Miami Shores residents are concerned that toxic blue-green algae that has brought ecological disaster to parts of Florida, has come to town.
According to NBC Miami, multiple residents of the quiet Miami suburb have expressed concerns that the algae has come to a canal in the area.
“In the late afternoon, there was some type of green algae that was floating on top of the water,” Miami Shores resident Michael Schock told NBC Miami. “Unlike anything I have seen before. I was concerned about the algae.”
Residents told the TV station that algae was seen floating everywhere in the canal over the weekend, but it had dissipated some by Monday.
According to NBC Miami, state officials will be coming out to the area to conduct tests on the water.
The toxic blue-green algae found in other parts of the state 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.
WATCH: NBC Miami report on algae found in Miami Shores canal
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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By Taylor Neuman
Wellington, Florida, a western suburb of West Palm Beach, is known as a quiet city seven months of the year.
But starting in mid November, Wellington becomes a hot spot for the equestrian world.
People from all over the world come for the unique Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and other equestrian happenings.
WEF is known for being the longest running horse show in the world; it lasts for a staggering 12 weeks.
Wellington’s equestrian events also cater to people of all ages and levels from little children to riders well into their 80’s and from amateurs to professionals.
These equestrian events include hunters, polo matches and children’s pony classes which you would be hard pressed to find anywhere in Europe.
“WEF means home, but it also means WEF,” Arianna Anglesey a WEF participant told RISE NEWS. “We travel for 7 months out of the year all throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, which is an awesome experience. Come November and we all head homeward bound and I know for the next 5 months I get to be with my family and continue working which is something I love.”
Wellington has a population of around 61,000 people, but it swells in size during the equestrian season.
Wellington attracts the crème de la crème of the equestrian world. WEF offers the most world ranking classes in the United States and the best courses designed by world known designers.
“By far my favorite part of WEF is Saturday nights, Grand Prix nights,” Anglesey said.” It’s one thing to be a spectator; it is completely different to be a part of it. This class is the biggest of the week. You compete against not only the best, but the up and coming. Your blood is pumping, your adrenaline is rushing. You take a lot of pride in not only the appearance of your horse but their health as well.”
Each Saturday night a different company will sponsor the event whether it’s for charity or a money prize.
For example, one of the upcoming Saturday night showcases is being sponsored by Fidelity Investments and the cash prize is $380,000 for the winner.
Wellington is uniquely placed to serve equestrian aficionados from around the world; it is located relatively close to three international airports. There are only a handful of airports in the U.S. that allow horses to be flown in and out; but three in South Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach) do.
This makes Wellington an ideal location for the hordes of horse lovers who flock to this prestigious area every year. Wellington also has a protected equestrian preserve, horse crossing signs, and of course you can’t beat the winter weather.
Wellington seems well positioned to be the Equestrian Headquarters of the World for years to come.
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NO BRIBE ZONE: Indonesia Wants To Have Crocodiles Guard Death Row Inmates Because “They Can’t Be Bribed”
So file this one to the strange but true category.
The Indonesian government has been struggling to combat the rampant illegal drug trade and as a result is turning to some jungle style justice.
The government wants to put its worst drug trafficking offenders (who are on death row) on a special island that is surrounded by a swarm of crocodiles.
According to AFP, the proposed project is the brainchild of the government’s anti-drug point person Budi Waseso.
“We will place as many crocodiles as we can there. I will search for the most ferocious type of crocodile,” Waseso told a local news website called Tempo.
While it may sound like a crazy idea that has no place in modern society, it is getting surprising support from the nation’s progressive leader Joko Widodo.
Quartz points out that 14 people have already been executed for drug offenses in the country this year.
The country is well known for its strict anti drug policy.
“Indonesia already has some of the toughest anti-narcotics laws in the world, including death by firing squad for traffickers, and sparked international uproar in April when it put to death seven foreign drug convicts.
But President Joko Widodo has insisted that drug dealers must face death as the country is fighting a “national emergency” due to rising narcotics use.
Despite the harsh laws, Indonesia’s corrupt prison system is awash with drugs, and inmates and jail officials are regularly arrested for narcotics offences.”
So if you like drugs, you probably shouldn’t get anywhere near Indonesia or crocodiles. But hopefully you already prevent run ins with the latter.
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By CieCie Tuyet Nguyen
I often wonder what my life would have been like if I was not a refugee.
On the other hand, what would have become of me had I not spent my childhood in a war-torn country, in a war that seemed to be forever a background to my memories?
Those questions and those ‘ifs’ are not for me to contemplate,as I would not be able to change history or be born anywhere but Vietnam.
However, it is not to say that my childhood was full of images of war, atrocities, death, mass graves or miseries.
There was happiness and joy. I had loved being together with my siblings, catching the double-wing like yoyo fruits in front of my house, running wild with the wind and gathering fallen dead leaves to set up a mischievous campfire.
Being with friends after school wandering the streets of Saigon enjoying street food was enough. It was simple, a few moments to let loose, albeit momentarily.
Although in hindsight, there was never a complete picture of happiness or joy with sunshine, laughter, and contentment, as peace was an important but absent part of that 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
I had never felt fully at ease, or in other words, completely carefree.
That was before the war ended. When bombing, gunfire, and fighting had ceased.
Then peace arrived.
Finally, that missing piece was found to replace the empty space in my picture. Horribly and strangely, other pieces began to disappear. Freedom, then prosperity, dignity, and kindness were taken away swiftly.
They were replaced with oppression, poverty, degradation, and revenge that left peace a lonely part in my peculiar jigsaw puzzle, like a pitiful hostess in an empty house full of ghosts.
I could not understand it at all.
Without realising it, what I had wished for dearly had destroyed everything I valued most before.
Perhaps it was my fault that my childhood was scarred. My sensitivity and perception of life was too acute back then.
Moreover, they still are now.
See, I can taste the sweetness of freedom and touch the holy peace every day, every morning now, then feel alive and complete.
Years of living with freedom and peace in Australia has transformed my being to accept them readily but not to take them for granted.
The scars are my reminders.
I was born with a photographic memory.
Some would have said, “You’re lucky!” Ah, I would proudly have expanded my chest fully and answered, “Yes, I am.”
Even though there were images or memories I would gladly let fade away quietly and set me free.
Then I could have pretended that I had once been a child living happily and contentedly in a carefree environment with cute baby dolls to play with during the day and sweet dreams every night.
Not in a refugee camp, where I had spent a brief three months when I was sixteen, full of sad stories and images that I could have lived without.
That morning on the crammed boat escaping from Vietnam, I remember standing on the upper deck next to my mother, clinging tightly to her, feeling dejected and full of shame when the Malaysian coast guards shouted angrily at us, shooing our boat away in disgust.
The little riverboat, barely 10 metres long, 3 metres wide, had served its life miraculously attempting to deliver 50 people to shore.
It then had to resume its journey to some unknown destination because the refugees were not accepted there.
I stood there and cried.
Tears of shame and hopelessness were silently rolling down my cheeks as gunshots fired rapidly in the air, scaring the bunch of battered and wearied boat people away.
It was only at that moment I had realised I was a stateless person, a nobody, a refugee.
As a small child, I had never understood the real horror and suspense of trying to escape by boat to sea.
I was full of hope and anticipation before my departure. I grew up very quickly during that seven-day voyage.
I escaped from my country, away from the barbaric treatment of the communists.
I survived a sea full of stormy turbulence and remained relatively unscathed from two pirate attacks.
Then the Malaysian authority refused to let our boat anchor on their shore. I could not understand the coast guards’ language but their gesticulations were enough. I was rejected!
An equally devastating feeling of hopelessness had resurfaced, as much as when my boat was rolling madly like a tiny egg in a giant boiling saucepan in the storms a few days ago.
Why must I leave my country? Were freedom and peace worthy of my sacrifice of being a stateless person?
Those were the questions that I dared to answer because without gaining freedom and peace,followed by human rights, dignity and prosperity, my life would have been a waste.
I would have felt miserable being a refugee for nothing.
Indeed, I am glad that I have been a refugee once in my life. Mind you, once is enough!
The experience came with a high price and for some of us that included death by drowning at sea; witnessing family members raped, murdered by pirates; or being stranded for months on an island and becoming a cannibal to survive.
I am lucky that I am here right now.
Back then there were times I thought I was not.
I was miserable. Assimilating into a new country with nothing familiar to the old world I had left behind was a struggle.
I cringed every time thinking if I had to do it again.
It was no fun at all and that added to my lost childhood years.
I would love to be sixteen again as an Australian, but definitely not a refugee.
There were times I thought I would like to keep my old world with me, to go home, or to “go back to your country,” as I was told many times in the beginning by the locals. It hurt and I cried a lot, being a silly sensitive person as I was.
In hindsight, I now know a refugee must take that obvious path. Just like a book with a prologue, a main story and an epilogue.
I must take various paths and go through various chapters to re-establish myself.
It was not fun in some chapters, but I think I can differentiate happiness and grief philosophically now!
Gradually, I was accepted and I often reminded myself that I could not possibly be comfortable and at ease in my newly adopted homeland until I acclimatised successfully.
I was uprooted from my familiar though wretched environment and I needed time to get accustomed to my new land to grow stronger.
It was not easy. I had to make efforts to stay afloat.
There were language, cultural, and social rules that seemed so bizarre to me, probably as much as the locals viewed mine.
There were times I thought I had lost my identity and I tried desperately to retain it by keeping everything the way it was.
However, time passes, and so I have evolved.
I have become a Vietnamese-Australian to the extent that I cannot go ‘home’ because home is now here.
I lost my identity as a Vietnamese, but I have gained a different one.
There were times when that concept was not visible to me.
I felt confused. Now, I am proud of my heritage but I no longer need to be a Vietnamese, because I am not living in Vietnam.
There is no more pressure for me and I am glad of my new identity, as I do not want my children to go through my experience.
They should not have to struggle with that disorientation.
They are Australians.
They must feel like Australians with the local language, culture, and social rules even though those are less bizarre to me now.
I would not want my children to feel alienated in their own home. They are Australians, luckier and richer with an extra bonus heritage in their background.
CieCie Tuyet Nguyen was born in Saigon and witnessed its fall in 1975 when she was 13-years-old. After continuing to live there for three years under the communist regime, she escaped with her family by boat to Malaysia in 1978. After staying in a Pulau Besar Refugee camp for three months, she resettled in Sydney, Australia, where she has remained ever since. She graduated with a bachelor of pharmacy in 1985 from Sydney University and has operated her own pharmacy since 1989. Shock Peace: The Search for Freedom is her first novel. For more information about Shock Peace: The Search for Freedom, you can visit Nguyen’s website or Facebook page.
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.
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