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Today on Context Florida: Watched pots, cyber crime, gun violence and public notices

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Today on Context Florida:

“A watched pot never boils,” says Ed Moore, something heard many times before. We all know it more aptly reflects impatience rather than subjective reality. Of course, Moore points out, a pot will boil if the heat is turned high enough. Watching the news this week from Oregon, the image of a simmering pot about to boil came to mind. At what point do we become aware that our collective pot is already a bubbling cauldron of violence?

As Floridians, Blake Dowling says we are on the cutting edge of most things in the United States. Along with Texas and California, we lead the nation in college football recruiting, retirement, technology and Election College power. Unfortunately, what makes us great also makes us targets. A lot of cyber scams target the elderly in our states (fake emails/cryptolocker), our tourists (gas skimming/EVM chips), government (data breaches) and businesses (boss-phishing). So we must constantly be on the lookout for cyber-crime.

When President Barack Obama announced his executive actions on guns last week, parents of children slain by bullets stood behind him. Julie Delegal notes that among those there were Jordan Davis’ mother, Lucia McBath. McBath and Ron Davis were thrust into every parent’s nightmare in late 2012 when their 17-year-old son, Jordan, was shot and killed outside a Gate gas station in suburban Jacksonville. Dubbed the “loud music murder trial” by the press, the court proceedings tested a community that has historically failed too many attempts to deliver racial justice. It took two tries and two different sets of jurors, sitting just blocks away from the hallowed ground of Ax Handle Saturday, to ultimately convict Michael David Dunn on all counts, including the first-degree murder of Jordan Davis.

During the newly begun 2016 Florida Legislative Session, Brewster Bevis says lawmakers will be asked by the self-storage industry to end the current system of publishing a public notice in a local newspaper before the seizure of property or an auction is going to occur. Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) is opposed to this because they represent the interest of Florida’s businesses – 90 percent of which are small businesses – who, if this measure were to pass, would be hurt by this effort to diminish public notice. Businesses across the state use self-storage facilities to store their inventory or equipment. This property will be auctioned with notice that will be virtually unnoticed if the language in Senate Bill 720 and House Bill 559 passes. This proposed legislation will allow a self-storage facility to advertise on any publicly accessible Internet site, instead of traditional public notice.

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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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