Wednesday, January 10, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST January 10, 2007

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The Independent's People Of The Year Awards
by Paul Harris

For the second year "The Independent" is proud to announce its "People OfThe Year Awards" which will be presented on Thursday, February 1 at "LaffingMatterz," 219 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. The evening also marksthe third anniversary of this newspaper. The awards give us an opportunityto say "Thank You" to those people in the community who have made, andcontinue to make, a difference. We don't ask for nominations from anyone. Wedon't publish ballot forms. We simply observe and listen during the year andthen make up our own minds as to who we think we should like to recognize.Too often it is our opinion that awards ceremonies recognize the mostpopular person - not necessarily the best. We are even aware of awards wheree-mail addresses are created so that mutliple votes can be cast for aparticular candidate or organization by one person, or where a businesssimply recognizes its advertisers!

At our awards we also do away with speeches. Last year at our event heldafter the completion of the dinner and before the hilarious show at "LaffingMatterz" we presented all our awards, yet did it properly, in 13 minutes.That's the way we like it. No one is going to be thanking their therapist,their agent, their attorney, their "Higher Power," or their second grade gymteacher!

So, who are we presenting awards to this year...

more.... Contact us for the full article.


Due to the GLCC being overbooked on Wed. 1/10/2006
The Dolphin Democrats will hold their General MembershipMeeting @ a local church.

Meeting time is 7:30pm

Directions to the church are as follows:

The Church is located at 501 NW 17th St.

If you are in the GLCC parking lot - go to the street just South of the GLCC(16th Place) and make a right heading West. Stay on this street - as youpass the plaza where Jackhammer is located the street becomes 17th Street.The Church will be on your right hand side and we will be meeting in theParrish Hall which is the white building next to the main church.

The General Membership Meeting on Feb. 14th 2006will be held at the GLCC

We hope to see you Wed. night despite thelocation change !


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jan. 10, 2007

UF's niche in history


With their impressive victory over football powerhouse Ohio State in theBowl Championship Series Monday night, the University of Florida hasachieved what no other NCAA Division 1 team has done before. They holdnational titles in both football and basketball at the same time. With thisunprecedented achievement, UF has earned a place in sports history that cannever be diminished.

Champions come and go with each season and, truth be told, many of them areforgotten just as quickly. UF's accomplishment is to be treasured even morebecause of what the team had to overcome. Many said this team didn't deserveto be in the title game against mighty Ohio State, which was ranked No. 1the entire season. Quarterback Chris Leak was pegged as a player who foldsin big games. Kicker Chris Hetland was ridiculed for not getting the ballbetween the uprights often enough. Even the game this team played wasn't somuch respected as football as it was jeered as gimmick ball.


Another try to tinker with class size coming?

A key legislator ponders a trade o ff: a less stringent amendment for ateacher pay boost.

Ron Matus
Published January 10, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Yet another attempt by Florida lawmakers to modify the classsize amendment may be in the works.

Rep. David Simmons, the chairman of a new education committee created byincoming House Speaker Marco Rubio, told other members Tuesday that he wantsto raise teacher salaries, and that savings from a modified amendment wouldbe a good place to get the money.

Last year, the state allocated $1.6-billion to reduce class sizes.

"It's better to invest in the teacher," Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, saidafter the meeting. "The human resource is a much better asset than thebricks and mortar."


The Palm Beach Post

Officials urged to disclose potential conflicts
By Hector Florin

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

WEST PALM BEACH - County attorneys have called on commissioners to disclosetheir business ownerships, including those of their spouses and children, toavoid any potential conflicts of interest.

Commissioners also should name relatives, friends, former businessassociates, and organizations or charities they have ties to that stand togain from a particular vote, even though that relationship may not violatethe state's ethics code.

The call for full disclosure - going well beyond what state law requires -comes in the wake of charges brought in October against former CommissionChairman Tony Masilotti, who federal prosecutors say violated the honestservices law by using his public position for private gain.


Crist tells legislators to develop plan that will reduce the cost of homeinsurance

By Linda Kleindienst
Tallahassee Bureau Chief

January 10, 2007

TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Charlie Crist demanded immediate insurance rate relieffor millions of Florida homeowners Tuesday as the state's legislativeleaders formally summoned lawmakers to a special session on the issue nextweek.

Set to begin Tuesday, the weeklong session's declared aim is to lowerinsurance premiums on Florida homes and businesses, curb future rates,broaden the availability of insurance and toughen the state's building code,lawmakers said.

Crist, who became governor Jan. 2, ran on the promise of tackling the thornyinsurance issue, and in his inaugural address promised to "rein in" greedyinsurance companies. After meeting with consumer groups Tuesday, he said itwas "pretty safe" to assume he will reject any proposed legislation thatdoes not provide immediate relief for most Floridians.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jan. 10, 2007

Broward School Board slashes Sunrise office deal

The Broward school district will likely reduce the amount of office spaceofficials plan to buy in Sunrise.

Broward School Board members tentatively agreed Tuesday to scale back theirpurchase of an administrative office site in Sunrise, citing budgetshortfalls and the need to put money toward classrooms.

Instead of the $35 million, three-building deal that board members directeddistrict staffers to negotiate in November, the district will instead seekto buy two buildings in the Sawgrass Technology Park for $23.5 million.

Board members gave tentative approval to the plan at a workshop Tuesday;they will take an official vote at their meeting next week.


Sent: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 9:27 AM
Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GLSEN South Florida Wins Gamma Mu Grant

GLSEN South Florida wins Gamma Mu Grant


Contacts: Donald Cavanaugh 561.543.0373

Chip Arndt 305.895.9466 x113

Miami, Florida (January 10, 2007) - GLSEN South Florida (Gay, Lesbian &Straight Education Network of South Florida) announced it was awarded a$10,000 grant by Gamma Mu Foundation to support GLSEN South Florida'scontinuing operations training educators and empowering youth in SouthFlorida school districts.

"We admire and appreciate the work that GLSEN South Florida has done helpingmake [South Florida] schools safer for gay, lesbian, bisexual andtransgender youth," said Martin Culbreth past president of the Gamma Muboard as he presented the check to GLSEN South Florida executive director,Robert Loupo. "We know our money is being used for a good cause and we'rehappy to support this organization."

"The Gamma Mu Foundation has been really supportive of our group for manyyears," said Loupo. "Many of its members can recall their own days beingbullied in schools because of their sexual orientation. They want to see itstop as much as we do." The grant has double value for the organizationbecause GLSEN South Florida board president, Bruce Presley, has donated a$100,000 matching grant to help the group expand its work in South Florida.

The Gamma Mu Foundation ( was established in 1989by the Gamma Mu Fraternity to support the unmet needs of the gay communityon a nationwide and continuing basis. The Foundation operates as a 501c3non-profit, tax-exempt organization and raises funds from its members, theirfriends and those interested in the work of the Foundation.

GLSEN South Florida ( is a chapter of the nationalorganization, GLSEN, Inc. and operates in South Florida as a 501c3non-profit. GLSEN South Florida's mission is to make schools and classroomssafer for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,real or perceived.


Kiss of the Spider Woman will take you prisoner

By Mary Damiano
Special Correspondent

January 10, 2007

Kiss of the Spider Woman has had many incarnations, as a book, a play, afilm and a Broadway musical. The Public Theatre makes a riveting case forthe play's pre-eminence, with a first-rate production that imbues thecharacters with humanity and their actions with clarity.

The principals in Manuel Puig's prison pas de deux about ideals, love andbetrayal are Molina and Valentin, who share a cell in a South Americanprison. Molina is imprisoned because being gay makes him a criminal of thestate; Valentin belongs to a Marxist movement out to overthrow thegovernment. Valentin abhors Molina's sexual orientation and what he sees asMolina's self-imposed subjugation. But Molina endures Valentin's ridiculeand takes care of him, sharing his meager supplies of food and water.


540,000 workers in Florida could get boost from increase in U.S. minimumwage

By William E. Gibson and Marcia Heroux Pounds
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

January 10, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Thousands of Florida workers eventually would get a pay raiseif Congress enacts legislation to lift the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour,but most employers say they already pay far more to fill jobs.

A state amendment and a demand for workers are pushing pay well above thecurrent federal minimum of $5.15 an hour, which has not changed since 1997.

"I can't get a prep cook for under $9 an hour," said Tim Petrillo, whoemploys about 400 people at four restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. He saidadded costs could be passed on to consumers.


The Advocate

January 09, 2007
Second trial begins in slayings of two gay Florida men

The trial of Scott Schweickert, the second man charged in connection withthe deaths of two gay men near Tampa, Fla., in 2003, began on Monday.

The trial of Scott Schweickert, the second man charged in connection withthe deaths of two gay men near Tampa, Fla., began on Monday, the St.Petersburg Times reports. Schweickert is accused of helping another man drugtwo gay men before their deaths in 2003.

Michael Wachholtz's body was discovered three years ago wrapped in a sheetin the back of a Jeep Cherokee parked in a remote area of an apartmentcomplex in Town 'N Country, an unincorporated area near Tampa. JasonGalehouse, another young gay man, had vanished around the same time. Thecrime and the disappearance touched off one of the most high-profile murderinvestigations in the area's recent history.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Jan. 09, 2007
Alvarez courts gay vote


Carlos Alvarez's campaign to change the Miami-Dade charter and become strongmayor takes him tonight to Unity Coalition, the county's leading Hispanicgay civil-rights group.

But before gay activists support Alvarez in the Jan. 23 referendum forstrong mayor, they have a few questions:

. Would Alvarez appoint a county liaison to the gay community?

. Would he defend Miami-Dade's 1998 gay-rights law if opponents soughtrepeal?

. Does he support providing insurance benefits for partners of gay countyemployees?


The Miami Herald

Posted on Tue, Jan. 09, 2007

Dead boy found gun in neighbor's room

Police continue to investigate the death of a young boy killed by asemiautomatic handgun he and another teenager were playing with Sunday.

Thirteen-year-old Oles Tromper often would climb into his neighbor's bedroomwindow just to look around and see what he could find.

Tromper's mother, Gertrude Gelin, warned her son to stop going into hisneighbor's home, located down the street, in the 1500 block of SeventhAvenue in Fort Lauderdale.

The neighbor, Hennik Sedie, 19, sometimes kept a Game Boy in his room, andhe said Oles liked sneaking in to see if it was there so he could play withit. He would on occasion crawl through the window and unlock his door, Sediesaid.

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