Posts Tagged ‘Context’

Brewster Bevis: Karenna Gore out of touch with Florida’s energy future

Monday, February 20th, 2017

Floridians have heard a great deal about the potential expansion of renewable energy, and for good reason.
Per the Energy Information Administration, renewable energy like solar and wind rank among the fastest-growing energy sources. It’s a promising development – one we should all applaud.
Still, one pressing concern remains: Renewables alone can’t meet the state’s escalating energy needs.
The University of Florida estimates that the state’s population will increase from nearly 20 million in 2014 to about 29 million in 2040 – which the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council projects will increase electricity demand by more than 10 gigawatts by 2035.
Remember: One gigawatt

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For ‘Dem-witted’ Florida Democrats, stop arguing and get to work

Monday, February 20th, 2017
In case Democrats haven’t figured it out yet, they are in a position of increasing irrelevance for a couple of big reasons: They consistently have been outworked, and they apparently can’t understand what’s actually happening in Florida and this country.
The election of Donald Trump is just the latest in what has been a series of events that left Democrats dazed and confused (apologies to Led Zeppelin). I was reminded of that Saturday when an enthusiastic and large crowd (yes, Mr. President, it was large) turned out in Melbourne to hear President Trump rail against his favorite targets — chief

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Miami-Dade residents, rise and activate!

Monday, February 20th, 2017
I was born and raised in Miami, after my family was forced to flee from our home country of Nicaragua in the 1970s. My family took refuge in Miami, I believe, because of its welcoming environment and close proximity to Central America. I spent my entire childhood and teenage years in this community, devoting countless hours to service and working hard through my studies at MAST Academy, a privilege and honor I hold close to my heart till this day.
I share this brief look into my early life because I am completely in awe of how Miami-Dade has seen

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Dan Raulerson and Dennis Baxley say ‘Let them eat steak’

Sunday, February 19th, 2017
In 10 years as head of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC), Stephen Auger didn’t do much to solve the chronic, critical problems of people who work hard, play by the rules, and still can’t afford a decent place to live.
But he won the hearts and minds of millionaire senators like Dennis Baxley and Dan Raulerson, who think that buying steak dinners for people who do business with FHFC is a good use of taxpayer money.
Auger is among the casualties of Gov. Rick Scott‘s pre-session purge of agency heads caught in the act of frivolous, selfish, useless and stupid

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Hail Britannia: U.K. could teach U.S. a thing or two about running government

Sunday, February 19th, 2017
Late in the campaign, the New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz wrote that Queen Elizabeth II was offering to take the colonies back, suggesting that Americans dissatisfied with their options should just write in her name for president.
It doesn’t seem quite as funny now as it did then.
Let’s imagine, though, that we are still part of the British Empire, and that Donald Trump has moved to London and is now Prime Minister.
Imagine him waddling into the House of Commons to face that jolly good British ordeal known as Prime Minister’s Questions.
Imagine him trying to explain to the MPs and to

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We don’t have a president. We have a high priest of the American id

Sunday, February 19th, 2017
I don’t know what to tell you. Honestly.
One of the hallmarks of an unfree society is a lack of narratives to make clear sense of the government’s behavior — especially the government’s preferred narratives.
But this government has no narratives; no coherent, meaningful story to tell to us, the governed; no clear philosophy. We only neurotic and self-serving prevarications that shift as quickly as the ground beneath the lie-manufacturers.
America is in a crisis, and the America that eventually emerges will not be one any of us — liberal, conservative, urban, rural — will much recognize.
In the future, in this space,

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Economic development incentives drive jobs to Florida, boost state economy

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Shaping up to be one of the biggest battles in the Legislature in many years, the fight on economic development incentives and tourism funding has been swirling throughout the halls of the Capitol the last few weeks. On one side are those who believe that taxpayer dollars should not be used to entice businesses and tourists to Florida; the other side sees these programs as crucial for creating jobs and boosting our economy.
Having watched and safeguarded taxpayer dollars being spent and invested for nearly than 40 years, I am convinced by overwhelming evidence that these programs are essential components

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Subliminal message no help in Enterprise Florida fight

Friday, February 17th, 2017

I was watching the fascinating video from the Florida House of Representatives in its escalating war with Gov. Rick Scott over state subsidies for private businesses and tourism when an image caught my eye as it streaked by quickly.
It was the logo for Enterprise Florida, the public-private partnership that is supposed to create jobs. Scott loves the concept so much he included $85 million in his budget request for the endeavor. Therein lies the battle line with House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who says it’s a waste of taxpayer money.
The House video makes that case emphatically.
Anyway, I rolled the video

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In mock court, UF law students argue case echoing infamous FSU ‘Jane Doe’ lawsuit

Friday, February 17th, 2017

The black-robed justices who filed solemnly into a courtroom at the University of Florida law school Thursday morning were not the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, but they were announced as if they were.
“All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the court is now sitting,” a bailiff boomed out as students, law professors and attorneys with Holland & Knight — the law firm that sponsored the event — stood respectfully.
But when Florida’s chief justice, Jorge Labarga, took a seat behind the

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Out like Flynn: The firing of National Security adviser Mike Flynn

Friday, February 17th, 2017
“In like Flynn” has been part of American language since the 1940s.
The San Francisco Examiner in February 1942 contained the first known use of the term when it stated: “Answer these questions correctly, and your name is Flynn, meaning you’re in …”
Within a few months, the term became closely identified with movie idol Errol Flynn. Flynn had developed a reputation as a fighter, drinker and womanizer. In November 1942, Flynn was accused by two underage girls of statutory rape. Flynn was cleared of the charge in 1943 and “in like Flynn” became part of the actor’s persona. The phrase

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David Santiago plays Jason Bourne while FDLE ferrets out real terror in the House

Thursday, February 16th, 2017
We are a nation of immigrants with very short memories. How else to explain HB 427’s frontman David Santiago‘s embrace of a ludicrous and mean-spirited effort to take Florida out of a federal program that assists people fleeing “war, persecution and violence.“
Not so long ago, folks whose name ended in a vowel might be admonished — along with Jews, dogs and Irish — to “keep off the grass.” Yet Santiago and a large crowd of pols whose people arrived here from Someplace Else are hell-bent on taking Florida out of a federal program that assists refugees to settle in to an economy

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Frank Artiles: A review of the facts — SFRTA gets it right

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

Over the last few weeks, South Florida has seen criticism regarding the process used by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) to award a contract to operate and maintain the South Florida Tri-Rail commuter rail system to Herzog Transit Services, Inc.
As your elected representative, I made it my personal mission to delve into the details surrounding the process and draw my own conclusion on the integrity of the process. What I found was that the attacks on the process are not consistent with the facts surrounding this issue and do not divulge the entire story.
SFRTA initiated a competitive

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Patrick La Pine: Credit unions work to protect consumers’ interests, balance Florida economy

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

As a member-owned cooperative, a credit union’s success is directly related to the financial health of the people who use its services every day. This symbiotic structure is why credit unions remain the safest and most consumer-friendly option for financial services.
This is the reason the government was not bailing out credit unions after the 2008 financial crisis. Washington seems to have forgotten who was responsible for that crisis. Regulations written and created to police the bad behavior of Wall Street and big banks have been slapped onto credit unions, too.
These massive one-size-fits-all regulations have been detrimental to many Florida

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Florida’s drug laws are giving me a pain in the ass

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
No one disputes that opiate addiction is a national problem. Statistics show that over 52,000 Americans died because of drug abuse, or about 142 people a day. One-third of those deaths are from opioids prescribed by doctors.
Although a national problem, Florida led the nation in opioid abuse until recently. Individuals from all over the southeastern United States flooded into Florida to visit our “pill mills.” I-75 was known as the gateway to easy drugs. In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration referred to I-75 as the “Oxy Express.”
A single pill mill in Tampa wrote scripts for over 1 million oxycodone

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Florida abuses teachers and can’t figure out why there’s a teacher shortage

Monday, February 13th, 2017
At the rate Florida is hemorrhaging classroom teachers, it soon won’t matter that we can’t hire school bus drivers for $11.88 an hour, because there won’t be any classrooms worth taking the kids to.
Every week brings fresh reporting about Florida’s teacher shortage; none of it is a surprise to parents or policymakers who have been paying even the slightest bit of attention.
The teaching talent pool began to shrink in the mid-20th century as women’s professional options expanded into better-paying places. Still, girls and an increasing number of boys raised to revere teachers continued to pursue careers in the classroom.
Teaching

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The new civics course in schools: How to avoid fake news

Monday, February 13th, 2017
Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news — and why they should care that there’s a difference.
As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of “Pope endorses Trump” headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think only education can solve this problem,” said Pat Winters Lauro, a professor at Kean University in New Jersey who began teaching a

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Charlie Crist may be likable, but how soon before he eyes a new gig?

Monday, February 13th, 2017
One of Charlie Crist’s best traits is his likability.
He can be a candle-in-the-wind on issues, depending on his audience. Changing parties infuriated Republicans and made Democrats skeptical. And once he gets a job, he tends to get wandering eyes for his next gig. But damn, he is a really nice guy. Despite his baggage, people like him and a lot of them vote for him.
That’s one reason he rose above the political tsunami that swamped Democrats nationwide and beat another good guy in Republican David Jolly to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Given that, it’s puzzling that Crist so far

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Bruce Grant: Leave alcohol wall as is

Monday, February 13th, 2017
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Florida has some laws on the books that actually work well – and we should leave them alone.
Such as the law that restricts hard liquor sales to a store that primarily sells liquor. The same law limits and controls direct access to these stores by requiring customers to enter through a separate door facing the outside of the establishment. Both provisions exist to control – and thereby limit – access to minors.
When minors enter a liquor store, they immediately stand out from customers of legal age. This makes identifying and monitoring minors easier

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Federal judges’ lifetime tenure for good reason; Tallahassee should take note

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
There is a profound reason why the Founders gave life tenure to federal judges, subject only to impeachment for bad behavior. As Alexander Hamilton explained it in The Federalist No. 78:
“In a monarchy, it is an excellent barrier to the despotism of the prince; in a Republic, it is a no less excellent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of the representative body…”
Judges subject to the whims of a president or the Congress to keep their jobs would be worthless. So would the Constitution.
The founding wisdom has been confirmed time and again, most famously when the Supreme Court ruled

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Palm Beach County Commissioner has great advice for Rick Scott

Friday, February 10th, 2017
The Very Best Idea in Florida Right This Minute comes from Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who is asking Gov. Rick Scott to call Florida’s heroin epidemic by its right name: a public health crisis.
This should be a no-brainer for Scott. With heroin-related hospital bills running at close to a billion a year in Florida, a governor who made millions as a hospital executive and reportedly aspires to higher office should take the state’s opioid addiction problem at least as seriously as McKinlay’s hometown newspaper.
For over two years, The Palm Beach Post has relentlessly pursued the hydra-headed heroin

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Florida seniors, be careful what you wish for with Donald Trump, Medicare

Friday, February 10th, 2017
Florida’s estimated 3.8 million senior citizens wanted change. They wanted to, how you say, drain the swamp? They voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in November.
With voters age 65 and over, Trump won Florida by 17 percent. That likely was the difference in a statewide race he won over Hillary Clinton by about 119,000 votes.
Here is part of the change they voted for. His name is Tom Price, just confirmed in the Senate as Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services by a party-line vote of 52-47. Seniors may become better acquainted with him the next few years. He is

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Travis Hutson, Mike La Rosa: Florida needs 5G now

Friday, February 10th, 2017

What do smart cities, driverless vehicles, autonomous drones, and instantaneous 3D downloads all have in common? The need for 5G wireless technology.
Under Senate Bill 596 and House Bill 687, which creates the Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act, Floridians have the opportunity to bring ultra-fast speeds – speeds that were previously only available through a wired connection – to your wireless devices.
With the deployment of 5G across Florida, we are looking at the future of machines talking to machines and wireless network speeds that are 10 times faster than today. This advancement to 5G will dramatically impact our everyday lives,

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How can we respect the presidency, when Donald Trump clearly doesn’t?

Friday, February 10th, 2017
When President Harry S. Truman threatened in December 1950 to punch out a Washington Post music critic who had panned his daughter’s singing, he wrote the letter in his own hand, affixed his own postage stamp, and did not make it public. Neither did the Post.
But America knew all about it once it had leaked to the Washington News.
“It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful,” the president wrote …”Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens, you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for

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Carol Dover: Florida’s future depends on tourism

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Marketing is a contest for people’s attention, and state tourism marketing is no different. However, the detrimental impacts of removing a powerful marketing mechanism mean a world of difference when your state budget revenue depends on your share of the market.
The proposed bill spearheaded by the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee that eliminates VISIT FLORIDA will have severe and irreversible impacts on the state’s hospitality industry. We must protect the tourism industry, Florida’s top employer and chief economic driver, not only for the industry’s 1.4 million employees, but for the local communities whose livelihood is contingent on bringing tourists

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FAU puts its money where its priorities are, part 2

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Brand-in-himself (and biggest celebrity football coach in our state) Lane Kiffin has hit the headline-grabbing ground running.
Just weeks on the job at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), Kiffin is providing elite sportswriters and citizen journalists with reams of revealing insights into the mind of the young genius chosen to channel FAU’s “unbridled ambition” into a winning season at the jock palace formerly known as GEO Group Stadium.
The ink was barely dry on Kiffin’s $950,000 contract when he struck a blow for transparency and accountability (T&A), inviting Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated to keep him company as he shopped around Boca Raton’s

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On Rick Scott/Richard Corcoran feud; ‘incentives’ not needed to draw business to Florida

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
In 2012, Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan went on a personal crusade to convince Bass Pro Shops to build a store in Brandon.
Hagan’s aim was to create jobs as the county struggled to recover from the Great Recession. He proposed an “incentive” package that was about $15 million of taxpayer money, arguing that it was the cost of doing business with a company like that.
Many people disagreed. They screamed. They howled. They complained that giving a Death Star-like Bass Pro public money to open shop forced small outdoor businesses to subsidize a multibillion-dollar corporation that could run them into

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Darryl Paulson: We are not the same; the immoral equivalency of President Donald Trump

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Voters who supported Donald Trump for president did so because they liked his free-speaking ideas, his attacks on the political establishment and his promise to “make America great again.”
President Trump has repeatedly stated that he would have won the popular vote for president if not for massive vote fraud. Does Trump believe that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin won his office in free and fair elections?  I hope Trump cannot be that deluded.
Republicans raised strong criticisms when President Barack Obama conducted what many Americans viewed as an “apology tour,” criticizing America for all its failures. Americans prefer their presidents defend the

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Blake Dowling: Drones, drones everywhere — Super Bowl to Prison

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Yay sports!
Or “yay ball,” as one of my techie staff members used to say (she had zero interest in football, etc.)
Yay sports, indeed. This weekend was awesome for sports, with the most thrilling Super Bowl ever. And I also attended the Kentucky-Florida basketball game; what a battle in the brand-new Gville arena.
If you love hoops, watching 6 of the top 10 teams get knocked out Saturday was exciting; for Gator fans, a 20-point whipping of Kentucky (doesn’t happen often) so we get to enjoy that one for a while.
Fast forward to Sunday; seeing Lady Gaga bring the thunder in

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Super Bowl ads go political in a big way

Monday, February 6th, 2017
Messages about America, inclusiveness — and, yes, even “four years of awful hair” — kept bubbling up in Super Bowl 51 ads from Airbnb, the NFL and a line of personal care products. But there was still plenty of escapism and light humor for those who weren’t into the politics.
As the New England Patriots edged out the Atlantic Falcons on the field in Houston, Airbnb touted inclusiveness with an ad showing faces of different ethnicities and the copy: “We all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”
Coca-Cola aired a previously run ad during the pregame show in which people sing

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Santa Rosa Creep of the Week reveals cockroaches in school district kitchen

Monday, February 6th, 2017
Santa Rosa County Creep of the Week is also the Santa Rosa County School District’s 2016 Substitute Employee of the Year, proving yet again that Florida is never too busy to hand out meaningless awards, and always underfunded for things that matter.
Substitute teacher Richard Mack, 66, is charged with multiple counts of molesting multiple elementary school age children. The Pensacola News-Journal tells us “the investigation is still active so more information could be forthcoming.” The paper would have some of that information if the Santa Rosa School District had a personnel file of everyone who qualifies to be within

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