« April 17, 2014 | Main | April 19, 2014 »

3 posts from April 18, 2014

April 18, 2014

Image of FSU mascot roils South Florida water management board meeting


He wasn’t on the agenda, but Chief Osceola briefly disrupted this month’s meeting of the South Florida Water Management District’s governing board.

As part of a report on water conditions to the Gator-dominated board, a division director, also a Gator, included an image of the Florida State University mascot as a farewell gesture to board member Tim Sergeant, an FSU alum whose term is ending.

“I know that was painful for you, Terrie. But I do appreciate that. Thank you,” Sergeant said to Water Resources Division Director Terrie Bates.

But Miccosukee tribe member Houston Cypress, who was a part of a large crowd attending the meeting in support of a long-anticipated central Everglades restoration plan, was not so thankful.

While the Seminole Tribe of Florida has signed an agreement with FSU supporting the mascot, the mascot is still widely condemned as a minstrel caricature of the chief, who fiercely opposed the Seminole nation’s surrender to the government. An earlier mascot retired in the 1970s had been named Sammy Seminole.

“I want to admonish the board for condoning the use of the racist imagery earlier with the display of the FSU mascot,” Cypress said. “Once again I admonish you.”

Board chairman Dan O’Keefe thanked Cypress for his comments, then moved on to the next speaker without responding to the condemnation.


SEIU visits Miami lawmaker's office over Jackson hospital legislation


Florida Rep. Michael Bileca, a Miami Republican, received a visit Thursday from members of the labor union representing physicians, nurses and other health care professionals at Jackson Health System, the county’s public hospital network.

SEIU 1991 representatives said they want Bileca, who also is a member of the Public Health Trust that runs Jackson, to take a stand against a bill before the Florida Legislature that would strip authority from Miami-Dade County commissioners to approve labor contracts at the taxpayer-funded safety net hospital.

The county, the hospital system, the Public Health Trust and the labor union all opposed the measure when it was proposed this month. SEIU 1991 recently negotiated a one-time, 2 percent pay bonus for employees, a deal that was ratified by the county commission.

Bileca was not at his office on North Kendall Drive to meet with union representatives on Thursday afternoon. He also missed Thursday morning’s meeting of Jackson’s board, which started more than one hour late due to a lack of quorum.

Bileca could not be reached on his cell phone for comment.


Scott joins Jeb and Martinez to demand FL Senate vote on DREAMer tuition

From a press release

TALLAHASSEE – Today, Governor Rick Scott and former Governors Jeb Bush and Bob Martinez advocated for lowering tuition by advancing SB 1400, which would allow all Florida students, regardless of their background, to qualify for the in-state tuition rate.

Continue reading "Scott joins Jeb and Martinez to demand FL Senate vote on DREAMer tuition" »