FLORIDA SUNDAY EDITORIAL ROUNDUP
Beginning here at home, the Lakeland Ledger opinion this morning reminds us
that in the wake of the recent ethics and bribery case against two members of Congress, it is imperative to reform current ethics rules. While the body is having difficulty following through on getting it done, there is at least some hope in that two Oregon representatives --- one Democrat
, one Republican
--- have proposed a new ethics panel consisting of former members of Congress. Also offering an opinion on the issue is the Miami Herald,
which said that while Congress is stalling when it comes to lobbying reform, could very well force the hand of represenentatives.
In northeast Florida, the Jacksonville-based Florida Times Union notes
that while Florida already bans the use of eminent domain rules for economic development, that has not stopped rules allowing such condemnation for blighted properties to be misused, in effect, for development. The editorial supports efforts in the Legislature to limit eminent domain powers to strictly public purposes such as roads, schools, and bridges.The Palm Beach Post is opposing an effort
by West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel
to have the city commission
repeal a public referendum passed ten years ago limiting buildings east of Olive Avenue to five stories, saying the city would benefit to sell the current city hall site to developers who would construct 15-20 floor hotel and condo towers there and using the money from such a deal to build a new city hall.
Seat belt use in Florida is mandated by law, but law enforcement officers are prohibited from citing a motorist of passenger from not wearing one unless he/she was pulled over for another traffic offense. The Gainesville Sun says
this morning that the prohibition makes a mockery of the law, and supports a bill filed by State Representative Irving L. (Irv) Slosberg
(D - Boca Raton) --- whose daughter was killed in a traffic accident ten years ago while not wearing a seat belt --- that would make not wearing a seat belt a primary enforceable offense.The St. Petersburg Times is concerned
that with the approval of two new medical schools at Florida International University
and the University of Central Florida
by the Board of Governors
, it invites a new round of legislative meddling in higher education programmes. The editorial reminds us that the last time a med school programme was denied, for Florida State University
in 1999, the Legislature eliminated the Board of Regents and creating the school anyway.
Turning to northwest Florida, the Pensacola News Journal wonders
why an Escambia County sheriff's deputy was not arrested and charged with criminal offenses outlined in a recent internal report regarding aggravated battery and tampering with evidence, and questions just how much more wrongdoing has been covered up at an agency
which the editorial says has a long history of violence and alleged misbehaviour.
Instead of presenting an opinion about a particular issue, the Naples Daily News is checking out it's readers' news smarts
. The newspaper's editorial spot features a multi-choice news quiz regarding several local issues. I wonder how many have been paying attention...Today's Orlando Sentinel editorial says
that it's bad enough that despite state and national do-not-call registries, you still get those annoying solicitation calls. Now they're coming through on cell phones, and the Sentinel
supports a proposed bill which would prohibit solicitors from calling cellular phone numbers without the customer's prior consent, but says that besides allowing consumers to file a civil lawsuit, the law should open offending companies to the same penalties included in the Florida Telemarketing Act
Starting over the idea of outsourcing with a fresh approach. That's the idea supported by the Tallahassee Democrat opinion
, applauding efforts by State Senator Nancy Argenziano
(R - Dunnellon) and the Governmental Oversight and Productivity Committee
for their efforts in Senate Bill 2518
which would require state agencies to develop a detailed business plan through certified negotiators.The Tampa Tribune weighs in on a controversial issue
this morning...abortion. While reminding us that each member of the newspaper's editorial board have their own opinions about abortion but believes that should it should be legal, but it can be regulated in several ways. They 1) support the challenged ban on partial-birth abortions, 2) support parential notification for minors, 3) abhor abortion as a means of birth control, 4) believe it should be allowed in cases of rape and incest, and to protect the life of the mother, and 5) hope for a society where abortion is rare. A reasonable, rather moderate stance that most Americans agree with.The opinion of today's Daytona Beach News-Journal is
that for the state to set higher standards based on recommendations
from the Florida High School Reform Task Force
which would also set up higher academic goals for the state's high schools and attempt to make school revelant to teenagers while also requiring students to set career paths at about age 13 which would determine their course of study of the next four years. The editorial says that in setting up such higher standards, an effort must be made to focus on those students who will be involved, reminding them that they would be able to alter their choices.The Sarasota Herald Tribune notes
that the clock is fast ticking away on Charlotte County
's decision to waive provisions of it's "transfer of density unit" ordinance for the Babcock Ranch development, with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
urging commissioners to delay votes to allow such a waiver and changing the county's comprehensive plan until more information is received from the developer, afraid that if they do so other developers will follow with similar requests.
This morning's opinion in the Melbourne-based Florida Today agrees
with comments by two United States Supreme Court
judges which are concerned with attacks from the far-right on an independent judiciary, fearing that such remarks are resulting in a "climate of violence" against judges, and against efforts by lawmakers which would, in effect, eliminate the balance of power between the legislative and judicial branches of government.
What to do about no-fault auto insurance? The clock is ticking, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel,
and the Legislature needs to re-enact no-fault insurance but with revisions which would provide additional funding and tougher penalties to combate fraud. PIP coverage is currently scheduled to end next fall.In today's Ocala Star-Banner, the editorial gives
, in effect, urges the state's Florida First long term programme to acquire and protect enviromentally important lands, to act quicker in making a deal with Coral Gables-based developer Avatar Holdings
to purchase a 5,200 acre tract near Silver Springs
, which it is proceeding to turn into an 11,000 home community known as Ocala Springs. The opinion is that if developed, the Ocala Springs would forever change east Ocala and potentially destroy Silver Springs.
Finally, an enviromential issue also is highlighted in the Fort Myers News-Press opinion page
, noting it's excitment in seeing Dr. Betsy Henry's science class at Trafalgar Middle School
in Cape Coral working in the fight to protect the Calooshatchee River and it's estuary
and reminding us that young people such as this group should be encouraged and listened to.
I hope your Sunday will be fun. We will be belatedly celebrating my granddaughter's fifth birthday this afternoon with food and gifts, with highs expected here in central Florida near 70 and a low tonight in the upper 30s...probably the last relatively cool burst of the season. Enjoy!