Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST November 13, 2007

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2nd Annual Northwest Florida Fall Roundup of Democrats!

Where can you make a statement about the 2008 Democratic election?
Answer: The Northwest Florida Fall Roundup!

Where can you hear about the Florida Democratic Party's plans for thePanhandle from the Executive Director of FDP? Leonard Joseph will be thekeynote speaker at this year's gigantic political rally. His goal is todeliver Florida's 27 electoral votes to the Democratic nominee for Presidentin 2008. Joseph ran the Orlando based Democratic political operation in2006.
Answer: The Northwest Florida Fall Roundup!

Where can you hear a live performance by Tom Shed, a song writer, Floridahistory buff, humorist, and recording artist. Tom will point out thatcattle were introduced to North America by the Spanish - not in Texas, butin Florida where cowMEN not cowBOYS --- were needed to drive them throughthe swamps.
Answer: The Northwest Florida Fall Roundup!

Where can you hear about all of the eight national Democratic Presidentialcandidates? Included are: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, JohnEdwards, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Barack O'Bama, Bill Richardson.
Answer: The Northwest Florida Fall Roundup!

Where can you get a chuck wagon meal consisting of pulled pork, chicken,cole slaw, baked beans, and homemade desserts?.
Answer: The Northwest Florida Fall Roundup!

Where can you vote for your favorite presidential candidate for the firsttime? A straw vote will be held after the presentations, with theballots counted and results announced at the dinner.. The nation will bewatching this first vote in Florida.
Answer: The Northwest Florida Fall Roundup!

Where will this exciting event be held, and when? The second annual FallRoundup (of Democrats) is sponsored by the Santa Rosa County DemocraticCampaign Committee together with its partners, the Escambia, Okaloosa, andWalton Democratic Executive Committees. It will be held at Gulf Breeze HighSchool, Saturday, Nov. 17, from 1 'til 6 in the afternoon.
Answer: Saturday, Nov. 17, Gulf Breeze H. S., 675 Gulf BreezePkwy., Gulf Breeze, FL!

How can I get tickets? Admission will be by ticket only. Advanced ticketsare $25.

You can call (850) 623-2345, or contact your favorite active Democrat topurchase tickets in advance. Tickets will be sold at the door for $30.
Answer: Call (850) 623-2345 or Martha Smith, Chair, 225-8181!


Ft. Lauderdale - Stars of the Rainbow

Call for Nominations

Fort Lauderdale - The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC)is accepting honoree nominations for "Stars of the Rainbow". The event willbe held on February 17, 2008 and you don't want to miss it! We have lots ofsurprises in store! SAVE-THE-DATE! This year's gala will be held at theHarbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa which is located at 3030 Holiday Drive,Fort Lauderdale Beach.

"2008 is our 15th 'crystal' anniversary at the GLCC. Our theme for Stars ofthe Rainbow is appropriately "The Crystal Ball: Celebrating 15 Years!"states Paul Hyman, Executive Director. "Last year's gala was the GLCC'slargest fundraiser to-date and we plan to surpass its success this year withyour support!"

Deadline for nominations of honorees is Friday, November 30, 2007. Honoreeswill be announced December 7, 2007. Please submit your nomination(s) infollowing categories:

(1) Volunteer or Activist Star of the Year
Honoring individuals who exemplify the spirit of volunteerism and/oractivism, and who have also been a benefit to the GLCC and/or the LGBTcommunity.

(2) Community Star of the Year
Honoring individuals or groups that represent the LGBT community in apositive light; have supported the Center and/or community, have shown thetrue sense of community and who are true STARS!

(3) Business, Corporate, Media or Government Star of the YearThis category honors a business, corporation, agency, media/publication orgovernment entity that has supported the efforts of the Center and the LGBTcommunity.

Nomination Forms are available at the GLCC or can be submitted online at ourNEW StarsoftheRainbow.com website. You can also print a form and fax or mailit to the GLCC at 954- 764-6522 or PO BOX 70518, Fort Lauderdale 33307.

If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, volunteering or moreinformation please contact Robert Boo, Development Director at 954-463-9005or via email at rboo@glccsf.org.

Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida
email: rboo@glccsf.org
phone: 954-463-9005


Miami Herald


Miami priest tries to clear his name in abuse cases

Posted on Tue, Nov. 13, 2007

The Rev. Alvaro Guichard has been trying to clear his name for years, eversince five men accused the Catholic priest of sexually abusing them as boysdecades ago.

Last week, before a first-ever canon tribunal in the Archdiocese of Miami,Guichard finally got the chance to defend himself against the allegations.

The closed-door tribunal, conducted at the archdiocese's headquarters inMiami Shores, heard testimony from Guichard, his accusers and otherwitnesses. The Catholic tribunal is a panel of three canonical judges whoare priests. They will soon decide Guichard's fate.

Guichard, 67, has been on paid administrative leave since 2002, when theclergy sex-abuse scandal rocked the Roman Catholic Church nationwide.Guichard is the only local priest among dozens of South Florida clericsimplicated in the controversy who did not go away quietly.

''I am not guilty of anything because I never abused anyone,'' saidGuichard, who stressed he was ''forbidden'' from talking about his testimonybefore the tribunal. ``Whatever the final decision, I will tell the pressimmediately.''

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Miami Herald


Keys resident hopes to tap ocean's power

Posted on Tue, Nov. 13, 2007

Douglas Bedgood recently stood on a defunct Henry Flagler railroad bridge,watching as the tide forcefully moved water from the Gulf of Mexico througha channel to the Atlantic Ocean.

What he saw was untapped energy. Enough tidal power, he believes, to lightand cool every residence and business in the Lower Keys.

To capture that power and convert it to electricity, Bedgood founded FloridaKeys Hydro Power Research Corp. in July. The nonprofit is working to putunderwater tidal turbine farms in the Keys' channels.

''People have been talking about this for a long time: Why not use thetides?'' said Bedgood, 65. ``But everybody was waiting for government orsomebody else to do it. So it never got done.''

Bedgood, a massage therapist who has developed aquatic therapy devices andtried to build a wind farm in California in the 1970s, said his motive isgreen -- but not for the color of money: ``I want to do my part to save theplanet.''

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Miami Herald


Boats hurting, killing manatees

Posted on Tue, Nov. 13, 2007

A recent Miami Herald article on manatee research in the Everglades does agood job of identifying some of the questions that still need to be answeredwith regard to this fascinating but still poorly understood species.However, the question of a major cause of manatee deaths within theboundaries of Everglades National Park is already well documented.

In a comprehensive study released in 2006, the U.S. Geological Surveyexamined the cause of death of 520 manatee carcasses recovered in the parkbetween 1974 and 2004. Of the 286 carcasses where the cause of death couldbe identified, 115 or 40 percent were due to manatee boater collisions.

An additional 234 carcasses were cases where the cause of death could not beadequately determined. These were often found in remote areas of the parksuch as Whitewater Bay where advanced decomposition prevented identifying acause of death. In a situation where collisions are so prevalent thatmanatees are often identified by the unique pattern of propeller scars ontheir bodies, it is assumed that a percentage of these were also killed bycollision or by subsequent infection of an open wound caused by boatpropellers. Carcasses that drifted out into open waters are often neverrecovered or identified.

Some suggest the possibility of putting in place slow-speed zones in areaswhere manatees are known to move and congregate. The difficulty will be inidentifying all of these areas due to the manatee's propensity forexploration and constantly shifting movement patterns. These appear to betriggered by water temperature, salinity and other factors which theresearch currently being conducted will hopefully allow us to betterunderstand. That being said, it is simply appalling for a leading cause ofdeath of a federally listed endangered species to occur as a result ofmotorized recreation within a national park.

While recreational boating has a place in the park as a means of access, theNational Park Service has other responsibilities that must be given far moreweight as the service attempts to rewrite its general management plan forthe park. In its own park-management guidelines, it is clearly stated that``in cases of uncertainty as to the impacts of activities on park naturalresources, the protection of natural resources will predominate.''

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Miami Herald


Colleges get poor grades, leaders get rich

Posted on Tue, Nov. 13, 2007

Three Florida universities rank in the top 10. No. No. It's not what youthink.

It's not in athletics. For once, our public universities have busted intothe national ranking without the help of semiliterate pituitary cases andtheir multimillionaire coaches.

We did it by spending big bucks on educators -- an extraordinaryaccomplishment given that money, or rather the lack of it, accounts for thelowly state of higher education in Florida.

We managed to crack the top 10 in a year when the state Legislature hademasculated the higher education budget.

Even before the budget cuts, state colleges and universities were suckingwind. In January, Florida's higher education board warned: ``By almost anymeasure, Florida lags its peers and the nation in the resources available toaccomplish the mission of its public university system. Data definitionsvary among states and among the major surveys of state finances, but thestate university system fares poorly no matter how the facts are analyzed.''

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Tallahassee Democrat


His popularity flagging, Sen. Martinez turns away from Bush

Associated Press Writer
Nov 12, 3:36 PM EST

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez had to give President Bush twopieces of bad news recently.

Not only was Martinez quitting a Republican Party job the president lobbiedhim hard to accept, he was also planning to help Democrats override Bush'sveto of a multibillion dollar water bill with Everglades cleanup money.

It was a landmark for both Bush and Martinez, whose political history isrich in mutual benefit. The first override of Bush's career, and one of thefirst times Martinez importantly told the president "no."

Perhaps not coincidentally, it came as his approval ratings tumbled towardBush's.

"Somebody said to me last week how that had to be hard. The fact of thematter is it wasn't hard," Martinez said Monday of disagreeing with thepresident. "I understand why he had to hold his nose and veto it, becausethere's a lot of pork in that bill. But given that, I still believed it wasgood for Florida."

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Tallahassee Democrat


Rep. Bob Allen plans to appeal

By Jim Ash and Jessica Raynor
Article published Nov 13, 2007

Rep. Bob Allen won't be going away quietly, even as his colleagues in theLegislature continue to call for his ouster.

Allen, who was convicted last week of soliciting sex from an undercoverofficer on July 11 in Space View Park in Titusville, steadfastly maintainshis innocence.

His attorney, Greg Eisenmenger, expects to file a slew of motions today, oneof which accuses Assistant State Attorney Pat Whitaker of prosecutorialmisconduct in his closing arguments.

Meanwhile, pressure continued to grow Monday on the Merritt IslandRepublican lawmaker to resign.

House rules call for a quick expulsion for members convicted of a felony,but Allen's charge solicitation for prostitution is a misdemeanor.

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