The Associated Press declared Amendment 1 passed on Tuesday. With about half the expected votes counted, the amendment had 75 percent "yes" votes to 25 percent no. It needed 60 percent of the vote to pass.
Amendment 1 will draw its funding from an existing real estate tax, and would dedicate 33 percent of it annually to conservation. That would be about a billion a year.
About half of the money will fund Florida Forever, a conservation land purchasing program that saw its budget slashed by 97 percent since 2009 dude to the Great Recession. The money was never restored after the economy rebounded.
The no-shows when it’s water . . .
By Brad Rogers, Editorial Page Editor, Ocala Star-Banner
Published: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Organizers of the Orange Creek Basin Interagency Working Group were excited about the turnout at their meeting Thursday in northern Marion County. Well over 100 citizens turned out to offer their thoughts and ideas about the how to improve the health of the streams and lakes that make up the basin — Orange, Lochloosa and Newnan’s lakes and Paynes Prairie among them.
Wayne Magley of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection noted the strong turnout, telling the Star-Banner: “They’re the people who live here. It’s important to get the public’s input. And people have to get involved.”
Yes, people do need to get involved. As we know all too well here in Marion County, our water supply and springs, rivers and lakes are in trouble. They are diminishing in size and quality before our eyes.
Water is — or should be — THE public policy issue of the 21st century, yet while the room was packed up in Citra Thursday, not one elected official was in attendance. Not a county commissioner, not a state representative or senator, not a member of Congress — not one person who actually makes policy regarding our water supply.
All we had to do is wait a day to find out why. The Florida Council of 100, arguably the state’s most influential group of business leaders and, of course, campaign donors, came out in opposition to Amendment 1. For those who don’t know, Amendment 1 is a constitutional amendment on the November ballot aimed at establishing a fund — using existing documentary tax proceeds — that would be spent on land and water conservation programs over the next 20 years. It’s about saving our water.
“Amendment 1 would tie the hands of our elected leaders, blocking them from optimally allocating tax dollars to citizens’ needs and preventing them from meeting those needs as the economy fluctuates,” said Steve Halverson, the chairman of the Council of 100 and CEO of the Haskill Co., one of the nation’s largest construction companies.
Seriously? We need to not set aside more billions of our tax dollars so our lawmakers, who have done everything in their power to rape our landscape and drain our water supply, can continue to do so for their own enrichment. The same elected officials who did not show up Thursday night and claim they’re waiting for scientific evidence that our water supply is in trouble. Put a big development on the agenda, and they’ll be there in droves. Trust me.
The Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott have eliminated virtually all state growth planning and cut more than $1 billion in land and water conservation funding over the past four years, and told us straight-faced that it was in our best interest.
A “yes” vote for Amendment 1 is a vote to keep at least some of our tax dollars out of the greedy hands of those who are enriching themselves at the expense of the rest of us and our environment. It is a vote for trying to save our dwindling water supply and with it our state from economic and environmental ruin.
NO WATER - NO JOBS ______________________________
Judging and teaching both at home in Central Florida and all around the country, Susan and Bill Woods each acknowledge over thirty-five years of experience that can help you better understand and train your horse.
They have been active on the national dressage scene since 1980, their dressage specialty arising from broad backgrounds in balance-seat work, both on the flat and over fences.
Both are known for their ability to outline sound, classical goals and to communicate effective techniques to riders of all levels. They carry on the ideals and principles they learned at the American Dressage Institute and the USDF-sponsored Violet Hopkins National Instructors Seminars and which they, in turn, were tabbed to spread to hundreds of teachers and dozens of groups throughout the US at USDF Regional Instructor Workshops.
Susan and Bill are each USDF Bronze and Silver Medalists. They've each trained and shown many horses from Training Level to FEI, and they continue to coach students both at the Florida shows and those whom they meet at clinics and then send off to competitions, ribbons, and medals in their own areas. Their students show at every level through Grand Prix.
Over twenty and nearly thirty years respectively of dressage judging give Susan and Bill a special perspective to help you understand what all judges are looking for and what it takes for you to succeed in the show arena.
In recent months Susan has for medical reasons had to reduce her workload in both the equine and environmental areas. She remains actively committed to the philosophies and principles she has espoused in both these fields over the years. As Bill can testify, she remains a force to be reckoned with.
Find out more about each of them on the tabs to the left.
If you need a point of view to un-selfconsciously
adopt as your own, or if you'd just like to be annoyed all the time . . . .
What do you think, good or bad, of this tendency that I am seeing for riders to be behind the vertical? See it on magazine covers, at shows I go to, etc... I've been told "Need to do it for the extended work." But, well, um, I don't remember seeing it years ago. And "pros" are doing it at lengthening work? Is this correct?