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Items filtered by date: August 2017
The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously last week to purchase about 4,000 acres in southeast Lee County – commonly known as Edison Farms – as a Conservation 20/20 preservation site. 
County commissioners have made preserving Edison Farms a top legislative priority for the past two years. It is an example of the type of environmentally critical land that the Conservation 20/20 program was created to protect and that voters overwhelmingly endorsed with an 84 percent majority late last year.
We have been following this story from the start and it has finally gone forward.
The $42.4 million purchase ranks as the largest single parcel approved by the Board since the purchase of Bob Janes Preserve, which is 5,620 acres.
Edison Farms is adjacent to Hidden Cypress Preserve, a Conservation 20/20 preserve, and lands maintained by the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed. The land includes habitat for listed species such as the Florida panther and the woodstork.
The acquisition of the Edison Farms parcel will:
• Protect a significant, diverse population of wildlife and plant communities.
• Assist with the distribution of freshwater flows in a natural wetland slough system and adjacent uplands that are part of the headwaters to Estero Bay, the state’s first aquatic preserve.
• Help sustain the region’s groundwater levels, a vital component to the area’s drinking water supply.
• Provide flood relief by facilitating the restoration of historic flow-ways in the region.
• Provide opportunities for nature-based recreation in the southern part of Lee County.
The Edison Farms purchase is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.
Conservation 20/20, which has preserved more than 25,000 acres since its inception, is Lee County’s environmental acquisition and management program. Preservation lands help the county protect drinking water, provide nature-based recreational 
opportunities, protect areas from flooding and provide wildlife 
Published in Environment
Friday, 29 September 2017 16:54

Irma Raises Water Quality Concerns





Our beaches and the quality of our gulf water is a major draw to our area, tourism is affected by releases from Lake Okeechobee and the algae blooms that usually follow. In General our area was spared from the devastation that could have been from this storm and until the reservoir that was approved back in April is completed, we will have to deal with these releases and see how the aftermath of Hurricane Irma will continue to affect our area.

The South Florida Water Management District considers protection and improvement of the Caloosahatchee watershed an agency priority. Rain or lack of it affects the river, water releases from Lake Okeechobee when we have too much rain as we are now experiencing can add too much fresh water and lack of rain like we had over the winter can make the river too salty, killing off sea grasses and other plant, animal and fish life.

The Army Corps of Engineers decided to and released water into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie to keep lake Okeechobee levels low before Hurricane Irma came to our area, scientist say that up to 300 million gallons ran down the river in Irma’s wake washing most of the estuary out into the Gulf.

In the past, Rain water just sat on the landscape, but now too many wetlands in Lee County have been converted to development. "You have more of your water running off instead of staying in wetlands, then (these events are) going to be worse," said. Rick Bartleson, a water quality scientist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation on Sanibel. "now we’re down to about 10 percent wetlands in Lee County. That’s where the water used to go before it slowly came into the estuary." Said Bartleson, "What extra water does is it makes the freshwater go further out into the Gulf."

“The challenges with high water that we saw on the Caloosahatchee last week have subsided,” said Col. Jason Kirk, commander of the Corps' Jacksonville office.adding “Starting releases from the lake now will help slow the rise so we can retain as much storage as possible in the lake for future precipitation events.” so this past Tuesday, the Corps has decided to release more water from Lake O, up to 4,000 cubic feet per second!

Only time will tell how our coastline and gulf waters will weather the aftermath of this storm.

Al DiPasquale

Published in News Around The Bay


Join us for an evening of sharing lessons learned from our experiences with Hurricane Irma. Discuss what worked well, what we can do differently next time. Take time to recognize and thank those individuals and organizations who are continuing to go 'above and beyond' to help others through the storm and to move us towards return to normalcy. 

Irma Debrief!

An Estero Island Taxpayer Event

When: Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Where: FMB Women's Club

             175 Sterling Avenue

Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

See you there!

Published in Environment

Hurricane Irma weakened as it makes landfall into Cuba, expected to turn to the north and strengthen again to cat 4 or 5 as it approaches Florida Coast: full story below

Published in Environment

New projected storm path shifts Hurricane Irma westerly, new storm models have storm coming up the center of the state of Florida! This storm could continue to move west and enter the Gulf Of Mexico!



This is a huge storm! Wider than the state!

see latest updated current wind patterns below:,23.96,1044

Published in Outdoor



Latest wind conditions in the Atlantic seem to be keeping the projected path of Hurricane Irma closer to Cuba, making Florida landfall around Homestead early Sunday morning, then turning up the east coast. These are only possible scenerios and not set in stone. All of Florida should be on High Alert and ready for a direct hit! The possibility of Irma staying south of the Florida peninsula once it makes landfall should also be considered. 

BE SAFE, BE PREPARED!,31.26,261  


IRMA landfall florida 1

IRMA landfall florida 2

IRMA landfall florida 3



Published in Environment

Wind patterns have made a major shift since last night in the Atlantic Ocean and could be Great News for Florida.


the two links below: first one show yeaterday and the second show current patterns, current patterns show the winds moving northward now and potentially could steer Irma off the eastern coast of Florida,

This is not to say that Florida is out of the woods or can relax.... it's just better wind pattern than yesterday!




Published in Lee County & Florida



Marijuana advocates can no longer claim legalization is devoid of catastrophic results.

The Denver Post, which has embraced legalization, analyzed federal and state data and found results so alarming they published a story last week under the headline "Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in

Colorado. Is legalization to blame?"

Of course legalization is to blame. It ushered in a commercial industry that encourages consumption and produces an ever-increasing supply of pot substantially more potent than most users could find when the drug was illegal.

The post reported a 40 percent increase in the number of all drivers, impaired or otherwise, involved in fatal crashes in Colorado between 2013 and 2016. That's why the Colorado State Patrol posts fatality numbers on electronic signs over the highways.

The Post explained: "Increasingly potent levels of marijuana were found in positive-testing drivers who died in crashes in Front Range counties, according to coroner data since 2013 compiled by The Denver Post. Nearly a dozen in 2016 had levels five times the amount allowed by law, and one was at 22 times the limit. Levels were not as elevated in earlier years."

All drivers in marijuana-related crashes who survived last year tested at levels indicating use within a few hours of the tests.

"The trends coincide with the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado that began with adult use in late 2012, followed by sales in 2014," the Post reported.

Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson called the trend "a huge public safety problem."Colorado Springs Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, who wants a ballot measure to legalize recreational pot in Colorado Springs, tried to downplay the Post's findings in a comment on

"Thirty-three percent or 196 of all traffic deaths that occurred in 2016 were alcohol-related," Gaebler wrote. "Yet you don't hear anyone trying to ban alcohol, even though it is far more dangerous, in every regard, to marijuana."

The Post found fatal crashes involving drivers under the influence of alcohol grew 17 percent from 2013 to 2015. Figures for 2016 were not available. Drivers testing positive for pot during that span grew by 145 percent, and "prevalence of testing drivers for marijuana use did not change appreciably, federal fatal-crash data show."

The entire country has an enormous problem with alcohol-related traffic fatalities. Given our inability to resolve that problem, it is arguably idiotic to throw another intoxicating substance into the mix with the predictable result of more traffic deaths caused by impairment.

El Paso County Commissioner Longinos Gonzalez gets it, as shown by a comment he left on the Colorado Springs Gazette website.
"Recent data indicates crime is up statewide, homelessness up, black and Hispanic teen arrests related to MJ are up a lot," Gonzalez wrote. "A Denver TV station did a month long data poll last year at a hospital in Pueblo (which has fully embraced MJ) and found that nearly half of all newborns were testing positive for THC in their bloodstream at birth. Who would want to expand MJ sales in face of such data? And the big supporters of rec MJ can only fall back on their 'go-to' arguments, that 'it isn't as bad as alcohol' or that the negative articles are biased or not credible."

Another Gazette commenter expressed surprise at Gaebler's "casual attitude" about the Denver Post's findings.

The commenter wrote: "We already have alcohol, let's add MJ, and why stop there -- people want and need their opioids. Let there be drinking, toking, shooting up in our beautiful city."

One must stretch the imagination to deny that legalized pot has caused a substantial increase in Colorado highway deaths. Pot is an intoxicating, psychoactive drug. That means it cannot be harmless. Expect emerging and troubling data to make this fact increasingly clear.


Published in Lifestyle
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 10:01







The most important story coming out of the incidents in Charlottesville is apparently the lack of story coming out of C-Ville from the corporate-controlled media. The people and institutions funding the unrest there are largely the same ones that profit from the activity of the corporate media, most notably in this case, George Soros.

Funny how this "autonomous" (according to Wikipedia) organization, Antifa, springs fully-funded seemingly out of nowhere, with extensive media coverage, when other more peaceful groups cannot beg or buy media time. The heavily Soros-backed Black Lives Matter emerged this way, a grassroots movement coopted and manipulated for political purposes. The intent is to incite violent and disruptive behavior. The results of all of this are obvious.

The name "Antifa" is that of a global organization taking its name from the German Communists, specifically "Antifaschistische Aktion". If you will look, the flag currently sported by this "autonomous" group that just appeared here, is directly taken from the German Communist Party flag of 1932. To oppose fascism (which almost no one on the street here can define) is certainly desirable, but that is not the purpose of this group, as you can see.

Antifa is the group that caused the earlier riot at Berkeley, shutting down a speech by Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulous..Outside provocation is the modus operandi. An Antifa manual found on the campus of Evergreen College states "Shut Down Their Rallies... Force The Media To Show Our Side As The Righteous One".

The deeper you look, the deeper the rabbit hole goes. Jason Kessler, the supposed "leader" of these White Supremacists (who, distasteful as it is, had permits to assemble), was a backer of "Occupy Wall Street" and a long-time supporter of Obama. Not bad in itself, but he apparently showed no involvement in the white supremacy world until November of 2016, right as Trump was elected. Kessler was field reporter for CNN during the Occupy protests, a fact which apparently CNN is trying to erase from record. Another curious person at the Charlottesville event was the well-placed cameraman, Brennan Gilmore. Reminds us of the Zapruder film. He did a CNN interview immediately after the crash and had all the right answers in advance. The guy gets around. He was a former Deputy Chief of Missions in Hillary's State Dept. under Obama. He served in posts in Africa, including Bengazi. He has a clandestine profile as long as your arm, easily accessed on the internet. He was linked to the US Agency for International Development, a known CIA front.

Trump was right--- in this case, these fake left-wingers were to blame, and the fake media that backs them (and he does disavow Nazism). The corporate media subsequently have set out to take Trump out. This media is owned and operated by far bigger fish than Soros, their front man. Trump, with his flaws, still sees enough. He opposes the globalists, and that has put a bullseye on his back, which Antifa and more will be aiming at. What will be next? Impeachment? Monuments to Washington? Your beloved flag? Instigated race war? Why did the Mayor of Charlottesville order his police forced to stand down? Antifa offers ads on Craigslist for protesters, paying $25 an hour, as they did before Charlottesville. Soros funds upwards of 200 different groups to varying degrees. Unless the people of this country demand democracy, refuse terrorism of the Antifa sort (or any sort), Trump may be the last best hope for this country. Wish him well.

Mark Stiggs
N. Fort Myers

Published in General/Features
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 09:48


George Santayana, the Spaniard, famously wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." How many of us remember this? Witness the events that continue to unfold following (what many feel to be the staged) conflicts in Charlottesville, VA for the proof of it. Does anyone read history any more? 
Apparently we must simply digest sound bites from the 6 O'clock News and graze the headlines from the corporate media. You can't get knowledge from a McDonald's drive-thru. Anyone who would want to associate Lee with white supremacy and slavery, and remove his mention from our history, is ignorant of history. Lee was a genuine patriot, who fittingly this County is named for.
When Lee was offered the Command of the Union forces (it is a fact, look it up), he turned it down as he felt that he was a Virginian first, and a citizen of what was considered a Sovereign state. 
Virginia had the right to remain in or secede from the Union as it saw fit. Lee would not raise arms against the Union, but would defend his state against any attack. Later, when Virginia chose to exercise its right to secede, Lee said, "I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty." After all, the right of the people to change their form government is enshrined in the US Constitution (ever read that "historical" document?).
Remember this while you try to, lawfully or not, remove any evidence of Robert E. Lee from our collective history. Upon hearing a speech from then-President Franklin Pierce (whom almost no American will recall the name of), Lee responded with this thought upon slavery: "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil." Rather than continue a war that he and many others saw could go on indefinitely, he chose to surrender at Appomattox, vowing in writing to never bear arms against the United States or "tender aid to its enemies." Lee spent his years after the cessation of war as President of Washington College in Virginia, which was later renamed Washington & Lee, where he continually encouraged reconciliation between South and North, as when he wrote that "all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and restore the blessings of peace."
There were obviously racists and white supremacists in the Confederate Army (as there also were in the Union Army), but no one who will take the time to inform themselves as to their own history can claim that Lee was one. Lee would not have condoned the actions of anyone in Charlottesville, regardless of their politics, who would bring harm to the people of this nation.
History testifies to that. He would not have tolerated what we know as terrorism today. He would likely have us consider the sources of this unrest, as he did in his times. 
Today, most of the people who we see acting the most reactionary, the most violently, are not doing so out of any personal opinion, but more as mercenaries. You can see advertisements for this kind of "work" on Craigslist, as appeared before the Charlottesville actions. 
Unfortunately, our country has endured a long history of this kind of undemocratic political activity. Taking advantage of peoples' historical lack of memory, and inciting them to go after something like statues of Robert E. Lee, is simply the latest instance of this.
Dave Bowman
Fort Myers
Published in National
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