Thursday, December 11, 2008

FLORIDA DIGEST December 11, 2008

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South Floridian Uses Education, Information To Fight Hate Crimes
There are some types of criminals who aren't after money or sex or drugs. They're after people like Jack Rutland. I'm a gay man. I'm 52, and I don't know anyone my age that hasn't been targeted," Rutland said. He says he's been chased, taunted and harassed simply because he's gay. "To a small degree -- being called names, to having beer bottles thrown at you on the streets or people chasing you," Rutland said. So, he's made it his life's work to make a difference. Rutland is the executive director of Stonewall Library in Ft. Lauderdale. It's an organization that, among other things, documents hate crimes. "This is a very thorough, very academic record of what goes on around the country," he said. One of the well known cases on file is the murder of Simmie Williams Jr., a 17-year-old who was wearing women's' clothing the night someone shot him to death. "I was so physically and emotionally overwhelmed by that," said Rutland. The library keeps records of cases, police reports and news articles as a way to educate the public and spot trends. According to Stonewall Library records, hate crimes are up, particularly on the playground. Rutland is hoping to slow it down through information and education. He said the more people know the better. He also feels it's important for people to file a police report when a hate crime happens so investigators can get an accurate reading on what's going on and where it's happening.

Bill Kamal, Former S. Fla. Weatherman Released From Prison
Former Channel 7 weatherman Bill Kamal has been released from prison. Kamal spent nearly the last five years in a Massachusetts federal prison after his conviction for allegedly using the Internet to arrange sex with a person he thought to be a teenage boy. The person turned out to be an undercover police officer. Kamal pleaded guilty and has been in prison since 2004. In an extensive jailhouse interview with Local 10 in 2005, Kamal denied committing the crime but said he pleaded guilty because he feared going to prison for the rest of his life. Kamal was released late last week to a halfway house program. He will be permitted to work during the day but must spend nights at the halfway house until his sentence ends in March. Prison officials confirmed Kamal's release into a Philadelphia-area halfway house program, but they would not say if he would remain in Philadelphia to serve out the halfway house sentence.

Women Sponsor Holiday Toy Drive
Lavender Events for Women at the GLCC is organizing a toy drive to benefit Children's Diagnositc Treatment Center. Please donate toys that are new and unwrapped and at least $10 in value. All Toys must be dropped off at one of the sites below by Saturday, December 13.
Drop-off Sites:
Gay and Lesbian Community Center - 1717 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
One Tea Lounge - 2037 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors
Best Buy - 2829 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
Sports Authority - 1901 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale
PC Lauderdale - 2412 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors

Holiday Lights benefiting Care Resource
December 3, 2008--For over 15 years, Holiday Lights display at the Enchanted Place has dazzled South Floridians. Located on 137th NE Terrace in North Miami, this amazing neighborhood light display is a must see holiday tradition. As you drive through the street to see the magical lights, Care Resource volunteers will hand out candy to the kids and they might even catch a glimpse of Santa. This event runs from December 5th - 31st from 6:00pm-11:30pm. There is no charge to see this display, but donations are welcomed. Care Resource is the beneficiary of this event. About Care Resource Care Resource is conveniently located in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and collectively provides services for over 8,000 clients. Our dedicated and loyal staff takes pride in creating and/or implementing prevention strategies within our affected communities. Our outreach and education initiatives, including testing, on-site medical care, research protocols as well as family counseling and support, offer a wide array of programs that respond to every need of our HIV at-risk and infected areas. We are pleased to announce that today over 3,000 HIV patients have benefited from participation in studies of promising new anti-HIV drugs conducted by our agency, resulting in 13 new FDA drug approvals.

Here's a great Holiday Gift idea:
Our Friends at the Broward Center have released the remaining tickets for the Kinsey Sicks performances of "Oy Vey In A Manger" at the Parker Playhouse this Saturday, as a 2 for 1 special; buy one ticket at regular price and get the second for free! That means you can get friends two tickets to see this great show for as little as $25 plus tax and fees. What a terrific present! Just call 954 462-0222 and use the code "KINSEY". This offer is by phone only The Kinsey Sicks is at the Parker Playhouse this Saturday, December 13 with shows at 6pm and 9pm. Sorry, but this offer is for additional sales only and does not apply to previously purchased tickets, or other promotional offers.

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told
Contains Nudity for the Holidays
Paul Rudnick's Hit Comed about Adam, Steve, Jane & Mabel
Rising Action Theatre - 840 East Oakland Park Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performances are Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 7 pm. Saturday November 22 show is at 10 pm. For tickets go to or call 1 800-595-4849. Groups call 954 815-8826.

South Florida Blade
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-HRC Winterfest Boat Parade Party
Come to their best local fundraising event of the year


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-Low-cost health insurance coverage to start Jan. 5
Dec 11, 2008
The 3.8 million Floridians without health insurance will get a chance to buy low-cost but bare-bones coverage under a new program launched Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Crist. [...] As of Jan. 5, companies will offer 10 policies in South Florida that must insure all who apply to the Cover Florida program, even if they are seriously ill. Prevention-only coverage starts at $24 per month at age 19. A person age 64 can buy a policy with hospitalization for $225. By comparison, full individual coverage from an employer costs an average of $400. Insurance industry officials said the new policies would appeal mainly to people with chronic illnesses or pre-existing conditions who cannot find any other coverage, but they will offer little to healthy people who can already buy better coverage for like prices.,0,2414874.story

-Broward County Commission gets petty
There is petty. There is embarrassing. And then there is the Broward County Commission. Did we mention childish?,0,3886604.story

Miami Herald
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-Miami-Dade School Board votes to sue state over funding
The Miami-Dade School Board will sue the state to make up funding it says it's not getting from local taxes.

Fort Report
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-Chiles clan accuses Florida of neglecting children
By Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
The widow and son of former Gov. Lawton Chiles are using the 10th anniversary of his death to contend that Florida is backsliding on his signature issue, its commitment to take care of children. Former first lady Rhea Chiles and Lawton "Bud" Chiles III joined child advocates Wednesday in criticizing the state's current leaders for putting a higher emphasis on tax cuts than on human services for children.

-Florida House speaker keeps the dough, forfeits the authority
By Howard Troxler, Times columnist
Looks like the new speaker of the Florida House, Ray Sansom, is pretty dug in about keeping that $110,000-a-year community college job that he got the same day he became speaker.

-Florida's budget deficit jumps by $150 million to $2.3 billion
Florida's budget deficit widened to $2.3 billion, forcing state lawmakers and officials to consider many ideas, like cutting Medicaid and housing inmates in tent cities.

-Crist wedding: more homey than hoopla
By Stephanie Hayes, Times Staff Writer
Hey, paparazzi! Charlie Crist and Carole Rome are getting married! (Chirp. Chirp.) Didn't you hear? GOVERNOR. WEDDING.

-Farm bureau blasts U.S. Sugar deal; government group expresses concerns

-Amid Everglades deal, U.S. Sugar identifies other buyers
U.S. Sugar Corp., which has agreed to be bought by the South Florida Water Management District, has identified a number of other potential buyers and is set to begin discussions with them as early as next week, U.S. Sugar President and CEO Robert Buker said in a letter to employees and stockholders released Wednesday.

-State's hypocrisy on gay adoptions could tear apart this family
Mike Thomas | COMMENTARY
Frank Gill and his partner rescued two abused brothers, now ages 4 and 8, from a Miami crack house. The foster parents provided a loving home that healed physical and emotional damage. And now the Department of Children and Families, which gave the boys over to Gill, is trying to break up the family, spending $260,000 so far on the legal effort.,0,6798631.column?track=rss

-Who is eligible for low-cost health coverage?
Under the plan backed by Gov. Charlie Crist, anyone up to age 64 who has been uninsured for at least six months or recently unemployed, and who does not qualify for other government or job-based coverage, can apply starting Jan. 5. As of Jan. 5, companies will offer 10 policies in South Florida that must insure all who apply to the Cover Florida program, even if they are seriously ill.,0,6710285.story


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