Today on Context Florida: Pension overhaul (again), feds v. states, credit card fraud and Sunshine Week

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Today on Context Florida: The Florida Legislature is once again taking up state pension overhaul of the Florida Retirement System, says political consultant Bob Sparks. The problem is; House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz attempt to change a system that is not broken, with more than 86 percent of state pension liabilities are funded.

In the South, writes Gary Stein, a new war is brewing between the states and the federal government. The “feds versus states” thinking increased resistance to needle syringe exchanges for drug addicts and the current efforts to legalize medical marijuana.

The frenzy over credit card fraud can affect just about anyone, even Maritza Martinez, who had her cards closed and new ones issued even though there was no illegal charges. The cards numbers were “compromised,” leaving Martinez to get three different cards in the span of four months — after 14 years without a problem.

Sunshine Week begins in Tallahassee, and attorney Florence Snyder reminds readers that the “wheat” of a story can be found in public records, not the “chaff” of press releases peddled by government agencies. The Lakeland Police Department provides an excellent example, after the Public Information Officer stalled a fledgling police reporter on details of a shooting—the reporter went to the public records to discover a wealth of corruption in the Department.

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.