Category Archives: October 2019

FEST 2019: at the CMC and all over

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. 31, with Queer the Fest, themed “interGAYlactica,” and featuring touring and local musicians – more of the LGBTQ variety than most of Fest –starting at 5 p.m. 

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Pop-up fall pumpkin tasting features local varieties

When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 11am – 1pm

Where: Working Food, 219 NW 10th Ave


by Sarah Sterling, Working Food

Join us for a fall pumpkin tasting. Local businesses take on the challenge of utilizing local pumpkin varieties to create scrumptious goodies for you to sample, and take home. They’ll definitely give you pumpkin to talk about.

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History and the people who make it: Barbara Higgins part 2

Barbara Higgins [H], civil rights activist, was interviewed by Stewart Landers [L] in August, 1992.

This is the 55th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection; the first part of this interview was printed in the September Iguana.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

L: The NAACP youth council starts picketing the Humpty Dumpty. There was an incident at the Florida Theater. Then in the fall of 1963, students started picketing College Inn and Gold Coast across from the university. And in October of 1963, the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights … 

H: I did not join them at the beginning. The first integrated organization I joined was the Democratic Women Club, when Judge Atkins’s wife was the president. 

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October: CMC’s anniversary month

by Joe Courter

October is the anniversary month of the Civic Media Center and Stetson Kennedy Library, which was founded in 1993. There are three big events to celebrate this remarkable achievement.

The CMC will host a special presentation at 3pm on Sunday, October 6, a day after what would have been Stetson’s 103rd birthday. Stetson Kennedy was an American author, folklorist, and human rights activist. One of the pioneer folklore collectors during the first half of the 20th century, he’s most remembered for having infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s, exposing its secrets to authorities and the outside world, but his activism continued throughout his long life. He donated his personal library to the CMC before he died, and they were blended into the CMC collection of over 10,000 books.

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Proposed Bradford County phosphate mine update

Below is a transcript of Carol Mosely of the Bradford Environmental Forum speaking with Doug Clifford in the WGOT studios on Sept. 23 to discuss the planned phosphate mine in Bradford County.

Doug: Thank you for tuning in to WGOT LP Gainesville. Well, coming up this Saturday, September 28, we have a phosphate mine update and that is going on at the Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice. It’s the Bradford Environmental Forum’s. Carol Mosley is a board member and a social ecologist, and she is in the studio with me. Thanks for coming in, Carol.

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Free the Ocklawaha

by Capt. Karen Chadwick

During the recent drawdown meeting in September in Palatka, a local tournament director and Rodman advocate said, “A mistake was made 50 years ago.” 

Why not correct the mistake? Even the Save Rodman President told the St. Johns River Caucus in Tallahassee, the Cross Florida Barge Canal was a “boondoggle.” Why not right these wrongs? If this process had been started in the 1990s like it was supposed to have been, the historic tourism travel path that made Palatka a major tourism destination would be open, the 20 submerged springs would be flourishing and the surface evaporation rate would be much lower. 

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Regenerative agriculture can feed us, cool the planet

by Nancy Deren

We are at a pivot point of both climate crisis and opportunity.

Our climate crisis is a symptom of multiple natural systems being altered or destroyed, with biodiversity loss and nitrogen imbalance the most severe. 100% renewable energy alone is insufficient to address our dire situation and will take too long.

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GAU secures fee relief bargaining victory

By Stephen Phillips, GAU

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of the Alachua County Labor Coalition newsletter. Learn more about the Labor Coalition at

Our ​Fees Campaign

​Fees force employees to “pay-to-work,” which is especially true of graduate assistants who are no longer taking classes but only working on their research and teaching. 

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What’s going on with Dignity Village? 

By Jon DeCarmine, 

Executive Director, GRACE Marketplace

Dignity Village, the 200+ person homeless camp operated by the City of Gainesville, will close at the end of the year, and be replaced with a temporary campground focused entirely on moving campers into affordable housing. 

There are all kinds of ways to close a homeless camp. Most of them are terrible. 

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Santa Fe adjunct union election post-mortem

by Jason Fults

Santa Fe College Senate representative for adjunct faculty and part-time staff

As reported in The Gainesville Sun, the results of the recent union election were 259 (61 percent) against and 167 (39 percent) for joining the union. 

That is approximately 67 percent voter turnout, which is reportedly among the highest that SEIU has ever seen in such an election. I respect the adjuncts’ decision and, along with adjunct leaders, intend to continue our ongoing efforts to seek improvements for all workers at Santa Fe. I am proud to have been part of an important conversation and to stand together for dignity and equity for Santa Fe’s most precarious instructional workforce. Since the election, I have heard from many adjuncts, full-time faculty, and community members inquiring why the results were so lopsided and I believe that everyone deserves to hear a more complete reporting than what we received in The Sun. 

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From the publisher … Fragility

the quality of being easily broken or damaged.
the quality of being delicate or vulnerable.

When I started last month’s Publisher Note, I thought it would be “Resilience and Fragility.” Resilience kinda took over, so now fragility gets its turn. There are different levels of fragility to talk about. With all the climate news and awareness of climate change, much can be seen. Human behavior on this planet IS changing things. Temperature rise is undeniable. But also habitat loss is having profound impacts, especially on migratory birds, but also on other species whose forests are cut or burned as agriculture and development move forward. The evolution of life and patterns of living depend on consistency. It is a fragile balance. Introducing non-native species has a profound impact on that balance, and there are many examples here in Florida, from kudzu to pythons. We humans have done all kinds of stuff, newcomers that we are to the web of life, which was moving along just fine without us; only now, through science and record keeping, can we see the damage. The planet will absorb the worst we can do, but the life forms on it will be impacted for centuries. With our rapid evolution moving beyond just biological changes, but also by means of tool using and culture building, we have in effect become an invasive species, and that eons-long balance of nature is getting thrown out of whack, thanks to us.

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Chickens? Hardly. Watchdogs? Yes.

By Gary Gordon

Publisher’s note: In last month’s Iguana, we ran a sort-of-satire regarding the decorum at City Commission meetings. In the rush of trying to get everything together for the issue, I did not critically read it, and subsequently, it was pointed out to me its one-sided and dismissive tone. We received this response to it.

Democracy featuring citizen input and citizen criticism of elected officials is messy.

In its last issue the Iguana published an opinion piece by Janice Garry which insisted, among other things, that citizens attending city commission meetings were behaving like chickens pecking at commissioners, wanting an opportunity in the limelight.

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Renters’ rights city ordinance

By Adrian Hayes-Santos

Gainesville City Commissioner, District 4, ACLC Member 

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 Alachua County Labor Coalition newsletter. Watch the Labor Coalition’s Facebook for details on upcoming vote by City of Gainesville on Safe and Healthy Housing ordinance mentioned in this article, probably in October. Learn more at

I want to thank the ACLC, its members and the community for their support in ensuring that all Gainesville renters have safe and healthy housing. Because of your work, the ordinance currently being drafted by City of Gainesville staff addresses all five of the ACLC’s Safe & Healthy Housing for All recommendations:

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By Joe Courter

We could see it coming. We knew his history. We could see his behavior and practices going back decades. And we continuously thought that surely people will come to their senses, that something would be just so far over the line that he would be rejected and seen as the greedy con man that he has always been. 

We waited to see if the system would work. But no, somehow there has been no popular rising up of resistance, and the system seemed incapable of dealing with this situation. 

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October 2019 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.