Sunday, September 16, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST September 16, 2007

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Do your part to fight the right-wing state-wide anti-gay initiativeto amend the Florida constitution.

Friday, September 28, at the GLCC, Ft. Lauderdale - 11:45am to 1:30pm.

Michael and I promised to get a minimum of 10 people to attend thislow dollar boxed lunch - only $25 - to learn about Florida Red And Blue andthe multiple efforts to overcome this hateful amendment. Florida Red andBlue has already raised over $1 million, but our work is only beginning.

Will you support us with this? Every GLBT person in Florida needs to be apart of this effort.

Boxed Lunch Series
Friday, September 28
Noon - 1:30pm
Networking 11:45am
GLCC - Ft. Lauderdale

Send us an e-mail and let us know if you'll join us on the 28th.

And...... If you can't attend, we'll be glad to accept your check made outto "Florida Red and Blue."

Ray and Michael


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Sep. 16, 2007
Democrats -- not a vote of confidence


It seems increasingly likely that Florida's 2008 Democratic presidentialprimary will mean absolutely nothing, causing shorter-than-usual lines atthe polls.

The Democratic National Committee hasn't budged from its threat to strip thestate of its 210 convention delegates as punishment for advancing the dateof the vote to Jan. 29.

At first, the dispute looked like a fiendishly clever ploy to make the partyleadership appear self-destructive and incompetent, thereby lullingRepublicans into a sense of complacency.

Now it's obvious that the DNC really is self-destructive and incompetent,stubbornly insisting on perpetuating the charade that allows only Iowa, NewHampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to hold nominating contests before Feb.5.

The party also extracted signed promises from each of the major candidatesagreeing not to campaign after September in any state that strays from theofficial DNC primary schedule.

That in itself is no great loss to the citizenry, since most of thecandidates give basically one stock speech, whether they're in Dubuque orDaytona Beach. These performances are only slightly less enthralling onC-SPAN than they are in person.



The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Sep. 16, 2007
Greener ways to build

Carolyn Mitchell, a landscape architect, is president of the U.S. GreenBuilding Council's Florida chapter.

Q. What is the council's mission?

A. The goal of the council is to change the building industry into one thatis responsible for its impact on the environment and people who occupybuildings. It's about market transformation in how we operate -- fromdesigners to the insurers to the manufacturers.

In South Florida, we are entirely focused on education. Many elements of theindustry don't know what sustainability is or how to achieve it throughbusiness practices. We've been doing educational offerings about designissues and manufacturing, or specifying materials to get residents and theindustry thinking about how they are part of the natural environment.

Q. What is sustainability?

A. Sustainability is the opposite of impending collapse. We have all ofthese natural resources and systems that we depend on. But we areundermining their functionality. The most obvious one is the Everglades. Howdo we support the functionality of the Everglades, of the air quality, ofthe social structure?

Q. What are some examples of ''green'' construction?


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Sep. 15, 2007
Miami police get OK for more firepower
Citing a dramatic increase in the availability of high-powered,semiautomatic assault rifles -- like the one used Thursday to kill aMiami-Dade County police officer -- Miami Police Chief John Timoney has forthe first time authorized patrol officers to start carrying similarly lethalweapons.
A burgeoning ''arms race'' between police and heavily armed drug gangsforced him to sign the new policy earlier this week, Timoney said. That waseven before Thursday's lopsided confrontation between four pistol-totingcounty police officers and a burglary suspect armed with what police arecalling a ''military grade'' assault weapon.

Miami-Dade police Sgt. Jose Somohano died in the shootout; three otherofficers were injured. The assailant, Shawn LaBeet, escaped apparentlyunscathed until he was cornered and shot dead by heavily armed police inPembroke Pines late Thursday night.

The doctor who operated on seriously injured Miami-Dade police Officer JodyWright -- who was about 200 feet from LaBeet when he fired at her --described the grapefruit-size bullet wound on her right leg as the type``you would see in a war.''

''This is a very, very different injury from the common handgun Saturdaynight special wound we see in urban trauma centers,'' Ryder Trauma Centerorthopedic surgeon Dr. Gregory Zych said.

Rep. Allen's life has been marked by comebacks
Laurin Sellers

Sentinel Staff Writer
September 16, 2007


As state Rep. Bob Allen was being led to jail on a charge of soliciting asex act in a public bathroom, a reporter asked what he was doing at VeteransMemorial Park.

Allen, unshaven and wearing rumpled shorts and an ill-fitting shirt, turnedto the television camera and replied, "I helped build that park."

At the lowest point in his life, the seven-year legislator found a photo op,a chance to plug a career that some political experts say was already over.

It was classic Bob Allen.

Since his arrest July 11, Allen has been lampooned on late-night talk shows,shunned by party leaders and all but convicted in the court of publicopinion.

He has previously denied doing anything wrong, though he would not commentlast week, on the advice of his attorney.

Allen should be acquitted because an undercover officer was the only one whomentioned sex and money -- the only one "who solicited anything," saidAllen's attorney, Greg Eisenmenger.



Oakland Park moves to ban transgender discrimination

By Elizabeth Baier
September 16, 2007

Oakland Park

The city is one step closer to becoming the first in Broward County toprotect the rights of its transgender employees.

Commissioners recently gave tentative approval to a proposal to add genderidentity and gender expression to the city's anti-discrimination policy.

Commissioner Suzanne Boisvenue proposed adding the two categories to thecity's policy, which already protects municipal employees based on race,religion, sex, national origin, age and disability. The city passed itscurrent anti-discrimination policy in July 2002. It is unclear how many, ifany, transgender people work for the city.

"Discrimination should not be tolerated, any place, any time," Boisvenuesaid. "Oakland Park is known, rightfully so, for fair and equal treatment ofpeople."

Others on the dais echoed the remarks.

more . . . . .


Jenne's end generates no sympathy
September 16, 2007

It is funny to me that when a public official such as Ken Jenne gets caughtwith his hands in the same jar that he was to keep others from, I begin tosee letters about "Don't judge him for this because of 30 years of goodservice."

Well, remember this is the same person who will gladly grab headlines andlock up other people for being so terrible. To me, he is nothing more than afelon who duped the public once again. I don't feel bad for him at all.

How do we know how good his other years of service were? We may simply nothave caught his other indiscretions.

Quit feeling sorry for another thief and feel sorry for us taxpayers whohave again had to pay for another public criminal.

Neil E. Bonoff

Pompano Beach


Students help volunteers gather two tons of Broward County beach trash

Volunteers gather two tons of litter
By Melissa Hoyos
September 16, 2007
Fort Lauderdale

Jamila Smith, 12, worries about beach pollution and the tiniest of seacreatures so much that she begged to join the International Coastal Cleanup.

"I just want to protect the ocean," said the sixth-grader from New RiverMiddle School, a magnet school with a marine science curriculum.

Jamila and a dozen classmates poked around the beach here Saturday morning,picking up everything from bottle caps to old shoes as part of an annualworldwide cleanup scheduled in more than 80 countries.

The national Ocean Conservancy sponsored the anti-litter operation at 13 ofBroward County's state parks and beaches.

The group expected more than 1,000 volunteers to show up and reported 4,000pounds of garbage recovered as of Saturday afternoon.

more . . . . .


Posted on Sun, Sep. 16, 2007

Repair bill rises for Broward School Board headquarters


Nearly two years after Hurricane Wilma, the multimillion-dollar price tagfor repairs to the Broward school district headquarters in Fort Lauderdaleis growing.

District officials will ask School Board members Tuesday to sign off on anadditional $1.5 million to complete repairs to the Kathleen C. WrightAdministration Center building, a project that already has cost the districtabout $12.5 million.

The new bill includes about $660,000 to replace metal studs at the base ofthe building, which corroded when water leaked into the walls. The problemwas only recently discovered, project manager Henry Verdugo said.

Another $876,000 is for interior repairs, including a backup fire alarmsystem, updating parts of the building's elevators and fixing the leakyfire-sprinkler system. The city is requiring a second fire alarm because the14-story building houses more than 600 employees, school districtconstruction chief Mike Garretson said.

He added that so far, it's the only major hike in the cost of restoring thelandmark building at the southeast corner of Southeast Sixth Street andThird Avenue.

more . . . . .


GOP presidential candidates to debate values issues in Fort Lauderdale
By Anthony Man

Political Writer

September 16, 2007

Social and religious conservatives, credited by some and feared by others asthe most potent force in the Republican Party, are billing their debateMonday in Fort Lauderdale for presidential candidates as a pivotal event forthe 2008 election.

Instead, the Values Voter debate may actually demonstrate the movement'swaning influence in picking the Republican nominee and the next president.

Consider the participants. All the Republican presidential candidates wereinvited, but none of the leading contenders are showing up.

The only candidates attending are second-tier hopefuls, including formerArkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, of Texas. Combined, allsix attendees had support from only 4 percent of Florida Republicans in lastweek's Quinnipiac University Poll.

Though there's a waiting list for the 2,700 seats at the Broward Center forthe Performing Arts, the event doesn't have high-profile distribution. Itwill be live on radio, the Internet and a religious channel available tosatellite TV subscribers.

"It reflects a decline in the influence of the conservative Christianmovement and the social conservatives in the Republican Party," saidHastings Wyman, founding editor of the Atlanta-based Southern PoliticalReport.

"I don't think the Republican Party is going to desert that base. But I dothink that the degree of influence that we may have seen in the past of thereligious-political conservative coalition no longer holds true," he said.

One of the key players in Monday's debate, Janet Folger, president of DaniaBeach-based Faith2Action and a member of the host committee, said themovement is thriving - and candidates ignore it at their peril. "Everybodywho cares about our values will be there. If you care enough about ourvotes, you care enough about our values to be there."


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