Development threatens cultural and heritage sites

Growth and development affects hundreds and perhaps thousands of cultural and heritage sites across Florida, archaeologists say. One of the main obstacles to preservation is the blatant lack of awareness that a site may exist. Archaeologists often don’t learn about a potentially important new site until bulldozers have ripped through it, making it tough to … Read more

Archaeologists race to keep up with development

Katherine Sims is busier than ever. She’s one of just two archaeologists in St. Augustine, Florida, founded in 1565 and touted as America’s Oldest City. Tourists and new residents are arriving in droves, making it ever more difficult to protect archaeological sites, she says. My conversation with Sims is below. Losing Florida: Could you tell … Read more

Water so bad the egrets say no to sex

“Impaired” water is how the government describes it. You shouldn’t swim in it. You shouldn’t drink it. You shouldn’t eat fish taken from it. In fact, it’s not even safe for fish and other creatures living in it. And Florida has more “impaired” water than any other state, a March 17 report says. “Florida is … Read more

Lawmakers water down Safe Waterways Act

The Florida Legislature’s 60-day session was scheduled to end today, leaving the Safe Waterways Act stuck in a Senate committee. Jen Lomberk supports the act because it would require the state to test all fresh, brackish and saltwater bodies for nasty things like fecal matter. “We were trying to get the state to do testing … Read more

New Yorkers are doing it their way – in Florida

Nearly 160 New Yorkers move to Florida every day. New York is a “tax hell,” Florida’s chief financial advisor Jimmy Patronis told Fox Business. That – along with the rising cost of living and high commuting costs – drives many people to leave. A fifth of New Yorkers who moved to Florida in October 2020 … Read more

Florida fails acid test

Florida’s delicate environment is especially vulnerable to the impact of oil and gas exploration, yet the state’s system for keeping public records on oil and gas projects “is unorganized and unintuitive to navigate” and some data is “mislabeled or missing entirely,” according to a January 2022 report. A nine-person team from the University of Southern … Read more

Hundreds of citizen petitions oppose growth

Nearly 200,000 people throughout the United States have signed 236 petitions aimed at stopping growth and development that they see as harmful to their communities.Florida residents launched 22 of the petitions as part of what calls the Stop Disruptive Building in Our Community movement. Below are excerpts of some of the petitions along … Read more

Stinky times: Poop debate drags on

Putnam County officials next month plan to discuss banning or at least putting a hold on future sewage sludge sites. Residents opposed to a proposed sludge operation swarmed a county Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting on Feb. 16 and spent five hours railing against it. Larry Downes of American Bioclean had proposed operating a sludge … Read more

Hey, how about a multi-family performing arts center?

Feb. 14 update: Elizabeth Smith reports that Albert Syeles no longer wants to build the performing arts center on the 33-acre property described below. She said Syeles told the St. Johns County Civic Roundtable that he is seeking another location. On Friday, a neighborhood activist in St. Augustine, Florida, gave me a tour of a … Read more