Tuesday, January 08, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST January 8, 2008

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Miami Herald


GLCC Announces 2008 "Stars of the Rainbow"

News release:

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida (GLCC) is proud toannounce the Stars of the Rainbow Crystal Ball Gala & Celebration. Thisannual and much anticipated Stars of the Rainbow event, formally recognizesremarkable individuals and organizations who contribute to the Greater FortLauderdale LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. Stars ofthe Rainbow will be held at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort, 3030 HolidayDrive in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, February 17, 2008. The event issignificant, as 2008 marks the GLCC's 15th anniversary of providing criticalprograms and services to the LGBT community. The "Crystal Ball Gala &Celebration" theme recognizes the GLCC's 15-year anniversary.

Stars_of_the_rainbow_logoTickets are
available for $195 at the VIP level, or $125 at the Gala level.
Underwriting and Sponsorship opportunities are available for businesses andindividuals who are interested in supporting this cornerstone event and itshonorees. For information about ticket sales or underwriting andsponsorship opportunities please contact Robert Boo, Development Director at54.463.9005 or by email at rboo@glccsf.org. Additional information can beobtained by visiting www.glccsf.org orwww.starsoftherainbow.com .

The magic and purpose of the event is to recognize and celebrateindividuals, businesses, and agencies that make significant contributions tothe LGBT community through their tireless and passionate efforts. Honoreeswere selected by an overwhelming response to a call for nominations. Theyexemplify the spirit of volunteerism and activism, represent the LGBTcommunity in a positive light, and have supported the interests of the GLCCand the LGBT community. The GLCC is proud to announce the following list ofcategories and corresponding 2008 Stars of the Rainbow honorees:

Individual: Michael Greenspan, Judy Shepherd, Tony Timiraos, Larry Wald
Fundraising GLCC Board Member: Ilene Berliner
Organization: Stonewall Library & Archives
Community Group: Sunshine Athletic Association
Volunteer: Marc Hansen
Business: MACK Power Group
Media: Howard Finkelstein, Dale Madison
Activist: Jacqui Charvet; Marsha Ellison; Michael Rajner
Government: Suzanne Boisvenue; Nicki Grossman
Alan Schubert Humanitarian Award: Paul Alpert

The schedule for the evening will be:
5:00 - 6:00 PM: VIP Reception & Honoree Recognition event at the MarriottHarbor Beach Resort Dunes Coconut Terrace offering gorgeous views of thewhite-sand beach and ocean. Complimentary valet parking will be offered atthe main entrance of the Marriott.

6:00 - 10:00 PM: Gala & Silent Auction will take place in the beautifulCaribbean Ballroom. Silent Auction and Entertainment will be featured in theBallroom Lobby amid a magnificent ice sculpture Martini Luge. Exquisitefood and cocktails will be served during the entire evening while guestsdance or enjoy the elegant music and ambience of celebration.

Philanthropist and gay pioneer, Alan Schubert, founded the Gay and LesbianCommunity Center of South Florida in 1993. Alan Schubert recognized theneed for a comprehensive program of services to support the gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender community, primarily in Broward County. The GLCCSF,a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization was established and now serves as asource for information, education, advocacy and support. It provides apositive environment that fosters personal development and quality of lifefor those within the community it serves.

For more information about GLCC programs and services, or for interviews andinformation about the GLCC of South Florida or the "Stars of the RainbowCrystal Ball Gala & Celebration" please contact Paul Hyman, ExecutiveDirector, GLCC, at 954-463-9005 or phyman@glccsf.org.


From Paul Hyman, Executive Director

GLCC Congratulates and Thanks New Marketing Volunteers!

The GLCC of South Florida depends on a remarkable team of volunteers formarketing support including creative development, web design, press releasesand much more. Huge thanks go to: new GLCC Founder and Marketing Committeemember Eddie Garcia of Ed Garcia Design for producing the beautiful Stars ofthe Rainbow design which will soon be sweeping our Community; Rachel Haratzof Brilliant Innovations, Inc - web applications, websites, mobile sites,and systems-- who behind the scenes is busy creating programming that willallow GLCC to launch an amazing new web site in 2008; and to David and Billof David Charles Designs, who recently joined the GLCC Marketing and PublicRelations Committee to lend their support!

Anyone from our community who enjoys writing and would like to volunteer towrite copy, and participate in promoting all the incredible things happeningat the GLCC is invited to lend a hand! You don't need to be a journalist,but if you happen to have a background in writing and have time tocontribute a couple of hours now and then, please call Rick Gibson at954-592-4120 or email rickginfla@aol.com

Nicole Martin
Operations Manager
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida
1717 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
Phone: 954-463-9005
Cell: 954-812-0822
Fax: 954-764-6522
Website: http://www.glccsf.org


Forwarded from Michael Rajner

Happy New Year!

On Tuesday, January 15th the PALS Project will host an official"After-L.I.F.E." event at the GLCC: "New Treatment Strategies for HIV+Treatment-Experienced Patients."

This will be a great opportunity to learn about new medication options andnetwork with other L.I.F.E. graduates and HIV+ community members.

Sponsored by Roche Laboratories, Dr. Robert Heglar will share an exciting,informative presentation on new and upcoming medication combinations to helpHIV+ individuals reach and maintain undetectable viral loads.

We will provide catered dinner for everyone that RSVPs.

Date: Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: GLCC - 1717 N. Andrews Ave. - Ft. Lauderdale

If you will attend, please RSVP by Friday, January 11: 954.463.9011 orPALS@glccsf.org

Please pass this message along to any fellow L.I.F.E. graduates that may nothave received this email. In addition, feel free to invite guests...justplease have them RSVP with us so we have an accurate count for dinner.

See ya' soon!
Kristofer Fegenbush
PALS Project Coordinator
1717 N. Andrews Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311


Author Michael Sherry to Speak at Stonewall Library& Archives


On Thursday, January 24, 2008, at 7:00 pm, at Stonewall Library & Archives,author/historian Michael Sherry will present a lecture and will discuss andsign his new book "Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An ImaginedConspiracy."

Today it is widely recognized that gay men played a prominent role indefining the culture of mid-twentieth-century America, with such icons asTennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, MontgomeryClift, and Rock Hudson defining much of what seemed distinctly "American" onthe stage and screen. Even though few gay artists were "out," theirsexuality caused significant anxiety during a time of rampant antihomosexualattitudes. In "Gay Artists in Modern American Culture: An ImaginedConspiracy," Sherry offers a sophisticated analysis of the tension betweenthe nation's simultaneous dependence on and fear of the cultural influenceof gay artists.

For further information, please contact:
Jack Rutland, Executive Director
Stonewall Library & Archives
1717 North Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311



Happy New Year from Florida Red and Blue!

We're starting the New Year off right -- another of Florida's leading dailynewspapers has come out against the so-called "marriage protection"amendment.

The St. Petersburg Times today made our case for us, describing the"marriage protection amendment" as "Mean-spirited," "Ill-advised," and"Distracting." You can read the full editorial HERE, but here are somehighlights:

"Florida is facing skyrocketing property insurance costs, a housing marketmeltdown, reduced state revenues and educational challenges as far as onecan see. These are issues commanding the time and attention of the governorand the public. A mean-spirited constitutional amendment that essentiallyrepeats what is in state law is about the last thing this state needs. Acampaign to ban same-sex marriage will only serve to polarize Floridians,distracting the state from the serious challenges ahead."

"The so-called Florida Marriage Protection Amendment is ill-advised beyondthe intolerance it communicates to gay and lesbian Floridians. The languagedoes not just outlaw same-sex marriage; it prevents the recognition of any"substantial equivalent" to marriage as well, meaning civil unions andpossibly domestic partnerships."

"Under the amendment, Florida's cities and counties that maintain domesticpartnership registries may have to shut them down, with those couplespossibly losing health and other partner benefits. The Florida Legislature'sOffice of Economic and Demographic Research says that terminating theseregistries could mean additional costs to county-run hospitals when patientsno longer enjoy the insurance coverage once provided by their domesticpartners."

"Registered partners also typically have rights to visit each other in thehospital and make health care decisions for one another. Elderlyheterosexual couples could be particularly impacted if they aren't marriedin order to protect their Social Security payments."

Please forward this great editorial to your friends. And thank you forhelping us spread the word to "vote no" on this dangerous amendment.

You can help Florida Red and Blue continue our outreach campaign by clickingHERE and making a donation to our efforts on our secure website.

Here's to you, and to a successful 2008!

The Florida Red and Blue Team


From Florida Democrats


It has only been a few weeks since we kicked off our createCHANGE'08vote-by-mail (absentee) campaign, and incredibly, you are already making aphenomenal impact.

"Absentee ballot requests pour in from Democrats," crowed a headline in thePalm Beach Post today. Similarly, in Pasco County, "a bellwether countywhere Republicans outnumber Democrats, the Democratic Party has so farmarshaled more voters to cast absentee ballots, 835 to 721," the St.Petersburg Times reported.

This is no accident. It's because Florida Democratic activists like you aremaking it happen. We've created a very simple but extremely effectiveactivism program that can help.

Click here to join the effort to createCHANGE'08.


In Florida, with our Presidential Primary still three weeks away,approximately 120,000 Democrats have requested their mail ballots as oftoday. That's already more than half the total Dem voters in last week'sIowa caucuses (which was double the Republican turnout there - theincredible energy on our side is clear).

Absentee ballots will save valuable time and money in the final weeks of thecampaign and help busy people to remember to cast their ballots. For years,we've lagged behind the GOP in turnout - in particular because they haveconvinced many of their voters to vote by mail.

If we can increase the number of vote-by-mail Democrats across the state ofFlorida, we will elect a Democratic President. It's so simple to sign up -take a bold (but easy) step.

Click here to join the effort to createCHANGE'08.


What once seemed so distant is now reality. The year we return a Democrat tothe White House is here. The Democratic nominee needs us to build anunprecedented campaign structure in the country's most importantbattleground state. Are you doing everything you can to help?

Start by convincing eight Democratic friends, family members, or co-workersto request a vote-by-mail/absentee ballot by Jan. 24th (the deadline torequest for the Jan. 29th primary). If you try, I bet you can do it inunder an hour.

United by promise, let's work together to turn our dreams for this electionyear a reality.


Congresswoman Karen L. Thurman
Chair, Florida Democratic Party

P.S. Remember you don't need an excuse to vote absentee. Just request yourballot. Learn more at the createCHANGE'08 website now.




Prosecutors face difficult choices in case of boy, 12, accused of killing

By Paula McMahon and Macollvie Jean-Fran├žois
January 8, 2008

When a child is accused of killing another child, prosecutors say thatdeciding whether the case should go to juvenile or adult court is amongtheir most challenging choices.

For the second time in eight years, Broward prosecutors will have to decidewhether a 12-year-old boy accused of murder should be prosecuted as an adultand, if convicted, face a mandatory sentence of life in prison with noparole; or whether he should go through the juvenile system and face alesser punishment for what police call a brutal murder.

The 12-year-old Lauderhill boy is accused of using a wooden baseball bat tohit a 17-month-old girl on the head multiple times Friday afternoon. Thegirl, Shaloh Joseph, died. Police say the boy, a seventh-grader at BairMiddle School in Sunrise, confessed and told them he did it because she wascrying and disturbing him from watching cartoons.

The case is reminiscent of the 1999 killing of Tiffany Eunick, 6. She wasbeaten to death in Pembroke Park by Lionel Tate, who was 12. Tate was theyoungest person in the United States to be sentenced to life in prison whenhe was convicted as an adult of first-degree murder. The conviction waslater overturned and he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, but he is nowserving 30 years for violating probation.

"We have to look very carefully at these kinds of cases," said MariaSchneider, Broward's chief juvenile crimes prosecutor. "They are complicatedand we are going to discuss every aspect of the case. We will make adecision that we feel is appropriate to reflect the seriousness of the crimeand all the circumstances involved, including the age of the defendant."

more . . . . .




Suspect in toddler's death still a child
January 8, 2008

ISSUE: Boy accused of beating toddler to death.

What would possess a 12-year-old boy to pummel a 17-month-old girl to deathwith a wooden baseball bat?

An out-of-control temper? A total disregard for human life? Or all of theabove?

And who is ultimately responsible for his alleged actions? Is it the boyhimself? His parents? Or is this simply more evidence pointing to a societybecoming more and more violent? Unfortunately, these are the questions wemust again grapple with in South Florida after one child has allegedlymurdered another.

In this latest incident, reminiscent of the tragic Lionel Tate case, theLauderhill boy was baby-sitting the toddler and his 10-year-old brother whenhe allegedly began beating the toddler in the head because she was cryingwhile he was watching TV.

The details released so far are horrific. Human life is too precious to besnuffed out so cruelly, especially at such a young age.

more . . . . .




Confusion reigns on what tax reform would cost Broward

By Scott Wyman
January 8, 2008

If homeowners could move and keep their old tax breaks, would Broward Countyschools lose $275 million or $145 million or end up better off financially?

The answer to that is in hot dispute among advocates and opponents of theJan. 29 referendum that would overhaul the state's property tax system. Theability to transfer tax breaks when buying a new home is a key feature ofthe plan. How that would affect school districts, counties and cities is farfrom clear.

State economists project local governments in Broward would lose $280million in revenue over the next five years if tax portability were allowed.But that's less than half of what they initially estimated when theLegislature put the tax plan on the ballot two months ago - more than $580million.

And tax reform advocates such as county Property Appraiser Lori Parrishargue governments lose nothing from portability. She expects the real estatemarket would rebound and bring extra cash to government coffers as peopleup-sized to larger, more expensive homes.

"It's never been thought out thoroughly what the fiscal impact will be,"said Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis, who opposes the referendum.

more . . . . .


Miami Herald


Vote No -- and focus on property tax reform

Posted on Tue, Jan. 08, 2008

Desperation breeds discontent. Floridians are rightfully desperate forproperty tax reform. Even so, their discontent should be focused on thelegislators who have created our state's twisted version of Robin Hoodtaxation. For years, legislators have robbed Florida's poor and middle classin order to make the state's rich even wealthier

The property-tax amendment proposal before voters on Jan. 29 offershomeowners an average $20 a month or less in tax savings. It will costvirtually all Floridians -- homeowners and renters alike -- much more inlost public services.

As the number of home foreclosures rise, legislators are counting on thedesperate need of voters for economic relief to pass yet another tax cutdespite the fact that our state's economy is in dire need of revenue. Whiletheir real goal is simply to cut taxes again, legislators would have votersbelieve they are rescuing Floridians with their ill-conceived, if notillegal, tax cut proposal.

The ballot initiative, in part, proposes taking $5 billion in public fundsin violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection provision to givelongtime homeowners the huge advantage of portability. This provides thisexclusive group of homeowners the ability to take their tax savings withthem if they choose to move in the future.

New and second homeowners will not receive this benefit. In fact, analystsargue that those who need tax relief the most -- new and recent homebuyers -- will benefit the least from the proposal.

more . . . . .


Miami Herald


Crist pushes property tax amendment

Posted on Tue, Jan. 08, 2008

Gov. Charlie Crist and a gaggle of Broward real estate agents and localpoliticians rallied Monday morning in favor of lowering property taxes witha constitutional amendment.

But Monday night, local government and school officials gathered to painttheir own picture of the constraints they expect the amendment will bring --fewer law enforcement officers, fewer city and county services, and layoffs.They spoke at the first of two forums hosted by the Broward League of Citiesthis week.

Crist said the amendment would signal a radical shift in the state'seconomy.

''The people want their taxes cut,'' said Crist, standing with supportersand reporters in a West Hollywood homeowner's front yard. ``People aretrapped in their homes and afraid to move. This amendment is aboutfreedom.''

Already, the Florida Legislature has forced most city and county governmentsto cut taxes. Broward County slashed $90 million from its budget under thosecuts and expects to lose another $76 million, affecting parks, libraries andjobs, if the Jan. 29 ballot measure is approved.

more . . . . .


St. Petersburg Times


Homestead exemption promise doesn't add up
Amendment 1 won't double the exemption, as the governor claims.

By ALEX LEARY, Times Staff Writer
Published January 8, 2008

TALLAHASSEE - Doubling the homestead exemption!

The idea sounds simple, significant - and it's Gov. Charlie Crist's No. 1weapon in selling the property tax cut plan that goes before voters Jan. 29.

The poll-tested concept has rolled off his tongue in public appearances fromMiami to Tallahassee. He used it again Monday in Broward County to promotepassage of Amendment 1.

But to say the measure would double the current $25,000 homestead exemptionis misleading.

The provision does not apply to school levies, which make up about 40percent of the average property tax bill statewide. Taxes for cities,counties and special districts make up the other 60 percent.

more . . . . .


Daytona Beach News-Journal


Paper counts

January 07, 2008

The issue isn't electronics, but verifying votes

Paper or electronics? As the 2008 presidential primaries kick into highgear, that question overshadows election preparations across the country.

In Florida's Jan. 29 presidential preference primary, most voters will castpaper ballots that can be counted by machine, and state law mandates thatall voters use paper ballots by fall. It's a step in the right direction,but some states are moving further.

Thursday, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner ruled that all pollingplaces provide paper ballots if requested. She's also recommending scrappingthe state's touch-screen, ATM-style machines that have been the subject ofserious questions about vote integrity -- a conclusion her Coloradocounterpart Mike Coffman also recently reached.

Those recommendations follow new security tests showing that all-electronicvoting systems can be tampered with, using magnets or hand-held computerssuch as Palm Pilots. But most elections advocates didn't need the new testresults to confirm what they already knew -- paperless voting systems aren'tsufficiently reliable to trust with the foundation of democracy.

There's too much risk that votes would be lost in these systems, eitherthrough glitches or outright tampering, and too great a chance that thevotes could not be recovered -- or worse, that nobody would be alerted thatsomething went wrong.

Volusia County officials know firsthand how unpredictable vote-tallyingmachinery can

more . . . . .


Palm Beach Post


Legislators grill Brogan on controversial severance

Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
Tuesday, January 08, 2008

TALLAHASSEE - Florida Atlantic University President Frank Brogan facedstinging questions from a panel of state lawmakers on Monday regarding thenearly $600,000 severance pay of a former high-ranking university employee.

But Brogan insisted that there was nothing nefarious about paying former FAUchief fund-raiser Lawrence Davenport to get rid of him, despite differingstories about why he was leaving and why the severance was so high.

The secrecy around Davenport's dismissal and revised explanations for itprompted Brogan's appearance before the committee, which he rankled when hesnubbed it last month by sending a lobbyist in his place.

On Monday, Brogan told the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee that hewanted Davenport to go because he wasn't "in sync" with the president'sadministration.

"His approach to leadership in this position and mine were very different,"Brogan told the panel.

more . . . . .


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