Today on Context Florida: Hot potatoes, five questions, education waste and Scott Rothstein

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Today on Context Florida:

Every judge gets a robe and a gavel. Now, Martin Dyckman says it might be necessary to include barbecue mitts. Consider the hot-potato handling in the Tampa divorce case of Mariama Monique Changamire Shaw vs. Keiba Lynn Shaw. Married legally in Massachusetts in 2010, they moved to Florida in 2011 and separated in 2013. After Shaw filed for divorce, the women reached a settlement agreement that included provisions for a child Keiba Shaw had adopted before the marriage. It was a “collaborative” divorce case, of the sort that Florida courts routinely ratify every day.

Labor Day is at least a week into the rearview mirror, so the white pants should be closeted away until next June. Peter Schorsch offers five key questions the answers to which will illuminate Florida politics like jack-o’-lanterns soon will light front porches.

When the Florida courts consider several lawsuits filed recently by the Florida Education Association and other anti-voucher groups, William Mattox hopes someone will call him as a witness. He is a public school parent who agrees that some of our education tax dollars aren’t being spent in a way that serves the public interest.

Scott Rothstein is the former South Florida attorney sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for perpetrating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme. Before he got caught, Andrew Skerritt notes that Rothstein took enough smiling pictures with Charlie Crist to fill a photo album. The Republican Party of Florida has been aggressively running ads accusing Crist of letting Rothstein pick judicial appointments in exchange for campaign contributions.

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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.