Saturday, June 21, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST - June 21, 2008

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-Florida, Mexico tomatoes played part in outbreak
Federal officials said Friday that tomatoes grown in Florida or Mexicocaused at least some of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened 552people.,0,2131980.story

-Florida homeowners catching an insurance rate break
Nine of 10 local insurance agents who spoke with the South FloridaSun-Sentinel recently said most of their customers' yearly propertyinsurance premiums have dropped 15 percent to 40 percent this year.,0,1853760.story

-Openly gay former commissioner to run for Fort Lauderdale mayor in 2009
'Flush Naugle' organizer would be Lauderdale's first openly gay leaderDean Trantalis, an attorney who was the city's first openly gay commissioner, is running for mayor in spring 2009.,0,4342909.story

-Spirit Airlines plans to lay off pilots and attendants in Fort Lauderdale
Spirit Airlines will lay off 45 pilots and an undisclosed number of flightattendants from its hub at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airportAug. 1. The Miramar-based airline notified pilots that it would cut 20captains and 25 first officers based at the airport effective Aug. 1, saidSean Creed, chairman of the Spirit pilot union's Master Executive Council.Spirit will accept voluntary leaves to reduce the overall pilot count, hesaid Friday.,0,1039608.story

Miami Herald
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-Crisis brings out best, worst in School Board
You could see this one coming for months now, but Miami-Dade School Boardmember Renier Diaz de la Portilla took the first real steps on Thursday totry to oust Superintendent Rudy Crew. Mr. Diaz de la Portilla doesn'tbelieve that Mr. Crew and his administration have ''lived up toexpectations.'' Nor does he believe that Mr. Crew, specifically, has met his''contractual obligations.'' Given the open hostility and backdoormaneuvering that some members have engaged in in recent months to underminethe superintendent, we're glad that the issue now has been brought into theopen.

-THE ECONOMY: S. Fla. jobless rate highest in 5 years
Unemployment hit 5.5 percent in Florida last month, although the tourismindustry seemed to remain strong. If those visitors stop coming, SouthFlorida's problems could get much worse.

-Public defender challenges Dade's sex offender laws
The Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office says a confluence of county and cityrules has made it virtually impossible for sex offenders to find a home.

-IN MY OPINION: Liaisons are dangerous, not a teenager's fantasy
I don't get it. No matter how deeply I analyze, no matter how much I try towrap my brain around it, I'm flummoxed by the recent spate of women chasingafter underage boys. What does a grown woman see in a teenager? Anadolescent who still needs his parents' permission to go on a school fieldtrip?

Express Gay News
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-Las Olas courting gay shoppers
Las Olas is one of Fort Lauderdale's major tourist destinations, but nowthat nightclub Cathode Ray closed, the gay presence has dwindled. Butbusinesses along the strip are once again courting the gay dollar: men's andwomen's upscale-casual clothing store Shop 603 (603 E Las Olas Blvd. 954-467-0900) has expanded its marketing efforts to specifically target GLBTshoppers, luring them to the racks of Ed Hardy clothes, sunglasses andperfumes. Last month Michigan businessman Scott Dray and his partner James(is that business or pleasure?) purchased the Ciao Café, located on thebeach at the intersection of A1A and Las Olas. The gay co-owners say thecafé caters to a general audience, but they are reaching out to the gaycommunity. Ciao Cafe features coffees, gelato, smoothies, as well astheir dining menu. Located at 411 S. Ft Lauderdale Beach Blvd (A1A), in theformer St. Bart's.

From Dolphin Democrats
Please join us Saturday evening as we show our support for the nextPresident of the United States as we march in the 1st Annual NighttimeStonewall Street Festival Parade on Wilton Drive in Wilton Manors. Obamasupporters will be assembling to march in the parade at 7pm at the FortLauderdale High School parking lot. Here's a link to the GOOGLE MAP. Wearyour Obama colors! We have signs or bring your own. This year theStonewall Street Festival will light up Wilton Manors as a beacon of PRIDEwith the first ever night time parade. The theme for the parade is "SizzlingWith Pride," say it loud, say it proud, and say it with LIGHTS! Beginning at8:00 PM, be a part of history as we view over 60 entries! The parade ishosted and commentated by local popular personalities at the main stage.

Fort Report
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-Update: Republicans likely to retain control of the Florida Legislature
The next three speakers of the Florida House were among state lawmakersassured an unopposed ride to a new term today as qualifying for Florida'sstate races ended. But Senate President-designate Jeff Atwater, R-NorthPalm Beach, drew a well-known challenger for what is expected to be themost-watched legislative race of 2008. Former Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell,D-Fort Lauderdale, qualified to run against Atwater.

-Poll indicates support for offshore drilling
Poll results released today help explain why John McCain and Florida Gov.Charlie Crist have taken the political gamble of proposing to lift a federalban on offshore oil and gas drilling. A Rasmussen poll taken on Wednesdayfound that 62 percent of a nationwide sample believes that drilling shouldbe allowed off the shores of California, Florida and other states.

-Fla. has trouble leading South into climate fight
Florida - which could be among the most vulnerable states should dire globalwarming predictions of rising seas, shore erosion and monster hurricanescome to pass - is considering capping emissions of greenhouse gases andhoping fellow Southern states to follow suit.


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