« December 6, 2013 | Main | December 9, 2013 »

4 posts from December 8, 2013

December 08, 2013

The Adam Hollingsworth Effect: double talk, double standards and academic fraud


Adam Hollingsworth sometimes gave an aw-shucks self-deprecating line when he gave advice: “I’m just a guy with a p.r. degree from Alabama.”

It was a lie.

And it caught up with Hollingsworth, now Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff, when The Miami Herald-Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee bureau exposed the academic fraud on Friday.

Hollingsworth didn’t just verbally deceive people. He twice explicitly allowed his former employer, CSX Corporation, to issue press releases in 1998 and 2002 saying he graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree.

Hollingsworth had no degree at the time. He earned one years later.

“I am not proud of this and I deeply apologize for this misrepresentation,” Hollingsworth said in a written statement. “I have learned from this failure in judgment and know that, over the last several years, my life and character have and will continue to grow from this.”

Is Hollingsworth now telling the full truth?

Continue reading "The Adam Hollingsworth Effect: double talk, double standards and academic fraud" »

Gov. Rick Scott's untold job's story: Jobs Lost

Jobs LostFor nearly three decades, this rural community in north central Florida was home to a bustling mill that was the principal employer for its 1,400 residents.

Then, in November 2011, the recession-induced collapse of the housing market forced Georgia-Pacific to close its plywood plant.

All 400 employees were sent scrambling to find work — weeks before the holidays. And the mill that once produced the sawdust-covered staples of the state’s housing market stood idle, cutting off the lifeblood of the local economy.

“The mill was a boost to the entire town — the schools, churches, local businesses,” said Pastor Joe Williams. “All of a sudden, all that disappeared.”

Now, after two years the mill stands shuttered. Many of its employees have found other jobs but at lower wages, and local community leaders, who had hoped to get help from the state, say they are on their own.

“We’ve tried to sell ourselves to [the state Department of Economic Opportunity],” said Hawthorne Mayor Matthew Surrency, but the effort has yielded little return.

The story of Hawthorne is not one Gov. Rick Scott talks about on his public relations roadshow as the state’s “jobs” governor. It is a tale of the tens of thousands of private sector jobs lost in Florida since Scott took office in January 2011. It is about once robust manufacturing jobs that were replaced by lower-wage service sector employment. And it is about the thousands of companies already here that received little help with tax breaks or other incentives.

The number of jobs that have disappeared on Scott’s watch include: More here. Here is the interactive map of layoffs at companies with more than 100 employees.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/static/media/projects/2013/rick-scotts-jobs-record/part-2/#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/static/media/projects/2013/rick-scotts-jobs-record/part-2/#storylink=cpy

Homestead may pull plug on Dade Medical deal


For more than a decade, Homestead’s ArtSouth complex was a cultural jewel in the city’s otherwise forgotten downtown. The arts-focused non-profit — which hosts monthly gallery shows and offers free art programs to children from poor families — was internationally recognized. Actor Gene Hackman, who has a home in the Keys, quietly signed up for a figure drawing class last year.

Then the Ernesto Perez revitalization plan came to town.

Perez, the founder and longtime CEO of Dade Medical College, pitched his for-profit school as the new anchor of Homestead’s historic district, joined by other surrounding businesses that Perez’s companies would also own. City leaders, in their eagerness to attract investment, enthusiastically supported Perez’s ambitions. The city even agreed to sell him 19 city properties at a dramatic discount —less than 40 cents on the dollar.

Since then, Perez has been arrested, his college has become the target of a criminal investigation, and ArtSouth has been financially crippled by Perez’s actions. Forced out of its home by Perez, ArtSouth may not survive past the end of the month.

“He said that we don’t fit in his vision for downtown Homestead,” said ArtSouth Chairwoman Janis Klein-Young.

More here.

Gov. Rick Scott tours PortMiami dredging

By Alfonso Chardy

Florida Gov. Rick Scott visited PortMiami Friday to see first-hand the specially outfitted vessel that is currently dredging the channel entrance to the port, a project made possible when Scott provided millions in state money for the endeavor.

A month after Scott withdrew Florida’s participation in the bullet train project in early 2011, he directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to amend its work plan to include $77 million so PortMiami could deepen its cargo harbor to receive the giant container ships that will cross the Panama Canal once its expansion is completed in 2015.

Later the state contribution grew to $112.5 to fund the $220 million dredging project, The county port’s contribution totals $108 million.

The dredging of the port’s shipping from 42 to 50 to 52 feet will enable the mega container vessels to dock at PortMiami and unload cargo containers. PortMiami is the only Florida port currently undergoing dredging to 50 feet, which is the required depth to accommodate the giant container ships.

More here.