Friday, July 04, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST - July 04, 2008

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Express Gay News
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-Stonewall Festival robbed
Stonewall Street Festival profits alledgedly stolen by imposter volunteerWilton Manors Police are looking for a man who posed as a volunteer at theStonewall Street Festival Saturday night and made away with up to $4000worth of donations from four bar booths set up along Wilton Drive. Severalbartenders told police the man, who wore a volunteer t-shirt and identifiedhimself only as "Howard," helped the bartenders get supplies and madeseveral rounds, before collecting funds from cash boxes. The incident is thesecond time that a theft occurs at a Wilton Manors street festival. Lastyear thieves stole an electric golf car from the back parking lot of PetalsPanache. Police recovered the vehicle three weeks afterward at an abandonedFort Lauderdale golf course. No suspects were caught in the electric cartheft; likewise, the Stonewall Street Festival imposter remains at large.

-Working for gay votes
With an emphasis on diversity, Cindi Hutchinson proposes a change inattitude
Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson is no stranger to the gaycommunity. As she makes her bid in what is expected to be a contentiousmayoral race that will draw additional candidates, she is working to securestrong support among the city's growing gay population and its leaders. Gayleaders have hosted fundraising events for her, including Dean Trantalis,who announced his own mayoral bid June 23 as a candidate who will representgay issues in City Hall. Hutchinson said she was surprised when Trantalistold her about his plans over lunch at Galanga Restaurant about a weekbefore his announcement. She said her strategy remains to focus on the city's diversity, not just one voting block.

Please join AVER (American Veterans For Equal Rights)
Their 3rd annual Fundraiser
July 4th Independence Day from Noon to 5pm at theNew Moon Bar 2440 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors, FL 954-563-7660
Hamburgers $5.00, Chicken Sandwiches $5.00, Hotdogs $2.002-4-1 Drinks all day! / Raffles, prizes and give-a-ways

Equality Florida
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We've just finished the Equality Florida 2008 June donation drive. We didn'tquite make it to our goal, but we sure did come close! We hit an all-timerecord of 1936 donations by July 1st 2008 - just 64 gifts short of our goal.You stepped up this past month and contributed at unprecedented levels. Inthe 10 year history of Equality Florida, we have never seen anything likeit. THANK YOU! When we set a goal of 2,000 donations by July 1st, we knewit was a very aggressive goal, but we decided to shoot for the stars. We gotthe moon and we're thrilled. During our weekly phone banks, our staff spoketo many friends across the state, and we want to thank you for the words ofencouragement and the appreciation you expressed for the important workEquality Florida does everyday in Florida. And speaking of important work,our election plan is in place and every contribution will be put to workeducating voters about candidates and where they stand on issues that impactthe lives of Florida's LGBT community members. We'll use your combineddonations to defeat Amendment 2, the harmful "marriage protection" amendmentthat will strip protections like health care and hospital visitation fromFlorida's families, including: seniors, firefighters, law enforcement,teachers and others. Because of you, Equality Florida will be able tobetter represent Florida's LGBT community as Florida voters make decisionsin the next four months will impact all Floridians and all Americans for ageneration or more.
Ray's note: Please do your part! Donate now ....

Gay & Lesbian Community Center of
South Florida (GLCC) eVOICE

-Free WomenNet Financial Forum at the GLCC
Monday July 14, 2008
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Topics: Financial, Legal, and Insurance

-"Dealing with Side-Effects Associated with Protease Inhibitors"
Dr. Robert Heglar will share an exciting, informative presentation to helpequip HIV+ individuals better manage medication side-effects, includinglipid abnormalities.
Catered Dinner Provided
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008 Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: GLCC 1717 N. Andrews Ave Ft. Lauderdale
To attend, please RSVP by Friday, July 18:
954.463.9011 or


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-8.3 inches of rain in June is average for month in S. Fla.
South Florida averaged 8.3 inches of rain in June, about the historicalaverage for the month, according to the South Florida Water ManagementDistrict. The June-November rainy season produces an average of 35 inchesof rain, which is two-thirds of the region's annual rainfall. BetweenMemorial Day and the Fourth of July the region receives 11 inches or about20 percent of its annual rainfall. This year, the region received 9 inches.,0,3002296.story

-Safety advice for Fourth of July fireworks
While many South Floridians will mark the Fourth of July holiday withpicnics and a day off, doctors expect to spend the day treating aninevitable rise in fireworks-related injuries. Fireworks played a part in9,800 injuries treated at emergency rooms in the United States in 2007,with64 percent occurring in the one-month period surrounding IndependenceDay, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Florida firedepartments put out 137 fires involving fireworks last year.,0,5094901.story

-Gov. Charlie Crist gets engaged
Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday asked Carole Rome, his girlfriend of ninemonths, to marry him at his St. Petersburg apartment. Crist said she saidyes without hesitation. They are eyeing a fall wedding. "I'm very, veryhappy," the governor said. "I love her.",0,3129460.story

-Tropical Storm Bertha poses little danger to U.S.
Tropical Storm Bertha sprang up in the far eastern Atlantic on Thursday andwas initially projected to churn toward the northwest on a path posinglittle threat to the United States. However, because long-range predictionscan be in error, officials at the National Hurricane Center in Miami-DadeCounty recommended people keep an eye on the storm.,0,4301754.story

New York Times
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-Governor of Florida Is Rebuffed on Gambling
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Gov. Charlie Crist oversteppedhis authority when he negotiated a deal last year that let the SeminoleTribe of Florida install slot machines and offer table games like blackjackand baccarat at its Florida casinos. The court said that Mr. Crist couldnot allow the tribe to conduct types of gambling that were currently illegalin the rest of the state. Although slot machines have been approved byvoters in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, state law prohibits other typesof gambling like blackjack.

Miami Herald
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-Questions and answers on the Seminole gambling ruling
Questions and answers about the Florida Supreme Court ruling Thursday onSeminole gambling
Q: What did the court rule?
A: The Florida Supreme Court said Gov. Charlie Crist overstepped hisauthority when he reached an agreement with the Seminole Tribe that allowedit to offer blackjack and other tables games and Las Vegas-style slots.
Q: How did we get to this point?
A: After Crist signed the compact with the tribe last November, House Speaker Marco Rubio sued the governor, saying Crist needed the Legislature's approval for the agreement because blackjack and the other tables games are illegal in the rest of the state.
Q: What happens now?
A: That depends on what action the different sides decide to take. The governor could appeal the high court's ruling, likely in federal court. The U.S. Department of the Interior, which ultimately has jurisdiction over Indian gambling, could act on its own. The governor could also try to persuade the Legislature to sign off on the compact, though he would face broad opposition from the many legislators who are against any expansion of gambling.
Q: Will the games at the Seminole casinos continue?
A: The tribe says the games will continue for the moment, but their ultimate fate will remain unclear until the courts or the federal government act.

-LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Steady rains give big lake a big boost
One of South Florida's most important water sources has risen by a foot since last year but is still below its normal level. [...] it remains nearly four feet below its historic average.

-AIRLINES: Spirit Airlines to cut 250 jobs by fall
Spirit Airlines made plans to cut flights, retire aircraft and lay off 250employees, many in South Florida, to cope with sky-high fuel costs. SpiritAirlines will cut 6 percent of its capacity this fall, eliminate about 250jobs and curtail its growth plans for the year, as it tries to cope withrecord-high fuel prices. The Miramar-based low-cost carrier also plans toslash 15 percent of its nonfuel costs, retire five of its 35 aircraft andraise nonticket revenue, selling more items onboard flights like PeopleMagazine.

Fort Report
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-Four GOP seats: Getting squishy?
The non-partisan Cook Political Report has shifted its ratings of fourRepublican-held U.S. House seats in Florida, including the seat held by GusBilirakis of Palm Harbor. The seats held by Bilirakis, who is facing formerPlant City Mayor John Dicks, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami weremoved from "solid Republican" to "likely Republican."

-Palm Beach County elections supervisor apologizes for miscount
Palm Beach County should launch an inquiry into ways to avoid the "mishapsand irregularities in vote tabulation" that have plagued elections in recentyears, County Commissioner Jeff Koons said Thursday. On the same dayElections Supervisor Arthur Anderson apologized for the miscount in lastweek's West Palm Beach city election and blamed the problem on the county'snew optical-scan voting machines, Koons said it's time to ask Secretary ofState Kurt Browning for recommendations on "remedying the ongoing problemswith the elections office.",0,3910602.story

-Elections workers didn't know about security software
Nearly 700 votes initially went uncounted in the West Palm Beach CityCommission race on June 24 because elections workers weren't aware of a newsoftware feature in the vote tabulation system, Palm Beach County Supervisorof Elections Arthur Anderson said Thursday. The elections office didn'trealize the votes were uncounted until the day after the election, when amandatory audit was conducted. The official results were released two dayslater.


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