Tagged: Florida

Florida town ready to waste taxpayer dollar$ — police chief wants to make profanity illegal

Neptune Beach Police Chief David Sembach is looking to ban the use of public profanity in town and is hoping to pass an ordinance that would allow officers to cite individuals who start fights by using their potty mouths.

“They can curse all they want. That’s what the U.S. Supreme Court says. They just can’t incite another person to violence,” Sembach told WTEV…

Not everyone agrees with Chief Sembach, who is also hoping to pass a law banning the obstruction of public passageways.

It’s a waste of time and taxpayer money to try and do something like that,” said local resident Edward Spear.

The City Council would still have to approve the proposal for it to move forward.

Florida seems likely to pass laws even the rest of the Confederacy has given up on.

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A penny of progress in Florida tomato fields makes a world of difference to field workers


By enlisting the might of major restaurant chains and retailers — including Walmart, which signed on this year — the Coalition of Immokalee Workers has pressured growers that produce 90 percent of Florida’s tomatoes to increase wages for their 30,000 workers and follow strict standards that mandate rest breaks and forbid sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

The incentive for growers to comply with what’s called the Fair Food Program is economically stark: The big companies have pledged to buy only from growers who follow the new standards, paying them an extra penny a pound, which goes to the pickers. The companies have also pledged to drop any suppliers that violate the standards.

So far, the agreements between retailers and growers are limited to Florida’s tomato fields, which in itself is no small feat considering that the state produces 90 percent of the country’s winter tomatoes.

But gaining the heft and reach of Walmart — which sells 20 percent of the nation’s fresh tomatoes year-round — may prove far more influential. To the applause of farmworkers’ advocates, the retailer has agreed to extend the program’s standards and monitoring to its tomato suppliers in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia and elsewhere on the Eastern Seaboard. Walmart officials say they also hope to apply the standards to apple orchards in Michigan and Washington and strawberry fields in many states…

Since the program’s inception, its system of inspections and decisions issued by a former judge has resulted in suspensions for several growers, including one that failed to adopt a payroll system to ensure pickers were paid for all the time they worked.

Amassing all these company partnerships took time. The workers’ coalition organized a four-year boycott of Taco Bell to get its parent company, Yum Brands, to agree in 2005 to pay an extra penny a pound for tomatoes, helping increase workers’ wages. In 2007 the coalition sponsored a march to Burger King’s headquarters in Miami, pushing that company to join the effort. Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Chipotle and Subway have also signed on.

Perhaps the coalition’s biggest success is luring Walmart, which joined the program in January without a fight. Walmart officials said they were looking for ethically sourced produce as well as a steady supply of tomatoes. The giant company’s decision coincides with its major inroads into organic foods and fresh fruits and vegetables.

RTFA. It’s about a victory, serious victory inside one of the greediest segments of American capitalism. A penny a pound may not seem like a lot to urban and urbane workers and professional; but, for a field hand it’s a world of difference. And the most reactionary elements of American agribusiness think it’s the end of the world.

Kudos to the organizers and field hands together who joined this fight and won. And special thanks to the restauranteurs and retailers who supported this struggle.

Pooping in elevator lands Florida woman in a pile of trouble

A Florida woman was arrested last month on the charge of “nuisance injurious to health” after she allegedly defecated in an elevator at a courthouse in Fort Pierce.

Patricia Ann Jamison was identified as the last person in the elevator at the St. Lucie County Courthouse where the feces was found…

In security camera footage from the elevator, Jamison allegedly “appears to pull her pants down and back up toward the interior elevator buttons consistent with someone using the bathroom. When the elevator arrived on the first floor the female was seen on camera fixing her pants and pulling her shirt out of her pants as if she pulled her pants up over her shirt.”

After a deputy reviewed security footage and matched it up to a woman who had signed in at the public defender’s office, the 49-year-old was identified…

The health safety charge is a misdemeanor.

She’s lucky she wasn’t charged with committing a terrorist act – in Florida.

Woman living off grid ordered by Florida court to “plug in”

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Court rules drinking filtered rainwater is unsafe

A Florida woman who has been living off the grid for about a year and a half was told that she has one month to “plug in” or deal with the authorities.

Cape Coral woman Robin Speronis doesn’t have any city power or water running into her house and relies on solar panels and treated rain water to survive. “I’m choosing to live without being dependent on the system…”

Officials from Cape Coral Code Compliance met with Speronis and her attorney about the situation last week…A magistrate ruled that Speronis was guilty of not being hooked up to a water supply that had been approved by the town.

Speronis has indicated that she doesn’t plan on changing her lifestyle.

“I don’t have to justify my life. They have to. That’s the way our system of justice works. They have justify it. I don’t,” Speronis said.

I’m not surprised at any of the “liberty-centered” Confederate states ruling against an individual who chooses to live off the grid. First off, the city isn’t making money from selling her electricity or water. Second, they were all embarrassed when she was interviewed by a local TV station about her lifestyle. It wasn’t until then that she was charged by the city.

The usual crap ideology about being clever and classless and free has always been nothing more than window dressing for conservative politicians who above all else want everyone to conform to their own narrow definitions of how to live and marry. And eat and drink. And sing.

Sobriety test comes to a halt when the driver says — “there’s someone in the trunk”

Authorities in Florida said a sobriety test on a driver turned strange when the man told them he had “someone in the trunk.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers said they stopped a vehicle at John U. Lloyd Beach State Park in Hollywood and the driver had an open beer container in the car and the smell of alcohol on his breath…

The officers said they were starting the process of a sobriety test when the driver made a bizarre confession: “I don’t want to freak you out, but I have someone in the trunk.”

The man was handcuffed and officers opened the trunk, where they discovered a man. The two men told officers the man in the trunk had left his court-ordered community service job at the park to go drinking and he was trying to sneak back in so he could sign out and get credit for the hours he skipped.

The driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant and the man in the trunk was cited for allowing an unlicensed driver to operate his vehicle. Both men were taken to the Broward County jail.

Phew! It’s a sign of the times that we always seem to think of something worse!

Post-racist society? In Florida, Confederates try to stop monument to Union soldiers

The Civil War might be long over, but a battle about putting a monument honoring Union soldiers at Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park in Florida is still underway.

The proposal to install a monument at the park — the site of the biggest Civil War battle fought in Florida — was met with opposition on Monday night during a public hearing…

Each year, Olustee hosts a reenactment of a four-hour battle in which Union forces were routed by Confederate troops…

A descendant of someone who died at the Battle of Olustee, Mike Farrell, proposed the new memorial because of his experience serving as an historical exhibitor at the park.

“I always have the visiting public approach me and ask me where the Union monument is on the battlefield, and I often tell them, ‘There isn’t any.’…What I’m talking about is a battlefield monument,” Farrell said.

Republican state Rep. Dennis Baxley…proposed halting the monument from within the state house. “I can do a very simple proposal to the Legislature that we protect all monument sites,” he said.

Racists have grown more practiced in the semantics-based lies they use to answer questions about bigoted proposals. I guess that in itself is recognition of growing understanding among Americans still dull enough to be suckered into rightwing politics. They don’t care to admit publicly how much of their craptastic chicanery is proposed to satisfy racism, justify slavery.

They’re only kidding themselves. The rest of the nation looks and nods – “Yes, these are the village idiots who continue to think they weren’t defeated by the strength of the Union. They believe the South will rise again and Jim Crow laws will be reinstated.”

Illustrating once again how easy it was for Nixon to decide on the Southern Strategy, just how easy it was for Republicans to lock up the bigot vote.

Florida mayor arrested for use, possession, traffic of oxycodone

free enterprise
Free enterprise Florida style

The mayor of Hampton, Barry Layne Moore, was arrested Monday afternoon in Polk County after a Bradford County Sheriff’s Office investigation revealed he had obtained and sold oxycodone

A deputy was given information while working on an unrelated investigation that alleged Moore was selling prescription medication. That led to the extended investigation by the agency’s drug unit.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies served an arrest warrant with a bond of $45,000 for Moore and took him to the Polk County Jail.

“This isn’t Toronto. We will not tolerate illegal drug activity, in my jurisdiction, by anyone to include our elected officials,” Bradford County Sheriff Gordon Smith said, referring to Mayor Rob Ford who has admitted to smoking crack cocaine.

Capt. Brad Smith, spokesman for the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, said Moore has been charged with one count of possession of a Schedule I or II drug — in this case, oxycodone — and one count of possession with the intent to sell, both of which are felonies.

Florida family values apparently extend to all levels of government. The governor’s previous business paid the largest fine in history for Medicare fraud. A leading Republican light in Congress was just busted for cocaine use. Now we have the mayor of small town Florida caught in the state’s leading illegal business – selling oxycodone.

America’s corrupt politicians apparently have decided there’s more profit to be made – and pleasure gained – from illegal drug sales than old fashioned theft from taxpayers.

US Constitution forbids executing the mentally ill – Someone please tell Florida!

Florida has executed a schizophrenic man who believed that he was the immortal prince of God vested with superhuman powers including an ability to control the sun, despite the US constitution’s prohibition against putting mentally ill people to death.

John Ferguson, 65, was killed by lethal injection at 6pm on Monday. Earlier in the evening the US supreme court declined to hear a final petition from his lawyers. Although there was overwhelming evidence that the court’s own interpretation of the US constitution was being disregarded, the justices gave no explanation for their decision to remain on the sidelines and allow the killing to go ahead…

Nobody disputes that Ferguson was guilty of a singularly gruesome sequence of murders. He was part of a group that killed six people in the course of an armed robbery in Carol City, in 1977, and then went on the following year to kill two 17-year-old school students, Belinda Worley and Brian Glenfeldt, in the same Florida area.

But opponents of the execution argue that he should have been transferred to a life sentence with no chance of parole – in other words, he would spend the rest of his natural life in jail – because he was mentally ill and had been consistently since well before he committed the crimes. A chart put together by his lawyers showed that he was first diagnosed as having visual hallucinations by a Florida state prison psychologist in 1965.

Before he had taken part in the mass murder, he had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic who demonstrated evidence of active psychosis. He was found in numerous medical examinations to be grossly psychotic, insane and incompetent.

In their petition to the US supreme court, filed last week, Ferguson’s lawyer Ben Lewis chronicled the prisoner’s persistent delusions. They included the belief that he could not be killed because he had powers drawn from the Sun, and a delusion that his prison guards were communists who were out to kill him because they knew that he was in fact the prince of God…

Yet the state supreme court of Florida found that he was eligible for the gurney, making the interesting argument that Ferguson’s belief in his own immortality was shared by millions of other American Christians. The federal appeals court for the 11th circuit concurred with the Florida courts and allowed the execution to proceed, even though one of the federal judges dissented that the application of the law in this case had been “patently wrong”.

Demonstrating once again the virtue of separation of church and state. If that was only allowed to be practiced in the United States. As far as daily conventions are concerned, the United States may as well be a theocracy. Politicians and judges don’t gain office unless they kowtow to religious foolishness.