Candidate Skips Environmental Forum; Hosts Too Radical
As local gadflys go, Wes Blackman is one of the most thought-provoking; in fact, New Times gave this urban planner an award for "Best Blog" in 2009 for his insightful commentary about the city of Lake Worth.
These days, Blackman is running for city commissioner and he has to make decisions instead of simply opining about them. Last night he decided not to attend a forum hosted by the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition. His excuse, as stated on his blog:
"An issue as important as the global/local natural environment and humankind's interaction with it deserves a broad and objective audience. The group sponsoring this event has identified itself with extreme viewpoints and actions related to environmental protection. They are also aligned with candidates in the current municipal race. I am not convinced that this is an objective group willing to listen to the viewpoints of others that may not share their extreme views. I am concerned that my responses would not be portrayed accurately or be purposefully taken out of context."
Sure, some members of the PBCEC have been known to dress up with puppets, walk on stilts, and regularly exercise civil disobedience. But we never count them out.
When the video above was made, members of the PBCEC were opposing the Public Service Commision's recommendation to allow FPL to build a new power plant in the Everglades Agricultural Area. As any news junkie knows, this summer, members of the PSC (which regulates the energy industry) have been exposed for being too cozy with FPL execs -- attending their house parties and communicating via secret Blackberry messages -- resulting in resignations, investigations, and a major shakeup of the board. The PBCEC was questioning FPL's relationships with the people who are supposed to provide checks and balances more than two years ago.
Here's a review of the meeting from Tom McGow, who was there, and also runs an interesting local blog: