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Today on Context Florida: Education for the future, Aesop’s ant, Florida bike trails and equal ground for children

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Today on Context Florida:

Marc Yacht asks the first question to political promises: “What are the jobs?” Political office seekers should be advocating education as the proper conduit to careers. Unfortunately, public school funding is under siege and the high cost of college discourages many talented students from pursuing education.  Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is correct: we must provide a free education through college to students. More assembly-line jobs are not the solution. The answer lies more with education and training than factory employment.

Ed Moore asks you to imagine you’re the ant and Aesop’s famous fable. You have always done what you needed to do to plan for tomorrow. You stashed away assets for that inevitable rainy day, delaying instant gratification to provide for your own welfare over time. But when tomorrow comes, you find yourself surrounded by Aesop’s grasshoppers. Profligate spenders, never worrying about nor planning for the needs of tomorrow, but quick to look to you to share your hard-earned bounty. What is the frugal ant to do? To not share labels you as unfair, stingy, and miserly. You can quickly see that the socialist grasshoppers will ridicule you, claiming you are hoarding precious resources that should be redistributed to others who have not dedicated the time to create wealth.

A quarter of a century has passed since plans were completed for the Cady Way Trail, Central Florida’s first bike trail. Bruce Stephenson notes that it took two years to turn the plan into reality, as property owners were wary of placing a bike trail on a defunct rail line near their homes. The issue dominated a neighborhood meeting in Winter Park, where Stephenson presented the plan. “I’m afraid someone will rob my home and use the trail as a getaway,” a resident said. “You are much more likely to have a criminal rip you off and escape on an abandoned right of way,” he replied.

Shannon Nickinson began compiling the responses to Quint and Rishy Studer’s “Be the Bulb” challenge, which will see the couple give away $50,000 in total for ideas that aim to improve early learning. She has been through them all. One thing Nickinson has learned through her journalism career and as a mother, not all of our children are on equal ground.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

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.

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