Friday, May 08, 2009

FLORIDA DIGEST - May 08, 2009

and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Steve Rothaus
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-Justin Flippen Leaves Position with Broward Mayor Ritter
Justin Flippen has left his position in Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter's office for a job at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau which he will start Monday. Flippen worked on Ritter's 2006 campaign and then was hired by her office after she won. Since then, he was elected to the Wilton Manors City Commission where he now serves as Vice Mayor. Wilton Manors is not in Ritter's district. "I suggested that it was maybe time for Justin to move on,'' Ritter said. "Maybe working as an aide to a county commissioner when you are a city commissioner is kind of awkward.'' Ritter, who is guiding commissioners as they are looking for ways to cut up to $160 million from the budget, said she has no plans to replace Flippen. "I don't think that I need three fulltime aides,'' she said. Flippen, a former president of the gay Dolphin Democrats, said that he and Ritter talked last year when he was running for office that he would eventually find another job. "We knew it would present unique circumstances for a city official to work for a county official,'' Flippen said. Ritter didn't ask the bureau to hire Flippen, said Nicki Grossman, bureau president. Grossman said she was meeting with Flippen a couple months ago to discuss tourism matters when he expressed an interest in a job. Flippen will promote Broward as a tourist destination at trade shows, Grossman said. "He is a city commissioner in a city that has become very important to our tourism product,'' she said. "I don't know that he needed special destination experience.''

Miami Herald
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-Photo gallery | Aqua Girl 2009 weekend draws women from across the U.S. to
South Beach
The 10th annual Aqua Girl fundraising party on South Beach is in full swing. I attended the Welcome to Paradise party Thursday night at the host hotel, Surfcomber Resort, and met women from all across the U.S., including New York, Maine, Chicago and Nebraska.
From the Aqua Girl website:
As the largest charity women's week in the country, your participation in Aqua Girl contributes to a very good cause. In fact, 100% of the proceeds from Aqua Girl weekend benefit the Aqua Foundation for Women, a not-for-profit-foundation whose primary mission is to promote the equality, strength, health, and visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.
Monies raised during the Foundation's signature week Aqua GirlT Week, as well as through individual and corporate donations go directly to educate, empower and foster the women's communities.
Over the past five years the AFW has giving out over $260,000 in grants and scholarships to empower and foster our community.
Aqua Girl runs through Sunday. Click here for more information:

Vice Mayor Ken Keechl Is Honorary Chair of
Friends of The Mental Health Association EPIC Awards
Broward County Vice Mayor Ken Keechl will serve as Honorary Chairman of the 14th Annual EPIC Awards Luncheon, honoring community leaders who have made a positive contribution to the mental wellness of others in the community. The 2009 luncheon is planned for Wednesday, May 20th at the Embassy Suites at 1100 S.E. 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale. The event, which stands for Exceptional People Impacting the Community, is being presented by the Friends of the Mental Health Association of Broward, (MHA) under the chairmanship of Sandra Booth and Chuck Williams. Ken Keechl's reputation as a champion for rights along with his well known advocacy for children, link him directly to the goals and agenda of MHA. Mental Health America, MHA Broward's national partner, is celebrating 100 years of advocacy for rights of persons with mental illnesses and for prevention services that promote healthy lifestyles for children today and for their futures. The Vice Mayor's vision and voice demonstrate his ongoing commitment to those same ideals and values. Sandra Booth, stated, "We are honored to have the Vice Mayor as our 2009 EPIC host." [,,,[ To learn more about the organization, visit

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-Formal charges expected in death of Wilton Manors man killed after sexual
David Ovalle
A fingerprint discovered on a Nintendo Wii helped solve the murder of a Wilton Manors man whose throat was slashed after a three-way sexual tryst inside the home of a Miami Shores doctor, prosecutors say. Johnny Collins, 38, is scheduled to be formally charged with murder today in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in the slaying of Nestor Estefani, 40.,0,3813928.story

South Florida Blade
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-Steak, Scarpariello and straight guys-oh my!
Knife & Fork visit Las Olas Wine and Food Fest
There was a hastened anticipation that weaved through the line in which F and I stood; similar to the way it feels approaching the entry of an amusement park knowing what lies just beyond the turnstile. We shuffled behind fellow festers who, like us, were eager to trade their tickets for a wristband, a souvenir wine glass and a "butler's tray" (a plastic tray the size of a hardcover book), the tools necessary to partake in the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival. What lay before us was a marvelous sight: hundreds of tables aligning the street, offering samples from over sixty local restaurants, and more wine than F and I could shake a grapevine at. With proceeds supporting the American Lung Association, we felt it our duty to gorge ourselves and get hammered for charity.

-Florida Congresswoman co-sponsors GLBT bill
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen leads effort for anti-bullying law
Local U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) was a leading co-sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a federal anti-bullying bill introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. This new bill would fund school implementation of a comprehensive anti-bullying policy for groups targeted by bullies, including race, religion, and most notably sexual orientation and gender identity and others.

-Judy Tenuta live!
Love Goddess to perform in SoFla
By Dan Renzi
Attention all love goddesses! Comedian Judy Tenuta is performing tonight and tomorrow at Zo's Off The Hook Sports Grille, 2861 E.?Commercial?Blvd. We can't imagine this will be a big gay crowd, but Judy would appreciate the gay love nonetheless. Call 561-470-6887 for reservations. 9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday.

-The Miami Blowfish take on SoFla flag football
Latest group to join local intramural sports
South Florida's gay sports scene welcomes a new team: the Miami Blowfish is a flag football team currently looking for men and women who enjoy the game of football and all of its aspects. The team practices every Sunday, in preparation for this year's annual Gay Bowl in Washington, D.C. Everyone is welcome regardless of skill level, whether interested in playing competitively or recreationally.

-Switchboard to build GLBT 'virtual community center'
Grant funds effort to bring together social services
The Switchboard of Miami, a nonprofit organization that provides crisis phone counseling and referral services, has received a grant to explore the development of a GLBTQ Virtual Community Center. There will be a public discussion of the idea on Saturday, May 16th, starting at 10:00 a.m. The purpose of the meeting is to explore ways to unite the services that currently exist within the community, and bring them to an online format such as a web site, in order to reach a larger segment of our community at a lower cost.

-Helping our kids
Program trains foster parents in GLBT needs
Florida's GLBT kids who are kicked out of their homes for their sexual orientation, or whose parents are unable to take care of them, have a new resource that will assist in placement under foster care. The Family Resource Center of South Florida, in partnership with Yes Institute, has announced a new program for GLBT-friendly foster care.


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-Going by the book is a Supreme criteria for Supreme Court selection
Kingsley Guy
Elections have consequences. Among them is the makeup of supreme courts. In Florida, Republican Gov. Charlie Crist has made four appointments easily approved by the Republican-majority Legislature. Liberal opponents may cringe that the four aren't clones of the late hyper-liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, but all have impeccable legal credentials and Crist deserves high marks. Jorge Labarga distinguished himself particularly well while serving as a judge in Palm Beach Country during the 2000 election debacle, putting the law ahead of politics in his decisions.,0,2982863.column

-Bad bikers targeted in I-95 Broward crackdown tonight
Motorcyclists who flaunt traffic laws will be targeted this evening by a special law enforcement task force made up of police agencies from across Broward County. The Multi-Agency Aggressive Driving Task Force will be continuing Operation "BAD" ---Blitz on Aggressive Drivers--- from 7 p.m. until midnight along Interstate 95 from Griffin Rd. north to the Broward-Palm Beach County line.,0,1913150.story

-Former skinhead shares message of tolerance in West Boca
By Patty Pensa
Growing up, Angela King thought it was normal to hear racial slurs. After all, they came from her parents. King on Thursday described her early descent into the rough and hateful world of white supremacy groups. But despite almost a decade as a skinhead, it was a reformed King who stood before about 85 students at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy. Three years in prison saved her.,0,7628768.story

-Boynton Beach police bust identity theft ring, arrest 10
By C. Ron Allen
Police say they have busted a major identity theft and credit card ring that defrauded at least 20 residents of about $200,000. Most of those victims live in Boynton Beach, but detectives think there are many others in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.,0,2344513.story

Miami Herald
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-Classics rock at New World Symphony bash
The seasons may not change much here, but they sure do come to an end -- and for some, with a bigger bang than for others. Take the Friends of the New World Symphony, for example. . . . Finally, the girls of summer are in full swing this weekend thanks to Aqua Girl '09, the country's largest charity week for girls who like girls. All proceeds go to the Aqua Foundation for Women, a nonprofit group promoting equality, health, strength and visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women through community initiatives, grants and scholarships. A slew of soirees from a dinner party at China Grill Saturday night to a jazz brunch at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens are among the festivities. For more info, go to


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good one on mental wellness and it helps a lot.

Karim - Mind Power