Tag Archive: Florida

Republican governor appoints Florida’s first chief science officer

Ron DeSantis, Republican Florida Governor, appointed the first chief science officer on Monday, marking what he called the “commitment to science-based solutions” of the state.

DeSantis appointed the biologist Thomas Frazer, who has been the director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment of University of Florida since 2012 and previously worked as the UF Water Institute’s acting director.

In this new position, he will coordinate Florida’s research and scientific work and make sure that the officials have the scientific analysis which they need to tackle the environmental problems of the state.

Frazer’s research has looked at the effects on water of pollution. He has also worked on research about climate change. He has served as the Climate Science Faculty Committee’s chairman. Therefore, climate change will be a part of his mission.

Frazer said that “We have to look at the facts of what is going on in the environment and can we bring science to bear on those changes happening now and in the future?”

Under the predecessor of DeSantis, fellow Republican Rick Scott, some state employees said that they were discouraged from using the terms “global warming” and “climate change.”

When being asked whether he thought that climate change was a threat to the state, DeSantis said the issue was “politicized” but he considered sea-level rise a serious threat.

“My environmental policy is just to do things that benefit Floridians. And the idea that you’re signing up for some type of agenda — I don’t want to … send a signal that that’s what I’m doing because I’m not doing that,” DeSantis said. “This is what we’re going to do. We’re going to do what works.” DeSantis also said that the appointment kept with his promise to make “sound science” a Florida priority.

And Frazer will have his work cut out for him and said he was honored by the appointment. “Our environment and waterways make Florida unique,” he said. “I look forward to working with the governor and the Department of Environmental Protection on ways we can use sound science and research to improve our state’s water quality and protect the environment.”

 Missing New York dog discovered 1,100 miles away in Florida after leaving home following owner’s death

 

A dog has been found recently more than 1,100 miles far from home after disappearing during 18 months following his owner’s death in a gun accident.

The dog is a brown and white husky, named Sinatra. It went missing from Brooklyn, New York, last year, then somehow got to the town of Seffner, Florida, where he was found by Rose Verill, a 13-year-old boy. The Verills family first looked for the dog’s owners by using an identification chip read by a vet with the help of a friend, Jeanne Baldi.

However, the vet could just identify some information: the name “Willis Les” and a phone number which was one digit short. Therefore, Ms. Baldi began searching online for anyone who slightly matched the information they had gleaned. She found a man named Lesmore Willis on Facebook and sent a message to him. To her shock, Mr. Willis replied that he had indeed lost a dog.

They quickly realized that both the dog found in Florida and the one he had lost had the same problem with the right foot and confirmed by exchanging photographs.

Ms. Baldi said she never imagined that her Facebook would solve the matter, especially because she saw that Mr. Willis lived so far away.

Neither does Ms. Baldi, or Mr. Willis, have any idea about how Sinatra managed to travel the 1,100 miles from New York to Florida.

But when the dog’s owners were found, a new tragedy came out. Sinatra had originally been a present for Mr. Willis’s daughter Zion on her 14th birthday. She was an animal lover and avid dancer and started her own dog-walking business since still being a teenager. Sadly, two years later, Zion was killed in a gun accident while visiting a friend’s house. Sinatra disappeared the following year to compound the loss.

Mr. Willis was inconsolable when losing the dog because it was a strong connection to his late daughter. The Willis had put up flyers and searched for Sinatra across New York but had given up ever seeing him again.

But the much-loved Sinatra will soon be reunited with his family after friends of Ms. Baldi agreed to take him back to the Willis family.