LOPSIDED ODDS: Nearly 1,800 hunters have sought permits to stalk 320 bears.
In just under two months, unless it can successfully be stopped, a hunting season for Florida black bears will open in four areas throughout the state. It will be the first hunt of its kind in more than 20 years.
The state Fish and Wildlife Commission, a panel appointed by the governor, voted nearly unanimously to approve the hunt in June. The short season has a 320-bear quota statewide, or 20 percent of the state’s black bear population minus the amount of bears that get "taken" in other ways, like auto strikes, according to current (but not necessarily accurate) estimates But some 1,795 hunters have purchased permits, including erstwhile rock star and ultra-conservative troll Ted Nugent.
The week-long hunt is expected to take place despite loud and extensive public outrage, which critics say the commission is discounting almost to the point of ridicule.
This time of year, one of our favorite things to do is hit the National Hurricane Center website a few times a day (2 & 5 a.m. and p.m. on the nose, to be accurate) to watch our federal tax dollars at work, tracking the development of tropical cyclones in our hemisphere all day long.
For the past few years, things have been a little dull on the site, fortunately — we needed that respite from the chaos of the mid-2000s.
A tropical wave would form somewhere off the coast of western Africa. Perhaps it'd turn into a tropical depression or an invest. If it developed into a tropical storm or hurricane, it'd eventually peter out, veer north or strike somewhere in the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico, causing little to no damage.
Friday marked the anniversary of the anniversary of District Judge Robert Hinkle’s ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban.
On the eve of that anniversary, LGBT equality advocates saw another small but symbolic victory, according to Equality Florida.
Come next month, the state will likely begin issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses and death certificates, state Bureau of Vital Statistics spokeswoman Ana Goold told Equality Florida's Hannah Willard.
Remember a couple of months ago when the Florida House and Senate couldn't agree over whether to expand Medicaid, and nearly put the state's budget in jeopardy?
Well, it's time to make way for Impasse 2: The Squeakquel.
That's because the two chambers are at odds over the two Congressional maps they drew, and they hit their noon deadline for reconciling the two maps today without doing so.
Things broke down earlier in the morning, according to the News Service of Florida, when Senate Reapportionment Chairman Bill Galvano (R-Bradenton), and House Redistricting Chairman Jose Oliva (R-Miami Lakes) met publicly to discuss their chambers' differences. When it was clear there wouldn't be agreement between the two sides, NSF reports Galvano "got up and abruptly left the meeting."
As it turns out, Governor Rick Scott's administration may have been a bit off-base in its claim that three Planned Parenthood clinics in Florida were performing abortions at later points in pregnancies than the Agency or Health Care Administration allows, and even admitted as much — or so we thought.
Last week, the AHCA demanded Planned Parenthood halt all second-trimester abortions at clinics in St. Pete, Naples and Fort Myers or face a $500 fine for each violation.
The bulldozers and backhoes are cranking at the head of the St. Pete Pier.
The inverted pyramid, constructed in the early seventies, is still there, mind you, so those of the opinion that the building is an icon can go pay their last respects. Mayor Rick Kriseman's office on Wednesday announced an event that will honor the structure before it's rendered unrecognizable.
After hours of talking shit about the Florida Supreme Court, GOP lawmakers in the State House passed new maps reshaping the state's congressional districts, which is why lawmakers are in Tallahassee to begin with.
The state's highest court ordered lawmakers to redraw the districts after it found they had twice drawn them in ways that favor Republicans (not that Democrats wouldn't have done the same thing, to be fair).
Note: We watched some of the yawner of a hearing via livestream, and caught the last hour or so of it. You couldn't pay us enough to sit through that whole thing. (Okay, maybe you could.) What we didn't observe via the Florida Channel we read elsewhere and are attributing accordingly.