Sunday, March 11, 2007


It has been a busy week with local elections, the Legislative session the "Scotter" Libby and John Evander Couey convictions. So one would think the opinion pages of Central Florida's newspapers would have plenty to opine about. Let's find out...

The Tampa Tribune looks at the current controversy over the veterans' health care system and the quality of facilities and care being received for by our men and women in uniform. Noting that part of the problem is due to corners being cut since a privitization initiative begun by the White House, the editorial calls on a panel led by former U.S. Senator Bob Dole and former Health & Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to look into privitization contracts entered and insist that measures of accountability be made part of any such deals. It also suggests that the panel consider a recommendation to give veterans some control over their own care.

Across the bay, the St. Petersburg Times welcomes the refreshing change in attitude brought by Governor Charlie Crist after one of his first acts in office, to embrace the idea of "government in the sunshine" and forming the Office of Open Government. It notes that today is "Sunshine Sunday", in which newspapers across Florida raise awareness of the importance of open government and remind citizens that it is our right and duty to hold elected officials accountable. After all, they are supposed to be working for us, right?

While the governor is embracing open government, the Lakeland Ledger editorial reminds us that some legislators are seeking to further restrict access to public meetings for records, noting three of the more ludicrious examples. It also reprints the Sunshine Sunday editorials from the Times and Melbourne's Florida Today. And the Daytona Beach News Journal notes that while government agencies in Volusia and Flagler counties are good at providing access to basic information online, they could do more.

There is still some election business to be handled, part of that being a special election to fill the State House District 49 seat which became open when Republican John Quinones resigned to run for the Osceola County Commission. The district covers portions of central Orange and northern Osceola counties. The Orlando Sentinel endorses civil rights attorney Darren Michael Soto in the March 20 Democratic primary (the general election will be April 24), saying he posesses enthusisam and knowledge of the district that his five primary opponents do not and noting that Democrats voting "might just have a hand in launching their party's next rising star".

Unfortunately, the Sarasota Herald Tribune was experiencing some technical difficulties this morning, and their Web site had not been updated with today's information.

Let's hope your day, and the coming week, are positive.


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