The Gainesville IguanaThe Gainesville Iguana is a semi-monthly progressive newsletter and calendar of events which first began publishing in October 1986. Through its calendar, directory of organizations, and content, it fosters the growth of movement consciousness and community organizing on issues from local to international.
The Gainesville Latino Film Festival, which is hosted by the Latina Women’s League, returns to in-person attendance from Sept. 8 through Sept. 18 at various Gainesville venues.
Film screenings, speakers, and music and dance performances will be held over a two-week period at The Hippodrome Theatre, The Historic Thomas Center, University of Florida Smathers Library East, Tower Road Branch Library, and Bo Diddley Plaza.Continue reading
by Joe Courter
The Civic Media Center is becoming a place of many activities again; community support carried us through COVID-19 and we seem to be coming out the other side, still encouraging masking, but it is great having people inside again. Thank you to everyone who has supported the CMC.
Various organizations are using us for meetings on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Mondays Sept. 12 and 19, we will be hosting documentary film screenings at 7pm: (Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992 on the 12th and Lesbian Avengers on the 19th).
Poetry Jam holds down its usual (perpetual?) time slot of 8pm: Thursday nights.
Fridays and Saturdays host a variety of events: there’s a music show at 9pm: on Saturday, Sept. 9; an Improv Show at 7pm: on Friday, Sept. 16; and on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 6 pm:, a Poetry Book Release with Mike Ostrov. Every 4th Sunday from 4 to 7pm: the CMC Courtyard (or inside if it rains) hosts the 4th Sunday Old Time, Bluegrass and Traditional Acoustic Jam. There were 20 musicians there last time, and at one point five fiddles all sawing away at once!
You can find postings of our events and new events scheduled on the CMC Facebook page or on our modest little website, www.civicmediacenter.org.
SAVE THE DATE! On Saturday, Oct. 15, the CMC will celebrate its 29th Anniversary (!!!) at the wonderful Matheson Museum. It will be an evening event, details and speaker to be announced, and for sure it will be in the next issue of the Iguana.
We members of the Peace, Social Justice and International Rights Activists of Alachua County celebrate the life of our Comrade Connie Canney who joined the pantheon of Peace and Social Justice Warriors on August 20, 2022.
Constance (“Connie”) Canney passed away peacefully at home in Lyman, Maine surrounded by her loving family. Connie recently celebrated her 93rd birthday with family and friends.
Constance June March was born on June 11, 1929, in Rochester, New Hampshire, to working-class parents Clifton March and Ida Junkins. The second of four children, Connie lived in East Rochester, NH, until she graduated Spaulding High School in 1947. Encouraged by her art teacher at Spaulding, Connie applied for a working scholarship to Kansas City Art Institute & School of Design in Kansas City, MO. She was accepted and she moved to Kansas City in 1947 to attend KCAI, graduating in 1951.Continue reading
Modern-day Marjories: Three North Florida environmental journalists blaze trail for Florida nonprofit journalism
In 2017, three Florida women alarmed by the lack of in-depth environmental reporting in Florida and the sobering collapse of regional newspapers and local journalism across the nation came together to launch an independent reporting nonprofit, The Marjorie (themarjorie.org).
Dr. Hannah O. Brown, Becca Burton and Anna Hamilton named the new platform after three “sheroes”: Marjorie Harris Carr, who led the fight to stop the Cross Florida Barge Canal; Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the Cross Creek author who wrote about people in rural Florida; and Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the former Miami Herald journalist who became an environmental activist at age 79 and helped save the Everglades.Continue reading
by Carol Mosley
The company proposing to mine for phosphate in Bradford and Union counties, HPSII, dropped its nearly $300 million Harris Act lawsuit against Union County. The case was dismissed without prejudice, so they could refile if they feel they have a valid case worth fighting.
But what about Bradford County? As of yet, we are unable to get information about HPS’s intentions for Bradford County. The county commission is afraid to act for fear of legal ramifications no matter what they decide. So they do nothing.
In November 2019, HPS submitted a new Master Mining Plan (MMP) with a statement in their cover letter that they are ready to proceed to the Hearing.Continue reading
9/8, 8pm: Poetry Jam, Civic Media Center (433 S. Main St; civicmediacenter.org)
9/8-9/18: Gainesville Latino Film Festival – see pg 24
9/9, 7–9pm: Free Fridays shows every Fri – Bo Diddley Downtown Plaza (111 E. University Ave) – see pg 9, gainesvillefl.gov/Events-directory/Free-Fridays-Concert-Series
9/9, 9pm: Music Show, CMC (433 S. Main St; civicmediacenter.org)
9/10, 9:30-10:30am: Plan C Self-Managed Abortion (SMA) 101 Workshop – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for infoContinue reading
On August 27, Gainesville labor and fair housing activist Sheila Payne accepted the 2022 Friends of the Susan B. Anthony Award, awarded to a local woman who exemplifies the spirit of Susan B. Anthony. Below is the text of her acceptance speech.
Thank you for honoring me with the Susan B. Anthony Award and I so appreciate all of us honoring the anniversary of Women’s Equality Day and the long struggle for the passage of the 19th Amendment. Especially in Florida, we are constantly reminded that our rights, especially women and civil rights must be continually fought for, including the right to our own body.Continue reading
by Robert “Hutch” Hutchinson, former Alachua County Commissioner
At the bottom of the Nov. 8 ballot are two local referenda that require some understanding before deciding how to vote. It is important to know why they were proposed and what they will do. The first goes by the catchy title: “Wild Spaces/Public Places, road repair, fire stations, and affordable housing one percent sales surtax.”
If passed, our sales tax (currently at 7%) would go to 7.5% for ten years starting in 2023. It would do this by simultaneously repealing an existing half-penny sales tax and replacing it with a full penny. The current tax provides funding for Wild Spaces/Public Places (WSPP) projects for county and city governments. These funds are used to purchase conservation lands that protect water, provide recreation (“Wild Spaces”), and build and improve parks, trails, and recreation centers (“Public Spaces”). Voters have twice approved WSPP ballot measures.
The grand bargain in this referendum is two-fold:Continue reading
by the Save Maguire/UVS Coalition
In case you did not hear, historic Maguire Village and University Village South are still on the chopping block next year, and we desperately need your help to change that.
This peaceful community of 348 on-campus apartment homes for graduate students and their families at the University of Florida have been facing the looming threat of demolition since 2020 when cruel UF Housing administrators pushed for their complete annihilation in the UF Campus Master Plan update.Continue reading
Alachua County, Gainesville Neighborhood Voices concerned: Gainesville proposes to eliminate single-family zoning
by Gainesville Neighborhood Voices
On Friday, August 26, Alachua County sent an official comment letter to the City of Gainesville and to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity expressing concerns about the City’s proposed comprehensive plan change that would eliminate all single-family zoning citywide. The proposed change will nearly double the allowable density in all existing single-family areas from eight dwelling units per acre to 15.
The primary concern expressed by the County is the City’s failure to provide data and analysis of the potential impacts of their proposed actions. The City’s submittal has many deficiencies including no quantification of new households that could result from the profound change, nor impacts to the public infrastructure that would be required to support them. No Gainesville-specific data or analysis supports the City’s stated goal—to provide affordable housing for the City’s residents.Continue reading
Birth control access at UF and SFCC: Join campaign for morning-after pill vending machines on campus
by National Women’s Liberation, Gainesville, Florida chapter
In 2017, National Women’s Liberation’s Gainesville chapter campus committee launched a campaign to get the morning-after pill in vending machines on the University of Florida and Santa Fe College campuses. We were inspired by other universities already offering morning-after pill (MAP) vending machines, a number that continues to increase on campuses across the country.
The need was clear then, as it is now. Despite MAP’s over-the-counter (OTC) status, restrictions remain. It’s costly ($40-50), often in bulky anti-theft containers in pharmacies, or it’s even still behind the counter — though this should not be allowed as it is FDA-approved as an OTC medication. You can purchase MAP at the UF infirmary for $10 — but only if they’re open. Their limited hours are M-F from 8am to 4:30pm in the summer and M-F from 8am to 5pm and Sundays noon to 4pm during the fall and spring semesters.Continue reading
The span of my life on earth has seen all the varied ingredients of the political mess we are in develop into what we are facing today.
The early 1950s saw the rise of television, and the instant celebrity of one Joe McCarthy raving about Communists. Television also brought to people’s home the Civil Rights Movement, with biting dogs, fire hoses, and anti-integration white people harassing brave Black youth.
Segregationists like Lester Maddox and George Wallace got fame (and when I was in college in Michigan in 1972, Wallace won the Democratic Presidential primary!). As some of the Democratic Party moved left in support of civil rights (Kennedys, Johnson, Humphrey, etc.), Nixon set up and won with the Southern Strategy, which went after the votes of anti-integration white people, a conservative populist base, which, when later merged with the politicization of evangelical Christians in the late ’70s, formed a powerful bloc that elected Ronald Reagan.Continue reading
by Homer Jack Moore
It’s Micanopy 3, Dollar General 0.
With some help from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, the scenic and historic little town of Micanopy just sent the Dollar General store packing for the third straight time.
Dollar General and its developers have repeatedly tried to stand up a mini-box convenience store in Micanopy only to run afoul of a buzz saw of community opposition.
It’s not as if Dollar General wouldn’t be welcomed at an appropriate site such as the I-75 Micanopy exit. Instead, Dollar General stores metastasize to otherwise pristine countryside and contribute to environmental degradation and rurban (rural-urban) sprawl and blight.Continue reading
by Joe Courter
Primaries are over. A look back on them before looking ahead to November …
Thank you to all who took democracy seriously and engaged in campaigning for office. Stepping up to run is a big move, and within campaigning there is stress, and also a lot of side-taking and at times negative criticism lobbed around.
Within our community there were and still are divisions about the controversial single family/exclusionary zoning proposal among people who otherwise get along well and are generally on the same page (see page 7). It is unfortunate the outgoing commissioners decided to try and ram this through, but now is the time when the big election picture needs to come into focus, even as that divisive proposal lingers.Continue reading
Bernie Sanders: Student loan forgiveness is a win for working people
by ABC News | “This Week” Transcript | Aug. 28 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1435
George Stephanopoulos interviews Sen. Bernie Sanders on his show “This Week with George Stephanopoulos, about the controversies of Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.
How to make Congress accountable to the people
by Ralph Nader | Common Dreams | Aug. 27 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1433
Two simple bills would go a long way toward making members of Congress identify with their voters, to be more “we the people” instead of “we the Congress.” Bill No. 1: Congress members will have no employment benefits that are not accorded to all American workers, including pensions, health insurance and deductible expenses; members will be paid no more than ten times the federal minimum wage. Bill No. 2: Anytime the U.S. is engaged in armed warfare, declared or undeclared by Congress, all age-qualified able-bodied children and grandchildren of senators and representatives shall be immediately conscripted into the armed forces for military or civilian rendition of services.
Inside the war between Trump and his generals
by Susan B. Glasser and Peter Baker | The New Yorker | August 8 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1426
How Mark Milley and others in the Pentagon handled the national-security threat posed by their own Commander-in-Chief.
People in Republican counties have higher death rates than those in Democratic counties
by Lydia Denworth | Scientific American | July 18 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1443
A growing mortality gap between Republican and Democratic areas may largely stem from policy choices.
The origin of student debt: Reagan adviser warned free college would create a dangerous ‘educated proletariat’
by Jon Schwarz | The Intercept | Aug. 25 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1434
In 1970, Roger Freeman, who also worked for Nixon, revealed the right’s motivation for coming decades of attacks on higher education.
The far-right crusade against human sexuality
by Kenn Orphan | CounterPunch | Aug. 25 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1428
Whether it is banning the word “gay,” or banning books that contain topics related to human sexuality, or the Supreme Court decision to overturn a woman’s federal right to an abortion, the war on human sexuality and those who are sexually divergent is ramping up on multiple fronts.
The most important election in the Americas is in Brazil
by Vijay Prashad | Globetrotter | Aug. 31 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1445
Prashad looks at the current Brazilian presidential campaign between the “boorish and vulgar” far-right incumbent and the “refined and presidential” former president “Lula.” The campaign illustrates the stark differences of these two camps: one offering real solutions to the problems facing Brazil and the other willing to do and say anything to maintain power.
‘There are good reasons to defund the FBI. They have nothing to do with Trump’
by Amy Goodman | Democracy Now | Aug. 16 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1430
Professor Alex Vitale: The FBI has “always been a tool of repression of left-wing movements”; Vitale calls for efforts to “reduce the power and scope of the FBI in ways that limit their ability to demonize and criminalize those on the left.”
Please note that the July/August edition misstates Gary Gordon’s position regarding single family zoning. He supports single family zoning and is against the proposal that would change that. A missing word—”proposal”—in the original report creates the confusion. Again, he is against the exclusionary zoning proposal and supports single family zoning as we have it now. Sorry for the confusion. It has been corrected in the article online.
Friends of Susan B. Anthony celebrate Women’s Equality Day 2022
The Friends of Susan B. Anthony is happy to announce that we will celebrate Women’s Equality Day (Aug. 26) with our annual luncheon on Saturday, Aug. 27. This event, which began as an informal birthday party for Susan B. Anthony over forty years ago, is now held in conjunction with the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Each year a local woman is recognized who exemplifies the spirit of Susan B. Anthony. This year, Sheila Payne will be honored for her community work on behalf of labor and fair housing.
The featured speaker will be Dr. Elaine Turner, who is dean for the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. She will be discussing the momentous impact that Title IX has had on women’s education and sports. For further information, and instructions on how to register for the luncheon, please check our website at fosba.com or contact Barbara Oberlander at 352-378-6447.
by Fred Sowder, WGOT Station Coordinator
After a two-month blackout following a catastrophic server failure, WGOT is happy to announce that we’re back on the air at 100.1FM in Gainesville and streaming live at wgot.org. It may be some time before we can recover older shows from our old server if at all, so it’s almost like we’re a new station. Here’s to new beginnings!Continue reading
by Elaine Bertisch
We mourn the passing of Sidney Leonard Bertisch, who died on April 17, at UF Health Shands Hospital after a brief illness.
Sidney was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 26, 1941, to Max Bertisch and Kate (Lieber) Bertisch. He graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School, then worked for several years at resorts in the Catskills as a lighting operator for nightclub acts including Milton Berle, Gregory Hines, Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence, and Jackie Mason. Sidney’s Borscht Belt sense of humor originated there.Continue reading