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2 posts from January 5, 2014

January 05, 2014

LeMieux also applies for FAU job -- is a turf battle in the making?

On one side we have Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announce he has "been approached" by Florida Atlantic University and has accepted the request to apply for the presidential post. On the other we have former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux announcing Sunday he's also adding his hat to the ring because he was "encouraged by members of the board of trustees." Hmmm.

Whose idea was it to publicly pit these guys against each other, who else has been "encouraged" and why the rush to get a politician?

According to the Associated Press, Gov. Rick Scott "praised LeMieux," in a statement.

"George LeMieux's pursuit of the FAU presidency is further proof that Florida's high-caliber universities attract the best and brightest talent in the country," Scott said. "FAU is fortunate to add to their list of presidency candidates someone like George who has a great vision for our state and would do an outstanding job as president."

Whoa. Was that an endorsement?

But wait, the governor also praised Atwater in a statement a day earlier -- but it reads as if he knew LeMieux's news was coming. He said Atwater has the "experience and skill to be an outstanding president."

"While the school will no doubt consider multiple, qualified, prestigious candidates for the job, FAU would be well served to have a leader like Jeff at the helm," Scott's statement said.

We know Scott is grateful to LeMieux, who served as chief of staff and campaign manager to former Gov. Charlie Crist, was rewarded by being named by Crist to the U.S. Senate to complete the term of former Sen. Mel Martinez in 2009 where LeMieux served for 16 months. Then LeMieux became a vocal critic of Crist and Scott loyalist once Crist jumped parties.

Perhaps, the Florida Legislature's penchant for politicizing higher ed may have some competition.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/05/3853823/former-sen-lemieux-applies-for.html#storylink=cpy

Are Florida legislators ready to open the door to medical marijuana?

The Hyman FamilyThere isn’t a day that goes by that Danielle and Seth Hyman don’t live in fear that one of the epileptic seizures that course through their daughter dozens of times daily could be the one that kills her.

“At any given time, my little angel could be taken to heaven,’’ said Seth Hyman of Weston. His eight-year-old daughter Rebecca suffers from a rare genetic disorder that results in hearing loss, visual impairment, frequent daily seizures and requires her to be fed through a feeding tube to supplement her nutrition.

For years, the couple tried powerful medications to control the frequent, often silent, seizures but the toxins weakened their daughter’s organs and produced little improvement. Now, the Hymans are among a growing number of Florida families holding out hope that they can persuade lawmakers to legalize a strain of marijuana that has been shown to control seizures in children.

The strain is high in cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient that controls seizures, but is low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that creates a high. It can be administered without smoking — ingested in oil form or vaporized in a feeding tube. But, like all marijuana in Florida, it is illegal to possess, distribute and sell — unless lawmakers make an exception.

After years of rejecting proposals to allow marijuana to be sold for medical purposes, Florida’s Republican-led Legislature has agreed to hear a bill to allow medical distribution of the specialty strain, known as Charlotte’s Web. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will hold a workshop Thursday to hear from parents, growers in Colorado, and medical professionals about Charlotte’s Web. Story here.

Photo: Walter Michot, Miami Herald

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/01/04/3852689/parents-of-children-with-epilepsy.html#storylink=cpy