Friday, April 10, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - January 10, 2009

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Sol Theatre Project, Inc.
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
Make plans for this Saturday or Sunday...
April 11 to April 26 - Thursdays & Saturdays at 8PM, or Sundays at 7PM
The Vagina Monologues - could be described at this point as an international phenomenon. Since first performed in 1997 in the basement of a café in New York's Greenwich Village, over 800 productions have been staged in over 30 countries.

Palm Beach County Human Rights Council

(Tallahassee) Forty Florida legislators are working to enact a statewide law to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in employment, housing and public accommodations. At the request of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, state senator Ted Deutch (D-Boca Raton) and state representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton) have introduced legislation (SB 2012/HB 397) to expand the protected classes in both the Florida Civil Rights Act and Florida's Fair Housing Act. The Council is a non-profit organization that has been in the forefront of Florida's gay rights movement since 1988.

Thank you for being involved in Dining Out For Life. This week we have an exciting festival to introduce to you and a special offer from one of our participating restaurants. Please visit to see the current list of restaurants. If you visit one of our participating restaurants prior to April 30th, be sure to thank them for supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Gay marriage laws should have no affect on Fla.
By Alva James-Johnson
We're not all going to agree on how a marriage should be defined. That's OK. We live in a country that honors differences of opinion, and the democratic process. That's why the Iowa legislature's decision to recognize gay marriage should have no impact on Florida. Florida voters had the opportunity to weigh in on the issue in November. They approved a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Unless that is changed, gay marriage should not be recognized in the Sunshine State. As a resident of Florida, there are laws that the legislature has passed that I disagree with. Does that mean I don't follow them? No. What it means is that I must obey the laws while I'm in the boundaries of Florida. And I have two options: I could go through the proper channels to have the laws changed. Or I could move to a state that better reflects my values. Plain and simple. Now that Iowa and other states have embraced gay marriage, it may very well be a sign that Florida is soon to follow. And you can bet the pro-gay marriage crowd will continue to push the state in that direction. But it will require approval of 60 percent of the voters to ammend the constitution. And untiil then, we should all live within the law.

-Karnival Beach Club joins Fort Lauderdale gay, lesbian scene
Carnival-themed, three-story bar joins gay scene in Fort Lauderdale.
By Courtney Hambright
Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here. boasts more lesbian and gay bars than just about any other town in the universe, but how many of them are actually on the beach? Karnival Beach Club fills that gap in the gay party scene. The three-story nightclub is in the little strip of bars and tattoo shops behind Primanti Brothers at the corner of State Road A1A and Sunrise Boulevard. The bar brings together the
city's casual beach culture with weekly themed parties such as Freaky Friday, Saturday T-Dance and Swimsuit Sunday.,0,1985365.story

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Longtime activist Cindy Brown is organizing Miami Beach's first Gay Pride parade and festival
Cindy Brown's close friends and family have known her sexual orientation since she was 18. But back in the '70s during the Anita Bryant era, being a lesbian wasn't something she wanted to broadcast. In 1992, Brown joined dozens of others in successfully lobbying Miami Beach commissioners for a citywide gay-rights ordinance. After she spoke at City Hall, a news broadcast identified her as a ``lesbian gay-rights activist.'' ''I consider myself one, but at that point in my life, I wasn't ready to have it on the TV,'' Brown recalled. ``Now, I'm ready to wear it on a T-shirt.'' More .

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Chatting with the mayor-to-be of Oakland Parl
Anthony Niedwiecki talks marriage, Naugle, and activism
Anthony Niedwiecki is a familiar face to South Florida residents: the longtime GLBT activist and Nova Southeastern University law professor was recently elected to the Oakland Park City Commission. Niedwiecki won with a 65% majority, which places him in line to become Vice Mayor Oakland Park in 2010 and Mayor in 2011.

-Gay men attacked, severely beaten
Victim found on Oakland Park Blvd.
The Broward Sheriff Department is searching for a group of men suspected in the beatings of two gay men in Broward County earlier this week. David Villanova, 27, and Craig Cohen, 47, were beaten in the early morning hours of Monday, April 6 by the same group of men, according to BSO. The victims were attacked separately, within hours of each other’s incidents.

-Susan Stanton hired as Lake Worth city manager
Beat out three other candidates
Susan Stanton was chosen from four candidates to become the new City Manager for Lake Worth, Florida. Of the five city commissioners for Lake Worth, three voted for Stanton as their first pick; mayor Jeff Clemens initially supported another candidate, but voluntarily changed his vote to also support Stanton.

-Pridelines Youth ‘10 in Ten Days’ fundraisier drive
Groups aims to raise $10,000
Pridelines Youth Services in Miami has launched their “10 in 10 Days” fundraiser where they plan to reach a goal of receiving $10,000 in 10 days of fundraising. The fundraiser runs now through Friday, April 17th. Pridelines Youth Services is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment for South Florida’s LGBTQ youth and their allies. You can help them out by making a contribution by visiting their website, or calling 305-571-9601.

-Gavin Newsom swings by SoFla
Speaks on battle for marriage equality
Gavin Newsom swept through South Florida during the weekend of April 4 and 5, on a fundraising trip to "explore" a possible run for the California governor's office. Newsom's visit to South Florida was intended to tap the deep pockets of political donors in the area, including those in the GLBT community. He attended $500-per-person private receptions in Miami and Aventura, meetings with Miami Dade elected officials to learn about their best practices, a fundraiser at Halo Lounge in Miami Beach, and a visit to the Compass Community Center in Lake Worth, Fla.

-Care Resource Center expands in Broward
Funding from Federal Stimulus Bill
South Florida’s oldest and largest non-profit HIV/AIDS community healthcare provider, Care Resource, is expanding its scope of services to the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (GLBT) community in Broward County. Care Resource was recently designated a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) thanks to new stimulus funds made available under President Barack Obama. The federal dollars -- $650,000 per year for the first two years – allow Care Resource to expand medical care services to those who are predominately low income and in need of healthcare services.

-Drag superstar Nikki Adams joins Broward House
Adams now Community Liaison/Event Coordinator
Local entertainer Nikki Adams has joined Broward House as their new Community Liaison/Event Coordinator. Adams has been entertaining the local community for over thirty years and is a former Miss Florida F.I. “Her creativity will be a significant part of any event Broward House now puts on and her knowledge of the South Florida community will help keep Broward House headed in the right direction,” said Terry DeCarlo, Director of Public Relations for Broward House. Nikki’s first big task is to assist in the Broward House “Hope’s Heroes” and gala awards banquet to be held on April 30th.


Go to the links for the following articles:

-Hastings, Klein and Wexler want Obama to protect panthers
The Associated Press
Three South Florida congressmen are asking President Obama to protect the Florida panther. "It's an important issue, since so few of them are left," Lale Mamaux, a spokeswoman for Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miami, told the St. Petersburg Times.,0,2812481.story

-Orchid society hosts Wine & Jazz in the Gardens
Fundraiser will feature a silent auction, food and musicians from the Gold Coast Society
Help the garden grow while soaking in jazz and sipping wine at the American Orchid Society. The final Wine & Jazz in the Gardens will be April 16 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the society's botanical gardens, 16700 AOS Lane, Delray Beach.,0,7687158.story

Miami Herald
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-Investigation ordered into conduct of Broward judge, prosecutor
Accusations of misconduct by a Broward judge and prosecutor are under scrutiny in a death penalty case. The state's highest court has ordered a hearing to determine the veracity of allegations that a Broward judge and prosecutor had improper conversations about a death penalty case outside the courtroom.

From Ron Mills

-Broward Tea Bagging
Despite these attempts to make the “movement” appear organic, the principle organizers of the local events are actually the lobbyist-run think tanks Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. The two groups are heavily staffed and well funded, and are providing all the logistical and public relations work necessary for planning coast-to-coast protests:
– Freedom Works staffers coordinate conference calls among protesters, contacting conservative activists to give them “sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country.”
– Freedom Works staffers apparently moved to “take over” the planning of local events in Florida.
– Freedom Works provides how-to guides for delivering a “clear message” to the public and media.
To read about the phoney Broward Tea bagging go to:

-Newly minted activist organizes Broward's version of 'tax day tea party' protest
Anthony ManLauren O'Brien sat on her couch a few weeks ago to relax with a little FOX News. Midway through a show hosted by one of her favorite media talkers, Glenn Beck, O'Brien began her transformation from mom, wife and full-time college student to activist. She heard about "tea parties," a series of anti-tax protests planned for April 15 - the federal income tax deadline day – searched the Internet, and discovered none for Broward County. Before Beck's program was off the air, she was the coordinator of the Broward Tax Day Tea Party. On the Wednesday’s protest agenda, O'Brien said: opposition to taxes, the federal economic stimulus package, and bailouts of corporations and people who can’t pay their mortgages. "I just am very disenheartened with the things that have been going on lately with the government," said the Sunrise resident, who's never before done anything political. "I got inspired." O'Brien, 24, said she was inspired by concern for her two children, ages 3 and nine months. "I see the direction that we're going and it has me scared for the future."

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-GOP govs get dose of stimulus reality
The list of governors threatening to decline federal stimulus money last month read like a list of Republicans considering running for president in 2012: Govs. Mark Sanford, Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin led the anti-stimulus charge. But what began with a bang is ending with something closer to a whimper. All three of those governors have been forced to scale back their expectations, to varying degrees, as the push of conservative philosophy gave way to the pull of political reality.

-EDITORIAL: Votes disappear in the mail
Palm Beach Post Editorial
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge David Crow has provided another reason to avoid casting an absentee ballot. Even if you mail your ballot on time, it may not count. In the Palm Beach mayoral election decided in favor of incumbent Jack McDonald by one vote, Judge Crow rejected nine absentee ballots delivered to the supervisor of elections post office box the morning after the election. At issue: Were they in the post office box at 7 p.m. on Election Day?

-If Florida Gov. Crist runs for Senate, expect run on his job
The whole Florida Cabinet is considering a run for governor next year. Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson said today he is considering a bid for the top job, if Gov. Charlie Crist runs for the U.S. Senate. Crist has insisted he won't make his decision until after the legislative session.

-Miami-Dade hotel taxes plunge 24 percent in February
Tourism continues to worsen in Miami-Dade, with hotel taxes dropping faster in February than they did in January. Taxes charged on hotel guests plunged 24 percent in February, compared to a 17 percent drop in January. The continued deterioration comes as hotels slash rates to fill beds and businesses pull back on travel.

-Anti-abortion fight, round 3
By Gary Fineout
For the third time in two years, a controversial state-funded program meant to steer women away from abortion has become a flashpoint in the state budget. The Florida Senate’s version wipes out the $2 million set aside for the “crisis counseling” program, while the House’s keeps the funding intact.

-Gov. Charlie Crist appoints Broward lawyer to bench
Sunrise lawyer Ed Merrigan will be the newest edition to Broward County Court. On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Crist announced Merrigan's appointment to the judgeship previously held by Robert Zack.

-Florida to get first solar-powered city
By Ayesha Rascoe
A Florida utility and a real estate developer are aiming to bring the country's first solar-powered city to the Sunshine State. FPL Group Inc's utility Florida Power & Light is working with the realty group Kitson & Partners to construct what the utility says will be the world's largest photovoltaic solar plant in a planned, environmentally friendly city near Fort Myers in southwestern Florida.

-$533 million Everglades land deal gets initial go-ahead
Andy Reid
South Florida water managers today gave the initial go-ahead to Gov. Charlie Crist's scaled-down, $533 million land deal for Everglades restoration. The South Florida Water Management District now must negotiate the final details with U.S. Sugar Corp. for the purchase of 72,500 acres that would be used to help restore water flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades.,0,868636.story

-Downsized U.S. Sugar deal still too costly, water managers complain
Gov. Charlie Crist's revamped land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. may be $800 million cheaper, but it's not much better, water managers said today. Several leaders of the South Florida Water Management District, the state agency charged with paying for Crist's high-stakes Everglades restoration initiative, gave the latest negotiated terms of the deal harsh reviews, calling the now-$533 million price too high. They also called the terms too generous, saying they would likely leave half the caneland in the company's control for the next two decades.

-State can't afford an about-face on higher education
Florida's legislators are wrestling with an unprecedented decline in general revenues. While some talk about embracing Indian gaming as part of a solution, there's a much higher-stakes game in play -- a game that risks the future of Florida by dismantling badly needed state programs, including public higher education.


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