Tag Archives: justin riney

Governor Rick Scott Signs Negron’s Senate Bill 10 in Clewiston? SLR/IRL


Today, May 12th, at 9:45 A.M. Governor Rick Scott is scheduled to sign Senate President Joe Negron’s “Senate Bill 10” in of all places Clewiston. Clewiston is “America’s Sweetest Town” and the headquarters of U.S. Sugar Corporation…

According to the article in the Glades County Democrat announcing the signing: “Earlier this week Senate Bill 10, a move to secure funding for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was approved. In its amended form, Senate Bill 10 became a measure that we in the Glades could stand behind. The bill no longer stated that additional farmlands be taken out of production but rather the state would utilize the property that it already owns to create a reservoir with a much smaller footprint.”

Full article: (http://gladescountydemocrat.com/lake-okeechobee/governor-rick-scott-set-sign-sb10-clewiston/)

Although I am scratching my head, you know what? Sometimes you just have to be happy for what you get, no matter where you get it. I am tremendously thankful to Governor Scott for signing the bill ~ although I do wish he had decided to sign it in Martin County since we’ve worked so hard to get it.

When I read the announcement officially last night, it got me thinking about Clewiston before I went to sleep. It brought back memories of 2013 and famed paddle boarder Justin Riney’s idea to hold the Sugarland Rally in Clewiston on September 1st, 2013 to unite the movement.  This was one of the early rallies for the river during the devastation of the “Lost Summer.”

Since Governor Scott is going to sign in Clewiston I think it’s a good time to walk down memory lane and be proud of how far we’ve come and to get ready for how far we have to go! The point of the location of the Sugarland Rally was to “meet halfway.” Hopefully Governor Scott is thinking the same, in that Joe Negron helped us meet half way and we are all thankful.

Now let’s remember the past, enjoy today, and then take it to the finish line!


“The Sugarland Rally will unite the east and west coasts of Florida in a peaceful, historic demonstration to speak out against the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We support both immediate and long-term solutions, but ecosystems and communities along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries are in crisis. We cannot afford to wait for ecological and economic collapse. We urge all stakeholders–especially local, state and federal governments–to act immediately. We chose Clewiston as a central location to unify east and west at Lake Okeechobee, the source that is polluting our estuaries, and because we believe Florida’s sugar industry can be part of the solution. Please don’t misinterpret our intentions–we are NOT holding a rally at Clewiston to protest or point fingers at “Big Sugar.” It’s quite the opposite, actually. We invite Florida’s powerful sugar industry to join us in crafting an immediate solution to the ecological and economic crisis caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee.” (Press release from Justin Riney, Aug. 2013)



Maggy Hurchalla, Comm. Taylor, and Mayor Roland
Don Voss!
Nic Mader, Jenny Flaugh and the River Kidz
Eve Samples of TC Palm and Don Voss with crowd

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Press release on Sugarland Rally from 2013, in Clewiston, Justin Riney: http://www.supradioshow.com/2013/08/justin-riney-sugarland-rally-unite-east-west-coasts-florida-sup-radio/

9:35 am JTL

Give A Penny or a Thousand, Please Support the Kidz Workbook Event, SRL/IRL

All are invited to attend the River Kidz  Workbook Event Fundraiser
All are invited to attend the River Kidz Workbook II Event Fundraiser

The river is for everyone, especially for kids!

This has been the theme of the River Kidz who since 2011 have been following their self-created mission: “to speak out, get involved and raise awareness because we believe kids should have a voice in the future of our rivers.”

As you may know, River Kidz is a grass-roots group that began with two 5th grade girls in the Town of Sewall’s Point and today includes hundreds of kids who attend local events, follow the Kidz on Facebook, and receive a monthly newsletter through their parent organization, the Rivers Coalition. Groups also sprouted up in St Lucie County and across the state in Lee County. These kids have had a great effect on water quality and St Lucie/Indian River Lagoon issues along our Treasure Coasts and statewide.

To help educate kids and parents, workbooks came out through a collaboration of adults and Kidz in 2013 focusing on the effects of releases from  C-23, C-24, C-44 and discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

This year, in 2014, the Jensen Beach High School Marine II Honors Class of Mrs Crystal Lucas, reworked the workbook, really entirely redoing it, with more depth of ideas on the canal and Lake Okeechobee problems focusing on the story of Marty the Manatee and his friends and the steady destruction of the rivers over time. New artwork from artist Julia Kelly helps tell the story. The new workbook is more sophisticated and meets Sunshine and Core Standards and most important for the Martine II students, has a mascot to lead the little kids, “Marty the Manatee.” Yes, Marty is based on the student’s  experiences with our local Indian Riverkeeper, Mr Marty Baum!

Due to teacher, Mrs Lucas, the Martine II students over a two-year period had exposure to speakers from the Army Corps of Engineers; South Florida Water Management District;  and took field trips to Lake Okeechobee and to the Everglades Coalition meetings among other things. Their depth of study is reflected in the new workbooks. Many of these students will be returning from university for this fundraiser event and to “see” their work published.

The coolest thing of all is that the River Kidz Workbook, Second Edition, is a collaboration of kids teaching kids. The Martin County School District has supported this effort and the plan is to share the workbooks in each second grade classroom in the county. Other workbooks will be shared in other grades and in private and independent schools as well, but second grade is the primary focus.

The final books are not yet printed as the group is raising money. The total costs for around 6000 workbooks is around $10,000 dollars. The books are beautiful full color, around 35 pages, and come with a completion certificate that “makes each kid a River Kid.”

The River Kidz and Adultz overseeing the project are confident they can raise this money as the did for the first workbook. It must be noted that Southeastern Printing of Port Salerno and the Mader family,  have made it possible to print these workbooks at a much lower cost.

We hope that you will attend the November 15th Fundraiser from 4-7PM at Bluewater Editions located at 4665 SE Dixie Highway, Port Salerno, and donate what you can. ALL ARE INVITED!!

We will be joined by artist/photographers Justin Riney, Julia Kelly, and Mike Hoffman.  There will be food and drink, live music, games, artwork for sale, and the River Kidz trademark lemonade stand.

A penny; a dollar; ten; twenty or a thousand…When Marjorie Stoneman Douglas started “Friends of the Everglades” each student gave a quarter and  this is what made the organization work–  EVERYONE WAS PART! This is what we wish to recreate.

So give what you can and come!  Put your money in the  jar by the door! All who donate will be recognized and thanked. Giving something is more important than how much you give.

Fundraising aside, the River Kidz want everyone in the community to be a part of this grassroots effort to save our rivers. I am including some pages of the rough draft so you can see what is “around the corner,” and so you hopefully will be inspired to give.

For me, this project is the “best of the very best” of what will, and already is, creating  a better future for our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. 

Rough Draft of Cover
Rough Draft of Cover
Page of authors: Mrs Lucas' JBHS Marine Biology students, 2013
Page of authors: Mrs Lucas’ JBHS Marine Biology students, 2013
First page of Chapter 1of 4
First page of Chapter 1of 4
Food web
Food web
Sample of questions and artwork
Sample of questions and artwork
Marty and friends
Marty and friends
What you can do!
“How you Can Help!


River Kidz is a division of the Rivers Coalition: (http://riverscoalition.org)