Friday, June 27, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST - June 27, 2008

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Miami Herald
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-OMAR PAISLEY CASE: Nurse to plead guilty in death at juvenile lockup
A guilty plea by a nurse who failed to help a teenager ends the five-yearcase surrounding the death of Omar Paisley at Miami's juvenile lockup.

Palm Beach Post
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-GOP oil drilling proposal would spare Gulf coast
A Republican proposal to lift federal bans on oil drilling would not affectFlorida's Gulf coast but could impact its Atlantic Coast, U.S. Sen. MelMartinez said today. Under the plan introduced today by 43 Republicansenators, state governments would have the option of allowing oil and gasdrilling 50 miles from their coastlines along the Atlantic and Pacificoceans.

Express Gay News
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-South Florida welcomes National HIV Testing Day
More people than ever are living with HIV in the United States, somewherebetween one million and 1.2 million, according to the Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention. A estimated quarter million living with HIV who don't even know they have it, so they are not getting the treatment they need,while spreading the disease.

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
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-Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and our allies call forsimultaneous execution vigils/protests across the state at the time ofexecutions. Florida is scheduled to execute Mark Schwab on Tuesday, July 1stat 6:00 pm. Use the list below to find a vigil or event near you and take astand! If you do not see your area listed and would like to stage a localvisibility action, please contact FADP for advice and materials at727-215-9646 or

Broward FADP will have vigils if the executions go forward as scheduled.
Meet from 5:00pm to 6:00pm in front of the Federal Court House or FederalBuilding on east Broward Blvd. at NE 3 Ave. in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. Parking is available on SE 1st St., just east of SE 3rd Ave. Bring signs orsigns will be provided. For local updates and announcements, subscribe tothe local announcement list by sending a message to Contact: Broward County Floridiansfor Alternatives to the Death Penalty Steve Jens-Rochow, 954-463-2085,E-Mail:

Equality Florida
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-Five Days Left to Hit Our Goal
When we set a goal of 2,000 donations by July 1st we didn't know if it waseven possible. What we did know was that the next five months will impactour lives for a generation and we need thousands of supporters to win. We've been amazed by the overwhelming response to this history makingdonation drive and today we are just 249 gifts away from hitting our goal. Will you help put us over the top with a gift today? Election Day 2008 willbe nothing less than a referendum on LGBT equality in Florida and nationallyand we have an incredible plan for victory. Click here for more on our 2008Election Plan. [...] This is our moment to take back our state and ourcountry. Please join us in this historic campaign with your contributiontoday. Thank you for standing with us,
Tom Runyan, Co-Chair, Equality Florida Board of Directors

Fort Report
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-Gerrymandering and Turnout
In the occasional discussion of congressional gerrymandering andredistricting reform, it's generally taken for granted that noncompetitiveelections negatively affect voter interest and thus turnout. But until now,there have been few if any efforts to actually measure that effect. Todaythe Democratic Leadership Council released a study by Marc Dunkelman thatsuggests that truly competitive House districts could generate as much as 11million additional votes, heavily concentrated in those states (Dunkelmancalls them the "dirty dozen") with particularly egregious gerrymanderingpractices. (David Broder favorably wrote the study up in his column today).

-Talking heads: Wexler and Wasserman Schultz
Florida was all over national cable news shows Thursday night. U.S. Rep.Robert Wexler went on Hannity & Colmes to promote his new book. "I amconvinced liberals need to take this country back," he said. "You know whatthe conservatives have given us? The Iraq war, they've given us budgetdeficits and Dick Cheney."

-Cards could give Obama hand to win Jewish voters
Barack Obama needs to look to Boynton Beach for help with his Jewish voterchallenges. Surrogates for the presumptive Democratic presidential nomineehave been trying to assure South Florida's Jewish voters that, despite whatthey might have heard, Obama is a mensch.

-Broward, Collier counties oppose leasing Alligator Alley
Broward County commissioners are following suit with the Collier Board ofCounty Commissioners and Naples City Council in opposing the proposed leaseof Alligator Alley. The county commission in Broward voted this week toapprove a resolution opposing a 50- to 75-year contract that could place thealley in private hands. Alligator Alley is the 78-mile toll road that runsfrom Naples to Fort Lauderdale, cutting across both Collier and Browardcounties.

-Editorial: Everglades dream coming true?
The tentative deal to purchase land from U.S. Sugar rekindles hope forEverglades
The Dream. For Floridians who care deeply about the Everglades - theremarkable, mysterious, but troubled, ecosystem that once used to cover 4million acres in the heart of South Florida - the dream has always been torestore and preserve this natural (and national) treasure.

-Crist announces 'green' aviation effort at climate conference
Governor Charlie Crist ended his second Climate Change Summit on Thursdayafternoon with the announcement of a green aviation partnership but heprovided no details of how the group planned to reduce greenhouse gasemissions and cut fuel use. Crist, recovering from a recent knee operation,walked off the dais at a press conference without answering questions aboutthe Alliance for Sustainable Air Transporation. According to materialsprovided, the group is a Massachusetts based, non-profit coalition of"leaders who share a vision for accelerated implementation of a sustainableair transportation system."

-No compromises for the 'guardians of public health'
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a bill pending inCongress that would give the Food and Drug Administration authority over thetobacco industry, draws ringing endorsements from nearly every health groupin America. But not the American Association of Public Health Physicians. That group, which elected a Florida doctor as president June 14, is fightingto defeat the bill, saying it's not strong enough.

-Quince taking gavel as Fla. chief justice
Peggy Quince is set to take the gavel as the Florida Supreme Court's 53rdchief justice. She also will become the first black woman to lead thestate's highest court at a ceremony Friday. Quince will serve a two-yearterm, replacing R. Fred Lewis. Lewis will remain on the seven-member court.


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