Sunday, April 26, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - April 26, 2009

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New documentary on a gay man's murder to screen at Gay Film Festival
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - April 22, 2009
A new documentary on the brutal murder of a young gay Mexican-American in Yuma Arizona, and one man's journey to seek justice for that man's family, Amancio... Two Faces on a Tombstone, will be shown on May 2, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. at the Gateway Cinema in Fort Lauderdale as part of the Miami & Ft. Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Tickets are available through the box office or online at the film festival website -- More information on the film can be found at

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - April 23, 2009
On Saturday, May 2, at 4 p.m., local film producer, Bruce Presley's first full-length documentary, Amancio... Two Faces on a Tombstone, will be screened at the Gateway Cinema in Fort Lauderdale as an entry in the 2009 Miami & Ft. Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Co-sponsored by Presley's Downtown Loft Studio and Compass, Inc., the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Palm Beach County, Amancio... Two Faces on a Tombstone, is the first of many gay-themed documentaries Presley hopes to produce in the coming years. Shot in Yuma Arizona, Amancio... Two Faces on a Tombstone is the story of one man's journey to seek justice for the murder of a young gay man.

Lambda Legal
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami says they don't have to allow their patients visitors
Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond, together 18 years, were about to depart from Miami on a family cruise with their three children, when Lisa suddenly collapsed. From the moment Janice and the children arrived at Jackson Memorial Hospital, they encountered prejudice and apathy. The hospital refused to accept information from Janice regarding Lisa's medical history, informing her that she was in an antigay city and state and that she could expect to receive no information or acknowledgment as family. A doctor finally spoke with Janice, telling her that there was no chance of recovery. Despite the doctor's acknowledgment that no medical reason existed to prevent visitation -- and despite the fact that Janice held a durable healthcare power of attorney for Lisa -- no hospital employee would allow Janice or the couple's children to see Lisa until nearly eight hours after their arrival. Lambda Legal has filed a lawsuit against Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida on behalf of Janice Langbehn and her three children. In its response to the lawsuit, the hospital does not dispute Janice's account of what happened that night. Instead, they claim they did nothing wrong.


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-School Board wants 'ultimate control' but no operations cost in WXEL acquisition Board wants total control, but not liability
By Laura Green
The Palm Beach County School Board wants to "maintain ultimate control" over every aspect of the WXEL radio and television stations it's negotiating to acquire, from veto power over the programs on air to a blanket rule that no current employees be fired. But it wants someone else to pay to operate the stations and bear all liability.,0,1559512.story

Fort Report
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-Obama gets high marks in S. Florida
Almost 100 days into his presidency, Barack Obama has solidified his support in South Florida, but there is also an energized core of opposition.
It's nearly 100 days into his presidency, and Barack Obama has yet to disappoint Jean Acevedo, a small-business owner who ardently cast her vote for the Democrat in November. Acevedo praises Obama's juggling of big issues. In her estimation, the president has made all the right moves in redirecting environmental policy and revitalizing foreign relations, and in aggressively tackling the economic trouble he inherited -- although like many people she is wary of massive bailouts and ballooning federal deficits.

-Crist looks ineffectual waiting for consensus
Gov. Charlie Crist lowered a spade into the ground to plant a red crape myrtle on the Capitol grounds Friday, and all was good. The sky was a brilliant blue. The Arbor Day tree was nestled next to a blooming rose garden, and Florida's sun-tanned governor was characteristically buoyant. "The session is scheduled to be concluded on May 1 and I remain optimistic that that possibility still exists," Crist said.

-Stymied budget taking toll on Republican lawmakers
As the Legislature gridlocks, the Republicans who control the process fear for the strength of their party after more than a decade in power.
At a white cloth-covered table dotted with glasses of orange juice, Republican legislative leaders proudly toasted the on-time end of a lawmaking session, a no-new-taxes budget and the ascendancy of the GOP in Florida.

-Differences remain in budget deadlock
Deadline likely will be missed, Atwater says
By Josh Hafenbrack and Aaron Deslatte
Florida lawmakers' budget stalemate ground into the final week of the 60-day session Friday, with Senate President Jeff Atwater conceding it would be "very difficult" to bridge big-ticket decisions on higher cigarette taxes, Seminole gambling and spending cuts on time. At the end of another day of closed-door negotiations, the North Palm Beach Republican told senators both sides "certainly narrowed the issues ... but there are some gaps that remain.",0,3877084.story

-Closed-door budget talks halted for weekend break
Republican leaders in the House and Senate emerged Friday from a seventh day of closed-door budget negotiations without a deal, sending lawmakers home for the weekend and leaving little hope for a timely end to the legislative session next week.

-Turn back stealth plan to suppress Florida voters with election rule changes
This FLORIDA TODAY editorial is posted in advance of a House vote Friday in the Florida Legislature that would weaken state voting laws. It will also appear in Friday's printed editions of the newspaper. Florida's lawmakers should encourage greater participation in our democracy by making it easier for people to go to the polls. Instead, GOP leaders in Tallahassee recently unleashed a last-minute assault on the right to vote.

-Bill would make voting difficult, Dems say
Stephen D. Price
Calling a proposed elections bill payback for a Democrat taking the presidential race in the Sunshine State, Democratic lawmakers and civil-rights activists are asking legislative leadership to scrap an attempt to change elections laws.

-Crist hints at vetoing bill to rewrite Florida election laws
By Steve Bousquet
Gov. Charlie Crist on Monday strongly hinted that he would veto a proposed rewrite of Florida's election laws as a broad array of grass-roots groups launched an all-out assault on the legislation. "What is it we're trying to cure?" Crist asked in a Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau interview. "The more opportunity you give people to vote, the better it is for democracy. So that aspect of it concerns me."

-Suppressing the Vote in Florida
Since 2000, Florida has been synonymous with badly run and undemocratic elections. This distinction has not come to it by chance. Many of the state's election officials and legislators work hard to keep eligible voters from casting ballots. The Florida Legislature is at it again, threatening to pass new rules that would make it harder for eligible voters, especially those from minorities and those who are poor, to register and vote.

- Sink Opposes Drilling Bill
State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has announced she opposes a bill in the state Legislature to allow near-shore oil and gas exploration. The measure "would threaten Florida's economy by bringing oil rigs three miles off our coast, sanctioning drilling in the shallow waters of the Gulf, and allowing unlimited pipelines to go through sensitive areas up to our beaches," Sink said in a statement.

-Our views: Big Oil's ambush
Legislature's late move for near-shore oil drilling must be stopped
It's Big Oil's sneak attack. With the clock ticking on the final days of the legislative session, the industry and its supporters are suddenly trying to ram through changes that would allow oil and gas drilling within 3 miles of Florida's coast.


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