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PRE-TEEN PROMOTES POSITIVE THINKING

Sam Kieffer is only 11 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he can to help fund research that could save his father’s life.

SAVE THE BRAINS

“When I was 7 years old, I found out the unfortunate truth; that my dad had an epidermoid brain tumor,” Sam recalls. 

The precocious pre-teen took time out from selling lemonade and cookies at a community event on Sunday to do a quick, impromptu interview. With the help of some friends and his Mom, Terri, Sam is raising money for the Epidermoid Brain Tumor Society.

Sam says that he felt helpless when he first heard about his dad’s diagnosis, but then he realized that there was a way he could actually help. Together with his younger siblings; brother Jesse and sister Savannah, the Kieffer kids began raising research funds for the rare tumor through their own “Save The Brains” campaign. Masterminding the operation, Sam has hosted so many lemonade stands and bake sales that his group has raised tens of thousands of dollars to become the single largest donor to Save the Brains.

MORE BLESSINGS AND A BOOK

When he’s not securing funding for Save the Brains, Sam is getting donations for his outdoor food pantry, which he calls Sam’s Blessings Box. Located in his Pittsburgh neighborhood, the Blessings Box is a way for people in need to obtain free food and toiletries.

But that’s not all–this whiz kid has published a book of poetry, titled “Freedom Zone”, in 2018. I reported on Sam’s accomplishment for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette more than a year ago. He had just hosted his first book signing at a local library and was getting rave reviews.

“This child takes what he’s feeling on the inside and makes it a positive thing to help his dad and other people,” Sam’s 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Brianna Amoscato, told me. 

Sounding like an adult, Sam credits her encouragement as the reason he published his first book. 

“I thought I would be terrible at writing poetry,” he readily admits, “But then we got to share our poetry, and my teacher loved it. She said, ‘Holy cow! These are really good!’”

“For a student his age, it’s a phenomenal talent,” said Mrs. Amoscato, adding, “Sam is very creative, and his language is sophisticated.”

Watching his young son do whatever he can to raise funding to find a cure, Sam’s dad has a new outlook on his brain tumor. “He sees it as a blessing,” Terri tells me, “because our son is doing so much to try to help others who also have it.” 

Fewer than 2 percent of the American population have this tumor. The Epidermoid Brain Tumor Society has been searching for a scientist to take interest in studying the rare tumor. They hope that the additional funding brought in by Sam and others like him will facilitate such research.

Listed on Amazon, “Freedom Zone” costs $10. “Half of the money I make from my book goes to the Epidermoid Society to help my dad, and the other half goes to my college fund,” says Sam. He has since found that he really enjoys creating his own comic books and intends to come out with a new book amidst his busy schedule. “Drawing is something I like to do in my free time.”

KIDS CAN ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS

“Don’t let anyone or anything stop you. Give it a try, and if it doesn’t work, always think of a different way to do it,” says Sam. 

It’s sage advice from someone in sixth grade. His attitude is positive, and he prefers to focus on a good outcome to any dilemma. According to this wise young man, “You hear a lot of things on the news about bad people, but there are good people out there, you just have to know where to look. I think perspective is everything, and a bad thing isn’t always a bad thing if you take a look with a new perspective.”

Sam plans to continue his efforts to help raise money and awareness of the Epidermoid brain tumor. You can help by purchasing his book on Amazon and following his Facebook page.  

I will certainly continue to follow Sam’s adventures and accomplishments. 

WHAT DOES SAM THINK ABOUT 9/11?

Sam is in the process of reading my book: Like It Was Yesterday, A Journalist’s Files Since 9/11. I took the opportunity to ask him his thoughts on it, and his reply blew me away!

“It’s a good book, but it’s also very deep and sad,” he told me, adding that prior to reading my book, he didn’t know very much about 9/11. “I knew that there were plane attacks and the Twin Towers were demolished, but that’s about all I could tell you. I knew that it was obviously a sad day, but I had no idea how actually tragic it was. Seeing how everyone reacted, all the phone lines down, people trying to call their loved ones…”

Sam’s mom also told me that while he’s reading the book, they have had insightful conversations about 9/11. “Your book started us talking about that day with him,” she told me. “Thank you so much for writing it.” 

I wondered if Sam was affected by knowing more details about America’s reaction to 9/11. Was he worried such an event might happen today? He said he’s aware that bad things can happen, but he’s not going to live his life in fear. “I try to look for the positive in most situations,” he explains.

ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE GOOD

With a thriving charitable “business” going on in the background, Sam has clearly learned how to make a sour experience sweet. 

“In the beginning, I thought I had no control and there was nothing I could do, “ he recalls. 

At the tender age of seven, Sam thought about his father’s situation and realized that by raising funds for research, he could take action all by himself. “That’s when I started looking for positive outcomes. It started with a hot chocolate stand and progressed from there,” he says. He’s not yet a teenager, but his wisdom is timeless… and timely.

People should inspire their kids, Sam advises. “The sky’s the limit, and you can do what you want if you believe in your heart,” he says, noting that he realizes that he’s become a role-model for other kids his age. “It’s a really good feeling to inspire other people.”

“Sam’s presentation at SNHL was beyond words,” described librarian Mrs. Ing Kalchthaler, Youth Services Coordinator, of his June 5 book signing. “So many people of all ages came out to hear him and were inspired. Here I am 46 years old, and I feel renewed and inspired.”

PLEASE HELP SAM SAVE THE BRAINS

Sam set a goal of reaching $15,000 by the end of summer, and he’s currently only about $140 away! Please help Sam reach his goal: www.gofundme.com/samandjessesavethebrains

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

 

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CAN WE TRUST NORTH KOREA?

https://youtu.be/2SEd0Q_kPyc

IN CASE YOU DIDN’T NOTICE… While most Americans were obsessing over the ridiculous Mueller hearing and speculating on whether child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein was nearly “suicided” by the Clintons last night, North Korea fired two short-range missiles early this morning.

According to news reports, South Korea’s military said that this was the first missile test since Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump agreed to start talking about denuclearization again.

Thursday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff stated, “North Korea today launched two unidentifiable objects at 5:34 and 5:57 am.”

They said that the first missile traveled approximately 270 miles, while the second flew about 428 miles. Both missiles flew at a maximum altitude of approximately 30 miles.

Just after tracking the first launch, the South Korean military announced, “Our military is keeping close watch in case of additional launches.”

The missiles landed in the Sea of Japan. They reportedly were discharged from the eastern part of North Korea.

“By firing missiles, taking issue with military drills and showing a new submarine, the North is sending one clear message: there might be no working-level talks if the United States doesn’t present a more flexible stance,” said Kim Hong-kyun, a former South Korean nuclear envoy.

S. Korean military has speculated that what the North tested this morning “seems to be a new type of missile.”

But other analysts have opined that these were the same types of missiles previously tested by Pyongyang in May.

U.N. Security Council resolutions have banned Pyongyang from using ballistic technology in any kind of launch, so North Korea could face punitive measures, if this is found to be the case.

The rogue regime is required to make significant strides toward disarmament before the US will even consider removing the sanctions that have been imposed upon it.

Some experts think that North Korea may be using these launches in an effort to get the upper hand, once they restart denuclearization talks.

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PERSIAN-AMERICAN AUTHOR EXPECTS TRUMP TO MAKE IRAN GREAT AGAIN

PERSIAN-AMERICAN AUTHOR AND ACTRESS NASRIN MOHAMMADI of Los Angeles arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida last week to promote her book, “Ideas and Lashes: The Prison Diary of Akbar Mohammadi”.

LIVING THE DREAM IN SOUTH FLORIDA

She says that her week spent in South Florida was “like a dream,” because she was able to declare her full support for the POTUS without fear of bodily harm.

Nasrin at the Broward Republican Executive Committee meeting

“Coming from the political environment of Los Angeles, California has been a living hell for me,” says Nasrin, now back home on the West Coast. “I constantly hear lies about how my President Donald Trump is this horrible person. I can’t openly express my support and love for our President. I always kept hope that one day I would be able to formally and openly support President Trump in a friendly environment.”

Her wish came true the moment she stepped off the plane and began meeting Floridians who share her same political views.

Nasrin on The Justice Hour with Family Law Attorney Lisa Macci.

Nasrin’s love and admiration for today’s American President is refreshing. She grew up under Sharia law and watched her brother tortured and killed and her family torn apart, all because of their Christian faith.

This woman’s message of MAKE IRAN GREAT AGAIN is resonating among Americans who are tired of hearing refugees bash President Trump for his so-called “racism”.

“In Florida, people treated me with respect and wanted to hear what I had to say. Unlike in California, where people disregard me—even with my tumultuous immigrant background from a tyrannical country! The people in Florida gave me the opportunity to express what I feel needs to be said about our current situation in our country and the world. In Florida, I could openly wear and display my support for President Donald Trump, and not fear reprisal,” she explains.

“Being an Iranian woman who immigrated as a political refugee, I break the mold of the mainstream media’s narrative of the stereotype of the common Trump supporter,” she notes, adding, “The people in Florida treated me with respect, and I felt at peace.”

Meeting Scott Newmark, president and founder of Americans for Trump Inc.

“It was my pleasure to visit with Nasrin Mohammadi in my office,” said Scott Newmark, president and founder of Americans for Trump Inc, which is headquartered in Broward County. “This brave person is a Trump patriot who is also continuously fighting to free Iran from the brutal oppression of the Islamic Republic of Iran.“

FACED WITH CALIFORNIA PASSENGERS AT THE AIRPORT

The story of how Nasrin was denied boarding her flight on Monday night has gone viral. Thousands of Trump supporters are incensed about the way she was treated, but Nasrin wants everyone to take a step back from the edge of anger.

Photo by Benjamin H. Bennett Nasrin at the airport, wearing her MAGA clothes

RESCUED BY FRIENDS

“As soon as I started to board my flight back to Los Angeles, I experienced that old discrimination again, but this time, I had people who cared about me to back me up,” she recalls.

Her manager, Ben Bennett, a local fixture in South Florida’s Republican community, had a feeling that something wasn’t right after he dropped her off in front of the airport.

He waited instead of driving away and was not surprised when he received a phone call from Nasrin, telling him that she had been denied boarding.

She then called journalist Jill Cueni-Cohen, who immediately took her in. The two had spent a lot of time together, doing interviews and getting acquainted.

Photo by Jill Cueni-Cohen Nasrin toured Trump National Golf Course with Journalist Jill Cueni-Cohen

“I was sorry for what Nasrin went through at the airport,” says Jill. “But I admit that I was thrilled to be able to spend more time with her. Her story is tragic… and inspiring! She makes it so clear that we are lucky to live in such a wonderful, freedom-loving country.”

She also makes it clear that Floridian Trump supporters are fortunate to be in the majority.

“I can’t wait to come back to Florida and actively campaign for President Donald Trump in 2020; Florida is the real America, unlike those brainwashed people who live in a bubble,” says Nasrin, in reference to Trump-haters.

When asked if she ever wears her MAGA hat in public in LA, she gasps, “No way! I will get attacked.”

In Fort Lauderdale, her pro-Trump outfit mostly attracts new friends.

Photo by Benjamin Bennett Attending a church service with Jill Cueni-Cohen

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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TRUMP SUPPORTER DENIED BOARDING ON PLANE

Clad in pro-Trump apparel, Persian American author Nasrin Mohammadi had just spent a whirlwind week visiting Fort Lauderdale on her latest book tour.

Prior to leaving town, she was able to squeeze in one last event —the Broward Republican Executive Community’s monthly meeting—before heading to the airport and checking in her luggage.

Nasrin Mohammadi (and most Iranian citizens) loves President Trump!

Nasrin arrived at the gate and was ready to board her flight at 9:25pm, which was scheduled to depart at 9:33pm.

The door to the jetway was open, and two Spirit Airlines ticketing agents had just let a man go through.

Wearing her MAGA hat and shirt, Nasrin showed them her ticket, and they told her that she would have to get another ticket. They would not allow her to board.

Her luggage was on the plane, a passenger had just entered the jetway, and yet the two agents stared at her clothes with obvious disdain as they informed her, “We can’t do anything for you. You’re too late.”

Nasrin then went to customer service, who told her, “You had to have been there before 9:30.”

She told them, “I was there at 9:25!” And then they were quiet.

Nearly in tears, Nasrin called her manager, Ben Bennett, and asked him to come and get her from the airport.

She was rebooked on a flight for the next day.

“Being in Florida has been like a dream for me, I have never been treated with so much kindness!” says Nasrin. “But going to the airport in my Trump clothes was another story. Some people were staring at me, and there were others who were actually shielding their eyes! A couple of men told me, ‘Good job,’ but most people looked angry. The Spirit employees were very unfriendly. I couldn’t believe that they wouldn’t let me on the plane when I was there on time!”

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

Nasrin Mohammadi met Israeli Pastor Steven Khoury and talked about the current problems in the Middle East.

Nasrin found refuge at the home of journalist and author Jill Cueni-Cohen.

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MARLIN MAYHEM

HOOKED ON THE KEY WEST MARLIN TOURNAMENT

Kelly O’Conner, founder of the World Famous Kelly O’s Diner of Pittsburgh, PA knows that small business owners must take time out to recharge.

This busy entrepreneur is glowing after participating in the 2019 Key West Marlin Tournament (Jul 17 – Jul 20) with her family, including her son-in-law Alan, her son Scott, and Alan’s Dad, Rich. The trip gave them all an opportunity to be together, far away from the family biz.

“We went out fishing in Key West to enjoy the very blessed life we’ve been given,” says KellyO.

MAKING MEMORIES

For the longest time, we split our family vacations so that our ‘family owned and operated business’ was never without a family member,” says Kelly.

This summer, the group made a change. “We went out fishing in Key West to enjoy the very blessed life we’ve been given,” she says, adding that Alan caught the biggest fish of the day and was even filmed by Fox Sports.

Photo by Cary HinzeThe team caught the biggest dolphin fish

IT’S MORE THAN OK

Kelly wants everyone to know that it’s important to enjoy life in addition to working hard.

“Today I had a talk with a lovely local business lady who expressed how guilty she feels to leave her business and have fun,” she recalls. “As people who pour our minds, bodies, and souls into both diners, we feel her. But regardless of what you may be worried to leave behind, remember that the best way to enjoy this life is to actually do it. Stop sabotaging yourself and just GO!”

Photo by Cary Hinze Here’s the winning dolphin fish!

Kelly credits Captain Jason Jonas of High Stakes Charters with leading the team to victory—they took 1st place for biggest dolphin fish (aka Mahi Mahi).

She’s also grateful to photographer Cary Hinze of What the Fin Apparel. “They were my gear and picture takers,” she says.

SOMEONE STILL HAS TO HOLD DOWN THE FORT

Kelly notes that the business has been in good hands while they’ve gone fishin’. “We’re missing a third of our highest-level managers and still killin’ it! We’re a team, but ultimately, they’re our work-fam and help us to achieve all of our dreams.”

Photo by Cary Hinze

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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TELL LAWMAKERS TO PROTECT FLORIDA’S WATER SUPPLY NOW

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE

Florida’s 2019 60-day Legislative Session is expected to end on May 3rd. To date, the state’s House and Senate members have still not funded the Rural and Family Lands Protection program.

This is despite the fact that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has $75 million in budget requests.

In the above film, Julie Morris of The Florida Conservation Group http://www.floridaconserve.org, which advocates for the protection of Florida’s ranch lands, says, “Funding our land protection programs is a time-sensitive issue. Both Florida Forever and Rural Family Lands are critical programs to protecting viable wildlife populations and clean water. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road and putting off protecting one of our most sensitive landscapes.”

Morris also emphasizes that the need for conservation easements, which will focus on maintaining ranch lands north of the Florida Everglades, is urgent.“Bottom line—if we want clean water, we have to protect the landscape. Conservation easements need funding this year!”

SPEND A LITTLE NOW TO SAVE A LOT LATER 

Programs such as Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Protection are a cost-efficient way to protect our water resources.

It’s been five years since more than 75 percent of voters approved Florida Forever as Constitutional Amendment 1. Thanks to this measure, the state must annually set aside one-third of documentary stamp tax revenue over 20 years to buy, manage and improve conservation lands and water. 

Each year, Amendment 1 accrues up to $300 million. Unfortunately, lawmakers neglected to significantly increase funding for Florida Forever. They fund other environmental projects; including beach restoration projects and waterways conservation in the Everglades, springs throughout the state, and the St. Johns River.

Funding conservation easements on large tracts of land is just as important. 

img_2383

“Bottom line—if we want clean water, we have to protect the landscape. Conservation easements need funding this year!”—Julie Morris, The Florida Conservation Group http://www.floridaconserve.org

LAND ACQUISITION UPSTREAM IS CRUCIAL TO CLEAN WATER DOWNSTREAM

Out of his proposed $91.3 billion fiscal year 2020 budget request, Gov. Ron DeSantis has appropriated $100 million for the Florida Forever conservation land acquisition program. This amount represents the highest dedicated annual allocation since the fund has been accruing revenues during the past four years.

The Florida Senate proposed providing $45 million for Florida Forever, while the state’s House proposed $20 million for the program in their environmental budget. 

Ranch landscapes are under threat of development. Ranchers who choose to keep their acreage as close to pristine wilderness as possible are hard-working people who care for the land and water. In fact, cattle operations are a low-intensity land use, because unlike neighborhoods, ranches actually store and clean water. Cattle are a low-intensity use of the land.

LEGISLATORS HAVE NEGLECTED TO ADEQUATELY FUND CONSERVATION LAND PROGRAMS

Prior to the 2008 recession, Florida Forever regularly received approximately $300 million. That amount has dwindled ever since. Lawmakers will soon decide how much funding they will allocate to these important land protection programs. Please share this article and the above video; which explains why Conservation Easements are worthy for funding at requested amounts, via email and social media.   Protected Florida prairie land

RANCHERS EXPLAIN THEIR ROLE IN KEEPING FLORIDA GREEN

Rancher Brad Phares recently addressed a meeting of the Association of Florida Conservation Districts (AFCD). He spoke about Florida’s ranching history, ranchers’ contributions today in keeping our state green, challenges the ranching industry faces in coming years and the need for land preservation via conservation easements.  

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to help share our story,” said Phares in a Facebook post. “Y’all can have all that concrete and asphalt. I’ll stick to Florida the way she used to be.”

STEWARDS OF THE LAND

Conservation easements protect our water and wildlife in cost-effective ways, making ranchers responsible for the management of this precious land in perpetuity. That means that even when cattle prices drop, conservation easements provide an option to ranchers to conserve their lands.

Florida is growing; real-estate prices are rising, but our intact landscapes are disappearing. Protecting our waterways means protecting the watershed.

Politicians need to realize that fixing problems downstream is futile without protecting what is upstream.

CALL THESE LEGISLATORS TODAY

Everyone around the world who cares about the future of Florida’s drinking water must take action! Let the following legislators know that We the People support funding Rural and Family Lands Protection Program and Florida Forever.

  • Senator Rob Bradley, Chair of Appropriations  (850) 487-5005
  • Senator Wilton Simpson, Vice Chair of Appropriations  (850) 487-5010
  • Senator Debbie Mayfield,   Chair of Appropriations Subcommmitee on Agriculture, Environment (850) 487-5017
  • Senator Bobby Powell, Vice Chair of Appropriations Subcommmitee on Agriculture, Environment (850) 487-5030
  • Rep. Travis Cummings, Chair of House Appropriations (850) 717-5018
  • Rep. Dane Eagle, Vice Chair of House Appropriations (850) 717-5077
  • Rep. Holly Raschein, Chair of House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee  (850) 717-5120
  • Rep. Rick Roth, Vice Chair of House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee (850) 717-5085

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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The Homeless Crisis Hits Women the Hardest

THERE’S A NEW BREED OF PEOPLE LIVING ON AMERICA’S STREETS

There’s a misconception about the homeless. Most people lump the homeless in with street beggars, the uneducated and disadvantaged, or even people who abuse the environment. This is not true.

Today’s homeless are people who have fallen on hard times and bad luck. They may be suffering at the hands of greedy landlords, been financially devastated by divorce, can’t find a good job, or they’re seniors who can’t afford housing. (HUD is not taking any new applicants due to the lack of housing and long waiting list).

Having dependent children increases a homeless woman’s chance of getting “something”, and minority women usually go to the head of the line. White women have become the invisible—seemingly forgotten—minority.

ONE WOMAN’S PLIGHT

Vietnam-era veteran Patty Weston has come forward to tell the story of how she suddenly lost her apartment and independence after a friend’s promise fell through—with devastating results.

“Two years ago, I moved to Louisiana to help a long-time friend who promised me housing in exchange for helping her 88-year-old mother, who had dementia.” The arrangement didn’t work out, and Weston was evicted and still has her furniture in storage two years later. “That made me homeless, as I can’t afford housing on my small SSI and VA substance.“

The situation has caused Weston to slip into a deep depression.

HOMELESSNESS ONLY HAS A DARK SIDE

“As horrible as my life has become, there’s much worse,” says Weston. “Think about the young female veterans who have gone to Iraq and been exposed to the unthinkable. Then, they return home and can’t cope anymore.

“Many have taken their lives, because they don’t know how to ask for help.”

Weston has her pride, but she knows she must expose the truth about homelessness and how it affects women.

“It’s horrible, and although there has always been homeless people, this is a serious, growing crisis right here, in one of the wealthiest, most educated nations.”

THE LAST WOMEN ON THE LIST

Weston explains that homelessness has parameters that can help or hinder a woman’s likelihood of finding long term housing—and just having a place to stay for the night can make it more difficult.

“As a veteran, your chances are slim if you have a roof over your head and running water, so if a friend chooses to even let you sleep on their sofa, your priority status has now changed and bumps you back,” Weston points out, noting that when it comes to homeless women, the system often fails them.

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

 

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Conservation of Florida’s Most Important Resource Starts Upstream

Do you love clean drinking water? Then please urge your local lawmaker to fund Florida’s conservation easement programs this year!

Programs such as Florida Forever and Rural and Family Lands Protection are cost-efficient ways to protect our water resources.

Ranch landscapes are under threat of development. Ranchers who choose to keep their acreage as close to pristine wilderness as possible are hard-working people who care for the land and water. In fact, cattle operations are a low-intensity land use, because unlike neighborhoods, ranches actually store and clean water.

Conservation easements protect our water and wildlife in cost-effective ways, making ranchers responsible for the management of this precious land in perpetuity. That means that even when cattle prices drop, conservation easements provide an option to ranchers to conserve their lands.

Florida is growing; real-estate prices are rising, but our intact landscapes are disappearing. Protecting our waterways means protecting the watershed.

Politicians need to realize that fixing problems downstream is futile without protecting what is upstream.

According to Julie Morris of The Florida Conservation Group www.floridaconserve.org, which advocates for the protection of Florida’s ranchlands, “Funding our land protection programs is a time-sensitive issue. Both Florida Forever and Rural Family Lands are critical programs to protecting viable wildlife populations and clean water. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road and putting off protecting one of our most sensitive landscapes.”

She stressed that the need for conservation easements, which will focus on maintaining ranchlands north of the Florida Everglades, is urgent. “Bottom line—if we want clean water, we have to protect the landscape. Conservation easements need funding this year!”

Rural and Family Lands Protection Program and Florida Forever are critical to the health of the landscape; they both protect water quality and supply for urban areas, maintain our agricultural economy, protect Florida’s tourist economy and military base buffers. Both programs partner with other local, state and federal programs to leverage resources and maximize protection benefits. Funding these conservation easement programs is an investment in Florida’s future and is critical to our quality of life.

We are losing natural/agricultural land at rapid pace

Private lands protect Florida’s water and natural resources

These programs are the most cost effective way to preserve our water resources

We can invest a little now or a lot later to restore our watersheds

Private lands protect drinking water supply and water quality/quantity to our urban areas

Private lands are critical to aquifer recharge

We can protect water resources for a fraction of the cost of outright purchase

RFLPP protects our food security and agricultural economy; Florida Forever protects our critical water resources

Land stays on tax roles/private ownership

Management costs responsibility of landowner

 

Florida has always been a national leader in land protection, and conservation easements are a smart way to protect our natural resources before spending billions on clean-up.

Florida’s natural and agricultural landscape is rapidly disappearing, which means that we must support these taxpayers-funded programs NOW.

After 71 percent of Floridians voted for Amendment 1, it’s clear that we want our state leaders to make economic and environmentally-sound decisions to fund both of these nationally-recognized programs.

Florida’s taxpayers spend more than $10 billion to fund the Department of Transportation each year. But the protection of natural and agricultural lands, which in turn protects our drinking water, is even more necessary for Florida’s economy and healthy communities.

In contrast, $200 million towards conservation easements would protect our land and water resources forever. These programs are needed to protect our state’s water supply and quality, clean air, habitat and wildlife and maintain the agriculture that is a critical part of our state economy.

Land protection isn’t a luxury; it’s vital to cleaning Florida’s water; which is critical to the future of this great state.

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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Common Scents Approach to Health

I have written several articles about essential oils and their role in our health, but today I’d like to share a real-life situation, which beautifully illustrates the benefits of holistic healthcare.

I was visiting with a good friend of mine, and we were eating dinner when she suddenly noticed that the glands in her neck began swelling and causing her pain. In fact, she looked like a puffer fish! It was scary.

So, the next day, she went to the doctor, and he told her she had a food allergy and then gave her a prescription for prednisone. Now, this didn’t make sense at all, because she was eating “comfort” food when it happened, and the only thing different was an organic seasoning, which we all had and felt no ill effects. The doctor’s diagnosis just didn’t seem right.

So, I put on my “researcher” hat and went to work, looking for symptoms similar to hers on the internet. Of course, I found dozens of people complaining about the same symptoms: it was her salivary glands! She was experiencing a dry mouth, and the swelling was only happening when she was eating, not drinking.

Then, I started checking out likely essential oils which might provide relief. It turned out that lavender, which I just happened to have with me, could help. There were other suggestions, such as apple cider vinegar and even borax to dissolve what we thought might be a stone or deposits in her salivary gland. However, since we had lavender oil right there, she started rubbing the oil on her neck and drinking lots of water as often as possible.

Slowly, her symptoms subsided until she could eat and drink normally. It might have taken all of 48 hours for her to see real results. The next day, she reported to me that she was symptom-free and able to eat normally again!

This episode reminded me that most of our ailments can be cured right at home; with ingredients we may already have. And if you don’t have a bottle of lavender essential oil, I HIGHLY suggest you get some! It seriously cures everything from burns to… salivary gland deposits?!?!?

The other lesson here is the fact that many doctors have no interest in curing you. They will prescribe you a pill that you don’t even need and then just send you on your way. If her doctor had taken even five minutes to listen to her symptoms and really look at her neck, he should have been able to come to the same diagnosis that I did. Instead, he jumped to a conclusion and thoughtlessly doubled-down on it. In fact, he even told her to “eat whatever you want” after diagnosing her with a sudden food allergy! SHOCKING!

We can often correctly diagnose and cure ourselves (as well as our pets) WITHOUT the “help” of a paid professional.

Truth is, all those drugs doctors prescribe are killing us as they line the pockets of drug companies that don’t want people to know we can greatly enhance our health by doing simple things; such as drinking apple cider vinegar every morning and brushing our teeth with tea tree oil, coconut oil and baking soda.

Did you know that pineapple juice is a better cure for a cough than any cough syrup? Try that the next time you’re hacking away, instead of running to the doctor for a prescription or heading to the drug store for an over-the-counter remedy.

Only YOU really know how you’re feeling. So, if something doesn’t seem quite right, it’s really up to you to figure out what’s wrong.

Be healthy naturally, my friends!

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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I STAND WITH JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO

Rep Ilhan Omar appears to be a radicalized Muslim, now playing for TEAM ISIS in the U.S Government. A former refugee, Omar shows no sign of having assimilated into American Society. Quite the opposite: she seems to be much more interested in fueling anti-Semitism and overthrowing the American Government by impeaching President Trump.

For some reason, the executives at Fox News do not see Omar as a threat.

Instead, they have identified American Hero Judge Jeanine Pirro as the enemy.

A brave Conservative political commentator, Judge Jeanine is one of the very few television personalities who regularly speaks the truth. Now, Fox News is attempting to silence Pirro by taking her off the air. They’ve also pandered to TEAM ISIS by apologizing and explaining that their particular news outlet does NOT agree with Pirro, and they don’t support her comments.

You know what that means, right?

Those few remaining Holocaust survivors must be horrified. I know I am. #JEXODUS before it’s too late! The Democrat party is falling off that slippery slope….

Watch her last show on Fox News by clicking on the link below. THEN SHARE HER COMMENTS EVERYWHERE!

Judge Jeanine tells the TRUTH about Rep. Omar

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#JEXODUS:Jews Wise Up to the Fascist Democratic Agenda

I was adopted as a baby and raised to be Jewish and vote Democrat, but as I was exposed to the liberal ideology and the notion that socialism is necessary, I flipped and saw things very differently.

I also did not appreciate the Dem’s support of abortion as a “right”.

Moving to Switzerland in 1990 and living in a socialist-run country for ten years further strengthened my conservative, Republican beliefs until I became the antithesis of everything a female Jewish journalist should supposedly be.

Most recently, my support for President Trump has lost me several friends and earned the admonition of a few family members. Some of them even called me “fascist” and “Hitler” because I support Trump’s nationalist agenda. (Message me privately if you think that means anything other than MAGA.)

I love this country. And I hate the way liberal Democrats have been trying to turn it into a third-world hell hole (just look at San Francisco, Portland, OR and Los Angeles).

Now, there’s a new breed of politicians taking over the Democrat party and showing extreme hatred for Jews and Israel; in addition to presenting a blatantly socialist agenda.

So, many Jews are leaving the Democrat party. Black people are doing the same.

Today, we Americans are witnessing the Democrats’ defense of illegal immigration and apparent acceptance of anti-semitism.

I love my friends and family; even though they hate our President and are angry with my support of him.

That said, I’m hopeful #Jexit will reunite those of us who have seemingly turned on each other.

God bless America! 😁❤️🇺🇸

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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No Good Time To Quit

This is the story of how I quit smoking… in diary form.

Quit Day #2

Evil cigarettes will never rule my life again! No longer will I chug down the street, puffing great, white billows of foul-smelling smoke behind me. Inhaling slow death, just inviting my worst fears to become reality. It felt bad to be so wrong. Defining myself by a losing label: Stinky Smoker.

My life was a smoke-opera, trapped in the membership of addiction and denial; pretending that it’s okay to pollute the world with our smoke, our stink, our garbage—and actually paying big bucks for the privilege to eventually block our airways with chemicals specifically designed to kill us slowly—all with our permission.

Oh my god, how stupid am I? Searching for a “final” smoke — that rewarding feeling of aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

When compared to the noxious, evil, putrid, long-term cage of death, I hope it’s not too late for me and my loved ones. I was blinded by that smoky bliss for so long, restricted from certain people and places, but I didn’t care where I was, as long as I could smoke. I used it as a wall to shield those I loved best from getting too close to me and my smoky atmosphere. How neglectful and selfish was I to invite the killer into my home to live amongst my family?

Cigarettes sucked in my hard-earned money and pretended to help me with my work — promising me the illusion of inspiration that was really just procrastination; promising relaxation in exchange for the stress smoke was causing in my life; offering social relations with like-minded addicts; delivering pleasure in the midst of learning to hate myself for my dirty habit. Breathe in that smooth, smoky taste and lose your appetite for that which is healthy and wholesome.

Quit Day #65

I am definitely losing my mind over this, and it makes me think that getting off the drug is like going ON a drug — and a powerful one at that. I feel as if my whole life is gradually turning upside-down, and all sorts of strange things are falling out of pockets I never knew I had!!!

It’s scary, exhilarating, and sickening all at the same time. But the most important thing has been the lesson I’ve learned about the addiction I’ve been suffering from since before my birth. It’s sooooo bad, it feels like a horrible crime. I hear about all the smoking related illnesses, and I wonder how anyone can continue to let this horror rage on—this senseless, reeking death sold in neat little boxes of 20 cigarettes.

I’m appalled that I was ever a smoker, and I still can’t understand why it took the pleadings of my ten-year-old son to wake me up.

I know I have to stop beating myself up over my FORMER addiction and begin living in such a way that this crime cannot be perpetuated through another generation. It’s bad enough that we’re killing our kids with too much junk food — at least we could clean up the air for them, right?

I feel the strongest need to get the message across to those of us who are still locked within the grips of this deadly menace. I used to be a walking smoke-stack, and I will spend the rest of my life making it up to the people who’s lives I’ve polluted.

Quit Day #74

$550.38 and 19 days, 19 hours of your life saved!

Time Smoke-Free: 78 days, 2 hours, 39 seconds

Cigarettes NOT smoked: 2733

Lifetime Saved: 20 days, 21 hours

Money Saved: $580.12

What is saved and what is spent?

Ever day of life that goes by becomes a memory. There are no guarantees that any time or any money will be saved; but at least it will go somewhere else, and not to the tobacco industry. Besides, nobody knows how long they will live. Or how quickly they will die. Or how much money they are actually saving.

What would I do with 20 extra days anyway? Go on a luxurious vacation? Pig out on sweets? Smoke cigarettes and get wasted? That wasn’t even fun; it was a habit, it was madness. Yet it’s still the first thing that comes to mind.

No, I think my last 20 days should be spent surrounded by people I love; doing something productive for those who don’t have to cut their time on this earth short. I would spend those last hours speaking to every child I could find; telling them not to squander time or take the days for granted. Because even when those days are bad, they are better than the alternative.

Maybe.

Well, the jury’s still out on that one. But as long as I’m alive and able to create and experience and love, then I pledge to live each day to its fullest potential. I will feel each emotion deeply and try not to fear the (real and imagined) implications. I will trust that God really does have a plan for me, knowing that it’s my job to carry it out without worrying about what’s going to happen next. And I promise to hold out my hand to the next person who needs help in getting through all of these, our last days on earth. Don’t save them—spend them wisely!

Quit Day #105

No sugar tonight in my coffee, no sugar tonight in my tea

So, today is the fifth day of my sugar-abstinence plan. I have not intentionally eaten sugar or candy since Monday, and I am feeling so much better. Halloween really did a number on me this year. It’s like the Quit has turned me into this big sugar junkie; which I think may be even worse than smoking!

My teeth were hurting from all the Reese’s Cups and candy corn; the inside of my mouth was raw and blistery—which can’t be good. Besides that, I had gained 8 pounds! That’s 8 pounds, even though I run 6 to 10 miles a day and have been doing workouts at Curves. I was really starting to scare myself there. I tend to get a little obsessed when it comes to sweets.

So, I’ve relegated sugar to the same status as smokes. Can’t do ‘em. No smokes; no sugar. The sugar program has been especially challenging, because it’s constantly around me. And now my husband has begun making fudge as a business venture! It’s like the walls of my home are dripping with chocolate lately. Everywhere I turn, I see little bags of colorful candy Runts—those Runts are insidious! And I’m not going to eat them. Not even one. Because one will lead to two, and two will lead to twenty, and then it’s on to Snickers bars and M&M’s (hopefully peanut). No…. So, I don’t need nicotine, and I don’t need sugar, and I already stopped drinking alcohol.

Hmmmmmm, what do I eliminate next….. better yet, WHAT DO I ADD?

Quit Day #116

No Good Time to Smoke

If you wait for the “perfect” time to quit smoking, it will never come. NEVER. So, you have to look at it in another way: the perfect time to quit is NOW.

I had months to psych myself up for my quit, which was set for my son’s 10th birthday. When the big day came, however, I was apprehensive and full of reasons why I couldn’t do it YET. But looking into his big, brown eyes—so full of trust and hope—how could I NOT follow through on my promise?

That was 116 days ago, and I haven’t looked back. I don’t ever want to smoke again. Now the motto is:

There is NO good time to smoke!

Smoking will not alleviate my stress or make me feel better about anything. In fact, it will only make matters worse.

Like anything you’ve been doing for a long time, the habit is hard to break. But not only is it possible, it will FREE you in ways you never imagined.

—–

It’s more than 12 years later, and I’m still smoke-free!

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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Why does this society value animal life over humans?

There are increasing legal protections put in place for the life and well-being of animals, including endangered species… as well as dogs and cats.

The federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 says that when a child is born alive, including having a beating heart, he or she is a legal person and has a right to lifesaving medical care.

Unfortunately, several states have removed this protection for the most vulnerable, innocent Americans among us.

I love animals, but my respect for humanity far surpasses that love. The thought of killing babies at any point in development is abhorrent to me—an adopted child who started my life in an unplanned pregnancy—but to kill a child who just survived an abortion is unthinkable!

I’ve been told by friends and family that I will be unable to change the hearts and minds of those who see abortion as an acceptable choice—even a right—because there is value only in living people.

These people claim that the costs and hardships of bringing certain people into the world outweighs any good that might come from their existence.

They prefer to choose certain death after the choice has been made to have sex. They choose a violent end in the womb for their own child instead of accepting the challenge this new life would present.

I know so many people who were almost aborted, and not one of them is sad that their mom chose life instead. In fact, such people are often more cherished when it becomes apparent that they might have been killed for no damn good reason.

60 million Americans are missing from today’s society.

But some people would rather focus on saving turtles and protecting puppies.

Where is compassion for the baby humans? I believe that there is enough love in this world for EVERYONE. Every individual life matters.

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen

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The Dumpster

There’s a dumpster in the alley behind the building where her life was sucked away. Cold, green, hulking slabs of metal; MEDICAL WASTE stenciled on its side in big, white letters.

She was warm and cozy before her world was ripped out beneath her. Her tiny, developing Earth-suit dissolved into bloody remains. Her life was seen as an inconvenience, a mistake, a reason to commit murder.

So small, so young, yet she was a miniature, perfect specimen of a human being; she could have been so great, and she was so capable of bringing joy into the lives of anyone fortunate enough to raise her, but she was so easy to kill.

Not much larger than a peanut, she nevertheless gave them a good fight. Settled in the midst of a healthy pregnancy, she struggled against the sharp equipment as it ripped at her tiny arms and legs.

She would have had her mother’s blonde hair and gray-blue eyes. The siblings to come after her would all be beautiful, talented girls, but she would have been the best one. If only her mother hadn’t been so afraid — afraid of how this precious little creature would have changed her own young life.

Barren once again, her mother waited back in the alley by the dumpster for her ride to come, so no one would see her. The young woman stared blankly at the words: MEDICAL WASTE.

It was a sunny September day, but the shadows from the buildings made it dark in that alley. The former mother-to-be suddenly imagined that she heard crying – baby-crying – it was a sound of mournful misery that seemed to waft upwards from within the dumpster. And then her thoughts turned to what was in that dumpster, and she heaved a horrific sigh, felt the blood gush out of her womb in a burst of sudden recognition.

Her child’s life flashed before her eyes; a life that would never happen so she could go back to being a 19-year-old and finish college and find a husband and start a family. But her first baby would have to wait… in the dumpster until the big garbage truck came.

The garbage man would pull out shiny, white garbage bags containing others, just like her. Their Earth-suits have been smashed into bits of blood and minuscule, flexible bones. Legs and arms that would never learn to jump and hug have been left to rot in a white plastic bag, MEDICAL WASTE stenciled on its side, bound for the city dump, soon to be stashed away in a landfill.

Tiny eyes that would never see; the remains of one who would never be. The lifeless fetus would become a bad memory for the few who knew about her brief existence. But, most of all, she would haunt her mother into holding her future sisters tight. It was the worst decision the young woman ever made, but it was her decision to make. Just as it was her decision to have sex without a condom. She thought that abortion would be for the best – women did it all the time –and she considered herself lucky to be able to make this choice by herself. And then she saw the dumpster. Rationalizations stripped away, she cried for hours on her baby’s due date, knowing that two wrongs never make a right — even if the government says it’s okay to kill your baby, as long as you do it quickly. But the pain will last forever, and it will affect you and your family; whether you know it or not.

©️Jill Cueni-Cohen