Today on Context Florida: Commercialization, drug war, Obamacare and Pensacola

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Today on Context Florida:

Catherine Durkin Robinson feels Christmas is commercialized, but Chanukah (her holiday) is boring, and Kwanzaa is a lot like underwear you put on before pantyhose. She does not understand the point. For the rest of us, here is a list of 10 things she hates about the holidays.

The nation’s war on drugs need not be a bust, says Mark O’Brien. Politicians and cops know you get better headlines for putting people in prison than for providing rehab, so the money soon migrated to the law enforcement side. But the citizens can do something: Put measures on the ballot to amend Florida’s laws.

Attention, knee-jerk opponents of Obamacare, Daniel Tilson says one thing: Be careful what you wish for. Although many anti-Obamacare Floridians with health insurance may not know or believe it, it is their premiums, deductibles, co-payments and taxes that help cover the sky-high costs of uncompensated Emergency Room Care for the uninsured.

Pensacola is an old city, Shannon Nickinson observes. The April flooding proved its infrastructure on the ground has all of the flaws that the streets, sewers and storm drains of a community our size and age has. As city and county fathers (and mothers) pursue money from the tax rolls, federal grants and FEMA to help improve those systems, another infrastructure issue is looming in the air. Literally.

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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.