Category Archives: April 2012

The Big Read Comes to Alachua County

The Alachua County Library District is hosting more than 25 free events in April as part of The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The local program will celebrate Ursula K. Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea,” the foremother to work like the Harry Potter series. For more information on The Big Read, visit aclib.us/bigread or neabigread.org. Below is an abridged list of this month’s events.

April 11, 4:30p.m. – The World of Ursula K. LeGuin: A roundtable discussion on the legacy of Le Guin’s books featuring Meredith Ann Pierce, Stephanie Smith, Tace Hedrick, Michelle Harris and Arwen Curry. This event will take place at the Ustler Center for Women’s Studies and Gender on UF’s campus, and is co-sponsored by the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research and the Department of English at UF.

April 12 at 6p.m. and April 13 at 4p.m. – Filmmaker Arwen Curry will speak about and share clips of her documentary “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin,” which is currently in the works. Thursday’s event on April 12 will take place at 6p.m. at the Library Headquarters (401 E. University Ave. in Gainesville); Friday’s event on April 13 will take place at 4p.m. at the Tower Branch Library (3020 SW 75th St. in Gainesville).

April 13, 1p.m. – Arwen Curry will talk about her documentary “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin” on Conner Calling, WUFT Classic 89.1 FM. Call or email your questions in to 352-392-8989 or fmcallin@wuft.org.

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Eco-Health Festival, April 21

The Eco-Health Festival is a place for everyone in the Stephen Foster neighborhood and greater Gainesville community to come together and learn more about and discuss the issues surrounding the Koppers Superfund site.

The festival will take place at the Agape Faith Center (936 NW 31st Ave. in Gainesville) on Saturday, April 21, from 10a.m. to 4p.m., and will include live music, games and entertainment for kids, as well as a long list of speakers. Art from the Superfund Art Project and Kid’s Eco-Art Show will be on display, and the first 500 people to arrive at the festival will receive free food from Thai American Foods.

The goal of the festival is to teach people skills and provide expert knowledge so that residents in the Stephen Foster neighborhood have more options to protect their health. Participants can learn more about the chemicals from Koppers and how to avoid contact with them. Taking common-sense precautions can make a difference.

The Koppers Superfund site is located near our homes in the Stephen Foster neighborhood of Gainesville. For almost 100 years, Koppers produced treated lumber for different purposes, but the chemicals used to make that treated lumber are toxic pesticides that are poisonous to wood-eating organisms, as well as animals and humans. Koppers dumped these chemicals on the ground and in holding ponds on the site, leaving the pesticides to seep into the groundwater and pollute Springstead Creek. Because most of the Koppers site is bare, with no grass covering the dirt, the wind has carried pesticide-contaminated dust into nearby yards and possibly into people’s homes. The Florida Department of Health has told some residents in our neighborhood to stop gardening and to keep children from playing in contaminated dirt.

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April 2012 Iguana Calendar

Want to know what’s going on in Gainesville this month? Check out the Iguana’s April 2012 Calendar. Print it out and put it in your wallet, on your refrigerator, or pass it on to a friend.

Have an event you’d like to see on the Iguana Community Calendar? Email it to us at gainesvilleiguana@cox.net.

Filling Empty Bowls – Bread of the Mighty Fundraiser May 10

The Bread of the Mighty Food Bank is sponsoring its first-ever fundraising event to help raise awareness of the issues of hunger in our area and the role the food bank plays in abating hunger in the community. All proceeds from the event will help raise funds to cover the day-to-day operations of the food bank. The food bank, which provides services to people in Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist, Lafayette and Levy counties, works with

The event, Empty Bowls, will take place on Thursday, May 10, from 11a.m. to 1p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church (4000 NW 53rd Avenue in Gainesville). Empty Bowls is an attempt to shed light on those individuals in our community who do not have enough food to feed themselves and their families. Art classes from local schools handcrafted the bowls for the luncheon, and other works by local artists and celebrities will be sold through silent auction. Area school choirs will provide entertainment, and a surprise host will act as the master of ceremonies.

Individual tickets are $20 and cover the cost for lunch and one handcrafted bowl. Non-profit tables are available for $250 and come with a reserved table for eight people. Corporate tables are available for $500 and also come with a reserved table.

For more information on the event, visit Bread of the Mighty’s website at www.breadofthemighty.org.