Sunday, June 19, 2005


Starting close to home, the Lakeland Ledger state that Florida's U.S. House and Senate delegation deserves a ride on the bandwagon after last week's agreement that the current ban on oil and natrual gas drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is not currently in danger. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune also weighs in on the subject, saying that Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez must keep guard against drilling advocates.

The subject of affordable housing is noted in the Orlando Sentinel editorial, which states that government and business have a role toward creating more of it in the area. A similar concern is given by the Ocala Star-Banner editorial, which calls for county commissioners to accept the recommendations of Marion County Community Services director Evelyn Rusciolelli to raise price ceilings under the state's SHIP housing assistance program.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Tribune takes Clear Channel Entertainment to task regarding the Ford Ampitheatre noise controversy, and says that CCE should keep it's word to resolve concerns of it's residential neighbours or the Hillsborough County Enviromental Protection Commission should seek litigation or legislation for relief.

Across Tampa Bay, the St. Petersburg Times criticizes the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission for it's continued prosecution of Hillsborough County Judge Gregory Holder on what it calls "dubious charges of plagiarism" for allegedly cribbing a paper for a military course (Holder is a member of the Air Force Reserve)...although the Air Force has dropped any charges against him and there are questions as to if this is a frameup for Holder's cooperation with a federal investigation of corruption within the Hillsborough County judiciary.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal is calling for an independent, non-partisan commission to be formed which would redraw Florida's congressional and legislative district boundries. This idea was pushed by former Education Commissioner and U.S. Senatorial candidate Betty Castor, whose Campaign for Florida's Future is continuing to promote such a panel.

The proposed firing of Duval County Health Department director Dr. Jeffery Goldhagen by state officials because of an apparant conflict for accepting $25,000 for teaching two years at the University of North Florida is seen by the Florida Times-Union editorial board as a dramatic lack of interest in Jacksonville by state health department officials. The decision on Goldhagen's future is being reconsidered.

Florida Today calls on Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker to accept recommendations to his department's policy on the surveillance of peaceful protests as made by the local ACLU chapter in addition to revisions which will take effect tomorrow. The revisions toughen previous rules under which deputies secretly spied on, photographed, and created dossiers on individuals who were actively protesting Bush administration policies after 9/11.

The Fort Myers News Press laments the closing off of areas where All Terrain Vehicles can legally operate, calling for more room for ATVs while toughening enforcement of laws against street operation and trespassing.

The request by Key West restaurant Sloppy Joe's (which touts itself as Ernest Hemmingway's eatery of choice) for an exemption on the state ban on smoking laws for such establishments is not a good idea, according to the Gainesville Sun editorial. I noted earlier in the week of another restaurant seeking a similar exemption in Venice.

Today's Miami Herald opinion is that foes of tyranny can find inspiration in the case of Myanmarise opposition leader and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who is spending her 60th birthday under house arrest in the military run Asian state.

The Naples Daily News looks at the FCAT results for Collier County's schools, noting that it gives the community an accountability snapshot. Over half of it's 44 schools graded A or B, with no F schools.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale opines that while competition heats up for a slice of aerospace business, especially with private business to become a bigger part of the picture and other states begin actively luring companies and making major investments to do it, Florida should not shy away but compete aggressively to maintain it's position of America's "Space Central".


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