CSX Blinded by Science in Polk County

Flu and deadlines have kept me from pointing out some recent articles in the always fun “main steam media.”

You must read Fasano has concerns about CSX proposal

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, told the Buzz this morning he has “concerns” over the proposed $490-million deal that would have the state buying rail lines from CSX, and over proposed legislation that would exempt CSX from any liability as they operate.

Don’t miss the comments:

Yesterday Billy Townsend, re-introduced Polk County to the fine readers of the Tampa Tribune:

You know Polk’s rap.

It’s the county of oranges, phosphate mountains and trailer parks. It’s where they spread hepatitis through meth use, once elected a white supremacist sheriff, and often find themselves in perp walks on Orlando or Tampa Bay TV.

If that lead doesn’t convince you to read his story, you’re a lifelong Lakeland resident and consider that old news. Townsend takes a good look into the perception though. (Read his blog for a point that didn’t make it into the article.)

Three years ago, when I was looking to move here, I made a few inquiries about Lakeland. I didn’t hear about the sheriff, but meth was mentioned. However, I was moving from the Northern meth capital and it didn’t seem to be a big change. I heard much more about how boring I’d find life in Lakeland.

Well, if Lakeland is boring, I don’t want to be excited. I like life here. I’m just afraid we’re in a rush to join Tampa or Orlando.

“There’s an old police saying,” Judd said. “No people, no problems; a few people, a few problems; a lot of people, a lot of problems.”

Who knew Sheriff Grady Judd was so hip? That had to be a reference to The Notorious B.I.G’s most famous quote, “The more money you make, the more problems you get.”

Remember when Wired noticed Polk County? Well, they’ve kept an eye on Florida. Their blogger, Brandon Keim, was pleased with this week’s Florida Board of Education vote:

The 4-3 vote was obtained by including a last-minute amendment to the standards. Suggested last Friday by religious conservatives and dubbed the “academic freedom proposal,” the amendment required that the curriculum’s references to “evolution” be replaced by the “scientific theory of evolution.”

The amendment’s supporters called the language change a victory — and it is, though not in the way they imagine.

Not only will Florida’s students learn about evolution; they’ll also learn that the scientific definition of a theory is different from the everyday definition, referring not to wild-eyed speculation but to a vast body of observation and testing that confirms a hypothesis so strongly that it might as well be considered fact.

A big thank-you, then, to religious critics of evolution education. The language change will better help Florida’s children understand not only evolution, but science itself.

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