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Most recent 17 results returned for keyword: manatees (Search this on MAP) Treeson : Swimming with the manatees in the remarkably clear waters of Three Sisters Spring, Florida (Photo by...
Swimming with the manatees in the remarkably clear waters of Three Sisters Spring, Florida (Photo by Alan Rider). "Remarkably clear" would be an understatement.

Where's the coolest place YOU'VE been in Nature with crystal clear water?

#eco #nature #environment #onebottleonetree #water
1 hour ago - Via Sprout Social - View - Lori Wall : There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Join us every week to read...
There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort.  Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Walt Disney World! This week features a new after-hours event at Epcot, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train news, Polynesian Construction update and Easter activities.
New! Epcot After Hours Wind Down Events: You are invited to relax, unwind and enjoy exclusive access to one of four favorite lounges around World Showcase during the new Epcot After Hours Wind Down, beginning April 17 through Sept. 15. This celebration takes place Thursday through Sunday evenings beginning after IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth and continuing until 11 p.m. Following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, take your pick from four select locations and enjoy cuisine created from award winning Epcot Chefs and Sommeliers. Tickets can be reserved for the Epcot After Hours Wind Down in advance for one of the following locations around World Showcase:
▪ La Cava del Tequila – Mexico
▪ Rose & Crown Pub – United Kingdom
▪ Spice Road Table – Morocco
▪ Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar – Italy
New! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train News: On April 12, 2014, vehicles were spotted on the tracks in test runs of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Disney has described this attraction as having an innovative new ride system that causes cars to swing back and forth while they travel down the track. In most cases, the construction walls have already been removed, but the scene of the vehicles going up a lift is taken from a distance and viewed over the walls on the Tomorrowland Speedway side of the mountain. The official dedication of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is scheduled for May 2. We hope to see soft openings very soon!
New! Voices of Liberty Sing New Tunes: Voices of Liberty, the amazing a capella group performing at The American Adventure pavilion at Epcot, occasionally expanded their repertoire of treasured favorites from the American songbook with new tunes. Recently, the group has added arrangements of four new songs to the lineup. Two of the new songs, Josh Groban’s inspirational “You Raise Me Up” and Academy Award winner “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen, were debuted in March when Voices of Liberty performed at the Disney Grants presentation for the Central Florida community. The other new tunes are “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”
New! Peter Pan and Wendy’s Temporary Meet and Greet Location: April 12-20, Peter Pan and Wendy will be meeting Guests near the Adventureland bridge. On April 21, they will return back to their usual meeting spot in Fantasyland.
New! Pin Trading Night at ESPN Wide World of Sports: Calling all Traders! Join us for a Frozen evening of pin trading at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex this Tuesday, April 22, from 6-9 p.m. The event will take place in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill and adjacent lobby area. Space will be extremely limited at this event so it is asked that our traders please limit the amount of items they bring. Come meet avid and novice traders, make friends and share stories about your collections!
New! Animal Kingdom Annual Party for the Planet April 22: With April being Earth month, it’s a special time for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Throughout the month, the park will be celebrating with special merchandise and events in the park. Guests can find out what they can do to make their backyards wildlife friendly and discover other ways to connect with, and conserve, wildlife in nature. Though some offerings have started, the event culminates on April 22 with our annual Party for the Planet Activities at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The party starts in the main entrance, where Guests can pick up a special Party for the Planet postcard and stop by a display of wildlife friendly backyard habitats. The fun continues on to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where families can play interactive games, do special activities, and learn how their purchases can make a big difference for wildlife and wild places. Guests can also talk to Cast Members who have worked on conservation projects around the world. Special activities and merchandise will be sticking around Animal Kingdom longer to celebrate Earth Day. Through April 26, face painters and caricature artists will be extending into Rafiki’s Planet Watch from park open close. These Operating Participants will be featuring bearthemed designs in celebration of Disneynature’s “Bears”. April 21 – 23, vendors will be positioned throughout the park selling “green” merchandise. Two special plush will be sold throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom with proceeds going to the National Park Foundation through Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund. One dollar from each sale of the Safari costumed Duffy the Disney Bear and Amber from Disneynature’s “Bears” will be donated to the National Park Foundation.
New! Visit VISION House at Innoventions to Help Environment: On Earth Day, April 22, VISION House is the place to be! This 5-7 minute Earth Day activity at VISION House encourages Guests ages 6-10 to learn about environmentally friendly products to help save the environment and wildlife. This great activity helps kids realize small choices can help the environment. Learn how to be a “smart” shopper when it comes to protecting the environment and wildlife. The Green Shopping Spree activity will run from 10 a.m. 4 p.m. with the last activity beginning at 3:30 p.m. Just by visiting VISION House in Innoventions East,
Guests can plant a tree! April 2026,  Green Builder Media will donate $1 for every Guest who visits the VISION House exhibit to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to plant a tree.
New! Celebrate Earth Day at The Seas with Nemo and Friends: At Epcot, Earth Day will be celebrated at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, where children can find out (by trying it!) how turtle excluder devices protect sea turtles, and learn about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, manatees, sharks and the many other amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans.
New! “Maleficent” Sneak Peek Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios April 18, 2014: The thrilling final trailer for “Maleficent” has just been released, and starting April 18, 2014 a special extended sneak peek will be playing daily at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the ABC Sound Studio through mid June.
New! Kona Island Sushi Bar New Menu Options: The little Kona Island sushi bar in the upstairs lobby of Disney’s Polynesian Resort is now an extension of the restaurant, and the sushi is crafted in the dining room in the former dessert show kitchen, giving chefs plenty of room to create specialties from sashimi and simple rolls to more elaborate combos. If you enjoyed the Kona Island sushi bar before, you can still grab a seat there, no reservations required, and the entire restaurant menu is also now available. But now you can start with a little sake and more than a dozen choices on the sushi menu.
Reminder! Magic Kingdom to Easter Enhancements: From April 13 through April 20, the Magic Kingdom will have Easter activities, mainly an opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny. In recent years, both Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny will be available daily at Bunny Lane Garden (between City Hall and Chamber of Commerce) to meet & greet with guests. PhotoPass photographers are expected to be on hand to take pictures. In addition, Mr. Bunny will also make a special preparade appearance on April 19 and 20, along with other springtime characters and dancers, and the Azalea Trail Maids. Also, to accommodate peak attendance, from April 13-19, the ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ will step off twice daily at Noon and 3:30 p.m. The Main Street Trolley Show performers will be sporting their spring attire, singing and dancing as they welcome Guests to the most magical place on earth!
Reminder! Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’ Heading to Magic Kingdom Park: We’re excited to share that Anna and Elsa, from Disney’s Academy Award winning film “Frozen,” will soon move from Epcot to Magic Kingdom Park. Starting April 20, they’ll join some of their fellow Disney Royals at Princess Fairytale Hall, where Disney FastPass+ service will be available for this character greeting experience.
Reminder! Participate in a Special Muppet Mission in Epcot World Showcase: You are invited to take part in a Muppet scavenger hunt to celebrate the new film, “Muppets Most Wanted,” in theaters now. In the Great Constantine Caper, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to travel World Showcase in search of Muppets related items to track down and capture the evil villain from the film, Constantine. The journey starts at Showcase Plaza, where you can pickup a clue packet (great, free souvenir!) and begin your trip through two separate missions: one through German and Italy, concluding in the America
Adventure pavilion, or the other through the United Kingdom, France, and concluding in the American Adventure pavilion. Find fun gags typical of the Muppets and capture Constantine before being inducted as an official agent of the Muppet Bureau of Investigation (MBI).
Reminder: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Continues: This fantastic and colorful festival continues. Here are some of the highlights this week: Flower Power Concert Series performances by The Grass Roots April 18-20 at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 pm.; Designers’ Stage weekdays, noon and 3 pm will host Janit Calvo, Gardening in Miniature Small trees and plants that work (12 p.m.) Gardening in Miniature How to build a garden that lasts (3 p.m.) April 15-17; and Designers’ Stage Presented by HGTV Friday-Sunday, noon and 3 pm will host John Gidding, Curb Appeal April 18-20. Numerous presentations take place daily through the day during the entire festival which runs through May 18.
Reminder / Update! Polynesian Construction & Refurbishment Schedule: Disney’s Polynesian Resort has many areas currently under refurbishment including the parking lot, the Great Ceremonial Hall, Sunset Pointe, The Never Land Club, portions of the beach and Capt. Cook’s. On March 31, Moana Mickey’s Arcade permanently closed. On April 9, Capt. Cook’s temporarily relocated to a location formerly used for cast dining. The entrance is located under the stairwell below ‘Ohana. The temporary location will have modified operating hours and menu item. There will be no Dole Whip soft serve machine at the temporary location. The newly refurbished Capt. Cook’s location is expected to reopen this summer. On the beach area, you can see new DVC overwater bungalows being constructed. No completion date has been announced yet.
Update! Castle Painting Complete: Back in January, we informed you Cinderella’s Castle would have a crane in view through the end of March for removal of the Dream Lights as well as routine painting. Painting was taking place on the castle turrets from mid March through early April, which included a “new” silver color. There was some concern among fans if this silver color is a permanent change, but it was more or less a “primer.” The turrets have all returned to their usual blue hue and the fresh paint looks great!
Update! Changes in Progress Around Iconic Magic Kingdom “Hub”: According to the Disney Parks Blog, “We’re adding several new elements to the area, including sculpted gardens, additional pathways, expanded restaurant seating and even a special viewing area for fireworks and other performances.” Other enhancements will include new trees and more landscaping in the Central Plaza area. To make it easier to move around, two additional pathways will be built around the plaza. Also, seating outside of Casey’s Corner and The Plaza restaurant will nearly double in size. This multiphase enhancement project has already begun and it’ll be completed in 2015. Casey’s Corner seating has already been increased. The castle moats were drained in preparation for construction but they have been refilled with dyed bluegreen waters. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe’s formerly outdoor seating is now enclosed and Swan Boat Landing has been removed. Also, The Hub popcorn cart has been relocated near the entrance of Adventureland while work takes place.
New! Merchandise Events:
▪ Now – May 18: Representatives from Rinse Bath and Body Co. will be on hand throughout the day to
help you select the product that is right for your skin. My favorite? Definitely, the lip balms. You should
check them out, they’re amazing!
▪ April 7 – 20: Renowned artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily on the promenade around World
Showcase in Epcot. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection! Learn more.
▪ April 21 – May 4: Meet representatives from Kumquat Growers and Tropical Blossom Honey Co. who
will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., each day on the promenade around World Showcase in

Written by Lori Wall:  Lori is a lifelong fan and visitor of Walt Disney World! Her love of Disney Worldhas grown through visits with her own family as well as through planning magical vacations for others! Lori is an expert in maximizing vacations while sticking to a travel budget. Contact her about saving an extra 5% off your Disney vacation with an insider tip!  Book your vacation with Lori at (845) 698- 0102 or request a price online.
2 hours ago - Via Google+ - View - Todd Mckenney : Emails! Dear Todd, Know what we don't like about Earth Day? It suggests that for the other 364 days...

Dear Todd,

Know what we don't like about Earth Day? It suggests that for the other 364 days, people don't care about the planet.

But you and I know better.

 Today, you can make a world of difference by raising awareness for the wild creatures that roam our wild lands.

What’s more, you can take 15% off the t-shirt and everything else in the Wildlife Adoption Center between now and April 22nd. 

Just use promo code: EARTHDAY15

We share a passion for the wild things that roam this fragile little planet. Your adoption purchases support our tireless efforts to save wolves, manatees, panthers and other endangered animals – 365 days a year.

On behalf of the entire Defenders team, thank you for your compassion and your support.

Or call 1-800-385-9712 to make your adoption over the phone: Monday- Friday, 9am EST- 6pm EST.

© Copyright 2014, Defenders of Wildlife
Buy a Defenders T-Shirt, Help Save Wildlife! - Wildlife Adoption and Gift Center
We are happy to unveil our brand new 2014 limited edition Defenders Blue Wolf T-Shirt! To show our thanks for helping us choose, we're offering it at a discounted price of $30 but only for a limited time!
14 hours ago - Via Mobile - View - : It is early in the season, but the Brevard County Manatees need to win the home series against Dunedin...
It is early in the season, but the Brevard County Manatees need to win the home series against Dunedin this weekend to keep up with the league …

18 hours ago - Via WordPress - View - : The Brevard County Manatees finished off the sweep of Lakeland on Wednesday night behind a strong pitching...
The Brevard County Manatees finished off the sweep of Lakeland on Wednesday night behind a strong pitching performance from Jed Bradley.
Manatees ride good pitching to win - Everything Brevard County FL, All Day, Every Day. The Best Brevard County News, Weather, Sports, Events, Space News, and More!
18 hours ago - Via WordPress - View - Ron Shtigliz : can still remember his eyes as they were late that night, full of spark at first, then alternately pensive...
can still remember his eyes as they were late that night, full of spark at first, then alternately pensive, empty and tired, with the musicians playing on regardless, endlessly regaling the great writer with the vallenatos of his Caribbean youth. For a while I was sure he had fallen asleep. His head had long stopped nodding to the music, and his heavy eyelids appeared firmly shut. I remained sitting before him like a timid and overawed acolyte, sweating from excitement and the heat. It was then that I noticed that he was not asleep at all. His eyes were half-open and staring quizzically towards me, wondering perhaps who I was. I felt for a few moments that I had turned into his younger self, while he had become a caiman watching me from the banks of a tropical river, somnolent and near invisible, but with eyes that peered above the murky waters, taking in everything. 

I had seen him for the first time only the night before. It was January 2010, and a literary festival had just begun in the Colombian coastal town of Cartagena de Indias. People I met on the international festival circuit had been brought together with a large cross-section of Colombia’s incestuous social elite. Any pretence at intellectual exchange had vanished by night-time, when the brightly coloured colonial town revealed its hedonistic core in a near-continuous round of parties. The more hardened revellers usually ended up at the Bazurto Social Club, a celebrated nocturnal haunt in a district full of expats, prostitutes, budget tourists and lovers of the shabbily atmospheric.

I had gone there shortly before midnight. Drinkers were spilling out onto the street, sheltering from the fast, African rhythms of champeta that pounded from the high-ceilinged interior. I went inside. I wound my way past the erotically embraced dancers, squeezed through the jostling, beer-drinking students and reached the bar counter. A group of young publishers and journalists was gathered there in tight proximity, laughing and drinking rum. One of them, an English friend, told me to have a look at the back of the bar. "You won’t believe who’s there," he said with a drunken grin.

Among the faces of those seated at a long table at the back I recognized a Granadan poet, his best-selling novelist wife and a Madrid-based cultural commentator who had just brought out a book of literary memoirs entitled Scrambled Egos. And then I saw him, sitting next to the poet, but talking to no one, completely still, staring into the smoky space. The legendary Colombian writer.

His moustache was unmistakable, as were his receding thick curly hair, large glasses and dark, deep-set eyes. But my first thought on seeing this face almost as iconic for me as that of Che Guevara was that he was not the person everyone thought he was but rather a lookalike, an impersonator, someone who had been hired to lend a touch of parody to this literary occasion. He could have been one of those living statues who pose motionless for hours to attract the attention of shoppers and tourists. He moved barely at all, and then only when the inevitable admirers began shyly approaching him to ask for his signature, to express their devotion. Then his arm would jerk briefly into action, and a curt smile would appear on his face, as if a coin had been placed in a bowl in front of him.

His presence late at night in a popular bar was not, on reflection, particularly surprising. He was a man of the people, a lover of low life, a person with the grassroots appeal of a football star. What was remarkable was that he had finally come back to Cartagena. It was almost as if the Messiah had reappeared. Though he had a house in the colonial centre, he now barely moved from his adopted home in Mexico City. He notoriously avoided literary festivals, and had not been in Cartagena since 2006, when his arrival had created severe congestion of the old town’s streets. He was now in his early eighties and had been seriously ill with cancer. I had heard various rumours about his imminent death.

However, the person sitting in the Bazurto Social Club showed little sign of physical ill health, only of loneliness and a lack of connection with those whom he was with. Extreme fame had perhaps isolated him in his own world, turning him in old age into what his fiction predicted, the patriarch in autumn, the colonel to whom no one speaks, the general in his labyrinth, the embodiment of one hundred years of solitude. And then, as I continued looking at him, in furtive snatches across the crowded bar, I noticed something else. He had a look which I had observed so often in my elderly parents—a slightly angry and puzzled look, as if he wanted everyone around him to go away, as if he had become frighteningly aware that he had no idea who these people were and what he was doing in their company. My father had died of Alzheimer’s in 1998, with no memory of his two children or of what he had done in his life. My mother, now weeks away from her ninetieth birthday, was in an advanced stage of dementia.

As I stood wondering whether the writer was going the same way as my parents, I considered going up to greet him, as so many others in the bar were now doing. The encounter, I suspected, would be as fleeting and meaningless as the touching of a holy relic, but at the very least I would be able to say afterwards that I had shaken hands with one of the giants of modern literature. An acquaintance from the festival handed me a bottle of beer, so I abandoned my plan. I rejoined the heavy drinkers at the bar counter. I doubted whether I would have a further opportunity to meet the writer. 

But our paths would cross again the following night, at a party given by a Venezuelan millionaire at a boutique hotel in the tourist heart of the walled city. The guests were largely gathered on a roof terrace, dressed in smart cottons, sipping cocktails, taking in a vista of floodlit domes. The scene had the glamorous unreality of a rum advert, with the statutory quota of the bronzed and the beautiful. After a couple of hours or so, mainly listening to in-jokes and obscure literary gossip, I found myself alone with my thoughts, cut off from the general conversation, until a Moroccan novelist, who had briefly disappeared from our group, came back to join us, trembling with emotion. She had gone in search of a bathroom and had stumbled onto a small patio, where she had spotted the writer she referred to simply as ‘him’. He had just finished eating, and was surrounded by family and friends. A vallenato band was about to start. She was called over to his table. She had spoken to the man himself. "He couldn’t have been more approachable."

Soon we were all downstairs, huddled awkwardly at a corner of the patio, talking among ourselves, listening to the vallenatos, pretending not to look at him, but waiting if only unconsciously for some sign or excuse to draw us into his circle. I identified his wife, one of his brothers and a rotund, angelic-faced friend of mine in charge of a foundation for journalists that the writer had created. During a pause in the music this friend, a much-loved local personality, with a hearty laugh, a forceful manner and an ability always to have his way without ever losing his charm, caught my eye, beckoned me over, rejected my shy protests and led me in front of the writer. "Michael," he told him, "is an Englishman obsessed by the river Magdalena."

This was one of my friend’s typical fanciful exaggerations, based on my having once confided to him a vague scheme to head off one day towards the source of Colombia’s longest river. My knowledge of the Magdalena was derived purely from books. I had devoured since childhood tales of South America’s early explorers, to whom the Magdalena was the main point of entry into the continent’s mysterious interior. But my developing interest in the river stemmed essentially from a passion for Colombia itself. I didn’t visit the country until 2007, but I had had an immediate and uncanny sense of having known the place for most of my life, largely because it reminded me of the Spain with which I had fallen in love in my early teens.

I had steeped myself since then in Colombia’s history and culture, the story of which was inseparable from that of the Magdalena. Not only did the river run right through the heart of the country, it had also served right up to the 1950s as the great artery of Colombia, the main thoroughfare for trade and travellers, the link between the diametrically opposed worlds of the coast and the Andes. And the more I read about the river, the more I thought of it as emblematic of the spirit of Colombia, and—by extension—all that I found fascinating, seductive, strange and disturbing about South America as a whole.

The Magdalena was a river of contradictions. It had inspired pioneering botanical studies, helped foster magical realism and given birth to some of the most exuberant music in the Latin world. It had also been the scourge of early travellers, the focus of Colombia’s period of civil unrest known as La violencia, and the scene of so much deforestation and pollution that the river was now a notorious testimony to the destruction of the planet.

Whenever the subject of the Magdalena came up in conversation in Colombia, the response, tellingly, tended to veer between intense regret, nostalgia and longing. People dreamt of a period in the Magdalena’s history when the river’s beauty was untainted by violence and neglect. The elderly dwelt endlessly on the Magdalena of their youths.

The old writer sitting on the patio of the boutique hotel reacted to the mention of the river with a depth of feeling I had not expected. He burst into a smile, his eyes glowed and he held tightly to my wrist without seeming to want to let go. He looked up at his brother, like a child asking for a favour, and suggested that I be invited to their house, where he would love to talk to me at length about the Magdalena, the river of his life, the river that gave him the one reason for wanting to be young again. So that he could sail along it one more time.

The others who had come with me onto the patio, surprised at the attention the writer was giving me, were now advancing towards us, impatient to meet him themselves. One of them told him that his books had made her take up a life of literature; another introduced himself as the person responsible for the first Catalan translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude. The writer nodded solemnly without replying, continuing all the time to hold on to my wrist, waiting for the moment when he could go back to our conversation.

"I remember everything about the river, absolutely everything," he eventually said, behaving as if there were no one else left on the patio, "…the caimans, the manatees…"

The band returned, breaking into his reverie with the sounds of singing, accordions, maracas and drums. His grip on my hand tightened further as he insisted I stay with him to listen to the musicians, who, reading his thoughts, played a famous song about a man who changes into a caiman and sets off for the carnival at Barranquilla, at the mouth of the Magdalena. "…Se va el caimán, se va el caimán, se va para Barranquilla," they sang with an accelerating rhythm that soon had the writer rise to his feet and defy his old age with a lightening outburst of dance and joy.

Then he manoeuvred himself slowly back into his seat, exchanged handshakes and a few warm words with the musicians, and eventually became remote to everyone. The people I was with decided to go on to a bar in another part of town, but I stayed for the time being where I was, detained by the writer’s wish that I should do so and by a hope that I would learn something else about him, if only by observing his eyes. I stayed for two more hours, until the music finally stopped and the writer and his family got up to leave. In a now weary tone, he said goodbye to me, and repeated the invitation to go and talk to him in his Cartagena home. The brother wrote out a number for me to ring. 

I walked dazed and elated across the broad, open space ­separating the walled city from the shabbier district of Getsemaní. I caught up with my friends at around two in the morning, in a crammed, poky and deafeningly noisy bar called the Quiebracanto. I was desperate to tell someone about my encounter, about how kind and human the man was, how he appeared capable of seeing through people’s pretentions and absurdities, and how he had the fundamental humility and simplicity I liked to believe was indicative of true greatness.

In the end I managed to attract the attention of a young group of Bogotá literati who had taken refuge from all the din and smoke on an outdoor wooden balcony. They were not particularly impressed by what I told them. "You obviously got him on one of his more lucid days," said a woman journalist known for her candid accounts of her complex love life. "He’ll probably have forgotten everything he said by tomorrow. He won’t have any idea who you are." The subject of his memory loss, according to her, was one that no one talked about in Colombia, for it was simply inconceivable that the great national icon should be suffering such a humiliating fate. "Forget I told you," she added, giving me one of her teasing smiles. 

But I did not forget. Though I never saw him again (several calls to the number his brother gave me were not answered), I kept thinking back to that night in Cartagena and to what I had discovered. On my return to Europe, and to a mother losing all sense of reality, just as my father had done fifteen years earlier, I decided to reread One Hundred Years of Solitude. The novel acquired a deeper resonance in the light of what I had now learnt. Parts of the book I had once interpreted as reflections on a nation’s ability to forget the past now seemed further examples of the author’s extraordinary powers of premonition: the illness that makes the inhabitants of the imaginary village of Macondo lose their memories; the civil war that is fought for so long that neither side can remember what they are fighting for.

And I found new significance in the book’s celebrated opening line, about a colonel, on the point of being executed, remembering the distant time when his father took him to discover ice. I could now imagine the colonel as the writer himself, nearing the end of his life, having forgotten almost everything about it, but still capable of dredging, from some obscure recess, memories full of magic, strangeness and wonder. I remembered him remembering the Magdalena.

"I remember everything about the river, absolutely everything …" And, as I thought about these words, I remembered his eyes as they were later that night, when they had turned into those of a caiman, opening every so often to look at me in a way that made me imagine that nothing escaped their attention, that they could see right through me and read my thoughts, and that they were offering their blessing to a journey I had already begun that night in my mind, up a river that was also a metaphor of memory, into a luxuriant world of marvels and dangers, to areas of the past both brilliant and dark, on to the Magdalena’s high and distant source, in Andean moorland, by the shores of oblivion.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: 1927-2014
A moving remembrance of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who has passed away.
20 hours ago - Via Google+ - View - Eric Linden : A dip with the #manatees
A dip with the #manatees
Watch the video: Snorkeling with the Manatees at 3 Sister's Spring in Crystal River, Florida
This video contains the highlights of a snorkeling trip I made to Three Sister's Spring in Crystal River, Florida to swim with the wild manatees.
1 day ago - Via Reshared Post - View - Gene Platt : Lake Clarke Shores Town History:
Lake Clarke Shores Town History:

Profitable ventures always appealed to John Clarke.  As the son of Palm Beach pioneer Charles Clarke, he had the means to invest in them.

When the pineapple business looked promising throughout south Florida in the early 1900’s, Clarke bought five acres just south of the present Hillcrest Cemetery on Parker Avenue.  There he planted a grove and built a packing house to prepare the fruit for shipment to northern cities.

By 1909, business was thriving from Cape Canaveral to the Keys, but a blight destroyed most of the crops the following year.  Though the growers tried to recover, Henry Flagler’s railroad finally shut down the industry.  When the line extended to Key West in 1912, Cuban pineapples could be loaded and shipped to northern markets more economically.  By 1915, Clarke, like most others, had abandoned his fields.

Growing pineapples was hardly Clarke’s main motive when he bought the property.  He and his brother had designed and were building the first shaft-driven car at their plant in Ardmore, Pennsylvania.  Business never permitted John to spend an entire season with his family in Palm Beach.  When he was here, the land provided him a place to do what he loved best.  An avid fisherman, he could escape the pressures of business catching all the bass and bream he wanted in a lake on the western edge of his land. With his wonderful sense of humor, Clarke jokingly named the lake after himself because there was no one around at the time that particularly cared what it was called, Lake Clarke simply became accepted.

In 1917, the boundaries of Lake Clarke were changed because of the efforts of Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward.  He honestly believed that the Everglades could be drained by cutting a few canals from Lake Okeechobee to the ocean.  Any land exposed due to drainage would become state property and could be sold to increase state revenue.  He convinced the legislature to pass a comprehensive drainage law.

The West Palm Beach Canal opened as a result of Broward’s law.  For produce and sugar growers in the Glades, it did provide the only direct route between the coastal and western sections of Palm Beach County, but it also forever altered Lake Clarke.
When the locks were opened at the spillway between Lake Worth and West Palm Beach, water levels in the lake were lowered by approximately eight feet leaving only the deepest areas intact.  Most of what remained was only one to two feet deep, and within a few short years, weeds and rushes clogged most of that. No longer the clear clean lake John Clarke had known, most of the area transformed into a marshy sanctuary for life attuned to that environment:  alligators, ducks, dove, quail, herons, owls, raccoons, frogs, snakes, and insects. It remained that way for almost thirty years.

Zeb Vance Hooker farmed in the Everglades until he joined the Army to serve in World War I.  Upon his return, he wanted to capitalize on the land boom which had been created by the additional drainage projects and assurances of flood control.  In 1921, he established Z. V. Hooker Company which specialized in Everglades land.
Unfortunately for Hooker and many others, the hurricanes of 1926 and 1928 devastated most of the Glades, ending the period of widespread land speculation.  As if to compound Mother Nature’s insults, the Great Depression began in 1929, thus finishing Hooker’s real estate career.

With his wife and three young sons, he moved east.  They became the first known residents of what would become Lake Clarke Shores.  Sometime in the early 1930’s, they squatted on government owned land near the southeast end of the lake.  Hooker raised a few chickens and goats and lived in a wooden shack until development began in the late 1940’s.

Those who knew Hooker remembered him as a friendly “Florida Cracker”.  A few of the Town’s earliest buyers were vaguely aware of him, but because they never knew him, they simply called him “The Hermit.”

In 1936, the Patrick family bought a large tract of land on which they planted mango groves and raised about 200 head of cattle until F.C. McKenzie and Roy Dilling bought most of their property.
McKenzie and Dilling subdivided the property into 2-1/2 acre plots which they hoped to sell to investors.  It seemed simple enough.  All they had to do was hire a manager to tend the groves, ship the fruit up north, and the investor would receive his proportional share of the profits.

The trees never bore enough fruit for a commercial venture ever to succeed, and due to inadequate shipping methods, most of it spoiled by the time it reached its destination.  Compounding their misfortune was apparently an employee who increased his own salary by embezzling funds.

Investors were not attracted to the obviously doomed venture.  By 1946, their only hope for financial salvation was to abandon the groves and sell off the land.

However, who would want to buy property so far from town?  Who could even find it?  It was a fine place to gig frogs or to hunt quail, ducks, and dove, but surely for little else.

For Patsy Renolds, it was perfect.  The land she found at the end of Antigua Road gave her all the privacy and space to do whatever she wanted.  What she wanted was to raise dogs and cats.
In 1946 she built her home which, according to records, is the oldest house which still stands.  However, by the time the Town developed around her, she had so many animals that the Health Department issued her several citations and she eventually moved.
For various reasons, a few other adventurous people bought from McKenzie and Dilling, but certainly with no immediate intentions of building homes.  In 1949, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Oen and two of their friends bought adjacent lots where they enjoyed many Sunday afternoons fishing and cooking out at the “lake place”.
Later that year, Mr. and Mrs. Langford bought property so they would have a place to have family picnics.  “You had to pick your days to get out here” explained Mrs. Langford, “because when it was wet, you got stuck in the mud and when it was dry you got stuck in the sand”.  It was so uninhabited and rustic that she recalled sighting peacocks in the woods.

In the late 1940’s, local attorney, Walter Travers, learned about Lake Clarke through Zeb Hooker.  He and his wife went out to take a look.  Mrs. Travers recalled first seeing “just a bunch of weeds.”
The south shore of the “main lake” ended just below Gregory Road.  Unlike the lowlands surrounding most of the lake, a green pasture hugged its southern shore.  Travers even kept a few cattle in the pasture, but raising livestock was never his intention.  Instead, he envisioned a waterfront community.

Jim Carlton, who would later become the first Town Engineer, tried to discourage Travers.  Mrs. Carlton recalled that one of Jim’s favorite stories resulted from the day Travers took him to the top of the Southern Boulevard overpass.  As they looked south over the marshland, Carlton warned that the land was simply too low for development to be economically feasible.

Undaunted, Travers pursued the idea against Carlton’s better judgment.  He bought property from shoreline owners and then approached the state about procuring land which had been exposed during the drainage project some thirty years before.
At first he was told it was not for sale.  Apparently, there had been a similar situation in Broward County just prior to Travers’ request.  Without benefit of a public sale, the land there was sold to a friend of one of the Cabinet members and a great deal of embarrassing publicity resulted.

Travers persisted and traveled to Tallahassee to meet with the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund which holds title to state-owned lands.  When he asked what price would put the property on the market, he was finally told $300 per acre.
Travers offered $300 per acre but only for land which was four to five feet above the water.  He was willing to pay $200 per acre for the land at water level but only $100 for land underwater.  When the State advertised the sale, Travers was the only bidder.  With $10,000 he borrowed from a friend, he purchased his first 250 acres on the northwest side of the lake.

Part of Travers’ investment in his new development was the result of a strange accident.  He was walking on Datura Street in West Palm Beach one day when suddenly he heard a crash.  A window had broken on the thirteenth floor of the Harvey Building.  A piece of falling glass cut off part of his right ear.  He reacted as any good attorney would:  he sued, and promptly invested his $5,000 settlement into his development.

Once he had acquired the property, Travers hired Jim Carlton as the Engineer and Surveyor to lay out the land to get the maximum number of waterfront home sites.  His goal was to develop the most desirable place to live in the area.

By 1949, Travers brought in dredging equipment to transform the lowlands into a marketable commodity.  Around the rim of the lake, he set up a dragline which dug down, scooped up sand from the bottom, and piled it up to be used for fill.

Bill and Betty Diemer were among Travers’ first customers.  They learned about the lake from Mr. Diemer’s older brother who hunted there.  Out of curiosity, they decided to try to find it.
“After reaching several dead ends,” said Diemer, “we finally found our way in here”.  What they found was a small section of a shellrock road which would later become West Lake Drive.

That afternoon, they ran into Walter Travers.  He explained his plans for the area and they bought.  The trouble was that land had not been subdivided.  Like several others who bought before the land was surveyed, they wound up with a slightly different piece of property than what they thought they had bought, said Diemer,”it really didn’t make any difference”.

The first few years were slow ones for the developer.  By the end of 1952, only three homes had been built.  Mr. and Mrs. Travers lived in the one on the north side of the boat ramp.  The other two stood immediately south of the ramp.

Access was still limited, though Selby Road had been extended in the early 1950’s from Congress Avenue to the Palm Beach Canal.  Travers knew that the only way to attract buyers would be to connect Selby Road with Forest Hill Boulevard.

County plans included a bridge across the canal but there was no particular need for one at the time.  Travers knew he could not wait so he decided to construct a one-lane wooden bridge.
Before he could do so, Lake Lytal, then a Palm Beach County Commissioner, wisely intervened.  Knowing that Travers was willing to contribute the $10.000 he had already allocated, Commissioner Lytal helped convince the County to proceed with its planned construction.  As a result, County taxpayers saved money, Travers got his bridge, and Selby Road became Forest Hill Boulevard.
After the bridge opened in 1953, development and building increased rapidly.  The Oens, the Langfords, the Lytals, and several others built in 1954.  By April 1956, there were 150 registered voters living in “Lake Clarke Isles”.

After the original development on the northwest side of the lake was complete, Travers turned his attention to the northeast side.  Mr. and Mrs. Herb Neiswander recalled walking on wooden planks over the canal at Pine Tree Lane so they could choose a lot on Venetian Way.  Of course, they could not build a home until Travers completed a bridge there.

As he realized profits on one section of land, Travers invested in another.  He continued his dredging operation and extended the “main lake” south to where it is today.  He dug canals and piled up the dirt to create buildable lots.  He built roads and bridges, and even a water company at the corner of Pine Tree Lane and Forest Hill Boulevard.  With the environmental regulations in existence today, such major alterations of wetlands would never be permitted. 
Travers’ interest in waterfront lots left “dry” parcels in the western section of Town to be developed later by several others, including L. Phillips Clarke, John Clarke’s nephew, who platted Clarke Road north of Gregory.  Travers was undoubtedly responsible for the majority of development.  Eventually he developed all the land north of Forest Hill Boulevard and on the east side of the lake.  On its west side, he developed most of the land along West Lake Drive.  By 1960, he sold his remaining lots to builders and left the area but not before realizing his dream of a waterfront community.

For years, there was talk that Walter Travers was instrumental in forming a Town because of the way he developed the property.  True, he ran into problems when he presented plans to the County for approval.  His bridges and roads were too narrow, there were no sidewalks, and his canals did not meet County specifications.
Travers denied spearheading the movement for incorporation.  Clearly stating he was not in favor of it, he said, “From a developer’s standpoint, I would rather have dealt with the County which was all the way downtown than to have the homeowners looking over my shoulder!”.

Whatever Travers’ position, two things were certain.  It was rumored that West Palm Beach planned to annex the community into the city limits which would mean higher taxes.  Homeowners on the east side of the lake were disgruntled about the condition of their roads.  Venetian Way and Pine Tree Lane had been finished to the causeway, but Travers had not bothered to lay shellrock on them.  The area was so sandy that everyone called it the “sand pits”.
About sixty people united to form the Lake Clarke Property Owners’ Association in the fall of 1955.  They first met at Mr. and Mrs. Neiswander’s home on Venetian Way.  Residents discussed their problems and appointed a ten man steering committee to suggest possible solutions.

Meetings continued regularly at the Meadow Park School.  Although some residents were unconcerned about the fate of the area, most felt that the only way to get things done, and in their own way, was to be self-governing.

If a town was to be formed, residents had to vote on a name.  In a heated debate, owners of “dry” property opposed “Lake Clarke Isles” or “Lake Clarke Shores”.  Also, some feared that Lake Clarke would be confused with Lake Park.  Finally, a vote was taken, but there was not a majority.  In the second vote, the “Town of Lake Clarke Shores” was approved.

With the name settled, residents met at Meadow Park School on April 10, 1956, to decide if the community would be incorporated as a municipality.  Because the State Legislature did not meet in 1956, a town could be incorporated only under the General Laws of the State of Florida.  This simply meant that two-thirds of the 150 registered voters had to approve the measure by signing a petition, and could later apply for a State Charter when the Legislature met the following year.

The following article appeared in the Palm Beach Post/Times on Sunday, April 15, 1956: “Westward expansion isn’t just a blueprint for the future of West Palm Beach.  It’s something that had been quietly but steadily going on southwest of the city for some time.  Fine new homes, new stores, new service establishments spring up in the outlying areas as Palm Beach County’s population continues to grow.

Occasionally a group of these suburbanites band together to form a town on their own.  A group of 117 freeholders turned out at an election for that purpose last Tuesday. Welcome to the family Town of Lake Clarke Shores!  Good neighbors are always welcome”.

When the Homeowners’ Association became a Town, the real work began.  At first there was no election.  People simply volunteered to fill the necessary positions.  William H. McLaughlin became the Town’s first Mayor.  Horace J. Cunningham, William M. Diemer, Robert G. Hillbert, Charles G. Platt, and Frank M. Seay became the Town’s Aldermen.  Betty Diemer volunteered to be the Town Clerk; William H. Blythe held the job as Marshal; and John Farrell served as Town Attorney.

The first Council had the task of laying the foundation of the Town.  Ordinances had to be formulated, services had to be provided, building codes had to be established, and decisions had to be made regarding collecting funds to manage the Town.

Council passed the first ordinance on May 14, 1956.  For the safety of residents, it declared speed limits within the Town to be 25 mph.
Fred Hardekopf was appointed Chairman of the Finance Committee.  Though building permits and occupational licenses supported a portion of the Town’s financial needs, the Committee advised that assessments might become necessary to fund the balance.
Since it was illegal to assess for only a portion of a year, Council decided to request voluntary payments of $15 for each residence and $1 for each vacant lot.  By October, 80% of the residents had paid voluntarily and Mr. Hardekopf reported going door-to-door to collect the remaining 20%.  After talking with the townspeople, Hardekopf further informed the Council that the majority were clearly in favor of voluntary assessments instead of taxes.
Other financial needs were met through the extraordinary efforts of the citizens.  They organized a Canasta Club, a Pinochle Club, a Bridge Club, two Garden Clubs, and a Women’s Club.  When the Town had a need, members of the clubs held dinners, bazaars, plant sales, rummage sales, and Tupperware parties.  These contributions were a significant part of the Town revenue.

Everyone’s favorite fundraiser was the Town’s barbecues.  Most were held on a vacant lot at the southwest corner of Forest Hill and West Lake Drive.  They were so popular that a standing joke emerged:  the Town would disband as soon as an ordinance forbidding the barbecues was passed!

Between April 1956 and April 1957, the first Council passed seventeen ordinances.  They provided for public safety, defined building codes, and even established the Town as a bird sanctuary.
Among other things, they obtained permission to use Meadow Park School as a recreational area for the summer and hired Richard Melear as director to provide activities for the Town’s children.  They oversaw the collection of assessments for street paving and saw to it that street signs were erected.

During the first few years, according to Diemer, Councilmen were a “shirtsleeve group” who were able to conduct business on a handshake.  Town meetings were enjoyable affairs since most of the townspeople turned out.

Helping the Council were many volunteers who studied and advised on various issues.  There was a Finance Committee, Beautification Committee, and a Zoning Committee which had studied sites for a town hall. There was even a Hyacinth Committee which studied various means of controlling weeds in the lake.
Nor had other residents been idle.  In addition to the clubs, a welcoming committee was organized to greet new residents.  A blood bank was established, and the first Christmas Decorating Contest was a big success.

In October 1956, Mrs. T. G. Cronk began a monthly newspaper which continued until 1971.  Due to the dedication of the ladies who worked on the paper, most of the Town’s early years are chronicled.
Thanks to Bill and Betty Diemer, mail was delivered to street addresses rather than to rural delivery boxes by the summer of 1957.  With a map of the Town spread on their dining room table, they spent hours numbering the lots and houses on each street.
There was an unmistakable spirit of civic pride and responsibility present in the citizenry.  At one time or another, nearly everyone pitched in to do whatever needed to be done.  During the early years, Bill Diemer recalled, “There was at times a surplus of volunteers, and the Council had the regrettable task of choosing among them”.
With the granting of the State Charter on July 1, 1957, the Town’s authority was expanded to include a Municipal Judge.  Though the term Alderman was changed to Councilman, the spirit of the Town remained unaltered.  It was about to experience growth, and with that, came change.

With the opening of Forest Hill High School in 1958, growth exploded.  No longer did Mrs. Lake Lytal’s friends tease her about living in the “boondocks”.  On the contrary, the Town had become a prestigious place in which to live.

By 1960, the population stood at 1,297.  Growth was not without its problems.  Newcomers had their own ideas about how the Town should be run, and the budget was hard pressed to keep up with demands despite valiant efforts by the various clubs and organizations.

One of the earliest problems facing the Town was the issue of zoning.  Originally, the entire Town was zoned residential.  State Representative Ralph Blank was the first to oppose the zoning laws in 1956.  He thought that a gas station would be quite suitable on his property at the corner of Selby Road and Florida Mango.
There were bitter confrontations and the matter was finally put to the voters on April 12, 1961.  By a vote of 255 to 180, the ordinance to rezone part of Forest Hill Boulevard failed.  By March of 1963, the County announced plans to widen the road and residential zoning on a four-lane road seemed less and less prudent.

In addition, some owners along Forest Hill Boulevard were resisting the zoning laws by bringing lawsuits against the Town.  The study the problem, the Town hired Professor Ernest Brantly, Urban Planning Consultant, from the University of Florida.
His extensive research concludes with the suggestion that voluntary rezoning would put an end to the costly litigation.  Limited commercial zoning would provide the convenience of nearby goods and services to residents with the Town.

Finally, on April 13, 1964, an ordinance was passed which provided for limited commercial building and some multi-family units along Forest Hill Boulevard.  In June 1967, the first commercial establishment opened at the corner of Florida Mango and Forest Hill Boulevard.  After eleven years of protesting, Ralph Blank finally saw a gas station on his corner.

That ordinance stopped the lawsuits until 1973 when Howard Greenfield took the Town to court to rezone his forty acres on Florida Mango Road.  The court ruled in Greenfield’s favor, though he never developed the property.  Instead, in 1986, he sold it to Burg and DiVosta, a developer who built townhouses on the property.
Another mounting problem in the early 1960’s was the matter of financing.  By fiscal year 1959-1960, the budget of $25,951.28 had to be collected from building permits, occupational licenses, fines, and community fundraisers.

The enormous expenses incurred by defending zoning lawsuits pushed the Town into deficit spending by 1962.  By fiscal year 1962-63, $5,170 was needed to make up the shortage.  By fiscal year 1963-64, the figure had grown to $12,000.

By the end of 1963, it was apparent that the Town could no longer maintain the services to its 498 homes without additional sources of revenue.  By special referendum on October 3, 1964, voters supported the implementation of ad valorem taxes, which the Town has levied ever since.

For several years, all Town business was conducted from the Town Clerk’s home.  “Town Hall” was open whenever she was home.
The Tax Collector, the Building Inspector, and the Town Clerk stored records in their homes until traffic in and out, and lack of space, made it difficult to conduct business efficiently.  In June 1966, the Town rented half of the building owned by the Water Company on Pine Tree Lane.  Though the quarters were small, at least Town matters were finally consolidated and could be carried on during regular business hours.

The Town Council met at the Meadow Park School until moving to the Emmanuel Baptist Church in 1965.  Unfortunately, meetings sometimes conflicted with church activities.  Meetings subsequently moved back and forth between the church and the school.

Since the Town’s inception, each Council had recognized the need for a Town Hall, and had discussed various sites and plans.  By the early 1970’s, the need could no longer be ignored.  A Town Hall was finally built on Barbados Road.  It opened in August 1974.
Recreational facilities for residents had long been proposed by several Councils.  With space available on the Town Hall property, two tennis courts and a basketball court were added in the spring of 1975.  The Town finally paved the boat ramp in 1978.
Also in 1978, the Town purchased the old Town Hall/Water Company site on Pine Tree Lane.  The building there was razed despite requests by both Garden Clubs to use it as their headquarters.  Today, the Town has developed the area as Pine Tree Park and built a heart trail.

Other public land lies at the head of the lake, which Walter Travers deeded to the Town in exchange for issuing a permit for his water company.  For years it remained an unnamed area though “Travers Park” was suggested.

Tragedy finally brought a name for the land.  Paul H. Cline became the Town’s first casualty in Vietnam on February 6, 1968.  Council considered naming the area in his honor, but settled on “Memorial Park” in case other residents from Town were to suffer the same fate.

Sadly, another young man is honored there.  Scott Alan Powell was only thirteen when he was struck and killed by a car as he bicycled along Pine Tree Lane while delivering newspapers.  Donations from residents provided a plaque in Memorial Park for Scott.
William Blythe, jeweler, volunteered to be the Town’s first Marshal.  The following year, Everett Hatfield took over and remained a vital part of the force until 1964.

It was the Marshal’s responsibility to persuade some of the men in Town to help out.  All the men held other jobs so police duties were performed as time permitted.  The volunteers were sworn in as officers of the law by the Sheriff’s Department so that they could legally make arrests.

The Marshal saw to it that street signs and stop signs were erected as necessary, and advised Council on ways to improve safety of the Town.  Hatfield was also the driving force behind establishing voluntary crossing guards on Forest Hill Boulevard so that children could safely walk to school.

The Marshal’s Department was in charge of handling violations of city ordinances, and the main violation was speeding.  It was the Marshal who trained his men to perform their duties.

Deputy John Riggs recalled that his training consisted of spending a couple of evenings with Hatfield catching speeders on Forest Hill Boulevard and then he was on his own.  Riggs said of Hatfield, “Without a doubt, he had a natural ability to hold a smile even while giving the crankiest person a ticket.  I never saw Hatfield get upset or frown about anything.”

Bill Diemer, however, remembered one incident in which Hatfield later told him he had never been so scared in all his life.  One evening there was a shooting on Venetian Way.  In a domestic dispute, a man shot and killed his brother-in-law.  As a volunteer, Hatfield was the first to admit he knew nothing about real police work, so his first reaction was to call the Sheriff’s Department for assistance.  By the time they arrived, Hatfield had made the arrest and the suspect was sitting in the car.

As first, the Marshal and his deputies carried their own weapons and wore second hand uniforms donated by the West Palm Beach Police Department.  They didn’t mind driving their own cars and paying for their own gas.  When insurance companies refused to cover their cars while on duty for the Town, Hatfield finally convinced the Council to carry insurance for them.

There was enough police activity by 1960 to warrant the purchase of radio equipment.  In 1962, the Town bought its first police car.  Both items were made possible through the hard work and generosity of the townspeople.  The ladies in the clubs raised all the money for the radio and donated handsomely toward the car.  A special barbecue was held to  make up the difference and the deputies went door to door for contributions. 

With 498 homes to protect by the end of 1963, the volunteers had their hands full.  John Alge, a 28 year veteran of the West Palm Beach Police Department was hired not only as the Town’s first paid officer, but also as its first officer with any training in real police work.

At the June 8,1964 Town Council meeting, Councilman Flanagan who served as Police Commissioner, reported that the name had been changed from Marshal to Police Chief and that the Chief was John Alge and Everett Hatfield was the Captain.  Other volunteers continued as deputies.

When Alge resigned in 1967, Ralph Hendrickson became Chief.  At that time, all police business was conducted from his home.  A special red phone and radio unit was installed and Mrs. Hendrickson, by virtue of the fact that she was married to the Chief, became police dispatcher.

Hendrickson said, “It was a 24 hour a day job.  Though an additional paid patrolman had been added to the force, the rest were volunteers”.  When one of the men had a conflict, the Chief had to take over, whether it was to investigate a robbery, arrest a speeder, or even remove a fish hook from a duck.  Hendrickson, at the time, had his own business to run.

Though Alge returned in November 1969, he died the following March.  In his honor, “The John Lester Alge Causeway” on Pine Tree Lane commemorates his hard work and accomplishments.  Hendrickson took over again, but only temporarily.  Times were changing and the State had passed a “Minimum Standards Act” requiring all police departments to meet certain selection and training requirements.

By November 1970, the volunteer police department was phased out and a fulltime paid staff took its place.  Though it meant additional costs for the Town, policemen were available to patrol the Town 24 hours a day for the first time.

With 2,328 residents in 1970, speeding tickets were no longer the primary violation of Town Ordinances.  Police had to handle thefts, larceny, drug dealings, disorderly conduct, assault, vandalism, and even suicides.

Winning respect from other departments was not easy in the beginning.  Former Police Commissioner Richard Krauss recalled an incident which occurred shortly after the Police Department was formed.  On a stakeout in the north end of the Town, the Sheriff’s Department posted a deputy in a resident’s yard.  When the resident summoned the Town Police to report a suspicious person, they arrested the Deputy because they had no idea who he was or what he was doing there.  After that, said Krauss, the Sheriff’s Department cooperated with the Town’s Police Department.
In 1974, the State tried to abolish all police forces with fewer than ten men.  Through the combined efforts of communities throughout the State, the movement failed and small departments survived.
The Police Department finally got its own headquarters.  The building, on the Town Hall property, opened in May 1987 under the auspices of Acting Chief Deborah Moody.  As in earlier years, residents again rallied to help when there was a need.  Spaghetti dinners and pancake breakfasts helped to fund the building.
Under the State Charter, the “Town Court of the Town of Lake Clarke Shores” was established to handle all violations of Town ordinances.  In most cases, fines were levied against guilty offenders though the Judge occasionally imposed a jail sentence.
Court sessions were held prior to the Town Council meetings at the Meadow Park School, with the Town Clerk serving as Clerk of the Court.  In 1965, Judge James Simpson requested a change of headquarters because of the seating arrangement in the school.  The seats were made for third graders, lending little dignity to a court of law.  The court moved to the Emmanuel Baptist Church but there were those who objected to handling court matters in a house of worship.  Eventually sessions were moved into the tiny quarters of the Town Hall on Pine Tree Lane.

In 1973, a constitutional amendment abolished all Florida municipal courts.  The County’s court system handled all matters for the next several years.
Yes, there was one!

Aquatic weeds, specifically hyacinths and elodea, have plagued Councilmen for 50 years.  They impede the flow of water, squeeze out native plants, and deplete the oxygen.
Because poisonous chemicals only add to the increasing water pollution, alternatives have been sought.  In the 1960’s, experiments were conducted by universities to determine whether manatees could replace these chemicals. 

The Council had considered purchasing two manatees for the lake, but the cost was prohibitive and experiments were not conclusive.  In 1969, John Riggs surprised the Town by persuading John D. McArthur to donate a manatee.  Unfortunately, it ate only hyacinth leaves, leaving the roots intact.  Even more sadly, it could not adapt to fresh water.

Of all the clubs organized in the early years, the Garden Clubs not only survived the longest, but remained a vital part of the Town.  The Lake Clarke Shores and the Sandpiper Club promoted interest in civic pride and beautification; both donated generously to the Town.
For nearly 50 years, much of the landscaping in the public areas of Town was donated by the clubs, and some plants were even planted and maintained by the members.  At the dedication of the Town Hall on February 20, 1977, the Lake Clarke Shores Garden Club donated the wall-sized map of the Town and the Sandpiper Garden Club contributed nine bird prints.  In 1995, the Sandpiper Garden Club planted and donated a Butterfly Garden to the Town dedicated to deceased members of both Garden Clubs.  Located on Town Hall property behind the original Police Department building, it is currently maintained by members of the Lake Clarke Shores Garden Club.

Although the Sandpiper Garden Club disbanded in 1998-99, the Lake Clarke Shores Garden Club continues to meet from September through May.  During these monthly meetings, the ladies have programs or workshops designed to promote interest in gardens to encourage the protection of wildlife, flowers, native trees and shrubs, to study flower arranging; and to learn more about the local parks, gardens, and wildlife amenities.

During its history, the Town of Lake Clarke Shores has had its share of squabbles.  At one time or another, politics has pitted friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor, the north side of Town against the south, the east side against the west, sewers against septic tanks – and just about any other conceivable combination!  The issue of sewers vs. septic tanks was resolved by a vote of the Town residents on June 30, 2005 with a vote of 655 in favor of septic tanks vs. 141 in favor of sewers.

There have been two attempts to recall Council members, and even one effort to disband the Town.  Small Town politics?  You bet!
Closer examination reveals at least two reasons why various elements in Town sometimes disagree.  First, the Town of lake Clarke Shores is no longer as independent as it once was.  As Florida has grown, so has external bureaucracy.  Federal, State, Regional Taxing Districts, and County regulations mandate all but a few phases of Town government.  Those, and many other external influences have constantly been at work to change and shape the community, and every Council has had to learn to work within the framework of the ever-expanding legal encroachments over which they have little or no control.

Secondly, constant development and expansion brings newcomers with new ideas and methods.  The fact that they have not always been welcomed is neither surprising nor unique to the Town. 
Growth has nearly peaked at 3,450 residents.  There are fewer than a dozen scattered, vacant lots throughout the Town.

Despite the changes which have taken place over the years, the Town of Lake Clarke Shores is still a friendly, laidback sort of place far from the frenzied pace of the big City.  Just ask any of the original residents why they still live here and it is likely they will say “Well, it’s just the best place to be.”
Courtesy of The Town of Lake Clarke Shores

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1 day ago - Via Sendible - View - FiWeBelize : Belize fails to attend the Twelfth Session of the Rio Hondo Basin Commission Mexican authorities are...
Belize fails to attend the Twelfth Session of the Rio Hondo Basin Commission

Mexican authorities are seeking international assistance to address the run off of dangerous chemicals and pesticide from agricultural farms into the Rio Hondo located along the borderline of Northern Belize and Mexico. This decision was taken after Belize failed to send a delegation to the Twelfth Session of the Basin Commission for the Rio Hondo (Commission de Cuenca del Rio Hondo) and according to the Mexican counterparts, has been absent in several instances.

The consultation, which had members of both the Mexican and Guatemalan Environmentalist Agencies in attendance, addressed the mass of chemicals and pesticides that are being deposited into the river. These chemicals, which are used for farming and agriculture purposes, are altering the pH Balance of the Rio Hondo, resulting in the possible poisoning of river dolphins and manatees. In the past few months three dolphins and two manatees have been found dead on the shores of Chetumal Bay in the state of, Quintana Roo. According to news repots from Mexico, the death of these creatures is being attributed to chemical poisoning.

According to Jose Luis Pajon, delegate of Comisión Nacional del Agua CONAGUA Quintana Roo, something must be done to stop this pollution before the problem gets out of hand. “We need Belize to participate in the meeting, we are doing our part in our regions to ensure we use bio-friendly agrochemicals. We do not know what Belize is using,” said Pajon.

Mexican authorities are urging the Government of Belize to respond to this cause. The Rio Hondo is the northernmost river in Belize, bordered in the north by Mexico. The river banks of the Rio Hondo are home to many rural villages that depend on it as a source of potable water, transportation and irrigation amongst other uses. Such contamination of the river could result in serious health issues, not only for animals but for humans as well.
Belize fails to attend the Twelfth Session of the Rio Hondo Basin Commission - The San Pedro Sun News
Mexican authorities are seeking international assistance to address the run off of dangerous chemicals and pesticide into the Rio Hondo located in Northern Belize.
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