Friday, May 01, 2009


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Miami Herald
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-Welcome gay weddings
Florida is about to miss a golden opportunity for increased income in uncertain economic times. Couples are flocking to courthouses in Iowa -- Iowa! -- to be wed since the state recently legalized gay marriage. Florida has the infrastructure to support marriage-tourists. Imagine the revenue that could be pumped into local businesses by wedding parties and their guests coming to our sunny shores for ceremonies and receptions. If the moralists in Florida's Legislature have recently discovered a certain flexibility in their core beliefs that has them reconsidering the ills of gambling, perhaps it's time to realize that their resistance to people who aren't exactly like them must wane. Thousands of fellow citizens deserve to have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities of state-sanctioned marriage that my wife and I enjoy. But we've got to hurry, Vermont will begin allowing gay marriage in September, and our sun and beaches will have to compete with the brilliant colors of a New England fall.
TODD STIFF, Miami Springs

-Fort Lauderdale beach hotel targets hipsters
The W is going where no Fort Lauderdale hotel has gone before: after affluent hipsters. With stylists instead of housekeepers and brownie spa options, the chic hotel will pursue the cool, not just the rich.
Look up at the five large hoops suspended over the W Fort Lauderdale's driveway and you'll get a hint at the bold ambitions on display at the new hotel. ''The entire property has been done in feng shui and biophilia,'' sales director Chris Tompkins explained, rattling off new-age concepts of spiritual design. ``The rings above bring out your negative energy and empty it into the air.''

South Florida Blade
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-Stonewall Street Festival to place emphasis on education
Displays from Stonewall Library and Archives will be on hand during event
This year's Stonewall Street Festival and Parade in Wilton Manors will place added emphasis on education of the advancement of the gay rights movement throughout the years. According to Lance Horton, Executive Director of Pride of Greater Fort Lauderdale, there will be displays, some coming from the Stonewall Library and Archives, which show how the gay community has continuously gained their civil rights despite some setbacks. This returns Stonewall to the original goal set forth by the founders of the festival 10 years ago: to make the Stonewall festival a learning as well as a fun experience.

-State GLBT bill fails
Blame pinned on activist group, poor economy
As Florida's State Senate and House of Representatives wrap up their legislative sessions for 2009, the proposed bill to make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in housing, employment and public accommodations will not be brought to a vote. This is the third attempt that 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 the Florida Civil Rights Act and Florida's Fair Housing Act.

-Gay Men's Chorus stages British invasion
Will perform with groups from Ireland and Germany
The vocal talents of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus will be on display "across the pond," at the Various Voices concert May 1-4 in London, England. Thirty members of the melodic men's group will perform with Gloria-Ireland's Gay and Lesbian choir and Die Mainsirenen from Germany, in the show titled "Three of a Kind." The group is one of only three choirs from America asked to participate. "It's a huge production, we are very thrilled to be going," said FLGMC Administrator Bradley Bush.

-CDC issues guidance for HIV and swine flu
Those with HIV may experience more severe illness, complications
The CDC on Thursday issued "interim guidance" for clinicians treating patients with swine flu who are also HIV-positive. The full publication is available here. The document notes that people with compromised immune systems, including people with HIV, are more at risk for seasonal flu, and thus are more likely to be at risk for H1N1, or swine-origin, flu as well.


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-South Florida schools take swine flu precautions
Schools and day care centers in Broward and Palm Beach counties stress hygiene to parents
By Kathy Bushouse Brian Haas and Macollvie Jean-Francois
South Florida's schools and day-care centers are taking precautions and preaching the gospel of good hygiene, as concerns over swine flu escalate. School districts in Broward and Palm Beach counties sent notices home with students, reminding them to wash their hands and cover their mouths when they cough, and told employees to stay home if they're sick.,0,878576.story

-Broward County schools celebrate overall gain on FCAT writing test
Two schools in danger of closing showed turnarounds, but scores at several others fell
By Akilah Johnson
Fourth-grade students and their teachers at Larkdale Elementary School are thrilled: By writing their way to a double-digit gain on the FCAT, a school teetering on the brink of closing moved closer to staying put. "We showed up, and we showed out," Kiera Wesby, a fourth-grader at the Fort Lauderdale school, said today.,0,1369506.story

-Palm Beach County fourth-, eighth-graders improve on FCAT writing;
10th-graders drop slightly
Majority of schools do well, but a few dropped significantly
By Marc Freeman
You can tell just by looking at Eagles Landing Middle students that they don't back down from a challenge. So the 449 eighth-graders at the school west of Boca Raton were motivated for the FCAT writing exam.,0,2018026.story


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