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Image: Photo via Publix on Facebook
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Shoppers continue to boycott Publix for supporting Adam Putnam


Is there a more beloved brand in Florida other than Publix? Probably not. The Lakeland grocery store chain has been conquering hearts since 1930 with its free cookies, chicken tender Pub Subs and heartwarming holiday commercials. There is a limit, though, to some Floridians adoration, and its name is the National Rifle Association. Shoppers have been threatening to boycott Publix this Memorial Day Weekend over the company’s support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam. Over the years, Publix has donated about $670,000 to the Agriculture Commissioner’s campaigns, which is a record amount to a single candidate for the chain. By supporting Putnam, though, Publix is supporting a candidate who touts himself as a “proud NRA sellout.” The Bartow politician has …
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Image: Orlando Weekly Cover: Stranger Fringe, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Orlando Fringe takes a deep dive into superheroes and sci-fi


Every May, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival takes over Loch Haven Park. This year’s celebration of performance kicked off Wednesday and runs through May 28. More than 50,000 people will show up to to enjoy 130 shows, ranging from short plays to dance performances to musicals, magic, comedy, cabaret and some work that’s just impossible to label. As wide-ranging as Fringe is, the festival does have a common thread this year: as on the big and small screens, suddenly nerd culture is dominant. There are shows based on Star Wars, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead, and even the Muppets. The fandom focus can be attributed to a few different things: for one, Fringe …
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Image: Valencia College, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Valencia and Seminole State College adjunct professors scramble to make a living wage and now, they want a union


Jennifer Copp is at the end of her rope. The 46-year-old has two degrees in photography. She’s taught college students as an adjunct professor for about 14 years, giving lectures at various institutions across Central Florida. And yet, Copp only earns $18,000 to $19,000 a year in a career that offers her no benefits. She teaches two to four classes every semester at Seminole State College – but to make ends meet, she also adjuncts at nearby colleges and universities. Copp drives around less now because she has to take care of her 7-year-old daughter, who has special needs. To help pay the bills, Copp’s 80-year-old mother also teaches part-time at Seminole State. Copp and other adjunct professors at Seminole …
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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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