1. News

Creation of Florida Poly shows need to remove politics from state education system

One of my newest friends works for the Chronicle of Higher Education and I asked her how much the magazine has written about Florida's university system.

She assured me it covers our universities, and now with Gov. Rick Scott foolishly hastening the creation of Florida Polytechnic, it has new material.

How the nation views the state's higher education efforts will impact a number of fronts. As the Legislature continues to fund universities on the cheap, recruiting top faculty, students and administrators will only grow more difficult. If our reputation suffers, business leaders won't believe they can find a qualified workforce.

We need systemic changes that remove the heavy hand of politics and provincialism, but that would require the Legislature and governor to concede power for a greater good. Oh well. ...

Seen on a T-shirt: I Don't Repeat Gossip, So Listen Very Carefully. ...

Kudos to the Junior League of Tampa for its work teaching Just Elementary fourth- and fifth-graders improved nutrition and fitness practices. The league kicks off its annual Kids In The Kitchen program Wednesday. ...

Tarpon Springs continues to buzz about a $1 million renovation of the Sponge Docks. The City Commission may start identifying specifics next month, but Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is already touting the improvements, and with good reason. The early renditions show a lot of promise. ...

Next time you're out to dinner with friends, stack your smartphones in the center of the table. First person who picks up a phone to check a text, email or answer a call picks up the tab.

With my trusty flip-phone, I like my chances of winning. ...

That's all I'm saying.