Sunday, May 25, 2008


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From Mark Elliott
Executive Director, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty,

-Ending Florida's state killings takes ALL of us...doing the hard work, working the hours, traveling the distances, building a broad and robust coalition, increasing public awareness, contacting legislators, planning and holding events, communicating with each other...and it takes resources. FADP is a fully-independent, all-volunteer organization that depends on small donations from our supporters. Whatever contribution you can make is extremely important. No amount is too small. Every dollar makes a difference. Every dollar is a show of support...a vote of confidence...a sign of hope. Every dollar is put to good use and stretched as far as possible. We do so much with so little funds. Help us do more. There is much to be done. Please help in any way you can. The Death Penalty in Florida will end. It will take ALL of us, working together to make it happen. A Florida that "Executes Justice, Not People" is worth the effort. We are making progress. "Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable...Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Please go to and donate.

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-Congressman Wexler's clout is key for Obama
Backing helps candidate win over Jewish voters
South Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, known as a stout defender of Bill Clinton, raised eyebrows early last year when he jumped on board the Barack Obama campaign to lead its outreach to Jewish voters. Most of Wexler's constituents, many of them Jewish retirees, were backing Hillary Clinton for President. But after long conversations with the fledgling young candidate, Wexler said he was convinced that putting Obama in the White House providedthe best chance for enacting universal health-care coverage and other items on the Democratic agenda. "Sen. Obama called me. We talked at length. We talked about issues affecting Florida," Wexler said, while escorting Obama to campaign events in South Florida last week. "I walked away from that first meeting believing that Barack Obama was a transformative figure, and that the divisiveness that I've experienced in my 12 years in Washington could be overcome.",0,3164545,print.story

-This up and comer can help Obama too.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. (pictured left), is a very busy woman. Besides her day job, she's also involved in determining the next president. But, as she's often fond of saying, if you want something done, give the task to a busy person. It might be premature to ask her to support Barack Obama. She is a national co-chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign and her candidate is still in the hunt. However, if current trends in party delegates hold, Wasserman Schultz will have to shift gears if she wants to help her party. Obama will need the congresswoman's "A-game" to help him win over those white women, retirees and Jewish voters who have thrown their lot with Clinton. The Democrats' chances of winning the state hinges upon a huge turnout in Broward and Palm Beach counties, particularly in the enclaves of white retirees and Jewish residents. Few politicians in South Florida know, or appreciate, those communities as well as Wasserman Schultz.
In addition to votes, the congresswoman is a virtual ATM when it comes to raising money. If her initial run for Congress - in which she raised over $700,000 and donated $100,000 of that to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - is any indication, she should be able to help Obama finance his campaign in Florida.

-Water district to study how melting polar ice would impact South Florida.
Global warming, and man's impact on it, is still an open question for many.
But there are enough ecological signs to give everyone pause, the latest being arctic ice melting to such an extent that the polar bear was thrust onto the Endangered Species List for its excessive loss of habitat. As we pause then, certain regions, those that stand to lose the most if sea ice continues its rapid thaw, would do well to study the potential impact so they can anticipate, and protect however they can against, the harm that may be spilling their way. Regions like South Florida, which could find portions of itself under water if the sea level rises from melting ice, and current projections portend some scary times. Like a 5-foot rise that would swallow oceanfront properties, sink large patches of the region's most populated communities and move Florida's southern tip up to the Tamiami Trail, all by 2100.,0,6114925,print.story

Miami Herald
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-Memorial weekend events in Dade and Broward

-Nations newest veterans cemetery located in Lake Worth
The marble headstones jut from the undulating grounds, hundreds upon hundreds of them -- a cross here, a Star of David there, other religious emblems sprinkled throughout -- at the nation's newest veterans cemetery in Lake Worth. South Florida VA National Cemetery sits on a 313-acre tract, reminiscent of Arlington National Cemetery with its rows of glazed stone as far as the eye can see. Upright marble headstones, 42 inches high, 13 inches wide and four inches thick, as specified by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which funded the 125th cemetery. So far, 2,500 are in place, aligned in a grid on a bed of lush grass. Soon after the cemetery opened on April 16, 2007, burials began in a 15-acre swath with about 1,700 plots for caskets and 4,000 for cremated remains. Veterans with an honorable discharge, their spouses and eligible dependent children can be buried in any national cemetery. Whether buried in a national or private cemetery, eligible veterans receive a burial flag, a Presidential Memorial Certificate and a government headstone or marker. ''We can accommodate 200,000 veterans,'' said Kurt Rotar, director of the cemetery, ``and we'll be [operable] past 2030.'' Monday's Memorial Day commemoration at the cemetery begins at 4 p.m., with keynote speakers and guests including U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton. An ROTC honor guard will play taps, the musical tribute to fallen soldiers, with its shimmer on the soul and weep of the heart.
[A note from Ray and Michael: We plan to attend the 4pm ceremony. If you would like to ride with us, send us a note at]

-This time, let's avoid rerun of `Recount'
Talk about confusing. When the August primary arrives, voters in 15 of Florida's largest counties -- among them Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach -- will cast their votes on yet another new system: optical scanners.
To minimize confusion, election supervisors have promised to use every means possible to inform voters and train poll workers in advance of the summer primary and the November general election. Election supervisors also should reach out to public and private institutions.


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