From red tide to making political waves - Important headlines

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Important headlines for August 1st - From red tide to making political waves  

Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...  

  • What killed this baby manatee? Manatee mortality highest since 2013 – Palm Beach Post 

Excerpt: This year, 484 manatees have died in Florida through July 20. That’s the highest number for this time of year since 2013 when 694 manatees died through mid-July. By the end of 2013, more than 800 manatees were dead, topping the previous record of 766 set in 2010 during a lengthy cold snap. 

Of the deaths this year, 29 were red tide-related with another 51 suspected to be from red tide. 

“The worst we’ve had so far for red tide was 2013,” de Wit said. “Right now, the numbers are above baseline, and what is unusual, is it’s lasted through the summer.” 

It’s unusual to see manatees dying from red tide toxins this time of year, de Wit said. 

According to the Fort Myers News-Press, a whale shark that washed up on Sanibel earlier this month died from red tide poisoning. This past weekend nearly 4,000 dead fish were counted on Sanibel beaches and parks.

Hot Take: It is worth noting that manatee populations have been on the rise (from just over 3,000 twenty years ago to over 6,000 today) and therefore there are simply going to be more that are going to die due to sheer numbers however that doesn't really address the bigger issue here. 

While we're worried about the toxic blue-green algae they've got the worst of both worlds going along the west coast of Florida. The blue-green algae concern from Lake O' discharges and the red algae known as red tide. The difference is one is generally a natural phenomenon, red tide, and the other is the result of our manipulation of nature. Put the two together and it's no surprise that they're experiencing the worst outcomes for wildlife in years. Two years ago, when we were in the mist of the worst toxic algae crisis on record, today's problems were guaranteed to continue to happen unless we vastly changed the way we handle "water management". And that's probably the biggest problem of all. The more we try to "manage" nature, the more problems that seem to persist. Nature is a lot like US prosperity. It and we tend to do best when we're protected but otherwise don't have government in the way.  

Excerpt: The Broward Democratic Party has endorsed Donna Korn for re-election to the School Board over her challenger, Ryan Petty, whose daughter was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. 

“We had a sitting School Board member who has been truly good on issues concerning to a large segment of our voters,” said Cynthia Busch, the Broward Democratic chairwoman. 

Hot Take: I'm not surprised that Donna Korn is being endorsed over Ryan Petty by the Broward's Democrats based on what we know of each of them. I do however question how appropriate it is for a political party to endorse candidates in non-partisan races. The entire point of having non-partisan elections is to keep traditional party politics out of the race. That seems about as wrong to me as a news organization endorsing candidates which right on cue...  

Hot Take: Yes, it's the editorial board, not the theoretically objective reporters but who do they all answer to? Who does the hiring, makes final decisions, etc. How can you truly suggest there's objective coverage when your organization has publicly taken sides?  

Until Tomorrow... 

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