Florida Legislature Steals Amendment One Money

We need her to go back to SFWMD

cyndi lenz

By the time they are done with this they will spinning it upside down and inside out.

Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 (2014)‬
The Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative, Amendment 1 was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in the state of Florida as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure was designed to dedicate 33 percent of net revenue from the existing excise tax on documents to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.
The Land Acquisition Trust Fund was developed to acquire and improve conservation easements, wildlife management areas, wetlands, forests, fish and wildlife habitats, beaches and shores, recreational trails and parks, urban open space, rural landscapes, working farms and ranches, historical and geological sites, lands protecting water and drinking water resources and lands in the Everglades Agricultural Areas and the Everglades Protection Area. The fund was designed to manage and restore…

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Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

cyndi lenz

Throwback Thurs: What was penny a pound and make the polluter pay?

As always, if you have something to add please add it.

What was penny a pound?


“Restoration of the Everglades, however, briefly became a bipartisan cause in national politics. A controversial penny-a-pound (2 cent/kg) tax on sugar was proposed to fund some of the necessary changes to be made to help decrease phosphorus and make other improvements to water. State voters were asked to support the tax, and environmentalists paid $15 million to encourage the issue. Sugar lobbyists responded with $24 million in advertising to discourage it and succeeded; it became the most expensive ballot issue in state history.[62] How restoration might be funded became a political battleground and seemed to stall without resolution. However, in the 1996 election year, Republican senator Bob Dole proposed that Congress give the State of Florida $200 million to acquire land for the…

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Chalksy, the Eco Terrorist

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This is my friend Ezra.

DSC_0077I met him at our first rally. He was “Mista Big Sugar” You can see him here in this video and you can also see that the locks were closed that day and they have been closed every single time we go out there.


Except for when Rick Scott was there ( we were not allowed in but he was) and when we did the “Keep them closed “protest.

The issue of “civil disobedience” comes up every one in a while. It usually results in all of  getting  upset. I  personally think if people want to do this then its a issue of free choice. If you want to do this then you tell people about it and you give them a choice of what they want to do. I can’t. I won’t. Because I think if you want to…

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Highlands Hammock State Park an Emerald Wonderland

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Last weekend my family decided to meet at Highland Hammock State Park in Sebring. I had cousins in town and my kids and grandson live in Sarasota and Sebring is a good place in the middle. I hope it will be the beginning of many adventures with my grandson showing him nature as I did with my son and my father did with me, my siblings and Adam. DSC_0005

One of Florida’s oldest parks, opening to the public in 1931, Highlands Hammock was established when local citizens came together to promote the hammock as a candidate for national park status. During the Great Depression, prior to World War II, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed additional park facilities and the beginnings of a botanical garden.

“The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried…

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Slut Shaming and gang rape

My name is Katrina Duesterhaus. I have a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from one of our nation’s best private art universities, I own successful business, and I am Chairwoman to the Elite Business Associates of Martin County.

When I was 14 years old I was sexually assaulted by a group of men, repeatedly over two days Memorial Day Weekend in 2000.

It happened at a party I had gone to with some of my girlfriends. After one of my family members got rough with me I decided to run away, so my family had no idea where I was.

The guys at the party were older. My girlfriends and I were freshmen in highschool, but most of the guys had already graduated. We were all drinking, which was a new thing for me, so I wasn’t able to fully understand what effect heavy alcohol consumption would have on my body.

On the patio, the guys encouraged us all to take several flaming shots of liquor. The night gets fuzzy after that, but I remember one of the guys said something about the bedroom and so we all went inside. I saw my friends on the way in, and they told me to come in the living room with them, but at that time all the guys were laughing and being nice and I thought we were having fun, so I told my friends not to worry and went in the room with them. I remember sitting on a bed, surrounded by about 5 guys, and I heard them discussing some things I didn’t understand.

They were half arguing and half joking around with each other. I heard: “Who gets to go first?,” and, “Who gets sloppy seconds?” I didn’t want to seem stupid so I just sat there, confused until every guy left the room except one. Only after he undressed and clamored towards me naked, then began tearing at my clothes did I finally understand what they had been discussing- in which order to rape me.

My friends had been right but by the time I realized it, I was already in trouble. Someone was on top of me, and all I could do was to claw my nails in his back as he forced himself inside me. I tried to not think about the four other guys standing outside waiting for their turn.

Instead I focused on a single point on the ceiling and I became that point, managing to successfully dissociate and leave my body for a time, until one of my rapists strangled me, causing me to open my mouth gasping for air, at which point he forced himself on me orally.

I came back into my body when they had finally all taken their turn. I was laying on the bed, naked and numb and I remember asking for my clothes back, but they laughed and said no and then told me to just go to sleep. I stayed awake in terror as a few of my rapists climbed in the bed with me and fell asleep. 

Early the next morning I was exhausted and still fairly drunk, but I found my friends and when we went across the street for donuts I told them what had happened. My friends reminded me they told me not to go in the room,  which made me feel like I had done something wrong. Survivors carry enough guilt and shame on their own.

Since I had run away, I was terrified of going home. I felt used and disgusted, and like what happened might have been my fault. I felt dead inside and so I told my friends to just leave me. They did, and not knowing where else to go I went back to the house where I was raped.

One of my rapists let me back in, and said I could get some sleep in his room. It wasn’t the same room as last night and he promised me “Don’t worry, we won’t do anything,” but shortly after we laid down he raped me again.

One of their friends heard they had a girl over, but he must have been kicked out of their rape gang because the guys would not let him in. This guy did take a look at me though, and went crazy and tried to rush the door, before a few of the guys literally fought him off which resulted in the cops being called. When the cops came my rapists told me to hide and don’t make a sound. I hid in the bedroom where I had repeatedly been raped in first night.

I remember feeling so grateful at my rapists for protecting me from their ex-buddy who was obviously a seriously violent rapist. I felt lucky that I got the nice rapists. They told me I had to leave after that, and one of them called my friends, who called my family and told them where I was.

My family came to pick me up, and they were as furious as I had expected for running away. I told them “I think I was raped,” but they were so angry with me for running away they asked me what did I expect, running away and dressing like a slut. If I were to hear anyone say something like that today, I would tell them that sexual assault is about power, and violent offenders do so because they are sick, NOT because their victims did something to encourage their assault.



A part of me knew that what had happened was sexual assault, but I didn’t really talk about what happened or fully admit it for 4 years after that. Until I was 18 years old, when I heard a woman speak about how her sexual assault. After hearing this brave woman share her story, I could no longer deny, that was what had happened to me.

I confided in my professor who directed me to victim services. I didn’t have a lot of money or family support at that time, I had been on again off again homeless since being kicked out at 16, so I was hoping they could help me pay for therapy. In order to apply for that kind of  assistance, they said I needed to file a police report, which I did.

Filing a police report felt more like being interrogated. It felt to me like they didn’t care. I felt like I was a waste of their time, they didn’t seem to take me seriously. At the end of my report the officer said the statute of limitations had run out so there was nothing they could do. Years later I found out that my case should have been considered aggravated rape, due to the fact that it involved multiple adult perpetrators and I was a minor.

Thankfully I found an amazing therapist who helped me heal from the abuse I endured that Memorial Day weekend back in 2000, and after a couple of years of intense work I felt healed enough to pursue a college education. My life has not been stunted by this event, and if you asked me how I’m doing now I would tell you that I’m no longer just surviving… I’m finally LIVING again.

I want you to remember all the shame and guilt survivors will feel on their own, and that even a single careless comment can cause MAJOR damage to someone that could really just use some love. I want you to remember that your words can either help or hurt survivors further.

I want you to remember how difficult our legal system can be for survivors when you are voting in new laws. I want you to remember to teach your children about consent and to not be passive bystanders of sexual violence.

I want you to remember that it wasn’t your fault, if you yourself are a survivor, and you are not alone. I want you to let go of any remaining feelings of shame or guilt you still carry. I want you to start your journey to healing, and get strong enough to stand with us and scream out to the world — ENOUGH!!!

Sadly my story is not uncommon- but never let anyone tell you you are powerless to prevent violence!

I want you to remember that together, we CAN and WILL change the statistics for sexual violence.

For speaking inquiries email katduesterhaus@gmail.com

Guest Blog: Katrina Duesterhaus


Puerto Rico needs help. Federal Gov incapable.

Puerto Rico needs help. Federal Gov incapable.

This morning Trump posted this:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website has removed key statistics on Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria from its website, according to The Washington Post.

On Wednesday, just 5 percent of Puerto Rico had electricity and only 50 percent had water.

Do we have to do everything? Apparently this White House is not capable.

I have suggestions. What are yours?

FEMA works on electricity and water
Call all the volunteers red cross, salvation army etc who have received donations to put their heads together and come up with a plan.
habitat for humanity.
All states have mrcs with trained nurses. Call on states to help.

Set up like we set up after Andrew. Village of volunteers.

These are our fellow Americans. we need to help them.

Let’s make a list and get this done.



What does Kol Nidre Mean?

Coffee Shop Rabbi

Kol Nidre [All Vows] is one of the most dramatic and moving moments of the Jewish year. It is normally sung at the beginning of the service for Yom Kippur, and it sets the tone for the solemn Day of Atonement.

In a formal presentation of Kol Nidre, three leaders of the congregation stand before the open ark and before the congregation, holding one or three Torah scrolls. The cantor sings the text three times, with emotion:

All vows we are likely to make, all oaths and pledges we are likely to vow, or swear, or consecrate, or prohibit upon ourselves between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Our vows are no longer vows, our prohibitions are no longer prohibitions, and our oaths are no longer oaths.

The whole community of…

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Irma’s Waters Ravage the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, SLR/IRL

Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch


Hurricane Irma may be gone, but her waters are not. Our now black river and the giant plume off the St Lucie Inlet attest to this. Clean rain that fell in our region during the hurricane is now filthy “stormwater” discharging, unfiltered, through manmade canals C-23, C-24, C-25, and C-44. Nature did not design the river to directly take this much water; this much water kills.

Every plume looks different, and this one is multilayered with no clear border. Sediment soup, black-brown in color, yesterday it extended out about 2/3 of a mile into a stirred up Atlantic and flowed south, in the rough waves not quite having made it to Peck’s Lake.

Since Hurricane Irma’s rains, area canals dug with no environmental foresight in the 1920s and 50s for flood control, and to facilitate agriculture and development, have been flowing straight into the river. On top of this…

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If you call a politician a vulture isn’t that an insult to the vulture?

Old blog! Vultures are protected working birds.

cyndi lenz

Here is the fabulous Sharon Lux from the Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance.

I love Protest Art!

I also love Vultures!


Vultures are defenders of the Environment. These are birds that have a job.


One of the main misconceptions about vultures is that they spread disease. This is absolutely untrue. In fact, the opposite is true… vultures actually prevent viruses, bacteria and other pathogens from spreading in the environment. A vulture’s stomach acid is a unique compound that not only allows the bird to ingest disease processes, but also removes said disease from the environment. Once a virus, bacterium or other type of disease goes into the vulture, it never comes back out! Vultures help stop the spread of rabies, anthrax, cholera, brucellosis and many other pathogens that could otherwise harm other wildlife and even humans!

Fun Fact: The Cherokee name for vulture means Peace Eagle – because unlike most…

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