Tag Archives: Florida

The Eagle of the 16th Hole, Sailfish Point, SLR/IRL

Eagle, Sailfish Point, 3-18, by Susan Kane

Last evening, at a gathering of friends of my mothers, I met Mrs Susan Kane. The conversation started as usual with someone I do not know, but quickly, somehow, the our words turned to eagles living along the St Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon.

I told Susan, I had never seen one here flying, ever, but I knew they were here as Greg Braun, formerly of Audubon, took photos of one sitting on a rock at Bird Island…. I  had also heard that there was a pair that hunted from a tall, dead, Australian Pine tree by the Marriott’s Indian River Plantation Marina. But again, although I walk the bridge between Sewall’s Point and Hutchinson Island quite often, I had never seen them…Once, while driving on Highway 76  in Indiantown, I did see an eagle, and was so excited that I parked my car on the side of the road and with trucks zooming by I watched it soar. I was smiling from ear to ear.

Susan listened politely, and then replied, “Well recently, Jacqui,  I took a photograph of an eagle on the 16th hole of the Sailfish Point golf course.”

“You’re kidding?” I inquired.

“Yes, the eagle captured a fish right there in the pond at the 16th hole of the golf course.”

“That’s incredible.” I replied, taking a large sip of my cocktail, to hide my bird envy.

Over the course of dinner, Susan pulled out her photos and shared. They are wonderful! And today I am sharing her photos with you.

Look at this eagle. Its expression!

What a sight I hope I get to see! 🙂

Eagle of Sailfish Point, by Susan Kane
Photo by Susan Kane
Photo by Susan Kane

Sailfish Point: http://www.sailfishpoint.com

Former post on eagles of the IRL:

Thank you Susan for sharing your photos of the eagle of Sailfish Point along the Indian River Lagoon!!!


Next week will be the final Constitution Revision Commission public hearing before the process of the full commission debating and voting on which proposals, if any, of the 37 proposed, actually make it to the 2018 ballot. The final public hearing will be held on Florida’s west coast, in beautiful St Petersburg, Florida.

I wish to thank the Center for Biological Diversity (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/about/contact/) for, on their own, embracing P91, “No Oil and Gas Drilling in Florida’s Territorial Seas,” our state waters. Their press release is below. All are welcome to attend!

The image above was made by Friends of the River Kidz. I love it; please share!

Media Advisory, March 2, 2018

Contact: Jacki Lopez, (727) 490-9190,  jlopez@biologicaldiversity.org
Susan Glickman, (727) 742-9003, susan@cleanenergy.org
Hunter Miller, (863) 528-6011, hmiller@oceana.org

Press Conference in St. Petersburg Will Support Ballot Measure Banning Nearshore Oil Drilling in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.— Business owners, elected officials, scientists and environmental activists will unite on Tuesday, Mar. 13 to urge Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) to place Proposal 91 on the November 2018 ballot — a constitutional measure that would ban near-shore oil drilling in the state.

Businesses, scientists, elected officials, tourism and environmental will stand in support of Proposal 91 at the commission’s final public hearing being held in St. Petersburg that same day.

“We have a chance to make history and turn the ship,” says Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, a CRC member who sponsored Proposal 91 after she was approached by environmental groups. “We would be the only state in the nation to have this in our state constitution.”

What: Press Conference to support a ban on nearshore oil drilling ahead of the Constitutional Revision Commission’s hearing.

When: Tuesday, Mar. 13 at 11 a.m.

Where: University Student Center – USF St. Petersburg, 140 USFSP Harborwalk S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Who: Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch, elected officials, business owners, tourism operation owners, scientists, environmental groups and representatives from the fishing industry.

Proposal 91, being considered by the Constitutional Revision Commission, would ban oil drilling in state waters. The commission meets just once every 20 years to revise Florida’s constitution. It will place measures on the November 2018 ballot that, if approved by voters, will amend the Florida Constitution. As an amendment to the state Constitution, Proposal 91 would prohibit offshore drilling in state waters (within 3 miles on the East Coast, 9 miles on the West Coast).

Proposal 91 has already passed out of two CRC committees and will be voted upon by the full CRC after the final public hearing Mar. 13 in St Petersburg.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


CRC web site: http://flcrc.gov

CRC list of 37 proposals: (http://flcrc.gov/PublishedContent/ADMINISTRATIVEPUBLICATIONS/CRCActiveProposalsHearings2018.pdf)

CRC public hearings: http://flcrc.gov/Meetings/PublicHearings



Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch is a member of the 2918 CRC: http://flcrc.gov/Commissioners/Thurlow-Lippisch

Pensacola Dreamin’, P91 No Oil or Gas Drilling in Florida’s Territorial Seas, CRC

Landing in Pensacola For years, I have had a reoccurring dream.

I am looking up at an absolutely blue and cloudless sky; white, sparkling sands are hot beneath my feet; and crashing waves of emerald green, mesmerize…

Blue. White. Green. This is all there is. This is the vision, the dream. And it is real. These are my memories of living at Pensacola Beach.

Pensacola Beach

More than twenty years later, I am not dreaming. I am back, and I am fighting for CRC proposal 91, “no oil or gas drilling in Florida’s territorial seas,” our state waters.

Full text, etc. P91 CRC website: (http://flcrc.gov/Proposals/Commissioner/2017?billNumber=91&searchOnlyCurrentVersion=True&isIncludeAmendments=False&pageNumber=0)

2-26-18, Pensacola News Journal, Kevin Robinson, “Public Support Could End Drilling:” https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.pnj.com/amp/367909002

In the early 1990s, I came to Pensacola from UF in Gainesville, to teach German and English at Pensacola High School in both the traditional and International Baccalaureate Program.

I learned perhaps as much as my students. It was hard and rewarding work. I matured here one could say.

My mom, me and Dash mid 1990s

Maturing didn’t just involve the discipline of being a teacher, but also the responsibility of my first dog. “Dash,” as he was named for his ability to sprint. Dash was a stray I found in Downtown’s Seville Square. He was as beautiful and white as Pensacola Beach with black spots over his eyes. Even my parents visited to meet him!

Every evening he sat by my side for hours as I graded papers long into night. I would leave at 6 am for the first bell at 7:01. When I got home from a day of teaching, Dash and I would swim at Pensacola Beach or take long walks to Fort Pickens and then of course, grade papers,

These were wonderful times! The powerful simplicity of the blue sky, the green waves,  the white sands, and my white and black best friend, forever left an impression on me.

Though I have been back home in Stuart, and Sewall’s Point, in Martin County for over twenty years, my life has changed, and Dash has passed away–Pensacola still holds my heart. Nothing compares to its white sandy beaches and how could I forget? Its longest of Florida histories! http://news.wfsu.org/post/pensacola-discovery-complicates-title-oldest-city; https://www.visitpensacola.com/things-to-do/history-heritage/

Hopefully we will continue to make history in Pensacola today.

Pensacola will be the linchpin in convincing the CRC to support P91 to go on the 2018 ballot: “No Oil and Gas Drilling in Florida’s Territorial Seas:” please attend today’s public hearing at UWF from 1-7 pm to speak. Read here for details. 😎 http://www.northescambia.com/2018/02/constitution-revision-commission-to-hold-pensacola-public-hearing-tuesday 🇺🇸🐬

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch is a commissioner for the 2018 CRC, the former mayor of Sewall’s Point, and an environmental activist


What Are the 37 CRC Proposals that Could be on the 2018 Florida Ballot?

Constitution Revision Commission 2018 official website: http://flcrc.gov and official list of the 37 proposals: http://flcrc.gov/PublishedContent/ADMINISTRATIVEPUBLICATIONS/CRCActiveProposalsHearings2018.pdf


Below is a list and very scant summary of each of the 37 proposal that made it through the Constitution Revision Commission committee process, and thus it is now possible for any one of these to get on the 2018 Florida ballot.

Presently, continuing almost one year of work, the CRC is holding public hearings and you are invited to attend!  http://flcrc.gov/Meetings/PublicHearing with focus on these 37 issues.

After the hearings the full CRC will decide on the 37…

As there is no easy way on the web site to find the 37 proposals, one can use the following list just to get an idea of the proposal topic. 1.) For complete information go to http://flcrc.gov/Proposals/Commissioner, 2.) then click the link under “Number” on far left side. 3.) Once a new screen comes up, click on “web-page” or “PDF” to read the language of the proposal. It is important to read the entire proposal to understand it in full.

Also, there is the possibility that a proposal that was voted on– and did not pass committee–could be resurrected. These are not on this list.

Thank you for your involvement in the great state of Florida! I hope this list is useful.


Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch is a commissioner for the 2018 CRC

Subject of proposal:

P3 Deleting language on prohibiting land ownership by “aliens” ineligible for citizenship

P4 Deleting language barring funds from public treasury to aid church, sect, or religious denomination…

P6 …judges may not defer to administrative agency’s interpretations of statute, must interpret de novo

P9 Veteran’s Affairs/Executive Branch language

P10 Civics education in public schools

P11 Closing the Write in Candidate loophole that closes Open Primaries as specified already  in Florida constitution

P12 Deleting amendment for high-speed train as it was already repealed by amendment

P13 Requiring every county (charter/non charter) to elect constitutional officers: sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser and supervisor of elections

P20 Repeal of criminal statute shall not affect prosecution for any crime committed before such repeal

P26  Office of Domestic Security and Counter-Terrorism is created within the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement

P29 E-Verify-deals (with immigration/business)

P33 All counties must appoint superintendents rather than vote for them

P34 “Clean-up” provision of Dec. of Rights (language)

P37 Only allows for buildings to be named for individuals after they have left office

P39 Must wait six years after leaving position of elected office in to lobby legislature

P41 Retirement age for judges would go from 70 to 75

P43 Would create an 8 year term limit for school board members

P44 University tuition increases would require “more votes” making it more difficult to increase tuition

P45 “nothing” may limit “other” education services —in addition to free public schools

P47 Certain judgeships would require 10 years of Florida Bar membership

P49 Benefits for surviving family members of first responders killed in duty

P50 A candidates for state legislature must live in district he or she is running for…

P54 Certificate of Need – can no longer limit number to given to an area…(i.e. hospitals/Hospice)

P55 Legislature pays off fees for clerks’ offices —where those fees are not taken by county residents

P65 Vaping added to constitution on “smoking in workplace”

P66 Lt. Gov would have official “duties”

P67 Banning betting on greyhound dog racing…

P71 Nothing may limit the legislature from creating alternative processes to authorize the establishment of charter schools…

P72 2/3 vote required of legislature to raise taxes or fees

P83 Specifies the purposes of the state college system and provides for a governance structure

P88 Bill of rights for nursing home residents

P91 Would ban oil and gas drilling in Florida’s state waters

P93 Would authorize school boards in high performing school districts to become “charter districts”

P94 Would allow funds from Statewide Tobacco Education and Prevention Program to go to cancer research

P96 Marcy’s Law- victims’ rights

P97 Not voting on constitutional amendment would be counted as a “no”- makes threshold to pass constitutional amendments more difficult for public

P103 Specifies dates for legislature to convene for regular session –second Tuesday after the first Monday in January of each even-numbered year



Marjory Stoneman Douglas, SLR/IRL

Just last weekend, I presented at the “Future of Florida Summit” at the University of Florida’s Graham Center. Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, gave a passionate speech to hundreds of young people during the lunchtime session. My husband, Ed, usually quiet, turned to me saying: ” He is a really good speaker.”

The crowd listened…

Mr Eikenberg noted that he was a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County, Florida and that even though the school was literally built in what was once the Everglades, there had not been studies on that subject while he attended the school. He talked about the importance of our state waters and the need to involve youth in the education of our natural world, especially here in South Florida.

Ironically, four days later, the horrific shooting at Mr Eikenberg’s alma mater, has called attention, once again, to the shortcomings, and cultural sickness in our society.

In 1991, the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas Everglades Protection Act” was enacted by the Florida Legislature becoming the precursor to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Douglas ended up asking for her name to be removed from the legislation. At the time, she was 103 years old. After fighting for the Everglades for a lifetime, she said she felt the legislation was too favorable to the Sugar Farmers. “Growers should clean up the water on their own land…” meaning the state and federal government shouldn’t be building Storm Water Treatment Areas with taxpayer dollars to do it for them….

In time, Ms Douglas’ name was removed.

I wonder if she were alive today, if she would want her name removed from the school? I doubt it. She may have been tough on those destroying the Everglades, but she had a soft heart for youth. Lore states that when she was starting her famed organization Friends for the Everglades she refused to have the membership fee too high for students to be able to join, as she knew they were the most internal of keys.

My greatest sorrow and prayers for the families of the dead.

May the blood of the slain remind us to stop looking at our phones, and to turn to nature and Nature’s God for insight and inspiration in this crazy and destructive human-made world.

St Lucie River sunset, Todd Thurlow



Palm Beach Post, Who was MSD: http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/broward-school-shooting-who-was-marjory-stoneman-douglas/OOPs63TWxpyyxDOjW9SM6J/

CNN Who was MSD: https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/15/us/marjory-stoneman-douglas-who-was-trnd/index.html

Tampa Bay Times year she died: http://www.tampabay.com/news/nation/Who-was-Marjory-Stoneman-Douglas-_165518820

Washington Post MSD obituary: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1998/05/15/environmentalist-marjory-stoneman-douglas-dies-at-108/99d2a81d-2141-4dd1-b8fc-69d4cb0da27b/

Everglades Protection Act, Sun Sentinel, MSD, http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1991-04-26/news/9101210185_1_joe-podgor-everglades-marshes

Everglades Protection Act, Sun Sentinel 2, MSD removing her name: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1991-05-08/news/9102250472_1_everglades-pollution-lawsuit-pollution-filtering-marshes-joe-podgor

Timeline of Everglades Restoration: http://evergladeslaw.org/everglades-timeline/

Everglades Protection Act, originally, the MSD EPA:http://evergladeslaw.org/timeline/florida-legislature-passes-everglades-protection-act/

National Park Service, MSD Bio: https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/historyculture/msdouglas.htm

Alligators and Litigators: https://www.floridabar.org/news/tfb-journal/?durl=/DIVCOM%2FJN%2FJNJournal01%2Ensf%2FAuthor%2FD0FE7CE69AFA102885256ADB005D635E

SFWMD history including 1991 EPA: https://www.sfwmd.gov/sites/default/files/documents/bmp_nonpoint_source.pdf

Everglades Foundation:https://www.evergladesfoundation.org

Update on the Constitution Revision Commission and Our Environment

Early in 2017, the work of the Constitution Revision Commission began. There were multiple public hearings around the state and thousands of public proposals were submitted for consideration. Out of the two thousand or so proposals, 103 of these were chosen by commissioners to be sponsored, or considered. 37 made it through the arduous committee process. Here is a list of those 37: http://flcrc.gov/PublishedContent/ADMINISTRATIVEPUBLICATIONS/CRCActiveProposalsHearings2018.pdf

Mind you, this list is difficult to interpret unless you go to the CRC website, hit the “Proposals” tab and  put in the number of the proposal to read the text along with the details. This takes a lot of work. http://flcrc.gov

An easier approach, to get an idea of each of the 37 proposals, is to refer to this Sun Sentinel article that list all 103 proposals with a short summary: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/florida-politics-blog/fl-reg-constitution-revision-commission-final-proposals-20171120-story.html Obviously, just go the numbers and read “the 37,” from the first list I provided. You may need to print them out.

In the end, only a few of these 37 will be placed on the ballot for voter consideration. The full CRC will determine this after the second round of public hearings that is happening now.

As far as my proposals. I had 5 environmental proposals: #23 A Right to a Clean and Healthful Environment; #24 Commissioner of Environmental Protection; #46 Clarifying Amendment 1, Land Acquisition Trust Fund; #48 FWC/Wildlife Corridors; and #91 No Oil and Gas Drilling in Floirda’s Territorial Seas.

One proposal made it through committee out of five. P91 or “No Oil and Gas Drilling in Florida’s Territorial Seas” I am thankful, and cannot look back, or mope over what did not get through; I  must now turn all of my energy to this one proposal. And a remarkable proposal it is! I hope you will support it too, even if you had your hopes up for one of the others, as P91 is the sole environmental proposal of the 37, and a monumental opportunity.

This proposal would protect our territorial seas, our state waters, the waters under our jurisdiction. These waters have been drilled before and, hands down, if the oil and gas industry can, they will influence our state legislature so that they can drill our coastal waters again. There is no doubt about it. Just study history!

If this proposal makes it to the ballot it will be absolutely historic. Don’t think about the politics, think about the legacy. We would be the only state in the nation to have this in our state constitution. This would sound a loud environmental message, forever…

We all know, drilling so close to shore, as is done in other coastal southern states, would be visually, environmentally, and economically destructive to Florida’s unique/peninsular marine, wildlife, real estate, and tourism resources.

It is written in Article II of our state constitutional that “we shall protect our natural resources and scenic beauty.” P91 belongs in Florida’s Constitution. It would be an enormous statement on behalf of the people of Florida and would have major policy implications on many, many levels.

Thank you for following the CRC process and I will keep you appraised of P91 as the CRC process continues and we move towards what gets on the ballot for 2018.

In the meanwhile here is the CRC’s second round public hearing schedule:https://www.flcrc.gov/Media/PressReleases/Show/1071

You are welcome to speak and encouraged to attend!


Florida Channel videos of all CRC meetings: https://thefloridachannel.org/programs/constitution-revision-commission/


Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch is a member of the 2018 CRC:http://flcrc.gov/Commissioners/Thurlow-Lippisch

Oh Beautiful Panther! Something to Dream About, SLR/IRL

This photo of a panther in Sebring was recently shared by a friend. I do hope this magnificent creature has visited western Martin County. Since late October, it has certainly made the rounds. Males roam hundreds of miles, a female less, but easily could cover ground between almost neighboring Martin and Highlands counties.

Can you imagine trying to navigate today’s world? Freeways, subdivisions, fences, shopping malls, the great forests gone…Canals cutting the lands and watersheds apart?

Over 34 panthers were killed on Florida highways in 2016, and at least 23 in 2017. With an estimated 230 in the total population, those are terrible numbers. We must work harder to complete wildlife corridors across the state to allow these animals to breed and travel into north Florida and Georgia. Being stuck in South Florida is a radio-collared death wish.

If this panther does visit Martin County, we’ll probably never know it; though large they are smart to be very, very, shy.

I must say, lately I’ve been hearing rumors of panthers (yes, a pair) in Martin County near Highway 96 out by South Fork, but no photos yet…

Thank God there is something left to run wild in the world; 😊 it gives me something to dream about.


How to report a panther sighting, FWC: https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/panthersightings/Default.aspx


Death reports Nov 2017 https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/environment/2017/11/28/florida-panther-hit-killed-vehicle-lee-county/900626001/