Today on Context Florida: Guns & paranoia, Jameis Winston, tax burdens and goodbye FCAT

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Today on Context Florida:

Gary Stein says that it seems that the attitudes, fear and paranoia of the Cold War are back — in Florida. This time, he writes, the weapon in question is not the atom bomb but the more personal conflict over handguns.

Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston is in the news again, writes Andrew Skerritt, starring in the clichéd role of troubled star athlete. Winston seems to be living in the star athlete’s bubble of denial, hoping that his talent will keep him out of prison even if he keeps screwing up. Someone needs to sit Winston down and have a man-to-man conversation ASAP, Skerritt adds.

Majorities in the Florida House and Senate let them dictate which issues would be addressed, or not, and which laws would be up for debate and possible passage, or not, says Daniel Tilson. Economic reforms to ease the tax burden on Florida’s working families, retirees and middle class were not even considered.

Peter Schorsch says farewell to the FACT, but now without clearing up some misconceptions. Yes, the standard test arrived in 1998 to “help clean things up,” but that is because things were pretty messy back then.

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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.