Submitted by tkusmierz on Thu, 05/17/2018 - 12:43
Radio tower proposal receives cool reception
The Monroe County Commission did not shoot down a proposal for a 1,000-foot radio tower on Cudjoe Key, but county commissioners and staff said the tower was not necessary and not would considerably benefit the county’s communication systems after a hurricane.  The commission agreed Wednesday to bring back the proposal for a formal vote when it meets in Marathon in July.

Miami Herald
Five things to watch for as Miami-Dade prepares for American Dream mega-mall vote
American Dream Miami can move much closer to reality Thursday if Miami-Dade commissioners approve the $4 billion project, which would bring the largest mall in America to Northwest Miami-Dade.  Backers, led by Mayor Carlos Gimenez, tout the $4 billion retail theme park as a boon to the region's economy for bringing an attraction large enough to employ about 14,000 people full-time and offer both an indoor ski slope and a submarine lake.

Tallahassee Democrat
Desloge: Different approach needed for children’s services
The County Commission will soon consider a proposal to let voters decide whether to establish a new independent children’s services taxing district.  We all care about the well-being of children in our community. As a Leon County Commissioner since 2006, and having served as chairman of the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend, I have been closely involved in children’s issues. I’m also the father of four.  But I’m not sure everyone realizes the implications of a Children’s Service Council, so I want to explain how it would work.

Sun Sentinel
Homelessness deserves Broward business involvement
Chronic homelessness — defined as when an individual with a disabling condition has been continuously homeless for a year or more — has become a very visible, deeply disturbing humanitarian crisis on the streets of Broward County. It’s a big, complex, national problem that requires us to do more. If we as a community want the world to know that we care about quality of life for our current and future residents, as well as for the homeless individuals themselves, we, the Broward business community, must do more.

Tampa Bay Times
Amid election cyber-threats, counties plead with state: Send that money
Faced with cyber-security threats to their voting systems, Florida election supervisors are eager to get access to some of the $19 million in federal election security money Congress sent states nearly two months ago.  But they say all they're hearing from the state is crickets.  "We sure wish the money was available. It's frustrating," said supervisor Mark Earley in Tallahassee's Leon County. "This is a big deal. There's certainly room for improvement, especially in smaller counties."

Orlando Sentinel
Don't count on feds right after hurricane, FEMA chief tells Florida leaders
FEMA had a warning for local governments at the annual Governor’s Conference on Hurricanes: Don’t count on Uncle Sam to be there immediately after the next natural disaster.  “If you’re waiting on FEMA to run your commodities, that’s not the solution,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Wednesday. “I can’t guarantee that we can be right on time to backfill everything you need.”


Associated Press
Judge to decide Florida ban on smokable medical marijuana
A Florida judge will soon decide if patients approved to use medical marijuana will be allowed to smoke it.  Leon County circuit court Judge Karen Gievers heard testimony Wednesday from two women with terminal illnesses challenging the state’s ban on smoking cannabis.  Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 allowing the use of medical marijuana. The only mention of smoking in the amendment’s language and in an intent document during the 2016 campaign was that the Legislature and local governments could restrict it in public places.

Tampa Bay Times
Pam Bondi files lawsuit against opioid makers and distributors
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced Tuesday that she had filed "the most comprehensive lawsuit in the country" against the largest manfacturers and distributors of opioids, blaming them for creating an opioid crisis that has killed more than 10,000 Floridians.  Flanked by police, firefighters and families of opioid victims, Bondi said she wanted "billions" from the companies, which she said misled patients about addictive drugs and ignored people who were ordering suspicious amounts of them.

Orlando Sentinel
Florida's lawsuit against opioid makers is welcome, but not enough
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s decision to file a long-awaited lawsuit against makers and distributors of opioid painkillers is welcome. “It’s time the defendants paid for the pain and destruction they’ve caused,” Bondi declared in Tampa this week.  The lawsuit alleges the drug companies violated state laws by underplaying the dangers of opioids and distributing excessive quantities of the drugs. The attorney general said Florida could recover billions of dollars from the companies to pay for medical expenses and other costs of opioid addiction, as well as expand the supply of treatment for victims.