Florida has always been a state to watch, if only as a guilty pleasure or perhaps in self-defense. But some major political stars are aligning and the pundits are beginning to agree, Florida will really be a State To Watch from now at least through the 2016 election.
The personalities-of-the moment are here. The game-changing demographics are here. And the Florida stage is set for epic -- and deeply symbolic -- political confrontations.
Former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink now has what she desperately needed in 2012 when she ran for governor against Rick Scott and lost: name recognition.
And that may be why a handful of the state's top Democrats are waiting to see what Sink will do in 2014 before they decide to become candidates for governor. Sink didn't run an impressive campaign but she didn't lose by much and the thinking is that a little more name recognition might have made the difference.
Last week, watchdog group Integrity Florida released a report that concluded questionable bonuses, conflicts of interest and a 'pay to play' mentality was hampering the efforts of Enterprise Florida, Florida's public-private job development agency. The increased scrutiny of what the state pays to lure companies to Florida come as lawmakers start to lay the foundation for the coming year's budget, against a backdrop of the governor's request for more spending on economic development.
Gov. Rick Scott's aggressive economic development effort got more legislative pushback Tuesday as budget committees in both chambers questioned the direction, expense and oversight of the governor's "jobs, jobs, jobs" agenda.
Florida’s Master of the Weird, Charlie Carlson busy on the set of ‘ASHLEY’S SHADOW” a film based on his novel by the same name. The movie is set in 1934 and centers around the real-life unsolved murder of Ethel Allen, a nineteen-year-old local who was found brutally murdered on the shores of the nearby Indian River.
A crowd of about one hundred supporters of the Arts Garage gathered outside the venue Tuesday and marched the few blocks to Delray Beach City Hall. They were prepared to speak out against a bid by the law firm of Kanner and Pintaluga to buy the city-owned space that houses Arts Garage.
One of Florida's endemic species, the Florida grasshopper sparrow, is on the path to extinction. The bird lives only in the dry prairies south of Orlando and it's believed that less than 200 of the highly-specialized sparrows remain in the wild, though funding doesn't exist to adequately track the population. Part of the problem has been drumming up the public support -- and money -- necessary to study what has happened to the subspecies.
This past Christmas I flew to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to visit my family. The last time I had been to Tegucigalpa was in 2002, so I boarded the plane with conflicting emotions -- excitement about seeing my family and fear about the flight.
In 2004, I survived a plane crash. For years I could not board a plane without first taking a handful of Xanax and then disassociating. After years of working with a therapist who specializes in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I have arrived at the point where I can fly without the aid of chemicals or mind-body trickery.