My former high school French teacher is quite a character. Mme Michel is special in every way. She speaks raspy English with an "eh, ese" accent, but flawless French. She's a Cuban immigrant whose blond cut resembles that of Gerard Depardieu and used to act out full heart attacks (rolling on the ground, chest clutching) in class if some French loser, someone like me, actually answered a question correctly. The most significant thing about Mme is that she is a staunch environmentalist, often dressing as Mother Earth for the Sierra Club at the Coconut Grove King Mango Strut Parade. She's a hippy inspiration.
One year she either lured my friend Stephanie and I with the promise of extra credit, or guilt, to a rally outside the Biltmore; it was Big Sugar vs. Little Everglades. President Bill Clinton was speaking that day at the hotel and we were all trying to get our message across. Well, needless to say, we were holding signs and yelling on behalf of the Land, against sugar companies that dump in our water supply and the poor workers who have limited resources and actually carry out the work. It's always a mixed bag, but ultimately, the earth is numero uno in my book. Later that day, Steph and I snuck our way to the Biltmore pool, and since we were deemed not a threat, were allowed to watch Bill pass by. I yelled, "we love you Bill!" and Stephanie yelled, "we love Chelsea!"
I am writing this today because Florida's big sugar business has seemingly capitulated, and handed over almost 300 sq miles of land, including wetlands, over to the State, at a price of course ($1.7 billion). This is wonderful news for Miami, bro! The State seems dedicated to using this land for good, not evil, and apparently the workers own 30% of the company in stocks and they'll be receiving 2 years severance pay-- no need to worry bout them. So, on this important day, I just want to congratulate Mme Michel La Belle! 1 point for Mere Terre, if you will.