Checks and balances – Gainesville’s Department of Doing: ‘Gainesville, Citizen Centered, People Empowered’ or ‘Gainesvile, Citizen Censored, Developer Empowered’?

by Lee Malis and Gainesville Neighbors United

I came home from vacation one day to find a backhoe ripping out trees, knocking down my fence and then going after a giant Live Oak tree in my backyard. My shock and confusion at the time would be hard to describe. I had just come from attending a great wedding with lots of old friends. I was feeling happy and content. That was August 16 and that was the last time I felt that way.

The past three months seem to have been nonstop invasion, attacks, slander, and legal fighting.

Continue reading

Proposed phosphate mining update: Gearing up for legal battles ahead

by Carole Mosley

A lot has happened since the last update.

HPSII, LLC has been busy with document requests from everyone they can think of. They’ve already gone after the North Florida Planning Council, Alachua County, and Union County and won a Judgment against Union, which is being contested.

Continue reading

32nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

November-December 2018 Gainesville Iguana

The November-December issue of the Iguana is now available, and you can access it here! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.

From the publisher … Evolution and trauma

by Joe Courter

We humans have had to deal with a lot of changes in our sensory input and all the information that our brains need to process. Our early “technology” ( candles, lanterns) has brought us the ability to have artificial light, lengthening our productivity. The practice of writing broadened access to knowledge, giving us written information instead of oral histories. Science could flourish as knowledge built on knowledge.

As humans began to travel, trade could develop as well. This further spread knowledge among far flung people. Conquests could also occur, with the appropriation of wealth and territory.  This led to weaponry development.

Continue reading

Don’t bundle this election, keep home rule

by Gary Gordon

This November the citizens of Gainesville can choose to move our city elections to the fall and to lengthen the terms of city commissioners and the Mayor to four years.

I urge my fellow citizens to choose to vote no.

Do not bundle our election with the others. 

Continue reading

The power of Participatory Defense

by Rebecca Paceley

As Say Yes to second chances (Vote Yes on 4) took off last year, it created a renewed focus on people who are currently or have been incarcerated and the plights that they face everyday. These challenges include housing, employment and regaining the right to vote. The question of how to lower the incarceration rate is a continuous social concern. Participatory Defense has offered a solution to this problem.

The Florida Council for Incarcerated and formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls   (Florida Council) has brought a new program to Alachua County. Florida is the home to the newest hub of Participatory Defense. Many times public defenders are over worked with limited resources and push defendants toward taking plea bargains. This is where Participatory Defense hubs come into play.

Continue reading

Palestinian UF graduate Lara Alqasem detained at Israeli airport

On Oct. 2, Lara Alqasem, 22, a former University of Florida graduate was detained at Ben Gurion Airport and ordered deported after Israeli security looked her up on Canary Mission, a right-wing blacklist site.

Alqasem was going to study for an MA at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and had received a visa valid for a year for that purpose. She remains in detention. Her detention and possible deportation raises major concerns about study abroad programs in Israel which might well deny entry to students of Palestinian origin or anyone who does not pass the right-wing litmus test. Unfortunately such tests are also being used to deny entry to people engaged in social justice work. Recently, Professor Katherine Frank who arrived in Israel to lead a delegation of human rights activists, was detained and deported. In light of these concerns, faculty from UF and around the country have signed the statement below for the release of Lara Alqasem.

Continue reading

Busting myths about the GRU Authority Referendum — Vote NO on Gainesville Municipal Referenda

by Evelyn Foxx and Nkwanda Jah

The Alachua County NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Committee (ECJC) focuses on community issues affecting the quality of life and economic equity for all citizens in Gainesville and Alachua County. Environmental Justice recognizes that environmental benefits and burdens are not shared equally among all residents consequently, Environmental Justice issues are also civil and human rights issues.

Continue reading

United Nations Day 2018

The Gainesville Chapter of the United Nations Association invites you to the 40th annual UN Day Meeting on Thursday, Oct 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gainesville Woman’s Club at 2809 West University Ave.

Continue reading

History and the people who make it: Joseph W. Welch: Part 2

Joseph Welch [W], WWII vet, Gainesville area civil rights worker and schoolteacher, was interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in April, 2013; the first part of this interview ran in the September Iguana.

This is the 50th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection. Notes in [square brackets] by SPOHP; interpolations in {curly brackets} by Iguana; raw language kept for historical accuracy.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

M: What was it like back in Gainesville {after WWII}?

W: Glad to be out [laughs]. I was college-bound. Government’s gonna pay all of our expense? Yes, I’m going. I don’t want any of the schools in Florida. So, I applied to Lincoln University in Missouri, Tom Coward and I.

I had been a cook at College Inn, the largest restaurant in Gainesville. During that time, the law school was in that area.

Continue reading

In memory of Harriet Ludwig: CMC co-founder

by Carol Gordon

Retired journalist Harriet Ludwig, co-founder of the Civic Media Center and a frequent columnist and letter-writer to The Gainesville Sun, died June 28, 2018. She was 93.

Ludwig was a long-time resident of Gainesville, newspaper reporter, advocate for civil rights, women, education, housing and health care. She wrote extensively and was actively involved in local politics to promote policy change for these issues.

Continue reading

Fest 17 at the CMC, October 26-28

by Joe Courter

The CMC will be quite a busy place during the Fest weekend. I hope some of you will come down and share in the fun. The informal kick-off will be Thursday, Oct. 25, with Queer the Fest, featuring touring and local musicians of the LGBTQ persuasion, as well as workshops earlier in the evening starting at 5 p.m.

The regular Fest stuff at the CMC runs Friday through Sunday evenings, Oct. 26-28, with a donation of $10 each night, and with six to eight performers each night.

Continue reading

October 2018 Gainesville Iguana

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

FMEA Letter to Gov. Scott — Veto HB 759

May 25, 2017

The Honorable Rick Scott
Governor
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Re: Please veto HB 759

Dear Governor Scott:

I write to ask you to veto HB 759. This local bill, impacting the people of Gainesville, would have two major, negative impacts:

1. Expands government while limiting home rule.

2. Raises electric rates and taxes on the people of Gainesville.

The bill was passed over the objection of the Gainesville City Commission, and without unanimous support by the local legislative delegation.

Attached is a summary of why this bill is bad for Gainesville and bad for Florida. Please veto HB 759.

Sincerely,
Amy Zubaly
Interim Executive Director
Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA)

Continue reading

Happy birthday Stetson Kennedy!

by Joe Courter

In honor of Stetson Kennedy’s 102nd birthday, the Civic Media Center will have a potluck dinner on Saturday, October 6, at 6pm, followed by a program called Voicing the Un-Voiced Stetson: Readings of Unpublished Pieces from the Papers of Stetson Kennedy. Sandra Parks, Stetson’s wife, came to the CMC and suggested the reading of recently found writings of the famed anti-racist, civil rights and environmental author and activist.

Continue reading

Radical Rush to take place first week of October

By Joe Courter

Radical Rush, the progressive tabling fair coordinated by the Civic Media Center, will take place this fall during the first week of October. 

Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 1 and 2, Radical Rush will be held at UF’s Plaza of the Americas, and Wed., Oct. 3, it will be at Santa Fe College’s NW campus in the Oak Grove.

Continue reading

History and the people who make it: Joseph W. Welch

Joseph Welch [W], WWII vet, Gainesville area civil rights worker and school teacher, was interviewed by Ryan Morini [M] in April, 2013.

This is the 49th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection. Notes in [square brackets] by SPOHP; interpolations in {curly brackets} by Iguana.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

W: I’m from a family of two children, my sister and I. June 16, 1922, I was born here in Gainesville.

M: What part of town?

W: Porters Addition. My mother and grandmother was a seamstress. My father was a minister, in theory. But he was a womanizer who ran around a lot. As a result, he and my mother separated when I was a year and six months old. My mother was pregnant with my sister. He’s dead now – but he never laid eyes on my sister in his life. He hadn’t laid eyes on me since I was eighteen months old.

Continue reading

On to the Nov. 6 elections

by Joe Courter

Well the primaries are behind us now, and Florida has become much more exciting and prominent with the upset victory of Andrew Gillum for Governor, who will face off against Ron DeSantis, who tied himself closely to Trump. Gillum’s populism and positive energy will hopefully be contagious and help Democrats all down the ballot. And we really need it

Continue reading

Peace activist David McReynolds: Two lighter sides

By Marc Grobman

Peace and civil rights movements activist David McReynolds, who died August 17 at age 88, was known for his vigorous dedication and leadership, and long-time activism. Example: He was arrested for resisting the draft—in the early 1950s.

Web obituaries abound on Dave’s life and accomplishments. But they probably don’t illustrate his skills in cooking and in humor.

Continue reading