Inspiring millions of virtual fans with heartfelt dispatches and persistent calls for greater political freedom, blogger Yoani Sanchez is the most visible symbol of both sweeping change inside Cuba and the modern power of social media to crack some of the world's most closed societies.
Steve Augello lives in Spring Hill Florida, just outside of Tampa. Like a lot of dads, he always made his 17-year-old daughter, Alessandra, check-in with him when she was out. Augello also had a rule.
“You weren’t allowed to have that cell phone out while you’re driving,” Augello remembers telling Alessandra. “I even tested her a few times I called her when she was driving and it always went right through to the recorder.”
Have an idea for a specialty license plate in Florida?
You can create one by jumping through a few hoops, forking out some cash, and convincing the Legislature to approve it.
Just as lawmakers pass bills that Gov. Rick Scott signs into law, both the House and Senate have to vote for proposed specialty plates.
Take the proposed Sun, Sea, and Smiles specialty plate. For an additional $25 above the cost of a standard plate, drivers may soon be able to get a specialty plate that raises money for a half-dozen Caribbean-related charities.
My dedication to legalizing medical marijuana results from personal experience. My daughter has epilepsy, and although she was always compliant with her medication, she continued to have occasional seizures. When she moved to California for her job, and had yet another seizure, she met with a neurologist, who recommended that she join a medical marijuana dispensary. That was in 2000. She has not had another seizure since.
But she cannot come home to visit us in Florida. Because of our marijuana laws, she cannot legally maintain her doctor-recommended medical regimen.
We spoke with the governor about his hopes for this legislative session, his political turn to the left, his support of Medicaid expansion and teacher raises, the issue of illegal internet cafes, guns, jobs, property insurance and a proposed texting-while-driving ban.
Florida's sales tax is a huge competitive downside for local retailers who sell the same products as their Internet competitors.
Because online sellers rarely collect the sales tax, it leaves the brick-and-mortar shops at a roughly 7-percent price disadvantage. And that's why business and retail lobbies have been demanding sales tax collection for online sales for years.
The issue arose during the WLRN-Miami Herald Session 2013 Town Hall last month, where we heard from Fort Lauderdale bookseller Donna Mergenhagen.
The Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection Friday to turn over most of its control of water standard levels. The Florida Legislature will have to approve the plan by Dec. 1, 2014 for it to go into effect.
On any given day, 53-year-old Ron Wooldridge guides dozens of flights in and out of Boca Raton Airport, just east of I-95. But early next month, instead of manning the airport's control tower, he could be standing on the unemployment line.
"I find it a little ridiculous,” says Wooldridge. “They're not thinking of the safety of the aircraft. Or how it's going to affect the rest of the city itself."
Automatic federal budget cuts that took effect this month could force the Federal Aviation Administration to close control towers at least 170 small airports nationwide.
Citizens do not have the right to speak before a public board or commission takes official action, according to Florida’s Constitution. Though Florida citizens have a right to access public records and meetings, they do not have a right to be heard before governmental bodies take official action any given proposal. This means that city council members, county commissioners and other officials could vote on issues without letting citizens have their say.
On June 22, 2004 I was shot point blank with a .45-caliber gun as I entered a subway station in Astoria Queens. The bullet entered my back and rattled around, destroying my hip. It had just enough inertia to come to a stop after puncturing the femoral artery. Nobody was ever prosecuted for my shooting. Meanwhile, I suffered for six years before being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.