The top stories last week
Lori Berman, Florida state senator
We witnessed a tremendous victory for voting rights this week. A U.S. district judge struck down Florida’s ban of early voting sites on college campuses, asserting that the ban was discriminatory and imposes an undue burden on the voting rights of young people. Easy access to voting is crucial, especially for populations with limited reliable transportation. The expansion of early voting facilities on college campuses encourages more students to participate. This decision is a win for all Florida voters.
Kathleen Cannon, president, United Way of Broward County
Millennials rock. Just look at New York U.S. House primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is 28, 30 years younger than the average U.S. representative. Perhaps she more accurately reflects her electorate. Simply look at the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas for evidence that civic ability isn’t determined by age. Let’s not forget the average congressional representative is 20 years older than the average age of those who signed the Declaration. Again, millennials rock.
Cindy Arenberg Seltzer, president, Children’s Services Council of Broward County
Florida prosecutors will be forced to reassess the way they determine whether or not they seek the death penalty in murder cases. Recently, a Broward jury rejected State Attorney Mike Satz’s plea for death for three convicted cop killers while a second jury spared the life of a man convicted of killing his stepdaughter and her mother. The new law requiring juries to unanimously find at least one aggravating factor and a second unanimous vote recommending death will make it more difficult to effectuate state-sanctioned death. This brings Florida more in line with other states that still have the death penalty and ensures that it will be utilized only in the worst of the worst murder cases.
George Hanbury, president, Nova Southeastern University
This week NSU made history, welcoming 300 medical students in the nation’s firstever combined White Coat Ceremony celebrating both D.O. and M.D. candidates. Welcoming the charter class of 53 M.D. students, NSU is now home to the only D.O. and M.D. programs in Broward County, is one of only three universities in the United States with two medical colleges, and the first to offer D.O. and M.D. programs on the same campus. These achievements will spark growth and opportunity with NSU’s projected $5 billion economic impact in Florida by 2020, elevating the university as a top-ranked national research university.
Frank Ortis, mayor, Pembroke Pines
We live in a time when people want to make their own decisions and evaluate for themselves what happens in various situations. An appeals court has ruled that the public can see surveillance footage showing law enforcement actions outside of the building during the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. The Broward Sheriff ’s Office had 48 hours to release the security camera footage. Will viewing this build confidence in security measures taken, or will it further the anguish and divisiveness felt by many? Transparency is good, but also has consequences. I guess we’ll know when everyone watches the videos.
Steven Ronik, CEO, Henderson Behavioral Health
A new law has passed requiring Florida school districts to ask students to report if they’ve ever received mental health services. This new requirement is unique to Florida and has mental health advocates deeply concerned. It will discourage students from seeking help, further stigmatizes those who do, and is discriminatory — since no other health services a student may have received require reporting. Want to make a difference? Fully fund the system so it’s easier to access and use, and require mental health education in all K-12 schools — such has been recently enacted in New York City. Let’s do what really matters.
Beam Furr, mayor, Broward County
Monster Fav, the largest section of coral on our Southeast Florida Reef tract, has passed away. This tragic death from a mysterious disease is heartbreaking news for our reef. Fav was “born” around 1644, and was the “grandfather” coral of the entire reef – the oldest living creature in South Florida. Now, the whole reef is in the ICU. Over the last few weeks, Broward County staff met with NOAA, South Florida Regional Planning Council, and various stakeholders on solutions to stop the disease that killed “Fav.” Our reef is essential to South Florida life. Let’s work together to save it.
Paul Castronovo, host, Paul Castronovo Show on Big 105.9
Shocker! Adult film star Stormy Daniels was in the news this week, but not for an altercation in a strip club, and there’s no new claims against the president. No, her husband is filing for divorce, claiming … ADULTERY! How is that possible? The entire nature of her business is sex outside the marriage, isn’t it? When you met her and she said she was a “porn star,” didn’t that give you an inkling that she may “sleep around”? In fact, I’m thinking there may not be a lot of work for a porn star who doesn’t. I hope you get alimony, pal.