Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Glades farmers: Don’t send the water south

sb10_WPTVBELLE GLADE, Fla. – Where should we send Lake Okeechobee water?

That’s a decision a Senate bill up for vote this March wants to make, by sending the water south. The idea has been discussed and debated over the years, with last summer’s blue algae crisis making the outcome more crucial than ever.

But farmers and businesses don’t want to give up their land. As the legislative session approached, that battle is heating up.

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JMI Study: There’s Economic Hell In High Water

jmi_sticker_shockOpponents of Senate President Joe Negron’s call for building a massive water storage area South of Lake Okeechobee are turning up the heat.

The James Madison Institute, a conservative think tank, is circulating a study that attaches a hefty price tag to flooding 60 thousand acres currently used to grow sugar cane and vegetables.

Economist Tony Villamil says Florida’s economy would take a nearly 700 million-dollar hit and more than 4,000 jobs would be lost.

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Report: proposed land buy south of Lake O would harm economies

16864733_1616642641687158_5389270044751047396_nThe proposed acquisition of 60,000 acres of productive farmland in the Everglades Agricultural Area would have devastating effects on the economy, resulting in $695 million in negative economic impacts statewide, including the loss of 4,148 jobs,  a report issued Thursday estimates.

Palm Beach and Hendry counties, especially the municipalities of Belle Glade, Pahokee and Clewiston,  would bear the brunt of the negative impact, with 59 percent of it, or $413 million falling on the two agricultural giant counties the report finds.

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Martin County commissioners propose 16-county Lake Okeechobee summit

636143205961409957-0701-TCLO-opinion-lakeOSTUART — Martin County commissioners want everybody to know everything about a proposal to build a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee to curtail discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.

Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to set up a multi-county summit to gather information about and discuss Senate President Joe Negron’s proposal to buy up to 60,000 acres south of Lake O for the reservoir.

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Senate Bill 10 may be amended before full Senate vote

Culvert 11--2013-01-16_344OKEECHOBEE — The Florida Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee passed Florida Senate Bill 10 on Feb. 7, but not without some committee members voicing reservations and suggesting proposals for amendments as the bill moves forward for discussion by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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The Human Face of 60,000 Acres

johnallen-sunshinestatenewsNational Cabbage Day might mean nothing to you (it was Friday, Feb. 17, by the way), but it does to Jonathan Allen of R.C. Hatton Farms. The cabbages you see in this photo are his. So is the farm. And so are a lot of things you don’t see: for starters, generations of his family’s blood, sweat and tears.

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Negron a Flip-Flopper?

joenegronsmall-sunshinestatenewsSenate President Joe Negron a flip-flopper? Say it ain’t so, Joe.

In his dismissal of Sen. David Simmons’ proposal to expedite rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, Negron said the feds are responsible for Lake Okeechobee and the dike.

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Senate Bill 10 a Direct Threat to American Farmers

ardishammockmug-sunshinestatenewsFarming has been my family’s business for many generations.  My grandparents began tilling the land in what is now Glades County back in 1918.  For nearly 100 years we survived every type of disaster God and Mother Nature could throw at us — hurricanes, the Great Depression, and family deaths. But now, in 2017, our family’s heritage and our way of life faces extinction.

The reason? Senate President Joe Negron’s plan to buy 60,000 acres of productive farmland in the Glades.

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SB10 could hurt food supply say growers

Untitled1OKEECHOBEE — The Florida Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation was asked to consider the effect of taking 60,000 acres of Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farmland out of production at the Feb. 7 hearing on Senate Bill 10.

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Martin Commission backs Negron’s plan to curb Lake Okeechobee discharges

T0015571493--1620160809175339000By a 4-1 vote Tuesday, Martin County commissioners supported state legislation to buy land south of Lake Okeechobee for a reservoir to help curtail discharges to the St. Lucie River.

Senate President Joe Negron, a Stuart Republican, has proposed the state and the federal government equally share the $2.4 billion cost to buy up to 60,000 acres south of Lake O and build a 120 billion-gallon reservoir.

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