— submitted by Henry Lawrence and Kelly Duncan February 25, 2014 Project Democracy 2014 is a unique project run by Mark Anderson, Supervisor of Elections in Bay County, Florida. Anderson not only encourages young people to exercise their right to vote, but also encourages the various political parties in the county to participate by visiting area high schools with him.
They called it a “mudslide” because of the exceptionally dirty attacks that had been leveled against incumbent South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard. But those smears only gave the hoots and cheers from the exuberant gathering of neighbors, supporters and volunteers (including a contingent of Greens) at Stoddard’s victory party a more special meaning. Commission meetings have been notorious for divisive bickering, with some factions being backed by special interests. In a more positive vein, the city is also noted for intense citizen engagement at its commission meetings. With Stoddard’s progressive majority growing from 3-1 to 4-1, they now have a mandate to build on that work of moving the city ahead, independent of special interests. Stoddard now plans on holding a series of public workshops to develop a strong agenda for the city.
Many on this list are aware that an oil boom is rapidly taking shape in the southwest corner of Florida. Media attention began with a surprise notice sent to residents in May of 2013, advising them of an evacuation plan in the event of a hydrogen sulfide gas release. The source for that gas would be a proposed oil well located approximately three-quarters of a mile west of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. Here are a couple of things you might want to do. First, please consider a donation to the South Florida Wildlands Association to enable us to continue this fight. In my own capacity, I have filed an administrative petition (pro se) challenging the Hughes permit to drill next to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. That petition will be heard later this month in Ft. Myers.