Monday, June 02, 2008

FLORIDA NEWS Monday June 2, 2008

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-Many South Florida Democrats still unhappy about delegates
Many S. Florida Democrats irate over compromise
Despite talk of compromise, words about healing, and headlines about Florida's delegation getting seated at the Democratic National Convention this summer, there is still massive anger roiling the ranks of party activists. The discontent is so strong, some Democrats said Sunday, it could threaten their party's ability to win Florida and its 27 electoral votes — one-tenth of the total needed to win the presidency — in November. For many South Florida Democrats, the half-loaf approved Saturday by a national party committee isn't nearly good enough. The compromise will seat all 211 Florida delegates but give each of them only half a vote.,

Miami Herald
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- Executives at some companies get less compensation
Median compensation for chief executives at South Florida's public companies plummeted a whopping 32 percent to a rather, ahem, paltry $979,700 in 2007.
The figure was about $1.43 million in 2006.

-Fort Lauderdale candidate hosted jewelry party
A Fort Lauderdale mayoral hopeful hosted a jewelry sales party last fall benefiting a campaign supporter whose architectural firm has sought her help at City Hall, raising questions about mixing public business and private affairs. Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson, seeking the city's top post, has long-standing ties with the woman who recruited her to host the jewelry party, Jeryl Madfis, and her husband, architect Michael Madfis.
Fliers announcing the November event described it as an ''open house'' at City Hall, and instructed those who wished to attend to RSVP to the city email of a city employee. ''Over 100 new beautiful pieces of jewelry, belts and watches. Spend $100 and you will automatically be entered into a monthly drawing to win $500 in free jewelry!'' the flier said. Yet a colleague, Commissioner Christine Teele, complained to City Manager George Gretsas and City Attorney Harry Stewart, saying City Hall was an inappropriate venue for a private moneymaking venture.

-They're taxpayers, not insurers of last resort
In the real world, the owner of a rental property must charge enough rent to cover the mortgage, taxes and insurance. If taxes or insurance premiums go up, so does the rent. In the real world, a rental property owner has only his or her own resources and skills to rely on to meet business obligations.
There's no magic wand, no go-to genie for unanticipated expenses in the real world.
Different rules
But in the world of government, the rules are different. Broward County owns the BankAtlantic Center, home to the Florida Panthers, and leases the arena to the team's owners. They, in turn, manage the arena and pay the county rent. As managers of the property, the operators also are responsible for insurance and upkeep. The lease requires the arena to be insured at full replacement value. Now, though, the operators say they can't afford to insure the arena for its full replacement value because insurance rates have soared since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Many homeowners face similar rate increases, except they can't shift the burden to someone else. The company is insuring the arena for $150 million in damages. Yet the arena would cost at least $300 million to replace. In a separate issue, the county and the arena operators are wrangling over whether the roof needs to be strengthened to today's hurricane code and, if the upgrade is necessary, who should pay for it. The operators say that the upgrade isn't needed.

ArtsUnited - Ft. Lauderdale

-Gay Pride Art Exhibit Opens June 4th
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 and lesbian 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 the library 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 with this 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.

-ArtsUnited will feature the photography of local artist Shannon McKenna in a solo exhibit from June 2 through 27, 2008 at the Stonewall Library and Archives, 1717 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. The exhibit opens with a reception to meet the artist from 6:30 to 8:00 PM on Monday, June 2nd. Admission to the exhibit and reception is free and open to the public.
Refreshments will be served. Most of Shannon McKenna's photographs are of nature and landscapes in Florida. She is inspired by the natural art found in the environment. She looks for interesting angles, curves, lines, forms and the intersection of objects within a scene. Shannon uses the colors within a scene to either enhance or soften the structure of the photograph.
She finds her best photographs are taken when she becomes "lost" in a place, and just soaks in the atmosphere.

Fort Report
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-Obama backers think Democrats will unify behind their candidate
Supporters of Barack Obama, who see their candidate on the verge of locking up the Democratic presidential nomination, think wounds from the long primary season and the fight over Florida delegates will heal and party members will unify. Ann Zucker, president of the Weston Democratic Club and Democratic Party area leader for southwest Broward, is a convention delegate pledged to Obama. "I would hope that Hillary Clinton cares enough about party unity to accept the fact that this is going to end shortly. I would hate to see her responsible for a floor fight at the convention to show everybody how disunified we are.

-Clinton supporters in Broward most concerned about implications of delegate ecision.

-For better or worse, term limits forcing out lawmakers
The 28 men and women retiring from the Florida Legislature in November were sworn into office during the 2000 presidential recount and arrived as the largest class of newcomers to the Legislature in modern times. But their biggest claim to fame is this: They're the first class of legislators all carried into office because of term limits. Term limits, the anti-incumbent movement that swept the country in the 1990s and was added to the Florida Constitution by 77 percent of the voters in 1992, are no longer an ongoing xperiment. The 83-member Class of 2000 was elected when the first wave of lawmakers elected under term limits had to leave office, and the results are in.


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