Well, the crazy saga of Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter and her father is finally over, apparently.
Ritter's dad, Ed Portner, told me today that he received five years' probation for threatening his daughter with a gun at her home last October when she supported his opponent, Beth Talabisco-Flansbaum, in the Tamarac mayor's race.
"I think justice was served," Portner told me.
I have to agree. Putting the 84-year-old Portner, who followed his daughter into politics and served as a Tamarac commissioner, in jail would have been wrong, especially after he already served four days right after he went to his daughter's home in Parkland and menaced her with an old German Luger from World War II (that happened not to be loaded). Ritter escaped and ran down the street in her bathrobe and slippers to lobbyist Michael Moskowitz's house. In one of the odder scoops I've gotten, Ritter first told of the harrowing tale here on this blog.
The no-contact order was also lifted, which means that Ritter and her father can finally try to reconcile. Ritter told me recently that she
looks forward to repairing their severely damaged relationship.
The sentencing news broke on JAABlog, which noted that the sentence was handed down by a Miami judge after a string of Broward judges recused themselves from the case.
-- There's been a decent amount of ganja news lately. For one, there's the case of now-former University of Miami jazz professor Doug Bickel (no known relation to Travis). Bickel, according to Miami New Times, reportedly smoked pot in his office, tried to barbecue in the classroom, mooned students, and made sexually explicit remarks to females (like "I wanna fuck all you girls").
Bickel says that he's gay, so all this talk of sexually harassing women is silly. And really, wouldn't you expect -- nay, demand -- this kind of behavior from a member of a group called the Frost Jazz Sextet? Lighten up (or light up), people.
I don't know, maybe the guy is crazy and dangerous, as Dean Shelton Berg told New Times. But student Neil Kumar told the Miami Herald that Bickel was a caring if unorthodox teacher.
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And yes, the student's real name is Kumar.
-- Down in Miami Beach, there's a new push to decriminalize marijuana, according to the Herald's David Smiley. I'd like to hear Death Frog's take on this, but I bet a majority of police officers would like to see something like that pass. They hate dealing with penny-ante pot cases and half the time toss the reefer rather than have to take a harmless person to jail.
This would make possession of personal amounts of marijuana a civil thing with a ticket and a fine. The mayor of Miami Beach is against it -- but what would you expect from some silly politician? Nova Southeastern Professor Bob Jarvis told the Herald he was "stunned" by the proposal and assumed that if it passed, the feds would come down and say, "What the heck are you doing here?"
Really, Bob? You think the feds don't have anything better to do than hassle some pot smokers on Miami Beach? Somehow I don't think that would be a priority of the Obama administration -- but if Ashcroft got back in there, anything is possible.