Rick Stone has been a journalist in Florida for most of his career. He's worked in newspapers and television but believes that nothing works as well as public radio. He and his wife, Mary Jane Stone, live in Broward County.
ARRIVAL: This is the ground approach to the proposed All Aboard Florida station in Fort Lauderdale. Architectural trusses are a design feature that will be echoed in all four of the railroad's stations.
All Aboard Florida -- the fast passenger rail that will connect Miami to Orlando through Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach -- unveiled plans for its Fort Lauderdale station on Tuesday.
The $30 million structure will straddle the Florida East Coast Railway tracks on Northwest Second Avenue between Broward Boulevard and Northeast Fourth Street, opening an overlooked and unattractive area near important downtown destinations to development and commerce.
Florida's new Office of Compassionate Use has issued proposed rules for the regulation of Charlotte's Web, that buzz-free variety of marijuana the Legislature approved for limited medical use this year.
Florida is the big winner under the new Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which President Obama signed last week. The bill carries $12.3 billion in infrastructure spending for the entire nation and $3 billion of that is coming to the Sunshine State.
There's $2 billion in the bill to expand Florida ports for the new Panamax vessels and another billion to restart four long-stalled Everglades restoration projects. That's 25 percent of the entire appropriation.
MIAMI STATION: "Floating" and "shimmering" are two of the adjectives in All Aboard Florida's description of its Miami station and commercial complex. The tracks and terminal would be 50 feet in the air.
All Aboard Florida will be all about connections, hopeful developers of the high-speed passenger rail system told the city this week, and not just about the link from Miami to Orlando. Its Miami infrastructure, they said, would also become the glue binding downtown Miami to its special-purpose districts across today's barriers of blight and no-man's-land.
The group that wants you to vote "no" on legalizing medical marijuana this November has launched a web site and produced a video. Its media warns that Amendment Two is much more permissive and loophole-ridden than most people realize.
Citing a more tolerant political atmosphere and a developing need for workers, leading Florida conservatives are calling on Congress to support and pass comprehensive immigration reform.
One good reason: It would renew the state's dwindling supply of warm bodies.
"Our birthrate is about 1.7 per couple. We're not even replacing ourselves now," warned Ed Moore, president of the Florida Center Right Coalition, one of three noted conservatives who joined former state GOP chairman Al Cárdenas in a conference call with state reporters.
Somewhere on the quality scale between Internet scuttlebutt and peer-reviewed research, you'll find the case for medical marijuana. It relies mostly on the recent discovery of the endo-cannabinoid system, an elaborate network of brain receptors that are activated by the components of marijuana to send comfort and cure to the human body.
TALLAHASSEE -- The campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Florida took it up a notch this weekend with coordinated phone banking and outreach in 13 Florida cities. The objective? Make sure everybody who signed the ballot petition follows through with a vote on election day.
At a shady roadside church in Tallahassee, a handful of volunteers gathered with ice tea, a platter of sandwiches and tablet computers full of the phone numbers of everybody whose signatures helped bring Amendment Two to the November ballot. That's somewhere between 800,000 and a million Floridians.
With two weeks to go in the lawmaking session, open government and ethics measures favored by watchdog groups are stalled in the Florida Legislature. There is a two-part concern about citizen access to public records.
The first worry is about the number of public-record exemptions that are pending this year. Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation says it's a dozen.
"It will be a record number of new exemptions and push the total number of exemptions to both the public records law and the open meetings law close to 1,100," Petersen said.
There was an odd moment at the Solar Uprising rally at the state capitol on Thursday, which Charlie Crist attended to be seen championing solar energy for our state.
It was provided by a woman named Debbie Dooley, who addressed the crowd a few minutes before Crist took the stage. What she said was this: "I know I'm unique in this crowd because I like Gov. Scott. But he's wrong on the issue of solar."
In Tallahassee, legislative Democrats are facing a time of store brands and junk food -- or so they say -- as they begin a week of subsisting on the state's $7.93 minimum wage. It's all in support of an effort to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. But the bill that would do that is stalled in the Legislature and it's very unlikely to pass this year.
Dramatic increases in state incentives to lure film and entertainment production to Florida may be on the way. But this time, local governments would have to pay to play. A bill approved in the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee would charge counties where the productions take place 10 percent of the face amount of the producers' tax incentives.
The Florida Senate's Select Committee on Gaming makes its last stand in Tallahassee this week with a couple of bills that could end greyhound racing in the Sunshine State. It's the only gambling issue that still remains within the committee's grasp.
On the day his successor takes power, a defeated or departing Florida governor would be allowed to appoint replacements for state Supreme Court justices whose terms expire on the same day. That's in a controversial bill the state Senate passed on Thursday. And that governor could be Rick Scott four years from now, when the court's liberal majority face mandatory retirement all at once.