Category Archives: January-February 2020

CMC hiring part-time co-coordinator in March

The Civic Media Center will be hiring a new co-coordinator in March 2020. It is a part-time position, 20-35 paid hours per week. (The reality is that extra volunteer hours may be needed.) Progressive politics and community organizing interest, skills and experience are musts.

Familiarity with databases, spreadsheets, social media, and/or graphic design are all pluses; non-profit management experience more so. Good writing and communication skills, demonstrated movement commitment, and ability to work with and inspire volunteers also required. Pay is $14 an hour. A one-year commitment is requested.

Send your resumé and a cover letter via email to by Feb. 15. Selection and interviewing will begin after that. Please state a good day and times for a possible future interview with best means of contacting you. 

Extinction Rebellion fights for the Santa Fe

by Johnsie Cate

Join Extinction Rebellion for a direct action on the Santa Fe River to end the water grab for our springwater at Ginnie Springs. This water use is to be used in plastic bottles and sold back to us on the grocery shelves and in vending machines.  

On Saturday, Jan 18, from 10am-3pm we are planning a kayaktivism sit in at Ginnie Springs. The same people who own Seven Springs Water Company also own Ginnie Springs Outdoors campground. Seven Springs is selling the spring water that feeds Ginnie Springs and the Devil’s Eye/Ear Complex to Nestlé International.  

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History and the people who make it: Mary Hall Daniels

Mary Hall Daniels [MHD], last known survivor of the 1923 Rosewood, Florida, massacre, was interviewed by Ryan Morini and Sherri Sherrod Dupree [SSD] in January, 2012.

This is the 56th in a series of transcript excerpts from the UF Samuel Proctor Oral History Program collection.

Transcript edited by Pierce Butler.

MHD: I was born in Rosewood, Florida, June 7, 1919. Only thing I really know is what my mother told me, because I was three years old when this happened. But I can remember everything my mother told me. It all was started because of a lie; a lie of a White lady. She had a boyfriend, and there was two other people working in the house. She ran out in the streets and was hollering, “Rape! Rape! A Black man raped me!” The White men started to riot and they was driving around with shotguns and rifles in the back of a truck looking for a man they call — what was this man’s name, Ms. Dupree?

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Join the Working Family Lobby Corps

by Jeremiah Tattersall

The 2020 Florida legislative session is underway and so is our push for a pro working families agenda. We’d love for you to join the Working Family Lobby Corps in lobbying our elected officials this session. Major issues this session will be:

Preemption and elimination of local pro-worker ordinances such as the Alachua County Wage Theft, non-discrimination human rights, and living wage ordinances.

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Film showing at the Civic Media Center, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7pm

Film maker Jeff Cohen of Roots Action will be there to introduce the film and to hold Q&A afterward.

About the Film: 

Director: Fred Peabody
Producer: Peter Raymont
Executive Producers: Peter Raymont, Fred Peabody, Steve Ord, Jeff Cohen, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

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‘The McCarthy Moment’ opens at Matheson

What: “The McCarthy Moment” Exhibition
Where: Matheson History Museum
When: Starting Jan. 28, Tues-Sat, 11am-4pm
Cost: Free

Have you ever been engaged in any homosexual activities here in Gainesville?” 

This question forever altered dozens of lives at the University of Florida between 1958 and 1959. In 1956, State Senator Charley Eugene Johns created the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee. Better known as the Johns Committee, it tried to uncover subversive activity in Florida.

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Book talk: The Committee with Sterling Watson

What: The Committee Book Talk with Sterling Watson
Where: Matheson History Museum
When: Thursday, Jan. 30, 7 pm
Cost: Free

The Matheson Museum will present a book talk with author Sterling Watson on Jan. 30. His book, The Committee, is a novelization of the infamous Johns Committee, a 1950s witch hunt for communists and homosexuals.

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Trials of the Century at Santa Fe College

What: “Trials of the Century” 
Where: Santa Fe College NW
When: Jan. 28 and Feb. 4
Time: 6:45-9:15pm

Former Mayor and current musician Gary Gordon will be teaching a Community Education class on Trials of the Century at SFCC on the Tuesday evenings of Jan. 28 and Feb. 4.

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When unacceptable becomes normal

by Gary Gordon

It’s become a normal practice at Gainesville City Commission meetings to have people removed by armed police officers. A normal occurrence.  Acceptable.

Who’s being removed? Generally it’s people who disagree with Commission decisions or contemplated plans. But their specific crime is speaking longer than the allotted three minutes.

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Alachua County Charter Review Commission asks for public engagement: ideas, proposals

by Penny Wheat, Chair
2020 Alachua County Charter Review Commission

In 1986, Alachua County voters approved the Alachua County Charter, giving us more powers of local self-government and freedom from State control. The Charter requires that a Review Commission of electors be appointed in 1990 and every ten years thereafter, to review the County Charter and propose amendments or revisions which may be advisable for placement on the general election ballot. 

The time is now.

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Gainesville’s Housing Action Plan wants neighbors’ input

The Gainesville Housing and Community Development Department is creating a long-term Housing Action Plan, and we need input from our neighbors. 

After hosting a series of public workshops in 2019, we are broadening our reach and community input in 2020 to hear from more of our neighbors about how Gainesville can provide, support and foster more affordable housing. We know many people have many different ideas about housing, and we’d love to hear from you. 

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In memory of Arupa Freeman

by Bob Freeman with Liz McCullogh

Arupa Freeman passed away December 22, after several months of illness.

Arupa was born Kathleen Emond in North Bennington, Vermont. She took great pride in her family’s long history in Vermont, going back to colonial times. Though raised by her grandmother in difficult circumstances, Arupa relished small town childhood memories: flying kites, picking wild strawberries, ice skating, Christmas caroling. She studied English and French literature at the University of Oklahoma. 

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Driver’s License Restoration Clinic

Florida has an awful situation in its judicial codes resulting in driver’s license suspension for a huge array of offenses, really screwing up people’s lives. Until the Legislature rewrites the overly broad suspensions, Jess Irby, our Clerk of the Court, has instituted a program to help. Periodic clinics are run to assist people in getting their situations taken care of. Yeah, folks still need to pay the fines, but this program really helps navigate the process.

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New legislation threatens Santa Fe River Bill of Rights

by Merrillee Jipson

As a New Year’s present to local groups looking to restore, protect and preserve living natural systems—such as rivers and springs and the groundwater that is the source of drinking water—in their individual areas around Florida, Senator Albritton, chair of the Agricultural Committee, introduced SB 1382 on January 3, 2020. Section 1 of the bill introduces a spate of new programs associated with Florida’s already anemic environmental protections, complete with language such as “where technically and financially practical” that render those protections optional, giving Florida’s citizens only the illusion of protection.

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Community undermined by irresponsible mining

by Kate Ellison

If you follow the on-going struggle in Bradford County with the phosphate mine proposed for both sides of the New River, you know that mining brings serious risks to the rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands that many of us want to preserve for sake of the aquifer, the plants and animals living there, and for the eco-tourism that could come to our community. 

Without warning, this fall a new titanium mine was proposed and then approved within a matter of weeks by the Bradford County Commission. 

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Third House Books moves

by Heather Halak

Third House Books is celebrating our fourth year, in a new, bigger space for 2020. We will be having a soft opening of our new location on Wednesday, Jan. 15, and a grand opening party on Jan. 25 at 400 NW 10th Avenue all day. We are excited to join the Grove Street neighborhood next to Earthpets and look forward to seeing both old and new faces. 

Please do not fear – we are not closed! We’re just getting bigger, and better. This move has been the result of rent hikes in downtown Gainesville, frustration with city parking, and wanting to provide our customers with adequate space for local authors and other events. But we promise: we’re not going anywhere, Gainesville  –  except just down the street. 

Sunshine State Book Festival enriches cultural landscape

by Roz Miller

The debut of the Sunshine State Book Festival on Jan. 24-26 will change and further enrich North Central Florida’s existing rich cultural landscape.

Our cultural smorgasbord offers multiple preforming arts stages; supports three outstanding visual arts festivals; provides musical groups and ensembles from orchestral, band, jazz, blues; a professional dance troupe and choral groups. 

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From the publisher … Some good things need to go

by Joe Courter

Once again world events have me writing this at a moment of unknown outcomes. This one is a big one, too. Possible war. We are standing at the edge of a slippery slope. Over and over, once a war starts and soldiers are killed, it partly becomes avenging those who have died. Logic goes out the window. One of my greatest fears is irreversible decisions being made by delusional leaders, and, to be honest, fundamentalist Christians and their “End Times” beliefs, or for that matter, those who justify war and conquest with the “God is on our side” rationale. They are delusional people. And dangerous.  Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail.

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Is it “Game Over” for Seminary Lane?

by Robert Mounts

At a final “Neighborhood Workshop” conducted on December 11 by CHW Consultants on behalf of an out-of-town investor, it was disclosed that the plan to build a  large luxury student apartment complex on the vacant Seminary Lane site on NW 5th Avenue near the University of Florida – that once was set aside for “affordable housing” – is now a “by right” development.  

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Get involved in Bernie’s campaign

A future to believe in!

Not me. Us!

A Political Revolution Is Coming!

As a living expression of his campaign slogans, Bernie Sanders, the only Democratic Presidential candidate not accepting corporate funds, is growing a grassroots movement of activists and organizers in communities nationwide.  The campaign is currently focusing on texting and phone-banking voters in the early primary states.   

To find out more, go to: and download the BERN mobile  app to learn about participating or organizing a Bernie campaign event in Gainesville or anywhere in the U.S.