"A few minutes after the state board voted to reopen the fund, SBA executive director Coleman Stipanovich said he was stepping down. Stipanovich has been under scrutiny as local governments have asked why the local investment pool was holding some investments that had dramatically lost market value based on downgradings of their quality." "State to reopen local investment pool, investment agency head resigns". The Orlando Sentinel editors: "Our position: Above all, state investment fund needs to restore confidence". See also "State advised to freeze part of fund", "State investment strategy 'uncertain'", "Trustees to decide what to do with investments" and "State reopens local investment pool, investment agency head quits".
As farmworkers beg for pennies ...
CSX Transportation recently received 491 million reasons to be joyful this holiday season, thanks largely to a former governor who treated his public office as if it were an extension of the Skull and Bones secret society."$491 Million That Slipped By Under Wraps".
A few days ago, Florida transportation officials and CSX signed off on a deal, finagled in greater secrecy than the list of covert CIA prisons, that will give the railroad company $491 million in public money to purchase 61 miles of track in the Orlando area.
As part of the CSX corporate welfare deal, money also will be provided to upgrade existing rail lines and create a major hub in Polk County, which could effectively reduce Lakeland to a glorified parking lot for the choo-choos.
Hill the beneficiary of the boycott
"Punishment by the national party and a promise by candidates not to campaign here have left Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York the overwhelming favorite. And just a month away from the Iowa caucuses, the indications from the campaign best positioned to challenge her are that it will be the latter - that rather than making a play for momentum in Florida's primary, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois will instead concentrate on winning states in the Feb. 5 round of primaries." "Ban on state visits tightens Clinton's grip on Democrats".
Stop the presses!
"Blacks are sent to prison at higher rates than whites after convictions in drug cases".
"The United States is not prepared to deal with a burgeoning elderly population that is living longer while the costs of long-term care keep rising, a bipartisan national commission warned Monday." "Long-term care issue not being addressed, bipartisan panel says".
"Florida's 358 charter schools need greater academic scrutiny and tighter fiscal supervision, according to recommendations being released today by the state Senate." "Florida Senate proposes reforms for state's charter schools".
"On paper, Wednesday is the day that state wildlife officials will take manatees off the endangered species list. But that controversial vote -- which has been delayed time and again for the past several years -- could be deferred yet again." "Manatee's endangered status up for vote on Wednesday".
Fees not taxes?
"It was predictable. When property tax bills go down, there is less money to spend on city and county services. Local governments, especially for communities with lots of homesteaded properties, then search for other means of revenue under a euphemism called 'user fees.'" "Tax cut vs. user fee".
crime innocent folks
"With new DNA evidence, convicted killer freed after 13 years".
"Florida government records will be more easily found using common Web search engines, under a partnership announced Monday with Internet giant Google." "Florida, Google make records easier to find".
"Holy wafers stolen from church".
"Biscayne National Park managers and environmentalists want Miami-Dade County commissioners to postpone a Dec. 20 zoning vote that would allow the building of two new nuclear reactors at Turkey Point, arguing there are too many unanswered questions about impacts on the water supply, coastal wetlands and marine life." "Environmentalists: Delay vote on nuclear reactors".
"South Floridians may be tired of talking about saving water. Too bad. The South Florida Water Management District keeps the conversational ball rolling with a second water 'summit' today in West Palm Beach, seeking ways to cope with prolonged drought." "One new water idea: Pay more, but use less".
"Business leaders" whine
"Crist has mapped out an energy policy leading to cleaner and greener living 40 years into the future. But Florida's business leaders say the plan is too aggressive." "Crist Energy Plan Debated".
Heading off Hometown Democracy
Joel Engelhardt: "Tom Pelham is secretary of the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the state's planning agency. He wants to head off Hometown Democracy by improving the state's Growth Management Act. Last week, he released the first of his changes for review by planners - clearly noting that the proposals are for discussion purposes only - and they show promise." "Hometown Democracy Lite".
From the "values" crowd
"Mentally ill military veterans at the nation's busiest VA hospital are routinely treated by inexperienced and unlicensed psychologists, according to complaint filed by a staff member who fears patient care is suffering." "Complaint targets mental health care at Tampa VA".
"Trevor Lyman, the Miami Beach music promoter-turned-campaign fundraising guru, fell short of his goal to raise $2.5 million online Friday for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul." "Ron Paul's fundraiser falls short".
"Five attorneys for Gov. Charlie Crist told the state Supreme Court on Monday that the governor negotiated a casino gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe "solely within the bounds of his authority" and it does not require legislative approval." "Crist argues Seminole gambling deal is legal".
Howard Troxler: "Can the governor of Florida do any darned-tootin' thing he wants to in a contract? No, of course not. He can't repeal a state law, or create a new one. " "Does Crist have right to make deal?"