SUNDAY FLORIDA EDITORIAL ROUNDUP
Let's begin our weekly tour here at home, where the Lakeland Ledger editorial page criticizes
the Lakeland Police Department
for it's handling of the DUI arrest last weekend of Polk County Commissioner Randy Wilkinson
, stonewalling it's release of tests, reports, and videotapes until after the primary election last Tuesday. The State Attorney's office dropped charges after it was clear that Mr. Wilkinson was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, only fatigue after a long night of putting up campaign signs. He did win the GOP nomination for reelection to his commission seat by a slim margin.
With the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of the USA only a day away, the Daytona Beach News Journal reminds us
how quickly the sympathy and concern from around the world has turned into apprehension, contempt, and dread. It says that the cause is that "the Bush presidency played into the hands of anti-Americanism and jihadists, fostering the very hatreds it aimed to dissuade"
, and that it "went from promising appropriate payback and protection to war-mongering, with arbitrary retreats on the rule of law at home and dramatic setbacks for democratic reforms in the face of radicalized regimes in the Middle East"
.The Orlando Sentinel notes
that five years after the attacks on New York, the Pentagon, and the plane crash in Pennsylvania, Americans are still not safer as homeland security is weakened by petty politics and that Congress should take a more effective, less political approach to the subject.
On a somewhat related subject, the Tampa Tribune opines
that those people calling for what it calls an "unconditional retreat"
from Iraq are "dangereously mistaken
", saying that leaving before it's government has a monopoly on power would tear the country apart along ethnic lines which would "threaten the interests of the United States and our friends in the Middle East"
.The City of Sarasota
plans to hire two new code enforcers, and today's opinion in the Sarasota Herald Tribune says
that tales of hellish conditions persist at some of the city's rental properties such as "overcrowding, electrical hazards, filth and lack of plumbing"
. The newspaper urges that this be the priority of code enforcement officers, teaming if needed with police.Today's editorial in the St. Petersburg Times
deals with the practice around Florida of court cases being kept off the public docket improperly. It calls for uniforminity be established in the state's court system, and refers to a draft proposal by the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers which would sharply restrict the ability of judges to remove cases from the public record "a good place to start"
In Jacksonville, the editorial in today's Florida Times-Union slams Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland
for a parade of errors that occured during Tuesday's primary election, which the rookie SOE had over a year to prepare for. The mistakes were so serious in some cases that some African-American pastors are calling for state or federal oversight of the November general election.
And speaking of elections, the Pensacola News Journal is noting
that the positive vote for the city's Community Maritime Park on Tuesday is not the only sign of change in the local political landscape, as the November general elections could bring even more change to Pensacola and Escambia County.
Growing pains at the Brevard Cultrual Alliance is the subject of today's opinion by the Melbourne-based Florida Today
. The Space Coast newspaper says that it is time for a revamped BCA which better meets the needs of the local arts community and is true to it's mission.The Miami Herald reminds us
that Congress has been back at work for a week now, but the prospects of moving long-promises and needed legislation on subjects such as immigration, lobbying, and fiscal discipline remain dim before the November general elections. It makes the point that those members who put political concerns before the nation's do so at their own peril.The Gainesville Sun editorial page takes note
of the bitter irony that "when American troops freed Afghanistan from Taliban rule they also freed its corrupt warlords, entreprenuers and farmers to rebuild the world's most lucrative drug trade"
. The short-and-sweet piece includes a quote from Antonio Maria Costa
, Director of the United Nations Office on Drug Control and Crime Prevention
, regarding a record opium harvest in Afghanistan
with exceeds global consumption by 30 percent.
The agribusiness industry in Southwest Florida has not had to use the guest worker programme to fill some of the estimated 16,000 seasonal-worker jobs needed in the area. The programme requires, as the Naples Daily News editorial mentions
, that growers have to search the local job market for workers already here, then they have to agree to transport, house, and feed workers, paying them a fair wage of at least $8.56 an hour. The Daily News
opinion is supportive of the guest-worker programme, noting that "Add medical care, and we would say that the guest worker program has it just about right"
and that agribusiness will have to carry more of it's fair share to support it.
Back in north-central Florida, the Ocala Star Banner takes note
that women did rather well in area races, winning three and forcing runoffs in two others. It states that being should no longer be considered a drawback to running for public office.
While West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel
has maintained for some time that crime is down and her city is safe, the facts argue otherwise...as she acknowledged this week when announcing that an additional $2 million has been found in the new budget to hire 25 more uniformed police officers. That has the Palm Beach Post editorial writers asking
what has changed: Crime in WPB, or the mayor's acknowledgement of it?
Down in Fort Lauderdale, the South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial page
looks to Venezuela and the prospects for that nation's presidential election in December. It makes a point of mentioning that unity has proven elusive among opponents of incumbant Hugo Chavez in the past, something that will be necessary in order to defeat the abrasive leader. They will need to address the issues of poverty and show that concern is genuine instead of political showmanship.
And taxes are the concern in today's Tallahassee Democrat opinion
. It calls on officials to be very clear about what money is needed to fund the same services at the same level, and how much will be needed to improve or expand those services. And it opines that a little tax relief would help as well as strengthen trust between taxpayers and their local government.
Of course, thanks for stopping by, be sure you check out some of the previous posts you may have missed during the past few days, and make it a great Sunday...and GO BUCS