Wednesday, June 04, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST June 04, 2008

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New York Times
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-In South Florida, Eviction Spares Few
In a decade handling evictions for the Miami-Dade County Police Department, Albert Fernandez has run across a middle-class father bankrupted by his daughter's cancer treatment; an old woman scammed by a gambling husband; and countless families perpetually on the edge of poverty. But he has never turned out as many people as he does now. It used to take a day or two for officers to get to an address after tenants received a notice to leave. Now, with evictions up by roughly a third over last year, Miami-Dade's backlog is around two weeks, sometimes longer.

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-Fort Lauderdale police to carry assault rifles in cars
The city is arming 100 patrol officers with semi-automatic assault rifles, hoping to outgun some of the most dangerous criminals. Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to buy the Colt AR-6520 rifles, at $850 apiece.
The city also will spend $61,880 on ammunition. The assault rifles would enable officers to handle violent incidents "as quickly and efficiently as possible, therefore reducing harm to citizens and officers," according to a police memo. New Police Chief Frank Adderley said police have seized AK-47 automatic assault rifles in the city, and officers need to upgrade their weaponry to keep the city safe. Rifles can shoot farther and more accurately than a handgun.,0,2506761.story

-If Orioles leave Fort Lauderdale, we'll all survive
The Baltimore Orioles have provided a great respite for South Florida eversince they moved their training site to Fort Lauderdale in 1996. Touristsand locals alike have enjoyed seeing them in February and March.
When and if they leave - and it's starting to appear likely they will leavefollowing spring training, 2009, if not sooner - one of the final pieces ofold South Florida will be gone. Sad, but no time for angst. Or for openingup the pocketbook even more.,0,2720802.story

-Ex-Broward sheriff Ken Jenne spends time gardening in prison
As Broward Sheriff, Ken Jenne ran one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the state. As inmate No. 77434-004, Jenne spends his days tending the fields of a federal prison in Lee County, Va. That's what Jenne, 61, stated during a three-hour deposition in April at the minimum security prison camp where he is serving a year-and-a-day sentence for federal tax evasion and mail fraud. "I work in what is called the garden ... planting various vegetables," Jenne answered in response to questioning from Fort Lauderdale attorney Barbara Heyer. Heyer represents relatives of Dana Jones, a Broward County man with mentalhealth problems who was beaten into a coma by fellow inmates while incarcerated at the Broward County Jail in December 2005.,0,4511984.story

-Broward budget cuts not as severe as expected
Cuts to law enforcement, libraries, parks and social services will not be as severe as Broward County officials thought when they started planning how to pay for property tax relief voters demanded this year. County commissioners feared they would have to cut spending $100 million, but property values did not decline as much as expected. Based on the estimates of this year's tax base, released last week by the Property Appraiser's Office, the cutbacks must total only $82 million.,0,1677817.story

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-ArtsUnited will open its annual gay pride art exhibit United and Proud with a reception to meet the artists on Wednesday, June 4th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
The exhibit will be at Gallery Six, Broward County Main Library, 100 South Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale from June 1 through 27, 2008. Admission to the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. One of the largest visual art exhibits in the country from the gay andlesbian community, United and Proud will feature over 100 works from over 50 artists from around the state of Florida. Produced by the nonprofit ArtsUnited, United and Proud is in its 8th year at Gallery Six. Organizers credit the Broward County Libraries Division and media sponsors 411 Magazine and Express Gay News with helping the event grow each year. "The gallery space is perfect, and the Programs and Exhibits staff at thelibrary really make us feel welcome," stated Chuck Williams, ArtsUnited President. "Each year this event attracts new artists.This year we had several more from the Orlando area enter work", Williams said.Guest judge Peter Meyerhoefer, owner of Meyerhoefer Gallery in Lake Worth will select the Best of Show and Best of Class winners, and the audience will select the People's Choice during the reception. In conjunction withthis reception, the Stonewall Library and Archives will open its new exhibit "Out of the Shadows: Gay America from Kinsey to Stonewall" in the space adjacent to the gallery.

-Ft. Lauderdale Tonight!
A new exhibition "Out of the Shadows: Gay America from Kinsey to Stonewall"opens at the Broward Main Library on Wednesday, June 4. The exhibition isStonewall Library & Archives' latest examination of gay and lesbian historyand it will be on view until June 28. Admission to the exhibition is freeand open to the public. The exhibition opening reception, free and open tothe public, will take place Wednesday, June 4, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at theBroward Main Library, in conjunction with the ArtsUnited exhibition "Unitedand Proud." AND. JOIN us on June 4 for a pre-opening 1950s-style cocktailparty at America's Backyard, 200 West Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (behindRevolution Live!) 5:30 -7:00. $20 donation to Stonewall at the door. On theeve of the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots--an event commonly citedas the beginning of the gay rights movement-- the 22-panel exhibition willuse period photographs, archival documents, artifacts and video to look atwhat might be described as the pre-history of the gay and lesbian rightsmovement. This exhibition will present the story of how the country soughtto define what it meant to be gay and lesbian in post-World War II andpre-Stonewall America.
For further information contact Jack Rutland, Executive Director

Miami Herald
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-EDUCATION: Word change ups chances for school vouchers A new poll shows voters are willing to overcome their dislike of spending tax money on religious-school vouchers because it's tied to a popularclassroom-spending plan. A majority of Florida voters don't want to spend public money on private andreligious schools -- but they'll probably vote by large margins to do it in November, anyway, according to a new poll.

Broward for Obama will be having two events at the 9th Annual StonewallStreet Festival activities later this month. On Sunday, June 22, 2008,Broward for Obama will be having a Voter Registration Booth at the StreetFestival. Volunteers are welcome. On Saturday night, June 21, 2008, therewill be a contingent of Broward for Obama supporters marching in the 1stAnnual Night Parade and Street Party. If you'd like to join Obama supportersat either event - or both, please follow the link below and join the WiltonManors for Obama '08 group at

Fort Report
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-EDITOur position: Floridians ought to be outraged at inattention to kids' health care OK, Floridians, it's sad that your state ranks next to last in health care for children. And, yes, be embarrassed that 548,000 children lack health insurance in the nation's fourth-largest state. But how about trying out a new emotion? Why not get mad? Really mad. Mad enough to force Gov. Charlie Crist and lawmakers to take dramatic, bold action to help children lead healthier and, ultimately, more productive lives.,0,2107392.story?track=rss


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