Saturday, April 04, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - April 04, 2009

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-Big Dog Saloon bought, to turn gay once more
Parking remains biggest obstacle for location
The latest word on the street is that the Big Dog Saloon on Wilton Drive has been sold to two guys from New Jersey who plan to open a, yes, gay bar. Of course they face the same possible curse of the other businesses on "The Drive", parking. There is a small parking lot behind the building that is shares with Simply Delish, but the popular eatery is open for breakfast and lunch only-meaning more parking for the new bar in the evening hours. Big Dog was once the location of The Otherside-Fort Lauderdale, which was the sister establishment to the famed lesbian bar, The Otherside in Atlanta. After that closed, it became Big Dog, a straight bar owned by two lesbians.

Steve Rothaus
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-Patti LaBelle to be grand marshal of Miami Beach Gay Pride parade
Big news from Miami Beach Gay Pride: Legendary singer Patti LaBelle agreed Friday to be grand marshal at the Ocean Drive parade on April 18. "Patti LaBelle will be grand marshal with [fashion designer] Richie Rich,'' said pride chairman Babak Movahedi, owner of Halo Lounge. "But she is the grand marshal." Babak Movahedi, pictured outside the lounge on Friday night, said that with a big star like LaBelle as grand marshal, people are sure to come to gay pride. "And hopefully, we will be bigger and better every year."

-Gallery | Artist Alexander Guerra's Plastique dolls at Score
Filthy Gorgeous Fridays at Score this week featured the Plastique dolls of Miami Beach artist Alexander Guerra and Papi Underwear. Here are pictures I took of Alex and his dolls.

South Florida Blade
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-Drama unfolds at Wilton 26th Street Theatre
Show cancelled, unpaid actors claim they were 'suckers'
Sometimes the best drama at a theatre is found backstage. This was certainly the case last weekend at the new, but not-yet-opening Wilton 26th Street Theatre in Wilton Manors, as producers cancelled their premier musical production, leaving New York-based cast members stranded without paychecks or plane tickets home.

-Rock Hard donates to Tuesday's Angels
10% of sales from grand opening go to HIV/AIDS charity
Last Friday was the grand opening for Rock Hard, the "adult toy store" on Wilton Drive. But it was more than just a grand opening; it also doubled as a fundraiser for Tuesday's Angels, with 10% of all sales that evening donated to the Angels who provide emergency housing and utility payments to those living with HIV/AIDS. According to Erik Galiana, promotions director for Rock Hard, almost 400 people attended; the event raised $375 for the non-profit organization. "We want to thank all those people who showed up and helped raise money for Tuesday's Angels. It was a great event and were very pleased with the turnout," said Galiana.

-Pompano Bill: out and about once again
Photographer still wary of re-injury despite public appearances
William Calceterra, a.k.a. Pompano Bill, has been out of the hospital for several weeks and has made a string of public appearances, throughout the community. The popular local events photographer was hospitalized last month for hip replacement surgery. He is still avoiding crowded places: "One fall and I could end up back in the hospital."

-Vacation nightmare at Jackson Memorial
Lesbian kept from dying wife
The following is an excerpt of Janice Langbehn's speech from a Lambda Legal fundraising event in Fort Lauderdale. On February 18, 2007, Lisa Pond-my partner of nearly 18 years-and three of our four adopted children were in Miami, on board the R Family Cruise, preparing to set sail. Before leaving port, Lisa suddenly collapsed while watching the children play basketball. The kids carried her back and banged on the stateroom door, saying "Mommy was hurt!"


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-Cold weather heading to South Florida for next week
It's hot, but mid-week may see low 50s before warmth returns
By Ken Kaye
Ready for a hot-and-cold roller coaster ride? Although it wasn't the record-breaking heat forecasters had expected, South Florida still saw abnormally steamy temperatures in the upper 80s Friday. By the middle of next week, the mercury may plunge into the low 50s - a drop of about 35 degrees, tantamount to a shift from summer to winter in a matter of days. It's the result of an unusually potent cold front expected to arrive Monday night.,0,2972011.story

Miami Herald
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-Florida facing a busy political year in 2010
T ry wrapping your mind around this: There could be five statewide offices up for grabs in the nation's largest swing state in 2010. U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez is retiring. If Gov. Charlie Crist seeks his Senate seat -- which seems likelier by the day -- then Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum are expected to run for governor. Which leaves two open Cabinet spots -- make that three, since term limits are pushing out Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson.

-Florida legislative measures would allow insurance rates to rise
Insurance bills will likely mean higher rates for policyholders, but possibly lower hurricane risk for the state.
Lawmakers have begun work on two major property insurance bills that aim to fix current problems in Florida's insurance market. One certain result: higher rates for homeowners, especially those covered by Citizens Property Insurance, the state-run insurer.

Fort Report
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-FL about to lose $ millions for kids
By Gary Fineout
Florida could miss out on millions in federal aid that would benefit children unless it makes changes to the KidCare program. The Florida Health Policy Center has concluded in a new report that the state could draw down additional federal money under the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, passed by Congress and signed into law in February by President Barack Obama.

-Fees or taxes? In Florida's Legislature, it depends on the party
By Steve Bousquet
Democrats in the Legislature have argued for years that the state does not collect enough tax revenue to provide adequate services to people in Florida. So, for years, Democrats have pushed various new taxes, such as applying the sales tax to Internet sales, reviving the intangibles tax on savings, eliminating the ability of businesses to shelter their Florida profits elsewhere, and closing sales tax exemptions.


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