Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Voting Advice for General Election - Amendments

Here's my advice for voting on the Constitutional Amendments, which will appear on the Florida ballot in November:

If you believe these amendments are good for the State of Florida, bring them up to your State Representative. Let the legislature vote to enact them. It's much easier to amend or repeal a legislative act than to change or repeal an amendment to the state constitution.

Here are the facts:

No. 1 - Water & Land Conservation. Dedicates 33% of net revenues from existing excise tax to acquire and restore Florida conservation & recreation lands. This is already being done, rendering this a moot point.
Vote NO.

No. 2 - Use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients' use of marijuana.
The term "treatment centers" means any entity that acquires, cultivates, possesses, processes, transfers, transports, sells, distributes, dispenses, or administers marijuana. In other words, the pill mills our LEAs have shut down will reopen as pot shops with no restrictions on locations (like next to a school or daycare center).
The term "caregiver" means a person who is at least 21 years of age. No professional licensing or background check is required. They can be felons or drug dealers, or drug addicts.
The term "debilitating disease" could be anything from back pain to having trouble sleeping. No Rx from a doctor is required to obtain pot.
The term "qualifying patient" places no age limit on the user of pot. This means teens and children can buy pot without parental consent or knowledge.
Don't call it medical marijuana; that is already legal in this state. The man who is pushing hard for this amendment has his own self-centered agenda. And he knows he won't get this passed by the congress in Tallahassee. (On a personal note, our neurologist has NOT suggested using pot to lessen epileptic seizure activity.)
Vote NO.

No. 3 - Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies.
Currently, the governor may NOT fill an EXPECTED vacancy until the current justice's or judge's term expires. This amendment would give the governor authority to pre-appoint a judge or justice to an expected vacancy when the current judge or justice faces mandatory retirement age or fails to qualify for a retention election, or is not retained in an election. Three supreme court justices will age out during the election cycle of 2019.
Vote NO.

Three "no" votes will get you out of the voting booth in a few quick minutes!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1944 - 1948 Tampa, Florida Research Project

My latest fictional work, "Miss Ellie's Orange Tree," begins in Tampa, FL in 2014. The third chapter moves the action to mid-June of 1944, where the bulk of the story takes place.
Researching this time period has been both exciting and fascinating. Here are a few newsy items I discovered:
  1. The Gandy Bridge once had a toll and a draw bridge.
  2. A B-17 crashed into a house in Abdella Street in May. Only one casualty came of this incident because the neighbors rushed in to rescue the airmen. They didn't know the term "first responder" back then.
  3. A ham sandwich at Newberry's lunch counter cost 10 cents.
  4. Clark Gable and John Garfield both came to Tampa to film wartime movies and documentaries.
  5. A hurricane crossed the bottom portion of the state in October.
  6. Tampa had a network of streetcars.
  7. The Tampa Theatre had air conditioning!
  8. Kennedy Boulevard was Grand Central. Interesting note: had they not changed the name I would be known as a SOGCS instead of a SOKS (South Of Kennedy Snob). But in those days, not much was north of Grand Central.
  9. Tampa U was a two-year junior college.
Times were difficult back then. They sacrificed for the war effort, unlike today. No one asked IF you went to church, but WHERE did you attend. Perhaps their faith in a living and loving God gave them the strength to live through and win a world war.

If you have any tidbits of newsy items from 1944 - 1948 in Tampa, FL, feel free to post a comment.