In today's blog-heavy, traffic-optimized, content-laden news cycle, Amy Shipley is the sort of unicorn the world needs now, more than ever: a person given the time and resources to dig deep into a single subject for months. Over the past year, Shipley, a former Washington Post staffer, led a Sun Sentinel investigation into the way Broward's courts work to keep the mentally ill locked behind bars indefinitely, far from the treatment these inmates so desperately need. The article, called "Trapped: The Crime of Mental Illness," showed that when the mentally ill are diverted to Broward's felony mental health courts, defendants, guilty or not, spend six times longer in the criminal justice system than the non-mentally ill. Shipley's story explained how these people are forced to live up to near-impossible demands and are often thrown in jail if they cannot comply. She illuminated wholly unacceptable practices at Broward's State Attorney's Office and did what most criminal justice reporting fails to do: remind us that we cannot talk about criminal justice without talking about mental health care too.

Antarctica is known for many things: crippling cold, ravenous polar bears, hypothermic death, penguins. But it's virtually uninhabited by man, which leads to a wonderful thought experiment: If humans were to colonize Antarctica (which may become a popular idea as the world continues to warm), what kind of continent would it be? Aaron Jackson, part-time Weston resident and founder of the humanitarian rights group Planting Peace, saw an opportunity in March to get at least one point across: If we're going to inhabit a new continent, the whole thing better be LGBT-friendly. Jackson — a straight, cisgender male whose past work includes delivering medicine to Haitian children and establishing an "Equality House" to counter the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church — took it upon himself to sail down to Antarctica on a research boat, for the sole purpose of declaring Antarctica the world's only "LGBT-friendly" continent. That photo of Jackson kneeling next to some Antarctic penguins (which can't seem to figure out what kind of fish he is) ought to be plastered over the Sistine Chapel.

Lawyers might look all business as they waltz into the courthouse to try their cases, carrying themselves proudly with their expensive suits and knowledge of obscure Latin phrases. That's true even in Broward, a county notorious for its wild judiciary (like the half-naked drunk judge, the pot-smoking judge, and the Anna Nicole Smith-obsessed judge). But the sheen of professionalism is frequently shattered online at Bill Gelin's Justice Advocacy Association of Broward Blog, or JAABlog, a site dedicated to airing grievances and gossip within the 17th Judicial Circuit. Gelin, a Fort Lauderdale attorney, started posting in 2006. Under the cloak of anonymity, lawyers dish in his comments section like they're in the high school cafeteria. Some call it juvenile, but others praise Gelin for the much-needed transparency. "Without me, there would be no accountability," Gelin says. He's right, and the Broward Courthouse surely wouldn't be as interesting.

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Manley loves to tell people, "If you're not sitting at the table, then you're on the menu." And this youth rights' advocate is tired of being directed to the kiddie table. Last year, he decided to run for president — not student body president at Fort Lauderdale High School, where he's a junior, but president of the United States of America. Last June, he filed forms with the Federal Elections Commission. This past year has been a whirlwind for the young candidate, as he traveled to New Hampshire to campaign, Wisconsin for the Socialist Party's national convention, and Washington, D.C., for meetings with VIPs. He knows the Constitution dictates that he has to be 35 to be inaugurated, but he doesn't see why that should prevent him from running. In his spare time, Manley serves as president of Youth Assembly, a youth rights' organization, and has been a thorn in the side of county and city commissioners, constantly proposing lowering the voting age to 16. He hasn't been successful yet, but has vowed to continue pushing for youth rights even after he turns 18.

Here's a not-so-outlandish little theory: Donald Trump is full of shit. He's making it up. All of it: his candidacy, his platform, his xenophobic declarations, his taunting of opponents on Twitter, his run to the White House. Trump, who has built an empire on being a bombastic headline hog, has always been about one thing: Trump. He's a narcissistic boor of the highest order, and his desire to push his brand by any means necessary has always been, and ever remains, his modus operandi. The man not only has to have his name on hotels and high-rises but insists on also stamping it on steaks, wine, ties, hats, fake universities, reality-TV shows... and even the Oval Office. So far, "The Donald" has played us. He has shouted out dumb racist things, made abysmal degrading comments about women, stirred up racial angst among a vocal and angry minority, and bullied and insulted his opponents, all in the guise of "telling it like it is." He inexplicably beat the establishment Republican candidates and rose to the top. And now he has no earthly idea what to do other than to see how far this thing can go. Ask him a foreign-policy question or get him to talk international nuclear strategies and Trump will look at you like you asked him to solve Beal's conjecture. But get him to talk all things "Trump" and he'll bloviate until his comb-over barks. Donald Trump's presidential candidacy is one big marketing scheme that just has to implode before November... right?

It's rare that a real-life villain has his own cartoon castle to call home, but with Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump has just that: a brick-and-mortar embodiment of all that the hobgoblin developer-king has come to represent. Compared to the rest of his South Florida properties — Trump Hollywood, the Trump National Doral golf course — Mar-a-Lago is downright beautiful, which makes sense considering Trump didn't actually build the castle himself. (That honor goes to Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune.) In Trump fashion, he simply paid $10 million for the estate in 1985, ruined some of the gold-plated walls, and installed three bomb shelters on the property. Now, it serves as the capital for Trump's grotesque, Hunter S. Thompson-esque presidential campaign. Dolled-up Palm Beach ghouls wander the halls. A team of mostly foreign workers awaits Trump's every command. And Trump himself sits, eating a steak so hard it could "rock on the plate," as the New York Times put it, waiting for the end of the world.

Weirdly enough, there are still grown humans walking around this planet who refuse to acknowledge that climate change is a real thing. But we defy you to find a bigger climate-change denier than our very own two-term governor, Rick Scott. Chromedome McGillicutty actively and with a serious face defended his wrecking of the environment by telling people that he isn't a scientist, so therefore, climate change wasn't something he would be willing to take seriously. The man also ordered his environmental staff to not use the term "climate change" in any memos or reports. Throughout his tenure, Scott has screwed over the Everglades by gutting the state's environmental protection programs and has hamstrung the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In a few years' time, this place could go the way of Atlantis — underwater.

Due largely to the bloody turmoil of Guatemala's history of government repression and narco-warfare (the two often intermingled, aided and abetted by us Yanquis), Palm Beach County has become home to as many as 50,000 descendants of the Maya — a people who, in millennia past, built an empire across what are now the nations of Central America. Warriors no longer, their arms are now ploughshares, picking crops in Big Ag's fields and/or trimming the lawns of the well-to-do. Many of them are undocumented and thus easy targets of crime because they are reluctant to call police for fear of deportation. Some have also claimed civil rights abuses by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office — which the center last year petitioned the federal government to investigate. The feds declined, but PBSO was prompted to hire outside experts to review its use-of-force policies. The experts came up with 70 recommended changes. If those are put into effect, the center may now have more time to devote to providing health care, plus legal and educational services, to its flock, as it has done for almost 25 years.

Considering our tendency — nay, our pathological need — to document every bit of minutiae of our everyday lives, there's something beautiful about art that can be wiped away by an abrupt sunshower. The Lake Worth Street Painting Festival is a unique event that taunts the elements with often-stunning works of impermanent art. Having celebrated its 22nd year this past February, the annual two-day fest brings a varied collection of artists ranging in age, background, and skill to the asphalt canvases of Lake and Lucerne avenues. It's a weekend filled with a camaraderie bolstered by giant chalk and pastel renderings, a cornucopia of eats with selections from street vendors and nearby restaurants, and even a bit of music. Founded in 1994 by locals as a way to inject a little culture into the area, the festival now draws more than 100,000 people. Good job, L-Dub.

Readers' choice: SunFest

Equality Florida has been championing LGBT rights in Florida since 1997 and, along the way, has won some meaningful court cases in a state that has traditionally leaned antigay. Gay marriage didn't become legal here until 2015, and Equality Florida was key in making it so. The group championed the cause, backing Karla Arquello and Cathy Pareto until the two women became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in Florida. With that victory in tow, Equality Florida then filed a lawsuit in federal court to have the state's Department of Vital Statistics list same-sex couples' names on their children's birth certificates. In 2015, a bill that discriminates against transgender people who want to use public restrooms was introduced in the Florida Legislature. The group was the first to openly call out the bill as a pure harassment and was soon joined by groups like the ACLU of Florida and TransAction Florida. No matter what crops up to try to bring down the LGBT community, Equality Florida will be there to take it down, Whack-a-Mole style, until the entire state of Florida finally positions itself all the way on the right side of history.

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