The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on July 11, 1985 · Page 110
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 110

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Thursday, July 11, 1985
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Page 110
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I ' ' "I clhofe The Post SECTION B THURSDAY, JULY 11, 1985 c Pahokee Will Ask Hospital, Board To Pay Water Bills By Chuck McGinness Staff Wrlur . PAHOKEE - The city will send letters to Everglades Memorial Hospital and the Palm Beach County School Board, attempting to collect $43,59fr1or water service for which they weren't billed because their meters were not functioning pr operly. City councilmen decided Tuesday night to send the letters along with copies of a report from accountants Nowlen, Holt, Miner and Kisker as the first step in trying to collect the money. The report shows the hospital owes $37,263 and the School Board $6,330 from Pahokee High School. Councilman John Norman said he expects the city will have to negotiate with representatives of the two if there is any chance of receiving the money. "I think this is going to require some negotiations," Norman said. "I think we'd get a lot more done if someone would go to them and speak to them." However, Councilman Ronnie Graydon said the letter will put the two on notice and it will be their decision whether to request any adjustment on the bills. "They owe us. We don't owe them," Graydon said. The city sent bills for minimum service during the time the meters were not working and now wants to collect for unmetered service. The discrepancy was discovered by utilities department clerks last year while the council was preparing its 1984-85 budget. The accounting firm was asked to review records and file the report. In other business, the council: f Authorized consulting engineers Russell and Axon to continue negotiations with Palm Beach County Housing and Community Development officials on obtaining a $150,000 grant to rebuild the main lift station on McClure Road. Engineers estimate the new lift station will cost $180,000 and could be completed around April 1 if the county grant is received. f Adopted an agreement with the county to receive additional revenue with the increase in the gasoline tax to 4 cents. The city will get about $19,000 this year from the 2 -cent tax, and the amount should double with the increase. " Agreed to hold a workshop meeting today to discuss a proposal to be submitted to the county under a proposed $75 million beach bond issue. Disease Stalking Cattle USDA Targeting Okeechobee Herds By Cathy Sims Staff Writtr The campaign to eradicate brucellosis, a mysterious disease that kills and weakens cattle, should begin in earnest in Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties within a year, a federal agriculture official said yesterday. ' Brucellosis specialists moved into Polk County this week, and expect to finish their effort there in six to eight months, U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman Bob Blankenship said. "Okeechobee is very likely their next target after that," he said. Cooperation from cattlemen will be essential to wiping out the disease in Okeechobee County, one of its few remaining strongholds in the country, said Dr. Joe Flanagan, a USDA veterinarian who works in Okeechobee. The special team has helped wipe out the disease in 15 North Florida counties and reduced its hold in dozens more, Blankenship said. The team is working its way south a few counties at a time and is concentrating in Polk and Hillsborough counties. The team expects success in Martin and St. Lucie counties, where a fifth of the herds have the infection and must undergo a quarantine and careful checking before the cattle go to market, he said. Herds there are small and well-separated, which helps control the problem, he said. But Okeechobee County poses one of the toughest cases in the state. "They have a lot of cattle roaming over a lot of acres," Blankenship said. The county's 87,500 cattle more than any county in Florida except Hillsborough tend to roam freely in large herds, which multiplies the chance that the highly contagious disease will spread, he said. At least a fourth of the 550 herds in the county are infected. So far, though, ranchers have shown little desire to change the way they manage their cattle, Flanagan said. ; Brucellosis is an expensive headache for cattlemen, Blankenship said. Checking and vaccinating the cattle several times a year is time-consuming, as is following the restrictions for selling the meat. The cattle have to be checked and vaccinated on a regular schedule and in some cases may be sold only after they are slaughtered. That reduces a rancher's list of prospective buyers and his ability to bargain for a good price, Blankenship said. Brucellosis is not normally a problem for humans. The meat is not affected, and the milk is unsafe only if left unpasteurized. Veterinarians, ranch hands, slaughterhouse workers and others who come in direct contact with diseased cattle can get the disease through cuts, but usually they are safe if they wear gloves and other protective clothing, Blankenship said. Jh '' '''' 1 fin . - - . 4. I Torn KaneTHE POST Mrs. Martha Portee, mother of Eddie Lee Wright Jr., leaves the grave site Hero's Ways Were Just Natural 17-Year-Old Died Trying To Save Children From Fire By Jeffrey Savitskie Staff Writtr INDIANTOWN - A small church was filled with songs of praise yesterday for a 17-year-old Booker Park boy who died Saturday in Georgia while trying to rescue three younger children from a mobile home fire. Eddie Lee Wright, who was visiting relatives in Sylvania, Ga., died in a blaze that also took the lives of his niece and two nephews. The fire was reported at the trailer early Saturday morning. The home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, Sylvania Fire Chief Hubert Brown said. Also killed in the fire was 7-month-old Antwon Moses, Melissa Moses, 3, and Willie Moses, 1. Brown said Wright apparently had been overcome by smoke while trying to save the children, who were asleep inside the burning mobile home. "Brother Wright must have had love beyond measure in his heart," the Rev. J.L. Gary said. "He didn't Turn to SERVICE, B2 i IT ( ,, ci f0 "j'ltsfx Mul i Pallbearers carry the casket of Eddie Lee Wright Jr., 17, from the church yesterday. The youth died while trying to save the lives of his niece and two nephews, who also were killed, during a house fire in Georgia. Cane Growers Call Lawsuit 'Harassing' Action for Haitians Claims Discrimination -tmm S U.S. Sugar Corp. Vice President James Terrill said that apart from a core of Haitian cutters, the sugar industry is forced to rely on foreign workers. By Dean Jones Staff Writer Two sugar industry spokesmen said a lawsuit filed by a group of Haitian farmworkers saying the industry discriminates against them is a harassing attack on growers. The 13 Haitians said in the suit filed Tuesday in West Palm Beach that the industry for 40 yearshas been violating antitrust laws, various labor laws and federal civil rights acts. Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association General Manager George Sorn and U.S. Sugar Corp. Vice President James Terrill said they haven't . seen the suit and couldn't comment on specific allegations. Sorn and Terrill agreed on several points, however. "My only comment," Sorn said in Orlando, "is here we go again. It's part of the tactics used by Florida Rural Legal Services and their counterparts to fight their cases in the news media." The suit was filed on behalf of the Haitians by Florida Rural Legal Services attorneys and the Farmworker Justice Fund in Washington, D.C. Sorn said the suit is another attack on the H-2 program, under which the industry recruits up to 9,000 sugar cane cutters a year from Jamaica and other offshore islands. He said legal services have similar suits pending in Mississippi and Maryland as well as other states. "I guess what bothers me as a citizen," Sorn said, "is that they're using tax money to defend people who came here illegally. Apparently, they prefer to defend illegals than people who come here legally." Under the H-2 program, the industry is allowed to import foreign workers to harvest the cane grown around Lake Okeechobee but only after attempting to find domestic workers. U.S. Sugar recruits all its cane cutters, foreign and domestic, and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association recruits cane cutters for all other companies in the area. Terrill said from Clewiston that all U.S. Sugar officials know is what they've seen on television and in newspapers. "I do know some of the plaintiffs were involved in a so-called work stoppage three years ago and a lawsuit filed shortly after that," Terrill said. He said that apart from a slowly growing number of Haitians who form a core of cutters, the industry is forced to rely on H-2 workers. "The only alternative," he said, "is to hire illegal aliens and we don't want to do that in the sugar industry." Farmworker Justice Fund attorney Kristine Pop-lawski said, "This has nothing to do with the H-2 program. I think that's been their standard defense. It's a little outrageous of them to point their fingers at legal services." She said she believes the industry has turned the H-2 program on its head, saying the original intent was to hire domestic workers when possible but American workers are now being systematically excluded. "There are specific and concrete grievances," she said, "that the growers violate antitrust laws, labor laws and employment laws. It's a valid lawsuit." Getting Gold From Seawater? Take It With a Grain of Salt Frank Sibert, 79, of Boynton Beach, may have hit upon a simple method of extracting gold, silver, platinum and rhodium from sea-water. ; He claims that with simple modifications to his patented seawater distiller, he could start mining the ocean profitably for $50,000 in setup costs. I take such claims with a pillar of salt, and I am not disposed to grubstake him on this. But what if he's right? Do you know how much gold is dissolved in seawater? Sibert, a retired manufacturer, says a cubic mile of ocean contains $300 million worth of gold at $300 an ounce. In trying to confirm that figure I learned that 2,000 pounds of seawater contain one grain of gold in solution. With 7,000 grains to the pound, you'd have to process 14 million pounds of seawater to realize a pound of gold, or about $5,000. If Sibert knows what he's talking about, then presumably you'd be looking at another pound or two of platinum, silver and rhodium, so maybe you could cook those 7,000 tons of ocean down to say, $10,000 worth of precious metals. Not to mention 420,000 pounds of sea salt. So 4f Jou could get a Denny a pound for the non Wiggins V & salt, there's another four grand right there. Plus whatever you can get for more than a million gallons of fresh water. Don't ask me how much fuel you would have to buy to pump and evaporate all that salt water. Don't ask Sibert. He doesn't know either, preferring not to get bogged down in detail. He likes things simple, recalling the words of a mentor who once told him: "Everything in this world is simple. Never forget it." Accordingly, Sibert patented an infrared heat massager that was simple, cheap and a flop when he tried to sell it to Gimbel's Department Store. "I went to stores all over New York and Philadelphia, no luck. Finally, on my third timt? back to the buyer at Gimbel's, he told 7 me that my presentation was too technical. He asked me to tell him in plain language how it works. "I said, 'You plug it in, rub it where it hurts and the pain goes away.' " Gimbels sold thousands. His manufacturing firm in Newark, N.J., also produced a vibrating pillow, a vibrating lounge, a water purifier and a starkly simple electric space heater that operates on a 660-watt heating element and sells for just $49.95. Even though his plant burned down three years ago, he continues to market the heater under license. So how did Sibert get on the gold-from-seawater kick and why should anyone take him seriously? Before the golden egg came the golden chicken, he tells me, which is a twin-tank Sibert DeSalt Sea Water System that he says will produce "85 percent good water and only 15 percent waste water" from the ocean. "When I was working on the desalinization system, I noticed a residue I was getting out of my condenser tank and I sent it to the lab for analysis. They reported that it was gold, silver, platinum and rhodium." Sibert explained that his DeSalt system is comprised of a boiler tank connected coil to the condenser tank. When steam is piped from the boiler through cooler water it condenses as fresh water. The system recycles much of its heat, Sibert said, because the steam preheats storage water to 200 degrees, at which point it is piped into the first tank where it requires only a little more heat to vaporize. Salt is recovered from the boiler tank and expelled from the bottom. I can understand this. You boil water down and you're left with salt. But how do you get minute quantities of precious metals separated from vast quantities of salt? Sibert smiles. "You don't. The metals aren't in the salt. They're in the other tank the condenser tank," he insisted. Here he lost me. Wo-'ld Sibert please explain how he got metals out of what amounts to the storage or cooling unit when by rights any residues would be precipitated out of the boiler tank? "Now I can't tell you that, can I?" he asked. "But it's amazingly simple." I'm not put off so easily. "Do you get it out by plating it onto a metal surface?" I asked. "No." "Well then, can you tell me It the metals are in particulate form or in solution?" "Particulate, I'd say," he answered, then adding: "It comes out by gravity. That's all I can say. But with a $50,000 unit I believe that I can recover $300,000 of gold, silver, platinum and rhodium per year from seawater. That's in addition to saleable salt and distilled water." I was able to confirm some of what Sibert said by calling International Testing Laboratories Inc., Newark, N.J., and speaking with David Hoffman, president. Yes, he recalled Sibert quite well. "I've known him for some 40 years. He's always working on something. We did test a model of his desalinization plant about five years ago and we found his process entirely feasible. He also brought us some residues which did have traces of precious metals. I don't recall his saying where he got them." I told Hoffman about Sibert's ocean-mining enterprise and asked him for a reaction. "That sounds like him. I'd have to know more about it costs and so forth, before I would invest my money." Sibert welcomes correspondence. Write him at 135-D Hi eh Point Blvd. Rovntnn Beach, Fla. 33435. Or (Sail at 737-3950.?

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