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Jessica Bryce

Orlando Weekly



Recent Stories from Jessica Bryce

Image: Rich Uncle Pennybags from Monopoly with Solar panels, cleanenergy.org

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Utility Companies push to change laws on solar net metering



If you’ve noticed a neighbor with solar panels, you may have wondered: What happens if you generate more solar power than you can use? In the sunny Sunshine State, it’s a valid question. If you’re on the grid, what happens is something called net metering. The excess energy goes back into the system to be used by anyone, and your meter, essentially, runs backward — your utility bill is credited for the power you contributed. Solar users appreciate the system, which allows them to stay on the municipal grid while using a clean power source, and even homeowners not using solar benefit — simply because less coal and gas is being burned, both of which contribute to climate warming. But …


Image: Benito Mussolini and Fascist Blackshirt youth in 1935, wikipedia.org

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: President Trump has borrowed a page from the fascist playbook



Using the word “fascist” casually robs it of import. The evil of fascism shouldn’t be cheapened into a synonym for reactionary far-right policies. But whether he realizes it or not, President Trump has borrowed a page from the fascist playbook. Specifically, in the way he’s inciting violence against leftist protesters, which is how fascists claimed power in the 1920s and ’30s. The Nazis sent armed roughnecks to left-wing gatherings to provoke street fights, then portrayed themselves as victims of leftist anarchy. Mussolini leveraged violence between his squads and leftists to destabilize Italy, so he could position himself as the person to stop it. Trump has stoked the fire all year – sending paramilitaries to quell Black Lives Matter protests, using …


Image: Screen shot of OC Cares Page, ocfl.net/EconomicDevelopment/OrangeCARES

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Moratorium on Florida evictions and foreclosures extended for the fifth time



Gov. Ron DeSantis extended the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for the fifth time on Monday. He announced the extension of his executive order for one more month – that is, until Oct. 1 – at the absolute last moment, mere hours before the moratorium was set to expire. The thing is, despite the extension of DeSantis’ executive order preventing immediate evictions, the wording of that order was changed on August 1st, narrowing tenant protections and effectively green-lighting landlords to begin filing eviction cases in Orange County courts. Hundreds have since been filed. This week, Mayor Buddy Dyer proposed a plan to use $1.5 million in CARES Act funds to assist renters with rent payments they weren’t able to …


Image: Voting via Adobe stock, orlandoweekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Lawsuit over what happens to ballot scans in Florida goes to appeals court



Several times in American history, presidents have taken office with their legitimacy hanging by a thread. Rutherford B. Hayes, for example, quite decisively lost the popular vote in 1876. He claimed the White House following a series of dubious and disputed recounts, after a special congressional committee voted along party lines to install “Rutherfraud.” George W. Bush, another popular-vote loser, won the Electoral College in 2000 thanks to a 537-vote squeaker in Florida, where his brother was governor. This election was a debacle of hanging chads, butterfly ballots and a deeply questionable purge of the state’s voter rolls. Eventually, the Supreme Court squelched the recount and handed the White House to W. And now, as another sure-to-be-close presidential race looms, eight Florida elections supervisors have gone …


Image: Louis DeJoy, usps.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Postmaster General Louis DeJoy postpones changes to US Postal Service amid outcry



On Tuesday, new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a statement addressing the mounting furor over his changes at the US Postal Service, both proposed and already executed. It was light on specifics, to say the least. DeJoy said, “To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail,” he would suspend some “longstanding operational initiatives” that “predate [his] arrival at the Postal Service … until after the election is concluded.” It’s good that the overwhelming chagrin of the American people – including the rank and file of the postal service itself — forced DeJoy to back off. But it’s worth noting the unanswered questions we are left with. For instance: Will DeJoy roll back some of the changes already …


Image: Mira Lehr,  mennellomuseum.org

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Mennello Museum features Mira Lehr’s important environmentally themed exhibition



At the beginning of this year – if you can remember back that far – our planet’s rapidly accelerating climate crisis was on the front page of every newspaper, and the opening of Miami artist Mira Lehr’s environmentally themed exhibition High Water Mark brought national attention to Orlando’s Mennello Museum of American Art with glowing coverage in the New York Times. Then along came, well, everything else, and climate change was pushed out of the headlines. But Lehr thinks now is the perfect time to turn our attention back to what’s happening with Mother Earth. Rather than distract from desperately needed climate action, she hopes this moment can compel us to reflect on the interconnection of our health and the …


Image: Tweet by President Trump, twitter.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: President Trump tweeted Vote by Mail in Florida is “Safe and Secure”



Seventy times since March, our president has vilified voting by mail on Twitter. He’s called it rigged, fraudulent, an embarrassment. Never mind that he himself casts his vote from Florida by mail, as do his wife and his press secretary. And never mind the fact that voting by mail would be safest as we continue to flounder through a pandemic. He’s been dead-set against it — until Tuesday. On Tuesday, this staunch opponent about-faced and tweeted that in Florida, it’s “Safe and Secure.” Now, there are many possible reasons. Maybe it’s because Florida Democrats’ requests for mail-in ballots have far outstripped Republicans’ this year. Maybe because GOP strategists realize all voters are leaning toward the safety of vote-by-mail this year. …