Thursday, February 08, 2018
No, Florida isn't the worst state in the nation. And here's why (Pensacola News-Press)
Nice riposte from Pensacola News Journal to clickbait hatchet job. We're proud of Florida's Sunshine and Open Records laws. The New York Times and PBS Frontline were able to document the Michelle O'Connell case because of our Open Records law. Thanks to University of Florida Levin College of Law Professors Jon Mills and Joe Little for writing Article I, Section 24 of our Florida Constitution, adopted by referendum in 1992 by the people of State of Florida (3.8 million voters -- 83% of those voting). Our Sunshine and Open Records are the strongest in the Nation, better than FOIA, and better than New York, California and Pennsylvania). To local officials, including Sheriff DAVID SHOAR: Let the Sunshine in!
It's always sunny in Florida. Wochit
Yet another website has come to wholly unoriginal conclusion that Florida is the worst state based upon cheeky rankings by writers who presumably have never lived here. This time, Thrillistjumped on the Florida-sucks bandwagon.
You know what else is not so grand?
Everywhere else but Florida most days in winter. We've heard the jokes. We know the memes. The Sunshine State is not for everybody but if you, northern friends, do visit Florida this winter, please consider reining in your "Flori-duhs" and abiding by some Flori-do's. And don'ts. In exchange, we promise to try to keep Miami Beach above water, inspire Pitbull's most danceable riffs, and keep our border open through February.
• Refrain from tagging us on every "Florida Man" story. When someone, somewhere in the world makes news about doing something terrible or a brawl breaks out at a Chuck E. Cheese or a parent throws a sucker punch while pushing a baby stroller, the individuals involved will either reside in Florida or have lived there at one time. This is less something we need to be reminded of—Every. Bleeping. Time. —than an inevitability. Alas, there is a price to be paid for the widespread offerings of all-day happy hours. To be fair, Florida is a populous state. Statistically, there's less of a chance for "Rhode Island Man" to gain traction.
• Floribama is not so much a real place but a state of mind so we can't tell you how to get there. That's on you.
• No need to point out that the Sunshine State is cartographically hung. We know! We see it too! To some Florida residents, it is a source of pride but a fair share of us are weary of hackneyed comparisons to the shape of the Sunshine State and male reproductive anatomy.
• Staying in Florida can lead to a tendency toward facial tattoos, amusement-park addiction, using machetes as garden tools, and swindling the elderly. But don't expect to pack all this into one long weekend. Save your airline miles for next year! You know what you can also pack into one long weekend?
• Respect the ambulatory diversity of our retirees. Despite what Hollywood depicts, all white-haired people in Florida do not ride Rascal scooters. While some mature residents use scooters, more of them walk. And because they can run outside all year, they'll trounce you in a 5K. Some are smoking hot. STDs among the elderly are a thing.
• Suggestions Florida be excised from the U.S. map may come true, at least partially, thanks to sea level rise. Don't rub it in. We remain traumatized by TV broadcasters' giddy use of alliteration promising our "absolute annihilation" during Hurricane Irmabefore grinning about a heartfelt story from somewhere drier. But Washington, Oregon, and California don't look so hot for natural disasters either.
• Tourists have been at least partly responsible for our natural demise. So don't let your pythons loose. Or tegu lizards. They've taken over the Everglades and when that's gone where will you go for gator nuggets and airboat rides? Louisiana, mind you, is 700 miles from Disney World, and your children will one day resent you for pushing Bourbon Street as the superior alternative to breakfast with Belle.
See you on the sand!
Warmly, increasingly, but pleasurably so, at least for the next few months,