Spring Comes to Florida Despite Worst Governor Ever

4 03 2011

Young Son's reading tree in full flower as he reads Sherlock Holmes, of course (photo credit - Mom's phone)

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21 responses

4 03 2011
JJ

It looks for all the world like a tree covered in bolls of cotton. Plus there was one great cottony cloud above it, the same shape and color but giant compared to the blossoms.

I couldn’t get it all, but what a picture . . .

5 03 2011
Nance Confer

Young Son is bringing the fedora back? So many men look good in hats. It would be a good thing.

Except for the 30-mph wind gusts and the wildfires, it’s lovely here too. 🙂 Good walking weather.

Nance

5 03 2011
Lynn

My first thought was that this is such a lovely homeschooling photo, made even better with the hat. A definite keeper (both the photo and Young Son). 😀

5 03 2011
JJ

Thanks, you guys. 🙂

About his hats, Nance, absolutely! I wrote about his serious medium-brown workaday fedora but look carefully and you’ll see he has doubled his collection since then, by adopting a black one as well. And to both Nance and Lynn, hats like everything in life do have a serious schooling message, right?

So let us review what we’ve learned. T-shirt messages at school are powerful enough to disrupt the learning environment. Hats at school are even more powerful; a serious hat can send a disruptive message with no words at all!

But don’t stop there. Let’s put on our serious thinking caps and take it beyond hats and t-shirts to all the serious message wars at school.

5 03 2011
JJ

Btw, I had to zoom all the way in to my cellphone max to get this shot without disturbing its subject, like a stealthy wildlife photographer . . .

5 03 2011
JJ

And about that “worst governor ever” in our lovely sunshine state, the other news besides his unilateral destruction of our high-speed rail cooperative effort, was how he’s plotting to finish off our ability to remedy his damage later, by eliminating any vestige of legitimate democratic governance by, of and for the people.
:
Scott Moves to Delay Voter-Approved Redistricting

5 03 2011
Lynn

If only there had been stealthy wildlife photographer zooming in on you, zooming in on Young Son. Now, that would’ve been a great shot. 🙂

5 03 2011
JJ

If only we knew someone with mad photoshop skilz . . .

5 03 2011
Nance Confer

Our crazy Governor just doesn’t seem to think he has any obligation to acknowledge any laws passed before he was elected. It must be a lovely way to live. The world started when he showed up.

6 03 2011
JJ

And Nance probably hasn’t even seen this corrupt insanity yet. No high-speed rail for the people but high-speed golf for profit? Heck, yeah! (I thought tennis was the sport of kings, not golf?)

Florida could allow the construction of at least five golf courses on state park lands under a proposal filed Friday that will likely come under fire from environmentalists.

The golf courses would be named after golf legend Jack Nicklaus as part of the “Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail of Florida” and one of them would have to be located at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County. The legislation also states that all of the courses would have to be designed by Nicklaus Design, which has developed courses across the world.

Nicklaus, who is one of the most celebrated golfers in the history of the sport, met with Gov. Rick Scott in late January. News reports at the time mention that Nicklaus talked with Scott about “economic development” and that Nicklaus talked to the governor about how “golf can be involved.”

The measures sponsored by Rep. Pat Rooney, R-West Palm Beach, and Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, would also allow the golf course construction to be financed by revenue bonds issued by the state.

The argument behind the bill is that it would help boost the state’s tourism industry.

The legislation even states that the “creation of environmentally sensitive public golf facilities can elevate the state’s reputation throughout the United States as a premier golf destination capable of hosting major golf championships … and the creation of public golf facilities designed by Jack Nicklaus is in the public interest and will serve as a tourism development project to increase the use of existing state parks.”

Rooney’s bill also makes it clear the golf courses could not be subject to any regulations by city or county governments and that the companies chosen to operate the golf courses would be eligible for alcoholic beverage licenses.

Each golf course would have to have a minimum of 18 holes, a practice course, a clubhouse and “may include” a hotel.

The measure will likely come under fire from environmental groups who will argue that land bought for environmental purposes should not be developed or used for other activities.

Originally published in the Florida Current – exclusively distributed via Lobbytools – Florida’s Premiere Legislative and Media Monitoring Service.

6 03 2011
Nance Confer

JD Park is our local — and beloved — state park. What a sad day it will be when a golf course cuts through its heart.

http://www.floridastateparks.org/history/parkhistory.cfm?parkid=153

7 03 2011
JJ

It’s so stupidly backward, to confuse the pleasurable and profitable ways that a golf course is made to resemble a nature park, with the idea that actual nature parks should be turned INTO profitable golf courses!

Full disclosure: we live on a golf course. 😉
This picture of Young Son was taken from our back garden looking out on the fairway, see the golfers? It’s an older course that was built almost a half-century ago as a true “country” club rather than a showplace, way out from town (at the time) where a dairy farm used to be, with 27 holes so that only two of the three “nines” are in use any particular day awhile the third is being maintained. The developers designed the course and built it on land they bought to plot out a huge curvy and wooded mixed-level residential area around its trees and lakes. There is also a bridle path, underground utilities and — note! — multiple public parks and picnic areas throughout the neighborhoods. Lots of wildlife from hummingbirds and Canada geese to foxes, the occasional deer and enough squirrels to feel like an invasion.

We don’t play golf and I’m not defending golf courses. The point is that I know a bit now, about the difference between golf courses and actual nature parks.

Another thought: a Scottish gentleman named Maclay had nationally famous gardens on a lake adjoining our neighborhood, that had already been given to the state as a public park before the dairy was developed with the golf course and homes. That park is still open and beautiful. Favorite Daughter was there yesterday, for the first wedding in her group of friends.

7 03 2011
Nance Confer

I just thought you had a fabulous yard! 🙂

I was thinking about this while walking in one of our smaller public parks this morning — not fast but, hey, I’m moving 🙂 — and realized the link above is sort of misleading. It shows all the activities and features of JD Park. But the best thing about JD Park is the lack of anything for so much of the time. You have to drive for miles to get to the area where you can camp and canoe and hike. There are bike trails along the way and a tower to climb. But mostly there is just uninterrupted FL forest. And alligators. 🙂

7 03 2011
JJ

Sounds like a very unschooly park. 😉

I forgot to mention we also have a state park right here in the neighborhood, that’s like a campground more than manicured azalea gardens. Very woody and also on a little lake with a rustic deck and boardwalk (sort of) over the water. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were alligators and I know there are snakes [shudder.] You can tromp around the lake and/or stay on the park side and go through the woods to a creek we discovered once when the kids were younger (maybe nine and four?) — we had quite a messy good time playing in it one day.

8 03 2011
JJ

Good morning! And today is — uh oh, opening day of the Florida Legislature.

9 03 2011
JJ

And now the clouds part and all becomes clear — as a cable commenter just put it, it is no longer clashing parties or principles exactly, just quite starkly “the People versus the Money.”

14 03 2011
JJ

Nance, a small win for the people? 😉

A week after they introduced a pair of bills to let Jack Nicklaus build golf courses in state parks, Sen. John Thrasher and state Rep. Patrick Rooney Jr. withdrew them late Friday.

The reason: After news reports highlighted the contents of HB 1239, Rooney’s office was deluged with calls, letters and e-mails about it.

. . .The golf-course bills grew out of discussions between Hall of Fame golfer Nicklaus, a longtime resident of Palm Beach County, and Gov. Rick Scott, on how to promote tourism, according to Nicklaus’ lobbyist, Jim Smith, a former attorney general and secretary of state.

Both bills would have required the state Division of Recreation and Parks to hire Nicklaus Design to build courses in state parks in every region of the state, creating a Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail around Florida.

. . .Meanwhile Florida already has more golf courses than any other state — more than 1,000, according to the National Golf Foundation, based in Jupiter. The World Golf Hall of Fame is near St. Augustine. The classic golf comedy Caddyshack was filmed on Florida courses.

Recent years have been tough ones for the golf course industry. Overall revenue for 18-hole courses fell more than 5 percent between 2008 and 2009, the foundation reported.

14 03 2011
Nance Confer

It wasn’t a good deal. So let’s drop that plan. Not because it would destroy the environment that is a huge part of what makes FL what it is but because the rich wouldn’t have gotten any richer.

I guess that’s good news. I’ll take it.

14 03 2011
JJ

While in other Flori-dystopia developments:

Against the advice of sheriffs and retailers, a Senate committee approved a stripped-down bill today that would permit concealed-weapons permit holders to wear their guns openly in public.

28 03 2011
JJ

Respected longtime Florida reporter Tim Nickens calls Gov. Scott the “prince of darkness” and he isn’t even talking about the latest outrage, drug-testing all public employees and btw ginning up huge new public-funded business for his personal health clinic empire . . .

Scott has created a facade of openness. He held one town meeting on Twitter — good luck having a serious public policy discussion in 140 characters — and another last week on Facebook. He will direct his driver to pull over so he can chat for a few minutes to reporters waiting on the side of the road.

Those are no substitutes for the prompt disclosure of public records, access to meetings with legislators that ought to be public and broader opportunities for Scott to give more thoughtful answers than sound bites.

The Scott administration revels in its disdain for traditional media and seems to enjoy the daily infighting. . .

This is not just a routine skirmish between a governor controlling his message and a frustrated Tallahassee press corps. This is not about new media such as Twitter vs. traditional media such as newspapers.

This is about a lack of respect for the constitutional rights of all Floridians to have access to their state government and the information necessary to hold it accountable. Scott is more hostile to open meetings and public records than any governor in more than 40 years, and he has created a dark cloud over Florida’s Sunshine Laws.

I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t expect that cloud to lift any time soon.

28 03 2011
JJ

14 Felonies Later, Gov Rick Scott Wants Taxpayers to Fund His Clinics
March 27, 2011
By Sarah Jones

A few years after the major fraud debacle, Scott started Solantic, a chain of urgent cares that quickly became one stop shopping for healthcare, sort of like the Wal-Mart of healthcare (an irony here is that urgent care clinics have grown as people are not able to take time off of work to see their regular doctors). Then Scott ran for governor, won, and refused to sell off his stock options or exclude his company from profiting from his legislation. Cue the stock transfer to his wife.

By the way, Solantic is currently under investigation by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for alleged Medicare fraud.

Do you want to turn your healthcare decisions over to a man who already had to step down for Medicare fraud once? I mean, do you think he has your best interests at heart?

Big daddy is in the house, and he’s cleaning up government fraud and waste by those awful, horrible, lazy, entitled state workers and the welfare bums won’t get away with it anymore! In other words, keep your eye over here, on the state workers and the welfare recipients while Scott dips his hands into the wide-open cookie jar of your tax dollars and just takes what he wants.

After Enron, our non-activisty supreme court ruled that enriching oneself at the taxpayers cost is not illegal. So technically, Scott’s theft of the taxpayers to enrich himself is not prosecutable this time around.

No wonder he ran for office.

Florida does, however, have an ethics code that supposedly prevents them using their office for private gain. Scott spokespeople led voters to believe that Scott would recuse himself regulatory decisions that might impact his single largest financial holding, Solantic, since he refused to put the stocks in a blind trust.

Speaking of money, those drug tests will cost 2-3 million a year for taxpayers, plus the costs of the inevitable litigation. But it’s worth it, Scott’s administration assures us, for the peace of mind that your tax dollars won’t be paying for some drug addict to have a job.

Again, no need to concern yourself with Scott’s fortunes, as he owns a stake in S&S Family Entertainment as well as having been tied to Fox News via WebMD and Fit TV. Color yourself shocked. You might also like to know that Solantic has been subjected to numerous employment discrimination suits, stemming from an alleged Scott policy of not hiring overweight or elderly people. Also, Scott was once business partners with George W Bush.

And we wonder why things aren’t going well in Florida….

It seems that nosing into private healthcare decisions and playing hall-monitor to state employees is what Republicans do best. Of course, they do this best when they’re using your tax dollars to enrich their cronies and themselves.

If Scott wanted to put his money where his mouth is, he’d issue random drug tests for his doctors and nurses at Solantic, as well as monthly independent audits of the books. We can’t be too careful, after all. We have a known fraudster at the helm in Florida and he’s turning taxpayer money over to his private company. Kinda seems like we better keep an eye on him.

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