Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Today on Context Florida: Replacing Scalia, Ronald Reagan, Florida’s seniors, student performance and Gasparilla Marathon

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida:

The already heated political rhetoric about replacing the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court is a sad spectacle. Bob Sparks called it “unseemly.” While he would personally agree with Republicans on the desire to have another brilliant originalist on the court, there will not be another Scalia anytime soon. No matter who is appointed, Sparks says, Democrats can take comfort in that reality.

Ed Moore asks which GOP candidate is most like Ronald Reagan. He takes a look at Reagan’s history and some decisions and positions he took as president. Do any of them or all of them lead to the conclusion that any single candidate shares his vision, philosophy, and style of governance? You decide.

Bill Day’s latest:


For Steve Bahmer, it’s no secret that Florida has a high population of seniors. The quintessential Florida lifestyle has long been a favorite of retirees. But as we age, we encounter new expenses ranging from medical bills to unexpected home repairs, leaving many who are on fixed incomes at risk of losing their home or in search of affordable housing. Fortunately, there are federal and state programs designed to help Florida’s seniors maintain independence. Specifically, the Sadowski programs come to mind, since the Florida Legislature is heading toward budget negotiations.

Gov. Rick Scott has long positioned Florida as a formidable foe to Texas when it comes to job creation. For years, he has pushed his “jobs, jobs, jobs” agenda by holding up the Lone Star State as a model for Florida to emulate. But William Mattox talks about a new measure making its way through the Legislature that should help keep Florida well ahead of Texas in an equally important set of rankings: K-12 student performance. And given the importance of a skilled labor force to economic development, this legislation probably bodes well for the state’s long-term prospects in the job-creation rankings, too.

Last year, Catherine Durkin Robinson ran the Gasparilla Half-Marathon in Tampa for the first time. The race began perfectly. That morning was just the perfect kind of chilly at the 6 a.m. start. Robinson stepped into the first corral, which felt right because my two previous half-marathons were sub-2. That’s annoying Runner Speak for “under two hours,” she says. Now, Robinson is ready to get hers.

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.

Latest from Apolitical

Go to Top