Sunday, August 13, 2006


Another Sunday morning, another look at what the editorial writers at Florida's major newspapers are saying.

Let's begin in Jacksonville, where the murder rate continues to spike upward. The Florida Times Union is voicing some serious questions regarding Duval County Sheriff John Rutherford's strategies in battling the problem. He says that during his term in office violent crime has been cut in half from what it was 15 years ago, that crime overall has dropped, and staffing in high crime areas is adequete.

The issue of impact fees on new construction should be reignited in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the Panhandle, according to today's opinion in the Pensacola News Journal, especially in the face of plans for a proposed 4,100 acre development which could bring up to 30,000 new homes in central Escambia County.

Today's Miami Herald presents it's endorsements for six seats on the Miami-Dade County Commission, all but one an incumbant; the other an incumbant state legislator: District 2/State Representative Phillip J. Brutus (D), District 3/Audrey Edmonson, District 4/Sally Heyman, District 6/Rebeca Sosa, District 8/Katy Sorenson, and District 10/Javier Souto.

The Daytona Beach News Journal is endorsing State Senator Rod Smith in the Democratic primary for Governor. While the newspaper says that Florida Democrats are in the enviable position of having two strong candidates in the race, "Smith's initiative and leadership make him the better choice to face the Republican nominee". Smith also recieves the endorsement today from the Lakeland Ledger, which notes that the Alachua legislator "is a compelling speaker who has the ability to connect with voters of many political (and apolitical) persuasions. He demonstrated in his six years as a state senator that he can work with fellow Democrats and Republicans to solve problems and work through complex issues. In a Legislature dominated by the other party, that's no small accomplishment".

In addition, Smith also gets the endorsement of the St. Petersburg Times today for the Democratic primary, with Attorney General Charlie Crist earning the endorsement in the Republican primary.

The Palm Beach Post offers it's endorsements to Senator Smith in the Democratic primary, and AG Charlie Crist in the GOP race as well.

Back downstate, where in Fort Lauderdale the South Florida Sun Sentinel places it's endorsement with Ted Deutsch in the Democratic primary for State Senate District 30, being vacated by incumbant Democrat Ron Klein who is term limited and is running for Congress against Republican incumbant E. Clay Shaw, Jr.. The winner between Deutsch and State Representative Irving L. Slosberg (D - Boca Raton) will face Libertarian Karl N. Dickey.

The new school year begins tomorrow in Leon County, and the Tallahassee Democrat reminds everyone that the need for mentoring is high. It also mentions that state and local mentoring programmes have been quite successful in the Capitol area, and encourages everyone to make the effort and sign up to help a young person this year.

In Melbourne, Florida Today encourages the state to help keep college affordable, stating that government should ante up more to fund higher education in Florida before forcing students and their families to bear the burden of higher tuition yet again.

The Naples Daily News editorial notes the end of the tax on investments and savings, signed into law by Governor Bush recently, stating that it "penalized those who chose to work, save, and invest for retirement".

Back to endorsements...or, at least, plans to endorse. The Fort Myers News Press uses it's editorial space to announce that it would make it's endorsements on primary races this week, beginning with Lee County Commission candidates Monday, school board candidates Tuesday, State House races Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday featuring it's selections in judicial races.

The Orlando Sentinel gives it's endorsement to Rich Crotty for another term as Orange County Mayor, College Park attorney Lawrence Kolin for the Orange County Commission District 2 seat, and incumbant Linda Stewart for reelection to her Orange County Commission District 4 spot.

The Gainesville Sun is concerned about especially low turnout for the primary election, as it comes at the end of the Labour Day holiday when most Floridians are on or returning from vacation and otherwise preoccupied with other matters, reminding everyone that "if 'mainstream' voters go to the polls in the November general election and find themselves saying 'None of these candidates reflect my values and beliefs,' it won't be because the candidates are out of touch with the voters. Rather, the voters were out of touch with the candidates.

Hurricane Charley and it's 145 mile per hour blast into Charlotte County is remembered two years later in today's Sarasota Herald Tribune editorial space, remembering that a number of residents there are still dealing with the aftermath of the storm.

And speaking of hurricanes: You can downgrade, but don't stand down. That's the opinion of today's Ocala Star Banner after the National Hurricane Center downgraded it's predictions for this hurricane season last week. They now forecast only seven to nine hurricanes, and up to 15 names storms (we've already had three).

The Tampa Tribune on Saturday endorsed Democratic State Senator Walter "Skip" Campbell of Tamarac in his effort to become the state's next Attorney General in the party primary. Today, it's concern is the Hillsborough County Commission. It's endorsements go to:

--- Tampa City Councilwoman Rose Ferlita in the Republican primary to decide who will face Democrat Mary Mulhern in November for the District 1 seat being vacated by Democratic incumbant Kathy Castor.

--- Chloe J. Coney in the Democratic primary for the District 3 seat, with the winner going up against Republican Ken Anthony and Independent John Michael Craig.

--- Lisa Rodriguez in the Democratic primary for District 4, being vacated by Republican incumbant Ronda Storms. The winner will meet GOP candidate and retired sheriff's deputy James Rowell.

Make it a great Sunday!


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