Wednesday, December 13, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST December 13, 2006

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The Sun-Sentinel,0,7291040.story?coll=sfla-home-headlinesFortLauderdalediscussing

Fort Lauderdale discussing takeover of citywide power from FPL

By Brittany Wallman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 12, 2006, 3:42 PM EST

FORT LAUDERDALE -- City officials made a power play against Florida Power &Light Co. on Tuesday, saying they will consider taking over the electricitysystem, or at least assume more control over the future of the local powersupply.

Residents have clashed with FPL in recent years over the utility'saggressive trimming of the tree canopy near power lines and its costlyestimates on burying service lines. Mayor Jim Naugle said the prolonged lossof power after Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 was unacceptable and soonafter began a call to replace FPL.

To do so, the city would have to buy FPL's lines, polls, substations andother parts of the system, then hire another company to buy power anddistribute it. About 33 Florida cities run power systems, such as WinterPark and Lake Worth, some with mixed results.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,2079137.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Well-known South Florida attorney Ellis Rubin dies of cancer at 81

By Paula McMahon
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 12, 2006, 11:52 PM EST

MIAMI -- Ellis Rubin was described as many things in his lifetime -- atrailblazer, a mouthpiece, a champion of the little guy, and alwaysflamboyant.

The lawyer whose motto was "to thine own self be true" told his family onhis deathbed he was "ready to face his final challenge without fear orregret."

Mr. Rubin died Tuesday at his Miami home after a six-year battle withcancer. He was 81.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

FL: Editorial--Needed: Family values

Palm Beach Post, FL, December 12, 2006

Needed: Family values
Palm Beach Post Editorial

At least teenage pregnancies aren't still on the rise. That's not new, butit's still good news. It's also the most hopeful outlook on a startlingreport last month by the National Center for Health Statistics showing thatnearly 40 percent of all American births last year were to unmarriedparents.

The birth rate for 15- to 19-year-olds fell 2 percent in 2005, reaching thelowest level in the 65 years that the government has consistently tracedsuch statistics. But the rate of babies born out-of-wedlock rose to itshighest level ever. And teenagers weren't driving that trend.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Dec. 12, 2006

Yes, mentally ill inmates matter, if just for a day


Somehow, you got the feeling that the mental stability of Robert Denham wasnot the sole concern of all those suits in Judge Martin Bidwell's courtroomMonday.

At least seven lawyers staked out a position in the Denham case. Quite ashowing for a muddled-minded accused drug offender of the petty kind.

Denham is among around 300 mentally ill prisoners in Florida stuck in countyjail cells until their mental state improves enough so that they'recompetent to stand trial.

It's not happening. Prisoners like Denham aren't getting any better. Not inoverwrought county jails like Broward's, where a single psychiatrist looksafter some 1,200 prisoners with mental health issues. Inmates like Denhamonly descend deeper into the abyss.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 13, 2006

Broward OK's homes on 2 former golf courses

Despite strong objection from residents, Broward County commissioners votedon Tuesday in favor of a land use change that would allow a developer tobuild about 725 homes in Tamarac.

Prestige Homes would build single-family and townhomes during the next fewyears at Commercial Boulevard and Florida's Turnpike -- as long as it getsthe expected approvals from the city.

The developer has agreed to give Tamarac land for a fire station, parks and$2 million for both projects.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 13, 2006


Broward School Board delays decision on teacher bonus plan
Broward School Board members put off making a decision about a plan toreward teachers for student performance.

After hours of debate over a plan to reward individual teachers for theirstudents' test scores, frustrated Broward School Board members voted Tuesdayto postpone a decision until next week.

Board members would have only been voting to allow district staffers to senda pay plan to the Florida Department of Education before the end of theyear, not approving the content.

Some board members said they could not bear to participate in the voluntarySpecial Teachers Are Rewarded program, which was approved by legislatorsthis year and would come with $15 million for bonuses in Broward.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 13, 2006


Hollywood on the verge of giving land to Gottlieb
A former Hollywood commissioner is close to landing a development deal thatwould give him city-controlled land for free.


Hollywood officials are close to reaching a deal that would give a formercity commissioner free land downtown in return for condos and town houses inhopes of revitalizing a nearby neighborhood.

A group of developers, led by former state Rep. Ken Gottlieb, is expectedtoday to meet with downtown Community Redevelopment Agency officials tofinalize the terms of the deal.

The preliminary agreement will likely require the CRA to donate nearly threeacres of land to the project and give a full tax rebate to Gottlieb once theproject is built.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,6298730.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

Broward and Palm Beach legislators gain clout in Senate, lose it in House
By Mark Hollis and Linda Kleindienst
Tallahassee Bureau

December 13, 2006

TALLAHASSEE · The political clout of Broward and Palm Beach countiesstrengthens in the Florida Senate but wanes in the state House ofRepresentatives under new legislative committee assignments announcedTuesday.

Senate President Ken Pruitt, a Port St. Lucie Republican, named foursenators from Broward and Palm Beach counties to committee leadership postsand put five Democrats in positions of power in the 40-member Senate.

House Speaker Marco Rubio, a West Miami Republican, rewarded six longtimeloyalists from Miami-Dade County with top posts in the 120-member House butlargely overlooked lawmakers from Broward and Palm Beach counties.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,828193.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Legislators cool to request to change Sunshine Law on public meetings

By Anthony Man
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 13, 2006

Broward County commissioners said Tuesday they want changes to the state'sSunshine Law so they can more easily meet in the aftermath of hurricanes andother emergencies, but several local legislators said the idea was lousy andthey wouldn't support it.

Commissioners said they wanted to meet in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilmabut were stymied by Florida's Government in the Sunshine Law, considered bymany the toughest in the nation in restricting governments' ability toconduct business away from public view.

"It was a real problem," said Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, who was servingin the rotating position of county mayor in 2005 during Wilma.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5597368.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Fort Lauderdale leaders, Orioles appear to agree on stadium

Staff report

December 13, 2006, 12:00 AM EST

Fort Lauderdale · After contentious debate, Fort Lauderdale citycommissioners appeared to reach agreement Tuesday with the Baltimore Oriolesfor a $40 million overhaul of Fort Lauderdale Stadium for spring trainingand to create a community recreational complex.

But the agreement, which will come up for a final vote Dec. 19, calls forthe city to spend no more than $500,000 annually for 30 years on maintenanceand equipment, insurance and an annual repair fund. The commission agreed inSeptember to commit $240,000 toward the maintenance and equipment, but noprice tag had been determined for insurance and the repair fund.Commissioners balked at one estimate of a total of more than $800,000 ayear.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3905998.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Tips to navigating the Winterfest Boat Parade this weekend

By Michael Turnbell
Transportation Writer

December 13, 2006

The Intracoastal Waterway will reflect thousands of holiday lights thisweekend as boaters in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach celebrate the seasonSouth Florida-style.

On Saturday, about 100 vessels, from kayaks to mega-yachts, will cruise up10 miles of the Intracoastal in Fort Lauderdale for the 35th annual SeminoleHard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade. The following night, mariners will belighting up the waterway in Pompano Beach.

In Fort Lauderdale, bridges from Southeast 17th Street to CommercialBoulevard will each be locked in the up position for about two hoursSaturday starting at 6:30 p.m. The parade will sail north from PortEverglades to Lake Santa Barbara, just south of Atlantic Boulevard.


The Sun Herald

State acknowledges red tide-fertilizer link

An interoffice memorandum to Gov. Jeb Bush from Colleen Castile, secretaryof the state Environmental Protection Agency, appears to have put the lie toFlorida's long-time contention that there is no tie between pollution andthe recent increase in harmful algal blooms and red tide plaguing thestate's coastal waters.

The admission by Castille, reported last month by Public Employees forEnvironmental Responsibility, a Tallahassee public interest group, supportsa coalition of environmental and health organizations, including Manasota-88of Nokomis. Glenn Compton, a Venice High School science teacher who headsthe local group, said that Castille's statement vindicate him and hiscolleagues.


Wilton Manors - Art Walk - Friday, Dec. 1 - 7-10pm
Trolly, artists, open businesses, refreshments!

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