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Jessica Bryce

Orlando Weekly



Recent Stories from Jessica Bryce

Image: adobe stock photos, Orlandoweekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: HB 136 would make it a second-degree felony for health care practitioners to administer treatment to transgender minors



State Rep. Anthony Sabatini has kicked off the 2020 legislative session with yet another anti-LGBT act. On Monday, he filed HB 136, a bill that would make it a second-degree felony for health care practitioners to administer treatment to transgender minors. Sabatini says the law, if passed, would define sex as the “biological state of being female or male, based on sex organs and chromosomes.” He calls it the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” which is somewhat akin to calling a rule prohibiting feeding orphans the “child gluttony act.” Either Representative Sabatini thinks he knows more about this than medical professionals do, or he’s playing to a certain crowd – people troubled by the way American society has begun to accept and …


Image: Governor Ron DeSantis, flgov.smugmug.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: This week, Governor DeSantis announced the formation of Florida’s Complete Count Committee



In June of last year, a reporter asked Governor Ron DeSantis about a request from Democratic lawmakers “to form a census committee to ensure that Floridians aren’t miscounted.” Census numbers determine federal funding for things like Medicaid, Pell grants and school lunch assistance. DeSantis said: “The federal government does that, we don’t have a role in it … if they have concerns, they should talk to the Commerce Department in Washington.” What a difference six months can make! This week, the governor announced the formation of Florida’s Complete Count Committee, which will coordinate with the U.S. Census Bureau on the constitutionally required tally of the nation’s population. Dems were concerned that Florida was at risk of an undercount and therefore …


Image: Texting while driving via Intel Free Press/Wikimedia Commons

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Florida Highway Patrol troopers will issue tickets to motorists that text while driving



“Enforcement time” is here. As of January 1st – Florida Highway Patrol troopers will issue tickets, rather than warnings, to motorists they stop for texting while driving. The bulk of the texting-while-driving law went into place July 1, but, Lieutenant Derrick Rahming says, “We never want anyone to learn the hard way, so we gave everyone six months to learn about this law. But, now come Jan. 1, it’s a primary offense and we are going to start issuing citations.” Until now, Florida’s law against texting while driving had been enforced as a “secondary” offense – meaning motorists could only be cited for texting if they were stopped for other reasons such as speeding. But the new law made it …


Image: Photo VIA Adobe Images, Orlandoweekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Plan Continues for Fast Electric Vehicle Chargers at each of the Florida Turnpike’s eight service plazas.



In November, Governor Ron DeSantis confirmed the state would equip each of the Florida Turnpike’s eight service plazas with fast electric vehicle chargers. Now, a matching pair of bills filed in the state House and Senate, and scheduled to be heard in January, aim to set a master plan for those stations. The Senate bill also includes a legislative declaration that electric vehicles can help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which would help “reduce the impact of climate change” in Florida. In a masterpiece of understatement, the Senate bill says, “Climate change may have significant impacts to this state, which will require the development of avoidance, adaptation, and mitigation strategies to address these potential impacts on future state projects, plans and …


Portrait of beautiful elderly couple on wooden porch

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: A report by Zillow says a third of all owner-occupied homes are owned by people who are likely to die in the next 20 years



A report released this week by real-estate website Zillow says that a third of all owner-occupied homes are owned by people who are likely to die in the next 20 years. Baby boomers – people born between the years of 1944 and 1964 – own a massive percentage of the country’s housing. And not to be morbid, but once they all pass away, it will facilitate the biggest housing turnover since the construction boom of the 2000s, freeing up housing inventory across the U.S. Zillow has sugar-coated this ghoulish little nugget of data by dubbing the turnover the “Silver Tsunami,” which will “flood” the market with houses for sale, especially in Florida. Not surprisingly, Tampa, Miami and Orlando are in …


Image:  Infographic: Sunscreen Chemicals and Marine Life, oceanservice.noaa.gov

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Senate Committee Approved Bill would block local regulation of all sunscreens



There’s a famous social science experiment, performed at Stanford in the 1960s, known as the marshmallow test. Researchers put one marshmallow in front of a kid, tell her that she can have two if she can go 15 minutes without eating the first one, and then leave the room to see what happens. It’s a simple test of short-term versus long-term thinking. And right now the biggest version of this test, one that the whole planet is taking at the same time, is the climate crisis — a crisis that will affect Florida sooner than most. But now, as Key West commissioners ban the sale of certain sunscreens that contain coral-killing chemicals, some state lawmakers are trying to pre-empt that …


Image: Citrus County Board of Commissioners, citrusbocc.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Citrus County denies library digital subscription to the New York Times because it’s “fake news”



Once again, the party of so-called fiscal conservatism has made it painfully clear that if it costs a little more to trigger the libs, they’re fine with it. Last month, Citrus County commissioners unanimously denied a request from their local library to spend $2,700 on an annual digital subscription to the New York Times, because, quote, they “agree with Donald Trump” that the paper is “fake news.” On Tuesday, the distinguished gentlemen doubled down on their decision, despite the presence of 100 protesters at the council meeting and several citizens speaking in passionate support of library access (not to mention national ridicule). Perhaps unclear on how libraries work, Commissioner Scott Carnahan shrugged off concerns, saying, “I pay for mine, what …



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