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Today on Context Florida: Florida’s legislative intransigence, not just who you know, “fail first” and protecting Bimini

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida:

In the second of a three-part series, Julie Delegal recounts the Florida Legislature’s history of intransigence when it comes to the requirement that penalty-phase vertex be unanimous to impose capital punishment. Now, in light of a January U.S. Supreme Court ruling, attorneys agree there is no constitutional means by which to sentence convicted murderers to death in Florida.

“It’s who you know.” Dale Brill says we have all experienced it, even if we do not recognize it. Yet if it’s only who you know, Brill’s students ask what can be the point of humanities classes and other seemingly obscure graduation requirements. We’ve all cast judgment on the inherent value of courses or particular assignments by wondering, “When will I ever use this again?” What you know, however, isn’t just rhetorical Prozac. Brill says it’s a truth on equal par with who you know.

As a rheumatologist, Dr. Pamela Freeman treats relatively common problems, such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Other individuals have rare conditions shared by only a few people in the U.S. When she is able to bring relief to patients, Freeman’s day has been successful. Two protocols used by insurance companies to reduce their costs — prior authorization and “fail first” — place a heavy burden on physicians and unnecessarily interfere with our ability to provide timely effective treatment.

For Blake Dowling, the Bahamian island of Bimini – a paradise worth visiting – is also in need of protection by the government from developers. Plans were drawn up for a resort on the end of North Bimini island called Bimini Bay. When complete it was to accommodate 10,000 people on an island whose total population numbers only 2,000. Land was cleared, mangroves uprooted, seabed was dredged in a section that had been previously deemed “preserve.” With the full support of the government in Nassau, RWB dredged a significant area of seabed and built a 1,000-foot pier to service a cruise ship that was supposed to ferry thousands of tourists each day from Miami.

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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