Wild Florida!

COMMENTARY

Touting more offshore drilling while vowing to protect Florida beaches is just silly

BY: - August 18, 2022

When I was growing up in Pensacola, my parents took verrrrry different approaches to elections. My dad, a land surveyor, would attend political rallies, slap backs, and laugh at jokes, all to make contacts for his small business. I would beg him to take me along — not because I liked the rallies but because […]

COMMENTARY

Florida can’t move forward on pollution because of places like ‘Dead Shark Acres’

BY: - July 21, 2022

Shark Week, aka “the Week the Discovery Channel Tries to Scare the Bejeezus Out of Its Viewers,” starts next week. Meanwhile the National Geographic Channel, trying to get a jump on the competition, has already launched “SharkFest,” calling it (brace yourself) “Must-Sea TV.” All these shark shows mean a lot to us here in Florida […]

COMMENTARY

Screwy plan for a new Florida city outrages its rural neighbors

BY: - July 14, 2022

When anyone asks me the weirdest place in our very weird state of Florida, I always say it’s Pasco County. In addition to the usual mix of sketchy politicians and scummy developers, Pasco has the most sinkholes in the state. It’s got more nudist resorts than the rest of the country. The Klan once adopted […]

COMMENTARY

This Florida poaching problem seems almost un-bear-able

BY: - May 26, 2022

June 1 marks the official start of hurricane season, or as I like to call it, “Mother Nature’s annual reminder that Florida is trying to kill us.” Hurricanes making landfall, shark bites, sinkholes, lightning strikes — we lead the nation in all of these deadly categories. Yet people keep flocking here like lemmings, trying to […]

Early wildfires in Panhandle point to worsening fire season to come

BY: - March 8, 2022

Nearly 34,000 acres statewide were on fire in Florida Tuesday, most of it on timberlands in the Panhandle, where Hurricane Michael in 2018 leveled millions of pine trees that remain on the ground ready to burn. “When you have this much timber that’s still on the ground, all it takes is one small spark and […]

COMMENTARY

Building gas station where it could pollute this Florida spring would be fuel-ish

BY: - March 3, 2022

Russian troops invaded Ukraine last week — you probably heard about that. An international panel of scientists said climate change is worse than we thought, and their prime example is Florida. Meanwhile, our fine Legislature has been too focused on the “culture wars” to fix what’s really wrong with our state (affordable housing, toxic algae […]

COMMENTARY
The Everglades

Florida’s Senate president is working for one client: Big Sugar

BY: - February 24, 2022

I am going to tell you something so shocking, I hope you don’t keel over in a dead faint: Journalists tend to be irreverent. Do you need a minute to sit down? Here’s an example: When I worked at the then-St. Pete Times, we came up with a rude name for the left hand bottom […]

COMMENTARY

Extraordinary FL women: Two sisters stronger than most men, and it’s hard to believe they’re gone

BY: - February 23, 2022

They were two of the strongest women I ever knew, stronger than most of the men, too. Janet Reno and her sister, Maggy Hurchalla, are both gone. Maggy, 81, died Saturday of complications that arose after a second round of hip replacement surgery. Reno died at 78 in 2016, after several years of declining health […]

COMMENTARY

The federal ‘protector’ of endangered Florida panthers was willing to kill one

BY: - February 17, 2022

This commentary has been updated. They say that cats have nine lives. I am not sure that’s the case with Florida panthers. Sometimes it feels like everything in the world is trying to snuff them out — everything human, that is. In the 1950s, hunters killed so many panthers that state officials banned shooting them. […]

COMMENTARY

Does Florida’s most famous flower stand a ghost of a chance?

BY: - February 3, 2022

Did you know Florida is full of ghost stories? You wouldn’t think a place this sunny would have so many shades, but it does. You can find ghosts all over, from the haunted Pensacola Lighthouse up in the Panhandle to the infamous “Robert the Doll” in Key West. Why, on a good day in Tallahassee, […]

Nation is watching: FL League of Women Voters president blasts SB 90 on Day 1 in federal trial

BY: - January 31, 2022

League of Women Voters of Florida President Cecile Scoon testified Monday in federal court that Florida’s new election laws — adopted in 2021 Senate Bill 90 — makes voter-registration drives, voting by mail, and rendering basic assistance to voters in line needlessly difficult, resulting in voting suppression. Scoon is the first witness to testify in […]

COMMENTARY

Florida DEP’s handling of wetland permits has become a colossal ‘Charlie Foxtrot’

BY: - January 27, 2022

Dear Gov. DeSantis, Hi there! I keep writing you these letters and you keep ignoring them, but I feel I need to be persistent — for your sake. You claim to care about Florida’s environment, but when you talk about it, all you ever say is some version of, “I am throwing a lot of […]