News from the Chair September 2016


By Maryvonne Devensky

Hello to everyone,

As we survive these hot and humid summer months, several serious issues are also boiling right in front of us.  So here is what we need to focus on and I am urging you to get informed and educate yourself even more on these issues.  Of course, if you have the time and interest, you can get involved by becoming a Board Member of our Executive Committee for the next 2 years. Please contact me if this is something you are interested in.
Let’s see the issues I just mentioned:

AUGUST 30 ELECTIONS
As you know the upcoming elections are serious. The future of Alachua County will be decided on August 30. So do not be complacent. Make the time to go and vote. Make your voice count!

Please Vote YES on Amendment 4 on your ballot. Passing this amendment will help facilitate and increase the possibilities of using Solar Energy in your homes.
If you already voted, thank you!

SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE  –  SIERRA CLUB JOINS IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST USACE
As the opposition to this unneeded pipeline project in Florida was growing (70 people attended an Informational workshop in Gainesville on August 6 – organized by Gulf Restoration Network), permits to allow the construction of the pipeline were given last week to Sabal Trail LLC. In response, Gulf Restoration Network, Flint Riverkeeper and Sierra Club filed a lawsuit against the US Army Corps of Engineers for its issuances of 3 Clean Water Acts permits.  Please read the Press Release that was published and is included in the newsletter below.

ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO KEEP OPPOSING SABAL TRAIL PIPELINE:
We (Excom members)  have discussed supporting a Landowner’s Coalition all along the projected route of the pipeline – such a project may be too late, or may be useful as the lawsuit progresses, I am not sure. So if any Sierra Club members in the Suwannee-St. Johns group, or any of your neighbours are affected by the Sabal Trail, please let us know.  We will start a list of landowners affected by this project.
Contact me at ssjsierra@gmail.com.

OUTINGS:
Since the beginning of the year, we have been involved with this Sabal Trail issue, and we have gone to the Suwannee River State Park a few times.  The Suwannee River is an amazing river, I recently paddled on it, from  the Roline Boat Ramp. Beautiful tupelo trees are growing along the river, providing well needed shade.  The WWALS Watershed Coalition has an outing program that is quite active and if you are interested in their outings, please contact Chris Mericle at cjmericle@gmail.com.

Here are 2 outings they plan to have:
September 10, 2016
Rivers-Alive Cleanup at Berrien Beach Launch
4pm
Directions: N side of GA 168, west side of Alapaha River

October 9, 2016
Withlacoochee River Paddle
10 am
Madison Hwy ramp to Sullivan Launch
Directions: Madison Highway at the Georgia-Florida State Line
Georgia side of the river

Closer to us, CURRENT PROBLEMS is also going to have several fall outings to clean the Suwannee River, so please contact them at www.currentproblems.org to be involved.  We need to protect what we love!!!!!

FALL GENERAL MEETINGS PROGRAMS;
Programs are always on the first Thursday of the month at the UUFG Church. Social at 7:00pm, meeting starts at 7:30pm.

SEPTEMBER 1: WATER CONSERVATION ISSUE FOR HOMEOWNERS
Stacie Greco and Emily Rodriguez are both working with the Alachua County Department of Environmental Protection.  They will have a Power Point presentation on the ways to conserve water in your yard and house, and they will explain the new Irrigation Code Enforcement.

OCTOBER  6: MEMORIES OF JOHN MUIR.   With Merald Clark, Park Ranger at Morningside Nature Center –  A FUN PROGRAM TO REMIND US THAT JOHN MUIR HIKED ACROSS FLORIDA, from FERNANDINA BEACH to CEDAR KEY during the fall of 1867.

NOVEMBER 3: “SANDHILL ECOLOGY” With  Professor Francis Jack Putz, of the University of Florida, author  Of “Finding Home in the Sandy Lands of the South: A Naturalist’s Journey in Florida”

DECEMBER 1: HOLIDAY PARTY AND AWARDS CEREMONY:   Mark your calendars…Bring a dish!!! SSJ will provide desserts…

LAST  but not least…MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR 2 DIFFERENT and FUN EVENTS:

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8TH 10:00AM  TO 2:00PM
OPEN HOUSE OF THE NEW RURAL SIERRA CLUB OFFICE at RUM 138 IN FORT WHITE.
Come to visit the Sierra club office, the art gallery, then listen to music, have a picnic and… meet Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, who was hired by Florida Sierra Club in June. Stay later and rent a kayak or a canoe and go down the beautiful Santa Fe river.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 8:00AM TO 1:00PM
GARAGE SALE  TO  BENEFIT  OUR  ICO (INSPIRING CONNECTIONS OUTDOORS) PROGRAM
Start going through your house and collecting items you want to donate to the garage sale. Call 352-871-1606 after October 8th to bring your items. Thanks!