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Today on Context Florida: Veterans & disability, lying pollsters and ex-offenders returning to the workforce

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Today on Context Florida:

It’s Veterans Day Wednesday, and Tom O’Hara is more excited than usual. In researching this column, he learned that as a Vietnam veteran O’Hara might be eligible to collect VA disability benefits due to his diabetes – even though I’m sure a tedious year at Phu Cat Air Force Base has nothing to do with my blood-sugar levels today. It’s a great time to be a veteran, O’Hara says.

Jac VerSteeg believes polling accuracy might be worse than originally thought. It is becoming increasingly clear that people don’t need to lie to pollsters to screw up the results. Because of changes in the way human beings communicate – and VerSteeg is referring primarily to smart phones – it might be impossible to conduct a valid poll. In which case the pollsters, some completely unwittingly, are lying to us.

Julie Delegal writes about Kevin Gay, president and founder of a groundbreaking organization that puts nonviolent ex-offenders back into the workforce. His nonprofit mission, Operation New Hope, started with a question: “When are guys like you going to get it?” The question came from Gay’s Episcopal priest, Davette Turk, who wanted him to see that serving others didn’t require him to go on overseas mission trips.

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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