September 2016 Gainesville Iguana

september iguana coverThe September issue of the Iguana is now available! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.

History and the people who make it: Wilton Russell

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler

This is the 36th in a series of transcript excerpts from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection at the University of Florida.

Wilton Russell [R] was interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in 2012.

M: Your date and place of birth?

R: Red Bay Andros, the Bahamas. 22nd of December 1956 and I am 56. I born in a house about the size of this room and that house was two rooms, “the hall” where you to eat, sit down and talk and pray. The other is a bedroom, so that’s the first house that my grandmother did own. We built outta pine and made those lumbers themselves and my grandfather, something used to call axe, like a pickaxe and no prong on the back.

Continue reading

Civic Media Center needs your help

by Joe Courter, CMC co-founder

The CMC has been providing Gainesville and Alachua County with a resource of information, a place to hold and attend events, and a place to meet and connect with other similar minded people who want to learn more and do more to make a better world. 

It has been a hard year, and it needs your help, especially those of you who know what a positive asset it is.

Regaining our 501(c)3 has proven hard. Community Service people had been a backbone of staffing day to day.  We don’t have them now.   Please if you have time, come and be a volunteer.

Our notifying people to renew memberships has slipped badly.  This would be a great time to renew your membership or make a donation.

We have the infrastructure for a coffeehouse, or cafe start-up for an independent enterprise within our space. Know someone interested?

We need web help and tech support if you have time and talents.

Let’s revitalize the CMC as we move into our 24th year!  D           

Community radio station at crossroads

By Fred Sowder, WGOT Financial Director

WGOT has been broadcasting part time at 94.7FM on Gainesville’s radio dial for 81/2 years. We’ve brought the community great local programming such as Counterpoise Reviews, featuring some of the great recordings of speakers from the CMC’s audio library and elsewhere.

Amazingly, Gainesville is also a college town without a college radio station and we endeavor to fill that gap with great local and independent music on long-running shows such as the Red Pony Music Hour and Things Be Blowin’ Around — the latter which had a long run on GROW Radio. These shows are hosted by local artists H.R. Gertner and Bill Perry, respectively. Other show hosts have also generously brought their former GROW Radio programs along to WGOT, further diversifying our music selection.

Continue reading

Women’s Int’l League for Peace and Freedom public meeting, Sept. 25

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom is having a public meeting at the Beltram Peace Center, Emmanuel Mennonite Church, 1236 NW 18th Ave., from 3-5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25.

Marybeth Gardam, Chair, Development Committee, WILPF US, will present information on the current global program and ways we can help on a local basis. For more information, see, find us on Facebook, or call 352-371-6944. 

Join us for Welcoming Week in Gainesville!

by Paula Roetscher

Multiculturalism, religious diversity, integration of immigrants, strong bonds between newcomers and long-term residents and positivity towards refugees — these are just some of the ideas that Welcoming Gainesville stands for.

The new nonprofit achieved to make Gainesville Florida’s first Welcoming City in March of this year and Alachua County the second Welcoming County in Florida in June. This means that both our city and county are part of the nationwide Welcoming America network, a group of over 100 cities, counties and nonprofit organizations that aim to develop programs, services and policies to welcome and successfully integrate immigrants and other newcomers into our community.

Continue reading

Freewheel Project reopens

The Freewheel Project, located at 618 S. Main St., has recently reopened for its second season. We are a not-for-profit bicycle collective with a mission: to empower the culture of cycling through infrastructure, education, and accessibility.

Continue reading

Black History Task Force hosts Town Hall Meeting

The Alachua County Black History Task Force is hosting its 2nd Annual Town Hall Meeting, on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 2-4:30pm at the Alachua County Library Headquarters.

Speakers include Dr. Leanetta McNealy speaking on “The School Board’s Position on Black History in All Public Schools,” and Dr. Brianna Kennedy-Lewis reporting on her research on “the racially disproportionate suspension and graduation rates of black students in our county.”

Other invited speakers include former A.C. Schools Superintendent, Dr. Owen Roberts. There will be musical and spoken word performances. Refreshments will be served.

The public – especially parents of children enrolled in Alachua County Schools – is invited to attend. For more information contact and (352) 792-6020. 

Citizens Co-op, RIP

by Joe Courter

In a town with a history of having a food co-op that went out of business many years earlier (the Hogtown Granary), there were a lot of people who were willing to invest in another one.

The motivators of the Citizens Co-op had a plan which sounded good on paper. They would raise the capital needed to start the store from the community, and then, once the Co-op was open, those very same investors would shop there and form a solid base of income from which the Co-op could grow. It does seem like a viable plan.

Continue reading

Living wage campaign update

by Sheila Payne, Alachua County Labor Coalition

Now is the time to celebrate with City of Gainesville and Alachua County employees on the progress we have all made in advancing the wage scale for all workers in Alachua County.

And of course we need to keep forging ahead. We cannot rest till all of the wages of the lowest paid employees in Alachua County are indexed to at least 125 percent above the Federal Poverty Level ($14.60/hour in today’s dollars).

Continue reading

Letter to the Editor

On August 17, 2016, the Doctor Oz television show had Monel Williams as a guest. They discussed how health insurance companies in this country deny thousands of their clients life threatening treatments. These insurance companies are in business to make profits, not to provide life saving treatments.

Doctors VOW to “DO NO HARM” when they dedicate their lives to caring for the sick. Insurance companies play God and CAUSE HARM when they deny doctors to provide the best treatment needed to care for their sick patients.

This country spends outrageous amounts of money to build war weapons to defend the country. A country full of sick people who cannot get needed treatments, don’t need defending—they need medical care.

I have been trying to get a bad tooth pulled for almost a year now. The insurance only pays for cleaning and X-rays. Why take X-rays in problem are not allowed to be fixed? I’m sure politicians and the wealthy would never endure being denied life threatening treatment for their own family, or suffer a toothache with one abscess after another treated with antibiotics over and over, for years.

Politicians spend billions of dollars running for office making all kinds of promises to oversee the best interest of the people. WHY VOTE? None of them care about the needs of the people. It is all a big profit making game to them.

Simonne Liberty
Starke, Fla.

Editor’s response: Organize, organize, organize.