Sunday, April 16, 2017

The New Times’ “Best Environmentalists in South Florida”: Why wasn’t Drew Martin on the list?

Drew Martin was quoted in The Palm Beach Post again recently (see below). For the 200th time at least. In all newspapers county-wide he’s been quoted, hands down, more than any other environmentalist or activist in the history of Palm Beach County. Whether you like Mr. Martin or not, respect him or not, the fact is he’s a legend.

To be quoted so many times takes hard work. Why? Because you have to be there. Where is there? It’s everywhere all the time.

It’s no secret Drew and myself don’t exactly see “eye to eye” on anything except that TooJay’s is an exceptional place for lunch. But you have to admire him for his persistence. He never gives up.

So imagine my surprise on April 22nd last year when the Broward/Palm Beach New Times published their list of the “The 19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida”. At the time, two of the 19 were from the City of Lake Worth: former-Commissioner Chris McVoy, PhD, and Mr. Peter ‘Panagioti’ Tsolkas. But McVoy and Tsolkas weren’t the news when the New Times’ news came out. The news that day is who wasn’t on the list: Drew Martin.

Here are some of the others that did make the list:
  • Beam Furr
  • Guy Harvey
  • David Shiffman
  • David Fleshler
  • Michael Madfis
  • Kristin Jacobs
  • Christine Stapleton
  • Rachel Silverstein
  • Chris Brennan
  • Susan Hargreaves
  • Jenny Staletovich
After the list was published last year, “just off the top of my head” jotted down a list of things Mr. Martin had done in 2016 and in years prior:
  • Martin is a regular at meetings about the Ag Reserve.
  • Spokesperson for the Loxahatchee Sierra Club.
  • He’s also a regular at PBC Commission meetings and makes public comment quite often.
  • Not a Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council (TCRPC) meeting goes by without his attendance.
  • He is an elected official here in PBC (the position has no salary).
  • How many presentations on ‘sheet flow’ have we all been given?
  • Not a week goes by, it seems, Martin doesn’t have a letter to the editor or “Point of View” in The Palm Beach Post.
And the list could go on and on. How did this happen that Martin didn’t make the list?

Anyhow, since “The List” was published Mr. Martin ran for a seat on the Palm Beach County Commission, the Loxahatchee Sierra Club (of which he was a member at the time and still is) endorsed candidates for the Lake Worth City Commission, and he continued to attend virtually any and every meeting held by the County on any and every issue when it comes to the environment.

However, most vexing of all, continues to ignore the question on this blog, “Waiting for a response to Eastward Ho!”.

If you’ve been around this little City of Lake Worth for any amount of time you heard the phrase, “pavers and cavers”. Conveniently, Yours Truly is a ‘paver’ and Drew Martin is a ‘caver’. Those labels are funny, true, but also very unfair. The issues in this City have always been extraordinarily complex and discussed and debated passionately.

Anyhow, we’re coming up on the 1 year anniversary of “The 19 Best Environmentalists in South Florida” and it might be time to edit the list and have Drew Martin take his rightful place among the group and be one of the “Special 19”. But we’ll still disagree on almost everything here in the little City of Lake Worth. And that’s part of what makes our City so special.

Without further ado, on the latest efforts by Drew Martin with another quote in the Post as reported by Wayne Washington:

Drew Martin, conservation chair of the Loxahatchee Group of the Sierra Club, said the county could use the city’s reluctance to issue a license to expand the bridge over the M-Canal [in West Palm Beach] as a rallying point to pull back from a project he argues will threaten the environment and clog roads.
     “This is an opportunity to say ‘no,’ ” Martin said. “I just don’t think there’s adequate draining, adequate roads out there. I think every opportunity the county has to say ‘no,’ the county should do so.” [emphasis added]

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