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Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Florence Snyder's picture
"Everybody talks about transparency and accountability, and for too many of our leaders, it's nothing but talk. I've seen everything that works in Florida and everything that doesn't, and I'm looking forward to sharing my views and comparing notes with Florida Voices' readers."
Monday, July 02, 2012 — Florence Snyder

"Nora Ephron enjoyed and was very kind to all kind of folks; not just big deals," tweeted New York Times media columnist David Carr. Plainly he is right about that, judging by the flood of cyber-comment condolences and commiseration attending last week’s death of Ephron, a reporter-turned-filmmaker, thought-leader, and first person in the room to say what everybody was thinking.

You don’t see much of...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 — Florence Snyder

“Don’t schtupp your co-workers, especially if you’re supervising them” has been a management mantra since the Reagan Administration. But that didn’t matter to Jamie Self before he “left” his $103,000 job as executive director of the state’s Family and Community Services Office in January “for personal and family reasons.”

Thanks to dogged reporting by...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 — Florence Snyder

In an era when reporters worked sources more and blogged press releases less, many great stories were born in barrooms that catered to newsies on the prowl for a cold beer and a hot tip.

These days, the media’s last great watering hole is in cyberspace at www.jimromenesko.com.  There, you can find what’s left of the fact-based community talking shop and saying...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012 — Florence Snyder

Florida’s governing class has, for decades, valued their spin doctors far more than police, prison guards, child protective investigators and others who risk their lives daily in public service.

Recessions come and go, but the standing army of people whose job it is to talk transparency while obstructing journalism is untouchable.
Florida TaxWatch crunched the numbers last year.  As of...

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 — Florence Snyder

When government doesn’t do its job, when children die in its care, when law enforcement commits wrongdoing, we look to investigative reporters to go beyond a spokesperson’s platitudes and tell us what’s really going on.

But with the bottom falling out of newspapers, Florida has lost much of its investigative muscle -- those extra-curious reporters who keep a watchful eye on how things work....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 — Florence Snyder

Bring your sleeping bags, was Sen. Don Gaetz’ advice to his colleagues as he described plans for the redistricting do-over special session scheduled to begin today and, with any luck, end by March 28th.

Gaetz didn’t say if there would be campfires on the Senate floor, but if there are, here’s a tune suitable for a redistricting sing-along.


Thursday, March 08, 2012 — Florence Snyder

Florida’s government functionaries are, for the most part, faceless fixers who do their best to keep their names out of the newspapers.

Not Steve MacNamara, or as he’s known around the Capitol, “Governor MacNamara.”

This week, MacNamara dumped at length and on the record to Tampa Bay Times Bureau...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 — Florence Snyder

The Battle of USF Poly surprises nobody who has been paying attention to higher education in Florida since the mid-20th century.

As far back as the cash-rich 1980s, Sun-Sentinel columnist Robin Branch wrote of legislative leaders who wanted to have “a full service university within walking distance of every Floridian.”


Wednesday, February 22, 2012 — Florence Snyder

STARKE -- Robert Waterhouse met death here last Wednesday as he had lived life: cruel to the core and proud of it.

Sedated and strapped to the gurney on which he was about to die, Waterhouse lifted his head and looked into the eyes of Linda Cope, his victim’s big sister, and said, “You are about to witness the execution of a wrongfully convicted, innocent man.”


Wednesday, February 15, 2012 — Florence Snyder

STARKE -- In 1979, Florida’s best reporters jockeyed for seats in the witness room here when John Spenkelink became the first Florida convict executed after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to “re-legalize” the death penalty.

Story lengths and expense accounts were virtually unlimited for writers whose job it was to witness the execution and convey the profound moral implications, as well as the...