An online petition campaign has garnered nearly 8,000 signatures in an effort to get Publix supermarkets to ban “big sugar” companies from its stores.
The campaign comes in the aftermath of an unusual outbreak of toxic blue-green algae that has washed up on the shores of beaches in Palm Beach and Martin counties in Florida.
The petition was launched by Ohana Surf Shop, a small business in Martin, FL and it hopes to make a big change.
From the Change.org petition:
“We are asking Publix Supermarkets to please stop carrying products from Florida Crystals, Domino Sugar and all of their subsidiaries. Florida Sugar is responsible for the largest eco-disaster this state has ever seen. Our beaches are closed due to toxic algae as a direct result of Florida Sugar’s blatant disregard for any and all EPA regulations. The releases of Lake Okeechobee fresh water is killing our estuaries, wild life and causing sickness and 2 deaths, directly related to the discharges. They are killing our economy and our way of life. Small family businesses are in distress and closing down daily. Being a Florida company, we hope that Publix will do the right thing and get their sugar from other sources.”
Ohana Surf Shop has also called for the impeachment of Florida Gov. Rick Scott over the lack of government action in handling the algae bloom problem, which many believe is caused by the release of high levels of nitrates, often found in farming (sugar and other crops).
Tourism could be affected by the algae blooms.
Nerissa Okiye, who is the Marketing and Tourism Director for Martin County, told WPTV that she has been fielding questions from people who had placed trips to Martin County before the algae blooms began.
She told WPTV that “When they’re seeing this, it puts a hesitancy. Do I want to go there?”
As we’ve previously reported, the algae has been known to cause rashes and hay fever like symptoms in people that it has come in contact with, and nausea and vomiting in people who ingest it.
According to the Ohana Surf Shop Facebook page, there is a planned protest for this Saturday (July 2) at 10 AM at Stuart Public Beach.
This is a developing story. Stay with RISE NEWS.
WATCH: Ohana Surf Shop owner confronts local leaders on algae blooms
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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The president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has become an internationally known figure in a remarkably short amount of time.
Oh course, so has Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
While only being in office for 253 days (as of March 10, 2017) Duterte has become an alarmingly important figure in global politics due to his awful human rights record and a penchant for bucking the status quo.
Some, including Duterte himself, have even started calling him by a new name- dictator.
Duterte was recently quoted as saying, “I will be a dictator against all bad guys, evil, I will do it at the cost of my position or my life. I won’t stop. That’s a solemn commitment.”
The world should probably start listening to him.
Human Rights Watch, an American-founded international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights, believes that Duterte may have committed crimes against humanity by, “inciting killings during his bloody antidrug campaign.”
Crimes against humanity aren’t something to scoff at, and it certainly isn’t something to take lightly.
Other high-profile political people who have been indicted for crimes against humanity include the now dead Muammar Gaddafi, and Bashar al-Assad, the current President of war-torn Syria.
Some people might look at what Duterte is doing for his country as an act of patriotism.
His stated goal is to rid his country of drug lords, their dealers, and anyone who is addicted to drugs.
Of course he is not creating massive amounts of new treatment facilities or encouraging other public health fixes, instead he is literally telling people to murder those who abuse drugs.
So has he already crossed the line from democratically elected leader to dictator?
The answer is obviously yes.
No one would argue against the fact that drugs and the trafficking of drugs are a global issue that has had disastrous ramifications for so many communities, but Duterte’s policy of slaughtering his own people in the name of reform cannot be tolerated by the people of the Philippines or the international community.
In the short time span of Duterte’s presidency, thousands of people have been killed by police or vigilantes, and the killings will only continue if no one is willing to speak up and demand a stop to an unjust judicial system.
The reason that many developing countries look to the west for a guiding hand in the building of their countries is for our rule of law.
A belief that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of justice.
The people of the Philippines are not being given this fundamental human right, and they are suffering in silence.
The principle of human rights is universal, and it is the basis for all democracies.
What Duterte, a democratically elected official, has done is spit in the face of democracy.
He has turned around and made the Philippines his own personal killing field, and “his people” are the targets.
The saddest part about the current situation in the Philippines is that by Philippine law, the president has immunity from prosecution while in office.
What this means to the rest of the world is that it is now our solemn duty to hold Duterte and his cronies responsible for their systematic attack against the civilian population.
The International Criminal Court and the U.N. have an obligation to launch an expedient investigation into this matter and stop these policies from continuing.
How many more people must die from extrajudicial killings before the rest of the world opens their eyes and sees Rodrigo Duterte for what he truly is: a malicious dictator?
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.Post Views: 1,053
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–Located right in the middle of a neighborhood, The Open Awareness Buddhist Center has been open and aware for about 15 years.
-Run by Lama Karma Chotso, the center is located in a house in El Portal.
-For dozens of members, it is a place of real refuge.
-It is located right on the banks of The Little River.
-The center started in 1996, when it was located in a Hollywood bungalow.
-A patron gave the group money to purchase the property from a fellow member in 2003.
-According to Lama Chotso, there was some controversy at the time about having a Buddhist Songha in the middle of a residential street- but she was able to win over the neighbors.
-The center offers yoga sessions as well as other Buddhist related activities- including Sunday services.
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The following piece was originally posted on Facebook. We have republished it here with the permission of the author.
By Ashley Draper Sanchez
Many people who know me now, don’t know about or have only heard me tell of my days as a teenager with extremely large breasts.
My first memory of realizing my body was different than others was in the 5th grade.
My teacher handed me a note and told me to give it to my parents, and not to read it. Of course the very first chance I got, I tore it open.
It was a letter from my teacher, asking my mother to please take me to get a bra as my playtime in PE had become “distracting” for everyone else.
I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was excited to need a bra! Even at the age of eleven I knew that a bra meant womanhood-maturity!
I was always an older soul in a little body and thought that this would be a step towards being taken more seriously. That night we ventured to the local department store, and I’ll always remember the size of my very first bra; 32 B. I remember my mom being shocked. My physical development had seemed to happen overnight. I blame the hormones in the milk
We drove home and as soon as we got there, I ran to my room and put it on. I turned to face my baby pink full length mirror hung on teddy bear wallpaper.
I looked at myself, thinking “I look like the ladies in the magazines!” I smiled widely. As a 5th grader I felt a sense of worth in my appearance.
I want you to let that sink in and think about it for a moment.
It didn’t take long for that feeling to go away. Just one short year later (and one full cup size bigger) I entered the world of Junior High.
And as soon as I crossed the threshold of my middle school, the lie I believed (that looking like a magazine cover would make me happy/loved/respected), melted away into the ugly truth behind a very real rape culture driven by female objectification and misogyny.
I spent the majority of those middle school years in the counselor’s office, and made excuse after excuse to not have to face my classmates on a daily basis. I was shamed by my classmates male and female alike for the way I looked.
By the time I was in eighth grade I weighed barely 100 lbs, but wore a DD cup bra. I was assaulted and tormented on an almost daily basis. Let me just recount some of the incidents I clearly remember:
The boys would whisper and plot…and then “accidentally” bump into me and grab my breasts. This was almost a weekly occurrence.
Sitting in the courtyard, a group of eighth grade boys took turns throwing stuff in my direction to see who could score a “basket” in my cleavage. My worth that day was relegated to “3 points”.
An older student approached me, and asked if I could settle a bet with him and his friends, “How big are your nipples?! They must be huge!”
Many boys claimed to have made out with me, slept with me, and felt up my breasts. Some said they were fake, others said they were real. No one cared I had hardly ever held a boys hand in real life.
On what I am guessing was a dare, a boy leaned over in algebra and undid my bra in the middle of a test.
I got a special note from my doctor that I wouldn’t have to participate in PE, because during my first semester I was traumatized as I had to run a lap around the gym to the audience of boys in the stands cheering me on and catcalling as I jogged by.
In the cafeteria in 6th grade, I was asked by a boy if I could squirt some milk into his cup because the lunchroom was all out. He then offered to let his black friend do it so that the milk would be “chocolate”.
In 7th grade a group of girls would whisper the word “slut” whenever I walked by. I didn’t even know what that word meant.
In 7th grade I had a guy ask me if he could see how many pencils he could stick in my cleavage. I let him, and then cried for 30 minutes in the bathroom afterwards. My worth that day was 7 pencils.
I was offered $25 to let a group of boys see my boobs.
One day I wore a graphic t-shirt that said 49 on it. The rest of the day I was called “49 DD”.
From that day forward (much to his shagrin) I wore my older brother’s oversized shirts to school.
I cannot count the times my bra straps were snapped, or the many incidences in which I would look over a see a group of boys making “motor boating sounds” or even the amount of times males would lose their filter all together and yell out something like “damn girl! Your tits are huge!”
I moved schools and states in 10th grade. It didn’t take a full day at my new school for the rumor of me being “a stripper in downtown Atlanta” to take hold.
My breasts were fondled, mocked, ogled, hit, objectified…and as they were all of those things, so was I.
By the time I was in high school, I looked in the mirror and had the same thought I had that day I tried on my very first bra, “my worth is based on how I look” but this time there was no smile. I was so much more, wasn’t I? Wasn’t I funny…and kind? Wasn’t I smart? I thought I was. I was failing many classes because I spent them crying and hiding.
From the time I was 11 until I was 18, even adult men would ogle me in public. My sweet grandma on my mother’s side, who has a pretty severe case of dementia, can still recount with gusto being with me in the grocery store when I was 13 and hearing a grown man make a loud comment about my breasts. My sweet grandma went off on him, and then I consoled her.
My father was a minister and I recall finding a letter written to him from a member, about me being a “distraction” at the church.
Now I was keeping people from God. What kind of foul creature was I?
I had money thrown at me out of cars.
Grown men in cars would roll down their window and ask me how much for a “titty f***?”
This is just a sampling for you. A “locker room talk” pupu platter, if you will.
I graduated high school weighing 105 lbs with FF breasts. The moment I turned 18, I submitted a claim to insurance to have a reduction done. I was told over the phone it would take 30-60 days to hear back but to please fax my photos and documentation. They called me back two hours later with a fully funded approval for surgery.
I have physical scars that remind me of that time in my life, but the emotional scars are far more prominent. I struggle daily with self worth.
It’s something my husband and I are working through together, but it affects me and my marriage every single day. The only reason I made it through as in tact as I did is because I knew Jesus, so I ultimately knew I was loved and had worth in who I was in him.
Sometimes the assault was physical, sometimes it was verbal but let me tell you the damage is the same.
For those of you who don’t think “locker room talk” has lasting effects, watch my face when I receive a compliment and witness my inability to comprehend your sincerity.
For those of you who don’t think it’s “that big of a deal” watch my breathing get faster when a male approaches me without my husband near.
For those who’d call it harmless, if you could only see how many tears I shed some mornings as my husband consoles me while I breakdown about my “worthlessness” and inadequacies.
These boys and men, they felt a sense of ownership over me and my body. A seemingly innate dominance, and what’s worse, I was dehumanized through the process in which they exerted their false sense of ownership.
Where did they learn that this was okay? Who told them this was acceptable? There are so many answers to this question.
But the biggest one is; American Culture. The porn industry, the media, the President (yes, Bill Clinton was president at the time and I was compared to Monica Lewinsky more than once). A women’s worth lies in their sexuality, and the men get to assign that worth.
That is what our children are being taught on a daily basis.
“Boys will be boys!” Do you know how many well intentioned people told me that to console me? Guess what affect that had? It set up a pattern of “settling” from me that led me into some unhealthy and abusive relationships.
Last night when I heard Donald Trump brush off his comments as “locker room talk”, there was a feeling of desperation and panic that rose up in me that I hadn’t felt for 15 years.
My 5 year old daughter lie asleep in her room mere feet away from my TV screen. In one moment I could see her closed door, behind which she slept peacefully unawares, and his face on the screen at the same time. And I was angry.
By elevating and looking past this type of behavior you are saying it’s okay.
You are telling young boys that degradation is normal, that assault is okay, that you can tear down half the human race and still rise to the most powerful and venerated position in the world.
This is not progress. There is no policy, no bill, no appointment that is more important to me than stopping the evil that is rape culture.
Because that’s what this falls into. I don’t subscribe or adhere to any type of excuse that allows humans to brush off reproachable behavior. This idea that “it’s just the way they are” or “they’re going to do it anyway” has to go away.
We have to start expecting and demanding more of ourselves as human beings, and a big part of that is NOT electing someone who engages in the verbal or physical assault of someone else.
Many people would say Hillary has verbally assaulted victims, and that’s fine if you believe that. Don’t vote for her either.
This isn’t an endorsement of a candidate. It’s a denouncement of behavior we’ve clearly approved of or settled for, to bring us to this place in history.
Real, good, amazing people exist out there. Unfortunately none of them are running for president.
It’s a broken system, it’s a broken country. But can we come together and agree that our daughters deserve more?
Can we teach them to raise their standards and not tolerate behavior or treatment that diminishes their worth as human beings?
Can we start by raising OUR standards as a country? By demanding and raising up leaders who have vision, experience, plans, AND integrity? No more excuses. No more “boys will be boys” and “politicians will be politicians”.
America, all I can do is tell you the same thing my sweet amazing husband has to tell me almost daily, to get me into the right frame of mind when I doubt my worth and tears fill my eyes. And hope you believe it.
“I love you. You are the standard by which I measure everyone else. I struck gold when I found you, and I’m the luckiest person in the world to call you home. You deserve the best”
You do. I do. WE do. My five year old daughter does. STOP the madness. Don’t settle, America.
No matter what happens on November 8th, I will teach my daughter and my sons that it’s not okay. It’s not the way it is or the way it’s supposed to be.
And even if we can’t get there now, maybe the next generation of voters will demand more from each other and God willing, more from their leaders.
My first and last political post of the season. Carry on.
This was originally posted on Facebook by Ashley Draper Sanchez.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Jenni C/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 925
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