first_imgBriefs THE FLORIDA BAR CITIZENS FORUM, an advisory group to the Bar that meets three times per year, participated in a law-related education workshop presented by Justice Fred Lewis and FLREA Executive Director Annette Pitts on February 16 in Tallahassee. The Citizens Forum had advised the Bar in August to support an initiative to create awareness of the public’s lack of knowledge of the principles of democracy and to revitalize civics courses in schools. A Florida Bar poll later revealed that only 59 percent of Florida adults could correctly identify the three branches of government. President Alan Bookman is conducting editorial board visits around the state to discuss the poll and the status of civic education. The Florida Bar Speakers Bureau is also making presentations to community groups about the initiative.Bar Diversity Symposium set for April “A Progress Report on Diversity in Florida’s Legal Profession” will be the theme of The Florida Bar’s Annual Diversity Symposium at the Florida A&M University College of Law in Orlando on April 28. The event will highlight actions taken by the Bar to promote diversity in the areas of education, employment, the judiciary, and in Bar leadership opportunities. Veteran civil rights attorney Fred Gray will be the keynote speaker. The symposium is open to all Bar members and a reception will precede the event April 27 at Zinfandel’s Restaurant at the Orlando Marriott Downtown beginning at 6 p.m. There is no registration fee for the symposium, but space is limited. Pre-registration is required by April 14. Online registration is available at A block of rooms has been reserved at the Orlando Marriott Downtown – (407) 843-6664 – for April 27 only. To receive the rate of $119, reservations must be made by April 14. Registrants should notify the hotel of assistive devices required for hotel accommodations. For more information contact Maria S. Johnson, member outreach coordinator, at [email protected] or (850) 561-5648. “There is no compelling reason for us to be doing this now, because this [doctrine] has only been used twice, including the current instance, in the history of our court. So what is the compelling reason for doing this now, especially when it comes so close on the heels of the Bush v. Holmes decision?. . . It’s deceitful in the fact that the average person reading this would have no clue as to the significant impact that this would have on the court system throughout the state of Florida.” – Rep. Curtis Richardson, D-Tallahassee April 1, 2006 Regular News “The added language [from the amendment to the bill approved by the committee] has made it as clear as mud to me. I don’t know how I could strictly construe anything here because I don’t know how it provides me with any guidance. I don’t have enough clarity on what those words mean. When I get into litigation with a contract, I can tell you it’s not the words that are there that are the problem. It’s the words that are left out, and I think we’ve left a lot of words out.” – Rep. Kevin Ambler, R-Tampa “This is absolutely about vouchers. It seems to me every time the Supreme Court does something the legislature doesn’t like, we decide we’re going to retaliate. This is more than retaliation; this is something that you’re going to put into the constitution to make one branch more powerful than another branch. This is a naked power grab by the legislature.” – Rep. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach “We have a proud tradition of checks and balances.. . . This is going to be a system where we remove the checks and we simply create an imbalance and it doesn’t make sense to me why we’re doing it.. . . We’re ranting and raving about the courts overstepping their bounds and we’re doing the exact same thing from this side.” – Rep. Jack Seiler, D-Pompano Beach center_img “We’re just asking the people how to interpret the constitution. It’s not retaliatory or offensive to ask the people how to interpret the constitution.” – Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala “How can anyone say that the directive that the legislature create a free, uniform system of public education somehow meets the standards of limiting the legislature from coming up with new, bold, and creative ideas?. . . What we are doing is righting the ship. We are turning things back the way they should have been in the Bush v. Holmes decision.” – Rep. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs THE FRED G. MINNIS, SR., BAR Association recently held its Third Annual Scholarship Awards banquet at Stetson University School of Law. More than 250 guests, members of the judiciary, and Bar leaders — including Florida Bar President Alan Bookman, left, — were in attendance. The guest speaker was Ft. Pierce lawyer Linnes Finney, right, president–elect of the National Bar Association, who expressed concerns over the declining numbers of black college and law school students and the need to increase the number of students applying to law school. The association’s diversity awards were presented to Pinellas Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger and Ruden McClosky. Scholarships were presented to Stetson students Royce Bluitt, Patice LaDell Holland, and Bridgette Sanders. Additional scholarships were given to high school students for their academic achievement and civic involvement, including Shauntiel Bennett, Sakira Hadley, and Sherman Willard Jones III. Jeannine S. Williams received the President’s Award for outstanding service to the organization. The Fred G. Minnis Bar is named for the first black lawyer to have a full-time practice in St. Petersburg. B riefs What They Said.. . “As I listen to you and read this, it appears to me your intent is not to attack the Supreme Court or undo the Bush v. Holmes case, but merely have a policy statement restoring the balance among the three branches of government.” – Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral last_img read more

Development at Nations “horrific” – PPP

first_img…calls on Govt to take aggressive leadThe Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) said it is concerned about the “horrific developments” affecting the School of the Nations and urged the coalition Government to “stop treating this matter in a ‘business as usual’ manner and take a more aggressive lead in addressing the situation.”In a statement, the Party said that “the safety of our children in schools must be of paramount importance. This situation could have serious consequences for both the children at the school and the country at large.”The Opposition’s remarks comes at a time when parents of students attending the School of Nations on New Market Street, Georgetown, have expressed fear forParents engaged in a meeting on Monday with the school’s administrationtheir children’s safety at the institution in the wake of the recent shooting of the Director, Dr Brian O’Toole and the constant threats posted on social media allegedly by an expelled student.Their distress was clearly voiced during an engagement with the school’s administration on Monday, as questions mounted about the level of security which has been adopted in recent days.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of School of Nations, Dr Dexter Phillips explained that they are installing additional security cameras at blind spots along with an increased security presence at the entrances.It was indicated that the administration took a decision to not resume classes as per normal today with the assistance of the Guyana Police Force for increased support.The school had to implement these measures after the Director was shot on Sunday night at about 21:44h at his Prashad Nagar home shortly after returning home from a restaurant.The police report stated that the 64-year-old man returned home and secured his gate after entering. As he was about to open the door, a male suspect approached him, pointed a gun and discharged three rounds in his direction – two of which caught him in both forearms.This act came with what was considered warning signs from a social media account, believed to be created by students of the institution. The posts started on WhatsApp and moved to Facebook, where threats were made to the lives of students. In one instance, two persons were mentioned in the online posts.The guardians spared no opportunity to probe the ongoing investigation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Force. When contacted, a senior member of the Guyana Police Force related that an investigation is underway but could not divulge any information that could jeopardise same.last_img read more