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Image: Zora Neale Hurston, wikipedia.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston is finally being released


Almost a century after publishers rejected it, a book by Eatonville writer Zora Neale Hurston is finally being released. In 1931, six years before her acclaimed novel Their Eyes Were Watching God was published, Hurston made the rounds with a manuscript called Barracoon. It focused on her interview with one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade. Cudjo Lewis was born in the West African country of Benin. As a teenager, he was taken prisoner and held for weeks with other captives in a barracoon – a slave pen. Eventually he and more than 100 others were sold and put on a slave ship bound for Alabama. This was 1860. The international slave trade had been illegal …
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Image: The Domes of the Yosemite, by Albert Bierstadt, morsemuseum.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

The Domes of the Yosemite, Morse Museum


Size doesn’t matter when it comes to art. Rembrandt’s 1630 self-portrait, just 5 by 6 inches, is no less a masterpiece than his 1642 “Night Watch” at 12 feet by 14 feet. However, there’s no denying the visceral thrill of a truly huge painting, that rush of a “life size” window into a different reality. If that appeals to you, you have until July 8 to get to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum and drink in “The Domes of the Yosemite” by Alfred Bierstadt. Bierstadt’s massive oil painting, 10 feet high and 15 feet long, might be the biggest thing to happen at Winter Park’s compact Morse Museum in years. It was painted in 1867 and in 1873, installed at …
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Image: Photo by Eric Limon via Shutterstock, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Florida judge again supports allowing Tampa cancer survivor to grow marijuana


Joe Redner is rich enough to buy the marijuana that will keep his Stage 4 lung cancer at bay on the black market. Instead, the 77-year-old Tampa resident is using his wealth to sue the state of Florida. He wants the state to honor the promise of Amendment 2, and give everyone full access to the entire cannabis plant. A Tallahassee judge agreed and ruled last week that Redner could legally grow his own marijuana. Her order only applies to Redner, whose doctor has recommended he drink eight ounces of juice from the raw marijuana plant daily to keep his cancer in remission. But the Florida Department of Health says that even registered medical marijuana patients are not allowed to …
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Image: Orlando Weekly Cover Art by Peterson J. Guerrier, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

What happened to the Orlando Magic?


This week the Magic put the finishing touches on the franchise’s sad 29th season. But that was more or less expected.  What wasn’t expected, however, was just how badly this season would go, landing them last in the Eastern Conference. At times play this season has been so appalling that many have hoped to tank the remainder of the season for the sake of bettering the team’s odds in the Draft Lottery. But even if it’s considered sound to finish last, who celebrates a team with one of the worst records in the NBA? For some fans, these recent seasons have been enough to throw up their hands. Magic jerseys began to collect at the backs of closets. Some local …
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Photo by Jeremy Reper, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Noor Salman’s trial gave us the best glimpse of what actually led to the Pulse shooting


Last week, a federal jury found Noor Salman not guilty of aiding and abetting her husband, Omar Mateen, in his plan to murder 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse. Despite the verdict, many in Orlando still have questions about what happened on June 12. The confusion has only been increased by the trial’s anonymous jury foreman, who said the jury was convinced Salman “knew” what her husband was planning, despite not knowing the day or location. But federal prosecutors were not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Salman “knew” about the attack. Their case against the widow consisted of an alleged confession she gave to FBI agents. They interrogated her for 11 hours – though they chose …
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Image: FEMA logo, wikipedia.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Hurricane Maria Survivors Still Struggle in Central Florida


Desiree Torres knew exactly what she would do when things fell apart. She would fasten her baby in his stroller and grab her two other children by the hand. Together, they’d get on a bus for a 30-minute ride to Kissimmee City Hall. Inside, Torres and her kids would find a spot to sit and wait for the help that was promised. “Where is the help you’re giving me if you’re throwing me out onto the street with my kids?” she asks in Spanish. In February, it had been five months since Torres and her children survived Hurricane Maria, took a plane to Orlando and ended up in this Super 8 motel room off Highway 192. She thought it would …
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Image: .357 Mag Pug by Charter Arms, charterfirearms.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Florida police seize mentally ill man’s guns under new state law


Last week, a Broward County judge reportedly granted Florida’s first order temporarily removing guns from a person under the state’s new gun control laws. After determining the 56-year-old man from Lighthouse Point was a potential risk, authorities were ordered to remove four firearms and 267 rounds of ammunition. It was the first example of how authorities now have more power to act on evidence that an individual could pose a threat. This new law was passed after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last month. The bill – which was the first major break between the Florida GOP and NRA in two decades – also places a number of restrictions on purchasing firearms, such as raising the minimum …
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Image: Florida Constitution Revision Commission, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission’s Public Hearing


Hundreds of Floridians showed up earlier this week for the Florida Constitution Revision Commission’s final public hearing. Just over half of the 37 members of the CRC were there to hear public comment on issues ranging from a ban on greyhound racing to increased funding for cancer research. But the majority of the attendees were there to plead with the commission to regulate guns. Dozens of Parkland parents and teachers showed in support of a proposed amendment that would impose an age limit of 21 to buy a gun, require a 10-day waiting period for background check, and prohibit the sale of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. Last week Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that imposed a three-day waiting …
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Image: Orlando Weekly Story Cover, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

The Lucrative Business of Marketing the AR-15


On Jan. 7, Spike’s Tactical – an Apopka-based gun manufacturer – made headlines after they posted a controversial advertisement across the company’s social media accounts. Pictured in the ad: four heavily tattooed men wearing bulletproof vests, backs turned to the camera. Each man is holding his own semiautomatic rifle as he stares down a group of masked protesters, some of whom are holding makeshift weapons like lead pipes. Behind the protesters, you spot a burning city. In the top right corner, it reads: “NOT TODAY ANTIFA.” Last year, antifa demonstrators – shorthand for “anti-fascist” protesters – grabbed the nation’s attention with their protests of President Donald Trump’s inauguration and the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. From there, …
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Image: Photo by Robert Noel de Tilly via Shutterstock, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Orlando unions file federal complaint against Disney for withholding bonuses


Disney unions in Orlando have filed a federal labor complaint against the theme park company. Union reps claim Disney is withholding bonuses from union workers as leverage in ongoing collective bargaining. The Walt Disney Company announced in January that it would give all non-executive domestic employees a one-time cash bonus of $1,000. But, union reps say, Disney informed the federal mediator overseeing current negotiations that they will withhold payment of the bonus to 38,000 union workers unless they accept Disney’s contract offer. If union employees don’t accept Disney’s proposal by Aug. 31, the bonus offer will expire. Unite Here Local 737 claims the bonus is being offered unconditionally to the more than 80,000 employees who are not union members or …
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