Tuesday May 4, 2021

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated in the first full week of May, from May 2 through May 8 in 2021.This is when teachers get the extra credit they deserve. The big day is Teacher Appreciation Day today, but teachers deserve so much that they get a whole week to savor our appreciation.  Whether you have a teacher, know a teacher, or are a teacher, there are endless ways to give a little extra support to teachers and teachers organizations. Teaching is a time-consuming and challenging profession, so this week is our chance to say thank you to those that play such a huge role in our lives. 

For the past few days, city leaders, representatives, and the constituents of Pahokee, have been discussing the potentially toxic blue-green algae at the Pahokee Marina. Well cleanup efforts are   supposed to wrap up today. Mayor Keith Babb Jr. offered to move anyone living on their boat, or in the nearby campground, to a local hotel until the cleanup is finished. According to the South Florida Water Management District, about 3/4 of the blue green algae at the Pahokee Marina has been removed. Cleanup crews also worked throughout the weekend. A sign warns visitors and boaters of the possible health risks, telling people not to swim and to avoid getting water in their eyes, nose or mouth. In spite of the conditions there, mayor says no one has taken the town up on its offer to move them to a hotel while the clean-up takes place. He said two people who live on their boats at the marina have left. The South Florida Water Management District says the total cost of the clean-up is expected to be about $200,000.

The Clewiston City Commission met last night for a special meeting. While many items were presented including the sale of property at Commerce park and other financial documents, The Clewiston Police Department was a major topic of discussion. Clewiston Police Chief Aaron Angel submitted his resignation, effective June 1. City Manager Randy Martin is developing a plan of action to fill this position expeditiously, as well as other vacancies that exist. The department is currently down 4 certified officers, 1 dispatcher and 2 other positions, one of them part time, according to Martin. Commissioner Greg Thompson requested investigations of the police department as it relates specifically to a child pornography case and the paddling of an elementary school student.  He also said he will file a motion for FDLE to conduct a “full audit of the police department”. Commissioner Mali Gardner addressed concerns about law enforcement as well. Commissioner Jimmy Pittman said many of the current issues with CPD could have been circumvented-though, had they been addressed a long time ago. Pittman added that “the police department actually has 7 vacancies, soon to be 8.” You can still check out the meeting on the City’s Facebook page. The next meeting will be May 17.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill (SB) 2006, landmark legislation aimed at stemming the tide of local and state government overreach. The bill takes aim at arbitrary lockdowns, vaccine passports and enhances emergency preparedness for future emergencies. Governor DeSantis also signed orders suspending all local emergency orders until July 1, 2021, at which point local orders will be permanently invalidated. SB 2006 will ensure that neither the state nor local governments can close businesses or keep students out of in-person instruction in our schools, except for hurricane emergencies. The bill also caps all local emergencies, at seven-day increments. The legislation also allows the Governor to invalidate a local emergency order if it unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties.