Monday, March 09, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - March 09, 2009

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South Florida Blade
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-Elections 2009: Three openly-gay candidates remain in Broward Elections
The Broward County Election of 2009 continues! After winning enough votes to qualify for the March 10 run-off elections, Dania Beach City Commission candidate Derrick Hankerson and Fort Lauderdale City Commission candidate Coleman Prewitt face one last election to secure their seats. Also in the running is Anthony Niedwiecki, who is seeking a seat on the Oakland Park City Commission. All three openly-gay candidates face tough fights, battling low voter turnouts for local elections as well as anti-gay forces at work in some races. Read each candidate's profiles below, to find out how they stand on the issues, and how each candidate views the role of GLBT politics within local government.

Steve Rothaus
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-New blogs help readers enjoy South Florida's attractions, concerts, restaurants and bars 'on the cheap'
Teresa Mears, a longtime South Florida journalist and a good friend, has launched a new website you'll be interested in: Miami FL on the Cheap. She provides great tips and deals for South Florida residents and tourists. Here's Teresa's announcement about her new site:


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-March elections usually mean low turnout in Broward County cities
Towns still resist switch to November
By Anthony Man | Political Writer
Close to half of Broward County registered voters are eligible to participate in Tuesday's elections in 11 cities, towns and villages. But with a few possible exceptions - Davie, Deerfield Beach and Miramar have hot contests - not many voters are expected at the polls. The almost-guaranteed low turnout, combined with the cost, have prompted cities to switch their elections to November.,0,3539264.story

Fort Report
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-Business ideas bad for Florida
Three of Florida's most powerful business groups - Enterprise Florida, the Chamber of Commerce and the Council of 100 - have offered 250 recommendations to the Legislature about how to respond to the economic recession. But their prescription reflects the self-interests of big business and developers rather than the welfare of all Floridians. It approaches the future by embracing the worst excesses of the past, and it would move Florida backward, not forward.

-Drowning Floridians ask: How long until stimulus rescue?
Thousands of jobless Floridians are hoping that the $1.3 billion in stimulus money coming to Florida for road projects might help them get out of the unemployment line and back to work. And it will. But just how quickly, nobody - including the chief economist at the state agency that handles unemployment claims - seems to know.

-A closer look at employment data reveals: It's worse than we thought
By Jeff Harrington
Number crunchers tracking the state's unemployment cautioned that the news could be grim after an annual revision of years worth of data. Boy, were they right.

-Miami-Dade, Broward schools may not get stimulus funds for construction
Debt-ridden Miami-Dade and Broward school districts may not benefit from part of the federal stimulus plan that would help pay for the building of new schools.
The $787 billion federal stimulus package set aside about $22 billion to help school districts pay for new construction -- but Miami-Dade and Broward will likely not be able to get a slice of that money, thanks to a change state lawmakers made last year that curtailed the districts' borrowing power.

-Kottkamp flew state plane, attended big game
Posted by Alex Leary
Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp traveled on a Florida Highway Patrol plane from his home in Fort Myers to Tallahassee last November and that same weekend, attended the Florida State vs. Florida football game, FSU officials confirmed Friday. Kottkamp had no official business on his schedule that weekend, raising new questions about his use of state aircraft. But Kottkamp has reimbursed the state for flights his wife and son were on and was billed for his seats in the president's box at the game. He paid $192 for tickets, food and drink, according to university spokeswoman Jill Elish.

-Florida closer to getting stimulus for schools
Florida would secure $2.4 billion in stimulus money for public schools if state officials can prove that education spending has not dropped faster than the total state budget, The Palm Beach Post has learned. The state needs the option because of a requirement in the stimulus plan that education money be reserved for states that have maintained school spending levels.


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