Today on Context Florida: Florida disaster, tax holidays, getting high and El Paso

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Today on Context Florida:

Steven Goldstein writes that by any objective standard, Florida has become a man-made disaster — a monument to greed, unquenched lust for power, pervasive bad taste and stupidity. He offers 17 “doable initiatives” to remake Florida for the infinitely better, even “world class.”

With Florida schools back in session very soon, and new learning standards and assessment tests, Dominic Calabro knows one thing will stay the same: the need for paper and pencils, clothes to wear, and maybe even a new computer at home. Florida TaxWatch has long supported sales tax holidays, like the one for back-to-school supplies on Aug. 1-3.

Florida’s Amendment 2 is not about medical marijuana, says Barney Bishop. It is about getting high. Because according to supporters, pot will help people to live through pain, reduce or stop seizures and help people who are dying.

If there is a city that characterizes our new America, Rick Brunson, an associate instructor of journalism in UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication, believes it is the very old town of El Paso, circa 1659. What was most noticeable was what he did not see: The little daily antagonisms over immigration that Brunson routinely witnessed back home in Orlando.

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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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.