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From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Remembering Billy Manes and Revisiting his Charlene Dill Story


“Charlene Dill didn’t have to die”. So starts the 2014 story from then Orlando Weekly writer Billy Manes about Charlene Dill, a 32-year-old mother of three children who collapsed and died while selling vacuum cleaners in Kissimmee. She had a documented heart condition, but was unable to pay for medication after falling into the coverage gap created by Florida legislators who refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving thousands without health care insurance. Manes’ sudden death last week caused us to revisit this story, not only because we miss his writing voice, but because people like Dill are still out there. During a recent visit to the Shepherd’s Hope charitable clinic in Longwood, an uninsured patient said …
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Billy Manes Facebook photo.
Intersection

Intersection: Remembering Billy Manes


Orlando lost one of its strongest voices over the weekend. Billy Manes a journalist, activist, provocateur, died over the weekend shortly after parting ways with the LGBT publication Watermark. Before Watermark he wrote for Orlando Weekly it was in that capacity that for years WMFE listeners heard Manes on our air.
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Rainbow flag, wikimedia.org
Archives

LGBT Community- What’s Next on the Horizon for Equality


This past year has been a series of epic wins for the LGBT community: Marriage is now legal for gay couples in every state in the nation, Florida has repealed its ban on adoption by gay couples, the Boy Scouts lifted their ban on gay leaders and the general public is finally starting to hear and accept the concerns of the transgender community.
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Charlotte’s Web medical marijuana, the-daily-record.com
Archives

Charlotte’s Web Medicinal Marijuana


While we all sit on our hands and wait to see if either the legislature or the general-election voting public in 2016 will actually legalize medicinal marijuana, the wayward weaving of the already approved Charlotte’s Web strain of cannabis – the legislature approved the low-THC for children in 2014 – continues to be a source of regulatory confusion. At issue, beyond the fact that only five nurseries will be allowed to cultivate and dispense the medicine in Florida, is the fact that the law doesn’t mitigate the differences between state and federal laws on illegal drugs. Last week, according to political website Saint Petersblog, Director of the Office of Compassionate Use Patricia Nelson negotiated for a mind-numbing 25 hours with …
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Florida Department of Law Enforcement Logo, fdle.state.fl.us
Archives

Gov. Rick Scott and FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey’s Resignation


Last week, the Tampa Bay Times published a scathing indictment of Governor Rick Scott and his handling of Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner Gerald Bailey’s so-called resignation. It’s no secret that the FDLE is not Scott’s best friend in general, especially considering the long list of Scott scandals that the agency is assigned to investigate. Most recently, Scott has been accused – with evidence – of using private email accounts to conduct public business. That, of course, is something that the FDLE has been investigating.
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Orlando Weekly logo, orlandoweekly.com
From the Pages of Orlando Weekly

Orange County Voters Say Partisanship Is Not A Good Idea


A funny thing happened on the way to November. You might recall that Orange County voters were asked to register their feelings on making local elections partisan, thereby moving the elections of wonderful lovers of transparency like Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to presidential years. More of a fair competition, you say? Voters said no! By about 55 percent, your friends and neighbors said that this wasn’t a good idea, because partisanship is awful.
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Terri Binion photo by Darin Back, orlandoweekly.com
Archives

Marriage Equality Laws – No Rights in Wrongful Death Case


On May 3, 2011, Orlando musician Terri Binion kissed her wife Tracy Irwin goodbye just like she might on any other morning – except, as Binion wasn’t feeling well, she only offered her cheek. Irwin was working as a contractor for a company hired by Cirque du Soleil to help complete its ambitious construction on its huge Zarkana set at Amway Arena. By 8 a.m., Irwin was at work, loading aluminum lighting trusses onto forklifts and stabilizing the load as it was slowly lifted into the air. What happened next would change Binion’s life forever. The load tilted, then it fell, fatally crushing Irwin.
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Florida Center for Investigative Reporting Logo, fcir.org
Archives

Florida Center for Investigative Reporting


According a recent report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, the gains that the legislature and governor like to claim as a veritable bounty – because of huge cuts to government jobs and spending – might actually be ruining the parts of the state where government is required to make things work.
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Orlando Weekly cover, orlandoweekly.com
Archives

Come Out with Pride LGBT Equality


As this year’s Come Out With Pride parade wraps its bedazzled head around a commendable and monumental tenth year, we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss what an achievement the whole event is, and what it represents. Once upon a time, there were fights about rainbow flags on downtown flagpoles, protesters screaming death wishes at parade participants, warnings of tropical storms and other natural disasters out there designed specifically for punitive treatment of same-sex couples and those who love them.
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