Call Me Confused By The Two Faces of Republicans

It’s only May and I’m already tired of the BS in campaign ads that are taking over television. Heck even my Pandora app isn’t immune.

Here’s the question:

Republicans backing Rick Scott’s bid to unseat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson are labeling Nelson with the most dastardly description: Nelson is a career politician.

Let’s not even get into the hypocrisy of these same Republicans clamoring to hold onto their majority in the Senate by pushing for the re-election of their career politicians.

What’s really confusing is the two faces being worn by Florida Republicans.

Many of those supporting Scott are also supporting Adam Putnam in his bid to replace Scott in Tallahassee.

Let’s review:

At the age of 22, Putnam was elected to the Florida House in 1996. He served four years there before moving directly to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served 10 years before moving directly to his current role for the last eight years — Florida’s commissioner of agriculture.

Putnam is 43 now. He has spent the last 21 of those years as an elected politician, and now he’s shooting for eight more as governor.

That sounds like a career politician to me. If Nelson is evil, why isn’t Putnam?


The Gift of a Quail

Monday morning I was at Roaring Creek Farm fertilizing the orchard I’m starting in one of the pastures there — peach, pear, persimmon, mayhaw and mulberry trees.

From the longleaf pine woods next to the pasture, I heard the song of a bob white quail. These magnificent birds have become rare for many reasons, and it’s always a treat to hear their calls of “bob white, bob white” in the spring.

I moved next to a big pecan tree, and being a thoroughly modern kind of guy, I took out my iPhone and opened my iBird PRO ap. I started playing the sounds of a calling male quail and an answering female.

Sure enough, a lone bob white quail walked out of the woods and right next to my feet, obviously trying to figure out this large quail in blue jeans and a bright orange shirt.

It had enough and flew back into the woods with a burst of speed.

Two more times I called from the pecan tree, and two more times the quail came out, flying circles around me before heading back to the woods.

Not a bad day. Not a bad day at all.






The St. Johns be damned; it’s always been about the money

When I first began writing about efforts by JaxPort to deep dredge the St. Johns River shipping channel some 20 years ago, top officials aways offered assurances they would never do anything to hurt the river’ health.

That was BS then, and the same empty promises are BS now.

The recent investigative piece published in The Florida Times-Union, written by reporters Nate Monroe and Christopher Hong after months of research, clearly shows the harm that has been done to the St. Johns by JaxPort and its partner in decades of destruction, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The current dredge to deepen the channel from 40 feet to 47 feet will only worsen the damage.

The decades of dredging ever deeper have completely changed the nature of the St. Johns. Grass beds critical to the cycle of life in the river are gone. Currents have grown stronger, sending salinity farther and farther south and infiltrating what should be fresh water marshes.

And as the Times-Union report illustrated, the flooding wrought by Hurricane Irma last year is likely a foreshadowing of what’s to come as the dredging has contributed to stronger tides and more intense storm surges.

All along while in pursuit of money, JaxPort and the Corps have winked and said, don’t worry, the river will be fine.

It isn’t and it won’t be.

You should be angry that the decision to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to deepen the channel was made by unelected officials on the JaxPort board.

You should be angry that elected officials in City Hall are doing nothing to stop this travesty while giving lip service in praise of the St. Johns as Jacksonville’s greatest natural resource.

And you should be angry enough to pay heed to this paragraph in the Times-Union report: “Hard to defeat in the courts, wielding immense discretion over how it designs projects, experts said there is nonetheless one thing the Army Corps does tend to respond to: public pressure.”

Demand that elected officials and those seeking election this fall put a stop to this fool’s mission that cares more about dollars today than the future of the river.

Flood the streets of Downtown with protest because the floods are coming if the dredge isn’t stopped and the damage of the past repaired.