President’s Briefing Ahead of the 2014 Hurricane Season

Today at FEMA Headquarters, the President convened a meeting with members of his response team to receive an update on efforts to prepare communities for extreme weather events and other climate change impacts ahead of the 2014 hurricane season. Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, led the meeting. NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan briefed the President on the upcoming hurricane season, which starts Sunday, June 1st. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson reviewed progress on the federal government’s efforts to prepare for and capacity to respond to severe storms.
In particular, the conversation focused on technology innovations and mobile applications developed by Federal, State, and local agencies that will better inform and involve the public in preparedness and response activities. National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb presented NOAA’s new storm surge map, which will make public alerts of flooding threats easier to understand. The Department of Energy showcased their new “Lantern Live” app, which will help people in areas affected by severe storms identify electrical outages and locate open gas stations. Other presenters included representatives from the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Orange County, Florida, who provided overviews of their mobile apps that assist residents before, during and after emergency situations. These applications help users develop their own emergency plans, receive emergency alerts, and access critical information including evacuation routes, shelter locations, and ice and water distribution points. The President thanked the State of Virginia and Orange County, Florida for their initiative in developing tools to help prepare and engage their communities.
Earlier this month, the Administration released the third National Climate Assessment, the most comprehensive scientific report of its kind. The assessment confirms that climate change is affecting every region of the United States, with impacts including increasingly frequent extreme weather.  In anticipation of more severe weather during this summer season, the President expects his team to take all necessary steps to prepare for hurricanes, wildfires, and other catastrophes. Today’s briefing joins a series of briefings on wildfires and other extreme weather impacts. These responsibilities include developing and deploying cutting-edge technologies. Additionally, the President directed his team to maintain close coordination with our state, local, tribal and private sector partners and apply the lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and other recent storms.
Earlier this week, DHS Deputy Secretary Mayorkas and Administrator Fugate participated in calls with emergency managers and representatives from Hurricane-prone states and territories to discuss preparedness efforts, as well as to ensure coordination with federal, state, local, and tribal partners leading in to this year’s hurricane season. Disaster preparedness is a shared responsibility.  President Obama also urges the American people to talk with their families about emergencies, to study their evacuation zone, and to follow the direction of state and local officials if an evacuation is ordered for their area. To learn more about preparing for emergencies and how to protect yourself and your family during severe weather, visit Please also be alert to weather updates through NOAA Weather Radio and their local news organizations.

Participants in the briefing included:
·         Jeh Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security
·         Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor
·         John Podesta, Counselor to the President
·         Anita Decker Breckenridge, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations
·         Todd Park, Assistant to the President and Chief Technology Officer
·         Lisa Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism
·         Robert Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense
·         Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of Energy
·         Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
·         Jacob Sullivan, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President
·         Rand Beers, Deputy Assistant to the President for Homeland Security
·         Kathy Sullivan, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
·         Rick Knabb, Director, National Hurricane Center
·         Joseph Nimmich, Associate Administrator for Response and Recovery, FEMA
·         Tammy Dickinson, Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Energy, OSTP
·         Derek Frempong, Presidential Innovation Fellow, DOE
·         Brian Moran, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, Commonwealth of Virginia
·         Jeff Stern, State Coordinator, Virginia Department of Emergency Management
·         Teresa Jacobs, Mayor of Orange County, Florida
·         Rafael Mena, Chief Information Officer, Orange County, Florida

Gov. Rick Scott Won't Comply With Anti-Rape Rules

Republican governors in seven states -- Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas and Utah -- are either ignoring or refusing to comply with national standards meant to prevent sexual assault in prisons, according to new information from the Justice Department.
The Justice Department gave the governors of all 50 states until May 15 to either say they are in compliance with national standards to prevent prison rape or certify that at least 5 percent of the federal grant funds they receive will go toward bringing them into compliance. Just two states,
New Hampshire and New Jersey, certified that they were in compliance, while 46 states or territories promised to dedicate at least 5 percent of their grant funds to meeting the federal standards.
In all, out of the 56 jurisdictions where it applies (50 states plus the District of Columbia and five territories), 48 are in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), which was first passed in 2003. The national standards associated with PREA were finalized in 2012. The eight entities that are not in compliance -- those seven states plus the Northern Marianas Islands -- will lose 5 percent of their grant funds in the coming year.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole said on Wednesday that the 85 percent overall compliance rate left him "very encouraged," and that it was clear states and territories were taking this issue seriously.
"The enactment of PREA 11 years ago signaled an unequivocal rejection of the outdated -- and morally unconscionable -- acceptance of rape as part of the sentence being served by an adult or juvenile in the American correctional system," Cole said. "The PREA standards have led us closer to ending the culture of violence in our nation's prisons, jails and juvenile facilities."
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Justice Programs Mary Lou Leary said it has been difficult to change the prison system's attitude towards sexual assault.
"Let's face it -- this is a big change in corrections culture from many years ago, and it will take absolutely unwavering leadership from the governors and from those who are in leadership positions in the correctional field," Leary said.
"People do talk openly about the challenge. It's a culture that's been embedded for many, many years," she went on. "There's a concern about that. There's concern that, 'Oh my gosh, I am going to have to deal differently with, say, LGBTQ inmates and I'm not really quite sure how to handle that.'"
One of the governors of a state not in compliance with PREA is Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R). Pence was a member of the House of Representatives when it passed PREA without objection back in 2003, but he now says that the law would require the "redirection of millions of tax dollars currently supporting other critical needs for Indiana."
Cole also addressed criticism from Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who has written that it would be "impossible" for his state to comply with the standards. Cole said there was money available from the federal government to help states get into compliance with the regulations.
"I'm a bit at a loss to try and figure out why Governor Perry isn't taking advantage of all of the things that have been given to him by this statute and by the programs that have been put together to help achieve what he thinks is also necessary," Cole said.

Source Huffpost

Stewart Webster, Qulified By Petition for District 2 Commission in Tamarac

Stewart Webster, Candidate for District 2 Commission seat in Tamarac in the November 2014 elections, was declared exempt from paying the qualifying fee and any party assessment by the Broward County Supervisor of Elections today.

Webster has a long involvement in the city since the ‘90s. For over 10 years, he has always been a member, Board member, and volunteer in the district and the city. He previously ran for the Commission seat in 2003.

“It is my intention to be more proactive than others have been, to be a respectful and active listener, to encourage a more business friendly district, to focus on decreasing the number of empty stores and make existing ones more attractive, to strengthen code enforcement, to increase safety and security, and to improve senior and youth activities. I will work real hard to ensure that Tamarac will remain one of South Florida’s most beautiful, attractive and vibrant cities. I intend to utilize my over 20 years of national and international experience in economic planning and development to quickly make a difference in the district and the City. I learned a great deal when I was a member of the city’s Planning Board, and my focuses will definitely make a successful and powerful difference in the district and the city.” said Webster.
District 2 is the largest geographic district in Tamarac, and is an interesting mix of residential and commercial communities. It covers the length of Commercial Boulevard from the Sawgrass
Expressway to Rock Island Road, and includes a number of large residential communities such as the Woodlands, Lime Bay, Concord Village, and Versailles Gardens. Commercial areas include the Tamarac Industrial Complex, Midway Plaza, and two residence inns. It also contains the Tamarac Community Center and Regional Library.

Webster is a management and tax consultant with extensive public sector experience from a number of countries. These experiences have left him with a long list of contacts and exposed him to a wide variety of possible policy solutions to current municipal challenges. His Masters in Public Sector Technology Management from Florida Atlantic University in 2010, and his undergraduate degree in International Industrial Psychology from Bernard Baruch University in New York would bring a very knowledgeable skill-set to the office of Commissioner. 

Expert Says Florida Election Map Heavily Biased

Jonathan Katz, a professor at the California Institute of Technology, testified in court that Florida's congressional map "was heavily biased toward electing Republicans despite the state's Democratic-edge in voters," the Orlando Sentinel reports.

"His analysis suggested that the pro-GOP bias using 2010 voter-turnout data was 15.9 percent. Intuitively, that means Republicans could expect to capture 58 percent of the congressional seats to Democrats' 42 percent of the seats, even if voter turnout was perfectly balanced at 50 percent GOP and 50 percent Democrat."

"Katz concluded they were the most biased he had ever examined -- easily twice as pro-Republican-leaning as Texas maps drawn by the chair of that state's Republican Party."

Dozens arrested in Fort Lauderdale Beach ruckus

Bridges leading to the beach were shut down late Monday afternoon as Fort Lauderdale police officers and Broward County Sheriff's deputies made arrests.

Detective DeAnna Greenlaw says the people who were involved in the skirmish came to the beach on Monday "to cause a problem." She says there were reports of people reaching into vehicles, striking drivers, and jumping on top of taxi cabs.
Officials say no tourists, residents or law enforcement officers were injured.

Broward Judge Lynn Rosenthal Arrested For DUI

 In the United States, nearly 14 million adults, or every one in 13 adults, abuse alcohol or have an alcoholism problem. The legal, medical, and law enforcement, occupations, may be even higher. Do the math, for every 13 Judges, 1 abuses alcohol or pills

It has been confirmed Judge Rosenthal was under the influence of pills - see police report below

The judge told sheriff’s deputies that she had been taking Ambien, a potent prescription sleeping medicine.

 For the third time in six months, a Broward County judge has been arrested for DUI.
The most recent incident took place Tuesday, May 27th when BSO received a call shortly after 8:00 a.m. regarding an SUV that hit a parked BSO cruiser in the Broward County courthouse parking lot at 201 SE 6th Street.   
lrThe driver of the black BMW SUV was criminal court Judge Lynn Rosenthal.
Judge Rosenthal is up for re-election in August 2014, her opponent is Frantz 'Jahra' McLawrence.
“I see the lady she was trying to walk or whatever and I don’t know she probably having a hard time doing it,” said Ted McClode who witnessed Rosenthal. “I really don’t know what her situation was but she need a little assistance.”
Rosenthal was arrested for DUI and will be booked into the Broward Main Jail.

In November of 2013, veteran Broward Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Imperato was also arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Boca Raton. She was removed from her criminal court and placed in civil court. Imperato has been a Broward circuit judge since 2003.
From Facebook

Lynn is a long time friend (from Junior High). I don't believe she was under the influence of alcohol. Let's not rush to judgment until the facts have come out.

Here is the police report: CLICK HERE

Florida congressional map challenged in court

Marc Caputo from the Miami Herald talks about the court against Florida state Republicans brought on by state Democrats and other groups alleging the Republican-controlled state legislature violated laws by drawing maps with the intent to heavily favor the GOP.

Pompano Firefighter shoots at bar pick-up as he tries to leave because ‘things were getting weird’

A Pompano Beach firefighter is under arrest after an attempt at a drunken hook-up ended with her shooting at a man who was trying to leave her apartment because, as he put it, ” things were getting weird,” according 
Janeen McKenzie, a 46-year-old firefighter employed by Pompano Beach Fire Rescue, was arrested after sheriffs deputies arrived at the scene finding her standing over and pointing a gun at Anthony Santos as he knelt in the street.
According to Santos, he met McKenzie at a bar and agreed to drive her home in her car because she was too intoxicated to drive. Santos arranged for a friend to follow in another car, but changed plans after discovering that McKenzie’s home was within walking distance of his apartment.
After arriving at McKenzie’s home she invited Santos in for a drink, pouring a glass of wine for both of them. Santos said he took a sip of his then set it aside as they went into her bedroom and began kissing.
According to Santos, McKenzie pressed her body against him and took his hands, placing them around her neck, indicating that she found being choked arousing.
Telling deputies that he then attempted to leave because “things were getting weird,” Santos followed  McKenzie into the kitchen where she poured herself another glass of wine. When he advised her that she had had enough, her demeanor changed and she had Santos open a drawer to observe that she had a handgun. Santos then began to exit the apartment.
Gun in hand, McKenzie caught up with Santos just outside her door and, while flailing her arms around, the gun went off just missing his face.
As Santos tried to walk way, McKenzie shot the asphalt by his feet several times, demanding that he kneel down on the ground. Santos complied, telling authorities that he thought, “Oh my God. I’m going to die over something so fucking dumb.” McKenzie then fired once more into the asphalt just as police arrived.
Police ordered McKenzie to drop her weapon and took her into custody.
She told police that she didn’t remember much of what had happened, but that Santos had been “choking the shit out of her on the bed” and she was afraid.
Observing no bruising or marks on her neck, and smelling alcohol on her, officers arrested McKenzie on a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Santos was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated from facial bleeding as the result of bullet fragments.

Marco Rubio and Bernie Sanders Brawl over VA

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tried to play partisan politics with the VA on the Senate floor, and was hammered by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for voting against veterans. 
Rubio was trying to get the Senate to vote, without a hearing on the bill that House passed yesterday relating to speeding up the firing process for VA employees. Sen. Rubio tried to turn this problem into an attack on President Obama, but Sen. Sanders responded by pointing out the real Republican record on supporting veterans.
Video: Bernie Sanders is at 28 Minutes

Sen. Rubio: so yesterday we all watched with great attention as the president addressed this issue and expressed outrage, rightfully so, at what’s occurring. and what the president said is that over the next week there’s going to be an initial report and then ultimately a report at the end of the month about what needs to be done to improve the system and, more importantly, who needs to be held accountable. and i think that’s critical he here, because one of the things that we’re learning is not simply that there’s a systemic problem in the veterans administration, but that there’s been a deliberate effort by some within the administration, some within the veterans administration to cover it up or to make things look better than they actually are. and that should trouble us even more, because the immediate reaction when an agency is confronted with a problem should be, we need to fix this.

NextGen Climate Action PAC Goes After Rick Scott

Billionaire  Tom Steyer is mounting an on-the-ground campaign to aid Democrats and attack Republicans in seven key Senate and gubernatorial races, part of a $100 million effort to put climate change a prime issue in the November midterms.
Steyer, a former hedge fund executive, formed the NextGen Climate Action Super PAC, which will target the governor’s races in Florida, Maine and Pennsylvania as well as Senate races in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan and New Hampshire.
On Wednesday, NextGen officials released the range of the organization’s strategy, which could be one of the most expensive pro-environment campaigns ever, reports Andrew Restuccia of Conservative   POLITICO.
Steyer’s push will be the biggest test yet of whether Democrats can handle the outside spending frenzy   unleashed by Citizens United, previously relegated to Republican supporters such as billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. His involvement will also inflame the GOP, which is already launching its own counterattack against Democrats.
The plan is to reach out to certain demographics — mostly young, female and minority voters — those most affected by the risk of climate change.
NextGen’s targets are Senate races with Democratic-held seats with serious Republican challenges, but perhaps most of all is with Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott, Restuccia writes.
The group is aggressively pursuing Republican candidates like Scott for disputing climate science, maintaining that these deniers are not acting in the best interests of their states. One move will be to focus on donations from fossil fuel companies as a way to raise questions about integrity.
Another tactic is to promote Democrats’ records on renewable energy and climate change.
NextGen will attack Scott for questioning the human role in climate change, and paint him as obliged to BP in the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. They will focus on turning out Hispanic voters throughout Florida by talking about rising sea levels and escalating flood insurance costs.
 Charlie Crist, Scott’s leading Democratic opponent, used to present statewide climate summits; during the spill, he was also a fierce critic of BP.

GOP Hack: Consultants wanted ‘a seat at the table’ in redistricting

A Republican consultant testified Monday that he and other political operatives wanted a “seat at the table” during Florida’s once-a-decade redistricting process, despite constitutional reforms voters adopted to insulate the process from partisan politics. Read more.

Congresswoman Frankel Condemns Nigerian Terrorists

Congresswoman Lois Frankel spoke on the House floor today in support of H.Res. 573, which condemns the kidnapping of female students by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram.  Congresswoman Frankel, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is an original co-sponsor of the resolution. 

In a video message, sent to news agencies earlier this month, the terrorist leader claimed responsibility for kidnapping the young girls, called them slaves, and threatened to “sell them.” The kidnappings are just the latest assault by the terrorist organization. Since 2011, Boko Haram – which loosely translates into English as “Western education is sin” – has killed thousands of people, including 500 students and 100 teachers, in attacks against schools, mosques, churches, villages, and government facilities across northern Nigeria.

What we have seen take place in Nigeria – the crimes perpetrated by Boko Haram – is simply unthinkable and appalling.
There are some crimes against humanity that cannot be tolerated, regardless of where they occur in the world.
The violent kidnapping of over 250 girls for the sole reason that they were seeking an education, is one such crime.
In the 21st Century, we cannot let this kind of horror against children go unanswered. 
I thank President Obama for sending a multi-disciplinary team to Nigeria – where they are working with the UK, France, and Israel – to help resolve this crisis.
I am proud to support this resolution condemning Boko Haram, and calling for continued US support to return the girls safely to their families and bring the terrorists to justice.

Broward AFL-CIO 2014 Endorsement

No endorsement in House District 94, where Commissioners Bobby DuBose of Fort Lauderdale and Levoyd Williams of Lauderdale Lakes are running, along with an independent in the race,Christine Timmon. 

Broward County School Board will be screened at a later date.

Municipal candidates will be screened at a later date. (17 Cities have elections in November) according to President Dan Reynolds

District 20 – Alcee Hastings
District 21 - Ted Deutch
District 22 – Lois Frankel
District 23 – Debbie Wasserman Schultz
District 24 – Frederica Wilson

Governor and Governor’s cabinet to be considered at a later date.

Florida Senate
District 34 – Maria Sachs
District 36 – Oscar Braynon

Florida House of Representatives
District 92 – Gwyndolen Clark-Reed
District 93 – George Moraitis
District 94 – (no action)
District 95 – Hazelle Rogers
District 96 – Kristin Jacobs
District 97 – Jared Moskowitz
District 98 – Katie Edwards
District 99 – Evan Jenne
District 101 – Shevrin Jones
District 102 – Sharon Pritchett
District 104 – Richard Stark


The following candidates have been endorsed by the Broward County AFL-CIO;

17th Judicial Circuit Court
Group 3 - Bernard Bober
Group 8 – Lynn Rosenthal
Group 11 – Micheal Orlando
Group 12 – Jeffrey Levenson
Group 16 – Rhoda Sokoloff
Group 17 – Stacey Schulman
Group 18 – Patty Henning
Group 20 – Raag Singhal
Group 21 - Merrilee EhrlichGroup 16 – Rhoda Sokoloff
Group 17 – Stacey Schulman
Group 18 – Patty Henning
Group 20 – Raag Singhal
Group 21 - Merrilee Ehrlich
Group 25 – Tom Lynch
Group 26 – John Bowman
Group 27 – Steven Feren
Group 29 – Elizabeth Scherer
Group 30 – Dale Cohen
Group 33 – Charles Greene
Group 34 – Renee Goldenberg
Group 37 – Andrew Siegel
Group 41 – John Murphy
Group 44 – Marc Gold
Group 49 - Alfred Horowitz
Group 52 - Michael Kaplan
Group 54 – Martin Bidwell
Group 55 - Jack Tutor
Group 56 – Mily Powell

Broward County Court
Group 11 – Steven DeLuca
Group 18 – Ellen Feld
Group 22 – Christopher Pole
Group 27 – Jonathan Kasen

Broward County Commission
District 2 – Lisa Aronson
District 4 – Kenneth Keechl
District 6 – Joseph Gibbons
District 8 – Barbara Sharief

For Complete List  CLICK HERE