Too many heroin addicts, too few treatment beds; The runaround in Miami-Dade

Proposed site for addiction treatment facility at NW 23rd Avenue and 54th Street in Miami.

By Francisco Alvarado
As a heroin epidemic builds in South Florida, one drug interventionist is finding it difficult to get Miami-Dade County’s assistance to open a long-term treatment facility.

FBI’s attempt to water down judicial order denied; 9/11 documents begin to flow to judge


By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
A Fort Lauderdale federal judge Friday gave the FBI another week to produce tens of thousands of pages from its massive 9/11 investigation for his inspection, but forcefully denied government requests that he water down his own previous order requiring disclosure.

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Broward Commission skips bids, awards 15-year airport food contract to Delaware North


By William Hladky
Bypassing the county’s bidding process, the Broward County Commission earlier this month approved an Aviation Department recommendation to extend for 15 years Delaware North’s grip on food and beverage concessions in terminals three and four at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The deal means Delaware North could remain in place until as long as 2032.

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Peter Deutsch’s Ben Gamla charter schools win nod for new Hollywood high/middle school


By William Gjebre
Update: Dec. 20 – Former U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch won conditional approval early Friday morning from a key Hollywood board to build a controversial Ben Gamla middle and senior charter high school in a traffic congested neighborhood near City Hall.

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Broward Health commissioner upgrades unpaid post to well-paid lobbyist for hospital district

Clarence McKee, center, with  Gov. Rick Scott and former U.S. Rep. Allen West. Photo: McKee Communications

By Dan Christensen
When Clarence V. McKee quit his commissioner’s seat on the governing board of Broward Health in January, records show he urged his colleagues to keep an eye on consulting contracts doled out by the tax supported public health care system. But less than a month later and without any public discussion by his former colleagues, McKee upgraded his unpaid position to a lobbying contract worth $65,000.

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New push to release censored pages in Congressional report that detail 9/11 link to Saudi Arabia

The skyline of New York's Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center.

By Jamie Reno
International Business Times
Since terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, victims’ loved ones, injured survivors, and members of the media have all tried without much success to discover the true nature of the relationship between the 19 hijackers – 15 of them Saudi nationals – and the Saudi Arabian government.

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The nation’s state supreme court judges reveal scant financial information


By Reity O’Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young
Center for Public Integrity
Last December, the California Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal filed by a couple who had accused financial giant Wells Fargo & Co. of predatory lending. One justice, who owned stock in the bank, recused himself from the case. But Justice Kathryn Werdegar, who owned as much as $1 million of Wells Fargo stock, participated — and shouldn’t have.

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Leisure parks chain looks to buy Miami Seaquarium, South Florida’s iconic attraction


By John Dorschner
The owner of South Florida’s iconic tourist attraction, the Miami Seaquarium, has had “discussions” about selling to a California-based subsidiary of a Spanish parks operator, but said no final deal has been struck.

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The ‘lobbyist’ is dead; Long live the ‘government relations professional’


By Dave Levinthal
Center for Public Integrity
The lobbyist, like Philip Morris, ValuJet and the World Wrestling Federation before him, died today.
He was 150 years old, give or take a decade, the victim of relentless pejorativation and transmogrification. Naysayers who believed he too often abused the right to petition his government for a redress of grievances hastened his demise.

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Two senators short-circuit Legislature’s plan to audit troubled Hallandale Beach CRA

State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood and State Sen. Oscar Braynon II, D-Miami Gardens

By William Gjebre
A Florida Legislature’s joint auditing committee is dropping its inquiry of Hallandale Beach’s questionable use of local redevelopment funds at the urging of two area state senators, one a long-time acquaintance of Mayor Joy Cooper.

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Push against offshore secrecy an uphill battle

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom talk in the Oval Office before their meeting in March 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

By Michael Hudson
Center for Public Integrity
Offshore tax havens are under attack again in the wake of scandal. Britain has vowed to lift secrecy covering the Cayman Islands and other financial sanctuaries under its flag. France’s president has promised to “eradicate” tax havens. Will this time be different?

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