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Faith, Food, Friday this Friday: Restorative Justice



fff-newsletterThis Friday January 10, FAITH, FOOD, FRIDAY, (“Improbable conversations for people of faith and no faith at all”) continues with “Restorative Justice: Rethinking the Role of Forgiveness.” The God Squad will host Andy and Kate Grosmaire, whose 19-year-old daughter Ann was killed by her boyfriend in 2010.  Joined by the Reverend Allison DeFoor, who had a critical role in the events that unfolded following Ann’s death, they will share their journey of loss and forgiveness and their struggle to define what justice is in the face of profound and unthinkable personal tragedy. Together, they will tell a story of two families seeking another way despite incredible obstacles – a story that takes them across the country, around the world and deep inside their hearts – to bring to fruition an idea unlikely to happen anywhere, much less in the panhandle of North Florida.   There are few stories like the one the Grosmaires will tell in the world today. Rev. Dave Killeen of St. John’s Episcopal Church will moderate the discussion.

To get more information or reserve your seat for this program click HERE. The program will be held at First Baptist Church (108 W. College Avenue) from noon to 1 pm with lunch available at 11:30, and is free and open to the public. RSVP by Tuesday for the early-bird lunch price of $8 ($10 after). Lunch is a Baked Potato Bar: Potatoes, Chili, Steamed Broccoli, Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms, Cheese Sauce, Butter, Sour Cream; along with Rolls and Dessert. Or, and you’re welcome to bring a bag brown lunch or not eat. For more information, email fff@tothevillagesquare.org or call 590-6646. You can see “Faith, Food, Friday” dates and topics for the entire season and even RSVP for any of this year’s programs online HERE.



Climate change asteroid: What if they are right?



asteroid smallJoin us on Tuesday, January 14th for “FEARS: Where not everyone shares your pain” – get details and reserve your seat HERE. In the meantime, a quote to ponder on climate change…

The latest research, including an assessment by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, suggests that sea level could rise more than six feet by the end of the century. James Hansen, the godfather of global-warming science, has argued that it could increase as high as 16 feet by then – and Wanless believes that it could continue rising a foot each decade after that. “With six feet of sealevel rise, South Florida is toast,” says Tom Gustafson, a former Florida speaker of the House and a climate-change-policy advocate. Even if we cut carbon pollution overnight, it won’t save us. Ohio State glaciologist Jason Box has said he believes we already have 70 feet of sea-level rise baked into the system.

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From Rolling Stone, by Jeff Goodell



Faith, Food, Money? Faith and Capitalism



If you missed our last Faith, Food, Friday, “Faith & Capitalism ,” you can listen to the audio here.









The Crier: News from the Village Square



Click here to read the latest news.

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Here’s to a few more friendly shoulders in our future



Cheers to Lea Marshall, who sent this video along with this note: tis the season. may we all give others a chance to rest their heads (or even their thoughts that maybe aren’t the same as our thoughts) on us peacefully and gracefully…



CivilPolitics.org: Newt Gingrich praising Nelson Mandela



Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 8.52.04 PMWe’re delighted to be partnering with CivilPolitics.org in our California expansion project. They’ll be producing evaluative measures for us as we experiment with different structures and programs in new (and old) locations. We think they produce the most cogent academic view of our increasingly divisive civic environment – they also care about actually solving the problem. Today, they’ve written about how science says you transcend political division, using Newt Gingrich as an example. Who knew.



Florence Snyder: Raising a glass to Arthur England



England_ArthurArthur England was not a pretentious man. Unlike a lot of retired traffic magistrates, he did not want to be called “Judge” after he left the Florida Supreme Court in 1981. It was easy to forget that for all of his professional life, he really was the smartest guy in the room.

England, who died August 1, did much of the heavy legal lifting in the years when Florida was on the cutting edge of everything. Two memorial services, one at his synagogue in Miami and a second this week at the Florida Supreme Court, only begin to scratch the surface of England’s contributions to his state and to the many people who loved him.

Former Gov. Reubin Askew’s eyes sparkled with pride as he paid tribute to his old friend in the well of the courtroom where England had presided. Askew deserves and was happy to take most of the credit for the man who fathered Florida’s Corporate Income Tax Code, the 1973 Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and the Florida Administrative Procedures Act, as well as six children who share their dad’s commitment to education, to community service, and to the belief that in all endeavors of life, character counts.

At the time of his death, England was 80 going on 50. “Tethered to an oxygen machine,” his widow, Deborah Miller England told the Miami Herald, he fended off pulmonary fibrosis at the family home in Coral Gables and attended to his cases and clients until hours before he succumbed.

England served on the Court alongside his good friend, the late Alan Sundberg. To journalists of a certain age, England and Sundberg were Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, shooting holes in the arguments made by legions of old-school, low-tech lawyers who opposed cameras in the courtroom.

Former Florida State University and American Bar Association President Sandy D’Alemberte, who argued the cameras case on behalf of the Post-Newsweek television stations, credits England with designing a one year pilot project that paved the way to the landmark decision which made it possible for the public to see for themselves what was happening in their courtrooms.

At the Miami memorial service, and again in Tallahassee, D’Alemberte eulogized England as a lawyer and jurist who was always motivated to make the law accessible and understandable to everyone.

Court colleague and lifelong friend Eleanor Mitchell Hunter recalled his tireless efforts to modernize the administrative wheels of justice. “It was Arthur who bought the Court’s first computer,” Hunter said.

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the pulpit at Temple Beth Am, and again at the Supreme Court, England’s children spoke of him in the present tense. They smiled and wrapped their arms around each other and delivered the kind of crisp, clear, final summation that England himself was known and admired for in his post-Court career as one of the nation’s premier appellate lawyers: “He’s brilliant, kind, loving, easygoing, and constantly makes us and others feel special and valued.”

For a moment, it was possible to imagine that this was a toast at a family birthday party, and any second now, England would raise a glass and respond.

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Florence Snyder is a corporate and First Amendment lawyer. Contact her at lawyerflo@gmail.com



Collaborative Leadership and Economic & Community Development, hosted by FSU FCRC Consensus Center



FCRC logos 2Join the FSU FCRC Consensus Center on Thursday December 5th from 3 to 4:30 pm (Sittig Hall, Kleman Plaza, 301 S. Bronough Street) for a free forum that is open to the public on collaboration, civility and leadership. The program will be led by Richard Walker, Senior Vice President/Regional Outreach, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and and Todd Greene, Community and Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Chairman Bernanke recently observed, “Industry mix, demographic makeup, and geographic location make less difference to success than the presence of a community leader and collaboration around a vision for the future.” Walker and Greene will share their insights on collaborative leadership from the Bank’s research and the “Working Cities Challenge” initiative in Massachusetts with an audience of scholars, students and professionals in Tallahassee. The event is part of the FSU FCRC Consensus Center’s initiative “Collaborative Leadership and Florida’s Civic Future” being developed with the FSU Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida League of Cities, Florida Association of Counties, Leadership Florida, AARP Florida and the Village Square. For more info CLICK HERE (and page down for an RSVP link or CLICK HERE.)



This Friday, December 6th is “Faith, Food, Money? Faith & Capitalism”



Aktas_ElvanThis Friday December 6th, FAITH, FOOD, FRIDAY, (“Improbable conversations for people of faith and no faith at all”) continues with “Faith, Food, Money? Faith & Capitalism.” Our guest panelist is Dr. Elvan Aktas, Associate Professor of Finance Valdosta State University.

We wonder where else you’ve ever seen this topic?

To get more information or reserve your seat for this program click HERE. (Lunch is Penne Pasta and Chicken Tenders with Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella – Penne Pasta with Mushrooms, Peppers and Onions in Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella for vegetarians – Chopped Italian Salad, Bread Sticks and Dessert Bars. Oh and you’re always welcome to bring a bag brown lunch.) NOTE: The program is at St. John’s Episcopal Church downtown. RSVP by Tuesday for the early bird lunch price.

Each program is from noon to 1pm and is free and open to the public. If you’d like to eat the hot lunch offered, it is available for $8 through the Tuesday ahead of the program ($10 after). For more information, you can email fff@tothevillagesquare.org or call 590-6646.

You can see “Faith, Food, Friday” dates and topics for the entire season and even RSVP for any of this year’s programs online HERE.



Fruitful fields and healthful skies: Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation.



lincoln memorialBy the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State



Faith, Food, Friday: “After the Trayvon Martin Case”



If you missed our last “Faith, Food, Friday” “After the Trayvon Martin Case” you can listen to the audio online here.



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Photo credits: Bob Howard



St. Pete Village Square on December 5th!



Screen shot 2013-11-25 at 4.25.53 PMIf by chance you’ll be in the Tampa/St. Pete area December 5th, the Village Square St. Pete is hosting a program you shouldn’t miss, “Oh Florida, Capital of Weirdness… “From Elian Gonzalex and Ballot-Chasing Lawyers to Ponzi Schemers, Face-Eating Cannibals and Child-Eating Pythons.” It features Dr. Gary Mormino, Professor Emeritus of Florida History at USFSP. Yep that’s our state. While you’re at it, why not visit the St. Pete Village Square website at online here.

Click this link to register.












Matthew Dowd | Nuclear option, tribalism and Founding Fathers



Thomas Jefferson doorstopMatthew Dowd today on This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

“We also must keep in mind that the Founding Fathers warned against day in and day out, including President Washington, about the power of political parties. And the power of parties to tear apart the government and create this dysfunction. We are at a point now where the political parties and people line up in these tribes and it’s very difficult. As I say, you can’t have the same rules in chess oh we’re going to be fine and all that, as you have in mixed martial arts which is where the situation is today in Washington.

“Where we are today George, where we are today is the president in 2008 and 2007 ran on the idea that he was going to bring the country together, bring Washington together. We’re going to get past the partisan gridlock. We’re going to get past the vitriol. And now we’re at a point where the rules have to change in the Senate because it’s become so polarized, so vitriolic that we can’t get it done.”