Thursday, June 12, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST - June 12, 2008

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-Palm Beach County administrators propose 8.3 percent tax increase
For the first time in more than a decade, Palm Beach County administratorsproposed Wednesday to raise the countywide tax rate by 8.3 percent, anincrease that would wipe away part of the expected savings from this year'sproperty tax cuts.,0,6253829.story

-Florida No. 2 in nation for exporting guns used in crimeFlorida, perhaps best known for exporting oranges, is now No. 2 nationwidefor shipping out another commodity: guns.,0,6152648.story

-Pool party to benefit homeless and at-risk children at Covenant HouseFlorida
Get ready to dive in the deep end for kids' sakes. Young Professionals for Covenant House hosts the fundraiser, "Summer Splash Poolside Bash," on Saturday. The summer bash include free beer and punch from 4 to 7 p.m., contests and giveaways. For those who want to swim, bring a bathing suit and a towel. The party is at La Playa on the Intracoastal, 3003 NE 32nd Ave, Fort Lauderdale. The fee is $40 for non-members, $25 for members and $30 for guests of members. All proceeds will benefit the homeless, runaway, and at-risk kids of Covenant House Florida. For more information, call Courtney at 954-568-7916 or visit,0,1806609.story

Miami Herald
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-Find the lowest gas prices in South Florida

Fort Report
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-GOP resurrects offshore oil drilling plan
With gas topping $4 a gallon, Republicans on Capitol Hill are reviving anissue that most Florida politicians and environmentalists had consideredsettled: offshore oil and gas drilling.

-Teachers union endorses in hot state rep primary
Ken Thurston, one of several Democrats in a multi-candidate field for staterepresentative, has picked up the endorsement of the Broward Teachers Union.
"Your community service and experience will help to prove your record now.
We are confident that you will be a teacher advocate and promote educationalissues," BTU President Pat Santeramo said in a statement.

-Crist signs austere $66 billion state budget
An austere $66 billion budget that's expected to result in layoffs, schoolclosures and service reductions became law Wednesday as Gov. Charlie Cristquietly signed it without the usual public ceremony.

-South Florida drying out
Port St. Lucie soon may offer one of this area's best examples of how tosave water all the time, not just during a drought. The South Florida WaterManagement District may give a boost to such ideas by providing modelordinances local governments can follow. In Port St. Lucie, members of thePlanning and Zoning Board recommend that 50 percent of trees and shrubsplanted around stores, apartments and churches be drought-resistant. Theboard also suggests that a committee review sprinkler systems, to ensurethat they are water-efficient for the landscape design, before acceptingplans for buildings other than homes.

Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus Summer Conference
July 18-20, 2008 in Gainesville
The Stonewall Democrats of Alachua County will host the Florida GLBTDemocratic Caucus Summer Conference on the weekend of July 18-20 inGainesville, FL. Registration is $35 for members of the state caucus and $50for non-members before June 16. Friday night, July 18 there will be a socialat the Wild Iris Books and Cafe. The Saturday conference will be at the UFHilton Conference Center and will feature Representatives from the HumanRights Campaign, Equality Florida, and the Florida ACLU LGBT AdvocacyProject will speak at the Saturday meeting. In addition to the usual rosterof local and statewide candidates and officeholders, we are planning toinclude conversation panels on topics such as gender identity ordinances andintersections among Democratic groups. Saturday night there will be areception at the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida and isbeing organized by the Human Rights Council of North Central Florida. Moreinformation, including registration and links to hotel reservations can befound on the Caucus web site here.

Palm Beach County Human Rights Council Makes Endorsements
The Council recently made the following endorsements:
U.S. House of Representatives - District 19: Robert Wexler
U.S. House of Representatives - District 22: Ronald Klein
U.S. House of Representatives - District 23: Alcee Hastings
State Senator - District 27: Dave Aronberg
State Representative - District 84: Priscilla Taylor
State Representative - District 86: Maria Sachs
State Representative - District 88: Mark S. Pafford
State Representative - District 89: Mary Brandenburg
State Representative - District 90: Kelly Skidmore
State Representative - District 91: Christian Chiari
Public Defender Carey Haughwout
Tax Collector Anne M. Gannon
School Board Member - District 1: Monroe Benaim West Palm Beach City Commission - District 3 - Kimberly Mitchell
As endorsements continue to be made, please go to: and click "Endorsements."


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