Today on Context Florida: Florida redux, Miami, higher education and a bigger bridge

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Today on Context Florida:

Ferguson is Florida redux, says Stephen Goldstein. In Miami, in 1980, after four white police officers were acquitted by an all-male, all-white jury of killing Arthur McDuffie, an African-American, some of the worst race riots in America occurred. Today, much has changed, but too much has stayed the same. Florida remains two states — “separate and unequal” — a cauldron of social conflict ready to explode at the slightest provocation, at any moment.

‘Miami Grows Up. A Little’ was thesnarky putdown that headlined an opinion piece in The New York Times last week, writes Doug Clifton. The piece was filled with half-true generalizations based on wafer-thin reporting, but one paragraph hit home. “For the moment, though, Miami looks like a giant construction project. After a several-year lull that started in 2008, luxury condominiums are shooting up again, often right next to each other. The local economy still runs on selling bits of land to newcomers.” That it does.

Ed Moore notes a blatant amount of hypocrisy and doublespeak out of Washington D.C., when it comes to higher education. On the one hand, American higher education is lauded for providing a future that holds promise for those who pursue degrees. On the other, some political leaders and some in the news media describe a grim picture. Stories with headlines such as, “Is College Really Worth It?” or “College Graduates Find Jobs as Baristas” grab attention.

To make a meaningful dent in crime prevention, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office in Northwest Florida is trying to do its part to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community they are sworn to protect. Shannon Nickinson says we are going to need a bigger bridge.

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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.