Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Today on Context Florida: Bernie Sanders, abortion clinics, don’t get sick and a flood of online advertising

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Today on Context Florida:

A vote for Bernie Sanders is a vote for idealism, courage, candor, says Martin Dyckman. At this stage, a vote for Sanders is to send a message that universal health care is what the public wants and deserves. It’s a vote for what most voters say they want and respect. It sends a message to the establishment about what’s best in America as contrasted with the hatred that is corrupting and disgracing the other party.

Catherine Durkin Robinson talks about her first day on the job at a woman’s health clinic. She was a college student and part-time counselor, with duties that included helping patients through their abortion procedures. Since most of the patients had already met with a doctor and nurse, it was Robinson’s job to assist them emotionally. Soon afterward, she received her first death threat that day, from a God-fearing, “pro-life” man standing just outside the gates. This was around the time that doctors and clinic workers were being shot and killed in Pensacola. It was both a sobering and rewarding experience.

If you don’t have health insurance, Shannon Nickinson suggests you try not to sick — for at least three to five more years. This week, State Sen. Don Gaetz said expanding health-care coverage for the uninsured is DOA for three to five years. So cross your fingers and wash your hands, Nickinson says. The safety net under the uninsured in Pensacola is knit together in large part by volunteers with good hearts on shoestring budgets.

Online advertising flooded into William Steiger’s computer and phone during the holiday-selling season: banner ads, email advertising including spam, Facebook ads, sponsored tweets, rich-media ads, pop-ups, and pop-unders. And – Steiger’s personal favorite – pre-video ads that slow him down when I’m checking out the sports highlights from the previous night. As a sales guy, he understands that we need to sell stuff, and the Internet is the new retail trading space — and it’s going to get busier because more folks are getting connected. If you’re going fishing, Steiger says, go to where the fish are!

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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