Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Zimmerman is still not in trouble for killing Trayvon Martin

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 7:15 PM

Florida man George Zimmerman, America's favorite gun owner, is once again out of the woods after a the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday it is closing its investigation over whether he violated the civil rights of Trayvon Martin when he fatally shot him in February of 2012.

The aim of the investigation was to determine whether Zimmerman's shooting of Martin, an 18-year-old unarmed black man, was racially motivated, which is not legal, or if Zimmerman was just a jerk, which is legal.

Justice Department officials ultimately determined it was the latter.

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Environmentalists tout new study highlighting the influence of "corporate polluters"

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 5:56 PM

Hmmmmm....Not sludgy enough. - US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
  • US Geological Survey
  • Hmmmmm....Not sludgy enough.
As a congressional block to an executive order to restore federal protection of smaller waterways looms, environmental groups in Florida are trying to draw attention to the potential harm of not having those protections in place. 

Standing on the steps of St. Pete City Hall Tuesday, Environment Florida and other groups held a press conference highlighting findings tying corporate contributions and lobbying to bad laws for the environment. 

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pinellas congressman's bill would ease legal immigrants' woes

Posted By on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 at 8:15 PM

The debate over how to treat millions of undocumented immigrants is as headline-grabbing as it is polarizing.

Standing in its shadow is U.S. policy on the people who came here legally, who followed a meticulous bureaucratic process and have spent tens of thousands of dollars to be here only to routinely face getting kicked out of the country. On Wednesday morning at a crowded Italian restaurant on 66th Street in Pinellas Park, U.S. Rep. David Jolly (R-Indian Shores) announced he is filing a bill that would allow certain immigrants who are here legally to stay after a certain amount of time.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Huzzah! Tourism smashes records in 2014 with 4-percent boost

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 2:19 PM

  • Wikimedia Commons
Numbers released early Monday by Visit Florida show the number of visitors to the state shot up to 97.3 million in 2014, a 3.9 percent increase over 2013.

Governor Rick Scott touted the good news at Tampa International Airport earlier.

"In 2010, the year before I got elected, there were 82 million tourists in our state," Scott said. "So we've gone up 15 million tourists."

So, Rick Scott becomes governor and, boom, mobs of tourists from Toledo to Tokyo flock to Florida at staggering rates.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

How does Florida love guns? Let us count the ways.

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 9:57 AM

Maybe because it’s sort of shaped like a gun, Florida loves to loosen its firearms restrictions. You can carry one in many public places as long as you’re not waving it around, and come this time next year, those places could include college campuses and junior highs. Here’s a look at how gun laws have evolved in the Sunshine State in recent years, listed by year of passage, along with those pending in 2015.

Seriously, this was on Pinterest. - PINTEREST.COM
  • pinterest.com
  • Seriously, this was on Pinterest.

1987: Concealed carry. Floridians can carry a concealed handgun (as long as it's licensed), an electronic weapon or device, tear gas gun, knife, or billie, in most public spaces.

1987: Backyard shooting ranges. Makes it legal to fire a weapon on private residential property as long as shooter is not “reckless” or “negligent” and would not cross a public right-of-way. While this bill passed 27 years ago, local governments kept a lid on ranges in many places. But a 2011 law strengthening the state’s hold on gun laws — see “Preemption law,” below — has led to a crop of home gun ranges.

2005: “Stand your ground.” Use of deadly force is justified in the presence of a perceived threat.

2008: “Take your guns to work” law. Prohibits employers from banning guns on their premises as long as they’re legally owned and locked inside the employee’s car.

2011: “Preemption” law. Adds teeth to an existing 1987 law placing all gun regulations in state’s hands. Prohibits any local restrictions on guns. Any local official who tries to restrict gun use is subject to a $5,000 fine and removal from office.

2011: “Medical privacy” law. Bars doctors from asking their patients if they keep guns at home.

Okay, Sheriff Rick is obviously a licensed gun owner, but Carl is definitely not. - MAXLEVELGEEK.COM
  • maxlevelgeek.com
  • Okay, Sheriff Rick is obviously a licensed gun owner, but Carl is definitely not.
H.B. 19. “School safety” bill. Gives school district officials the right to allow K-12 school employees to carry guns on campus.

S.B. 176. Guns on college campuses. Allows anyone with a concealed weapons permit to carry on college and university campuses. It failed in 2014, but was reintroduced late last year.

S.B. 290 Emergency unlicensed carry. Makes it legal to carry unlicensed concealed weapons during mandatory evacuations. This also did not pass in 2014 but is being reintroduced. It was nicknamed the “Zombie Apocalypse” bill because of an amendment added by a Democratic Senator to highlight just how bonkers it is.

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Gun lust: Florida lawmakers refuse to examine their generous gun laws despite the consequences

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 8:58 AM

It was a headline that could have been plucked from a Carl Hiaasen novel: Florida man irks neighbors with backyard gun range.

But for residents of St. Petersburg’s Lakewood Estates neighborhood, where 21-year-old Joey Carannante planned to shoot at a makeshift target he’d installed in his father’s yard, the threat of guns blasting in the lot next to where their children played was all too real. The “range” had no backstop or anything else to prevent a stray bullet from endangering the lives of those nearby.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Well, that was quick: New Bush team tech hire leaves after off-color Tweets revealed

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 11:19 PM

  • Screen Grab, czahor.com
When Jeb Bush's possible presidential campaign announced Ethan Czahor would serve as chief technology officer of Bush's Right to Rise PAC, the Internet quickly dug up dirt

Most of said dirt consisted of sexist and homophobic Tweets, many of which were published at least five years ago.

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Uh-oh. State faces $1.3 billion gap after feds pull low income pool funds (like they said they would)

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 10:41 PM

Well, we can't say we didn't see this coming.

On Tuesday Health News Florida reported a federal funding source, which helps hospitals in Florida cover care for people who can't afford it themselves, is going away at the end of June.

Eliot Fishman, director of the Medicaid division of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said earlier in the day there was "no way" Florida would be receiving the Low Income Pool (LIP) program money, at least "not in its present form."

That could leave Florida in kind of a bind.

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FOX News contributor trolls Gasparilla for - get this! - uninformed ignoramuses

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 4:48 PM

FOX News is good at two things: blatantly misleading its viewers and running moral outrage-laced diatribes about Our Nation's Youth interspersed with footage of hot, inebriated beach babes.

Here we deal with an instance of the latter in which one of the network's "personalities" tries to make Tampanians look stupid.

Monday night, the network aired O'Reilly Factor contributor Jesse Watters' man-on-the-street interviews of drunk people at Gasparilla here in Tampa two weekends ago. (We link to TBO's story about it here so you don't have to click on FOX's site. Because we care.)

  • Um...Gitmo?

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New Bush tech hire announced; said hire then...wait for it...scrubs Twitter of sexist, homophobic Tweets

Posted By on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 10:50 AM

As word spread about the Jeb Bush presidential almost-campaign tapping Ethan Czahor as their new chief technology officer Monday, it didn't take too long for the Internet to dig up some old things he said on Twitter that were, well, off color.

Czahor is founder of Hipster.com (whatever that was now reroutes to aol.com) and served as chief technology officer for Honest, a company launched by actress Jessica Alba.

And he really, really hates sluts. Or at least he used to.

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