Florida cops arrested seven volunteers from an activist group called Food Not Bombs for feeding homeless people in a park Saturday afternoon.
Tampa police say they made the arrests because the group doesn’t have a permit to serve the food, which requires an insurance policy.
Hurricane Matthew has remained offshore, for the most part, as it has advanced up the eastern coast of Florida preventing a “worst-case” scenario in terms of damage. While the storm surge has been significant, only 1 person has died in the U.S. so far while as many as 1 million have lost power, according to ABC.
The storm surge and loss of power has been significant:
— Grant Lynch (@grantlynch1234) October 7, 2016
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 7, 2016
As Governor Rick Scott pointed out this morning, Florida was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew with “no reports of significant damage” but warned residents to remain cautious. Continue reading »
A massive sinkhole at a fertilizer plant in Mulberry, Florida, has caused about 215 million gallons of radioactive water to drain down into the Floridian aquifer system, according to ABC affiliate WFTS.
The aquifer system supplies drinking water to millions of Florida residents, according to the St. Johns Water Management District’s website. Additionally, water that escapes from the aquifers create springs used for recreational activities like snorkeling and swimming. Continue reading »
Not everything has to be regulated. Not everything has to be codified and signed off on by the red tape gurus. Life CAN happen just fine without such interference. And when the government is stopping a man from feeding the hungry, rest assured something is very wrong with the regulations, the codes, and the local bureaucrats.
(From The NY Daily News)
When 90-year-old Florida resident Arnold Abbott said following his arrest on Sunday that police couldn’t stop him from feeding the homeless, he apparently meant it.
Abbott was charged again on Wednesday night for violating a new city law in Ft. Lauderdale that essentially prevents people from feeding the homeless.
Florida may be known for its tropical climate and spicy Latin-American culture, but what it’s not known for is the freedom to garden. The southeastern state continues to make headlines over the state government’s contempt for front yard gardens.
Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts had been cultivating their garden for 17 years when their hometown, Miami Shores, passed a new ordinance restricting vegetable growing to the backyard. The couple begrudgingly dug up their lush garden in August 2013, after local officials threatened them with a daily fine of $50, according to reporting by Fox News. Continue reading »
On Tuesday, July 26, Florida’s Environmental Regulation Commission voted 3-2 in favor of passing controversial new water quality standards that will raise the maximum allowable levels of more than two dozen cancer-causing chemicals to be dumped into the state’s rivers and streams.
The new standards, which were based on Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommendations, were passed despite strong opposition from clean water advocates who say that the move poses a serious health threat and paves the way for widespread fracking operations in the state. Continue reading »
Officials have said that at least four people in Florida have contracted the Zika virus and warn that the virus now appears to be spreading domestically either through contact with mosquitoes or direct human-to-human transmission. Until recently, the virus only appeared in individuals infected outside of the United States, primarily in South America.
In an alarming development, according to CNN, federal, state and local officials have been deployed to canvas neighborhoods in Florida. The stated purpose is to ask questions, request urine samples and determine the spread of the virus. Continue reading »
– Severe rains continue to sweep Florida: The worst flood in the last 65 years hits Tampa (The Watchers, Aug 5, 2015):
Heavy rainfall which was continually falling across Tampa, Florida, since July 20, 2015, has caused severe flooding in the area. 40 people were evacuated from their mobile homes in Sherwood Forest RV and Caledesi Travel Trailer Park, on August 3, as the water levels varied between 91.4 and 122 cm (3 and 4 feet). The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described the situation as the worst flood in the last 65 years.
– Leaderboards (12160):
Video: FLORIDA Martial Law Drills – JADE HELM
HUGE MILITARY EXERCISE IN FORT LAUDERDALE FLORIDA #JADEHELM 2015
public liaison said one of the reasons the jade helm op was being conducted was to judge ‘how efficiently they could maneuver through the public without being detected.’
– Record snow in Florida (Ice Age Now, 10, 2015):
Snow flurries from Jacksonville through coastal Georgia
“Snow danced over the streets of Jacksonville Thursday for the first time in five years and tied the record for the day of a trace set 57 years ago,” says News4jax.com.
“Granted it’s not a Buffalo type record, where the only way of escape out of your house after a snow event is out the second story window. But this is Florida and any flurry, whether one or a dozen is a BIG deal.
“Around 10 a.m. Thursday, multiple reports started pouring into the newsroom of flurries around Jacksonville, then spreading north to Fernandina Beach, Yulee and into coastal Georgia in the afternoon.”
– Democracy In Action (ZeroHedge, Oct 17, 2014):
This is a riot: watch the gubernatorial debate in Florida as the two candidates have a pissing match over………….a fan. One of the candidates wanted a fan for a little bit of cooling, and the other guy insisted it was against the rules of the debate (in point of fact, the rules forbid “electronics” like, oh, say, having a personal computer or iPhone during the debate, which makes sense – – – most folks agree a small electric fan does not qualify as “electronics”). Pull up a chair, grab a Coke and popcorn, and enjoy:
– Newly released data shows Florida hit with highest level of radioactive material from Fukushima measured anywhere in world outside Japan — #1 out of more than 1,500 test results — Total radioactive iodine was up to 500% of amount reported (ENENews, Sep 26, 2014)
– Florida couple threatened with jail time for feeding homeless in violation of local ordinance (Natural News, May 27, 2014):
A Florida couple who has been feeding homeless folks in a public park for over a year was cited recently for allegedly violating a local ordinance. Daytona Beach police officers says Debbie and Chico Jimenez are not allowed to serve home-cooked meals at Manatee Island Park without the proper permits, and threatened to arrest them on top of giving them each a $373 ticket for serving the homeless without permission.
NBC News reports that the couple’s ministry, known as “Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word,” has been serving healthy meals every Wednesday at the park for over a year. The Jimenezes claim that police officers never told them that they needed a permit, and are often at the park when the meals are being distributed. Only recently, they say, did it become a problem.
“We were given 10 days to either pay the fine or tell them we’re going to court,” stated Debbie to reporters. “We’re going to court. The police don’t like it. But how can we turn our backs on the hungry? We can’t.”
Continue reading »
– Police Shooting Frenzy Raises Concerns (CBSMiami, May 6, 2014):
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On December 10, more than two dozen police officers from across Miami Dade County converged on a blue Volvo that had crashed in the backyard of a townhouse on 65th Street just off 27th Avenue.
As the car was wedged helplessly between a light pole and a tree, nearly a minute passed before officers opened up – firing approximately 50 bullets at the car and the two unarmed men inside the vehicle.
The two men inside the car survived that initial volley of gunfire, according to witnesses, who said they could see the men moving inside the Volvo. Everything went quiet for nearly two minutes before the officers opened up a second time – unleashing an unrelenting torrent of bullets that lasted almost 25 seconds. By the time it was over, the two men inside the car were dead.
CBS4 News has learned a total of 23 officers fired a total of at least 377 rounds.
Bullets were sprayed everywhere. They hit the Volvo, other cars in the lot, fence posts and neighboring businesses. They blasted holes in a townhouse where a 12-year-old dove to the ground for cover and a four month old slept in his crib.
“It was like the Wild Wild West, man, crazy,” said Anthony Vandiver, who barely made it through the back door of his home before the gunfire erupted. “Shooting just wild; shooting all over the place. Bullets could have come through the window. Anything could have happened man. They weren’t thinking, they weren’t thinking at all.”
Continue reading »
Hundreds of thousands of mutated mosquitoes could soon be unleashed in Florida, but don’t worry: scientists say they have a plan.
It might sound like something out of a low-budget horror film, but the US Food and Drug Administration really is considering whether or not they should allow scientists to send thousands upon thousands of genetically altered insects into the wild.
– 20 US states file petitions to secede (The News, Nov 12, 2012):
WASHINGTON: At least 20 US states have filed petitions to secede following the re-election of Barack Obama.
Following the re-election, several petitions surfaced requesting the Obama administration to peacefully grant the applied state to withdraw from the United States of America in order to create their own government.
Louisiana was the first state to file a petition followed by Texas.
States with secession-related petitions on the White House website now include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, Barack Obama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Global News, Government, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Obama administration, Oregon, Politics, Society, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, U.S.
– Dead Candidates Win Elections In Florida, Alabama (Huffington Post, Nov 7, 2012):
Florida Democrat Earl K. Wood and Alabama Republican Charles Beasley won their respective elections but they will not take office.
Both men died weeks before the November 6 election yet managed to beat their very much alive opponents by comfortable margins.
“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
– Joseph Stalin
YouTube Added: 20.10.2011
20.10.2011 Rep. Tom Feeney (Fmr. Speaker of The House in Florida) employed this man from Oviedo, FL to rig elections and flip them 51% to 49%. Exit polling data was proven to be significantly different than the published results. Rep. Feeney was also the lobbyist for Yang Enterprises, the company who delivered the program.
From the article:
Durham said the Marine Corps plans to show off its new battalions in Miami later this month at a conference put on by the Southern Command that is expected to be attended by government officials from Central American countries, such as Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Belize.
– Marine Corps creates law-enforcement battalions (Seatlle Times/AP, July 22, 2012):
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — The Marine Corps has created its first law-enforcement battalions — a lean, specialized force of military police officers that it hopes can quickly deploy worldwide to help investigate crimes from terrorism to drug trafficking and train fledgling security forces in allied nations.
The Corps activated three such battalions last month. Each is made up of roughly 500 military police officers and dozens of dogs. The Marine Corps has had police battalions off and on since World War II but they were primarily focused on providing security, such as accompanying fuel convoys or guarding generals on visits to dangerous areas, said Maj. Jan Durham, commander of the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion at Camp Pendleton.
What could possibly go wrong?
– Genetically modified mosquitoes may soon be released in Florida (Natural News, Feb. 12, 2012):
In an effort to help eradicate dengue fever and the mosquitos that spread it, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) is seeking federal and state approval to release hundreds of thousands of genetically-modified (GM) mosquitos designed to kill off the natural Aedes aegypti variety of the fly throughout Key West, Florida.
The agency, which already routinely performs aerial sprayings of the area with anti-mosquito chemicals, believes it will save money in the long run by releasing the GM mosquitos. Rather than spend $400,000 or more a year to conduct the aerial sprayings, FKMCD says it would instead only have to spend $200,000 to $300,000 a year on the GM mosquitos.
Created by U.K.-based insect eradication company Oxitec, the GM mosquitos have been created with an added gene that, unless they are given the antibiotic tetracycline, will automatically kill them. When they mate with wild mosquitos, these GM mosquitos also pass on this gene to the offspring, which is intended to gradually decrease the population of wild mosquitos over time.
If approved, the release of GM mosquitos in Key West will represent the first ever release of a GM creature in the U.S., and on a trial basis where scientists really have no idea what will happen. Like all other GMOs, it is unknown whether or not the GM mosquitos will have a detrimental effect on the environment or humans, or how killing of large amounts of mosquitos will disrupt the life cycles of natural ecosystems.
– Cops Summoned To Florida Elementary School After Girl Kisses Boy In Phys Ed Class (The Smoking Gun, Nov. 21, 2011):
A sheriff’s deputy was dispatched last week to a Florida elementary school after a girl kissed a boy during a physical education class.
School brass actually reported the impromptu buss as a possible sex crime, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
– Millions of Bees Mysteriously Die in Florida (CBS Tampa, Sep. 30, 2011):
MICCO, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) – Florida officials are abuzz as to how millions of honey bees were killed in Brevard County.
Several beekeepers in the county have reported lost colonies this week. Charles Smith of Smith Family Honey Company told Stuart News Thursday he lost 400 beehives. He says the bees appeared to have been poisoned.
“I’ll never get completely compensated for this unless someone handed me 400 beehives,” Smith told Stuart News. “I lost the bees, the ability to make honey and the ability to sell the bees.”
Smith told Florida Today that he lost $150,000 from the incident.
– The UN Wildlands Project…Taking Over America Starting With Florida (Canada Free Press, July 25, 2011):
Almost all Americans know about the United Nations, but few know about Agenda 21, or the US government’s implementation of UN policies.
The UN issued several policies at the 1992 Earth Summit, one of which was the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Compliance with this UN policy is being driven and managed by the Wildlands Network which shares the same goals as the CBD; to set aside half the land in America for animals.
But let’s reframe this issue just a bit and put it into perspective; is there any reason you would turn over half of America to Vladimir Putin? What is the difference between living under Putin’s rule or living under UN rule? We are giving the eco-socialists our land (the agencies buy it with our taxes) and we are sliding down the slope to living under UN rule. In Florida, the government has acquired 28% of the land (9.9 million acres), so the UN’s work is already better than 50% done in Florida!
The process of returning land to its wild state is referred to as “re-wilding.” Wildlands are created by buying land, reducing or eliminated human activities and access to the land, and then putting buffer zones around them. Then another wildland is created nearby, and they connect them with more land purchases. This accumulation of land begins to form corridors, and the corridors then connect to one of the four North American Wildways (migration routes).
– Florida Makes $63M Selling Drivers’ Info (Local 10, UPDATED: 12:41 am EDT July 20, 2011):
MIAMI — The state of Florida made $63 million last year selling what many think is personal information.
Local 10 has learned the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is selling people’s names, addresses, dates of birth, a list of the vehicles they drive, and it’s legal.
“Per federal mandate, there are companies that are entitled to this information. Insurance companies, for example, are entitled to this information. Employers are entitled to this information,” said Ann Howard of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The state is currently selling this information to companies including Lexus Nexus and Shadow Soft. Those companies gather data on people and then sell that data. The companies must sign contracts with state claiming they won’t harass people.
– Port St. Lucie 17-year-old held in parents’ deaths ineligible for death penalty (TCPAlm, July 19, 2011):
PORT ST. LUCIE — Because of his age, 17-year-old Tyler Hadley will not face the death penalty if he’s convicted in the brutal slaying of his parents, officials with the State Attorney’s Office confirmed Tuesday.
If he’s eventually convicted of first-degree murder — the charges prosecutors intend to seek from a St. Lucie County grand jury — Hadley could be ordered to serve a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Hadley, the Port St. Lucie teen accused of posting an invitation to a party on Facebook, then killing his parents with a hammer, made his first appearance before a judge Tuesday morning. Hadley was wearing a sleeveless black jail uniform as he appeared via video conference from the St. Lucie County Jail in front of a judge at the St. Lucie County Courthouse.
Speaking later Tuesday from the Medical Examiner’s Office in Fort Pierce as officials performed autopsies on victims Blake, 54, and Mary Jo Hadley, 47, Chief Assistant State Attorney Tom Bakkedahl said the state’s ultimate punishment can’t be considered against the couple’s son because several years ago the U.S. Supreme Court determined it would be cruel and unusual to subject minors to the death penalty.
“It’s simply off the table; it’s not a viable option,” Bakkedahl said. “Despite the fact that the case may otherwise in all respects warrant the death penalty, we are prohibited from seeking it as a result of (Hadley) being approximately six-months short of his 18th birthday.”
In the next month, he said prosecutors will seek indictments for two counts of first-degree murder against Hadley, who authorities say killed his parents on Saturday — hours before he hosted a party attended by up to 60 youths.
Police discovered the victims in their locked bedroom in the 300 block of Northeast Granduer Avenue on Sunday morning.
– 66% Of Las Vegas Mortgages Are Underwater, 27.7% Of Total US Housing Debt Has Negative And Near-Negative Equity (ZeroHedge, June 7, 2011):
Following yesterday’s news out of Zillow of a 0.77% drop in April home values compared to March, today we get an update from CoreLogic which in turn looks at the latest trends on “underwater” (or negative equity) mortgages in the US. In summary: “10.9 million, or 22.7 percent, of all residential properties with a mortgage were in negative equity at the end of the first quarter of 2011, down slightly from 11.1 million, or 23.1 percent, in the fourth quarter. An additional 2.4 million borrowers had less than five percent equity, referred to as near-negative equity, in the first quarter. Together, negative equity and near-negative equity mortgages accounted for 27.7 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide. In the fourth quarter, these two categories stood at 27.9 percent.” The most impacted state is Nevada, which has 62.6% of all mortgages underwater (with another 4.8% in near-negative), followed by Arizona, Florida and Michigan. California is fifth with 30.9% of all homes underwater. We doubt these millions of “homeowners” are benefiting much from the wealth effect.
Added: 4. February 2011
Pilot Steve Irwin was astonished after spotting a mass of more than 100,000 sharks swimming just 100 yards off Florida’s sandy beaches.
The long-time fisherman and marine technology expert was cruising 300ft above the clear waters in his helicopter on Sunday when he came across the astonishing scene.
The 50-year-old – who shares his name with the late Australian ‘Crocodile Hunter’ – whipped out his smartphone to capture the masses of deadly predators, which spanned a 20-mile stretch of water.
JASPER, FLORIDA – Robert “Bob” Burton is a deadhead logger in the Florida panhandle. In the course of his business, he stumbled upon some illegal activities carried out by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), including state employees dumping toxic waste in Florida water reclamation areas.
On Friday, Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies and Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents, dressed in tactical gear and armed with assault rifles, served him with a search warrant. Agents seized his computer, cell phone, and video camera. However, Burton has not been charged with any crime.
He also reported that the DEP had seized a logger’s entire season harvest, even though the logger had the proper permits, and was violating no laws. A judge later ruled that the logger in question had legally harvested the logs, valued at over $300,000, but the DEP has refused to return the logs. He contends that public records regarding this case were intentionally destroyed.
Burton recorded a telephone conversation with Ryan Tyson, the Chief of Staff for State Senator Charles S. “Charlie” Dean, Sr., in which Tyson may have made incriminating statements regarding DEP activities. Sen. Dean is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation. Burton published his conversation with Tyson, along with other evidence of corruption, on YouTube.com.
As of Friday evening, those videos have been deleted by YouTube.
All of that apparently led to deputies and FDLE agents in tactical gear with assault rifles paying him a terrifying visit.
On Friday, January 14 around 7:30 am, Burton got a knock on his door. Standing there was a Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy and several heavily armed FDLE agents. They presented a warrant. Not an arrest warrant, but a warrant to seize Burton’s computer, video camera, cell phone, and documents.
No one was arrested — they just wanted the documents and recordings Burton had made of state officials engaged in what appears to be illegal activities.
Florida Attorney General proposes tougher illegal immigrant curbs
ORLANDO (Reuters) – Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on Wednesday proposed tougher curbs against illegal migrants in his melting-pot state which he said would go “one step further” than a similar contested Arizona law.
The proposal by McCollum, who is lagging in a race to become the Republican candidate for governor, was certain to thrust Florida into the heated immigration debate that is a major issue ahead of November 2 midterm Congressional elections.
“This legislation will provide new enforcement tools for protecting our citizens and will help our state fight the ongoing problem created by illegal immigration,” McCollum said, presenting the proposed measures at an event in Orlando.
“Florida will not be a sanctuary state for illegal aliens,” added McCollum, accompanied by Representative Will Snyder.
The legislation will require Florida law enforcement officials to check a suspected illegal immigrant’s status in the course of a stop, or a violation of another law. This goes beyond the existing situation in the state where officers are allowed to check immigration status, but not required to.
TALLAHASSEE, FL — More than 100 manatees have been found dead in Florida waters since the beginning of the year, mostly victims of a nearly two-week cold snap.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the preliminary cause of death for 77 of the endangered animals is cold stress. They were found from Jan. 1 through Jan. 23.
The Sunshine State saw unseasonably cold weather starting around the first of the year that killed fish and stunned thousands of sea turtles.
Officials say the numbers of dead manatees from the cold is a record for a single year. The previous record, set last year, was 56 deaths from cold stress.
Jan 26, 2010
Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) — At least 70 percent of southwest Florida’s winter crop of vegetables, including tomatoes and peppers, were destroyed by freezing weather, said Gene McAvoy, the director of the Hendry County extension office for the University of Florida.
Losses will be more than $100 million, McAvoy said today in a telephone interview. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers are the major crops in the estimate, he said. In the U.S. winter, Florida provides about 70 percent of the tomatoes sold in the nation, McAvoy said from LaBelle, Florida. Continue reading »
A deep freeze in the shallow waters of Florida Bay and Everglades took a heavy toll on snook and other native fish.
Everywhere he steered his skiff last week, Pete Frezza saw dead fish.
From Ponce de Leon Bay on the Southwest Coast down across Florida Bay to Lower Matecumbe in the Florida Keys — day after day, dead fish. Floating in the marina at Flamingo in Everglades National Park alone he counted more than 400 snook and 400 tarpon.
“I was so shook up, I couldn’t sleep,” said Frezza, an ecologist for Audubon of Florida and an expert flats fisherman. “Millions and millions of pilchards, threadfin herring, mullet. Ladyfish took it really bad. Whitewater Bay is just a graveyard.”
Fish in every part of the state were hammered by this month’s record-setting cold snap. The toll in South Florida, a haven for warm-water species, was particularly extensive, too large to even venture a guess at numbers. And despite the subsequent warm-up, scientists warn that the big bad chill of 2010 will continue to claim victims for weeks.
“Based on what I saw in 1977 and 1989, there is a good chance we’ll have a second wave,” said William Loftus, a longtime aquatic ecologist for Everglades National Park.
During those last two major cold fronts, weakened survivors succumbed to infections from common bacteria, such as aeromonas, that they would normally ward off, he said.
“It’s a nasty-looking thing,” he said. “It’s a tissue eater. It creates open ulcers on the side of the fish.”
In response, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Friday ordered an emergency statewide closure of the snook fishery until at least September, and imposed temporary closures for bonefish and tarpon until April. Catch-and-release is still allowed for all three species.
Veteran Everglades fishing guide Benny Blanco believes the die-off was so severe — particularly for snook, a prized game and eating fish particularly sensitive to cold — that he would support taking them off the dinner table for years.
“I haven’t see a swimming snook in 10 days,” Blanco said Monday, after returning from a charter trip to the Glades. “All I have seen is floating snook.” Continue reading »
Walter Schmidt used a stun gun like this one to administer powerful electric shocks to children touring the prison
Prison officer Walter Schmidt wanted to give his colleagues’ children a taste of what their mums and dads get up to at work while showing them around a Florida jail.
So to make the youngsters’ experience all the more realistic as they toured Franklin Correctional Institution during the lock-up’s ‘Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day’, he decided to zap them with his 50,000-volt stun gun.
The jolt sent at least two of them sprawling to the floor, crying out in pain and clutching at agonising burns on their arms. One child ended up in hospital.
But 37-year-old Schmidt told officials who later fired him that he had only been trying to show the children – whose parents all work at the jail near Tallahassee – what a typical day involves while handling unruly inmates.
‘It wasn’t intended to be malicious, but educational,’ he explained to the St Petersburg Times.
‘The big shock came when I got fired.’
Sgt Schmidt, who had served as a jailer for 14 years and was in charge of the prison arsenal, claims that he had asked permission from the children’s parents for the stunt. ‘When they said “Sure” I went ahead and did it,’ he shrugged.
Public spigot stays open for water bottlers
You probably thought there was a serious water shortage in Florida.
It’s why we’re spending billions to repair and repurify the Everglades, right? It’s why we’re not supposed to run our lawn sprinklers more than once or twice a week.
But hold on. It turns out there’s a boundless, virtually free supply of Florida water — though not for residents. The public spigot remains open day and night for Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and 19 other corporations that bottle our water and sell it for a huge per-unit profit.
The stuff is no safer or tastier than most municipal tap water, but lots of us buy it, anyway. You know all the brands: Deer Park, Dasani, Zephyrhills, Aquafina, even Publix.
Common sense would suggest that a company with a balance sheet like Coca-Cola’s or Pepsi’s ought to pay for the water they take, the same as homeowners and small businesses do.
Nope. Every year, state water managers allow large bottling firms to siphon nearly two billion gallons from fresh springs and aquifers. The fees are laughably puny.
For example, it cost Nestle Waters of North America the grand sum of $150 for a permit to remove as much water as it pleases from the Blue Springs in Madison County. Every day, Nestle pipes about 500,000 gallons, enough to fill 102,000 plastic bottles that are then shipped to stores and supermarkets throughout the Southeast.
Fla. pension fund loses a quarter of its value but officials say no need to panic
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s public employee pension plan has lost more than a quarter of its peak value, but Gov. Charlie Crist and other officials Monday said the fund is built for the long haul and there’s no need to panic.
They said Florida has fared no worse than most big investors — a bit better than some major Wall Street indicators — due to slumps in the stock market, real estate and other segments of the national and world economies.
The fund, which covers state and local government employees including teachers, lost $37.9 billion — 27 percent — over 13 months through Oct. 31, said Dennis MacKee, spokesman for the State Board of Administration. That dropped its value to $100.5 billion.
HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — Hurricane Ike tore across Cuba with 100-mph winds Monday, sending 50-foot waves crashing over buildings and forcing the evacuation of 900,000 people.
Fallen bricks crushed a van Monday in Camaguey, Cuba, as Hurricane Ike struck the island.
At 2 p.m., Ike’s eye had moved back over water off Cuba’s southern coast. Ike was a Category 2 hurricane, with steady 100-mph (160-kph) winds and higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.
Ike’s eye is expected to move back over Cuba on Tuesday, then move into the Gulf of Mexico and grow again in intensity.