Category Archives: October 2015

11th Annual Lubee Bat Festival on Oct. 24

slidepicThe 2015 festival is on Saturday, October 24, from 10am-4pm. The 11th Annual Florida Bat Festival is an opportunity for attendees to view giant fruit bats, tour the conservancy grounds and enjoy the great outdoors while learning about how fruit bats benefit environments and ecosystems worldwide. Last year we welcomed over 4,400 guests and attendance is expected to increase this year. The conservancy is not open to the general public on a regular basis, so this event is a rare opportunity for wildlife lovers to see our bats up-close.

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History and the people who make it: Dezeray Lyn

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.This is the 30th in a series of transcript excerpts from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection at the University of Florida.

Dezeray Lyn was interviewed by Jessica Taylor [T] and Lara Alqasem [A] in 2009.

T: Where were you born?

L: In Hollywood, Florida [in 1978]. I had a lot of siblings and we had financial difficulties so we moved a lot and had a house foreclosed on. It was just difficult.

When I was in school and Desert Storm was going on was the first that I heard about war and conflict. But I wasn’t in the proper mental state to pursue any knowledge about the specifics. I felt very removed from what was happening.

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Elections coming!

by Joe Courter

Creeping up on the horizon is another round of elections and campaigning.

Coming on March 15 will be City elections, which will include a Mayors race that should prove interesting to say the least. Current Mayor Ed Braddy will face a challenge from Lauren Poe, a solid moderately progressive Democrat. Lauren’s campaign is just kicking off as we got to press. Another race will be for the good guy but term-limited Randy Well’s District 4 seat. John Uman, who challenged Keith Perry last election cycle, is one announced candidate but more are expected to join. Oh and then there is the Presidential Primary, of which we have one word: BERNIE!

Further down the road, Ed Emery will be challenging Ted Yoho, the tea party wacko who is thanks to gerrymandering our US Congressman. Others might jump in here, too; it is way early to know but, while up hill, is definitely worth to fight to get him out if we can.

CMC celebrates 22nd anniversary!

The Civic Media Center will mark the start of its 22nd year on Saturday, Oct. 17, with a fundraising (it just doesn’t stop!) event at one of the coolest and most community-friendly spaces in town, First Magnitude Brewing Company, 1220 SE Veitch St. It is one block east of S. Main and a block south of the Gainesville-Hawthorne bike trail, at the south edge of the soon to be Depot Park.

Our event will run from 5-8 pm, and includes dinner prepared from produce donated by various local farms including Frog Song Organics, Glades Ridge Dairy, Possum Hollow farm, Siembre Farm, and Farmer John as well as raffle and silent auction items from local supporters such as John Moran, Civilization, Crane Ramen, Whiskey House,Midnight, Frog Song Organics, North West Seafood and Loosey’s. Great beer will of course be available from our hosts at First Mag. Music and sound system by the Weeds of Eden with other performers TBA.

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News from Gainesville’s Home Van Food Pantry

by arupa freeman

The Home Van Food Pantry is doing a very large business as things continue to go badly, both in terms of the economy and the access to food in the downtown area.  The Salvation Army has stopped serving dinner except on Fridays and is planning to drop meal services all together at the end of the year.  There are also people coming down from Dignity Village to receive food, since the kitchen at Grace is not yet operational.  Although we are a food pantry for homeless people, some elderly people who have (thank God) a roof over their heads but not much else, are also coming to receive food. We do not discriminate.   Some people would like to be going to Grace for meals but they’ve lost their bus pass (as you may recall, the city gave out permanent bus passes to homeless people earlier this year).  They have been told that bus passes can’t be replaced.  It is  hard to keep track of one’s belongings living of the streets (it’s hard enough living inside, as I’ve discovered), and one’s belongings are much more likely to be stolen if you’re homeless.  There is also the photo ID problem.  If you lose your photo ID you cannot get service at a food pantry or many other places.  That is bureaucratic cruelty.   Under the Patriot Act photo IDs are very hard to get and even harder to replace.  Is our society really going to let people starve because they don’t have the right pieces of paper?  Sounds to me like something out of Germany in the early 30s.  My Jewish friends often say that we must never forget history, particularly that history, because, among other things, it teaches the lesson that good people can be lulled, one step at a time, into unspeakable evil.

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Civil rights activist John Lewis to speak on Voting Rights Act

The Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment. The act significantly widened the franchise and is considered among the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history. Part of the law was overturned by a Supreme Court decision in 2013.

Civil Rights Activist and Representative John Lewis (D-GA) will speak about the Voting Rights Act – its tumultuous beginning and the events leading to its passage, and the impacts it has had after 50 years. Rep. Lewis has recently introduced legislation that will update the Voting Rights Act making the law more applicable to the issues faced by contemporary society and overcoming the decision of the Supreme Court. John Lewis will speak on Friday, October 16 at 6 p.m. in the University Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Information on how to obtain tickets will be forthcoming.

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The Civic Media Center to host acoustic side of The Fest

The Fest is an amazing Gainesville happening, wrecking Halloween for some, and largely a bro-fest. (A line of 25 guys was seen lining up to pee in Palomino, while women were just going in and out of their side.) You, Iguana reader, are again invited to spend a day or three at the acoustic side of the Fest, at the Civic Media Center. You will see performers from around the U.S. and beyond in short sets.

All ages are welcome with a $10 donation or free with a FEST 14 Pass.

The CMC doesn’t make anything from wristband wearers, the walk-up $10 is ours to keep. See the whole schedule at <> and click on bands for background info.

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Confederate statue may move to Matheson

By a three-to-two vote after a long and varied discussion from citizens, the Alachua County Commission voted to offer the Confederate Soldier statue, which has been at the corner of Main St. and University Avenue since 1904, to the Matheson Historical Museum for placement on their grounds.

It was felt that the message of the statue, extolling the cause of the South which most historians agree was about perpetuation of the system of slavery, was not appropriate for land on which also had the Alachua County Administration Building, and that the museum was a more appropriate place. Keeping with the fact the statue was put up with private funds, it was decreed that private funds would also fund its move to the Matheson.

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UN Day Meeting, Oct. 22

The Gainesville Chapter of the United Nations Association

invites you to join us for our annual UN Day Meeting

Thursday October 22, 2015 from 9 am to 2 pm
at the Gainesville Woman’s Club
2809 W University Avenue Gainesville, Florida

Theme: “The United Nations at 70: Past, Present and Future.”

Focus: Sustainability, as the UN adopts the new Sustainability Goals.

Keynote Speaker: Cynthia Barnett will address the issue of water in a changing world and living more ethically with water.

Panelists: Barbara Oberlander will talk about Eleanor Roosevelt, the first Chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights.

David Price will present an overview of the UN’s 70 years.

Luncheon: Box luncheons are available at $17.00 each. Selections are: Veggie Wrap, Turkey Swiss Croissant, or Ham and Cheese Croissant

Please order by October 14, 2015 by contacting: Lisa Renner at or PO Box 358361, Gainesville, Fl. 32635-8361

The Association welcomes co-sponsors at $30.00 each. The Gainesville Chapter of the UN Nations Association is a 501 (c) (3)

Theatre Santa Fe presents “Oedipus at Ichetuckneea” Oct. 15–17

OedPosterFinalIn 2035, a sacred spring is threatened with pollution. A power-hungry ruler is blind to warnings about defiling Mother Earth. With their land in the midst of drought, people rally to save their water while aggressive reporters brag about “providing news that’s ‘Patently Palpable.’” A hip-hop chorus offers commentary and an old story is made new in “Oedipus at Ichetuckneea,” a re-imagining of the tragedy “Oedipus the King” adapted by Santa Fe College Theatre Professor Gregg Jones and English Professor Stephen Robitaille from a script by Ian Johnston.

Set in the midst of a water crisis in a place much like Florida, “Oedipus at Ichetuckneea” is an allegory for climate change. The play will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 15–17, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville. Tickets are $15 main floor and $12 balcony for adults; $9 for seniors, children and University of Florida students; and free for Santa Fe College faculty, staff and students with college identification cards. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181 or visit the Fine Arts ticket website at:

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Gainesville PRIDE Days: Oct. 16–25

Pride Community Center of North Central Florida is sponsoring Gainesville Pride Days. For updates and more information see:

Friday Oct 16, 6pm: Community Awards Dinner & Silent Auction
Sweetwater Branch Inn, 625 E University Ave. $45 tickets at Pride Community Center and Wild Iris Books

Saturday Oct 17: Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship offers marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples at no charge, 4225 NW 34th St. Ceremonies begin at 11am, in 1/2 hour blocks, each followed by a gala reception! Interested couples e-mail by Oct. 12 to receive details

Saturday Oct 17, 5pm: Stonewall Democrats of Friendraiser
Happy hour at First Magnitude Brewery, 1220 SE Veitch St

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Linda Lee: A Voice for Lake Apopka Farmworkers

by Becky Wilson

Linda Lee ascends to the podium slowly, for her mobility is limited by her multiple health conditions.

Speaking before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS) on September 22nd in Orlando, she details her story of injustice. Her unassuming presence does not prepare you to hear her powerful words. Linda Lee speaks out frequently about farmworker rights, and getting justice in her hometown of Apopka.

She is a Farmworker Association of Florida member and she works tirelessly for the farmworker community and the community of South Apopka.

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Graduate Assistants United goes to arbitration with University over health insurance changes

by Taylor Polvadore, Graduate Assistants United

Graduate Assistants United (GAU), the official labor union that represents around 4,000 graduate, teaching, and research assistants at the University of Florida (UF), has decided to take the University to arbitration hearing with an outside neutral body over the unilateral changes it has made to graduate assistant health insurance. These changes were made by the University outside of bargaining and without negotiations with GAU. The changes made by the University included a significant increase in the cost of dependent premiums (a 22.8 percent increase from last year) and an increase in deductibles.

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Social Justice Summit runs Nov. 12 to 15 at UF

The CWC/ASPIRE, in collaboration with the Black Student Leadership Conference and MicCHECK, are proud to announce the first Social Justice Summit at the University of Florida. Events will last from Nov. 12 through Nov. 15, with events occurring at the Reitz Union, HPNP, Engineering Building, and Brain Institute.

Dr. Joe White, renowned scholar, activist, and key figure in the development of Black Psychology, will be providing the Opening Address from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on 11/12/2015 in the Reitz Grand Ballroom. Following the address, Dr. White will be joined by a panel of individuals from UF for a Q and A session.

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Paynes Prairie/ Marjorie Harris Carr bus tour on Oct. 24

The Matheson is excited to host a history bus tour of Paynes Prairie, featuring a tour of the prairie and a catered lunch by Pearl Country Store & Barbecue, on October 24, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. Lars Andersen, a full-time river guide and author of Paynes Prairie, The Great Savanna: A History and Guide, will lead an immersive tour of the prairie. Dr. Peggy Macdonald, executive director of the Matheson and author of Marjorie Harris Carr: Defender of Florida’s Environment, will provide an overview of Carr’s quest to save Paynes Prairie, Lake Alice, and Micanopy. Carr is one of the six women featured in the Matheson’s current exhibit, Saving the Sunshine State: Women Leaders in the Twentieth Century.

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Government in the shadows vs. Paynes Prairie

by Robert “Bob” Simons

The workings of government in Tallahassee have always been messy. The money from the Florida Lottery, voted upon by the people of Florida for the purpose of increasing funding for education, was long ago syphoned off into the murky politics of Tallahassee. Amendment 1, also voted upon by the people of Florida (passing by a 75% to 25 % majority of the people who voted) is suffering the same fate. (The overall funding for the environment in the State’s 2015 budget, in spite of supposed additions from Amendment 1, is $48 million less than it was in the 2014 budget according to Pegeen Hanrahan – Gainesville Sun 7/19/15.) The Water Management Districts, designed to carefully ration Florida’s fresh water supply to ensure a sustainable future for the people of Florida have been downsized and reworked to eliminate the “sustainable” aspect of that idea. And now, it seems, Tallahassee’s attention has turned to Florida’s State Parks.

Some time ago, the people of Florida came up with a plan to help reduce or limit some of the worst aspects of state and local politics by devising a legal system termed “Government in the Sunshine”. This has never been perfect, but it has been helpful. Alas, nothing lasts forever.

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From the publisher: On taking things for granted

joe-WEBby joe courter

There is only so much our brains can pay attention to as we go through our lives. We all develop habits; not only of what we feel we need to be thinking about, but how much we dwell on what we are thinking about. Our minds are active, but under-activity and over-activity can present problems. We all know the situation of over-thinking a situation, reading too much into a situation and actually, by adding needless complexity, making a mess of something that could have been simple and straight forward.

Under-activity of the mind is something we all do by necessity. We tune out what we don’t need or want to think about. This allows us to focus on what is important to us. So we take for granted many things. We trust maps (or our GPS) to be accurate. We trust other drivers to stay in their lanes. We trust our senses.

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Active Streets Gainesville on Oct. 18

active-streets-fall-2015_webSunday, October 18, will mark the third time that Active Streets Gainesville has coordinated a free community event that transforms our most iconic roadway into a vibrant destination full of activities led by local organizations and businesses.

From 11 am until 3 pm, University Avenue, stretching from West 6th Street. to East 7th Street., right through the heart of downtown, will be a joyous promenade of non-automotive activities, with walkers, riders, skaters, art bikes, live music, information booths and smiling people.

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Labor Coalition working with Fight for 15 Florida

by Sheila Payne Alachua County Labor Coalition

The Alachua County Labor Coalition (ACLC) has been working with Fight for 15 Florida to visit with and sign up fast food workers in Alachua County the last 2 months in addition to the ACLC Living Wage Campaign. We need folks willing to join us in both of these campaigns. The fast food workers are very eager to learn that Fight for 15 has come to their community, and we have visited over 50 fast-food restaurants locally with the Fight for 15 state-wide organizers providing the initial training.

We had a well-attended meeting in September where about a dozen fast-food, child-care and health care workers from the Tampa/St. Pete area joined twenty labor coalition and local community members to provide testimony about the gains they have made there in the Fight for 15. They spoke of one-day strikes, fighting for better pay, for better working conditions and being treated with dignity and as a valued employee.

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October 2015 Gainesville Iguana

October 2015 Iguana coverThe October 2015 issue of the Iguana is now available! If you want to get your hands on a hard copy, check out our distro locations here.