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Sancho's Journal
Sancho's Journal
February 10, 2024

Corporations buying homes in my neighborhood in Florida.



The calls, texts and letters started about two years ago. St. Petersburg resident Tamika Morris has a pile of junk mailers just inside her front door and dozens of numbers blocked on her phone.

The messages are always the same. Companies, with names like “HomeInc” and “HomeVestors,” offer to pay cash “as is” for her Greater Pinellas Point home. No real estate agents need be involved.

Morris said the callers never say whom they represent but often ask her to name her price. Even her son, whose name is not on the deed, gets calls from entities trying to buy her house.

Housing in Tampa Bay is becoming increasingly corporate-owned, a Tampa Bay Times analysis has found. Large companies have amassed around 27,000 homes across three counties. More than 70% of these properties are linked to institutional investors backed by Wall Street and private equity.

The HOA is looking at ways to deal with it...but the trend is scary. Is this everywhere or just Florida?
February 7, 2024

Maybe it was better for FL when DeSatan was canpaigning! "DeSantis takes aim at 'fake meat' "


Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday backed legislative efforts to prevent lab-grown or “cultivated” meat from being made or sold in Florida.

“I know the Legislature is doing a bill to try to protect our meat,” DeSantis said during an appearance at the South Florida State College Hardee Campus in Bowling Green. “You need meat, OK. And we’re going to have meat in Florida. … We’re not going to have fake meat. Like that doesn’t work.”

The proposed ban is included in bills (HB 1071 and SB 1084) that also would make other changes involving the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Cultivated meat involves a process of taking a small number of cultured cells from animals and growing them in controlled settings to make food. Industry officials have argued the cultivated meat process has been closely scrutinized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to ensure safety.

I haven't tried any of the lab grown meats, but the Florida Legislature is telling us what to read, eat, and when to have babies.
February 7, 2024

DeSantis backs flag bill, but it stalls in Florida Senate


TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday supported a proposal that would restrict what flags can be flown at schools and other public buildings, as critics of the bill — and Senate analysts — questioned prohibiting flags that represent a “political viewpoint.”

Under the bill, government agencies, public schools, colleges and universities would be prohibited from flying any flag that “represents a political viewpoint” including any “politically partisan, racial, sexual orientation and gender, or political ideology viewpoint.” Debate has focused heavily on the potential that it could bar LGBTQ+ pride flags at public buildings.

Members of the LGBTQ+ advocacy group Equality Florida were among opponents who spoke against the measure, arguing it singles out LGBTQ+ people by banning pride flags.

August 29, 2023

Hurricane thread...

We evacuated (Clearwater) and moved inland to Lakeland. Here’s a webcam from St. Pete - not much to see yet.


The traffic was crazy getting out of Tampa, and hotels in central Florida are packed.

August 21, 2023

Florida's Teacher Shortage Is Getting Worse


There were 5,294 teacher vacancies in Florida in January this year, according to the Florida Education Association's (FEA) count of vacancies posted on district websites. The number of support staff vacancies was 4,631.

There were 6,920 advertised vacancies for teachers as of August 7, according to the FEA's latest count. Students in most Florida school districts went back to school on August 10. There were also another 5,072 advertised vacancies for support staff.

The FEA blames the high number of vacancies on the education policies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

He's signed legislation on a number of education issues, including what he called the Stop WOKE Act last year that limits how race can be taught in classrooms. Earlier this year, he signed an expansion of what critics call the "Don't Say Gay" law, barring classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in all grades.
August 16, 2023

United Faculty of Florida files another lawsuit at the University of South Florida

UFF Files Federal Suit Against University Arbitration Ban

On Tuesday, Aug. 15, the United Faculty of Florida (UFF), the UFF chapter at the University of South Florida and three individual faculty members who were laid off from the University of South Florida filed suit in federal court to challenge the SB 266 arbitration ban and to protect union contracts in Florida’s university system. The SB 266 arbitration ban gives final decision-making authority over personnel disputes to university presidents instead of a neutral, unbiased arbitrator. With this ban, the State of Florida has upended decades of precedent that have ensured the Sunshine State’s university faculty are treated fairly and equitably in our workplaces.

In this case, we collectively challenge the university’s refusal to arbitrate layoffs, despite local contractual requirements to do so, and we fight for the property rights of public employees in their continued employment under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The full filing can be accessed here.

UFF and its members continue to believe that it is a fundamental right of every American to receive a fair hearing before a neutral decisionmaker when their rights are under attack, in the workplace and beyond. Today, we continue our fight to protect our members and their families, all of whom work every day to make Florida a better place for all people of all beliefs and backgrounds.


August 15, 2023

Playlist for August 14...

August 13, 2023

This is what we are dealing with in Florida...

People whose life and business are hurt by DeSatan still support and vote for the little Hitler!!! The disconnect is unreal, but that's what I see all over Florida (except with young people who are pissed about abortion and housing and guns). Amazing!



Florida’s labor shortage gets real in Tampa Bay. ‘Come and arrest me.’

When federal immigration authorities arrived at his Sand Key restaurant in Clearwater to find outdated and noncompliant work documents for 19 of his employees, he was forced to fire them all — including seven people who had worked with his family for decades.

“With 2,000 employees, it becomes very difficult to monitor it,’’ Gonzmart said in an interview. “We think they’re legal but, when we had to check, we found seven people who have been with me 30 years — paying taxes, had children, grandchildren — and we were required to terminate them.”

“I’m very proud of Gov. DeSantis and everything he’s done. I really am,’’ said Gonzmart, a lifelong Republican. “It gave everybody confidence and that’s why so many people are moving here… But my concern is the governor putting in a law that says those who have an expired driver’s license cannot renew it because they’re no longer legal. They cannot work. Their papers are no longer legal.”

While much of the focus on Florida’s new immigration law has been on its impact on agriculture and construction companies, the state’s pivotal restaurant and lodging industry has drawn less attention, but the repercussions have been profound.
August 7, 2023

Professor Denied Tenure Sues New College of Florida

New College of Florida professor who was denied tenure by the Board of Trustees has filed a lawsuit—along with the United Faculty of Florida—against the board and the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees higher education in the state. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of a recent state law that limits arbitration, News Service of Florida reported.

Plaintiff Hugo Viera-Vargas was one of five faculty members denied tenure by NCF’s Board of Trustees in April, despite receiving approval at every other point in the process. Trustees cited “extraordinary circumstances” in the tenure denial as the college undergoes major changes driven by a new board majority appointed by Republican governor Ron DeSantis, who has directed members to push NCF in a conservative direction. The board has complied by ousting former president Patricia Okker and installing DeSantis ally Richard Corcoran as interim president.

Viera-Vargas, a professor of Caribbean/Latin American Studies and Music, appealed the tenure denial, but his appeal was reportedly shot down; Corcoran cited a state law passed earlier this year—SB 266—that limits arbitration of faculty grievances.

The lawsuit argues that “the arbitration ban curtails Viera-Vargas’s academic freedom and forces him to engage in self-censorship,” and that he was denied tenure, in part, because Corcoran disagrees with “certain subjects” that he teaches. A faculty webpage notes race is part of his research area.


July 7, 2023

Are Florida laws chasing university faculty away? Some see a 'brain drain.'


In the months before the Florida Board of Governors met in late March, more than 1,000 people wrote in, mostly to complain. Now, a dozen speakers lined up to be heard in person.

They had come to weigh in on a proposed state rule that would make it harder for university faculty to keep tenure. The board, which oversees the state’s 12 public universities, was nearing a decision. But many in the audience had other concerns.

Gov. Ron DeSantis had been talking since January about his plans to rid higher education of “woke” influences. He spoke of weeding out liberal professors, killing diversity programs and restricting course content. He railed against “zombie studies,” the college majors he saw as frivolous.

“If you pass this regulation, Florida’s university system will go from the most competitive in the country to the least — and it will happen overnight,” said Andrew Gothard, head of the state’s faculty union.

Florida is losing professors faster than any times since the John's Committee of the 60s. It will take a decade to recover.

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