October 2016 Gainesville Iguana

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

Iguana Fest, Oct. 15


History and the people who make it: Wilton Russell

Wilton Russell [R], a Bahamian woodworking artist descended from castaway Seminoles, was interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in 2012.

This is the 36th in a series of transcript excerpts from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection at the University of Florida, continuing last month’s story.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

R: My Grammy, when she was sick, we tried to get her to doctor and this woman wouldn’t go. Many times her children  or grandchildren sick.

“Mama, we want to take you to the doctor.”

“Child I want nobody taking me to no doctor. Jesus is my doctor. I want nobody carrying me to the old folks home. I’m in my old folks home now, my house.”

Continue reading

Gainesville’s first tamale shop opens on South Main Street

TAMAL is a dine-in/take-out establishment, specializing in hand-rolled, delicately steamed meat, vegetarian and vegan tamales. Other offerings include beans, greens, pickled peppers, and signature agua fresca beverages – horchata, tamarindo, and jamaica – all made in-house from scratch.

We are excited to have the opportunity to serve you. “We” are the Iannelli family, long time residents of Gainesville who share a passion for handmade tamales.

Continue reading

Gainesville gets involved: local prisoner strike solidarity

On September 9, members of the Gainesville Industrial Workers of the World and other allies gathered outside Walmart on Waldo Road to raise awareness of the strike and Walmart’s profiteering from prison slave labor.

Despite announcing a pledge that “Forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart,” the company has continued to contract with vendors who use prison labor, along with dozens of other corporations who exploit the slavery loophole in the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by using prisoners to cut their labor costs.

Continue reading

12th Annual Florida Bat Festival — Saturday, October 22

Saturday October 22 • Ages 4 and under free • Ages 5-12 – $5 • Adults – $8

The 12th Annual Florida Bat Festival is an opportunity for attendees to view giant fruit bats, tour the conservancy grounds and enjoy the great outdoors while learning about how fruit bats benefit environments and ecosystems worldwide.

Last year we welcomed over 5,600 guests and attendance is expected to increase this year. The conservancy is not open to the general public on a regular basis, so this event is a rare opportunity for wildlife lovers to see our bats up-close.

Continue reading

Rest in power and in peace, dear Zot

by Kimberly Hunter

If this moment finds you grieving, “Here is the time for kindness, your own, to yourself,” poet Jan Richardson writes. May you not feel alone. May “you recognize as ancient” the ache of your loss. May you “think of it as a hidden chamber in your heart where you can stay as long as you need.”

This morning found me grieving loss in my own life and in the lives of our beloved community. This moment finds me remembering Gainesville sister-in-life and activism, Zot Lynn Szurgot.

Continue reading

In memory: Local activist Zot Szurgot

by Bill Stephenson and Chris Zurheide

Zot Lynn Szurgot died on September 7th, her car struck by a truck that ran a red light near Hazlehurst, Georgia, where she was helping to build a 450-acre solar array.

A skilled and meticulous union electrician, Zot consistently spoke up for environmental concerns, the homeless, the Occupy movement, LGBTQIA issues, Black Lives Matter, organized labor, peace and justice groups, and etc.

Continue reading

Share the Road Memorial opens Oct. 29, Depot Park

by Ron Cunningham, Bike Florida

Twenty years ago, on the day after Christmas in 1996, a group of six cyclists were riding from Gainesville to St. Augustine. They were traveling in a pace line on a rural road in Clay county when a distracted driver in a pickup truck slammed into all six cyclists.

Two of the riders, Margaret Raynal and Doug Hill, were killed instantly. The other four, Lauri Triulzi, Charles Hinson, Eric Finan, and Jessica Green all suffered various injuries.

Continue reading

On the campaign trail in District 21

by Marihelen Wheeler

Five years and counting, I’ve been on the campaign trail, offering my time and energy to go and “fix” what ails us in this country.

As a recently retired educator of 37 years, I am confident that I must surely have some solutions to the issues that grip and gripe the middle class and am hoping that voters will somehow agree.

Since March, I have been campaigning for the Florida House 21 seat that is being vacated by Keith Perry. An open seat often means a scramble by candidates to rush to the front and claim it for their own. In this case, three Republicans ran forward to the primary, and then there was me waiting to see who would be my challenger in November.

Continue reading

100-year commemoration of Newberry lynching, Oct. 16

by Peggy MacDonald,  Matheson Museum Director

A version of this article originally appeared in the Gainesville Sun on March 6.

An ancient tree stands in the tiny town of Newberry at the site of a horrific crime that remains shrouded in mystery.

“Five Negroes Hanged On One Tree” was the headline of a story on the Newberry lynchings that ran in The Palatka News and Advertiser on August 25, 1916. “Wholesale Lynching Occurs In Florida: Two of Victims Women,” stated a subhead.

Continue reading