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Member News
Aug 26, 2016Martin County closely monitoring weather for potential heavy rainfall


Martin County Emergency Management officials are closely monitoring reports provided by the National Weather Service Melbourne office on Invest 99L, a tropical wave that could bring heavy rains and gusty winds beginning Saturday night into Sunday to Martin County.

Martin County Engineering Field Operations is also making pre-storm preparations, including readying the County's stormwater system to reduce flooding where possible. Crews are removing debris piles that could clog drainage structures in high water events, staging unpaved road material, testing flood control pumps and generators and fueling vehicles.

Martin County reminds residents to take this time to review your hurricane plan, stock up on storm supplies and make arrangements for family and friends with special needs. Arrangements for sheltering pets should be made with the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast. Hurricane resources and guides may be found at the County's website at www.martin.fl.us/content/disaster-preparedness.

In addition, citizens should register their cell phone numbers and/or landlines for Martin County's CodeRED emergency notification system, which public safety officials use in the event the public needs to be notified with weather warnings and public safety messages. Visit https://www.martin.fl.us/martin-county-services/codered to sign up for this free service provided by Martin County to residents and business owners.

Information related to emergency preparedness is also being shared on the County's social media sites. Find us on Facebook and Twitter.


 
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Aug 26, 2016eBulletin - August, 2016
Upcoming Events

Thu Sept 22
Special Lecture at the Elliott Museum
Presented by Bill Baxley, Chief Engineer for FAU's Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center. Elliott Museum, 825 N.E. Ocean Blvd., 7 p.m. Call 772-225-1961 for more information.

Sat Oct 22
IRL Science Festival
Co-sponsored by FAU Harbor Branch. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park at the River Walk in Fort Pierce. Click here for more information.

Thu Oct 27
Special Lecture at the Elliott Museum
Presented by Dr. Shirley Pomponi, Executive Director of NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology. Elliott Museum, 825 N.E. Ocean Blvd., 7 p.m. Call 772-225-1961 for more information.

DATE CHANGE
The Ocean Discovery Visitor's Center will reopen to the public on December 6, 2016. The facility will be closed through December 5, 2016 for renovations.

Mission: Ocean Discovery public outreach programming, including Immersion Tours, Lectures, the Brown Bag Lunch Series and Children's Camps, will also be on hiatus. Stay tuned for more info on upcoming events!

If you enjoy our programs at FAU Harbor Branch, please consider making a donation.





August, 2016
Ajemian Featured in Wall Street Journal for Work with OCEARCH

FAU Harbor Branch Assistant Research Professor Dr. Matt Ajemian and Research Coordinator Mike McCallister are part of the research team currently working together with OCEARCH to tag sharks off the coast of New York. This week, Ajemian was featured in an article on the project in the Wall Street Journal (click here to view it). The team was also featured in a story that appeared on the CBS affiliate in New York (click here to view it).
The expedition got under way last week, and is the first time the organization has conducted work in these waters. Scientists involved in the project chose to explore the area because they suspect that the nearby south shore of Long Island may serve as a nursery area for Great White Sharks, a hypothesis stemming from the migratory patterns of five adult Great Whites previously tagged by OCEARCH collaborating scientists and other preliminary reports. This week, they were able to tag nine juvenile Great Whites, lending credence to that hypothesis.
FAU Harbor Branch Scientists Publish Research Results in International Journal of Cancer

Scientists at FAU Harbor Branch found that a deep-water marine sponge collected off of Fort Lauderdale's coast contains leiodermatolide, a natural product that has the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells as well as block cancer cells from dividing using extremely low concentrations of the compound. This work resulted in the award of a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office protecting the use of the compound against various forms of cancer. Sea sponges are an ancient group of animals that appeared more than 600 million years ago that have many of the same genes as humans. These scientists are taking advantage of this similarity in human and sponge genomes to isolate marine natural compounds from these organisms to develop medicines useful in the treatment of human diseases such as cancer. The researchers are expanding on their original findings, recently showing that leiodermatolide can reduce pancreatic tumor size in vivo, publishing the results of this study in the International Journal of Cancer (IJC).
Lead author Dr. Esther Guzmán, associate research professor at FAU Harbor Branch, along with colleagues and co-authors Dr. Amy Wright, research professor; Tara Pitts, biological scientist; and Dr. Priscilla Winder, research associate; as well as collaborators from Eisai Pharmaceuticals and the University of Central Florida, have been able to show that leiodermatolide induces programmed cell death in pancreatic cancer cells, and inhibits the growth of other cancer cells such as metastatic melanoma, colon cancer, lymphoma, and glioblastoma, a rare and deadly form of brain cancer.

(*story written by Gisele Galoustian*)
Chérubin Partners with NOAA on Fish Aggregation Research Project

FAU Harbor Branch Associate Research Professor Dr. Laurent Chérubin is working on a project that utilizes The Liquid Robotics, Inc. SV3 wave glider to study fish aggregations in the NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The wave glider was successfully deployed recently off NOAA Ship Nancy Foster, remotely piloted by Chérubin and Florida Atlantic University Engineer Bill Laing.
The project builds on past research and monitoring in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. It focuses on connectivity between the network of marine reserves in the Dry Tortugas region, including the connections between populations of fish in the waters of the Florida Keys, Marquesas, Dry Tortugas National Park, the Tortugas Ecological Reserve North and spawning habitat at Riley's Hump, located within the Tortugas Ecological Reserve South, and surrounding reef habitats including areas such as Warsaw Hole.
The goal of the wave glider mission was to record ambient noise, fish and marine mammal sounds and record oceanographic conditions in the vicinity of spawning grounds for snappers (Cubera and Mutton) in the summer and groupers (Black) in the winter. The new robotic sensing technology is assisting researchers with important conservation measures and making data collection easier and less costly than ever before. The purchase of the Harbor Branch wave glider and the engineering efforts to develop and test the sensor package was funded by a grant from the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation.

Partnership Allows Florida Drivers to Purchase Harbor Branch's Specialty Plates Online Through Local Office

FAU Harbor Branch's specialty license plate (SLP) program, granted through the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation, is now teaming up with the Indian River County Tax Collector's Office to offer online sales of Protect Wild Dolphins, Save Our Seas, Protect Florida Whales and Florida Aquaculture. This new partnership allows Florida drivers the convenience of buying from home, without having to physically go to a tax collector's office to purchase a plate. Potential buyers can now go through the Harbor Branch website to complete and submit an online inquiry form that goes directly to the IRC Tax Collector's Office, where the sale can be completed and the plate can be shipped, without a service fee. Click here for more information on the research projects these plates support.

Marine Mammal Rescue Teams Assists with Turtle Stranding

This week, FAU Harbor Branch's Marine Mammal Rescue Team assisted the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute with rescuing a female loggerhead turtle that was found stranded on a local beach. She was transported to SeaWorld for critical care and rehabilitation. All activities were conducted under FWC marine turtle permit number MT-16-139, which was recently secured by Dr. Annie Page-Karjian, Assistant Research Professor and Clinical Veterinarian at FAU Harbor Branch.

Harbor Branch Ocean Technology Exhibit Moves to Elliott Museum

FAU Harbor Branch's Mission: Ocean Discovery program is partnering with the Elliott Museum in Stuart to provide a view into the innovative technology being developed by Harbor Branch scientists and engineers to explore the ocean. The "Sight, Sound and Dynamics in the Sea: The Role of Technology in Ocean Exploration" exhibit is now on display at the Elliott through November 27. The rotating exhibit made its debut at the Ocean Discovery Visitor's Center in January and moved to the Elliott this summer.
Oceanographic technology plays an integral role in opening up worlds that would otherwise remain unknown to us. The exhibit provides a rare up-close look at the devices that allow Harbor Branch scientists and engineers to create their own underwater laboratories and effectively conduct their research.
The partnership will also include two lectures at the Elliott - one presented on September 22 at 7 p.m. by Bill Baxley, Chief Engineer for FAU's Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center and another on October 27 at 7 p.m. by Dr. Shirley Pomponi, Executive Director of NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology, headquartered at Harbor Branch.
The Elliott Museum is located at 825 N.E. Ocean Boulevard in Stuart and is open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Regular museum admission prices apply. For more information, call 772-225-1961.

FAU Harbor Branch, 5600 US 1 North, Fort Pierce, FL 34946








 
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Aug 26, 2016BE ELECTION READY - VOTE EARLY!

With the possibility of a severe weather event, Martin County Supervisor of Elections, Vicki Davis, encourages all registered voters who are not voting by mail, to vote early. Early voting is available Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27 at the following location:

Elections Center
135 SE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Stuart, FL
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

If weather permits, the Elections Center will also be open on Sunday, August 28, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for in-office voting.

 
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Aug 26, 2016Red, White and Brews Tasting to benefit children with Cancer
A two year old child recently diagnosed with cancer, a family’s world turned up-side down and thinking “What do we do?” For families like these Celebrities Fore Kids is able to take away their temporary financial concerns by providing financial support for daily living needs such as: Transportation to and from medical treatments; utility bills; medical expenses not paid by insurance or a mortgage payment (when a two income household is now one) because taking care of this child will be a full time job for a while.

You can help us continue our support by attending “Red, White and Brews Tasting” at Vine and Barley, Palm City on Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. The event will feature six (6) outstanding red and white wines or six (6) distinct craft brews for tasting throughout the evening accompanied by some appetizers. Visit with your neighbors or clients while listening to the sounds of Annie on the Keyboard. Raffle tickets available for purchase and prizes awarded during the evening event.
Tickets are $25 per person and reservations can be made by calling 772.781.7943 or email to info@celebritiesforekid.org to make your reservation and pay at the door. Call or write us by email by September 2nd and get one Free raffle ticket!

Celebrities Fore Kids, Inc. has provided over $2 million dollars of support to Treasure Coast children and their families since 1997. If you have a child with cancer or other life-altering or life-threatening illnesses contact Celebrities Fore Kids to see if you qualify for assistance. Visit our website at www.celebritiesforekids.org or call 772.781.7943.


 
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Aug 26, 2016Golf with a celebrity to help children battling cancer
U. S. Open Senior Champion Larry Laoretti and major league pitcher Jim Kaat Co-Host the 18th Annual Celebrities Fore Kids Golf Classic, Monday, November 28, 2016 at Jonathan’s Landing Old Trail, Fazio course. For several years Mr. David L. Smythe, local philanthropist has been the presenting sponsor for the tournament and he has graciously agreed to do it again for this 18th Annual Celebrities Fore Kids Golf Classic. Eagle Sponsors so far include: Gordon Nearing, Nearing Wealth Management Group/Merrill Lynch and Marlene K. Filer, Philanthropist and Co-Founder of Celebrities Fore Kids.

“This year’s event promises to bring exciting golf plus plenty of camaraderie and fun along the course. Anticipated celebrity players include Chi Chi Rodriguez, Jim Palmer, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Floyd, Bill Gullickson, Tommy Hutton, Kevin Johnson, Michelle McGann, Dana Quigley, Hall of Famer Bobby Orr and others,” stated Larry Laoretti, Co-Host.

Planning is under way, headed by Deborah Krieger, Ph. D along with Bob and Melody Floyd and a host of other volunteers. The tournament is expected to host 25 Teams and raise more than $200,000 for children battling cancer and other life-altering and life-threatening illnesses.

The 18th Annual Golf Classic registration is open to individual players as well as teams. Each team will be joined by one of our celebrity players for the 18 hole tournament. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. with brunch and followed by a putting contest. The shot gun start is at noon.

Players will enjoy several Hospitality Oasis along the course with specialty drinks sponsored by Titos Vodka, along with other beverages and snacks. Our Hole-In- One Sponsor, Treasure Coast Toyota and Scion will provide the opportunity for someone to take home a new Toyota, at one of the Par 3 holes during the tournament. Golf packages include golf and cart; player gift; Monday brunch and awards Bar-B-Que after tournament play. It also includes two tickets to “Moulin Rouge” a themed party at the prestigious The Club at Admirals Cove, Jupiter on Sunday, November 27 from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. This fabulous facility will host a cocktail reception while strolling through an array of silent auction items for hotel stays, golf packages, theme park tickets and unique experiences along with other great items. Cigar girls and interactive entertainment will bring the party to life while enjoying a delicious dinner with a water view. Music and fun throughout the evening will end with a live auction featuring none other than Mr. Bob Nichols (former TV Anchor) as auctioneer.

Celebrities Fore Kids Golf Classic has raised over $2 million over the past 17 years to help children with cancer or other life-threatening or life-altering illnesses or a parent with cancer who has children under the age of 18 and reside on the Treasure Coast of Florida. CFK referring partners include the Robert and Carol Weisman Cancer Center and the Pediatrics Care unit at Martin Health Systems; Treasure Coast Hospice Little Treasures; and Pediatrics Oncology Support Team, St. Mary’s Hospital.

The Celebrities Fore Kids Golf Classic is seeking sponsors, volunteers and players for the November 28th tournament. To help local children who are battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, visit the website at www.celebritiesforekids.org or call 772.781.7943.
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Photo caption I – 1969 British Open Champion and 1970 U.S. Open Champion Tony Jacklin enjoys the 2015 17th Annual Celebrities Fore Kids Golf Classic at Jonathan’s Landing Old Trail. Jacklin was the first person to hold both titles simultaneously. Tony is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Moulin Rouge Fact:
Moulin Rouge. Moulin Rouge (French pronunciation: [mu.lɛ̃ ʁuʒ], French for "Red Mill") is a cabaret in Paris, France. The original house, which burned down in 1915, was co-founded in 1889 by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia.


 
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Aug 26, 2016Papa John’s Increases Community Involvement


"The local Papa John's has increased its community involvement exponentially this year! Go like their Facebook page
'Papa Johns Pizza of the Treasure Coast' to stay informed and also have chances to win giveaways like "PIZZA FOR A YEAR"!
www.facebook.com/papajohnstc



 
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Aug 25, 2016SFWMD Prepares for Heavy Rainfall

Water managers closely monitoring weather forecasts
West Palm Beach, FL - While potential impacts to South Florida are unclear, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is readying the regional flood control system for potential heavy rainfall associated with a tropical disturbance.

With the potential for several inches of rain forecast, water levels are being lowered from mid Broward County south through Miami-Dade County to maximize storage and discharges for stormwater runoff to reduce flooding where possible. Water control structures such as gates and spillways will continue to open as needed to maintain canals at levels that will enhance the ability of local drainage facilities to route excess runoff into SFWMD's canal system.

Depending on the storm's path and anticipated rainfall, water managers will make adjustments to structures as necessary. Water levels and flows are monitored around the clock by field staff and SFWMD's Operations Control Room in West Palm Beach.

Pre-storm preparations by the District also include:
• Inspecting key parts of the flood control system
• Ensuring adequate fuel supplies for pump stations and other equipment
• Readying staff and equipment for storm assignments
The District is in a condition of increased readiness and is coordinating information with the state Emergency Operations Center as well as local drainage districts that connect to SFWMD canals.

Throughout the year, the District carries out a vigorous program to ensure the regional flood control system operates at its full potential. The program includes inspection and maintenance of water control structures, clearing canals of debris and exotic vegetation, strengthening canal banks and other improvements.

For updates in case of an emergency, residents and visitors can follow the District's emergency management Twitter feed (@SFWMD_EM).


 
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Aug 25, 2016Greetings from FPL

We are right in the middle of hurricane season, and it has been a hot summer, in fact one of the hottest on record!

Like everyone, FPL is closely monitoring the weather and preparing for a potential storm to make landfall in Florida. At FPL, we prepare year round for storm season and we urge our customers to prepare, too. Since the last hurricane struck our state in 2005, we've invested more than $2 billion to make our energy grid stronger, smarter and more storm resilient.

Here are a few other things we've been working on at FPL:


J.D. Power Award
I am proud to share with you that FPL received the J.D. Power award for ranking highest in residential customer satisfaction among large utilities in the South.

We're honored to serve our customers and are humbled to know they value the work we do to deliver affordable, reliable electric service. Despite this prestigious award, we're never satisfied and we are committed to continuing to invest in future improvements to the service we provide.





Power to Care Day - 2016
More than 1,500 NextEra Energy/FPL employees, their friends and families volunteered in their communities during our eighth annual Power to Care Week. We saw support and enthusiasm from our company and the community.

While Power to Care Week may be over for this year, FPL employees participate in dozens of Power to Care volunteer events throughout the year, working together with the communities we serve to make them an even better place to do business and raise a family.




First STEM education college scholarship awarded
We, at FPL recognize the importance of STEM programs and new technologies to the economic future of Florida and are excited to invest in the next generation.

FPL through the company's charitable foundation NextEra Energy Foundation, has awarded its first $20,000 STEM education college scholarship to 18-year-old Myles Byrne of Boca Raton. He will be pursuing a degree in electrical engineering beginning this fall. Myles joined FIRST robotics in middle school and became the captain of his high school team.





FIU and FPL unveil one-of-a-kind solar research facility
FPL continues to pursue innovative partnerships with organizations across our service territory to make our energy infrastructure even smarter. FPL unveiled a new commercial-scale solar installation at FIU's College of Engineering and Computing - the only solar research facility of its kind that FPL has installed at a Florida university. It is a parking-covered facility that generates 1.4 MW of electricity which is enough to power 1,366 classrooms!





As always, if you have any questions or thoughts to offer, feel free to reach out to your local FPL External Affairs manager or to me directly. Thank you for what you do to make Florida a great place to live and work.

Sincerely,


Pam Rauch
Vice President of External Affairs & Economic Development
Florida Power & Light Company




 
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Aug 25, 2016MIAF The Log Aug 25th
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is currently announcing the opportunity to apply for Derelict Vessel Removal Grants. The application period for the Bulk Derelict Vessel Removal Grant Program will begin on September 12, 2016, and end at the close of business on October 27, 2016. Applications received before September 12th or after close of
business on October 27, 2016 at 5:00pm (EST), will
not be eligible for consideration. The grant guidelines and application form may be downloaded at http://www.MyFWC.com/DVGrant. You may also receive the guidelines and application by contacting
Phil Horning at (850) 617-9540 or email DVGrant@MyFWC.com.
For further information, please contact:
Phil Horning, Derelict Vessel Program Administrator, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement, Boating and Waterways Section, (850) 617-9540 or email Phil.Horning@MyFWC.com


 
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Aug 25, 2016CLARK ADVANCED LEARNING CENTER EARNS TOP RANKINGS


Clark Advanced Learning Center has been ranked as the third highest rated Florida high school on the Newsweek 2016 American’s Top High Schools ratings. The public charter high school in Stuart is #110 out of 500 in the national ranking based on college readiness, graduation rate and college bound students.

Located on the Indian River State College Chastain Campus and affiliated with the Martin County School District, the Clark has also earned the highest score on the Treasure Coast in Florida’s high school ranking and an “A” designation for eight years in a row.

The Clark affords students with the opportunity to earn high school and college credits tuition free through dual enrollment with the convenience and resources of a college campus. As a result, students typically graduate with their high school diploma and a year or more of college completed. Clark students also engage in internships related to their interests.

Clark serves about 250 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors at 2400 S.E. Salerno Road in Stuart. For more information, call 772-419-5750.


 
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Aug 24, 2016VISIT FLORIDA
As the Zika Virus is clearly on people's minds, VISIT FLORIDA will continue our efforts to ensure consumers have up-to-date information to make the most informed travel planning decisions. We continue to provide Current Travel Safety Information on VISITFLORIDA.com. Resources for the industry are also available at VISITFLORIDA.org. It is important for our industry to do its part to help mitigate the spread of Zika. We encourage you to educate your staff, take preventative action, including "drain and cover," and promote use of insect repellent by your staff.

If you have any questions, please email news@VISITFLORIDA.org or call the Industry Hotline at (877) 435-2872.

Warm regards,
Industry Relations Team
VISIT FLORIDA


 
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Aug 24, 2016Martin County awarded state grant to promote agritourism


The Martin County Office of Tourism, Tourist Development Council and the Martin County Board of County Commissioners were awarded a Cultural, Heritage, Rural and Nature Marketing Grant by Visit Florida to promote Martin County's agritourism assets to visitors. Each grant awarded is limited to no more than $5,000 and must be matched by non-state dollars.

In Martin County, finding a way to support our existing agribusinesses is essential to the health of our economy. In the past, Martin County was known for being a major citrus producer in Florida. At one time our area had 26,000 acres of groves but due to natural disasters, canker and more recently citrus greening, this once thriving agricultural sector has all but disappeared. In addition to citrus, Martin County has over 176,000 acres that are zoned for agricultural usage.

The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing will be developing an agritourism website to promote the diversity of agritourism-based activities available to our visitors. The site will include a comprehensive description of Martin County agritourism assets as well as a list of agritourism events, agritourism shopping experiences and farm to table dining offerings.

VISIT FLORIDA administers the Cultural, Heritage, Rural and Nature Marketing Grant program (CHRN-Marketing) to publicize the tourism advantages of Florida's cultural, heritage, rural, and nature tourism products and the Cultural, Heritage, Rural and Nature Tourism Education Grant program (CHRN-Education); to support educational efforts of the tourism advantages of Florida's cultural, heritage, rural, and nature tourism products. The CHRN Grant program is a reimbursement grant program.

The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing was established in 2014 and creates collateral material, programs of services and promotions that inspire travelers to visit Martin County. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Martin County please visit to www.DiscoverMartin.com.



 
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Aug 24, 2016FREE Event Space at Stuart Coffee Company Host your next event or meeting in historic Downtown Stuart.
The owners of Stuart Coffee Company, Kevin and Donna Barnes, invite fellow Stuart Martin Chamber Members to host their next event in their Downtown Stuart Café & Gallery.
Event space may be reserved at no charge Monday through Thursday from 5pm - 7pm, and additional hours may be available by request. Private events can also be accommodated after hours for a fee. Please email stuartcoffeeco@gmail.com to request a free event reservation or information on private after-hours events.
Choose from comfy lounge-style or traditional seating options and plug into one of the many electrical outlets for high-tech presentations on the Guest Wifi Network. Hors d’oeuvres or food and beverage catering is available from in-house chef Glen Million, or guests can order breakfast, lunch, or dinner items off the menu. Coffee, tea, specialty juices, fresh fruit smoothies, wine, and a selection of craft beers are also available.
“There is more than just great coffee at Stuart Coffee Company, and we want to share that with our community,” says Donna Barnes. “We hope you will consider Stuart Coffee Company to be your Downtown Stuart office, and please let us know what we can do to accommodate your guests as well.”
For additional information on Stuart Coffee Company and an event’s calendar please visit: http://www.facebook.com/StuartCoffeeCo.



 
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Aug 24, 2016September 2016 ~ Martin County Meetings
Notice is hereby given of the following meetings to be held at the Martin County Administrative Center, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, Florida and other locations as indicated for September 2016. Matters affecting your personal and property rights may be heard and acted upon. All interested persons are invited to attend and be heard. Written comments may be sent to the Board of County Commissioners, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL 34996.

Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this proceeding are entitled, at no cost, to the provision of certain assistance. This does not include transportation to and from the meeting. Please contact the Office of the County Administrator at (772) 221-2360, or in writing to 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, FL, 34996, no later than three days before the hearing date. Persons using a TDD device, please call 711 Florida Relay Services.

An agenda of items to be considered will be available to the public in the Administrator's Office, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart, Florida. Items not included on the agenda may also be heard in consideration of the best interests of the public's health, safety, welfare, and as necessary to protect every person's right of access.

If any person decides to appeal any decision made with respect to any matter considered at the meetings or hearings of any board, committee, agency, council, or advisory group, that person will need a record of the proceedings and, for such purpose, may need to insure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record should include the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
September 13 & 20, 2016 at 9:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers
The Board of County Commissioners may convene as needed during these meetings as the Martin County Community Redevelopment agency to consider and/or take action on Agency matters.
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS BUDGET PUBLIC HEARINGS
September 13 & 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm
Location: Commission Chambers
Regarding: Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Budget Public Hearings
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVISORY COMMITTEE & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT CITIZEN ADVISORY TASK FORCE - joint meeting
September 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES ADVISORY COMMITTEE
September 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm
Location: UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Office, 2614 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart

BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
September 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

BOARD OF ZONING ADJUSTMENT
September 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

CITIZEN'S ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
September 7, 2016 at 9:00 am
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

CODE ENFORCEMENT MAGISTRATE
September 21, 2016 at 9:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
September 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm
Location: Commission Chambers
The Board of County Commissioners sits as the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LICENSING BOARD
September 28, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

COUNTY HEALTH CARE REVIEW BOARD
September 21, 2016 at 11:00 am
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE AWARENESS COMMITTEE
September 7, 2016 at 3:30 pm
Location: Community Services Conference Room, 435 SE Flagler Avenue, Stuart

EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ADVISORY COUNCIL
September 1, 2016 at 8:30 am
Location: Fire Rescue Administration at the Public Safety Complex, Conference Room 286, 800 SE Monterey Road, Stuart

GOLDEN GATE NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
September 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Location: Cassidy Center, 2895 Fairmont Street, Stuart

GOLF COURSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
September 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm
Location: Workshop Meeting Room (4th floor)

HISTORIC PRESERVATION BOARD
September 12, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Location: General Services Department Conference Room, 2555 SE Avenger Circle, Stuart

HOBE SOUND NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
September 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Location: Hobe Sound Community Center, 8980 Olympus Street, Hobe Sound

INDIANTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
September 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Location: Indiantown Civic Center, 15675 SW Osceola Street, Indiantown

LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
September 21, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Location: Robert Morgade Library, 5851 SE Community Drive, Stuart

LOCAL PLANNING AGENCY
September 15, 2016 at 7:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

METROPOLITAN PLANNING ORGANIZATION POLICY BOARD
September 19, 2016 at 9:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

OLD PALM CITY NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
September 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Location: Palm City Community Center, Leighton Park, 2701 SW Cornell Avenue, Palm City

PARKS AND RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD
September 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Location: Growth Management Department Conference Room (1st floor)

PORT SALERNO NEIGHBORHOOD ADVISORY COMMITTEE
September 15, 2016 at 6:00 pm
Location: Port Salerno Civic Center, 4950 SE Anchor Avenue, Stuart (Port Salerno)

RURAL INDIANTOWN REVITALIZATION ADVISORY BOARD
September 7, 2016 at 4:30 PM
Location: Indian River State College, 15655 SW Osceola Street, Indiantown

TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE of the Metropolitan Planning Organization
September 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm
Location: Workshop Meeting Room (4th floor)

TOURIST DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
September 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm
Location: Commission Chambers

VALUE ADJUSTMENT BOARD
September 22, 2016 at 10:00 am
Location: Commission Chambers

All Martin County Board of County Commission Offices will be closed on Monday, September 5 in observance of Labor Day.

This notice dated: August 24, 2016.
For more information, please contact Donna Gordon, Executive Aide, Administration, 772.221.1352 or dgordon@martin.fl.us.


 
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Aug 24, 2016Martin County awarded state grant to promote agritourism
The Martin County Office of Tourism, Tourist Development Council and the Martin County Board of County Commissioners were awarded a Cultural, Heritage, Rural and Nature Marketing Grant by Visit Florida to promote Martin County's agritourism assets to visitors. Each grant awarded is limited to no more than $5,000 and must be matched by non-state dollars.

In Martin County, finding a way to support our existing agribusinesses is essential to the health of our economy. In the past, Martin County was known for being a major citrus producer in Florida. At one time our area had 26,000 acres of groves but due to natural disasters, canker and more recently citrus greening, this once thriving agricultural sector has all but disappeared. In addition to citrus, Martin County has over 176,000 acres that are zoned for agricultural usage.

The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing will be developing an agritourism website to promote the diversity of agritourism-based activities available to our visitors. The site will include a comprehensive description of Martin County agritourism assets as well as a list of agritourism events, agritourism shopping experiences and farm to table dining offerings.

VISIT FLORIDA administers the Cultural, Heritage, Rural and Nature Marketing Grant program (CHRN-Marketing) to publicize the tourism advantages of Florida's cultural, heritage, rural, and nature tourism products and the Cultural, Heritage, Rural and Nature Tourism Education Grant program (CHRN-Education); to support educational efforts of the tourism advantages of Florida's cultural, heritage, rural, and nature tourism products. The CHRN Grant program is a reimbursement grant program.

The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing was established in 2014 and creates collateral material, programs of services and promotions that inspire travelers to visit Martin County. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Martin County please visit to www.DiscoverMartin.com.


 
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Aug 24, 2016NEW Shows Added to the 2016 - 2017 Season!
Tickets are available to the public on September 6th

* * * * *

DeadPhish Orchestra
Friday, October 7th at 8pm
Unlike any jam band you've seen before, the DeadPhish Orchestra masterfully merge the music of The Grateful Dead and Phish into one unique concert experience. Through carefully crafted segues, the DeadPhish Orchestra take on the folksy, bluesy sounds of the Grateful Dead and the aggressive funkiness of Phish and create a sound all their own. This season at The Lyric Theatre, the Colorado quartet will play some of your favorite songs from Bertha to Harry Hood and more.

What began as a group of friends playing some of their favorite Phish songs together in Colorado developed into one of the most unique tribute bands active today. The DeadPhish Orchestra has toured across the country, from Redwood City, California to Boca Raton. The talented quartet has welcomed a number of guest musicians to perform with them, including members of the String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, and the Heavy Pets. Their cleverly designed performances and palpable passion for music allow audiences to experience all the best of jam music in one show.

Featuring Paul Murin on guitar, Ted Tilton on keyboards, Brian Adams on bass, and Chris Sheldon on drums, the DeadPhish Orchestra will perform some of the greatest hits from the Grateful Dead and Phish on The Lyric stage this season. With set lists that transition seamlessly between artists, such as Divided Sky > Morning Dew > Divided Sky, the DeadPhish Orchestra celebrate the spontaneity and improvisation that makes jam music so memorable.

John Mayall "Living The Blues"
Friday, October 14th at 7pm
The “Godfather of British Blues” will grace the stage this season at The Lyric Theatre with a night of soul-quenching sound. A pioneer of blues music for over 50 years, John Mayall and his original band, the Bluesbreakers, featured some of the greatest musicians of all time, including Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, and Mick Fleetwood to name a few. With hits such as “All Your Love”, “Hideaway”, and “Crocodile Walk”, John Mayall has earned his place as one of the most influential blues musicians of all time.

In 2005, after nearly 50 years of playing the blues, John Mayall was awarded a prestigious OBE by The Queen’s Honour list. Although Mayall permanently retired the Bluesbreakers band in 2008, the veteran blues musician couldn’t stay away from the stage for long, and in 2009, Mayall put together a new band to record an album with Eagles Records. His latest studio album, Find a Way to Care, is a testament to his enduring legacy in the world of blues. With the recent release of Live in 1967 Volume II and a brand new studio album in the works, John Mayall continues to reign as the Godfather of British Blues. Don’t miss John Mayall this season at The Lyric Theatre.

Decades Rewind
Wednesday, November 16th at 7pm; Thursday, November 17th at 7pm
Get ready to take a trip down memory lane this season at The Lyric Theatre when Decades Rewind hits the stage. Featuring all of the greatest hits from the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, Decades Rewind is a live concert experience including an 8-piece rock band and 6 incredible vocalists. This high-energy rock show will have you singing and dancing along, as talented performers cover your favorite artists, from Abba to Led Zeppelin. Including over 60 songs, memorable videos of classic Americana, and over 100 costume changes, Decades Rewind is more than just your average review show.

Co-founded by veteran keyboardist Peter Gatti and long-time drummer Mark Blinkhorn, the exciting show features vocalists Coya Jones, Ashley Renee, J.K. Miller III, Frank J. Edmondson III, and Wade Whiskey, whose diverse yet complimentary styles are beautifully accompanied by the brass and string rock band. As the Orlando Sentinel recommends “if you’re looking to rock out to some of the best tunes of the 1960s, '70s and '80s, get your ticket now for ‘Decades Rewind.’

Gary Arbuthnot “Celtic Connections”
Sunday, March 12th at 7pm
This season in his latest show, Celtic Connections, the talented flautist Gary Arbuthnot will put a new spin on Celtic classics and beloved Irish melodies, bringing a taste of his homeland to The Lyric stage. This high energy show will highlight some of the great Celtic Music made famous by incredible artists such as Sir James Galway, The Chieftains, The Dubliners, The Corrs, Michael Flatley and shows including Riverdance, Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger; some of the greatest Celtic classics, infusing his impressive musical performance with a dash of humor.

Gary Arbuthnot was born in Antrim, Northern Ireland in 1972. A highly talented flautist, Arbuthnot began his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he was awarded the Meaker Fellowship. Later, he studied at the prestigious McGill University in Montreal and privately with James Galway before breaking out on the classical music scene in 1998, earning prizes at the Markneukirchen and Carl Nielsen International Flute competitions. His talent and reputation only grew as the young musician earned awards from the Hattori Foundation, the Claudio Abbado European Young Musicians Trust, and the BBC Radio Three Young Artists Forum. Over his career, Arbuthnot has worked with a number of international symphonies, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the Opera de Lyon. Recently, Arbuthnot has begun performing on some of the top cruise lines in the world and was voted Entertainer of the Year by the World’s Leading Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises. Covering genres ranging from classical to pop to jazz, Arbuthnot has traveled across the world, performing to sold-out audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Clint Black
Wednesday, March 8th at 8pm; Thursday, March 9th at 8pm
One of the most successful musicians of all time, legendary country singer-songwriter Clint Black returns to The Lyric. With a staggering 20 million albums sold worldwide, Black amazes audiences across the country with his skills not only as a singer and guitarist, but as a drummer and harmonica player as well.

After over a decade of success in the music industry, Clint Black left his record label to settle down and start a family. However, it was only a short while before Black returned to his love of music. In 2003, Black founded Equity Music Group, an artist-friendly recording company, and strove to help other aspiring young musicians follow in his footsteps. A wild success, Equity Music Group launched the careers of a number of musical groups, most notably the country vocal ensemble Little Big Town. In addition to his music career, Clint Black has appeared in films and on television. Black has appeared in a number of films, including Maverick, Going Home, and Flicka 2. Clint Black has also appeared on television in the animated series King of the Hill and the primetime reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice. In his spare time, Clint Black likes to give back to the community, serving as Honorary Chair for the International Rett Syndrome Foundation’s “Research to Reality: Funding Progress” campaign, which aims to discover a cure for the developmental disorder.


Nestor Torres “Havana & Buenos Aires”
Friday, March 31st at 7pm
Returning to The Lyric Theatre this season is the Grammy-winning contemporary master of the flute, Nestor Torres. A multi-talented musician whose influences range from jazz, to classical, to Latin genres, Torres has amazed audiences since the 1980s with his infectious melodies and powerful talent. This season at The Lyric, Nestor Torres will explore the music of Latin America, with a unique performance that brings the sounds of Havana and Buenos Aires to Martin County.

Nestor Torres was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where he developed a passion for the flute at the age of 12. After moving to New York City as a teenager, Torres quickly demonstrated his talents, attending the Mannes School of Music and, eventually, the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In 1981, Nestor Torres moved to Miami where he began to incorporate his classical teaching with the passionate and rhythmic sounds of the South Florida music scene. Torres began to improvise using a Cuban Dance style called “Charanga” and soon the flautist began playing with some of the best local Cuban and Latin dance artists including Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, and Celia Cruz.

Nestor Torres has continued making waves in the music industry, touring all around the world, performing with artists including Ricky Martin, Tito Puente, and Gloria Estefan. Over his career, Nestor has recorded a total of 14 solo recordings, including Treasure of My Heart and My Latin Soul, which were both nominated for a Latin Grammy. His album, This Side of Paradise, won the Latin Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental on September 11th, 2001. His latest album, Nouveau Latino, released in 2008, was hailed by critics as a refreshing return to the musician’s roots, featuring lots of new improvisational approaches to Latin classics by artists such as Celia Cruz and Ruben Blades.

In addition to his dedication to music, Nestor Torres has also dedicated his life to promoting peace and education around the world. Nestor has received two honorary degrees from Barry University and Carlos Albizu University for his commitment to youth education and cultural exchanges in the Miami area and for his role as an Ambassador of Peace and Culture. Torres had the honor of representing the International Committee of Artists for Peace, performing at the opening ceremony of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons in Oslo, Norway, a summit attended by over 500 participants from more than 70 countries. Locally, Nestor developed the Nestor Torres Foundation, an organization designed to inspire social change through music, discussion, and education in the South Florida community. In 2012, Nestor Torres worked with the Education Foundation of Martin County, conducting Master Classes for the most talented high school musicians in the area. These Master Classes culminated in a rousing Lyric Theatre concert featuring Torres himself and his class pupils.

Pants Down Circus “Rock”
Sunday, April 2nd at 5pm
The award-winning Pants Down Circus troupe goes rock and roll in Pants Down Circus “Rock” this season at The Lyric Theatre. Part circus act, part rock concert, Pants Down Circus “Rock” is inspired by the greatest classic rock groups, including Aerosmith, AC/DC, Joan Jett, Queen, and more. With over 45 years of performing experience, the Pants Down Circus troupe bring their acrobatic experience to a whole new level in this musical, high-flying performance.

Formed in 2011, the Pants Down Circus stars performers and founders Joshua Phillips, the acrobat, Hannah Cryle, the strong woman, Idris Stanton, the clown, and Caz Walsh, the aerialist. Phillips and Stanton have toured extensively with their self-designed, internationally recognized show The Circus Fireman. Cryle and Walsh have also toured together, performing with their act The Trick Ponies and a critically acclaimed swinging trapeze act for the Crece Project in Spain. The Pants Down Circus won Best Circus Award at the 2012 Melbourne Fringe festival, and came 2nd out of nearly 1,000 shows for People’s Choice Award at the 2013 Adelaide Fringe festival.

The Pants Down Circus explore the world of music in their latest show Pants Down Circus “Rock” featuring all the greatest hits from musical legends including Metallica and Bon Jovi. Prepare to see some of the world’s finest circus artistry, from clown performances to daredevil flying stunts. Perfect for Family Fun!


 
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Aug 24, 2016Becoming a Trade Powerhouse

ALICE ANCONA
Director of Global Outreach
Florida Chamber of Commerce
Did you know, that if Florida were a country, we would be the 16th largest economy in the world?

This is a testament to the strength of our economy and the strategic investments that have been made to our workforce and infrastructure, as well as a laser focus on creating a favorable climate for business, something the Florida Chamber works toward each day.

Seventeen percent of Florida's GDP is tied to trade and, as such, has been an important contributor to our economic success. Florida has impressive - enviable even - trade infrastructure. We have invested more than $1 billion in ports and port-related infrastructure and our educational institutions have increased their focus and are offering more programs in trade, logistics and supply chain management. Our manufacturers rank second in export intensity and we are consistently ranked among the top states for exports year after year. Florida has incredible trade relationships around the world and is host to more than 80 foreign consulates and commercial offices. We also rank second in concentration of international bank presence.

Yet we lag behind other states in trade prowess.

So how do we trade more?
In as much as there are many benefits to trade - there are also many obstacles that our small business exporters face. Issues range from understanding rules of origin to leveraging free trade agreements to having greater supply chain visibility... just to name a few.

There is no doubt that trade brings tremendous benefits but it also brings risks. Keeping up with competition and growing the bottom line are important drivers for doing business internationally. Globalization has changed the world in significant ways and having an international strategy is increasingly an important part of a company's success.

According to the Florida Chamber Foundation's recent Trade and Logistics Report:
• Florida is home to one in five of the nation's exporters.
• More than 95 percent of exporters are small to medium sized businesses that together produce two thirds of Florida's total export value.
• Export-oriented companies typically grow 15 percent faster, pay 15 percent higher wages, and are 12 percent more profitable than firms operating solely in the U.S. market.
• The workers in Florida's transportation, trade, and logistics industries who make all this possible earn 30 percent higher wages than the state average.

So how can the Florida Chamber help you?
Engaging in international trade will never be without risk. Managing those risks and leveraging tools for trade success are what has helped many companies be successful internationally.
We want to hear from you as we get ready to prepare new programs and improve on our initiatives this coming year. How can we help you trade more? What obstacles do you face? Complete this quick survey or just email me directly with your thoughts at aancona@flchamber.com

I look forward to hearing from you.


Meet The Florida Chamber's Newest Team Member
DANIEL TAPIA
Manager of Global Outreach
Florida Chamber of Commerce
I'm thrilled to be writing to you all today as the newest member of the Florida Chamber's Miami Office. As the new Manager of Global Outreach for the Florida Chamber, I'll be responsible for promoting the Florida Chamber's international trade agenda, including reducing barriers to trade, promoting efforts to expand trade opportunities for Florida businesses and products, and expanded development of our trade infrastructure to federal and state, elected and appointed officials, staff and agencies as well as within the business community. I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we work to ensure our state continues to move in the right direction.

Prior to joining the Florida Chamber, I was the Director of Governmental Affairs at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. I was the Miami Chamber's lead advocate and served as the liaison between the Miami Chamber and public sector on a wide range of public policy issues, and was responsible for development, management and implementation of the Miami Chamber's public policy agenda. And while I am based in Miami, I graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor's in Political Science and International Affairs and served as a legislative aid in the Florida Senate.

If you would like to contact me on an international issue, share your thoughts or just introduce yourself, please contact me at dtapia@flchamber.com or by phone at 850-521-1206.




Did you know...
Nearly 10 percent of Florida's economy linked is to our state's military and defense industries?

Interested in more facts like the above? Visit TheFloridaScoreCard.org to learn more.

Mark Your Calendars Now:
Global Florida: Trade Topics and Trends is a Florida Chamber International Business Council series of monthly conference calls connecting Florida companies to resources, opportunities, international market intelligence and policy initiatives Be sure to mark your calendars for the final call of the 2016 calendar year:
• October 4, 2016

LEARN MORE: AMERICAS
Bright Spots in Trade: Central America
If you have been reading recent global economic news, you will see headline after headline about negative trade growth. But there are a few bright spots and one such spot is Central America.
According to the World Bank - Central America is poised for an expansion of 3.8 percent.

What has helped Central America have been the same factors that have hurt much of the rest of Latin America, which is projected to experience slower growth rates. Central American economies are very much tied to the U.S. economy and have little in the form of trade or dependency on China. The strong U.S. market has been a positive boon for the region. In the case of Panama - the expanded Panama Canal and the significant investments it has made in logistics and trade infrastructure have proven to be significant catalysts. They currently boast a 2.5 percent unemployment rate.
There are new recent developments and initiatives which are positioning Central America for even stronger growth. Early this month, South Korea and Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama) concluded their 5th round of trade talks and expect to accelerate their negotiations to finalize the agreement sooner than later. South Korea is the 4th largest economy in Asia and has been increasing its trade and investment with Latin American in the past few years.
Honduras has also been taking steps to improve their economy. They have received recognition from both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank for their positive steps toward reform and growth. Honduras has recently launched the "Honduras 20/20" National Development Plan to generate 600,000 jobs during a five-year period (2016 - 2020), by promoting four key sectors where Honduras has a strong competitive advantage: tourism, textiles, intermediate manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPOs).

Central America is one of Florida's most important trading partners. Honduras is Florida's 9th ranked merchandise trade partner and Costa Rica (7), Panama (8) and Honduras (9) are leading export destinations for Florida merchandise exports. Florida's merchandise exports to Panama have grown 13 percent year to date.




Save The Date
International Days
February 13-15, 2017
Tallahassee, Florida

Contact Daniel Tapia at dtapia@flchamber.com for more information on how to speak, attend or sponsor.


Joint Meeting of the Florida Chamber International Business Council, the Florida Trade and Logistics Institute and Enterprise Florida Florida's International Trade Partnership
Sept 28th 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando Florida as part of the Future of Florida Forum
Contact Alice Ancona at AAncona@flchamber.com for more information.

The EFF-EXIT of BREXIT!
Tuesday, August 30, 2016 10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon
Coral Gables Art Cinema
260 Aragon Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Speakers include:
Alice Ancona, Florida Chamber
Export Financing Workshop
August 25, 2016
Sarasota, Florida

U.S. - Mexico Logistics and Supply Chain Leaders Conference
September 8, 2016
Miami, Florida

20th Americas Food and Beverage Show
September 26-27, 2016
Miami Beach, Florida


Good News From Florida Chamber Members

Congratulations to JAXPORT receiving their three new giant container cranes from China. The cranes' 17,000 mile journey from China to Jacksonville took approximately 2.5 months!
Watch the news report or check out the fact sheet.





 
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Aug 24, 2016NEW Manufacturers Business Growth Program!
Hello,
We are pleased to share information on a new program available to CEO’s, president’s and business owners of second-stage manufacturing, biotechnology, research & development, and engineering businesses!
GrowFL and FloridaMakes announce the Manufacturers Business Growth Program, exclusively designed for manufacturers to help grow your top-line revenue! Participate with your peers in these signature programs: Strategic Research Marketing and Sales Expansion, Peer Learning CEO Roundtables and Forum, Leadership Development Education, Traction curriculum and The Value Triangle. Training grants are available to offset up to 75% of program cost.
Attached please find information on the Manufacturers Business Growth Program. If you have any questions or want to learn more, please contact me.
Regards,
Jill



Jill Marasa
Business Development & Finance Manager
Business Development Board of Martin County
1002 SE Monterey Commons Blvd., Suite 203 l Stuart, FL 34996
772.221.1380 l jill@bdbmc.org
www.yesmartinfl.com l www.bdbmc.org
Follow us: www.facebook.com/BDBMC l www.twitter.com/BDBMartinCounty


GrowFL MBGP.pdf
 
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Aug 24, 2016Tack & Jibe's
Come meet Tack & Jibe's Chef Steven Strenkert Saturday August 27 at 2pm enjoy a free glass of wine and dicuss what Tack & Jibe is all about .



 
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Aug 24, 2016River Report 8/24/16


River Report 8.24.16.png
 
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Aug 23, 2016SBA to Close Business Recovery Center in Florida; Help is Still Available
Today, the Small Business Administration issued the attached press release. The SBA is closing its Business Recovery Center (BRC) in Stuart, Florida on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 3 p.m. This center is serving small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture or private nonprofit organizations in Florida having suffered financial losses as the result of excessive rain; flooding and the water released from Lake Okeechobee that occurred on Jan. 3-29, 2016.

Effected small businesses and nonprofit organizations in the declared Florida counties can still apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan for disaster related working capital needs by completing an Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Please see the attached press release for more details. I will transition back to Atlanta on Wednesday, but please let me know if you have any future questions regarding this disaster declaration.


Aug. 22 16-484 FL 14671
 
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Aug 23, 2016FORCE

Friends of the Rivers Coalition E-Newsletter

August 2016


The Rivers Coalition meeting is Thursday, August 25th at 11:00 am at Stuart City Hall. The meeting is open to the public and there is plenty of free parking. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.


The Presentation Topic for the August meeting is:

"Restore the River of Grass Flow"

Current Action Items:
"Senator Negron’s Land Purchase Proposal and Algae Update"

Members of the Rivers Coalition will host a panel discussion focusing on plans to stop destructive discharges to the Estuaries. Dr. Gary Goforth, Charles Grande and Mark Perry, with over 100 years of combined professional experience, will share the elements necessary for moving clean water south to the Everglades and Florida Bay.

Our experts will discuss:
“Conveyance, Storage & Treatment Components as well as Operational Considerations” to restore the River of Grass Flow.

If you are tired of hearing for the last 60 years, all the constraints, negatives and why this restoration will not work - please attend this meeting! We will try our hardest to be positive and explain in layman's terms. We want to keep our momentum moving forward.

If you are a politician and miss this meeting - “Clean Water” is our right in Florida and is a non-partisan issue.

Get the facts! Stay informed! Be involved!

Missed a past meeting? Go to our Youtube channel!



Agenda for Thursday, August, 25th, 2016
Meeting Thursday, August 25th, 2016
11:00 am - 12:30 pm at: City of Stuart Commission Chambers
121 SW Flagler Ave, Stuart, FL 34994

Please Silence Your Cell Phones!


Business Matters
• Chairman’s Comments, Call to Order, New Member Vote: Darrell Brand
• Current Action Items:
"Senator Negron’s Land Purchase Proposal and Algae Update"
• Meeting Topic: Panel Discussion followed by Public Comments
"Restore the River of Grass Flow"
Gary Goforth, P.E., Ph. D., Charles Grande, and
Mark Perry, Executive Director Florida Oceanographic Society

• River Kidz of Martin County: Nic Mader/Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
• Speakers Bureau: Todd Weissing
Government & Agency Progress Reports
• Martin County: Deborah Drum/Don Donaldson
• South Florida Water Management District: Kathy LaMartina
• FDEP
Coalition Reports
• Local Issues & Estuary Water Quality: Mark Perry
• WRAC (Water Resources Advisory Commission): Mark Perry
• Indian Riverkeeper Update: Marty Baum
• Federal & State Issues-CERP/IRL & Lake Okeechobee: Kevin Henderson / Dr. Paul Gray




Martin County River Kidz
Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch and River Kidz representative Evie Flaugh attended Senator Joe Negron's Press Conference on August 9th.








Calling all River Parentz and River Kidz

If you would like to have your child involved in River Kidz, please go to our website, Riverscoalition.org, under the River Kidz tab and sign up today! You will receive email blasts notifying you of events and happenings. And as always, 'like' us on Facebook for all of the updated information.






Click here to view a copy of the Marty the Manatee Workbook!

10 Things Every River Kid Should Know!
Click here to view/download the PDF

How to Become a RiverKidz Member!
Click here to become a member

Follow RiverKidz on Facebook!
Click here for Facebook



Speakers Bureau


Thank you Stuart Yacht and Country Club and Sandhill Cove for hosting Todd Weissing and Marty Baum from the Speakers Bureau!

If your community or group would like the Rivers Coalition to speak at an upcoming gathering, please contact: Todd Weissing at ctodd_weissing@ml.com or info@riverscoalition.org

Get informed, be active and be part of the solution to help our river!


July 29th Rivers Coalition Meeting Highlights
Visiting from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami,
Larry Brand, Ph. D, gave a Special Presentation on Algal Blooms at the July Rivers Coalition meeting.





Member Community Events


Reggae for the River
August 28th 4:00-9:00pm


On August 11th Mark Johnson unveiled his new work of art at Stuart Coffee Company, in Downtown Stuart. Proceeds from the sales of these one of a kind T-shirts benefit the Rivers Coalition. T-shirts are on sale at the coffee shop at 55 S.W. Flagler Avenue, and on the Stuart Coffee Company Facebook page. Click on the link below for further details:
Stuart Coffee Co.











Senator Negron's Press Conference on August 9th at the Flagler Place in Downtown Stuart.





Citizens for Clean Water organized events including the aerial photos shown below:



Indian Riverkeeper Marty Baum presented at the Love the Everglades Movement event on August 6th. To see his presentation, click the link below:
Marty Baum at the Love the Everglades Movement Event







2016 Meeting Schedule
The 2016 meetings will be held at
City Hall – Commissions Chamber
121 SW Flagler Ave Stuart, FL 34994

Thursday, August 25th 11:00 am

Wednesday, Sept 28th 6:00 pm

Thursday, October 27th 11:00 am

Meetings will not be held in November and December


For updates you can visit our Facebook Page, click below:
Rivers Coalition Facebook Page




Thank you for all your support.

Editors: Katherine Luger & Jill Pinkham

PO Box 2627
Stuart, Fl 34995

772-225-6849
www.RiversCoalition.org






 
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Aug 23, 2016Martin County to spray larvicide for salt marsh mosquitoes
Martin County Mosquito Control will aerial spray larvicide over 1,583 acres of salt marshes from the St. Lucie Inlet south to Peck Lake, and from Seabranch State Park to Jimmy Graham Park tomorrow, Tuesday, August 23. The larvicide pre-treatment will prevent a large hatch-off of the salt marsh mosquito that could result after recent and anticipated rains. The adults are fierce biters and strong fliers; they are controlled by aerial adulticiding and larviciding. Salt marsh mosquitoes do not carry Zika. The type of mosquitoes that carry human viruses breed in freshwater.

Spraying operations occur weather-permitting. The alternate spray date is Thursday, August 25. Zone maps are located at the Mosquito Control web page at www.martin.fl.us. Click on Mosquito Spray Status Lookup to learn where mosquito spraying is currently scheduled. The map is updated daily at 4:00 p.m.


 
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Aug 23, 20168th Annual Michael Shields Memorial Inshore Open to benefit Project L.I.F.T.
Event Chairs Shannon and Sarah Andersen along with this year's committee members are busy planning the 8th Annual Michael Shields Memorial Inshore Open Fishing Tournament benefiting Project L.I.F.T., which they hope will be their most successful tournament to date.

The tournament, presented by James Crocker and Waterblasting Technologies, will be held the weekend of September 23-24 at River Palm Cottages and Fish Camp on the waterfront in Jensen Beach. It's named in honor of longtime Martin County resident Michael Shields, who died at the age of 23 from bone cancer.

The tournament follows a catch-and-release format, with separate categories for snook, tarpon, trout and redfish. This year, organizers will introduce three new divisions, Guided, Unguided and Paddle.

A festive Captain’s Party will kick off the tournament on Friday evening for adults 21+ that includes an open bar provided by Charlie’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, dinner catered by Paella Grill, live & silent auctions, raffles and entertainment.
An awards BBQ will take place at the tournament's close on Saturday afternoon.

All events are included in a $100 Angler Registration Fee. An "Angler Only" ticket is available for $65, and a Captain's Party only ticket can be purchased for $75 per person in advance or $100 at the door.

Project L.I.F.T, founded in 2010 by Bob Zaccheo, is dedicated to inspiring lives of at-risk youth and their families through substance abuse treatment and vocational skills training. Over the last five years, 83% of Project L.I.F.T. program participants have achieved sustained sobriety and made healthy life choices.

Zaccheo, a licensed Psychotherapist and Certified Substance Abuse Expert, teaches Project L.I.F.T. participants to successfully manage their substance abuse challenges as well as depression, anxiety, and impulse issues. Further, Project L.I.F.T. offers mentoring and vocational skills training in such areas as auto repair, tiling, plumbing, auto body, boat building, screen printing and general carpentry.

This year’s tournament proceeds will benefit Project L.I.F.T.'s new girls’ program, The Willow Project. The 14-week program, led by Nicole King, founder of The Willow House, is designed for young ladies of middle and high-school ages 12-19 that desire to attain coping skills that address issues related to family relationships, friendships, feelings of rejection/acceptance and dating.
The ladies are taught life skills, such as conflict resolution, drug and alcohol abstinence, sexual restraint, sense of purpose, healthy self-image and responsible living.

The Michael Shields Memorial Tournament is sponsored by James Crocker of Waterblasting Technologies and other major sponsors of the event, including Charlie’s Bar & Grill, Closets by Design, Colin McKinney, DMD, Crowder Rods, Ferraro Law Group, Island Party Rentals, Lewis Law Group, Local Guy AC, Norcross Marine, Ohle & Ohle, Peppermint Wind Photography, The Sade Group, The Shields Family, Treasure Coast Legal, Treasure Coast Urgent Care, US Sugar, Webs by Melissa and Michael Weinberg/Merrill Lynch.

To purchase tickets or to register, please visit FishForTheKids.org or call 772-341-9821.

To learn more about Project LIFT please visit projectliftmc.com or find them on Facebook at Facebook.com/ProjectLIFT.


 
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Aug 23, 2016Martin County Estate Planning Council installs new board of directors
STUART, Fla. – The Martin County Estate Planning Council hosted their first meeting of the season and the installation of their new board members on August 11 at the Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club.

Galina Koval, CFP®, and Joanne Towner, CFRE, have joined the current board of directors, including President Lisa Clasen, Atty., Vice President Carrie Lavargna, Atty., Secretary Kelly Buist, Atty., Treasurer Nicholas Ferraro, CPA, Past President David Pittinos, CFP®, CLU, Michael Dadko, CFP® and Caryn Lones, CTFA.

The meeting was sponsored by McCarthy, Summers, Bobko, Wood, Norman, Bass & Melby, P.A. and featured a presentation by non-profit The Willow Project, a program of Project L.I.F.T.

Three of the Council’s charter members, Dale Abrahamson, Atty., Burns M. Lowry, CLU, and Stephen Roegiers, CPA, were recognized for their efforts in forming the Council in 1982 with fifteen members. Since then, the Estate Planning Council membership has increased to almost seventy active members.

The Martin County Estate Planning Council is comprised of attorneys, certified public accountants, financial planners and consultants, and more. The Council was established to foster intelligent cooperation among its members, to assist its members in keeping abreast of the laws and conditions affecting business and personal taxation, to foster professional development opportunities and collaboration and to encourage its members to uphold the highest standards of service and ethics.

To learn more about the Estate Planning Council or for upcoming events, call (772) 288-0048 or visit www.mcepc.net.


 
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Aug 23, 2016WEICHERT® Affiliated Offices in the Port Saint Lucie Area Welcome New Team Members
WEICHERT®
affiliated offices in the Port Saint Lucie area have recently added the
following individuals to their team.

* Shirl Guertin joins a dedicated team of knowledgeable agents at
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Integrity Group, located at 345 Se Port St Lucie
Blvd in Port Saint Lucie. Contact Andrea LaFavor at 772-398-6400 or
BROKERLAFAVOR@GMAIL.COM.

* Marisa Zack joins a dedicated team of knowledgeable agents at WEICHERT,
REALTORS® - Integrity Group, located at 345 Se Port St Lucie Blvd in Port
Saint Lucie. Contact Andrea LaFavor at 772-398-6400 or
BROKERLAFAVOR@GMAIL.COM.

* Michael Hiatt joins a dedicated team of knowledgeable agents at
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Integrity Group, located at 101 Sw Monterey Road in
Stuart. Contact Andrea LaFavor at 772-212-2660 or BROKERLAFAVOR@GMAIL.COM.

* Juliette Maggio joins a dedicated team of knowledgeable agents at
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Integrity Group, located at 101 Sw Monterey Road in
Stuart. Contact Andrea LaFavor at 772-212-2660 or BROKERLAFAVOR@GMAIL.COM.

Each Weichert® franchised office is an independently owned and operated
affiliate of Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.

About Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.: Weichert Real Estate
Affiliates, Inc. has grown steadily since Jim Weichert, president,
chairman and CEO of Weichert, Realtors, named Martin J. Rueter as
president. The two collaborated in 2001 to create a business model for
franchisee ownership candidates described as “a clearly defined operating
system for marketing and managing a real estate business.” Weichert Real
Estate Affiliates, Inc. announced its first affiliate in 2002, was ranked
the #2 traditional residential real estate franchise in Entrepreneur’s
2016 Franchise 500, and is identified in 2016 by Entrepreneur magazine as
one of the fastest growing U.S. franchises. Weichert Real Estate
Affiliates, Inc. has offices serving over 300 markets in 39 states. For
more information about Weichert, visit Weichert.com or for information on
franchise opportunities visit WeichertFranchise.com.

Each WEICHERT® franchised office is independently owned and operated.


 
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Aug 23, 2016SLC Job Announcement Extended
Hi All,

We have extended our job posting for our open Natural Resources Coordinator position.

This is a position in our Lands/Field Operations Division within the St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department.

Please help spread the word.




https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/stluciecountyfl/jobs/1490588/natural-resources-coordinator-051533


ST. LUCIE COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
invites applications for the position of:
Natural Resources Coordinator - 051533
SALARY: $40,360.04 - $62,647.42 Annually
OPENING DATE: 07/22/16
CLOSING DATE: 08/26/16 05:00 PM
JOB SUMMARY:
MAJOR JOB FUNCTION: This is a senior level professional position in the Environmental Resources Department (ERD) responsible for implementing and monitoring land management, habitat enhancement and restoration projects on ERD managed lands. Responsibilities include implementation of land management, habitat enhancement and restoration projects; monitoring and reporting; data collection and analysis; writing, implementing and managing grants; contract and project management; assisting with long- and short-range planning; reports and presentations; and raising awareness of St. Lucie County preserves. Reports directly to the Natural Resources Manager and supervises work crews, contractors and technical staff as assigned by Natural Resources Manager.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND SKILLS NEEDED TO PERFORM THE ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS OF THE POSITION:
Knowledge: Advanced knowledge in Florida ecology, wildlife biology, botany, habitat requirements, land management and restoration methods and tools and other applied science principles, data collection and analysis, site preparation techniques, and local, state and federal regulations. Considerable knowledge of planning, program development, project and contract management, supervisory methods, and monitoring and reporting, grant writing and management, and safety regulations.
Abilities: Ability to perform moderate to demanding physical work under all weather conditions in a safe and conscientious manner, analyze and interpret complex data, conduct short and long-range natural resources planning, identify ecosystems, habitats, wildlife and plants, collect and analyze ecosystem function and value and wildlife data, identify and make recommendations on natural resource management issues, maintain accurate records, establish and maintain excellent working relationships employees, government officials, private organizations, and the general public, develop effective partnerships, effectively represent the Department in a professional manner to local, state, and federal officials and the general public, present technical information, ideas and recommendations clearly and succinctly in written and verbal form, demonstrate sensitivity to political, social and fiscal constraints regarding planning issues, projects and programs, understand and apply applicable rules, regulations, policies and procedures relating to environmental programs, read and create documents, maps, and graphics, read and understand permits, surveys, construction plans and specifications, manage multiple tasks and prioritize projects.
Skills: Excellent written and verbal communication, advanced land management and coordination skills, use of modern stationary and mobile computer equipment and software, monitoring equipment, GPS and GIS mapping equipment and associated software programs, read and comprehend maps, surveys, plans, construction documents, technical scientific data, use of hand tools.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: Assist with developing short-range and long-range plans for environmental lands program and other land management related issues, assist in identifying needs and seeking funding for land management, enhancements and restoration, re-establish/establish ecosystem monitoring plots, and assist in meeting all reporting requirements for Florida Communities Trust (FCT)-acquired lands, conduct and coordinate GIS-related tasks (data compilation, map-making, gathering waypoints, trail locations, designing informational kiosks, educational signage, etc.), electronically maintain data for all projects and sites, identify, write and manage grants, develop and update informational materials and brochures, manage webpage, permits, contracts and project management for multiple services and complex projects, restoration activities, development of reports/presentations for Department, Administration, BOCC, citizens, regional and state agencies, assist in raising awareness of preserves and the recreational opportunities, assist with prescribed fire as a crew member, coordinate closely with Education & Outreach staff on volunteer and educational programs, and perform related work as requested or assigned.
QUALIFICATIONS:
EDUCATION: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a B.S. in natural resources management, applied ecology, biology, environmental studies, forestry, botany or wildlife management. A comparable amount of experience may be substituted for all or part of the educational requirement at the discretion of the County.
Experience: A minimum of four (4) years professional experience in natural resources management, applied ecology, environmental studies, forestry, botany or wildlife management. Professional experience working within a program similar to the County's ESL Program is desired. Knowledge of computers and spreadsheet and data management programs preferred. A comparable amount of training or experience may be substituted for portions of these minimum requirements.
LICENSE, CERTIFICATION OR REGISTRATION: A valid Florida driver's license and good driving record are required. Class A or B CDL license, Certified Prescribed Burn Manager burn certification, Certified Gopher Tortoise Agent, Professional Wetland Scientist, Certified Environmental Professional or other applied land management or scientific certifications are preferred.


Mike Middlebrook | Natural Resources Manager
St Lucie County | Environmental Resources | 2300 Virginia Ave | Ft Pierce, FL 34982
Office: 772.462.2897 | Fax: 772.462.1684 |Cell:772.828.1661| Preserves Website



 
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Aug 23, 2016Boatlines
Boating Advisory Council's October Meeting Date

The Boating Advisory Council will be meeting in West Palm Beach. The BAC meeting has been scheduled for October 27, 2016 at the Embassy Suites in West Palm Beach. Information can be found at Boating Advisory Council Meetings.

A Non-Motorized Boat Working Group meeting will be held the preceding day, October 26, 2016, at the same location. Information can be found at Non-Motorized Boat Working Group Meetings.

If you have questions, please contact Precious Boatwright at precious.boatwright@myFWC.com or (850) 488-5600.


 
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Aug 22, 2016Pack the House presented by Wells Fargo
Dear Chamber Member,

Treasure Coast Food Bank invites you to the kickoff of an exciting community event in conjunction with our Hunger Action Month® activities, where we encourage everyone to take action in the fight against hunger throughout the month of September.

At 12 noon on Friday, September 9, Treasure Coast Food Bank kicks off its second annual "Pack the House" event presented by Wells Fargo. This 24-hour event will see volunteers from across the Treasure Coast come together to sort and pack more than 250,000 pounds of food, creating over 208,000 meals for those struggling with food insecurity in our community. Thousands are expected to participate in keeping with the selfless spirit of the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Please join us for the starting ceremony at our main office, 401 Angle Road, in Fort Pierce. There will be a color guard and some brief remarks. It is expected to last about 30 minutes. Lunch will be provided courtesy of Moonswiners Bar-B-Q. We would appreciate it if you could arrive at 11:30 am so we have an opportunity for a few photos.

"Pack the House presented by Wells Fargo" is one of many efforts Treasure Coast Food Bank is conducting during Hunger Action Month® - a nationwide awareness effort and call to action throughout the month of September.

You'll see many public and private community features, such as building lights, fountains and structures, "Go Orange" to symbolize the fight against hunger. Many people across the Treasure Coast will wear orange clothing and make donations of food or dollars to help in the fight against hunger.

Please let us know if you will be attending by emailing Gary Porter at gporter@tcfoodbank.org or by calling 772-489-3034 ext. 15.

For more information on this exciting event or other opportunities to get involved, visit our website at www.stophunger.org.

We look forward to seeing you!



 
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Aug 22, 2016Tack and Jibe Now Open
Tack and Jibe is now open and is offering a big welcome to all guests who want to enjoy fine dining and fine wine at its best. Our menu offers amazing American eclectic food, unique wines, and great craft beers. We even offer High Tea from the hours of 2pm-5pm. Our high tea offers a choice of one of our many teas and a three tier plate of food going from savory to sweet for two people for only $20. Lunch is served from 11am-2pm, High Tea from 2pm-5pm, Then our dinner from 5pm-9pm. Monday through Saturday. The menu and service guarantees to show nothing less than our best. We hope to see you soon! Jibe-Ho!

2621 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart Fl 34996 Phone number 772-210-2653

 
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Aug 22, 2016Collaboration with Martin County tourism office brings local event prestigious designation


The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has named the Annual Stuart Air Show as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for 2016. The best events across the southeast United States compete to receive a Top 20 designation. The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing and the Stuart Air Show Board collaborated on the application for this prestigious designation.

The 2016 edition of the Stuart Air Show will be the 27th consecutive year for this beloved event. The Stuart Air Show draws 40,000 spectators annually and draws people nationally for the largest air show in southern Florida.

The STS Top 20 Events program has highlighted events and festivals around the Southeast since 1985. Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published on two websites: EscapeToTheSoutheast.com and Travel Media Press Room.

"We are very proud to be named as one of the top tourism events in the southeast. Along with hundreds of volunteers, community business partners and sponsors, we work year-round to make this a signature event for everyone. Our tagline is 'Honoring the Past, While Inspiring the Future' and we live by those words bringing in exciting aerobatic acts, jet demonstrations, unique WWII displays, a historic battle re-enactment, children's activities and community displays that not only entertain but also educate and capture the imagination of kids of all ages." said Michael Roberts, Stuart Air Show Board President.

"The best events across the southeast compete to receive the prestigious Top 20 Events designation. This is our fourth Martin County event selected as one of the top 20 events in the southeast. Accolades such as this allow us to better promote our signature events. The Top 20 Events are promoted quarterly and the events included will reach over 1,600 media outlets each quarter including web, magazines, radio, TV stations, publications and newspapers," said Nerissa Okiye, Tourism and Marketing Manager for Martin County.

The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing was established in 2014 and creates collateral material, programs of services and promotions that inspire travelers to visit Martin County.

The Stuart Air Show is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes a safe, family entertainment event, highlights aviation, and provides financial support to its benefiting non-profit organizations including: the United Way of Martin County, Martin County Community Foundation, Road to Victory Military Museum, Boy Scouts of America/Venture Crew 804, Special Olympics, ARC of Martin County, Civil Air Patrol, as well as many other deserving community charities.




 
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Aug 22, 2016Martin County disagrees with water management district's issuance of environmental permit for AAF
Martin County has been notified that the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has issued an Environmental Resource Permit for the All Aboard Florida (AAF aka Brightline) high-speed passenger rail project. Martin County is disappointed with this decision, and strongly believes the district should not issue the permit.

County Attorney Michael Durham said, "We will look carefully at this permit. However, our assessment is that the AAF application remained incomplete and does not contain all the information required by Florida Statues. It fails to provide reasonable assurances that harmful and negative environmental impacts would not occur."

The County will assess the permit to determine whether and how the SFWMD took into account the incomplete nature of AAF's application, and whether the statutory rule requirements for issuance of the permit have been met.

The SFWMD Environmental Resource Permit is required for development or construction activities to prevent flooding, protect water quality from stormwater pollution, and protect wetlands and other surface waters. It also must address impacts on listed species, cultural resources, and the overall public interest of the project. SFWMD regulates residential and commercial developments, roadway construction and agriculture. AAF applied for the permit in September 2015. Over the last several months, on multiple occasions, Martin County and its experts have identified discrepancies and brought several critical issues to SFWMD related to this permit. These issues include: negative impacts to native wildlife and habitat; water quality and stormwater runoff into environmentally-sensitive areas such as wetlands; and proposed swales in areas with poor drainage that could lead to severe flooding. Additionally, Martin County believes AAF's application did not provide reasonable assurances that archeological and historical resources (such as the Lyric Theatre) will not be harmed by the vibrations and noise created by the project.

The County is also concerned with all environmental issues related to this project. At the federal level, a highly-flawed Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was issued over a year ago, but the corresponding Record of Decision was never issued, preventing the County and other concerned parties from challenging the FEIS conclusions. Instead, AAF has pursued a strategy of piecemeal review by several agencies of important environmental issues, thereby avoiding an assessment of the cumulative impacts of the project, as required by law.

Affected parties have 21 days within which to challenge the permit and request an administrative hearing on the issuance of the SFWMD permit. When this happens, the assessment to issue or deny the permit will be made by an independent administrative law judge.

Martin County and Indian River County won a major victory this week against AAF when a federal judge ruled that Martin County has legal standing to proceed with its April 2015 lawsuit against AAF and the U.S. Department of Transportation to stop violations of our nation's environmental laws and the improper authorization of $1.75 billion in taxpayer subsidized bonds. Martin County was able to demonstrate that without the bond allocation, the Phase II portion of the AAF rail project that would run through the Treasure Coast is significantly less likely to be viable.

For more resources and information on the many local and regional issues of concern relating to the proposed AAF passenger rail project, including presentations, studies, letters of concern to state and federal agencies and more, visit www.martin.fl.us. In addition, please visit the County's social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, for updates.


 
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Aug 22, 2016Collaboration with Martin County tourism office brings local event prestigious designation
The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) has named the Annual Stuart Air Show as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast for 2016. The best events across the southeast United States compete to receive a Top 20 designation. The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing and the Stuart Air Show Board collaborated on the application for this prestigious designation.

The 2016 edition of the Stuart Air Show will be the 27th consecutive year for this beloved event. The Stuart Air Show draws 40,000 spectators annually and draws people nationally for the largest air show in southern Florida.

The STS Top 20 Events program has highlighted events and festivals around the Southeast since 1985. Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. The complete list is published on two websites: EscapeToTheSoutheast.com and Travel Media Press Room.

"We are very proud to be named as one of the top tourism events in the southeast. Along with hundreds of volunteers, community business partners and sponsors, we work year-round to make this a signature event for everyone. Our tagline is 'Honoring the Past, While Inspiring the Future' and we live by those words bringing in exciting aerobatic acts, jet demonstrations, unique WWII displays, a historic battle re-enactment, children's activities and community displays that not only entertain but also educate and capture the imagination of kids of all ages." said Michael Roberts, Stuart Air Show Board President.

"The best events across the southeast compete to receive the prestigious Top 20 Events designation. This is our fourth Martin County event selected as one of the top 20 events in the southeast. Accolades such as this allow us to better promote our signature events. The Top 20 Events are promoted quarterly and the events included will reach over 1,600 media outlets each quarter including web, magazines, radio, TV stations, publications and newspapers," said Nerissa Okiye, Tourism and Marketing Manager for Martin County.

The Martin County Office of Tourism and Marketing was established in 2014 and creates collateral material, programs of services and promotions that inspire travelers to visit Martin County.

The Stuart Air Show is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes a safe, family entertainment event, highlights aviation, and provides financial support to its benefiting non-profit organizations including: the United Way of Martin County, Martin County Community Foundation, Road to Victory Military Museum, Boy Scouts of America/Venture Crew 804, Special Olympics, ARC of Martin County, Civil Air Patrol, as well as many other deserving community charities.


 
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Aug 22, 2016MARTIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT WINS THE CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD
The Association of School Business Officials International has awarded the Martin County School District its 2015 Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability. This is the tenth year the District has accomplished this endorsement.

“We have worked meticulously over the past four years to strengthen the long-term financial health and reporting of the Martin County School District,” says Laurie J. Gaylord, Superintendent. “I am proud of the District finance department and their hard work to maintain compliance in all aspects. The School District’s finances help us to provide the necessary tools to educate our students in Martin County.”

The District was recognized for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending 2015. As the only award program specifically designed for school district financial reporting, the Certificate of Excellence (COE) represents a significant achievement and reflects a high level of commitment to fiscal integrity and transparency.


 
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Aug 22, 2016What? The Shell!
Oct. 8 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.“What? The Shell!” Lunch ‘n Learn Workshop. Polymer clay artist Sarita Neun teaches how to create and design a seashell pendant from scratch. Materials, lunch, instruction and demonstration included . Adults 21-plus. $50 per person for Museum members, $65 for non-members. Elliott Museum, 825 N.E. Ocean Blvd., Stuart. Space is limited, reservations at 772-225-1961. Information at RMakowski@elliottmuseum.org.

 
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Aug 22, 2016IRS Further Extends Due Date For Employers to Claim Revived Work Opportunity Tax Credit
Employers can qualify for a tax credit known as the
work opportunity tax credit (WOTC) that is worth as much as $2,400 for each eligible employee ($4,800, $5,600 and $9,600 for certain veterans and $9,000 for "long-term family assistance recipients"). The credit is generally limited to eligible employees who began work for the employer before January 1, 2020. The credit, calculated as described below, is available on an elective basis for employers hiring individuals from one or more of 9 targeted groups.

Generally, an employer is eligible for the credit only for qualified wages paid to members of a targeted group. These groups are:
1. Qualified members of families receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program
2. Qualified veterans
3. Qualified ex-felons
4. Designed community residents
5. Vocational rehabilitation referrals
6. Qualified summer youth employees
7. Qualified members of families in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
8. Qualified Supplemental Security Income recipients
9. Long-term family assistance recipients, and, beginning in 2016, long-term unemployed individuals
For each employee, there is also a minimum requirement that the employee must have completed at least 120 hours of service for the employer.
Also, the credit isn't available for certain employees who are related to the employer or work more than 50% of the time outside of a trade or business of the employer (e.g., working as a maid in the employer's home).
Additionally, the credit generally isn't available for employees who have previously worked for the employer.
The IRS has extended previously-existing transitional relief for eligible employers who want to claim the work opportunity tax credit (WOTC), as retroactively extended by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015. The transitional relief gives employers three extra months - until September 28, 2016 - to file the forms necessary to claim the credit for certain eligible workers.
An individual isn't treated as a member of a targeted group for WOTC purposes unless:
1. on or before the day the individual begins work, the employer obtains certification from the designated local agency (DLA) that the individual is a member of a targeted group or
2. the employer completes a pre-screening notice (Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit), on or before the day the individual is offered employment and submits such notice to the DLA to request certification not later than 28 days after the individual begins work.
An employer also must submit a Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Form 9061 (Individual Characteristics Form) or 9062 (Conditional Certification) to the DLA.

If you have questions about any of the above discussion, and, should you be interested, we would be pleased to work with you on the application of the credit to your situation.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at
(772) 283-2356 or info@pcc-cpa.com.



 
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Aug 22, 2016The River Report


The River Report 8.22.jpg
 
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Aug 19, 2016MARTIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT WINS THE CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD
The Association of School Business Officials International has awarded the Martin County School District its 2015 Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability. This is the tenth year the District has accomplished this endorsement.

“We have worked meticulously over the past four years to strengthen the long-term financial health and reporting of the Martin County School District,” says Laurie J. Gaylord, Superintendent. “I am proud of the District finance department and their hard work to maintain compliance in all aspects. The School District’s finances help us to provide the necessary tools to educate our students in Martin County.”

The District was recognized for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending 2015. As the only award program specifically designed for school district financial reporting, the Certificate of Excellence (COE) represents a significant achievement and reflects a high level of commitment to fiscal integrity and transparency.



 
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Aug 19, 2016The River Report 8.19.16


River Report 8.19.2016.pn
 
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Aug 19, 2016Florida Chamber: Board of Governors August Conference Call & Webinar - REGISTER TODAY
Florida's Long Term Infrastructure Solutions and
Their Impact on Economic Development...
What is Your Community Doing to Prepare?

Joint Meeting of the Florida Chamber's Statewide Board of Governors and the Florida Chamber's Economic Development Task Force
Register Today for a Discussion About Preparing Florida's Future Infrastructure Development.


Florida Chamber's Board of Governors Conference Call
Monday, August 22, 2016
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (EST)


Six million new residents are expected to call Florida home by the year 2030. This will mean about four to five million new Florida drivers commuting on our roads, along with the millions of visitors that vacation in Florida each year. What is your community doing to identify solutions for long-term infrastructure growth?

Please join Florida Chamber Economic Development Task Force co-chairs Glenda Hood, Founding Partner, TriSect, LLC, and Leerie Jenkins, Chairman of the Board, RS&H, for an in-depth discussion on Florida's infrastructure, including roads, energy, communications, and growth management. This month's webinar will also feature:

• Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce, will deliver his President's Report,
• Dr. Jerry Parrish, Florida Chamber Foundation's Chief Economist, will review the most recent job numbers, and discuss expected population changes between now and 2030,
• Senator Jeff Brandes, Florida Senate District 22, will discuss the future of transportation, including autonomous vehicles,
• Crystal Stiles, Director, Economic Development, Florida Power and Light, will talk about cost-efficient energy and diversification, and why data centers are important to Florida's future,
• Rob Palmer, Planning Group Leader, RS&H, will provide insight on Florida's competitiveness related to its transportation infrastructure, intermodal logistics systems and ports,
• Janet Bowman, Director of Legislative Policy and Strategies, The Nature Conservancy, will speak on the economics of Florida's natural resources and what Florida could be doing better as a state, and
• Tonya Mellen, Chair of the Report Card for Florida's Infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers, will provide a national perspective on Florida's infrastructure.
The fight for sustainable water policies, proactive economic planning and development, as well as efficient and sustainable energy solutions must continue. Do not miss this opportunity to LEARN, ENGAGE, and play a role in finding SOLUTIONS. Register today to learn more!

Invite members of your management team who would benefit from this valuable discussion. Contact Emily Martin at (850) 521-1244 or email at emartin@flchamber.com to be added to the guest list.

Drive the Discussion
Do you have specific information you would like covered in this or an upcoming call? Send your suggestions to Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com.

More from the Florida Chamber
• Summit Focuses on Protecting, Growing and Supporting Florida's Defense Industry, Military and Veterans Workforce
• Join us for the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2016 Future of Florida Forum in Orlando, September 28 - 30.


 
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Aug 19, 2016RITA RUDNER
Friday, August 19th at 6pm & 8:30pm

Proudly Sponsored by Ray & Ellyn Stevenson

Beloved in Las Vegas and known across the country for her endless wit, Rita Rudner comes to The Lyric stage this season for a night of hilarious comedy. With over 1.5 million tickets sold and the longest running solo-comedy show in the history of Las Vegas, Rita Rudner is a force to be reckoned with. Her unique voice and years of experience come to life in her stand-up shows, which feature Rudner’s world-renowned one-liners. Don’t miss the multiple Award-winning actress this August in a night of comedy that will have you laughing ‘til your sides hurt.

After moving to New York at the age of 15 to become a dancer on Broadway, Rita Rudner soon realized her true passion was to become a comedian. Rudner began exploring the comedy clubs in Manhattan and soon became a regular guest on Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show. Since her beginnings, Rita has become one of the most beloved comedians of all time, winning Las Vegas Comedian of the Year nine years in a row. Rudner has performed all over the country and has filled the prestigious Carnie Hall three times. In addition to her stage experience, Rita Rudner has recorded a number of comedy specials for television, including PBS’ first stand-up comedy special Rita Rudner: Live from Las Vegas in 2008. Her 2003 syndicated daily TV show Ask Rita was a big hit, as Rita invited a panel of celebrities to solve personal problems submitted by members of the public. A talented writer as well, Rudner has written five books, including Naked Beneath My Clothes which received a Grammy nomination for its audio version. The talented comedian also helped write the 2001 and 2003 Oscar shows with Steve Martin and the 2002 show with Whoopi Goldberg.

Recently, Rita Rudner joined forces with Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow to perform at a fundraiser for President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. In 2012, Rita and her husband Martin Bergman wrote and performed the Rita Rudner Show for BBC radio. This August at The Lyric Theatre, Rita Rudner will perform comedy you won’t forget, combining witty one-liners and commanding stage presence for a night of comedy gold. A Las Vegas icon, Rita is bringing the charm and glamour of Sin City to the city of Stuart this fall.


 
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Aug 18, 2016NEW VCITA PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TODAY!
Created To Assist Home Selling and Buying For The Realtor
It’s no secret, Vcita team members are introducing new programs to the real estate and insurance industries. Programs that will benefit both home sellers and buyers. Our Pre-Sell program captures the interest of the seller. Vcita completes a FREE full inspection at the seller’s home. Our inspectors point out items that should be corrected or replaced. If the seller complies and makes the necessary corrections, it will, in many cases, insure a maximum sale price for the seller.
Let’s talk about the home buyer. There are times that a home buyer becomes dissatisfied with the purchase finding items that seem to require replacement. Should the buyer report dissatisfaction to the realtor within 90 days of purchase and Vcita performed the home inspection, Vcita will buy back the home at the same price the buyer paid for the home. A satisfied customer and realtor.
Sellers and buyers have one thing in common, an experienced and pro-active real estate agent backed by a supportive broker. But what happens if something goes wrong, say for the buyer who files suit or fines the realtor for something to do with the home inspection. The realtor and broker are covered under Vcita’s liability insurance, should there be a law suit. Vcita home inspectors are InterNACHI certified which means the realtor will be compensated for any fine imposed by the buyer up to $10,000.00.
Like what you hear? Call us or email us for more information and remember to ask about our other dynamic programs we offer. Take the time and visit our website.
www.vcitahomeinspection.com


 
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Aug 18, 2016NEW ASSISTED LIVING AND MEMORY SUPPORT COMMUNITY CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING
The Cabana at Jensen Dunes – an all-rental community offering quality, affordable assisted living and memory support – celebrated its grand opening on August 11.

The Cabana at Jensen Dunes prides itself on being a different type of assisted living community, featuring amenities such as a pool and outdoor grill, upscale salon, hotel-style lobby, state-of-the-art fitness center, putting green, cocktail bar, art studio, and game center. The community creates a positive culture that provides opportunities for residents to pursue their passions and interests – despite the challenges that aging may bring.
The community takes a holistic, mind-body-spirit approach designed to address its philosophy called the “Six Keys to Living Well” by supporting social, financial, spiritual, physical, mental/intellectual and emotional health.
“Our goal is to create a caring culture and stimulating environment with opportunities for growth, development and enrichment for all of our residents,” said Deniese Williams, Executive Director. “The Cabana takes a different approach to senior living and features amenities one wouldn’t usually find in an assisted living facility.”
Comprising 73 assisted living residences and 53 secure memory support residences, the 105,000-sq.-ft. facility offers a variety of floor plans ranging from a 360-sq.-ft. studio to a 770-sq.-ft. two-bedroom, two-bath. Spacious residences, which are available for double occupancy, have high ceilings and lots of natural light. The community provides on-site rehabilitation – including physical, speech and occupational therapy – as well as doctor’s offices with exam rooms for private visits with physicians.

The Cabana at Jensen Dunes is the first stage of an innovative and comprehensive 37-acre master plan that will retain approximately 14 acres of nature preserves. The second phase of the project will bring one- and two-bedroom independent-living residences. Upon completion, the community will be called Jensen Dunes.


 
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Aug 18, 2016River Report 8/18/16


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Aug 18, 2016Environmentalist rallying cry vs. blue-green algae in coastal waters: 'Buy the land'

Critics decry the idea as 'a bumper sticker solution'

TALLAHASSEE — It's a simple message, repeated over and over.
It's on the signs they wave at public meetings in Martin County and at the South Florida Water Management District.
Story Continued Below

It's the punctuation note for many of the speakers — sometimes as a plea, other times as an angry admonition.
And supporters spelled it out on the beach July 3 in Martin County.
"Buy the Land!"
Environmentalists say it's a clear and precise demand for action.
The blue-green algae washing up on beaches along Martin County starting in late June has renewed calls from environmentalists to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee.
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The land, some experts and environmentalists say, could capture the polluted water that now is being shunted to the coastal estuaries of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.
More than 14,000 people have signed letters, collected by Treasure Coast newspapers, saying "we need more land to store, treat and move excess water south from Lake Okeechobee."
But what land? Where? And at what cost?
The answers differ and they have changed.
For some, "Buy the Land!" doesn't necessarily mean buy any specific land — just some land in the Everglades Agricultural Area for water storage, possibly for a flow-way to the Everglades.
"Buy the Land!" doesn't mean the same as in 2015, when singer Jimmy Buffett and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen touted the #buytheland Twitter hashtag in a rally outside the state Capitol.
That's when the water management district had an option to buy 46,800 acres from U. S. Sugar Corp. south of Lake Okeechobee for $500 million to $700 million.
Scott said he'd rather complete projects already under way. The district allowed the option to expire and says it would have been a "raw deal" for taxpayers because the company could continue to use the land for 20 years.
Sugar industry representatives say the "Buy the Land!" is a slogan with no plan behind it.
They say buying the land is impractical and expensive. And they say it wouldn't solve the problems create earlier this year when heavy rains raised the Lake Okeechobee level and required discharges.
And some from communities around Lake Okeechobee say the mantra is a threat to their communities.
"It's easy to just parrot a phrase like 'Buy the land!' but what does that really mean if it destroys jobs for us?" Hendry County Commissioner Janet B. Taylor said at a South Florida Water Management District meeting on July 14. She attended with mayors from several farming communities around the lake.
Rep. Gayle Harrell, a Republican from Stuart who sponsored a bill that passed this year to provided funding for Everglades restoration, says she doesn't know if those who support the slogan "understand the ramifications of what they are saying and what the right land is."
Lake Okeechobee used to spill over its banks naturally as water flowed through the Everglades and its "River of Grass" on the way to Florida Bay and other coastal systems. After a flood that killed at least 2,500 people, the Herbert Hoover Dike was built around the lake to prevent future flooding.
The Corps of Engineers tries to maintain the lake between 12.5 and 15.5 feet above sea level. Discharges are made to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers to avoid higher lake levels that could breach the dike.
In 2015, a University of Florida study commissioned by the Legislature identified the need for 1 million acre-feet of water storage needed north and south of Lake Okeechobee to prevent the harmful discharges.
But the study didn't say exactly where the storage is needed. And it certainly didn't say how much it would cost or how it would be paid for.
And the fact that it said land north and south of the lake is important to many, especially the sugar industry and those, such as Taylor, living in communities around the lake.
Harrell says she supports buying land, but what land to buy needs to be determined.
"There is no bumper sticker solution here," Harrell said. "'Buy the land!' is a bumper sticker solution. 'Buy the right land' is the solution that takes some thought, some analysis and looking at the UF study and the various things laid out and options that are there."
For some supporters, "Buy the Land!" is meant to deliver frustration and anger towards those who they blame for not taking action — including Scott and South Florida Water Management District officials.
"Our entire river is covered with green," Kenny Hinkle Jr., co-founder of the Bullsugar.org group, told an interagency task force meeting in West Palm Beach on June 29 as "Buy the Land!" signs waved behind him. "Now I hope Rick Scott's puppets sitting up here will go back to their puppet master and let him know we demand change and we demand it now."
Scott has proposed spending $5 billion on Everglades restoration, but there is no timetable for carrying out the plan. And the money to be spent on water storage south of the lake is well into the future, with planning not beginning for at least three years and spending for at least another five years — after Scott has left office.
Harrell's bill that passed the Legislature this year provides at least $200 million a year for Everglades restoration or other projects that divert discharges to the estuaries.
Eric Draper, executive director of Audubon Florida, said his group isn't touting "Buy the Land!" But his group is arguing that planning needs to begin for more water storage in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee.
He said "Buy the Land!" is being repeated by newer, grassroots groups of people living in the coastal communities affected by the discharges and algae.
"There are people really upset," Draper said. "I think there is a sense with those organizations that are saying 'Buy the Land!' that the government has completely failed them. It think that's true."
Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, said the Army Corps of Engineers and state are beginning a new round of Everglades planning — and buying land needs to be part of it. The Corps of Engineers held a meeting June 26 in Okeechobee to receive public comment.
"We need a forum to bring forward opportunities and solutions to solve this problem," he said. "People on the east and west coasts can't wait four more years to start talking about sending water south."
Some of "Buy the Land!" supporters are calling on Scott to negotiate with Everglades Agricultural Area landowners for a larger purchase than the 46,800-acre option that the state allowed to expire. Or they say the state should now should exercise an option it has to buy 153,209 acres of U. S. Sugar Corp. land. The option expires in 2020.
"We tried the compromise, we tried the smaller option — they turned us down," environmentalist and former Martin County Commissioner Maggie Hurchalla said at a June 28 commission meeting. "Maybe we should be looking at the whole thing."
But critics point to a 20-year leaseback option to U. S. Sugar that is part of the deal negotiated by the state in 2009 under then-Gov. Charlie Crist.
Others support U. S. Sen. Bill Nelson's suggestion in early July that government use eminent domain to acquire land south of the lake. Eminent domain involves government taking the property while paying for market value.
"The time is now to prepare for the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, in the EAA (Everglades Agricultural Area)," The Everglades Trust wrote in a July 6 letter to the governor. "It has been 16 years since the state of Florida agreed to this project. You, alone, possess the authority to make it a reality."
A Scott spokeswoman said this week that the governor's office is "looking at all the options" but she did not respond by email when asked whether those options include buying land south of Lake Okeechobee.
South Florida Water Management District board members rejected calls to buy land during a stormy meeting in Fort Myers in June. They pointed to the need for other water storage projects along with Kissimmee River restoration north of Lake Okeechobee. A district spokesman said in July the agency's position hasn't changed.
Bubba Wade Jr., senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development at U. S. Sugar, said he's not sure what the response would be if his company is asked by the governor to return to the negotiating table as environmentalists want. Wade said the response may depend on who is at the table.
"We are more than willing to sit at the table as long as the people sitting at the table are talking about scientific, technical and economical solutions," Wade said. "But just because some environmentalist that doesn't care about any of that and wants to punish sugar says, 'Go buy more sugar land,' I'm not going to tell that person I want to sell more land."
He said eminent domain isn't possible without a specific project plan and authorization by Congress or the Legislature. And he said legislators won't authorize once they've been briefed on the facts — including, he said, that a reservoir flow-way south of the lake has been "totally discounted" by agencies during previous planning processes.
Sugar industry representatives and their supporters, including Commissioner Janet Taylor from Hendry County, say "Buy the Land!" supporters are picking and choosing portions of the UF study while ignoring other recommendations for Everglades restoration and water management and storage.
The real solution, Wade said, is the state spending $5.5 billion on 43 projects as previously approved by the water management district instead of spending billions of dollars on a reservoir or flow-way that he said would not have prevented discharges.
"Somebody needs to define out there — who is using the slogan 'Buy the land, send the water south' — how are you going to solve this problem by sending the water south?" Wade said.
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Read more: http://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2016/08/buy-the-land-becomes-a-rallying-cry-but-what-does-it-mean-104363#ixzz4Hh3bwvda
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Aug 18, 20162016 WATER FORUM
2016 WATER FORUM
SEPTEMBER 22-23
ORLANDO, FLORIDA

The 7th Annual Florida Water Forum, presented by Associated Industries of Florida, will bring together Florida’s policy leaders in the legislature, industry experts, as well as local, regional and state government officials to discuss the on-going, critical water issues facing our state. Our business climate, our ability to grow as a state, and our quality of life are all directly tied to the availability and sustainability of our water resources. As The Voice of Florida Business representing over 10,000 employers in Florida, AIF has a long history of engagement in water issues.

We invite you to join us for the 2016 Florida Water Forum to be held on September 22-23, at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. Confirmed speakers and panelists will be announced in the coming weeks.

FLORIDA’S WATER CROSSROADS

With the passage of the 2016 Water Bill (SB 0552) and the influx of money from Florida’s newest constitutional provision – the Water and Land Conservation Amendment – Florida is devoting the time, money, and attention to water that it has not done in many years. Time is of the essence, as our state is facing some significant challenges with some of its largest economic regions having to plan for running out of affordable, sustainable groundwater in the not-too-distant future.
Florida inches closer to water shortages and the associated acrimonious and expensive litigation among water users, challenges to water management district permits, restrictions on new economic development, and in some areas a continued decline in natural resources. The challenges have not grown any less daunting. Southeast Florida must still balance water supply with environmental needs, both heavily dependent on Lake Okeechobee, and face saltwater intrusion concerns. Southwest Florida remains wrapped in a water-use caution area and is also vulnerable to saltwater seeping into the aquifer. Central Florida is still planning for a long-term groundwater shortage, and North Florida continues to see controversy and concern stemming from its abundant springs.
Innovative solutions and expanded infrastructure hold a great deal of promise. Does Florida embrace these possibilities, or slide further toward problems like those in California? These issues and more will be discussed during the 2016 Florida Water Forum, where you will have a unique opportunity to hear from Florida’s top technical experts, policymakers and elected leaders.


 
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Aug 18, 2016FORCE

Friends of the Rivers Coalition E-Newsletter

August 2016


The Rivers Coalition meeting is Thursday, August 25th at 11:00 am at Stuart City Hall. The meeting is open to the public and there is plenty of free parking. Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.


The Presentation Topic for the August meeting is:

"Restore the River of Grass Flow"

Current Action Items:
"Comments on Senator Negron’s Land Purchase Proposal and Algae Update"

Members of the Rivers Coalition will host a panel discussion focusing on plans to stop destructive discharges to the Estuaries. Dr. Gary Goforth, Charles Grande and Mark Perry, with over 100 years of combined professional experience, will share the elements necessary for moving clean water south to the Everglades and Florida Bay.

Our experts will discuss:
“Conveyance, Storage Treatment Components as well as Operational Considerations” to restore the River of Grass Flow.

If you are tired of hearing for the last 60 years, all the constraints, negatives and why this restoration will not work - please attend this meeting! We will try our hardest to be positive and explain in layman's terms. We want to keep our momentum moving forward.

If you are a politician and miss this meeting - “Clean Water” is our right in Florida and is a non-partisan issue.

Get the facts! Stay informed! Be involved!

Missed a past meeting? Go to our Youtube channel!



Agenda for Thursday, August, 25th, 2016
Meeting Thursday, August 25th, 2016
11:00 am - 12:30 pm at: City of Stuart Commission Chambers
121 SW Flagler Ave, Stuart, FL 34994

Please Silence Your Cell Phones!


Business Matters
• Chairman’s Comments, Call to Order, New Member Vote: Darrell Brand
• Current Action Items:
"Comments on Senator Negron’s Land Purchase Proposal and Algae Update"
• Meeting Topic: Panel Discussion followed by Public Comments
"Restore the River of Grass Flow"
Gary Goforth, P.E., Ph. D., Charles Grande, and
Mark Perry, Executive Director Florida Oceanographic Society

• River Kidz of Martin County: Nic Mader/Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch
• Speakers Bureau: Todd Weissing
Government & Agency Progress Reports
• Martin County: Deborah Drum/Don Donaldson
• South Florida Water Management District: Kathy LaMartina
• FDEP
Coalition Reports
• Local Issues & Estuary Water Quality: Mark Perry
• WRAC “Water Resources Advisory Commission”: Mark Perry
• Indian Riverkeeper Update: Marty Baum
• Federal & State Issues-CERP/IRL & Lake Okeechobee: Kevin Henderson / Dr. Paul Gray




Martin County River Kidz
Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch and River Kidz representative Evie Flaugh attended Senator Joe Negron's Press Conference on August 9th.








Calling all River Parentz and River Kidz

If you would like to have your child involved in River Kidz, please go to our website, Riverscoalition.org, under the River Kidz tab and sign up today! You will receive email blasts notifying you of events and happenings. And as always, 'like' us on Facebook for all of the updated information.






Click here to view a copy of the Marty the Manatee Workbook!

10 Things Every River Kid Should Know!
Click here to view/download the PDF

How to Become a RiverKidz Member!
Click here to become a member

Follow RiverKidz on Facebook!
Click here for Facebook



Speakers Bureau


Thank you Stuart Yacht and Country Club and Sandhill Cove for hosting Todd Weissing and Marty Baum from the Speakers Bureau!

If your community or group would like the Rivers Coalition to speak at an upcoming gathering, please contact: Todd Weissing at ctodd_weissing@ml.com or info@riverscoalition.org

Get informed, be active and be part of the solution to help our river!


July 29th Rivers Coalition Meeting Highlights
Visiting from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami,
Larry Brand, Ph. D, gave a Special Presentation on Algal Blooms at the July Rivers Coalition meeting.





Member Community Events
Dancin' in the Streets
August 20th from 3:00pm to midnight

Come visit the Rivers Coalition booth at Dancin' in the Streets this Saturday, August 20th!

The largest street party and music fes¬ti¬val on the Trea¬sure Coast will take place on six stages with over twenty bands from 3 p.m. to mid¬night on Saturday, August 20th in Down¬town Stuart.

Anchor¬ing the fes¬ti¬val will be national head¬lin¬ers The Out¬laws in a lim¬ited seat¬ing spe¬cial per¬for¬mance at The Lyric The¬atre. Round¬ing out this year’s lineup will be Ben Prestage,Pub¬lic Sounds Col¬lec¬tive, Nou¬veaux Honkies, The Humdingers and JessLee on stage one. Stage two includes The Sierra Band, Sis¬ter Baby, Nashville record¬ing artist Raquel Ren¬ner and the Ram¬blers, Ladies of Soul and Relapse Band. Bryce Allyn Band, Smok¬ing Sec¬tion,Morn¬ing Fatty and Moska Project will per¬form on stage three. Tony Solomon and Full¬house Enter¬tain¬ment present local ama¬teurs and up and com¬ers on stage four. And stage five includes per¬form¬ers Cas¬sidy Diana, Chris King, 10k Hours, Deal James and Sum¬mer Gill,Sting Assas¬sins and Ryan & Friends.

Click the link below for further details for this exciting annual event!
Dancin' in the Streets







Big Sugar Summit 2
August 20th from 9:00pm-5:00PM


Reggae for the River
August 28th 4:00-9:00pm


On August 11th Mark Johnson unveiled his new work of art at Stuart Coffee Company, in Downtown Stuart. Proceeds from the sales of these one of a kind T-shirts benefit the Rivers Coalition. T-shirts are on sale at the coffee shop at 55 S.W. Flagler Avenue, and on the Stuart Coffee Company Facebook page. Click on the link below for further details:
Stuart Coffee Co.


Indian Riverkeeper Marty Baum presented at the Love the Everglades Movement event on August 6th. To see his presentation, click the link below:
Marty Baum at the Love the Everglades Movement Event

2016 Meeting Schedule
The 2016 meetings will be held at
City Hall – Commissions Chamber
121 SW Flagler Ave Stuart, FL 34994

Thursday, August 25th 11:00 am

Wednesday, Sept 28th 6:00 pm

Thursday, October 27th 11:00 am

Meetings will not be held in November and December


For updates you can visit our Facebook Page, click below:
Rivers Coalition Facebook Page





Pass this Newsletter on!
Use the buttons at the bottom of the newsletter to pass this on to a friend, to subscribe or unsubscribe.

Thank you for all your support.

Editors: Katherine Luger & Jill Pinkham

PO Box 2627
Stuart, Fl 34995

772-225-6849
www.RiversCoalition.org


On August 11th Mark Johnson unveiled his new work of art at Stuart Coffee Company, in Downtown Stuart. Proceeds from the sales of these one of a kind T-shirts benefit the Rivers Coalition. T-shirts are on sale at the coffee shop at 55 S.W. Flagler Avenue, and on the Stuart Coffee Company Facebook page. Click on the link below for further details:
Stuart Coffee Co.

Indian Riverkeeper Marty Baum presented at the Love the Everglades Movement event on August 6th. To see his presentation, click the link below:
Marty Baum at the Love the Everglades Movement Event




 
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Aug 18, 2016Citizens’ Rate Increase Further Proof AOB Reform Needed


Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s proposed statewide rate increases is further proof that Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse is hurting homeowners and must be addressed during the 2017 legislative session, the Consumer Protection Coalition said today.
During a rate hearing before the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation today, Citizens said its recommended 6.8 percent rate increase for personal lines policies was necessary to offset an explosion in non-weather-related water loss claims. In many of the claims, a homeowner signed an AOB enabling an unscrupulous home repair vendor to take over the policy, inflate the cost of the claim and file a lawsuit against the insurance company if it disputed the bill.
“It’s unfortunate that Citizens is here today requesting a rate increase because of a legalized scam that allows the bad behavior of a few to punish everyone,’’ said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which spearheads the Consumer Protection Coalition. “The coalition has been warning that AOB abuse would directly hit consumers’ wallets, and, regrettably, our fears are coming to fruition.’’
The broad-based coalition of business leaders, consumer advocates, real estate agents, insurance groups and others formed in January to raise awareness about the dangers of AOB abuse and need for reform. The coalition believes that abusive AOB practices and scams are harmful to consumers and jeopardize Florida’s business-friendly environment. The rapidly growing AOB problem also impacts the availability and affordability of insurance, hindering efforts by Citizens, the state-run insurer, to reduce its number of policies and shift homeowners to the private market.
Learn more about today’s hearing by clicking here.


GET INVOLVED:
The Florida Chamber and its Consumer Protection Coalition is sharing your call for AOB reform to stop the fraud and abuse. We’re gaining traction, but need your help to drive the message home. The Florida Chamber and Consumer Protection Coalition is sharing your call for AOB reform to stop the fraud and abuse. Thanks to your support, we’re gaining traction. Help us grow the Coalition by encouraging others to signing this petition. Thank you.



 
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Aug 17, 2016The River Report


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Aug 16, 2016Issues Team Presentation Mtg.


St. Lucie River.pdf
 
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Aug 16, 2016Martin County Master Gardeners present “Growing Vegetables in South Florida”
The University of Florida/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener program, in cooperation with the Martin County Library System, will present an educational program on growing vegetables in South Florida. The presentation will take place on Monday, September 19, 2016 from 5:30 til 7:00 p.m. at the Blake Library in Stuart, Florida.

Have you ever wondered how to successfully grow vegetables in South Florida? What vegetables grow well here? Where and when do you plant? What pests can impact your harvest, and what steps can you take to prevent or minimize damage? Come and gather some tips on vegetable gardening in South Florida from experienced UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener Volunteers. Master Gardener Help Desk Volunteers will be on hand to answer your gardening questions from 5:30 til 6:00 p.m., followed by an educational lecture about South Florida Gardening starting at 6:00 p.m.

This free event is sponsored by the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener volunteers, and light refreshments will be served. Veggie seedlings propagated by UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener Volunteers will be available for attendees on a limited basis.

For more information, visit http://martin.ifas.ufl.edu/ or call 772-288-5654.


 
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Aug 16, 2016The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board has been clear on two points:
Audubon Florida wants to raise your taxes to pay for the federal government's failure to control invasive plants that are destroying the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.

The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board has been clear on two points:

1) The Board is committed to no new taxes on South Florida families.
2) The Board, as the landowner, will hold the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accountable for its obligations as the lessee and operator of the Refuge to protect this special place.

Here are the Facts:
• Audubon Florida is asking the SFWMD Governing Board to raise taxes to make up for the federal government's failure to control an infestation of invasive Old World climbing fern in the Refuge. The Governing Board voted in July to lock in the "rolled-back" millage rates for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year. These millage rates will not increase the tax burden on South Florida property owners for a sixth consecutive year while generating the same level of ad valorem tax revenues as the prior year.
• Audubon Florida claimed during last week's Governing Board meeting that the District has more resources than the federal government for invasive plant control. The District's budget for the current fiscal year is $749.6 million. In comparison, the federal government is projected to spend $3.9 trillion this fiscal year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
• As Audubon Florida notes, the District and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have repeatedly stepped in to invest millions toward invasive plant treatment in the Refuge. The USFWS has not even asked Congress for funding to fix an urgent problem that is the federal agency's responsibility under a 50-year agreement to use state lands.
• Audubon Florida acknowledges that the Refuge faces "a crisis." Yet the organization wants the USFWS to continue operating the Refuge while asking South Florida property owners to pay more to fix the problem. This is like arguing a tenant should continue living in an apartment while the landlord pays to repair a hole the tenant punched in the wall - not real smart.
Multimedia:
• Read a letter from Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper to SFWMD Governing Board Chair Daniel O'Keefe.
• Watch public comments from Audubon Florida Executive Director Eric Draper during the Aug. 11, 2016, Governing Board meeting.
• See pictures and video of the devastating effects of Old World climbing fern in the Loxahatchee Refuge in this Flickr album.
• For more information on the USFWS's contract violation, visit www.sfwmd.gov/loxrefuge.
# # #
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Our mission is to protect South Florida's water resources by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.


 
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Aug 16, 2016Martin County Mosquito Control to aerial spray this week
Martin County Mosquito Control will conduct its first aerial spray mission of the year tomorrow night, Tuesday, August 16 (weather-permitting) to reduce overall mosquito populations that have increased due to recent rains. Approximately 62,269 acres west of the Florida Turnpike (zones G and I), including parts of Palm City and Indiantown, will be sprayed. In the event of poor weather, spraying may occur on an alternate date between Wednesday, August 17 and Friday, August 19. Spraying operations occur after 8:30 p.m.

Zone maps are located at the Mosquito Control web page at www.martin.fl.us. Click on Mosquito Spray Status Lookup to learn where mosquito spraying is currently scheduled. The map is updated daily at 4:00 p.m.


 
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Aug 16, 2016The River Report


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Aug 16, 2016Free Event Helps Parents Navigate Middle School Years
The middle school years can be rough on kids, and rougher on parents. The tween brain is constantly developing and changing, and kids at this age are faced with increased peer pressure and difficult choices that can greatly influence their future. However, with the right guidance, this important transitional time can be a positive experience.

On Saturday October 8th, Tykes & Teens, CHARACTER COUNTS!, Castle, The Stand Up Foundation, the Martin County Library System and Martin County Parks & Recreation will partner to present Mapping the Middle: A Guide to All Things Tween. This free event takes place at the Blake Library in Stuart from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and includes lunch courtesy of Tijuana Flats. CORE and The Children's Services Council of Martin County are additional sponsors.

Tweens may attend with their parent(s), and they will participate in guided activities designed to build character and self-esteem while parents receive expert advice from professionals on topics including building successful teens, strengthening your family, and surviving the tween years. Parents will also have the opportunity to bring up any specific topics of concern in small groups moderated by mental health and parenting experts.

There is no cost to attend, but participants must register at www.tykesandteens.org or by calling Dr. Agnieszka Marshall at 772-220-3439.


 
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Aug 15, 2016Disaster Assistance for Algae Bloom


Jack Camp, a Public Affairs Specialist with the Small Business Administration's Office of Disaster Assistance, is in South Florida for a few weeks to conduct outreach related to our disaster declaration for small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by
the algae bloom. Many restaurants and hotels have been affected by this event.
The SBA is offering low interest, long term loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations in South Florida that suffered an economic impact due to excessive
rain; flooding and the water released from Lake Okeechobee. The loans are
available through November 16, 2016.

They have established an office at the Martin County Fairgrounds in Stuart to provide one-on-one assistance to those affected by the disaster. The Center is open weekdays from 9 to 5, until further notice. Those unable to visit the Center may apply online using
the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. They can also contact SBA Disaster Assistance by calling (800) 659-2955.

For more information, please review their Fact Sheet and two latest press releases
(PR #1) (PR #2) relative to this declaration. Feel free to distribute the information to
your members as you see fit. If it would be helpful, Jack is available to meet with you
for a briefing about our program and discuss methods to increase your members' awareness of the availability of this assistance. Please give him a call if there are
any questions at 404 387-2172 or email him at john.camp@sba.gov.


 
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Aug 15, 2016Treasure Coast Food Bank |
August 2016 E-Newsletter


"If we can conquer space, we can conquer childhood hunger."
--Buzz Aldrin

It's a full night of comedy to benefit Treasure Coast Food Bank and everything our staff and volunteers do to provide emergency hunger relief to more than 100,000 kids and adults each week.

Comedians: Steve Zimmerman (pictured), Casey Peruski, and Tomas Diebold

When: August 19, 7 PM

Where: Sunrise Theatre Black Box Venue in historic, downtown Ft. Pierce

Tickets: $25 (General Admission); $50 (VIP, includes two adult drinks). Please go online: www.sunrisetheatre.com

A special thank you to our sponsors: Bank of America, Harbor Community Bank, White Glove Moving, Indian River Magazine, All Things Treasure Coast, St. Lucie Chamber of Commerce


Hunger Action Month™ Fast Approaching

September will be packed with events to bring awareness to the issue of hunger along the Treasure Coast. Lights will glow orange, and fountains will spout orange water as part of the "Go Orange" campaign to bring awareness to the issue of hunger.

Highlights include:

Eat, Drink & Give - Join us on Hunger Action Day™ (Thursday, September 1) and enjoy a special menu item at participating restaurants (list here).

"Strike Out Hunger"-Join us September 3 at 6:30 PM for a special night at the ballpark with the St. Lucie Mets. Limited edition jerseys for the night have been designed and you'll have the chance to bid on one--and have it autographed by the team if you wish. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased by calling 772.489.304 or emailing gporter@tcfoodbank.org.

Go Orange For Hunger - Go Orange for Hunger to raise awareness. Click here for more info.

"Hidden in Plain Sight: Lifting Up Vulnerable Populations in Indian River County" - Free breakfast roundtable discussion with local experts on the causes of poverty and hunger-and its solutions. September 8 at 8 am at the United Way of Indian River County office in Vero Beach. Call
772-489-3034 or email dvaina@tcfoodbank.org to RSVP.

"Aging Without Dignity: Addressing Senior Poverty in Martin County" - The focus this session, to also feature a panel of local experts, is on Martin County's senior population. Free breakfast coordinated in partnership with the Kane Center and Council on Aging of Martin County on September 13 at the Kane Center in Stuart. Call 772-489-3034 or email dvaina@tcfoodbank.org to RSVP.

Coffee Bar Blue Door Movie Night - Attend foodie movie night on September 19 at Coffee Bar Blue Door in downtown Stuart at 8 pm and enjoy the film "Big Night" starring Stanley Tucci.

To keep you on track, we have a 30-day calendar that gives you a snap shot of the events throughout the month. And please visit our event page for even more details.

Presenting sponsors for this year's Hunger Action Month™ are Geico, FPL, Keiser University and Martin Health System.



... and don't forget about "Pack the House"!




On September 9-10, we'll be hosting the 2nd annual "Pack the House" event where individual and group volunteers come together over a 24-hour period to create more than 200,000 local meals for those experiencing food insecurity.

Volunteers will work together to sort and pack food and non-food items, pack back packs for children, build senior boxes and veterans boxes, and bag pet food for our pet pantry.

Throughout the day and night, volunteers will enjoy music provided by local DJs, a karaoke contest, sunrise yoga, fun games with prizes, and much more! Free food and beverages will be provided throughout the event thanks to local restaurants and vendors.

Sign up on our Web site!

A special thanks to our shift sponsors: American Public Works Association, Audio Excitement DJ Service, Bank of America, Fort Pierce Utilities, Hi Tide Boat Lifts, Oculina Bank, Sailfish Realty, and Zumba by Joy. Entertainment sponsors are Top Clown Karaoke, and Twin Spirits Yoga. Businesses providing food are The Cake Lady of Fort Pierce, Chick-Fil-A of Stuart, Costa Azul Mexican, Moonswiners Barbecue, and Starbucks Coffee.



Update on Florida Agriculture & Nourishment Collaborative

In July, Treasure Coast Food Bank awarded a $2.4 million contract for the conversion of its former warehouse into a fully-operational production kitchen. It's the heart of a new program, the Florida Agriculture & Nourishment Collaborative, that will get more locally-grown nutritious food into the hands of children and adults, especially those from low-income households.


Local growers will provide millions of pounds of nutritious produce for the new Florida Agriculture & Nourishment Collaborative.
The contract to convert Treasure Coast Food Bank's old 10,000 square-foot warehouse at 3051 Industrial 25th Street was awarded to Fort Pierce-based Paul Jacquin & Sons, Inc. The program is scheduled to launch early January.

In addition to more nutritious food for people in need, the Collaborative will deliver several other benefits to the Treasure Coast. It brings area farmers a new market for their products, it creates additional jobs, it provides a low-cost source of food for school meals, and it creates an internship training program for individuals to gain skills in food production.

The production kitchen will include a wash/chop/packaging system to convert whole produce into pre-cut, refrigerated portions and a cook/vacuum-pack system to process raw vegetables into ready-to-use products, such as tomato sauce.

To learn more about the Florida Agriculture & Nourishment Collaborative, please visit www.stophunger.org.




Other Ways to Participate

Join us for a special Food For Thought tour, Friday, August 26 from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. This is an informative, eye-opening, behind-the-scenes tour of our Distribution Center. Space is limited, so please RSVP at 772-489-3034 or via email at esmith@tcfoodbank.org.

From now through October, join us every Monday afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00 pm for Bingo at the iconic, Archie's Seabreeze, 401 S Ocean Dr, Fort Pierce. The pots are big and the drinks are cold! Best of all, a portion of the proceeds benefit Treasure Coast Food Bank.


Treasure Coast Food Bank | 401 Angle Rd, Fort Pierce, FL | 772.489.3034
stophunger.org




 
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Aug 15, 2016Florida Chamber Break Records


TO: Florida Chamber Board of Directors, Local Chambers & Friends of Free Enterprise
FROM: Mark Wilson, President and CEO
DATE: August 14, 2016
RE: Florida Chamber Will Break Records With 2016 Digital Strategy in State Legislative Races


Please consider this a confidential briefing and please know you are receiving it because of your close connection to, and support of, the Florida Chamber of Commerce's efforts to make Florida more competitive.
As you know, we’ve been looking forward to this election cycle for quite some time. In order to make Florida even more competitive, we know that policy recommendations and white papers alone won’t cut it. We need the right policymakers who are willing to put the long-term policy choices ahead of short-term political rhetoric.

Times have changed. Simply funding candidates and using big television budgets will no longer bring pro-jobs candidates over the finish line on election day. With the change in times, the Florida Chamber’s tactics have changed as well. You’ll be hearing much more about this later in the year, but I wanted to share an update on our current efforts.
This year, our six member political operations team interviewed over 200 candidates running for the Florida Legislature. We’ve focused our primary election endorsements on 16 Democrats and 71 Republicans, and we will make additional endorsements heading into the November General Election.
You’ve already heard that this election season is “different” than any other, and that’s certainly true on many levels. I’m writing to share with you some confidential, yet exciting news relative to the Florida Chamber’s political operations this election cycle.
We’ve launched a strategically targeted digital advertising campaign geared specifically at likely primary voters and individuals in key legislative races across Florida. The Florida Chamber’s political team has stepped-up its political efforts by engaging voters where they are “getting their news.” That means, in addition to traditional television and radio advertising, we’re making a groundbreaking investment in digital media that targets Florida Chamber-backed candidates in key legislative races.

First, it should be noted that we’ll continue to heavily invest in traditional media campaign advertising, like television and radio ads and candidate mailers this election cycle. Second, the Florida Chamber will also invest hundreds of thousands of dollars targeting digital content to voters on mobile and desktop devices.
We know our digital investment is record setting by a third party engaging in legislative races, and reflective of our commitment to engage voters across all media platforms, regardless of their party affiliation.
Here’s why this strategy is so very important…Consumer research shows that Americans now spend 47 percent of their media time on a desktop or mobile device compared with 36 percent for television. And there’s growing evidence that mobile viewing time increasingly comes at the expense of television ad viewing.

Consider that:
• Consumers age 50 and over account for 54 percent of Florida’s electorate, and compounding shifts show they prefer mobile devices and social media as a news resource, and
• Of Florida’s 6.1 million voters over age 50, 4.1 million are believed to have Facebook profiles.
Thus far, the engagement is working. In fact, an early analysis of the data in just five of our 12 targeted campaigns shows that our digital ads have already been viewed 409,000 times by more than 250,000 voters. As more targeted digital ads go live, the Florida Chamber’s strategic digital ad campaign will reach half a million voters with more than one million total impressions by this time next week and it'll continue to grow. So far, our customized, highly targeted audience is the best performing on Facebook with 10 times the level of engagement, which our team is measuring and analyzing daily.
The Florida Chamber’s digital ad strategy blankets likely voters in a dozen legislative races, and serves up animated, biographical style videos on mobile devices and social media that introduce the voter to the candidate. Below are three digital ad examples.

Biographical Ad – Lange Sykes, Candidate for HD 54




Biographical Ad – Dianne Hart. Candidate for HD 61




Biographical Ad – Bobby Powell, Candidate for SD 30



This strategy is part of a larger, long-term effort to continue building the infrastructure to compete and win against those who want Florida to be more like California, New York, Greece and France. While we won't win every race, we will use the lessons learned to immediately focus on the fall elections. Moving forward, this is another strategy in the Florida Chamber’s efforts to advance our research, policy and political goals.
Click here for a more complete look at the Florida Chamber’s voter education efforts. As we move forward, we’ll continue to periodically update you on additional voter efforts.
While the election season is always unpredictable, and while we are literally on the front lines in the fight to make Florida more competitive, none of this would be possible without your leadership and without your investment in the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
If you have any questions, suggestions or would like to assist further, please email me at mwilson@flchamber.com or call my office at 850-521-1209.



 
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Aug 15, 2016MARTIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HOST 3RD ANNUAL “PARENT UNIVERSITY”
The Martin County School District will host “Parent University” on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 9am - 12pm at Martin County High School. This program is designed to provide important information to parents and other caregivers as they strive to support their child’s academic achievement. Sessions will focus on academic and support programs in the Martin County School District as well as effective strategies families can use to help every child succeed.

Parent University will begin with a General Session featuring a keynote address on cyber safety, followed by break-out sessions with topics relative to elementary and secondary schools. Topics include literacy, science, and math strategies, family involvement, Florida Standards and testing, college and career readiness and career and technical education.

The Martin County School District encourages all parents and guardians to attend this free event, which will also include free childcare for students ages 4-12. Parents must register for childcare at martinschools.org.

The host site of Parent University, Martin County High School, is located at 2801 Kanner Highway in Stuart.

Transportation for parents/guardians of students at Warfield Elementary School and Indiantown Middle School will be provided.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Blackboard, Lively Orthodontics, Sign Store & More, Stuart Jet Center and the Capen Family, The Stuart News and A Treasure Coast Driving School.


 
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Aug 15, 2016MARTIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HOST 3RD ANNUAL “PARENT UNIVERSITY”
The Martin County School District will host “Parent University” on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 9am - 12pm at Martin County High School. This program is designed to provide important information to parents and other caregivers as they strive to support their child’s academic achievement. Sessions will focus on academic and support programs in the Martin County School District as well as effective strategies families can use to help every child succeed.

Parent University will begin with a General Session featuring a keynote address on cyber safety, followed by break-out sessions with topics relative to elementary and secondary schools. Topics include literacy, science, and math strategies, family involvement, Florida Standards and testing, college and career readiness and career and technical education.

The Martin County School District encourages all parents and guardians to attend this free event, which will also include free childcare for students ages 4-12. Parents must register for childcare at martinschools.org.

The host site of Parent University, Martin County High School, is located at 2801 Kanner Highway in Stuart.

Transportation for parents/guardians of students at Warfield Elementary School and Indiantown Middle School will be provided.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Blackboard, Lively Orthodontics, Sign Store & More, Stuart Jet Center and the Capen Family, The Stuart News and A Treasure Coast Driving School.



 
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Aug 15, 2016Commissioners invite Presidential candidates to tour waterways; create online petition to gain momentum
As the Presidential candidates travel the country in preparation for the November election, the Martin County Board of County Commissioners has formally invited Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to visit Martin County and tour our deteriorating waterways. Commissioners have extended the invitation via letters sent to the candidates' campaign headquarters and through an online petition, which is gaining support and signatures daily. In the communication, Commissioners explain why the next President of the United States must address this situation; the severity of the water crisis is immeasurable.

Commissioners describe our environment as being under assault by rapidly declining water quality and increased freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee. The billions of gallons of polluted freshwater from the Lake have harmed our delicate ecosystem and have directly contributed to the toxic algae blooms that spread throughout our water system, ultimately extending into the Atlantic Ocean and onto our beaches in June and July.

In the letters, Commissioners reviewed local actions taken to date in response to the crisis in our waterways. In July, Martin County declared a State of Local Emergency which was immediately followed by Governor Rick Scott's Executive Order at the request of the Board. These actions were taken to protect the health and safety of the community and save our local economy and ecosystem.

In addition, Commissioners called on the Governor to formally request that President Barack Obama declare a federal State of Emergency to address the potential hazardous health, safety and welfare considerations. Commissioners also passed a historic resolution that clearly outlines the County's immediate needs and long term solutions to address water quality issues.

The Presidential candidates were also informed of Martin County's commitment to comprehensive Everglades restoration. Martin County is a proud partner with the federal government and the state of Florida on Everglades restoration projects that are jeopardized by sustained Lake discharges.

For the latest on water conditions in Martin County, visit www.martin.fl.us or www.facebook.com/speakupforthestlucie


 
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Aug 15, 2016Cities of Boca Raton, Ocala, Miami Gardens Extend Partnership with AEG Live for Special Event Programming/Production
AEG Live, SE is pleased to announce that the cities of Miami Gardens, Boca Raton, and Ocala have re-signed to maintain AEG Live, SE as their primary vendor for musical programming, production, and special event content for 2017.

2017 marks the 6th consecutive year that the City of Miami Gardens will engage AEG Live, SE to produce their annual Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival at New Miami Stadium, formerly known as Sun Life Stadium, on March 18 – 19, 2017.

Additionally, the City of Ocala has just confirmed headlining talent for the 2016 Annual Harvest Festival through AEG Live, SE, and continues to utilize AEG Live, SE services for the Feel Downtown Live monthly concert series each spring.

The City of Boca Raton has also enlisted AEG Live, SE for all production and talent-related responsibilities for performances at Mizner Park Amphitheater.

Interested in seeing what AEG Live can do for you?

Please contact us:

Scott Gartner
Talent Buyer / Producer
Director of Corporate Events
1800 South Australian Ave.
Suite 201
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Office: 561.681.5619
sgartner@aeglive.com
www.aeglive.com
www.aegworldwide.com

Katie Paradise
Corporate Events Producer
1800 South Australian Avenue, Suite 201
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
(561) 681-5613
Kparadise@aeglive.com
www.aeglive.com
www.aegworldwide.com



 
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Aug 15, 2016Weichert® Fast Track Training Offers Competitive Edge For Local Real Estate Professionals
Weichert Real
Estate Affiliates, Inc. is proud to announce that the following Weichert
affiliated agents have successfully completed its Fast Track training:

* From WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Integrity Group, located in Port Saint Lucie:
Associate Shirl Guertin. For more information contact Andrea LaFavor at
772-398-6400 or BROKERLAFAVOR@GMAIL.COM.

* From WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Integrity Group, located in Port Saint
Lucie: Associate Fazal Mohammed. For more information contact Andrea
LaFavor at 772-398-6400 or BROKERLAFAVOR@GMAIL.COM.


The training helps quickly bring new Weichert affiliated agents, as well
as current agents interested in taking a refresher course, up to speed on
the latest information and technology available to real estate
professionals so they can better communicate with clients to offer the
best service available.

“Our Fast Track program is designed to offer a rapid learning experience
through a series of interactive training sessions to give Weichert agents
the necessary business skills and techniques so they can begin serving
clients in their community,” said Martin J. Rueter, president of Weichert
Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. “The courses cover everything a real estate
professional needs to know to start out on the right track.”

Program participants learn how best to get started in the real estate
industry, find sellers, capture a buyer’s attention and list properties to
sell quickly. Agents that complete the Weichert Fast Track training also
gain the confidence and competitive edge to succeed in real estate.

Each Weichert affiliated office is independently owned and operated.


About Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.: Weichert Real Estate
Affiliates, Inc. has grown steadily since Jim Weichert, president,
chairman and CEO of Weichert, Realtors, named Martin J. Rueter as
president. The two collaborated in 2001 to create a business model for
franchisee ownership candidates described as “a clearly defined operating
system for marketing and managing a real estate business.” Weichert Real
Estate Affiliates, Inc. announced its first affiliate in 2002, was ranked
the #2 traditional residential real estate franchise in Entrepreneur’s
2016 Franchise 500, and is identified in 2016 by Entrepreneur magazine as
one of the fastest growing U.S. franchises. Weichert Real Estate
Affiliates, Inc. has offices serving over 300 markets in 39 states. For
more information about Weichert, visit Weichert.com or for information on
franchise opportunities visit WeichertFranchise.com.

Each WEICHERT® franchised office is independently owned and operated.


 
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Aug 15, 2016River Report


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Aug 15, 2016Zika
Like you, I am alarmed by the spread of Zika here in Florida. With recent reports of our first local cases here in Palm Beach County, I wanted to let you know what I have been doing in Congress to prevent the spread of Zika and what you can to pitch in and help fight the virus.

As you may know, back in February, President Obama requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding to help combat Zika. With more than 400 confirmed cases in Florida alone, I recently led more than 66 members of Congress in calling on Congress to immediately pass funding so that agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have the resources necessary to contain the virus. You may read our letter by clicking here.

While we await full funding, I have continued to support a comprehensive federal response to Zika. That is why I hosted a bipartisan briefing of the United Solutions Caucus with the CDC earlier this year to discuss the federal government's readiness and response efforts, and introduced a package of bills with Rep. Curt Clawson to reduce the spread of the virus and help fight mosquito-borne diseases. In April, I met with scientists who are working to find a vaccine to the virus at the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter and in June, I introduced the Strengthening Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health (SMASH) Act, which would provide more than $130 million each year for mosquito abatement efforts. Just last week, I helped lead a bipartisan delegation in calling on the FDA to expand Zika testing for blood donations collected in high-risk areas like South Florida to help prevent possible contamination and blood shortages.

All of us can help lend a hand by draining standing water weekly, and wearing repellents while enjoying the outdoors. Furthermore, if you or someone you know may have been affected by the virus, please contact Florida's Zika Virus Information Hotline by dialing 1-855-622-6735. As your representative, I will continue working hard to combat Zika and stay ahead of this growing threat. With that in mind, I would like to keep an open dialogue with you about any ideas, suggestions, or concerns that you may have about Zika or any other issues of concern. Additionally, you may sign up here to receive my e-newsletter.

Sincerely,


Patrick E. Murphy
MEMBER OF CONGRESS


 
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Aug 15, 2016New Overtime Rules to Go Into Effect in December

The Department of Labor (DOL) has finalized a rule that, effective Dec. 1, 2016, will make significant changes to the overtime regulations in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) [DOL Wage and Hour Division Final Rule, Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees].


Background
Employees covered by the FLSA must receive overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rates of pay, unless otherwise exempt. The FLSA's "white collar" exemptions exclude certain executive, administrative, and professional ("EAP") employees, and outside salespersons, from the federal minimum wage and overtime rules. Currently, to qualify for exemption, white collar employees generally must: (1) be salaried, meaning that they must be paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed (the "salary basis test"); (2) be paid more than a specified standard salary amount, which is currently $455 per week (the equivalent of $23,660 annually for a full-year employee) in existing regulations (the "salary level test"); and (3) primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties, as provided in the DOL's regulations (the "duties test").

The current regulations also contain a relaxed duties test for certain employees (highly compensated employees) who receive total annual compensation of $100,000 or more and are paid at least $455 per week.

President Obama issued a memorandum to the Secretary of Labor on March 13, 2014, directing the Secretary to modernize and streamline the existing overtime regulations for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The DOL has now complied with President Obama's request.


Key Provisions in the Final Rule
Standard salary level. Under the final rule, the standard salary level used to determine whether EAP employees and computer professionals are eligible to receive overtime will increase from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year) for a full-time worker beginning on December 1, 2016. The special "base rate" for employees in the motion picture industry to be exempt from overtime will increase from $695 to $1,397 per week in December.

Standard salary level reviewed every three years. The final rule includes a mechanism to automatically update the standard salary level requirement every three years, beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, to ensure that it remains a meaningful test for distinguishing between overtime-protected white collar workers and bona fide EAP workers who may not be entitled to overtime pay.

Highly compensated employees. Under the final rule, the total annual compensation threshold for a highly compensated employee (HCE) will increase from $100,000 to $134,004 on December 1, 2016 ($913 per week rather than the current $455 per week).

Nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments. The final rule allows employers for the first time to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level. These payments may include, for example, nondiscretionary incentive bonuses tied to productivity and profitability. For employers to credit nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments toward a portion of the standard salary level test, the final rule requires the payments to be paid on a quarterly or more frequent basis and permits the employer to make a "catch-up" payment.

The regulations include the following example on this rule:
Illustration Employee A is an exempt professional employee who is paid on a weekly basis. The standard salary level test is $913 per week beginning on Dec. 1, 2016. In January, February, and March, Employee A must receive $821.70 per week in salary (90% × $913). The remaining $91.30 in nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) must be paid at least quarterly. If at the end of the quarter the employee has not received the equivalent of $91.30 per week in bonuses, the employer has one additional pay period to pay the employee a lump sum (no greater than 10% of the salary level) to raise the employee's earnings for the quarter to equal the standard salary level.

The DOL recognizes that some businesses pay significantly larger bonuses. When larger bonuses are paid, the amount attributable toward the standard salary level is capped at 10% of the required salary amount

The final rule continues the requirement that highly compensated employees must receive at least the full standard salary amount each pay period on a salary or fee basis without regard to the payment of nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments, and continues to permit nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to count toward the total annual compensation requirement.

Duties test. The final rule is not changing any of the existing job duty requirements to qualify for exemption. The DOL expects that the standard salary level set in the final rule and automatic updating will work effectively with the duties test to distinguish between overtime-eligible workers and workers who may be exempt from receiving overtime.

The DOL's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has a new webpage dedicated to the final rule. The webpage contains general fact sheets on the final rule, and specific fact sheets for non-profit, higher education, and state and local governments. The webpage also includes general guidance and Q&As.


DOL Discusses What Employers Can Do to Control Costs Under New Overtime Rule
Dr. David Weil, Administrator for the Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD), says that employers have multiple options for complying with the new overtime rule.

The rule will increase the standard salary level used in determining whether an executive, administrative, or professional ("white collar") employee is eligible to receive overtime from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year), beginning on December 1, 2016.

Weil says that many employers believe that the only way to comply with the new overtime rule when they have white collar employees who earn less than $47,476 per year is to change them from salaried (exempt from receiving overtime) to hourly employees (eligible for overtime). He said that this is simply not true. According to Weil, there are multiple options for responding to the changes in the salary level.

Options Include:
1. Raise salary and keep the employee exempt from overtime. Employers may choose to raise the salaries of employees to at or above the salary level to maintain their exempt status, if the employees meet the duties test. Weil says that this option works best for employees who have salaries close to the new salary level and regularly work overtime.
2. Pay overtime in addition to the employee's current salary when necessary. Employers can also continue to pay their newly overtime-eligible employees the same salary, and pay them overtime whenever they work more than 40 hours in a week. Weil says that this approach works best for employees who work 40 hours or fewer in a typical workweek, but have occasional spikes that require overtime for which employers can plan and budget the extra pay. He notes that there is no requirement in the rule to convert employees from salaried to hourly in order to calculate their overtime pay.
3. Limit workers' hours to 40 hours per week. Under this option, employers must ensure that workload distribution, time, and staffing levels are all managed appropriately for their white-collar workers who earn below the salary threshold. Employers could hire additional workers to achieve this goal.
Some combination of the three options above may also be used.

Weil also reminded employers that the new overtime rule broadens the definition of salary basis to allow nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary test requirement.



If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at (772) 283-2356 or info@pcc-cpa.com.





Sincerely,


PROCTOR, CROOK, CROWDER & FOGAL, P.A.


 
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Aug 11, 2016Plans for Tri-Rail’s Downtown Link on Track
With most of the partner agreements in place, final details are being smoothed out for Tri-Rail commuter service to steam into downtown Miami before the end of next year.

“We are looking at insurance issues we’ll have to deal with in the future, and we got All Aboard Florida to give us a tour of its Miami station,” said Jack Stephens, executive director of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Tri-Rail’s parent.

“It’s amazing. By this time next year they expect to be in service [to Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach] and told us we would not be far behind in completion of our part of the station,” he said.

That means Tri-Rail trains could be in service as early as the fall of 2017 “which is what I’m hoping for, assuming no glitches,” Mr. Stephens said.

The insurance underwriters were impressed by progress on the station, he added. “For two years, we have been saying, ‘This is coming.’ Now we can say, ‘This is what it looks like,’ and see if we can get good prices on the insurance we will need.”

The authority must obtain insurance for the 8.5-mile segment of track that it will share with All Aboard Florida and Florida East Coast Railway, which will continue to ship freight on those tracks, he explained.

Authority staff is focusing on “critical path items” that need to be resolved, one of which is the agreement with the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency. There are no real conflicts, Mr. Stephens said, “but it is the most complex of the agreements, and the CRA is working it out with the city.”

All of the money to support the project has been pledged “but money won’t begin to move until we get a bill from All Aboard Florida” for what it has spent so far on the station, Mr. Stephens said. That bill will be split on a percentage basis among the partners, a process that could begin as early as next month, he said.

The project hit a bump when the Florida Department of Transportation pulled out over insurance concerns, but it still is supported by Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, Miami-Dade County, the Citizens Independent Transportation Trust, the City of Miami, the Bayfront Park Management Trust and both the Omni and Southeast Overtown/Park West community redevelopment agencies.

After the state transportation department bowed out, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority agreed to accept more of the financial burden, but none of the other parties were asked to contribute more money than was previously agreed.

On May 2, Alice Bravo, director of Miami-Dade’s Transportation and Public Works Department, advised all of the parties that agreements had to be finalized quickly or All Aboard Florida might withdraw its offer to have commuter service operate out of MiamiCentral, the downtown station to be shared by All Aboard Florida and Tri-Rail.

All Aboard Florida, a wholly owned subsidiary of Florida East Coast Industries, “has advanced construction of the commuter rail platforms and is incurring significant costs since the station has gone vertical and columns have been erected,” Ms. Bravo’s letter said. “If we are not able to execute agreements by the aforementioned date, All Aboard Florida has advised us that they will be forced to cease construction on the commuter rail infrastructure.

“Without a definitive plan of action and inter-agency coordination to pursue new agreements, we could forfeit this unique opportunity to bring commuter rail to the central business district,” Ms. Bravo’s letter had warned. Fortunately, the crisis was averted and work never stopped on MiamiCentral.


 
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Aug 11, 2016THE RIVER REPORT 8-11-16


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Aug 10, 2016President-Designate Negron Announces Plans for Major Water Storage Expansion
60,000 acres of land to provide 120 billion gallons of new water storage south of Lake Okeechobee
Stuart–Florida Senate President-Designate Joe Negron (R-Stuart) today announced plans to pursue funding to add ‎120 billion gallons of new water storage south of Lake Okeechobee.

“For too long, our community has been plagued by tremendous environmental and economic impacts as hundreds of millions of gallons of water are released from Lake Okeechobee each year,” said President-Designate Negron. “Permanent storage South of Lake Okeechobee is unquestionably needed as part of the overall plan to solve this catastrophic problem, particularly given the very devastating effects the current toxic algal blooms are causing in both our estuaries and the Everglades.”

Over the last several months, President-Designate Negron has been meeting with the agricultural community, Florida’s best scientists, community advocates, and others with relevant backgrounds and knowledge, regarding strategies to reduce and eventually eliminate harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

Through President-Designate Negron’s work with various experts and interested parties, two areas that appear optimal for new water storage have been identified: an area to the south straddling the Miami Canal and the Bolles Canal; and, an area to the southeast adjacent to existing storm water treatment areas, canals, and the A-1 flow equalization basin. The estimated cost of reservoirs on 60,000 acres of land providing 120 billion gallons of storage in the area South of Lake Okeechobee is roughly $2.4 billion.

“These areas to the south and southeast ‎were identified based on the ability to leverage existing structures to facilitate the continued flow of water to the South,” continued President-Designate Negron. “With the federal government paying at least half of the cost of such a reservoir, the state’s commitment would be $1.2 billion.”

President-Designate Negron proposes to use approximately $100 million annually of documentary stamp tax revenue set aside by Amendment 1 over the next 20 years to finance the acquisition of the land and construction of these reservoirs, and will pursue this funding during his upcoming term as President of the Florida Senate.

For more information, please visit www.FLSenate.gov.



 
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Aug 10, 2016Florida Wins Employer-to-Employee Conference Call on Aug. 15
The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s non-partisan Florida Wins employer-to-employee program will host a first-of-its-kind partner conference call on Monday, August 15, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. EST. During this call we will discuss the tools, plans and important election-related information employers should strongly consider communicating to their employees within the next 30 days.
Please note, this call is about getting the business community educated and engaged in the upcoming election cycle, not about specific campaigns or races.
The monthly call schedule and next week’s conference call information is detailed below:

Florida Wins Partner Conference Call
August 15, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. EST
1-866-909-3218
PIN: 1886581

Each month we will host a similar call, and in the future we will allow time for an interactive conversation to occur between Florida Wins partners. We believe it’s important to have a continuous conversation about what’s working, what’s not working and allow partners to share innovative ideas with the group.

Future Florida Wins Partner Conference Call Schedule:
Mark your calendars now to join our upcoming Florida Wins Partner conference calls:

• Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.
• Friday, October 14, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.
• Post-Election- Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 2:30 p.m.


 
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Aug 10, 2016Join Senator Jeff Brandes and Other Statewide Business, Industry and Elected Leaders to Discuss Issues that Will Impact Florida's Economy
Register at:
http://www.flchamber.com/event_post/military-defense-veterans-opportunity-summit/

The Florida Chamber Foundation's Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit on August 17 is only a few days away. Register today to join this conversation on:
• The impact federal changes may have on our military bases and surrounding communities,
• The opportunities for growth in military and defense industries, and
• The role veterans play in improving our state's talent pool.
Join Senator Jeff Brandes and our distinguished lineup of speakers to discuss Florida's future.

Florida Chamber Foundation Military, Defense & Veterans Opportunities Summit
August 17, 2016 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park



 
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Aug 10, 2016Bring a Disney Institute Course to Your Community
As one of the most recognized names in professional development, Disney Institute offers business professionals from the private, public, and social sectors a roster of one-day courses that give participants insight into the Disney approach to business.

To help participants navigate the continuously changing landscape of today's business environment, we provide unique methods of sharing the principles and underlying logic behind the Disney approach to service, leadership, culture, and more. We take context-neutral business truths that transcend industry and geography and tie them directly yo where Disney has learned to be intentional and thus providing a key source of differentiation for us.

 
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Aug 9, 2016Florida's Long Term Infrastructure Solutions... and Their Impact on Economic Development
Joint Meeting of the Florida Chamber's Statewide Board of Governors and
the Florida Chamber's Economic Development Task Force
Register Today for a Discussion About Preparing Florida's Future Infrastructure Development.


Florida Chamber's Board of Governors Conference Call
Monday, August 22, 2016
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (EST)
REGISTER


Six million new residents are expected to call Florida home by the year 2030. This will mean about four to five million new Florida drivers commuting on our roads, along with the millions of visitors that vacation in Florida each year. Identifying solutions for Florida long-term infrastructure growth and preparing for our state's transportation position as a global leader must be discussed now...and not later.

Please join Florida Chamber Economic Development Task Force co-chairs Glenda Hood, Founding Partner, TriSect, LLC, and Leerie Jenkins, Chairman of the Board, RS&H, for an in-depth discussion on Florida's infrastructure, including roads, energy, communications, and growth management. This month's webinar will include:
• Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce, will deliver his President's Report,
• Dr. Jerry Parrish, Florida Chamber Foundation's Chief Economist, will review the most recent job numbers, and discuss expected population changes between now and 2030,
• Senator Jeff Brandes, Florida Senate District 22, will discuss the future of transportation, including autonomous vehicles,
• Crystal Stiles, Director, Economic Development, Florida Power and Light, will talk about cost-efficient energy and diversification, and why data centers are important to Florida's future, and
• Rob Palmer, Planning Group Leader, RS&H, will provide insight on Florida's competitiveness related to its transportation infrastructure, intermodal logistics systems and ports.

The fight for sustainable water policies, proactive economic planning and development, as well as efficient and sustainable energy solutions must continue. Do not miss this opportunity to LEARN, ENGAGE, and play a role in finding SOLUTIONS. Register today to learn more!


Invite members of your management team who would benefit from this valuable discussion. Contact Emily Martin at (850) 521-1244 or email at emartin@flchamber.com to be added to the guest list.


Drive the Discussion
Do you have specific information you would like covered in this or an upcoming call? Send your suggestions to Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com.


More from the Florida Chamber
• Choose Between Paying Higher Workers' Comp Rates and Hiring New Employees
• Join us for the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2016 Future of Florida Forum in Orlando, September 28 - 30.


 
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Aug 9, 2016You're invited to a Community Allies Forum on racism and law enforcement in Martin County.


raceracismandlawenforceme
 
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Aug 9, 2016Program to Improve Everglades Water Quality Succeeds Amid Record Rainfall
Everglades Agricultural Area consistently achieves phosphorus reduction goals

West Palm Beach, FL - A program to improve Everglades water quality once again ensured water flowing from farmlands in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) met phosphorus reductions required by law, even amid a declared state of emergency following high water levels from record rainfall.

In a year that saw the wettest January since recordkeeping began in 1932, continued use of improved farming techniques, known as Best Management Practices (BMPs), produced a 27-percent phosphorus reduction in the 470,000-acre EAA farming region south of Lake Okeechobee for the Water Year 2016 monitoring period (May 1, 2015 - April 30, 2016). Florida's Everglades Forever Act requires that the amount of phosphorus leaving the EAA must be 25 percent less than before reduction efforts began.

"Meeting and even going beyond the required reduction in phosphorus despite unprecedented rainfall is an astounding accomplishment by the EAA agricultural community," said South Florida Water Management District Governing Board member Melanie Peterson. "More important, this achievement is a testament to the long-term effectiveness of the BMP program in cleaning water flowing to the Everglades."

South Florida's water, especially water moved into Everglades National Park by SFWMD, is cleaner than it has been in generations and meets stringent water quality requirements.

SFWMD issues this required annual report comparing the current Water Year for which BMPs are in place to a baseline period before the BMP program began to determine whether the EAA has met the requirement of the law. It is not a year-to-year comparison. A scientific model is used to compute the reductions and make adjustments to account for the influences of rainfall.

Average rainfall in January is about 2 inches District-wide. January 2016 saw:
• More than 9 inches of rain fell District-wide.
• January 27 was the wettest dry-season day in 25 years.
• November through January, the first half of the dry season, was the wettest for this period since record keeping began in 1932.
Examples of BMPs include refined stormwater management practices, on-farm erosion controls and more precise fertilizer application methods. These and other management practices by agricultural growers reduce the amount of phosphorus transported in stormwater runoff that reaches the Everglades and its connected water bodies.

BMP Program Results
When measured in actual mass, 51 metric tons of phosphorus were prevented from leaving the EAA and entering the regional canal system, which sends water into the Everglades, during the Water Year 2016 monitoring period. Since WY1996, the BMP program has prevented 3,055 metric tons of phosphorus from leaving the EAA.

Just west of the EAA, in the 170,000-acre C-139 Basin, a BMP program has been in place since 2002. In November 2010, the program requirements were enhanced to better control the nutrient runoff. For the Water Year 2016 monitoring period, data show the actual mass of phosphorus discharged from the basin during that time was 43 metric tons. Ongoing work continues to focus on improving phosphorus reductions in this basin, which historically has reported elevated nutrient levels in its runoff.


 
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Aug 9, 2016Martin County ranks second in state for recycling
Martin County ranks second statewide in traditional recycling rates, according to 2015 data released by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Martin County's recycling rate stands at 58 percent. Traditional recycling efforts include curbside recycling and materials collected at recycling centers.

"We are proud recycling rates in Martin County continue to be strong," said Martin County Solid Waste Administrator Pat Yancey. "Our staff is out in the community educating about how recycling protects Martin County's fragile environment."

Top 10 Counties for Traditional Recycling Rates:
• Charlotte - 59 percent
• Brevard, Martin - 58 percent
• Sarasota, Collier - 56 percent
• St. Lucie - 54 percent
• Pinellas, Orange - 52 percent
• Citrus, Leon - 51 percent


 
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Aug 9, 2016PALM TREE MASSAGE & FOOT SPA GRAND RE-OPENING CELEBRATION!
Palm Tree Massage & Foot Spa, located at 209 SW Federal Highway in Stuart is holding a grand re-opening celebration the weekend of August 12,13 & 14. We will be serving warm appetizers and cold drinks along with FREE RAFFLES!

Our spa was created in January 2014 to bring peace and tranquility to the local community - we realize that life can be very stressful so we created an atmosphere where you can come to relax, unwind and rejuvenate you're mind, body and sole.

Thanks to the local community, and partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, we have had such phenomenal success that we decided to sign an additional 5 year lease - with that, we have spent thousands of dollars in upgrades and have remodeled the place to be even more beautiful. We have also added new services that our customers have been requesting... and now it's time for a relaunch celebration!

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS - Come in and say hello and grab a raffle ticket - we will be giving away several spa packages! (You don't need to be present to win, but you do need the raffle ticket) Chamber of Commerce members can enjoy 15% off all spa services


 
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Aug 9, 2016Composition – A Class Dedicated to Creating Dynamic Artistic Compositions
September 10, 2016 - 9:30 a.m. – 1200 p.m. Take the next step in your journey learning how to compose interesting, everlasting, and creative images. Lead by photographer Bruce Bain, this class is aimed at advancing the knowledge of all 2D (painting, photography etc.) artists, and has been presented to art leagues. Bruce teaches and presents at various locations in the Palm Beaches. Bruce’s photos have won awards domestically and internationally for Best of Show, Best of Category and Honorable Mention in domestic and international galleries. His work is extensively published and sold by various home decor agencies and other online sites.

“Composition” covers topics for subject matter, centers of interest, the rule of thirds, horizons, space management, framing, perspectives, landscape and portrait considerations, and other techniques for effective composition.

A portion of the proceeds benefits the Friends of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Inc., a community-based, non-profit organization. The Friends organization promotes the historical, educational, and ecological enhancement of Jonathan Dickinson State Park and is directly responsible for funding many park programs and improvements.

The program is $40 per person and includes park entry. All levels are welcome. Advanced payment and registration are required - please visit http://composing.eventbrite.com. For additional information contact the park’s Kimbell Education Center, 561-745-5551, or email friendsjdsp@gmail.com or bainrbu@live.com.

The program will take place at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Kimbell Education Center, 16450 SE Federal Hwy, Hobe Sound, FL 33455.


 
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Aug 9, 2016“Pack the House” returns to ready 200,000 meals at Treasure Coast Food Bank
Treasure Coast Food Bank’s “Pack the House” event is back this year to help stock the food bank warehouse shelves with enough food for more than 200,000 meals.
“Pack the House was a phenomenal success last year because, in addition to filling our shelves with so much food for individuals and families in need, it brought the community here to see first-hand how we fight hunger,” said Treasure Coast Food Bank CEO Judith Cruz. “We’re very excited this year to have Wells Fargo as our presenting sponsor.”
Pack the House presented by Wells Fargo brings together hundreds of volunteers, scores of sponsors and 24 hours of good work fighting hunger. It takes place at Treasure Coast Food Bank’s headquarters, 401 Angle Road, Fort Pierce, kicking off at noon on Friday, Sept. 9 and going ‘round the clock to noon on Saturday, Sept. 10.
During those 24 hours, volunteers work in 3-hour shifts to sort food and pack it for meals that will feed children and adults in need across the Treasure Coast. Volunteers also will fill backpacks for children, build food boxes for seniors and veterans, bag pet food for the pet pantry, and sort non-food items. This year’s goal is to surpass last year’s 213,651 pounds of food and pack 250,000 pounds.
The event is a highlight of Hunger Action Month, a national effort by Feeding America and its member food banks to get everyone in America to take action to fight hunger. In the spirit of the National Day of Service and Remembrance, it begins with a kick-off ceremony at noon Sept. 9. Visitors are welcome to take a brief guided “Food for Thought” tour of Treasure Coast Food Bank to learn more about the fight against hunger.
The 24 hours are punctuated with lively activities to keep volunteers entertained and motivated. There will be a midnight Zumba class, 3 a.m. karaoke with prizes, sunrise yoga, and DJs spinning music all night.
Numerous area businesses are supporting Pack the House as sponsors. Shift sponsors are Oculina Bank, American Public Works Association, Bank of America, Hi Tide Boat Lifts, Sailfish Realty, and Fort Pierce Utilities. Entertainment sponsors are Top Clown Karaoke, Audio Excitement DJ Service, Zumba by Joy, and Twin Spirits Yoga. Businesses providing food are Moonswiners Barbecue, Costa Azul Mexican, Chick-Fil-A of Stuart, The Cake Lady of Fort Pierce, and Starbucks Coffee.
There are additional sponsorship opportunities, and volunteers are needed for all shifts. Visit the Get Involved tab at www.stophunger.org and sign up to volunteer or call Gary Porter at 772-489-3034 about a sponsorship.


 
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Aug 9, 2016NEW TECHNICAL DIRECTOR TO LEAD BARN THEATRE INTO RED-HOT SEASON
Stuart, Florida. The Barn Theatre's new season promises to be one of its most exciting and successful. Barn President Francine Beckstead said that we have to be even more ambitious in our productions this season to build upon last year's successes, which included 72 performances with 61 sellouts, 43 of which were consecutive. So, in addition to choosing a great line up of shows, Ms. Beckstead announced that the Barn Theatre hired Bryan Childe as its new Technical Director. He will be responsible for enhancing every aspect of the theater's production activities. Bryan will be overseeing all theater operations including lighting, sound, integration of sets, and special effects. Ms. Beckstead noted that Bryan is exactly what the Barn Theater has been searching for, an innovator. Last season, he directed Guys & Dolls and, in that Barn production he used many novel special effects, including lasers and, for the first time, cinematic projections. Bryan is a graduate of the American Musical Dramatic Academy in New York and Central Michigan University where he studied theater. He has vast stage experience, including stints with regional and a national touring group.

Bryan will be challenged right out of the box. The Barn's first production is the critically acclaimed suspense thriller, “The Haunting of Hill House.” That show runs from September 23rd to October 9th.
It's directors, Althea Wilson and Jeanette Mazzella, are already working with Bryan on enhancing special visual images and sound effects that will most assuredly draw the audience into the chilling and mystifying secrets of Hill House.

The Barn's other shows include the comedy, “A Nice Family Gathering,” November 4th – November 20th, the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” January 27th – February 12th, Neil Simon's comedy, “Chapter Two,” March 10th – March 26th, and the comedy “Alone Together,” May 12th – May 28th. All these shows are critically acclaimed.

The Barn will also be offering other special shows such as “ The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” with a shadow cast, on October 29th, and an expanded concert series in December, February, and May that will include tribute artists and local headliners and dancers. All our concerts sold out last year so we plan on adding additional shows. And to round out the season, our very successful summer camp program will start up again in July.

To learn more about the Barn Theatre, visit our website at www.barn-theatre.com or check us out on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets for our shows can be purchased on line, or by visiting or calling the Barn Theatre's box office at 287-4884. The Barn Theatre is a 501c3 non-profit community theater. Please consider making a donation to the Barn so that we can continue providing the best entertainment at the most inexpensive prices.


 
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Aug 8, 2016Zika Resources for Travel Industry
As the situation with the Zika Virus continues to evolve, VISIT FLORIDA has developed a Zika Virus Information page of resources to assist our Partners throughout the state. The page includes a Zika Virus Q&A, talking points for various audiences and Zika response quotes. The information here will be updated and new resources will be added as appropriate.

If you have any questions, please email news@VISITFLORIDA.org or call the Industry Hotline at (877) 435-2872.

http://www.visitflorida.org/resources/crisis-preparation/zika-virus-information/

Warm regards,
Industry Relations Team
VISIT FLORIDA


 
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Aug 8, 2016Why Childhood Immunizations are Important vaccinations
Prevention is the best medicine. Newborn babies have antibodies they got from their mother but this immunity dissipates during the first year of life. Each time a new illness attacks a child they must become sick in order to build up immunity to the disease. Vaccines are given to babies and children beginning at birth and continuing throughout their lives until the early teen years. Although laws vary state to state parents are permitted to refuse vaccines for their children and obtain an exemption based upon religious, philosophical, personal or conscientious belief.

The diseases which used to be most common in the United States and around the world and caused countless deaths were polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella (German measles), mumps, tetanus, rotavirus and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Vaccines now exist to prevent all of these diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control website; “Thanks to a vaccine; one of the most terrible diseases in history – smallpox – no longer exists outside the laboratory. Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives.”

If unvaccinated children are exposed to a germ they may not be strong enough to fight it off, some diseases still exist such as pertussis and measles and can be deadly. Immunizing children also helps protect people who can’t be immunized for medical reasons or babies who are too young to receive vaccines. For more information visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

Please visit your pediatrician or community health department for information on vaccine schedules and make an appointment today to get those vaccines up to date before school starts.

Any unusual signs or symptoms should be evaluated immediately especially in children, elderly or immune compromised patients. Physicians Immediate Care walk in medical center is open 7 days per week with extended hours in 5 convenient locations on the Treasure Coast. We offer urgent care and primary care.

 
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Aug 8, 2016The River Report 8.8.2016


River Report 8.8.16.png
 
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Aug 5, 2016Florida Chamber's Global Florida and International Political Briefing Webinar
Covers Importance of International Trade to Florida

During this week's Global Florida webinar, the Florida Chamber's International Program discussed the prospects for advancing international trade in this political environment. There is no doubt as to the importance that trade plays in Florida's economy, particularly, efforts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a recent article for the Florida Chamber's International Newsletter, I wrote that TPP is more than just another free trade agreement- for Florida, it's part of our economic reality.

Attendees to the webinar were also given a political briefing where they learned the latest polling information, highlights of key congressional races and received an overview of the Florida's Business Agenda.

The 2017 Florida Business Agenda is a member-driven, consensus agenda built by thousands of business leaders, partnering associations and local chamber members. And we are taking input on it now. Take the survey today and share your thoughts on the issues that we should be fighting for.


Mark Your Calendars:
The next Global Florida webinar will focus on Brazil and will take place on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. est. Register today!
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6755028179390028546


 
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Aug 5, 2016The River Report


River Report 8.5.16.png
 
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Aug 4, 2016Long Term Infrastructure Solutions...How Can Florida Prepare?


Register Today and Join the Florida Chamber of Commerce's Board of Governors and
the Florida Chamber's Economic Development Task Force for a Discussion About Preparing Florida's Future Infrastructure Development.

Florida Chamber's Board of Governors Conference Call
Monday, August 22, 2016
2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (EST)
REGISTER


The Florida Chamber Foundation estimates Florida will have 26 million residents by 2030 - that's six million more than today. For this reason, among many others, it is imperative Florida focuses on long-term infrastructure solutions.

Continued investment in Florida's infrastructure will play a key role in transforming Florida's economy. Please join Florida Chamber Economic Development Task Force co-chairs Glenda Hood, Founding Partner, TriSect, LLC, and Leerie Jenkins, Chairman of the Board, RS&H, for an in-depth discussion on Florida's infrastructure, including roads, energy, communications, and growth management. This month's webinar will also feature:
• Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce, will deliver his President's Report,
• Dr. Jerry Parrish, Florida Chamber Foundation's Chief Economist, will review the most recent job numbers,
• Senator Jeff Brandes, Florida Senate District 22, will discuss the future of transportation, including autonomous vehicles,
• Crystal Stiles, Director, Economic Development, Florida Power and Light, will talk about cost-efficient energy and diversification, and why data centers are important to Florida's future.
Stay tuned for information on additional speakers to be announced soon.

The fight for sustainable water policies, proactive economic planning and development, as well as efficient and sustainable energy solutions must continue. Do not miss this opportunity to LEARN, ENGAGE, and play a role in finding SOLUTIONS. Register today to learn more!


Invite members of your management team who would benefit from this valuable discussion. Contact Emily Martin at (850) 521-1244 or email at emartin@flchamber.com to be added to the guest list.


Drive the Discussion
Do you have specific information you would like covered in this or an upcoming call? Send your suggestions to Carolyn Johnson at cjohnson@flchamber.com.


More from the Florida Chamber
• Rail Lines Keep Economy Rolling
• Join us for the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2016 Future of Florida Forum in Orlando, September 28 - 30.


 
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Aug 4, 2016If your swing is good, your game will be great.
Greetings from Judy Wednesday, 03 August 2016

Once upon a time (not that very long ago) golfers would start a conversation with me that went something like: “I read in a golf magazine that...” Or “A friend said that if I …”. You can fill in the gap with a particular piece of swing advice. Sometimes it was good advice. Sometimes it wasn’t, but at least we started a conversation.

Now, the world has gone crazy, and everyone is shouting in the online world to get attention: “If you’re over 50 click here to see the move that will add 30 yards to your drives”. Mostly you get somewhere with adverts, they’re making money. The worst ones are where you get to watch a presentation that keeps promising the world but ends with the $49 offer and still no clue to the “magic move”!

In an age of information overload and conflicting reports on facts, let alone opinions, the best move you can make is an “assessment”. Whatever move is going to help you to have more fun or hit it further or straighter or closer, it starts with your golf swing. Call us now.

http://www.judyalvarez.com/forms/booklesson?Subject=Improving%20my%20golf%20swing

 
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Aug 4, 2016Tykes & Teens Prepares for 9th Annual Festival of Trees & Lights
Martin County's premier holiday kickoff event, the Festival of Trees & Lights, will return to Flagler Place in downtown Stuart Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2016. The 9th Annual fundraiser benefits direct patient care at Tykes & Teens, a Palm City based non-profit that provides top quality mental health care and prevention programming to local youth, regardless of financial status.

The weeklong Festival features holiday themed events that appeal to all ages. Events include an elegant cocktail party, a Ladies' Night, free breakfast and photos with Santa, an afternoon tea and fashion show, and more. The focus of the Festival will be the more than 75 decorated wreaths and trees that will be on display to the public all week. There is no charge to view the display, but raffle tickets will be available to win your favorite. Select trees and wreaths will be auctioned.

Tree and wreath designer opportunities are available now on a first come, first serve basis, and are limited. Trees and wreaths may be designed by businesses, individuals, schools, and social/civic organizations. Designers will enjoy marketing benefits. Corporate sponsorships are also available for this popular event that draws thousands of visitors and ensures that all local families in need of mental health treatment for their children will receive it.

Corporate sponsors who have already signed on include Florida Power & Light, Espinal, Stern & Whittington at Morgan Stanley, Bank of America/US Trust, Harbor Community Bank, Two Men and a Truck, Family Private Care, N2 Architecture and Design, Rick Carroll Insurance Agency, McCarthy Summers Bobko Wood Norman Bass & Melby, P.A., Dr. Rosie Aviles, Osceola Café, RV Johnson, Gunster, Crary Buchanan, Bart’s Blue Foundation, Martin Health System and TCPalm.

At Tykes & Teens, we believe that Mental Health Matters Every Day, and we cannot wait for another tragedy to happen before we come together to make mental health services accessible for all in our community.

For information about becoming a Tree/Wreath Designer, Corporate Sponsor or event volunteer, please visit www.tykesandteens.org or call Paula at 772-220-3439.



 
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Aug 4, 2016Commissioner Anne Scott to host town hall meeting in Indiantown on August 10
The public is invited to attend a town hall meeting on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 hosted by Martin County District 3 Commissioner Anne Scott. The Commissioner invites residents and business owners to have an open discussion and address any issues they feel she should know about.

The meeting will be held:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Civic Center - 15675 SW Oseola Street, Indiantown
Immediately following the 6:00 p.m. NAC meeting

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August10, 2016.
If you would like additional information regarding this meeting,
Please call 772-221-2357 or email Sherilyn at sscrader@martin.fl.us.


 
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Aug 4, 2016Everglades Agricultural Area Planning Study
TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Media Relations, South Florida Water Management District
DATE: 8/4/16
SUBJECT: Everglades Agricultural Area Planning Study

The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Chairman this week responded in writing to the Assistant Secretary of the Army regarding her suggestion to reorder planning studies for Everglades restoration. The current timeline is a proven and reliable compass that guides restoration projects and maximizes the benefits of all Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan efforts. A proposed amendment to this schedule is a distraction that could prove harmful to ongoing efforts and should be carefully considered only in the context of a public process. (SEE attached PDF for letters)
• Letter in response from SFWMD Chairman Daniel O'Keefe
• Letter from Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy

Media Contact:
Randy Smith | rrsmith@sfwmd.gov | Office: 561-682-2800 | Cell: 561-389-3386







The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Our mission is to protect South Florida's water resources by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.


SFWM letters.pdf
 
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Aug 4, 2016The River Report - August 4th


TheRiverReport 8.4.jpg
 
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Aug 3, 2016July Rainfall Well Below Average for South Florida
July Rainfall Well Below Average for South Florida
Still One of Wettest Years on Record Due to Unprecedented Rainfall in Earlier Months

Rainfall across South Florida was well below average in July, leading to the 10th driest July on record, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) meteorologists reported. A total of 5.38 inches of rain fell District-wide, representing 75 percent of average, or 1.8 inches below average.

The driest parts of the District's 16-county region were in the eastern coastal areas of Palm Beach and Broward counties. Those basins received between 47 percent and 60 percent of their average rainfall for July. The eastern area of Palm Beach County was the driest with a 3.49-inch rainfall shortfall.

Easterly steering winds pushed storms that did develop across the state during the early part of July, accounting for the much drier conditions along the eastern coastal areas and average rainfall experienced in the western basins. The Southwest Coast, East Caloosahatchee and Big Cypress Preserve basins received close to the average amount of rainfall for July due to these steering winds.

Because of unprecedented rainfall for the first half of 2016 prior to July, it has still been the 10th wettest year on record, according to District meteorologists.

The below average rainfall proved to be beneficial to the SFWMD's ongoing efforts to treat and move more water south from Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park.

All of that unprecedented rainfall filled stormwater treatment areas and water conservation areas with local rainfall, creating a bottleneck that hindered the movement of more water south through the treatment system and hindered the ability to take more water from Lake Okeechobee south. The dry July created opportunity, particularly in the last week, to discharge water from treatment areas into the water conservation areas. This, in turn, created capacity to take more water into the stormwater treatment areas and the A-1 Flow Equalization Basin, which is storing water to eventually send to the treatment areas. In all, the District moved 33,300 acre-feet of water from Lake Okeechobee south to the treatment areas and flow equalization basins in July, far more than the 22,600 moved in May and June combined during heavier local rainfall.
Other rainfall totals included:
• Lake Okeechobee recorded 4.01 inches of direct rainfall, representing 67 percent of average, or 2.02 inches below average.
• Martin and St. Lucie counties received 3.16 inches of rain, representing 48 percent of average, or 3.44 inches below average.
• Rainfall totals in the Water Conservation Areas (WCAs) were below average. WCAs 1 and 2 received 3,73 inches of rain, representing 55 percent of average, or 3.09 inches below average. WCA 3 received 4.67 inches of rain, representing 67 percent of average, or 2.38 inches below average.
• The Upper and Lower Kissimmee basins were below their averages for the month. The Upper Kissimmee basin received 5.66 inches of rain, representing 83 percent of average, or 1.13 inches below average. The Lower Kissimmee basin received 4.96 inches of rain, representing 70 percent of average, or 2.11 inches below average.
South Florida Wet Season Facts
On average, South Florida's wet season begins around May 20 and ends around Oct. 13, lasting for about 21 weeks.
• Typically, about two-thirds of annual rains fall during the wet season, or approximately 35 inches out of 52 inches.
• June is usually South Florida's wettest month.
• The wet season has three general phases:
o Memorial Day weekend through July 4 weekend, which are typically the wettest six weeks of the year.
o Early July through mid-August, which are hotter and often drier.
o Late August through October, which are characterized by highly variable rainfall mainly due to tropical activity and cold fronts.


 
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Aug 3, 2016Regional Farming Conference Coming to the Treasure Coast
The UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Team is proud to present the Treasure Coast Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference on November 1 & 2, 2016 at the Indian River Research and Education Center, Fort Pierce, Florida. This conference is the fifth of the new regional events created by a team of UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Agents from the south east and south central counties of Florida.

“Our event will focus on the nuts and bolts of producing fruits and vegetables and running a farm business” said Ed Skvarch, UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County Commercial Horticulture Agent and Interim County Extension Director. “This event will provide a great networking space and share practical farming knowledge that can help farmers across the region,” Skvarch said.

A pre-conference farm tour will be featured on Tuesday November 1st. The tour will visit Synergy Education and Research Farm in Fort Pierce, Ground Floor Farm in Stuart and Osceola Organic Farm in Vero Beach. The conference will formally launch in the evening of November 1st at the Endless Summer Vineyard and Winery in Fort Pierce. “This venue is an excellent place to network, have great food, and be inspired by our keynote speakers,” Skvarch said.

On Wednesday, November 2nd, the conference will move to the Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce. Conference sessions will focus on three main tracks: Beginning Farmer, Advanced Farmer and Alternative Crops and Diversification. Session topics include Soil Management, Creating a Business Plan, Growing Niche Vegetables and Permaculture. In addition to educational sessions, participants will be able to visit and network with vendors and educational organizations at the conference trade show, learn from hands-on demonstrations and enjoy catered meals featuring food from local farms.

Come, network and learn with other farmers, UF/IFAS Extension and Research personnel and other industry representatives!

Check out the Conference Program and register online at http://tcsfc.eventbrite.com.
Early Bird Registration fee is $65 before October 11, and $75 after that. Farm tour fee is $50. Registration includes refreshments, meals, educational materials and transportation to farm tour sites.

For more information, contact your UF/IFAS County Extension or call 352-294-1692.
Partial support for this event is provided by a FDACS Specialty Crop Block Grant.


 
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Aug 3, 2016JUPITER MEDICAL CENTER EARNS HIGHEST RATING IN REGION FOR QUALITY OF CARE FROM FEDERAL AGENCY
Jupiter Medical Center today announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently awarded them a 4-star rating for quality of care, the highest ranking a hospital received in either Martin or Palm Beach Counties. This rating places Jupiter Medical Center in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the state of Florida and the top 22 percent of hospitals nationwide.

“Following on the heels of the Leapfrog ‘A’ grade for patient safety, this 4-star ranking from a respected federal agency underscores the fact that we have higher standards at Jupiter Medical Center and it shows,” stated Jupiter Medical Center’s President and Chief Executive Officer John D. Couris. “From infection control to patient safety to timely care, our team is working hard every day to reimagine the way we deliver health care to our community, and I’m very proud that it consistently translates to world-class quality care.”

Hospital Compare, which was developed through the efforts of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is an online database that provides information about the quality of care at more than 4,000 Medicare-certified hospitals across the country. Summarizing 64 distinct quality measures in order to rank hospitals effectively, Hospital Compare includes data points on how often hospitals give recommended treatments for certain conditions such as heart attack, stroke or pneumonia, as well as how quickly treatment is given and how a hospital follows best practices to prevent complications. Readmissions and deaths, use of medical imaging, and payment and value of care are other key data points in Hospital Compare. Qualitative patient experience isn’t overlooked however, as the findings include survey results from recently discharged patients.


 
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Aug 3, 2016What are the issues that will impact you today and in the future?
Attend the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2016 Future of Florida Forum September 28-30 in Orlando to find out the answers to this question and others, including:
• What industries are growing in Florida and what skills will be needed to fill positions and help them continue to expand?
• What technologies are changing the nature of work across all industries and how do business leaders prepare for these disruptions?
• What regulations and court rulings will impact your bottom line?
Register today and join our partner organizations and other statewide leaders in this important discussion.

Register Today: Early Registration Ends August 19!
http://www.flchamber.com/event_post/future-of-florida-forum/

Florida Chamber Foundation Future of Florida Forum
September 28- 30, 2016
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando



Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Jane McNabb at JMcNabb@flfoundation.org





 
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Aug 3, 2016PALM TREE MASSAGE & FOOT SPA GRAND RE-OPENING CELEBRATION!
Palm Tree Massage & Foot Spa, located at 209 SW Federal Highway in Stuart is holding a grand re-opening celebration the weekend of August 12,13 & 14. We will be serving warm appetizers and cold drinks along with FREE RAFFLES!

Our spa was created in January 2014 to bring peace and tranquility to the local community - we realize that life can be very stressful so we created an atmosphere where you can come to relax, unwind and rejuvenate you're mind, body and sole.

Thanks to the local community, and partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, we have had such phenomenal success that we decided to sign an additional 5 year lease - with that, we have spent thousands of dollars in upgrades and have remodeled the place to be even more beautiful. We have also added new services that our customers have been requesting... and now it's time for a relaunch celebration!

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS - Come in and say hello and grab a raffle ticket - we will be giving away several spa packages! (You don't need to be present to win, but you do need the raffle ticket) Chamber of Commerce members can enjoy 15% off all spa services

We offer:

*body massage
*foot massage/reflexology
*hot stone
*walk in back

NEW: NOW OFFERING:

*Professional series facials by Iris Dempsey
*waxing
*body sugar scrub
*body wrapping
*laser hair removal

**Gift certificates available

Come in to say hello and meet the staff or call and book your appointment - REMEMBER: Mention the Chamber of Commerce and receive 15% off your visit!

Palm Tree Massage & Foot Spa
209 SW Federal Highway
Stuart, FL 34994
772-266-4810
www.palmtreemassageandfootspa.com
Palmtreemassage@hotmail.com


 
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Aug 3, 2016Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (CARE) continues to actively pursue all possible legal, political and public communication channels to stop the ill-conceived All Aboard Florida (AAF)/Brightline rail project that threatens the public safety and current way of life of communities throughout the Treasure Coast.
Federal Lawsuit. On June 30, there was a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., on the federal lawsuit filed by Martin County and Indian River County—and including two individual CARE members—that is focused on violations of federal environmental law and the illegality of using private activity bonds (PABs) for AAF. The Counties’ attorneys successfully worked to bring several previously sealed files on AAF’s bond prospectus documents out from under the protective order AAF had sought, and this allowed the majority of the nearly four hour hearing to be open to the public.

The Counties’ attorneys offered strong arguments for why the motion to dismiss the case brought forth by AAF and the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) should not be granted, and were able to argue the merits of their case with respect to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) violations and the improper authorization of PAB authority under Title 23 of the U.S. Code, which covers highways.

Judge Cooper’s ruling is expected soon, but the Court is not on any deadline for making its decision. CARE will report more when the decision is released.
RRIF Loan & Other AAF Government Subsidy Funding Plans. The issue of AAF’s Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan application was raised during the June 30 court hearing.

DOT and AAF, as usual, tried to have it both ways, arguing in their brief filed in January that RRIF funding is possible, in order to show a source of funding other than the PABs. However, at the hearing they reversed this, claiming that AAF is not pursuing a RRIF loan “now” and hence the case should be dismissed on standing grounds as not a major federal action. This contradiction underlies AAF’s problems in this case.
A recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that CARE sent to DOT seemingly corroborates that AAF is not currently pursuing a RRIF loan. CARE sought all 2016 communications between the agency and AAF (and its affiliates) on the RRIF loan, and DOT responded to CARE on June 15 noting that the agency had found no records responsive to CARE’s request.

With respect to overall funding for the AAF project, CARE continues to monitor any and all developments closely. CARE notes that AAF has yet to sell its PABs after four different proposals were made to investors, and is evidently not actively pursuing a RRIF loan—two major sources of federal tax dollars that it previously touted as important components of the project. In addition, AAF has made only limited public descriptions of how it might fund construction of its proposed passenger rail project through our Treasure Coast communities.

While AAF is great at issuing press releases about building and construction activity on Phase 1 from West Palm Beach to Miami, it is important to note that those announcements have no bearing on the second phase of the project north of West Palm Beach to Orlando—the phase that would directly affect and disrupt our communities.

Permitting and Rulemaking. In coordination with the Counties, CARE continues to monitor and involve itself in the permitting and rulemaking actions of other federal and state agencies—including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE, or the Corps) and two Florida Water Management Districts—and is considering legal interventions and actions on these permitting issues. CARE is ramping up as agency actions move forward.
CARE has retained the Shubin & Bass law firm with respect to AAF’s permit application before the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD, or the District). On July 22, the SFWMD listed AAF’s permit application as “complete” and a decision regarding the District’s likely intent to issue a permit for AAF is forthcoming. Martin County did not agree with this completeness assessment.

August or September is the possible time frame for a decision from the District. Any entity that submitted a “point of entry” request to the SFWMD—CARE included—will be informed of this notice in writing. Once the notice is issued, CARE and/or the Counties will have 21 days within which to request an administrative hearing.
CARE is continuing to examine potential legal options with respect to the SFWMD permit and next steps. To the north, Indian River County is examining similar issues related to the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), and CARE will report more on these efforts in a future update.

Developments have also occurred in the ACOE permitting process. It has recently come to light that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has intentionally relinquished its previously-held role as the lead agency for “Section 106” review—that is, reviewing the AAF project’s impacts on historical and archaeological sites pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). In addition, the FRA is also no longer acting as the lead agency for NEPA purposes—a decision that was likely made in an effort to impact the District Court case discussed above.

These two developments increase the likelihood that ACOE will be forced to take on a more important role in the permitting and review process of the AAF project, serving as the lead federal agency for both Section 106 review and NEPA purposes. To this end, the Counties and CARE remain in communication with the Corps and continue to stress the numerous deficiencies in AAF’s ACOE application, as well as in the AAF’s similar analysis appearing in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that was released by the FRA nearly one year ago.
CARE expects to report more to its supporters on these two areas in the coming weeks.

Public Relations Update. CARE has continued to respond to media inquiries that have resulted in published stories about the public safety challenges and other impacts to the Treasure Coast and N. Palm Beach regions. Most recently CARE received a call from an Orlando TV station, WFTV, which featured an investigative report, with our input, on AAF’s “secret” that it will be transporting dangerous liquefied natural gas on the tracks that run through our communities. We have provided you with a link in our In Case You Missed It section below. Also, CARE received a great response to its candidate questionnaire and the committee is in the process of grading the submissions. An overall scorecard will be released to the media to highlight champions for CARE’s cause in the coming days. Additionally, CARE placed an opinion editorial, which pushed back against calls for us to throw in the towel, which was featured in multiple outlets including Sunshine State News, the TC Palm and the Palm Beach Post. Finally, John Payson, a longtime resident of Jupiter Island and supporter of CARE, penned a letter in support of our efforts that was also featured recently in the TC Palm.

ICYMI. In case you missed it, below we have included some good reads.
The fight against All Aboard Florida is far from over by Brent Hanlon
http://m.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/opinion/point-of-view-the-fight-against-all-aboard-florida/nrtt6/
9 Investigates: Commuter train project has a secret by Chris Heath, WFTV
http://www.wftv.com/video?videoId=392904506&videoVersion=1.0
John Payson: Citizens Against Rail Expansion Florida has our trust and support
http://www.tcpalm.com/opinion/guest-columns/john-payson-citizens-against-rail-expansion-florida-has-our-trust-and-support-37fea426-440a-6886-e05-387471111.html
Investigative Reporter Lucas Daprile - TCPALM -Lack of government oversight regulations make private railroad crossings unsafe
http://www.tcpalm.com/news/shaping-our-future/all-aboard-florida/lack-of-government-oversight-regulations-make-private-railroad-crossings-unsafe-even-after-fatal-c-3-388275941.html
New York Times Reporter Brian Protess - How Private Equity Found Power and Profit in State Capitols
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/business/dealbook/private-equity-influence-fortress-investment-group.html?ref=topics&_r=0


Federal Railroad Administration July Media Releases:
July 29th - The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a new final rule which requires passenger railroads to proactively identify potential safety hazards across their operations and work to reduce and mitigate them.

https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L18291
July 25th - Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg today called for greater action to prevent fatalities at the nation’s more than 200,000 railroad crossings following several significant incidents in recent weeks that have killed parents and their children at railroad crossings.
https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L18284#p1_z5_gD_lPR_y2016_m7

Interested in Helping?
Winning this fight against AAF is up to CARE and the residents of the Treasure Coast communities who have the most to lose from this project. Please continue to stand with CARE and oppose AAF!
To get the latest or to sign up for our monthly updates, please visit our website www.saveourfl.com or you can like our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter.

We would love to hear from you and if you care to make a contribution

Please continue to share our updates with your family, neighbors and friends. There will be some very interesting developments we will report on in the near future. So keep looking for our updates or call to action.

Thank you for your continued support. Together We Can Make A Difference.
Brent P. Hanlon
Chairman, CARE FL

 
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Aug 3, 2016Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties Launches New Endowment Challenge for All Nonprofits
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is excited to introduce a special opportunity to nonprofit organizations in Palm Beach and Martin Counties – the Forever Nonprofit Endowment Challenge.

The Forever Nonprofit Endowment Challenge will encourage up to fourteen 501(c)(3) organizations in Palm Beach and Martin Counties to establish a permanent endowment with the Community Foundation. The Community Foundation will invest $350,000 into this initiative from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund, matching up to $25,000 per organization.

This Challenge grant piggybacks on the success of last year’s challenge from the Foundation, the Forever Arts and Culture Endowment Challenge. Last year’s challenge, exclusively for arts and culture organizations, awarded ten nonprofits with matching grants of $25,000 each to establish a permanent endowed fund at the Community Foundation. Read about last year’s success here and here.

The Community Foundation will administer the Forever Nonprofit Endowment Challenge. Organizations that demonstrate institutional readiness, financial stability, and fundraising maturity are encouraged to participate. The ten winners of last year’s arts and culture challenge grant and current nonprofit endowment fundholders at the Community Foundation will not be eligible.

“The initial arts and culture endowment challenge was so successful we wanted to give other nonprofit organizations the chance to endow their future,” said Bradley Hurlburt, President and CEO of Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties. “Permanent endowment provides a reliable source of income in perpetuity that an organization can count on for its charitable work. Funds also grow over time with additional gifts from multiple donors. Our nonprofit endowment fundholders are the exemplars of sustainability, forward thinking and long-term commitment to our community.”

Interested nonprofit organizations within Palm Beach and Martin counties are invited to submit a proposal to be considered for the challenge program. Organizations with commitment to building long-term sustainability through endowment building will be given priority. LOI proposal submissions will be accepted from September 6 – October 28, 2016. The Community Foundation will invite select candidates to submit full proposals between November 16 – December 21, 2016. Awards will be announced on January 13, 2017.

The following information sessions are opportunities for an agency’s Board of Directors and executive staff to learn more about how a nonprofit endowment fund at the Community Foundation operates as well as the proposal requirements.

Monday, August 29, 2016 / 4pm - 5:30pm
Community Room
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
700 South Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 / 10am – 11:30am
Community Room
Martin County Children’s Services Council
101 SE Central Pkwy
Stuart, FL

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 / 10am – 11:30am
Vegso Community Resource Center
261 NW 13th Street
Boca Raton, FL

For more information and a list of local agencies that have an endowment with the Community Foundation, visit www.yourcommunityfoundation.org.


 
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Aug 3, 2016SFWMD Science and Charitable Efforts Featured at WRAC Meeting

Science poster session will highlight latest District research; bake sale will raise money for nonprofit organization founded by employees


As they did in 2014, SFWMD scientists and engineers will be presenting their research in a poster session this week at agency headquarters in West Palm Beach. (Click on the photo for a larger version.)

WHAT: Both the scientific and charitable work of South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) employees will be on full display during the August meeting of the Water Resources Advisory Commission (WRAC).

The bi-annual Science Poster Session will feature ecological and hydrological research that supports the District's efforts to manage South Florida's water resources and restore the region's unique ecosystems. Two dozen illustrated posters will cover topics ranging from changing landscapes to new methods for reducing nutrients and algal blooms. SFWMD scientists and engineers will be available during the WRAC meeting to answer questions about their work.

Employees will also be holding a charity bake sale to benefit Water for Small Villages. Current and former District employees founded the nonprofit organization to help people around the world get access to clean drinking water and learn skills to maintain a safe and clean water supply in the future. The group's projects have included installation and repair of wells and drinking water systems for schools and orphanages in Haiti and Nepal.
WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 4
TIMES: Science poster Q&A session: 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. and noon - 1 p.m.
Employee bake sale: 8 a.m. - noon
WHERE: SFWMD Headquarters - B-1 Lobby
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Media Contact:
Randy Smith | rrsmith@sfwmd.gov | Office: 561-682-2800 | Cell: 561-389-3386



 
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Aug 3, 2016MARTIN COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNOUNCES COMMUNITY ELIGIBILITY PROVISION SITES
The Martin County School District announced today the list of sites where students will be served breakfast and lunch at no charge under the National School Lunch / School Breakfast Programs for the 2016-2017 school year. This program is a part of the USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision. The sites are:

• J.D. Parker Elementary
• Pinewood Elementary
• Port Salerno Elementary
• Warfield Elementary
• Willoughby Learning Center
• Indiantown Middle
• Spectrum Jr./Sr. High

For additional information please contact:
Laura Roberts, Director, Food and Nutrition Services
772-223-2655 or RobertL@martin.k12.fl.us

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (in Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
###
Martin County School District • 500 East Ocean Boulevard • Stuart, FL 34994
An Academically High-Performing School District in Florida



 
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Aug 3, 2016Latest Gaming Craze is Bad News for Your Spine
A new augmented reality game called “Pokémon Go” has taken over phones and tablets around the world. How long the newest craze will last, no one knows. But one thing is certain—walking with your head down and staring at your phone may be good for catching Pokémon, but it’s terrible for your spine!

Text neck, caused by looking downward at your wireless device, wreaks havoc on your spine and leads to poor posture, subluxation and even disc compression.

Why? When your 12-lb. head is tilted forward, it causes a ton of strain on your neck—just a 15-degree tilt causes its weight to double. To combat text neck, raise your device to eye level to allow for better support of your head.

If you or your child is hooked on the latest app, consider scheduling an appointment with our practice to get your spine checked and to stop permanent damage before it starts.

Olympic-level Healing With Kinesio Taping



It comes in all colors and is applied to various parts of the body. You’ll likely see many Olympic athletes sporting this elastic athletic tape that may look more like an accessory than a healing tool during this year’s games.

If you’re wondering what this colorful tape is, you’re not alone! Kinesio Taping, which was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor, involves placing tape over muscles to allow individuals to experience a reduction in pain and inflammation.

Athletes during this year’s games may sport the tape if they’re recovering from an injury or wear it as a preemptive measure over weak muscles and ligaments.

Kinesio tape isn’t the only step taken by world-class athletes to ensure their best performance—many current and past Olympic athletes opt for chiropractic care to ensure the health of their nervous system including sprinter Usain Bolt and retired basketball star Michael Jordan.

All About Your Nervous System



Heighten your brainpower by learning a little more about your nervous system with some truly amazing facts!

1. The human spinal cord consists of nearly 13.5 million neurons. The most sensitive are found at the base of your spinal cord.

2. Nerves are made up of long bundles of fiber called axons that also contain nerve cells. Bonus fact: The two types of nerve cells found within your body are called neurons and glial cells.

3. If all of the neurons in your brain were lined up, they would form a path about 600 miles long!

4. Think your car is fast? Signals travel between your brain and body at speeds of 100 meters per second!

5. Of the 43 pairs of nerves that connect your central nervous system, 31 are attached to your spinal cord, making it important to get your spine checked at our practice.

 
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Aug 3, 2016The River Report


River report 08032016.jpg
 
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Aug 3, 2016Plan your November marketing now
Plan your November marketing now, in August! The Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce 22nd Annual Business after Hours and Holiday Trade Show is scheduled for Wednesday November 16th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The chamber is proud to present this year’s event again at The Kane Center. The Holiday Trade Show is a fantastic way to kick off the season of festivities and events. Do some gift shopping, learn about member’s businesses and find valuable services. Enjoy quality networking and delicious food with friends at the Mini-Holiday Taste showcasing chef’s from the local area. Tabletop spaces are available.
If you would like to spotlight your company, food or gift ideas, please email lisat@stuartmartinchamber.org or call (772)287-1088 x111 Sponsorships are available. Show space starts at $150.00.


 
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Aug 2, 2016The River Report


TheRiverReport 8.2.jpg
 
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Aug 2, 2016SCHOOL BELLS RINGING EARLIER THIS YEAR
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, August 1, 2016.......... Tens of thousands of Florida school children will return to their classrooms next week as districts take advantage of a state law that allows schools to start as early as Aug. 10.

Forty of the 67 public school districts are opening next Wednesday under a 2015 law that decoupled the school start from Labor Day, according to the state Department of Education. A prior law required districts to open schools no earlier than two weeks before Labor Day.

Last year, less than a dozen districts used the Aug. 10 start, but this year a majority of the districts have opted to start in the second week of August, which also means those districts will end their 2016-17 school year well before Memorial Day.

The state's two largest districts, Miami-Dade and Broward counties, which have more than 600,000 students, will be among the last to open on Aug. 22.

This is the earliest opening date for a majority of the districts since the 2006-07 school year, when most opened in the first week of August, with Seminole County starting on July 31.

The early opening dates resulted in a backlash from parents and tourism groups, prompting the Legislature to tie the start of school to Labor Day.

But Sen. Bill Montford, a Tallahassee Democrat who sponsored the 2015 law, said the primary reason for the legislation was to allow the 67 school districts to decide for themselves on the opening date.

"I believe those decisions need to be made at the local level by local elected school boards and the superintendents who get direct input from the parents," said Montford, who is head of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.

Montford, a former Leon County superintendent, said districts get plenty of input on the annual school calendar from parents, students and others who sit on school and district advisory councils.

Although he has heard questions about why schools do not start closer to Labor Day, Montford said a variety of factors make the earlier starting times more logical, including having high-school students take their first semester exams before the winter holiday break.

"You don't want to come back after two weeks off after the winter break and then take semester exams," Montford said. "It's not good for the students, and it's not good for the teachers."

Another factor is the number of vacation days built into the annual school calendar, including winter and spring breaks as well as time off for Thanksgiving.

"If we take all these days off during the year you still have to put in 180 days," Montford said. “You either have to start earlier or go later."

Montford said many districts prefer an earlier starting date to give teachers and students more time to prepare for the annual state assessment tests in the spring, which are linked to student progress and school grades.

"Some districts tried to get in as many days as they could before the state assessments," Montford said, noting the annual tests come early in the spring and not at the end of the school year.

Opposition to early school starts has come from some parents who complain that an early August start puts Florida out of sync with other states and complicates summer vacation plans. Groups tied to Florida's tourism industry have opposed early starts, noting the law linking the start to Labor Day boosted their industry.

"This is the time of year that many families take an in-state vacation before the school year starts. We hope that all Floridians have an opportunity to enjoy everything our great state offers over the summer, especially in areas that are economically dependent upon a traditional summer season," said Carol Dover, president of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

"They make a very good argument for the tourist industry," Montford said. "But school superintendents and school board members and parents and others make a doggone good argument that what's really important is the child's learning."

Montford said the current law gives districts the ability to set school opening dates closer to Labor Day or even after the holiday.

"Those decisions should be made at the local level," he said.


 
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Aug 2, 2016HBKS Wealth Advisors
We thought you’d like to know that HBKS Wealth Advisors has been voted Southwest Florida’s “best” financial advisory firm in a readers’ choice poll conducted by Gulfshore Business magazine. Our Southwest Florida offices were recognized for their top honor at the magazine’s annual Best of Business Awards ceremony on July 19 at the Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center. The accolade will also be featured in the magazine’s August issue.
We’re honored to be recognized as the people’s favorite among the region’s many fine wealth management companies, including all the largest national firms. But what is most gratifying is that so many of our clients, associates and friends took the time and made the effort to participate in the survey. That says a lot about you, the people we are fortunate to work with, and about the relationships we share.
The 2016 Best of Business Awards was the third such annual poll and event by Gulfshore Business. Over a three-week period starting in mid-April, more than 5,300 readers cast votes for their favorite businesses in 45 categories. Each category produced three finalists and one winner. Gulfshore Business is the leading business publication in the region covering Collier and Lee counties and the cities of Naples, Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita Springs, Marco Island and Immokalee.
Thanks again for your loyalty and trust in us. That is our greatest reward.
Christopher N. Sorce | David Darwish | Jason R. Rundorff | Mark Matos
3838 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 201, Naples (239) 263-1960
R. Dean Piccirillo | Kerri Goldsmith | Keith A. Veres
8010 Summerlin Lakes Drive, Suite 200, Fort Myers (239) 433-7533
Dan E. Baer | Brian Mallette | A. Brent Wauterlek | Anthony J. Scrocco
3838 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 410, Naples (239) 919-1268

 
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Aug 2, 2016Back to School: Red Cross Issues Steps to Help Keep Kids Safe
It’s almost time for the school bells to ring again and the American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to help make the trip back to the classroom a safe one.

“Safety should be the top priority for all students, especially younger children and those heading to school for the first time,” said Robin Nunley, Executive Director, American Red Cross of Greater Palm Beach & Martin County. “Whether riding, biking or walking to school, we want everyone to arrive and then return home safely.”

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps include:
• Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has signaled to get on.
• Tell children they should only board their bus - never an alternate one.
• Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
• Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
• Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.

GET TO SCHOOL SAFELY If children ride in a car to get to school, they should always wear a seat belt.
• Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”) and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
• If a teenager is driving to school, parents should mandate that he or she use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.
• Some students ride their bike to school. They should always wear a helmet and ride on the right in the same direction as the traffic is going.
• When students are walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection. If possible, use a route with crossing guards.
• Parents should walk young children to school, along with children taking new routes or attending new schools, at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.

WHAT DRIVERS SHOULD KNOW Drivers should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean and be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down - especially in residential areas and school zones. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is getting ready to stop and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.


Parents should also make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1. They should also teach children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.

TAKE A FIRST AID CLASS Red Cross training can give someone the confidence and skills to help with everyday emergencies from paper cuts to school sports injuries. A variety of online and in-class courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass. People can download the free Red Cross First Aid App (redcross.org/apps) for instant access to expert advice whenever and wherever needed.


 
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Aug 2, 2016Join a Thrivent team for 2016 St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer
Thrivent Mutual Funds and Thrivent members are helping to stomp out childhood cancer. Thrivent Mutual Funds is proud to be the National Series Sponsor of the 2016 St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.

Thrivent members, their family and friends are invited to participate in the inspiring 5K event that helps raise funds to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Those interested in participating with Thrivent can use the discount code “GOLD” to register for the event for free.

The local 5K event will happen on Saturday, September 24 at John Prince Park in Lake Worth, FL.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity for our members, their family and friends to live generously and support a great cause,” said Mark Valinote, a Thrivent financial representative in Stuart. “We know many of our members and their families know someone who has been affected by childhood cancer and want to help make a difference in the lives of others.”

Thrivent Financial is represented in the local area by Mark Valinote and Amy Whitlach. They have offices at 367 NE Baker Road in Stuart and can also be reached at (772) 408-0771


 
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Aug 2, 2016Main Street Media 360 Appoints New Digital Strategist
Main Street Media 360 (http://www.mainstreetmedia360.com/) announced today that Shannan Grant has joined the company and assumed the role of Digital Strategist. Shannan Grant, originally a native of Jensen Beach, comes with a vast degree of valuable experience and knowledge within the Digital Media industry, specifically in the realm of Digital Marketing and Advertising. Having spent the last 3 years as a Multimedia Advertising & Marketing Executive for the E.W. Scripps Company (Stuart News/TC Palm; Journal Media Group, Gannett | USA TODAY NETWORK), Shannan is well versed in the world of Digital Advertising & Marketing Solutions, and thus her addition to the Main Street Media 360 Team is anticipated to bring continued success to all involved.

Shannan joins Main Street Media 360 as Digital Strategist to further strengthen and support Main Street Media 360’s endeavors as one of the top boutique digital media marketing agencies on the Treasure Coast. Shannan has expressed enthusiasm and anticipation at the prospect of growing and evolving with the Main Street Media 360 company, and looks forward to combining her skills, knowledge and experience with that of the rest of the Team.



 
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Aug 2, 2016NOW HIRING: Applying for a SFWMD Job Just Got Easier

New streamlined process allows candidates to apply for work using all mobile devices, positons are currently available at all career levels.

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has upgraded technology to its career website platform making the job application process less time-consuming and applicable to all mobile devices.

"The new platform is designed to work in a more responsive manner," said SFWMD Human Resources Bureau Chief Christine Austen. "No matter which mobile device is used - a smart phone, phablet, tablet or laptop - the content automatically adjusts to fit the screen, so applicants can search and apply with ease. Job seekers will now be able to get the same experience and full functionality as a desktop screen."

Other features of the new site include an option to upload a résumé in one step, which then automatically populates application form fields. An applicant can also create a profile and sign up for automatic email alerts when positions open matching his or her profile criteria. Additionally, a future feature, currently in the construction phase, will allow candidates to use their LinkedIn profiles to automatically create SFWMD careers profiles.

With a 1,450-person workforce, the SFWMD is as diverse as the water resources and ecosystems the agency manages, restores and protects. At this present time, several positions are available at various levels covering a multitude of careers including administrative, skilled craft, science, engineering, information technology, management and other positions. Click to search for and apply for a position. For more information about working for the South Florida Water Management District and the hiring process, visit www.sfwmd.gov/careers.


 
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Aug 1, 2016“Dancing with the Martin Stars” is coming back, bigger and better than ever!
Julia Sansevere, Realtor at Coldwell Banker in Stuart for 11 years, honored to be named Martin County’s Realtor of the Year for 2015, has now been doubly honored by being asked to be a “Dancing Star” in the 2016 production of “Dancing with the Martin Stars”, Healthy Start Coalition’s major fundraiser that is now in its sixth successful year. The show is always a sellout, and with a larger than ever cast this year of 9 dancing couples, tickets will surely go fast, so be sure to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale in late July at the Lyric Theatre which is where all the fun will be happening this year on September 24, at 7 PM.
Martin County Healthy Start’s mission is to ensure that all babies in Martin County are born healthy. The agency works to guarantee that all pregnant moms enter prenatal care during their first trimester. Once born, the agency will work with the child until 3 years of age; thus helping to provide a “healthy start” for all babies. Eligibility is based on the mother and child’s risk factors, not on income.
The winning “Star” will be determined not only on their dance performance, but by how much money they raise for this worthwhile cause through ticket sales, sponsorships, program ads and direct donations. In other words, you will be “voting” for Julia to win with every dollar that you donate on her behalf. All donations are 100% tax deductible. Julia says, “Vote! And vote often!” as she would appreciate all the “votes” she can get so she can WIN on behalf of all the babies in Martin County.
Donations can be made online at www.mchealthystart.org or by checks written out to Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, and sent to 101 SE Central Pkwy, Stuart, FL 34994.
If you’re a Facebooker, please “Like” and “Share” her Facebook Page – Julia Sansevere, Dancing with the Martin Stars. Check out her frequent video posts and updates on her dancing adventures, learning the Latin Hustle with her professional dance partner, Eliott Acosta. Use #DancingForBabies to find her postings and help her “go viral”.


 
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Aug 1, 2016New Radio Show Host in Town - Julia Sansevere!
Julia Sansevere, at Coldwell Banker in Stuart for 11 years, Realtor of the Year for Martin County 2015, and selected to be a “Dancing Star” in “Dancing with the Martin Stars” for 2016, is delighted to announce she has added hosting a radio show to her repertoire, in support of the “Dancing with the Stars” event. The title of her show is “The Martin County Difference with Julia Sansevere, Your Dancing Realtor!” Her first broadcast aired on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 to rave reviews and will air every Wednesday 7-8 PM on 1450-AM throughout the summer. It is simulcast live via the studio webcam on www.wstu1450.com and can be viewed online any time after airing.
Her program’s focus will be to highlight what that “difference” is in “The Martin County Difference”. She believes it is the PEOPLE and organizations who give so freely of their time and talent to make it a better place for all. Julia says, “I’ve got an exciting list of guests lined up in the coming weeks who certainly more than qualify and play an integral role in our ‘Martin County Difference’,”
It’s a fast-paced fun-filled hour of casual conversation consisting of information about her guest’s organizations and their events and projects and how they help the community, a section devoted to “Dancing with the Martin Stars”, and last but not least, a real estate section with tips and information on issues that are important to home buyers and sellers.
With all the negative things happening in our world, it’s refreshing to have a program that focuses on the good that people are doing in our community that gives it its “difference.” Tune in Wednesdays, 7-8 PM on WSTU-AM 1450 for an uplifting hour that will entertain you and inform you about our wonderful county and meet the people who are the unsung heroes, making Martin County a great place to live.


 
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Aug 1, 2016A Win for Taxpayers as Indian River County Drops All Aboard Florida Appeal
_______________________________________
Indian River County Attorney Dylan Reingold told the Palm Beach Post on Friday that the county will not appeal a judge’s decision that it lacks standing to stop the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to fund All Aboard Florida’s Brightline train service.

A growing chorus of residents and business owners are expressing concern about the seemingly endless funding of lawsuits with absolutely nothing to show for it.

The decision not to appeal is a clear win for taxpayers, and the first step to a world class mass transit system connecting South and Central Florida.














 
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Aug 1, 2016Airport Noise Advisory Committee Vacancy
The Martin County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals interested in being considered for appointment to fill a vacancy on the Airport Noise Advisory Committee. All individuals serve without compensation and are requested to submit an Application for Appointment to Martin County Administration by Friday, August 19, 2016. For an Application, please call Martin County Administration 288-5756 or send email to dgordon@martin.fl.us.

Vacant Position: A Martin County resident residing within a two statute mile radius of Witham Field.

POWERS & DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE:
The Committee was created pursuant to the recommendation of the Part 150 Noise Study Planning Advisory Team. The Committee shall have the duty and responsibility to make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners concerning the implementation of the operational and land use mitigation measures adopted in the Federal Aviation Regulation Part 150 Study.

Meetings are typically held quarterly on the fourth Thursday of the month at 10:00 am at the Airport Maintenance Building Conference Room, 1895 Flying Fortress Way, Stuart. The next meeting is scheduled for October 27.

Florida law prohibits an advisory board member from doing business with its agency (the County). Section 112.313(3) and (7), Fla. Stat.


 
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Aug 1, 2016Multimedia Operations Update: SFWMD Begins Construction on Plan to Help Save Florida Bay



A SFWMD hydraulic ram breaks up the top of the S-327 Weir near Everglades National Park to help send more water to Florida Bay.

Homestead, FL - South Florida Water Management District construction crews began work this week on a key component of the plan to deliver more fresh, clean water to the ailing Florida Bay.

The plan will double the flow of water into the headwaters of Taylor Slough, which connects to the bay. This means on average as much as 6.5 billion gallons more freshwater per year will reach the bay to help restore seagrass that succumbed to the drought of summer 2015.

Using a hydraulic ram, crews began to remove a portion of the S-327 Weir in Miami-Dade County so that more water can flow from west of Homestead into Taylor Slough in Everglades National Park, and ultimately to the bay. The weir operates much like a dam but allows water to flow over the top to help manage water levels. The work entails degrading 250 feet of the 1,900 foot weir by excavating 170 cubic yards of reinforced concrete off the top and stockpiling 850 cubic yards of limestone fill.
Multimedia Links: (B-roll video and photos are downloadable below.)
• Flickr Photo Gallery: See ongoing work and a locator map.
• Video 1: Field Station Superintendent Mike Worley explains the work.
• Video 2: A heavy hydraulic ram breaks up concrete at the project site.
All of the proposed improvements in the Florida Bay plan will cost the SFWMD less than $3.3 million and could be completed before the start of the next dry season in November if the Corps approves the necessary permits quickly.

For More Information:
• SFWMD Florida Bay Plan Webpage

Media Contact:
Randy Smith | rrsmith@sfwmd.gov | Office: 561-682-2800 | Cell: 561-389-3386



 
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Aug 1, 2016For Florida, the TPP is More Than Just Another Free trade Agreement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement among twelve Pacific Rim countries which currently represent 40 percent of all global trade.
Free trade has been under attack lately. It seems that everywhere you turn - newspapers, the Presidential campaigns, the streets of some faraway place or the internet - you will find an image of someone holding up an anti-TPP sign.
It must be acknowledged that trade has not benefited everyone and its gains have not been shared by all industry sectors. Some have suffered while others have prospered. Jobs have moved away to never return and some communities have been forever scared by those losses. Not all have enjoyed the advantages that trade brings.
We must be more mindful of this as trade and increased competition will be stressful to some communities that have not yet reaped its rewards. It is up to us, the champions of trade, to also champion measures to mitigate its impacts and offset losses.
Trade, none the less, is part of our economic reality and our daily lives. It is how oranges and grapefruit from Central Florida arrive at a Japanese grocery store, it's how medical devices made in North Florida end up in operating rooms around the world, it is how we are able to order last minute gifts at a click of a button and how we send our loved ones flowers on Valentines' Day. Our lives depend on trade and we benefit from it without even thinking about it.
Trade is one of our most important tools for economic growth and it provides a level playing field for our exporters to access 95 percent of the global marketplace. It brings foreign direct investment which provides employment for thousands of Floridians. Trade is a multiplier, catalyzing many industry sectors that directly and indirectly benefit from it.
For Florida, the TPP means securing and having greater integration with our most important consumer and trade partner- Latin America. It is a marriage forged by geography, history and culture. A marriage that has benefited Florida in immeasurable ways. The TPP will only enhance it.
This agreement would not only strengthen this partnership and provide us greater access to markets where we are less competitive, but it will further limit competition from bad actors and reduce their influence in a region that is not only significant to us economically but strategically as well. Its ratification and implementation would serve to crystalize a crucial relationship and open the door to other Latin American partners who will, in turn, improve their standards to gain entry.
With 50 percent of our state's trade going to Latin America, Florida's Congressional leadership should be at the forefront of championing trade and greater integration with the region. The Florida Chamber recognizes this special relationship and its importance to securing our future.
Join us in promoting and supporting the TPP during this congressional recess. Let us know if your company would be willing to sign-on to or send a letter and/or if you would be willing to contact your member of Congress. Contact me at aancona@flchamber.com or at 850-521-1210.


 
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Aug 1, 2016Securing Florida's Water Future, Together
One hundred years ago, the biggest threat facing Florida's economy was a parasite - the cattle tick. Times were dire - the entire state was under federal quarantine and the very safety and security of Florida's economic core were in danger of collapse.

Much has changed in the last century. With 20 million-plus residents, Florida is now the third most populous state in the country, and our economy is thriving. In fact, if Florida was a country, we'd be the 16th largest economy in the world.

Much of Florida's economic success is attributed to our state's unique quality of life. From the Panhandle's white sandy beaches to the distinctive natural resources of the Keys, ensuring Florida remains the best place to live, work, learn and play has been a top priority for the Florida Chamber for the last 100 years. We've long championed long-term, sustainable water policy - science-based water policy - to protect Florida's natural and economic resources for the future.

In fact, it's why - for more than 30 years - the Florida Chamber Foundation has hosted a continuing education summer school to focus specifically on Florida's fragile environment. We believe, providing resources like the Florida Chamber's Environmental Permitting Summer School highlights science-based research and best management practices to help ensure communities across Florida grow smarter. Environmental experts from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Nature Conservancy, local and state environmental leaders and more make a point of attending annually.

Recently, I walked along the edges of the Indian River Lagoon and witnessed first-hand the blue green algae that is impacting families and job creators in Florida's Treasure Coast. Shortly after that tour, I sat down with business leaders from the Stuart area in Martin County to learn more about the algae and its impact on their businesses. It's a message I also shared with CNBC and WPBF 25.

While there was indeed an algae problem, the tourists the national media claimed were all gone where walking on the beaches and filling up the hotels, and enjoying the natural surroundings. And, while business leaders in the community shared their frustration of some lost business, they also shared their sense of urgency to spread the word the region is open for business.

At the Florida Chamber, we share in the frustration blue green algae has created, and we continue our long-standing commitment to seek real solutions to help provide relief.
In fact, as part of our ongoing efforts to help secure Florida's water future, the Florida Chamber has been working with one of the world's foremost experts on water science . Dr. Brian Lapointe, Research Professor at Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has presented at the Florida Chamber's Annual Meeting, appeared on our television program Bottom Line, and is helping us educate businesses and employees on the real causes - and solutions - to Florida's water challenges.

"To secure Florida's water future, we really have to follow science; science has to lead the way."
- Dr. Brian Lapointe
With six million more residents expected to call Florida home by 2030, and our state's water demand expected to increase by 20 percent by 2030, strong, science-based water quality standards will continue to play a vital role in Florida's economy and quality of life.

While we should look at several possible solutions, one of the most promising and effective is septic tank conversions. Dr. Lapointe has extensive experience in water quality research in South Florida and the Caribbean region. His latest scientific research shows that septic tank sewage nitrogen is one of the threats to Florida's waterways, including the Indian River Lagoon.

Over the years, Dr. Lapointe's research has led to greater nutrient removal from sewage effluents in Monroe County, his long-term water quality monitoring at Looe Key reef in the Florida Keys represents the longest low-level nutrient record for a coral reef anywhere in the world.

While it may have been the cattle tick that brought Florida's business community together 100 years ago and created the Florida Chamber of Commerce to protect the economic well being of our state, protecting Florida's water bodies and unique quality of life are vital to Florida's future economy.

We're proud to stand up for Florida families and job creators to do everything we can to ensure our economy is not only vibrant, but that it's sustainable.
Help Secure Florida's Water Future
Become a state water advocate and help educate Floridians on the importance of protecting Florida's unique water systems and quality of life. Contact Christopher Emmanuel at (850) 521-1242 today.



 
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Aug 1, 2016The River Report - 8.1.2016


the river Report 8.1.2016
 
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Aug 1, 2016Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Coming to Stuart
The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign will visit Riverbend in Stuart on Saturday, August 6, starting at 8:30 AM to install smoke alarms and encourage everyone to practice their fire escape plans in households most likely to experience a fire.
Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign aims to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next few years. The Red Cross and thousands of campaign partners have helped save 96 confirmed lives, visited over 6,200 communities and installed more than a quarter of a million smoke alarms in homes all across the country since the campaign launched in October of 2014. Joining the Red Cross in Stuart will be The Hobe Sound-Port Salerno Rotary Club and Martin County Fire Rescue.
"We are proud to partner with the Red Cross and the Martin County Fire Department in a quest to save lives through the Home Fire Campaign, and are very excited to support the mission of the Red Cross throughout Martin County" Said Anthony Sementelli, Community Service Projects Chair at the Hobe Sound-Port Salerno Rotary Club.
“Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, and extend an invite to groups and individuals from across our community to get involved and volunteer for this noble cause,” said Robin Nunley, Executive Director of the Red Cross. “People can visit RedCross.org/Volunteer or call (772) 287-2002 to become a volunteer and register for one of our upcoming Home Fire Campaigns.”
SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES Even as the Red Cross and other groups install smoke alarms in some neighborhoods, they are calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: create and practice their home fire escape plan and check their smoke alarms.
There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:
 If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
 If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
 Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
 Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS People can learn how to help prevent a home fire and what to do if one occurs by downloading the Red Cross Emergency App. Children can earn points and incentives in a fun, gaming environment while learning how to prevent a home fire and other emergencies in the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App. The First Aid App has information on what to do for burns, broken bones, and breathing and cardiac emergencies. The apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer visiting RedCross.org/Volunteer. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 66,000 other disasters every year and most of these are home fires.

 
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Aug 1, 2016Habitat for Humanity Back Yard Sale!


Habitat for humanity yard
 
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Aug 1, 2016Florida Forest Service plans prescribed burn Tuesday, August 2 on Martin County Airport lands
For the last few months, the Florida Forest Service has created firebreaks around Martin County's Witham Field Airport in preparation for a series of prescribed burns. The Florida Forest Service plans on burning 25 acres on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. There will be sufficient personnel and equipment on scene to contain the burn. Wind direction and dispersion have been factored in to avoid excessive smoke.

Every effort has been made to avoid the impact of smoke to nearby residents and businesses. However, some temporary inconveniences may occur. Here are a few precautions that you can take to reduce your inconvenience:

* Bring your pets inside
* Close windows to prevent drift smoke from entering your home
* Store lawn furniture in the garage to keep it clean
* Remove laundry from clothes lines
* Cover pools and hot tubs
* Slow down if you encounter smoke on the road

Prescribed burning can improve stands of native grass, control weeds and kill parasites, enhance wildlife habitat and reduce the potential for large scale wildfires. Fire removes the mantle of dead and decaying vegetation that stifles new growth by depriving the newly emerging seed of space and light. In addition, burning also releases the nutrients in the dead vegetation so it can be used by the new growth.

If you have any questions, please call the Florida Forest Service at 863-467-3221.


 
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Aug 1, 2016Stuart Beer Fest


Beer Fest Preliminary Pos
 
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Aug 1, 2016Sailfish Splash Waterpark offers additional FREE admission day to Martin County residents on Thursday, August 11
Due to the huge success and popularity of Sailfish Splash Waterpark's free admission day for Martin County residents held earlier this month, the Waterpark will host an additional FREE admission day to Martin County residents on Thursday, August 11.The August 11 date marks the second time this summer the Waterpark will open its gates at no charge to Martin County residents.

Over one hundred residents lined up two hours before the Waterpark opened on July 20 to take advantage of the free opportunity. Within the first hour, 1,200 residents had entered the Waterpark and by the end of the day, more than 1,600 residents had enjoyed the Waterpark at no charge.

The algae impacting our waterways and resulting advisories to avoid contact with the water in some areas, prompted Parks & Recreation Director Kevin Abbate to act, "We want to do something for the community. This seems to make sense for Martin County families who want to cool off without worrying about water quality."

Park staff will admit Martin County residents (and their minor children) who present a valid photo identification card showing a Martin County address. At any point in time, should the Waterpark fill to capacity, staff will defer additional admissions until patrons enjoying the Waterpark depart.

Sailfish Splash Waterpark operates from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily.


 
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Aug 1, 2016Rehmann announces manager promotion in Stuart
As Rehmann enters its 75th year of delivering business wisdom, the financial services firm has promoted Susan Majette to the position of office manager in its Stuart, Florida, location.

In her new role, Majette is responsibile for managing day-to-day office operations and supporting the Firm’s local community efforts. She spent two years as a senior administrative assistant with Roegiers Goldin Chappel Nall and Associates before the firm’s combination with Rehmann. Prior to this, she worked for US Airways for more than two decades.



 
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Aug 1, 2016CUPVF Endorses Brian Mast in Florida's 18th Congressional District Primary Election
Citizens United Political Victory Fund (CUPVF), the affiliated PAC of Citizens United, issued the following statement endorsing Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th congressional district primary election. CUPVF has also contributed $5,000 to Mast’s primary effort.
“Brian Mast’s top priority in Congress will be working to keep America safe and I applaud him for that. ISIS is on the march right here at home and around the world and we need a decisive policy change without delay,” said David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United.
“Brian is a decorated combat veteran and CUPVF is honored to endorse such a qualified candidate for U.S. House. 2016 is a national security election and Brian Mast’s national security credentials are second to none,” Bossie added.
“My belief is that in order to truly defeat Islamic terrorism, the United States must acknowledge, confront, and destroy Islamic terrorism. As a member of Congress next year, Brian Mast will have an immediate impact in this all-important debate. I urge all voters in Florida’s 18th congressional district to vote for Brian Mast in the primary election,” Bossie concluded.


 
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Aug 1, 2016Join a Thrivent team for 2016 St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

Members, employees, family and friends can register for free

Thrivent Mutual Funds and Thrivent members are helping to stomp out childhood cancer. Thrivent Mutual Funds is proud to be the National Series Sponsor of the 2016 St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.

Thrivent members, their family and friends are invited to participate in the inspiring 5K event that helps raise funds to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Those interested in participating with Thrivent can use the discount code “GOLD” to register for the event for free.

The local 5K event will happen on Saturday, September 24 at John Prince Park in Lake Worth, FL.

“This event is a fantastic opportunity for our members, their family and friends to live generously and support a great cause,” said Mark Valinote, a Thrivent financial representative in Stuart. “We know many of our members and their families know someone who has been affected by childhood cancer and want to help make a difference in the lives of others.”

Thrivent Financial is represented in the local area by Mark Valinote and Amy Whitlach. They have offices at 367 NE Baker Road in Stuart and can also be reached at (772) 408-0771.


 
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Jul 29, 2016#GladesLivesMatter protests ‘Send the Water South’ campaign Jul 27th, 2016
Town hall meeting in Clewiston Friday

CLEWISTON — Using the tagline #GladesLivesMatter, residents of the farming communities south of Lake Okeechobee, known as the Everglades Agricultural Area — EAA or “the Glades” for short — are posting their side of the story on social media.

They live in towns whose economy is based not just on sugar cane but also on crops like sweet corn and winter vegetables.

They are tired of hearing Lake Okeechobee and the farms south of the lake being blamed for the Treasure Coast algal blooms.

They are horrified by comments they have read online by those claiming to be environmentalists, who theorize that a breach of the Herbert Hoover dike would be a good thing — no matter the cost in human life.

They are especially tired of the allegations of “polluted” lake water. South Florida Water Management District studies show the lake releases represent 21 percent of the freshwater entering the St. Lucie estuaries, along with 21 percent of the nitrogen and 13 percent of the phosphorus. That means the water from the lake is as clean or cleaner than the water entering those estuaries from the St. Lucie River’s own basin.

They point out that backpumping of water from agricultural areas into the lake was deemed illegal years ago, and that water leaving the farms is cleaner than the water that enters the sugar cane fields.

“These people are not playing,” Jawantae Diamond Williams of Belle Glade posted on Facebook. “They are really plotting to destroy us, to just wash us clean away.”

I want this fixed as much as they do, it’s our ecosystem for God’s sake! Don’t they think that farmers have a great desire to protect and take care of our planet?! And then to discuss how their lives are more important than those or the land around the lake,” posted Beck Outz Miller.

Also shared by #GladesLivesMatter is a guest commentary written by Hendry County Commissioner Janet Taylor, which was published by the Palm Beach Post.

Some activists’ desires apparently go far further than wanting to end Florida agriculture,” Commissioner Taylor wrote. “A Feb. 11 post of a Sierra Club email exchange suggested that “a dike failure would fix everything. The human toll would be inconceivable. The benefits to our environment would be immeasurable. ‘Inconceivable’ is right! More than 39,000 people live in Hendry County. About 13,000 people live in Glades County and 18,000 in Belle Glade. Over 7,000 people make Clewiston their home, and about 6,000 live in Pahokee. Tens of thousands more live in the surrounding unincorporated areas. Glades lives matter.”

On Friday, July 29, a town hall meeting is planned at New Harvest Church, 370 Holiday Isle Drive in Clewiston. The tagline #GladesLivesMAtter is prominently on the flier.

According to the flier, the meeting is “to inform the Glades communities about groups who are trying to make decisions that will cause inconceivable damage to our way of life.

“If these groups get their way and government officials take focus away from fixing the Herbert Hoover Dike, what will happen to us?” the flier asks.

“Send the water south, is not in our best interest.

“They don’t care about us.”

The town hall meeting will include free hamburgers, hotdogs, snacks and refreshments. For more information, call 561-285-1507.

 
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Jul 29, 2016Red Cross Volunteers Respond to Commercial Fire
Red Cross Volunteers Respond to Commercial Fire
in Support of First Responders from
City of Stuart Police and Fire and Martin County Fire Rescue
Services included feeding and hydration for over 65 first responders.
STUART, FL. July 28, 2016 — Last night, volunteers from the Greater Palm Beach & Martin County Chapter of the Red Cross South Florida Region responded to a Commercial Fire at the 800 block of South Colorado Avenue in Stuart, Florida. The team of Red Cross volunteers provided feeding and hydration to over 65 first responders from the City of Stuart Police and Fire and Martin County Fire Rescue.
“The Red Cross responds to nearly 66,000 disasters each year, and as part of our mission, our volunteers respond and support First Responders with food, water and mental health services when needed”, said Robin Nunley, Executive Director for Greater Palm Beach & Martin County Red Cross Chapter. “Red Cross volunteers on the scene are members of the chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer visiting RedCross.org/Volunteer. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @SFLRedCross.

 
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Jul 29, 2016The River Report - July 29


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