By Aliki Moncrief, Deputy Campaign Manager at Florida’s Water & Land Legacy
October 6, 2014
This election, Florida voters will have the direct opportunity to help restore our drinking water supplies and protect the treasured natural areas that make Florida a great place to live and visit: by voting YES on Amendment 1.
Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment, will dedicate funding to conserve and restore our rivers, lakes, springs, and coastal waters, as well as protect critical natural areas like the Everglades—without any increase in taxes.
Florida cannot thrive without an abundant supply of drinking water for its 19 million residents. But our drinking water sources and waterways are threatened by pollution and increasing development pressure. Two million acres, including lands necessary to protect the water quality of our state’s most important springs, rivers, and coastal areas, have already been identified for conservation but remain unprotected. Without adequate funds for management and restoration, our natural areas, including those already in public ownership, will continue to decline and will be unable to support our growing population.
Amendment 1 will dedicate one-third of existing fees collected by the state when real estate is sold (the “doc stamp tax”) to improve the quality of our drinking water, keep pollution out of our waterways, protect important natural areas, and preserve wildlife habitat for the next two decades. This is the same source of revenue that has been used for water and land conservation since 1968.
In recent years, state lawmakers have drastically cut funding for water and land conservation. Florida citizens value of clean and abundant water for people and wildlife, and cherish the natural areas that make Florida special. Amendment 1 would ensure that these values have a place in our state’s constitution.
Florida’s conservation programs have a great track record of science-based spending that is subject to public oversight and accountability. Amendment 1 will dedicate less than one percent of our overall state budget to water and land conservation, ensuring those funds cannot be diverted for any other purpose by the Legislature. Using the state’s existing successful programs as a model, objective criteria will continue to determine how funds are spent, keeping politics out of the process.
In Florida, we depend on our beaches, springs, rivers, lakes, and parks as a key part of our tourism. Our natural beauty fuels our economy.
Nearly one million Florida voters signed a petition to place Amendment 1 on the ballot. In addition to the AFL-CIO and Florida Education Association, Amendment 1 has been endorsed by the Democratic Party of Florida, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and hundreds more organizations around the state.
Now we need your help to make this critical Amendment a reality for all Floridians. This November, we need 60% voter approval to pass Amendment 1 and establish stable funding to protect our treasured waters and natural areas—without increasing taxes. This may be the only chance in our lifetimes to protect the Florida we love for future generations.
For more information about Amendment 1, including how you can help spread the word, visit www.VoteYesOn1FL.org or call (850) 629-4656.
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 . . . .
Is riding my horse two times a week enough for her?