Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Today on Context Florida: Stealing land and water money, repairing death penalty, Donald Trump and Tampa’s dangerous sidewalks

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida:

All political power is inherent in the people; that’s what the Florida Constitution says. Diane Roberts guesses most Florida legislators have never read it. Either that or they don’t give a good goddamn. For the second year in a row, they are misappropriating — stealing, in plain English — your money, the money you said to use for protecting Florida’s land and water.

Julie Delegal says the Florida Senate has an opportunity to repair the state’s death penalty statutes in a way that won’t invite years of litigation. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Florida’s death penalty procedures unconstitutional. Until the Legislature acts, the state’s prosecutors have no legal avenue for pursuing death penalty cases. House Bill 7101, Delegal notes, is a good beginning toward fixing what’s broken. But unless it is amended in the Senate, the bill may not go far enough to meet the requirements of the Sixth Amendment, which provides for trial by jury.

Donald Trump has a better chance than ever to become the GOP nominee for president. Was it inevitable? Who the hell knows, says Chris Timmons. It appears Ted Cruz is pushing against the reality of his threadbare coalition. Cruz will get Texas, assuredly. Maybe other “SEC” states, say, Georgia or Tennessee. The lights will dim afterwards. And the scary possibility of an otherworldly ideologue as chief executive of the republic, portending a dark night for us all, ends in a victory for the forces of light. Marco Rubio has a more interesting position.

Catherine Durkin Robinson has run for a few years now and cycling for almost 11 months. These activities are supposed to be good for health, but there are days Robinson would be safer at home on the couch. When running, she tries to stay on sidewalks. Robinson has been to third-world countries. Tampa’s sidewalks are worse, she says.

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.

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