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September 1813, the United

States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam.

Uncle Sam, might even be the most

recognized person in the world, eas-

ily the most recognized of all Ameri-

can symbols. The name is linked to

Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from

Troy, New York, who supplied bar-

rels of beef to the United States Army

during the War of 1812. Wilson

(1766-1854) stamped the barrels with

“U.S.” for United States, but soldiers

began referring to the grub as “Uncle

Sam’s.” The local newspaper picked

up on the story and Uncle Sam even-

tually gained widespread acceptance

as the nickname for the U.S. federal


The most famous image of

Uncle Sam was created by artist

James Montgomery Flagg (1877-

1960). In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam

wears a tall top hat and blue jacket

and is pointing straight ahead at the

viewer. During World War I, this por-

trait of Sam with the words “I Want

You For The U.S. Army” was used as

a recruiting poster. The image, which

became immensely popular, was first

used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly

in July 1916 with the title “What Are

You Doing for Preparedness?” The

poster was widely distributed and has

subsequently been re-used numerous

times with different captions.

Wilson died at age 88 in

1854, and was buried next to his wife

Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Ceme-

tery in Troy, New York, the town that

calls itself “The Home of Uncle


In 1989 a joint resolution of

Congress designated September 13

“Uncle Sam Day”. This date was se-

lected, as “Uncle Sam” Wilson was

born on September 13, 1776.

By the President of the

United States of America

Proclamation 6016

Uncle Sam Day, September 5, 1989

The tall, white-haired figure

of Uncle Sam -- his stern, sagacious

face graced by a flowing beard, and

his distinguished top hat adorned by

stars and stripes -- is a

Bi-Weekly Edition August 31 - September 13, 2017

From Island to Bay, News at Sea Level

Vol. 3 No. 2

Thousands of new patients

have sought access to medical mari-

juana this summer following the pas-

sage of a new law expanding the list

of maladies that qualify for treatment.

Since June 7, the number of patients

certified over the entire first three

years of Florida’s fledgling cannabis

program has nearly doubled from

16,760 to more than 31,000.

But patients are finding it’s

one thing to receive a doctor’s certifi-

cation, and another to receive the

state-issued identification card

needed to legally place an order. Doc-

tors seeking state-required training

through a new course that has yet to

be offered are equally frustrated,

leading to a growing feeling that the

Florida Office of Medical Marijuana

Use and its 12 employees — nine of

whom are part-time — are simply


“I’m not sure the state was

prepared,” said Pete Sessa, chief op-

erating officer of the advocacy-

minded Florida Cannabis Coalition.

Right now, the average pa-

tient , who might suffer from cancer,

HIV, Parkinson’s or other serious ill-

nesses, waits 30 days after applying

to receive a medical marijuana card.

And that’s if everything goes accord-

ing to plan.


Cont’d pg. 3

Cont’d pg. 5

The Cannabis Boom Is

Under Way In Florida,

And Government Is

Struggling To Keep Up

On Monday, Sept. 11, just

before 9 am, take a moment to re-

member those fallen first responder

heroes and all the others that were

killed in the WORST EVER terrorist

attack on US soil.

2017 marks the 16th An-

niversary of 9/11.

2,996 in total died that day,

in New York, the Pentagon and in a

field in rural Pennsylvania.

The attack and the reaction

to it has shaped U.S. policy for the

last 16 years, leaving a nation that is

far more vigilant and attentive about


9/11 also marks the 5th An-

niversary of the terrorist attack of

the US Embassy in Benghazi which

killed four Americans, including

Ambassador Chris Stevens. the at-

tack began at 2:30 pm EDT.




Uncle Sam


Another FHP Official

Retires Early Because Of

Illegal Quota On Tickets

A growing controversy over

illegal ticket quotas at the Florida

Highway Patrol has cost a second

high-ranking trooper his job — this

time the agency's No. 2 official.

Lt. Col. Mike Thomas, the

FHP's deputy director, took early re-

tirement as of Sept. 1 and accepted

responsibility for an internal email

that encouraged troopers to write at

least two tickets an hour, even

though quotas are forbidden by law.

"This was a grave error on

my behalf," Thomas said in a letter

of retirement dated Monday and re-

leased Tuesday. "I made this mistake

and take responsibility for my ac-

tions. This error has negatively im-

pacted the patrol's image, which was

never the intent, but I feel it is in the

best interest of the patrol that I re-


Thomas added that he felt it

was detrimental to describe "goal

setting, or the setting of expecta-

tions, as a quota."

What led to the abrupt end of

a three-decade career was Thomas'

one-paragraph email on May 31 in

which he told six high-ranking col-

leagues "to encourage our members

to maintain our 2.0 citations per hour

ratio as we attempt to provide a safer

driving environment for Floridians."

One recipient of that email

was Thomas' boss, Col. Gene

Spaulding, director of the patrol.

A spokeswoman for Spaulding, Beth

Frady, said she could not comment

on why Spaulding didn't act on the

email when he received it, and was

not sure that Spaulding had seen it.

In a statement Tuesday,

Spaulding said of Thomas: "It was

inappropriate to request a specific

number of citations from our mem-


The patrol is still reviewing

to see if other administrators gave a

similar two-tickets-an-hour edict,

raising the possibility that more pre-

mature retirements may be on the way.

Thomas grew up in working-

class Homestead where he said a

state trooper was a personal role

model who joked about a "curfew"

so that teenagers wouldn't be roam-

ing the streets late at night.

After serving in the Navy,

Thomas joined the FHP and pa-

trolled the busy highways of Miami-

Dade and Broward counties for

many years, recalling one very diffi-

cult July when he had to notify rela-

tives of seven people who died in car