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More Bull Sugar Ahead?



I really hope I'm dead wrong on this.

It would be so much more fun for the communities to keep pretending that great things are coming for the estuaries and Everglades.

But the sad truth, I'm afraid, is that we're going to get much more of the pollution and killing waters from inland that have devastated us over a half century. Some call it Bull Sugar.

Only help from one Mother Nature has temporarily held down the harmful discharges from inland while influenced politicians take credit for her forbearance and claim that reforms are just around the bend.

What about the public's 75 percent approval of a constitutional amendment to acquire many millions of dollars worth of wetlands, much of which we were led to believe would cut the filthy discharges that ruin our waters?

And what about the university study that is supposed to come up with ways to send the polluted water south from Lake O instead of to the coasts?

What we're going to wind up with, I feel safe in predicting, are more high-sounding generalizations that plainly pander to the pollution machine that mucks us up to our ears (70,000 tons in one year alone) and renders the great St. Lucie estuary a death zone.

Amazingly, our sugar-coated public officials now claim they've been fighting all along to clean the waters and send them south. They do so with a straight face about what has to be a very unfunny joke.

One of the very few public figures who speaks up against the pollution source is Ray Judah. He was a Lee County Commission leader for 24 years until he was ousted by Big Sugar money, according to observers. Ray sent me an 11th Commandment he suggests the water managers and captive pols operate under:

“Thou shall maintain ground water levels in the Everglades Agricultural Area 18 to 24 inches below ground to provide optimum growing conditions for sugar cane regardless of seasonal fluctuations and degradation of the South Florida ecosystem.”

Optimum for the subsidized sugar magnates, minimum for the public good.

Karl Wickstrom

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