Wednesday, February 25, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - February 25, 2009

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-1,000 HOMOSEXUALS a comedy by Michael Yawney
February 26, 27 & 28 at 8PM
Tickets: $35 (call for group discounts)

A message from Dean Trantalis
To My Dear Friends and Supporters:
Two weeks have now passed since the Primary, and I think enough time has passed for us to reflect on what occurred and how best to assess the results of that important day. First, there are not enough thanks to express my deepest appreciation for the time, effort and generosity you all contributed to our campaign. We each made the commitment with a result that was never assured, and our performance was professional, with dignity, and with purpose. Even our opponents have praised us, and we each must feel proud of what we have contributed to the political history of our city and of our community. Many of you may recall that after months of encouragement from countless people, the decision to run for Mayor was finally cast in June of last year. It was then that we blanketed the Stonewall Street Festival with over 3000 palm cards, and the enthusiasm of the crowd could not be dampened by the wind and rain we encountered. Thanks to Eddie, Jack, and Chip, it was a propitious first step. Rick and I went home that weekend knowing that the decision we made was the right one.
Contact Ray's List for the full letter.

Palm Beach Human Rights Council
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-State Senator Ted Deutch and State Representative Kelly Skidmore have introduced legislation (SB 2012/HB 397) to prohibit discrimination against LGBT Floridians in employment, housing and public accommodations. To move this legislation forward this year, PBCHRC is working with the ACLU of Florida, Equality Florida, Organizations United Together, SAVE Dade, the Human Rights Council of North Central Florida, the Anti-Defamation League, Florida NOW and many other allied organizations to urge supportive Democratic and Republican legislators to sign on as co-sponsors to the bills. We need your help. If your legislators are not yet co-sponsors of SB 2012/HB 397, please contact your legislators and ask if they will sign on as co-sponsors today. Thank you.
Judge Rand Hoch (retired),
President and Founder
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council

National Center for Lesbian Rights
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From Kate Kendell

-I'm coming to Miami - March 7 & 8
It's hard to believe it's been a year since I've been in Miami. But, then I look back on what has transpired between then and now and it seems as if a lifetime of experiences have occurred since I last saw you. I'll be in Miami in two weeks and I hope you will join me at one or both of the events we have planned. We have so much to catch up on! Details are below. In addition, we plan to open our Southern Regional Office in Miami this summer. Please pass along the job description for our Senior Staff Attorney to head that office to anyone you know who might be interested.

-A Night for Your Rights with NCLR
Saturday March 7, 2009 - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
At the home of Olive Watson and Joanna Grover/Watson
Belle Meade Island, Miami
Suggested Donation: $100.00.

-NCLR Miami Family BBQ
Sunday, March 8, 2009 - 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.At the home of Karen Gilbert and Julie Miller in the Falls area
NCLR is once again throwing a BBQ - stop by and have some fun with other LGBT families. Please RSVP for either or both events to Eleanor Palacios or 415.365.1309.

Equality Florida
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-Rally Momentum Builds, T-Shirts Now Available
The momentum behind the 2009 Rally in Tally is really building and it's shaping up to be the largest event of its kind ever in Florida. More than 400 people have already registered and we are getting calls and emails daily about buses and caravans planned from all across the state. Be a voice for Equality and get to Tallahassee for this historic gathering! If you are thinking about going, now is the time to commit. Register today.

-The far-right is targeting legislators who are backing pro-equality bills in the upcoming session. Several far-right groups have already sent out e-blasts calling on their members to "kill" these bills. Please take a moment right now to send a personal thank you to legislators who have sponsored bills that would repeal Florida's anti-gay adoption ban, provide domestic partnership protections, ban discrimination and ensure students get life saving, medically accurate sex education that includes LGBT youth. Click here and personalize a quick note

From Anthony Niedwiecki for Oakland Park City Commission Campaign

-Anthony Niedwiecki Receives Victory Fund Endorsement
Longtime LGBT Activist Plans to Bring Advocacy Work to the World of Politics
OAKLAND PARK, FL-- Anthony Niedwiecki, a longtime and dedicated LGBT rightsadvocate, continues his march to victory in the Oakland Park City Commissionrace with his recent endorsement by the Victory Fund, which endorses openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates for public office who have demonstrated political viability and who have a plan to win. "Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders - on the floors of state legislatures, in the chambers of city councils, and in the Congress of the United States - are our clearest and most convincing champions for true equality. When we elect an LGBT candidate to office, we put them in a position to change hearts and minds, and the law," said the Victory Fund. Niedwiecki, who is a law professor and administrator at Nova Southeastern University, has a long track record of fighting for the equality and dignity of all people. With his husband Waymon Hudson, Anthony formed the LGBT rights group Fight OUT Loud after experiencing a startling death threat aimed at gay people over the Fort Lauderdale Airport intercom system. He also fought side-by-side with other activists as they organized a massive response to the bigoted words of Mayor Naugle of Fort Lauderdale, including holding the largest unity rally at City Hall that Fort Lauderdale had ever experienced, as well as getting Naugle removed from his post on the Tourism Development Council. Anthony has also traveled to the Florida State Capitol with their foster son to testify and push for the overturning of the state's ban on gays and lesbians adopting. He fought to protect the rights and benefits of thousands of families across Florida by actively opposing and speaking against Amendment 2, from traveling to speak at town hall forums and debates to writing extensively on the legal impact of the amendment. Niedwiecki has also been a leader in Oakland Park and Broward County by fighting for the expansion of non-discrimination policies to include both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, as well as being involved in hate crime education and awareness. Contact Ray's List for the full article.

South Florida Blade
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-'1,000 Homosexuals' invades Colony Theater
Hilarious satire about Anita Bryant living in a big gay world
By Dan Renzi, |
"1,000 Homosexuals" first played at the Arsht Center's Studio Theater, to rave reviews-and now it's back on stage, at The Colony Theater, from Feb. 26 to March 1. Tix are $35.

Ft. Lauderdale: 2009 STARS OF THE RAINBOW GALA
Sunday, March 1 - Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty Six


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-Broward County wants out of Medicaid pilot program
County wants out of pilot program that was trying to revamp Medicaid
By Scott Wyman
Broward County Click here for restaurant inspection reports wants out of a 2-year-old state pilot project to revamp Medicaid health-care service to 120,000 residents. The nationally watched reform plan has aimed to save billions and give better health care by moving Medicaid recipients into private health plans. The experiment in Broward and four other counties, though, has come under fire, blamed for leading to delays in access to doctors and medicine.,0,5901931.story

-Broward County schools consider four-day school week
Shorter school week for Broward County high schools could save money
By Kathy Bushouse and Akilah Johnson
new - the new be a Add four-day school weeks for high school students to the list of options the Broward County School Board is weighing to save money. During a Tuesday workshop, board members directed Schools Superintendent James Notter to study the idea to prepare for up to $160 million in possible budget cuts from the state for the 2009-2010 school year.,0,4675170.story

-Free lunch time concert in Fort Lauderdale today
You know you need a break from the workday grind. That's why Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here. is hosting Comcast Noon Tunes, a free lunchtime concert is held every Wednesday at Stranahan Park (100 E. Broward Blvd.) from noon to 2 p.m. So escape the office for an hour, bring along that bagged lunch you diligently packed and enjoy the sweet sounds of free.,0,3054047.story

-Supreme Court ruling may spoil Seminole Tribe's Coconut Creek plans
Decision may affect casino expansion plan in Coconut Creek
By John Holland
The Seminole Tribe's bid to take 100 prime acres in Broward County inspection reports off the public tax rolls and into a federally protected trust suffered a potentially fatal blow Tuesday with a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.,0,684372.story

-Human blunder blamed for polling place confusion in Fort Lauderdale
By Brittany Wallman
An election mix-up that had some voters confused about where to vote next month was not a conspiracy -just plain old human error, the city clerk said. Voters in a precinct of northeast Fort Lauderdale's District I had to vote in Pompano Beach for the Feb. 10 primary. But they received letters from the city recently saying they'd be voting in Fort Lauderdale at Cardinal Gibbons High School for the March 10 runoff between Commissioner Christine Teel and Bruce Roberts, her challenger.,0,2374522.story

Miami Herald
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-Charlie, do we really know you?
In difficult times like these, it's not a bad idea for the governor to be the state's cheerleader-in-chief as well its chief executive. Charlie Crist has the cheering part down -- he's Florida's biggest booster. He's also eternally cheerful and almost depressingly optimistic. His glass is not just half-full; it's always two-third's full, which is how he sees Florida's future. But is he the right leader to move Florida to that future through the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes?

-U.S. Sugar's 'poison pill' clause blocks takeovers
In a maneuver seemingly aimed at an unsolicited Tennessee suitor, U.S. Sugar moved to block hostile takeovers while negotiating a state contract to use its acres to clean Everglades water.
The boardroom and backroom drama continues to churn behind Gov. Charlie Crist's $1.34 billion land deal with the U.S. Sugar Corp. The sugar giant's board of directors, controlled by foundations and the descendants of its founder, adopted a ''poison pill'' provision on Monday intended to protect its financial interests and block hostile takeovers.

Palm Beach Post
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-Entire Palm Beach County Commission asked to cooperate in state corruption probe
Palm Beach County's new chief prosecutor is asking all six county commissioners to cooperate with a grand jury investigation of local corruption - a sign that the state may be joining what has largely been a federal crusade against official wrongdoing.

-Palm Beach County has money, plan to aid homeless
After more than a decade of false starts and lost opportunities, Palm Beach County has a plan to get homeless people off the streets - and money to begin making it happen

Fort Report
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-Crist looms over little-known crop of Democrats in Florida
By Aaron Blake
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's now-public deliberations over whether to enter the state's Senate race have put things completely on hold for Republicans interested in the seat.

-Obama's moral majority
Jonathan Haidt
At President Obama's inauguration, did we finally witness the beginning of the end of America's long and bitter culture wars? The two conservative ideologies that joined forces in the 1980s-free-market fundamentalism and the religious right-are severely weakened, while liberal ideas about the role of government, the limitations of markets and the value of international cooperation are newly ascendant. Yet, as the new leader of the victorious left, Obama has been a gracious winner. From his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic convention to his 2009 inaugural address, he has promised to transcend the old partisan divisions and reach out to the other side.

-Home prices fall by steepest rate on record
Home prices tumbled by the steepest annual rate on record in the fourth quarter, two housing indexes showed Tuesday, and the pace continued to gain speed in all but a handful of battered cities.

-Middle class families in the $40,000 to $60,000 range may not be able to
afford college
Scott Travis, Sun-Sentinel
The financial crisis and rising costs threaten to put college out of reach for many students, a new report suggests. The report from the group ENLACE Florida says the cost of higher education in Florida has outpaced families' ability to pay. As the recession leaves people with less money, many middle class families in the $40,000 to $60,000 range, who may earn too much for federal Pell Grants and other forms of financial aid, could be especially hurt, the report suggests.

-Everglades land deal in jeopardy from competition
A historic land deal aimed at helping restore the dying Everglades, and lauded by Gov. Charlie Crist as "monumental as the creation of our nation's first national park," may end up dead in the water


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