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Today on Context Florida: Testy Cabinet, John Kirtley, Bernie Sanders and kids at the theater

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Today on Context Florida:

Peter Schorsch talks about the testy process of choosing a new state Insurance Commissioner. Among the four top statewide officials, no one walked away a winner from last week’s battle. Neither Gov. Rick Scott nor CFO Jeff Atwater got the candidate he wanted, with both settling on the third name Atwater threw out at Friday’s emergency Cabinet meeting, David Altmaier. Interestingly enough, the process was a design that Atwater himself, a former lawmaker and Senate president, once approved.

John Kirtley is at it again. The Tampa businessman who created Florida’s voucher school program is out spinning again for school “choice,” says Julie Delegal. Kirtley told a group gathered at the Florida State University Alumni Center that the lawsuit challenging the voucher program’s constitutionality could undo all the good that he says the program has accomplished. What progress is that again? Who knows, Delegal says. Tax Credit Scholarship (aka voucher) students can’t be directly compared to Florida’s public school children because the former group takes a different test — a test that doesn’t measure academic growth.

One of the things Catherine Durkin Robinson likes best about Bernie Sanders is how he won’t trade on what he believes in to become president. He’s not desperate, she says. Sanders holds fast to ideals he’s championed since the 1960s and is unapologetic about it. That’s his charm. And challenge. Unfortunately, that’s also one reason he won’t become our candidate.

Heather Gibson gives some tips on taking a child to the theater. She recently took her 2-year-old to a show. The reasons were twofold: First, Gibson had been working almost nonstop for months on the recent UCF Celebrates the Arts Festival. Second, she had reserved tickets to “We All Can Dance,” a kinderdrama for toddlers and their grownups. The event promised time to play, dance and make theater together, all things the two of them love to do. Exposure to the theater is at the top of the activity list for Gibson’s little guy, and it almost always trumps a nap.

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 [email protected] and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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