Friday, October 19, 2007

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST October 19, 2007

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Local right-wing lawyer seeks judge's impeachment

Anti-obscenity crusader Thompson was reprimanded for sending gay porn to court
Oct. 18, 2007

Nearly a month after being reprimanded for submitting pornographic images of gay men into the federal court record, anti-obscenity crusader Jack Thompson is asking Congress and the acting U.S. attorney general to impeach the judge residing over his suit against the Florida Bar Association.

In a letter addressed to U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter and acting U.S. Attorney General Peter Keisler, Thompson is demanding that Federal District Judge Adalberto Jordan be removed from the bench for refusing to prosecute local attorney Norm Kent. Thompson has accused Kent of illegally distributing obscene materials on his website, Kent, who is also the founder and former publisher of the Express, has denied Thompson's allegations.

Thompson included the images of men engaging in sex into the court record Sept. 19 in an electronically filed pleading as evidence against Kent. He said he pulled the sexual images from web links that were posted on the front page of Kent's website. Kent said that neither he nor his staff posted any of the images referred to by Thompson. Kent said they were linked to his website by outside sites. In fact, the home page of Kent's site appears to contain no pornographic images, but it is possible to reach adult porn images by clicking on an advertiser and then clicking on "related links" from the advertiser's site.

Jordan denied Thompson's plea and sealed the filing. He then ordered Thompson to show cause as to why he should not go before the court's disciplinary Ad Hoc Committee.

"What Judge Jordan has done in this instance - refusing to report a crime, hiding the evidence, thereof, and then threatening the person who brought him evidence of that crime - constitutes an 'impeachable offense,'" Thompson wrote in his letter, dated Oct. 16.

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Express Gay News

Gay running group launches new Wilton Manors run

Front Runners have been holding weekly runs and participating in events since 1989
Oct. 18, 2007

The Front Runners, a local gay running group, launched a new weekly run in Wilton Manors on Oct. 13.

The group, which was formed in 1989, has been meeting for runs in Holiday Park on Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. The new Wilton Manors run will be the group's first morning run.

"We started running in Holiday Park years ago, but the community has shifted to Wilton Manors," said Gary Bitner, spokesperson and incoming president of Front Runners Fort Lauderdale. "We wanted to be more visible to people, and we also wanted to run in the morning."

The group now meets every Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at the northeast corner of the Shoppes of Wilton Manors parking lot. They run through Wilton Manors west to Andrews Avenue, north up to Oakland Park Boulevard and then east to Dixie Highway. Like the

Holiday Park runs, runners can choose between a 4-mile and 6-mile course.

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Express Gay News

Flamingo's Pride Wind Ensemble to perform 'heavy classics'

Event at Broward Center will benefit the gay community center
Oct. 18, 2007

The most vivacious, bombastic and powerful music from the Classical and Romantic eras will be performed by the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, the concert arm of the Flamingo Freedom Band, on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center.

Under the baton of Artistic Director Dan Bassett, the 50-member band will perform familiar classics such as "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner, "The Barber of Seville" by Gioacchino Rossini and the finale from Antonin Dvorak's "New World" Symphony.

According to Bassett, the program includes some of the most recognizable and loved tunes ever composed. In fact, the band's performance of "The Barber of Seville" will accompany the infamous Bugs Bunny cartoon "The Rabbit of Seville."

The ensemble will be joined by mezzo-soprano Maria Denison for selections from Bizet's opera "Carmen" as well as the MCC Sunshine Cathedral Choir for excerpts from Verdi's "Manzoni" Requiem.

The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida is offering a VIP reception and block seating. This fund-raiser will benefit the community center's general fund. Tickets for this fund-raiser are available through the GLCC.

General tickets are available for $20 through the Broward Center website,, or by calling 954-462-0222.


Express Gay News

Sunshine Cathedral undergoing renovations

Upgrades to include improvements to sanctuary, new organ and sound system
Oct. 18, 2007

As its 35th anniversary approaches, the Sunshine Cathedral, home to the Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Lauderdale, is getting a million-dollar facelift.

On Oct. 1, construction crews began razing the front of the sanctuary. They removed the church's performance platform and the first rows of pews to create a better, safer space for religious services and community performances. The old platform was a plywood structure that wasn't very strong, cathedral officials explained.

The upgrades will include the installation of a new organ with Italian pipes, tri-level tiers for choir, expanded room for musicians and a more sophisticated sound and light system.

"[The renovation] is going to enhance the worship experience," said Kurt itzenberger, who manages the church facilities. "It will be a safer place for the clergy and the musicians, and it will be beautiful."

This past Sunday, church members worshipped in closer quarters than usual. Behind the makeshift altar stood a metal frame with plastic sheets that separated the pews from the construction area. The choir members and musicians, who usually perform in the front of the church, were huddled in the balcony.

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Express Gay News

Where the boys - and girls - are

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival keeps city on the gay radar screen
Oct. 18, 2007

Whether you like comedy, drama or thril-lers, you can get your film fix at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival. FLIFF, which takes place through Nov. 14, will include 175 films from 26 countries. This year, the films will be presented at three venues - Cinema Paradiso in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Regal Cinemas Cypress Creek Station 16 in the northeast area of Fort Lauderdale and the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center at Nova Southeastern University.

Many of the independent films in the festival this year are geared toward the gay and lesbian community.

'Rock Haven'

The film "Rock Haven" focuses on the topics of religion, sexuality and romance and how they all collide the first time a young man finds love. The film tells the story of Brady, a spiritual young man who moves to the town of Rock Haven with his mother Marty, who is setting up a Christian school in the area. Things get complicated when Brady meets Clifford, whom he finds attractive. His feelings for Clifford make Brady question his Christian beliefs and God.


"Exploring Love" was filmed in Miami, and it's nice to see how photogenic our area is. The film centers on Sean Parker, an attractive man who is about to turn 30 and begins questioning his life. He embarks on a journey for true love. Sean goes through several romances and analyzes his relationship with his parents to figure out why he has such a hard time finding love. The film eatures some unexpected twists.

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Express Gay News

Mayor Naugle's worst nightmare comes to the stage
'Urinetown' puts wacky spin on politics of public restrooms

Oct. 18, 2007

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. If we weren't in Fort Lauderdale - where the silly controversy Mayor Jim Naugle created over public toilets drags on - the premise of "Urinetown the Musical" would seem completely absurd: Due to a 20-year drought, private toilets are outlawed to conserve water and the residents of a small mythical city are forced to pay to use public facilities run by a ruthless corporation. Break the law (like taking a "free" leak in the bushes or behind a tree) and the perpetrator is banished to the mythical "Urinetown."

Actors Playhouse in Coral Gables is tackling this Tony-award winning show, which, admittedly, has a terrible name, a silly plot and a tragic ending. But unlike the current politics of public restrooms, "Urinetown" offers a surprisingly smart script, sophisticated songs and plenty of real-life drama. And, before I go any further, put those nasty thoughts of kinky water sports out of your head, that is unless the mere mention of urination is enough of a thrill. After all, this is "Urinetown" and what else do the residents have to sing about while waiting in line for their turns in the 'loo?

The book by Greg Kotis relies heavily on metaphor, but soon slips into the familiar Broadway formula of "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back." Sort of. The boy is Bobby Strong (Tally Sessions), assistant manager of Public Facility No. 9, located in one of the poorest sections of the city. The girl is Hope Cladwell (Gwen Hollander), daughter of the show's villain, Urine Good Company CEO Caldwell W. Cladwell (Allan Baker). Of course, Bobby doesn't know Hope is Cladwell's daughter when they meet and share a kiss. You should be able to predict what happens next.

Likewise, the score by Mark Hollman, is also familiar, yet cleverly twisted. The production is full of nods to the greats (or at least most popular) of musical theater, including "West Side Story," "Guys and Dolls" "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Les Miserables."

Gay cast member Marcus Davis is familiar to Actors Playhouse audiences for his Carbonell Award-nominated performances in last year's "La Cage Aux Folles."

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Express Gay News

Broadway legend Barbara Cook to sing with local gay chorus

Candid star of 'Candide' and many other shows tells it like it is
Oct. 18, 2007

On the verge of her 80th birthday, Broadway legend Barbara Cook is still keeping busy. She's still garnering rave reviews and selling out concert halls. Tuesday afternoon she was doing press interviews for her upcoming concert with the Ft. Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Cook made her Broadway debut in 1951 playing the ingénue lead in "Flahooley." Her sweet soprano voice and sweeter looks soon led to ground-breaking roles in "Carousel," "The Music Man," "She Loves Me" and "Candide," among others.

In 1976, Cook won rave reviews for her solo show at Carnegie Hall. This led to a triumphant turn in the cabaret circuit. After more than 40 years in show usiness, Cook now performs in concert halls with symphony orchestras. Last year, she became the first female pop singer to perform a solo concertat the Met in New York. She followed that with her sixth performance at Carnegie Hall. The Express caught up with Cook before her Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus gig:

Express: I wanted to start this interview by wishing you an early happy birthday.
Barbara Cook: Actually I'll have my birthday on the 25th, so it'll be a little after my performance in Florida. Three days later, I'll be 80 fucking years old.

Did you just use the F-word?
I did (laughing). My god you're recording. The whole world will know I have a dirty filthy mouth.

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Express Gay News

Bill's Filling Station moves into old Chardees building

Singer Sean Ensign to perform at club's grand opening in Wilton Manors
Oct. 18, 2007

The bar crowd was abuzz just a few weeks ago when Bill's Filling Station owners Jackson Padgett and Mark Negrete announced the bar's impending move to the former Chardee's location on busy Wilton Drive. Well, after painstakingly renovating the supper club, the duo-also recent partners in popular Georgie's Alibi across the street-are opening the doors this weekend.

Singer Sean Ensign will be performing live for the grand opening festivities and drag diva Cashetta will serve as guest "hostess with the most-est." VJ Gary Nolan, of Cathode Ray fame, will be serving up his signature videos every Friday through Monday at the bar.

In addition to the weekend-long blowout at Bill's, there's a lot going on at South Florida's gay bars and clubs this week. Check out these happenings:

Friday, Oct. 19
Celebrate drag diva Glitz Glamour's big birthday extravaganza at Coliseum tonight. The legendary Fort Lauderdale club hosts South Florida's largest college night on Fridays. Students with IDs get in for $8 and the drinks are cheap ($5) until midnight. DJ MIIK and DJ TPROMix are spinning in the main room or head upstairs to the White Lounge for music by Daisy D.

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Mezuzah doesn't belong on Crist's office door

October 18, 2007

Crist should find better spot for symbol

Certainly Gov. Charlie Crist can find a better spot for a mezuzah than on his state capitol office door.

No doubt he thought it was a nice gesture to put the boxed Jewish scroll - a gift from state Rep. Adam Hasner, D-Delray Beach - on his office door. But by putting it there, in a public office, the governor not only is inviting charges of approving a religion, but is asking for a headache the first time some other religious group tells him they'd like him to display their symbol.

If Crist lived in his office, the church-state conflict might be viewed differently. But his office is a place where public work takes place, and the religious symbol at the entrance creates the impression that he is favoring one religion over another.

It's commendable Crist wants to celebrate diversity. He just need to find a more appropriate place for religious symbols than by the office door.

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The Miami Herald

Fisher Island ferry rules controversial

Posted on Fri, Oct. 19, 2007

The ride to ultra-luxe Fisher Island -- home to peacocks, Mercedes golf carts and A-list celebrities -- is a ferry with two lounges that are almost indistinguishable in their plainness. They have the same faded, blue-cushioned benches, the same popcorny ceilings, the same framed safety warnings.

Without a guide, it would be hard to tell that one is reserved for residents and their guests, the other for employees.

In practice, however, the workers' cabin tends to fill with black and brown faces. The residents -- those who get out of their cars -- tend to be white.

''You see people of color being segregated in their own room,'' said Gene Mechanic, a labor union attorney who filed an equal-opportunity complaint Thursday on behalf of 19 current and former island workers. ``It's blatant segregation and discrimination.''

The island's four ferries -- Heron, Eagle, Pelican and Flamingo -- all have the same design: a wide platform to move cars and a small structure that has a wheelhouse in the middle and a lounge on each side.

''There's not enough room on either side to have a room large enough to accommodate everyone,'' said Mark James, president of the Fisher Island Community Association. ``It just seemed logical to have the larger room for employees.''

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The Miami Herald

Testing of new Broward voting machines advances

Posted on Fri, Oct. 19, 2007

As of Thursday afternoon, Broward had completed acceptance testing on more than one-third of the new voting machines.

So far, three of 380 machines did not pass the test and will be sent back to Election Systems & Software, the company that sold the machines to the county. Two machines failed to turn on and one was missing a part, said Mary Cooney, spokeswoman for the Broward Supervisor of Elections.

The machines are scanners into which voters insert completed paper ballots, filled out by hand. The machines will replace the controversial touch screens, which blind voters will continue to use in 2008. The testing of the 942 optical scanner machines should be finished next week.


The Miami Herald

Boycott has Broward Democrats feeling neglected

Posted on Fri, Oct. 19, 2007

Next year's early presidential primary should have meant a rush of campaign activity in Broward County, with Democratic presidential candidates coming to woo voters in the swing state's Democratic stronghold.

Voters say they expected constant candidate visits, a barrage of television advertisements and, like their counterparts in Iowa and New Hampshire, plenty of chances to see the candidates up close before the state's Jan. 29 primary.

But when the party's national committee penalized the state for leapfrogging ahead on the primary calendar and most of the party's major presidential candidates vowed not to campaign in the rule-breaking state, those prospects died.

Visions of marquee visits by celebrity candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama evaporated.

''I expected to be a bigger player, not to be written off the way we have been,'' said Charles Ayers, 39, president of the Plantation Democratic Club.

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The Palm Beach Post

At issue: The death of Save Our Homes

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
Friday, October 19, 2007

TALLAHASSEE - Largely unnoticed so far in the din of back-and-forth, tax-cut olitics in the Capitol is one piece of potential dynamite: the destruction, even the actual reversal, of the popular Save Our Homes protection for homeowners.

Currently the biggest part of the House plan supported by Speaker Marco Rubio, the provision added in a committee Tuesday would, over time, make primary homeowners the most disadvantaged group of taxpayers in the state.

Proponents, including co-sponsor Rep. Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach, do not describe it that way. They say the provision merely provides commercial and non-homesteaded residential property the same assessment cap - 3 percent or inflation, whichever is less - that homestead owners have enjoyed since Save Our Homes went into effect in 1994.

"This is basically a fairness issue," said Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, who unsuccessfully tried to add the language into the Senate plan Wednesday.

But that explanation ignores how the existing cap works. Save Our Homes does not limit taxes - it limits assessments. And the tax benefit enjoyed by homeowners is based solely on the differing rates of assessment increases on them versus everybody else.

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Forwarded from Michael Rajner

Women Living Positive - It's my Life

Friday, November 30, 2007
9:00 A.M. - 1:45 P.M. EST


Come join us in a discussion about issues unique to HIV-positivewomen, featuring:
* Keynote speaker Andrea Williams, the inspiration for theoriginal movie Life Support
* Presentations by nationally recognized HIV specialists, patientadvocates and ASO representatives
* Interactive workshops

For additional information, contact:
Sheila Reimer
AIDS Program Office - Broward County Health Department


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