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Letter Hand-Delivered to Governor Rick Scott today 5/4/11 re: Toxic Waters and Cholera Outbreak in Florida

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To the Citizens of Florida:
It is way past time to get this right. With the release of vast amounts of toxic crude and the even more toxic dispersants to cover up the crime scene, now we have intentional waste dumping in the areas off the Gulf of Mexico here in Florida. My take is "swim at your own risk" and "don't eat the seafood." In the past we have taken sand samples from a Sarasota Beach that were fingerprint matched to the crude from the Macondo well at 173ppm, continued and sporadic beach closures everywhere because of "bacteria" in the waters and no medical or health alerts sounded anywhere. This is directly related to the continuation of tax dollars from tourism, in Florida alone to the tune of 65 billion annually.
Our tourists and residents are still swimming and fishing in these waters and eating the seafood that comes from them.
When did the bottom line become more important than the health, well-being and thriving of our residents and tourists and let's not forget to mention the fishing industry?
When people start dying, our leaders will have blood on their hands. There is no nice way to say this.
This is the letter that was hand-delivered to Governor Rick Scott today. And there is no way he and his office can say that they did not receive it. Now they need to take action and so do we. Please place your calls, letters, faxes and emails to his office as soon as possible. This is our state and we pay our leaders to work for us. I am sure everyone wants clean air and fresh water. Take a stand! We can make a difference when we rise up!
Anita Stewart
Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation Board, Seat 5
Tampa, Florida
anitasoilandwater at gmail dot com
To: The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor of Florida
Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
From: Robert D. Allen
Owner and Operator of Sportsman's Lodge
99 North Bayshore Drive
Eastpoint, Florida 32328
Dear Governor,
I have written you on numerous occasions concerning the problems here in Eastpoint. For ten years we have brought it to the attention of the Governor's Office, DEP, and all applicable State and Federal Agencies that the Eastpoint Waste Water Treatment Plant is dumping sewage into Indian Creek. I remind you again that I sold half my property to the State and half of Indian Creek is the property of the State.
We have ten years of accumulated proof of sewage dumping into the creek and flowing out to Apalachicola Bay and the Oyster Beds.
In 2007 we believed it was finally recognized and was to be corrected as a "Consent Order" was issued against the property next to the plant which was dumping the sewage via a "borrow pit." It has been five years and evidence shows the DEP action was enacted to only farther cover-up the dumping. The Consent Order was never completed and no sanction was issued against the plant.
Now as we are sure your aware there has been an outbreak of Cholera traced back to Apalachicola Oysters and a "small leak" from the sewage plant. Cholera is not produced from a small leak but from long term unsanitary release of sewage. We have indisputable evidence of that long term release and of the States negligence to respond to that evidence. About one hundred million bacteria must typically be ingested to cause cholera in a normal healthy adult. This large amount is not produced short- term. Children are also
more susceptible with two to four year olds having the highest rates of infection. Cholera can be transmitted from person to person which puts every child of an Apalachicola Oyster man at risk. We have children and parents here who will tell the story of children with unexplained bouts of both diarrhea and vomiting. In these cases no known bacteria or virus was found as Cholera testing was not done.
The options at this point should be clear and understandable. The State can continue to neglect and downplay the dangers or begin to deal with them. As you have been here and eaten our oysters yourself there is no need to prolong the explanation that what hangs in the balance is a way of life and a large producer of income for the State. To continue to neglect such issues as the Sewage Plant in Eastpoint and a Landfill running water into a schoolyard is to endanger lives and commerce. If that is the choice of the State we have no choice but to appeal to higher authorities. We believe the FDA and CDC on reviewing our evidence will see the clear and present danger of a continued health disaster if left unchecked. We have asked through many avenues that you personally come and view our evidence. To date although you communicated through different offices we have yet to sit down with your representative. We ask that an unbiased representative from your office do this as soon as possible. We have gathered health professionals and importantly Bio-remediation Specialist who can advise and provide real answers to assure health and the restoration of our waters.
I will remind you these are Class II Federally protected waters in an estuary with rare and endangered species. I know it is your wish to forward the economy of this area. Such health threats as this news of Cholera and the recent influx of tar mats on St. George Island will not accomplish that. But, for the health of these waters and those who make their living on them we can no longer neglect the ongoing environmental abuse. The State of Florida is being funded millions of dollars for restoration of resources. The outflow of Indian Creek into the Bay is an idea candidate for that restoration. We have waited patiently for your response to these issues. Now we wait impatiently as it is our common practice to eat oysters to be able to do so again without the fear of sickness and a health epidemic.
Thank you for this consideration, 
Bob Allen, Concerned Citizens and Seafood Workers of Eastpoint, Florida         
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Anita is a licensed medical professional, elected official, radio talk show host, artist, crafter, writer, blogger, photographer, Political Consultant, and a New Media and Virtual Outreach expert. In 2010, Anita was elected to the Hillsborough (more...)
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