Tuesday, December 12, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST December 12, 2006

rays.list@comcast.net and we'll be happy to send the full article.


The Miami Herald


Posted on Tue, Dec. 12, 2006


High schools to require students to pick majors

Florida's Department of Education will soon require secondary studentsto choose an academic or vocational major in hopes of boosting the state'srank as 43rd in high school graduation rate.

(AP) -- Florida high school students will be able to choose from 440approved majors ranging from assistant landscape technician to globalleadership under a new law designed to improve the state's dismal graduationrate, education officials announced Monday.

The idea, based on college majors, is to discourage students fromdropping out by making high school more interesting. The major requirementdoes that by engaging and challenging students and getting them to setgoals, said Education Commissioner John Winn.


The Sun-Sentinel.com


Someone should be connecting the dots

Fred Squillante
Cooper City

December 12, 2006

I can't help but wonder, after reading the article in Wednesday's Localsection, "HIV/AIDS growth raises alarm," why there are so many people on thepro-same sex marriage bandwagon.

Just look at these statistics for Broward County alone: one in 216Hispanics; one in 207 whites; one in 58 blacks; and one in fivehomosexual/bisexual men are HIV positive. Are you kidding me? Why are wepromoting this lifestyle at the expense of everybody else? Why isn't thewill of the people heeded when in referendum after referendum, and electionafter election, same-sex marriage is voted down? Why are we allowing a fewloose cannon judges and politicians to dictate to all Americans what isclearly not in the best interests of America? And why are we allowing themilitant homosexuals to influence school curriculae, and why have we allowedthem to stigmatize the Boy Scouts?




Paper trail the next 'dangling chad'
By Joel Engelhardt

Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sarasota County isn't the only place in Florida with "lost votes."

If you assume that they were cast in the first place, which I don't,Sarasota's 18,382 undervotes in a close congressional race are a blip nextto the 40,168 votes that were not cast in Broward County for chief financialofficer, the 35,456 votes that were not cast in Miami-Dade County forattorney general, and the 45,672 votes that were not cast in three smallercounties - Lee, Charlotte and Sumter - for attorney general.

In all those cases, votes mysteriously did not count. Whether they were castremains unknown. Those "lost votes" are not the subject of national debatebecause those elections were not close. Bill McCollum won the attorneygeneral's post by 250,000 votes. Alex Sink won CFO by 328,000.




A good deal on oil drilling
A Times Editorial
Published December 12, 2006

A few months ago, a bipartisan compromise on offshore drilling worked out byFlorida Sens. Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez appeared to be the best outcomefor the state. The Republican-led House wanted less protection for Floridabeaches and refused to accept the Senate's offer. Then a funny thinghappened in the recent election. Republicans lost control of the nextCongress, so House leaders were suddenly ready to deal.

Despite objections from some Democrats and environmentalists, the Senatebill passed both chambers as the lame-duck session ended Saturday and willbecome law with President Bush's signature. Did Florida win or lose?

Mostly, it won. While some of the eastern gulf will be open to oilexploration, that was inevitable.




Broward County to explore paper trail for touch-screen voting machines

By Bill Hirschman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 12, 2006

Broward County's $23 million touch-screen voting system may be scrappedunless commissioners find a way to create a paper trail.

At least two commissioners and Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipesquestion the reliability and credibility of touch-screen machines without aphysical record of each vote. They want county staff to explore the cost ofseveral alternatives, among them buying printers for the controversialsystem or switching to paper ballots that can be read by scanners.

"When you use an ATM, you get a slip back. When you use a credit card, youget a receipt. The only place you don't get an auditable paper trail isvoting," said Commissioner Ilene Lieberman, who put "Item 86" on the agendawith colleague Suzanne Gunzburger.

[ Send your comments about any of the articles in Ray's List Digest toRays.List@Comcast.net ]


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