Today on Context Florida: Carbon emissions, backwaters, Speaker’s race and Juneteenth

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Today on Context Florida:

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Society of Environmental Journalists each have “environmental” in their names, but Bruce Ritchie points out that the comparison stops there. Both the agency and journalism group are knocking heads over the way EPA rolled out its announcement on June 2 of a plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Shannon Nickinson worries what business people will think when they see the data on the 2014 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, where only 53 percent of Escambia County fifth-graders were proficient in science and 45 percent for eighth-graders. They will dismiss the Florida Panhandle as an intellectual backwater, a place where good ideas do not get off the ground because people are still arguing about whether the Earth is 6,000 years old. And they will write us off.

What you didn’t know about the 2020-21 Florida House Speaker race, writes Peter Schorsch, is that it is being run right now, possibly to be decided as soon as two months from now, but almost surely this year. As the race now stands, it is more of a two-man race. According to political insiders who work on or follow leadership races, the Speaker of the House in 2020-21 will be either Eric Eisnaugle or Tampa Bay.

Daniel Tilson writes on Juneteenth, a too-little-known annual day of celebration and reflection observed every June 19, commemorating the actual end of American slavery in 1865. So close to July 4 and American Independence Day, observance of what could (understandably) be considered African American Independence Day has ebbed and flowed over the years.

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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 His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, 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 and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.