Monday, January 21, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST January 21, 2008

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Broward cities oppose elevation of 'Mount Trashmore' to 280 feet

By Lisa J. Huriash
January 21, 2008


City leaders are protesting Waste Management's request to make an unsavorytower of refuse even higher.

The company wants to extend the landfill commonly dubbed Mount Trashmorefrom 225 feet to 280 feet. Its application is pending before Broward Countyofficials, but if politicians in nearby cities have their way, WasteManagement's plan will go nowhere.

The cities say a bigger tower would be an eyesore and bring foul odors.

The landfill - the highest man-made hill in Broward - borders Coconut Creek,Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach and accepts garbage from Broward andconstruction and demolition debris from Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.

Coconut Creek officials, who complain they have put up with years ofhorrible smells, air pollution, visual pollution and litter, passed aresolution Jan. 10 opposing Waste Management's pending request. Cityofficials also argue they aren't the source of the problem asCoconut Creek'strash is incinerated and turned to ash.

Mayor Lou Sarbone said the expansion is equivalent to four to six stories ona building.

"They've expanded before," he said. "In my opinion, if we keep allowingexpansion like this, we're not encouraging innovation and not encouragingthem to find other solutions. If we keep building the mountain higher, whendoes it get high enough to say that's enough? I think it's high enough now."

Pompano Beach Commissioner Kay McGinn said she plans to bring the issue toher commission.


From GLCC - Ft. Lauderdale

WomenNET - January 24th 6-8pm - Come get Pampered at Ocean Sands Spa!

WomenNet Buffet and Spa Day

Women this is one event you will not want to miss!
Ocean Sands, located at 1350 N Ocean Blvd., in Pompano Beach, is treatingyou to a night of pampering.

You will begin your experience with a glass of wine and a relaxing handand/or chair massage, then a tour of the spa and other special treatmentsawait you.

If that wasn't enough, you will then enjoy a complimentary, lavish buffetand drink bar. Now what woman wouldn't love this? Let Ocean Sands pamper youin style!


Call for directions or more info:
1350 N. Ocean Blvd.
Pompano Beach, FL
Phone: 954.590.1110


USA Today

Money, conveying message play big parts in Fla.

By David Jackson, USA TODAY

CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Republican presidential race arrived Sunday in thevast and growing state of Florida, where money and message are going to beamong the challenges facing four of the leading candidates.

The home of the 2000 presidential recount is being besieged by GOPcandidates with very different agendas in light of Arizona Sen. JohnMcCain's win Saturday in South Carolina.

Already, McCain is being attacked in Florida by rivals Mitt Romney and RudyGiuliani for his lengthy tenure in Washington. (McCain was first elected toCongress in 1982.)

"We're obviously doing very well," McCain said in South Carolina, beforeheading to Florida.

Florida, which holds primaries for both parties on Jan. 29, could helpposition the GOP winner for success in the 22-state primary on Feb.5.

more . . . . .



Giuliani counting on ex-New Yorkers' support
But their support might not be enough to carry Florida

By Anthony Man
Political Writer
January 21, 2008

Legions of former New Yorkers live in South Florida. And if they'reRepublican, chances are they're supporting Rudy Giuliani for president,providing the former New York City mayor with a vocal base of support in thestate that he's counting on to keep his campaign alive.

They're like Irwin Wenzel, of Delray Beach, who's lived in Florida for twodecades, but remains passionate about his former home - and its formermayor.

"When I left New York, New York City was a cesspool," he said. The48-year-old pilot credits Giuliani with "a miracle transformation" inreducing crime and cleaning up the city.

"If he could do that in my hometown, think of what he could do for thecountry," he said. "All the people should benefit from this man'sleadership."

Lots of former New Yorkers talk that way.

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Miami Herald

Property tax plan's worth faces test at polls

Posted on Mon, Jan. 21, 2008

The property-tax amendment going before voters on Jan. 29 is a compromiseborn of legislative frustration and politics. Whether it makes it into thestate Constitution will depend on whether voters decide it's abetter-than-nothing solution, or a worse-than-nothing mistake.

Opponents, including the business-backed tax research group TaxWatch,teachers unions, firefighters, local-government leaders and former Gov. JebBush's chief economic advisor, warn that the cure would be worse than theillness.

''We believe it's fundamentally flawed,'' said Dominic Calabro, TaxWatchexecutive director. He believes that the amendment exacerbates theinequities of the current system, which gives a built-in advantage tolong-term residents ''who need the tax break least'' while giving``virtually nothing to those that have seen their taxes rise the most --non-homestead property owners.''

But supporters, led by cheerleader-in-chief Gov. Charlie Crist and anassortment of legislators, business groups and tax-cut activists, say thateven though it's an incomplete solution, it's a tax cut that people shouldwelcome.

''Some want more. So do I,'' Crist told supporters last week. ``But, youknow, we're just getting started.''

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Orlando Sentinel,0,3196182.story?track=rss


McCain, Clinton, Obama pick up endorsements from Florida newspapers
The Orlando Sentinel backed McCain and Clinton. The Gainesville Sun and thePalm Beach Post backed McCain and Obama.

January 20, 2008

Two Florida newspapers endorsed John McCain for the Republican presidentialnomination Sunday, citing his extensive experience in politics andwillingness to take unpopular stances.

The Orlando Sentinel, the Palm Beach Post and The Gainesville Sun bothbacked the Arizona senator, but were divided among the Democratic field. TheSentinel endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton; the Post and Sun gave their nodsto Barack Obama.

The Sentinel said McCain was the most qualified of the Republican hopefuls,and the one most capable of change. "His maverick's record of taking on GOPleaders and special interests shows he can be the agent of change," theeditorial board wrote.

The Gainesville paper's endorsement praised McCain's advocacy of campaignfinance reform, refusal to condone torture, opposition to the Bushadministration's tax and support of a carbon cap-and-trade system. The Sunwas most laudatory of McCain's immigration stance. Although the Postdisagreed with McCain's backing the war in Iraq, it gave him credit that"early and often, he criticized the war's mismanagement."

Among the Democrats, the Sun said Obama's unique life experience would helphim "repair the damage that eight years of the Bush presidency has done toAmerica's image abroad." The Post praised the Illinois senator fordisplaying "impressive judgment, consistency and political maturity."

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Los Angeles Times,1,5890524.story?coll=la-news-politics-national&track=crosspromo

Democrats spar over race and legacies

Republicans turn to Florida as Clinton and Obama work to win over S.C. blackvoters.

By Seema Mehta, Peter Nicholas and Stephen Braun
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

January 21, 2008

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Racial politics, complaints and the Rev. Martin Luther KingJr.'s legacy dominated discourse in the Democratic presidential contestSunday as Nevada caucus winner Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obamasought to shore up their bases for the South Carolina primary Jan. 26.

The new Republican presidential front-runner, John McCain, meanwhile,pivoted from his South Carolina win to Florida's Jan. 29 primary, where hefaces renewed combat with rivals Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney and a testfrom Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is trying to revive a deflated campaign.

The weekend results in Nevada and South Carolina firmed up the field in bothparties as Clinton and McCain tried to portray their triumphs as proof thatthey were in commanding positions. But the front-runners had no time to baskSunday, wheeling quickly to face the next primaries.

Stung by his Nevada loss and by tense exchanges between his and Clinton'scampaigns, Obama toughened his criticisms of the New York senator and herhusband, former President Clinton.

Speaking Sunday night to about 3,500 supporters during a rally at theMetropolitan Convention Center in Columbia, S.C., Obama accused bothClintons of distorting his recent statement about President Reagan's abilityto "tap into the discontent of the American people."

more . . . . .


Sarasota Herald Tribune

Poll shows only 45 percent support for tax amendment


Just 45 percent of likely Florida voters support a tax-relief proposal beingpushed by Gov. Charlie Crist, a poll out Sunday found.

The level of support reflected in the survey conducted by the South FloridaSun-Sentinel and the Florida Times-Union is far below the threshold neededto pass the measure at the polls during the Jan. 29 presidential primary.

Amendment 1 requires 60 percent support among voters because it would changethe state Constitution.

The phone poll of 500 likely voters was conducted by Maryland-based Research2000 Monday through Wednesday last week. Although 45 percent of thosequestioned said they would likely vote for the plan, 34 percent said theylikely would not and the remaining 21 percent said they were undecided.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

more . . . . .


Palm Beach Post

Secret Service digs in at FAU before debates

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 21, 2008

BOCA RATON - Secret Service agents in dark suits will fan out across campus.Students will shuffle through hulking metal detectors. Bomb-sniffing dogswill walk in people's footsteps.

The national-security state has come to Florida Atlantic University, andalong with it, one of the largest logistical operations this campus hasseen.

Distribution of tickets

FAU students will be allotted 300 tickets for each of the debates, andfaculty and staff will get 100 tickets. Another 100 will go to local andstate elected officials. The remaining tickets, about 1,000, will be for thepublic and special guests of the community group Leadership Florida and FAU.

If you have tickets, FAU advises leaving these items at home:


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Washington Post

Florida Confronts Costs of Insurance
Despite Legislative Action, Substantial Rate Reductions Have NotMaterialized

By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 21, 2008; A03

MIAMI -- When Gov. Charlie Crist (R) took office a year ago, he quicklyturned his attention to Florida's deepening hurricane insurance crisis.

Amid rising complaints that post-Katrina price increases were making thestate unaffordable to many families, legislators in a special sessionapproved a law that was supposed to drop the average wind insurance bill by20 percent or more.

"We have a message for the people of Florida today: Help is on the way,"Crist announced in a triumphant signing session.

But a year later, resolution of the state's hurricane insurance crisis seemsas elusive as ever.

Last year's legislation saved insurers money because the state assumedbillions more of the hurricane risk. But the savings that were supposed tobe passed on to consumers have fallen far short of expectations. In fact,some major companies have proposed price increases.

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Washington Post

GOP Field Readies for True Test In Florida
The Top Candidates Finally Go All-Out In a Closed Primary

By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 21, 2008; A01

COLUMBIA, S.C., Jan. 20 -- Riding the momentum from his weekend victory inSouth Carolina, John McCain turned his attention Sunday to Florida and thehigh-stakes primary there that will test whether the Arizona senator canconsolidate support among Republican voters and take control of the GOPnomination battle.

The Jan. 29 contest in Florida will be the first Republican primary closedto independent voters, who have provided McCain with his margins of victoryin both New Hampshire and South Carolina. A victory, strategists agreed,would stamp McCain as the front-runner in what has been a muddied Republicanrace and give him a clear advantage heading toward Super Tuesday on Feb. 5.

Leaving South Carolina on Sunday, McCain at first seemed hesitant to adoptthe mantle of Republican leader. "I don't know how to define afront-runner," he told reporters asking him if he believed he was now thecandidate to beat in the GOP race.

Minutes later, he changed his mind. Asked about critical comments fromformer New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, McCain shot back with a grin,"When someone hasn't run a primary, I can understand why they would attackthe front-runner."

Florida has played a pivotal role in the past two general elections and nowis poised to help determine who the Republicans will send into the mainevent this November. The primary looms as a potential showdown in the GOPnomination battle not only because of its size and importance but because itwill be the first this year in which all the leading candidates arecompeting.

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