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Erin Sullivan

  • There’s a war being waged in federal court in Orlando – one that you may have thought was over years ago, when a jury concluded for the public in 1998 that for decades cigarette manufacturers knew that their products were harmful and addictive and that they’d been hiding that information from the public.
  • When you flush your toilet or turn your tap, be sure to thank the Orlando Wetlands Park. The 1,650-acre property in Christmas in east Orange County used to be a cattle pasture. Then the city of Orlando purchased the land for $5.1 million in 1986 to help treat water on a larger scale in response to population increase and the Clean Water Act of 1972.
  • To most people, the changes made to the GED test for 2014 probably don’t look like that big of a deal. The price to take the test, which gives people who dropped out of high school a chance at an equivalency diploma, went up from $70 to $128. Its content was changed to more closely reflect current Common Core high school teaching standards. And finally, the test can now only be taken on a computer.
  • Earlier this month, we covered Mayor Buddy Dyer’s State of Downtown, at which he gave a big shout-out to Project DTO, the task force that polled Orlando residents about what they would like to see in a thriving downtown. Among the things Project DTO said people want is a celebration of the city’s history, more focus on outdoor activities and a “creator” culture.
  • Could Florida become the next frontier for fracking? Environmentalists, who are already concerned about the state’s fragile water supply, fear that it could, and this week they’re trying to get out ahead of the situation before the 2015 Legislative session begins in Tallahassee.
  • It’s widely known these days that there are huge swaths of the United States, especially in urban areas, where it’s not easy to get access to fresh, whole foods. Convenience stores stocked with nonperishables like mac-n-cheese, cup-o-noodles and premade frozen entrees are everywhere, but in some communities, true grocery stores with wide aisles stocked with fresh produce, meats, dairy and whole-grain products are scarce – you need to take a car or a bus just to get a head of lettuce or an onion, not to mention any kind of meat that isn’t in frozen nugget or patty form.
  • There’s been a lot of frustration and sadness lately when it comes to new developments in Orlando scheduled to displaced beloved older spaces. Recently Theatre Downtown announced that its landlord, Florida Hospital, has plans for the building the theater has called home for 25 years. The theater has to vacate by the end of January. Shortly after that, we learned that a developer is buying multiple properties in Ivanhoe Village and will be transforming the neighborhood’s artsy warehouse district into multistory mixed-use spaces.
  • Recently, Orlando Weekly reported about a proposed development project for Ivanhoe Village. Chance Gordy, a local developer, has expressed interest in…
  • On Oct. 2, the New York Times reported on California’s water crisis. In some places in the state near the Sequoia National Forest, residents’ wells have dried up. Their taps have run dry, rivers and lakes are drying up and there is no water left to shower on once-lush landscaping.
  • It’s no secret that big-box stores are making it harder for local mom-and-pop shops to stay afloat. Wal-Marts, Home Depots and Barnes and Nobles have been blamed for putting local grocery chains, hardware stores and book shops out of business for as long as they’ve been around. But now there’s a retailer that’s making it harder even for the big box stores to make a go of it – Amazon.com