I’m gonna start wearing a mask during Girl Scout Cookie Season. It’s the only way; I can’t stop eating those things so a mask just might do it! Why not? Many wear masks during the pollen season and right now it’s raining cookies out there. Not just at supermarkets, Wal-greens, Wal-marts or on any corner where people walk, but those cookie sellers are in my dreams as well.

I can’t sleep unless I’ve money in my pocket, like at least enough dough to buy four boxes of girl scout cookies that might pop up in a dream or two.

The women and girls started this mess and they better not stop. I know, we have four seasons but really, Girl Scout Cookie Season (GSCS) is the most important one. Chocolate Valentine’s Day Season is huge and so is Marshmallow Bunny Hop Season during Easter. And who can over look Halloween’s Reign of Candy Season but Girl Scout Cookie Season!?!? Now that, THAT is the mother of them all.

I really don’t like those cookies, I just can’t stop eating them. It’s not the cookies’ fault, it’s my mouth’s fault. The good news is that I know there has got to be a limit on how many GSC’S one man can eat. The bad news?—I’m gonna hit that limit.

Worse, I can’t think when I hear Girl Scout Cookies chirping.

Oddly, and this is the truth, the scale doesn’t say I’m gaining weight eating these GSC’S because, well, I

 

haven’t been on one in a month.

See? It says I weigh zero.

. The answer to the question is not to ask. We all know that.

Plus, shh, why wake up the scale? Give the scale a rest. It’s quite a step up onto that scale, too; I don’t want strain anything.

Listen, I’m not obsessing over these cookies but I do wonder how they might taste fried, over easy for breakfast, or scrambled. Of course, the Girl Scout Cookie hash browns potential comes to mind.

Back to the cookies of, OH My Gosh!, do you see how many choices there are to buy!!! It used to be, back in my day,  the only  choice I saw was thin mints since my face remained buried in those boxes for two weeks. Now, I’ve matured. I look over the collection of great choices and pick, Thin Mints…Plus those coconuty chocolate thingys called, Samoas…See? I now eat twice as many kinds as I did as a kid.

I could’ve retired five years ago if it weren’t for these babies.

 

I do not, and never have, swear, multitasked and eaten two different kinds of Girl Scout Cookies at the same time, not that I remember. Sure, maybe one cookie got in my pie hole before I’d swallowed the first, but technically this isn’t eating two GSC’S at the exact same time. Even if one cookie is well wedge against the right cheek as another is smashed in to the left cheek, that’s not like eating them both at the same time. Clearly, the tongue creates a dividing safe zone for discriminating tastes.

This may be her third box…

Here’s to the cookies of our lives!  So easy to download, right?

In truth, I didn’t eat one cookie today—-you know how this ends right? Like, I’ve eaten five that I counted. Some don’t count, clearly, if I’m too rushed to chew but just mash the thing in order to swallow it, that’s like not a cookie; whole different deal there.

Cheers… dang, I’ve completely lost my mask.

franquecookie.

 

 

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All the righties are typing today that the now famous nothing burger ‘memo’ exonerates Trump the Herald–this is insane*, and I’ve felt often this past year that many Republican voters are living on the tip of—crazy…but it’s not like they believe the world is flat, I’ve asked. (hmm, this is a sad commentary—right?)* 
Weirdest thing is over the years I kept hearing from the Republican voters I know (right but mostly wrong) that the Republicans are fiscally Conservative while the Democrats only want to spend, spend, spend…. so then President Turnip comes along with his tax cut for the rich and a bogus super expensive wall and they don’t budge an inch of loyalty!!!(The report said the border wall could cost nearly $70 billion to build and $150 million a year to maintain. An internal report by the Department of Homeland Security said the wall could cost about $21.6 billion, not including maintenance.Apr 18, 2017) These two provisions will bankrupt our country to the point where most programs designed to help the middle class or the less fortunate will lose funding. And one small but meaningful tangent of Trumpet’s  Sound! entire immigration quagmire means we all can’t wait to pick lettuce, celery, most vegetables and all of our fruit! These are the jobs American’s are waiting for! Hip, Hip Hurrah? Make us all pick strawberries so we can be ‘Great’ again?!?!?

Fact Checker

So the point is, Republican voter’s ‘loyalty’ really has nothing to do with the agendas of the Republican Party, it’s something deeper… perhaps an ingrained mindset that Liberals are bad no matter what??? And then there’s an invisible line between those who are prejudice and those who are not, and that line seems to align and lie to some degree between the Democrat and Republican voters.
Two different party names match two different mindsets.
 Two different people.

Rrrump’s family fortune was founded on running a whore house, stop dancing around it…let’s say that’s okay, a long time ago, right? But Donald Trump has been accused of 19 counts of assault and/ or rape by 19 different women,(here’s a complete list…**) plus, he’s been taped as saying he grabs women by the pussy when he wants. That’s your pussy, (any female reading this….). Are you okay with Donald thinking he can grab your pussy whenever he wants? If so, exactly what is your  religious affiliation? I can’t think of a one that would say, claim, grabbing women’s pussies is okay…So why do you support this man? Just answer while talking about this man, Donald Dump, don’t give me any side shuffle to Hillary or anywhere but to THIS man-who he is, and what he said on tape. Again, why do you or anyone besides the super rich stand by this lump of a shlump man?

Trump is a dumpster fire of mind-numbing proportions.  This is why his hair looks like wisps of smoke.

To be clear, it’s not how Plump looks or what he’s done as a bully during his life that turns me against just about everything he says or does. It’s the agenda President Chump pushes as a wedge to divide American voters and America from the world about us that bothers me. Is it time to mention World War III? Hopefully, when the White house was last renovated someone had the good sense to disable that phone  in the oval office that Grump can supposedly use to call for nuclear launches. That would be prudent.

“Oy Vey, why me?” is often a call asked of God. I say, “Oy Vey, why Trump?”  And all this at the time when the world is about to progress to wind and solar and other types of clean energy. When the world is about embrace a world-wide unity brought on by the event of Facebook and the internet. Just when the world is in dire need of peacemakers we get Trump who seems hell bound on the destruction of so much American’s hold dear: Liberty and our Constitution.

Trump has made a mockery of our beloved American way. At best, Trump is a crap-shoot in every sense of the word.

Franque23

 

**https://www.npr.org/2016/10/13/497799354/a-list-of-donald-trumps-accusers-of-inappropriate-sexual-conduct


(Click on the Pic for larger views)

When a person gets old they have seen so much, some good, some bad.

Schools used to have art class and supplies for students to use.

Remember when throwing crab apples at steel garage doors and then running away with your friends was like-super wrong?

Or…..

Kids would tie your sneaker laces together before gym class to mess with your head.

Leaving chewed gum on someone’s seat when they weren’t looking?—big time evil.

“Failing to signal” was actually a ticket a driver could get. Really; not kidding.

Appliances could last twenty years. (the lack thereof now is a hidden part of inflation…)

Generally, children were to be seen but not heard around grown-ups.

The sexiest thing printed: deodorant or clothing ads.

Hop-scotch, curb ball, ollie, ollie in come free, flag tag, red light, green light and hide-n’-seek were the games of the day.

NO one had a computer, and few had heard of them.

The street was loaded with friends after a school day.

We had time together to think of neat stuff to try.

 

The phone had an operator.

If dad or mom asked you to do something, you did it.

Many communities had milk truck deliveries, beer deliveries, bread and ice deliveries too. Even kid’s rides like Whip or a small merry-go-round that sat on the back of trucks came by, usually just before one of three ice cream trucks rang their bells.

America was good; I do remember the day a Black family was to buy a house in our community and there was a ‘meeting’ between owners about how to stop them. So, really?

America was free but attitudes weren’t. My grandma used to say her home state, Iowa, would have excellent weather if it weren’t for all the other states around it making bad weather. She wasn’t kidding.

Russia was evil.

Everything in the dime store came from Japan and most of it seemed to break before you left the store.

Penny candy and candy cigarettes.

The President was a good, moral man and the policeman your best friend.

Mom’s didn’t work.(Outside the home…)

Push lawn mowers made very little noise.

A paid lunch hour, “Working 9 to 5 …What a way to make a living?” as the song went cut a tough deal for the working man.

Alcoholic Drinks at lunch time was not so unusual for the daily workers.

TV was free, all 7 or so channels.

The radio blasted the top 40 hits but TV couldn’t show Elvis move his legs when he sang.

Do you remember when The twilight zone wasn’t real?

It was rude to not open the car door for your mom or your date.

It used to be going on a date might include for a guy getting to, ‘First base, second base, third base or even home after a long-term relationship.’ Or you could lie about any of it. Now? I’m thinking a date is  thought by some to be the entire ball park with photo ops.

NO one, nooo one, played music in a car that shook the stomachs of others riding in different cars.

I never heard of a kid getting shot in school, though we ducked under our desks as drills to protect us from possible nuclear attack.

Pot was about the worst drug imaginable. It made people sex-crazies zombies. (I think this might have started the whole pot craze).

Can you remember when you heard your first curse word? For me, it was about 7th grade.

Ads told us smoking made you a Marlborough Man. (BTW–the actor died of lung cancer…); 

Blondes really do have more fun;

and this-

Chock-full-of-nuts is the heavenly coffee, even a millionaire’s money can’t buy*; dandruff is worse than death and BO could make people pass out.

French kissing was a complete mystery.

The Thinker is a famous statue

 

 

But now we need one like this to be made….

Well, I could go on…sigh. Them’s were the days-maybe. Thing is, multitasking now-a-days is almost a given, a duty. I’m more of an Alan Watts (author) The Way of Zen (one of his books) kinda guy. Do one thing well, just one at a time and relax. Though I don’t mind listening to the birds sing as I hand turn over the garden–that’s nice.

Cheers from another time-

Franque23

*This jingle said this and back then it pissed off a real millionaire so badly that he did , in fact, buy the company…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view)

It can be fun to see what people have done with snow over the decades…

Ski-cars?

so let’s take a look…..

Like way before I was a tie wearing sixth grader in Meadow Drive—(I’m the 6th from the right in the back row)

Way before our house on Long Island, N.Y. was often buried by nor’easter’s during the winter. Here’s a pic. of our home in Roslyn Heights. My room was second floor on the left.

Long before I built this snowman to my father’s delight and Mom gave me the carrot for the nose…

Gal’s used to,’shovel sled,’ as it was called. I think these gals were having fun! 

Here’s three actual Olympic champions sharing the limelight….about 1928–all three were medal winners-1st thru 3rd in figure skating.

Boys will be boys; girls will be girls- this group decided to dance in the snow in what was called ‘ underwear’ back then. 1926…so this photo is extremely risque …..

Here’s New York City in the 1920’s. (I’m guessing the man ‘breaking his neck’ thought one of the ladies was a ‘looker.’)

Whoops, here’s our lake house at Lake Bonaparte, New York, just in the foot hills of the Adirondacks. Thinking this was taken about three years ago. It went down to -25 this year up at the lake. Our camp is in the background.

It can snow a bunch up there- people have landed planes on the ice of Lake Bonaparte and often drive cars over it during the deep winter months.

Speaking of driving….all sorts of methods were developed in the past to glide cars over the snow.

And, at one time, Santa lived in the Adirondacks…People could go meet his reindeer!

Some Europeans are very used to the snow. Here they bask in the daylight warmth at a restaurant!!! I don’t imagine I’d visit unless I’d been served on ice.  Or, as a customer, “Please, may I have five gallons of hot tea, like now….”

Okay, this is interesting…These two gals were sisters and a successful dance/comedy routine in the flapper era…they worked under the name, The Dolly’s….hmmmm,, Hello, Dolly anyone?

Through rain, sleet and snow–they really meant it and still do.

I’m thinking this boy’s love for this doggie has nothing to do with the keg on the dog’s neck.

Do policemen always get it in the end? Nah, they’re just all havin’ fun.

Why am I thinking this isn’t the best way to test the ice? Unless I’m the guy on the far left…

Here’s the deal, people like to do just about anything in the snow. Making snow angels, snow balls as big as a car, snow ball fights are huge, sledding, sliding, rolling on the snow and making snow forts as I did as a kid-it’s all fun! People ski naked, run and jump into snow naked and have a ball(no pun intended) naked* in the snow.

Snow is truly a winter wonderland but for driving. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I love to drive in the snow…” Nope, not once.

But still, snow fall can be magical. I could watch snow fall from my bedroom window as a kid in the street light located on the corner of our property on Long Island. Soft and whirling, silent but so real, the piles of snow upon the trees, yards, cars and street filled my eyes with delight. It all meant that tomorrow there would be no school, and in the morning I’d run out onto the unblemished lawns of blanketed snow to be the first to step across the pristine, smooth snow-fallen landscape. Those foot prints have remained in my heart forever though my red boots have long been cast aside.

There’s magic to life, and snow is part of the wonder.

Now, I’m more than forty years a Florida boy, but I’ve never forgotten snow. Never will.

Franque23

bye 

*you’ll have to google that yourself….

 

 


(Click the pic for a larger view.)

The Alachua County Library is a, “self-taxing,” library district. This means citizens in Alachua County pay a small amount of tax on a separate tax line each year that funds their library. It’s a simple self-funding plan that saves the State government from having to spend so much money to keep our local libraries open.

The downtown branch where I work is no small deal—during a recent year an average of three thousand people came to this single branch per day, and the building circulated over one million items .

The Alachua county library district has eleven libraries and two traveling book mobiles. Our planners and facilities department maintains a most effective way to keep costs of operation down throughout the district.

The use of solar power abounds in the district.

Recently, the largest down town branch put in place an AC that cools by using the cheapest electric night-time rates to cool ice that then AC’s the building during the day.

As much as this self-taxing district saves the state government and local citizens that use it, there’s trouble afoot in Tallahassee.

An agenda in Tallahassee right now is to make self-taxing library districts in Florida have citizens to vote every ten years on whether or not they want to maintain their library district. So what’s to worry about?!?!

Here’s the real deal on this—-an important point here is , BONDS! It seems maybe reasonable, maybe, to allow citizens to revisit their vote on having a self-taxing district where they live,  but why vote every ten years? The issue of a library expansion often involves raising a bond that will be paid out over MORE than ten years….so is a bond paid back over twenty years that’s given to an institution that may be dissolve by a citizen’s vote within that time frame secure?!?! No…..so the Ten Year time frame really would hamstring self-taxing districts from growing/expanding… 


The main point is our Florida Government as it is now seems to dislike self-taxing library districts? Why?  Some think it is because government can’t control these self-taxing districts by cutting or giving funding.  (More, why does it seem republican administrations show a lack of support for libraries in general? It comes to mind that Texas had the lowest state funding for  libraries when ex-president, Bush Jr., was governor!  Why?)

Any library is a beautiful thing.

People love libraries.

And the best news on this just broke!!! This agenda is OFF the table!

*UPDATE: THE PROPOSAL WAS WITHDRAWN FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION!!*
Do you love our library? Help us stay in business!

Constitutional Revision Commission Proposal 69 will be discussed in Tallahassee today (1/25) to discuss the possible dissolution of special districts, including Alachua County Library District.

Contact the Finance & Taxation Commissioners below to tell them you support special taxing districts (which our library is funded by). Link with more info and a template letter at https://www.aclib.us/…/constitutional-revision-proposition-…

Fred Karlinsky (Chair)
Phone: (954) 951-3548
Email: Fred.Karlinsky@flcrc.gov
Tom Grady (Vice Chair)
Phone: (850) 270-1630
Email: Tom.Grady@flcrc.gov
Dr. Jose “Pepe” Armas
Email: Jose.Armas@flcrc.gov
Rep. Jeanette Nunez
Phone: (305) 227-7630
Email: Jeanette.Nunez@flcrc.gov
Sen. Darryl Rouson
Phone: (727) 822-6828
Email: Darryl.Rouson@flcrc.gov
Chris Smith
Email: Chris.Smith@flcrc.gov
Nicole Washington
Phone: (786) 309-6022
Email: Nicole.Washington@flcrc.gov

Power to the people; the people have won!!!!-for now.

Franque23

 

I recently did a bulletin board for thanksgiving that makes the point.

It’s time for us all to enjoy the bounty!


I’m asking you man-to-man: how in the world can we find enough man-power to eradicate all those man-made sexist expressions we’ve used all our lives!
I was looking at the man in the moon last night thinking, “Man, this is gonna be tough!”  But a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do; it’s time to be a man about it. It’s time to man-up to the task. …
But first, I have questions…

Luna was the ancient goddess of the moon in Roman mythology…..what face do we see?

This one? This is Luna, but where’d Luna go?

Okay, I do like imaging the Man in the Moon as I do, but then again….

The Greeks had the moon crowded with perhaps better options like, Selene, Moon Goddess of dew.

Sure it’s nice to have a man smiling down at me during late night walks, but Luna may provide more protection…

Or she might provide a bit more warmth to the cold night air. 

But, no, today  Western Civilization sees the Man-in-the-Moon, and to be fair many traditions site the Man as being in the moon for various reasons—he’s caught stealing sticks so he ran to the moon, Dante’s inferno places him in hell up there(?).  African folklore and others have reason why some kid or man was banished to the moon. And yes, even the Roman’s have a guy up there as well but was/is he with Luna?

 

It does seem inevitable that if a man and women were struggling to claim the moon that the ‘superior’ strength of the stick-stealing, caught thief-of-a-man would win the day, er, night over a Goddess of Love-right? This, by yesterday’s logic BTW.   So much to stamp out; so much to change.

 

While walking ‘man’s best friend’ through the dark I knew I’d have to take it like a man. After all, I’ve been called a renaissance man by some—never mind the ‘leg-man,’ ‘G-man,’ ‘con-man,’ comments—so I know I have to be a man about this. It’s a man’s world and things are changing.
Talk about a man’s job….
It won’t be easy crawling crawl out of our ‘man-hole’ of linguistic choices. But we have to man handle the list so our words reflect not so much a gender in need but the work that needs to be done. Go on, give it your best shot. I’ll man the desk while you’re at it.
It’s time to start! You know what they say: Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise!
I guess women can sleep in.  Hmmm, but I like to sleep in?!?!
I’m just gonna stop whining like a girl and be a new man about this…
We have choices to make.
Franque23

Listen up you fat gobbler. Sure, you had good intentions for 2017 but that all went zip when the stuff-your-face holidays arrived. Look at you; you’ve redefined the meaning of,’Extra wide load’. You’re a red eyed, stumbling person who went to the fridge to get broccoli and came out with two popped beers and a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. Heck, you needed the drinks to help wash down that box of chocolates you just couldn’t give away! No matter, rotten veggies work better in the compost then beer bottles.

Face it, if your butt sagged anymore you’d have to roll from the bed to the kitchen to slurp up breakfast before going to work.

And when you get to work what what do you see? It’s those eight blurry tiny reindeer that have oddly appeared throughout your days since Christmas plus several workmates who give you the look—the look that darts from your drippin’ jowls and turkey neck to your eyes and says, “God, how can you still walk?”

 

It’s so bad showers are scary.

You’d wash but how many bars of soap would that take? Besides, balloons don’t take showers.

Thing is, two towels clipped together with clothes pins easily wrap around your belly so what’s to hate? I’m certain that looking down after showers reveals nothing of toes, and nothing of anything else that might protrude either but why worry? It just one gigantic sloppy view of lumpy fat that makes you think about skiing, or how you’ve gone down that slippery slope of second helpings. Just deal with it, right?

It’s true, your dog doesn’t even know you. The tail wags as he runs behind a chair.

Hmmmm, okay, let’s get real…

Look, you obtuse slurping low life chomper-this is about more than the spiral ham you sucked up, the pulled pork barbecue you smeared on your belly or the steaks, roasts, lamb and turkey your diet slipped on. NO, this is more than just about the honey carrots—just add more sugar, dear— the smashed, buttered potatoes or sweet potatoes—pass the brown sugar—the twelve pies, apple, cranberry, key lime and pecan all topped with ice cream, the enormous amount of cheese melted on the cauliflower? or the bacon burgers served with anything that can be fried.

No, that’s just a thin slice of the reason people must wonder how your elongated ear lobes can hang on either side of your over stuffed skull.

This is what it’s about: I know you and your New Year’s Eve resolution to stop eating with both hands at the same time.

I promise!

Let’s be honest.  This is really about holiday peer pressure. It’s all too much. Basically, you’re innocent; just another consumer who never had a chance. I know you meant to be good this holiday season—think of the mosquitoes just waiting it feast on you— but things happen. I bet you blame the women around you who peddle sweets for a living or all those chocolate factory workers whose jobs depend upon your consumption of their nefarious means of earning a livin’. Oh, the guilt brought on when passing up all that hard work stacked to buy in the shopping isles!

See? I know you.

You’ll probably try to diet again in 2018. Ha! As if…

I also know if I keep talking to the mirror this morning I’m gonna be late for work!

Cheers….good luck.

Now where’s my toothbrush? Wait! It’s under that half eaten chocolate bar. Odd? Gosh, I hate to waste food, and this may be some of that no calorie or extra light chocolate I’ve never heard about?!?!

It’s a brand new year, baby!

Franque23


Jed’s still a child in my mind’s eye. We’re running across the bluff by Lake Bonaparte where our lake house stands today; his brother Johnny is still alive. Jed’s a skinny kid who knows more than me, taller,  wise with eyes clear enough to see through. We’re laughing for good reason—we don’t know any different.

The wild outside had nothing on our childhood dreams, hopes and expectations. The cool lake water tickled our toes and pleased our fancy. Our younger days passed so quickly, days never tethered but set free by a glistening lake so perennial and steadfast as the universe.

Jed, you’re forever my cousin.

Truth: the lake bunk house rocked with laughter. Sleeping bags kept us warm on cots as nights made of stars crept overhead. Jed had then and always a special knack that makes me belly laugh. I’d roll inside bent over after hearing his pensive hilarious words so dryly spoken without a wasted syllable. Recently, there was this moment:

“Oh, being a tax collector has it’s tough moments.”—I could see the painful far away look in Jed’s eyes— “Catching people cheating on taxes, fining them more than they can afford to pay and then working them through payment negotiations; it’s all tough. But that’s not the most fun I’ve had working-other things come up, too.” It’s belly laugh roll on the grass time for me.

We stood together, grown men on the bluff as the setting sun dazzled rolling lake waves. The wind seemed at our back; Beer Island, High Rocks, Birch Island and Round Island so distant punctuated every day we’d spent in the spot as children.

A few years later we visited the lake again…

“I’m not sure about going to the castle.” Jed puffed on his cigar as he looked my way.

“Why? It’s our family’s castle; we should go to Germany.”

“We’re so different now— I don’t know how that would work.”

“Ah, that’s all just politics; this is blood; it will be good.” (Jed told me eight years ago that he had a ‘special’ circular file where he put all my blogs*, especially the political ones…)

“Well,” puff on cigar again, “let me think about it.”

I thought Jed would come.

He belongs.

As it turned, Jed never did make the trip to Europe this past September. Opportunity, so often a doubled edged sword, has struck its blow. No, Jed was only there in spirit with me just as it is for every cousin of mine. To me, the bonds of family never break but boil in the blood and remain as resilient as images of  Lake Bonaparte appear in my head. Some cousins long dead 11 or 13 years ago, and even Johnny now 55 years gone, still linger in my heart.

Long ago, Grandma Franque smiled at our young, prancing feet at the lake in a way I can only appreciate some 60 years later. She saw what Jed and the rest of us had then; family. I feel that now.

Goodbye, Jed, my lakeside cousin.

It’s impossible to weigh a heavy heart-

Franque23

 

  • *.i.e. trash can

Heads up! Please copy and paste this to your friends and associates.

Mike Byerly* has written an informative letter alerting all those who live within Alachua County that regulations protecting our air and water quality are once again under attack. Developers are seeking to reduce Alachua County’s air and water standards.

The meting is scheduled for Jan. 23 at 5 PM. Obviously, a Tuesday meeting held at 5 PM in the county’s Administration building makes it difficult for those who work 9 to 6 or 8 to 5 PM to attend. I suggest those who wish to let their voices be heard or their presence seen at this meeting request an early leave from work on Jan. 23 so they might attend this 5 PM meeting.

One more thing–why not request that any further meetings that address any changes to our county’s air, water or land use be scheduled on weekend days or no earlier than 6:30 PM on week days so voters can attend?

Here’s Mike Bylery’s letter:

“If you have only enough time or motivation to attend one government meeting in 2018 in defense of our environment, make it Jan. 23rd, 5 PM, at the County Administration building. The stakes are high, and turnout could make the difference.

Alachua County is a “charter county.” That means we have a charter, sort of like a constitution, that is the ultimate law on certain matters, and it can only be changed by popular vote. Back in 2000, Alachua County voters overwhelming approved an amendment to its charter that authorized the County to establish countywide minimum protections for water and air. Then, for 18 years, nothing happened. Finally, after several years of analysis and an exhaustive outreach campaign with stakeholder groups, the County is poised to adopt two important new water quality regulations that would substantially reduce the harmful impacts of future development. But this effort may die on the vine.

First up, and the subject of the January meeting, is simply a proposal to extend the County’s current wetland protections to the entire County. Currently, they only apply in the unincorporated County. The County’s standards are significantly stronger than the default state standards in use by most of the County’s municipalities, which allow developers to simply pay to destroy wetlands. Consequently, a number of large landholders have annexed into adjacent municipalities in recent years in an attempt to evade the County’s wetland protections. Plum Creek/Weyerhaeuser is the most glaring example, with large annexations into Hawthorne and to the north of Gainesville.

Second, later this spring, the County will consider whether to adopt new standards for future growth that would reduce the pollutants in storm water runoff that foul our streams, springs, and drinking water supplies. I’ll provide more information on this as the date for action approaches.

Characteristically, the meetings so far have been during the day and largely unpublicized, so the only feedback that County Commissioners and staff have received has been from paid representatives of the folks opposed to any new law: developers and the smaller municipalities. The County Commission needs to learn whether the public at large cares. Also characteristically, the threat is not so much that the County Commission will do nothing, but that they’ll accept so many “fine print” compromises that the final law is completely neutered, in ways that only the professionals can understand.

The time has come to translate talk into action. The Commission is divided on whether to act. Please attend, and bring a friend.”

Good job Mike Byerly! Now it’s up to the people of Alachua County to respond by showing up at this Jan 23rd meeting, 5 PM in the downtown Administration building…See you there!

Franque23
Gerald Franquemont.

*Who is Mike Byerly?
http://www.gainesville.com/opinion/20160729/mike-byerly-standing-up-for-sustainability


Yep– the loyal Republicans who have clamored for decades about States Rights verses a strong central Government of rampant legislation now approve the concealed weapon permit from one state to another no matter how any state’s populace has voted on the issue. Wow…

How’s about all the taxes ‘righties’ have clamored against for sooo long but now their guys in Congress are all ‘feel good’ about double taxation! Yes, that’s right…er it’s wrong, but whatever,…Thing is if you limit the deductions of ANY state paid states or local taxes than people’s earnings that paid those taxes will once again be taxed as income–a second time, get it? So Republicans now promote double taxation! Let’s all stand up and cheer…right? Or, should we all take a knee?

We all need to take a walk in my ancestor’s garden and talk things over….

Trump’s team of slurred meaning slips up to the idea that Trump’s Mar A Lago estate in Palm County is the so-called, “Southern White House.”  But that’s “Not true,” say every sense of reality. Trump owns this semi-palace and he has Doubled the fees paid by public users since his election!!! Gee–wait, what? Is Trump profiting from his Office?!??! Er, duh!

“Hello! Hello! Trump’s privately profiting off his office–that’s illegal…”

A zillion meme’s and posted notes have expressed despair at the over-all doings of this current administration-cutting the knees out from under the needy, undermining our healthcare system and stashing billions of tax cuts for the rich into his next run for office.  And then we have this administration increasing taxes on anyone not extremely wealthy via a misnomer-ed ‘tax cut’ that will really be a tax increase as years pass for anyone not in the top 1% of tax payers.

But I felt this reader, (okay-my wife) said a few things very well in this….

“It is a dilemma. I know that I generally do tend to think that people who don’t see things my way are wrong. But there is so much history to prove that the GOP solutions have never worked, and have been destructive, and have led to the economic disparity and shrinking of the middle class, I find it so hard to respect people who don’t look at the history,or science, or have some agenda that I find offensive. Especially where bigotry and exclusion come into play. I prefer the motto “Humanity matters”. It is hard to disagree and still maintain some semblance of a relationship. But that leads to further polarization. Arguing doesn’t work, because minds are fixed. There is a belief that Trump will turn the economy around for everyone by bringing business back.If so, I hate the cost, and have a secret hope that businesses have learned the lessons of lawsuits when their lack of regulation led to illness and death. Everyone should re-visit Erin Brockovich. Things were not working for too many, especially in the rust belt, and there is a division between the needs of urban and rural voters. Maybe the world will move ahead in energy and conservation of resources without the GOP and US government. But I sure hate that about 30% of my income goes to taxes that ultimately do not provide me with a better quality of life, but a worse one,”

My way-smart wife….

Well, like it or not, the entire American work force is about to be , “Trickled down” upon…get towels.

The environmental blood bath featured by this administration is a wretched thing to behold. Somewhere, somehow, this group of right-winged Christians in Washington have forgotten it’s our charge to care and nurture this God-given Earth…

Ireland’s earth

It’s been a great ninth year for this glob post; readers from sixty-four countries read this glob last year, a bit down from sixty-seven countries the previous year and I have to wonder: did a few countries get blown up or something? Hope not, but our ex-security head gives us a 3 in 10 chance of having a nuclear blow-out with North Korea. Who likes those odds? Not me.

Those are the odds?

I like Peace; love. How about you?

We are too perfectly normal.

Much more to come this year. I’ve an entire side of my family you don’t know much about and it’s a wonderful, American story. Plus, I’ve loads of pictures from 2017 yet to post on gardening fun and family cheer!  See you soon….

We can do this thing. We can get our country together again, strong, back on track and be World Leaders once again.

Cheers for 2018.

 

Franque23

 

 

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