Friday, March 23, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST March 23, 2007

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By Paul Harris
The Independent

This coming weekend is going to be one of the busiest in this year's SouthFlorida Gay Calendar. There are four major events in Broward Countyguaranteeing that there is something for everybody.

For the full article contact


Forwarded from Jesse Monteagudo

Cong. Etz Chaim Men's Club screens "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob" (Apr.

The Men's Club of Congregation Etz Chaim will resume its Jewish film serieson Thursday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob"(1974) is a French farce directed by Gerard Oury and starring the legendarycomic Louis De Funes as a bigoted businessman who must disguise himself as aChasidic rabbi in order to escape terrorists. In addition to thisfun-filled movie, pizza and sodas will be served. All this will take placeat the home of a Men's Club member, located near the Synagogue in WiltonManors. A $5 donation will be requested to pay for refreshments. Forinformation, reservations, and directions phone the Men's Club at (954)567-8599, extension 3 and leave a message for Jesse.

For More Information contact the CEC Men's Club at (954) 567-8599, ext. 3


REMINDER... Join us for a town hall meeting on this pressing topic currentlybeing debated in the Florida legislature:


Sunday, March 25, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
First ongregational Church
2501 NE 30th St., Fort Lauderdale
(Near the Target at Oakland Park Blvd. & Federal Hwy.)

For information on the Palm Beach meeting on the 27th,


From Florida GLBT Democrats


We need your help for PrideFest of the Palm Beaches 2007

The Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus will be participating in the 14th annualPrideFest of the Palm Beaches, March 24 & 25 at Bryant Park in Lake Worth.

The Caucus will have an information booth at the festival both days and willbe participating in the Grand Parade on Sunday.

We need volunteers to help with the booth on both days and would like asmany as possible to join us in the Grand Parade. We will have a decked-outtruck in the parade for those who are unable to walk the route.

We must staff the booth between 12 noon and 8 pm on Saturday and between 12noon and 6 pm on Sunday.

Kick-off for the parade is 12 noon on Sunday. You should be there for theparade no later than 11:30 am. We will need people to staff the booth fromnoon on Sunday who do not wish to participate in the parade.

If you can give us an hour or two on either day it would greatly help oureffort. Visit the PrideFest website for more information. Tickets are $6.

If you can help, please drop Kevin Muth an email at

See you at PrideFest.


Thursday, 22 March 2007 09:05
Florida Palm Beaches Celebrates Pridefest this Weekend

Broadway star Frenchie Davis will headline the fourteenth annual PrideFestof the Palm Beaches being held on March 24 and 25, at Bryant Park in LakeWorth, Florida.

The event plans to attract nearly 10,000 people from South Florida and theTreasure Coast. Davis, who was a contestant on season two of the hit showAmerican Idol, is performing in "Rent" on Broadway, and played Effie Whitein the West coast tour of "DreamGirls."

Davis will be performing on the Saturday of PrideFest. Saturday's otherfeatured entertainment includes a variety of folk rock, indie, and soulfulmusic by Bev McClelland, Steph Taylor and Ashland Miller. Miami Beach's DJOren Nizri will return to spin soulful house music, rounding out Sunday'swide range of entertainment, including Latin dance sensation Shelina andfolk rock band Halcyon.


Dateline: April 22, 2007

Celebrating Life: Concert Series,

Sunday, April 22, 2007 at 3:00 pm with featured artist: Diana
Solomon-Glover, Soprano, from The Riverside Church, New York.

Guest Artists: Cantor Ann Turnoff, Boca Raton, FL. and The Florida AtlanticUniversity Gospel Choir, Boca Raton, FL. The concert is being held at CasonUnited Methodist Church, 342 North Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach, FL.Presented by the Project People Foundation, of New York, "Celebrating Life"is a concert to commemorate, celebrate, and honor AIDS orphans andunder-employed women living in the townships of South Africa. Monies raisedwill be used to provide hope, empowerment and new life to those touched bythe AIDS pandemic in South Africa.

For additional information contact: Rev. Ron Pearson or Ms. VickieHenderson, Cason United Methodist Church, office: 561-276-5302 or ProjectPeople Foundation, office: 212-870-6702, ore-mail:

For more information on this Community Calendar event please contactReverend Ron Pearson, Cason United Methodist Church, 561-860-3331 or e-mailto


The Express Gay News

Poverello to hold spring fund-raiser

'Evening in Marakesh' is theme for event at Hyatt Pier 66
Mar. 16, 2007

"An Evening in Marakesh" is the theme for the Poverello Center's annualcharity gala on March 24 at the Hyatt Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale. ThePoverello Center operates a thrift shop and food bank in the Shoppes ofWilton Manors. All proceeds from the dinner benefit Poverello's mission toprovide food and basic living essentials to people living with HIV/AIDS inBroward County. The Sheehan family is sponsoring the event.

For more information, call 954-561-3663 or go to

HERE'S A FREE TICKET: The Broward Center for the Performing Arts willconduct the final volunteer orientation session for new ushers for thecurrent arts season on April 4 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Ushering offers volunteers the opportunity to expand their artistichorizons while contributing to the cultural community of South Florida.Volunteers commit for the entire season to one of 10 weekly time periods,choosing from seven evening and three matinee performance schedules. Whenvolunteering, ushers receive free parking and the opportunity to seeperformances. There is a one-time $10 fee for a uniform bowtie and name tag.

The orientation session includes a tour of the Broward Center and anintroduction to ushering. Volunteers are eligible to begin usheringperformances upon completion of orientation.


To All MedicaidAdvocates.Com Members and Friends:

Below you will find a story from today's TBO.Com on the Medically NeedyShare of Cost Program and changes that have been proposed by fellowActivists and Advocates from the "Florida Transplant Survivor's Coalition"on all of our behalf.

If any of you have not already included your name on these petitions, pleasecontact the FTSC to do so, and also contact your State Legislators to urgetheir support of these changes as they are extremely important, especiallynow that most of us receive our medications under the Medicare Part "D"program.

Kudos and thanks need to go out from each one of us to our fellow AdvocatesAnd Activists at the "Florida Transplant Survivors Coalition" and especiallyto their Executive Director, Mary Ellen Ross, for spearheading this effortand delivering the petition to the Legislators in Tallahassee on all of ourbehalf.


Bill Rettinger, Co-Founder


'Medically Needy' Program Requires Overhaul, Patients Say

Published: Mar 23, 2007

Chronically ill patients asked lawmakers Thursday to repair a Medicaidprogram they say is broken, now that changes to the federal Medicare programmake it harder for them to qualify for state assistance.

But with the budget process barreling along and most committee work nearingan end, their crusade faces tough odds.

The Medicaid Medically Needy program serves chronically ill people with lowincomes that aren't quite low enough to qualify them for full Medicaidbenefits. The program subsidizes such patients only when their monthlymedical bills climb high enough.

For many such patients who also qualify for the federal Medicare program,Medicare Part D has made it almost impossible to qualify as Medically Needy.


Tax plan goes from bad to worse
Published March 23, 2007

Republicans in the Florida House have achieved something trulyextraordinary. They have managed to rewrite their terribly flawed tax reliefproposal and make it worse, a feat previously thought to be impossible. Itis time for adult supervision from the governor and the Senate to steer thisdebate back into reality.

Forcing drastic cuts in government spending through property tax rollbacks,abolishing property taxes on homesteads and replacing some of the money byraising the state sales tax by 2.5 cents would be short-sighted andirresponsible. For starters, it would create even more inequities andreplace a stable tax source with one that is regressive and less reliable.The response by House Speaker Marco Rubio and his team to the rising chorusof critics only underscores the folly of this approach.

First, Republicans agreed to exempt 30 poor counties from the property taxrollback because it would ruin them. Now they have rewritten a proposedconstitutional amendment to call for voters in each county to decide whetherto raise the local sales tax by up to 1.5 cents to replace property taxes onhomesteads. And since the legislators can't figure out a formula fordistributing sales taxes back to local governments and taxing districts inlieu of property taxes, they would dump that problem on local officials aswell. Better ideas have been drawn up on cocktail napkins as bartendersserved a final round.


Palm Beach Post

Crist gets teacher bonus bill
By Michael C. Bender

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, March 23, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - School districts and teachers unions could decide how todistribute $147.5 million in bonus pay for Florida teachers under a billapproved Thursday by the legislature and expected to be signed into law byGov. Charlie Crist.

"This is a great first step in recognizing the value our teachers have inshaping the future of our children," Crist said. "We must continue torecruit and retain the best and brightest to teach our children, and we mustpay them more."

The House approved the bill 110-4 on Thursday, a day after it receivedunanimous approval from the Senate.

Democrats offered an unsuccessful amendment to raise teacher salaries to thenational average, then later joined with Republicans to support the bill.The bill repeals Gov. Jeb Bush's merit pay plan, which required bonus cashto be distributed largely based on FCAT scores.

Instead, the new plan would let districts set the bonus amount between 5percent and 10 percent of the average teacher salary in the district,allowing bonuses for as many as half of all teachers in that district. Testscores still would be a factor in who gets the bonuses, but principals'evaluations also would play a role.


St. Petersburg Times

Clock's ticking for Universal Health Care
The insurer, under state orders, must add $150-million to its reserves bytoday.

Published March 23, 2007

The future of Universal Health Care's fastest-growing Medicare plan - andits 80,000 members in eight states - will be decided today when the St.Petersburg insurer faces a state-imposed deadline to add at least$150-million to its reserves.

And there are signs the decision is coming down to the wire.

On Thursday evening, Universal postponed a previously scheduled 9 a.m. pressconference until mid-afternoon today. Bob O'Malley, a spokesman forUniversal, said two investment firms have been reviewing the company's books"top to bottom" to arrive at a valuation for the business.

O'Malley said Universal was considering several options, but he declined tobe more specific or name potential suitors.

On Feb. 21, Florida regulators demanded that Universal immediately put$11-million in reserves and gave it until today to come up with an estimated$150-million more to cover claims for its Medicare private fee-for-serviceoption, known as the Any, Any, Any plan.


Palm Beach Post

Coal plant opposition grows
By Kristi E. Swartz

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Friday, March 23, 2007

The bumps in the road for Florida Power & Light Co.'s proposed coal-firedpower plant in Glades County are becoming a little more frequent.

The Sierra Club Inc. and three other environmental groups have told stateutility regulators that if FPL conserved more energy, it wouldn't have tobuild the plant, or any other, in 2013.

Also, a small group of local residents is accusing Glades Countycommissioners of doctoring land-use and zoning ordinances without tellingthe public to pave the way for FPL's plant.

And Gov. Charlie Crist recently told The Palm Beach Post editorial boardthat he's "very unexcited" about the suite of coal plants planned forFlorida over the next 10 years, including FPL's, which would be near theEverglades - an area he's vowed to clean up.

"I'd rather not do it at all. I'd rather have solar, I'd rather havenuclear, I'd rather have wind power," Crist said.


Palm Beach Post

approves Everglades restoration project
By Dara Kam

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau

Friday, March 23, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Senate approved a plan Thursday that would broadenthe geographic area of a massive Everglades restoration project and expandthe cleanup of Lake Okeechobee to its estuaries, the St. Lucie andCaloosahatchee rivers.

The measure (SB 392), one of Gov. Charlie Crist's top environmentalpriorities, received unanimous support and now goes to the House, where italso expects favorable treatment.

The proposed law would add $100 million more a year from the state to helpclean up and divert the waters north of Lake Okeechobee. That extra money ismeant to encourage federal lawmakers to beef up their contributions to the$3.7 billion Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project.

"Marjory Stoneman Douglas said that the Everglades is a test. If we pass it,we just may save the planet," said Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres,chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Everglades Oversight. "I dothink that this bill will truly help Florida, help the United States, helpour children and their children for years to come."

Under the 2000 Everglades cleanup agreement, the federal government wassupposed to provide $200 million a year for projects while the state wassupposed to purchase the land.


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