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Today on Context Florida: End of Crist, Death Mermaid, Sunshine Week and censorship

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Today on Context Florida:

The era of Charlie Crist has come to an end, says Peter Schorsch. Crist, the man who has been on a statewide general ballot six times since 1998 took to Facebook to say “no mas.” And while he may one day again run for office, his time at the center of Florida politics is officially over.

When the Death Mermaid shows up, Diane Roberts warns to pay attention. Last week the Mermaid materialized at the South Florida Water Management District meeting, urging the water czars to stop screwing around with the Everglades. You’d think they would listen to a skeletal apparition with long green hair (probably from all that toxic algae gagging Florida waters) and a tail. But these are Rick Scott appointees: they don’t believe in mermaids – or measurable water standards. They shrugged her off as just another crazy eco-chick.

Happy Sunshine Week, Florida, says Daniel Tilson; let’s hear it for open government! The more transparent our state budget formation and lawmaking are, the more likely middle-class Floridians can avoid getting sucker-punched by elected public “servants” sneakily serving only our state’s richest folks and biggest businesses.

We all know how Gov. Scott feels about climate change: his administration refuses to allow the words to creep into any state policy documents. Alan Farago asks this: what about former Gov. Jeb Bush – the likely GOP nominee for president in 2016? When Jeb was governor, agency staff that interacted with journalists on the environment were also censored. Under Gov. Bush, for instance, the State Department of Health refused to discuss the most severe threat to public health from toxics in the environment: cancer clusters.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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