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Jessica Bryce

Orlando Weekly

Recent Stories from Jessica Bryce

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 …

Vote Here, orlandoweekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Orlando Mayoral Election

It would be easy to ignore next Tuesday’s municipal election, and just focus on the already heating up 2020 presidential election. But it would be shortsighted. Mayor Buddy Dyer, who’s been the head honcho at City Hall since 2003, is running for his fifth term in office. Having a familiar face as Orlando mayor is nothing new; the last time the city had a one-term boss was in the ’50s. But this time around, Dyer faces a pair of very motivated challengers. Aretha Simons, a nonprofit consultant and former Navy specialist, has not held elected office before but has a fascinating platform, including reparations for local African-American descendants of slaves. Commissioner Sam Ings, who is vacating his District 6 seat …

Image: Swan Crosswalk, City of Orlando/Facebook, Orlando weekly.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Crosswalk Art and Pedestrian Safety

Creative crosswalks are on the rise. They are great to look at, but there’s plenty of disagreement on how they affect safety. The Thornton Park district recently unveiled a gorgeous new design at the intersection of Summerlin and Washington. The square of interlocking black-and-white swans is great to look at, but at an already confusing two-way stop with heavy foot traffic, in a city whose roads are the most dangerous in the country for pedestrians, safety is a question. It’s not the city’s first nonstandard crosswalk. In 2017, Orlando approved a rainbow-painted crosswalk near Pulse. But when cities including Ames, Iowa, Atlanta and St. Louis installed similar ones, the federal highway administration asked for their removal, saying crosswalk art is …

Image:  ring smart doorbell, ring.com

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: The Smart Doorbell Ring system and Privacy rights

When you buy a smart doorbell, it’s usually in order to gain more control over your safety. But as more and more people buy these devices, they may not realize what types of control they’re giving away. The Ring system’s camera and intercom link with your phone to give you a visual if a car or person approaches your home, and the ability to speak to the presumed intruder. With the add-on app, you can share these videos with your neighbors — and the police, who partner with Ring to monitor the app through their own portal. What people may not realize when they agree to Ring’s terms of service is that they’ve signed away a significant chunk of their …

Image: Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association President Carol Dover, FRLA

From the Pages of Orlando Weekly: Central Florida’s hotels and restaurants are the chief reason Orlando consistently has the lowest median income of all major metros in the U.S.

We’re going to revisit a topic from last week’s commentary because it’s of vital importance. Last week, we told you how the president of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Carol Dover, decried the words of attorney John Morgan, who compared Florida’s minimum wage to “slave wages.” While Morgan is no pauper, it’s important to note that Dover, whose response diverted attention with empty words about slavery and human trafficking, herself is paid more than $620,000 a year for her job. As has been widely reported year after year, Central Florida’s hotels and restaurants are the chief reason Orlando consistently has the lowest median income of all major metros in the U.S. Restaurants, at the behest of organizations like Dover’s …