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It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but sometime over the past decade or so, the general population of this country formed a belief that bottled water is better than tap water -- and safer and healthier.

It's pretty ingenious, if not shocking, how bottled water suppliers created an entire industry by convincing millions of people to pay between 240 and 10,000 times more for water in a bottle than getting it from the supply we're already paying for in our homes.


These days, a 16-ounce bottle of "spring" water goes for about a dollar, which works out to about $8 a gallon -- twice the cost of milk and on par with bottled soft drinks. Home delivery of water in those great big, heavy bottles is less per gallon but still costs around $40 a month, according to online averages. How does that compare with the water coming out of your kitchen tap?

The average household cost for town water in the U.S. is 66 cents per cubic meter, which is 265 gallons, or 4,240 8-ounce glasses of water -- enough to last the average person 530 days (consuming eight 8-ounce glasses per day). Another way to price it: Sixty-two 8-ounce glasses of water cost about 1 cent.

There's no doubt that people love their bottled water. There are dozens of brands, and new versions and advertising slogans are showing up all the time. In 2013 alone, Americans drank 58 gallons of bottled water per capita.


This may startle you, but it is absolutely true: Tap water is safer than bottled water. How can that be? The reason is simple: The water supply in the U.S. is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, under very strict guidelines and rules that are heavily enforced.

Bottled water is subject to FDA rules, which are far less stringent. For example, tap water by law requires disinfection. Testing for bacteria must be conducted hundreds of times per month.

Bottled water, on the other hand, is not required to be disinfected. The frequency of bacteria testing is fewer than five times each month.


Tooth decay in children is making a big comeback. The culprit? Bottled water. It's not the water that's causing the decay, according to the World Dental Congress. It's the lack of fluoride.

Parents believe they are giving their children a superior product in bottled water, but in fact they are depriving kids of the fluoride and minerals they need to build healthy teeth and bodies. Despite all of the controversy, community water fluoridation has become recognized as a key preventer of tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association.

So the next time you feel thirsty, don't reach for a bottle. Instead, turn on the tap. You'll be drinking water that is just as safe -- or safer -- than bottled water and saving money, too. Get the kids to switch, and you just might head off big dental bills down the road.

Don't like the taste of your tap water? Invest in a filter pitcher or dispenser. Install an inexpensive faucet filter or a reverse-osmosis system. Taste comes from negligible amounts of minerals. Filtered tap water removes minerals and chemicals, rendering it with no hint of aftertaste, even at room temperature.

Mary Hunt

Wednesday, 01 March 2017 23:19

Spring Break!!!

How and when did the world decide that for one week in March or April, college kids would have carte blanche to leave their local town, and head to a tropical location, engaging in kegstand, wet tee-shirt contests (ect) on beaches and in bars.

The historical origins of spring break started with the Greeks ancient masters getting liquored up and taking off their pants in public. The ancient Greeks celebrated a spring festival called Anthestreria, which honored Dionysus, the god of theater, fornicating, and getting totally hammered. Festival goers dressed up, sang, and engaged in wine chugging contests.

Of course, there were a few thousand years in between the ancient Greeks and modern spring breaking which brought back public wine (beer) chugging contests.

During World War II, wealthy Ivy Leaguers traveled to Florida, being scared off by rumors of German submarine activity in the Caribbean.

During the '50s the media began to report Florida's reputation as a place to spend spring break drinking, dancing, and looking for "love".

1965, Elvis stared in "Girl Happy" a film which suggested that spring break might be a place to meet and greet Elvis, instead of just a place to get beer poured down your bra.

In 1975, the wet t-shirt contest was invented at Pierre's Restaurant in Metairie, Louisiana, which soon became a spring break staple.

At the end of the '80s, Ft Lauderdale citizens begin enacting ordinances, banning open containers of booze and putting up a wall separating the beach from the street. Students began gathering in locations through out the southern states.

From the end of Prohibition, Florida maintained a drinking age of 18 until 1987.
In 1986, MTV aired Spring Break from Daytona Beach, Florida. The episode featured Mr. Mister, Beastie Boys, and high-cut '80s bikini bottoms.

40 percent of college students travel for spring break, spending almost $1 billion on hot spots in Florida and Texas alone. In fact, 500,000 partiers spend over $140 million just going to Panama City, Florida, the "spring break capital of the world."

If you're visiting SW Florida and heading out to party for "Spring Break 2017"......Have fun, be safe.

If you don’t get the chance to catch the Lee County Fair, running until Sunday March 5th, at the Fairgrounds located at 11831 Bayshore Rd, Fort Myers, FL 33917, you will have another opportunity to catch a county Fair.

The Collier County Fair !

They kick off their 41st annual fair in two weeks with a grand opening ceremony at 6 p.m., on Thursday, March 16 at the Collier County Fairgrounds, 751 39th avenue N.E., Naples, Florida and will run till the 11pm on the 26th.

Celebrate St. Patricks Day on Friday, with their Midnight Madness.

Besides all the great Livestock competitions/shows, there will be a Demolition Derby this Sunday with first heat at 5pm.
See the event schedule at:

The Collier County Fairgrounds is not a part of the Collier County or State of Florida government and receives no tax dollars or other subsidies and is a non-profit organization that is run by a board of 20 volunteers.

Proceeds go to various community organizations. They have contributed to our community by providing support or fundraising opportunities for the following organizations: Collier County Sheriff’s Junior Deputy Program, Catholic Charities, 4-H Foundation, Open Youth of Collier County, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club, Naples Bears, Immokalee High School Band, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Youth Haven and Palmetto High School Fishing Club, Marching Band and Band Boosters.

In addition, they are a pre-designated Emergency assembly area for FPL, the state of Florida and Collier County.

They invite you to share in their community spirit and help support our community and youth of Collier County and are looking for more program to help with, if they can help your program, contact them at (239) 455-1444

Lawrence "Larry" Gavin peacefully passed away last Sunday with only 76 days to go to complete his 90th year!

Born in Chicago, on May 13, 1927 and was a US Army
veteran of WWII.

Larry married Rita Stier on August 4, 1974 in Hinsdale, IL. He spent his career with Ace Hardware Corporation and retired as President of the corporation. He owned Gavin's Ace Hardware with his wife Rita and sons Ron and John on San Carlos Blvd, in Fort Myers and they recently opened a second location on Nicholas Pkwy, in Cape Coral.

Larry is survived by his wife Rita and their nuclear family: Richard, Rick & Marla, Ron & Laura, Randy & Kitty, John & Cindy and Ron & Dawn, and his daughter-in-laws: Jody and Shari; 13 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

Larry’s heart was in community service. A Freemason and Shriner he was involved in Boy Scouts, The United Way, Children’s Hospitals and other like groups.

Friends and family are invited to the Celebration of Life service at 10:30 am Sunday, March 5, at Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park 12777 State Road 82, Fort Myers.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name would be appreciated to the United Way of Lee County 7273 Concourse Drive Fort Myers, FL 33908.

Info (239) 334-4880.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 02:04

The Right Side: EMP AND US/us?


(EMP) is a "collateral" effect of Nuclear bomb detonation that was accidentally found by everyone who detonated a Nuclear device! A nuclear bomb detonated in the atmosphere was found to destroy anything electrical within its "range".

Russia conducted 5 tests of atmospheric detonation (180 miles above the Earth); 2 at 1.2 Kilotons October 1961 and then 3 at 300 Kilotons in Oct/Nov 1962. The "accidental" results of the test on 10-22-62 were devastating! The EMP destroyed hundreds of miles of wires, destroyed the devices set to measure the results and destroyed the entire Karaganda power plant,

ALL by EMP! Oops!

Since then, according to many sources, most recently in a article 1-13-17 by Peter Huessy for Gatestone Institute, "contrary to some "expert" analysis, both the recent North Korean nuclear and the Iranian ballistic missile tests are deadly serious threats to the United States". I believe he is accurate. Here is what I believe we know and I had previously confirmed by many available government sources over the past several years, they are no secret!

The United States’ power grid is not protected, in any way, from an EMP attack! I believe a few "experts" may have told some VERY ignorant leaders that although an EMP attack would be devastating to an "area", and the US is vulnerable, it would take a lot to cause crippling damage, and billions and billions to prevent! How dumb would a leader have to be to not understand a threat on their own? Consider this…Carter’s advisors convinced him, in 1979, that the Shaw of Iran was bad and should be removed and replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini, they said is a humanitarian who was exiled in Egypt. How did that work out? That’s the best example I can think…oops…forgive me, here’s another… "Just sign it, we’ll find out later what it says"(really a quote)…wait, I had a brain fart…just give Iran the 170 billion, they’ll honor their word ( not really a quote, but you get the idea).

Our Country has advanced to a technologic point that we are 101% dependent upon electric technology. Heck some …most of our planes (civilian and Military) can’t fly without electricity and computers! Good or bad? Good, if we can protect it , bad if we can’t! We can’t!

Most of our Naval ships are EMP proof but NOT our planes. None of our power plants/grid are protected. There are transformers on our grid that, under ideal conditions, take at least 2 years to build, are NOT built inside the US and a loss of a very few will shut down the entire grid!

Power experts tried to get Obama to build backups to these critical transformers and he refused!

Russia and N Korea have many old, lets say, tube type equipment. Many of Russia’s bombers still use antique technology that IS EMP proof because they didn’t have the money to "update" to circuit boards, computers and cellular technology! Maybe that’s not so bad for them?

Here’s what I believe is the biggest threat to our Nation RIGHT NOW!!!

Russia has had the capability to launch the most devastating EMP device in the world, from a commercial tanker 100 miles off our coast, where 1(one) would kill our entire East coast grid and we probably can’t react fast enough to stop it! 1(one) EMP device on each coast and 1(one) in the center, three total, would kill over 90% of our entire ability to make electric power, for years! Here’s the scariest part of this weapon. Russian has had the ability to do this for years. Could Iran have bought one from Russia with their Obama gift of 170 billion? Naw…they wouldn’t do that…would they? China has it, right now, as well, both the bomb and the launch ability! North Korea has a 1-10 Kiloton EMP weapon, right now and has tested it at least 3 times and is very close to a launch capability. Iran is closer than we think and could even have the weapon!


I believe I have a very good solution to several of our problems!

By Executive Proclamation or EO declare an Energy, Economic, and Security Emergency and order all 50 states to participate in a Power To Prosperity and Security (POPS) program (call it what you want)!

Utilizing "interest bearing stimulus loans" to each State, direct a new EMP protected (as best we can) , power plant be built, in each state, utilizing made in America materials and US Citizens. Put all environmental issues on a fast tract and direct the States to project manage the entire projects with Federal oversight! If Republic Steel says they must build new plants as well as LaFarge Concrete and so forth; loan them the funds, the same way. They must use US citizens and Made in America materials. When the plants are built, the States MUST sell to private utility companies and repay the loans!

Then do the same with our power grid! The TOTAL cost would be LESS than Obama's stimulus and what do we have to show. I figure less than 500 billion to build all 50 power plants utilizing all our Natural Resources, including Nuclear and probably the same for the EMP improved grid!

In case you’re interested, I’ve written about this several times in the Niagara Falls Reporter, starting around 2014! Someone please tell President Trump, Obama couldn’t understand the concept!

J. Gary DiLaura,
FBI Retired

Thursday, 23 February 2017 01:55

2017 Florida Survey: Record Number Of Manatees

An aerial survey this month had a preliminary total of 6,620 creatures, compared to 6,250 in 2016 and 6,063 the year before. In 1991 the aerial estimate of the Manatees (sea cow) was only 1,267.

"The relatively high counts we have seen for the past three years underscore the importance of warm water habitat to manatees in Florida," said Gil McRae, head of the state's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. The survey counted 3,488 on the state's east coast and 3,132 along the west coast.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission said Monday, "The manatees, of course, have to be seen to be counted and their exact numbers are unknown. The survey is conducted by air and the count represents the minimum number of manatees in the area. State biologists also pointed to recent conservation measures for the high manatee count.

Manatees, which are also known as sea cows, have been on the endangered list for more than 40 years due to threats posed by urbanization, water contamination and collisions with boats.

"The manatee's recovery is incredibly encouraging and a great testament to the conservation actions of many," Cindy Dohner, the Southeast regional director for US Fish and Wildlife, said at the time. "Today's proposal is not only about recognizing this progress, but it's also about recommitting ourselves to ensuring the manatee's long-term success and recovery."

The Florida manatees are part of the estimated 13,000 that also includes those living in the Caribbean and along the coasts of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.

Manatees live in shallow waters and must come to the surface to breathe about every 15 minutes. The herbivores can reach four meters (13 feet) long, weigh up to 600 kilos (1,300 pounds) and live about 40 years.

"The threat is still out there, and it's not going away," Katie Tripp, director of science and conservation for the club, said last year. "You don't celebrate when you're not done with the game. There's a lot more work to be done to safeguard the habitat, to get manatees removed from the Endangered Species Act altogether."

The manatee remains protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Thursday, 23 February 2017 01:49

Florida Senate Bill 816

Florida water quality is and/or should be in the forefront of all residents thoughts, if you aren't paying attention, then WAKE UP! ... You should be! Our coastal waterways are the reasons I/we moved here and why over 100 million tourist come to Florida annually.

The name "Okeechobee” translates to "big water" in the Seminole Indian language, a name apropos for the lake that measures 730 square miles, it is the largest lake in the southeastern United States. However, the lake is shallow, with an average depth of only 9 feet.

Many of you already know that Lake Okeechobee and its wetlands are at the center of a much larger watershed, the Greater Everglades, that stretches from the Kissimmee River through the Everglades and finally into Florida Bay. The lake is a key component of South Florida's water supply and flood control systems, providing a natural habitat for fish, wading birds and other wildlife, and it supplies essential water for people, farms and the environment. The lake provides flood protection and attracts boating and recreation enthusiasts from around the world. It is also home to sport and commercial fisheries. The quality of it's water is paramount to all of southern Florida.

Florida Senator Joe Negron’s has filed a proposal to purchase 60,000 acres in the Everglades Agricultural Area for water storage to reduce the need to release freshwater from Lake Okeechobee during heavy rain season to our coastal estuaries.

Meanwhile Florida Senator David Simmons has introduced Senate Bill 816, which would require the state to complete repairs on the Herbert Hoover Dike so Lake Okeechobee high water levels would be allowed to reach up to 19 feet.

Currently, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages Lake Okeechobee water levels with the goal of balancing flood control, public safety, navigation, water supply and ecological health. The Corps , makes decisions on whether to retain or release water in the massive lake, on its regulation schedule and the best available science and data provided by its staff and a variety of partners, including the South Florida Water Management District.

The Bill states : “In the process of rehabilitation, repair, improvement, and strengthening of the dike, the district shall set a goal of adding up to an additional 2 feet of water storage capacity above that provided by the current Interim LORS08 Schedule to Lake Okeechobee in order to reduce the need to release lake water into the St. Lucie River and Caloosahatchee River systems, so that maximum discharges are not required until the water level of the lake reaches 19.0 feet NGVD.”

Senate Bill 816 asks the State of Florida to declare the rights of the state to control discharges from Lake Okeechobee and to assume the leadership role in the repairing the dike. Many think this is a great idea, taking control of discharges would mean the state and not the Corps would decide when to or not to release fresh water. While many oppose the idea, mainly due to the damage that can be caused by adding the possibility of the lake reaching up to 19 feet.

One of the groups that has come out in strong opposition to the bill is the Florida Audubon Society, saying in a press release: “The Simmons bill would place a world class wildlife paradise at risk. Lake Okeechobee is home to a great sports fishery and is beloved by birdwatchers and duck hunters,”

"By holding water at 19 feet before maximum discharges are possible, SB 816 would drown the 150,000 acres of marshes that make up some of the best wildlife habitat in the Everglades. This area provides excellent fish spawning, habitat for birds and recreation for people."

"The South Florida Water Management District’s adaptive protocols for Lake Okeechobee note that above 16 feet, impacts to the Lake’s ecosystem can occur rapidly. In both 1988 and 2000, when the Lake was held chronically higher than 15 feet, “ecological emergencies” were declared on the Lake. "

"A deeper Lake is also a dirtier Lake. Deeper water levels stir sediments on the bottom of the Lake and drown submerged aquatic plants that otherwise help clean water. High water levels also tend to occur with large inflows that carry high nutrient loads. Conversely, in years when water levels have allowed the marsh to thrive, nutrient concentrations have decreased significantly."

"Deep dirty water in the Lake will cause even more harm to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. The Lake simply cannot hold an unlimited amount of water. When discharges to these estuaries are required, water released will be even more nutrient rich than the water released in 2013 and 2016. This in turn would compound the chance of toxic algae blooms and other negative impacts."

​ "Ultimately, SB 816 is offered as an alternative to creating the long-planned reservoirs south of Lake Okeechobee that will reduce discharges to coastal estuaries and provide freshwater to the Southern Everglades and Florida Bay. But Senator Simmons’s proposal leaves the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries as the only major outlets for the Lake. This lack of options is what Everglades restoration aims to address. Without a new southern outlet, the proposal in SB 816 will not prevent the need for discharges. The discharges will simply occur under more strenuous circumstances and contain dirtier water."

This is our state, what do you think about SB 816? Good idea? Or not?

Al DiPasquale

Dear Doctor: It has been six weeks since my husband, who is 57, had a heart attack, and I'm afraid he's depressed. His doctors say he's doing really well, but he's getting more quiet and withdrawn. How can we help him?

Dear Reader: Depression following a heart attack is not uncommon. Up to one-third of people who have had a heart attack report symptoms of depression. It's not just the body that suffers the effects of a heart attack -- there can be a mental and emotional toll as well.

A person who goes through a life-changing medical event -- and a heart attack certainly qualifies -- often faces an emotional struggle once the initial danger is past. He or she can wind up feeling alone, frightened and fundamentally different from everyone around them. Even when surrounded by a loving family and caring friends, these feelings of isolation can be profound.

The first challenge is to recognize that something is wrong.

In addition to becoming quiet and withdrawn, symptoms of depression include anxiety, persistent feelings of sadness, problems with concentration, and a lack of interest in the people and activities that were once important. There may be changes in appetite or in eating habits, as well as changes in sleep patterns, whether insomnia or sleeping too much.

One danger posed by depression is that heart patients may not fully engage in their recovery. They may not be careful to always take their medications, and may either put off or refuse to make the lifestyle changes recommended by their doctors. Studies have shown that individuals who are depressed may be twice as likely to have another heart attack.

The most effective treatments for post-heart attack depression are anti-depressants and seeing a therapist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Anti-depressants can ease the burden of the difficult feelings that have derailed the patient's journey back to normal daily life. And in talk therapy, patients can safely explore their fears, pinpoint their anxieties, and gain an understanding of the many ways that surviving a heart attack has reshaped their lives.

If your husband isn't interested in the one-on-one environment of a therapist's office, then a support group is a good alternative. The chance to meet other heart patients and to hear their stories and to share his own can go a long way toward piercing the wall of isolation.

Another excellent avenue of support is something called cardiac rehabilitation. It's a highly structured program, usually 36 weeks long, that includes exercise, education and counseling, all done under careful medical supervision.

The cardiac rehab team typically consists not only of doctors and nurses, but also dietitians, exercise physiologists and other professionals. Participants attend classes and lectures, get important information about the medications they are taking and learn how to return to their daily lives.

Eve Glazier, M.D.,
and Elizabeth Ko, M.D.

Thursday, 16 February 2017 13:37

Is the Left Playing with Fire Again?

To those who lived through that era that tore us apart in the '60s and '70s, it is starting to look like "deja vu all over again."

And as Adlai Stevenson, Bobby Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey did then, Democrats today like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are pandering to the hell-raisers, hoping to ride their energy to victory.

Democrats would do well to recall what happened the last time they rode the tiger of social revolution.

As the riots began in Harlem in 1964 and Watts in 1965, liberals rushed to render moral sanction and to identify with the rioters.

"In the great struggle to advance civil and human rights," said Adlai at Colby College, "even a jail sentence is no longer a dishonor but a proud achievement. ... Perhaps we are destined to see in this law-loving land people running for office ... on their prison records."

"There is no point in telling Negroes to obey the law," said Bobby; to the Negro, "the law is the enemy." Hubert assured us that if he had to live in a slum, "I could lead a mighty good revolt myself."

Thus did liberals tie themselves and their party to what was coming. By 1967, Malcolm X had been assassinated, Stokely Carmichael with his call to "Black Power" had replaced John Lewis at SNCC, and H. Rap Brown had a new slogan: "By any means necessary."

Came then the days-long riots of Newark and Detroit in 1967 where the 82nd Airborne was sent in. A hundred cities were burned and pillaged following the assassination of Dr. King on April 4, 1968.

And what happened in our politics?

The Democratic coalition of FDR was shattered. Gov. George Wallace rampaged through the Democratic primaries of Wisconsin, Indiana and Maryland in 1964, then ran third party and carried five Southern states in 1968.

His presidency broken by Vietnam and the riots, LBJ decided not to run again. Vice President Humphrey's chances were ruined by the violent protests at his Chicago convention, which were broken up by the club-wielding cops of Democratic Mayor Richard J. Daley.

Race riots in the cities, student riots on campus, and that riot of radicals in Chicago helped deliver America to Richard Nixon.

Came then the huge anti-Nixon, anti-war demonstrations of the fall of 1969, the protests in the spring of 1970 after the Cambodian invasion and the Kent State killings, and the Mayday siege by thousands of anarchists to shut down D.C. in 1971.

Again and again, Nixon rallied the Silent Majority to stand with him -- and against them. Middle America did.

Hence, what did its association with protesters, radicals and Black Power militants do for the Democratic Party?

Where LBJ swept 44 states in 1964 and 61 percent of the vote, in 1968 Humphrey won 13 states and 43 percent.

In 1972, Nixon and Spiro Agnew swept 49 states, routing the champion of the countercultural left, George McGovern.

And the table had been set for California Governor Ronald Reagan, who defied campus rioters threatening him with violence thusly: "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with."

Without the riots and bombings of the '60s and '70s, there might have been no Nixonian New Majority and no Reagan Revolution.

Today, with the raucous protests against President Trump and his travel ban, the disruption of Congressional town meetings, the blocking of streets every time a cop is involved in a shooting with a black suspect, and the rising vitriol in our politics, it is beginning to look like the 1960s again.

There are differences. In bombings, killings, beatings, arrests, arson, injuries and destruction of property, we are nowhere near 1968.

Still, the intolerant left seems to have melded more broadly and tightly with the Democratic Party of today than half a century ago.

Where Barry Goldwater joked about sawing off the East Coast and "letting it drift out into the Atlantic," Californians today talk of secession. And much of Middle America would be happy to see them gone.

Where Nixon was credited with the "cooling of America" in 1972, and Reagan could credibly celebrate "Morning in America" in 1984, any such "return to normalcy" appears the remotest possibility now.

As with the EU, the cracks in the USA seem far beyond hairline fractures. Many sense the country could come apart. It did once before. And could Southerners and Northerners have detested each other much more than Americans do today?

Fifty years ago, the anti-Nixon demonstrators wanted out of Vietnam and an end to the draft. By 1972, they had gotten both. The long hot summers were over. The riots stopped.

But other than despising Trump and his "deplorables," what great cause unites the left today? Even Democrats confess to not knowing Hillary Clinton's presidential agenda.

From those days long ago, there returns to mind the couplet from James Baldwin's famous book, from which he took his title:

"God gave Noah the rainbow sign/ No more water, the fire next time."

Patrick J. Buchanan


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