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Introducing Volunteer Connections for Sierra Club

The Florida and California Chapters of Sierra Club are testing out a new system to help volunteers find the open positions in the Club. You can check this out at Volunteer Connections
Rudy Scheffer has input the Executive Committee and Outings Committee positions for Florida.
For more info on this, email Rudy.Scheffer@sierraclub.org.




Sierra Florida Election Meeting is September 27

The Sierra Club Florida Executive Committee invites all Group Chairs and/or Vice Chairs and other Group Leaders to our September 27 Meeting. The meeting will be held from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, September 27 at Eckerd College. Along with other Chapter business we will conduct Chapter Excom elections. All Chairs or Vice Chairs for each group as of July 1, 2014 are eligible to vote. One vote per Group. The candidate biographies were sent out to group leaders and group excoms are encouraged to review them and discuss the vote. An abbreviated version of the bios are listed below.

Also at this meeting, we will have Rudy Scheffer show us how to list our outings, meetings, and events on OARS, so that they can automatically be loaded onto your website and the State website. We will be offering a chance to put up your volunteer ads on a website that National is putting together, and we are the first to get to use it! We will be discussing “Strengthening Your Group”, and coming up with training for future meetings.

For more information and the meeting agenda, please email john.swingle@florida.sierraclub.org, or debbie.matthews@florida.sierraclub.org.


2014 Calendar

DATE EVENT

January 2014

New SC Florida ExCom takes Office

March 15,2014

Chapter Meeting - Meeting in Lakeland

May 15, 2014

Nominations Open for SC Florida ExCom 2015

May 17, 2014

Political Training - Meeting in Lakeland

June 28, 2014

Chapter & Group Leaders Meeting at Eckerd College

June 29, 2014

Chapter Executive Committee Meeting at Eckerd College

July 15, 2014

Nominations Close for SC Florida ExCom 2015

July 31, 2014

Nominations for ExCom 2015 Announced

July 31, 2014

Petition period open for SC Florida ExCom 2015

August 1, 2014

Deadline for Chapter Awards Submission

August 30, 2014

Petition period closed for SC Florida ExCom 2015

September 1, 2014

Slate for SC Florida 2015 ExCom Announced

September 27, 2014

Chapter Meeting w/ Election & Awards at Eckerd College

December 6, 2014

Chapter Meeting - Conservation Planning in Lakeland

January 2015

Next SC Florida ExCom takes office





Election for Florida Sierra Executive Committee

The following members are running for election to the Florida ExCom. Here is a summary of their bios. Full bios are available from your Group Chair.

Mark Walters is a volunteer leader with the Inner City Outings (ICO) program in Miami, and a past ICO chair. Until 2012, he co-chaired the ICO National Steering Committee, establishing policy and providing guidance and support for the ICO program and its 50+ groups and hundreds of volunteers across the country. Mark is a member of the Outdoor Leadership Team (policy, guidance and support for Local Outings, ICO and Military Family and Veterans programs), the Diversity Steering Committee and is a former co-chair of the Diversity Council. Mark was appointed to the Florida ExCom to fill a vacancy and is willing to serve another term.

Darryl L. Rutz is on the Broward Group's Executive Committee where for the past two years, he has assisted in various outreach efforts and worked on the Fund Raising Committee. He has taken the Sierra Outing Leaders' Training, led outings and feels that they are the best way to get folks involved with the Club. This February, he joined Sierra Leaders and others in Washington DC in the protest against the XL Pipeline. He is also a volunteer with Florida's Water and Land Legacy where he worked on getting signatures for the amendment. He has a BA from FSU and an MA from Ohio University.

Deborah Longman-Marien was elected to the Florida ExCom in 2012, served her term as Secretary and is seeking a second term. She has served on the ExCom of the Turtle Coast Group and been their Chair, as well as being an outings leader. She speaks out at County Commission meetings and has been vocal on wetland protection, fertilizer ordinances and clean water. In addition to working with Sierra, she volunteers at the Brevard Zoo, has taken the Florida Master Naturalist courses and been president of a local Audubon Group.

Rocky Milburn has been a lifelong member of the Sierra club and the National Audubon Society, as well as a Boy Scout leader. He has been on the Tampa Bay ExCom for four years and is current Chair of the Tampa Bay ICO. He has been involved in many wildlife projects including, 10 year Least Tern Nesting survey in conjunction with the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife. A continuing survey project of habitat with the Hillsborough County Environmental Lands Acquisition Protection Program (ELAPP). He has received the Sierra Club Black Bear award and the Academy Prep of Tampa Volunteer of the Year award in 2012. This year, he was given the Pine Tree Award for his sevice to the Tampa Bay Group.






News from Around the State




FLUSH THE TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership

The Central Florida Sierra Club has joined activists from labor, fair trade, and the general community, to hold a light brigade protest. Using giant boards with LED lights, the message “Flush the TPP” is spelled out to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secretive trade deal that threatens to worsen a global race to the bottom for wages, consumer safety, health and environmental standards. These boards are displayed in places such as Lake Eola (downtown Orlando) and we pass out fliers and talk to people as they walk by the boards. We have had a lot of interest in the TPP subject because of our light brigade.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed deal between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, is poised to become the largest trade agreement in U.S. history. It could have wide-reaching influence on the quality of life of everyday Americans. And yet, the only people at the negotiating table are corporate lobbyists and government negotiators, not groups concerned about workers, public health, free speech, the environment or consumer protections. Groups such as the Sierra Club, Public Citizen, the Friends of the Earth and the Rainforest Action Network have raised concerns about the TPP and the environment.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text has been written by 600 corporate advisors over the past 5 years. The text has been kept secret, but what we know of the text has been learned from leaks. Congressman Alan Grayson was allowed to view part of the text, but he was not allowed to share with his staff or to take written notes.

International treaties trump local, state and federal law. Fast track eliminates the ability to amend the treaty and sets a maximum time of 90 days to complete the voting process and limits debate to a maximum of 20 hours in the House and in the Senate. Local citizens need to tell the White House no fast track agreements-we want to have the right to know what our country is trading away.

It really comes down to this: If the TPP passes, no jurisdiction in any signatory country will have the legal right to restrict ANY business practice unless they are willing to risk being sued in an international tribunal of corporate lawyers for every penny of potential lost profits. Corporate courts with corporate lawyers would alternate between representing the corporations AND serving as judges between the people and the corporations. Local, state, or national governments that have, or pass, laws defending citizens or the environment could face fines or penalties if these corporate courts find that their laws undermine the ability of a corporation to make future profits.

The Obama administration has promised to seek approval for this agreement as early as fall of this year. In order to pass, a special law known as “fast track” must be in place, allowing only an up or down vote in Congress. Congress seems ready to give the President what he wants. So our first job is to defeat fast track. Don’t allow it to pass through Congress. We’re not opposed to trade, but it needs to be Clean, Green and Fair.

For more information and links to other sources, Like us / join us on Facebook: Orlando Light Brigade, CWA 3108 Union Hall, Sierra Club Central Florida Group, Central Florida AFL – CIO, and Floridians against the Trans Pacific Partnership – TPP.
-Mary-Slater Linn



 New Fiction Book by James W. Hall
 Considers an attack on the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant.


 In his new book, Going Dark, local South Florida writer and professor at FIU Dr. James Hall has his anti-hero,Thorn, involved with a plot to blow up Turkey Point power plant on the shores of Biscayne Bay.

 Yes, it is fiction, but the details of the plant site, the cooling pits full of spent fuel rods, and the waters of Biscayne Bay are very familiar to us. Sierra Club gets a mention too as the drama plays out. Download the book today or support your local bookseller and stop by for copy.








Two Videos show an "environment under attack"
in Miami-Dade County.


Bradley Stark, SC Miami Group, joined up with creative director, Nick Katzenback and Ed Asner, to create an Anti-nuclear Video. Working with Ed Asner was a real treat for the producers and as Nick describes,
"Ed is just a wonderful guy. He's smart, funny, intellectual and quick-witted. He is a consummate professional who delivered a hefty script with ease and conviction. It was inspiring to work with someone so accomplished and still so passionate."

View the video now at Boondoggle - Sierra Club Florida YouTube

The controversial - and potentially devastating dredging of Biscayne Bay proposed by the Port of Miami has been allowed to start. The judge in a lawsuit to save the bay said that there were plenty of safety measures in place. However, fragile Virginia Key is now overflowing with the dredge material with no other plans in place but to stick it there. Some people feel that the "Battle for Biscayne Bay" is the battle for the heart of Miami. A compelling new video tells the story of how the Port of Miami's "Deep Dredge" will impact the fragile, marine environments surrounding the Port.

See the video at Deep Dredge







An Offer from the Florida Conservation Coalition


The Florida Conservation Coalition is now distributing a daily email with short summaries and links to the top reporting, editorials, and op-eds concerning Florida’s environment. It available to anyone who joins the Coalition.

The Florida Conservation Coalition is a non-partisan and non-profit group of concerned citizens dedicated to protecting and conserving Florida's water and natural resources. It was organized in 2011 in response to the actions of the Florida government to weaken and repeal conservation gains in Florida. Sierra Club Florida is a founding member of the coalition, as is Former Governor Bob Graham.

When you sign up to Join the coalition, click on the "Daily News Service" box at the bottom. The signup form is at Join Coalition . For more info, go to www.floridaconservationcoalition.org . You can also choose to read the news on that home page.




Plea from the Apalachicola Riverkeepers

The Florida Conservation Coalition has delivered a letter, signed by Senator Graham, to Senators Nelson and Rubio regarding the need for Congressional action to restore freshwater flow in the Apalachicola River.

Now the Apalachicola Riverkeeper (ARK) has started an online petition calling on Congress to act to protect the Apalachicola. The ARK folks believe a successful petition campaign could help influence legislators in upcoming discussions on the WRDA in the House. "If we can generate only a couple thousand signatures the site hosting the petition will send it out to tens or hundreds of thousand people on our behalf." WRDA will be up for debate in the House soon, so act now. The petition link is online petition.


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