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Today on Context Florida: Health care regret, hate groups, ‘be nice’ and more than a number

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Today on Context Florida:

Republicans who have left no stone unturned in efforts to crush Obamacare are having second thoughts as they realize 6.4 million could lose their health insurance, says Marc Yacht. The chaos created by such action lies at the feet of conservative Republicans and the ultimate cost at the polls is yet to be determined. It brings up the adage, “Be careful what you want; you may get it!”

The murder of a pastor and eight parishioners in their historic Charleston church last week was swiftly answered by law enforcement the next day, when police arrested 21-year-old Dylann Roof, who expressed ideological kinship with the Council of Conservative Citizens, one of numerous hate groups whose poison is available with a few clicks on the Internet. Julie Delegal says that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 50 hate groups in Florida, making it the second-largest hate-group host-state in the U.S.

As Anthony Major wrote this column, his ears rang with the news of another senseless shooting. This time was nine people slain at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Major will never forget his grandmother’s words as he left home to move to New York City: “Be nice to people.” A simple four words, but if learned, remembered, respected and followed, that would put a lot of these senseless killings to rest.

As she talks to a health care provider, Catherine Martinez repeats the mantra (to herself) that she is more than just a number. Her hope is that in the near future — at the local, state, and federal level — administrators and lawmakers will realize students cannot be reduced to a number, and that the qualitative measurements, e.g. grade-point average, awards, community service, participation in clubs and organizations, are a much better predictor of future success than a mere number on a test.

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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