Wednesday, December 06, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST December 06, 2006

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Posted on Wed, Dec. 06, 2006


Florida drops a spot to No. 41 for healthcare

Florida, No. 40 in the nation for its healthcare last year, slid toNo. 41 this year, according to an annual survey of United Health Foundation.


Florida, traditionally low-ranked for its healthcare, slid down onenotch, ranking No. 41 among the 50 states in the annual survey of UnitedHealth Foundation released on Tuesday.

No. 1 -- Minnesota. No. 50 -- Louisiana.

The survey, which started in 1990, is a joint effort of the nonprofitfoundation started by UnitedHealthcare, along with the American PublicHealth Association and Partnership for Prevention.


December 6, 2006

Denial at root of city's AIDS rate

The theme of the city's recent World AIDS Week observation was "Building aCommunity of Hope and Action."

But the way Avery Garner sees it, the building blocks needed to create acommunity in which the scourge of AIDS and HIV is reduced to the threatlevel of smallpox or polio have been tough to come by.

"We're reaching our limits with our efforts," said Garner, who is assistantcoordinator for the AIDS program office for Area 4 of the state Departmentof Health. "We have 10 to 12 employees in the program office, and half arein the prevention realm.

"More people are going to have to step up ... more are going to have to cometo the table."

African-Americans are especially needed to help spread the word about AIDSand HIV prevention, he told me, because the disease continues to heap miseryupon them. Right now in Jacksonville, black people comprise 70 percent ofall new HIV infections.


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Contact Ray's List if you want the full article


The Fort Report

Article published Dec 6, 2006
Sink wants rate increase repealed
House responds with silence

By Paige St. John

CFO-elect Alex Sink gave legislators the first glimpse of her own insuranceagenda, calling on them to roll back rate increases they ordered earlierthis year.

''Folks, we are in a situation where if the rates increase as proposed weare going to destroy our economy,'' Sink warned House members attending athree-day conference on property insurance. ''That provision needs to berepealed.''

The law requires Citizens Property Insurance to charge rates as high as ifit had bought private backup coverage to protect it against catastrophiclosses, even though it does not.


HIV/AIDS in Broward
December 6, 2006

HIV/AIDS in Broward

People in Broward County living with HIV/AIDS in 2005:
Whites 4,678, equal to 483 per 100,000 population.
Blacks 6,981, equal to 1,717 per 100,000.
Hispanics 1,537, equal to 463 per 100,000.

A 2005 survey in Broward County detailed high-risk behaviors among gay and
bisexual men:
Had unprotected sex at least once in past three months:
Whites, 48 percent.
Blacks, 42 percent.
Hispanics, 47 percent.

Exchanged sex for drugs:
Whites, 16 percent.
Blacks, 12 percent.
Hispanics, 14 percent.

Sources: Broward County Health Department, Florida Department of Health


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 06, 2006

Archbishop fights legal motion in sex-abuse case

The Archdiocese of Miami has filed an appeal trying to prevent thedeposition of the archbishop in a sexual abuse case involving the Rev. NeilDoherty.

The Archdiocese of Miami is fighting to keep Archbishop John C. Favalorafrom being deposed in a civil lawsuit alleging that a retired Margate priestsexually abused a boy in the 1990s.

Favalora was archbishop during the time that the Rev. Neil Doherty of St.Vincent Catholic Church is accused of molesting the boy. Favalora was alsoat the helm when the archdiocese placed Doherty on leave in 2002.

But the archdiocese argues in a September court motion that the plaintiff'sattorney, Jeffrey Herman, is trying to harass Favalora.


The Fort Report

December 6, 2006

Governor-elect reaching out to make new legislative allies

Capital Bureau Chief

TALLAHASSEE - A month into his engagement as Florida's governor-elect,Charlie Crist is reaching out to old friends and trying hard to make newones.

Some of the relationships have been successful; others are marked withcaution.

Crist has drawn mild criticism by announcing a list of inaugural activitiesand events expected to cost $3 million, a fairly high tab for a governor'sinauguration. Plus, funding is coming largely coming from lobbyists. Thatmove comes just a year after Florida enacted a ban on gifts of any amountfrom lobbyists, but the Florida Commission on Ethics has said theinauguration funds are legal.



By Brittany Wallman and Akilah Johnson
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 6, 2006

Fort Lauderdale · City Commissioner Carlton Moore said he'll fight thetraffic ticket he received a few days ago, and alleges the police union useda private investigator to set him up to be pulled over.

Broward Sheriff's Deputy Michael Dingman pulled Moore over Sunday onNorthwest 27th Avenue and cited him for knowingly driving on a suspendedlicense.

Moore on Tuesday made no apologies for his driving record, but said hethinks the Fort Lauderdale police union used the Broward Sheriff's Office toretaliate against him for his criticism of a shooting last week. Last week,he called for an outside investigation into a police shooting in northwestFort Lauderdale that killed a black 21-year-old suspected carjacker.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 06, 2006

State denies sick boy $360 for blankets
State officials are spending thousands of dollars to fight a disabledboy's request for $360 worth of special blankets to keep warm.

Kevin Estinfil is a badly disabled kid. He has severe cerebral palsy,is blind, has a shunt in his brain to drain excess fluid and has dailyseizures. And his body can't control its own temperature.

Kevin, who is 12, can get as cold as 93 or 94 degrees, and he can'tcommunicate when he feels pain or discomfort.

What would help keep Kevin warm, his doctors say, are special thermalblankets, which cost $10 each. He needs about three a month, for a cost ofabout $360 a year.


The Fort Report

House pulls limited oil, gas drilling measure
By Larry Lipman

Palm Beach Post Washington Bureau

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

WASHINGTON - In a surprise move Tuesday, U.S. House leaders withdrew a billthat would allow limited oil and gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexicoand would require drilling royalties to be shared with gulf states.

The move came about an hour before the House was scheduled to take up thebill, which passed the Senate by a 71-25 vote Aug. 1 with bipartisan supportfrom Florida Sens. Bill Nelson, a Democrat, and Mel Martinez, a Republican.

House leaders did not explain why they decided to pull the bill, whichthey had attached to the "suspension calendar," a procedure usually used fornon-controversial bills such as naming post offices and courthouses. Asuspension calendar vote requires a two-thirds majority for a bill to beadopted.


The Fort Report

Florida House payroll soaring

A $119,484 press chief joins new speaker's list of six-figure hires.
By ALEX LEARY, Times Staff Writer
Published December 6, 2006

TALLAHASSEE - The new speaker of the Florida House, a self-described fiscalconservative, now employs the highest-paid spokesman in state government,adding to a growing list of staffers drawing six-figure paychecks.

Rep. Marco Rubio's press secretary, Jose Fuentes, is getting an annualsalary of $119,484.

That's $23,000 more than Gov. Jeb Bush's communications director, and just$9,500 less than the governor himself.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 06, 2006


Agencies set HIV/AIDS prevention plan
Community agencies are banding together in the fight against HIV/AIDSin Broward County.

The Broward Community Planning Partnership is proposing an HIV/AIDSprevention plan aimed at reducing the prevalance among several groups,including black women and gay men.

The plan -- which the Broward County Health Department evaluates everythree years -- paints a fresh picture of HIV/AIDS in Broward, including newdata on infection rates, case records of more than 16,000 people withHIV/AIDS and university research.


The partnership is made of the Broward County Health Department andseveral community groups.

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