Tuesday December 23rd
Joe – - Joe! Say it ain’t so, Joe.
An old man’s tears are not easy to come by. And even harder to stop. You can forget an awful lot that once seemed important. But, you won’t forget the get down, grind, hip shovin’, heart swelling, ecstacy of youth, with a back beat. One of the twentieth century’s original wailers. I can hear him now, clear as yesterday. The funky chicken push takes you onto the dance floor of your imagination.
Joe Cocker was admired and played with the biggest names in blues-rock and soul. He did a number of cover pieces many with the blessing of the Beatles, and with the participation of legends like Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, and Bo Diddly.
Joe’s music is like no other. He is the perfect storm of “blue eyed soul”. I can say honestly that it played a significant role in the fun times and the fight against misery moments in my life. He passed away from lung cancer at his home in Colorado on Monday. At 70 years old, he did his last concert in September at Madison Square Garden.
He’s gone from this world, but he’s alive in his music for thousands who found him in the sixties and are still in awe of his aura today. Keep up with the beat - - And yes, “You Can Leave Your Hat On”.
Sony Hacked News
New information just released from an independently owned internet security firm, suggests that Sony was not hacked by North Korea. It is highly possible that the company was hacked from the inside by elements who are dissatisfied with company policy. After the fact, the hackers created the camouflaged screen and planted finger pointing evidence at the North Koreans. Recent developments in Sony’s business decisions lend credence to this claim.
The Reverend Al Sharpton has been appointed to Sony’s board of directors. This is worse than a North Korean Cyber attack, any day, and explains a lot.
Typical Bureaucratic Smoke & Mirrors
In June of last year one of the DEP's Deputys circulated a commentary across the state discussing something that he didn't really know anything about or perhaps he felt needed some bureaucratic spin. My response/com-mentary appeared on the Gainesville Sun's Internet Editorial page on June 25, 2013. Now, after the Governor has eviscerated the DEP, I'd like to see what one of the contemporary deputies would say about water resources today.
The DEP’s Deputy Secretary for Water Policy & Ecosystem Restoration gave us a genuine, “feel good”, pep talk in a guest editorial that ran in the June 11th Citrus Chronicle (Crystal River).
Greg Munson put a smiley face on state government’s dismal record of water resource management and stewardship of our major springs, touting this year’s
legislative “investment” of $10 million for springs projects and “restoration” plans. Minimum flows (established & set by our Water Management Districts), “will result in a recovery plan to restore spring flows”, Munson stated.
He went on to imply that our receding aquifer levels are primarily due to the extended drought and that with-drawals from the aquifer only account for 5% to 10% of the decline in spring flows.
Mr. Munson, repeatedly refers to “best available science” and “extensive science” as if government concern for springs and their source the aquifer, has been an ongoing
project of salvation and study by DEP and the Water Management Districts.
In all fairness, some of what Munson says is true, in and of itself. But, regulation, blind study, and bureaucratic evaluation of the problem have done little to stem the current downward spiral of our water supply. And, these “recovery plans” involve a future of micromanagement and a bottomless pit of expense to implement.
You can plan and recommend ‘til the cows come home but reality versus wishful thinking and lip service only fuel denial of the real root of the problem.
Fifty years ago, there were less than 2 million people living in Florida. Over a third of the state was under-water. When I was growing up in the decade from 1953 to ’63 there were five years of rainfall that met or exceeded 60 inches annually.
Today’s count of springs and minor outflows is approximately 1,000, north of Orlando. Back then, water literally bubbled out of the ground and artesian outflows were prolific and easy to tap. When I was a youngster we lived on the farm for several years and had an artesian well head that created a pond of about 3 acres. It stunk to high heaven with sulfur off-gas and if the wind was right it would make you gag. My grandfather thought this was the Fountain of Youth. Every other day he would wade out into the pond and fill a pickle jar with the odorous elixir so he could sip on the potion when the notion struck him.
As a teenager, after farm labor stopped for the summer, we would jet galvanized pipe with a garden hose down in people’s yards to use as lawn and landscape watering. At ten feet, the water would literally flow from the ground. Add a small pump and you were irrigating. There was a minor problem for the homeowner; once the daily rains ceased it was only a matter of time before the shallow well pumped red clay and stained the house with colored fans. Made identifying new well prospects easy the next year, though.
After fifty years we have a population approaching 20 million, not counting the millions who live here and add to the water consumption during the winter. How will we recover when minimum flows drop below themselves? And how do we facilitate the massive recharge required to restore aquifer levels when withdrawals already exceed input?
Rainbow Springs is a good model. Flows are down substantially. According to Dr. Bob Knight there are 22,799 Consumptive Use Permits (wells) surrounding Rainbow Springs out to the Levy county line. Tampa’s numbers will really scare you. Meanwhile our bureaucrats, environmental and water science agencies keep re-inventing themselves in little dribs and drabs.
Finally, one of the saddest consequences of this history is as our population grows the number of people with a historic perspective narrows proportionately. As we die off, those left, have the perspective of today and don’t really know or appreciate what we had.
A Final Thought re: Politics on a National Level.
You are hearing a lot from Senator Marco Rubio and ex-Governor Jeb Bush. Every time you hear their names or see a news piece about them, think Dr.Ben Carson. Go listen to him. This is a night or day contrast. A man of "radical" thought i.e. responsibility, education, and common sense. He holds 62 honorary doctorates and his Education Foundation has awarded 6,200 scholarships.
Enuff said . . . . Happy New Year