Category Archives: May-June 2023

CMC Springboard event

The Civic Media Center is hosting a book discussion featuring Dr. Zoharah Simmons and, via Zoom, author Dan Berger on Saturday, June 3 from 2:30-4:30 pm.

Berger’s recent book, Stayed on Freedom: The Long History of Black Power Through One Family’s Journey,  chronicles the lives of two activist/organizers, Dr. Simmons and Michael Simmons, their meeting, organizing, and post-marriage independent lives still doing organizing work.

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Rest in power Dr. George Buchanan, 1954-2023

by Amy Coenen

Dr. George Buchanan was finishing his OB/GYN residency in the mid 1980s when he answered an ad for medical director of the Gainesville Women’s Health Center (GWHC). Founded in 1972 by 4 women activists shortly after the Roe v Wade decision, the clinic provided well-woman care, including abortions, to North Central Florida and beyond. In the words of Joan McTigue, who worked at the clinic in the 80s, “we quickly embraced him as quickly as he embraced us…not only did he understand the politics of women’s health care, he lived it.”

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Protect your rights: Sign petition to get abortion issue on the ballot

by Kai Christmas, Regional Organizer, Planned Parenthood

On Monday, May 8, Floridians Protecting Freedom launched a citizen-led ballot initiataive campaign to give Florida voters the chance to ensure that their personal medical decisions are theirs and theirs alone to make. 

The decision of whether or not to have an abortion belongs to Floridians, their families, and those they trust — this campaign is an opportunity to further enshrine those protections in our state constitution.

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Gainesville celebrates Juneteenth!

Join the City of Gainesville Juneteenth’s Celebration with the A. Quinn Jones Museum’s Juneteenth Film Festival, Saturday, June 10 from 5:30 to 9:30pm. The film Festival will be held at A. Quinn Jones Museum and Cultural Center at 1013 NW 7th Ave. in Gainesville.

The Juneteenth Film Festival showcases a wide range of entertainment made by locals, and features the people, places, music, dance and experiences of Gainesville residents.

Bar-b-que food truck, lemonade stand and an assortment of cakes will be available for purchase. Chairs provided, or you can bring your own. 

See more Juneteenth activities in the events list on pages 26-27.

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DylanFest: May 21 at Heartwood Soundstage

The 2nd Annual DylanFest, a celebration of Bob Dylan and his songs, will take place a few days shy of his 82nd birthday on Sunday, May 21, from 1 to 7pm, at Heartwood Soundstage. 

Produced by Gary Gordon and Heartwood Soundstage, the emphasis will be on Dylan’s songs. Donations benefit the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute.

The mission of the Florida Springs Institute is to improve the understanding of springs ecology and to foster the development of science-based education and management actions needed to restore and protect springs throughout Florida.

DylanFest II features several Gainesville area musicians including Ric Kaestner, Mick Marino, Hollyanne Page, Michael Tamayo, Gary Gordon And, George Gomez, Quincy Flint, Barry Sides, Big Owl & Tony, Nicole André Wagner, Shawn Manley, Cathy DeWitt, Eli Tragash, Tapewerm, Mark and Barbara Armbrecht, The Ramblin’ Mutts, and more.  The Emcee is Chris Qualmann.

The concert is free and takes place outdoors. Donations are requested. For info see:

Gary Gordon teaching two classes at SFC this summer

As part of Santa Fe College’s community education classes, Gary Gordon — author, musician, and former Gainesville City Commissioner — will be teaching Intro to Screenwriting and American Revolution: 1763–1815.

Registration instructions and additional information is at: or call 352-395-5193. 

The summer brochure with a complete class listing is at:

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A word about donations

by Joe Courter

Hello readers. Glad you are here in this slightly expanded 32-page Iguana. This is more of an ask than the usual passive box on the page inviting your support. The Iguana sustains itself on its advertisers and its friendly readers, some of whom get it mailed to them, or get the emailed link, or just randomly pick it up and kick in.  No one gets paid on the staff (me included) and this system has worked well; we (Beth, Jessica, Pierce, those who write articles and those that help distribute the paper) have a process of turning out the paper that works and that we feel good about doing.

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Support the Civic Media Center

by Sloan Tran, CMC coordinator, and Sage, CMC volunteer

The CMC was founded as a community-based alternative to corporate media. During this time of book bans, this resource has become more vital than ever. In response to the bans, a large donation from Haymarket Books has helped us expand our library. We also host educational events about issues that are not accurately represented in mainstream media, such as the recent abortion bans and anti-trans bills. We hope to host more events focused around disability justice, anti-immigration laws, and other relevant topics. If you have any ideas for future events, please email

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WGOT: its future is you

Visit open house June 11 to learn of opportunities

by Fred Sowder, WGOT station volunteer

This month, both the World Health Organization and the Federal Government have declared an end to the Covid pandemic. It’s a historical event that’s been challenging for many, including your community radio station. Now more than ever, we need the help of our community. That means you.

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School board member concerned about leadership

by Tina Certain, Alachua County 
School Board Member, District 1

As a concerned school board member, I am writing to express my deep concern and frustration. 

I ran for Alachua County School Board because I have a passion for ensuring that all district students receive a quality education and graduate from high school well prepared for college or career. Although many students excel in our public school system, way too many are being left far behind, and the disparities between these groups are some of the worst in the state. 

I observed virtually no progress year after year in how our district was effectively confronting many long-standing issues, and the very serious, disruptive impact of the pandemic on our students’ well-being and academic progress has made things much worse. I am acutely aware that it’s very difficult to turn this large barge of school district as systems are firmly entrenched to maintain the status quo, but in my opinion, this is not a time for “business as usual.”

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Daniel Ellsberg: ‘The Most Dangerous Man in America’

CMC Matinee showing
Saturday, June 10 @ 4 pm

Come enjoy the cool AC and absorb this 2009 documentary about the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, an act that changed both his life and the course of the Vietnam War. 

History can be inspirational. Come be inspired by this decent man.

Donations requested, refreshments available.

For more about Daniel Ellsberg: on May 1 Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now! aired an interview with him, where he discusses his life, backstories on the Pentagon Papers, the current Ukraine War and its dangers for wider war, and most profoundly, his impending death from inoperable pancreatic cancer. 


Tips for low and slow river conditions on the Santa Fe

by Merrillee Jipson, Rum 138

It may rain and we may get a flood, but this is what it is like now.

Plan your kayak, canoe or paddleboard tour down river accordingly, as the river is so low and slow. Starting up the river, you may need to add extra time to paddle downstream to your take out point. Most times on the Santa Fe River you can leisurely float downstream and make good timing, but not when it’s low and slow. You must paddle and be observant of approaching outcroppings of rocks and exposed submerged aquatic vegetation.

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The case for local meat processing: Let’s opt out of industrial ag

by Nancy Deren 

There has been a lot of debate over the past few months about the proposed meat processing facility for Alachua County, with major concerns about perpetuating the horrors of the factory farming system that now comprises about 95 percent of U.S. meat production. 

Communities across the country are having this same conversation, recognizing the need to have a stronger, more secure local food system that gives farmers a way to sell outside the corporate monopolies, earn more than poverty wages, and create economic development opportunities that support them being good stewards of land, animals, and biodiversity. We want a way to opt out.

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From the publisher… Truth and consequences

by Joe Courter

Truth. We are living through a slow motion coup by the conservative and corporate powers of this nation. 

It began during the Reagan era with economic changes that allowed the wealthy to prosper with changes in tax regulations (for example allowing bankruptcies to be tax write-offs), the smashing of the labor movement (PATCO), and the recruiting of the Christian Right into politics. 

Right wing think tanks  and  radio and TV programming sprouted up and got media space, and in a parallel track, efforts at pushing for conservative judges grew in influence (the Federalist Society). Add to that Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and others taking oppositional politics to a coarsened and crude level, and collegial politics was thrown out the window. Make “the other” the enemy.

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Say no to GRU takeover

by Hutch Hutchinson

The epic battle raging between Cruella DeSantis and Mickey Mouse’s corporate parent has gained the attention of pundits and legal scholars all over the globe. 

In our community, however, the story is how Gainesville is under assault by Goofy’s clumsy desire to run off with our locally-owned utility company. “Goofy,” in this case, is Rep. Chuck Clemons and Sen. Keith Perry, who for a decade have been doing the bidding of the Legislature’s corporate overlords in attempting to wrest Gainesville Regional Utilities from the City Commission.

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May/June 2023 Gainesville Iguana

The May/June 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.

Editors’ picks: News that didn’t fit

• DeSantis World will not tolerate deviation from the party line
by Diane Roberts | Florida  Phoenix | May 8 |
“Knowledge is so dangerous it must be regulated and monitored.”New College students — like all students in Florida — are now hostages to the governor’s monomaniacal crusade against free intellectual inquiry. New College faculty — along with every other teacher in Florida — now know that their government will retaliate against them for bucking the party line. “Knowledge is so dangerous it must be regulated and monitored.” Also see “‘The point is intimidation’: Florida teachers besieged by draconian laws” in the May 13 The Guardian at

• End the Citizens United ruling with a ‘Democracy for All Amendment’
by F. Douglas Stephenson | Informed Comment | March 1 |
The Supreme Court’s ‘Citizen’s United’ decision opened the floodgates for big money in politics, allowing giant corporations and a handful of the wealthiest families to spend obscene amounts of money in our elections. Yep, our government is up for sale and being auctioned off to the highest campaign contributors. 

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