Sunday, February 04, 2007


We'll begin our weekly tour here at home, as the Lakeland Ledger echos the warnings issued last week by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, which declared a water shortage and noted that the severity of that shortage could become much worse as Florida enters it's dry season. The Ledger notes that while restrictions on water use are a minor and occasional inconvenience, they should be taken very seriously when issued.

On a somewhat related note, the Sarasota Herald Tribune editorial page says that Floridians should pay special heed to the warnings issued last week in an international report on climate change released in Paris. Steadily higher temperatures, higher sea levels, stronger and more severe hurricanes will directly impact the Sunshine State, and the opinion says that government at all levels would be foolish to wait for more evidence before confronting the issue directly

While some remarks by U.S. Senator and Democratic 2008 presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden, Jr. of Deleware regarding Senate collegue and fellow candidate Barack Obama (D - IL) were meant to be complimentary, the wording was offensive to some in the African-American community. The Orlando Sentinel agrees, saying that "words matter, and his were inaccurate, insulting and painfully revealing".

The Daytona Beach News Journal opinion bring light to an embarassing subject in Florida education, the lack of time spent teaching social studies, government, civics, and geography to our students. Last month former U.S. Senator Bob Graham and former Congressman Louis Frey, Jr. with a group of experts in social studies curriculum and others published a list of suggestions to help correct that shortcoming, and the DBNJ strongly encourages education leaders to join the battle for change.

Today's editorial in the St. Petersburg Times notes that for the first time in two decades we may see a serious debate about Florida's tax structure. The opinion warns that lawmakers should move carefully, as there are no easy solutions and that simplistic approaches could result in disasterous results for many Floridians.

Taxes are also the subject of the editorial in the Tampa Tribune, which says that while lawmakers and the governor in Tallahassee are wielding axes, Hillsborough County Commissioners are being more cautious by a system of limiting property tax increases to a formula combining inflation and growth with allowances for emergencies and already-planned projects.

Make it a great Sunday!


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