Raul Martinez "and two other Democrats — Joe Garcia, 44, former chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party, and Annette Taddeo, 40, a Colombian-American businesswoman"
are mounting the most formidable effort in years to alter the political face of South Florida. Victories in any of the contests could lead to significant changes in U.S.-Cuba policy, relaxing hard-line restrictions on travel and financial support that have grown increasingly unpopular among Cuban-Americans."Democrats move boldly in South Florida".
"Ormond Beach state Sen. Evelyn Lynn [R-whatever the developers want] whatever says she only was trying to help rural areas around the state lure more development. But the result was that Lynn last week helped derail a proposed rewrite of Florida' growth laws in the dying hours of the legislative session." "Volusia lawmaker's intervention scuttles growth-limit bill".
As paint-ballers rot in jail ...
... "Terror suspect Posada feted in Miami".
More on Bushco's terrorist
Credit the The South Florida Sun-Sentinel for publishing this even-handed LA Times story about who many to be Bushco's terrorist: "Venezuela's ambassador in Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, condemned the celebration of Posada as a mockery of justice and evidence of a Bush administration double standard in fighting terrorism."
"This is outrageous, particularly because he kept talking about violence," Alvarez said of Posada. "He said that the whole thing now is 'to sharpen our machetes'" for a confrontation with leftist regimes in Latin America."Peter Kornbluh, head of the Cuba Documentation Project at George Washington University's National Security Archive":
The U.S. government has never given Venezuela a formal answer to its three-year-old request for extradition of Posada, despite the fact that a treaty providing for such cooperation has been in effect since 1922, the ambassador said.
Posada is alleged to have masterminded the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 on which all 73 on board were killed, including a youth fencing team returning from a tournament in Caracas.
He also is suspected of plotting a series of hotel bombings in Havana in the late 1990s, one of which killed an Italian tourist.
He has boasted of his many attempts to kill Castro and has allegedly been involved in, according to court documents, "some of the most infamous events of 20th century Central American politics."
Posada was serving time in a Panama prison for a 2000 assassination attempt on Castro when outgoing Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso pardoned him and three accomplices in August 2004 in what some observers saw as a favor to President Bush to rally the Cuban-dominated Florida vote for his re-election.
"The spectacle of a wanted international terrorist being publicly feted as a hero in Miami makes a mockery of the Bush Administration's commitment to wage a war on terrorism," he said of Posada's coming-out party.One man's terrorist ...
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "It hasn't even been 10 years yet since Palm Beach County — with voter support and a $100 million public purse — carved out an ambitious, inspiring program to preserve agriculture as a land use and a way of life on prime farmland. And yet, once again, county commissioners are considering lifting development restrictions to appease yet another request from builders." "Proposal to build on preserved land in Ag Reserve an insult that should be rejected".
"Florida's universities are raising tuition, laying off employees and limiting enrollment to make it through what has turned out to be one of the toughest budget years in recent history." "Florida universities raise tuition, cap enrollment, freeze jobs".
"State officials are getting the word out that if you want to stop smoking, there is free help available. A state program launched in December is offering free nicotine gum, lozenges and nicotine patches to smokers." "Florida's smoking-cessation program helps you butt out".
Stop the madness
The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Privatization of the state's only tuberculosis hospital"
"is not a feasible option for the State of Florida." That was the conclusion just last year by an Atlanta-based planning firm the state hired to evaluate A.G. Holley Hospital in Lantana. Then why did state legislators, in the closing hours last week of this year's session, call for the Florida Department of Health to negotiate with a private company to design, build and operate a new, 50-bed replacement for A.G. Holley? ..."Forget dangerous idea of private TB hospital".
Efforts to privatize A.G. Holley began under Jeb "private-is-better-than-public" Bush and appealed to Lantana leaders who want the state to move A.G. Holley so the town can restore the land to its tax roll. But the state has not shown that a private company should be entrusted with curing TB patients and protecting the public from the spread of the airborne disease in the meantime. Privatizing A.G. Holley would cut public health in the name of cutting the budget.
Do we really believe that ...
... after ruining this man's life, that handing him a check means that Crotzer has emerged with his "spirit not only intact but expanded." "Crotzer gets his first check to pay for being wrongly jailed for 24 years".
"A Pig In A Poke"
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "The panel, appointed every 20 years to tackle tax and budget issues too controversial or complex for the Legislature, failed its core mission. It kicked the hard part, how to replace the lost revenue, right back to lawmakers. Voters are offered a package of unknown contents. We're reminded of the ancient trick by swindlers to put a cat in a bag and sell it to an unsuspecting customer as a young pig. When you open the bag, the cat jumps out and runs away." "Voters Hungry For Tax Reform Are Offered A Pig In A Poke".
Scott Maxwell wonders about the gas bags comprising the central Florida Legislative Delegation: "Makes you wonder if these guys aren't really so powerful, after all. Or maybe they're just less powerful than the special interests. Or maybe, just maybe, these folks never really wanted the commuter-rail project as much as they led their puckered-up friends back home to believe." "Looks like all the legislative keister-kissing didn't pay off on commuter rail".
Them lazy judges
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Rarely do people with professional careers leave their jobs at the office, and so it is with judges, who most certainly take work home with them to be as prepared as possible. Still it's concerning that on a recent Friday afternoon - an average Friday afternoon - Tribune reporter Thomas Krause found the courthouse close to vacant. No felony judges were on the bench. One judge went home at 1:30 p.m. Most everyone agreed that Fridays are slow." "Audit Will Benefit State Court System".
Raw political courage
"Crist welcomed Marissa Amora and her family to the governor's mansion this morning where he signed a bill into law that will pay the girl $18.2 million in the next 11 years." "Crist signs bill giving Lake Worth abuse victim Marissa Amora $18.2 million". See also "Crist signs bill giving abused girl $2.9M with promise of $18.2M".
Out here in the fields
"Man sought for robbing migrant workers around South Florida".
"The biggest hole"
Joel Engelhardt: "The biggest hole in the Everglades Agricultural Area does not belong to a mining company digging for road-building materials. It belongs to the government - the South Florida Water Management District - digging to restore the Everglades. It's also not a hole, actually. It's a ditch, an enormous, important ditch. At 20 miles long and 100 feet wide at the surface, it's about half the length and a fifth the width of the Panama Canal." "Digging into the Everglades".
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "The truest test of leadership is how government responds in tough times."
Florida's Legislature largely failed that test during its session that ended Friday."Our position: Lawmakers blew their chance to make a difference in a tight budget year".
Who is the Lt. Gov again?
"The state plane carrying Gov. Charlie Crist had to make a U-turn over Georgia and return to Tallahassee after three controls malfunctioned. " "Plane carrying Gov. Crist makes emergency landing".
Here's an idea
"Tonight the city of Margate takes up the issue. Its resolution calls for "its citizens to sever the ties that said citizens have with the State of Florida and formulate and establish their own state of the Federal Union of the United States."" "Some angry South Florida leaders want to create a separate state".
"'It's based out of frustration with the state Legislature ignoring the cities in South Florida," said North Lauderdale Commissioner Rich Moyle. 'They don't really care too much what happens with South Florida.'" "North Lauderdale wants to split Florida into two states".
"The bills are due"
Tom Blackburn the other day: "We lived rich. Now, the bills are due".
love to talk about running government like a business. But if any private company treated its employees the way lawmakers have treated state workers, it would deserve to go out of business."Work-farce".
"Tens of thousands of Broward homeowners should be given more money for many of the trees destroyed by the state during the controversial citrus canker eradication program, a Broward jury decided late Tuesday." "Citrus owners get slim award: $34 a tree".