Today on Context Florida: Poverty, millionaire’s club, rigged poker, Uber and lifelong learning

in Uncategorized by

Today on Context Florida: With tongue firmly in check, Andrew Skerritt says he is “privileged” to live in the congressional district served by U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, the second-term congressman and former funeral home director. Since taking office, the Panhandle Republican and Baptist seems to have found a new “religion”— the crusade against poverty.

Some megabuck zillionaires purchase sports teams for fun, but former State Sen. John Grant writes that there are others some “purchase” political offices as a hobby. Since it is not uncommon for congressional candidates to spend in excess of $500,000 of their personal funds to be elected. Congress has become a “millionaire’s club.”

Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislators have turned the final days of the 2014 session into a rigged political poker tournament, says Daniel Tilson. Bankrolled by our tax dollars, they keep betting, raising and bluffing with bravado, but we are the ones with most of the skin in the game.

Once a haven for entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, who chose for his theme parks the Sunshine State over a New Orleans mired in protectionist behavior, Justin Kintz feels the state of Florida is turning away a popular new service in the forefront of global commerce — Uber’s innovative mobile application that connects passengers with drivers.

Catherine Durkin Robinson found this years’ Boston Marathon thrilling, dizzying and inspiring. She found so much in the past 12 months, as there is still great satisfaction in setting mind to something and seeing it through. Robinson also discovered she is strong and capable.

Earning a degree does not mean you should ever stop learning, writes Mark Routhier. Too many people shed graduation robes and never crack open another book, resigned to enter a workaday world.

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.