Iguanas, Nude Beaches Under Debate as Florida Legislature Returns This Week

first_imgThe Florida Legislature will have quite the workload when its 60-day session begins on Tuesday. Goals will include passing a budget expected to top $90 billion dollars; lowering the cost of health care; preventing blue-green algae; and increasing teacher pay.Our state’s lawmakers will also consider measures that include banning iguana breeding, protecting nude sunbathers, banning sunscreen bans, giving hunters a sales tax break on guns and ammo, and making shelter animals the official state pet.The full Senate will take up a bill that would prohibit local governments from banning sunscreens, while a House committee considers their version of the bill. That piece of legislation is a reaction to Key West recently banning the sale of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone or octinoxate, which some researchers say could harm coral reefs.Republican Senator Rob Bradley, who is sponsoring the bill, says the research has not been proven and that residents and tourists in the Sunshine State should use sunscreen.He adds, “That science is lacking in rigor. What science is clear and indisputable about is the case around using sunscreen to protect against skin cancer.”Conversely, environmentalists say other sunscreens are available that do not contain the chemicals in question, and that places like Key West should be able to do whatever is necessary to protect the reefs that drive tourism.Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Jason Pizzo plans to introduce a bill that would exempt people on clothing-optional beaches from being punished under a current law that prohibits people from publicly exposing their genitals.Another Senate committee will look Democratic Senator Gary Farmer’s proposed legislation, which calls for a ban on possessing, importing, selling, bartering, trading or breeding green iguanas or black and white tegus.While the Senate considers placing new restrictions on gun sales, Republican Senator Debbie Mayfield will ask for a one-day tax holiday for hunting and fishing. It is intended to exempt sales tax on rifles, shotguns, ammunition, crossbows, spearguns, hunting tents and fishing equipment.A House committee will debate a bill that could result in the creation of the Statewide Office of Resiliency and the Statewide Sea-Level Rise Task Force.Governor Ron DeSantis believes that sea level rise is a problem the state needs to address.If the bill ultimately becomes law, the Department of Environmental Protection would then be required to act on any recommendations the Sea-Level Rise Task Force makes.last_img read more

Cudjoe calls on stakeholders to unite to restore football

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC) – Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Shamfa Cudjoe has called for unity among stakeholders and an end to the wrangling between the ousted Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and the normalisation committee that FIFA appointed to replace it.The two sides are in a fight for control of the association’s accounts at First Citizens Bank, while the ousted William Wallace-led executive appeals the decision by football’s world governing body to appoint the Robert Hadad-chaired committee to run the association’s affairs, at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland.Stressing in an interview with Guardian Media on Monday that she was not taking sides, Cudjoe said she wanted all involved to work together in the interest of the players and the sport.After FIFA uncovered financial mismanagement at the TTFA, it appointed the normalisation committee in March to replace the executive that was elected in the November 2019 elections.“Football in Trinidad and Tobago has been in trouble for quite some time. So, if the parent body [FIFA] has stepped in with intention to restore football, to straighten things out, and to assist in coming up with a plan to get TTFA out of debt, then I think everybody who cares about football, and cares about the sport, the athletes, the footballers and so on, will get on board,” she said.The minister contended that football in the twin-island republic has been tarnished and destroyed by personal egos and power struggles, and expressed hope that “in quick time, good sense prevails… and everybody could come to the table and speak with a face of positivity, unity and moving forward in the best interest of the sport”.“I think FIFA and the normalisation committee through Robert Hadad, has come to assist and I think those who are in positions to assist should jump on board and assist,” she said.“The tug-of-war and the throwing of words, the bacchanal on Facebook and on social media does not help anybody; it doesn’t help the TTFA, it doesn’t help FIFA and it certainly doesn’t help the athletes who are depending on this sport as a means of livelihood and as a means of income generator.”The FIFA-appointed normalisation committee has been mandated to establish a plan to repay the association’s TT$50 million-plus debt, review and amend the local body’s statutes and other regulations where necessary and ensure their compliance with the FIFA statutes, and carry out electionslast_img read more

Tie strengthens secondary

first_imgCoupling corners Allen Langford and Jake Ikegwuonu with the senior leadership of safeties Roderick Rogers and Joe Stellmacher, Wisconsin’s secondary last year was among the strongest in the nation. With the departure of Rogers and Stellmacher this year, the uncertainty at the safety position has become a concern for some.But not for members of the UW football team. “I look at it as a huge opportunity to showcase my talent and help this defense be better and the team be better,” sophomore defensive back Shane Carter said. “I never really looked at it as a challenge; things are challenging. At the same time, you attack challenges and make the best of your opportunities. I’m just as ready as I can (be) to help the defense.”Carter and fellow sophomore defensive back Aubrey Pleasant have stepped into the starting positions and are making strides. The two of them are finally getting a chance to play — and not just because Stellmacher and Rogers are gone. Pleasant has twice battled back from a tear in his labrum that hindered him much of the past year. Oddly enough, Carter missed a portion of last year with a torn labrum as well. This string of connections has made the two close. “We went through a lot,” Pleasant said. “I mean it was different having surgery during spring ball because everybody is still a little loose and can catch up, but having it during the season is a little different. We spent a lot of time together. We talked a lot together. We figured that next year, if we handle our business, we could start. We have a really close connection.”Carter added, “We grew close over that time not only as friends, but obviously doing the things we had to do with the medical staff and all those things.”Beyond Carter and Pleasant, Wisconsin has quite a bit of depth at the defensive back position. And with a healthy Pleasant and Carter, the secondary could even be deeper than last season’s. “We have a lot of great players back there that are ready to play and [are] hungry,” Carter said. “I know Kim (Royston) and Quincy (Landingham) that just came in, he could still be in high school and they’re just going out hard and trying to make plays. So I think all of us are going out there are eager to play and fill the position that Stell and Rod left.”While Carter and Pleasant are trying to shake off the rust from nearly six months of not playing, greyshirt freshman Landingham is learning the system for the first time.Needless to say, it has been a process. “It has been a big adjustment coming in trying to learn all the plays, all the coverages so fast,” Landingham said. “But I think if I keep on working at it everyday I’ll get better at it.”Playing doesn’t even stop for the greyshirt when he’s on the sidelines. “I just try to take mental reps, think about if I was out there, what would I be doing in the motion, what would I do when they come with this kind of route, and then (I) apply what I was thinking about,” Landingham said.Restored health and a strong relationship between Carter and Pleasant, along with some new faces, makes Wisconsin’s secondary a bit safer than many would anticipate.Practice notesThe defense prevented the offense from completing many passes down the field in the 11-on-11 drill. The play of the secondary was particularly notable. Second-teamers Kim Royston and Ben Strickland picked off Allan Evridge’s and Jon Erickson’s passes and ran them back before the offense could touch them up. … Joining Strickland and Royston in the second team’s defensive backfield were Josh Nettles and Jay Valai. … Former running back Jamil Walker looked comfortable working with coach Randall McCray and the defensive line. … Brandon Kelly remains out for disciplinary reasons and defensive lineman Justin Ostrowski didn’t dress (reason undisclosed).last_img read more