Wednesday, December 27, 2006

FLORIDA DIGEST December 27, 2006

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The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Dec. 27, 2006

Tensions flare up at detention facility

Overcrowding has been a chronic problem at the Krome immigrationdetention facility since the 1980s -- and now the problem is back with avengeance. Detainees have been complaining about conditions since June, andtensions recently flared when some detainees refused to leave their dorm.Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers say the population isnow down, it still is unacceptably high.

Delays in deportation

South Florida's congressional delegation should push for aninvestigation into conditions at Krome, by Congress itself or the Departmentof Homeland Security's inspector general. There must be a reliable way toreduce the overcrowding, even if it means releasing noncriminal inmates, oradding capacity at Krome and/or elsewhere.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5688224.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Jet carrying British prime minister overshoots Miami runway

By Sofia Santana
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

December 27, 2006

A British Airways jet from London carrying Prime Minister Tony Blair misseda turn on the runway and hit some lights after arriving at MiamiInternational Airport on Tuesday evening, drawing police and rescue vehiclesthat immediately surrounded the aircraft.

No injuries were reported, and authorities don't suspect anything sinister.

The airplane, which landed just after 6 p.m., apparently missed a turn toget to the gate and ended up going into a paved buffer zone, said LauraBrown, a spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration. Airportspokesman Marc Henderson said the plane took out at least two runway lights.

Blair and several unidentified family members were in first class flying infor a vacation, said U.S. Secret Service spokeswoman Kim Bruce.

Secret Service agents were at the airport awaiting his arrival, an addedprecaution even though Blair travels with his own security team, Bruce said.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Dec. 26, 2006

Lauderdale church's plan to expand stirs protest


First Presbyterian Church has been part of Fort Lauderdale's historic ColeeHammock neighborhood for more than half a century, but its ambitiousexpansion plan is creating a deep rift with its longtime neighbors.

The 2,900-member church rises in white stucco and stained glass at 401 SE15th Ave., just across the road from tiny, lovely Colee Hammock Park alongthe New River. A memorial in the park testifies to the 1836 massacre thatwiped out the Colee family, who gave the area its name.

The park is at the heart of a neighborhood stretching from East BrowardBoulevard past the quaint shops of Las Olas to the New River. Its narrow,royal palm and oak-lined streets are snugged between Mediterranean-inspiredmansions on the east and the quaint smaller homes farther west to Southeast11th Avenue.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Possible Benefits for Same Sex Couples in Pinellas County
December 25th, 2006
From the Lesbian/Gay Law Notes' December 2006 edition (see page 235):

In Pinellas County, Florida, Sheriff Jim Coats announced that employees ofhis office who are in same-sex relationships can sign up to get healthinsurance for their domestic partners . . . . Coats had promised to studythis issue after he took office in 2004 and was approached by LGBT employeesof the office . . . . An employee benefits manager for Pinellas County saidthat the question of domestic partnership benefits for all county employeeswas under study.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Lies and Obfuscations
By Eleanor Clift

Friday 22 December 2006

A look back at some of the biggest falsehoods of 2006.

In the spirit of holding our political leaders accountable, thisyear-end review will tabulate the worst lies told by Bush and company, alongwith several stories that were underreported in the media. Much of what wasgenerated got lost in the fog of war, but the long arm of history willretrieve these moments. As the president said in his news conference thisweek, if they're still writing about No. 1 - George Washington - there'splenty of time before the historians can properly evaluate No. 43. Judgingby the mess in Iraq, it could be 200 or 300 years - if ever - before Bush isvindicated.

Bush has shifted his rhetoric in deference to the grim and deterioratingreality on the ground in Iraq. Asked by a reporter on Oct. 25 if we arewinning the war, Bush said, "Absolutely, we're winning." Offered theopportunity at his press conference to defend that statement, Bush hasadopted a new formulation. He now says, "We're not winning, but we're notlosing." That sounds like the definition of a quagmire.



Lavender Writes announces openings in two ongoing workshops for gay andlesbian writers.

The Next Generation, a project of Lavender Writes, runs two ongoing freeworkshop for gay and lesbian adults who want to learn how to write fictionor improve their knowledge and writing skills. The courses meet online,with free computers available at the Broward County Libraries for people whodo not have access to computers at home.

The Courses:
Advanced Fiction Writing is open to students who have partipated in at leastone writing workshop of critique group in the past and are knowedgeableelements.

Short Story and Novel Writing is open to all students.

Students in both workshops will learn about the elements of fiction, writeshort stories or novel chapters and critique drafts of work for otherstudents, which will provide feedback for students while helping them learnto evaluate and improve their own fiction. These are an interactiveclasses. Students will post drafts of their work and participate indiscussions of fiction wiring and problems and questions as they arise.

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