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Image: young voter, quevotemigente.community
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

PUERTO RICAN VOTERS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA


For the thousands of newly arrived Puerto Ricans in Central Florida, the first time they’ll be allowed to vote in a presidential election is one where they might be a deciding factor. The irony isn’t lost on them. Despite being U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans on the island can’t vote for president.  And yet, they can fly more than a thousand miles to Central Florida and settle in what political analysts call the “swing part of the swing state,” potentially deciding the course of America’s future. Local organizers say this community isn’t as homogenous as political campaigns would like. Frederick Velez, a community organizer with the progressive Latino coalition Que Vote Mi Gente, says Central Florida’s boricua community can be divided …
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Image: previous maker faire, makerfaireorlando.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

MAKER FAIRE AT CENTRAL FL FAIRGROUNDS


Like nonvoters who complain about politicians, a lot of us grumble about consumer culture while feeling helpless to do anything about it. There are some creative souls who are doing something about it, though. The do-it-yourselfers known as makers answer consumer culture with creator culture. More than 200 of them will show off their ingenuity at the Maker Faire Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22-23. This year the Maker Faire leaves its former venue, the Orlando Science Center, to populate the Central Florida Fairgrounds with inventors, artists and techies all spreading the gospel of building and repairing rather than buying and discarding. This kaleidoscopic annual expo features displays, workshops and panel discussions that leave visitors full of enthusiasm for the fusion …
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Image: Mad Cow Theatre logo, madcowtheatre.wordpress.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

WORKERS PETITION AGAINST MAD COW THEATRE


More than three weeks ago, Aradhana Tiwari posted on social media what many in Orlando’s local theater community knew as an open secret. The former resident director at Mad Cow Theatre alleged that over the past two years as an employee, the professional theater company had consistently fallen behind in paying her for her work, sometimes for weeks and even months. Before her employment started in 2014, Tiwari says Mad Cow owed her money from when she worked for them as an independent contractor, and two years later, they still hadn’t paid. Such allegations might have sent shockwaves through a different theater community. But in Orlando, most artists reacted to Tiwari’s post with a resigned “me too.” Comment after comment, …
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Image: Wakefield on the set of Bijou, courtesy of Jim Tushinski, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

FILMMAKER WAKEFIELD POOLE AT GALLERY AT AVALON ISLAND


Florida is home to more famous artists than you might think — after all, artists are as likely as anyone else to buy a vacation home or retire to the Sunshine State. But some, like Wakefield Poole, are genuine Floridians. Poole, one of the giants of experimental gay cinema in the 70s, grew up in Jacksonville and has since returned to his childhood hometown. In the 48 years (or so) in between, he lived a colorful life, to put it mildly.
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Image: Milk District Development. Chris Tobar Rodriguez, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

MILK DISTRICT DEVELOPMENT


Some residents in Orlando’s Milk District neighborhood are worried a new developer and his shiny new duplexes will raise rents in what has been an affordable neighborhood. But while these new duplexes may attract other developers, the gentrification surrounding the Milk District is part of a city-wide process that’s hard to stop. Generally, gentrification is when wealthier people come into an urban neighborhood, bringing with them changes in rent, property values and the district’s character. Whether this is negative or a positive is a subject of perpetual debate among academics and urban planners. Susan Greenbaum, a professor from the University of South Florida, says part of the problem in Orlando is the foreclosure crisis pushed the cost of housing up, …
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Image: “Be Afraid of the Enormity of the Possible” Alfredo Jaar. The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College.
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Alfond Inn Features Work By Chilean Artist Alfredo Jaar


This month the Alfond Inn added a few new pieces of art to its walls. The Winter Park hotel is owned by Rollins College, and displays dozens of pieces from a growing collection of contemporary art donated to the college by alums Barbara and Ted Alfond. One of the newly installed pieces is a work by Chilean artist Alfredo Jaar. Jaar is known for his overtly political works, often photography or video installations, but this piece is pure text, consisting simply of the phrase “Be Afraid of the Enormity of the Possible” in warm red and orange neon. The Alfond Collection holds many text-based works, including neons by Tracey Emin and Joseph Kosuth, marking the importance of language and literacy …
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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

AG Pam Bondi is again the focus of Trump’s campaign


Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is again the focus of Donald Trump’s campaign after reports emerged that the presidential nominee paid a $2,500 penalty to the IRS this year after his charitable foundation made an illegal political contribution to Bondi’s re-election campaign. The Washington Post reports the Trump Foundation gave $25,000 to a political group supporting Bondi called “And Justice for All.” But after a series of errors, the donation was listed on the foundation’s tax filing as going to a Kansas group with a similar name. Registered nonprofits like the Trump Foundation cannot make political donations. The businessman eventually reimbursed his foundation and paid the penalty personally. The financial error wouldn’t have as much of an issue had Bondi …
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 Image: Orlando Weekly cover art, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

FL Doctors prevented from connecting the dots between guns and public health


Dr. Mohsin Jaffer still wonders what would have happened if he knew his friend wanted to die. The South Florida gerontologist says his friend was a “Robin Williams type” – jolly and jocular on the outside, deeply depressed in private. After hearing some bad news, his friend killed himself with a gun. The doctor still questions what would happened if he’d asked the questions he asks all his depressed patients: Do you have a gun in your home? Is it secure? Can you give it to someone else to hold for you? Under a Florida law that’s currently blocked and still fighting its way through the court system, Jaffer would face stiff fines and could lose his medical license for …
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Image: Painting by Nicole Dermody via Orlando Public Library, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Orlando Continues & Paint Strong Orlando


In a city where hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on theme parks and entertainment attractions, it should surprise no one that there are so many artists. And when terror struck June 12 in the Pulse nightclub, it’s not surprising that so many responded by creating. In the days directly following the shootings, local photographers sent Orlando Weekly hundreds of images. Their immediate impulse was to document the events as they unfolded. We used as many as we could, but there were many more outstanding photographs than we had space for. Luckily, the Gallery at Avalon Island came up with the idea to display dozens of them. The resulting show, Orlando Continues, is up through September 10. And on Thursday, …
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