Orlando Archives - Page 5 of 96 - Florida Politics

SunRail airport route set with transfer station only, for $250 million

The next big SunRail project, connecting the north-south line to Orlando International Airport, has settled on a route that would provide for transfer passengers only – with no parking lot – with a $250 million estimated pricetag.

The Florida Department of Transportation still is a long ways from settling on how to extend service from the commuter train’s DeBary to Poinciana route to the airport but an engineering study moving through the department and surfacing last week at a SunRail meeting shows the preferred route.

That route would go mostly along a 3.5 mile existing railroad track corridor from a railroad transfer station to be constructed north of the Meadow Woods subdivision to the airport property, and then along a two-mile route to be negotiated with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority across airport property to the new OIA train station now under construction.

Last week the SunRail governing board, the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission, received a brief update on the plan, which has been in the works since at least 2005, and first settled on the route – one of five alternative routes being considered – in internal documents last fall, and presented to the department’s inter model group in late February.

SunRail Executive Director Nicola Liquori told the board last week did not rule out the other four routes, which would connect to full-service stations at either Sand Lake Road or in Meadow Woods, but said the department decided to break out the transer-station only route for more detailed study. The most recent cost estimate of $250 million was being revisited but she did not have any information on when a firmer estimate might be available.

The internal documents project a 2020 opening. But that is unlikely considering MetroPlan Orlando, the metropolitan transportation planning organization projects seeking federal funding in 2020, and otherwise there are no sure plans for where the money might come from.

The plan calls for creating a transfer station just north of the Meadow Woods station now under construction. The transfer station, would be at the point where the Stanton Spur railroad track, owned by the Orlando Utilities Commission, now enters the north-south railroad corridor. Except for potential bus transfers, the transfer station would not have any parking lots or any facilities for drive-up or kiss-and-ride drop-offs.

SunRail currently operates a 32-mile track running north and south from DeBary to Sand Lake Road in Orlando. The next phase, an expansion southward to Poinciana, is now under construction, and would include new stations at Meadow Woods, the Tupperware headquarters, the Kissimmee Amtrak station, and Poinciana.

From the transfer station to the OIA Intermodel Terminal Facility – the airport train station – would be a 5.5 mile route that would take the train eight to ten minutes, according to the draft preliminary engineering report Liquori discussed with the board last week.

Most of the cost would cover construction, adding two new tracks in the corridor of sufficient quality to handle passenger trains capable of reaching speeds of 45 mph, plus the transfer station. Liquori said about $50 million would be needed for right-of-way purchases.

The FDOT preliminary engineering study projects 2,550 daily riders at the start, and a peak of 3,050 by by 2030. The current line carries an average daily load of fewer than 4,000 riders, though that is expected to increase with the southern expansion.

Families of homicide victims, ACLU, Janet Cruz join filers in Aramis Ayala case

Friends of the court are beginning to crowd into the Florida Supreme Court case pitting Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala and Gov. Rick Scott, with families of homicide victims siding with Scott, and the ACLU and House Minority Leader Janet Cruz siding with Ayala on Friday.

Several filings Friday are loading the case with friends. Also Friday, a group of more than 40 former judges and prosecutors filed a brief supporting Ayala’s case, and a group of Democratic Florida lawmakers filed their promised brief supporting her.

Now on the way is a brief from family members of homicide victims including those of Orlando Police Lt. Debra Clayton and Sade Dixon, who asked the court for permission to file their brief supporting Scott.

And a coalition of several groups led by the ACLU asked to file on Ayala’s behalf Friday.

Cruz filed requesting to join the group of Democratic lawmakers, led by Senate Minority Leader Oscar Braynon, supporting Ayala.

Those are all in addition to amicus briefs filed or pledged by another coalition of groups supporting Ayala, and the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Florida House of Representatives supporting Scott.

Ayala and Scott are battling over whether she has the right to refuse to pursue death penalty prosecutions in her 9th Judicial Circuit, as she has declared; and whether he has the right to intervene and reassign her potential death-penalty cases to other state attorneys. He has reassigned 23 of her first-degree murder cases to State Attorney Brad King of Florida’s 5th Judicial Circuit. She has petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to determine if he can do so, and has sued Scott in federal court.

The homicide victims’ families include those of Clayton and Dixon, who were slain in January in a case that sparked outrage throughout Central Florida, and then fired a storm against Ayala when she announced in March that she would not seek any death penalty prosecutions, starting with that case against suspect Markeith Loyd. Others seeking to file in support of Scott include the families of 9th Judicial Circuit homicide victims Darrell Avant Jr., Jasmine Samuel, Elena Ortega, Alexandria Fransa Chery, and Teresa Ann Green.

The Supreme Court granted their requests Friday. They’ve promised to file their brief by May 3.

“The Family Members have special rights afforded by the Florida Constitution and statutes. The Florida Supreme Court would benefit greatly from the unique perspective of this group so seriously affected by the Petitioner’s refusal to consider their constitutional and statutory rights,” their filing states.

“Family Members can provide the Court useful insight regarding the Petitioner’s disregard of a homicide victim’s family’s rights and input in making prosecution decisions,” the filing continues.

The other new request for a friend of court brief came from a coalition including the American Civil Liberties Union Capital Punishment Project, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the Sentencing Project, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Earlier the Florida State Conference of the NAACP had filed a friend-of-the-court brief favoring Ayala, as part of a coalition that was formed and is led by The Advancement Project’s National Office.

The ACLU coalition request also was approved right away Friday.

“The proposed amicus curiae brief would address the crucial question of the Governor’s authority to reassign 23 capital cases from State Attorney Ayala to a different State attorney not elected by the people of the Ninth Judicial Circuit,” The ACLU request states. “It will further address why the Governor lacks authority to reassign the cases, as he claims, under Section 27.14, Florida Statute.”

 

Twine noose lowlights hate being sent Aramis Ayala’s way

A twine noose taped to a postcard and nasty comments sent in the mail and via social media are showing racist hatred Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala is receiving as she battles in court with Gov. Rick Scott over whether she has the power to refuse to pursue death penalty prosecutions.

The twine noose was discovered attached to a card inside an envelop mailed to her office, one of two racist-material and potentially threatening mailings that her office has reported to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office recently.

Ayala, state attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit serving Orange and Osceola Counties, told sheriff’s office investigators she believed the twine noose was meant as a threat to her as a public official, and could be constituted as a hate crime. The sheriff’s office referred the mail to the U.S. Postal Inspectors Office.

The sheriff’s report on the matter did not detail what was said in the letters. Parts of the report were redacted.

Ayala’s office declined to comment.

Ayala’s office also reported receiving hate-filled and potentially threatening messages via social media. One Facebook message called her a “stupid b—-” and a “damn inbred snowflake” for choosing “not to ever seek the death penalty. “Can’t wait till you get stripped of you license,” it continues. “Then you can go back to being the useless hood rat you are.”

Another told her, “You should watch where you bring attention to yourself at. The FBI is now being informed of the actions you’ve been taking behind the scene. You’re about the windup in jail instead of prosecuting cases.”

A YouTube.com comment declared, “fucking n—–s. n—–s everywhere. the black woman is sticking up for a convicted COP killer. She should be on trial for her job and fired and thrown to the streets. she should pick cotton for the rest of her life and be whipped”

In each of those three cases, names are attached to the comments.

David Simmons condemns Frank Artiles comments; calls for due process, suggests PTSD might be factor

Republican state Sen. David Simmons sharply condemned racist and vulgar comments made earlier this week by state Sen. Frank Artiles. 

The behavior is nothing new, Simmons said, but he puts his faith in the Senate’s due process to determine a judgment by the body.

Simmons, of Altamonte Springs, then suggested that Artiles’ behavior might be a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder — or some other circumstance — and the Senate needs to hear of any aggravating or mitigating circumstances before passing formal judgment.

Artiles has acted like this before, he added.

“I consider his comments reprehensible and unacceptable. I believe that at the same time that he is entitled to a full and fair hearing,” Simmon said.

On Tuesday night, in the Governors Club in Tallahassee, Artiles reportedly accosted Sen. Perry Thurston, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, and Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Jacksonville Democrat, who are both African-American, calling her a “b***h” and a “girl” in a dispute over legislation.

Artiles also used a variation of the “N-word,” referring to her and to white Republicans who supported Joe Negron as Senate President. Artiles apologized on the Senate floor Wednesday, but refused growing calls for his resignation.

Thurston has lodged a Senate rules complaint against Artiles seeking his expulsion. An investigative report by General Counsel Dawn Roberts is due next Tuesday. Simmons said that process needs to proceed.

“I do not believe this is an isolated incident of conduct. I believe that Sen. Artiles has spoken to multiple people in this fashion,” Simmons said.

“I also know that he is an Iraq veteran. I know while there’s no question that he said these things, because he’s admitted it and apologized fort them. The question I have is what aggravating and mitigating circumstances exist regarding why he is and has been acting in this manner. I don’t believe that he should be denied the ability to show that he may have PTSD; he may have some other circumstances,” Simmons continued. “I don’t know. I’m not going to prejudge the type of judgment that we should impose upon him as a Senate.”

Simmons explicitly said he condemned Artiles’ comments Thursday, a declaration that came after the Orange County and Seminole County Democrats jointly issued a statement Thursday afternoon demanding that Simmons speak up. Simmons said he had previously spoken up, giving a similar response to another reporter before the Democrats’ joint statement.

The Orange and Seminole Democrats’ statement, signed by Orange Democratic Chair Wes Hodge and Seminole Democratic Chair Jeff Wilkinson, denounced Artiles’ comments as “bigoted” and called on Simmons, “to immediately condemn his colleague’s remarks. They do not represent Central Florida’s values, and cannot be allowed to go unaddressed.”

Simmons, who says he’s 98 percent decided to run for Congress in Florida’s 7th Congressional District for Orange and Seminole counties, a seat currently held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, did just that, calling Artiles’ comments “reprehensible,” and part of a pattern of behavior.

“We all know they’re not the only comments he’s made. He made comments against the Senate president. He’s made comments against other Republican senators. And he’s made comments to other senators, on other occasions,” Simmons said.

Florida prosecutors’ group to weigh in on Rick Scott’s side in Aramis Ayala dispute

The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association – which represents the states’s 20 state attorneys including Orlando’s Aramis Ayala – will be filing an amicus brief against her and supporting Gov. Rick Scott‘s power to reassign state attorneys’ cases.

The association filed a motion Wednesday morning requesting the chance to weigh in as a friend of the court on Scott’s side, and the Florida Supreme Court quickly approved it Thursday.

Using executive orders, Scott reassigned 23 first-degree murder cases from Ayala, of Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit, to State Attorney Brad King, of the 5th Judicial Circuit, because Ayala announced last month she would not pursue death penalty prosecutions.

Ayala challenged the governor’s authority to do so last week in a write of quo warrento to the Supreme Court, and in a separate lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

Her colleagues, apparently, agree that Scott has the power to intercede and reassign state attorneys’ cases.

The association promised it would file its brief by May 3.

Ayala did not oppose the association’s move. In addition to representing the 20 elected state attorneys, the association also represents more than 2,000 assistant state attorneys in Florida.

The association offered that its friend of the court brief, “would provide the Court useful insight regarding the role of state attorneys as quasi-judicial officers and their duties as prescribed by the constitution and the laws of Florida. The brief would also address the discretionary powers of state attorneys and their accountability for their conduct as well as the authority of the Governor to assign state attorneys to other circuits for the handling of certain cases pursuant to section 27.14 Florida Statutes.”

Section 27.14 of the Florida Statutes details circumstances in which a governor can reassign a state attorney.

 

Val Demings hails triumphs of resistance in Republican D.C.

With Democrats such as herself facing innumerable challenges in a President Donald Trump administration and Republican dominated Congress, U.S. Rep. Val Demings found triumphs – and joy – in moments of resistance.

The freshman congresswoman from Orlando outlined her first 100 days on Capitol Hill Wednesday and looked ahead expressing her optimism and faith, particularly in the American people, while acknowledging a wide-ranging set of values ranging from national security to health care, environmental protection to child care, gun regulations to opposing travel bans, which she said are at risk.

Demings 42-minute “100 Days Update” speech in Orlando Wednesday broke little news other than her announcement that she will be sponsoring a bill to increase child and dependent care tax credits.

Yet it laid out what she and other Democrats see as their agenda, one largely of resistance and continuing  to push efforts that have stymied Democrats for years.

And none was bigger than the collapse last month of the Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act. Demings, representing Florida’s 10th Congressional District, covering Orlando’s and Orange County’s west side, got a bit giddy about that one.

“You all watched. The repeal? Am I smiling?” Demings asked, when in fact she was giggling.

“The overwhelming majority of the American people have spoken and they want to keep the Affordable Care Act. They want Republicans and Democrats to work together – imagine that – to lower premiums, to lower costs of prescriptions and make the law better,” Demings said.

Yet not everything she discussed was a triumph, and not everything made her smile. The former Orlando street cop who rose to police chief before entering politics brought angry passion to her discussions of further efforts to restrict access to guns for terrorists, criminals and the mentally ill.

She touched on gun violence and guns several times, noting that as a former street cop and police chief she considers herself “uniquely qualified” to bring such issues to Congress, in a stirring discussion of the the June 12 Pulse nightclub massacre, and as a challenge to members of the audience.

“This administration has made it clear their commitment to keeping us safe. But if we truly want to keep our U.S. cities and neighborhoods safe, then we must, we have to, address gun violence,” Demings said. “How long? … How long will allow the money and the gun lobby to control this conversation and try to bully and intimidate anyone who speaks out about gun safety legislation? How long?

“Working to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, felons and the mentally ill has nothing to do with the 2nd Amendment!” she declared. “I know the 2nd Amendment and I respect it. My father was an avid hunter. I grew up around guns. But the mere suggestion that the forefathers of this country meant that any person could have any gun at any time, and anywhere, is an insult to every person who has lost their lives or will lose their lives to gun violence.”

She also called for a fairer economy, declaring that “the growing gap between the wealthy and those who are struggling is one of the biggest threats facing our economy. Without educational opportunity, economic opportunity does not exist.”

She called for attention for access to universal pre-kindergarten, high-quality public schools and “the understanding that the challenges they face at home aren’t left at the school house door.”

She committed to fighting for education resources, for lower-cost college tuition, strengthening oversight of professional and career programs, encouraging training and apprenticeship programs, and pushing for consumer-oriented protections in the student loan programs.

Among other triumphs of resistance and pledges of effort, Demings said she:

– Would continue to fight for the rights of immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants who feel they are in increasing jeopardy.

– Would fight to maintain the “Dreamers” program allowing young, undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States.

– Asked House Speaker Paul Ryan to take action to address the Puerto Rico health care crisis, particularly to expand the Puerto Rico Medicare account.

– Push for the I-4 ultimate makeover construction, the SunRail expansion, and the new terminal at Orlando International Airport to be included in Trump’s pledged infrastructure package.

– Supports the air strike on the Syrian airfield but believes any further military involvement must have congressional approval.

– Would push for more anti-terrorism money to be allocated for local efforts, so that cities such as Orlando would not be shut out of federal grants.

– Is pushing to preserve EPA funding, particularly relating to climate change studies.

“We most certainly have some challenges ahead. You know we have some challenges ahead,” Demings declared. “I want you to know I am encouraged about the future. Some would say I do not have a lot to be optimistic about for times such as this… My faith is rooting in God and my optimism is grounded in the American people. This morning I am betting on the United States of America.”

 

Linda Stewart gathering support for Amendment 1 funding next year

Saying that conservationists’ efforts apparently are dead this year to get funding routed for preservation as Amendment 1 voters expected, Democratic state Sen. Linda Stewart said she’s organizing support now for next year.

That begins with state Sen. Rob Bradley, the Orange Park Republican who chairs the SenateAppropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources, she said.

“I’ve had assurances from Sen. Bradley, and we’ve worked together on Senate Bill 10 throughout the year. I have confidence that when he says he’s going to work with me on this for next year,” Stewart said.

SB 10 was approved last week, setting up funding for Everglades restoration. She also co-sponsored Bradley’s Senate Bill 234, also approved last week, providing $45 million appropriated from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund annually to the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Amendment 1, known as the Water and Land Legacy Amendment to the Florida Constitution, was overwhelmingly approved by 75 percent of voters in 2014. It requires state officials to set aside 33 percent of the money from the real estate “documentary stamp” tax to protect Florida’s environmentally sensitive areas for 20 years. This year, that number is expected to total more than $740 million.

Critics have charged the Florida Legislature is not spending the money as intended, and instead is using it for state salaries and other expenses, while little is spent on conservation of environmentally sensitive lands.

Stewart is seeking to set aside 25 percent of the Land Acquisition Trust Fund annually for land acquisition in the Florida Forever program. The program is Florida’s blueprint for conservation of our unique natural resources and is the state’s premier conservation and recreation lands acquisition program. In 2014, about 4.2 million voters demonstrated the pulse of the public for dedicated funding for land and water conservation when they approved Amendment 1.

“Let’s get back to what the voters have asked us to do,” said the Orlando Democrat.

Bradley has declared that the Water and Land Legacy Amendment is a personal mission for him.

“I hope that it will be greater and bigger because at one point we had $300 in the Florida Forever,” Stewart said. “This amendment didn’t get us that close and his assurances that we’re going to work together means we’re going to work toward a much bigger and better and greater Florida Forever funding source.”

Aramis Ayala’s staff build up raises questions about whether she has enough

State budget cuts the Florida Legislature is aiming at Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala‘s office  could slice up to $1.3 million and 21 staff members yet there is dispute over how much she’ll need that money and staff to prosecute criminal cases in Orange and Osceola counties.

Her office currently has 55 open jobs out of 385 authorized staff positions, including 22 openings for assistant state attorneys.

Ayala’s 9th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office contends that is because it is taking time for the new, reform-pushing state attorney to recruit, hire and bring on board the staff she wants.

But critics in the Florida Legislature, notably state Rep. Scott Plakon, contend the openings show her office is functioning with far less staff than his proposed budget cut would provide.

Ayala, of course, is in hot water, particularly with state Republicans, for her announcement last month that she has concluded Florida’s death penalty laws are unjust for all, and she won’t use it in first-degree murder cases. Plakon is one of many critics who therefore accuse her of refusing to do her job.

Yet while Plakon and others are unabashed in their vitriol toward her, they are defending the proposed budget cuts with some of the same language that Ayala used in opposing the death penalty: death penalty cases are expensive. Ayala contended she’d rather not spend so much money on so few cases, and instead use it for everything else, from domestic violence and human trafficking prosecutions to seeking life in prison without parole for murderers.

Plakon, meanwhile, suggests the money needs to go to other state attorneys who are taking on the financial burdens of death penalty cases. That most likely starts with 5th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Brad King, to whom Gov. Rick Scott has reassigned 23 of Ayala’s murder cases.

If the house budget cut goes through, or if a smaller, $622,000 budget cut in the Senate budget plan carries the day, Ayala may never get the chance to show what her office might be able to do with money it did not spend on death penalty prosecutions.

She didn’t expect to get her office fully staffed until about six months into her four-year term, said her Communications Director Eryka Washington. By then her 2016-17 budget year will have ended, and she’ll be running the office on whatever the Florida Legislature provides in the next couple of weeks for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Washington said two weeks ago that the office had just 33 open positions and the number was dropping. But on Monday she clarified that saying the number she used reflected all the  job offers that have been made, many of which are pending such things as background checks and bar scores. That includes seven job offers of assistant state attorney jobs to individuals awaiting their Bar  Exam scores, and to another three to people who are awaiting either a background check, or who haven’t yet accepted.

“Our goal was to be fully staffed within six months,” Washington said, noting Ayala took office in January. “When she came into office, she wanted to restructure, and when she came in it was understaffed. This does take some time.”

According to staffing data provided to FloridaPolitics.com last week, the office had 330 people on its payroll through April 12, and the state had authorized 385.5.

The differences include 22 openings among 160 authorized assistant state attorney positions, 13 for legal secretaries, four for investigators, four for paralegal specialists, and three for victim and witness counselors. There also were a sprinkling of openings an administrator, clerks, an information systems director, a multi-media specialist and other jobs.

Plakon expressed skepticism that anyone in Ayala’s office thought the number was 33 job openings two weeks ago, at a time when state records showed 60 openings. He accused the office of attempting to mislead the public during the legislative budget debates.

And he continued that theme late last week, arguing that the office will not feel a budget crunch if $1.3 million – equal to 21 staff positions – is siphoned off to follow the death penalty cases to other prosecutors willing to take on those difficult and expensive assignments.

Last year the office received an extra $1.4 million, also authorizing 21 positions, specifically targeting new programs for domestic violence and human trafficking prosecutions. Plakon expressed confidence those programs – which Ayala had pushed as priorities during her campaign last year – should be unaffected, given all the current understaffing.

“She had, according to transparency.gov, 60 vacant positions. So she has all the resources she needs to effectively do her job,”  Plakon said. “That’s especially true in light of her refusal to do part of her job, so we’ve systematically taken $1.3 million and moved it to the Justice Administration Commission.”

The Florida Legislature Conference Committee will have the final word on the budget cut for Ayala’s office.

 

House backs Governor in battle with Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala

Florida’s House is backing Gov. Rick Scott in his legal battle against an Orlando prosecutor who refuses to seek the death penalty in cases handled by her office.

The state Supreme Court said Monday it would allow attorneys working for House Speaker Richard Corcoran to file legal briefs in the case between the governor and State Attorney Aramis Ayala.

Ayala is challenging Scott’s authority to transfer murder cases from her office to another prosecutor.

The Republican-controlled House in a legal filing with the high court said it wants to address “the ill effects that flow from” Ayala’s opposition to seeking the death penalty. The House may also argue whether Scott has the authority to suspend Ayala.

Ayala is a Democrat and Florida’s first African-American state attorney.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Stephanie Murphy tours JCC, pledges help to keep community secure

Three bomb threats in early January left parents being served by the Roth Family Jewish Community Center in Maitland torn between their appreciation for the center and the safety of the children.

Should they stay or should the leave?

The bomb threats led to no physical harm and the March arrest in Israel of the suspect led to the conclusion the threats were more harassment than terrorist in nature. But it wasn’t as if the wake-up call wasn’t seen as serious and critical. The Roth JCC had received a bomb threat last year, too, and stands as always as a potential target for waves of anti-Semitic hatred, even though almost half the children served there are not Jewish.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy recognized that already when she authored a letter signed by 150 other members of Congress in February urging federal authorities to take swift and sure action and to assure the safety and security of Jewish centers nationwide.

On Monday the Democrat from next-door Winter Park got a chance to tour the Roth Family JCC, through the pre-school and school programs, the athletic, arts and other facilities, and hear first-hand some of the parents’ stories about the fear and terrible dilemma they went through deciding whether to stay when someone was threatening to murder the children there.

The Roth Family JCC and affiliated offices and facilities are undergoing major security changes, some completed, some in the works, some still needing money. And officials there sought to impress upon the congresswoman that the threats remain real, the need for stronger security measures prudent, and anything more Murphy can do to help would be beneficial to a community far greater than the Jewish community.

Keith Dvorchik, chief executive officer of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando, said the community was able to come together swiftly and strongly to upgrade a number of security issues. However, consultations with the Maitland Police Department and others has led to a few more and the center remains about $200,000 short of the minimum it needs, and much more than that for some broader precautions being considered.

“To me, I always call that a hidden tax of being Jewish. Because you don’t see the YMCA having the security costs …  let alone having police and armed security,” Dvorchik said.

Murphy, whose Florida’s 7th Congressional District includes Maitland, pledged that her office would do whatever it could to help.

“The threat has always been very personal for me because I also a mom of two small kids and I drop my children off. And I know there is not a more important decision than who’s taking care of your children when they’re not in your company,” she said. “And so seeing this was wonderful because I get an opportunity to see what an incredible asset the JCC is to this community. But I think the human piece has always been there.”

Murphy has joined fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings’ effort to pursue more Homeland Security anti-terrorism money for cities such as Orlando.

“Our office is committing to assure that everyone in the community feels safe and secure. We stand by to be ready to ensure that’s the kind of community we all live in,” she said.

 

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