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Zora Neale Hurston

‘Guacamole-thick’ algae causes crisis on Florida coastline

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A smelly, “guacamole-thick” muck is fouling a stretch of beaches promoted as Florida’s “Treasure Coast,” where lawmakers and residents blame the federal government, saying the algae crisis is fueled by freshwater flows controlled by Army officials to protect an erosion-prone dike. The blue-green algae is the latest contaminant featured in yearslong arguments over water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, which is critical to South Florida’s water supply and flood control systems. At Central Marine boat docks in Stuart, pea-green and brown…

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Federal action sought for Florida coastline tainted by algae

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Officials want federal action along a stretch of Florida’s Atlantic coast where the governor has declared a state of emergency over algae blooms. The blue-green algae is the latest contaminant in yearslong arguments over water flowing from Lake Okeechobee, which is critical to South Florida’s water supply and flood control systems. The Martin County Commission is inviting the president to view deteriorating water conditions that local officials blame on freshwater being released from the lake, according to a statement released…

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Diane Roberts: Rick Scott’s higher education summit was missing one thing — educators

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Gov. Rick Scott recently convened a higher education summit. Minus the educators. The Commissioner of Agriculture was there. The COO of defense contractor Northrup Grumman was there. The head of the state Dept. of Economic Opportunism was there. So was the state university system chancellor, the Senate president, assorted business types and three head football coaches. But no professors. No teachers. That’s like having a confab on space travel and inviting only NASA’s senior accountant, the cafeteria manager at Johnson…

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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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Many Floridians of note deserve U.S. Capitol honor

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Florida had been a state for less than a century when it came time to honor famous citizens with two statues at the U.S. Capitol, and there were few plausible candidates. Dr. John Gorrie, the physician who invented mechanical refrigeration – imagine modern Florida without it – was an outstanding choice. But from today’s perspective, Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith is a head-scratcher. Let 2016 be the year the Legislature finally retires him. Smith’s historical distinction was to command Rebel…

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