“They’re Here” U.S. Sugar Corporation in Martin County, SLR/IRL

“They’re Here” U.S. Sugar Corporation in Martin County, SLR/IRL

Clewistons' US Sugar Corporation refinery 2013 (Dr Scott Kuhns)
Clewistons’ US Sugar Corporation refinery with fields surrounding, 2013.  (Aerial, Dr Scott Kuhns)
Sugar production site, public photo
Sugar refinery with cane in foreground, public photo.
Land ownership
Land ownership

U.S. Sugar Corporation…..I always think of them as a giant corporation “south of the lake,” blocking the waters of Lake Okeechobee causing the waters to be redirected to our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon…Well “they” are no longer just south of the lake….

“They’re here”———and I am not speaking about cane fields.

"They're here.."
“They’re here.” Poltergeist 1982.

I have been thinking about writing this blog post since October of 2015, but waited. It was in October of 2015, from a very reliable source, that I first  heard that U.S. Sugar Corporation had become a member of the Martin County Economic Council. I was surprised. This is a game changer for Martin County in my opinion. And then I started looking around and realized that they had been here to influence for a while and I just had not noticed…

US Sugar listed on Economic Council Website 2016
US Sugar listed as a trustee member  on the Economic Council of Martin County’s Website’s  2016

For instance a couple of months ago, my husband Ed and I attended an event at the historic Lyric Theater. My husband, Ed, started donating in both our names to his beloved Lyric Theater shortly after our marriage in 2005. About two months ago we attend an event and when we sat down to have our picture taken against the newly designed Directors’ Circle Donor Wall, I notice that our name is right up there “in bronze “with US Sugar Corporation. “This is new,” I thought to myself….”Wow.”

“I didn’t see that last time we were here….Interesting.”

Bronze walled sponsors for the Lyric.
Bronze walled sponsors for the Lyric. Look left third up.
Ed and I have been list on the wall since 2006.
Ed and I have been list on the wall since 2006.
Lyric booklet of Director Circle Donars
Lyric booklet of Director Circle Donors

OK let’s continue ….

So then yesterday, I go to Office Depot to get a special pen, and while I am standing in line a nice lady hands me the brochure for the upcoming Martin County Fair. I have attended the fair since middle school—an iconic event.  I smile, thank her, open the brochure, and  guess who is one of the sponsors?

Yes. US Sugar Corporation.

Martin County Fair brochure 2016
Martin County Fair brochure 2016

When I really think about it, I guess this is no surprise as US Sugar Corporation has been very visible trying to improve their image locally in the Stuart News after 2013’s “Lost Summer” toxic algae fiasco spending $100,000s of dollars on ads like the one below. I wonder where their influence will show up next?

In any case they are not just south of the lake, “they’re here.” This is becoming more and more obvious. Look around.

— The good thing is we’ll have a chance for conversation a little closer to home…I look forward to it.

Ad in Stuart News 2014/15
Ad in Stuart News 2014/15

MC Economic Council:https://www.mceconomy.org

Lyric Theater: https://www.lyrictheatre.com

MC Fair: https://www.martincountyfair.com



Jacqui has lived in Stuart since 1952. Her mother is a 5th generation Floridian from Gainesville. Jacqui is journalism and German graduate of the University of Florida, and an education master’s graduate of the University of West Florida.
She has served the Town of Sewall’s Point since 2008 as well as being the former mayor. During this time she saw the opportunity to help showcase the work of a locally formed river group, the River Kidz, and this has been her passion ever since.
Jacqui is the treasurer/secretary of the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council; has chaired the Florida League of Cities Environmental and Energy Committee; was chair, and long time member of the Treasure Coast Council of Local Governments; is an alternate for the Water Resources Advisory Commission for the South Florida Water Management District; and a board member for Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation. She also serves as an (ex-officio) board member for the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund, and is head administrator for the River Kidz. Jacqui is a Daughter of the American Revolution.
Jacqui’s reach involves not only local, but state and federal government. In 2013,  she served on Senator Joe Negron’s panel for the Select Senate Hearing on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee. In 2014, she actively supported the elections of both Senator Joe Negron and Congressman Patrick Murphy who have both been strong supporters of Indian River Lagoon issues. In 2015, she is part of the Florida League Cities Treasure Coast Advocacy team. Jacqui received the Everglades Coalition’s prestigious 2015 “John V. Kabler Award” for “Grassroots Activism.” Most recently she has been recruited as a fellow by the University of Florida/IFAS’s Natural Resources Leadership Institute Class XV.Jacqui is running for Martin County Commissioner District 1, 2016.

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