It’s a Cliché but it might work?

How to have your Cake and Eat it too is an idiom however, in this case it might apply.

Lake County wants to build on 16,000 acres in the southeast corner of the county, a place that already cannot sustain what is there now with water, thanks in part to so many big business pumping out water now.

It is time to rethink, Distilled water from the ocean, St. Johns River, and/or only using the 2nd Florida Aquifer?

And/or

Change laws to allow no water for irrigating landscape, whether reclaimed or potable, unless they tap into the wasted water from Bottle Water, Soda and Beer companies?

All of the above still need to distill water however, Florida is in die-hard need of good clean water?

What to make jobs?

Let’s build water distill plants?

Stricter water conservation for Wellness Way

Last week, Lake County commissioners sent a comprehensive plan to the state that will transform 16,000 acres in the southeast corner of the county into a hub for high-wage, health care jobs and other industries.

But while business and political leaders are licking their chops over the potential for this massive community to set a high bar for good, self-sustaining development, some environmentalists are expressing concerns about the plan.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will review the project and send it back to the County Commission for final approval, likely in the spring.

Wellness Way calls for 16,400 homes. But what sets the concept apart from other massive developments is the focus on job creation. Supporters of Wellness Way want to ensure that the community has the equivalent of 1.6 jobs per household so the project is an economic boon to, not a drain on, the area.

Those pushing the plan say it also will be sensitive to the environment.

But environmentalists aren’t sold.

For example, the plan for Wellness Way prohibits using potable water from the shrinking upper Floridian Aquifer for irrigation. And the plan features strict landscaping requirements, such as a mandate that only Florida native and Florida-friendly plants may be used.

But the environmental community points to the fact that Wellness Way still will need about 21 million gallons of water a day to support its residents and businesses. They say the prohibitions on the use of water for irrigation are laudable but don’t go far enough in an area of Central Florida that is facing a very real water crisis.

Charles Lee, a prominent environmentalist, noted that a similar plan in Alachua County allows no water for irrigating landscape, whether reclaimed or potable, and says Wellness Way should follow suit.

Lee and other environmentalists say Wellness Way needs far more aggressive water conservation policies. What officials now propose, they say, is “10 years behind the times.”

We agree.

The two most important and transformational efforts now going on in Lake County are the creation of Wellness Way and the race to slake the thirst of a region that is quickly running out of water.

Alan Oyler, a consultant to the South Lake Regional Water Initiative —which is working to find an alternative water source — said the group is exploring using the lower Florida Aquifer as a water source and, simultaneously, is working on stricter water conservation guidelines for the region.

Why not start with Wellness Way?

Any plan that does not strictly limit the use of water for non-essential purposes should be reconsidered in light of this developing crisis. It is possible — and reasonable — to require drought-tolerant landscaping throughout the community. Many communities facing water emergencies do so.

We certainly do not recommend scrapping Wellness Way. There is too much merit, too much potential in this project. However, we urge Lake County commissioners and other stakeholders to meet at the table with water experts and craft policies that better protect this dwindling, finite resource.

Wellness Way is positioned to be an example of good, sensible growth. It should have a water policy to match.

THE DAILY COMMERCIAL

http://leesburgdailycommercial.fl.newsmemory.com/

Good jobs are what Florida needs

Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that his second inauguration, on Jan. 6, will be preceded next month by “job jamborees.”

The events, Scott stated, “will highlight some of our growing Florida businesses and also be an opportunity to celebrate our economic progress while focusing on the work we have left to do in the next four years.”

Scott added that the focus of his administration will remain on

“three things —

jobs, jobs and jobs.”

That said,

Scott’s second terms needs to be about

good jobs, good jobs, good jobs.

From Halifax Media Group.

The governor’s attention to job growth has been good for both his political career, the state and many of its residents.

Yet a recent, thorough report,

a project of United Ways in Florida and five other states,

offers a stark reminder that having a job does not ensure economic survival.

The report is the product of a wide-ranging study by the ALICE Project.

The acronym stands for

Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

http://www.newtownbee.com/news/news/2014/11/19/asset-limited-income-constrained-employed-united-w/241713

One purpose of the study is to determine how many people who are employed consistently struggle

to afford the basic costs of living, housing, care for family members (children and seniors), food, transportation, health care, taxes and some miscellaneous expenses.

The answers are:

a lot and too many, especially in Florida.

In Florida, the ALICE Project found 20 percent of households earn less than what’s needed to reach a “household survival budget” — an average of $47,000 annually for a family of four.

Add in the 15 percent of Florida families with incomes below the federal poverty level — about $23,000 for a family of four — and a total of 45 percent of our state’s households face ongoing financial hardship.

The project found that, in 2012

(the latest year for which comparable data was available),

54 percent of the jobs in Florida paid $15 per hour or less.

That percentage was the highest of the six states in the study;

the others were Indiana, Michigan, California, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Clearly, then, one of the challenges for Florida is to generate not only more jobs, but jobs that pay higher wages.

Affordable housing is another area where Florida has problems.

More than half — 55 percent — of ALICE households in Florida lacked rental housing that did not impose an extreme burden.

Those households paid more than 35 percent of their income on housing.

And,

second only to New Jersey, Florida had a high percentage of households experiencing an “unfilled gap.”

That gap represents the difference between a household’s cost of living and its income, government aid and assistance from nonprofit organizations and charities.

Scott and the Legislature cannot prevent all the challenges facing impoverished Floridians and those who have jobs but regularly struggle to meet basic costs.

But they can work to incentivize job creation that pays livable wages.

They can encourage the development of more affordable housing, through existing but underfunded programs.

They can help fill gaps by expanding access to health care for the working poor.

They can help parents with young children — and improve long-term education outcomes — by expanding pre-kindergarten in public schools.

That all said,

Scott’s second terms needs to be about

good jobs, good jobs, good jobs.

From Halifax Media Group.

http://www.dailycommercial.com/

Make the Florida Healthcare Program the best

Governor Rick Scotts Big Chance

This is a good time for our governor to practice what he has been preaching.

Make the Florida Healthcare Program, the best in the country and the world?

He has his republican state senate and house, plus now a republican federal congress and a stacked Partisan Judicial system on his side.

If Obama’s Healthcare Program takes the hit from the Partisan Judicial decision, Scott can help Floridians by repairing his Healthcare system?

insurancesubsidiesatrisk_revised_0

Supreme Court reviewing pivotal health insurance exchange premium subsidy case

http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20141123/NEWS03/311239982

Just 14 states and the District of Columbia have set up exchanges, while the federal government operates the exchanges in 36 states after those states declined to do so.

supreme-court-health-overhaul-subsidies--12e3824d5b8f5cb6

New Medicaid expansion push set

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-florida-chain-to-push-again-for-medicaid-expansion-20141118-post.html

At issue is whether Florida would accept the federal offer with the Obamacare plan, offering more than $50 billion in federal money over 10 years to expand Medicaid to provide some coverage to people who earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidized health insurance, and can’t afford to buy private insurance.

HEALTH

Are you happy with 578,000 Floridians still out of work?

Can you just imagine this state if a real Peace Keeper the likes of say Mahatma Gandhi, Dalai Lama,

Aung San Suu Kyi, Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, or Martin Luther King, Jr. was the governor of Florida?

The Peace keepers

http://tahtonka.wordpress.com/the-peacekeepers/

After 8 years you can bet your life that it would not still be so high.

More important, you can also bet your life that no matter what if even one person was still looking for a job, not one of them would be standing in front of a camera bragging about his or her record!

What’s wrong with this state and country?

Unemployment rate fell to 6% in October a small dip from the month of September the lowest since June 2008

National 5.8%

Estimated 578,000 Florida still out of work

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2014/11/21/florida-unemployment-rate-drops-to-6-percent-in-october/

Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent in September, down 0.2 of a percentage point from the August rate of 6.3 percent and an improvement over the rate of 6.9 percent a year ago.

The information was released Friday by Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The state’s September rate was the lowest since June 2008 when it was 6.0 percent. There were 590,000 jobless Floridians out of a labor force of 9,637,000.

http://staugustine.com/news/florida-news/2014-10-17/state-unemployment-rate-dropped-61-percent-september#.VG96yJ4tCpp

What a waste of taxpayer money

Need an idea of what I have been writing about with the Florida GOP?

Today on Central Florida Spotlight with Greg Warmoth,

Greg, known republican second guest was, Republican John Mika Congressmen Winter park.

John Mika was just elected to his 12th term to the Federal House of Representative.

John Mika’s, first statement on the Affordable Health Care was to tell us that Obamacare (Affordable Health Care) will not be removed by this new congress however, the GOP is still going to send a bill to President Obama to remove it?

What a waste of taxpayer money!

If the congress has no intention of doing away with the Affordable Health Care program, why spend time and money writing another bill?

The next half hour he , John Mika and Greg Warmoth pointed out floors in the program, while admitting that the president has been correcting the floors as they show up.

Wouldn’t it make sense if congress did their job from day one and helped repair and improve the system?

That after all is part of their job?

We sent them to Washington to make our lives better, not to do nothing for 6 years!

The next talk between the two was the New Veterans Hospital in Orlando Florida.

House Congressmen Republican John Mika admitted that there was many over runs in time and money but, this was to be expected?

Funny, every other hospital and building in this part of Florida, some larger than the VA Hospital, all can in on time and on budget, why not the VA?

Care to guess which congressman is in charge of overseeing the construction if the VA Hospital?

BINGO!

Republican John Mika Congressmen Winter park.

U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., is Greg Warmoth’s guest on “Central Florida Spotlight” at 12:30 p.m. Sunday on WFTV-Channel 9.

Mica discusses Republican victories in the House and Senate and how the majorities will work with President Barack Obama.

Mica offers updates on the new VA hospital and the troubles commuters could feel with the upcoming I-4 makeover.

Warmoth also welcomes Anne Packham, the lead health-care marketplace navigator for Central Florida. She discusses what open enrollment means for people with and without insurance and offers advice on enrolling.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment/tv/tv-guy/os-john-mica-gives-i4-va-updates-20141112-post.html

Boots on the ground ~ AGAIN?

th9RPUNOJY

Boots on the ground ~ AGAIN?

ISSI and the GOP want our boots on the ground, both for different reasons with the same results!

ISSI wants us to put ‘Boots on the Ground’ because they are being systematically destroyed and not able to take our military with them.

The GOP controlled Federal Government, I say Federal Government because thanks to the voters, congress is in control of our military (Boots on the Ground), polluting our land (all Pipeline’s from Canada), destroying the environment (allowing polluters to keep on polluting) and so on by ‘handcuffing’ the president at everything good that he now tries to do for the country and the world!

Militants claim to have beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig in a video published to the Internet on Sunday, purportedly from terror group ISIS.

Video claims ISIS militants have beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/16/world/meast/isis-kassig-killing-images/

Keystone Left Behind as Canadian Oil Pours Into U.S.

Delays of the Keystone XL pipeline are providing little obstacle to

Western Canadian oil producers getting their crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast,

with shipments set to more than double next year.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-14/keystone-left-behind-as-canadian-oil-pours-into-u-s-.html

The GOP is not helping our economy

Thank-you also to Mr. ROBERT WESOLOWSKI

The GOP says they want to improve the lives of Americans and politics.

They criticize the Democrats for all the problems in America from high unemployment, drawing down troops from war zones and for Obamacare.

Apparently, the GOP does not know that under Obama, the economy has improved.

The S&P 500 is up. Corporate profits are up by 178 percent. Healthcare spending is up.

Exports are up. Crude oil production is up. The wind and solar power sources are up.

As troops come home from the Middle East, the cost of the Bush-Cheney trillion dollar failed war in Afghanistan is shrinking to help reduce the burden on taxpayers.

While it is true that Obamacare stumbled at the beginning, it is now a different story as seven million Americans have signed up.

Executives at BCBS said Obamacare has not yet reached the expected levels.

Under Obama, the economy has improved.

There are more jobs which means more paychecks.

The facts and the record of the GOP influence on the economy ranges from poor to miserable.

Why would anyone vote for a Republican when it is clear that a vote for the GOP is a vote for economic misery.

ROBERT WESOLOWSKI | The Villages

Even people from the Villages are starting to protest!

http://leesburgdailycommercial.fl.newsmemory.com/

Commissioners, get serious about your budget

Pesky Chnge

Commissioners, get serious about your budget

Lake County Commissioners said last week that, after raising the county- wide property tax rate 13.8 percent this year, they will work diligently to avoid a tax increase next year.

Commissioners, in interviews with

Daily Commercial reporter Livi Stanford, made some impressive declarations about their duty to be fiscally prudent and their commitment to finding “efficiencies” in the way they run government without harming the services they provide to taxpayers. Wait until next year, they tell us. You’ll see.

And we want to believe them, but the Lake County Commission’s track record in managing their own budget is terribly unimpressive.

Consider:

This group wisely cut 159 positions in the recession years, when plummeting property values robbed government coffers of tax revenue. But they also waived county impact fees in a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to help out the taxpayer (actually, developers). In doing so, they cut off a valuable revenue stream at a time they needed it most. And guess what?

Now they’re bringing back the impact fees because they’re facing a financial crisis.

The County Commission’s budget deliberations this summer were a sham.

Instead of meeting weekly to look for operational “efficiencies” they now pledge to find, they met just a couple of times and basically rubber-stamped a budget provided to them by their staff.

For purely political reasons, they refuse so far to look at consolidating the county fire and ambulance services as so many Florida counties have already done with great success. Their own county auditor strongly urged them to do so, and neighboring counties boast of realizing millions of dollars in annual savings, while improving the quality and effectiveness of both services. Yet the county hasn’t even commissioned a study of the idea, as the auditor suggested. They said they didn’t have the money for the study.

One commissioner, Sean Parks, said last week that he’s convening a special citizen panel to study county operations and recommend efficiencies. We’ve seen this approach in other places. This is a naked attempt to pass the buck to a group of people who have little or no understanding of government finance and services. Commissioner Parks, there is already a panel in place to do this work. It’s called the Lake County Commission, and each of its members are paid handsomely to handle this chore.

That’s just a smattering of the ways that this commission — Chairman Jimmy Conner and Commissioners Leslie Campione, Parks, Welton Cadwell and Tim Sullivan — has been sleep-walking through their budget oversight role.

Last week brought a new, interesting revelation: County Inspector General Bob Melton concluded in an audit that the county purchasing department was not putting county work out for competitive bids as it should — and as all government agencies in Florida do — but has been awarding contracts to private companies on a rotating basis, or sometimes simply picking a contractor with no explanation.

The reason government entities do competitive bidding is to ensure that the best prices are being obtained for public works projects and services and to avoid favoritism and cronyism. Except that isn’t the practice in Lake County, apparently. It’s impossible to know how much tax money has been squandered and how many projects the public has overpaid for.

So if the Lake County Commission wants us to believe their rhetoric, if the commissioners want us to trust that they will work dutifully toward crafting county services and fiscal policies that serve the interests of the people of Lake County, perhaps they should begin acting like they believe it.

http://leesburgdailycommercial.fl.newsmemory.com/