Today on Context Florida: Sexism exists, tobacco debate, year of water and immigration

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Today on Context Florida:

An Australian television news anchor has concluded a yearlong experiment to prove sexism exists, writes Janelle Irwin. Karl Stefanovic wore the same suit every day (except for a few when he had to get it washed) for a year. No one noticed. It all came together after his co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, gave a scathing speech at an award ceremony about how people asked her more about what she was going to wear than what she was going to say. That sucks, a lot, Irwin writes.

Mark O’Brien has an interesting debate that he would love to see played out in Florida. In their desire to save lives and improve health, some communities elsewhere have raised to 21 the minimum age for anyone to buy tobacco. It’s led to a reduction in teenage smoking, although some folks worry that it’s another case of the Nanny State run amok.

Bruce Ritchie says that 2015 actually could be the “year of water” in the Florida Legislature. New Senate President Andy Gardiner told reporters that Amendment 1 is going to drive a lot of the debate about water legislation. But it’s still not at all clear what are the water problems that will be discussed or how the Legislature can address them.

Daniel Tilson wants to get one thing straight. Open political warfare over immigration reform is not starting with President Obama’s pre-Thanksgiving Executive Order on immigration. It started more than 16 months ago when the U.S. Senate did something amazing in this age of congressional gridlock, passing a compromise immigration-reform bill with bipartisan input and support. Then the largely Tea Party-driven U.S. House Republican delegation dug in its “Just Say No!” obstructionist heels, pandering to its most conservative constituents in advance of the 2014 elections.

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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.