President Obama and Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (shown at top) have not seen eye to eye over the years. And now the south Florida congresswoman may have crossed the line. And the president has noticed. There are reports that Debbie killed a resolution which would have expressed party solidarity for Obama’s non-nuclear deal with Iran. With most Democrats in congress planning to vote for it, it puts the DNC chair directly at odds with not only her President, but also the majority of her own party. Progreso Weekly to Obama: Show her the door Mr. President.
Retire in Florida
The website WalletHub’s list of best and worst cities to retire (in the U.S.) treated Florida well. WalletHub compared the 150 largest U.S. cities using four key factors: affordability, amount of activities, quality of life and health care. Tampa ranked No. 1 on the list, with Cape Coral at No. 4, Orlando at No. 5 and Port St. Lucie at No. 8. In the top 50 were St. Petersburg at No. 11, Pembroke Pines at No. 15, Fort Lauderdale at No. 40, Miami at No. 47 and Jacksonville at No. 50. We’re still not sure what this all means, but hey, everybody loves a list.
State health officials have named the three members of a panel that will choose five nurseries to be Florida’s first legal pot growers, setting in motion the final stages of the drawn-out process to get Florida’s new medical-marijuana industry off the ground. Twenty-four nurseries are seeking to be one of the fortunate five “dispensing organizations” with licenses to grow cannabis that is low in euphoria-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and high in cannabadiol, or CBD. Parents of children with a severe form of epilepsy pushed the Legislature last year to approve the low-THC cannabis, believing it can end or dramatically reduce life-threatening seizures.
Bush’s way and the highway
The Jeb Bush presidential bandwagon has had a terrible time gaining traction. Not only does he put us to sleep, but he’s also got detractors – among his friends and member of his own party. Adam Smith, of the Tampa Bay Times, reports that Bush claims “he’s the man to fix the partisan gridlock and dysfunction in Washington.” In Iowa recently Bush stated, “I don’t assume it’s my way or the highway.” Former Florida House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, a Republican, disagrees. Bush’s “style is my way or the highway,” says Byrd, adding, “The whole time I worked with him, he never listened to me or anybody else in the process. If Mitch McConnell and John Boehner think they’re going to have a great relationship with President Jeb Bush, they better watch out.”
Miami’s LBA finds Trump ‘repugnant’
The Miami-based Latin Builders Association (LBA), the nation’s largest Hispanic construction trade group, last week refuted Donald Trump, Republican leader in polls for the 2016 presidential sweepstakes. The mostly republican-leaning LBA for years has held its annual gala at the Trump National Doral Miami Resort. No more. The majority Cuban group, reacting to Trump’s statements against immigrants, announced that because of “Mr. Trump’s recent pattern of bigoted, sexist and ignorant verbal assaults on immigrants, women and veterans have made hosting the Installation Gala at the Resort unfeasible.” Expect a lawsuit from Trump’s camp.
Amendment 1 proponents file lawsuit
Arguing that Florida lawmakers “defied” a constitutional mandate, four environmental groups have filed a lawsuit which seeks to force the state to shift $237 million to help carry out a conservation measure approved by voters last November, reported the Associated Press. The case stems from voter approval of “Amendment 1,” which requires spending a portion of a state real-estate tax on land and water conservation efforts. The Legislature violated its duty, say the groups, and violated the Constitution and violated the trust to which the voters dedicated these funds when it wrongfully diverted at least $237 million in trust funds to pay for general state expenses not allowable under the amendment.
Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell is stepping down, reported Politico. The website wrote that O’Connell took nine weeks of vacation and racked up nearly $30,000 in travel bills last year while her agency was struggling with a fund scandal and audit. Her resignation takes effect Oct. 1. O’Connell was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, who did NOT ask for her resignation, his office claims.
We found this on the website Curbed and although there is nothing of real value, we thought we’d share it to demonstrate what rich people will do to spite each other. One of the many things the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach is famous for is its ‘spite wall,’ a massive wing of hotel rooms and ballroom space built by the hotel’s first owner, Ben Novack, allegedly to shroud the neighboring Eden Roc Hotel’s pool in darkness. The Eden Roc was built just a few years after the Fontainebleau by a former business partner of Novack to rival the Fontainebleau, who even went so far as to poach Novack’s architect, Moris Lapidus, to build it. The former owners are dead, but the wall remains and has since been matched with a more recent tower built on the former site of that pool at the Eden Roc. The newer Eden Roc tower blocks the ugly view of the Fontainebleau’s big blank wall, and creates a canyon down the middle that stretches the entire length of both hotels, from Collins Avenue to the boardwalk on the beach side.
Making sick children wait
The Miami Herald reported last week that “medical directors of a Florida agency that treats some of the state’s sickest and most disabled children are accusing healthcare administrators of “dismantling” the program amid a controversial overhaul that already has purged close to 6,000 children from enrollment. […] In a strongly worded letter to state health administrators, at least 14 medical directors or assistant directors from throughout Florida say recent changes to the Children’s Medical Services program risk diluting the medical care for thousands of children. And, while the new program is being implemented, the doctors say, all new enrollments have been halted, forcing even the most frail children to wait.”