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Quick Takes

-- The Sun-Sentinel had an interesting and important report by reporter Scott Wyman and database guru John Maines about the way rich people -- like Dan Marino, Austin Forman, Jim Moran, Rick Case, Bill "Bag Man" Scherer, and Preston Henn -- benefit mightily from the increasingly controversial Save our Homes property tax cap. Sound familiar? That's because Jeff Ostrowski did the same thing for the Palm Beach Post last year. (Here's the list of rich benefiteers the newspaper put together). Doesn't make the Sentinel story less worthy, but thought it was worth mentioning.

-- Reporter Elgin Jones has been writing in the Broward Times about an egregious case of police abuse in Plantation for a few weeks now. Seems the Plantation cops tasered a teenager after handcuffing him on a marijuana possession charge (due to a miniscule amount of pot found on his friend's shirt). The teen, Fredrick Cuyler, was later taken to the hospital by his mother and found to have an accellerated heart rate. Well, his reporting may have done some good: The State Attorney's Office has dropped the charges. My question: Where's the Sun-Sentinel on this one?

-- Top of the front page of the Palm Beach has a story that begins: "They came. They blinged."

And we

gagged. Look, we all know the stodgy old newspapers are trying to bring hip lingo onto their pages to attract the youngsters and Internet readers. But using the obnoxious and passe "bling" as a verb -- even in a story about an event titled Spring Bling -- ain't gonna cut it. Instead it's just going to make you look idiotic. The Miami Herald was guilty of the same misdemeanor on March 10 when it ran a story in which the reporters used the term "bootylicious," as in: "Beyonce Knowles looks quite bootylicious on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, but you won't be able to sneak a peek at some public libraries and schools."

No. Just no.

-- Tom Dubocq keeps clocking Palm Beach politicians. Here he gives Palm Beach County Commissioner Newell a(nother) thump for making votes that benefited a property he owned. Because of work like this, the Post, in the Pulp's opinion, has become the best newspaper in South Florida. Yeah, I said it. Why? Because it is consistently exposing corruption in the ranks of the politicians it covers. And I don't mean coming in after an indictment or scandal breaks out (though the Sentinel and Herald have both done good work in Hollywood on that score) -- I'm talking about getting to it before the authorities do.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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