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Today on Context Florida: Save Our Rivers, Palestinians & Israel, education reform and custodians

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Today on Context Florida:

Floridians want the state to buy sugar industry-owned land south of Lake Okeechobee to store and clean water, says Sally Swartz. Unfortunately, that is not what the sugar industry wants. The “Save Our Rivers/Buy the Land” advocates are not giving up, and Stuart Republican Joe Negron offers a glimmer of hope.

Marc Yacht notes that Israelis and Palestinians are weary of conflict. The Palestinians need a contiguous land of their own, as did Israel, he adds. The first step is to acknowledge the State of Israel allowing needed efforts for a two-state solution. Continued hostilities have no productive future and play into the hands of those profiting from conflict. Looking backward is not an option.

The Florida Legislature has passed, and Gov. Rick Scott has signed, an education reform bill that Jac VerSteeg calls dishonest – and politically cowardly – at its core. It simply kicks the can down the road. There is no guarantee that an independent panel can or will come to a rational conclusion.

A coach once gave Todd Dagenais golden advice, which stuck with him every day of his 20-year volleyball-coaching career: “Get to know the custodians.” They could be the person who determines if you start your day stress-free, they may be the person who can bail you out of a tough situation, or they may even be the person who can influence whether you will be a success or a failure in your job.

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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