Saturday, January 20, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST January 20, 2007

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The Sun-Sentinel,0,2330997,print.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Everglades restoration explosions are planned, worrying some Broward

By David Fleshler
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

January 20, 2007

The vast and ambitious plan to restore the Everglades is coming tosouthwestern Broward County, and not everyone is thrilled.

State engineers are drawing up plans for 3,600 acres of water impoundmentsand a 5,000-acre barrier to keep clean water from draining out of theEverglades and dirty water from the suburbs from seeping in.

The plan may call for blasting to crack the thick, hard limestone underthese areas -- a sensitive point in nearby Miramar, Pembroke Pines andWeston, where homes have already been damaged by blasting from rock minesand residential development. The South Florida Water Management Districtwill conduct two public meetings next week to hear residents' concerns.

"Everyone understands the reasons why these areas need to be created, andfor the most part, everybody supports the idea of making the Everglades morehospitable to wildlife," said Andy Soterakis, president of the Harbour LakesHomeowners Association in Miramar. "Our No. 1 concern is the potential forblasting through the rock and what impact that's going to have on ourhouses."


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Jan. 20, 2007

Teen students: Gay and straight together


Kelcie Currier of Tamarac says her world changed the day she joined her highschool's gay-straight alliance club.

''Just knowing that there are other kids like me, or who care about the sameissue that I do, it makes me feel great. Less alone. That life is nothopeless,'' said Kelcie, 17, a junior at J.P. Taravella High in CoralSprings who came out as a lesbian about four years ago.

Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) are student-led clubs, usually at high schooland middle schools, that promote respect and address antigay name-calling,bullying and harassment. Spectrum, the Taravella club, is one of more than3,000 GSAs nationally and 80 in Florida.

''They meet every day somewhere, without any problem,'' said attorney RobertRosenwald Jr. of the ACLU of Florida's LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender) Advocacy Project.


Express Gay News

The year of safe schools?
State anti-bullying bill may not go far enough, activists say

Jan. 19, 2007

This could be the year that the Florida legislature passes a safe-schoolsbill aimed at protecting students, including gay and lesbian children, frombullying and harassment. But gay activists are concerned that the billcurrently pending in the Florida Senate does not specifically ban anti-gayharassment.

Nevertheless, after seven years of trying, local safe-schools activists areexpressing optimism that this could be their year.

"Florida will pass an anti-harassment policy this year after seven years ofwork," said Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of the gay rights groupEquality Florida, which has been lobbying the legislature foranti-harassment legislation for years. "It's up to us to make sure it's astrong and effective policy that leaves no students behind, including GLBTstudents."


Fla. Gov. Urged To Ban Anti-Gay Discrimination
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 20, 2007 - 12:01 am ET

(Tallahassee, Florida) Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) is being urged toissue an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexualorientation in state employment.

In a letter to the governor, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Councilsays that executive orders have been used in 28 states to ensure equalemployment opportunities for the LGBT community - Alaska, Arizona,California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana,Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, RhodeIsland, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Council President and Founder Rand Hoch, in the letter, suggests Crist useGovernor Arrnold Schwarzenegger's Executive Order as a model.


The Washington Post

Martinez Takes Over as Leader of RNC
Florida Senator Aims to Reach Out To Minority Voters

By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 20, 2007; A04

Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, who arrived in the United States as a teenageCuban refugee, took his party's helm yesterday as general chairman of theRepublican National Committee, vowing to reach out to minority voters andrestore "the principles that have made us great."

Martinez was handpicked for the job by President Bush, and his ascendancewas not without controversy. A small group of conservative RNC members hadannounced their opposition to the first-term senator because they viewed himas overly tolerant of illegal immigration.

But to many Republicans, Martinez represented a fresh face for the party, afirst-generation American whose background and congenial personality couldwiden GOP appeal to vast new voter groups. Martinez called for greatertolerance for all groups during his inaugural address yesterday.

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