Culture & Society

New college survey for “intellectual freedom” has already spawned a lawsuit

BY: - September 24, 2021

Months ago, Gov. Ron DeSantis approved a controversial law that would require Florida’s colleges and universities to conduct a survey intended to gauge whether institutions of higher education promote “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity.” At the time, critics questioned what those surveys will ask, how intellectual diversity will be measured, and what will happen with […]

A milestone for vaccinations: More than 12 million FL residents fully vaccinated

BY: - September 24, 2021

Though the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there’s some good news on the vaccination front: Florida is one of only four big states that have reached a milestone of at least 12 million fully-vaccinated residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported a figure of 12,154,279 for Florida residents who are fully vaccinated. (Florida’s […]

Arizona ‘audit’ finds Biden won (by more votes) and no evidence of fraud

BY: - September 24, 2021

After months of work and some $6 million spent, a so-called audit that Trump supporters claimed would show that the election had been stolen from the defeated president found that Joe Biden actually won Arizona by more votes than the official tally — and it found no conclusive evidence that the election had been influenced […]

COMMENTARY

Committee week in Florida’s Capitol: Welcome to the festival of ignorance

BY: - September 24, 2021

Legislators came to town for the autumn ritual of political harlotry they call “committee week.” Tallahassee’s collective IQ dropped by a good 60 points. That’s bad, but what they propose doing to Florida is worse. Seems Sen. Joe Gruters, R-$ara$ota, who also is chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was intimately involved with a […]

Biden administration provides financial cushion to Alachua school board after FL officials dock pay

BY: - September 23, 2021

After state education officials docked the pay of four Alachua County school board members who voted for a strict mask mandate, the Biden administration has stepped in and awarded $147,719 to fill in the financial gap for the district. The grant is from a new program called Project SAFE, which is intended to financially support […]

Crist denounces new COVID school policy; seeks ouster of new surgeon general

BY: - September 23, 2021

Democrat Charlie Crist denounced Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday as an “oppressive tyrant” willing to send coronavirus-infected children into the public schools and risk the health of other children to please his COVID-skeptical political base. During a Zoom press conference, the Democratic congressman from St. Petersburg — also a gubernatorial candidate for 2022 — argued […]

FL’s juvenile detention centers struggle to recruit workers; high turnover rate is unsustainable

BY: - September 23, 2021

The state’s juvenile justice department revealed this week that workers are leaving their jobs because of low wages that cause high turnover rates, and officials are requesting more funds to raise salaries. Josefina Tamayo, acting secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, urged state lawmakers this week to support the agency’s budget proposal for  […]

New Surgeon General shakes up school COVID protocols and leaves Constitutional questions unanswered

BY: - September 23, 2021

In a dramatic turnabout involving Florida’s new surgeon general, the state Department of Health has created a new COVID-19 related emergency rule that allows parents to keep kids in school even if they have been exposed to the virus. Previously, students would have to quarantine at home for a certain time period before going back […]

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing kids

BY: - September 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. […]

COMMENTARY

Rare FL butterfly bounces back, offers lesson for saving other critters

BY: - September 23, 2021

We could all use a little good news this week, so here’s the rare environmental story that will make you pump your fist and shout, “Yeah!” Earlier this month, during a visit to Gainesville, I took my kids to see the huge butterfly rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History. They were impressed. Everywhere […]

FL correctional system still suffers from staff shortages; officials push for higher pay for officers

BY: - September 22, 2021

Staff shortages in Florida’s prison system have triggered temporary closures at correctional institutions, work camps and other facilities across the state, an official with the Florida Department of Corrections told lawmakers in the Florida House on Wednesday. Three correctional institutions are temporarily closed “to ensure safe and secure correctional institutions,” according to a memo from […]

Capitol

Advocates press for action in Congress on voting rights, despite grim outlook

BY: - September 22, 2021

WASHINGTON — Activists are ramping up pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to move on his chamber’s version of a voting rights bill, even though there’s no sign there will be enough Republican support to advance it. Alternatively, they’re pressing for an end to the filibuster, though there’s no indication there would be enough […]