Situations

Mayor Berry Admits APD has Issues

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APD at protest following murder of homeless camper. Source: Twitter
APD at protest following murder of homeless camper. Source: Twitter

Mayor Berry of Albuquerque has made a request of the DOJ for help in getting the APD under control following a string of incidents, the most recent the killing of a homeless camper recorded by the head cams APD are required to wear.

The victim was James Boyd, 38, who was camping in the Sandia foothills, and had engaged into a 3 hour argument with the police before they decided to deploy force leading to his death.

The reason it was captured on helmet cams was that this was a new requirement put in place due to other alleged instances of brutality.

The incident was followed by a protest in which some minor acts of vandalism were carried out by protestors along with the dispensing of tear gas by police.

A vigil was held yesterday.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/04/03/albuquerque-mayor-asks-doj-for-help-with-troubled-police-force-following/

A heightened awareness of the plight of the homeless, and the excesses of the police, seems to be among possible positive outcomes to this horrific event.

 

Stop the DEP from Committing Dereliction of Duty

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Stop the DEP from Committing Dereliction of Duty
Stop the DEP from Committing Dereliction of Duty

I urge all available citizens in the Southwest Florida area to attend this meeting.

This is the angry response to the last DEP hearing. 

(Received from Stonecrab Alliance)

WHAT:      Oppose Oil Drilling Permits at DEP Big Cypress Swamp Committee Meeting and Press Conference on Deadline for EPA Public Comments

WHO:       Stone Crab Alliance, Sierra Club, Conservancy, South Florida Wildlands Association, Clean Water Initiative,  Environment Florida, concerned citizens
WHERE:    Meeting at Collier County Board of Commissioners Boardroom, 3rd Floor, Collier County Government Center, Bldg. F.  3299 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, Florida 34112 and Press Conference on Steps of Collier County Courthouse (same complex, tall bldg. to the SE)
WHEN:     Monday, March 31, Meeting, 10:30am-5:30pm and Press Conference, lunch break mapped out in agenda for above meeting

CITIZENS OPPOSE OIL DRILLING AT DEP BIG CYPRESS SWAMP COMMITTEE MEETING AND PRESS CONFERENCE ON MARCH 31 DEADLINE FOR EPA COMMENTS

If it’s legal, it shouldn’t be. Citizens urge state and federal agencies to protect Florida water and Everglades by denying Well No. 22-3H Collier (exploratory) and Well No. 22-5 SWDW (injection).

 

NAPLES, FL—Monday, March 31, the DEP Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee will host a special public meeting at the Collier County Commissioners Boardroom from 10:30am to 5:30pm “to review and consider recommendations for Drilling Permit 1353H”; this is a follow-up to the March 11 meeting and only the second time in decades that this group has reconvened.  Background?  In May Dan A. Hughes, a Texas oil company, applied for drilling permits on a small part of the 115,000-acre parcel they leased for oil exploration in the Big Cypress Swamp watershed, a critical recharge area in the Everglades, only 1000 feet from homes and less than a mile from the principal public water well field for Collier County.[1]  The topic has remained heated because of the possibility of acid and hydraulic fracking, fresh water contamination, health and safety risks, habitat fragmentation, environmental degradation, and hazards to the Everglades Restoration Project.  It’s worth noting that the Sierra Club has over 100,000 signatures on their sign-on letter to the EPA, and Food and Water Watch, 4,000.  Both can be accessed at Stonecrab Alliance @ Facebook.

 

Inside the meeting, members of the Stone Crab Alliance, Sierra Club, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, South Florida Wildlands Association, Environment Florida, Floridians for Clean Water and others will call on the DEP Big Cypress Swamp Committee to deny the exploratory well permit.

 

Outside, during the lunch break, groups will call on the U.S. EPA to deny the Class II wastewater injection permit that services the exploratory well—because March 31 is the deadline for EPA public comments.  Groups will converge with signs on the steps of the Collier County Courthouse—the tall building to the SE at the same government complex—for a press conference.  Speakers will highlight the importance of keeping Florida’s water clean and underscore the dangers of Everglades oil drilling and injection wells, especially in the Big Cypress Swamp watershed and because industry is free to use extreme extraction at any step.  They will also discuss next steps.  

 

The state tells us that once the drilling permit is issued, the Dan A. Hughes Company is free to extract oil anyway they’d like.  They can acidize or hydraulically frack any time and they don’t have to tell us.  They don’t even have to submit a new permit application, only Form 8, because extreme extraction is a workover procedure in Florida.  Hughes may also inject wastewater that contains carcinogenic chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive materials that no amount of regulation or disclosure can ever make safe.[3]   It’s legal because a loophole, redefined all material from oil and gas drilling as non-hazardous, no matter how dangerous it is.[2] 

 

So make no mistake, wastewater contains more than just saltwater brine.  As the EPA website confirms, brine also contains “toxic metals and radioactive substances.” 

It’s precisely because these contaminants are so toxic that they have to be injected over 2800 feet into the extremely cavernous Boulder Zone, which is not containing them as securely as industry claims.  EPA records show that the boulder zone lacks a competent confining zone and that injected fluids migrate and surface, especially in Florida’s highly porous and fractured limestone geology.  EPA records also show that steel pipes break and cement casings fail again and again and again—sending toxic materials gurgling to the surface or seeping into aquifers that store drinking water. [4]   The General Accountability Office reported that in scores of cases where Class II injection wells had polluted aquifers, most could not be reclaimed because fixing the damage was “too costly” or “technically infeasible.”  Meaning you can’t clean up an aquifer.

 

If the risk of a single drill site destroying our drinking water does not warrant a sense of urgency, citizens will ask the DEP and EPA to consider the cumulative impacts.  The drill site is part of 115,000-acre parcel leased for oil exploration.  It includes large portions of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Big Cypress National Preserve, Picayune Strand and other sensitive areas.  This is not vacant land.  This is public land in the heart of the Everglades in the midst of the massive 30-year Everglades Restoration Project, a joint federal and state effort that will protect some 2.4 million acres of interconnected wetlands.  It doesn’t get any bigger.  These areas are habitat for more than 60 threatened and endangered species.  They are also vital watersheds that replenish levels in the Preserve and the Everglades and they also fill the aquifers millions of Floridians rely on for drinking water.  Even a minor spill here would be catastrophic to important public lands and underground sources of drinking water and should be more than adequate basis for the DEP and EPA to deny the permits.

 

Florida is still suffering from the worst oil disaster on record—the BP Oil Spill.  We know accidents happen.  Over time pipes leak.  Injected fluids surface.  And even cement casings fail.  Because it only takes one incident to taint or even ruin a community’s aquifer, drilling and injecting is not in the public interest.

 

WHAT:      Oppose Oil Drilling Permits at DEP Big Cypress Swamp Committee Meeting and Press Conference on Deadline for EPA Public Comments

WHO:       Stone Crab Alliance, Sierra Club, Conservancy, South Florida Wildlands Association, Clean Water Initiative,  Environment Florida, concerned citizens
WHERE:    Meeting at Collier County Board of Commissioners Boardroom, 3rd Floor, Collier County Government Center, Bldg. F.  3299 Tamiami Trail East, Naples, Florida 34112 and Press Conference on Steps of Collier County Courthouse (same complex, tall bldg. to the SE)
WHEN:     Monday, March 31, Meeting, 10:30am-5:30pm and Press Conference, lunch break mapped out in agenda for above meeting
 

***VISUALS: Posters/Armbands/Speakers/Oil***

 

 

[1] Background? Residents first learned about the proposed drill site when they received a letter from Total Safety asking them for contact information so they could be evacuated in case of an explosion, gas leak or other drilling disaster.  Hundreds attended an informational meeting, May 30, held by Commissioner Nance.  Alarmed by what they heard, citizens attended meetings with Collier Resources, Dan A. Hughes Company, the DEP, commissioners, and legislators—as well as hosted over 30 direct actions—from town hall meeting to pickets to vigils to a march on Governor Rick Scott’s house to a house party for Senator Dwight Bullard who sent an official letter requesting the DEP deny the permit.  The DEP received over 600 public comments and 400 petition signatures, including comments from environmental groups such as South Florida Wildlands Association, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Food and Water Watch, and Sierra Club.  The DEP hosted a public meeting in Naples, regarding the well and shortly thereafter approved the drilling permits.  Three petitions were submitted to challenge the decision; two are awaiting an administrative decision.  After a letter writing campaign, the U.S. EPA scheduled the March 11 Public Hearing; we expect a decision after public comment closes March 31. 

[2] This means that benzene (a known carcinogen) from the fertilizer industry is considered hazardous, threatening health and underground water supplies, while benzene derived from wells from the oil and gas industry is not because the blanket exemption ignores the actual chemistry of the drilling wastewater. Lustgarten, “Trillion-Gallon Loophole.”  Also, “Oil Gas Exemptions EPA,” ProPublica. 

[3] “Deep Injection Wells: How Drilling Waste is Disposed Underground,” StateImpact Pennsylvannia.

[4] Abrahm Lustgarten, “Wastewater Injection Wells: The Trillion-Gallon Loophole,” The Huffington Post, 20 Sept. 2012. 

Meanwhile in Albuquerque…

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ABQ

(Image from Thomas Dixon, citizen journalist in Albuquerque 3/30/2014)…

Protestors angry with the recent murder of a camper by the Albuquerque Police Department rally on Central and Yale. The anger level was such they started calling for the dismantling of street signs, which Dixon didn’t think was a good idea.

Another citizen journalist here.

Eventually, things got to the point that Dixon got nervous and bailed.

In other news there, an APD website was shut down in protest by Anonymous hackers.

Latest stream.

Later, it turned into a prolonged standoff with protestors refusing to leave the road. An APD agent with a megaphone started informing them about what was lawful repeatedly. At one point, he announced: Just a reminder, throwing things at police officers is against the law.

Update 9:31 pm (their time): gas was fired, protestors getting rounded up. Still many onlookers. Very large number of police, some on horseback, many vehicles, including a tank according to one report.

 

Sign Petition

 

Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

(As an answer to the surveillance state, FTP recommends citizens film police activities, and other events not always covered by mainstream media, to improve the public record.)

Roy Lenardson Distances Himself from Ray Rodrigues

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Ray with AJ and Roy
Roy Lenardson (right) on Maine news show

With every Strategic Advocacy project, we are commited to ensuring that our work meets three standards:

  • It’s not about us, it’s about your strategic goal. We get the message out front and keep our work behind-the-scenes.
  • We appreciate the local angle. Every project we pursue carefully considers the unique local factors that impact how it plays out.
  • You can hold us accountable for our work. At the beginning of an effort, we lay out the objectives with our client and set clear deliverables to be provided along the way.

From Strategic Advocacy’s home page...

In an email response to questions about his lobbying efforts, prompted by Strategic Advocacy’s website, Roy Lenardson fired off several points, many of which were not asked about. He also wrote: “I should also add, I have met Rep. Rodrigues exactly one time, about a year ago.  We discussed FGCU and the basketball team and his son.”

FGCU’s basketball team has been a tremendous success, earning FGCU positive image enhancement, and, according to the FGCU Eagle, Ray Rodrigues has helped bring in millions of new funding into FGCU, including 6.5 million of “special legislative appropriations.” FGCU also won a $2.17 million dollar reward, and got 5.25 million of state funding restored. No doubt, Rodrigues, in his position at the Florida House of Representatives, District 76, has been adding to the coffers of the institution.

Our investigation into Strategic Advocacy was prompted by environmental concerns, over bills sponsored by Ray Rodrigues, namely H.B. 71 and H.B. 157, which ultimately, if both passed, will allow secret chemicals to be pumped into the earth in what is looking to be large scale drilling operations. There is now also concern about H.B. 1329 which regulates craft breweries.

Lenardson pointed out he is not lobbying at present, and, according to Online Sunshine, he is not so far in 2014. In 2013, Lenardson was listed, in Florida, as lobbying for Capitol Insight, Florida Onsite Wastewater Association, and Medisky, LLC.

Lenardson said he is not the campaign manager for Ray Rodrigues, and offered previously that Terry Miller was, an employee of Lenardson’s. When contacted, Miller readily affirmed he is now lobbying for Florida Onsite Wastewater Association, as well.

Also lobbying for Florida Onsite Wastewater Association is Christopher Hudson, an employee of Strategic Advocacy. He also lobbies for the Foundation for Government Accountability.

According to a Portland Press article, Roy Lenardson actually set up the Foundation for Government Accountability, which he denied in our last interview.

The Foundation for Government Accountability has been called a Koch brother affiliate by Rachel Maddow, which was dispute by Politifact. However, both failed to mention that a high ranking member of the Cato Institute, Robert Levy, is listed as leadership at the Foundation for Government Accountability. The Cato Institute was founded by Charles Koch.

Rodrigues was initially evasive when called and asked who he lobbied for. On his website, it declares: “Because many of our engagements are for public affairs that go beyond traditional Capital lobbying, not all of our client relationships require lobbying registrations and, in those cases, our clients greatly value the confidentiality we provide them. We would be happy to discuss our client list in greater depth during an in-person meeting.”

This suggests that secret deals are going on, and does so openly. Among the clients vaguely hinted at was “The nation’s largest energy company.” When asked if this meant Exxon, Lenardson denied it. He also declared I could look up this information, that it was public record, and yet I found no such listing of the energy company they indicated.

Terry Miller, for his part, offered that they operate in many states, so this lobbying action could be happening elsewhere, but didn’t say for sure it was or where that might be. Lenardson affirmed he does not represent energy interests in Florida.

Lenardson offered in his email that his employees do lobbying, including mention of “client we are working with to maintain a well regulated septic system industry the [sic] balances protecting Florida’s springs and the septic industry.”

Environmentalists groups, such as the Stonecrab Alliance, have pointed out that efforts to protect Florida springs would be endangered by fracking activities, such as those Ray Rodrigues’ bill would enable to be kept secret from the public.

In reference to the Koch brothers, who were recently targeted in a speech by Harry Reid, Lenardson said he had never met “Mr. Koch,” not indicating which of the three brothers he referred to.  He mentioned he was involved “on his own” in activities against the Patriot Act, which he stated the Koch brothers also fought with a $20 million dollar donation. I have not been able to conclusively  confirm or deny this $20 million donation to the ACLU. The Koch brothers did fund Florida Integrity, which caused the resignation of a board member.

Pertaining to the Koch’s, Lenardson further wrote: “I should add – I love the Koch’s.  I love what they stand for and would gladly help them if asked.  Hell, they can adopt me – I have two college tuitions to pay.”

Lenardson has just recently paid off a home in Ave Maria along with his wife, Joanne Leary.

In Ave Maria, Lenardson has often been in the Ave Maria Herald, sometimes defending actions of Blake Gable.

Blake Gable, of Barron Collier Resources, has been instrumental in the leasing of land to oil companies, and was appointed to the FGCU Board of Trustees by Rick Scott a few months ago. FGCU is a college with dedication to environmental sustainability as part of its mission statement.

Board of Trustee members can’t be impeached by students.

The Moral of Moral Monday

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Moral Monday
Source: The Facebook

Certain individuals stand out as potential mediators of a more rational nature who could possibly help formulate new paradigms by which these groups would be rendered highly effective in changing local conditions. If they’d wake up to the petty cult of personality tyrants who are running the show largely without democratic input, in which information is controlled by only allowing a limited range of discussion, they’d recognize that responsible behavior is promoted rather by leaders representative of the voice of democracy. In the meanwhile, they’ve instead reached out to groups who promote oppression directly and effectively with consciousness suppression, while shunning experienced, educated, and mature veterans of the fight for popular empowerment.
Creating little echo chambers online, they have wallowed in an atmosphere where they can set people up for a fall by blaming their noncompliance with group humiliation initiation tactics on their own lack of enlightenment. Victim-blaming and true Scotsman fallacies abound in the grist coming out of their mills. Yes, a true comrade would agree with me, patriarchal fiend.
So, watch out, you may be found guilty in the court of nature or rumor and speculation.
That being said, it is recommended you attend. Pecking orders aren’t just for the Discovery channel after all.
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Florida is joining the Moral Monday movement!! Hundreds of people will make the trek up to Tallahassee to let our legislature know that we aren’t going to stay silent while they take away our rights. If you are not able to make the trip up to Tallahassee, we’ll be holding a solidarity rally in downtown Naples on the steps of City Hall. Join us in making this a historic event. — (from Facebook)
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735 8th St S, Naples, FL 34102
Monday at 5:30 p.m.