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Personnel note: Mark Kaplan named chair of Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy 2017-18 board

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The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has tapped Mark Kaplan to serve as the chairman of the board. The organization announced recently that Kaplan, the vice president of public affairs at Mosaic, will serve as chairman of the 2017-18 Board of Directors. Kaplan, according to the literacy organization, brings extensive legal and policy background to the board, as well as expertise in finance and education.

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Bill Galvano files “spill bill” strengthening notification requirements

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Last September, Governor Rick Scott ordered new public notification rules following the sewage spill in St. Petersburg and Mosaic’s sinkhole in Mulberry the sent toxins in the drinking-water supply. He did so after a lack of notice occurred regarding incidents in St. Petersburg and at the company’s phosphate processing plant in Mulberry. However, a judge threw out the order in late December, saying that such a law must come from the Legislature. Hence the announcement today of SB 532 from Manatee County GOP state Senator Bill…

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Joe Henderson: State Senate race was better when it was just about puppies

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

I just watched about the billionth TV ad for the Senate District 18 race with Dana Young and Bob Buesing. I thought the one she ran in the primary with all the adorable puppies couldn’t be topped, but she outdid herself this time. This one features her two daughters defending their mom against all the nasty things the pro-Buesing forces supposedly have said. That was sweet. I mean, who doesn’t love a tight-knit family? But something wasn’t adding up. Dana…

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Gwen Graham says she’s poised to run a 67-county strategy for Florida governor

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Emphasizing her centrist political persona while addressing a packed restaurant in South Tampa Friday morning, Gwen Graham said her potential candidacy for governor of Florida in 2018 would be a “transcending of the politics” that currently exists today. “I have heard from so many people who say ‘you’re exactly what the state of Florida needs,’” Graham said at the weekly “Cafe Con Tampa” lecture series at Hugo’s Restaurant in Hyde Park. “I will commit to running the type of gubernatorial campaign that will…

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Sierra Club, gay and lesbian group call out Kathleen Peters on environmental transparency

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Sierra Club and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund have accused state Rep. Kathleen Peters of hypocrisy in her recent call for public notice of contamination. Peters’ proposed legislation, they say, is just a Band-Aid for a deeper problem and does nothing to hold polluters accountable. In addition, the two groups say Peters has accepted thousands in donations from Mosaic and the oil and gas industry. The organizations’ charges come in the wake of Peters’ recent announcement that she…

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Joe Henderson: Issue 1 in 2018 Gov’s race, fixing Florida environment

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

I think we have one of our first major campaign issues for the 2018 race to succeed Rick Scott as Florida’s governor. Any serious candidate who doesn’t come out strongly in favor seriously beefing up the state Department of Environmental Protection will miss a great opportunity. In just the last couple of months alone, an understaffed and likely overwhelmed DEP has had to deal with the algae bloom that threatened to trash summer tourism in Stuart and surrounding areas. Recriminations…

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Outcry grows over delay in warning about Mosaic sinkhole, contamination

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Neighbors of a huge sinkhole sending cascades of contaminated water and fertilizer plant waste into Florida’s main drinking-water aquifer are fearful and fuming that it took weeks for them to be notified about the disaster. Many are still waiting anxiously for results from tests for radiation and toxic chemicals in their well water. Meanwhile, the Mosaic Co. – one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate and potash for fertilizer – acknowledged Wednesday that the contamination had spread to groundwater…

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