Thursday, February 08, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST February 08, 2007

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The New York Times

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Floridians Begin Long, Bureaucratic Process Of Rebuilding

POSTED: 4:43 pm EST February 5, 2007
UPDATED: 5:28 pm EST February 5, 2007

DELAND, Fla. -- Some tornado victims applying for disaster aid Monday saidthey felt lost in the bureaucratic maze of the Federal Emergency ManagementAgency, which has pledged that it is much nimbler after learning from itsflat-footed response to Hurricane Katrina.

EMA chief David Paulison and Gov. Charlie Crist have said the agency wasquick to respond to the three central Florida tornadoes that killed 20 andleft hundreds homeless. But scattered complaints drifted in among the 400people who had registered so far for help.

Allan Smith spent an hour in a makeshift tent talking with state and federalagencies about how to rebuild his home. The 77-year-old from the Lake Mackarea emerged with few answers, except that a FEMA building inspector wouldbe out to survey the rubble within two weeks. Until then, there is little hecan do but wait.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Feb. 08, 2007

Ken Gottlieb pulls out of Hollywood land deal

Ken Gottlieb has withdrawn from a Hollywood redevelopment project because ofpublic criticism over the city's offer of free public land and millions intax breaks.

A weary former state Rep. Ken Gottlieb stood before the Hollywood CityCommission a beaten man on Wednesday.

After a short speech about his concerns for affordable housing andredevelopment in the city, Gottlieb asked commissioners to readvertise thesale of three acres of city-controlled property near downtown that he hadall but sewed up for redevelopment.

The land on Adams Street near Dixie Highway would have been the site ofMetro-Hollywood -- a combination of town houses and condos on the perimeterof one of the most blighted neighborhoods in the city.

The project has been mired in controversy, with critics -- including somecommissioners -- claiming the first two advertisements of the land and theoriginal request for project ideas were tailored for Gottlieb.


State's senators gain power in new session
Published February 7, 2007

WASHINGTON - Thanks to the change in party control, Democratic Sen. BillNelson's lot has improved dramatically.

And Florida's Republican senator, Mel Martinez, isn't in bad shape, either.

The Democratic takeover of the Senate launched Nelson into the upper ranksof key committees overseeing the day's hottest topics, and also landed him aseat on the Intelligence Committee, which is crucial in the war on terror.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7527914,print.column

Fort Lauderdale mayor adds hot air to global warming fight

Michael Mayo
News Columnist

February 6, 2007

In the latest installment of Silly Things Jim Naugle Says, we add the FortLauderdale mayor's analysis of global warming.

"I think man has little to do with it," Naugle told me Monday. "The planetheats up, and it cools down. ... It's variable. Always has been."

He said essentially the same thing to my colleague David Fleshler last week,in explaining why he didn't join 28 other South Florida mayors in signingthe U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, a movement to fight climatechange on the local level.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5068699,print.story?coll=sfla-news-editorial


South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

February 8, 2007

Naugle naysays global warming

Maybe if we ignore the problem, it will go away. He tried that approach withaffordable housing, suggesting that only lazy people can't afford housing.Now he's hoping it will work for global warming.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle hasn't caught on to the newfangled idea,supported by scientific consensus, that human activity causes climatechange. Alas, no matter how hard he looks the other way, downtown housingwon't become affordable and greenhouse gasses won't stop causing globalwarming.

While 28 South Florida mayors signed on to a nationwide movement of citiesmaking a commitment against global warming, Naugle insisted on keeping hishead stuck in the sand.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,1914800,print.story?coll=sfla-news-legislature

Crist enjoys 'rock-star status' after headline-grabbing first month asgovernor

By Mark Hollis
Tallahassee Bureau

February 7, 2007

TALLAHASSEE · Charlie Crist's action-packed first weeks as Florida governorare proving one thing: He knows the value of a great first impression.

From averting a legislative meltdown over insurance and tapping into ahomeowner rebellion over property taxes to calmly marshaling the response toa natural disaster, Crist is drawing bipartisan raves and cooling skepticswho doubted his command of the issues.

And after a fast-paced first month, Crist is enjoying sudden rock starstatus that is boosting his national political profile and creatingexpectations for a smooth and ambitious tenure as governor.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Feb. 07, 2007

Key senator calls for probe of voting machines in Fla. contest

By Lesley Clark
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON - A top Senate Democrat said Wednesday that she'd ask federalinvestigators to look into the voting machines that are at the heart of adisputed congressional race in Florida as the state's checkered votingrecord once again draws national scrutiny.

The call for a "top to bottom investigation" of the Sarasota County votingmachines by the Government Accountability Office and the National Instituteof Standards and Technology came from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., whoendorsed critics who say paperless machines are eroding voters' confidencein elections.

Fueling the push: More than 18,000 ballots in Sarasota County registered novote for either congressional candidate to succeed one of the icons ofFlorida's first election debacle, former Rep. Katherine Harris.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Feb. 08, 2007
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - A California judge has ordered Florida resident O.J. Simpsonto stop spending money he may have received for his unpublished book, "If IDid It," about the slayings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and herfriend Ron Goldman.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg's ruling onWednesday extended a restraining order issued last month barring Simpsonfrom spending any earnings from past deals, including books, films, andsports memorabilia.

The order, which was sought by Goldman's father, Fred, initially did notapply to the advance Simpson may have received from the book-and-TV deal for"If I Did It," because the father had filed a federal lawsuit over thefunds. However, the federal lawsuit was dismissed Jan. 24 by a judge in LosAngeles who said he had no jurisdiction over Simpson.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Wed, Feb. 07, 2007

Miami-Dade considers banning trans fats

Miami-Dade County may consider banning or limiting trans fats in restaurantsbecause of their link to heart disease.

Food helps define South Florida's cultural mash-up, with old-line Cubancafeterias in Little Havana, nouvelle cuisine laboratories on South Beachand fresh-from-the-ocean recipes that birthed the Floribbean style.

But the next big effect on regional dining might come from downtown Miami,where county commissioners are mulling limits on artery-clogging trans fats.

No proposal has been written, but at least four of the 13 commissionersexpressed interest Tuesday in sponsoring some kind of legislation. New YorkCity has practically banned the substances in restaurants, and other majorcities are taking similar steps.

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