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River of Grass

Matt Gaetz: Fix Florida’s Everglades, avoid distraction of costly land buy

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As a former state legislator and now a member of Congress, I’ve been proud to support investments in protecting Florida’s natural resources, including the Everglades. While located far from the Emerald Coast, the Everglades are about as iconic in Florida as the Blue Angels, the Space Shuttle, and the orange. Everglades National Park alone welcomes 1.1 million visitors annually with an economic impact of more than $103 million. Recently, I joined my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in…

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Daughter of Everglades Foundation founder says group ‘badly lost its way’

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The daughter of Everglades Foundation founder George Barley says the group today is nothing like the one her father launched decades ago. In an op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel Catherine Barley-Albertini, now a freelance writer in California, says the Everglades foundation has “badly lost its way” from its initial mission of Everglades restoration. Barley-Albertini reflects on her father’s “passion for nature,” and the family vacations centered around it. She says she still visits Florida frequently, and possesses a deep appreciation…

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Today on Context Florida: The Republican problem, Rick Scott & the environment, unfairness in politics and Key West parking

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Today on Context Florida: As a preacher’s kid who grew up in the South, Jac VerSteeg values politeness. It is a given that, when you encounter a governor in a coffee shop, you do not yell, “You are an a**hole!” Nevertheless, Cara Jennings’ crude outburst in a Gainesville Starbucks provides an insight that if taken to heart might benefit the Republican Party, whose presidential frontrunners are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. The party has an a**hole problem. Diane Roberts asks if…

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Legislators speculate on great Floridian for Capitol statue

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A proposal to remove a statue of a Confederate leader at the National Statuary Hall is generating speculation among Florida legislators about whose image should replace it. Legislation to replace the statue of Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith doesn’t propose a successor. Smith’s place in history is due to his being the last officer to surrender a significant Confederate military force during the Civil War. Some legislators have suggested Florida should choose a woman, like writer Zora Neale Hurston. Only 10…

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Obama sounds alarm on climate damage in visit to Everglades

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Amid lurking alligators and the steamy heat of Florida’s Everglades, President Barack Obama on Wednesday sounded the alarm about damage from climate change he said was already wreaking mayhem in Florida and across the United States. In an implicit rebuke to Florida’s governor and other Republicans, Obama accused those who deny the man-made causes of climate change of sticking their heads in the sand. He said rising sea levels that have infused the Everglades with harmful salt water have already…

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