Wednesday, January 03, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST January 3, 2007

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The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jan. 03, 2007

Coral Ridge minister recovering from heart attack


D. James Kennedy, a prominent conservative religious leader and pastor ofthe 10,000-member Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, isrecovering in a hospital after suffering a heart attack in his Coral Ridgehome Thursday night, church officials said Tuesday.

Kennedy was sitting up and speaking with his family and was off lifesupport, according to Brian E. Fisher, executive vice president of CoralRidge Ministries, the organization founded by Kennedy.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jan. 03, 2007

Cutting taxes, insurance rates top the agenda


TALLAHASSEE - Charlie Crist was sworn in as Florida's 44th governor Tuesday,offering Floridians a rosy vision of the future and a sweeping promise totackle the issus dearest to them: soaring property insurance and propertytaxes, healthcare and education. Though the skies were overcast and the airwas chilly, the ever-optimistic Crist declared the sun is ''shining on ourfaces'' as he vowed to bring forth a new era of bipartisanship that searchesfor ``new conclusions and fresh ideas.''

Crist, who served in the shadows of Jeb Bush for the past six years asFlorida's attorney general and education commissioner, used his 19-minutespeech to outline populist themes that were short on details but sobroad-reaching they could have been written by a Democrat.

''We have a common vision,'' he said on the steps of the Old Capitol.

``Meaningful, secure work with good pay and good benefits. A good home on asafe street in a safe neighborhood. World-class schools preparing ourchildren for the jobs of the future. Clean rivers, beautiful beaches andcoastlines free of oil drilling.''


Daytona Beach News-journal

January 03, 2007
Jeb Bush legacy: Unflattering view


The Jeb Bush administration is over. How should the legacy of the last eightyears be characterized?

Anyone who has followed news about state government in Tallahasseeappreciates that Jeb Bush is engaging, telegenic and intelligent.

But as accolades are heaped on our former governor, the last eight yearsalso deserve a sober review. It needs to be said that the personal appealand likeability of Jeb Bush has led the press and the public to overlook theextremism of many of his policies.

Our former governor had a Reaganesque Teflon quality -- meaning that heseemed to be immune from blame for the harsh consequences of his policiesand the mismanagement of the reins of state government.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Jan. 03, 2007


Crist: `A fresh start is always nice'
Although Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is in the same party as Jeb Bush, Cristadmits that their styles are really worlds apart

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE - In just a few, unremarkable seconds in Charlie Crist'scampaign for governor, he gave a glimpse of how he is different from formerGov. Jeb Bush.

The two were leaving a Spanish-language radio studio in Miami along with anentourage of staff and reporters. Bush briskly walked through the exit intoan alley where an SUV was waiting, never looking back. Crist stopped andheld the door for everyone else coming through.

Bush is all about his destination. Crist is all about people.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,3059694.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

Critics give failing grade to merit pay for teachers
Basing the proposed bonuses on student test scores is unfair, they tell thestate.

Dave Weber
Sentinel Staff Writer

January 3, 2007

Critics of a new merit-pay plan for Florida teachers complained Tuesday thatit is poorly designed, unfair and will force teachers to compete for rewardsinstead of working together.

Several Central Florida teachers who spoke at a public hearing in Orlandosaid basing bonuses on student test scores is a ridiculous approach for manyeducators.

"I hope my kids color as good as they can color," said Ralph Belcher, artteacher at Pine Castle Elementary in Orange County. "I hope they stay withinthe lines."

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