Today on Context Florida: Telemedicine, banishing the NRA, hiding the flag and FCAT tips

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Today on Context Florida: The Florida Medical Association recognizes the state is facing a potential shortage of doctors and nurses, writes FMA Executive VP/CEO Tim Stapleton, but telemedicine and new technologies should not allow unlicensed or poorly credentialed physicians from out-of-state engage in medical or regulatory fraud.

Marc Yacht, former Director of the Pasco County Health Department, imagines a world where conservative Republican legislators banished NRA lobbyists from the Florida Capitol after “divine instructions” at a Republican prayer meeting. Confused and dazed, lobbyists dragged bags of money around looking for Democrats, since none had ever spoken to one before.

On the West Coast, courts seem to have a demented understanding of the Constitution, says former State Sen. John Grant. Case in point is a recent decision by the Ninth U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling  that officials in a San Jose high school were justified in ordering students to take off (or turn inside out) American flag T-shirts to avoid racial violence.

Beth Smith, assistant principal of Valleyview Elementary School in Lakeland, offers some tips for students taking the FCAT, which begins this week. Get some rest before the test; dress in layers to adapt to different temperatures in the classroom; wear something comfortable, and eat a healthy breakfast. Above all — don’t panic!

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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.