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April 23, 2000

Diane Roberts
Fruits of his Labor
The halo that followed British Prime Minister Tony Blair in his early days of office has disappeared, giving way to the realities of modern Britain. But despite the challenges, Blair and his Labor Party appear poised to stand the test of time.

Philip Gailey
Remembering the pink chick from hell
My most vivid childhood memory of Easter is not of baskets laden with chocolate bunnies and colored eggs but of the pink chick from hell that became a holy terror. My sister brought the chick home as a gift from a shoe store. I still don't understand how chickens got caught up in the commercialism of Easter, but small-town retailers in those days gave away dyed chicks with each shoe purchase. They came in their own shoe box, with holes punched in the side for ventilation.

Martin Dyckman
Family values lose to politics in Elian's saga
A 6-year-old might honestly believe monsters lurk under his bed. But to hear some formerly rational adults these days, such a child is also capable of forming a "well-founded fear" of persecution.

Robyn E. Blumner
United Way fails diversity test with inaction on Scouts
If you've ever been part of corporate America then chances are you've heard the spiel from the United Way. In exchange for a small weekly donation oh-so-painlessly deducted from your paycheck, you will be a local hero, supporting good works in the community. The accompanying slide show inevitably features smiling underprivileged youngsters in learning and recreational programs.

Bill Maxwell
For us, Easter's rituals were like basket of fun
Only now do I appreciate the Easter celebration of my childhood. Only now do I realize that, although it is the solemn day commemorating Jesus' triumph over death and humankind's gift of eternal life, Easter was a time of hilarity, camaraderie and innocence for most black children in the South.

Editorials
Council, police yourself
St. Petersburg City Council, a model of dysfunction, has unfairly damaged the reputation of a city police department that has shown competence and real improvement.

Attack unfair lenders separately
The Florida Legislature finally may be poised to halt the rip-off known as car-title lending. The scam industry charges customers -- mainly the desperate and the poor -- interest rates of up to 264 percent a year. No one in good conscience can defend the practice.

Editorial notebook: Diane Roberts
An odd mix of religion, secularism
LONDON -- Just in time for Easter, the Church of England declares itself in crisis. One bishop has even conceded that England should no longer "call itself a Christian nation."

Letters
The price of living close to nature
Re: Fencing in the Garden of Eden, April 18.

Books
That's Florida, baby!
From superstars to men from Mars, this wacky state's got it all.

One book, six libraries, four days
Let's call it My Excellent Library Adventure.

 


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