SUNDAY FLORIDA EDITORIAL ROUNDUP
First, let me explain that if this weekly feature does not seem as complete as usual, it is due to the fact that I am leaving early this morning due to work commitments.
Beginning in the Panhandle, the Pensacola News Journal applauds the recent purchase by the Nature Conservancy of more than 11,000 acres of undeveloped land in nearby Santa Rosa County from International Paper Company. The newspaper reminds us that saving land from development is often the best way to reduce government spending (read: infastructure) and avoid increases in property taxes.
In the state capitol, today's Tallahassee Democrat notes that area officials and the community have done a lot to improve it's standing among mid-size cities across the nation. But it says there is still more to be done, and with changes in the air on several fronts, it is important that the city not simply rely on it's Southern charm and natrual beauty, but become more savvy as well.
What do you do with a gutted historic landmark which was once a major centre of Jacksonville's LaVilla neighbourhood and the city's African-American community? The Florida Times Union says the city should take back the Genovar's Hall land from a fraternity it had deeded the site to and financially supported as the project to restore the building lacked focus on several fronts.
Former President Bill Clinton may have been out of office for awhile, but he continues to work, building on the relationships and connections he made while in office to benefit his foundation. It made news this past week with announcements made at Clinton's Global Initiative for a $10 million clean water initiative for Africa and British billionaire Sir Richard Branson's commitment of $3 billion over ten years to combat global warming. The Gainesville Sun notes that however people may think about Clinton's term in the White House, the time after is proving to be time well spent.
Today's Ocala Star Banner editorial reminds readers that the area's annual One Book, One Community literacy and community building programme begins today. It mentions that the Marion County Public Library, which sponsors the event, has chosen Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' Pulitizer Prize-winning classic The Yearling as the featured book for residents to pick up. Rawlings lived in the Cross Creek area of Marion County, based many of her stories on the Florida "Crackers" who lived near her, and The Yearling is based in the area.
As citizens throughout much of Florida are complaining about their tax bills, the Daytona Beach News Journal uses it's editorial space today to promote the idea of reforming the state's tax system...especially in the areas of sales and property taxes. It mentions that by eliminating special interest tax breaks, Floridia's sales tax could realistically be lowered from the current six percent to four percent without losing revenue.
Just down I-4, the Orlando Sentinel takes note of a master plan for downtown Orlando recently commissioned by local officials, and supports the effort saying that it is vital that leaders throughout the region realize that it's fortunes rely on a vibrant, active downtown area.
Here at home, the Lakeland Ledger looks at the motion picture rating system and the need for changes to make it fairer. The editorial highlights a new documentary by filmmaker Kirby Dick, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, that show flaws in the system, and raters who no longer meet the Motion Picture Association of America's guidelines for the post.