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Columns, Perspective

  1. Column: Trade agreement will boost U.S. economy

    Columns

    America has long been a land of opportunity and the envy of the world. But today we face serious challenges from global competitors looking to replace us as the leading economic force in the world. China, India and a unified European bloc are vying to become the new global powerhouse of the 21st century.

    A cargo ship cruises under the Sunshine Skyway en route to Port Tampa Bay. Trade supports 2.4 million jobs in Florida.
  2. Column: Proposals threaten Florida's famed parks

    Columns

    If the people of Florida value their state parks as highly as they say they do, they had better cast a wary eye in the direction of Tallahassee. Proposals are being advanced both in the Legislature and in the Department of Environmental Protection that may not bode well for the future of Florida's nationally recognized …

  3. Crisafulli: Why the Florida House opposes Medicaid expansion

    Columns

    In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court gave states the option to expand Medicaid under Obamacare and Florida has chosen not to expand. There are principled reasons for declining to grow a program that currently covers 3.7 million Floridians at a cost of $23.5 billion per year, or about one-third of Florida's budget.

  4. My sad lesson in what dignity means today

    Columns

    Three weeks ago, when I sat my teenage daughters down to deliver the difficult news, I said, "Girls, I have to tell you something upsetting."

  5. Column: Working to end poverty

    Columns

    As a city leader, I find that income inequality and poverty in our city weigh upon me heavily. It is not one of the fun or sexy issues, but no responsible leader can neglect the most seemingly intractable of all our challenges: the cycle of poverty.

  6. Profile of a minimum wage worker

    Columns

    If the federal government ever raises the minimum wage, it wouldn't help everyone — immediately, at least. Although raising the floor reverberates throughout the wage scale, the vast majority of workers already make more than $7.25 an hour.

  7. Column: Draper leaving, but USF sciences still going strong

    Columns

    When Massachusetts Institute of Technology spinoff Draper Labs decided to open offices in Florida, the University of South Florida was thrilled at the prospect of this new partnership and the important and exciting scientific discoveries that would follow.

    Draper Lab's new CEO Ken Gabriel has decided to consolidate biotech operations at his headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
  8. Column: A powerful reddit thread reveals what it's like to be disabled

    Columns

    The Internet community reddit has become a destination for all kinds of arcane topics, including cats dressed up as lobsters, creepy things found at garage sales and people riding invisible bicycles. But once in a while, the forum also hosts a conversation that connects people with different life experiences in …

    Isolated wheelchair on white.
  9. Column: Iran nuclear deal or no deal? (w/video)

    Columns

    The Obama team's effort to negotiate a deal with Iran that could prevent the Iranians from developing a nuclear bomb for at least a decade is now entering its critical final stage. I hope that a good, verifiable deal can be finalized, but it will not be easy. If it were, we'd have it by now. Here are the major …

    Protestors sit in the audience during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting to debate the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act in Washington.
  10. Ruth: Why Rick Scott fights online voter registration

    Columns

    Here's the troubling thing about elections. When you offer the body politic the chance to cast a ballot, there is always the inherent risk people will also avail themselves of the opportunity to actually take the trouble to vote. And let's face it, you can take this democracy drivel only so far.

  11. Daniel Ruth column: Don Draper doesn't set a good example for bosses

    Columns

    If I was a business consultant, the first thing I might do is assemble anyone who manages anyone and show them several episodes of Mad Men.

  12. Perspective: A moral bucket list

    Perspective

    About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. …

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower did silly but effective things to still his anger. He knew his weaknesses.
  13. Ruth: Mayor Bob Buckhorn responds to smoke at Fire Rescue

    Columns

    Nothing focuses a politician's attention more than accusations of being out of touch. Days ago, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said he needed "a couple of weeks" to receive a report from Tampa Fire Rescue Chief Tom Forward before he could decide how to provide a modicum of privacy (and respect) for female first responders who …

  14. Perspective: How much land to protect?

    Perspective

    When it comes to conserving Florida's natural and rural lands, a simple question arises — how much is enough? How much land needs to be protected to save Florida's ecosystems?

    Bluehead Ranch, one of the many currently unprotected Florida Forever projects, is important for protecting the headwaters of Fisheating Creek, the health of Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, habitat for Florida panther and Florida black bear. It is one of the largest remaining private expanses of dry prairie, an endangered ecosystem supporting many listed species, left in Florida.
  15. Perspective: What is it like to be the neighbor of a "free-range kid"?

    Perspective

    The Meitiv family of Maryland — scientists Danielle and Alexander, their 10-year-old son, and their 6-year-old daughter — became the national faces of the "free-range parenting" movement in December. That's when police, acting on an anonymous call, picked up the kids as they walked home alone from a park in …

    Danielle Meitiv, right, walks home with her daughter Dvora Meitiv, 6, left, Rosie Resnick, 9, and her son Rafi Meitiv, 10, after school in Silver Spring, Md., earlier this year in a moment when they weren’t “free-range kids.”
  16. Dockery: Standardized testing mess: Educators saw it coming

    Columns

    Shhh, they're trying to keep it hush-hush.

  17. Column: Conference tackles food security, safety

    Columns

    Many of us are increasingly conflicted when confronted with advice from research scientists on an array of issues, from vaccinations to climate change. This is especially true regarding the complex, diverse and international food supply.

  18. Harsh words for House, Scott

    Columns

    Editor's note: Newspaper editorial boards across the state have castigated the Florida House and Gov. Rick Scott for failing to expand Medicaid. Here is a sampling of some of those editorials.

  19. Anybody remember how to write a check?

    Columns

    Today, Americans are writing fewer checks than ever. According to the Federal Reserve's most recent study of how Americans pay for things, "the number of checks paid declined more than 50 percent since 2000." Meanwhile, electronic and card payments tripled over the same period.

  20. Ruth: The Tallahassee cash collectors

    Columns

    Back in 2005, Sen. Tom Lee, R-Holier Than Thou, strutted about as the Diogenes of Tallahassee, slapping himself on the back for pushing through an ethics gift ban that prohibited the capital's lobbying cartel from directly lathering up legislators with freebie drinks, meals, trips and other tokens of appreciation for …