TOOFAR Foundation is a grassroots organization dedicated to the best management and conservation of natural resources for present and future generations through public education and interaction with all entities charged with those responsibilities.
P.O. Box 741, Inverness, FL 34451     Phone: (352) 419-8030       Email: TooFarFoundation@gmail.com
Purpose of this website: To raise public awareness about the ever increasing issues we are facing in regards to our environment, particularly those concerning our water, it’s contamination, depletion and destruction. Start here to learn more...

A big THANK YOU to our Sponsors for your suppport!

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Our Newsletter & Calendar of Events

TOOFAR newsletter - March 2017
March 2017
 in .pdf format
TOOFAR
News


A membership publication
distributed by TOOFAR to provide information about ongoing projects and other significant Florida environmental issues. The TOO FAR Newsletter will be sent only by email in the future. The newsletter is also available in print at the general meeting by request only… call in advance - 352-419-8030 and we’ll print one for you.
TOOFAR/Point O'Woods Calendar - March 2017
Download Calendar

2017 FISH-A-THON
Download Flyer

This year’s Fish-A-Thon is coming up on April 8th! Be sure to sign up to volunteer!

Keith Schuett is this year’s chairman. Sandra Koonce is handling event publicity. Keith needs people to help with registration, preparing equipment, etc. Larry Hartman will be handling the fish fry. He’ll need volunteers to help with our free lunch for participants and workers. Sign up to help at the February meeting or email Keith at toofarinc@gmail.com.

TooFar 2017 FISH-A-THON - April 8, 2017
Download Flyer


Election of 2017-2019 Board
was held December 15th, 2016

Fay McLamb - Director 2017-2018
Sandra Koonce - Secretary, 2017-2018
Larry Hartman - President, 2017-2018
Pat Brady - Director, 2017-2018
Bud Osborn - Director, 2017-2018



THANK YOU

Great appreciation goes out to everyone who helped make our Rummage Sale such a success. So many donated items, helped set up and helped sell that the sale went very smoothly and made a significant profit. This just shows what we can accomplish when everyone helps!

Special thanks to our workers: Pat & Tony Aguanno, Pat Brady, Sandy Blackmore, Larry Hartman and his grandson, Sandra Koonce, Keith & Jan Schuett, Faye McLamb & Rich Leonard, Gary Cooper, Arlene & Jack Speakman, Francine & Scott Rhoten, Bud Osborn, Karen Allen, Jan Ethier, Carl & Millie Baker, Ken & Ruth Winter, and Rodney Peterson. If I missed anyone who helped let me know. Our continued thanks to Tom Gallagher for cutting the grass, Sandra Koonce, Arlene Speakman, Avis Washington, Betty Martin and Jan Schuett for our great meeting dinners and Pat Brady, Sandy Blackmore, Arlene Speakman and Keith Schuett for help with our Bingo on Mondays.

SAYING GOOD BYE! We are saying goodbye to Duane Brooks, a 19 year member of the TOO FAR board! Duane & Barbara are moving to North Carolina and they will be deeply missed. Thank you for all the years of service, Duane.

Special thanks as always to Sandra Koonce and her crew, Arlene Speakman, Jan Schuett, Avis Washington, Betty Martin and Sally Heath, for the excellent TOO FAR dinners! Thank you to Keith Schuett for filling in as our Bingo caller while Frank Heath undergoes surgery during February and to Arlene Speakman for filling in for Pat as needed at Bingo and for her excellent photos for our newsletter. Continuing thanks to Sandy Blackmore, Frank Heath and Pat Brady for continuing our weekly Bingo fund raiser. We are getting a good following of players each week. Come and see! Support this effort for your organization.

Thanks to Rich Leonard and Faye McLamb for handling our building needs when service reps need in. This is a great service for those of us who live further away. Thanks to Larry Hartman for handling air conditioning issues, insurance claims, roof repairs this past month. Building maintenance is a never ending issue.

Many thanks to everyone who paid their dues in January. Thanks to Frank & Sally Heath and to Eugene & Dorothy Evans who sent donations for TOO FAR along with their dues! You are appreciated!



Weekly BINGO

Join us again on Monday, September 12th, 2016. Doors open at Noon with games beginning at 1 P.M. The all-paper games are $12 per pack and includes two extra games that are usually $1 each. A $100 COVER ALL will be played every Monday in September!! Best chance to win in town!

The snack bar will be open with reasonable priced refreshments. There are weekly door prizes too! The Foundation will be paying out 50% of proceeds with the balance going to support the TOO FAR Water & Natural Resources Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit) and our educational programs.

The Foundation would greatly appreciate the support of our members to get this fund raising event going. Come out and play or volunteer as a helper to assist with the game. The funds raised through these games will go a long way to cover the overhead of our building and also contribute to our scholarship fund.

These Weekly bingo games are open to the public and held at our headquarters at Point O’Woods, 9228 E. Gospel Island Road, Inverness, FL 34450.

For more information contact either Sandy Blackmore or Pat Brady, 352-419-8030 or email us at: toofarinc@gmail.com.



Watch Out for Migrating Manatees!

"Manatee numbers are up and these bulky aquatic mammals are on the move this month! The annual migration of Florida manatees begins in November, as the weather cools and Manatee Awareness Month is celebrated.

Watch out for manatees swimming in Florida’s rivers, bays or coastal waters. Keep in mind this time of year manatees are searching for warmer waters to help them survive winter’s cold.

With the onset of the manatee migration, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds people in boats and personal watercraft to slow down to avoid manatees, particularly in shallow areas. Many seasonal manatee protection zones also go into effect as of Nov. 15.

Adult manatees weigh about 1,000 pounds but can be difficult to see, especially when just below the water’s surface. Manatees are easier to spot if boaters wear polarized sunglasses and keep a lookout for signs of manatees such as the circular ’footprints’ they trace on the top of the water."

Read more about the manatees at the Florida Fish & Wildlife website at: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/managed/manatee/



What’s Happening

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - we need a Chairman for the 2017 Pig Roast. We have a team of workers and plans to work a little on the Pig Roast all year! Faye McLamb is the new Ways & Means chairman. Join her committee to help raise funds for TOO FAR. A joint workshop is coming with W.A.R. and the TOO FAR Foundation is coming up in February. Details will follow in an email.

Another TOO FAR Heritage Days Festival Pig Roast has come and gone! The weather was beautiful. The music was great! The food was delicious and plentiful! The workers were many and enthusiastic! The event was fairly well organized and everything ran fairly smoothly with only two runs to the grocery. The gross was about $1783 with profits down a little due to less donations of food. We actually served more dinners this year but a few more were free. A meeting to review this year and discuss how to improve next year will be held at 5:30 PM on Dec. 12 before our December board meeting. Come out and make your opinions known for next year!

TOO FAR Bingo meets every Monday. Doors open at 12 Noon with games beginning at 1 pm. Cost is $12 for regular games and two special games. We also have fun "Speed Games." Additional packs are available for a reduced cost. Door prizes are awarded and snacks are available. FREE coffee, tea and water.

These games help pay the overhead on our facility so your support is greatly appreciated! Come out and play or help run the game! Your support is appreciated! If you would like to help one Monday per month please let Sandy Blackmore know at sblackmore@yahoo.com or call 502-370-1181.

TRACKING VOLUNTEER HOURS - MORE THAN YOU REALIZE! For applying for grants and other government reporting requirements we want to begin tracking how many hours volunteers donate to TOO FAR. Just make a note when you bake a cake, donate items, work and event or fund raiser, drive to get supplies, cook food, set up for a meeting. We’ll let you know more about this tracking effort and how we will accomplish it later. Let us know if you have any ideas on recognizing volunteer efforts or anything you may know about how to do it. Recognition is always a good thing and maybe a good program for next year’s Homecoming meeting.


Update on Tsala Apopka Lakes - 11/7/16

Water control structures in Tsala Apopka are being closed today.

Over the weekend, the Withlacoochee River dropped lower than Tsala Apopka and river water is no longer available to flow into the lakes. The following structures are being closed today as we will now conserve as much water as possible in the lakes:

• Leslie Heifner (between the river and Floral City Pool - will be closed late tonight to allow boats to return)
• Floral City (between the river and Floral City Pool - will be closed late tonight to allow boats to return)
• Golf Course (between the Floral City and Inverness Pools - will be closed this morning)
• Brogden Bridge (between the Inverness and Hernando Pools - will be closed this morning)

Over the next several months, without inflow from the river, it is expected that water levels in the lakes will begin to fall more rapidly. This is because on days when we don’t get rainfall, the lakes naturally drop between an 1/8 - ¼ inch a day because of evaporation and leakage downward to the aquifer. Of course if it turns out to be a rainy winter, water levels may stay up longer. Once again, it’s all about the rain.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me.

View Map of the Withlacoochee River watershed in .pdf format

View Map of the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes in .pdf format

Best Regards,

Mark Fulkerson, Ph.D., P.E.
Senior Professional Engineer
Water Resources Bureau
Southwest Florida Water Management District
(352) 796-7211, ext. 4410
Mark.Fulkerson@WaterMatters.org
Withlacoochee River Watershed Initiative


Can You Make A Difference?

Sometimes each of us wonders what we can possibly do to make a difference in the world, in the environment, or in the lives of others. Sometimes we all feel helpless and hopeless! Especially when we look at the magnitude of the challenges around us facing our environment, our culture and our country. But remember our organization motto, "Never Give Up."

You can make a difference! We live in a republic where we VOTE! We have the ability in a large variety of forms to contact our elected officials and express our opinions. If these elected officials don’t heed our opinions we can vote for someone else who will!

We urge you to write and call decision makers to let them know what is important to you. Every time you do this you have an influence because the policy makers know for every contact there are 10-20 people who feel the same way. One letter or phone call does have an impact!

Here is contact information for public figures and people running for election. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

White House - comments in general, comments@whitehouse.gov

President Obama - president@whitehouse.gov

State Senators:
Bill Nelson - D - FL, phone: 202-224-5275
716 Hart Senate Office Bldg, Washington DC 20510
www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact-bill

Marco Rubio - R - FL, phone: 202-224-3041
284 Russell Senate Office Bldg, Washington, DC 20510
www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Florida Congress Representative for the 11th District:
Richard Nugent - R - Dist. 11, phone: 202-225-1002
https://nugent.house.gov/contact/email-me (different after fall election)

Local Contacts:
All County Commissioners: phone: 352-341-6560
http://www.citrusbocc.com/contact-us.htm
110 N. Apopka Ave., Inverness, FL 34450

County Administrator:
Randy Oliver - phone: 352-341-6560
randy.oliver@citrusbocc.com
110 N. Apopka Ave., Inverness, FL 34450

Public Information Officer: pio@citrusbocc.com
3600 W Sovereign Path, Lecanto, FL 34461

County Aquatics Dept:
Mark Edwards - phone: 352-527-7620
mark.edwards@citrusbocc.com
1300 S. Lecanto Hwy, Lecanto, FL 34461

Citrus County Sheriff: http://www.sheriffcitrus.org/
Non-emergency - 352-726-1121
Civil Office - 352341-6525



Ad Renewal Time for Our Sponsors

Thank you to all of the advertisers who support the TOO FAR Foundation!

It is time to renew your ads for the six month period, September 2016 through February 2017.

TOO FAR encourages it’s members to support our advertisers by visiting shopping with them, thanking them for their support and letting them know they are with TOO FAR!

There is room for one more new advertiser first come first serve! Cost remains at $90 for a business card size ad. Mail renewal to PO Box 741, Inverness, FL 34451 or call 352-419-8030.


Thanks for Donations!
TOOFAR A/C Repair Donations as of May 2016

As reported in April & May TOO FAR has an urgent immediate need to raise $12,000 to replace the heating and air conditioning units at our building. An insurance claim has been filed for damages from low current supplied by SECO and we are waiting for a determination from their insurance company. The Board is very grateful for your donations!

During November the Foundation received donations in memory of Peggy Hartman from Sophia Diaz-Fonseca and from Jack & Arlene Speakman totally $200.00. These donations to the air conditioning fund are greatly appreciated by both the TOO FAR Foundation and the Hartman family. The organization also received a significant anonymous donation for our general fund and a donation from Scott Rhoten of his Bullfrog winnings of $61.50.

At the TOO FAR Homecoming meeting in October, Director Sandra Koonce challenged all our members and advertisers who can to match the $500 donation she presented for our building AC fund. The generous donation was from the Point O’ Wood club. Many thanks to them all. Another generous donation was received from life members and past president, Frank Julian and wife, Thelma. Our gratitude also goes out to State Senator Charles Dean who presented a significant donation for our general fund.

Special thanks go out to: Mike Bartlett and Dorothy Carson, Robert & Carol Anderton, Jim Ashman & Sandy Copenhaver, and Jack & Arlene Speakman, Diane & Frank Ingram, Robert & Carol Anderton, Sandra Blackmore, Pat & Don Brady, R.E. & Kathryn B. Dietrich, Richard & Rosemary Nilles, Ronald Yinger. Thank you to the Andertons for their 2nd contribution to the AC fund! Special thanks go out for recent donation from Jack Brown to this fund bringing up to $ $1,804.50. The Board is very grateful for your donations!

Please won’t you also join with us to get these new units, make your donation for any amount large or small to the TOO FAR Water & Natural Resource Foundation, Inc., PO Box 741, Inverness, FL 34451.

Some progress was made towards keeping the building comfortable while we wait on the insurance claim and our fund growth. The board purchased and installed a replacement AC unit for the east end wall unit that should help our AC function at least for awhile.

The Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation. Donations are tax deductible within the extent of the law. If you are a Florida resident you may request registration and financial information from the Division of Consumer Affairs by calling toll free, 1-800-435-7352. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state.



TOO FAR EVOLVES!

You may notices some changes in TOO FAR in the coming months as we transition our beloved old organization into its new form, the TOO FAR Water & Natural Resources Foundation, Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation. The Board of Directors of both organization felt it was time to consolidate our volunteer efforts, bookkeeping, resources and all our energy to focus on just one organization. After consultation with our SCORE mentor, Dr. Fred Herzog, a specialist in operating non-profits, it became apparent that a merging the two corporations was both feasible and in the best interest of our organization future and our mission.

Steps have begun to make the evolution a reality first by revising the Foundation By-Laws to permit membership in the Foundation. Next we created drafts of a business plan, scholarship descriptions and applications, and reviewed our Conflict of Interest statement. In August we dissolved the TOO FAR, Inc. board of directors and appointed those that were interested to the Foundation Board.

Sandra Blackmore was appointed as a new treasurer for the Foundation. Sandra has been working all summer on computerizing our financial records. Her next step will be to provide financial statements and documents to incorporate into our new business plan. This particular step is important to be able to apply for grants and for receiving increased donations from the public. The evolution process will be completed by the filing of our final Annual Report and 990 for TOO FAR, Inc. in January 2016 and by sending our new By-Laws to the Internal Revenue Service with our annual filing.

What will not change is TOO FAR! We will continue with our mission and activities as we always have but the management of our organization will now be streamlined and efficient for our member owned and operated organization.



WAYS & MEANS TEAM

The TOO FAR Foundation board decided to hold bimonthly fund raisers. The success of each event depends heavily on the support from members to donate items, make pot-luck dishes and volunteer at the events. The Ways & Means team will work out the details and keep members informed of our final schedule and how you can help.

Join our Ways & Means team to help plan events to support our mission and our building. Our next meeting of the team is Tuesday, May 10, at 11 a.m. at the TOO FAR building.

We are already gathering many good ideas for at least short term fund raising for the organization. We are thinking of a Military Card Party, a 5th Annual Art Show, and Bunco or 10,000 games, but more ideas are needed. Anyone who would like to help plan successful fundraisers is invited to attend. Drop ideas in the Suggestion Box too.



TOO FAR dues are due now for 2016!

TOO FAR FOUNDATION DUES will increase to $25 per year as of January 1, 2016. Lifetime memberships will increase to $300. You may want to pay in advance to benefit from the current rate which will apply if paid before 1-1-2016.

If paid in December dues are still $20 for the whole family. Paid in January the dues increase to $25 for the year, (the first increase in more than 10 years.)

Help your organization by paying your dues now. Donations are also welcome and we appreciate all who generously think of TOO FAR at this time of giving!

Send your check to TOO FAR Foundation, PO Box 741, Inverness, FL 34451

TOOFAR Membership / Renewal Form

Please download and complete the membership form to verify your information so that we may update our database. You can either return by mail or drop it off during the meeting.

Printable form


Moving SWFWMD to Tampa - Not a Good Idea?


On May 15, 2015, the Executive Director of the District, Robert Beltran, issued an email to all district staff via "InternalCommunications" saying, "I wanted to let you know that based on the findings of the District.s Business Plan, there is a presentation and resolution on Tuesday.s Governing Board agenda recommending that the Tampa Service Office be designated the District Headquarters or principle office." This announcement came rather secretively on a "news dump" day, Friday, May 15th, and without any public notice or input or even time to prepare to attend the Board meeting planned for Tuesday, May 19th in Tampa. The item was not even on the published agenda for the meeting. So why the secrecy?

It is probable that with the current state leadership seemingly intent on practically dismantling the District that this move is possibly a counter to that outcome. It may be SWFWMD.s attempt at regaining or consolidating the power they have left. 40% of employees have already been let go and hundreds of employees from Brooksville have already had their departments quietly moved to Tampa. Sonny Vergara writes in his blog, SWFWMDMatters.blog.org that the move of the "SWFWMD District from Brooksville to Tampa is a waste and a scheme." He suggests that the Tampa facility is already almost full and soon a cry for a new multimillion dollar building will go up from the Tampa office, shortly followed by a request for more (younger) employees. Read Mr. Vergara’s blog to see the reasoning put forth by the District for this move and his take on the reality of the move.

At the Governing Board meeting on May 19th the board voted to postpone the decision on the move to give time for more public input. See the full board meeting on You Tube at SWFWMD Discusses Business Plan. It appears that Hernando County and the City of Brooksville, which has had some significant financial impact from the firings and moves the District has already done, stepped up to object to further withdrawing the organization from the County. Also State Senator Simpson objects to the move and suggests the District needs to give the legislative process time to consider or there might be legislative consequences. According to Mr. Vergara.s blog both the Senator and Representative Blaise Ingoglia have indicated their opposition to the move to the Governing Board.

It appears that public pressure and the public spotlight on issues still has the power to promote change…

State Representative Jimmy T. Smith, (850) 717-5034 or (352) 560-6020

Senator Charles Dean, Sr., (850) 487-5005 or (352) 860-5175,
or email: dean.charles@flsenate.gov



HB 337
A DANGER TO "LOCAL SOURCES FIRST"

General Bill by Mayfield (CO-SPONSORS) Perry (Florida House of Representatives)

Local Government Services: Authorizes county to provide certain services & facilities outside boundaries of municipality without express consent of municipality’s governing body under certain circumstances; prohibits municipality from extending its corporate powers within unincorporated areas of county without express consent of county’s governing body.

Effective Date: July 1, 2015
Last Event: 1st Reading on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 10:37 PM

This information from the Florida House of Representatives website looks harmless enough doesn’t it? However, read the whole bill and you will see its real intent or consequence is to over turn the "Local Sources First" bill passed over 10 years ago.

"Local Sources First" has protected our area against water grabbing transfer plots by other areas to the south and east now running out of water due to overbuilding.

The bill history indicates that it has gone through various committees with a favorable outcome by the Local Government Affairs Subcommittee and reported out of this committee on February 18, 2015. The 1st Reading of the bill was March 3, 2015. There is a similar bill, SB442 - Local Government Services, now moving through the Florida Senate.

It’s not too late to contact your representatives to protest these two bills and urge "Local Sources First" protection.

State Representative Jimmy T. Smith, (850) 717-5034 or (352) 560-6020

Senator Charles Dean, Sr., (850) 487-5005 or (352) 860-5175,
or email: dean.charles@flsenate.gov


TOO FAR Press Release 3/8/15

Recycling expanded in Point O’Woods

The TOO FAR Water & Natural Resource Foundation, now headquarted in Point O’Woods at 9228 E. Gospel Island Road, has announced that a recycling point at the headquarters office is now available for aluminum cans. It is requested that the cans be rinsed before deposit in the recycle bin.

The paper recycling bin at the rear of the parking lot is still availabe for the deposit of newspapers, magazines, catalogs, office and school papers, flyers, junk mail and shredded paper.

Residents of Gospel Island are invited to use the recycling bins and participate in being part of the "solution to pollution".

At the present time, this recycle center does not accept cardboard, plastic bags, glass, metals or trash.

For more information call Sandra Koonce at 352-634-4216

Download Flyer in .pdf format


MY TAKE - LOCAL SOURCES FIRST UNDER ATTACK! by P. Brady

The fight to protect our water never ends. Over the years the powers that want to make personal economic gain from the water in our aq-uifer have been stopped more than once. In the early days of TOO FAR a large pipe line was proposed to move water from Citrus County to Tampa. Several bus loads of members on the Capital doorstep helped stop this catastrophe. Since then the legislation introduced by Nancy Argenziano, "Local Sources First," has been our main weapon in stopping the exploitation of water resources.

In past years the Council of 100, composed of state business leaders, tried to make the water a State resource attempting to move water from one area to another to further permit overbuilding in highly pop-ulated areas now running out of water. They were stopped!

Now once again State Representative Deb Mayfield, Vero Beach Dist. 54, is attempting to overturn the Local Sources First legislation. HB 337 Local Government Services may not look on the surface as what it really does but it is a water transfer bill with no regard for the future or the environment. The appointment of a "State Water Czar" and a statewide water entity is the end goal. This is the same plan proposed in 2003 and again 5 years ago come around again. This overthrow of protection for our waters must be STOPPED. It may be time for the buses of concerned citizens to again show up in Tallahassee!

Contact our state Rep. Jimmy T Smith who is supporting (or considering doing so) this bill. Office: (352) 560-6020 Tallahassee: (850) 717-5034.



Dear Too Far Supporter

Your membership & support in the Too Far organization is very important to us!

Everyone in our Too Far database is getting a form in the newsletter requesting dues payment if due, plus a form to update your information and a request for donations to create a reserve fund for operation of our new building. Please mail back the information. Our database will be purged in June and only dues paid members, life members, comp issues & advertisers will continue to receive our newsletter due to the cost of mailings.

Please return your membership form with this year’s membership dues so we can update our database and continue to keep you informed about issues, meetings and other events. Please include any email address you may have so you can receive the Too Far Newsletter by email.

You will enjoy receiving the newsletter in color with interactive internet links. Eventually we will be able to cut several hundred dollars per month from our budget by almost entirely eliminating print media for our newsletter at some point. You will receive the newsletter at least a week earlier than you do now as well.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a computer. We’ll still send you the newsletter by mail and it is always available to pick up at our general meeting.

You can find the date of your last dues year on the label of each month’s newsletter or email Pat at psbrady@tampabay.rr.com.

Donations are very welcome!

Exciting things are happening at Too Far! Be sure to continue receiving our newsletter and return your information and dues today.

Regards, Pat Brady Secretary/Treasurer, Too Far, Inc.

Send to:

Too Far, Inc.
P.O. Box 741
Inverness, FL 34451

Contact Pat Brady with any questions at 352-419-8030.


IN THE NEWS AROUND THE STATE:

Green slime covers the St. John’s river and tributaries for weeks… http://floridawatercoalition.org/

Manatee History Matters: Paddlewheel steam-boats carried cargo, tourists along Florida waters By JOHN BEALE / Special to the Herald December 23, 2014…http://www.bradenton.com/manatee-history-matters/

Scribbs Tribune: State lawmakers and other elect-ed officials are calling water policy a high priority for next year… http://tbo.com/news/politics/renewing-water-policy-talk-opens-floodgate-of-questions-20141130/

Dec 5 2014, Water storage plan may clean up murky Florida water… http://www.wateronline.com/doc/water-storage-plan-may-clean-up-murky-florida-water-0001


Interesting Links!

Visit the Floral City Heritage Museum to view their wonderful new exhibit "Florida’s Seminole Wars: An Epic Struggle"

YouTube Video: Spring Water Symposium 2013: "Water & Florida’s Future" (51 minutes worth watching. You’ll be glad you did!)

Springs Eternal Project - Explore a wealth of stories, images and information about our Florida springs and aquifer.

Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute - Explore a wealth of stories, images and information about our Florida springs and aquifer.

Springs Protection - Suzanne Martinez Tarokh, Southwest Florida Management District News


State set to gain water quality control By Chris Van Ormer
April 23, 2013

The state will take back its authority to determine water quality this week, but some environmental groups suspect the move will lead to more algae blooms. On Wednesday, Senate Bill 1808 relating to excess nitrogen levels in water and phosphorus pollution - sponsored by state Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness - will be up for a final vote before the Florida Senate.

The House companion bill, House Bill 7115, has passed its committees of reference and awaits a hearing before the entire House of Representatives on the floor. The bills direct the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop numeric nutrient criteria - nitrogen and phosphorus levels - for water bodies not covered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. …

…An Inverness-based organization also opposes the bill.

"Nitrogen is probably the biggest problem in our waters," said Al Grubman, one of the directors of TOO FAR, a grassroots group focused on improving water quality. "To set standards lower than the federal government’s and not give this the priority it needs is just an absolute shame. It is just so much more important to Florida than probably anywhere else. And we don’t take it seriously."

Visit the Chronicle Online to read the complete article:

http://www.chronicleonline.com/content/state-set-gain-water-quality-control

Questions? Contact Chronicle reporter Chris Van Ormer at:
cvanormer@chronicleonline.com.


We invite you to
"Get outside and explore your Conservation Lands"
Recreational Guide to Public Conservation Lands

One of the main ways the Southwest Florida Water Management District carries out its mission of balancing water needs and protecting the environment is by obtaining conservation lands around lakes, rivers, wetlands and estuaries. These lands serve as a natural buffer that filters out pollution from runoff before it reaches the nearest body of water. The District also buys lands to preserve and restore native Florida ecosystems that provide water resources benefits and water storage during hurricanes and other major storm events. The District’s acquisition program has primarily been funded through state programs such as Save Our Rivers, Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever.

Nearly all these lands are available for public use and recreation. Nature-friendly activities offer an easy and fun experience while making sure the land is protected. SWFWMD has provides a very nice guide of these Recreational Areas on their website— to learn more please visit:
www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/recreation/.



TOOFAR Questionaire

Too Far would like to get your input…

  • What would you like see done or hear at Too Far meetings?
  • Do you have any ideas for fund raising events?
  • What ideas do you have for community projects Too Far could sponsor?

Please take an active role in making Too Far a successful and productive organization by completing the form and mailing it. Let us know what interest you!

Print questionaire in .pdf format

Return Completed Questionaire to:

Too Far, Inc.,
P.O. Box 741,
Inverness, FL 34451
or Send an Email


Join us for TOOFAR's Annual Pig Roast - December 1, 2012 TOOFAR Pig Roast
This year our annual fund raiser -- PIG ROAST -- was held on Saturday, December 1st in conjunction with Floral City Heritage Days.

A big Thank You to Everyone who helped make it a Huge Success and all those that came out and joined us in fun, food & friends!

We appreciate your Support! See you again Next Year.

View Photos


Silver Springs Needs Your Support:
As you may have seen the Florida Conservation Coalition, in partnership with many of our member organizations, held an event at Silver River State Park last Saturday to call for the protection and restoration of the Silver Springs watershed. The event was attended by over 1,700 concerned citizens and brought national attention to the plight of one of Florida’s natural wonders.

At the event the FCC circulated a petition, at Sen. Bob Graham’s request, to Governor Scott regarding protection of our Springs, Rivers, and Lakes in North Central Florida… We consider this to be of statewide importance as most of North Florida, all the way to Orlando, relies on the Floridan Aquifer for their drinking water supply, and these waters attract millions of visitors every year. Sen. Bob Graham very much wants to have as many signatures as possible to the petition offered at the rally. So far, we have gathered about about 1500 or more signatures asking the governor to support the protection for our Springs, Rivers and Lakes.

It would be excellent if your organization would send out a notice to your members and ask them to sign on.

There are two ways:

1. One is the online petition:
http://www.change.org/petitions/governor-rick-scott-speak-up-for-silver-springs

2. The other is to print the petition, sign it and mail it in, or to print it and take it to a few meetings to have others sign as well. The petition is located at:
http://floridaconservationcoalition.org

All printed and signed petitions can be mailed to:
Ryan Smart, 3640 SW 20th Ave. #7, Gainesville, FL, 32607

With your continued support we can stand together to protect Silver Springs. It is time to say enough is enough and take action. I appreciate your help and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

My Best Regards,

Ryan Smart, FCC
email: rsmart@floridaconservationcoalition.org


Re: John Eden’s R-V Project CPA/AA-PDO-11-03 Scheduled for Citrus County Commissioners hearing July 12, 2011
Please attend and show you care about our lakes!

In case you did not see Jim Adkins’ letter in the Chronicle, view it here:

Still Opposed

We fought this affront to our lakes, neighborhoods and evacuation routes back when Jim Fowler was on the board. It was rejected 5 - 0.  In spite of the few minor changes it still warrants your rejection.

TOO FAR, Inc.
Al Grubman, President


Calling All Members!

There are times when it would be useful to contact members quickly. Some examples are breaking TOO FAR news, water news, schedule changes and important public meetings.

Anita Hartmann has volunteered to put together a Phone Tree for all who are interested. Anita also needs what I call "relay operators"… the more who volunteer the less calls each will be asked to make. If you are able to help, please email Anita at: BECOME A RELAY OPERATOR or by calling her at 352-489-0240.

If you would like to be notified by the phone tree, send THIS email to Anita: NOTIFY ME OF BREAKING NEWS. If you prefer to be notified by e-mail or both e-mail and telephone (or more than one telephone) just let Anita know.

Please send us an email to update your contact information (address, phone#, email): Update my Contact Info.

Thank you,
Al


Hi Doug,

Thanks for your well written letter. I have already sent a copy to Priscilla. In support of fairness and, hopefully, substantially satisfying the objectives of your request, we will:

  • Post your letter on our web site
  • Have copies of your letter on the entry table at our next two meetings and announce their availability.
  • We will put a notice in our June newsletter (sorry May already went to press) advising of your letter, advising that it is on our web site and offering to send it out by e-mail or snail mail.
  • We will absorb all costs.

Best Regards,

Al


Dear Mr. Grubman:

I recently read the March 2011 edition of the TOO FAR News and would like to offer some thoughts on a few issues and comments that were included in Ms. Priscilla Watkins’ article concerning development of minimum flows for the Homosassa River system.

First, there appears to be a misunderstanding concerning the format in which proposed minimum flows have been and will likely continue to be expressed for the river system. In her article titled "We Say No, The Homosassa River System is Too Sensitive for Any Further Reduction by SWFWMD or Regional Wellfields", Ms. Watkins writes that District staff recommends establishing a minimum flow for the river system at 144.4 cubic feet per second (cfs), a flow rate corresponding to a five percent decrease from the 152 cfs flow identified as the "estimated average" flow for the system. The District’s currently proposed minimum flows for the Homosassa River system are actually not a static or single rate of flow, but instead are expressed as a percentage-of-flow reduction (or retention) for the full range of flows that would be expected for the system in the absence of water withdrawals. …

Read more… of the letter from Douglas A. Leeper, Chief Environmental Scientist
Resource Projects Department, Southwest Florida Water Management District
 in .pdf format


WE SAY NO!
The Homosassa River System is too sensitive
for any further reduction by SWFWMD or Regional Wellfields

by Priscilla Watkins for the Homosassa River Alliance

The huge, negative public response to Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (SWFWMD) staff recommendations to set the flow level for the Homosassa River at 5% of its "estimated average" flow of 152 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 144.4 cfs has, so far, delayed the scheduled Board vote of approval.

Questions and criticisms of the findings, omissions and methodology have come from experts in water management and commercial fishermen, state regulators, public park managers, engineers, boaters, HRA’s volunteer reviewers and other of our members, and even from SWFWMD’s hand-selected peer review team. It was a huge response to a technical manual over a very short time span.

So far on the supporting side, there is the lone voice of the county director of Water Resources who appears to have only read the two-page executive summary and asked for clarification on the parameters and salinity terminology before sending in a letter of approval. Concurrently, there has been an outpouring of opposition to the proposed flow rate being recommended for the Chassahowitzka River system, an 11% reduction. The Chassahowitzka is approximately five miles south of the Homosassa and it draws from the same aquifer whose water source is rainfall over the same 270-square-mile springshed.

Both the Homosassa and the Chassahowitzka are first-magnitude spring systems, two of four along a thirty-five mile span of our coastline, with only 27 first-magnitude springs in the entire state of Florida. Springs such as these are rare.

Read more… in .pdf format
taken from TOOFAR Newsletter - March 2011, Volume 232


TOOFAR’s 2010 Annual Pig Roast:
Thank you to everyone for your help in making it a BIG SUCCESS!
(Click on the images to enlarge)
Three stars of the 2010 TOOFAR Annual Pig Roast - Bob Hoover, his grandson Bryce and the food! Betty Martin, Avis Washington and Pat Aguanno put in long hard hours at the 2010 TOOFAR Annual Pig Roast.
Greg Schmukal, Chairman of Pig Roast and Vice-President. His wife June was too busy to pose for a photo. Mike Hulen (right) and Alan Beville of Texas Aquatic Harvesting take a break from cooking to accept a plaque from TOO FAR in appreciation for all they do for us.
View more…

"Governor appoints two members to the District’s Withlacoochee River Basin Board"

Governor Crist has appointed me to the Withlacoochee River Basin Board. It is a SWFWMD board that provides guidance to South West Florida Water Management District staff addressing the needs of the basin. The board includes portions of Citrus, Hernando, Levy, Marion, Pasco and Sumter counties.

We of TOO FAR and other interested groups have been trying to work closely with SWFWMD and the results have been good. This is the next step in working for more mutually beneficial results.

Thank you to all who have helped. Special thanks to Senator Dean and Representative Schultz for their sponsorship.

Al Grubman

View the 2010 Florida Statutes:
Title XXVIII - Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation, and Use
Chapter 373 - Water Resources
373.073 - Governing board


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

The Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority, WRWSA, is the way to avoid Local Sources First. Yes, most of you remember or have heard of the water wars and the fight against a water pipe from the Tsala Apopka Lakes to Tampa. We won and our then Senator Nancy Argenziano led the fight to stop the long distance water piracy. The roadblock was Local Sources First which still gets a lot of lip service but the stealth forces came up with a new approach. It was patterned after Tampa Bay Water the public co-operative that built and put together a massive combination of water facilities including the desalination plant and the reservoir. Ignoring the years of delay and design flaws, it is finally functioning. The project was so big that it made sense to combine the multiplicity of governments into a regional authority.

Now zoom into the Citrus, Hernando, Sumter and Marion - 4 county area: the WRWSA. After years and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent they generated a plan. The first part of the plan was submitted to their board for implementation on June 16th. Their board members are representatives of the various cities and counties that make up the authority. None of the board members are elected to the board by the public.

TOO FAR has members in all 4 counties but Citrus County was in the barrel for this first phase. Citrus County has 4 representatives on the board. Ken Hinkle Councilman from Inverness missed the meeting on June 16th. The other three are County Commissioners and all were present.

An 8 page memo supported the budget to "implement" the plan. The plan shows a new well-field in south-central Citrus County with a "proposed interconnect" to Hernando County. Citrus County was well represented in the audience filling most of the chairs in a full house. TOO FAR had four members there, including me. Citrus County Council had six members there including Teddi Rusnak, President. Norman Hopkins, Director of the Amy Remley Foundation and Jim Bitter, President of the Homosassa River Alliance were also there. Some belonged to more than one organization. The guests begged, pleaded and instructed the Commissioners to no avail. The Executive Director assured the Commissioners that the "interconnect" from Citrus County to Hernando County would carry no ground water but only Alternative Water Source (AWS) water in the distant future. This was in spite of the fact that the plan drawings clearly show that the "interconnect" (read "pipe") will exist before any AWS is available.

Hopefully the Citrus County Commissioners as well as the other board members will wake up and see this is a real danger and protect the resources of their areas.

This is just the beginning - Jack Sullivan and Pete Hubbell (you remember him) have the Withlacoochee and Lake Rousseau in their sights. Their plan includes a four foot diameter pipe taking water out of Rousseau potentially to the detriment of the Gulf estuary and the lower Withlacoochee River.

I pray that the vision of the board members clears up.

Al

Additional information:

  • Board: Our water isn’t going anywhere
    Commissioners say transfers not part of equation
    June 22, 2010 - By Mike Wright, Chronicle Online

    Note: This article is no longer available online anywhere, was previously posted at:
    http://www.chronicleonline.com

This letter was submitted to the Citrus County Chronicle - Letter to the Editor.

  • Keep Our Water

    The story on Page A1 of the June 9 Citrus County Chronicle ("Proposal steams TOO FAR president") should be an item that will help solidify readers’ decisions on whom to vote for in the upcoming Citrus County commissioners’ election.

    Just to make myself understood in this matter: Commissioners Bartell and Damato both favor a regional approach to water use and conservation. This is a quote from today’s newspaper article. I cannot find fault with the concept other than this regional approach in this case means a four-county area; one of which is growing rapidly and is in need of our water. The next step would be very easy to change the region to include any county, perhaps Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, etc. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man? It hasn’t been very long since the Committee of 100 appointed by our late governor recommended that we turn all Florida water over to an all-knowing entity that would fairly distribute our waters to anyone with enough money.

    I don’t for a minute harbor any feelings that our two commissioners have any ulterior motives. My main problem with this attitude is that even if this were the best way to go eventually, it isn’t in our best interests presently to entertain such grandiose and charitable thoughts. With this in mind, it causes me to wonder just how many other thoughts are going through their minds that are not in the best interests of Citrus County and its residents and taxpayers.

    Frank Heath
    June 16, 2010

Proposal steams TOO FAR president

Calling All Members!

Volunteers needed… TOOFAR is considering starting our popular pontoon boat trips again.

If you have a pontoon and would be willing to carry passengers for our next trip let us know by contacting Pat Brady by email at psbrady@tampabay.rr.com or by calling her at (352) 419-8030. Thank you!


A Message from MIKE BARTLETT, Structure Controls Analyst, SWFWMD

We have completed the new operational guidelines for the Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes. Please keep in mind that the guidelines are just that, they are intended to serve as general guidelines for the routine operations of the District’s water control structures.

The guidelines describe operations under three scenarios:

  • Low Water Conditions (filling mode);
  • Normal Operational Range (filling/conservation modes); and
  • High Water Conditions (flood control mode).

What’s New

  1. The new operational guidelines are based on the recently adopted Minimum Levels for Lake Tsala Apopka (included with the new guidelines), not the previous Guidance Levels.
  1. Unlike the previous operational procedure, once water can be diverted from the Withlacoochee River into the chain of lakes, all river inflows will be equally distributed between the three pools (i.e., 33.3%-33.3%-33.3%). Previously, the Floral City Pool had to reach its Minimum Low Management guidance level before water would be diverted into the Inverness Pool. Similarly, the water level in the Inverness Pool would then have to reach its Minimum Low Management guidance before water would be discharged into the Hernando.
  1. Under the new guidelines, the local runoff a pool receives from its watershed will be retained within the pool and not be allowed to discharge to the downstream pool until such time the pool elevation reaches it adopted Minimum Level. At that time, water from the upstream pool may be discharged to the downstream pool if it is below its adopted minimum level.
  1. Once all three pools have reached their respective Minimum Level, the operation goal is to attempt to bring up the elevations in the three pools equally, while continuing to apportion river inflow equally between the three pools.

We are confident that the new operational guidelines will enhance our ability to fairly distribute resources when they are available. Please remember that these are new guidelines and changes may have to be made as we continue our effort to improve upon the operation of the system.

As always, if anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the new guidelines please do not hesitated to call or email.

MIKE BARTLETT, Structure Controls Analyst
Operations Department, Southwest Florida Water Management District
2379 Broad Street
Brooksville, Florida 34604
Voice: (352) 796-7211 #4515
mike.bartlett@swfwmd.state.fl.us


"State ’Water Czar’ idea resurfaces"

President’s Message:

Economic recovery, real estate values, business growth, employment - all will lag in Citrus County and the Nature Coast if we lose local control of our water.

We hope we can count on your support to combat this attack again.

Al Grubman
President
TOO FAR, Inc. and
TOO FAR Water and Natural Resources Foundation, Inc.

Please contact your representatives:

Click here to send an Email
to the ALL of following:

  • Senator Charles Dean
          - dean.charles.web@flsenate.gov
  • Senator Mike Fasano
          - fasano.mike.web@flsenate.gov
  • Representative Ron Schultz
          - Ron.Schultz@myfloridahouse.gov
  • County Commissioner Gary Bartell
          - gary.bartell@bocc.citrus.fl.us
  • County Commissioner Dennis Damato
          - dennis.damato@bocc.citrus.fl.us
  • County Commissioner John Thrumston
          - john.thrumston@bocc.citrus.fl.us
  • County Commissioner Joe Meek
          - joe.meek@bocc.citrus.fl.us
  • County Commissioner Winn Webb
          - winn.webb@bocc.citrus.fl.us

Read more on the topic:


Your help is needed to oppose an application
for a landfill adjacent to Green Swamp

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is expected to issue on Dec. 12 a letter of intent to approve/deny permit applications for a Class 1 landfill in Pasco County on a site that would be less than a mile from the Withlacoochee River and adjacent to the Hillsborough River and the headwaters of the Green Swamp.
Click here for additional information.


FWC Report Examines
Florida’s Next Half-Century

The FWC (Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) heard a sobering summary of a report being prepared describing what might happen in Florida’s environment by 2060, unless residents and leaders adopt smart growth strategies. The report, titled "Florida 2060: What’s at stake for wildlife?" is available on the FWC website. It notes, based on a report by 1000 Friends of Florida, that the state’s human population could double to 36 million, and millions of acres of important wildlife habitats could disappear beneath development, unless Florida adopts different growth patterns.

What does the future hold for Florida’s fish and wildlife? That’s up to all of us.


Other Meetings of Interest:

Citrus County Task Force
Lecanto Government Building
3600 West Sovereign Path
Room 166
Lecanto, FL 34461

Citrus County Task Force meetings are generally held on the 2nd Monday every other month at 2:00 p.m.

Let SWFWMD know you are concerned about our water. Get involved!


SWFWMD Governing Board - Boards, Agenda and Meeting Information - All meetings are open to the public

Tampa Service Office
7601 US 301
Tampa, FL 33637
813-985-7481 OR 1-800-836-0797

District Headquarters
2379 Broad Street
Brooksville, FL 34604
Phone: (352) 796-7211

The Governing Board establishes policies for our 16-county area.

Withlacoochee River Basin Board
The eight Basin Boards provide guidance for local programs that are specific to the basins they protect.

Advisory committees:
Advisory committees obtain input on District programs, projects and related resource management issues.


Citrus County Commissioners

Citrus County Courthouse
110 North Apopka Avenue, Room 100
Inverness, FL 34450

Phone: (352) 341-6560

The regular Board meetings are now being held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 1:00 pm.

Citrus County Government meetings are broadcast LIVE on Channel 9 on Comcast Cable and Channel 622 on Bright House Cable.

Or view them on-line:
Minutes of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners


Sumter County Commissioners

Meeting Schedule - Second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:00 pm


New Links:

Amendment 4 - Florida Hometown Democracy - Read More…

View photos of the Culverts installed at Flying Eagle!!!

SWFWMD

State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Rules that have been added or updated within the last 30 Days.

Suggested Reading


Announcements:

GOT SHIRTS? WE DO.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT OF TOOFAR BY WEARING YOUR TOOFAR SHIRT
.
We now have shirts available in more sizes. Lots of large and Xtra large. Both Tees and Polos. Order yours NOW or get them at the next TOOFAR general meeting.

Please Recycle!!
Bring your newspapers, and aluminum cans to the next TOOFAR General Meeting to be recycled. You will be helping the environment and supporting TOOFAR too!

Volunteers needed:
The cost of our newsletter is covered in part by local businesses who advertise with us. Ads are taken out for a year at a time. It is time to form a committee to gather ads for the next year. They must go to the printer in September. Can you help? For additional information contact the office at (352) 419-8030  or  (352) 400-9147 or by email: toofarinc@gmail.com.


Learn more about wetlands.

additional news items...


Links:

City of Inverness

Citrus County Division of Aquatic Services website

Citrus County Chamber of Commerce website

About Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD)

Citrus County Council website

View the website for Save the Homosassa River Alliance, Inc.

View the website for Friends of Chassahowitzka

Citrus/Hernando Waterways Restoration Council website

Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority (WRWSA) website

Florida LAKEWATCH website

Environment Florida website

About Florida Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)

Environmental Protection Agency website

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website

Florida Department of Environmental Protection website

State of Florida website

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contact us: TooFarFoundation@gmail.com
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Last updated: March 2017