Monday, February 26, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST February 26, 2007

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The Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Feb. 26, 2007


Cleared inmates seek `debt'
Advocates for Florida men wrongfully imprisoned for decades before being exonerated by DNA evidence hope to pass a law to monetarily compensate them for their lost years.


Alan Crotzer hopes this will be the year the Florida Legislature passes a bill to compensate people like him: He was wrongfully imprisoned for 24 years for a brutal armed robbery and rape in Tampa. DNA testing eventually cleared him.

Crotzer walked empty-handed from prison on Jan. 23, 2006. He wasn't offered rent vouchers or job referrals, like the guilty inmates who complete their sentences.

Neither was he eligible for prerelease transition services -- training on how to reenter society, job counseling and psychological assistance that inmates are given in the months before their release.

There is no state money to provide services to any inmate who has had their conviction overturned by DNA or for any other reason.

''Twenty-four years, six months, 13 days and four hours,'' Crotzer said on Wednesday of the length of his wrongful imprisonment. ``And you walk out of there with nothing, not a clue what's next. Guys without a strong family are in trouble.''


The Sun-Sentinel,0,5930914,print.story?coll=sfla-news-sfla

More elderly Americans leaving South than arriving, Census Bureau says
By Sam Roberts
The New York Times

February 26, 2007

For the first time since the Depression, more Americans 75 and older have been leaving the South than moving there, according to a New York Times analysis of Census Bureau data.

The reversal appears to be driven in part by older people who retired to the South in their 60s, but decided to return home to their children and grandchildren in the Northeast, Midwest and West after losing spouses or becoming less mobile.

A stream of elderly transplants leaving Florida was detected by sociologists two decades ago, including so-called half-backs, who stopped short of returning to their home states and settled elsewhere in the South. What is new is the growth in the number of people leaving the region entirely and the dimension of the migration.

"As the numbers increase of people in their early to mid-60s that move from the North to the South, we would also expect the numbers of people 75 and older that move from the South to the North to subsequently increase as well," said Grant I. Thrall, a geography professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

While the number who are 75 and older who move at all is relatively small, a survey of geographic mobility released last month estimated that about 121,000 of them left the South from 2000 to 2005, and 87,000 arrived. In a comparable survey a decade earlier, 57,000 left the South and 92,000 moved there.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,7225461,print.story

Volunteers to give trash in the Broward waterways a heave-ho
By Robert Nolin
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 26, 2007

Shopping carts are a perennial favorite. Bikes and plastic chairs also can be counted on to turn up among the tons of odd detritus harvested annually from Broward County waterways.

It's time for this year's Waterway Cleanup, a landmark 30th. On Saturday, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of boats will descend on rivers and canals from Hallandale Beach to Lighthouse Point to haul out debris from bank and bottom.

"People hunt for shopping carts because they're cool," said John Fiore, an associate planner with the county Parks & Recreation Division who has helped collect waterway trash for the past 18 years.

"I got a recliner out once," Fiore continued. "A wet recliner. Took four of us to drag it into the boat."

Last year, about 3,000 volunteers and about 500 boats participated. Almost 62 tons of sodden trash were lugged onto shore.


The Sun-Sentinel,0,138387,print.story?coll=sfla-news-broward

Fort Lauderdale to approve ethics policy that bans some solicitations
By Brittany Wallman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 26, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE · Eleven people with ties to City Hall received letters last week from Vice Mayor Cindi Hutchinson on city stationery, mailed on city postage. The letter asked them to give money to a club Hutchinson belongs to, for repair of a building.

"I look forward to your favorable response," she wrote to developers, a lobbyist and others.

It might be the last one she sends.

Hutchinson crafted the letter as the City Commission considers a policy banning such solicitations if they're done on city stationery or using city resources.

Commissioners agreed last week to pass a policy banning the solicitations by elected officials for third parties, like charities, from those doing business with the city. The requests for money would still be allowed if non-city letterheads and resources were used.


Vaccine bill finds tough opposition
Published February 26, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - The proposal seemed simple enough: require middle school girls in Florida to get a vaccination that can protect them from one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

But because Gardasil is a new vaccine from a powerful pharmaceutical company, and because it protects against a sexually transmitted virus, the proposed legislation is running into strong opposition from conservatives and medical groups.

Adding to the controversy is consumer skepticism over the motives of vaccinemaker Merck & Co., which had been lobbying across the country to make its vaccine mandatory for school attendance - a requirement that could generate lots of profit.

The resulting backlash is so strong that state Sens. Mike Fasano and Jim King and state Rep. Ed Homan of Tampa are retreating from their initial push to make Gardasil mandatory for school attendance starting in fall 2008.

Instead, the Republican lawmakers will change their proposed legislation HB 561 and SB 660 so that the vaccine requirement for 11- and 12-year-old girls doesn't take effect until fall 2009.


Death penalty panel makes suggestions
By Phil Davis, Associated Press Writer | February 25, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. --A commission examining last year's botched lethal injection execution said Sunday it will recommend changes this week aimed at reducing errors in Florida's death row procedures.

However, panelists said conflicting information from execution witnesses, prison staff and medical experts made it impossible to make definitive findings on the Dec. 13 execution of convicted killer Angel Diaz, which took twice as long as normal and required a rare second dose of lethal chemicals.

"The finding we really couldn't make -- that everyone wanted the answers to -- was did this man suffer," said Circuit Judge Stan Morris, one of four panelists who met Sunday to draft the commission's final report.

Executions in Florida have been halted until Gov. Charlie Crist reviews the 11-member commission's findings, due on his desk Thursday.

The commission was not empowered to examine whether Florida's death penalty system should be scrapped.

The draft report faults the execution team for failing to follow protocol in the Diaz execution, but also says the prison protocol was inadequate from the start.

The report calls for someone to ensure that an inmate is unconscious before two extremely painful drugs are injected, increased training for execution teams, and creation of a clear protocol for the injection process.

The review was complicated by state laws that protect the identities of the execution team, legal and medical rules that blocked some panelists from fully participating in the debate and conflicting accounts of Diaz's execution from prison officials and media witnesses.

"I don't know if they were at the same execution," Morris said. "I couldn't resolve it."


From: ArtsUnited

Tim Miller's "1001 Beds" Opens Sunday March 4th

ArtsUnited and Cinema Paradiso will present performance artist TimMiller's "1001 Beds" on Sunday, March 4, 2007 at Cinema Paradiso. Ticketsare $20.00 with open seating. Cinema Paradiso is located at 503 SE 6thStreet in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This event is part of the two week gay andlesbian arts festival ArtExplosion2007.

Based on his new book by the same name, Tim Miller’s "1001 Beds" is araucous and rowdy exploration of the performer's life, fiercely lived. Froma gay teen's head-on collision with life in a sleazy hotel to an ecstaticvision of a sex-positive future on a mattress in a police holding cell,Miller's "1001 Beds" is a fiercely funny, sexy and inspiring story about thetransforming power of art and the richness of gay identity lived out loud.Hailed for its humor and passion, Tim Miller's solo performance work hasdelighted and emboldened audiences all over the world. He is the also theauthor of the books SHIRTS & SKIN, and BODY BLOWS. For more informationabout the artist, go online to

For a complete listing of ArtExplosion2007 events, go online ArtsUnited is a nonprofit organization that usesthe arts to present a positive message about the gay and lesbian community.

To Purchase Tickets call (877) 877-7677, or order online


ArtExplosion2007 Opens Saturday March 3rd

ArtsUnited's visual art exhibit ArtExplosion2007 opens this Saturday night from 6 to 9 PM in the JM Family Enterprises Gallery at ArtServe, 1350 East Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale. In addition to a reception to meet the many artists whose work was selected for the exhibit, the opening reception will include music, dance, theatre, book signings and vocal performances. Admission to the reception is by $5.00 donation at the door. Over 500 people attended last year’s reception. This is a must see event!

The reception is sponsored in part by Stork's Bakery, Georgie's Alibi, ArtServe and Publix.

The ArtExplosion2007 Visual Art Exhibit will be on display from February 26 through March 16, 2007. The exhibit is free and open tot he public at over times. This event begins the two week gay and lesbian arts festival ArtExplosion2007. The festival is sponsored by Tylenol PM, The Atlantic Hotel and Spa, Broward County, Creatabilities and the BankAtlantic Foundation.


Forwarded from Arts United

"Body Beautiful" Art Exhibit Opens March 5th

ArtsUnited will feature the art work of internationally acclaimed photographer Dennis Dean in a solo exhibit entitled "Body Beautiful" at theStonewall Library and Archives from March 5 through 31, 2007. The exhibit opens with a reception to meet the artist on Monday, March 5th from 6:30 to8:00 PM at the library. The Stonewall Library and Archives is located at 1717 North Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

Dennis Dean is known for his diverse creative abilities, strong composition and dramatic lighting. His work has been published in WithinReach, as well as art publications with, fitness magazines, greeting cards, and countless exhibitions.

As the official photographer for, Dennis has photographed throughout Europe, Central America and the United States. Hisfavorite place to work is his home, South Florida. For more information about this artist, go online to

The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. This exhibit is part of the Cultural Arts Series at theStonewall Library which is funded by the Comcast Foundation.

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