April 2020 Gainesville Iguana

The April 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.

Coalition calls for sustainable, equitable food at UF

by Ashley Nguyen

The world’s leading experts — from the United Nations to the Lancet Medical Journal— have released studies stating that in order to avoid the worst  impacts of climate change, there needs to be a call for the world to limit greenhouse-gas intensive foods through shifts to healthier and more sustainable diets. 

These findings also come amidst growing climate protests led by young people across the country and the world demanding stronger action on climate change. 

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Civic Media Center SpringBoard postponed

It had all come together so well, the date, the speaker, the place. We were in the midst of planning the food when the Coronavirus invaded like little alien ships attacking the humans of Earth. So we had to postpone SpringBoard. And, as well, the CMC has had to postpone all events except the Free Groceries on Tuesdays.

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A call to prevent coronavirus from entering the county jail

Freedom from Cages is a Public Health Issue: Legal Experts, Healthcare Professionals, and Local Activists Urge Action to Immediately Decrease Alachua Jail Population In Order to Save Lives Amid COVID-19 Crisis.

We, the undersigned organizations and Commissioners, urge the State Attorney’s Office, the Eighth Judicial Circuit Judges, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, and law enforcement across Alachua County to significantly reduce the incarcerated population.

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History and the people who make it: Byllye Avery – Part 2

Byllye Avery [BA], feminist health activist, was interviewed by Deidre Houchen [H] in May, 2012.

This is the second part of this interview, and 58th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

H: How long were you in Atlanta?

BA: About fifteen, sixteen years. It was wonderful. Moving to Atlanta was just incredible.

H: What year was that?

BA: 1981. When I moved to Atlanta, I knew I had to organize Black Women’s Health Project. 

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Earth Day turns 50: yesterday, today and tomorrow

by Carol Mosley

Earth Day, as we know it, was first celebrated in the U.S. in 1970 and brought millions across the globe out of classrooms and work places into the streets to bring environmental concerns to the forefront.

This year on April 22nd Earth Day will turn 50 years old. We’ve come a long way over the decades in some areas, but have lost ground in others, such as species decline, and we have a long way yet to go.

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Remembering Granny

by Joe Courter

Most people simply knew her as Granny, a tall skinny older woman who had lived on the streets of downtown Gainesville for many years. All of us were shocked, after not seeing her around for a few weeks, to learn she had been killed while on her bicycle on January 30. As it was a hit and run, and she had no family to notify, word did not get out until March 2 when the police ran her picture in the paper trying to track down the hit and run driver who had killed her.

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In Memoriam: Herschel Hugh Elliot

by Dwight Bradley

Dr. Herschel Hugh Elliott passed away at his Gainesville homestead on Feb. 16. He came into the world a century ago, on Feb. 6, 1920, in Connecticut farmhouse. How he arrived turned out to be a predictor of how he lived: the old fashioned way, at home, during a blizzard, without doctor or midwife. Hertha Bogenhagen, his mother, came from a family of German immigrants who homesteaded in Nebraska. Richard Travis Elliott, his father, grew up under rough circumstances on the frontier in South Dakota. But this was an era of great mobility. By the time Herschel came along, his parents were living in a parsonage in Connecticut. Spolier alert: Herschel ended up an atheist.

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Music scene apocalypse tunes Gainesville

by Jacob Adams

Gainesville’s music scene has changed immeasurably since the outbreak of COVID-19 led to local guidance, and eventually mandates, that shut down the bars, restaurants and venues where a large portion of shows take place. Even DIY house venues have stopped hosting shows out of an abundance of caution. 

Service industry jobs have evaporated as well, causing many of those who work in the service and entertainment sectors to lose their primary sources of income; the overlap among musicians and service workers is notable. 

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Coronavirus pandemic resources, guidelines

by James Thompson

In response to the COVID-19 or “Coronavirus” pandemic, the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners has issued Emergency Order 2020-09 to “Stay at Home and Close all Non-Essential Businesses.” The orders include the towns and cities of Gainesville, Monteocha/LaCrosse, Hawthorne, Alachua, Archer, Waldo, Micanopy, High Springs, and Newberry, as well as the rural and unincorporated parts of the County. Grocery stores, gas stations, banks, auto and bicycle repair, hardware, medical facilities, and other essential services remain open, but with proximity protocols in place.

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From the publisher … Publishing in the time of COVID-19

by Joe Courter

Setting about this task right now is surreal. We are all so off from our life rhythms. The town is so shut down, so a limited press run is in order. You subscribers, and those of you who have picked the Iguana up from wherever, I hope you are staying safe and unscathed from this outbreak of our tiny viral adversaries, facilitated by our fellow humans who assist them into our bodies either inadvertently or with careless disregard.

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ELECTIONS past and future

by Joe Courter

The recent city commission elections in the city came out as hoped with Arreola and Ward retaining seats and Saco joining the commission. As far as the presidential primary, Bernie lost to Biden, but he came in second with over 40 percent, and that was the highest percentage vote for Sanders in any county in the Florida. So it goes …

Looking ahead, the primaries for the November election are contested in August. They will be party-based closed primaries for most offices, and wide open primaries for nonpartisan offices such as school board and judges. It is really important to get the best candidates in to challenge the Repubs in the fall, and worthy of working to register people to vote, as well. 

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Community love in the time of COVID

by Anna Prizzia

The recent COVID 19 crisis has high­lighted that we have been relying on the most vulnerable – the nurse, the food service worker, the factory worker, the janitor, the teacher, the activist, the undocumented, the social worker, the farmer – to keep our economy moving. 

Even though these workers are showing that they are vital to our daily lives, they have often benefited the least, fighting for basic benefits and living wages. 

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SAVE THE DATE — CMC SpringBoard, April 4

Saturday, April 4, will be the Civic Media Center’s annual SpringBoard event.

Guest speaker: Dr. Zoharah Simmons

Topic: The Radical Martin Luther King

As an organizer with SNCC in Mississippi in the mid 1960s, Dr. Simmons saw, first hand, the evolution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as world events and his interactions with others in the Civic Rights Movement changed and expanded his political thinking and actions. 

Location: Forage Hall at Working Food,  219 NW 10th Ave.

Socializing and dinner: 6-9pm

Donation requested (it’s a fundraiser, folks): sliding scale of $25-$50 (but no one turned away for less)

Advance tickets at CMC (cash or check) or Third House Books (cash only). You may also obtain tickets through Eventbrite at: https://cmcspringboard2020.eventbrite.com

Or by mail … and if you can’t come, donations are obviously welcome anyway at the Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

WGOT springs into seasonal fundraising, volunteer search

By Fred Sowder, WGOT Sponsorship Coordinator

As winter turns to spring, WGOT continues to strive to be your source for alternative music and talk programming from Gainesville and around the nation. From producing and airing local music to national news coverage from Democracy Now! and everything in between, WGOT has monthly expenses that can only be funded with your help. For this to continue, we need your help on any and all fronts.

Do you own or know of a small business that can be helped by getting its message out on WGOT? If so, please contact us at info@wgot.org. Consider joining the ranks of fine local businesses such as Daily Green, Buckhalter Heating & Air, and Thompson Painting by becoming a WGOT underwriting sponsor. Our listeners can also be a huge financial help to us by contributing to our nearly-funded GoFundMe campaign or by becoming a sustaining member via Patreon. We also plan on participating in The Amazing Give this year on April 22 and 23, so please consider saving room for community media when it comes to your annual giving during this important event.

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History and the people who make it: Byllye Avery – Part 1

Byllye Avery [BA], feminist health activist, and her son Wesley [WA] were interviewed by Deidre Houchen [H] in May, 2012.

This is the 57th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

BA: I was born in Waynesville, Georgia. I was born at home. My cousin, Ella, was the midwife.

H: What year were you born?

BA: 1937. October 20, 1937. I grew up in DeLand, Florida. I went to Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama. That’s where I met the children’s father. I have two children: Wesley and Sonya. Met him the first day I was there. And I didn’t date him for that whole year, he was always bothering me, and I gave him a hard time. Someone told me not too long ago that’s always a sign, you know? So he and I dated and got married and lived in Jacksonville for about ten years, which we hated living there every single day.

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Local groups advocate for better police policies to protect immigrant victims, witnesses of crime

by Veronica Robleto

For almost two years, members of the North Central Florida Social Service/Hispanic Alliance (NCFSS/HA), specifically members of the Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County (HRCAC), Florida Legal Services (FLS) and the Rural Women’s Health Project (RWHP), have attempted to address the repercussions of an incident that occurred Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, impacting the immigrant community. 

That night, the Gainesville Police Department (GPD) blundered in its response to a domestic violence case. A call was received from a non-English speaker, explaining her fear of abuse at the hands of her companion. Appropriate translation was not obtained by GPD, which led to a misinterpretation of the level of danger the abuser posed. 

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Veterans for Peace announces college scholarships

Gainesville Veterans for Peace Chapter 14 announces its sixth annual Peace Scholarship Program for the spring of 2020. We are awarding three college scholarships of $750 each for Alachua County high school seniors, college students or adults with a commitment to activities including: social justice and peace, equal justice, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change.

Veterans for Peace created these scholarships to give financial support to students in Alachua County, Florida who are planning careers in pursuit of a world of social justice and equity. 

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Rallying for UF workers

By Shruthi Reddy
student, YDSA GNV member

On February 21, the Young Democratic Socialists in Gainesville led a rally and demonstration to advocate for the payment of a living wage for all workers and contracted employees at the University of Florida. 

The university has chosen to not pay its workers decent wages, endangering these workers’ financial security. The worker groups receiving low wages include Other Personnel Services (OPS) workers and contracted employees such as Aramark food service workers. 

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Supporting ICE detainees in the Baker County Jail

by Gregory Mullaley

For the past 10 months I’ve had the privilege of being associated with a group of people who’ve been visiting the ICE detainees in the Baker County Jail located an hour north of Gainesville. ICE, part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, has contracted with the Baker County Sheriff’s Office to hold people they’ve taken into custody, often for the simple crime of being in the United States without legal status.

Twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Mondays, this group travels to Baker on their own time to visit with men and women who are locked away 24 hours a day. These detainees are never allowed to go outside, and the only sunshine they see is from a single large window located in the recreational room some 12 feet above the floor. These men and women are desperate to see anyone from outside the jail as they are not allowed an attorney, unless they or someone else pays for one. And since the jail is located in a remote area, it’s difficult for their families to travel several hours just for a short visit, so we are a welcome sight.

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