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Today on Context Florida: Open government in West Palm, early education and ending the filibuster

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Today on Context Florida:

Open government sustained a serious setback this month, writes Jac Wilder VerSteeg. For this, he says you can “thank” the city of West Palm Beach, along with West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and spokesperson Elliot Cohen. The city – in response to public records requests – posted information online that revealed the names of several undercover officers, police informants and people who are the subjects of continuing criminal investigations. The posts contained information about local and federal probes. Edward Snowden and Wikileaks would be proud.

The Florida Children and Youth Cabinet recently voted to write state leaders urging them to prioritize early education and child services for “the first 1,000 days” – from pregnancy to age three. If the three most powerful men in Florida need reminding in small words that the investment in early education is more than something to do because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, Shannon Nickinson says the children of this state are in trouble.

The U.S. Senate’s refusal to debate or vote on the Iran nuclear agreement is a national embarrassment, says U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan. The culprit is clear: the 60-vote threshold required to stop a filibuster. It’s time to end the filibuster, he says, a relic of the past that is contributing to gridlock and dysfunction.

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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