Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Concerns about Dredging the River

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Concerns about Dredging the River

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Littlepage

Mousing around the news of the day ... click.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers insists that gouging seven feet of rock out of the St. Johns River shipping channel won't impact the river's health.

This is what the Miami Herald reported this week about the ongoing channel deepening at Miami's port, also approved by the corps.

"The $205 million dredge project to deepen Port Miami has spread a blanket of silt and clay over the bay bottom that is smothering coral and damaging sea life, state environmental inspectors have found."

The DEP, the Herald said, warned the corps that "work is violating state permits, churning up too much sediment and having a 'profound effect' on the sea floor."

That doesn't exactly instill confidence in the corps' assessment for the St. Johns.

Click.

John Keane, the executive director of the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund, will see his annual salary increase by about $9,000 to $308,612 in the next budget year.

When Keane was being questioned by the council's Finance Committee last week, he was asked about a plan for the fund to spend $30,000 on a new contract for media relations.

Since Keane has always justified his exorbitant salary by saying he wears many hats, including handling the media, does this mean Keane will reduce his salary by that $30,000?

Click.

We are learning what our top elected state officials are not.

For instance, when Gov. Rick Scott is asked about climate change, his pat answer is "I'm not a scientist."

As if we didn't already know that.

Now let's turn to Agricultural Commissioner Adam Putnam, who has been snared in the King Ranch, Big Sugar, fancy hunting trips controversy uncovered by the Tampa Bay Times.

Putnam hasn't shared a lot of details about his trips to the legendary ranch, but he opened up a bit during an interview with the Times Monday. …

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