald but not here on the Treasure Coast. WE is next to Dan Okeefe’s head. Dan chairs the SFWMD Governing Board. The way the ad reads, it almost appears as if the ad is from the SFWMD itself. WE should be clearly referring to the West Palm Beach County Farm Bureau.

Thus mostly the reason for the early morning call….

In case you don’t know, the SFWMD is a “special taxing district.” If you look at your tax bill you will see we all pay taxes to the District. This money is not to be spent on “ads” but rather on their mission “to manage water and related resources for the benefit of the public: the key elements of the Mission are environmental protection and enhancement, water supply, flood protection and water quality protection.” (Data Directory 1999) Maybe their mission has altered since 1999 but I don’t have time to look for the 2015 version. This should be close enough…

Portion of my my and Ed's tax bill 2014 showing SFWMD assessments taken from our taxes.
Portion of my and Ed’s tax bill 2014 showing SFWMD assessments taken from our taxes: $150.73.

In information wars it is very important that players show no “questionable impropriety.” In my opinion, this ad does not achieve this goal.

Full ad 6-12-15
Full ad 6-12-15

WPB County Farm Bureau:(http://www.floridafarmbureau.org/county_farm_bureau/palm_beach_west)

SFWMD: (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/sfwmdmain/home%20page)

Miami Herald June 6th, 2015 Op-Ed Dan O’Keefe, SFWMD: (http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article23219004.html)

22 thoughts on ““A Dangerous Game,” the SFWMD/Sugar Land Ads, Farm Bureau, SLR/IRL

  1. Jaqui, this ad soured the milk in my cereal this morning. Check my facebook page for commentary. this ad is a farce, and full of inaccurate rhetoric. Oh hell, I mean lies, don’t I? Check my guest column in the Saturday, June 13 Stu News about the waterway economic meltdown.

  2. I’d like to put a happy face on the history of the farm bureaus but that would be deceptive at best. The Ag industry is dedicated to maximizing its profits and minimiizing regulations against pollution. Tis a sad situation.

  3. This ad really pisses me off! Lets twist the truth tens ways to Sunday! And they put it in the Stuart NEWS?! WAR They are wanting to declare WAR?

  4. Snook spawn in Augest. if you put your calcium sand around the mangrove trees you will provide an environment for baby snook to thrive and grow up .Baby snook do not eat the calcium filled algie that grows on beach sand but baby menhaden and other creatures do. Snook get their calcium indirectly .

  5. Thank you for your comments my Facebook friends:
    Suzanne Susie Q Deuser, Pamela Joy, Mark Hill and 5 others like this.

    Lisa Jefferson Possibly the same people who paid for this…..also TC Palm
    Lisa Jefferson’s photo.
    Like · Reply · 5 hrs

    Bill Murphy Slim balls. That sounds like an administrative case for improper use of taxpayer funds.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs

    Rebecca Fatzinger yep..I was confused and disgusted by both huge ..missleading ads in the paper….I just don’t get it
    Like · Reply · 5 hrs

    Linda Schilling Mitchell Create smoke and create doubt. Lawyers use it all the time to get crooks set free
    Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr · Edited

    Rebecca Fatzinger I really miss the big “hopeful” rallies we had..and we sure had MANY…so many different voices..all for the same purpose..Buy The Land….I really thought for sure we were being heard in high places..and how could anyone not agree with our message ….feel so let down by the system that you would think would be doing anything to fix this awful mess Florida has become..but nope..they just want to make things worse it seems ..its so not fair..Im not giving up..or giving in..but am really saddened by the crooked way things are done
    Like · Reply · 1 · 4 hrs

    Becky Smith Bruner There will be 10-12 of these ADS: (http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/whats-treasure-coast-newspapers-big-sugars-pocket)

    What’s This? Treasure Coast Newspapers in Big Sugar’s Pocket?
    Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e? Here’s a closer look at…
    Unlike · Reply · Remove Preview · 1 · 4 hrs

    Linda Schilling Mitchell It hasn’t been fair for decades…frown emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 3 hrs

    Becky Smith Bruner I would want my paper to sell ads and especially a total of 12 full page ads to come. I hope they got top dollar.
    I’m going to make a booklet out of the 12 full page ads.
    I’m going to call it : “2015: The Year of Desperation”
    Unlike · Reply · 3 · 1 hr · Edited

    Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Becky Smith Bruner thank you so much. What a world we live in!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr · Edited

    Keri West Evil prevails when good men do nothing and these men are sons of bitches
    Like · Reply · 1

  6. I just shook my head in disgust when I saw this, and yesterday’s full page ad. I thought to myself; “Well… we must really be pissing someone off now, because we certainly never got this kind of backlash rhetoric last year”.

    My Grandmother used to say that “Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish wrap” – but in this case, it’s today’s news that’s the fish wrap – and like rotting fish, this stinks all the way from where it came from!

  7. I think paper is telling the truth.I think the everglade can be brought back to life without buying sugar lands. I wonder if there is a publicly traded Florida company that treats cases for anger manigment. .I don’t know how it is there but every other car here has fishing poles in it. People love their fishing, the out doors and all the creatures. I believe when they understand the state sponsored terrorism that has been carried out by a few that 22 million Floridians are going to need anger management and this might be a good investment

  8. I just came back from little dock on Turkey Creek. About once a week I spread out a couple of buckets of sand from the beach here. If you look closely you can see little flashes of tiny minnows. The best I can tell this school is about 50 yards around where I spread my sand over muck. I am sure if treated right these fresh water environments can be brought back to life in a very big way. The canges are suttle at first but if you have patience and keep spreading out sand over time you will start to see some very BIG changes.I like sand on muck because it lays on top. Shells sink down and will bubble for months.

  9. Jacqui, Senator Joe Negron and his prime benefactor Big Sugar are the evil supporters of eutrophication and your comments exposing this horrible pollution are outstanding. I hope you’ll follow through on it. It would be impossible, I think, to play nice with Negron while excusing the dire pollution spewed out by the deceptive ag profiteers.

    Negron, and now even Ed Fielding, are protecting ag’s abuses while blocking the only possible remedy, which would be the proposed flowway to take polluted lake water south instead of into the two big estuaries to the coasts.

    All independent scientists favor the flowway, which is opposed only by the over-drained and fertilized industry and their influenced politicians. We’re confronted by amazing falsehoods fostered in part by public funds.

  10. I just traveled through western palm beach county last week and was very dismayed at the poverty that the people out there live with every day. This ad is a good thing. It mean we’re being heard past our county. Keep it up!

  11. Jacqui, thanks for always informing and sharing information. I do always enjoy and learn from your writings. Yes, I read the add and at first thought it was written and paid for by SFWMD. Then looked harder and saw the spin put on it to fool the General Apathetic Public. I want us to have farmers to feed our country. We should not rely on another country to feed us.I don’t want us to have Politian’s who value political contributions more than our health of our people and natural resources. If the politics changes, the farmers will change. We all should be focusing on changing the Politian.

  12. I just put the silty type of beach sand at the headwaters of the Sebastion River. In this area The river is about 20 foot wide and 5 foot deep. The current is swift. There are a thousand fallen logs for about 2 miles before the current slows down and river gets wide. I know what is going to happen because I’ve seen it many times. Mullet will come in by the thousand eating the algie that will grow on the calcium film that will cover all the logs. This should give manitees less compition on the grass flats. Our lagoon was a safty net for people to get something to eat when they had no money for many years. It is going to take more than me to bring it back.Hopefully the right people are reading this.

  13. The lagoon made front page here in Palm Bay but it was the same old state sponsored propaganda trying to justify spending 40 more million to fix the lagoon. Of course they had to put in a stab at septic tank owners and peoples lawn fertilizer

  14. Can you imagine the excitement in Tampa after Hurricane Charley hit in 2004. The group of insiders were probably about to have a panic attack because I believe they new that the sea grass was about to come back and they needed to come up with something fast or it would kill their billion dollar cash cow. Yea it had to be their fertilizer ban that brought ALL the sea grss back. They have been playing taxpayers like a violin for years. On the positive side —now you know..

  15. There are many types of coquina shells but only one that I have seen that the Indians ate. They are about a quarter to half dollar in size. They make up about 95% of our mittens. I thought they might be gone from this world forever but last week I found one. It was obvious it had died recently because both halves of the shell were still hinged togather. Something like this could one day be on resterant tables all over the country and our generation almost wiped it off the face of the earth..

  16. Saw palmetto berries are about to ripen so people can get out and make a little money picking saw palmetto berries. Just north of the c-54 canal and east of babcock street the state owns several thousand acres of mostly saw palmettos. Last year people would stop beside the road and cross a ditch to pick some berries. Last year I stopped and asked a guy who worked for the state park next to the c-54 and asked if people can pick berries on this land.He said if you do you will be arrested. 2 weeks ago the state conducted a controlled burn that got away and burned down a paint ball business and several houses. Yesterday they had another controlled burn and burnt up another thousand acres of saw palmetto berries just before they ripen. This is the same mentality that destroyed our lagoon and why I think everyone who gets a paycheck from tax dollars needs to be subject to lie detector test. In water treatment plants they use aluminum sulfate to clean the water. What is to keep these morons from having a bad day and dumping to much aluminum sulfate in our drinking water. NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW.

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