The Florida Story
|By Diane Ross|
|Tuesday, 08 March 2011 16:05|
Property owners in the remaining part of 8.5 square mile area, Hialeah and South Dade in Dade County, Florida have been subjected to attacks on their private property rights by the Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) along with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and various government officials.
ICLEI ( aka The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) has a commitment to "sustainable development" throughout the world which in essence results in a private property land grab veiled in warm and fuzzy terms. ICLEI comes up with regulations and other ideas that restrict property owners from using their land. Their regulations include the Endangered Species Act, wetland regulations (as in Dade County) and a myriad of other laws governing the use of plants, animals, air, water, land and sea. ICLEI has infiltrated local governments in the USA and around the world.
Harvey Ruvin, Miami Dade Clerk of the Court, was Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of ICLEI, a non-elected position. He is also Chair of the County's Climate Change Advisory Task Force (CCATC). He, with the Mayor of Miami Dade County appoints the Financial Director. He also serves on the Executive Council of CCOC (Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corps) which discusses budgetary business for the 67 clerk offices in Florida. He has the power and contacts to help implement United Nations Agenda 21 policies that take people's rights away in the name of the "environment." Pam Evans says, "Miami Dade County is run by a government that is proud to be a model city for ICLEI - a United Nations program implemented through local town councils, planners, mayors...."
The Everglades Restoration Modified Water Deliveries Project was originally estimated to cost $83 million in 1989 and now the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is projecting that the "improvements" could cost as much as $600 million of taxpayer money. It is under programs like the Florida Restoration Project that property owners are losing their rights and the environment is degrading.
Property owners are understandably distrustful of government using the arm of DERM (which is funded through taxpayer dollars, fees, fines and grants) to potentially confiscate their property. DERM declares people's property a "wetlands" without supplying documentation of soil tests and other criteria that are stated on their website. The documents have been requested from DERM but so far DERM has never presented any.
There is no mention of wetlands in deeds. One landowner has an Army Corp of Engineers document stating his land is not a wetlands but DERM chose to declare it a wetlands anyway. These people have been productive property owners for years, and are now threatened with bankruptcy through court cases, fines and intimidation.
Among the leaders of harassed and intimidated landowners, is Aida Fernandez. She, along with others, took part in a hunger strike in an effort to defend their rights as property owners. She created the website http://www.mylandgrabbyderm.com in order to get the word out and explain her mission.
Many heartbreaking stories have evolved through the tyranny of DERM. Property owners have been ordered through Cease and Desist orders by DERM to remove crops, not mow their lawns, remove all soil on their property, to cap rock and let it re-vegetate, as well as paying fines and fees.
Madeleine Fortin was threatened but continued to fight, exposing how miners were involved with the government in their land grabs. Her home was suspiciously set on fire and 5 of her beloved dogs were inside. She finally left the area as she could not endure the situation any longer.
Oscar Soto, after having been issued fines, fees and regulations resulting in the loss of 3 farms, including the one he was living on, finally set fire to his home, truck and himself, ultimately shooting himself twice. He ended up in critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The residents of the Everglades are not the only property owners under attack in Florida. In the case “Stop the Beach Renourishment Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection,” coastline landowners faced the threat of losing property rights. An article published by the Ayn Rand Center in January 2010 discusses the problem.
http://blog.anyrandcenter.org/florida-case-highlights-erosion-of-property-rights/ The case was settled in June 2010, http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-1151.ZS.html.
Pam Evans supplied the following indented information:
This horrendous threat to our lifestyle and the Constitution is making rapid progress, infiltrating every aspect of our lives from the air we breathe to the food we eat. It has to be stopped and only we, the citizens, can expose this insidious movement. It is destroying our rights and freedoms. Spread the word and expose corrupt conditions such as exist in Miami Dade County.
Update: Mayor Alvarez recalled! Miami Herald story here.
The Florida Story by Diane Ross