Thursday, June 12, 2014

Woman Jailed Over Conservation Measures

By way of Capt. Ed's Blog: Woman in Cape Coral, Florida, was cited by the city for failure to use the city water and electric

Cape woman living “off the grid” challenged by city
CAPE CORAL, FL - A Cape Coral woman refuses to use city power and water. But now, she has a month to “plug in” or face the consequences.

We met with the woman in a legal battle with the city to protect her way of life. It’s a lifestyle some can only afford to dream of living.

“If I could figure out how to do it, I would probably do it too,” said Cape Coral resident Slyvia Lavandier.

Robin Speronis figured out how to do it more than a year and a half ago. “I’m choosing to live without being dependent on the system,” said Speronis.

Speronis is living “off the grid” as she describes it. “I never have to worry about that bill coming in,” said Speronis.  No city power or water running through her house walls. Instead, she uses solar panels and treated rain water for survival.

It’s a way of life that’s she says is being challenged by city code enforcement. “When this was brought to my attention I felt like I had to act. I felt like Cape Coral was intruding in the woman’s lifestyle,” said Todd Allen, Speronis’ Attorney. Allen took Speronis’ case on for free.

On Thursday during a special hearing, the two sides met to discuss the legality of her living arrangements. There a special magistrate ruled Speronis was not guilty of not having a proper sewer or electrical system; but was guilty of not being hooked up to an approved water supply.

“What happened here is people don’t talk to us or cooperate. We don’t communicate then we are forced to use the legal tools at our disposal,” said Frank Cassidy with Cape Coral Code Compliance.

City code officials say this isn’t a case of singling out an individual, but making sure everyone follows the rules. “In the whole scheme of things, its no different than the hundreds of cases we deal with all the time,” said Cassidy.

Speronis now has a month to comply.
Curiously, we have similar regulations here in Maryland regarding water. If you establish a dwelling adjacent to the water co-op, you must connect to it. You can drink all the rainwater that you want, use it to wash and flush, and we'd never know because we don't have water meters, but you must be connected, which means that you pay for our water whether you want it or not (I've never heard of this being an issue).

But then, a few months later, she was back in trouble with the law, this time over her pets:
A Cape Coral woman known for her off the grid lifestyle was jailed Friday, following her arrest earlier in the week on a charge of animal cruelty.

Robin Speronis has been living without city power and water for more than a year. She owns two pet dogs: a 7-year-old Chihuahua and a 14-year-old Lab, which Lee County Domestic Animal Services investigators seized last month in order to provide medical treatment to them.

Speronis allegedly told investigators the Lab’s worsening skin condition was caused by “elephant skin”, and had been evident for the last nine years. Authorities eventually returned the Chihuahua. Speronis also allegedly told authorities she believed steroids and antibiotics kill good bacteria.
Well, yes they do, and steroids have bad effects as well as
Investigators say they have been trying to check on the welfare of the dogs since December 2013, but were never allowed access.
So, this woman is in jail because her 14 year old Labrador Retriever has a skin condition, and they think she is not treating it right?  Color me skeptical. I think they're just using that as an excuse to jail a woman who would not "Respect the Authoritah."

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