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Archive | Government

Scientists question Scott’s commitment on climate after meeting

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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By BRUCE RITCHIE FLORIDAENVIRONMENTS.COM Scientists who met Tuesday with Gov. Rick Scott to explain the threat of climate change said the governor asked only modest questions while withholding comment on the issue. “He asked modest questions but he did not ask questions that reflected his understanding of the material,” Eckerd College Professor David Hastings said. […]

Congressional candidates agree on Apalachicola River’s importance but not how to protect it

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

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By BRUCE RITCHIE FLORIDAENVIRONMENTS.COM APALACHICOLA — Both candidates in the race for Congress in the Florida Panhandle say the Apalachicola River and the tri-state water wars are an important issue for voters in the district. Alabama, Florida and Georgia have been fighting in federal court since 1990 over water from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint system. Last year, […]

Scott signs 2014-15 budget, spares local water projects

Monday, June 2, 2014

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By BRUCE RITCHIE FLORIDAENVIRONMENTS.COM Gov. Rick Scott spared legislators’ prized water projects on Monday while vetoing $68.9 million in the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The state budget will increase by $3 billion since last fiscal year with the help of a rebounding economy that produced more state revenue. “I looked at every […]

WEEK FOUR: Hope for land-buying; Florida’s “broken” tanks program

Saturday, March 30, 2013

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With the Senate and House only holding meetings on Wednesday and Thursday this week, there was time to catch up on some stories that were slowly bubbling up. Like natural gas from a hydraulic fracturing well. QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I think this issue has become radioactive, pardon the pun, for a lot of folks,” […]

Florida’s Legislature’s 2013 session starts slow, gains steam

Friday, March 8, 2013

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BY BRUCE RITCHIE  Anyone interested in the environment couldn’t be blamed for skipping Tuesday’s opening session of the Legislature. But the week ended with a bang. Gov. Rick Scott’s “state of the state” speech on Tuesday contained no reference to the environment, energy or growth management. (See “Scott sounds re-election themes as 2013 session opens,” […]

Is saying hi to a reporter taboo for government employees?

Friday, December 7, 2012

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By Bruce Ritchie Floridaenvironments.com I didn’t see Connie Bersok at the Tallahassee airport art reception last April, but she sure saw me. And she made a beeline out of there. I know only because she told Florida Department of Environmental Protection investigators that during a recorded interview under oath on June 1. Bersok is a […]

Septic tanks bill will hurt Wakulla Springs, Tallahassee official says

Saturday, March 3, 2012

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BY BRUCE RITCHIE There’s new opposition to bills that would repeal a state septic tank inspection requirement: A Tallahassee official told senators this week that the bill could make it more difficult to restore Wakulla Springs. The Legislature in 2010 adopted a statewide septic tank inspection requirement that supporters said would protect springs and groundwater. […]

Florida environmentalists say there are more bills to work on

Monday, February 6, 2012

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By Bruce Ritchie Floridaenvironments.com After scoring victories last week, environmental group lobbyists at the Florida Capitol say there is plenty more work to do during the 2012 legislative session. Environmental groups dropped their opposition on Tuesday to HB 503 dealing with environmental permitting and HB 639 dealing with reclaimed water after they were amended to […]

Barbs aimed at Florida governor during journalism conference

Sunday, October 23, 2011

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While hundreds of journalists gathered in Miami for the Society of Environmental Journalists national conference, Florida Gov. Rick Scott was firing another shot across environmentalists’ bow. Scott wasn’t at the SEJ conference but his policies were the target of analysis, criticism and quips by various speakers and protesters outside. In the past most governors have […]

Protesters gather outside enviro journalism conference in Miami

Saturday, October 22, 2011

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Some said they felt welcomed by the Society of Environmental Journalists, others felt marginalized by the organization. More than 100 protestors for varying causes held signs, beat drums and chanted Saturday at a “Rally for the Environment” in a park outside the International Hotel in Miami, site of SEJ’s national conference. Ana Campos of Fort […]