Friday, December 21, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST December 21, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


State offering prescription drug discount cards

By Linda Kleindienst
10:17 AM EST, December 20, 2007


Nearly 4 million Floridians who have no prescription insurance coveragewill have access to lower priced drugs at pharmacies across Florida under anew program unveiled Thursday by Gov. Charlie Crist.

The Florida Discount Drug Card is now available to individuals and familiesunder the age of 60 whose annual income is less than 300 percent of thefederal poverty level. Qualifying incomes for individuals are up to $30,636,for two-person families the income cutoff is $41,076 and for a family offour, $61,956.

All individuals over the age of 60, regardless of income, qualify for thecard if they do not have prescription drug coverage or if they are in theMedicare Prescripton Drug Coverage gap.

More than 3,000 retail pharmacies have agreed to accept the discount card.Drug discounts range from 5 percent to 42 percent. Savings will varydepending on the quantity, type and brand of drug purchased.

"Access to affordable prescription drugs enhances every person's quality oflife as well as the vitality of our state, and many working families andseniors struggle to afford their medications," Crist said.

Individuals and families can enroll online at or by calling 1-866-341-8894. The Web siteprovides the names of participating pharmacies and lists the drugs, alongwith the discounts that will be provided.

Those applying for the card must provide their name and contact information.
Those under age 60 must also provide qualifying income information.

Linda Kleindienst can be reached at or850-224-6214.


AIDS Healthcare Foundation's 'Out of the Closet' Thrift Store Pays $90K to
City for Crosswalk on Wilton Drive

Posted on Fri, Dec. 21, 2007

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

In a move that could go a long way toward improving safety along a dangerousstretch of Wilton Drive, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), operator of the'Out of the Closet' Thrift Stores, has paid $90,000 to the City of WiltonManors for the installation of a crosswalk on Wilton Drive, in front ofHagen Park. Part of an eighteen-store chain that is the nation's largestretail fundraising vehicle for HIV/AIDS medical care and research, theWilton Manors 'Out of the Closet' is scheduled to open at 2097 Wilton Drivein January 2008.

The $90,000 contribution for the crosswalk comes at a time when WiltonManors city officials are in talks with the Florida Department ofTransportation to improve safety along Wilton Drive. Area business ownersand residents have been lobbying the City for some time to improve safetyconditions on that road --- the site of numerous serious accidents.Community efforts for traffic calming in Wilton Manors have intensified inrecent months after a pedestrian was struck and killed this past Novembercrossing Dixie Highway at Five Points intersection -- just three weeks afteranother pedestrian was critically injured crossing an extension of WiltonDrive, NE Fourth Avenue.

"Particularly in light of recent serious traffic incidents in the area, weare pleased to announce this payment of $90,000 to the City for theinstallation of a crosswalk on Wilton Drive," said Matt LaMariana, DistrictManager-Florida, 'Out of the Closet' Thrift Stores. "As the community hasrallied together to address the issue of traffic calming, it is our hopethat this much-needed crosswalk will not only help make the area morepedestrian-friendly, benefiting all of the businesses on the south side ofWilton Drive, but also play a critical role in accelerating the process ofimproving the safety and quality of life for all of those who work in, livein and visit this area."

Though the crosswalk installation falls under the jurisdiction of the City,Wilton Drive itself is a state road and, thus, decisions regarding changesto it rest with the state. According to a recent Express Gay News article("Local Gay Resident Killed Crossing Street in Wilton Manors," By JuanCarlos Rodriguez), in response to community concerns City officials met withthe Florida Department of Transportation regarding traffic calming options.However, officials failed to see eye-to-eye on potential solutions at thatmeeting. Since all changes to Wilton Drive are subject to State approval,the traffic safety situation will remain as it is until State and Cityofficials can come to an agreement.

"The installation of a crosswalk on Wilton Drive is long-overdue," said KateWalsh, owner of We're Everywhere, a clothing store and gift shop located at2041 Wilton Drive, near the site of the proposed crosswalk. "I'm excitedabout any improvements that will make the neighborhood more pedestrianfriendly. With four lanes of traffic and cars flying by at high speeds,Wilton Drive is very difficult -- even dangerous -- to cross. I've longwondered how many more people will be hit or killed before action would betaken. A crosswalk will be 100% beneficial to Wilton Manors business-ownersand residents alike."

more . . . . .


Drag Queen Gets New Murder Trial

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 20, 2007 - 5:00 pm ET

(West Palm Beach, Florida) A 28-year old gay Florida man convicted ofkilling a man he allegedly picked up for sex in 2003 will get a new trial anappeals court has ruled.

The appeals court said that Eulis Campbell had not received a fair trialbecause the original judge erred by not sequestering the jury during itsdeliberations.

Campbell was well known in West Palm Beach's gay community as a drag artist,performing under the stage name Madeline Monroe and impersonating MarilynMonroe, Liza Minnelli and Madonna.

He was convicted in 2006 of killing truck driver Farook Baksh, 45.

At his trial the prosecution presented evidence showing that Campbell metBaksh at an area gay bar and the two went to Baksh's apartment.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Defendants sentenced in local gay doctor's murder

Dec. 20, 2007

Two men in their early 20s will serve 70 years combined for the brutalmurder of Harry Grossman, a gay anesthesiologist who lived in FortLauderdale.

Scott Whisenant, 20, was sentenced to 40 years and his accomplice, JosephFleischer, 21, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. The sentences were readin separate hearings before Broward County Circuit Judge Ilona Holmes Dec.12.

Whisenant and Fleischer broke into Grossman's Guava Isle home Jan. 12, 2005,with the intention of robbing him, prosecutors said. The breakin went awryand resulted in Whisenant beating and strangling Grossman to death with adog leash as Fleischer searched for Grossman's safe.

Grossman met Whisenant and Fleischer at Covenant House, a shelter fortroubled youth, two days before he was murdered. He often hired young men todo maintenance at his home.

Whisenant's attorney, Pat Ratstatter, had argued that Grossman hiredtroubled young men for sex, as well as odd jobs, but Holmes did not allowthe argument into evidence.

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Ft. Lauderdale

Local arts scene gears up for new year
New gallery opens in Manors; White Party seeks performers

Thursday, December 20, 2007

WITH MORE THAN ITS share of galleries, theater companies and musicalorganizations, the South Florida arts scene remains active throughout theyear. Here's a quick look at some local arts and cultural events:

Howard Gordon, one of Florida's leading photographers of orchids, willcelebrate the grand opening of the Howard Gordon Gallery, 2437 Dixie Hwy. inWilton Manors, on Friday, Dec. 21. Gordon, an accomplished photographer withworks in many prestigious private collections, will be on hand to discusshis work. The reception runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at the gallery, located justsouth of Five Points.

Winter Party seeking performers

If you are a performer, the Winter Party Festival may have a special rolefor you. The Winter Party Festival planning committee invites you to becomea part of the cast of performers. They are seeking local, national andinternational talent to fill positions such as hot gogo boys and girls,fierce drag queens and kings, professional dancers and specialty acts suchas stilt walkers and puppeteers. There is no monetary compensation, butperformers will receive free tickets to the dance events. Travel and lodgingwill not be reimbursed, but some costumes will be provided.

Interested performers should send contact information, photo, a full bodypicture and a short video submission to with the subjectline "WPF Entertainment Casting Call." You can also apply by mail to TheTask Force, Attn: WPF Director of Programming, 3510 Biscayne Boulevard,Suite 206, Miami, FL 33137. For more information, go to

Pride Wind Ensemble to resume rehearsals

After performing Christmas Eve with the Sunshine Cathedral Choir and othergroups, the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, one of the nation's premierGLBT bands, resumes rehearsals at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, in the musicroom of St. Mark's Episcopal School, 1750 E. Oakland Park Blvd. The bandwill begin preparing for its spring concert at the Broward Center for thePerforming Arts on May 11, as well as upcoming Pride events in Ft.Lauderdale, Lake Worth and Jacksonville. Musicians of all levels areencouraged to attend, and the band can provide some instruments, ifnecessary. For more information, go to or call954-478-7478.

GLCC continues toy drive

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC) continues its2007 toy drive through Christmas week. Donations of unwrapped toys are beingaccepted Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Saturday andSunday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Center, 1717 N. Andrews Ave. in FortLauderdale.

Women Net, a networking social for women presented by the GLCC, holds itsmonthly social Thursday, Dec. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at GBS The Beauty Store,31 N. Federal Hwy. in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to complimentary drinksand hors d'oeuvres, participants will receive free flat iron treatments,blowouts, skin care analysis, mini-manicures and make-up touch ups. A $5donation is requested. For more information, call 954-463-9005.

If you are looking for a special stocking stuffer, pick up the 2008 MainStreet Gym calendar. Proceeds from the sale benefits the GLCC and BrowardHouse, a local HIV/AIDS service organization. The calendars are available atthe gym, located in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, as well as the GLCC andBroward House. They cost $15 each. The calendar can also be purchased onlineat the GLCC website, The calendar was the culmination of athree-month model search conducted at Coliseum and featuring some of thehottest guys in South Florida.


Express Gay News

Broward Human Rights Board approves trans amendment
Members agree on definition of 'gender identity, expression'

Dec. 20, 2007

The Broward County Human Rights Board on Dec. 17 unanimously approved aproposed amendment that would add protections for transgendered men andwomen and pregnant women to the county's human rights ordinance. Theamendment will now go before the Broward County Commission, which isexpected to vote on the measure no later than February.

Supporters of the amendment have been seeking quick passage of thelegislation. But supporters and activists have been calling for changes thatwould streamline the ordinance's administrative process and strengthen thestatutes that currently protect gays and lesbians as well as other protectedclasses.

In a three-minute speech before the board, Broward County Commissioner KenKeechl, the amendment's main sponsor, urged board members to approve theamendment rather than rework the language, which could result in furtherdelay.

"Let's get it done today," said Keechl, who said he wants to see theamendment approved by Feb. 14. "If we don't get this done quickly, we'redoing a disservice to the transgendered community," he said.

The board agreed without discussion to a revise the definition of genderidentity and expression to read "genderrelated identity, appearance,expression or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual'sassigned sex at birth."

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Miami-Dade County looking to form GLBT advisory board
Officials invite gay and lesbian leaders to 'historic' meeting

Dec. 20, 2007

A new chapter in the history of relations between Miami- Dade County and thegay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community opened Dec. 13 when theMiami-Dade County Community Relations Board (CRB) invited local GLBTactivists to participate in a focus group to explore creating a GLBTadvisory committee for county government.

Vincent Delgado, a long-time GLBT activist and a member of the communityrelations board, organized the meeting, which was attended by Dr. LarryCapp, the executive director of the Miami-Dade County Office of CommunityAdvocacy, the parent organization for the CRB.

"I just felt the time was right for our community to have a common voice forthe county government," said Delgado, introducing his proposal to the group."We make up a large part of the county population and need to be representedbetter."

Organizations attending included Equality Florida, Miami-Dade Gay & LesbianChamber of Commerce, Pridelines, Safe Schools South Florida, SAVE Dade andthe National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.

"This is historic," said Heddy Pena, executive director of SAVE Dade. "Weknow there are factions that will oppose this, but how exciting to beinvited to participate by the CRB."

more . . . . .


Express Gay News

Art Walk to showcase Pompano Bill's photos
Ubiquitous Bill's subjects include Liza Minnelli, John Wayne Bobbitt

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Photographer Pompano Bill has a certain way of getting his subjects tosmile. If the flirtatious glimmer in his baby blues doesn't immediatelyproduce a row of pearly whites, Pompano Bill peeks out from behind his viewfinder and works his magic.

"If they don't smile, I get them to say something that will make them smile," he says. "I get the women to say 'vagina' and the men to say'penis.' It's better than saying cheese."

Art lovers and friends of the one-of-a-kind Fort Lauderdale personality canponder Pompano Bill's technique Friday night as Copy This copy center inWilton Manors hosts "Snapshots," an exhibit of more than 50 of the82-yearold photographer's originals.

Eartha Kitt is captured in a candid shot. Bea Arthur mugs for the camera.Local legend Auntie Mame appears in a flourish of red feathers. And whatcould John Wayne Bobbit be saying behind his captured grin? That's right.You guessed it - the P word.

The exhibit depicts the wide range of people and experiences the colorfulphotographer has encountered. Liza Minnelli, Janet Reno, Wilton Manors MayorScott Newton and openly gay Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl arecaptured alongside porn stars, drag queens, local entrepreneurs and PompanoBill himself.

For Pompano Bill, the collection tells a story of the local gay community.

"People of pride is what it says to me," says Pompano Bill about hisphotographs, which he estimates to number around 50,000.

Bruce Bogan, owner of Copy This, said Pompano Bill's infectious spiritinspired him to present the exhibit.

"He's taken pictures of everything," Bogan said. "He's the FrancescoScavullo of Fort Lauderdale."

Pompano Bill, whose birth name is Bill Calcaterra, started shooting picturesof the Fort Lauderdale gay scene after retiring from IBM. Soon his shotswere being published in Scoop, a local gay magazine that published from 1992to 2001. Pompano's photos ran in two regularly featured columns, "Cruisingwith Pompano Bill" and "People and Places."

Brad Casey, then publisher of Scoop magazine and now an account executivefor the Express and 411 Magazine, came up with Pompano Bill's well-knownmoniker because he used to live in Pompano Beach. Although Pompano Bill nowlives in Fort Lauderdale, the name has stuck.

Copy This is located at 21257 Wilton Dr. Admission to the Art Walk is free.


Express Gay News

Friend & Foe

By PHIL LaPADULA and juan carlos rodriguez
Thursday, December 20, 2007


Dani Campbell

Our Friend of the Week honor goes to Dani Campbell, a lesbian firefighterwho lives in Fort Lauderdale and works for the Deerfield Beach FireDepartment. Campbell made waves by making it to the finals of "A Shot atLove with Tila Tequila," a bisexual dating show. Even though she didn't winthe date with Tequila, Campbell is an inspirational role model to alllesbians and gay men who hold serious and challenging jobs.

It was obvious by the crowd at New Moon Lounge on Dec. 18 that Campbell wasa winner with the crowd. Campbell, 29, is an inspiration to the younger MTVgeneration.


Broward County School District officials­

When Broward Count School District officials shut down a fund-raisingappearance by reality TV star Dani Campbell at Taravella High School inCoral Springs Dec. 17, they revealed just how out of touch they are withtheir students.

With her down-to-earth sensibility and warm sense of humor, firefighterCampbell made a powerful impression on the viewers of "A Shot at Love withTila Tequila." She showed the fans the image of an out, butch lesbian whohas a ton of heart and integrity. The show was among the most popular showson MTV, whose viewership is largely composed of young people.

In fact, many of the young fans who showed up to New Moon Lounge Tuesdaynight to watch the final episode of the show identified themselves as beingstraight. They said that Campbell's image helped them understand their gayand lesbian peers.

Although school district officials denied that their decision to axeCampbell's appearance had anything to do with her sexuality, they balked atthe opportunity to send a positive message about young people - bothstraight and gay - who are different and not afraid to express themselveshonestly.

While blaming the shows depictions of sex and alcohol for the cancellationmay not be the same as canceling the appearance because of the fact thatCampbell is a lesbian, it still reeks of a stale moralistic stance that ispathetically out of touch with high school students today.


From Florida Red and Blue

More great news! Two more newspapers today joined Florida Red and Blue inopposing the "marriage protection" amendment.

This morning, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale) called theamendment "unneeded" and "insulting," while the Daytona Beach News-Journalwrote its second editorial opposing the amendment, saying "embeddingprejudices in the constitution" is wrong.

Your support and hard work fighting this amendment is being noticed. Thankyou -- and let's keep fighting to defeat this unnecessary and punitiveamendment next November!

To date, NOT ONE Florida newspaper has supported the amendment. You canread the complete editorials at the links below.

AND REMEMBER: Harry Jacobs has agreed to match, dollar for dollar, everydonation we receive on our website by the end of the year. Join us incelebrating these two new outstanding editorials by donating today.

Sun-Sentinel Editorial,0,798399.story

Daytona Beach News-Journal Editorial


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: