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Image courtesy of Kathleen Voss Woolrich, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Remembering Billy Manes and Revisiting his Charlene Dill Story


“Charlene Dill didn’t have to die”. So starts the 2014 story from then Orlando Weekly writer Billy Manes about Charlene Dill, a 32-year-old mother of three children who collapsed and died while selling vacuum cleaners in Kissimmee. She had a documented heart condition, but was unable to pay for medication after falling into the coverage gap created by Florida legislators who refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving thousands without health care insurance. Manes’ sudden death last week caused us to revisit this story, not only because we miss his writing voice, but because people like Dill are still out there. During a recent visit to the Shepherd’s Hope charitable clinic in Longwood, an uninsured patient said …
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Rates of persons living with HIV 2014
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Florida cities lead the nation in new HIV diagnoses


When Arianna Lint, was diagnosed with HIV in 2006 at the Orlando health department, she didn’t know much about the virus, but thought it was punishment for being a transgender woman. Now she helps other HIV-positive transgender women of color like herself overcome stigmas and stay healthy, sometimes picking up their medications at the pharmacy because they don’t want to be misgendered or helping people get hormone treatments along with their HIV medicines. She and other advocates want Florida to do more when it comes to the HIV crisis ravaging the state. Although HIV rates have plummeted nationwide, Florida had the second-highest rate of new HIV diagnoses among adults and adolescents in 2015, according to federal data. Unlike the focus …
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Photo: via Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Florida is ‘reviewing’ Trump election commission’s request for voter data


State officials are “reviewing” a request for personal Florida voter information from President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission, which is investigating the unsubstantiated claim that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election and cost Trump the popular vote. The request to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner was a letter sent to all states from Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Kobach asked Detzner to provide Florida voters’ names, addresses, dates of birth, political party affiliation, last four digits of Social Security numbers and history of voting from 2006 onward. In Florida, most voter registration information is already public except for social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and the source of the voter application. …
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Image:  Eggleston1988 Parking Lot, mennellomuseum.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston


Last Friday Orlando’s Mennello Museum of American Art opened an exhibition of work by Memphis photographer William Eggleston, who’s widely acknowledged as a living national treasure. Before Eggleston’s groundbreaking 1976 show at the Museum of Modern Art, color photos were seen as lowbrow. “Real” art photographers shot in austere black and white. But naysayers were put in their place when Eggleston’s brilliant dye-transfer prints became wildly popular and influential. Their saturated intensity lends significance to their humdrum subjects – rusty gas station signs, tattered fabric on a clothesline, a parking lot by night. And seeing as he’s known for his use of color, it’s a surprise – and a delight – to find that half the show is black-and-white photos. …
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Photo by Joey Roulette, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Central Florida’s Public Transit System.


Three hours before his shift starts at a hotel near Disney Springs, Daniel Paredes hops on the Lynx bus 56 headed to Magic Kingdom, earphones already in and a book in hand. To be on time for his shift in the laundry room of the Radisson Hotel at 3 p.m., Paredes is out on the Columbia Avenue bus stop in Kissimmee by noon. After getting to Magic Kingdom, he takes another bus that leaves him near a Burger King on State Road 535, where he walks a quarter-mile to his job. In total, his trip to work takes about two hours. When his shift ends at 11 p.m., the buses aren’t running anymore so Paredes pays an Uber driver about …
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Credit: Wikipedia Commons
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Reconciling Americans’ Opposing Desires on Gun Control


In a Gallup poll five days after the Pulse shootings, 63 percent of Americans said they thought that making it harder to buy assault weapons would prevent similar incidents. But in the same poll, 64 percent of respondents said they thought allowing more people to carry concealed weapons would prevent mass shootings. On the face of it, these seem like contradictory opinions, though statistically, some people must have agreed with both. In this year’s legislative session, Florida politicians had similarly paradoxical results on both sides of the aisle. Democratic legislators were unable to pass bills making possession of assault weapons by everyday citizens a felony, while Republican-sponsored bills to allow concealed campus carry, concealed airport carry and open carry also …
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Photo by Monivette Cordeiro: Pulse Survivor Ilka Marie Reyes
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Pulse Survivor, One Year Later


The simple act of pulling her thick black hair into a ponytail is an accomplishment for Ilka Marie Reyes. Every small milestone is a blessing for the 30-year-old after she was shot nine times by a gunman last year during the massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse where 49 people were killed. Reyes is one of more than 68 survivors who escaped the massacre on June 12 and are slowly piecing their lives back together. When she woke up in the hospital after the attack, her face was so swollen she could barely open her eyes, and she couldn’t walk or move. Four of her best friends died that night, something she still hasn’t completely accepted yet. Reyes had to …
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Image:Patrick Martinez, “all american class of 2016,” courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

American Memorial by Patrick Martinez


Hanging through September 10 at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is American Memorial, the first solo exhibition by young Californian artist Patrick Martinez. In this survey of his work thus far, Martinez has created relics that speak to his generation’s political anguish. Those ubiquitous plastic-backed “CHECK CASHING” neons are reconfigured to speak hip-hop lyrics. A series of sheet cake sculptures are adorned not with a smiling grad’s photo in frosting, but with portraits of survivors of street violence. On a 5-foot-tall version of the archetypal Pee-Chee folder, the drawings of idealized high-school athletes are interspersed with scenes of police brutality taken from the headlines. Martinez’s work is infused with the resistance politics of 1970s Chicano art, befitting his Los Angeles …
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Image: Mike Delamon in Flori-DUH, orlandofringe.org
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

The 26th Orlando Fringe Festival


The 26th Orlando Fringe Festival kicked off its 14-day run this week, welcoming the public to more than 150 different shows: comedy, drama, storytelling, burlesque, puppetry and even magic shows performed by artists from all over the world. The first Orlando Fringe theatre festival was in 1992, in downtown Orlando. In 2005, Fringe moved to the Loch Haven cultural campus, and in recent years, it’s expanded its borders, both geographic and temporal. Shows are no longer confined to the Shakespeare Center and the Orlando Rep, but happen all across town, from St. Matthew’s Tavern on Mills Avenue to the Breakthrough Theatre in Winter Park to, this year, a roving cargo van offering a twisted take on carpool karaoke. And the …
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