Wednesday November 3, 2021

Calin Ionita, Forester, Florida Forest Service reports:

This year from October 31st through November 6th, The Florida Forest Service along with the Florida Forestry Association are celebrating a week in forestry called the “Working Forests Week”. public and privately owned forests produce timber, provides homes for wildlife, improves air and water quality and provides a place for recreational activities such as hiking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, geocaching and others. Programs like Tree City USA that recognize communities’ effort in properly managing and caring for urban forests are plentiful as well. So forests, no matter where they are, work to provide us with many products and services that we use on a day-to-day basis. If you are interested in gaining additional information about how to better manage your forests, contact your local forester.

The Clewiston Museum Speaker Series

The Clewiston Museum is happy to announce the second presentation in the Florida Talks Fall Speakers Series.  It’ll be held on Tuesday, November 16, at 7:30 pm. David Letasi will be presenting his program, The Pursuit of Florida Paleo Hunters.  The presentation will take the audience back to the Ice Age in pursuit of Florida’s Paleo Hunters to learn about Florida’s first people. Letasi will discuss how these early Floridians survived climate change and giant predators, as well as various theories regarding their origin. The presentation will be held on November 16 at 7:30 at the Clewiston Museum. Contact the museum at 863-983-2870 or via email at clewistonmuseum@embarqmail.com.

Pahokee City Commission

The fall-out continues in Pahokee at the city commission meetings, as newly appointed City Manager and Vice Mayor for the City Clewiston Greg Thompson, is asking the hard questions and looking for some much-needed answers. Our news affiliate and sister station WOKC reports, Thompson says the city has not been paying its bills and money is missing.  He pointed out some actions by the previous city manager that Thompson says, cost the city over $300,000. Some blame the delays and shortages in paying bills on changes at city hall and a lack of staff. Pahokee City meetings are lived streamed on YouTube.

Lake Okeechobee Release Schedule TBA

As we await the final decision for the optimized lake schedule, which according to the Associated Press will be released to the public today, there has been much opposition to the proposed changes. According to a local news affiliate, more releases would be sent to the east coast in one proposal. The releases would start once the lake reaches 16 feet. Jessica Mallett, lead engineer with the US Army Corps of Engineers says they will also send more water south. The Army Corps has spent the past several weeks “optimizing” the LOSOM plan to address concerns over everything from too much water flowing to the Caloosahatchee River during heavy rain events, to holding Lake Okeechobee at levels that will further damage the lake’s ecology. We’ll be monitoring the release of the optimized schedule, scheduled to be released today.

Waived Recreation Fees For Veteran’s Day 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will waive day use fees at its more than 2,850 recreation areas nationwide in observance of Veterans Day, November 11. The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swimming beaches, but does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or, fees for specialized facilities (group picnic shelters) and events. Visitors are encouraged to contact USACE lake and river projects before visiting to ensure recreation areas are open. The status of USACE-managed campgrounds, boat ramps and swimming beaches and other sites is available at https://corpslakes.erdc.dren.mil/visitors/status.cfm. To discover a USACE recreation site nearest you, please visit www.corpslakes.us, or www.recreation.gov.