How one Florida city beat its stigma as a stinky town

BY: - August 31, 2023

This weekend my wife and I helped our older son pack up and move to Jacksonville. He’s starting a new job, occupying a new apartment, and driving a new (used) car. It was a bittersweet trip. After we arrived, we heard about the Nazi who shot three Black people and then killed himself. In other […]


The Republican candidates met to yell at each other in an alternative universe

BY: - August 28, 2023

In case you missed last Wednesday’s Dadaist performance piece, the one called “Republican Primary Debate,” when one woman and seven men shouted for two hours on live TV, here’s the highlight reel: Things started off grumpy and soon deteriorated. Fox moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum played “Rich Men North of Richmond,” a hit song […]


Florida county’s swampy politics lead to bad decision on wetlands

BY: - August 24, 2023

Have you ever made your way through a marsh? Tromped through a swamp? Waded in a wetland? I have. It was soooo icky! And wet! Ewwww! I mean, I’ve seen some real prize-winners for swampiness. No wonder Manatee County wants to get rid of their marshes, bogs, and swamps. Sure, sure, sure, Florida’s wetlands filter […]


Register caucus poll shows ‘hands off’ approach to Trump isn’t working

BY: - August 21, 2023

The first Des Moines Register/NBC News/Mediacom Iowa Poll of the Iowa caucus race, published Monday, was a blowout. Former President Donald Trump holds more than a 2-to-1 lead over his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Here’s the topline: Trump, 42% DeSantis, 19% Tim Scott, 9% Nikki Haley, 6% Mike Pence, 6% Chris Christie, 5% Vivek Ramaswamy, […]


In DeSantis’ Florida, we’re raising our children to be closed-minded and ignorant

BY: - August 21, 2023

School’s in session. The kids have their new shoes and backpacks. The teachers have their new marching orders. In Ron DeSantis’ Florida, teachers are expected to present a version of the world in which “gender” is not to be spoken of, “gay” likewise, there’s no climate crisis — the weather’s always changing! — Shakespeare needs […]


Kansas newspaper raid draws plenty of attention, but journalists defy threats across U.S.

BY: - August 20, 2023

After Kansas Reflector reported on the ignominious and unconstitutional raid of the Marion County Record on Aug. 11, news outlets and commentators from across Kansas and the nation followed suit throughout the weekend. The voices of those who value a free press and free expression were overwhelming in their force and intensity. Eight days later, with the Record’s equipment […]


Amid record heat, Florida agencies give EPA climate change rules a cold shoulder

BY: - August 17, 2023

Ooooooo-wee, have you noticed how hot it’s been this summer? Feels-like temperatures are up around 115 degrees, even a heat index of 120 in Pensacola in June. Repeated “excessive heat warnings” from the National Weather Service. Recently, the Miami Herald measured beach sand at 137 degrees and playground surfaces at 177. Ouch! How hot is […]


Ohio’s defiant embrace of democracy gives Floridians a reason to hope

BY: - August 14, 2023

Let’s talk about Ohio. No, really. Seven presidents were born in Ohio, all Republicans, two of whom were assassinated. Ohio has produced a number of dubious politicians, including the shouty Rep. Jim Jordan and the faux-billy Sen. J.D. Vance, who sometimes pretends he’s from Kentucky. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sometimes pretends he’s from Ohio, but […]


Rescue of Florida’s endangered Okaloosa darter is quite a fish tale

BY: - August 10, 2023

This is a fish story. Not as big a fish story as, say, Jonah and the whale, or Chief Brody versus the shark in “Jaws.” It’s actually about a pretty tiny fish. But, as with Jonah and “Jaws,” it’s a fish story with an excellent outcome. Fifty years ago, a Florida man named Nathaniel Reed […]


After Issue 1, Ohioans have a new opportunity to end GOP stranglehold

BY: - August 9, 2023

When the Ohio GOP came up with Issue 1 as a cheap ploy to thwart a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to abortion and contraception in the Ohio state constitution, they thought this was a slam dunk. Assuming that the historic trends of low voter turnout for August elections would be the way to […]


GOP death cult is holding the Earth hostage to white privilege

BY: - August 7, 2023

People, it’s too hot to be this stupid. A new NPR/PBS/Marist poll shows that nearly three-fourths of Republicans don’t think the climate crisis is a big deal and we don’t need to do anything about it. I guess the good news is that 56 percent of all political persuasions say the climate crisis requires urgent […]


Rural Florida residents strike out when their own commissioner pitches a big development

BY: - August 3, 2023

I have a confession to make. Some of you may think less of me when you hear it. Others — well, you probably already have a low opinion of me anyway. Since 1975, I have been a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan. I rooted for them in their many lean years, as well as when […]