PO Box 941692, Maitland, FL 32794-1692

Feb 2015 News and Events

Written by Robin Katz
Monday, February 10 2014
In This Issue:


  • MONTHLY MEETING PROGRAM: Jim Howe and Carolina Griffith discuss the TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
  • OUTINGS LEADERS WANTED: Sierra Club Outings Leader Training
    • Community Meeting to Discuss Helping Save Ecologically Diverse Lands in East Orange County
    • Save Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
    • Orlando Wetlands Festival
    • Film Screening and Panel Conversation, “The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Everglades to Okefenokee”


Click “Read More” to get all the details.


MONTHLY MEETING: Wednesday, February 19th, 7pm at Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803

PROGRAM: Jim Howe and Carolina Griffith discuss the TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP (TPP)

The TPP is a secret international trade treaty that few government officials, a handful of advisers, and elite business executives have been working on for several years in unprecedented secrecy. If the TPP passes, environmental regulations will be challenged by the corporations and if they are not overturned, the government behind the legislation can be sued. Join us to see what you can do to stop the TPP, and learn how to get involved.

Jim Howe has been working with Floridians against the Trans-Pacific Partnership since January 2013.
Carolina Griffith is a new organizer working with the Orlando Light Brigade, part of a national network that has focused on many issues impacting the environment from the TPP to the Keystone Pipeline.

Door opens at 6:30pm, with light snacks and socializing. Programs are held from 7-8:45pm. Admission is always free, and the public is invited – So come on down, and bring some friends!



Sierra Club Outings Leader Training: Saturday, February 15th, 9am-2pm at Oakland Nature Preserve, 747 Machete Trail, Oakland, FL 34787
If you are a member of Sierra Club and interested in becoming an activity leader for Sierra Outings (adults) or Inner City Outings (youth), we invite you to outings leader training class. The class will be taught by Rudy Scheffer, the Florida Chapter Outings Chair. The cost is $5 per person and this includes lunch. To RSVP contact Mary-Slater at407-481-4398 or sierraclub01@yahoo.com



Community Meeting to Discuss Helping Save Ecologically Diverse Lands in East Orange County: Thursday, Feb 13th, 6 PM, at Corner Lake Middle School, 1700 Chuluota Rd, Orlando, FL 32820
Learn about large scale development proposal to change Rural Land Future Land Use designation to Rural Transition for Lake Pickett North/Lake Pickett South. This is an ecological diverse area comprised of 2,000 acres next to Big Econlockhatchee River off Lake Pickett Road in east Orange County. The project would add 10,000 more cars to the area’s clogged roadways.


Save Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge: Join Audubon at public hearings in New Smyrna Beach and Titusville to say NO to rocket launch sites in our refuge! Your comments at the hearings are urgently needed – please share this important alert!
February 11, 5-8pm at New Smyrna Beach High School Gymnasium, 1015 10th Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
February 12th, 5-8pm at Eastern Florida State College, Titusville Campus, John Henry Jones Gymnatorium, 1311 North U.S. 1, Titusville, FL 32796
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/459510394176136/
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/CentralFloridaSierraClub/events/165403422/


CALL TO ACTION: WE WANT CLEAN WATER! Rally to Tally: Tuesday, February 18th, meet the bus at 5 am at Barnes and Noble, 2418 E Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
HUGE Rally to Tally (Tallahassee) and we NEED YOU on the bus to help push the Floridian’s Clean Water Declaration for clean water in our state! $40 to attend this all-day event, we leave at 5am from Orlando, and return by 9pm. We realize this is a long day–we have much to do! Rally and meetings with politicians. Contact Marge Holt for details and to RSVP: marjorieholt@florida.sierraclub.org or 407-679-6759
Sign the petition: http://wewantcleanwater.com/
Learn more and please join us, here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1475614649332643/
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/CentralFloridaSierraClub/ev ents/162598812/


Help Save Econ River Ecologically Diverse Rural Lands: Thursday, February 20th, 9am at Orange County Board of County Commission (BCC) Chambers, 201 S. Rosalind Avenue, Orlando FL 32801
Important Sit-In with the Local Planning Agency to oppose the development of Ecologically Diverse Lands in East Orange County, right behind UCF. Remember to come back on and Tuesday, March 11th, 9am for additional public comment and to hear the BCC decision.
See Community Meeting above for additional information, and please join us:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/203483643177655/
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/CentralFloridaSierraClub/events/164181252/



Orlando Wetlands Festival: Saturday, February 15, 9am-3pm at Fort Christmas Historical Park, 1300 North Fort Christmas Road, Christmas, FL 32709
This year the City of Orlando, Orange Audubon Society, and Orange County Parks and Recreation Department have teamed up to bring you the Best Wetlands Festival in the United States. Learn more at www.orlandowetlands.org


Film Screening and Panel Conversation, “The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Everglades to Okefenokee”: Wednesday, February 19, 5:30pm-8:30pmnbsp;at University of Central Florida Fairwinds Alumni Center, 12676 Gemini Blvd. North, Orlando, FL
They traveled 1000 miles in 100 days through the heart of natural Florida….COME JOIN US!
Free Admission, Limited Seating. This is not a Sierra Club sponsored event. For more information on the film, visitwww.FloridaWildlifeCorridor.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1445510395679771/
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/CentralFloridaSierraClub/events/164759452/

To get the latest news and updates, follow us on:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/CentralFLSierraClub
Meetup – http://www.meetup.com/CentralFloridaSierraClub
Website – http://www.centralfloridasierra.org

Last Updated ( Monday, February 10 2014 )

Sign Petition to Orange County Commissioners-Reject Future Land Use Amendment

Please sign this online petition to help save regional wildlife/greenbelt corridor within the Horizon West Lakeside Village. The applicant is requesing a change from “Upland Greenbelt” to “Garden Home District” adjacent to Fiquette Road in West Orange County. The applicant proposes 284 residential homes that would fragment this wildlife corridor.


TPP Secretive Trade Pact

Brunei is a tiny, remote country in Southeast Asia with a population smaller than that of Washington, D.C. It’s also the location of the current round of trade talks between the United States and eleven other Pacific Rim nations.
Who could think of a better place to hold a round of secretive trade talks? And the timing is opportune, too. Held at the end of August, when many – at least in the United States – are away on summer vacation, these trade talks will remain lurking in the shadows, capturing little media or public attention.
Between August 23 and 30, trade negotiators from these 12 nations will meet behind closed doors in Brunei to further hash out the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Governments are saying that it might be the last official round of these trade talks — which seems both unacceptable and impossible. It’s unacceptable because not a single word of draft text has been released to the public, despite the fact that the agreement has been under negotiation for more than three years and would affect the lives of millions of Americans and others across the globe. It’s impossible since there are still numerous critical issues in the pact that remain unresolved going into this “final” round of talks. And, in the context of outspoken citizen opposition, Malaysia has become the first country to say that it will not agree to any timeline for signing the pact.
Some of the most contentious unresolved issues are in the pact’s chapter on the environment — one of many controversial chapters. Here, the United States is pushing a strong conservation proposal that includes specific measures to promote responsible fisheries management, including policies to curb shark-finning, and a ban on trade in illegally harvested timber and illegally taken wildlife and wildlife parts. The U.S. proposal is legally binding and would commit countries not only to enforce domestic environmental laws, but also to enforce commitments made in international environmental agreements.
Unfortunately, however, other countries have thus-far been unwilling to accept the strong U.S. proposal, so U.S. negotiators might be bullied into backing down at this round of trade talks. A number of North American environmental organizations have already weighed in, calling on U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman to oppose efforts to weaken environmental protections. In Brunei, the U.S. must hold its ground and not put critical environmental objectives – like shark fins – on the chopping block.
In addition to the uncertain environment chapter, the Sierra Club is deeply concerned about a number of parts of the trade pact that seem to be closer to completion. In the pact are rules championed by the United States that give corporations virtually unfettered rights. These rules would allow corporations to sue governments over laws and policies that might reduce their profits. Surprisingly, these egregious rules have been less controversial and are further along in negotiations than the environment chapter. Similar rules in other trade pacts have resulted in assaults on policies such as a time-out on fracking in Quebec or a commitment to phase out nuclear energy in Germany. Of course, without full access to the texts, the public has not been able to even have a meaningful conversation about what these rules would mean for fighting climate disruption and protecting communities across the globe.
Given this context, the idea that the 19th round of trade talks in Brunei might be the last official round is particularly unacceptable. It seems very clear that negotiations aren’t going to end after Brunei. What might happen, however, is that negotiations go even further underground, hidden deeper from the public. That means that now is the most important time to spread the word about this trade pact and demand transparency in these talks that will affect our food, water, air, jobs, and more.
–Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club Trade Representative. Follow Ilana on Twitter here.

CALL TO ACTION: North Ranch Sector Plan

One of the largest real estate developments in Florida’s recent history will be voted upon at a public hearing in Osceola County, Kissimmee, on Monday, May 18, 2015 at 5:30 P.M.
As Conservation Chair for our group, I have been part of the stakeholder group providing inpurt to Deseret Ranch and Osceola County’s proposed long range plan. Our group supports Osceola County’s Independent Environmental Peer Review and we are asking you to contact Osceola Commissioners and encourage them to transmit the Peer Review to the state for additional review. Here is the information:

CALL TO ACTION: Contact Osceola County Commissioners and attend public hearing in Kissimmee on Monday, May 18, 2015, 5:30 P.M. North Ranch Sector Plan, massive proposal includes 133,000 acres, 500,000 population located on Deseret Ranch lands.

MESSAGE TO COMMISSIONERS: http://www.osceola.org/about-osceola-county/bcc/commissioners/
Osceola Commissioners should not transmit this massive development to the state for additional review without consideration of the Environmental Plan Peer Review conducted by three renowned environmental scientists – Dr. Richard Hilsenbeck, Dr. Reed Noss, and Dr. Jay Exum.

Rebuilding After The Disaster

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