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Today on Context Florida: Lenny Curry, Big Sugar, free parking and standardized test fail

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Today on Context Florida:

Bob Sparks says Lenny Curry’s victory in Jacksonville last night shows Republicans the way to win. The political class is analyzing whether Curry’s win gives Republicans any advantage next year in the quest to capture Florida’s 29 electoral votes or to hold a U.S. Senate seat. Since Jacksonville and Duval County usually go Republican (Barack Obama lost this area twice), a Democrat winning twice in non-presidential election years would certainly give the GOP some cause for concern.

According to a lawsuit filed by three students of Orlando’s Valencia College, “A student would place a condom over the probe and then apply generous amounts of lubrication to the probe. In some cases, the student would have to sexually ‘stimulate’ plaintiffs in order to facilitate inserting the probe into plaintiffs’ vaginas.” Diane Roberts says it is a metaphor for what the current political regime and Big Sugar is doing to the state.

Sally Swartz calls for county lawmakers to preserve free parking and open access to Martin County’s beautiful beaches. Opinions on banning alcohol vary, but not a single Martin resident she talked with supports charging to park at the beaches or limiting hours. And people are talking about it.

Jac Wilder VerSteeg writes that Florida, a pioneer in the uncringing devotion to school standards, is cringing – and just plain messing up – once again. The Legislature passed a law requiring that standardized end-of-course exams count for 30 percent of students’ grades in key math courses. The law was supposed to be in effect for this year, but the Department of Education just issued what VerSteeg calls a “Never Mind” memo.

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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