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Informed Personalities from Across the State, Across the Spectrum
Susan Clary's picture
"I fill my life with diversity in friendships and acquaintances of varying political, religious and cultural backgrounds. Their insights make me a better person and a better writer. I look to connect to the readers of Florida Voices to translate those differences and commonalities into lively discussion."
Thursday, May 02, 2013 — Susan Clary

We are taught from an early age that the better person ignores insults. Firing back in anger risks escalating a situation to the point of no return and becoming the bully we so despise.

But sometimes name-calling cannot be ignored. The family of Adam Holland, a Tennessee man with Down syndrome, is suing a St. Petersburg radio station and others for allegedly altering a photo of him to include a...

Thursday, April 18, 2013 — Susan Clary

Two steps forward, one step back. That’s how you could characterize Florida’s strides to elect openly gay men and women to public office. Just as the tally kept by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute was nearing two dozen, the number moved back again.

Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, a Democrat first elected in 2010, suffered a bruising loss Tuesday in a run-off election for his second term. Former...

Thursday, April 11, 2013 — Susan Clary

It is one of the worst feelings in the world to look in your rearview mirror and see the flashing lights of law enforcement bearing down. Your mouth goes dry, your heart sinks and your gut tightens. Chances are you know your pocket book is about to take a big hit.

No one forgets the officer who has mercy and issues a warning. We repeat that kind of story ad nauseam. Finding that one in a million cop...

Thursday, March 28, 2013 — Susan Clary

Florida Atlantic University Professor Deandre Poole gave the students in his Intercultural Communications class an assignment three weeks ago from their textbook: Intercultural Communication: A Contextual Approach, 5th Edition.

Students were asked to write the name “Jesus” in big letters on a piece of paper and place it on the floor in front of them. After a brief period of silence, they were asked to...

Thursday, March 21, 2013 — Susan Clary

It’s hard to imagine Palm Beach County in the late 1800s. Florida’s early settlers found an undeveloped and untamed wilderness. The first white settlers lived on Hypoluxo Island, near the south end of Lake Worth, and on the east side of the lake, now Palm Beach.

Their property was a swamp full of alligators and mosquitoes. They learned to hunt, fish and sail from the Seminole Indians. It took courage and...

Thursday, March 07, 2013 — Susan Clary

Sometimes the only thing standing between a domestic violence victim and the freedom to escape an abusive relationship is the ability to maintain economic security. While the workplace can be a haven for some victims, it can be a scary place for others.

That’s why 32 states offer unemployment insurance to help battered men and women obtain temporary wage replacement when forced to leave their jobs...

Thursday, February 28, 2013 — Susan Clary

Who could forget the 102-year-old Miami woman who waited in line for three hours last November to cast her ballot? Desiline Victor, who farmed in Haiti before becoming a U.S. citizen, decided to vote early to avoid the rush on Election Day.

Like thousands of others, the centenarian became mired in Republican legislation that cut early voting hours, creating lines longer than those in a Disney theme...

Thursday, February 21, 2013 — Susan Clary

With 220 million olfactory cells, dogs have historically been utilized to assist law enforcement with their unique ability to sniff out the bad guys. Our noses, with a mere 5 million olfactory cells, seem useless in comparison.

Trained police dogs are used to locate criminal suspects and detect drugs. During a traffic stop, an officer must have probable cause or your permission to search your car. The...

Thursday, February 14, 2013 — Susan Clary

Imagine if we could end bullying, if we could take away the pain and humiliation endured by kids who are teased and tormented by fellow classmates. Imagine if our children respected one another for their differences.

That was the vision 14-year-old Bayli Silberstein had when she tried to form the Gay-Straight Student Alliance at Carver Middle School in Leesburg. By fostering understanding, she thought she could end the painful harassment.

You would expect the teachers, faculty and school board to embrace the idea – an eighth-grader empowered to become a role model for her...

Thursday, February 07, 2013 — Susan Clary

With the help of the Florida Legislature, two energy companies have been able to collect more than $1 billion from utility customers for the construction of nuclear power plants with no guarantee they would ever be built.

One of those companies, Progress Energy, announced this week it would shut down its Crystal River nuclear plant, which hasn’t generated electricity since 2009. Rather than make repairs to a damaged containment building, the company will begin the 40- to 60-year process of dismantling the plant.

Progress Energy has spent at least $457 million to purchase...