Hallandale Beach Blog - A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden.
In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of North Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Latest threat to Everglades National Park comes Tuesday in Tallahassee, via variance for FP&L. Honestly, must #SoFL always be a laughingstock?

So, I was minding my own business Monday afternoon working on some forthcoming blog posts of interest to South Florida, and especially residents of Hollywood and Hallandale Beach, when I received the email below from the South Florida Wildlands Association.
It goes without saying that it's an email that really should have been sent over the weekend,
given that a crucial vote will be taking place in Tallahassee tomorrow, but at this point, it is what it is.

I've added some helpful links that the folks at SFWA should have included below but didn't, 
just as they should have listed or had links to the the names of lobbyists and law firms 
pushing this legislation, so that everyone knows who the players are.
You know, for #transparency and all? 
But they didn't. :-(

If you ever needed a new example of the Florida Legislature being blind to the long-term 
interests of South Florida residents, and the rest of the state, please consider this as your
go-to case.

Ever see miles and miles of utility lines in postcards of scenic parts of U.S. National Parks 
in the West? Probably not. That's NOT by accident.
Honestly, must #SoFL always be a laughingstock?

While I know that many well-intentioned people who live in very exclusive areas of South Florida, esp. anywhere along a beach, profess their belief that their own part of #SoFL is clearly THE best place for electrical power lines to be buried -and perhaps there's something to that- when confronted with the news below, could there really be any doubt that the best place in South Florida for buried utility lines is near U.S. National Parks that local, national and international visitors go to specifically because it's...nature?

There's only one Great Wall of China, one Grand Canyon and one Everglades.
Is FPL's technology in 2017 really so inadequate to the task of making sure that the eastern border of the Everglades doesn't look like South Dixie Highway in the future?
I think not.

Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser.
Dear Friends,
Fresh off their defeat in the Florida Supreme Court in February (the Supreme Court refused to hear their case), Florida Power and Light (FPL) is back at it - trying hard to open up wetlands along the east side of Everglades National Park to 6 miles of massive new power lines.  In the nutshell, FPL, the state's most powerful (and generous) lobbyist, would be the beneficiary of two identical bills now making their way through the Florida House and Senate.  HB 1055 in the House and SB 1048 in the Senate ("Linear Transmission") changes the rules under which the Florida District Court of Appeals decided last April that FPL's power lines could not go forward at this location.
In the nutshell, the District Court determined that these power lines would cause "irreversible" harm to wetlands, ecology, and wildlife in the area - and were legitimately prohibited under Miami-Dade County's protective "East Everglades Ordinance."  What these new bills do is bring in a subtle change - and allow an agency such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to provide a "variance" to a company such as FPL (in other words - give them a permit) - if it would cause economic hardship for the applicant.  This change would also apply to other protective local ordinances if a power plant or power lines were involved.
This is absolute nonsense.  The County's East Everglades Ordinance, the Everglades National Park Protection and Expansion Act of 1989, the National Park Service's Land Protection Plan for the East Everglades ALL emphasized the critical ecological importance of this land for the health of the Everglades and its irreplaceable fauna and flora.  All of this land was supposed to be managed as "park." The East Everglades contain the famous "Shark River Slough" - the lifeline of fresh water into Everglades National Park.  These power lines have no place in this location.  None whatsoever.
The bills referenced are currently being fast-tracked through the Florida legislature.  The House version is still winding its way through - but the Senate version may come up for a floor vote very soon.  Please - we're asking all Floridians to contact both their State Senator and State Representative and urge them to vote NO on "Linear Transmission" - SB 1048 in the Florida Senate and HB 1055 in the Florida House.  Find your elected legislators here - and make those two calls (start with your senator).  Message machines will be on if no answer - and leave your name and address along with your message:
Best Regards,
Matthew Schwartz
Executive Director
South Florida Wildlands Association
P.O. Box 30211
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33303
P.S.  Learn a bit more about the projects we take on at the link below.  Tax-deductible contributions are always a big help to the work we do:
South Florida Wildlands Association
P.O. Box 30211
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33303

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#HollywoodFL based photographer/entrepreneur Esther Chuang

#HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy
Thumbs up! What a night! #HOLLYWOODFL based photographer and entrepreneur Esther Chuang with a very elated Hollywood Mayor-elect Josh Levy at his Victory Party, held at Leo Anato's Atelier3/AT3 on Harrison Street & S. 19th Avenue, Hollywood. AT3's great environment and the amazing variety of food prepared by chef Kevin Dreifuss, former owner/chef of now-closed ENDS MEAT restaurant, was SUPERB! November 8, 2016 Esther Chuang, Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2015
Above, perhaps my most-favorite photo ever of Esther, which is really saying something considering the THOUSANDS that I've actually seen of her, from all over the world. But despite the fact that you can't actually see it here, trust me, her amazing smile and inner and external beauty are there. This photo is an even more amazing achievement when you know the backstory of what it took for Esther to get to the top of the mountain, since it's NOT for the faint of heart. Next time you see her, ask her about that! Morro Dois Irmãos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on her birthday, July 10, 2015. That's the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Mount Corcovado way out in the horizon on the top of another mountain, to the left of her head. To the right is the world famous beach of Ipanema and to the left is the equally famous beach of Copacabana. In case you forgot what the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio looks like, up close, plus the Amazon area of Brazil that Esther grew up near in Manaus, here's another Brazilian beauty to connect-the-dots for you: Gisele Bündchen, aka @Gisele.

Abençoado por Deus e bonito por natureza!✨ ������

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A floresta Amazônica tem um papel fundamental no equilíbrio do clima na Terra e, portanto, na vida de cada um de nós. Nos últimos anos a proteção diminuiu e o desmatamento aumentou drasticamente. E o que já era ruim, pode ficar ainda pior. Se as medidas que o governo vem tomando não forem vetadas, nosso futuro estará ameaçado. Diga NÃO à diminuição da proteção da Floresta do Jamanxim! Diga NÃO à exploração de minério no coração da floresta! #TodosPelaAmazônia #342Amazonia #TodosPelaAmazonia Assine a petição: link na bio. ������✨���� The Amazon Rainforest plays a key role in balancing the climate on the Earth and therefore in each of our lives. In recent years, protection has decreased and deforestation has increased sharply. And what was already bad can get even worse. If the measures that the government has been taking are not vetoed, our future will be threatened. Say NO to the reduction of the Jamanxim Forest´s protection! Say NO to ore mining in the heart of the Forest! #togetherfortheAmazon

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