FLORIDA SUNDAY EDITORIAL ROUNDUP
We begin in the Panhandle, where the Pensacola News Journal lauds
a site selection committee of a new wastewater treatment plant for it's decision in resolving many of the toughest questions on the technical, enviromental, and some political issues. But it calls on the Pensacola City Council
and Escambia County Commission
to step up if needed to help pay for the project.
In the state capitol, the Tallahassee Democrat opinion today
is to disagree with the state's subsidy known as Citizens Property Insurance
protecting those who choose to invest in Florida beachfront property, and that those who do should admit they are high-risk investors prepared to accept the consequences when hurricanes come across the state.
Moving along I-10 east, the Florida Times Union is concerned
at Florida's infant mortality rate, which has risen between 2000 and 2002 while the national rate has decreased. Especially troubling is the infant mortality rate for Jacksonville-Duval County at 10.5 deaths per 1,000, significantly higher than the rest of the state and highest among other metropolitian areas statewide.
Rising gas prices is on the minds of everyone, but as the new term begins for colleges and universities, the Gainesville Sun notes
the rising price of textbooks and the debate it has sparked. The piece also gives advise for enterprising students to possibly cut their costs.
Down the road, this morning's editorial in the Ocala Star-Banner applauds
on it's ruling regarding Florida State University's
usage of it's Seminole nickname and symbols in postseason championship events. Now it calls on the organization to reverse the policy which caused the firestorm in the first place. The Sarasota Herald Tribune also weighs in
on the issue, reminding FSU to ensure that it's depiction of it's mascot is accurate and respectful.
Skipping over to the east coast, economic development in the aviation and space technology industries in the Orlando/Daytona Beach region is the subject of today's opinion in the Daytona Beach News Journal.
It touts the key educational link as being Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
in Daytona Beach, and it's proposed 140 acre aeronautical/aerospace research park
near it's campus.
Moving along I-4, the Orlando Sentinel laments
former State Transportation Secretary Jose Abreu
for quietly signing agreements allowing billboards which were technically destroyed during last year's hurricanes to be rebuilt in violation of the federal Highway Beautification Act.Florida Today makes the point
that while the Florida Power & Light
rate freeze is welcome news to consumers, it is only a short reprieve and calls for significant change at the Florida Public Service Commission
noting that the agency is much too cozy with the companies it is supposed to regulate: --- Requiring PSC members to be administrative law judges, working under strict judicial ethical codes.
--- Replacing the current nomination procedure, which is now twisted by political contributions and influence.
--- Setting up a truly independent public counsel under the state Attorney General's office, with enough staff to vigorously represent citizens.Today's editorial in the Palm Beach Post calls
on the Florida Commission on Ethics
to do a better job in investigating allegations that Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty
accepted improper gifts from lobbyists and developers who had business before the board.
The battle continues over oil and gas development off Florida's coast, and this morning's South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial encourages
readers to use the Interior Department's
public comment period through October 11th to make their views known in opposition to drilling and that the current ban not be lifted.
Just down the road, the Miami Herald calls
Florida's greenbelt law "an egregious example of greed and irresponsibility",
noting that while the 1959 law was intended to preserve agricultrual and ranch lands, the weak law allowed tax breaks to developers who turned such lands into strip malls, warehouses, and housing. The Herald
calls on the Legislature to strengthen the law to truly protect agricultrual land.
I-75 improvements are on the minds of the editorial board at the Naples Daily News, who question the need
of an interchange at Coconut Road added as a $10 million "earmarked" addition to the congressional transportation bill.
Redistricting reform is the subject of today's editorial in the St. Petersburg Times
, which believes that while one of the three petitions aimed at producing fairer political boundries may be scrapped (it is six words too long per state statute), the other two are still worth fighting for.
And The Tampa Tribune is calling for
more concern by policymakers as homeowners insurance rates continue to skyrocket and companies leave the Sunshine State or announce they will no longer write policies for certain types of insurance.