Sunday, February 25, 2007


It is simply a beautiful Sunday morning here in north Lakeland...clear skies, a temperature in the upper 50s with a light breeze, low just seems like a great day to get out and enjoy the out of doors. Just do it early, though, as things will begin to change as the day progresses.

The effects of a big storm that is affecting the central states will begin to be felt here later in the day, only not as severe. We'll begin to see more clouds, higher humidity, and a slight chance of a shower or thundershower, with a better chance of getting rained on for much of the coming week.

Let's see what the editorial writers are concerned about this morning along the I-4 Corridor:

There has been a lot of talk recently about encouraging the Legislature to authorize the ticketing of red-light violaters caught by the use of intersection cameras. Now, drivers caught by these "red-light cameras" can only be issued warnings. The Orlando Sentinel joins the chorus favouring such a change in the law.

Here at home, the Lakeland Ledger takes note that one of what it calls the "mad hares in Tallahassee" has filed a bill to sell the state-run lottery to private interests, an idea which is being discussed in several states. The Ledger editorial writers believe it's a bad idea, mentioning that "It is a proverbial gold mine that any private company would like to have at the right price. All the more reason for the Legislature to leave it alone."

Obesity has become a serious problem in kids, and the University of South Florida is asking the state for $4 million to battle the problem through community outreach as well as hiring a team of 15 researchers and medical professionals; train doctors and physical education teachers; and create a repository of clinical data that could help health care professionals better understand obesity. It is a request being supported today in the editorial page of the Tampa Tribune as "an investment that could save thousands of lives and millions of dollars over the years".

Today's opinion in the St. Petersburg Times deals with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and how Governor Charlie Crist can work to change the way that it has resulted in pitting politicians against teachers. It offers several ideas for the St. Petersburg native, including inviting a teacher's point of element which has been missing from the FCAT accountability system in the eight years since it was started. Another call to overhaul FCAT comes this morning from the Melbourne-based Florida Today. The timing of these editorials is no surprise, as students take reading, math, and science portions of the test.

Also dealing with schools, the Daytona Beach News Journal looks at school concurrency as required beginning next year by state law, but effective September 30 in Volusia County thanks to voters approving a county charter amendment requiring planners to consider school capacity when considering new residential developments.

And the Sarasota Herald Tribune today offers it's endorsement to a proposed county charter amendment which would give the Sarasota County Commission authority to approve proposals which would make annexed rural lands ripe for city development, while protecting existing city-county planning agreements.

Make it a great Sunday, and a positive week ahead!


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