Friday, October 26, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST October 26, 2007

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From Chuck Williams
President - ArtsUnited, Inc.

Jim Stork and Peter Dekaj have been very good to ArtsUnited over the pasteight years since we started our organization. They have been with us fromthe very beginning and have always said, "Yes!" when we asked them tosponsor an event. When we were just a start up, unknown group, they havegiven us a venue to showcase our visual art work in a very public place. Thewalls of Stork's bakery have been home for over 70 artists, many for theirfirst solo exhibition.

Please join me this Saturday to say thanks to them and to celebrate their10th Birthday as a vital community partner for Artsunited and many, manyother nonprofit organizations.



Everglades gets another 6,000 acres of filter marshes in Palm Beach County

By Andy Reid
October 26, 2007

Leftover sugar cane stalks, floating Thursday in dark water washing throughclumps of swaying cattails, illustrated decades of damage - as well as thepath to recovery - for the pollution-choked Everglades.

Water managers and environmentalists gathered in southwestern Palm BeachCounty to celebrate a key step on that path, the conversion of another 6,000acres of former farmland into man-made wetlands to filter pollutants out ofwater headed for the Everglades.

Phosphorus-infused fertilizers that wash off sugar cane and otheragricultural fields pollute the Everglades by overloading its waters withnutrients that fuel the growth of cattails, squeezing out sawgrass and otherhabitat vital to preserving what remains of the River of Grass.

To decrease that infusion of phosphorus, the newly expanded StormwaterTreatment Areas help capture water flowing off agricultural land and usecattails and submerged plants to create a natural filter - absorbing thenutrients before they wash into the Everglades.

Since 1994, Florida has invested $1.8 billion in buying land and building52,000 acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas intended to benefit theEverglades. Plans call for at least another 8,000 acres of filter marshes.

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Judge denies early release from jail for former West Palm commissioner

By Sally Apgar
October 26, 2007

A federal judge has denied former West Palm Beach Commissioner RayLiberti's request for early release from a Miami detention facility so thathe can attend the interment of his father's ashes Dec. 22.

In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas wrotethat Liberti had not "exhausted his administrative remedies" made to theFederal Bureau of Prisons. As a result Dimitrouleas found he had nojurisdiction to reduce Liberti's sentence.

With about seven months left in his prison sentence, Liberti, 61, has beennegotiating for an early release, according to court records. On June 6, hesent a handwritten letter to the Bureau of Prisons requesting immediaterelease to "home confinement, halfway house or a furlough" so that he couldhelp his mother take care of his father, Rinaldo, 84, of Royal Palm Beach,who was dying of bladder cancer and other complications.

Despite several requests, Liberti has been turned down. His father diedSept. 13 and since then Liberti has made repeated requests for an earlyrelease or a 30-day furlough to inter his father's ashes and take care ofhis 81-year-old mother.

Liberti was sentenced to 18 months in prison in October 2006 for mail fraudand obstruction of justice.

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South Florida must do more to cope with the severe drought stretching acrossthe southeastern United States

October 26, 2007

ISSUE: Severe drought hits southeastern United States.

Floridians would do well to pay attention to the impending water shortage inthe southeastern United States and understand its implications for theSunshine State.

South Florida struggled through its own severe drought earlier this year,and although it's been rained plenty lately, Lake Okeechobee levels arestill near record lows. In fact, the lake is so dry, it threatens to chokeoff a key water source for the Seminole Tribe's reservations, and watermanagers are trying to figure out how to replenish nearby canals before thesituation worsens. As we near the end of the rainy season, the region couldbe in for a long, uncomfortably dry winter that would further strain ourfinite water resources.We're not alone when it comes to water problems. Fivesouthern states are under severe drought conditions.

In Georgia, severe drought conditions prompted the governor to imposeemergency water restrictions. Lake Lanier, the reservoir that supplies waterto 3 million people in metropolitan Atlanta, has less than a 90-day supplyof water left.

South Florida, with its 6 million residents, is also a thriving metropolitanarea that needs to make better use of a precious resource. Thanks to agrowing population, there are simply many more of us depleting the area'sfragile sources of drinking water.

Unfortunately, the drought that left our region parched earlier this yearappears to be part of a larger - and definitely troubling - weather patternthat could very well spell trouble for the region again. All this leaveswater managers in South Florida with a herculean task.

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Sarasota Herald Tribune

Florida clashes with Georgia over plans to restrict water flowing south

Article published Oct 26, 2007

TALLAHASSEE -- Allowing Georgia to fight drought by slowing water flow intoFlorida would imperil commercial fishing along the Florida Panhandle, Gov.Charlie Crist argued in a letter to President Bush.

Crist urged Bush not to let Georgia move forward with a water-saving plan toslow the flow from reservoirs into waterways that eventually reach Florida.

Georgia sued the Army Corps of Engineers last week to try to force it tocurb the release of water from North Georgia lakes into rivers that emptyinto the Gulf of Mexico through the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Riverbasin.

Georgia officials want to reduce the depletion of reservoir levels intoearly next year, so that no more water flows out than is coming in. Thestate's governor, Sonny Perdue, has also asked Bush to order that therelease of Georgia water be reduced.

But doing so would adversely affect the Apalachicola River and ApalachicolaBay, "resulting in a profound disruption of the socio-economic foundation inFlorida's Panhandle region," Crist wrote in the letter dated Wednesday.

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You are cordially invited to a
Buffet dinner and campaign briefing on
the bi-partisan effort to defeat the so-called "Florida Marriage ProtectionAmendment"

Thursday, November 1
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

at the home of
Sandra and Bob Steen
603 Kensington Place, Wilton Manors

Suggested minimum contribution of $25

Checks payable to: Florida Red and Blue,
12864 Biscayne Boulevard, #314,
North Miami, FL, 33181,
or contribute on the web at

For more information or to R.S.V.P. please contact Amy Rose at 954-593-8826or

Florida Red and Blue ( is an independent,non-partisan campaign organized solely to defeat the proposed "MarriageProtection" Amendment. The campaign is an unprecedented coalition ofleadership from around the state of Florida - Republicans, Democrats,Independents, business leaders, religious leaders, elected officials, andorganization directors who have the sole objective of winning.

Florida Red and Blue is run by a diverse, non-partisan Executive Board whosemeetings and decisions are transparent to all supporters. Florida Red andBlue is a research-driven campaign which will hire and rely on experiencedprofessionals. Florida Red and Blue is not under the control of anyestablished group and will disband as soon as practical after the election.

Florida Red & Blue raised over $1.3 million for the campaign to defeat thisamendment. Please join us at this wonderful event to learn more about thecampaign and our progress to date. We look forward to seeing you there!


From Paul Hyman
Executive Director
Gay and Lesbian Community Center
of South Florida
phone: 954-463-9005

Dear Community Members:

The Board and staff of the GLCC are very committed to resolving challengesrelated to our building project. We are pleased to inform you that we havemade significant progress in this matter.

The good news is that Tarragon Corporation has released a $750,000 letter ofcredit to the GLCC and the funds have been deposited into the agency'scapital account. With that, we have received almost $2 million as part ofthe original deal. Additionally, we are in final negotiations to guaranteethat the GLCC will either obtain the land site that had been designated forthe new building or secure another $750,000 payment.

With all this almost behind us, we are strategically looking at the bestoptions to ensure the long-term future of the GLCC. As always, we value yourcontinued support and will keep you informed of our efforts.


Express Gay News

Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus to hold auditions
Group preparing for holiday concert at Broward Center

Thursday, October 25, 2007

South Florida boasts a wide range of performing groups for local gay andlesbian musicians. From bands and choruses to dance and theaterorganizations, there are many diverse outlets to express creativity throughthe arts. One of the most successful organizations is the Ft. Lauderdale GayMen's Chorus and if you've ever considered singing with the chorus, here'syour chance.

The chorus will hold open auditions beginning at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Oct.27, in the Music Suite on the second floor of the education annex of theSunshine Cathedral, 1480 S.W. 9th Ave., Fort Lauderdale.

Prospective members must arrive no later than 1 p.m. and should bring onepiece of music with which to audition. Recorded music may be used or thechorus will provide an accompanist. Learn more about the audition andpre-register at www.fortlauderdalegaymens, orcontact Bradley Bush at 954-832-0060 or

Now in its 22nd season, the chorus is recognized as one of the premierperforming arts organizations in South Florida, and the longest-running gayperforming arts group in the state. Fresh off a 2006-07 season featuringsold-out performances at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, thechorus launched its latest season last Monday at the Au-Rene Theater withBroadway legend Barbara Cook. The next performance is "Holiday Treasures" at8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, in the Amaturo Theatre at the Broward Center forthe Performing Arts.

For more information, visit


Express Gay News

City and county officials attend Stonewall ground breaking
Gay library prepares to move into new home

Oct. 25, 2007

Fort Lauderdale City Commissioners Cindi Hutchinson and Charlotte Rodstromand Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom cut the honorary ribbon at aground-breaking ceremony Oct. 17 for the new home of Stonewall Library &Archives.

The gay library is making a controversial move to a building on SunriseBoulevard that houses a satellite branch of the Broward County Library.Having the elected officials at the ground-breaking was a major boost to thelibrary's public relations efforts, said Nate Klarfeld, Stonewall Library'spresident.

"They went to bat for us," Klarfeld said. "They voted to keep the buildingopen."

This year, the county commission was considering closing the building due tobudget cuts. Earlier this summer, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle opposedmoving the Stonewall collection to the city-owned facility because, he said,the library's collection included pornography. The library's officialsresponded that the circulating collection contains no pornographic material,and there are just a few adult magazines in the archives. Moreover,Stonewall's collection is only accessible to adults.

Nate Klarfield, president of Stonewall Library, said that Stonewall haseditions of magazines such as Blueboy and other adult materials becausethose publications hold important artifacts of gay history not found inother places.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Spooktacular Events
Old haunts host Halloween parties in Wilton Manors, Miami

Oct. 25, 2007

An exciting new Halloween tradition has crept out of its crypt in WiltonManors. In July 2007, four local organizations decided to join forces tocreate the biggest, best Halloween extravaganza that Island City has everseen. On Wednesday, Oct. 31, the new event, the Wicked Manors Block Party,will take place on Wilton Drive.

The event, whose theme this year is "Hell on Heels," is a collaborativeeffort of the Wilton Manors Business Association, the Gay & LesbianCommunity Center of South Florida, Wilton Manors Main Street and the cityofficials.

The groups all agreed that the best way to do this party is to create asmaller version of the Stonewall Street Festival. They decided to make it ablock party between 7th and 11th Avenue on Wilton Drive. There are plans toexpand the festival to cover all of Wilton Drive in the future.

Each year, a different theme would be used. The first annual theme is "HellOn Heels" and will take place on Halloween night ¬- Wednesday, October 31.

Shops along the drive will distribute candy for young and oldtrick-or-treaters between 5 and 7 p.m. GayInternetRadioLive will provide themusic, and Mistress of the Dark Misty Eyez will serve as hostess and emcee.Street food, vendors, bars and Halloween-themed booths and souvenir itemsfor sale, including an official event T-shirt.

The evening will also feature the winners of the "Lord and Lady of WickedManors" contest, which has been going on online all week. Other conteststhat evening will include a Pet Costume Contest and a Pet/Owner Look-a-likeContest, a Tattoo and Body Art Contest, a Celebrity Look-a-like Contest andcontests for "Scariest" and "Overall Best" costumes.

Wicked Manors is not the only Halloween game in town. Here's a rundown ofsome of the larger Halloween events:


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