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Jessica Bryce

Orlando Weekly

Recent Stories from Jessica Bryce

Image: Photo by Liv Jonse, orlandoweekly.com

From the pages of Orlando Weekly: The source of rising nutrient levels and algae growth in Lake Adair

Some College Park residents find themselves in a crappy situation, literally. Those living around Lake Adair share space with a roosting community of cormorants, who eat fish out of the lake and then, well, what goes in comes back out. Orlando city officials say the birds are to blame for the lake’s rising nutrient levels and algae growth, and for 20 years they’ve been trying to drive the birds away. When the birds are in the trees, city workers visit Lake Adair twice a day – once mid-morning and again in the evening – with spotlights, air horns, pyrotechnics, pressurized water, flare guns and whistler bombs; one resident described the neighborhood as “sounding like a war zone.” In 1997, an …

Image: Oscar Statuette, oscars.org

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Academy Awards absence of nominations for films directed by women

This year’s Academy Awards broadcast has been plagued with setbacks. First, the on-again, off-again hosting debacle with Kevin Hart — there’s still no host announced for this Sunday night’s event. Last week we learned that the custom of having the previous year’s acting award-winners present trophies to the new winners would not be observed this year. Then it was announced that four major categories — editing, cinematography, live action short, and makeup and hairstyling — would be announced off-air, which threw the industry into a furor. But perhaps the worst Oscar fail this year is the absence of nominations for films directed by women, despite an upwelling of popular and critically acclaimed films including Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really …

Image: Photo via Adobe Images: Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Katia in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean

From The Pages of Orlando Weekly: Florida will bear the brunt of climate change

The five warmest years in recorded history have been the last five. Climate change is increasingly looking irreversible. Not a day has gone by since its unveiling without news mentions of the Green New Deal. Unfortunately, President Trump, Republicans and even centrist Democrats are dismissing it as a pipe dream. It’s ironic that Republicans – both lawmakers and voters – have their heads in the sand on global warming, because the states that will be hurt worst are voting for people who are opposed to climate policy. A newly released Brookings Institution study used economic modeling to estimate climate-related losses (in dollars and deaths) state by state from 2080 to 2099. Then it compared voting records by state and found …

Image: Photo via Ron DeSantis/Facebook

New Studies show increased public concern about climate change

After yet another record-breaking season of hurricanes, flooding and fire, never have more Americans felt concern about climate change. A study by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that Americans who believe that global warming is happening outnumber those who don’t by more than 5 to 1. Sixty-two percent of the public now understands that global warming is caused mostly by humans, while a record low 23 percent think it is due mostly to natural environmental changes. Separate research by the University of Chicago found a similar level of acceptance that climate change is real, but also exposed a political divide: 86 percent of Democrats polled say climate change is underway, versus 52 percent of Republicans. In Florida, …

Image: Orlando Weekly Cover: Lime Bike, Photo by Rob Bartlett

Orlando is the first city in Florida with a fleet of “dockless” rental bikes

In October, city officials passed a new ordinance that allowed the electric bike rental company Lime to operate downtown. This one-year pilot program makes Orlando the first city in Florida with a fleet of “dockless” rental bikes. With dockless bikes, convenience is the point. Download the app, locate a GPS-chipped bike on the map, and you’re off. When you get where you’re going, leave the bike wherever you like, so long as it’s not obstructing vehicle or pedestrian traffic – there’s no need to return it to a docking station. Lime charges $1 to unlock the bike and 15 cents per minute to ride, with no membership fee. Also convenient is the lithium-battery power assist, which helps the less athletic …

Image: Jose Belen photo by Jen Cray, orlandoweekly.com

Central Florida veteran fights the federal government over classification of marijuana

Central Florida combat veteran Jose Belen struggled with PTSD for more than a decade after his 14 months in Iraq. After severely adverse reactions to the opiates and tranquilizers prescribed by VA doctors, including years-long bouts of suicidal urges, he began self-medicating with cannabis and found relief. That’s why he joined a lawsuit against the federal government to challenge the Schedule 1 classification of ‘marihuana.’ These drugs are said to have “no currently accepted medical use.” On December 12, his case landed in federal appeals court. During oral argument, one of the panel of judges pointed out, “We have a situation where one part of the government [FDA] said it’s a medicine and another part of the government [DEA] says …

Image: Equality Florida Logo ,www.eqfl.org

2018 has been one of the deadliest years for transgender people

2018 has been one of the deadliest years ever for transgender people. The Human Rights Campaign says that so far this year, at least 24 have been killed violently. And no state has more recorded murders of transpeople than Florida. It started Feb. 4 with Celine Walker, shot dead in a Jacksonville hotel room. Four months later Antash’a English died in the hospital from gunshot wounds after she was found lying between two abandoned houses. In June, deputies found Cathalina James, gunned down at another Jacksonville hotel. Less than a month later Sasha Garden’s beaten body was discovered behind an Orlando apartment complex. In September in North Port, Londonn Moore was found lying in a road, shot to death. As …