Today on Context Florida: Tim O’Meilia, Obama and Afghanistan, nurse practitioners and Key West rental scams

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Today on Context Florida, Florence Snyder writes of the passing of Tim O’Meilia, a gifted journalist and storyteller at the Palm Beach Post. O’Meilia died of cancer Saturday at the age of 65.

In Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says President Obama was wary of the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan, and was clearly interested in “getting out.” Hallelujah, says Tom O’Hara.

Tamara Demko calls for easing restrictions for the state’s 15,000 advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), who are qualified to provide primary care. Allowing them to practice in certain areas can alleviate Florida’s doctor shortage and open care to many citizens.

If a home rental deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is, especially when it comes to scammers in Key West, Linda Cunningham warns. She outlines a few steps for vacationers can take to avoid falling victim to scams such as non-existent addresses or leasing homes that are not for rent.

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.