Tag Archives: save our river

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

Sweet!

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)



SUGARLAND RALLY 2013

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Maggy Hurchalla, Comm. Taylor, and Mayor Roland
Don Voss!
Nic Mader, Jenny Flaugh and the River Kidz
267.JPG
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

A 10 Year Olds’ Winning “Save Our River” Toilet Seat, Visionary School of the Arts, SLR/IRL

Winning art by 10 year old Aiden Serafica, Save the River toilet seat, Visionary School of the Arts, 2015.
Winning art by 10-year-old Aiden Serafica, “Save the River” toilet seat in acrylics, Visionary School of the Arts, 2015.

Art has always been political. It is by nature. It makes us think. It makes us feel—whether we want to or not. Our reaction to art is ancient and deeply programmed into our innermost being….

Today, I  say “Kudos!” to 10-year-old Aiden Serafica, a student at Lynn Barletta’s “Visionary School of the Arts,” in Stuart. As you probably know, the school is doing a wide range of amazing things with area youth. (http://www.visionaryschoolof-arts.org)

So this past Sunday, I was at Carson’s Tavern having dinner with my husband, Ed,  and friends Anne and Peter Schmidt, when an adorable ten-year old boy walks up to me and says: “My grandmother told me I should show you this…”—he was smiling from ear to ear! He reaches out and shows me a phone, and this is what I saw:

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“Aiden Serafica age 10 is in Miss Robyn’s Thursday class. Aiden was commissioned to paint a toilet seat in a “SAVE OUR RIVER” theme by local business owner Susan of Palm City Farms. Aiden received $100.00 for his beautiful rendition in acrylics. In addition this piece won first place in a contest at Martin County Fairgrounds as part of the best booth of the fairgrounds! Congratulations to Aiden on a completely unique and daring project of creativity. Art is indeed everywhere!”

I was so excited by what I saw and read, and that this young man, Aiden, would share this with me.

“This is wonderful Aiden! Congratulations! Very powerful! So proud of your artwork and expression. Thank you for speaking out on behalf of our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon! ” Aiden and I  shook hands. He was beaming; he even winked…

I think the Army Corp, the South Florida Water Management District, the state legislature and the Governor’s office are going to have to have a lot of pressure from future generations to  “get the water right….” —-perhaps they too, if they see Aiden’s toilet art, will come up with some daring and creative ways to speed up fixing our rivers.

Robin Mendez's phone image.
Robin Mendez’s phone image.

You can learn more about Visionary School of the Arts on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Visionary-School-of-Arts-231642403558562/ or on their website:
http://www.visionaryschoolof-arts.org

Tallahassee or Bust! River Kidz and the Clean Water Rally, SLR/IRL

River Kidz
River Kidz, “Tallahassee or bust! 2-18-15 (photo by Betsy Siegel.) (Olivia Siegel, Kiele and Naia Mader.)
Save our River!
Save our River!
Tallahassee or Bust!
Tallahassee or Bust!

It’s been a long time since I was in a car full of kids for eight hours!

Three members of the River Kidz, River Mom, Nic Mader, and I took off from Martin County yesterday to make certain these kids had a voice—and an experience of a lifetime.

Today starting a 11:30 the steps of the Florida capitol will be filled with hundreds of people from across our state for Florida’s Clean Water and  Amendment 1 Rally.  Multiple organization will take part with the Sierra Club leading the way. Founding member, John Muir, must be smiling in his California grave, at the thought of Americans continuing to fight for the beauty and wonder of nature and it’s most precious resource, clean water!

(http://action.sierraclub.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=354298.0&dlv_id=311281)

The ride was fun and the Kidz reviewed their new workbooks to share with the Senate Natural Resources Committee.  We created videos off our iPhones and posted them to the River Kidz Facebook Page.

(https://www.facebook.com/pages/River-Kidz/237123116309196)

It was awesome. The kids truly get it and are fulfilling their created mission statement: “to speak out, get involved and raise awareness, because we believe kids should have a voice in the future of our rivers.”

We talked about the state of our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon;  Amendment 1 and how it works; we talked about the goal for a land purchase in the Everglades Agricultural Area; we talked about the power and history of the sugar industry and then we stopped at Diary Queen and got a “blizzard!” I had an lemon-lime slush….

Blizzard anyone?
Blizzard anyone?

Caught in traffic for a solid two and a half hours outside of Gainesville, Naia, Kiele, and Olivia made the best of it while Nic and I wondered if we were going to run out gas!

Arriving at our hotel room at 8:00 PM, after showing the girls the Capitol and the campus of FSU, (Nic and I are both Gators!) we had dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. I told Nic we had to go somewhere where I could get a beer!

Nic and I were exhausted. The kids ate by themselves in a separate booth. I looked at Nic saying: Nic, you are a really good mom. She is. She was incredible yesterday pulling snacks out of secret compartments and having the patience of a saint……She smiled. ” Jacqui, they’ll remember this this rest of their lives and most important, it will help save our river….”

Teaching in the car.....
Teaching in the car…..

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

A Surprise Visit by Gubernatorial Candidate, Charlie Crist, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Charlie Crist visits the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon October 3, 2014. Photo by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)
Charlie Crist visits the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon October 3, 2014. (Photo by Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.)

As you probably saw in the paper, Charlie Crist, Democratic gubernatorial candidate for Florida, visited Stuart on Wednesday, October 3, 2014. Very exciting! I have been waiting for the governor’s race to crank up and for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon to be in the spotlight as it should be.

In my dream of dreams Governor Scott and Charlie Crist would come to Stuart debate. For now, I will be satisfied that this year both have visited and spoken and are aware of health issues facing the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.

I had seen Charlie Crist speak before at the Florida League of Cites, in Hollywood, but it was fun to see “the man, the myth,” our former governor, up close, face to face, along with his beautiful wife Carol.

I shall tell you of my short experience…

As I did not learn of the visit until the day before, I already had commitments and thus was one hour and a half late to Mr Crist’s planned arrival to tour the lagoon at the invitation of Marty Baum, Indian Riverkeeper.

This was inconsequential as the Crist team was late itself, so when I arrived at Sandsprit Park, Mr Crist and his team had just gone out in the boat with Marty Baum, Mark Perry of Florida Oceanographic, and others.

Coming in off the boat
Coming in off the boat.
Marty Baum, Indian Riverkeeper, Kevin Stinnet, and
Marty Baum and friends.

As Mr Crist came off the boat I moved to greet him and grabbed his hand to help him onto the dock.  I thanked him for his visit. His wife, Carol was at his side holding a sign that read,  A FAIR CHANCE FOR FLORIDA.  I knew that the couple had married in 2008 and that she was a very successful business woman who ran the  family business, Franco American Novelty Co . and was most well-known for  inventing  the slogan: “Where Fashion Meets Halloween,” and  creating  sexy Halloween costumes that were big sellers. She is a talented marketer.

I wondered what she thought so far of Stuart. She smiled, stepping off the boat in high heels.

Charlie Christ's wife, Carol, was at his side on the boat ride. (Public photo)
Charlie Christ’s wife, Carol, was at his side on the boat ride. (Public photo)

Once off the boat they got their sea legs as apparently a big wave had hit…the small crowd loved him and gathered around.

Mr Crist composed himself, a calm and confident speaker. This was obviously a man used to being in the public eye.

The questions from the reporters about the lagoon were many, and Mr Crist did a good job answering. Nonetheless there was an awkward moment that must be noted.

Tyler Treadway from the Stuart News asked Mr Crist about how he would stop the discharges from Lake Okeechobee and Mr Crist answered that “he would put the right people on the South Florida Water Management Board and the discharges would stop; like they did before, when he was governor…”

There was silence. Tyler’s lips quivered; he said something like …”Sir I don’t know how you can say that? …That you stopped the discharges….”

Charlie Crist repeated again that he had.

I watched this crowd who adored and appreciated Mr Crist but they were too educated and too far into this not to know that stopping the discharges is a lot more complicated that that….and that they have NEVER stopped for long.

The was the pregnant pause….Silence….Tyler looked at his writing pad….the crowd stared into space.

As usual I could not stop myself and I finally blurted out: “Temporarily…..”

Charlie Crist looked straight at me; I respectfully held my gaze, head slightly down.

We all looked at each other….and stared. It was time to go.

We all thanked him. It was a great visit.

I believe Mr Crist’s intentions are good, I just don’t think, he like all politicians, is  used to speaking to such an educated public.

We know the truth, we need a third outlet from the lake and other water holding areas, there are no saviors, no boards that will fix our terrible St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon/Lake Okeechobee problem.

“Why didn’t he speak about his US Sugar buyout plan from 2008?” Said someone as we were all walking away?

“He didn’t know who he was taking to,” I answered. “The most educated public in the state. Politicians are not used to that…”

We waved goodbye. And Charlie flashed us that winning smile. We hope he’ll come again.

Pam Joy hold a sign SAVE OUR RIVER.
Pam Joy hold a sign SAVE OUR RIVER.
SAVE US
SAVE US
St Lucie River Kidz were there to meet Charlie Crist. Their mission is to speak out, get involved and raise awareness....
St Lucie River Kidz were there to meet Charlie Crist. Their mission is to speak out, get involved and raise awareness….

 

 

Inspirational Slogans From the River Kidz for Our Indian River Lagoon!

Say No to Lake O
Say No to Lake O

River Kidz was started in 2011 in the Town of Sewall’s Point  by two 5th grade girls, Evie Flaugh and Naia Mader after a public call to action by Stuart News/Scripps columnist, Eve Samples for “younger members of the Rivers Coalition.”  The group swelled to over 300 Facebook and event attending member by 2013. Today there are River Kidz chapters in St Lucie County and across the state in Lee County as well. These kids serve as an inspiration to adults.

I believe, politicians are changing water policy because of these kids.

Over the years I have collected and photographed their art work, slogan, and their letters to politicians. Today, I am going to share some of their slogans.  For fun and just to review, a “slogan” is defined as:

noun–

1. a phrase expressing the aim or nature of an enterprise, organization,or candidate; a motto.

2. a phrase used repeatedly , as in advertising or promotion.

and 3. (my favorite). A battle cry of a Scottish clan.

These slogans span from 2011 to 2014. They are from different children, including the students from the honors class at Felix A. Williams Elementary in Jensen; St Josephs Catholic School in Stuart, and the Pine School in Stuart. Public and private schools alike have embraced the message:  “Speak out, get involved and raise awareness, because we believe kids should have a voice in the future of our rivers.”

Enjoy, and “stay strong” for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon!

Save Our River
Save Our River
Keep It Like This
Keep It Like This
Move the Water South
Move the Water South
Our Water Our Future
Our Water Our Future
Maybe We Can Change the Law
Maybe We Can Change the Law
Stop and Think
Stop and Think
Let It Flow South
Let It Flow South
It's Not Always Black and White
It’s Not Always Black and White
Stop. Don't Trash Our River
Stop. Don’t Trash Our River
Don't Trash the Lagoon
Don’t Trash the Lagoon
Let it Flow South
Let it Flow South
Please Keep It Clean
We Love Our River So Please Keep It Clean
Why Pollute It?
Why Pollute It?
Stop Dumping
Stop Dumping
Stop the Discharges
Stop the Discharges
No! (to fertilizer) Save The River
No! (to fertilizer) Save The River
Why Ruin Our Future?
Why Ruin Our Future?
River Kidz first Art message by artist Julia Kelly: YOU ARE OUR RIVERS' FUTURE
River Kidz’ first art slogan by artist Julia Kelly: YOU ARE OUR RIVERS’ FUTURE

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*Feel free to use any photo or slogan.

River Kidz: (http://riverscoalition.org)