Saturday, July 22, 2006



Juvenile Justice

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

July 22, 2006

ISSUE: Programs treat girls like boys.

They aren't just boys painted pink. That anyone might think so shows how far
we have to go before Florida's juvenile justice system recognizes that girls
are different from boys.

More girls than ever before are entering the system. Over the past five
years, girls' admissions to detention centers have increased by 10 percent
while the number of boys admitted has declined by 12 percent. One of every
five young people in the system today is a girl.

Yet according to a study by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency,
programs for girls are sorely lacking in the system run by the Florida
Department of Juvenile Justice. They are essentially "boys' programs painted
pink," in the words of council President Barry Krisberg, as quoted by Bill
Kaczor of the Associated Press. Krisberg added: "These programs by and large
don't work."


Using religion against reason

Jack Deitchman
Coconut Creek

July 22, 2006

I would like to denounce the vote of Sen. Mel Martinez against stem cell
research. This in the face of a bill that was going to use only those
embryos that would otherwise be destroyed that remain from in vitro

The bill would have required the permission of the embryo donor, and no
money would have been allowed to change hands. The president's mouthpiece
said that he vetoed the bill because it was murder. Really. Does that mean
that Nancy Reagan is a murderer? Or possibly Sens. Bill Frist and Orrin

What we have here is a group of senators led by Martinez who believe that to
allow people to die from horrible diseases is permissible, in lieu of using
matter that would be destroyed to save lives and suffering.

Where is Sen. Martinez's bill to deny the use of in vitro? Since 40 percent
to 80 percent of all -- yes, all -- embryos do not attach, where is the
senator's bill to ensure that all women are required to collect their
unattached embryos? Yes, I know it is stupid, but that is exactly the stance
of Martinez and his president.


Dozier's comments

Jim Buresch
Wilton manors

July 22, 2006

In regard to Wednesday's letter, "Why mosque makes us uneasy": The letter
writer states, "The problem is a lot of people feel the way the Rev. Dozier
feels but are afraid to say it." A lot of people felt the way Klansman David
Duke felt, too.

While both men are entitled to free speech, no one should let their venom
get credible attention in the media or get to the ears of our children or we
are all in trouble.


New shuttle service offered to gay visitors

Pride Ride seen as affordable alternative to drinking and driving
Saturday, July 22, 2006

David Collins says the No. 1 question he receives from visitors to his gay
travel website, Naked, is "where can I stay in Fort Lauderdale
where I can walk to everything?"

"The answer is nowhere," said Collins, a former resident of Key West who
said he misses being able to walk to the bars and restaurants along Duval

In recent years, Fort Lauderdale has become increasingly popular as a gay
travel and nightlife destination despite its lack of pedestrian

Drinking at Fort Lauderdale's many gay clubs and restaurants is a part of
many people's vacation experiences.

But when it's time to drive back to the hotel, alcohol and a lack of
familiarity with the area put many visitors at risk for an accident or DUI
charge, Collins noted. Taking cabs everywhere can be expensive, and having a
"designated driver" requires that someone be left out of the fun, he said.



Some tough questions for 2 Democrats


Remember Stuttering John, the verbally challenged comic on the Howard Stern
show who would put celebrities on the spot with painfully blunt questions?

Too bad he's not moderating tonight's debate in Fort Lauderdale between the
two leading Democratic contenders for governor.

A question he could toss at U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, who has racked up the
second-worst voting record in Congress since he started running for
governor: Why did you miss the vote Thursday condemning the attacks against

The resolution passed 410-8, so Davis' vote would not have changed the
outcome. But the vote was symbolically important to the Jewish community --
a key voting bloc in Democratic primaries.


Voters to face a busy ballot

While most incumbents drew challengers on the November ballot, one
newcomer -- the 28-year-old son of Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne -- strolled
unopposed into the state House.


November's ballot will be crowded and contentious in Broward, with dozens of
contested School Board, County Commission, judicial and state House races to
keep the summer political season hopping.

On Friday, the final day for state and local candidates to qualify for the
Nov. 7 ballot, it was clear that few incumbents got a free pass. All but one
of the Broward County commissioners up for re-election have an opponent, a
situation that's echoed on the School Board.

Other races are jampacked with candidates:


Pay teachers fairly

Miami-Dade County Public School teachers are negotiating with the School
Board for our next three-year contract. Our union, the United Teachers of
Dade, can be a relevant force in South Florida education if it is open and
transparent and doesn't settle for crumbs.

Our two most recent superintendents, Merrett Stierheim and Rudy Crew, have
done valuable work toward cleaning up the corrupt and dysfunctional mess
that they inherited. We have begun to right this sinking ship. I've taught
in Miami-Dade public schools for 19 years. This is the first time that I've
seen meaningful forward movement. Although today's salaries for top-tier
management boggle my mind, I give Stierheim and Crew credit for their work.

But everyone must realize that teachers are doing heavy lifting. We have
been carrying our schools throughout the process. We have taught, fought for
public education and put ourselves on the line for the students and
communities that we serve. As test scores and other indicators rise, we
should recognize that this is what teachers were capable of doing all along.
We simply needed to have some of the excess weight lifted off of our backs.

Now give us our due. Our salaries have fallen for two decades relative to
the cost of living. We must have the courage to correct past mistakes.


July 22, 2006
Governor's race swells to 19

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE -- The four major contenders for governor, two Democrats and two
Republicans, have been joined in the race by such political unknowns as
Richard Paul Dembinsky, John Wayne Smith and Karl Behm.

Each running without party affiliation, those three are among 19 candidates
who had qualified for governor by Friday's noon deadline.

Another political newcomer, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Merrilee Ehrlich, forced
state Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell of Tamarac into a primary race for the
Democratic attorney general nomination by qualifying on the final day. The
winner will face former U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Winter Park, in November.

The list of gubernatorial candidates includes six write-in candidates, five
dark horses who are seeking major party nominations -- three Democrats and
two Republicans -- and Reform Party qualifier Max Linn, known for his
term-limit advocacy.

"There's an obvious leadership vacuum in Tallahassee, and that leaves the
door wide open to a third party challenge," Linn said in a qualifying


Smith, Davis a contrast of styles, not substance

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - If you read what Rod Smith and Jim Davis have to say
about issues in the governor's race, there won't be much difference between
the Democrats.

Neither likes how Gov. Jeb Bush has used standardized testing to reward and
punish schools, both criticize Republicans for not doing enough to stabilize
the homeowners insurance market, they agree Republicans have passed too many
tax cuts that benefit too few people while schools and health care are
underfunded and they tout their efforts to keep government out of the Terri
Schiavo case.

But their styles and backgrounds are clearly different as they try to take
back the governor's mansion from Republicans. Saturday, when about 1,000
Democrats gather here for a state party fundraiser, Smith and Davis will
likely be trying hard to show those differences as they fight to win over a
large number of undecided voters.

"We are blessed that we have two very highly qualified candidates," said
Putnam County Democratic Chairwoman Rosemary Anderson. "Philosophically,
they're in the same boat. It will come down to who people are comfortable


Politicians weigh in on the insurance crisis

Lawmakers as well as this year's candidates are hearing from Floridians
about skyrocketing insurance costs and the lack of available coverage. The
Miami Herald asked what near-term solutions they could suggest to solve this
widening problem.

So far, Gov. Jeb Bush has said there will be no special session to deal with
the insurance crisis.

Republican candidate for governor
As to holding a special session, he said: ''I think it's premature. You
can't call a special session unless you have a game plan.'' But he said:
``We're going to have to look seriously at what to do. We're doing a survey
with Enterprise Florida across the state to see exactly what is available
and what isn't.''


55 legislative candidates win race without vote

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE - For the residents of nearly half of the state's legislative
districts, their representation in Tallahassee was decided on Friday without
a ballot ever being cast.

Friday was the deadline for candidates to get their names on the ballot for
this year's legislative elections, and for many who drew no opposition it
was the deciding day.

Out of 120 House seats, all of which are up for election every two years, 55
will have only one candidate on the ballot - in most cases the incumbent. In
nine of 20 state Senate races, the choice will be the same: candidate A or

And in many other districts, the election will be decided in the primary
election on Sept. 5, with only one party choosing to field candidates.


Democrats angered by reach to right
Gubernatorial candidate sent envoy to Christian Coalition

By Anthony Man
Political writer

July 22, 2006

Vote-rich South Florida is so important to Rod Smith's hopes of winning the
Democratic nomination for governor that he's taken an apartment and set up
his campaign headquarters in Broward County.

Yet leaders of some key Democratic voting blocs in the most liberal region
of the state are still smarting over Smith's decision to send his son-in-law
to meet with the Christian Family Coalition, an organization that espouses
views at odds with many party principles.

The group's Web site explains it's dedicated to "winning the culture war one
battle at a time." It strongly opposes abortion, pushed for an anti-gay
marriage amendment to the state Constitution, and fought legislation to
allow gays and lesbians to adopt children.

The organization's executive director refers to public schools as
"government schools."


This Sunday, starting at 7pm, Jackhammer will host a fundraiser to launch
AIDS Vote; sponsored by Campaign to End AIDS, to the Broward County

At 8:00 PM Rev. Charles King will speak briefly on why we need to remobilize
our community to action. Rev. King is Co-Founder/President of Housing Works
in New York City (the nation's largest Community Based AIDS Service
Organization) and Co-Chair of Campaign to End AIDS. Rev. King received his
Masters in Divinity and Law Degree from Yale University.

There is no cover charge, donations are accepted at the door. It's time we
remobilize the gay community in a "call to action" to End AIDS! Please come
support this event as these funds will allow us to travel throughout the
state and organize AIDS advocacy training's.

Your support has never been needed more!

Michael Emanuel Rajner
Secretary, National Executive Committee
Campaign To End AIDS
Tel: (954) 272-8131 or (305) 677-3506
Fax: (954) 566-0144
Cell: (954) 288-1999