Wednesday, July 09, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST - July 09, 2008

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-Two gay candidates in Fort Lauderdale mayor's race
It would be ironic, but if a gay candidate wins the mayor's post in FortLauderdale next spring, city residents would have Mayor Jim Naugle to thank.A second openly gay candidate filed to run for Fort Lauderdale mayor thisweek, citing Naugle's comments last year as inspiration. Political newcomerEarl Rynerson, owner of a tile store, joins former City Commissioner DeanTrantalis as an openly gay mayoral hopeful. Rynerson said he wants to polishthe city's image, which he said was tarnished by Naugle. Naugle last summeruttered a quote that was heard across gay America: "I use the wordhomosexual. Most of them aren't gay; they're unhappy." That and the mayor'ssubsequent comments, including his allegation that gay men have sex inpublic restrooms, touched off a culture war of sorts in Fort Lauderdale.Naugle spoke out about "safe parks" with bathrooms free of sex. Gayresidents, and their heterosexual supporters, held a "Flush Naugle" rallyand protested Naugle's seeming intolerance. The mayor's comments alsoinspired former city commissioner Trantalis to run for mayor. Trantalisfiled his paperwork in June. Naugle has held the office since 1991 butbecause of term limits cannot run again. City elections are in February andMarch next year. Also running for mayor are City Commissioner CindiHutchinson, State Rep. Jack Seiler and criminal defense attorney SteveRossi. Hutchinson, who said she is "from the heterosexual community," alsomentioned Naugle's comments when she announced her candidacy last November.She promised to be "inclusive" and "mayor for all of Fort Lauderdale.",0,6671226.story

Wilton Manors: Congregation Etz Chaim Moves Friday Night Services to 8 p.m.
The Board of Congregation Etz Chaim (CEC) approved a motion to move theSynagogue's Friday Night Services to 8 p.m. The change will take effect onAugust 1. This move does not apply to CECs monthly "early" Services, whichwill remain at 7 p.m. on the third Fridays of each month.

Victory in Miami
It's unbelievable to imagine: Florida has never elected an openly gaylegislator. However, now we have an opportunity to make history! When youcome out to help support Mark LaFontaine in his bid for the state House ofRepresentatives, you will help the Florida LGBT community securerepresentation in the state legislature.
Date: Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: At the home of Joseph L. Falk
1770 Micanopy Avenue , Miami , FL 33133
Sponsorship Levels: $100 Individual Ticket - $250 Host - $500 SponsorHelp send Mark to Tallahassee and give Florida its first openly LGBT statelegislator!

Are you ready to speak out? Vote No on Amendment #2!
You know how important it is to Vote No on Amendment #2, but do yourfriends, family, coworkers and classmates? Does your local senior centerknow how Amendment #2 could strip away essential benefits from all unmarriedcouples in Florida? Have you asked your local teachers' union to join you inthis fight? Election Day is November 4th. That means there are only 117 daysleft to convince Florida's voters to oppose Amendment #2, the deceptive"marriage protection" amendment. Your Voice Makes A Difference! TheFairness for All Families Coalition has created a Vote No On 2 Speaker'sBureau. Equality Florida, ACLU of Florida, Florida Association of PlannedParenthood Affiliates are among the 240 coalition members that have teamedup to bring a Speaker's Training to your town. Trainings will be heldthroughout the state to make sure that you have the tools necessary toeducate voters in your community about the harm posed by Amendment 2. Reachout to your circle of friends. Present to your organizations. Educate votersduring the August primary. The speaker's training will prepare you to be aneffective VoteNOon2 spokesperson in every setting. Below is a list ofupcoming trainings that you can RSVP to now. Additional trainings will beadded in the coming weeks. If your city is not listed and you would like toorganize a speaker training, contact ~~~
Naples - July 19
Greater Orlando - July 20
Pensacola - July 21
Panama City - July 20
Jacksonville - July 26
Broward Co. - July 29
Pinellas Co. - August 2
Coming Soon! Hillsborough County - Brevard County -Volusia County - SarasotaVisit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

From GLCCSF - Ft. Lauderdale

-New Women's Group Announced at GLCC
Lavender Events is for women by women.
Wilton Manors, FL, July 9, 2008 - The Gay and Lesbian Community Center ofSouth Florida (GLCC) is pleased to present Lavender Events, the women'sgroup formerly known as WomenNet. We are excited to announce that LavenderEvents will be sponsoring several fun-filled networking activities forwomen, by women, in our community! In addition to presenting the FREEWomen's Financial Forum at the GLCC on Monday, July 14 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm,Lavender Events will be a sponsor of "Gender Bender Bingo" on Saturday,August 9 at 7:00 pm at the GLCC. Also being planned is a women's dance to beheld at the GLCC on Saturday, August 30th from 8:00 pm to midnight. Otherevents that are currently being planned include a Breast Cancer AwarenessEvent in October, a Lesbian Family Forum in November and a Bunco Party & ToyDrive for December. If you are interested in helping with the planning ofone of these events please contact Janet Vargas at or954-463-9005.

Tonight! Special Offer to see Leslie Jordan @ Parker Playhouse
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Parker Playhouse hasgenerously offered ArtsUnited members a special ticket price of $37.50 tosee Leslie Jordan at the Parker Playhouse tomorrow night, Wednesday, July 9,2008, at 8pm. This is $10.00 off the regular price level B tickets. One ofAmerica's fastest rising stars will be bringing his highly anticipated newstage show My Trip Down the Pink Carpet starring iconic funny man LeslieJordan to the Parker Playhouse. Written and adapted for the stage by Jordanhimself, the latest one man laugh fest from the diminutive star of stage,screen and television will traverse the entire North American continent withfresh, heartfelt autobiographical material that promises to run the gamutfrom A (Amazing) to Z (Zany). This is a special offer to friends and members of ArtsUnited and is not applicable to previously purchased tickets. Tickets can only be purchased by calling the Box Office at (954) 462-0222 or at the Parker Playhouse box office window from 12:00pm - 5:00pm, and using the promotional code word "PINK". Don't miss this chance to see one of America's great gay comedians!
For more information about the show. Visit


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-Fort Lauderdale wants refund on flubbed fireworks display
By Brittany Wallman
The city's $80,250 fireworks display fizzled mid-show on the Fourth of July,after a misfire disabled a computer controlling the launches, city officialssaid. That burned up city officials, who said taxpayers didn't get theirmoney's worth. In May, the city gave a $40,125 deposit to Zambelli FireworksInternationale. Now they say they shouldn't have to pay the full amount. This is the second year in a row Fort Lauderdale's spectators were robbed ofthe finale. Last year's problem was traced to electrical wiring. A differentcompany put on that $40,000 production.,0,3808303.story

-Bertha could strengthen as it heads toward Bermuda
As of about 5 a.m. Wednesday, the center of the storm was about 560 milesnortheast of the northern Leeward Islands and about 790 miles southeast ofBermuda.,0,4301754.story

-75% of Broward schools earn A's or B's on progress report
Coral Glades High School was largely empty Tuesday, with students andteachers off until August, but that didn't stop the gathered few summerstaff from celebrating the school's first A in the state's student progressreport. "It's me, my office manager, the data processor and thecustodians," said Coral Glades Principal David Jones, whose school receiveda C last year. "But I can make a lot of noise.",0,6644725.story

-Health Care for America Now ads promote universal health insurance
Health Care for America Now ads urge universal, affordable coverage. Inthree South Florida cities and nationally, a coalition of unions and socialinterest groups kicked off a $40 million campaign Tuesday to push foruniversal and affordable health insurance.,0,1144287.story

-Voting league sharpening its battle ax
The commonly held image of the League of Women Voters - and please forgiveus for any unintended ageism or sexism here - seems to have been that of agroup of genteel elderly ladies, properly sipping tea while stuffingcandidate questionnaires into envelopes and politely urging their neighborsto do their patriotic duty. Granny in the old Warner Bros. Tweety Birdcartoons with, perhaps, a neatly crocheted flag pin on her cardigan, mighthave been a typical member.,0,2876027.story

Miami Herald
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-American to trim jobs, flights at Fort Lauderdale
American Airlines is eliminating 79 jobs at Fort Lauderdale-HollywoodInternational Airport and will trim some flights to Puerto Rico and Nassauand its only service to Los Angeles.

-State must not abandon foster teen
The plight of a disabled foster-care teenager in Central Florida is redolentof the ills of the state's welfare system. As an infant, the now 15-year-oldboy was taken from his crack-addicted mother and placed with relatives.There he stayed until a year ago, when they were no longer able to care forhim. The boy is in the advanced stages of liver disease and needs atransplant. He is developmentally disabled and has behavior problems.

Fort Report
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-Nelson or Wexler for Veep? What are the odds?
Will Sen. Barack Obama be calling Sen. Bill Nelson or Rep. Robert Wexler tobe his runningmate? According to, an independentwebsite that tracks polls, Wexler has an 80-1 chance of being thepresumptive Democratic nominee's VP, while Nelson was close behind with a100-1 chance.

-A Decade Of School Grades Show Accountability Movement Delivers
It has been a decade since Florida started the controversial practice ofgrading schools and Tuesday's release of school grades from the FloridaDepartment of Education added a celebratory note to the milestone. Theresults indicate that school accountability is doing just what it wasintended to do: revealing what progress is - and is not occurring - in ourschools.

-Another crack in Florida's once-universal opposition to offshore drilling
U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez stood next to a Texas colleague this morning andcalled for more drilling off the nation's coasts. Not too long ago, he andU.S. Sen. Bill Nelson were fighting off efforts led by other Gulf Coastlawmakers to allow drilling off Florida's coasts.

-Our view: Going solar
UCF grant will boost efforts to increase solar use and end U.S. oiladdiction
In a futuristic building in Cocoa scientists are playing with the sun.Specifically, they're searching for ways to increase the residential,commercial and industrial uses of solar power to help end the nation'saddiction to the soaring cost of foreign oil and stem global warming.


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