Florida is doing away with their Red Light Systems

Why?

Not because the lights are not saving lives because they are!

Not because the lights are not slowing down on accidents because they are!

Not because they cost too much to maintain because Florida is not maintaining them!

P.S. neither is the outsourced company because half of them no longer work!

Not because the system cannot find employees to run the system because that is not the problem!

Florida is discontinuing the Red Light System because too many people are complaining about the need to slow on yellow lights and stop on red lights?

Too many government officials, politicians, their contributors and their lobbyist are getting tickets from the system!

People are still getting tickets for right turns.

Many tickets are the fault of the out of state light company and the Florida laws!

In this state as with many, one must stop and proceed with caution for a right turn!

Ambulance chasers are now using bad laws to get light runners out of their tickets!

Court dismisses tickets from red light cameras in Boynton Beach

City not saying what future of program will be

http://www.wptv.com/news/region-s-palm-beach-county/boynton-beach/courth-dismisses-tickets-from-red-light-cameras-in-boynton-beach

Correct answer is to dump the, shall we say less than about board company, by hiring and training Florida unemployed workers and care for our Red Light System on our own!

DUH!

Lawmakers Want to Push Back Florida’s Presidential Primary

I know how much my republican followers hate it when I write about the faults of the Republican Party however, in Florida here we go with another!

The Florida congress (republican controlled) moved their primary a few years ago for a better chance at beating our president, this did not work.

Florida law are working on a bill again to move Florida presidential primary back two weeks to march 15th to give all of its delegates to one candidate instead of splitting them, the later primary will help Rubio and/or bush if one decides to run in 2016, this is playing with laws just to win something.

Every parent through-out the world teaches their children not to do because it is cheating, something that Florida Government seems to not understand?

Presumably, a later primary in Florida could help former Gov. Jeb Bush or U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio if they are slugging it out with other Republicans for the presidential nomination. All signs point to Bush running next year, though Rubio’s intentions are a little fuzzier.

TALLAHASSEE | Several years ago, Florida lawmakers couldn’t set the state’s presidential primary date early enough in the calendar — sometimes breaking rules to make sure the Sunshine State would be close to the dates for voting in early testing grounds like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Now, lawmakers want to move it again — but this time, legislative leaders are considering pushing the date back.

http://www.theledger.com/article/20150219/POLITICS/150219147?tc=ar

Moving the primary and awarding delegates winner-take-all, however, could have the opposite effect, if Florida is seen as a done deal for Bush and other candidates decide their time and resources are better spent elsewhere.

http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/20/politics/florida-primary-date-jeb-bush/index.html

So you see the move is for Jeb to back bite Marco!

We have a testing problem

Florida has a testing problem.

Consider that in December state Education Commissioner Pam Stewart, in response to public outrage over too much testing in our public schools, announced her department would analyze how many and what kinds of tests each of the state’s 67 school districts were giving.

With just two weeks to go before the state’s new Florida Standards Assessment starts being given to students for the first time and the Legislature convenes to consider, among other things, testing reform, Stewart’s assessment is not complete.

Consider that the new Florida Standards Assessment, which is replacing the despised Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test after 17 years, has not been seen by local school officials, whose teachers are supposed to prepare students for the new test.

Moreover, the FSA is supposed to be administered online and many Florida counties have neither adequate computers nor bandwidth to effectively administer the test — and the Legislature has offered little to no financial help.

Earlier this month, state Senate Education Appropriations Chairman Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, a former school superintendent and school board member, offered this telling observation:

“We don’t know how much time is consumed by state-mandated tests.

We don’t know how much money it costs to perform state-mandated tests.

We don’t know whether tests that are required by the state are valid and reliable.”

Thankfully, the Legislature appears poised to address some of the issues surrounding testing.

That is not to say Florida should retreat from accountability, something no one suggests or wants. Nonetheless, the Legislature and Stewart’s Department of Education need time to get a read on where the problems are and how they can be fixed and, in turn, improve the educational experience for our children and their teachers.

A bill has already been introduced by Senate Education Committee Chairman John Legg to limit testing to 5 percent of public school hours.

As it now stands, some observers say there are students who spend 60 days or more of the 180day school year on standardized tests.

That is unconscionable.

Too much rides on the outcome of these tests, especially the new FSA. Students, teachers and administrators all stand to be hurt if the testing problem is not corrected.

As Legg put it recently,

“We need better, but fewer, tests.”

With so much uncertainty and even the validity of the FSA in question, lawmakers should call a timeout on the consequences of standardized tests.

The Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition has recommended such a timeout to ensure the standards provide “valid and reliable growth metrics.”

Nothing could seem more reasonable.

Children’s and teachers’ futures are tied to their outcomes, so it is essential to get standardized testing in Florida right.

That can best be achieved without the pressure of a short deadline.

Give testing a timeout and get it right for our children’s success and Florida’s too.

From Halifax Media Group.

Court upholds ban on openly carrying guns

Court upholds ban on openly carrying guns

In what judges described as a first-of-its-kind case, an appeals court Wednesday upheld a Florida law that prevents people from openly carrying firearms, finding that the restriction does not violate constitutional rights to bear arms.

The ruling by a three judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal stemmed from the 2012 arrest in Fort Pierce of Dale Norman, who was openly carrying a gun in a holster.

A jury found Norman guilty of a second- degree misdemeanor charge, leading to the appeal on constitutional grounds.

The appeals court said the state law does not

“destroy the core right of self-defense enshrined in the Second Amendment”

and in part of the Florida Constitution that guarantees the right to keep and bear arms.

Also it pointed to the ability of people to get concealed-weapons permits.

“Florida’s requirements to obtain a permit for concealed carry are not so burdensome, or so onerous, as to make the ability to obtain a permit illusory,’’

said the 27-page ruling, written by Judge Mark Klingensmith and joined by judges Melanie May and Cory Ciklin.

“Nor can it be said that these requirements, unlike those found in other (state) jurisdictions, make the right to carry a weapon in public a virtual nullity.”

The ruling described the case as presenting a question of

“first impression”

about whether the Second Amendment forbids the state from banning the open carrying of firearms while allowing people to carry concealed weapons under a permitting system.

In legal terms, a question of

“first impression”

indicates a first-of-its-kind decision.

Norman’s attorneys last year filed a lengthy brief arguing that the ban on openly carrying weapons violated the federal and state constitutions and was overly broad.

“The state cannot ban open carry,’’

said the brief, which also traced the history of gun laws in Florida.

“It is the core of the right to bear arms. When every court to consider the issue has ruled that concealed carry is a privilege, and if you accept that there is a right to bear arms as the plain language states, there is only one manner in which firearms can be borne in the exercise of the right — openly.”

The brief said Norman, then 24, was arrested Feb. 19, 2012, after a concerned citizen spotted him with a gun on his hip and called police.

Norman had been issued a concealed-weapons permit days before.

JIM SAUNDERS The News Service of Florida TALLAHASSEE

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/os-openly-carrying-firearms-ban-20150218-story.html

Mr. Bush’s first Republican Presidential Speech?

wigflip-saywhat

Jeb Bush Makes A Complete Fool Of Himself, Fails Miserably In First Foreign Policy Speech.

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I “Richard Millhouse Nixon” do solemnly swear!

Oh wait wrong Republican, hard to tell them all apart lately?

In a speech before the nonpartisan Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Wednesday afternoon, Jeb Bush made his first major address on foreign policy before officially declaring his candidacy for President.

One of his main goals, and challenges, is to somehow separate himself and his ideas from his brother, George W. Bush, as much as humanly possible.

He coined the phrase,

“I’m my own man,”

which is making its way through media headlines.

But, instead of charting out smooth waters for himself, instead he ended up creating a few ripples – painting himself into a huge corner – that is if you actually listen to what he’s saying.

Okay, that’s putting it lightly.

He ended up making a huge fool out himself.

Jeb Bush first takes the stage and mentions that he is a little

“intimidated”

being at the forum that day.

It’s not hard to see why this is the case.

He makes a number of key fundamental blunders, not only in stage presence, which is common when your last name is Bush, but more importantly, with the fundamental substance of his ideas and policy proposals.

Truth be told, he didn’t lay out a lot of details.

In fact, that was one of the biggest pitfalls of the night.

If you’re going to make a speech, have something to talk about.

It was all fluff. 

He laid out a lot of rhetoric, thereby leaving everyone in the room questioning if he even knew what he was talking about.

In fact, there was so much rhetoric, he didn’t even leave enough time in between sentences as he was reading from the podium to allow for people to applaud.

Rosie Gray, of Buzzfeed, tweeted:

He looked like he couldn’t wait for this thing to be over.

As such, the audience was absolutely silent.

There was no applause, and it’s not even sure if there were periods of silence, that they even would have applauded.

In an attempt to distance himself from the line of Bushes, he said:

Just for the record, I love my brother, love my dad, and love my mother as well, if that’s okay.

I’m my own man and my views are shaped by my own thinking and my own experiences.

It’s good to be your

“own man.”

But, he didn’t mention what those differences were.

The blunders were oh, so apparent.

He wasn’t sure how many ISIS fighters there were, saying that there were more than 200,000, but that was a gross exaggeration on what the actual number was.

Later a Bush spokesman had to correct him:

“He misspoke.

He meant more than 20,000.”

But, with that aside – all he said about ISIS was that the United States needed to

“take them out.”

Big, bold ideas, you have there.

What other great idea’s on foreign policy do you have for us?

Jeb said that the Obama administration was in error for trying to negotiate with Iran, since it would endanger Israel and the world by simply managing the Iranian nuclear program – when it should be eliminated, instead.

Let’s fact check for a moment:

The Obama administration wasn’t the first to start negotiating with Iran.

In fact, George W. Bush was.

His administration’s officials conceded during his presidency that

“there was no way to reach a deal without Iran retaining at least a face-saving amount of enrichment capability.”

Obama only started the latest round of negotiations after reaching an interim agreement with Iran that it freeze its nuclear program and roll back its stockpiles of enriched uranium –

a condition similar in nature to George Bush’s

“freeze-for-freeze”

requirement in order for them to start formal negotiations – which Obama is now doing.

This just proves Jeb Bush has no idea what he is talking about.

He doesn’t even know his own brother’s foreign policy positions.

Jeb also must not know how much is currently being spent on the defense budget, when he said that the President needs to show leadership by

“building a strong defense.”

Another idea, with no details.

His exact words:

We are on a path of only spending 2 and a half percent of GDP on our military.

This is dangerous.

We need a comprehensive review of our military spending to make sure we are living in a secure world.

What planet is he living on?

First off, there is a comprehensive review done every single year on defense spending when the budget is created.

We spend more on defense than the next 10 top spending countries combined.

The military is not asking for any increases in spending, but we want to spend more, anyways?

This is recklessness.

In an attempt to have some experience to talk about, he mentioned his travels to Latin America, where he worked on trade deals.

He diverted most of his talking about foreign policy to economics, since it was clear that he didn’t have much to speak about.

Perhaps his funniest line of the night was when he said that he had to force himself to take trips outside of the United States,

“at least 4 times a year,”

to get a better idea of what was going on in the world around him.

Maybe, he should spend more time learning the fundamentals, like reading books entitled: Foreign Policy 101. He can even read it on those long trips, that seem to be working so well for him.

H/T: Chicago Tribune | Featured Image: Jeb Bush

http://www.ifyouonlynews.com/politics/jeb-bush-makes-a-complete-fool-of-himself-fails-miserably-in-first-foreign-policy-speech-images/

http://www.dailycommercial.com/ap/national/article_5ba8f2ed-79ea-57f7-99c4-c260d94f5767.html

A plan to preserve housing programs

The Florida Senate has revealed its plan to implement Amendment 1, the state constitutional mandate requiring one-third of real estate documentary tax revenues be spent on conservation measures.

http://www.flsenate.gov/media/topics/wlc

 There is plenty of massaging and deal-cutting left, but even so we hope this trial balloon gets deep-sixed quickly.

If not, advocates of affordable housing, both in Tallahassee and locally, and those who benefit from their efforts are right to worry.

The Sadowski Coalition, a confederation of 30 different housing, social service, business, seniors and veterans groups, is expressing concern about how significant a setback those groups and their clients face under the Senate plan.

The formula drafted under the Senate bill hacks funding for affordable housing programs in the 2016 budget by 42 percent, from an anticipated $267 million to about $154 million, the coalition maintains.

Senate President Andy Gardiner was adamant in a letter to senators earlier this month that the “new reality” created by the adoption of Amendment 1 left no other way to meet its mandate.

A third of the projected 2016 revenue from the documentary stamp tax will amount to $758 million. Right now, 20 percent of all doc-stamp revenue — about $471 million — supports environmental and conservation programs.

But it’s not as simple as finding $287 million to reach the target, Gardiner said.

“Documentary stamp tax revenues in these trust funds are frequently co-mingled with various penalties, fines, fees and taxes. Given that these monies are fungible, it is impossible to determine whether documentary stamp tax revenues or some other revenue source was expended on a specific program,”

Gardiner wrote.

“Under the new reality of Amendment 1, (this) legislation is essential because Amendment 1 prohibits co-mingling with general revenue that is currently permissible.”

Critics say the Senate proposal would skim that $758 million for Amendment 1 off the top of the projected $2.3 billion in revenue and parcel out the rest among the other doc-stamp-funded accounts — rather than dividing up those shares based on the whole pot.

Besides affordable housing, similarly affected trust funds include those supporting transportation projects and economic development initiatives — or the

“growth programs.”

We would ask Gardiner and other proponents of the proposal:

How effective would our state government be if 42 percent of its revenue suddenly vanished?

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida House have yet to indicate that they will go along. We hope they don’t.

Accounts such as the affordable housing fund were repeatedly drained to support other state programs during the lean years of the recession.

A fully replenished trust fund would create about 25,000 jobs and spur $3 billion in new economic activity next year, the Sadowski Coalition argues.

The group also believes that the 75 percent of voters who supported Amendment 1 didn’t do so because they wanted a trade-off.

We agree, and if lawmakers truly want to implement the voters’ will, they too should not view it as an either/or proposition.

Halifax Media Group.

This editorial first appeared in the Ocala Star-Banner

http://veterans.ocala.com/

Congress playing a dangerous game with safety

Congressional Republicans bungled just about every chance to take action on immigration reform. President Barack Obama eventually took action on immigration reform. So the GOP doesn’t want to fund the Department of Homeland Security.

Makes sense, no? Only in that parallel universe called “Inside the Beltway.”

The DHS is set to run out of money on Feb. 27 — less than two weeks from now. For all its faults, the DHS should not be the political football with which the Republican-controlled Congress attempts to score a touchdown against President Obama.

This is the agency, which was created by President George W. Bush in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, whose mission is to prevent any additional terrorist attack on American soil, secure borders — whether at airports or along the Rio Grande — safeguard cyberspace and enforce immigration laws. This last one is the rub, of course.

Lawmakers are at an impasse, and the DHS is the inappropriate proxy in the fight against the president’s immigration order.

So far, the Senate has tried three times to pass a DHS funding bill. All three tanked. Last month, the House of Representatives passed a bill to finance the department, but it included language that would kill Mr. Obama’s executive action, protecting from deportation 5 million undocumented immigrants.

Senate Democrats have been standing firm, pushing for an unsullied funding bill and going so far as to stage a filibuster to keep Republican lawmakers from taking an action on the bill.

Not two months into the 114th session of Congress and it has already devolved into a brawl between not just Republicans and Democrats — which is to be expected — but also Republicans and Republicans. Who will end up bloodied and bruised? Government shutdown, anyone?

First, the president, who dragged his own feet, finally took executive action in November to shield illegal immigrants who have children who are U.S. citizens from deportation. It was an overdue, limited and fair step to get a handle on the mess that is U.S. immigration policy. After all, Congressional Republicans didn’t see fit to do much of anything even when their political-party brethren, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, offered palatable measures.

Second, what the president did was perfectly legal.

Third, he will veto any measure that undoes his executive order.

That means Republicans will be responsible for defunding the DHS as terrorism continues to hit — if not close to home, then American families who have lost loved ones in the ISIS fight against the West. This is the department that checks illegal immigration at the Mexican border, always a priority — and a barrier to progress on the Republican side of the aisle — and keeps airliners from being blown out of the sky.

Unfortunately, the demand to keep the country safe and secure has become another basic breadand- butter issue for Americans. But Congress is poised to block almost $1 billion that goes directly to the states to harden infrastructure and enhance law enforcement.

For sure the DHS has real issues to address — disturbing slippage in the Secret Service’s professionalism and competence for instance. Last year, an independent report criticized U.S. Customs and Border Protections’ “lack of diligence” in investigating fatal encounters in which its agents were involved.

This, of course, is how the game is played — inside the Beltway. But ensuring citizen’s safety is nothing to play with.

› From Tribune News Service.

http://cqrcengage.com/networklobby/app/document/6513724