Saturday, February 10, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST February 10, 2007

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The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Feb. 10, 2007

Local perspectives


This month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- aninternational group of scientists -- made it official: Human activities --namely, the release of carbon dioxide and other air pollutants calledgreenhouse gases -- are a cause of global warming. Try telling that to FortLauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle, who acknowledges that Earth is warming butrejects that mankind is causing it. Unlike 24 other South Florida mayors,Mr. Naugle refuses to support the Kyoto Treaty, an international agreementto reduce the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

The Broward County Audubon Society has asked the county's mayorsto sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, brainchild ofSeattle's mayor. The agreement is intended to build awareness of and supportfor the treaty, which more than 30 countries have ratified. They havecommitted to reducing greenhouse gases to below 1990 levels by 2012. Some375 U.S. mayors have signed the mayoral agreement, which commits theircities to such sensible measures as using energy-saving light bulbs ingovernment offices and encouraging residents to plant trees, which absorbcarbon dioxide.


Tax revenue falling below projections

Gov. Crist reconsidering state budget
By Jason Garcia
Tallahassee Bureau

February 10, 2007

Tallahassee · Florida budget writers were handed grim news Friday, with anew report showing state tax collections falling far short of expectations.

In response, Gov. Charlie Crist's office acknowledged it has begun to weighchanges to the $71.2 billion budget the governor submitted to theLegislature last week -- a spending plan that would include higher teacherpay, stem cell research and a host of other high-profile initiatives.

"We are starting to look at our options," Jerry McDaniel, the head ofCrist's budget office, told members of the House Policy and Budget Council.


Slide in sales-tax collections could shackle Crist's budget
By Michael C. Bender

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

Saturday, February 10, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Charlie Crist's budget request could turn out to belittle more than a wish-list if state sales taxes do not rebound from arecent slump, the chairman of the House's top budget committee warnedFriday.

"If the trend continues, what we're really looking at is ... what we fundedlast year, we'll try to fund this year. Nothing new," said Ray Sansom,R-Destin, chairman of the House Policy and Budget Council.

Sansom urged caution after general fund revenues for Januaryfell short ofestimates for the third month in a row.


Executioner's words disturb panel
By CHRIS TISCH, Times Staff Writer
Published February 10, 2007

TAMPA - The lead executioner in a botched lethal injection testified onFriday that the team had to empty 14 syringes of chemicals and salinesolution into Angel Diaz.

The executioner told a panel studying the state's lethal injection protocolsthat they pumped the cocktail into both of Diaz's arm. He surprised someobservers by saying he had gone to the second arm in other executions aswell.

He added that he did that on those other occasions on his own volition - noton the advice of medical staff.


Manors leader, activist vie for seat

State House may get first openly gay legislator
By Anthony Man
Political Writer

February 10, 2007

The primary is 19 months away, but a Broward County seat in the FloridaHouse of Representatives already has two candidates, and there's a goodchance voters could elect the state's first openly gay state legislator.

Vying for the Democratic nomination so far are Gary Resnick, a member of theWilton Manors City Commission, and Mark J. LaFontaine a Wilton Manors civicactivist.

The seat will open when term limits force state Rep. Jack Seiler, D-WiltonManors, to leave office. He was unopposed for re-election last year.

Seiler's House District 92 takes in parts of Deerfield Beach, FortLauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach and Wilton Manors. Wilton Manors andthe Victoria Park neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale have many gay residents.


Concealed Guns

South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

February 10, 2007

ISSUE: An influential senator says `"no" to sweeping changes in gunlicensing.

Political reality being what it is, the recent comments by state Sen. NancyArgenziano, R-Dunnellon, on amending Florida's concealed-weapons lawshouldn't come as a big surprise to anyone.

As chairwoman of her chamber's Criminal Justice Committee, Argenziano canplay a meaningful role in reshaping the state's licensing process to betterkeep firearms away from people who have pleaded guilty or no contest tofelonies.

Unfortunately, she has decided against supporting any sweeping changes tothe law, choosing instead to target individuals convicted of actingrecklessly with guns. It's a start, albeit a disappointing one.


The Express Gay News

Police crime briefing draws big crowd at GLCC
Officials offer prevention tips as gay residents voice concerns

Feb. 09, 2007

A crime briefing and prevention seminar presented by Fort Lauderdale andWilton Manors police officials drew a large crowd Feb. 7 at the Gay &Lesbian Community Center of South Florida.

"There's been a lot of concern about crime in the gay community recently,"said Doug White, vice president of the South Middle River Civic Association,who helped to organize the event. "The main purpose of this meeting tonightis to prevent crime."

Police officials said there was no evidence that criminals were specificallytargeting gay residents. But when interviewed after the meeting, threepolice officials confirmed that the general crime rate in Florida andnationwide has increased lately. Officials also said bar patrons leavingclubs at night may be more vulnerable to crimes if they do not remain alertand aware of their surroundings. And Wilton Manors Det. Chuck Howard saidthere has been an increase in burglaries of vehicles during the daytime. Heurged motorists to put any valuable belongings out of view, such as in thetrunk.

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