Wednesday, March 18, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - March 18, 2009

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Please join us this weekend at the Ft. Lauderdale GLCC to help call known progressive voters in Gainesville to ask them to go out and vote against this discriminatory ammendment on Tuesday, March 24th. Can you spare an hour or two to help preserve hard won Florida LGBT rights? We are asking for your help any evening this week from 5:45pm to 9pm, or Sat/Sun this weekend from noon-5pm, and then again on Monday, March 23rd from 5:45pm to 9pm. Please call JD Camp (of the Dolphin Democrats) at (954) 802-2202 in advance to schedule your time or the GLCC at 954-463-9005 to leave a message for JD. Pizza and soft drinks will be served.

Steve Rothaus
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-Spending spree leads to suspect in Wilton Manors killing
A pair of shoes, an iPod and a night at a strip club -- charged to a slain Wilton Manors man's credit cards -- led authorities to South Beach on Monday, where they arrested a wanted Delaware man on a murder charge, the Broward Sheriff's Office said. Gabriel Nock, 27, has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 68-year-old Larry Ellison, whose body was found March 10 in his Wilton Manors home. Detectives say Nock's spending spree was his undoing. Only openly gay member of Brazilian legislature dies
The Victory Fund has learned that Clodovil Hernandes, the openly gay member of Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, has died. He was the only openly gay elected official in the country. Hernandes was admitted to a Brasilia hospital yesterday after suffering a stroke. Known for his colorful career as a fashion designer and television gossip show host, Hernandes represented Sao Paolo in the country's national legislature. He recently introduced a bill adding employer-paid prostate exams for workers over 40 years of age to the country's labor laws.


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-Chaplain at Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton resigns over ban on word 'God'
Ban on word 'God' at meetings has chilling effect, she says A chaplain at Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton has resigned, she says, over a ban on use of the words "God" or "Lord" in public settings. Chaplains still speak freely of the Almighty in private sessions with patients or families but, the Rev. Mirta Signorelli said: "I can't do chaplain's work if I can't say 'God' - if I'm scripted." Hospice CEO Paula Alderson said the ban on religious references applies only to the inspirational messages that chaplains deliver in staff meetings. The hospice remains fully comfortable with ministers, priests and rabbis offering religious counsel to the dying and grieving.,0,5601993.story

Fort Report
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-Two new property tax cuts in the offing
Property tax cut proposals could help business owners and others while draining money from local governments.
Business owners, snowbirds and first-time home buyers could save $1.2 billion over three years if a pair of property tax cut plans are adopted. But one person's cut is another's burden. The same amount would be drained from local government coffers and, officials warn, services would be cut when people need them most.

-'Stimulus czar:' Fla. has met all deadlines so far
Florida has met all deadlines so far and is well ahead of schedule with the submission of a key document needed to obtain billions in federal recovery money, Gov. Charlie Crist's "stimulus czar" said Tuesday. Don Winstead provided Crist, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and agency heads with an update on Florida's stimulus progress. He also reported on a stimulus meeting in Washington last week with Vice President Joe Biden and other federal officials.

-Don't backtrack on commitment to reduce class size
Guest column by Representative Martin Kiar, D-Parkland, Florida House Democratic Ranking Member of K-12 Education Issues. More than six years ago, Floridians approved the constitutional Class Size Reduction Amendment, which demands that the Legislature provide our children with smaller class sizes and better learning environments.

-GOP Bill Raises Academic Bar, Not Funding
High-school students would have to pass the FCAT and higher-level math and science courses to receive diplomas under a plan Republicans are pushing in the state House and Senate. The legislation, which gets its first committee hearing today, would require freshmen entering high school in fall 2010 to pass algebra I, geometry and biology before receiving a high-school diploma. They also would have to pass the 10th-grade Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

-Vloggers for dollars: South Florida students 'Rally in Tally' to get money for schools
They're bringing petitions, pickets and poster board - and, of course, pillows, video games and DVDs. After all, it's a nine-hour bus ride to Tallahassee.

-Community colleges could face overload in budget crisis
Thousands of students could be shut out of Florida's community colleges
By Luis Zaragoza
Thousands of students pinning their hopes for a degree on Florida's community colleges could be left without a seat in class next fall because of state budget cuts and mushrooming enrollment.,0,1362606.story

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-Parents, Teachers To Rally In Tallahassee
Broward County parents and teachers are heading to Tallahassee on Tuesday to demand that no more cuts be made to the education budget. Thousands are expected to travel to Tallahassee overnight and converge on the Capitol steps Wednesday morning.


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