Thursday, July 24, 2014

Friends of the Everglades requests Whole Foods to stop purchases of sugar produced in Florida … by gimleteye

Today the Palm Beach Post reported on the request to Whole Foods by Friends of the Everglades to stop purchases of sugar produced in Florida because Florida sugar violates Whole Foods' core values.

Earlier this year, Whole Foods CEO addressed an audience in Palm Beach County. "Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb said at Lynn University Wednesday that business can be the “greatest change agent” in society. Robb said the 33-year-old company practices “conscious capitalism” and has always wanted to contribute to the community and protect the environment, but has expanded its core values in recent years… We are purpose-driven,” Robb said, according to the Palm Beach Post. "We are here to make a difference in the world. We are willing to stretch, willing to take a risk."

The Friends' letter, in part, states:

"The byproducts of sugarcane cultivation on 700,000 acres in the EAA are highly damaging to the Everglades ecosystem. Soil used to produce sugar in the Everglades Agricultural Area has not been conserved. It is severely depleted. Water management practices – influenced by industry -- have been the subject of federal lawsuits by environmental groups. If the industry does “promote healthy ecosystems”, it is only to the degree required by the results of litigation. ... Although Florida’s sugar producers could implement effective BMP’s (best management practices), for instance by drastically limiting soil amendments that promote methyl mercury in the Everglades, instead it protects its privilege by externalizing these costs."

Although there are many reasons to object -- including the trillion dollar public health cost associated with excess consumption of sugar and the gross excess of the Farm Bill that enriches some of the wealthiest corporate farmers in America -- this campaign is about Whole Foods, a respected corporation that has built a billion dollar franchise on a promise to consumers that its products are driven by core values.

There has been no response yet by Whole Foods to the Friends' request. Click 'read more' for the text of the Palm Beach Post report.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What is in a name? Guest Blog by Smarterthanyou

If you just don't call it taxes, you can get away with anything. All the Bonds, they are out of your pocket. The Stormwater fees in Miami Beach Jumped 84% but the property taxes are the same.  How dumb are you all? Services cost money no matter how they disguise it. School bonds, hospital bonds, payments to sports billionaires, subsidizing museums, etc. All in the budget with all the interest. Don't demonize unions, that is a diversion. You are just stupid, that is the real problem.

ON ANOTHER NOTE:
"Another top aide is leaving the office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. Deputy Mayor Chip Iglesias will head to the private sector after July 31. He resigned just a week after Chief of Staff Lisa Martinez said she too would step down."

On Memory, the Internet, and reading comprehension … by gimleteye

Recently I've been thinking a lot about memory. I'm sensitized by family members in their 90s and each displaying memory deficits from dementia, Alzheimers, to the slippery slope of cognitive decline.

It's very sad and yes I worry about the road ahead, but I'm also troubled by the road I'm on.

On the way to writing this post, I went to search online for a New York Times OPED that had interested me; how reliance on the internet has diminished the ability of consumers to fully process what we are reading. I've noticed that when I read a newspaper online, my retention of information is qualitatively different from when I read a printed newspaper in my hands. It's not a scientific result, but it is a result I've reached after many years of both reading and hoping to earn readers' attention.

Before I could find what I was looking for in the Times, my attention was diverted by an interesting story on a public hearing about fish eggs and nuclear permitting on the Hudson River. When I couldn't find the OPED I meant to bring to your attention on my laptop, I reached into my backpack for my iPad and logged on to see if the OPED was in the history bar.

There I had a yoga schedule, a Sun Sentinel article on Jeb Bush's legacy (taking a huge hit!), a weather site (to rain or not to rain), a Miami Herald report, an article from the UK Guardian on climate change in Miami (drowning!), a coffee vendor website (have to order now), a friend's blog (have to read now), another NY Times OPED (not the one I was looking for), an article on restaurants in Paris, 40 Genius Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever, and Trouble Shooting Your Cable TV Connection.

I never did find what I was looking for -- my memory was hazy, which doesn't help when entering search words -- , but when I find it I will share the news: comprehension skills have declined with our reliance on the internet.

That we are drowning in information is hardly news. We are all in a turbulent current where brains don't multi-task so much as substitute breadth of capacity for depth of understanding. And some evolutionary part of us believes that attention to lots of different pieces of information, as many as we can find, will make life safer.

Take this blog and reader comments, for example. We get the most comments from short posts. We know (as paid newspaper editors do, too) that readers' attention spans are foreshortened by so much freely available information from multiple sources. Blogs that cost nothing but a glance. It doesn't mean our readers aren't interested or don't fully appreciate our longer posts, or for that matter longer investigative reports in newspapers.

Who can absorb it all? And if we are not absorbing all the information we receive from the internet, and by absorbing becoming better humans, improving our condition, our health and welfare, and that of our family, friends, and communities; what is the point of it all?

(Here is the OPED I was looking for: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/business/media/riding-the-juggernaut-that-left-print-behind.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A8%22%7D)

Lynda Bell Does Not Understand Public Service. By Geniusofdespair

Blast from the past:

Lynda Bell - Fan of Selective Enforcement,Chain Link Fences
and Pink Slime in Meat Products.
The problem with Lynda Bell's latest resolution that was heard March 14th is that resolutions are NOT suppose to address INDIVIDUALS. Laws and resolutions are for everyone. You don't pick and choose who is exempt. If Joe Blow or Carlos Gimenez is not allowed to dump dirty fill on wetlands, why should Pepe Diaz be exempt and be allowed to dump it? We all follow the same rules...Don't we? Well not if you are a friend of Lynda Bell. Then you get a law fashioned just for you because you made a lot of noise and sucked up to her. I bet she wishes she could do this to John Dubois to make all his wetland violations go away. (the guy that threatened to kill all the Commissioners and the Mayor at the July16th meeting -- I don't think he is not one of those effected by this resolution but he is mad at the same thing in the 8 1/2 square mile area, he was at Lynda's infamous Town Hall Meeting -- there are 9 private parties this resolution is written for).

 The people who already paid the fine are going to go berserk when they find out. This whole issue is a fundamentally UNFAIR. The County code defines what makes up clean fill and how you can use it. Vegetative debris mixed with garbage is not clean fill and does not belong in wetlands. Fill DOES NOT include garbage and it DOES require a permit. Some of this fill had arsenic in it.

Lynda's resolution  is specifically tailored for people who 1) did not get/follow a permit and 2) used garbage to fill wetlands. Many property owners accepted the garbage tainted mulch and dumped it on their property. Once discovered, DERM required corrective action. Many property owners and contractors complied. Of the nine listed in the resolution, a few are resisting (not all). If this resolution passes it will legalize illegal fill on those parcels. It will also make application of county code arbitrary - what about the people who already paid to correct the problem. I bet they don't even know this is happening. I bet some of the owners of the parcels listed in the resolution don't even know. So 9 people will be exempt. Stupid is as stupid does. Here is what Lynda Bell's law dujour, for COMMITTEE ON MARCH 14th, says (only important part is bold - hit read more to see it):

RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE MAYOR OR MAYOR’S DESIGNEE TO REFRAIN FROM FURTHER ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT IN THE FEW REMAINING CASES AGAINST PROPERTY OWNERS FOR MULCHED HURRICANE DEBRIS DEPOSITED DURING THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE WILMA 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FPL, the US military, Barbra Streisand, frightened voters and more … Mayor Philip Stoddard, an elected official with the guts to stand up to a big utility -- interviewed on climate change and sea level rise on National Public Radio … by gimleteye

There are a few news items that are important, and readers ought to take them all in to make their own assessment.

1) Last week I wrote about FPL's naked power grab at Turkey Point Nuclear. FPL is mounting its cooperative effort with the Rick Scott administration to push out scientists and engineers at the South Florida Water Management District from supervision of the extraordinarily dangerous clogging of the Turkey Point "cooling canals". It is proposing that the Rick Scott governing board of the District cancel  a prior legal agreement that held FPL accountable … or should have … for its massive pollution problems in the existing nuclear reactors. (The decision awaits a vote by the water district governing board.)

FPL's cooling canals had already been failing before the recent $3 billion uprate and are now massively failing. To understand the full extent of what FPL is doing, it is necessary to put the most recent developments in context of the environmental impact assessment due in 2016 for the new nuclear reactors, Unit 6 and Unit 7. Sweeping its toxic mess under the proverbial rug only begins to describe what is happening.

2) Here is another part. Florida's utilities yesterday petitioned the Public Service Commission to gut conservation goals for electricity production. What's going on? Try this on for size: FPL top shareholders and executives, and those of the state's other big electric utilities, are determined to keep making money as long as they possibly can -- that is to say, to get extraordinarily wealthy -- through the business model of extracting increased levels of profit through higher unit production of electricity, no matter what.

In other words, Florida refuses to go along with the premise and practice of mandating utility profit through energy conservation and unit reduction of energy production. That profit model could not only save enormous investments in hard infrastructure -- like Turkey Point new nuclear, en route to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- but reasonably point ratepayers to reduction of carbon emissions at the root of climate change. Here is the lead from the Tampa Bay Times report: "Florida's big public utilities spend very little on energy conservation. On Monday, they will ask state regulators for permission to spend even less. The state's energy future depends almost exclusively on construction of expensive new power plants, the utilities argued in preparation for the Public Service Commission hearing and in their previous public statements. The utilities see little merit in any other strategy. Solar energy? Not reliable. Increased efforts to encourage use of energy efficient appliances and building practices? Not "cost effective." Studies that show it is cheaper to conserve power than to generate it? Misleading. Given the pattern of recent decisions, there's a good chance the PSC will approve the requests from Duke Energy, Tampa Electric Co. and Florida Power and Light to gut conservation goals."

3) Will it take a national security crisis of immense proportions before the bunkers harboring the nation's utility executives start to crack? That is a question that climate change is leading towards. What would that crisis look like? How would the federal government respond? This leads to an incredibly dismal report on voter turnout. According to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate yesterday, "If the first 25 statewide primaries (for U.S. Senate and/or state governor) are any guide, the nation is likely to witness the lowest midterm primary turnout in history. It is also likely to witness the greatest number of states setting records for low voter turnout."

4) Recently, on May 22, Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Bill that, despite the DOD request, no funding could be used to address climate change as a national security issue. All but three Republicans voted for the McKinley Amendment. Save four members, Democrats all voted against it. (For a terrific OPED by Barbra Streisand on the political logjam around climate change, read the recent report here: "The U.S. must lead on climate threat".)

So where, readers, do you think these circumstances lead? For one, to a conclusion: the nation's utilities are more powerful than our government. FPL, in Florida, IS our shadow government. And FPL has decided that IT will take care of the science of toxics, IT will decide -- through elected officials it controls including Governor Rick Scott -- what areas of South Florida can be sacrificed in order to deliver safe, reliable profits to top executives while delivering on-demand electricity to consumers. And Republicans, who are doing the business of the nation's big energy corporation as a matter of virtual remote control, will withhold the only institution -- the US military -- regarded by the public as maintaining integrity independent of politics from speaking out on the planet's biggest national security threat and most real and present danger: climate change. Why is there no debate about this?

For one, because Americans aren't voting. Why aren't Americans voting? Because they are scared to death. Scared by the economy, scared by the climate, scared by a media driven by corporate media that exploits fear and weakness because that's what trains eyeballs on TV screens.

We can do better and we must. It starts by voting and by voting for candidates for public office who have had the guts to speak out against a status quo that is hell-bent on gathering all the acorns as quickly as possible because the shitstorm is coming. We need leaders. Instead, what we have are an elite on their high mountaintops bending down to voters at the shoreline, whispering, "Don't tell us what to do."

One such leader is South Miami leader Philip Stoddard, who was interviewed last week on NPR, "Climate Risk for Real Estate Values in South Florida." Listen.

Go to the link to see the photos of people boating along the submerged Miami streets...you'll wish this was YOUR mayor speaking...and remember this is the area where FPL just spent $3 BILLION to renovate the Turkey Point nuke plant....

____________

Climate Risk for Real Estate Values in South Florida

Air Date: Week of July 18, 2014

Biologist Phil Stoddard is the mayor of South Miami, a South Florida suburb threatened by rising sea levels. Mayor Stoddard tells host Steve Curwood that municipalities in Florida are doing all they can to prepare for climate change, but he does not think the state government is taking the issue seriously, and the risk to real estate values is considerable.

Transcript

Monday, July 21, 2014

Palmetto Bay Tonight: What is up? Here is the Background.

Eugene Flinn: running for Mayor of Palmetto Bay in  Field of 4 Candidates
Two Palmetto Bay zoning resolutions regarding the PBVC fire stations are provided here via link.  Not the fact that all 1985 covenant and restrictions were provided for (pages 2 and 3) of zoning Palmetto Bay Resollution 9-40)


April 12, 2007


April 13, 2009

Thanks for your help in locating these links at our request - Eugene Flinn - so people have the background of what the Council is doing tonight, and what was the history that they might not be doing. 

SLAPP suit against former Miamian Maggie Hurchalla draws a plea for financial help … by gimleteye

Miami billionaire George Lindemann Jr. has been engaged in a bitter lawsuit against one of Florida's environmental leaders, Maggie Hurchalla. Lindemann, a well-known Miami real estate developer, invested property he has converted to a rock mine at the edge of the Everglades Agricultural Area; Florida's black hole. According to Wikipedia, "A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition."

A 2008 issue brief to the Florida Senate notes, "What … distinguishes a SLAPP is that the apparent motive behind it is to prevent the SLAPP defendant from exercising his or her constitutionally protected right to petition or to penalize him or her for doing so. It is for this reason, opponents of SLAPPs argue, that the filer typically does not prevail in the action in court. The filer, however, may “succeed” if the litigation costs and time divert the SLAPP defendant from pursing the political activity that prompted the litigation. Because deciphering the motives of the plaintiff may be difficult, research and legislation on the topic of SLAPPs often focus instead on the nature of the conduct giving rise to the litigation in the first place (i.e., addressing a governmental agency)."

Hurchalla, a former Martin County commissioner whose suburban sprawl positions won her both admirers and then the enmity of Florida's pro-growth elites, is an environmentalist who grew up in Miami with siblings including former US attorney general Janet Reno. Lindemann according to Hurchalla has "an interesting history", including board leadership in the Bass Museum and as a major art collector. Although the family fortune derives from New York City cable TV -- the family is one of the largest shareholders of Verizon -- , Lindemann proved an astute investor in the early 2000s on Biscayne Boulevard and then looked north to the scramble for property rights at the edge of the Everglades for more lucrative opportunities.

The history how the state of Florida empowered developers to reach out and choke civic opponents of individual projects is one of those tales that deserves a book of its own, with SLAPP suits a central chapter. The book's theme would be how the gradual whittling down of legal standing for Floridians has been accompanied by an unbalanced grab for power by the state, by corporations and shareholders.

I am going to contribute to Maggie's "SLAPP-back fund" and I hope our readers will, too … The following words are Maggie's:

MAGGY’S SLAPP-BACK FUND PO Box 891, Stuart, Fl. 34995

In January of 2013 I became the subject of a SLAPP Suit filed by the Lake Point rockpit people. That’s a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It’s something that developers do to shut down public discussion through fear of massive legal fees.

If you want to know about the grandiose claims for the project which is being marketed to Asian investors, go to:

Lake Point Capital Partners

After the rapid sell-out success of Lake Point EcoVentures Phase I Limited Partnership, the $10M/20 EB-5 investor loan-based program marketed in 2011, Lake Point’s principals and the General Partners of American Venture Solutions Regional Center decided to make a second $10M private offering, this one based in equity.

Now: if you look at most equity participation structures in EB-5 Projects, you will find that the EB-5 investor’s real capital stake is invariably diluted with administrative fees, inflated valuations, and the like. That’ s not how we do business. Instead, the 20 Lake Point Capital Partners EB-5 Limited Partners will own an 10% actual interest in Lake Point Holdings, which has appraised in excess of U.S. $100 Million. This dollar-for-dollar investment is not subject to balloon repayment and will not receive interest payments… it is instead intended for the true venture capital EB-5 Investor who wishes to remain alongside for the ride with the Lindemann Group until some point in the future when the Project is sold, merged, or otherwise liquidated. While no at-risk investment can guarantee solid returns, the historical success of the Lindemann Group is unparalleled in EB-5 offerings and offers a real, bona fide capital venture opportunity to participate directly with a Forbes group of investors seeking to maximize profit realizations for their investment in Lake Point.

The project originally claimed to be a polo club. Then it claimed to be the key to saving the Everglades and the Indian River Lagoon. Then they said it would sell water to utilities from Palm Beach County to Dade County.

I have loudly and publicly pointed out that it doesn’t save the Everglades or the Lagoon.

At this point Lake Point appears to be claiming that everyone knew that Lake Point always planned to transfer water from Lake Okeechobee through its Martin County rockpit and sell it to cities further south. It seems likely that when sales on rock fell, Lake Point focused on privatizing water from the Lake.

They are suing Martin County because the County is enforcing its land development regulations. Lake Point claims they are exempt.

They are suing me for “tortious interference” because they claim that I made the Water Management District and the County ask questions about their project.

My legal bills to date are $99,026.19. I expect Mr. Lindemann's lawyers have charged him over $1,000,000 by now.

I’m starting a legal defense fund now so I can continue to defend myself and continue to speak out about things that hurt the environment and hurt taxpayers.

In case I die and they can't sue me anymore, or I actually raise more money than is necessary, the Trust document for the Fund states:" Upon payment of all of my accrued legal expenses,any excess funds remaining in the Trust Fund shall be disbursed only to the Trustee or manager of a similar fund established fora similar purpose, that is, to pay for the legal defense of any person named as a defendant in a SLAPP suit associated with an environmental issue or to an organization that has as its primary function the defense of environmental issues or activities."

In Martin County, county commission candidates with financial ties to Lake Point are trying to unseat incumbent commissioners who have questioned the project. The challengers are making outrageous claims that the project owners are noble philanthropists who wants to save the Everglades and are being unfairly treated. No one is contesting those claims because no one wants to get SLAPPED.It's clear that if the two challengers are elected they will cease defending the County's comprehensive plan and let Lake Point do whatever it wants.

I will pursue counter claims. I’ve set up a website called slappmaggy.com where you can read all the gory details. I hope to have lots of information on it in a few weeks.

Someone has to stand up to bullies with too much money and not enough sense.

Donations can be mailed to: Maggy’s SLAPP-Back Fund, PO Box 891, Stuart, Fl. 34995

No donation is too small.

Thank you,
Maggy Reno Hurchalla
mhurchalla@hotmail.com

Sunday, July 20, 2014

More on bees … by gimleteye

As soon as we heard about bee colony collapse disorder, we suspected it was a simple metaphor for what could go wrong with us. We too are industrious bees subject to colony collapse. (Check our archive for local stories/opinions on bees and colony collapse disorder.)

Practically speaking, healthy bees are critical to an affordable food supply for billions of people. Why? Because bees pollinate crops for free and at a massive scale that we would otherwise have to do by hand. It is not an academic question or in dispute. Check the prices in your grocery of food products that depend on bee pollination. If the bees disappear -- and that appears to be the case -- we could go with them or at the very least, transform from the only species that can determine its own fate to just one of a number of scavenger species.

With bees supporting the pollination of crops and assuring a food supply that is affordable, our 9 billion may survive. It is not clear how 9 billion people will fare, without bees, scavenging from remnants.

This isn't a story line preferred by the world's great chemical corporations. Monsanto, for instance.

It is a story line, however, that ought to attract the alarm of people and their governments. But corporations are "people", and those "people" have a hammer-lock on governments other people pay for, with their hard-earned income.

In bee colony collapse disorder is the strangest manifestation of taxation without representation. I would love to hear what Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin would have said in response to this then-hypothetical: what would you do to restrain corporations from turning civilization into savages, waging international wars for water and food because we've stripped out what sustains us all?

The world's largest chemical corporations have persisted in challenging the impacts of their products on bees and fiercely block government intervention or science that could harm their shareholder profits.

James Winston wrote an OPED for the New York Times recently that put the bee problem in its true and definitive context without accusation: whether we can learn to protect ourselves. So far, the answer is clear: we aren't learning, either from the dying Everglades or from the collapsing bees.

A few months ago, just outside my back door at home, I came across a few dozen bees staggering around on the ground. It wasn't the news that stunned them. We are ill-served by the public policies and a political environment driven to deadlock by large corporate interests and lobbying groups marching in lockstep. Don't be surprised when we are stunned next.


Our Bees, Ourselves
NY Times, July 14, 2014

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — AROUND the world, honeybee colonies are dying in huge numbers: About one-third of hives collapse each year, a pattern going back a decade. For bees and the plants they pollinate — as well as for beekeepers, farmers, honey lovers and everyone else who appreciates this marvelous social insect — this is a catastrophe.

But in the midst of crisis can come learning. Honeybee collapse has much to teach us about how humans can avoid a similar fate, brought on by the increasingly severe environmental perturbations that challenge modern society.

Honeybee collapse has been particularly vexing because there is no one cause, but rather a thousand little cuts. The main elements include the compounding impact of pesticides applied to fields, as well as pesticides applied directly into hives to control mites; fungal, bacterial and viral pests and diseases; nutritional deficiencies caused by vast acreages of single-crop fields that lack diverse flowering plants; and, in the United States, commercial beekeeping itself, which disrupts colonies by moving most bees around the country multiple times each year to pollinate crops.

The real issue, though, is not the volume of problems, but the interactions among them. Here we find a core lesson from the bees that we ignore at our peril: the concept of synergy, where one plus one equals three, or four, or more. A typical honeybee colony contains residue from more than 120 pesticides. Alone, each represents a benign dose. But together they form a toxic soup of chemicals whose interplay can substantially reduce the effectiveness of bees’ immune systems, making them more susceptible to diseases.

These findings provide the most sophisticated data set available for any species about synergies among pesticides, and between pesticides and disease. The only human equivalent is research into pharmaceutical interactions, with many prescription drugs showing harmful or fatal side effects when used together, particularly in patients who already are disease-compromised. Pesticides have medical impacts as potent as pharmaceuticals do, yet we know virtually nothing about their synergistic impacts on our health, or their interplay with human diseases.

Observing the tumultuous demise of honeybees should alert us that our own well-being might be similarly threatened. The honeybee is a remarkably resilient species that has thrived for 40 million years, and the widespread collapse of so many colonies presents a clear message: We must demand that our regulatory authorities require studies on how exposure to low dosages of combined chemicals may affect human health before approving compounds.

Bees also provide some clues to how we may build a more collaborative relationship with the services that ecosystems can provide. Beyond honeybees, there are thousands of wild bee species that could offer some of the pollination service needed for agriculture. Yet feral bees — that is, bees not kept by beekeepers — also are threatened by factors similar to those afflicting honeybees: heavy pesticide use, destruction of nesting sites by overly intensive agriculture and a lack of diverse nectar and pollen sources thanks to highly effective weed killers, which decimate the unmanaged plants that bees depend on for nutrition.

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
Recently, my laboratory at Simon Fraser University conducted a study on farms that produce canola oil that illustrated the profound value of wild bees. We discovered that crop yields, and thus profits, are maximized if considerable acreages of cropland are left uncultivated to support wild pollinators.

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Clyde Wynant 58 minutes ago
There is no precedent in the short history of mankind for the toxic soup of chemical we all ingest from birth to death, in our food supply,...
Carolyn Egeli 1 hour ago
Thank you for this thoughtful piece on the demise of the honeybees. The clear message is we have a problem the increasing use of pesticides...
phyllis 1 hour ago
Bzzzzzzzzz! A very good reminder of the dying huge numbers of honeybee colonies and the also the plants they pollinate . We must always...
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A variety of wild plants means a healthier, more diverse bee population, which will then move to the planted fields next door in larger and more active numbers. Indeed, farmers who planted their entire field would earn about $27,000 in profit per farm, whereas those who left a third unplanted for bees to nest and forage in would earn $65,000 on a farm of similar size.

Such logic goes against conventional wisdom that fields and bees alike can be uniformly micromanaged. The current challenges faced by managed honeybees and wild bees remind us that we can manage too much. Excessive cultivation, chemical use and habitat destruction eventually destroy the very organisms that could be our partners.

And this insight goes beyond mere agricultural economics. There is a lesson in the decline of bees about how to respond to the most fundamental challenges facing contemporary human societies. We can best meet our own needs if we maintain a balance with nature — a balance that is as important to our health and prosperity as it is to the bees.

And you think you have problems....by Geniusofdespair

I left a few columns in my absence:


As a registered (Moderate) Republican, here is what I get. Yes Joe you are right on this much: "One can judge a man by the company he keeps." I wonder if I get a write in opportunity.
Forget your troubles, come on get happy
You better chase all your cares away
Shout Hallelujah, come on get happy
Get ready for the judgment day


US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SLAPS DOWN HOMESTEAD HOUSING AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Guest Blog

 Slammed for the wrong qualifications to hold his position,  Oscar Hentschel, Executive Director gets blistering letter from the US Department of Agriculture -- HUD.




Metrorail Fare Increase: Setting it straight in District 8. By Guest Blogger Stephen Cody