Today on Context Florida: pension “reforms,” God and pot, schmutz and carved-out dental plans

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Today on Context Florida: If ever there were a legislative wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing of “fiscal responsibility,” changes to public-employee pensions would be that perpetually hungry beast, writes Daniel Tilson. A cohort of the elected officials in Tallahassee is trying to turn working and retired people against each other.

A few pols use conversations with God to guide their opinions on medical marijuana, says Gary Stein. Elected advocates who seem to be listening to higher powers are supporting Florida bills that have a reasonable chance of passing this year.

The New York Times used the word “schmutz” in an article on raising the height of the Bayonne Bridge. Rich Sloane loves when Yiddish shows up in the media; it gives him a feeling of being part of something that others want in on.

Florida has difficult challenges in delivering oral-health services to low-income children, says Dr. Frank Catalanotto, and Florida’s prepaid “carved out” dental-health plans, a system that works, will be threatened  if Medicaid HMOs take over management of dental services

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.