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Today on Context Florida: Hunt & fish, FDLE, empathy and unsolved murders

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Today on Context Florida:

Former state Rep. Rick Dantzler asks legislators where Florida children will now learn to hunt and fish. Hunting leases in Florida are too expensive, so gone are the days when a group of families from Central Florida could lease a big piece of land within a two-hour drive and find the kind of Florida in which Dantzler grew up.

Jac Wilder VerSteeg offers a quick word about the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s decision to investigate whether Context Florida columnist Daniel Tilson is a threat to Florida Gov. Scott. The FDLE, with 1,700 employees and a budget north of $300 million, not only protects the governor, it is, as its name implies, the state’s premier law-enforcement agency. If FDLE cannot make better decisions than agents made in this case can, there are reasons aplenty for Floridians to be worried.

All of us who find empathy when we find ourselves literally in someone else’s shoes, says Catherine Durkin Robinson, rather than simply picturing ourselves there. We harbor prejudices and beliefs that don’t make sense, and sometimes show very little compassion. Teaching children to see past their own circumstances and defend those with whom they disagree is just one of many ways we can ensure they are more evolved than we are. A trait that will benefit them in the long run.

A half century after an unsolved murder, Florence Snyder says who did the crime is less important that what the crime did to those left behind. The October 22, 1966 murders of Robert and Helen Sims and their 12-year-old daughter Joy changed Tallahassee, overnight, from a place where everyone trusted everyone to a place where the unspeakable could happen to anyone.

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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