Tuesday, February 26, 2008

PBCEC March Meeting and Announcements

[Message to the PBCEC list]
Hopefully by now you already have the first monday of every month marked on your calendar for our monthly PBCEC meetings. March 3rd, 7pm, Howleys. We´ll be at it again... Our protest last week got more attention to the West County Energy Center than ever before. Now practically everyone across the county (and beyond) knows about the WCEC and they know the potential power of protest. Feb 18th was a success for our movement, we shut down construction for the day. Now we must continue on until the plant is stopped for good! So come help us plan our next attacks on FPL´s dirty energy plans and greenwashing scandals!!

For those who have Monday, Feb. 3 open in the daytime, there will be a court hearing for the arrestees from the WCEC protest at 8:30am in the downtown courthouse. We will meet at 8am out front along Dixie for a short support rally and then join them in court on the 9th floor, 9G, to silently show community support for the activists who risked their freedom and safety to bring our message to FPL and the public.

panagioti tsolkas
PBCEC co-chair

Upcoming Events:
-County Commission meeting on ´Development in the Central Western Communities´ TODAY (3/26) 3pm! please try and get there if you can!! [below is a statement from one concerned local resident about the County´s plans] meeting is a Commission Chambers, downtown WPB, 301 N. Olive

-West Palm Beach Airport Expansion meetings Wed. & Thurs (2/27 & 2/28), 5:30pm, at the Airport Hilton, 150 Australian Ave. The FAA wants to expand West Palm Int´l. PBCEC intends to question this expansion, and possibly challenge it´s progress. We share the concerns of local residents and we also bring the global concern of the impact airplanes have on climate change. Scientists have identified air travel as a leading culprit of greenhouse gas emissions. for more info: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050204213009.htm

-WEST FEST (a great opportunity to hand out flyers and talk with people about environmental isues): from Chembers West website: ¨The Palms West Chamber is delighted to once again present the largest 2-day family festival out in the Western communities. In celebration of our Chamber's 25th anniversary, we're going 'Green' and bringing in national musical artists, local artists, food, amusements for the children, crafters, and much more! Join the thousands of spectators and be a part of the excitement!! Saturday, March 1st, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Sunday, March 2nd, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.¨

Okeeheelee Park 7715 Forest Hill Boulevard West Palm Beach, FL 33413
Admission Price: $10.00 (Children 7 and under free); $15.00 2-day Pass; $30.00 Daily Family 4-Pack; Free Parking!

PBC Environmental Meet-up group at Boca Raton Whole Foods, 2pm, Saturday March 1st

Energy Film Festival, March 15, 1:30-4:30pm, West Atlantic Branch PBC Library, 7777 W. Atlantic Ave, Delray. Sponsored by Sierra Club. Free. For more info contact 561-330-2955


Message from a concerned resident of the Central Western Communities:

¨Residents planning their own communities is GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE in the purest form. Residents of the Central Western Communities set balanced, reasonable and responsible long-term limits on this developer that must be honored by representatives of the people.

Our County Comprehensive Plan won a national award for Smart Growth based on The Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida. Because development of agricultural holdings in the Central Western Communities impacts county taxpayers, fiscal and natural resources and western expansion this Sector was pre-planned consistent with our award-winning Smart Growth comprehensive plan. This 4,000 acre orange grove was pre-planned in one of the five State Sector Plans assigned to the Central Western Communities. The people of Palm Beach County already paid for long-term public policy to restrain this property to Smart Growth.

Transportation Element Public Policies 1.4 r-t and 2004-02 Sector Plan public policy removed E Rd./140th from the Transportation Map. The 5-5-07 Callery hearing shows residents and city leaders asking for the 2004-02 Sector Plan to be reinstated. Leaders of the Central Western Communities sent resolutions to remove E Rd/140th from the Transportation Map. Instead, this Board removed Smart Growth public policy and kept E Rd./140th in play. If the project is 3,000 units total at build-out then prove it by removing E Rd./140th from the Transportation Map right now.

Is the proposal consistent with 9J-5 at build-out? The 2004-02 Sector Plan allowed this property owner to solve the Urban Sprawl deficiencies in the sector by centrally providing most of the non-residential for the entire sector, not adding to the sprawl density/intensity that "surround the parcel" (Agricultural Enclave s. 163.3162-5).

The applicant opposed Sector Plan balanced and profitable public planning on this 4,000 acres in the Rural Tier and tried instead to phase in 4 million sq. ft. of non-residential and 10,000 units under a 5-mile DRI. Failing this he negotiates 3,000 units that makes less money for his shareholders than Sector Plan?

That makes no sense. The developer makes money only if the complete impacts of the land use changes of the proposal at build-out are not factored and presented again. This proposal avoids the DRI process. What long-term limits protect the Central Western Communities from pieces of this orange grove phasing in more density/intensity, roads and traffic in the future?

Seven years of political and legal negotiations at State and County level removed public policy for Smart Growth limits on this property as a Specific Area Plan under Sector Plan and our award-winning Comprehensive Plan. This developer even had the PBC Board of County Commissioners investigated. Please do not be afraid to deny thepretext of a political proposal that is inconsistent with Agricultural Enclave criteria and avoids comprehensive 20-mile DRI protection for the Central Western Communities.

The proposal is contiguous to Florida Crystals. Do not use the precedence of this proposal, the FPL Plant, the new Garbage Dump and extending the USAB and widening arterials westward to override
livable/sustainable Smart Growth and further political plans for Westward Ho! to the Everglades.

How will the needs of current residents be solved by allotting taxes, roads and water to this developer? How do the land use changes impact the Central Western communities at build-out? What specific community wide and environmental benefits (flow way, open space, town center, civic uses, etc.) detailed in the 2004-02 Sector Plan are guaranteed at build-out? How much more of our taxes, roads and water do new residents need at build-out? How does the proposal affect
Gridlock at build-out?

"In good faith" the public was required to pay planners and attend fourteen years of thousands of meetings to satisfy due process to compile public policy for comprehensive sustainable Smart Growth but politicians and developers negotiate and dictate development of our

If DRI criteria and Smart Growth policy to protect resources, provide central civic uses, prohibit strip commercial and balance roads and traffic and water is gone and E Rd. is still in play in the Sector then comprehensive sustainability and livable/sustainable community form is lost and the purpose of an Overlay is unclear.

In summary, either politics or Smart Growth will decide the future of the Central Western Communities. Other than politics there is no reason to approve this proposal. Since the DCA Sector Plan is still in effect the BCC should honor the plans of residents of District 6 by
DENYING this proposal and restoring Smart Growth to residents and fair return on investment for the developer by a completed Specific Area Plan under Sector Plan 2004-02 public policy consistent with our national award-winning Smart Growth Comprehensive Plan. If the project is only 3,000 units at build-out and the BCC uses 2004-02 Sector Plan Smart Growth public policy, the developer makes more money for investors and the public and environment are better served, protected and empowered long term.

Challenge the BCC to do the right thing for people and environment right now!¨

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Activists Free!

By daybreak on Wednesday February 20, all 26 activists arrested at the FPL power plant construction site blockade had been released from jail. Nine were released on their own recognizance, while the other 17 had to post bond ranging from $250 to $1250 each.


The total bond cost was $13,350, with Earth First! covering $11,200 of those costs. Most of this money was fronted by a generous individual, and we need to pay them back immediately! So far we have raised $7541.82 including contributions from the arrestees, meaning we need another $3658.18! Please spread the word.

For corporate media accounts of the Earth First! gathering or anti-FPL action, check out http://www.furl.net/member/EvergladesEarthFirst

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Bond Money Needed to get activists out of jail

We need your help!

24 hours after hundreds of environmental protestors shut down the construction site of FPL's natural gas power plant (see press release below), 23 activists are still in jail! Six of them should be released shortly on their own recognizance, but 17 are awaiting bond at a total cost of $13,350!

The legal office is working hard to come up with the money to front the cost and we need donations ASAP to get these activists out of jail! We will also need money for legal defense for all 26 arrestees!

Activists shut down power plant construction site, 27 Arrested

Early Monday morning dozens of concerned community members from Palm Beach County and all over the nation put their bodies on the line to halt construction of FPL's West County Energy Center (WCEC), demanding energy efficiency, truly clean, renewable energy and a moratorium on development in south Florida. Everglades Earth First! blocked the main entrance to the WCEC site, a proposed massive 3800 MW gas-fired power plant that would emit 12 million tons of CO2, a leading greenhouse gas, every year. The plant is currently under construction despite ongoing legal challenges to the plant's needed permits and certification, which have been spearheaded by the local Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition.

A dozen activists locked themselves together through metal pipes as 200 supporters rallied around them. The blockade stopped work on the construction site for six hours before a total of 26 people were arrested.

This confrontational action was taken to protect the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge which sits 1000 ft from the power plant site and to protect the larger Everglades system. Restoration would be undermined by new development that the power plant is expected to encourage in the area. The civil disobedience action also aims to protect the entire planet from the destructive effects of climate change caused by power plant emissions.

"We just don't need this plant," said Lynne Purvis, an activist with Everglades Earth First! who was born and raised in the Loxahatchee area. "I'm not willing to threaten the integrity of the Loxahatchee, one of the last large, intact pieces of northern Everglades, so that people can fuel their greedy energy desires." Purvis says that the Everglades Earth First! group intends to continue a sustained campaign of direct action against this power plant and its adjacent gas pipeline.

The protest was also attended by grassroots activists and group across the United States who have been participating in the annual Earth First! Winter Rendezvous. One such group, Rising Tide North America, is part of an international movement for climate justice, which connects the social and environmental issues related to the growing climate crisis and calls for urgent and bold responses to the global human-caused dilemma.

Brian Sloan, an organizer with Rising Tide North America and participant in Monday morning's protest, said "FPL is doing what we call 'green-washing'. Gas-fired power is not a clean or sustainable energy. It is a dirty and dwindling fossil fuel." Sloan also states that Rising Tide does not trust energy companies to solve the climate crisis. "The solutions to climate change will never come from the people who created the problem."

Earth First! and the Rising Tide movements recognize that the fight against fossil fuel power is being used by the energy industry to push a new wave of nuclear energy. These grassroots groups are committed to extending their fight against the dangers of nuclear power with an eye on other FPL proposals, such as Turkey Point and St. Lucie.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

PBCEC Fires Up the Crowd at ´Focus the Nation´ in Boca Raton

January 30, 2008 at Boca PBCC Campus

Support Community Labor Center, and Other Upcoming Events

In PBCEC´s efforts to strengthen our alliance with activists in Palm Beach County´s diverse immigrant communities, we have joined the Coalition for Immigrants Rights in calling for Lake Worth to stop pointing fingers at immigrants and day laborers as scapegoats and start offering basic neighborly support and assistence. Last time this item came before the City Commission, it drew hateful and uncompassionate response from people who drove across the state for the meeting, some of these folks have claimed that their opposition to immigrants rights and human dignity stems from their environmental beliefs.

We encourage PBCEC participants to attend the below meeting and stand with the Immigrants´ Coalition in support of a community labor center. Human dignity, animal rights and environmental respect all go hand in hand; they always have and they always must.

Our environmental concern regarding immigration must focus (1) on the economic/social pressures that force people out of their home countries and (2) on creating a safe social atmosphere where all residents can speak up for their environment and quality of life.

panagioti tsolkas
co-chair, PBCEC

YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED! [Message from the PBC Immigrants Rights Coalition]

Please consider coming to Lake Worth City Hall (7 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth, FL 33460) THIS Thursday evening at 6:30pm.

We will be discussing future plans for the Lake Worth Community/Labor Center, and IT'S NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT YOU.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at
561-876-9035 or iwillresist@gmail.com.

I'll see you on Thursday!


Ud. esta invitado a la municipalidad de Lake Worth (7 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth, FL 33460) ESTE jueves a las 6:30pm.

Discutiremos los planes del Centro Comunitario/Laboral de Lake Worth, Y NO ES POSIBLE SIN UD.!

Llamame (561-876-9035) o mandame un correo electronico si tenga preguntas. Nos vemos este jueves!



Feb 13, 4:30-6:30pm, Protest DEP at a hearing on the expansion of the West County Energy Center. Ask why they are ignoring the plants Greenhouse Gas emissions and proximity to the Refuge. Tell them we don't want Any More Fossil Fuel Energy! The 'informational' hearing will continue until 8pm. People are encouraged to stay and make comments on record.
Location: Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center, 151 Civic Center Way

-Feb 12, 6-8pm, Earth First! Film Showing of the movie 'Pickaxe' documenting the direct action campaign known as the Cascadia Free State in Oregon, where environmental protests evolved into an 11 month occupation/road blockade against destructive logging operations.
Location: Backbone Records, in Delray Beach, on Atlantic Avenue and 4th Ave.

-Feb 13, 7pm, 'A Night to Howl' kick-off party for the Earth First! Winter Rendezvous featuring activist musicians from across the country: Here's to the Lon Haul (Appalachia), Son del Centro (Southern California), Peg Millet (Arizona), Lars Din (Alachua County) and others...
Location: the Little Owl Bar in Lake Worth, 527 N Dixie Hwy

-Feb 18, 8am-11am March and Rally for the Loxahatchee Refuge and Clean Energy, starting at the 20-mile bend park entrance off Southern Blvd.

Friday, February 1, 2008


For Immediate Release: February 1, 2008

Contact: Oannes A Pritzker; Tel. 239-353-2164 or E Mail; yatkitischee@embarqmail.com


Programs available on www.radio4all.net Station Archives.
Programs Broadcast on Radio for Peace International

Panagioti Tsolakas is an Earth Justice/Community Activist
with Everglades EarthFirst & Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition. Panagioti is fighting a number of energy & environment battles in Florida which are discussed in program interview.

PRG 1: Conversation focuses on Youth Activism, Save It Now Glades Coalition, and action at Florida Power & Light (FP&L) annual share holders meeting.

PRG 2: Conversation focuses on Bio-Technology/Scripps Research Park Development, and Indigenous People's Council on Bio-Colonialism Radio Segment. FP&L Energy--West County Energy Ctr Gas Power Plant/Pipeline Complex.

PRG 3: Conversation focuses on Everglades Coaltion Conference & Deal Making among regulatory agencies, business/industry, & big Environmental Orgs. FP&L Energy--West County Energy Ctr Gas Power Plant/Pipeline Complex. Liquified Natural Gas/LNG Issue--Case of Passamaquoddy/Quaoddy Dev. Comment on Nuclear Energy. Thoughts about Hope for the Future & Motivation for Activists


February 4th 7pm, PBCEC monthly meeting at Howley´s in West Palm (4700 South Dixie Hwy)

Hey friends,
It´s been a busy and exciting month! We have gotten our fight with FPL into court and faced off with the goliath of Florida.. And it´s only just beginning. As i write, i am preparing myself to head out the door to speak at the Focus the Nation event at the Boca PBCC campus. Tomorrow, i will take the message our fight with FPL to the USF campus in Tampa. Next month, we will spread the story of our fight across the country (and beyond), as activists from as far as Ecuador, Britain and California come and join us during the national Earth First! Winter Rendezvous & Organizers Conference, Feb 14-18 at the J.W. Corbett www.earthfirst2008oc.info

So this Monday, come find out about what we, and other groups we work with, are up to. Come find out how you can get active and empowered to fight for our planet.

We will be showing short films before and after the meeting, thanks to support from the Off the Walls film project:

-´Climate of Hope´ about the climate crisis and the false solution of nuclear power

-´Loxahatchee Basin´ a film bought and paid for by Enrique Tomeau, this film will be accompanied by a report back from the Everglades Coalition conference

-´Reclaim Power´ we will watch a short clip of this film from the UK showing how grassroots action is confronting climate criminals in the energy industry

panagioti tsolkas
PBCEC co-chair

*Mark your calendar for Feb 13th. The DEP will be holding a public meeting regarding the expansion of the West County Energy Center, 6-8pm at Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center.. for more info contact alvaro.linero@dep.state.fl.us

below is a message from friends at Clean Water Action:

¨PSC considers cost, need and reliability so all comments should be directed to those three items. It's not conservation, security etc. that is important but the actual $ that would be required that needs to be considered. Comments can be emailed to the PSC at contact@psc.state.fl.us. All correspondence should reference Docket #070650.

It would be great if we could be copied on comments made so we have a record of what PSC was provided.

*Amount and cost of proposed wetland and habitat mitigation.
*Use of the Rate Impact Measure ignores long term savings of increased efficiency skewing cost comparisons in favor increased power generation.
*The amount of water and cost of securing 90 million gallons a day of water is unknown.
*Cost of endangered species (crocodile) mitigation.
*Cost of storage, including new locations site, of so called low level radioactive materials.
*Cost of expansion of storage capacity for spent fuel rods.
*Cost of dry cask or other measures for storage of spent fuel.
*Has the increasing cost of finite uranium been accommodated?
*Regulatory conditions incentivize capital investments in new generation and not demand side management.
*How much of the 2200 mw produced will be absorbed in energy required to run reactors 6&7, supply water, pumping, etc.?
*Has cost per MW adjusted for NET energy provided?
*What is the cost of treatment of cooling water and where will it be discharged?
*What is the source, location and projected cost of water stored in the event of Newton plant failure?
*If FPL uses the Floridan, what contingency plans are made to ensure units 6&7 remain online as the quantity of water available is unknown?
*What costs are associated with that?
*Water supply has a critical effect on the economy of Miami-Dade County and all state residents.
*Production of 90 million gallons a day is an excessive burden on public facilities and tax dollars and should be factored in to the end cost picked up by ratepayers.
*In the wake of recent security fines for security breaches at Turkey Point, a needs determination will make ratepayers responsible for increased security costs for storage of spent fuel.
*Biscayne Bay is an outstanding waterway
*The view from Biscayne National Park will be compromised by new cooling towers.¨

An arsonist burns 9000 acres of protected old-growth public forest in Oregon that can not be logged unless it burns. To stop the proposed "salvage" logging of this incredible ancient forest, citizens are moved to blockade a road and keep the government out. After facing down a bulldozer and the State Police, the fort now known as the gateway to the Cascadia Free State becomes the focus for a developing community dedicated to protecting ancient forests throughout the mountains of Oregon. The film shows confrontations with disgruntled loggers, mass arrests and a 75 day hunger strike. (94 Min.)
WHEN: Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 6-8pm
WHERE: Backbone Music, 61 SE 4th Ave, Downtown Delray
WHO: Everglades Earth First! and Improvised Action Collective (impAct)
Donations appreciated. Also proceeds go to the 2008 Everglades Earth
First! Rendezvous in Palm Beach County.
EF!-- www.earthfirst2008oc/info
impAct-- groups.myspace.com/improvisedaction