South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday)
TOP STORIES FROM LAST WEEK
LaurenBook, member, Florida Senate. Iwant to suggest to the Broward Sheriff’s Office that they immediately enact a new policy: If someone’s life is in immediate danger, the first order of business should be to protect that person’s life. When a crime is being committed (a forced entry into a home, for example), deputies should first stop the criminal, stop the crime and protect the person in danger. Currently, protecting the perimeter to make sure the criminal doesn’t escape apparently takes precedence over protecting people. That is simply wrong and must be corrected.
Paul Castronovo, host, PaulCastronovo Show on Big 105.9. How’s Christmas going to be this year? Well, if youwant to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, you’ll have to have a ticket. Who knew that last December, when I tookmy family to see the tree, some shows and generally do Christmas theway itwas meant to be done (freezing and over-spending), theworldwould soon implode? Frankly, I’m shocked I didn’t catch the ‘rona whilewewere there. Elbowto elbowon subways, Rock Center, in restaurants, cabs, hotels, bars … more bars … millions of people, and I’ll bet not one of them had Purell on them!
Bobby DuBose, minority co-leader, Flor
idaHouse of Representatives. Florida has hit a terrifying milestone: 1 million COVID-19 infections, and around 19,000 deaths. This has been a catastrophic year, but it’s up to us to protect our health, our families and our neighbors. Unfortunately, the governor has tied the hands of local leaders, and the Legislaturewon’t act until at leastMarch, a full year after the pandemic hit the Sunshine State. Touting individual responsibility alone is not the solution, because we are all in this together. We cannot continue using the same strategy and expect different results. It has not worked so far.
Howard Dvorkin, CPA, chairman, Debt. com. The pandemic hasn’t just sapped holiday cheer, it will also ruinNewYear’s Eve for struggling Americans. When the ball drops, many will be relieved the year is over, but some crucial federal programs will also end. At midnight on Dec. 31, the CARES Act expires – and with it, the moratorium on evictions, relief for federally and GSA-backed mortgages, and the suspension of principal and interest payments for federal student loans. I hate to be a Scrooge, but if you’ve benefited from these breaks in the CARES Act, you need to startworking on your 2021 household budget right away.
BernieFernandez Jr., M.D., CEO, Baptist Health Medical Group. With daily reports about theCOVID-19 vaccines being developed, it’s important to understand that the approval process for these drugs remains intact, even with an expedited timeline. Two vaccines are producing the promising data being reported. These vaccines are being further evaluated by theU.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure the validity of their safety and effectiveness and to verify that the manufacturing process and facilities will maintain product quality and consistency. Once that evaluation is complete, theFDAwill decide whether to allowthe vaccines to be distributed under theEmergencyUse Authorization, which is expected.
ChipLaMarca, member, FloridaHouse of Representatives. The Florida Department of Education(DOE) andGov. DeSantisissueda new emergency order to clarify the plan for theK-12springsemester. Underthisorder, the decision will continue to be entirely up to the parent or guardian to decide whether in-person or virtual learning is best for their student during the pandemic. Bro ward County Public Schools will work with students to figure out the best plan forward for the student if they are falling behind in e-learning. The district will submit a plan to DOE for their student intervention plan if students fall behind in e-learning. The state will continue to fully fund districts for all students learning in-person or virtually.
AndyThomson, member, BocaRaton City
Council. Nearly 200,000 people in Palm Beach County are food in secure. Although food assistance programs certainly help, they haven’ t solved the problem. That’swhy acts of generosity like those organizedby SummerFaerman, director of theTLCprogramat B’naiTorah Congregation in Boca Raton, are so important. Summerputupand helps replenish several “Little FreeFoodPantries” aroundBoca Ratonwhere folks in need can get free food, including pasta, canned soups, beans, oatmeal andgranola bars. Thepantries are located at the SalvationArmy, AdventLutheran and EbenezerChurch. Thankyou, Summer, for caring somuchfor our community!
RobertWeinroth, member, PalmBeach
CountyCommission. Conversion therapy, sometimes referredto as “reparative therapy,” is a discredited practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity using a variety of shaming, emotionally traumatic orphysically painful stimuli tomake their victims associate those stimuli with their LGBTQidentities. OnNov. 20, a federal appeals court ruled abanonconversion therapy enactedbyPalmBeach CountyandBocaRatonwas a violation of the constitutional rights oftwo licensed family therapistswhohave heretofore provided sexual orientation change efforts. This isnotwithstanding the AmericanPsychiatric Association’s determination thathomosexuality is not amental illness.