Davie Canal Trees to Be Saved From Being Removed

Categories: Environment

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The South Florida Water Management District had been planning to uproot dozens of oak and gumbo limbo trees that sit along a canal between Nob Hill Road and SW 101st Avenue along the C-11 canal of Linear Park trail in Davie.

But, after Davie residents, and Mayor Judy Paul, asked the district to reconsider its plan and come up with another solution, they have now postponed the tree removal until after hurricane season.

This means that the trees slated to be removed, can now by safely relocated.

However, the remaining trees along the canal will be removed starting Monday.

See also: Davie Trying to Save Dozens of Oak and Gumbo Trees From Being Removed

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Davie Trying to Save Dozens of Oak and Gumbo Trees From Being Removed

Categories: Environment

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photo via Milo44
Another day, another tree-removal controversy in our neck of the woods.

This time around, it's the South Florida Water Management District that is planning to uproot dozens of oak and gumbo limbo trees that sit along a canal between Nob Hill Road and SW 101st Avenue along the C-11 canal of Linear Park trail in Davie.

The trees were slated to be removed Monday, but Davie Mayor Judy Paul asked the district to reconsider its plan and come up with another solution.

See also: Five Reasons Marina Lofts Should Be Nixed (And the Rain Tree Saved)

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Marina Lofts Wins Approval; Rain Tree Will Be Moved

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Sorry, Egypt. The "eyes of the world [were] on Fort Lauderdale" last night.

At least, that's what Marina Lofts developer Asi Cymbal said without the slightest hint of irony before a packed house at a Fort Lauderdale City Commission meeting Wednesday. The commission, voting on the relocation of a century-old African rain tree and on a massive Marina Lofts apartment complex designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels on the south side of New River, approved both measures: the tree move with a 3-1 vote and the larger project unanimously.

The meeting, which ran later than 3 a.m., was a marathon of contentious back-and-forth. It started with a presentation by Cymbal Development's team of yuppies, followed by statements from the public.

See also:
-- Five Reasons Marina Lofts Should Be Nixed

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Acreage Cancer Cluster: Residents Can Join Class-Action Lawsuit for Plummeting Property Values

Categories: Environment

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Flickr/ creative commons
Yesterday, the law firm of Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart, and Shipley held a news conference about lawsuits related to a cluster of pediatric brain cancer in the residential neighborhood Acreage, located in western Palm Beach County.

Five couples who lived in the area and whose children developed brain tumors are serving as plaintiffs in a class-action suit that seeks damages for local residents whose property value plummeted after the cancer cluster was publicized. The lawsuit extends to "every current or former Acreage area landowner who owns or owned an Acreage property at any time since August 24, 2009." There are about 10,000 houses in the area.

The families are also filing individual lawsuits for damages.

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Neighbors Smoke? American Lung Association May Help You Break Your Apartment Lease

Categories: Environment

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Wikimedia Commons / pmox
According to the American Lung Association, a Deerfield Beach couple, Amaury and Renata Rosa, were expecting a baby. But when Renata was eight months along in her pregnancy, they began to seriously worry that secondhand smoke from a neighbor's apartment could hurt the unborn child. Secondhand smoke has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory problems in kids.

When the neighbors essentially said, "Sorry, but our lease allows us to smoke here," the ALA helped the couple approach the property managers to suggest transitioning to a smoke-free building. They said no.

So the ALA helped the couple look for a legal way out of their lease.

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Everglades Voted Least Sexy National Park

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Courtesy of the National Park Service
Two South Florida parks, the Dry Tortugas and Biscayne National Park, have been voted part of the Top Ten "Sexiest National Parks" in America on sugar-daddy travel website MissTravel.com, a "destination-dating" site that hooks up "attractive" travelers with "generous" ones.

According to the company's public relations manager, Jennifer Gwynn, 8,500 single American travelers who are also members of MissTravel.com participated in the survey. Most of those polled were women, with ages ranging from 23 to 30 for women and 34 to 41 for men.

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Florida Community Trying to Keep Fracking and Drilling Away From Everglades

Categories: Environment

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The Dan A. Hughes Company, an independent oil and gas exploration company headquartered in Beeville, Texas, apparently owns the mineral rights to an onshore oil reserve known as the Sunniland Trend, which stretches from Ft. Myers to Miami. And they fully intend on fracking the crap out of it.

According to the Green Party of Florida, the company has been going under the radar for months, getting permits and permission to start drilling and frack a 13,900-feet deep exploratory well in the Florida Everglades.

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DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard Cleared of EPA Violations Thanks to Statute of Limitations

Categories: Environment

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Environmental activists across Florida have been waiting more than two years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to land a serious body blow against the state's enforcement branch. The question was whether Herschel Vinyard's place at the top of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection was a violation the Clean Water Act due to his past employment. Now, the federal agency has finally answered the complaint, and the response isn't exactly what Florida's green crowd was hoping for.

See also:
- DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard Says He Didn't Lie on Résumé; PEER Not Buying It
- EPA Wants to Know if Herschel Vinyard, Secretary of Florida's Department of Environmental Protection, Lied on His Resume

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Florida Sues BP and Halliburton Over 2010 Oil Spill

Categories: Environment, News
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Florida got the Earth Day festivities kicked off early with some good old-fashioned litigation.

Over the weekend, Florida joined Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana in suing BP and Halliburton over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The suit, filed by State Attorney General Pam Bondi in U.S. District Court in Panama City, gets after BP for not changing the batteries on the oil rig's blowout preventer and points the proverbial finger at Halliburton for installing faulty cement barriers.

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DEP Proposes Allowing More Toxins in Water; Eating More Than Three Shrimp Per Week Dangerous, Critics Say

Categories: Environment
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Tolomea via Flickr
"Pink slip Rick!"

The environment hasn't been a high priority for legislators at any level since Al Gore was wearing earth tones, but what's happening in Florida under Rick Scott is downright scary. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is in serious fox-guarding-henhouse mode. 

Its current secretary is Herschel Vinyard, whose background is in the shipbuilding industry. Watchdogs noted that in 2011, the DEP experienced a 28 percent drop in enforcement cases against polluters and that a high-level official had directed staff to work with businesses rather than punish them. In December, the DEP purged a bunch of its regulators, laying off 58 veteran employees. 

On February 5, the DEP held a public meeting to discuss new proposed standards for "human health-based water quality criteria." The agency is supposed to establish acceptable levels for carcinogens in water, so that humans do not get cancer via fish consumption or drinking water. But the agency's proposed changes would allow for more carcinogens than are currently allowed. 

If anyone objected? Oh, there would be a chance for public comment -- for a whopping eight hours!
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