Thursday, February 15, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST February 15, 2007

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The Washington Post

Serving in the House and Keeping Up With a Household

By Lois Romano
Thursday, February 15, 2007; A25

In this new, kid-centric House of Pelosi, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz isnot a bit self-conscious about trying to raise her young family from afarwhile serving in Congress.

It didn't faze the Florida Democrat, for instance, to be pulled out of ameeting with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in order to arrange a ridefor her son to baseball practice -- in Florida. (She got her dad to do it.)Nor when she conducted Saturday business meetings at her daughter's dancestudio.

Not even when she volunteered to lead her daughter's Brownie troop -- andthen planned all the meetings around the congressional schedule.

Although a record 87 women serve in Congress today, there are still only ahandful who are faced with balancing the pressures of politics and motheringyoung children. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not run for Congress untilher children were grown, often the case with women who have served inCongress. The House floor may have been packed with kids on the day themembers were sworn in, but most were the offspring of the gentlemen of theHouse.


Hospitals set to lose Medicaid millions
By Phil Galewitz

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, February 09, 2007

Hospitals that treat large numbers of poor people stand to lose millions ofdollars a year under a Medicaid rule change proposed by the Bushadministration.

St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach would lose $10 million a year.Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce would losenearly $8 million. Bethesda Memorial Hospital in Boynton Beach would losealmost $7 million.

In all, Florida hospitals would lose $932 million in annual Medicaid fundingunder President Bush's proposed major cuts in the government healthinsurance program for the poor, according to the Florida HospitalAssociation.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,946707,print.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Officials to remove 1970s tire reef that became eco-disaster off FortLauderdale

By David Fleshler
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 15, 2007

An undersea graveyard of discarded tires dumped off Fort Lauderdale in theearly 1970s will start to be dismantled this summer to correct a misguidedeffort to create the world's biggest artificial reef.

About 1 million to 2 million tires, often strapped together in bundles, weretossed overboard from ships and pleasure boats about 35 years ago to createa fishing reef, a structure that would attract fish for people to catch. Butthe tires broke free during storms and bounced around to invade real reefs,killing coral, sponges and other marine life.

The debacle left a 34-acre field of tires about a mile from the beach, anundersea eyesore that one environmental official compared to a hazardouswaste dump.

Gov. Charlie Crist has proposed spending $2 million to dispose of about675,000 of the tires. In June, about three dozen Army and Navy divers willtest methods for recovering them, such as stringing them necklace-like ontoropes or loading them into nets on the ocean floor.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Feb. 15, 2007

Faith-at-work movement going mainstream


First companies were encouraged to be family-friendly; today they are laudedfor being gay-friendly. Now there are some advocating to break down thatfinal office taboo: religion.

Encouraging faith-friendly companies is a natural step, some say, in a timewhen workers are feeling more comfortable about bringing their entire selvesinto the office. And it follows naturally from a general resurgence ofinterest in religion.

''People want to be treated holistically,'' said David Miller, director ofthe Yale Center for Faith and Culture and an assistant professor of businessethics who is speaking at Florida International University tonight about hisbook, God at Work . ``We talk about diversity and inclusion -- how can welook employees in the eye and say we're only interested in color of yourskin or gender diversity?''


The Sun-Sentinel,0,4205125,print.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Property taxes create hardship, hurt home sales in Broward

By Paul Owers
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 15, 2007

Faced with a steep rent increase, Lori Mays was thrilled to find a quaintcondominium for sale in Margate with three bedrooms and a picturesque waterview.

But then she did the math and learned her annual property taxes would beabout $5,000, a deal breaker for the Coconut Creek widow and mother ofthree.

South Florida's housing market has slowed substantially in the past year,and consumers, real estate agents and analysts say property taxes are amajor reason. As home values soared in the past five years, so have taxes,which get reassessed every time a property sells.

Mays and others are stuck renting. Homeowners also say they're trapped,unable to buy larger or smaller places because their tax bills would doubleor triple. More people are giving up altogether and bolting Florida forcheaper locales.


Florida Prisons Outpacing Nation
By KEVIN BEGOS The Tampa Tribune

Published: Feb 15, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Florida is projected to add more prisoners than any otherstate in the next five years, according to a new report.

The 16,000 additional inmates would raise Florida's prison population tomore than 106,000, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.

"We're definitely projecting growth," said Kathy Torian, a spokeswoman forGov. Charlie Crist. Current state estimates are for an additional 10,871inmates by June 2010, she said, and the Pew estimate sounds realistic. "Idon't think it's a stretch at all."

Crist's proposed budget for 2007-08 gives more of a boost to the Departmentof Corrections than any other agency - an increase of $186 million and 324positions. That would fund construction for 4,149 new prison beds.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Another FL church advertises sex talk

Church's provocative campaign tackles sex issues

Signs, postcards and a Web site seek to change the discourse about sex andcenter it on biblical teachings.

Published February 11, 2007

[Times photo: Scott Keeler]
Susana Creft, an administrative assistant at Pinellas Community Church, inher St. Pete yard with one of the church's signs. She says she wasn'tprepared for the reaction to the sign. "I stayed in my house and hid,"she says.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Commercials do it. Television programs do it. Now evenchurches are using sex to grab the attention of the masses.

In recent days, Pinellas Community Church mailed postcards with the words"Pure Sex" to 23,000 households, while members of the congregation plantedyard signs advertising the Web site

The ad blitz was promoting a church series that starts today and focuses on- yes, you guessed it -sex.


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