Decades later, EPA still working on cleanup of Florida’s “Mount Dioxin”

BY: - January 6, 2022

Florida has lots of communities with a history that is — oh, what’s a good word? Let’s say “unusual.” Sweetwater, for instance, was founded by a troupe of Russian circus midgets whose bus broke down. Sanibel’s drive to incorporate as a city was led by a trio of retired CIA agents, one of whom became […]


Dear Leaders: May we suggest some ways you can shape up during 2022?

BY: - January 3, 2022

It’s been a year, people. Weird stuff. Bad stuff. Some good stuff. Now it’s time to turn the calendar to 2022 and make that alleged fresh start we’re always promising ourselves. So as a public service to our busy, busy, busy political figures, I present here Roberts’ Recommendations for New Year’s Resolutions. Read ’em and […]


Year that began with partisan violence spawned culture wars and litigation in FL

BY: - December 31, 2021

The hostile tone that branded 2021 set in early, when a mob in support of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to disrupt Congress’ transfer of power to incoming President Joe Biden. It cost Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, rioter Ashli Babbitt, and three other people their lives. Nearly 140 […]


Retiring Florida parks director Eric Draper ranks climate change as a major threat

BY: - December 30, 2021

Do you have a Florida bucket list? I do, and every new year is a chance to check my progress. I crossed another item off it the other day when I stopped in at Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. I was there to see Lucifer. The 210-acre state park in Citrus County features […]


Gov. DeSantis seems hellbent on taking us back to the ’60s — only it’s the 1860s

BY: - December 27, 2021

And just like that, it’s 1861. Gov. Ron DeSantis likes to call this the “Free State of Florida.” If he hasn’t yet wrapped himself in the Tenth Amendment or threatened secession, it’s only because he’s been too busy playing soldiers, organizing his private battalion, rewriting the past, and trying to destroy democracy. Give him time. […]


It’s the year that was. We need a Rockwell scale to make sense of it.

BY: - December 26, 2021

As the year skitters to an end, there will come a torrent of top 10 news roundups. Caffeine-fueled news junkies in newsrooms everywhere will count the stories down like the seconds before the New Year’s Eve ball drops at Times Square. But making sense of it all will take more than a list that can […]


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — or not

BY: - December 25, 2021

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — NOT. At least in terms of the cloying view of Christmas presented in the songs we have been hearing in stores and on the radio since before Halloween decorations were stored in the basement. I suggest — fully aware of the cynical undertones of my proposal […]


Don’t wait until after the holidays to seek treatment for substance abuse

BY: - December 24, 2021

By Bea* I was a mother and a wife with a career where I made six figures. My life probably looked charmed from the outside, but I was hiding a painful secret. I was addicted to opioids. That years-long addiction eventually prompted me to check into rehab for substance use treatment. It happened the day […]


Keep an eye on the folks in charge of ‘protecting’ Florida’s panthers

BY: - December 23, 2021

A lot of families this time of year deploy an Elf on a Shelf doll to (supposedly) keep an eye on their kids’ behavior. Better shape up or that weird doll will report you to the Big Guy! We never did the Elf thing, which seemed a little creepy. Instead, when our kids were little, […]


The U.S. is making plans to replace all of its lead water pipes from coast to coast

BY: - December 22, 2021

The Biden administration has released a plan to accelerate removal of lead water pipes and lead paint from U.S. homes. As a geochemist and environmental health researcher who has studied the heartbreaking impacts of lead poisoning in children for decades, I am happy to see high-level attention paid to this silent killer, which disproportionately affects poor communities of color. Childhood […]


I came here legally when I was 2. Immigration backlogs are denying me the American dream

BY: - December 21, 2021

This month, I’m submitting my undergraduate application to the honors college at Arizona State University. That’s where I hope to study political science and eventually become a constitutional lawyer. But instead of dreaming about my future, I couldn’t be more stressed out. In a few short years, I’ll be forced to leave Phoenix, where I’ve […]


A Christmas letter to the undiscovered country

BY: - December 19, 2021

Phil, You’ve been away for a good long while so here’s a Christmas letter to catch you up on all the news you’ve missed. So much has changed. Time steals like a shadow over the living, rendering us all Henry Adams at history’s eclipse. There’s much I want to share, because you could have helped make sense […]