Is the Blue Zones Project Really a Do-Nothing Scheme that Only Helps NCH Hospital?

It’s about time that the Southwest Florida community revisit the carpetbagging “Blue Zones Project” that was imposed upon all of us by Dr. Allen Weiss’ NCH Healthcare System.

Question #1:  Has anyone in Collier County ever asked Allen Weiss what’s in it for NCH?  For instance, does it help NCH qualify to get Medicare subsidies under Obamacare as part of a new revenue-generating business model ?   If so, Weiss and NCH were not forthcoming with this self-interest while they peddled their pet Blue Zones project around town for the better part of the 2014-15 year.  Why else would NCH’s President dedicate so much of his efforts for a year, if not for some benefit to NCH’s bottom line?  But that was not their narrative provided by NCH to We the People.

Question #2:  If Blue Zones is so great, why did the publicly traded Healthways company have to pay $25MM or more to get rid of that division in Summer 2016? 

See this link:

Note this quote from the article:

“In addition, Nashville, Tennessee-based Healthways is paying ShareCare $25 million upfront to cover expected losses from the population health business. It also agreed, if need be, to forfeit up to $20 million of its ShareCare equity stake to offset negative cash flow not covered in the upfront payment.”

Question #3:  If Blue Zones is such an organic movement, why do they only really “expand” by latching onto a government board who then imposes it on its workers, students, or the community at large?  Consider Blue Zones’ strategy to date.  First they latched onto the Naples Chamber and its “Opportunity Naples” affiliate (which include Weiss and pals such as Dudley Goodlette who then helped push the initial effort).  Next they latched onto our government boards including the Naples City Council, the Collier County School Board (thanks to Superintendent’ Patton’s closed door efforts with her elite pals where she was instructed to conceal the Blue Zones public record until after it was signed and approved), the Board of County Commissioners, and now the Bonita Springs City Council and the Estero Town Council.

The Blue Zoners also latched onto various sympathetic HOA boards around town who then impose it on their residents.**

** Kudos to the Oakes Estates Advisory Board who, in 2015, told the Blue Zones minions to get lost and never come back when they tried to infiltrate the freedom-minded residents who live off of Oakes Boulevard who are not governed by an “official” HOA.  This is the difference between an ad hoc board such as Oakes Estates, and your typical HOA which has the strong-arm ability to impose new rules and regulations on its members.

Get the Blue Zones strategy here?  “Organic” growth by force.

Where is the proof that the people of Collier County organically endorse Blue Zones?  Three years in, B&B does not see that evidence.***

***Note:  The first “Blue Zones Certified” restaurant in Collier County — the “Cider Press Cafe” — has long since shuttered its doors.   Apparently the marketplace of Collier County residents rejected its Blue Zones fare.

Question #4:  What exactly has Blue Zones done for our community that was not already happening before they imposed themselves on us back in 2014-15? 

Is it marching around the neighborhood with friends and neighbors?  People have been doing that here for years.  And the rest of society has advanced far past “walking moias” in their exercise choices, into things like Cross-fit, paddle boarding, etc.

Is it riding bikes?  People have been doing that for years.  We could give  statistics on the dramatic rise in interest (and purchases) in road biking since Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France success starting around 1999.

Is it eating well?  People will either eat well, or they won’t.  Organic food consumptions was already on the rise through the 2000’s long before Blue Zones.  Go ask Alfie Oakes about the efforts of his father, Frank Oakes – who founded the popular “Food and Thought” store over a decade ago on U.S. 41 in Naples.

Is it pushing infrastructure such as new pathways that “we the taxpayer” have to pay for, with credit to “Blue Zones?”  The Naples Pathway Coalition has been working hard since the 1990s – long before Blue Zones – and they are much more responsible for the new pathways, bike lanes, etc., than Blue Zones ever has been.  Modern day planning principals endorsed by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) have long-since pushed pathways and neighborhood connectivity.  These concepts were not initiated by Blue Zones.

Question #5 – If BLue Zones is so helpful, why did they start in the healthiest part of Collier County — and avoided the impoverished town of ImmokaleeIf this isn’t about NCH and money, then why wouldn’t NCH start in Immokalee where good health is more in demand?  Instead, they have left that for last.  Even by Blue Zones’ own standards conducted by their own self-serving “Gallup-Sharecare Wellbeing Survey,” Naples was already #2 in the country in terms of health before Blue Zones arrived in town.  So why start in Naples, where the marginal increase in healthy living would be very small?  If they were sincere they would have started in Immokalee, where the marginal increase could have been much greater.

The same pattern occurs nationally with Blue Zones.  They don’t target impoverished areas such as Mississippi or inner-city Detroit.  Instead, they seem to target markets with an already existing and functioning health care/hospital system.  Thus, see Question #1 above.

So what, exactly, do we the people of Southwest Florida all get out of Blue Zones?  And why should they get the credit for all of these successes that started long before their carpetbagging arrival in our community?

Beware the Terms “Civility” and “Collaboration” — They Mean Disenfranchisement

On July 13, William “Bill” Barker and his fellow Naples Daily News editorial board members resumed their cowardly effort to destroy Collier school board member Kelly Lichter because they are afraid that she will expose the failures of Collier County’s local deep state.  You see, Lichter’s Mason Classical Academy is running circles around Superintendent Patton’s traditional public schools, and Patton and Barker are fellow Naples Chamber pals.

Local elitists such as Barker cannot tolerate their lack of control over a principled local public official like Lichter– and thus they are attempting to destroy her just like the national deep state is trying to destroy the non-conformist President Trump.

In an editorial describing the need for “civility” and “collaboration” among local elected officials, Barker’s editorial board concludes that Lichter is “boisterous” and thus a problem.  Citing no evidence whatsoever, the editorial board asserts that “while four of the five board members have demonstrated an ability to respectfully debate and disagree, member Kelly Lichter is the boisterous one.”

Bolduc & Bracci in recent weeks have exposed the Naples Daily News’ bogus attacks on Lichter,  leaving them only with yesterday’s pathetic attack on Lichter’s “civility.”

To back up their feeble claim, Barker and his editors dredged up a quote by the establishment-conformist school board member Stephanie Lucarelli saying “I’m sorry you need to be so disrespectful.” (The editors refer to Lucarelli as “affable,” perhaps due to Lucarelli’s propensity to laugh at herself while straining to complete a sentence while on the dais.)

The elitist NDN editors apparently think so little of their readers’ intelligence that they do not even provide the background for the exchange between Lichter and Lucarelli.  Did Lichter have a basis to be disrespectful  towards Lucarelli?   If Lichter felt that Lucarelli was once again attempting to undermine Mason Classical’s success, then Lichter had every right to defend that school’s students and families from Lucarelli’s institutional bullying from the dais.

A “real” news organization would inform the reader on that background.  But not the Naples Daily (Fake) News.

The attack on Lichter is unfounded. She is labeled “boisterous” and “uncivil” only because that is the narrative the NDN has painted.  If you listen to Lichter’s message repeated over-and-over at school board meetings, she wants to focus only on education, and get rid of the special interests of Superintendent Patton and her pals, such as Blue Zones and the outsourcing of other “community partnerships,” which take the School District’s eyes off the ball of reading, writing and arithmetic — those basic lessons that are driving Mason Classical’s success in the classroom.

Watch for yourself – Does Kelly Lichter sound “boisterous,” or does she simply want to keep the District out of the pet projects of Bill Barker’s pals such as NCH/Allen Weiss’ Blue Zones Project?

So beware the NDN’s use of the terms “civility” and “collaboration.” This is liberal deep state code for “conformity” to the establishment.  Barker and his high-ranking pals at the Naples Chamber have set their own self-serving agenda such as Blue Zones societal control for the benefit of NCH Hospital, tax increases that will mainly serve the county’s largest land owners, outsourcing school board governance to a nebulous Chamber-hatched organization called “Future Ready Collier,” and retaining a Superintendent who provides them with access to the School District, its students, and its $1BB budget.

Note to Readers:  Are you aware that NDN President Bill Barker is also the Chair-Elect of the Naples Chamber?  Does anyone think that is healthy for our community?

The local establishment cannot tolerate someone such as Lichter — who is a threat to their gravy train.

Government officials who do not conform to Collier County’s local deep state will be branded “uncivil” and even “boisterous.”  By contrast, those conformist politicians such as Lucarelli who mindlessly do the deep state’s bidding with their lock-step voting will be deemed “affable.”  Better terminology might be to refer to the likes of Lucarelli as our local establishment’s “useful idiots.”

We the People know that our elected public officials are not there to be “civil” or to “collaborate” if that means that they must set aside their own principles — those same principles our elected officials pledged to their constituents that they would follow once voted into office.  The establishment’s demand for “civility” and “collaboration” are really attempts to bully our local elected conservative officials into silence.  They are terms designed to disenfranchise We the People, in pursuit of the local establishment’s self-serving agenda.

So as we move into the 2018 election season, beware what you read in the Naples Daily (Fake) News, particularly when the article mentions “civility,” “collaboration,” or the “Naples Chamber.”

Those candidates who are “uncivil” just might be the best of the bunch.  And that which the Naples Chamber says is necessary should be doubted.

If Allen Weiss is So Influential, Why is He Pandering For Votes?

Last week, NCH President/Naples Chamber board member Dr. Allen Weiss circulated an email shamelessly begging people to vote for him as one of the “100 Most Influential People In Healthcare.”

[Click here for Weiss’ email]

Perhaps we are missing something here, but if Weiss is so influential in healthcare, why does he need to pander for votes?

Amongst Weiss’ justifications is his advocacy for the Blue Zones Project which he and other elites including Superintendent Kamela Patton and NDN Publisher William “Bill” Barker, orchestrated behind closed doors under instructions to conceal their public record work product until after they had signed it, as reported by B&B on  April 7, 2017.

The Blue Zones Project and Weiss’ “most influential” campaign have one thing in common:   both strive to appear as if they are organic movements, when really they are just smoke-and-mirrors being imposed upon the public by the Collier County elite deep state.

What better way to strengthen their imperial power than to have one of their own gain nationwide status.

Blue Zones, Sunshine, and the Naples Daily News

By Steve Bracci:

“Kicks” to the Naples Daily News editorial board for its April 1 print edition piece supporting the Blue Zones Project® by stating that “Government should be in the Sunshine ……unless perhaps that shade is blue.”  This is hypocrisy, or perhaps the editors are just April fools.

Taken literally, the NDN editorial board is saying that it is just fine that our various local governments’ participation in Blue Zones occurs behind closed doors and outside of public view.   Why not, since the Naples Daily News’  paw prints are all over it?

In June 2015, the Blue Zones Project manager e-mailed the Blueprint to the steering committee, instructing that “this document shall not be public record or shared until after you have signed and approved it in July.”  Naples Daily News President Barker – with first-hand knowledge of this instruction to conceal a public record – apparently went along.

The NDN’s three-person editorial board includes its president, William “Bill” Barker.  In 2015, Barker joined the “Blue Zones Project Steering Committee” that met behind closed doors alongside 6 local government officials including Superintendent Kamela Patton and County Commissioner Penny Taylor.  Their purpose:  to orchestrate the for-profit Blue Zones Project’s® infiltration into our local governments and other elite local establishments.   It was all described in a Blue Zones Blueprint developed by Barker and his fellow steering committee members.  In June 2015, the Blue Zones Project manager e-mailed the Blueprint to the steering committee, instructing that “this document shall not be public record or shared until after you have signed and approved it in July.”

Naples Daily News President Barker – with first-hand knowledge of this instruction to conceal a public record – apparently went along.  Barker’s NDN newspaper never reported on the contents of the Blueprint, nor on the fact that our public officials were about to sign it.  Worse yet, Superintendent Patton kept that document from the public until a school board member forced her to produce it.  Despite the public not having seen the Blueprint, Barker ran an editorial two days before the school district’s final 9/8/2015 vote, telling readers that “the debate is over” and that the school district should adopt the very Blueprint that Barker helped to conceal.

This is what our local newspaper of record calls “Blue Zones in the Sunshine.”

Click here for the Naples Daily News editorial.