Friday, June 20, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST - June 20, 2008

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Miami Herald
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-Gay ex-Lauderdale commissioner joins mayoral race
Dean Trantalis' entry into the Fort Lauderdale race for mayor could split the gay vote. After Mayor Jim Naugle enraged Fort Lauderdale gays last year with a rant about ''homosexual activity'' in public restrooms, activists pledged to elect a gay-friendly mayor in the 2009 election.

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-South Florida charities struggling as volunteers scale back or quit
For the past seven years, Doreen Fishkin has spent a few times a weekdriving homebound South Florida seniors to their doctors' appointments, thegrocery store or nursing homes and hospitals to visit spouses.,0,2003168.story

-Tampa condo plans clothing-optional pool in hopes of selling units
A Hillsborough County housing complex is planning to have aclothing-optional pool in an effort to sell units in a slumping market. Aspokeswoman for the project's developer said one pool is being set aside fornude swimmers, sunbathers and hot-tub users at the Arbors at Branch Creek.,0,5975443.story

-Obama edges past McCain in latest Florida poll
A new poll out from Quinnipiac University shows Barack Obama leading JohnMcCain in Florida 47 percent to 43 percent. The four-point lead is withinthe poll's margin of error, but it still represents a turnaround from mostrecent polls showing McCain leading in Florida.,0,2466585.story

-Broward anti-bullying policy a good start
ISSUE: Broward County school district leads the way with anti-bullyingpolicy. The school yard bully is no longer just an oversized kid thatthrows his weight around. In the 21st century, it could be a teenage girlwho assaults a rival and posts it on the Internet or a boy terrorizing aclassmate with a weapon or a student making unwanted sexual advances towardanother child. In turn, the victims can become the aggressors, leading themto vent their frustration and humiliation through violence Columbine-style.,0,2931186.story

Miami Herald
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-Anti-bottled water campaign enlists mayors to cause
Miami's Mayor Manny Diaz is among more than a dozen mayors calling onmunicipal governments to phase out bottled-water purchases in a resolutionto be presented at the U.S. Mayors Conference, which begins Friday in Miami.

-Elián saga might hound Obama visit
Some Cuban Americans are planning to protest Democrat Barack Obama's visit to Miami on Saturday.
Summoning a time of political upheaval in Miami, a great-uncle of Elián González plans Friday to publicly denounce two Barack Obama campaign advisors who helped send the boy back to his father in Cuba eight years ago.

Express Gay News
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- City Theatre grows up: New, naughty series caters to adults
For 13 seasons, Miami's City Theatre has had the South Florida theatercommunity buzzing with its innovative, edgy Summer Shorts festival, amonth-long series of short plays presented in repertory in Miami and FortLauderdale. This year, the theatre took this reputation one step furtherwith an irreverent-and decidedly adult-series, Undershorts.

-Sing it loud, sing it proud
Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus put on a production of pride
The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus concludes its 23rd season this weekendwith a high-energy musical review, "Rockin' with the Rhythm." The concertsare set for Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22 at the Broward Center forthe Performing Arts Amaturo Theater.

-Hook-ups are a set-up
Man claims police entrapment in questionable prostitution bust
Fort Lauderdale landscaper Marcelino Veliz claims Fort Lauderdale policeundercover agents unfairly set him up during a sting operation targeting gaymen May 30.

-LaFontaine answers dredged up dirt
The race for Florida Legislature District 92 just got dirty. Last week,opponents of Mark LaFontaine divulged information to blogger Tim Smith abouthis 1992 arrest involving a domestic dispute and assaulting a policeofficer, and a 2006 eviction from an apartment he was renting and a defaultcourt judgment. LaFontaine said he is not surprised that informationresurfaced as the campaign nears the Aug 26 election date. "It's been outthere since day one," LaFontaine said. "This is being dredged up right nowbecause my opponents can't go toe-to-toe with me on the issues." He admitsthat police were called to a verbal domestic dispute he had with a formerpartner, but said assault charges were false. He also said the eviction wasthe result of his landlord taking unusually strong action in weeks afterHurricane Wilma. LaFontaine's opponents are Wilton Manors Mayor ScottNewton and former Deerfield Beach Commissioner Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed.

-Reesey qualifies for November ballot
Adriane Reesey, an openly gay candidate for Broward Supervisor of Elections,just qualified for the November ballot. She submitted a check for $8750 tothe elections office in lieu of turning in a signature petition. Reeseyworks as a community liaison for Broward Sheriff's Office and serves aschair of the Broward County Human Rights Commission. She is running againstincumbent Dr. Brenda Snipes and Ellen H. Brodsky. Last year, Reesey wasawarded the Humanitarian of the Year award by the Dolphin Democrats; she isalso vice president of the organization.

-Queery: Jim Naugle
Fort Lauderdale's mayor hems and haws about his plans for the weekend
The Express editorial board thought it would be a good idea to check in withFort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle to see what his plans were for this weekend's Stonewall Street Festival, sponsored by Pride of Greater Fort Lauderdale. Naugle enraged the local GLBT community last year by making negativecomments about gay men cruising in public restrooms and in parks, whichsparked the "Flush Naugle" campaign. He remains in office until March 2009,but he has been effectively muzzled by a city resolution to abstain fromhateful speech, and he was booted from the county tourist board because ofhis position against gay businesses advertising in city touristpublications.

Equality Florida
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-From Nadine Smith - Executive Director
With so much at stake this election season, we set an extremely ambitiousgoal of reaching 2,000 donations by July 1st. We knew it would bechallenging to meet that goal, but we also know the importance of thishistoric election year. The tremendous response this past week has pushed usover the halfway mark. Thank you to everyone who has already stepped up!Because of your commitment, our proven and ambitious "TurnOut Florida"election plan is on the verge of becoming a reality. If you haven't made acommitment yet, will you commemorate the importance of this election yearwith a gift of $20.08 or more? We've already begun to implement the TurnOut Florida plan and we'll survey over 2,000 candidates in the next fewweeks. We're going to ask them tough questions about their support fordiversity and where they stand on issues that impact the lives of LGBTFloridians. [...] With your help, we can we defeat Amendment 2, theso-called "marriage protection" amendment. If passed, Amendment 2 willpermanently ban the recognition of marriages and civil unions for same sexpartners in Florida, and it will be used to dismantle domestic partnershipprotections for all unmarried couples, including: seniors, fire fighters,teachers and police officers.

The biggest bake sale ever?
Hundreds of "Hungry for Change" bake sales all around the country. Thousandsof MoveOn members baking hundreds of thousands of cookies, cakes, and pies.All to raise money for MoveOn's massive campaign to reach millions of votersthis fall and help elect Barack Obama. Incredible. Don't stop now-we'retrying to make this weekend's bake sale the biggest in history. If youhaven't already, please sign up to bring something sweet to sell at the bakesale in Fort Lauderdale.Here are the details:
Host: Rae T-fellow MoveOn member
Where: Las Olas- Start in Front of Mangos (in Fort Lauderdale)
When: Saturday, Jun. 21, 2008, at 12:00 PM
And here's the link to RSVP and tell the host what you're bringing:

Fort Report
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-Our view: The drilling myth
McCain, Crist call for offshore drilling won't cut gas prices, threatensFlorida environment
Let's do something utterly reckless that puts Florida's tourist-dependenteconomy and rich marine life at serious risk and does nothing -- absolutelynothing -- to cut the price of gas and end our nation's addiction to oil.Crazy? It sure is.

-Drill down? Why not slow down instead?
Gas at $4 a gallon does funny things to people. Take Florida Gov. CharlieCrist. One minute he's champion of the state's coastal environment, the nexthe's leading the charge to expand oil drilling in the Gulf.

-Drilling for Answers
Will we find the oil we need offshore?
Houston-There's something about the heavy air here that puts visions ofdrilling in the mind. On Tuesday, John McCain, who came to pander to thelocal oil industry, called for a reversal of the 27 year ban on offshoredrilling. (President Bush echoed it today), and threw in a plea to drill inthe Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for good measures). After two days here,chatting with people in the oil industry, and with the many locals whobenefit from it, I was ready to wade into the waters off of Boca Raton,Florida, and start prospecting for black gold.

-Ecological impact: Where offshore drilling goes, beaches suffer
Stephen Leatherman has seen every kind of beach in America, and he reallylikes the ones in Florida. The man known as Dr. Beach usually ranks themamong the prettiest in America. This year he picked Pinellas County's ownCaladesi Island as No. 1. If oil companies start drilling in the easternGulf of Mexico, that's likely to change. "We've got some of the finest,whitest sand in the world," said Leatherman, a professor at FloridaInternational University in Miami. "Oil doesn't seem to go with that. . Thiscould lower the value of our beaches."


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