Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Karen Cyphers - page 3

Karen Cyphers has 421 articles published.

Karen Cyphers, PhD.

Human Trafficking Week a somber call to action; Bridging Freedom seeks to bring hope

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The headlines are almost implausible to believe: “24 children rescued from human trafficking scheme in Orlando”… “385 teen girls involved in the sex trade in Florida each month”… “Tallahassee townhouse a prison for Guatemalan women.” These stories are all current, each brought to light within the last few years.  This week, Human Trafficking Week, reminds us that within our own communities there are those who traffic people for twisted gain. And that we should not sit idly by.  The Florida…

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Florida state officials elected to Congress at higher rate than in most other states

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An above average ratio of Florida’s congressional delegation served first in the state legislature, according to a study released by the Pew Charitable Trusts. About 59 percent of Floridian senators and representatives were previously elected to the Florida House or Senate. This compares with a national average of 50 percent. For a few states, 100 percent of Congress members were first state officials: Hawaii, Nevada, Wyoming and Idaho. In North Dakota and Delaware, however, no current member of Congress had…

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Throwback Thursday: Florida’s 2-week stint as an Independent Nation

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For this Throwback Thursday we visit today, January 9, in 1861. In Tallahassee, delegates held the final debate on the Ordinance of Secession. In late afternoon they agreed to postpone a final vote until the next day. On the 10th, the Ordinance of Secession was approved by the Secession Convention by a vote of 62 to 7. The Ordinance reads: We, the people of the State of Florida in Convention assembled, do solemnly ordain, publish and declare: That the State…

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Florida fifth in nation for job growth potential of 2014, Pew report says

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Florida ranks 5th highest in the nation for its job growth prospects in 2014, according to a report released by the Pew Charitable Trusts on Tuesday. Pew used data from Moody’s analytics to evaluate employment factors in each state. Leading the nation for the second year in a row is North Dakota, slated to experience a 3.6 percent growth in jobs this year. North Dakota is followed by Arizona at 3.06 percent, Texas at 2.75 percent, Colorado at 2.67 percent,…

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Paradoxically, public hearings may reduce people’s trust in government, study says

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Outside of fictional Pawnee, most people don’t attend public hearings. And, according to a study by the Knight Foundation, doing so is more likely to reduce a person’s sense of political efficacy than to increase it. “Despite the fact that governments are pumping out more and more information to citizens, trust in government has edged lower and lower,” writes Mark Funkhouser for Governing magazine. To explain these trends in part, Funkhouser suggests that outdated laws and overly formal procedures for…

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BCS championship will bring higher quality admissions standards to FSU, study says

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Minutes after Florida State won the BCS Football National Championship last night, a friend’s Facebook status read: “The neighborhood is burning. Hipsters are throwing things. Please send help.” There’s no question successful college athletic programs electrify their towns and students alike. But do these programs mean much for the pool of prospective students who seek and accept admission? According to two researchers, yes — and in a good way for the college’s academic standing. Jaren and Devin Pope analyzed application…

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Today on Context Florida: Trauma centers, Crist, cocaine, and wisecracks

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Today on Context Florida, Peter Schorsch lays out an argument for expanded access to trauma care, writing that trauma patients “are people in critical need, not a ‘market share’ of business to haggle over.” Barney Bishop writes that if he wanted someone to convince him that the earth is flat, he’d go see Charlie Crist but asks Floridians if Crist can be counted on; and Jamie Miller looks critically at Congressman Trey Radel and the GOP in the events surrounding…

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