The League of Women Voters of Florida will lead opposition this year to two controversial proposals in the Legislature to authorize loaded guns on school campuses, from small elementary schools to colleges. Similar bills died during the 2015 legislative session. The National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups say they are ready to try again in 2016.
Killing the Florida black bear
The Florida black bear is the state’s largest native land mammal. It has been off limits to hunters since 1994. In a turn of events, Florida wildlife commissioners voted in June to allow a bear hunt for the first time in 21 years. More than 1,430 people signed up just last week to hunt bears in what the Humane Society of the United States is calling Florida’s “trophy hunt.” Permit sales will continue online until Oct. 23, the day before the hunt. Wildlife authorities have set a limit on the number of bears that can be killed at 320. Florida estimates its bear numbers at more than 3,000 animals.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other groups have sued in Miami federal court saying the orca named Lolita, which lives in captivity at the Miami Seaquarium, should ultimately be removed to a sea pen under a retirement plan that would more closely mimic her natural Pacific Ocean environment. Lolita was captured in 1970 off the Washington state coast.
Challenging Debbie – again
Not all Democrats are necessarily good. Take the case of Debbie Wasserman Schultz – a congresswoman representing parts of western Broward County, and a small slice of Miami-Dade. Debbie has been on the wrong side of the Cuba vote ever since she’s known the Diaz-Balart brothers, who have assured her of beaucoup campaign contributions from the anti-Cuba forces in Miami and elsewhere. Well, she has an opponent in next year’s election. His name is Joe Kaufman, a pro Israel activist from Tamarac, who lost to Wasserman Schultz in 2014. Wasserman Schultz won 63 percent of the vote then, while Kaufman won just over 37 percent.
Last week we were reminded that 70 years ago the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It was a sad day in the annals of history. An interactive application called ‘NukeMap by Alex Wallerstein’ has a simulation of the possible carnage. If a 15-kiloton A-bomb was dropped in the heart of Miami, the fireball would consume a block of Downtown Miami, and pretty much everyone from the Julia Tuttle Causeway to Brickell Key would die. Third degree burns would extend up to the Omni, along with most residential buildings collapsing. Considering an east-west wind off of the ocean, radiation fallout would extend past Doral and into the Everglades. Conservative estimated fatalities would fall at 55,400 and injuries at 61,600. Let us pray this inhumanity never happens – again.
Playing by David Rivera laws
This comes from the Associated Press: “Florida is paying $700,000 to settle allegations that Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials flouted the state’s public records laws. […] The state agreed [last] week to pay that amount to Tallahassee attorney Steven Andrews. Andrews sued the governor and other top state officials back in 2013. He alleged the Scott administration failed to turn over calendars and emails and text messages.” In other words, our elected pols break the law and we (the taxpayers) pay for their mess. These politicians must have read the David Rivera playbook.
Marco leads all senators – in missed votes!
Marco Rubio is running for president. We know that. But did you know that the Florida Republican is increasingly skipping his elected duty in Washington? In July alone, he missed more than half the Senate votes. In June, Rubio missed 67 percent of votes, including taking an entire week off for fundraising in California and to attend a candidate gathering in Utah. In April, he missed 21% of the votes. All told, Rubio has the worst missed-vote record of any current U.S. senator. Some refer to this record as one of a career politician driven more by ambition than the work he was elected to do.
And here’s a little news of the strange. A Florida Senate Democrat is renewing an attempt to place restrictions on people who try on underwear and swimsuit bottoms in retail stores. Sen. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, filed a bill (SB 104) last week that would prevent retailers from allowing customers to try on “intimate apparel” unless the items are tried on over clothing or disposable shields are used. Who said our elected leaders don’t have their priorities in order?
Legalizing and regulating weed use in Florida
Florida marijuana activists have launched a voter initiative called “Regulate Florida,” which would amend the Florida constitution to legalize and regulate adult use of marijuana in the Sunshine State. If the Regulate Florida measure makes it on to the November 2016 ballot, Florida voters could face two decisions about the future use of marijuana: one to legalize medical use and another to legalize adult use. The Florida Legislature would be in charge of taxation.
Miami is not so slowly becoming a town for the one percenters. We’re already the poorest county in the country. Now there’s a 37,895 square foot bayfront vacant lot on North Bay Road for sale at $19.95 million along with floorplans for a contemporary house, making it the largest and most expensive empty lot and the fourth most expensive listing on that specific Miami Beach road. We’d like to highlight the fact that it’s almost 20 million dollars! And the lot is empty!