Category Archives: July-August 2011

Festival for Florida’s Future

By Joshua Anijar, Florida AFL-CIO Communications Director

Florida’s 2011 Legislative session left people both shell-shocked and outraged at the intensity of assault leveled on working families. This made the need for Floridians to come together, in unity, to take back our state from politicians and big business paramount. Continue reading

“I am alive because of government medicine”

Jack Price gave the following talk on July 31, 2010 at the downtown library as part of a Alachua County Labor panel “Happy Birthday Medicare: Protect It, Improve It, Expand It.” We’re running it to celebrate Medicare’s 46th birthday this year. Next month we’ll have a more in-depth look at the threats facing this beloved social program. Continue reading

History and the People Who Make It: Martha W. Barnett

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler

This is the third in a continuing series of excerpts from transcripts in the collection of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.

One of the first women to study law at UF, Martha W. Barnett led a varied legal career and was elected president of the American Bar Association in 2000. She was interviewed by Dr. Paul Ortiz on November 18, 2009. Continue reading

Citizens Co-Op grand opening celebration July 15

The Citizens Co-op grocery store is finally opening its doors after years of hard work and dedications from its members and volunteers. The co-op will open on July 12, and the Grand Opening Celebration will be held July 15, complete with live music (Coffee Project, Lindsey Mills, Dikembe, & Sleeping Spiders) and special giveaways.

The co-op is located at 435 S. Main St., next to the Civic Media Center. For more information, check out the co-op’s website at

Celebrating whistleblowers

The following is the acceptance speech given by Thomas Drake, former National Security Agency senior official and whistleblower, upon the receipt of the 2011 Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize on April 13.

Thank you, Jesselyn, for your introduction. What a tribute to receive the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize as a whistleblower. Continue reading

RIP, Gil Scott-Heron

By Joe Courter

I had the experience of sitting in a New Jersey living room with my 60-something sister-in-law and her 30-something daughter on May 28, the day the news broke about the death of Gil Scott-Heron. Neither of them had heard of him, they commented. I said he was a very important figure in my life. If you have not heard of him, or need a refresher course, use the web’s great resources and spend some time with this troubled genius. Continue reading

How You Can Help the Hungry on July 21

by Lauren Byers and Sean Larson

The St. Francis House, a soup kitchen and homeless shelter in Gainesville, has been forced to turn away hungry children, men and women every day. Years ago, the city imposed an ordinance affecting the St. Francis House (SFH), limiting them to serving 130 meals a day. However, the City Commission did not enforce this ordinance until 2009. Continue reading

Help from the Home Van

By Arupa Freeman

The Home Van is a mobile soup kitchen and free store that goes out to homeless areas around downtown Gainesville twice a week and also helps out with individual crises going on in the homeless community between the two visits every week. Continue reading

Bill Moyers: “Democracy should be a brake on unbridled greed and power”

The following was taken from an interview on Democracy Now! on June 8 with Bill Moyers. You can find the audio version and the full interview at Continue reading

The Death of Geronimo Pratt

by Joe Courter

When Geronimo Pratt spoke in Gainesville in 1998, I asked him if it would be okay if I taped and transcribed his talk for the Gainesville Iguana. He smiled, and with a twinkle in his eye, said, “Of course, we’re all revolutionaries.” It is a cherished moment in my life, and I was really sorry to read of his passing. Continue reading

Firefighter hero-worship and hypocrisy: When public employees save lives

by Pierre Tristam

There’s really been only one story in Flagler County in the past few weeks: The wildfires.

I’ve had a chance to see the disaster up close a few times, and to see firefighters in action at several of the fires. These men and women’s valor can’t be understated. Continue reading