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Today on Context Florida: Selma & LeRoy Collins, voting rights, honeybees and educational icebergs

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Today on Context Florida:

State troopers, sheriff’s deputies savagely attacked voting rights marchers at Selma, Ala., with clubs, tear gas and cattle prods on March 7, 1965; Martin Dyckman says two great Americans rushed to the city to try to take command of the perilous situation. One was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., determined to lead a second march — regardless of the consequences — two days later. The other was former Florida Gov. LeRoy Collins, President Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights mediator. His mission was to delay the second march.

You’d think 50 years was long enough for Florida lawmakers to get something right. But when it comes to ensuring all Floridians have equal opportunity to exercise their right to vote, and then overwhelmingly choose to use it, Daniel Tilson says that most of us know we’ve still got a long way to go.

Bruce Ritchie notes that according to Florida beekeepers, honeybees play a “sweet role” in agriculture and the economy but they need help — and state funding — to maintain a healthy population. Florida State Beekeepers Association, after a veto by Gov. Rick Scott in 2014, is trying again by requesting $3.5 million for an apiary research center at the University of Florida.

Florida’s educational ship of state hit an iceberg last week, says Catherine Martinez, a result of the 2011 “Student Success Act,” passed by the Legislature and quickly signed into law by Scott. After trusting in the superiority and unsinkable design of modern technology, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart was insisting the problem had been fixed. Legislators are rushing in to change the route and even suggesting that the ship return to port.

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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