Thursday, August 27, 2015

A time to kill? How Florida went from protecting bears to hunting them.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 8:46 AM

LOPSIDED ODDS: Nearly 1,800 hunters have sought permits to stalk 320 bears. - FLORIDA FISH & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • 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.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

You may want to stay home Monday, everyone

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 4:12 PM

  • National Hurricane Center
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.

So the past week has been interesting.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gov. Scott's approval rating goes...up?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 3:33 PM

Um, guys?

Apparently 45 percent of Floridians say Gov. Rick Scott is doing an a-ok job, according to a Quinnipiac poll out today, which we first heard about from the News Service of Florida.

NSF says "[the] poll indicated that 45 percent of voters approve of the way Scott is handling his job, while 44 percent disapprove." That's up from 39 percent in June.

We're guessing it's because of all the wonderful handshakes he's been giving out in Tampa Bay and other regions as he touts the healing of the state's economy as his own doing.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Florida to make marriage licenses gender-neutral

Posted By on Sat, Aug 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM

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.

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Friday, August 21, 2015

"Colossal failure" marks end of Florida special session on redistricting

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 1:34 PM

  • youtube.com
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."

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

USDA files complaint against private Dade City zoo

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 5:10 PM

  • dade city's wild things' Facebook page
A Pasco County wildlife attraction, Dade's City Wild Things, is under fire for the way it treats some of its residents, namely, juvenile tigers that it allows visitors to swim with for $200 a pop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month filed a complaint against the zoo over conditions some animals are kept in as well as the swim-with-the-tigers experience.

From the complaint:

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

State backs off Planned Parenthood...or does it?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 5:01 PM

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.

Turns out, no halting was needed.

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Pier dismantling begins; Friday event will honor the pyramid

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 4:40 PM

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.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Florida House goes full Florida House on redistricting

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 7:15 PM

  • funnyjunk.com
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.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bush v. Gore might actually be a thing again, Florida

Posted By on Thu, Aug 13, 2015 at 9:55 PM

The 2016 presidential election is starting to look like political Nick at Night.

Well, you know, if you replaced wistful nostalgia with a resigned shrug followed by an embrace of what's familiar.

There's a Clinton, a Bush, a Trump, possibly a Biden and now, maybe, a Gore.

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