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COLUMN

Happytown

The week in which we hopped into an unregulated bed with heavy firearms, lamented the state's environmental time machine and then hoped we died before we got old. Talkin' 'bout our (lost) generation!

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But Soto swears that he is a fan of accountability, allowing that he has mixed feelings about the Quick Action Closing Fund component of the Colt deal. On the one hand, he thinks that businesses should be required to show receipts or proof of job creation before they’re rewarded with big money. On the other hand, Colt has already been handed this money in advance, so there isn’t really another hand. It’s already been blown off.

“The bottom line is Osceola County has lost a lot of construction jobs,” he says. “These folks need help with jobs and with not wasting money.”

Let them eat guns!

Oooh, speaking of rootin’ tootin’Rick Scott, guess who got his ass handed to him on the occasion of his 59th birthday last week: He did! Not only did our trusty local Pink Slip Rick consortium set up a website for people to send hateful birthday messagesto the governor (pinksliprick.com/birthday), but a former – and way better – Florida governor, Bob Graham, showed up to the pile-on party to call foul on Scott’s totally transparent attempts to position himself publicly as a champion of environmental concerns. He is going to save the Everglades by decreasing regulation and politicizing the state’s water management districts. Trust him.

Or, rather, don’t. According to Tampa’s Creative Loafing, Graham held a press conference on Nov. 30 in Tallahassee at which he chided Scott and the Republican legislature, saying they “reversed 40 years of Florida’s progress in water and land conservation.”

A few days earlier, Graham got even more specific in an op-ed published on Nov. 27 in the Miami Herald in which he pulled out this gem: “Ten years ago there was an initiative by an affiliate of the disgraced Enron Corporation to abandon Florida’s tradition of recognizing water as a crucial public resource to be managed for all the people of Florida and instead treat it as a commodity owned by private interests. The then leaders of the state were wise and rejected this swindle; however, it is now resurfacing.”

In other words, in our efforts to privatize our ecosystem, we’re turning the Everglades into Enron. Get your sawgrass here!

Forget what they tell you on“Growing Bolder” – getting old is hell, and it’s getting more hellish all the time for those spending their twilight years in Florida. At least for those who spend their final days confined to a nursing home or assisted-living facility. During the past year, the Miami Herald has doggedly investigated abuses in assisted-living facilities in Florida, and it discovered the stuff nightmares are made of: egregious conditions, neglect, grisly but preventable deaths from starvation, infected wounds … even an alligator attack.

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