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Category archives for: Florida & Beyond, and All Opinions

Experts Were Wrong on Oil Prices. They’re Just As Wrong to Deride Solar Energy’s Viability.

| January 28, 2015

Researchers mistakenly said that solar and wind power wouldn’t be competitive with dirty-energy options by now, just as predictions of peak oil or high oil prices proved wrong, writes Emily Schwartz.

More States Lean Toward Medicaid Expansion, But Florida Remains a Holdout

| January 28, 2015

The biggest nonexpansion states are Florida and Texas, where expansion would add a total of 2.6 million uninsured residents to the Medicaid rolls. But both the Florida and Texas legislatures are dominated by Republicans, and expansion remains a long shot.

GOP Primary: Paul Renner Wins For House, Travis Hutson Wins For Senate

| January 27, 2015

Paul Renner beat REonald Sanchez and Danielle Anderson in the House race, Hutson beat Ronald Doc Renuart and Dennis McDonald in the Senate race.

FPL Reports 2014 Profits of $1.52 Billion as It Announces Solar Power Expansion

| January 27, 2015

FPL, which provides electricity to most residences and businesses in Palm Coast and Flagler County, reported net income, or profits, last year of $1.52 billion, or $3.45 a share, up from $1.35 billion, or $3.16 a share, in 2013.

Florida Republican Files Bill to Extend Medical Pot Access to AIDS, Cancer and Other Ills

| January 26, 2015

The proposal (SB 528), filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, includes a detailed regulatory structure that would place requirements on patients, doctors, growers and retail stores. Patients could only get “medical-grade” marijuana if their physicians sign off on the need.

Heroin Overdoses Spike After Florida
Cracks Down on Prescription Pill Abuse

| January 26, 2015

Five years ago, Florida was the prescription drug capital of the U.S. Seven people died every day from overdoses. The state cracked down, but this year, heroin overdose deaths are expected to be double those number four years before.

No Surprise: Florida’s Economic Development Agency Wants Tax Subsidies for Daytona Speedway, Jaguars and 2 Other Sports Venues

| January 25, 2015

Daytona International Speedway is seeking $3 million a year for 30 years to subsidize its operations, the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars have asked for $1 million a year for three decades.

Flagler Unemployment Falls to 7.6%, Lowest Since April 2008, as State and Nation Improve

| January 23, 2015

Flagler County’s better numbers in December are clouded by the fact that they are not do to healthier job creation, but rather to a decreasing in the county’s labor force.

Isolating Scott, Florida Cabinet May Seek Investigation of FDLE Chief’s Abrupt Exit

| January 23, 2015

Longtime Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey left his job abruptly in December. The departure touched off a controversy this month after Bailey disclosed that he was forced out of the job and made potentially damaging allegations about the actions of Scott and the governor’s aides.

Rick Scott’s Firing of FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey Unravels Political Motives

| January 22, 2015

The firing of a police commissioner because he would not allow his agency to be politicized sends the worst possible message to FDLE and the entire law enforcement community, writes Dan Gelber.

8 Weeks After FSU Shooting, House Panel Approves Concealed Guns on Florida Campuses

| January 21, 2015

Currently, people are banned from carrying such weapons at Florida colleges and universities, with the exception of stun guns or similar devices. Data show that 246,632 Floridians between the ages of 21 and 35 have concealed carry permits.

Supreme Court May Invalidate Fair Housing Provision Cities Use to Combat Segregation

| January 21, 2015

The Supreme Court has been weakening many civil rights protections for decades. It appears on the verge of gutting the Fair Housing Act. It hears arguments in a case today that will be decided by the end of June.

Seeking $500 Million Cut, Scott Asks for Lower Taxes on Cell Phone, Satellite and Cable Bills

| January 20, 2015

The governor’s office said it would save about $43 a year for a family that spends $100 a month on cell-phone and cable services, though spending on such services varies widely by household.

Florida Prison Ban on Beards Violates Muslim Inmates’ Religious Rights, Supreme Court Rules

| January 20, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Florida and six other states could not ban inmates from growing beards for religious reasons. The case originated in Arkansas.

Missing From Salamander Hotel Proposal: Community Consensus and Respect for Past Agreements

| January 19, 2015

Chris Goodfellow, a resident of the Hammock, argues that Salamander Hotels’ proposed 198-room re-development requires a precedent-setting change the county commission should avoid absent clearer consensus from the Hammock community.

American Sniper: For North Miami Beach Police Chief, Targeting Blacks Isn’t Profiling

| January 19, 2015

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015, Florida is still making national news over racism. Thank you for that, Police Chief J. Scott Dennis, writes Nancy Smith.

“We Cannot Walk Alone…
We Cannot Turn Back”

| January 19, 2015

Full text and video of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” a brief history of the origins and battles of the Martin Luther King federal holiday, and of the Martin Luther King monument at the Washington Mall.

Legal Aid For Poorer Floridians Diminishing, Commission Starts Work on Seeking Fair Fix

| January 18, 2015

With Gov. Scott opposed to moire funding, the 27-member Florida’s Commission on Access to Civil Justice will have to figure out how to provide additional funding for civil legal aid without simply asking for money from state legislators.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| January 16, 2015

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.

Attention Florida Pot Growers: State Would Pick 5 Nurseries To Cultivate Marijuana Under New Rule

| January 16, 2015

A panel comprised of the director of the state Office of Compassionate Use, an accountant and a member of the Drug Policy Advisory Council would pick five nurseries to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana under a revamped rule released Thursday by the Florida Department of Health.
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The selection committee would take the […]

At Hemming Park, Jacksonville Evolves From Axe Handle Saturday To Civil Rights Saturday

| January 15, 2015

Jacksonville filled Hemming Park with racial hatred and violence 55 years ago. But January 10, 2015 was a celebration of love as it became the location of a series of gay marriages, writes Julie Delegal.

Florida Ban on Judges’ Campaign Cash Teeters as Supreme Court Takes On The Case

| January 15, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ultimate decision in the Florida case could have far-reaching ramifications, as 30 of the 39 states that elect judges have some kind of restriction on judicial candidates making personal pitches for campaign money.

Flagler Humane Society Ends Year With 50% Fewer Euthanized Animals, Among Other Milestones

| January 15, 2015

The Flagler Humane Society saw a 25 percent increase in adoptions and a 12 percent increase in lost animals being returned to their owners in 2014, netting an 88 percent save rate for all animals entering the shelter.

In a Blow to Utilities, Alternative-Energy Coalition Proposes Solar Power Amendment For 2016 Ballot

| January 14, 2015

Backers of the initiative said during a news conference in Tallahassee that they are using the constitutional amendment route because well-funded utilities have repeatedly lobbied the Legislature and the Florida Public Service Commission against expanding solar and other alternative-energy choices.

Child Thrown From Bridge in Tampa Prompts New Look at DCF’s Porous Safety Net

| January 13, 2015

Records of the case reveal that many answers were already available — in the form of arrests that could have raised alarms at the state abuse hotline operated by the Florida Department of Children and Families.

A Muslim Cartoonist on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre: Shame, Fear, But Mostly Hope

| January 13, 2015

Cartoonist Khalil Bendib, an American Muslim and native of Algeria who’s known his share of censorship and death threats, writes of grief and human solidarity in the wake of the attack.

Serious or Not, GOP Candidates for Special Election Engage in Forum at Hilton Tonight

| January 13, 2015

A coalition of local business groups will host a candidate forum for the special primary election for Floria House and Senate seats on Tuesday, Jan. 13, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Palm Coast. The forum is hosted by the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce, the Flagler County Association of Realtors and the Flagler Home Builders Association.

Rick Scott Proposing to Raise Per-Student Funding Back to Nominal High of 2007

| January 12, 2015

The proposal would mark an increase of roughly $261 from the current budget year, which ends June 30. But it still has to survive a legislative process in which lawmakers will be eager to fulfill their own priorities.

Light Up Again: John Morgan Files Medical Pot Amendment Language For 2016 Ballot

| January 11, 2015

The revamped measure clarifies that doctors cannot order medical marijuana for children without their parents’ approval and clears up ambiguity about what diseases would make patients eligible for medical-marijuana treatment.

Florida Lawmakers Seek Secrecy For College and University Searches and Vetting of Candidates

| January 11, 2015

Pointing to the possibility of a “chilling effect” if word gets out, a House bill filed Friday would allow information to be kept confidential about people applying to become presidents, provosts or deans of state universities or colleges.

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