FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: Hours after Dr. Parisma Taeb announced an August 6 public forum on the health effects of toxic algal blooms, Representative Heather Fitzenhagen announced a public forum of her own to be held the following week.
Dr. Taeb, a Fort Myers physician, is the Democratic challenger to Heather Fitzenhagen for Florida House of Representatives, District 78. The district includes some of the areas hardest hit by the Caloosahatchee River’s worst ever toxic algae bloom. The blue-green algae struck the region in late June and continued through the entire month of July at the same time as red tide battered the Gulf of Mexico beaches all along southwest Florida killing fish, causing maladies among residents, and driving away tourists.
Upon hearing that Florida State Representative Heather Fitzenhagen has scheduled a showing of the movie Toxic Puzzle, Dr. Parisma Taeb responded, “Heather Fitzenhagen cannot hide from her polluting voting record. She is obviously holding this event in an attempt to green-wash her voting record by donating some money to non-profit organizations that, unlike Fitzenhagen, have worked for years to protect our water quality.”
Taeb continued, “I have seen the movie Toxic Puzzle. The documentary is graphic in its portrayal of the serious health problems and many deaths that result from exposure to toxic algal blooms. As a physician I can attest to the accuracy of its warnings.”
These blooms are now a regular occurrence in our area thanks to Fitzenhagen’s pathetic record of protecting polluters with her votes in the Florida Legislature. People need to see this film and the understand that it is the policies and actions of bought-and-paid-for politicians like Fitzenhagen who have helped create these dangers. I’m shocked she would have the nerve to sit in a room while this movie is shown and then pretend she is somehow innocent.
Heather Fitzenhagen has not been part of the solution. Rather, as a Florida legislator she has been a primary part of the problem.