The board voted 5-4 to fire Supt. Frank Till. There's not going to be a lot of tears shed over this. He didn't do a great job, but he was semi-competent, anyway. The ostensible reason for his firing -- that he allowed the board to buy $4.3 million worth of swampland -- doesn't really wash, since it was actually the school board, led by Beverly Gallagher (who was being manipulated by her corrupt expensive-wine-buying buddy, Ira Cor), that pushed for the sale.
Yes, Till and his staff probably should have done a better job vetting the land. But the board members -- and the lobbyists and developers and land owners who rule them -- are the root of the problem.
After the jump: Subpoenaing South Florida Reports
In the Daily Business Review, Julie Kay writes a nice piece about seeming attacks on the First Amendment in these here parts, including the banning of books (remember Vamos a Cuba?), police harassment and brutality at the 2003 FTAA protests, the paying of the Marti moonlighters, et al. Hey, come to think of it, this is a damn rich subject down here right now.
Of special importance to me was this passage:
One area is the growing trend of prosecutors, criminal defense lawyers and even civil litigants to subpoena reporters or seek reporters' notes to prove their cases. Reporters at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, New Times Broward Palm Beach and Daily Business Review recently have been subpoenaed. So far, however, these subpoenas have been quashed or delayed.
The fear is that such moves could chill vigorous news coverage of important events and issues, because reporters and their sources have to worry about whether confidential sources and materials will be revealed in court.
I've been supoenaed for a deposition by the State Attorney's Office because of this Mafia story I did last year. They're saying I got a confession out of the alleged mobster I interviewed. Yeah, maybe -- but it's a confession to doing a little gambling and the evidence is already there. Give me a break.
That said, the prosecutor, I'm sure, is just trying to do his job. And it does nothing to "chill" my reporting drive. The worst that can happen is a little jail time for refusing to comply -- and if Judith Miller can handle it, so can I.