Thursday, March 26, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - March 26, 2009

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Sunshine Cathedral - Ft. Lauderdale
...Good Friday - Join us on April 10th at 7:30 PM for our annual Good Friday concert here at Sunshine Cathedral.
...Easter Sunday - Join us here at Sunshine Cathedral on Easter Sunday at our special Easter times: 8 AM, 9:30 AM, or 11 AM. Our regular evening service will be offered at 6 PM.
Reverend Durrell Watkins, Senior Pastor
Sunshine Cathedral
1480 SW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Stonewall Library and Archives Event

-Psychotherapist Dr. Ann Mody Lewis to speak about her just released book Me, Again
Saturday, March 28 - 2PM
On Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 2:00 pm, Stonewall will host a lecture by psychotherapist and writer Dr. Ann Mody Lewis. Dr. Lewis will be speaking about her new book Me, Again: The Untold Story of Every Woman's Life. Dr. Lewis insightful book offers a fresh look at the role gender plays in the lives of women. Her work leads women on a journey to inner peace and self-liberation. [...] Please join us on Saturday, March 28 at 2:00 PM for this chance to meet Dr. Lewis. The author will be available after the presentation for book signing. The event will include light refreshments and is free and open to the public. For further information, please call 954-763-8565.Stonewall Library & Archives is located at 1300 East Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Miami Herald
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-Let gays adopt
We thank The Miami Herald for its March 19 editorial Lift Florida's gay adoption ban. The National Association of Social Workers believes that the best interest of the child should be the standard for a judge to use in approving an adoption. There is no credible evidence indicating that gay prospective adoptive parents pose any risk to the foster children considered for adoption. Florida already approves gay and lesbian foster placements. Adoption would be a welcomed extension of a long-standing practice by the state. Florida must act to help the thousands of children who find themselves in foster care each year. As professional social workers we urge lawmakers to enact laws that enable as many foster children as possible to be adopted into the best homes available.
SUSAN MANKITA, NATASHA NALLS, co-chairs, Miami-Dade Unit,
National Association of Social Workers, Palmetto Bay


Miami Herald
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-Gov. Charlie Crist to downsize Everglades-U.S. Sugar deal
Version No. 3 of the governor's Big Sugar buy is expected to net less than half the land for Everglades restoration but cut taxpayer costs by about $800 million. His hand forced by a failing economy, Gov. Charlie Crist is poised to dramatically downsize his proposed Big Sugar buyout -- and his vision for Everglades restoration.

Palm Beach Post
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-Lawmakers might reject stimulus money for jobless benefits
Florida House leaders want to turn down $444 million in federal stimulus money that would expand the number of people eligible for unemployment benefits by 40,000. House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach, is skeptical about taking the money because he says it will cause unemployment taxes for state businesses to go up.

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-Pull Up Pants Day at Plantation High
Gregory Lewis
Students who show up at Plantation High today with their underwear showing will get a belt. Not a smack on the bottom, but the kind of belt that secures trousers. It's Pull Up Your Pants Day.,0,2524087.story-

Pink News - UK
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-Gainesville keeps LGBT discrimination protections
LGBT campaigners in Gainesville, Florida, are celebrating after voters opted against stripping the city's anti-discrimination provisions. Fifty-eight per cent of residents voted against cancelling the anti-discrimination protections Gainesville extends to gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in order to conform to the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Fort Report
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-State Senate budget leaders count on support for new taxes
By Mary Ellen Klas, Marc Caputo and Alex Leary,
Florida Senate budget writers sent a message to the House and governor Wednesday: It's time to start talking about new taxes. They are prepared to increase cigarette taxes, eliminate sales tax exemptions and even ask voters to raise the state sales tax a penny to pay for public education.

-He Won't Back Down
Tim Fernholz
Last night's briefing showed one thing for sure -- the Obama administration isn't afraid of the scale of its ambitions. The most important question at last night's prime-time press conference, only the second of President Barack Obama's 64-day-old administration, wasn't even asked. Of the dozen reporters called on, not one inquired about the controversial new financial-stability plan the administration rolled out the day before. It was not, it turns out, a night for news making.

-Teddy's Bear
by Suzy Khimm
Orrin Hatch, health care reform's stealth champion. If Senator Orrin Hatch is a liberal-friendly health care reformer, he's working under some pretty deep cover. Just two months ago, Hatch voted against the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), protesting the inclusion of legal immigrants and higher-income children as a "partisan exercise." When President Obama released his budget proposal, Hatch warned that health care reform under his administration's watch could be a nightmare. "[T]his reckless budget will swamp Americans in a morass of debt and mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren," the Utah senator thundered in a press statement. Hatch's remarks echoed his scathing criticism of the stimulus bill, whose health provisions he denounced on the Senate floor as the "Socialized Health Care for All Act of 2009."

-Senate leaders want to combine sales tax increase, class size changes
By Amy Hollyfield,
State Senate leaders are crafting a plan to combine a proposed class-size amendment with a penny sales tax increase for education and to put the issue before voters as soon as this fall. The deal is designed to bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats on the two major education issues of this year's legislative session. Republicans would get the class-size modification they seek, and Democrats would get the penny sales tax they have been hoping for as money dedicated to public education.

-Clear the air on Crist's jet flights
Gov. Charlie Crist insisted once again Tuesday that he follows the letter of the law in determining whether the cost of his airplane flights are paid by the state, the Republican Party or out of his own pocket. That's good. But a governor who prides himself on transparency and public openness should go further and disclose the names of the wealthy donors and special interests who own the private jets he relies upon for political travel.

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-SunPass-Only Lanes To Open On Turnpike
New Lanes To Open Monday
The new SunPass-only express lanes on the northbound side of Florida's Turnpike are scheduled to open at the Okeechobee toll plaza on Monday. According to a news release by the Florida's Turnpike Enterprise, the new lanes should be open on the northbound side before the start of the morning commute. The express lanes opened in the southbound lanes in September. With the new lanes, drivers with a SunPass should stay in the left or center lanes to use the open-road toll. People who wish to pay with either cash or a SunPass also can use one of the five tollbooths at the plaza. These drivers should stay right as they approach the tolls, officials said. Turnpike officials said the right-hand toll lane at the northbound Okeechobee toll plaza will become a SunPass-only lane starting Thursday morning. Signs will warn drivers of the change, officials said. If cash customers accidentally end up in the open-toll, SunPass-only lanes, officials said they should keep going in order to avoid a crash. When they reach their destinations, these drivers can call SunPass customer service 1-888-TOLL-FLA and inquire about paying the toll, according to the news release.


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