Friday, February 02, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST February 2, 2007

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On Sunday, March 4th 2007 at 1:00PM the Stonewall Library & Archives inassociation with Arts United's Arts Explosion and the Broward County Librarypresents Dr. James T. Sears, author of Behind the Mask of the Mattachine atthe reading room of the Stonewall Library, 1717 North Andrews Ave, Ft.Lauderdale. Dr. Sears, a professor at Penn State University, lecturesthroughout the world on issues related to education, sexuality, and LGBTissues.

The Mattachini, of medieval Italy, were fools or court jesters, who stood upin the midst of political oppression and persecution and dared to speak thetruth in the interests of the common folk.

In post-WWII America, the Mattachine Foundation was formed in Los Angeles in1950, becoming the Mattachine Society in 1953. At its height, seven yearslater, it had 300 paid members with chapters in a half-dozen U.S. cities anda variety of publications, including the Mattachine Review.

James T. Sears, a leading historian of GLBT issues, richly examines therather messy history of the organized gay movement. In Behind the Mask ofthe Mattachine, Dr. Sears weaves in and out of the biography of Hal Call andhis personal struggle with those of other pioneers and their politicalstruggles to organize homosexuals. After reading Behind the Mask of theMattachine one can only come away with a better understanding of what reallyhappened in the gay movement in its formative years.

Please join us on Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 1:00 PM at the Stonewall Library,1717 N. Andrews Ave, (inside the GLCC), Ft. Lauderdale for this fascinatingprogram. The event is free and open to the public and is being co-sponsoredby The Broward County Library and Arts United. For further information


Global warming could swamp Florida within 50 years, U.N. report suggests

By Tim Collie
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 2, 2007

A much-debated U.N. report on climate change to be released today raises thespecter of rising sea levels and hurricanes that could eventually swamp muchof South Florida.

One official this week even suggested the Bahamas could be under water by2030.

Dozens of scientists and government experts from 113 countries edited thenew report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. It isconsidered by most in the scientific community to be the comprehensivedocument on climate change, one that could influence government andindustrial policy worldwide.

Specifically, experts are looking at predictions of sea level rise over thenext 50 years from 2 feet to 10 feet.

A rise of 10 feet could swamp the state's highly populated coastline andsend salt water spilling into the freshwater Everglades, said a leadingSouth Florida-based scientist.


Crist wants new machines by 2008 election

Touch-screens would be switched out for devices that provide a paper record
By Peter Franceschina and Anthony Man
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 2, 2007

West Delray · Gov. Charlie Crist announced Thursday that he wants all 67counties in Florida to have voting machines that will produce paper ballottrails in time for the 2008 presidential election.

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, an archenemy of touch-screenmachines, stood by Crist's side as the Republican governor proposed spending$32.5 million in state money to replace those machines with optical scannersin 15 counties.

Both men, longtime friends, called it a bipartisan solution to a publicdemand for election accountability after the 2000 presidential electionmeltdown and problems reported with touch-screen machines.

"You should, when you go vote, be able to have a record of it," Crist saidto applause during a meeting of hundreds of members of the nonpartisanVoters Coalition of Palm Beach County, west of Delray Beach.

"That's all we are proposing today. It's not very complicated. It is in factcommon sense. More importantly, it is the right thing to do."


14 Dead As Storms Sweep Through Fla.

Associated Press Writer

February 2, 2007, 10:39 AM EST

LADY LAKE, Fla. -- Storms blew through central Florida early Friday, killingat least 14 people, flattening dozens of homes and a church and lifting atractor trailer into the air, authorities said.

At least one tornado touched down.

Lake County spokesman Christopher Patton confirmed the 14 deaths, 11 inPaisley and three in Lady Lake, both towns in Lake County about 50 milesnorthwest of Orlando. No further details were available.

Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency for Volusia, Sumter, Lakeand Seminole counties.

"Our priority today is search and rescue," Crist told reporters inTallahassee.


Gov. Crist calls for meeting on loopholes in concealed weapons law

By Megan O'Matz & John Maines
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 2, 2007, 1:10 AM EST

Gov. Charlie Crist said Thursday he was concerned about lawbreakers who arelicensed to carry guns in Florida and was planning to meet with thecommissioner in charge of issuing the licenses to discuss the problem.

The comments from the newly elected governor, who most recently wasFlorida's attorney general, came in response to a series of stories thisweek in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that exposed how more than 1,400people had valid concealed weapon licenses even though they pleaded guiltyor no contest to felonies.

Hundreds of others kept gun licenses despite warrants for their arrests,current domestic violence injunctions or misdemeanor convictions forbehaving recklessly with guns.

The governor, speaking briefly after an unrelated public event in DelrayBeach, said he has called a meeting with Agriculture and Consumer ServicesCommissioner Charles H. Bronson, whose office handles the licensing, to seewhat can be done. It is "an issue that concerns us," Crist said. "We'regoing to be working with Commissioner Bronson on it." Earlier, House SpeakerMarco Rubio told a meeting of the Sun-Sentinel's editorial board that thestories showed " ..... there's something wrong in the system."


Poverello Center founder is named person of year by gay newspaper

By Elizabeth Baier
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 2, 2007

Wilton Manors · Twenty years ago, Father Bill Collins had an idea that wouldchange his life.

"It was simple -- I thought people had the right to food," Collins said."That people who happened to be sick have some dignity in their life."

The Franciscan priest then embarked on a mission to help thousands. Hecashed his $19,000 pension and started delivering food from the trunk of hiscar to help feed people with AIDS and HIV in Broward County. In 1987, thedelivery service evolved into the Poverello Center in Pompano Beach, whereCollins and a group of committed volunteers began helping people -- many whowere gay -- meet their most basic needs.

Four years later, Collins moved the thrift store and food bank to WiltonManors. Both flourished beyond his wildest dreams, providing more than10,000 people during two decades with food and clothes, and helping themobtain health care and fitness services.

The Oakland Park-based weekly gay newspaper The Independent on Thursdaynamed Collins the Person of the Year for his leadership and commitment toPoverello and the community.

"I can't think of anything that fulfills my vocation as a Franciscan betterthan helping others," said Collins, 75.


The Miami Post

Posted on Fri, Feb. 02, 2007

HIV among blacks in Florida declines

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE - HIV infection in black Floridians dropped by an average ofmore than 8 percent per year for men and more than 10 percent a year forwomen between 1999 and 2004, according to a study released Thursday byfederal officials.

The analysis of new HIV diagnoses by the Florida Department of Health andreleased by the federal Centers for Disease Control suggested the declinewas real and not due to a reduction in testing, which went up during theperiod.

The rate of HIV diagnosis among blacks in Florida dropped from 224 cases per100,000 people in 1999 to 134 in 2004, the analysis found. By contrast, therate for whites remained static, going from 18.8 cases per 100,000 to 18.4cases over the same period.

Comparable data for the nation as a whole on new HIV diagnoses isn't readilyavailable because data isn't collected on all cases. But federal figures onnew cases of AIDS, the disease caused by HIV infection, show a similar,though far less dramatic, decline among blacks.


The Miami Post

Posted on Fri, Feb. 02, 2007


Man must support child who is not his
The state Supreme Court ruled that a man must pay child support for a kidwho isn't his, but a new law could help him escape the payments.


TALLAHASSEE - Richard Edward Parker seemed to have the perfect evidence toavoid child-support payments: a DNA test showing the child isn't his.

But he lacked something more crucial: timing.

Florida's Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that the Fort Lauderdaleboat worker missed a one-year deadline to file a claim against his estrangedwife, Margaret J. Parker, for fraudulently representing his paternity when acourt ordered him to pay support for the 3-year-old boy in 2001.

Parker didn't know he wasn't the father until 2003 -- long after thedeadline expired -- through a paternity test he ordered when his ex-wifesued him for failure to pay about $1,200 monthly in child support.


The Miami Post

Posted on Fri, Feb. 02, 2007

Broward mayors sign global warming pact
More than 20 South Florida cities have signed an agreement to combat globalwarming, but it won't reverse the sprawl.

Mayors in most of Broward's major cities have joined a national effort tofight global warming.

''Broward's mayors are setting a strong example for the nation bydemonstrating that they are concerned about global warming,'' said BarryHeimlich, vice president of the Broward County Audubon Society.

The organization is leading the effort to get local mayors to sign anagreement supporting the Kyoto treaty, an international accord which tookeffect in 2005 to reduce emissions.

While others are embracing the effort, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle hasrefused to sign the agreement because he says it's ''anti-American'' andwould send jobs overseas.


The Miami Post

Posted on Fri, Feb. 02, 2007

Deputy uses Taser on student who punched him

PALM COAST - (AP) -- A Flagler County deputy used a Taser gun on six-foot,one-inch, 275-pound high school student who punched the deputy afterrefusing instructions from his teacher, authorities said.

The Flagler Palm Coast High School teacher requested the deputy's help when16-year-old Laurence Gibson refused Thursday to go to the dean's office fornot doing his class work, Superintendent Bill Delbrugge said. All otherstudents were asked to leave the room.

Deputy Scott Vedder responded to Robert Ripley's special education class andasked Gibson to leave the room, sheriff's office spokeswoman Debra Johnsonsaid. When Gibson refused, Vedder placed his hands on Gibson's arms and thestudent hit Vedder in the face, Johnson said.

Vedder fired his Taser after warning Gibson that if he did not stand up, hewould be shocked, authorities said.


The Miami Post

Posted on Fri, Feb. 02, 2007

Palm Beach youth offenders to stay shackled

WEST PALM BEACH - (AP) -- Youth offenders in Palm Beach County can continueto be restrained in court by handcuffs and leg irons, juvenile courtjustices in the county ruled.

Four judges ruled Thursday that the public defender's office failed toconsider court security and did not provide sufficient evidence that therestraints can cause psychological damage.

The justices were responding to a request by the Palm Beach County PublicDefender's Office to unshackle children who are not violent or likely toescape. The public defender's office had called the restraints inhumane andunfair.

Public Defender Carey Haughwout said she was disappointed by the ruling andplanned to decide today whether to appeal.


The New York Times

February 2, 2007
Florida Shifting to Voting System With Paper Trail

DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Feb. 1 - Gov. Charlie Crist announced plans on Thursdayto abandon the touch-screen voting machines that many of Florida's countiesinstalled after the disputed 2000 presidential election. The state willinstead adopt a system of casting paper ballots counted by scanning machinesin time for the 2008 presidential election.

Voting experts said Florida's move, coupled with new federal votinglegislation expected to pass this year, could be the death knell for thepaperless electronic touch-screen machines. If as expected the FloridaLegislature approves the $32.5 million cost of the change, it would be thenation's biggest repudiation yet of touch-screen voting, which was widelyembraced after the 2000 recount as a state-of-the-art means of restoringconfidence that every vote would count.

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