Thursday, December 20, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST December 20, 2007

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Proposed gay marriage ban unneeded, insulting

December 20, 2007

ISSUE: Gay marriage ban headed for vote.

Let's call this proposed state constitutional ban on gay marriage exactlywhat it is: unneeded, divisive, and a transparent attempt to get out theultra-conservative vote.

And it's also one gigantic example of overkill.

Florida law already forbids gay marriage, but that's not nearly enough forthe folks at, which claims it has enough signatures toput the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the Novemberballot. According to the group, there must be a constitutional amendment toguarantee a permanent prohibition.

Who are they kidding?

This is one of the oldest political ploys going - get a good red meat issueon the ballot to bring out ultra conservatives who might otherwise sit athome on election day. Maybe scare some people and get a little fear outthere. The only thing surprising about this is there isn't a group - yet -that's trying to get an amendment banning flag burning onto the Novemberballot in Florida.

more . . . . .


Murder suspect will get new trial because of judicial error

By Nancy L. Othón
December 20, 2007

An appeals court on Wednesday ordered a new trial for a man convicted offirst-degree murder in the stabbing death of another man because the trialjudge refused to sequester jurors in between deliberations.

Eulis Campbell, 28, is serving a life sentence after a jury found him guiltyof killing Farook Baksh west of West Palm Beach in March 2003. Baksh, 45,had been stabbed and sliced 56 times and his body was found by firefightersresponding to a fire set at his home. Prosecutors said Campbell and Bakshmet at a West Palm Beach gay bar and returned to Baksh's home.

Campbell testified that he killed Baksh, who had been married for 20 years,in self-defense.

The jury opted to recommend a life sentence rather than the death penaltysought by prosecutors.

At the conclusion of the November 2006 trial, jurors deliberated severalhours before going home for a long weekend. Circuit Judge Richard Wennetdenied a defense motion for jury sequestration, saying there was nothing toindicate that jurors would violate an instruction not to read any publishedaccounts of the trial.

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Forwarded from Adriane Reesey

Recently I was selected to lead a professional corrections delegation toSouth Africa through a program begun by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in aneffort to promote global dialogue and international understanding; with theresult being to work toward a sustained peace.

Mutual cultural exchange through dialogue and reciprocal learning wereparamount with our South African counterparts in developing a process ofmutual understanding.

Attached is a link to find some photos of the recent South Africa trip.


Dear Red and Blue Supporter: It's official now.

Next November, somewhere down the ballot from your choice for President, you'llbe asked to vote YES or NO on whether this should be added to the FloridaConstitution:

"Inasmuch as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman ashusband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or thesubstantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

By voting "NO," we can reject this attempt to put big government deeper inour lives and stop those pushing this amendment from taking away existingrights and benefits millions of Floridians rely on.

That's what this amendment does.

We know we can defeat this amendment. We know we can keep this language outof our Constitution and government out of our lives.

We're confident we can win because the people pushing to pass this dangerousamendment have already started a nasty name-calling campaign against us.

At their press conference to announce their amendment would be on the ballotthey attacked Red and Blue as "mask(ing) as a bipartisan coalition," evengoing so far as to call us, "democrats (sic), left-wing groups and gayrights activists."

It means we're in for an ugly campaign. And it means they are scared of usand our message - telling Floridians what this amendment really does.

We have a very committed opposition - people who will fight every day to seetheir personal opinions written into the state Constitution. They know thatif we have the resources to tell the truth about this amendment, Floridianswill reject it.

Our opposition has already said they will spend whatever it takes to win.

We have just a few days left to raise $10,000 on-line. If we can raise$10,000 on-line before the end of this year, a generous donor, Harry Jacobs,will match it - dollar for dollar.

Will you help us tell the truth about this amendment and let us meet this$10,000 matching goal?

Giving on-line right now means you'll be helping us get the word out and seeevery dollar you give doubled. A $100 donation right now is worth $200. Your$250 donation today doubles to $500. Even a $5 contribution becomes $10.

The election year is right around the corner - and right now is when we needto make our hardest push. Taking it easy right now is exactly what ouropposition wants. We're really counting on you.

With wishes for a safe and happy holiday season, we thank you.

-The Florida Red and Blue Team

P.S. Every time we step forward to warn voters that this amendment can takeaway existing rights and benefits, the opponents say (and we're quotingthem) that's "utter nonsense."

We'll be happy to debate that - the record and the facts are clear. Can youhelp today so we're ready for the debate?


From Equality Florida

With the holidays upon us, I know many of us turn our thoughts towardappreciating those people in our lives who we care so much about. Today, I'masking you to consider making a holiday gift to Equality Florida in honor ofsomeone you care about, or just because you care about equality and fairnessfor our community.

This year, Amy Mandel, our Co-Chair, has generously agreed to match everyyear-end gift up to $10,000. By giving today, you can double the impact ofyour gift.

In 2008 Equality Florida will be shepherding a record-breaking 5pro-equality bills through the legislature and we'll be working hard todefeat the dangerous anti-gay ballot measure that would take protectionsaway from our families.

In the upcoming year, as we have for a decade, Equality Florida willcontinue to lead historic civil rights efforts in our state. This is a fightthat requires tremendous effort and resources. That's one reason yourholiday season donation to Equality Florida means so much. Will you help?

Your Year-End Report:
As this year quickly comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment and remindyou of some of Equality Florida's outstanding work in 2007. This year, withyour help, we:
Organized public, political and financial support to defeat a discriminatorymarriage amendment to our state's constitution and played a leadership rolein building the Fairness for All Families Coalition, a group of over 200rganizations working to defeat the marriage amendment (visit;

Stood up with Susan Stanton when the City of Largo - despite its ownnon-discrimination policies - fired Stanton after 14 years as city managerbecause she announced she was transitioning from male to female;

Organized a 14-city vigil with over 1,000 participants following the viciousanti-gay murder of Ryan Skipper, to highlight hate crimes in our state;

Won near-unanimous support in the Florida House of Representatives for thepassage of Florida's anti-bullying law;

Led the grassroots fight in our state to overturn the anti-LGBT adoption banincluding a series of town hall meetings and a statewide lobby day at thecapital;

Crafted a statewide domestic partnership bill that will be introduced in thenext Florida legislative session;

Launched the Florida Gay-Straight Alliance Network, an unprecedented effortto provide support for the growing number of GSAs in schools throughout thestate.; and

Refused to let anti-gay forces distort the truth about our lives, byprotesting a national anti-LGBT convention in to Brandon, Florida.

As you can see, your support of Equality Florida has had a tremendous impactand now we need your generosity to carry on this level of work and service.

Please take a few minutes now and make the most generous holiday gift youcan to Equality Florida. Whether you give a basic membership contribution of$35, or become Equality Partner at $20 per month or make a major gift of$1,200 or $2,500, please know that every donation is a gift for all LGBTFloridians.

Thank you in advance for your charitable gift and for your commitment toequality. We, at Equality Florida, wish you and yours all the best for theholidays and for a safe and peaceful 2008!
With sincere appreciation,

Nadine Smith
Executive Director

PS - 2008 will be a huge year for all of us. Your continued support ofEquality Florida is critical to helping us:

Move five pro-LGBT bills, an all-time record, to be filed in Tallahasseethis session. We're likely to pass a statewide anti-bullying bill thatprotects LGBT students (the first of its kind in the South) and we aremaking progress toward ending Florida's infamous adoption ban, and Mobilize hundreds of thousands of pro-equality voters to ensure fair-mindedcandidates win in Florida on Election Day.

Click her to make a generous gift today. Thanks in advance!


Wilton Manors

Cong. Etz Chaim's Rabbi Caminker to teach winter course on Judaism &contemporary issues.

Rabbi Harold F. Caminker, D.D., the spiritual leader of Congregation EtzChaim, will conduct a course, "Judaism Confronts Contemporary Issues," onMonday nights between January 14 and February 25. The course addresses thepressing issues of modern life as they impinge upon Jews and Judaism in abroad perspective. It will discuss the attitudes of Orthodox or HalachicJudaism, along with Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism, asthey wrestle with some of the most challenging ethical issues of our time:abortion, artificial insemination, drugs, euthanasia (mercy killing),homosexuality, organ transplant, and suicide. Study materials will bedistributed one week prior to each session.

Contact Cong. Etz Chaim at 954-564-9232 and ask for a registration form forthe course. Please sign up no later than January 3, in order to allow forpreparation of materials. The cost for Synagogue members is $50.00 perperson or $75.00 for a couple, and for non-members $100.00 per person.


From ArtsUnited

ArtExplosion2008 will be February 8-23, 2008 so get ready now! You willreceive a separate email with the Visual, Author and Performance ArtistApplications, but this is your advanced notice. The visual art exhibit willbe on display at ArtServe from February 9 through March 1 with in-taketentatively scheduled for the 9th.

Following the success of last year, ArtExplosion2008 will be a very fulltwo week schedule of art and cultural events, so we need lots of help makingthis all happen. The ArtExplosion2008 Planning Committee will meet onWednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:30 PM at ArtServe. Any one interested inhelping is asked to attend this meeting. There is a wide variety ofassistance needed from art work in-take, to stuffing envelopes, tobartending, to staffing the Art Pavilion at Pridefest.

Chuck Williams
ArtsUnited, Inc.


Trasgendered Artist in Miami Youth Residency & Performance at CarnivalCenter Jan. 21-26, 2008

Tigertail Productions continues their SpeakOut project for the GLBT (Gay,Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) community with a weeklong residency fromJanuary 21 through 26 with nationally recognized FTM (female-to-male)transgendered theater artist Scott Turner Schofield. Workshops and otherprograms for gay youth will take place in high schools and community venuesthroughout Miami-Dade County. The week culminates with the East Coastpremiere of Schofield's new show, Becoming a Man in 127 EASY Steps,co-presented by Carnival Center for the Performing Arts and TigertailProductions, at the Carnival Center's Studio Theater, Friday and Saturday,January 25 and 26. The show contains some nudity and mature themes. Fridaynight's performance will be followed by a meet-the-artist wine and cheesereception open to all ticket-holders, sponsored by the Miami-Dade Gay &Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and other community groups. On Saturday therewill be a post-show discussion with Schofield.



From GLCCSF - Ft. Lauderdale

Calendars on Sale - Great Stocking Stuffer

ONLY $15
OR CALL ROBERT AT 954-463-9005 X233

MISSION: The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCCSF)serves the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community. We provideinformation, education, advocacy, support, human services, culturalexperiences and social opportunities. The center works to foster personaldevelopment and quality of life for the entire community. We embraceindividuality and diversity, work together, and promote awareness,acceptance, celebration and pride.


Miami Herald

Florida polls show Huckabee surge

Posted on Thu, Dec. 20, 2007

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's breakneck rise in thenational polls has reached Florida, prodding a fledgling band of supportersto throw together a ground game in the nation's fourth-largest state.

Three Florida polls in the past week put Huckabee in first or second place,jockeying with longtime front-runner Rudy Giuliani. That's a stunning turnof events for a candidate who ranked near the bottom just last month and hasinvested little time and no money in the state.

A strong showing by Huckabee in the Jan. 29 primary could upend Giuliani,who's counting on a rout in Florida to carry him through other large statesvoting a week later. The former New York mayor is the closest Florida has toa hometown candidate.

''There are some built-in advantages that will be difficult for MikeHuckabee to overcome,'' said Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who endorsedthe former governor of Arkansas last week. ``To even be in striking distanceto Giuliani would be a huge victory for any of the candidates, and a hugeblow to Giuliani.''

Huckabee's challenge: make up for the months that rivals like Giuliani, MittRomney, Fred Thompson and John McCain have spent positioning staff,mobilizing volunteers and tapping donors around Florida. And do it in sixweeks.

more . . . . .



Proposed gay marriage ban unneeded, insulting

December 20, 2007

ISSUE: Gay marriage ban headed for vote.

Let's call this proposed state constitutional ban on gay marriage exactlywhat it is: unneeded, divisive, and a transparent attempt to get out theultra-conservative vote.

And it's also one gigantic example of overkill.

Florida law already forbids gay marriage, but that's not nearly enough forthe folks at, which claims it has enough signatures toput the proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage on the Novemberballot. According to the group, there must be a constitutional amendment toguarantee a permanent prohibition.

Who are they kidding?

This is one of the oldest political ploys going - get a good red meat issueon the ballot to bring out ultra conservatives who might otherwise sit athome on election day. Maybe scare some people and get a little fear outthere. The only thing surprising about this is there isn't a group - yet -that's trying to get an amendment banning flag burning onto the Novemberballot in Florida.

more . . . . .


Palm Beach Post

Giuliani, Huckabee plan Florida swings

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 20, 2007

Republican presidential hopefuls Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee areplanning only a brief Yuletide respite before hitting the campaign trail inFlorida.

Giuliani plans a three-day swing through Florida beginning the day afterChristmas. The campaign hasn't released a schedule, but stops in BrowardCounty and the Tampa and Orlando areas are expected.

Huckabee's campaign also tentatively plans Florida appearances beginning thesame day as Giuliani's. Two days of Huckabee events in Orlando, Miami andFlorida's Panhandle have been discussed, but Huckabee's campaign saidWednesday that details still are being worked out.

The Florida visits come during the final run-up to Iowa'sfirst-in-the-nation presidential caucuses on Jan. 3. The New Hampshireprimary follows on Jan. 8. Florida's primary is Jan. 29.

For Giuliani, the three-day swing through Florida underscores the importanceof the Sunshine State to his campaign. The former New York mayor has visitedFlorida about two dozen times and has 16 paid staffers based in the state.Saturday, he chose Tampa and Jacksonville as launching pads for a new stumpspeech that his campaign billed as a turning point for his candidacy.

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Former Broward educator Frances Haithcock gets top state post
Ex-Broward educator gets top position

By Akilah Johnson
December 20, 2007

A longtime Broward County educator, who resigned seven years ago to work inNorth Carolina, will return to Florida as the head of state's publiceducation system.

Frances Haithcock, 64, will become Florida's chancellor of kindergartenthrough 12th-grade education on Jan. 1, the state Department of Educationsaid Wednesday.

"Frances began her educational career in Florida and has a uniqueunderstanding of the challenges we face," Education Commissioner Eric J.Smith said in a statement.

Haithcock joined Broward schools in 1964. She has served as associatesuperintendent of instruction, north area superintendent and principal atTaravella High in Coral Springs. She was named deputy superintendent ofeducation programs in 1994.

Under her leadership, the district raised graduation requirements, rewrotethe curriculum and set specific standards for what students are expected toknow in each grade.

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St. Petersburg Times

Smith dodges on science standards

Is the debate over Florida's proposed science standards heats up, we triedagain to get new education commissioner Eric J. Smith, a science teacher bytraining, to share his views on evolution, creation and intelligent design.(You might recall we ran the question by him in our weekend interview withSmith a couple of weeks ago.)

Here's what we got (via e-mail):

As a science teacher and department chair, how did you deal with thequestion of evolution in the classroom?

Given that it has been more than 30 years, I really couldn't speak to thespecifics of my lesson plans, but as Commissioner my goal is to preparestudents as best as possible for whatever career or post secondaryeducational choices they may make.

Do you believe evolution should be taught in the science curriculum?

This decision will ultimately be made by the State Board of Education. Thepublic input period for the web concluded on Friday and we have two publichearings set to take place in January. I'm going to reserve my opinions onthe matter until all of that input has been received and I have had a chanceto review it.

Does the state need to include other "alternatives" such as creation orintelligent design and let the students decide for themselves?

Again, I'm going to reserve my opinions on the matter until I am able toreview public input and listen to what is said during the public hearings.

Also, I heard the standards were being revised some more. Any info you canpass along about that?

The writers and framers will be meeting in mid-January to review the publicand expert input that has been received and will determine at that time ifrevisions to the current draft are needed.

December 19, 2007 in Science standards


Orlando Sentinel,0,2360671.story

Congress OKs $35 million for 312-bed veterans hospital in Orlando
Building should start in 2009 on 312-bed Orlando medical center

Mark K. Matthews and David Damron
Sentinel Staff Writers
December 20, 2007


Central Florida's long-awaited veterans hospital is almost a done deal.

An omnibus spending bill passed by Congress on Wednesday includes $35million to buy 65.9 acres of land in southeast Orlando and beginpreparations to build a full-service hospital, outpatient clinic and othermedical facilities.

Barring any last-minute snags, construction of the $553 million, 312-bedfacility should begin in 2009 and be finished by 2012.

"It's like having a touchdown lead with 40 seconds left and the ball," saidU.S. Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, as the House droned through debate on thespending bill Wednesday. "It should be victory."

Three outstanding issues remain, but congressional and Central Floridaofficials said getting the $35 million cleared the last major hurdle tobuilding the hospital.

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Tallahassee Democrat

Water peace?
Conservation must be central to an agreement

For 17 years, Florida, Georgia and Alabama have failed to make peace over ashared system of rivers that feeds and sustains people and wildlife in allthree states. Now, faced with a common crisis, there's finally reason forcautious optimism that an equitable agreement is in the works.

Credit Mother Nature. Drought has driven the states' governors to thenegotiation table, and with a nudge from the administration in Washington, asettlement appears to be within reach.

Nothing's final, and given the history of these water wars, it's prematureto declare victory. But an agreement to suspend a plan that would havereduced water flow to Florida was no doubt pivotal to a tentative peace pactreached Monday when Gov. Charlie Crist, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue andAlabama Gov. Bob Riley met in Tallahassee.

They really only agreed to agree, promising to dispatch their respectiveexperts to hash out the details and present a final proposal to federalofficials.

Even so, the significance of Monday's meeting, which also included topofficials from the U.S. Interior Department and Army Corps of Engineers, isthat Floridians, Georgians and Alabamians can reasonably expect and insiston a plan that outlines shared responsibilities.

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Former Coral Springs mayor charged with molesting child

By Sallie James and Lisa J. Huriash
December 20, 2007


Former Mayor John Sommerer, who ran City Hall for a decade, was arrested andbooked by Coral Springs police early Wednesday, charged with nine counts oflewd and lascivious actions involving a child.

Sommerer, 60, served as mayor for 10 years until term limits forced him fromoffice in 2004. He tried to make a political comeback in March 2006 but wasdefeated by Scott J. Brook.

Sommerer is being held without bond in the Broward County Jail, according toa release from the Police Department. He is charged with molesting the childin incidents between Oct. 1, 2006, and Oct. 31, 2007, an arrest warrant

According to the warrant, Sommerer committed various acts of inappropriatelytouching the victim, as well as pressing himself against her and asking herto spray his exposed genitalia with a water hose. He is also accused ofasking her to ride a motor scooter without underwear, the warrant said.

Gerald Cunningham, identified by the prosecutor's office as Sommerer'scriminal defense attorney, could not be reached for comment Wednesdaydespite two messages left on his answering machine.

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Former Broward sheriff moved to minimum security prison in Virginia

By Robert Nolin
December 20, 2007

Far from bustling South Florida, in a minimum-security camp tucked in thehills of rustic Virginia along Hickory Flats Road, federal prisoner77434-004 has embarked on a new life.

Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne, serving a year and a day on federal mail fraudconspiracy and tax evasion convictions, was transferred Tuesday to U.S.Penitentiary Lee in Pennington Gap, in the Appalachian Mountains of westernVirginia. Though prison officials aren't telling, it may well be where heserves the remainder of his sentence.

If so, it could have both benefits and drawbacks for the 61-year-old onetimepolitical power broker who pleaded guilty to accepting more than $151,625 inimproper payments and services from Sheriff's Office contractors.

"Certainly, we would prefer him to be closer to his family because it is avery difficult place to get to," Jenne's lawyer, David Bogenschutz, said ofthe transfer to Lee.

But in minimum security, Jenne will experience more freedom than he has seenin high-security lockups since his Nov. 16 sentencing.

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Water, sewer rates to nearly double for some Davie residents

By Susannah Bryan
10:47 PM EST, December 19, 2007


The town's water and sewer rates will nearly double for some residents and businesses starting in January under a plan that will help pay for a newwater plant.

The town council gave final approval to the higher water rates Wednesdaynight.

A typical residential customer pays the town $41.69 monthly to use 7,000gallons of water. The new rate will increase the tab to $69.29.

The town, which has not raised water rates since 1996, needs to raise morethan $123 million to pay for a new water treatment plant and upgrades to thetown's existing water and wastewater systems.

Davie serves 33,000 customers in an area that spans east of Hiatus Road toState Road 7 and south of Interstate 595 to Stirling Road.

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Miami Herald

Car dealer might drive Miami mega-deal into court

Posted on Thu, Dec. 20, 2007

Is the western tip of Watson Island -- a palm tree-lined stretch of BiscayneBay waterfront with breathtaking views of Miami's skyline -- a slum?

City and county leaders say yes. Their ambitious plan to fund a Major LeagueBaseball stadium, a port tunnel and a bayfront museum park rests on anawkward legal cornerstone: a 2002 study that designated this pricey parcelin the center of it all ''slum and blight'' -- a legal definition so vagueit's hard to predict how a court would react.

But Miami car dealer Norman Braman said he's willing to legally challengethat logic, especially because, by the date of the designation, aninternational development team had put up hundreds of millions of dollars toturn the empty field next to the Miami Children's Museum into a marina for''super yachts'' and a pair of luxury hotels.

''No one can tell me Watson Island meets that criteria,'' said the owner ofthe BMW and Rolls Royce dealership that bears his name on Biscayne Boulevardand straddles the redevelopment district. ``This whole thing is wrong.''

Braman said he's considering suing because he feels the CRA money should goto needy district residents.

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Miami Herald

Paimary Problems


Absentee ballots will soon be going out and early voting stations are beingprepared. So it's a good time to ask: How's this early presidential primaryworking out for Florida? For Sunshine State Republicans, not bad. The GOPcandidates are here all the time. The Democrats? Fuhgedaboutit, it'sdisasterville.

Off hand, I can't remember the last time I saw a Democratic candidate inFlorida. September? That's because the GOP-controlled Legislatureleap-frogged our primary ahead of the party-sanctioned early-voting states,and the Democratic National Committee responded by stripping the FloridaDemocratic Party of all its convention delegates. The candidates alsopromised not to campaign here until after Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada andSouth Carolina have voted. They were permitted to conduct privatefundraisers, but they've failed to do that, too.

I did have a sit-down interview in August with Barack Obama on KeyBiscayne -- more like a Socratic dialogue with a very bright constitutionallaw professor. And Hillary Clinton brought her formidable intelligence tobear on some of my questions earlier in Aventura. At the time her answerssounded smart and responsive; after reviewing the videotape, they soundedmostly canned and evasive.


Miami Herald

U.S. dollar lures thrifty Canadians

Posted on Thu, Dec. 20, 2007

Ida Gomes knows why the crowds at her local mall west of Toronto arenoticeably smaller this holiday season. Like her, many shoppers are headingsouth to take advantage of Canada's booming currency to hunt for bargains.

Gomes hired a bus to take 56 of her closest friends to shop in Pennsylvania,where each dropped between between $500 and $1,000. ''I got an evening gownfor $30. That's unheard of here,'' she said. ``The girls I went with weregoing crazy.''

With the Canadian dollar, known as the ''Loonie,'' jumping as much as 16percent in value this year against the U.S. dollar, U.S. retailers and mallsare enjoying a surge of Canadian shoppers. But those spending sprees aresiphoning off business at Canadian merchants, which are struggling withsales declines during the critical holiday season.

''This isn't just happening to stores and malls along the border, this is aCanadian phenomenon,'' said Rick Woodward, marketing director of The PenCentre, a mall in St. Catharine's, Ontario, where sales fell 11 percent inSeptember and another 10 percent in October.

Nearly two in three Canadians live fewer than 62 miles to the U.S. border,and Statistics Canada, the federal government's statistical arm, said theovernight car trips to the United States rose to almost a million inSeptember, the highest level since 1993.

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Miami Herald

No change of venue in Fort Lauderdale homeless killing

Posted on Thu, Dec. 20, 2007

Broward Circuit Judge Cynthia Imperato dealt a significant setback to thedefense for the men charged with killing a homeless man and attacking twoothers by denying two key motions at a hearing Wednesday.

And in a glimpse of the legal battles still to be fought before the casereaches trial, the attorney for one of the men said he may seek to exclude asurveillance video from evidence that allegedly shows his client, ThomasDaugherty, 19, striking one of the victims with a baseball bat.

Billy Ammons, 20, of Fort Lauderdale; Brian Hooks, 20, of Plantation; andDaugherty, of Plantation, face first-degree murder charges for the Jan. 12,2006, beating death of Norris Gaynor, 45.

They are also charged with attempted murder for allegedly assaulting twoother homeless men, Raymond Perez and Jacques Pierre, then 49 and 58respectively.

The three men appeared in jail uniform, all clean-cut and, unlike inprevious court appearances in which some of them wept, all were composed asthey watched their lawyers argue their motions.

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