VOLUME XI, ISSUE I
STEM THE TIDE Who is the Libertarian with white nationalist ties running for local office? p. 31
FALL 2018 FREE
from the EDITORIAL DESK
f you ever find yourself traversing the tropical savannas of Australia’s Northern Territory, you’ll likely walk among cathedrals sprouting from the earth. These mounds of mud, shaped not by warm hands but with needle-like legs, shelter millions of Nasutitermes triodiae termites. They stand ribbed and thick like redwood bark, stretching into the sky at heights as tall as 25 feet. Without instructions, technology or even sight, worker termites construct castles, majestic architecture so complex and carefully carved that it appears eerily similar to our own. That’s what it’s like working with The Fine Print. Termite mounds, hurricanes and flocks of birds display what scientists and philosophers refer to as emergence: the idea that a group can create complex networks with special properties that don’t appear in individuals. In essence, the whole is not only greater than the sum of its parts but has abilities the parts can’t harness alone. Such was my drive for pushing out issues alongside the editorial board for the past two years. The magazine in all its intricacy and beauty is our emergent property, a representation of each writer and editor’s talents compiled into something bigger than ourselves. Something we can stand
back and look upon in awe. I think we all can relate to the plight of the lowly termite, who scrapes and strives to furnish the survival of itself and its kind, armed with only instinct and the dizzying number of signals generated by its equally struggling, swarming peers. The termite has no plan. It merely acts. That’s what life is like so much of the time, isn’t it? Maybe we envy the insect because we assume it isn’t aware of its size. Unfortunately, what’s certain is that us big-brained hominids know how little we mean to the world. Sometimes to the point of crisis. But, like any phytoplankton, ant or termite, though we may be insignificant among the throng of millions, we each arrive in this life with our own power. Whether we think about it or not, every day we collectively piece together our mark on the world, one we'll inevitably leave behind. What will remain once we're gone? As I prepare to bid The Fine Print goodbye in two months’ time, I’ll remember the grains of sand I stacked on this dune with a smile. We built this together. Let’s keep it alive.
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F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
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in this ISSUE
Cover art by Madisyn Alberry.
COLUMNS Monthly Manifesto, p. 05
Read Up, Chow Down, p. 08
Homestead, Instead, p. 12
Opinion, p. 06
For the Record, p. 10
Simply Science, p. 14
What's Past Is Present, p. 18
Strike Camp, p. 22
Read All A-Ballot, p. 26
Party Politics, p. 28
Stem The Tide, p. 31
Mass Movement, p. 34
Art & Literature, p. 38
Students for Justice in Palestine.
What the Fuch does it mean to be ranked number eight?
Jazz, brunch and cozy counter service at Afternoon. This issue, we spoke with Azazus, buggin, and Pearl & the Oysters.
It's not witchcraft to turn apples, cauliflower and tempeh into dehydrated snacks. Gainesville's live oaks are dying. Is it too late to save them?
SPOTLIGHTS New Lease on Rights, p. 16
The Alachua County Labor Coalition is working for better housing conditions.
UF refuses to take down a Confederate monument in St. Augustine.
Photostory on local activists who camped in solidarity with a national prison strike.
FEATURES Confused by the amendments this election? We got you. The fight to save a historic church.
Where does your money go when you party in Midtown? Poetry by Gabriel. Art by Zach Gasparini.
Much love & THANK YOU to: Marisol Silva, Chelsea Hetelson, Rae Lumpkins, Matthew Daley, Laura Predny, Future Perfekt Vintage, Sarah Senfeld, Ian Elsner, Brianna Silvestre, Jeremiah Tattersall, Zan Jamojski, Dan Dâ€™Andrea, Leah Herman, Kelley & Henry Taskier, Anika Huda, Ashira Morris, Samantha Schuyler, Christopher Miller, Lauren Munsey, Lydia Fiser, Madeleine Ngo, Alyson Larson, Alexis Patton, Miguel Rodriguez, Caroline Gaspich, Abigail Doupnik, Bonnie Rice, John Eriksen
Chris Rose II is running for the conservation district. Activists say he must be stopped.
What's Past Is Present p. 18.
For the Record, p. 10.
Tucky is happy to be illustrating for The Fine Print. She is new to town, from AsunciĂłn, Paraguay, where she taught elementary art for two years. Tucky has spent the past 20 years teaching, and has lived and taught in the Philippines, India, Kuwait, Pakistan, Arizona and Boston. Currently, she is a student at the Comics Program at the School for Sequential Art. Fall 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 03
Ouch! That hurts, doesn’t it? Paper Cuts are our short, erratic and slightly painful updates on current, local and national events. See our website for more Paper Cuts at thefineprintmag.org.
GRIM STATISTICS IN MID-SEPTEMBER, AS HURRICANE Florence was poised to strike the East Coast, Donald Trump took to Twitter to tout his administration’s “enormously successful” disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean. He then went a step further, disputing a recent study that tallied the true death toll from Hurricane Maria at 3,000 U.S. citizens. “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump tweeted on Sept. 13. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths…” Then Trump blamed the Democrats, tweeting that the party had inflated the death toll to make him look bad. “If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list,” he tweeted. “Bad politics." These statements overshadow a genuinely valuable question we should be asking: How exactly do we calculate casualties from natural disasters? According to an October 2017 report from the National Center for Health Statistics, medical examiners are instructed to differentiate deaths that are directly related to a natural disaster from ones that are indirectly related (for example, flash flood drownings versus life-support equipment failings). But no standardized methodology currently exists for determining disasterrelated mortality. Many doctors stop recording indirectly related deaths after about four or five days, John Mutter, a disaster researcher at Columbia University, told The New Yorker. “There is a tendency to minimize the dead because it looks bad, and so the current system is set up to produce the smallest official death toll possible,” Mutter said. So how did we get from 16 deaths, two weeks after the hurricane, to 3,000? 04 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
In late August this year, George Washington University published a study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government that suggested local doctors only counted casualties directly related to the storm. By looking at “excess mortality,” the number of people who were expected to die during a typical six-month period compared to the actual fatalities that occurred, the study found that 22 percent more deaths occurred in Maria’s waterless and powerless aftermath. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, over 70 percent of the population had no electricity or water two months after Maria. In late September, almost two weeks after Florence hit North Carolina, two men died while repairing damages from the storm — indirectly related deaths. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper added them to the death toll, bringing it to 39 at the time. Why would storm-related deaths in Puerto Rico be any different? By Marcelo Rondon.
APPLE OF MY i IN EARLY OCTOBER, MOTHERBOARD reported that Apple has introduced “software locks” that would effectively prevent independent and home repairs on Mac computers containing a “T2” security chip, which include the 2018 Macbook Pro and iMac. Once the software lock kicks in, the computer will only work again if Apple Service Toolkit 2, Apple’s official diagnostic software, is run. The toolkit is available “only to persons working at Apple-authorized service facilities,” according to an Apple training presentation. This means that if an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service provider is inaccessible to you, you’re pretty much out of luck. “This is a continued campaign of
obsolescence and they want to control the ecosystem and bring all repair into the network they control,” said Kyle Wiens, CEO of free repair guide website iFixit, in a Motherboard interview. Though iFixit ran tests that determined Apple has yet to implement its “killswitch,” the practice is unsurprising in light of the company’s track record. Last summer, the Federal Court of Australia fined Apple $6.6 million in wake of its refusal to refund customers struck by error 53, a message that disabled thousands of users’ iPhones. According Apple’s website, error 53 appears when devices fail a security test. One of the most common causes of the error? Repairing one’s phone through an unlicensed store. Apple’s encroaching control over how its customers repair their own tech is similar to restrictions upheld by John Deere and auto makers such as General Motors, who often require owners use specific diagnostic codes or software to replace parts of the device. Effectively, electronics companies argue that you aren’t buying their products — you’re licensing them, making you subject to whatever rules the manufacturers set forth about how you use them. Emerging “right to repair” legislation in 19 states seeks to combat companies’ hold over the ways we fix our devices by requiring manufacturers make parts, tools, repair guides, and diagnostic software available to the public. But it’s not without pushback: Public records show Apple is lobbying against this legislation in New York. “Independent repair companies have been fixing MacBooks undaunted by the user-hostile activities Apple has taken,” Wiens said to Motherboard. “It could be really detrimental to schools, to people who live in rural areas. If they stick with this, it seems like a huge argument in favor of right to repair.” By Vincent McDonald.
STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE BY UF SJP BOARD
“The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.” While the state of Palestine is ruthlessly grasped by the hands of oppression, the culture is vibrantly alive. We see the culture dressed in attire that ranges from the black-and-white-checkered keffiyehs (a scarf that represents Palestinian resistance) to the embroidered thobes (traditional Palestinian dresses) our grandmothers, mothers, daughters and sisters wear. We see the culture in our olive-oil-smothered food, in our music and dance, in our poetry and film. We want to show the University of Florida this welcoming and colorful way of life. We want the remarkable resiliency of Palestine and its people to be portrayed through the unique beauty of culture.
“A person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.” The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to the demolishment of Palestinian homes and left over 6 million Palestinian refugees worldwide. It has led not only to a blockade in Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank and Golan Heights, but also to excessive checkpoints, loss of employment, mental health deterioration,
physical disabilities, water shortages, etc. We are activists who want to show the struggle and culture of the Palestinian people. We want to prevent the destruction of villages. We want to hold senators, the U.S., and the international community accountable. We want the UFand Gainesville community to be simultaneously informed and empowered. We do this by sharing knowledge via speakers, documentaries and articles. We hold events that appreciate, rather than appropriate, culture. We plan to simulate checkpoints and barriers so the Gainesville community can navigate life through the lens of a Palestinian citizen. We welcome all activists for the cause: Palestinians, Arabs, Israelis, Jews, Americans, community members, world citizens, human beings. Each of us has the capacity to transform this situation in a positive way, and it starts by getting involved with projects that promote justice and fairness in the region. We are students who embrace Palestinian culture and expose war crimes being committed daily. We are students with motivation, an action plan and a goal. We are students who see value in creating solidarity among all oppressed groups. We are students who want to see the end of a cycle that perpetuates human suffering. We are Students for Justice in Palestine. •
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H C F* ! F F O UF is rising in national rankings at the expense of its marginalized students and low-wage workers.
BY YOUSEF ALGHAWI ILLUSTRATIONS BY TUCKY FUSSELL
n May 5, nearly 10,000 students graduated from the University of Florida’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It should have been a cause for celebration—a time to dance, smile and blow kisses to family in the crowd. Instead, Alexander David Jacobs, a chemistry professor who was serving as a graduation marshal, bum-rushed and forcibly dragged offstage 24 students, mostly black, who did exactly that. When the audience should have cheered, it booed. Students threw pamphlets and water bottles at the stage; parents were visibly upset. All the while, President Kent Fuchs, sitting front row with other dignitaries, smiled and laughed. About four months after the incident, UF offered recompense, gifting the 24 students framed diplomas. Fuchs reportedly called each student and sent them a personalized letter. But when it came time to make institutional amends for the overt abuse, UF decided in September to end the tradition of announcing students’ names during graduation in lieu of a university-wide commencement. Less than a week later, a University of Southern California Race and Equity Center study gave UF an “F” for racial representation. “No one asked you to change graduation,” Anthony 06 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
Rojas, a 22-year-old political science master’s student, said at a rally outside Tigert Hall, according to the Alligator. “We asked you to change the way you perceive us, the way you treat us and the way you shoved us.” Yet as UF erases students’ names from graduation proceedings — effectively punishing black students for their own assault — its name is rising in national rankings. UF is now the eighth best public university in the country, according to the U.S. News and World Report (USNWR), and Fuchs has made it clear he wants to break the top five. This was exciting news for many, and as president, Fuchs is credited with reviving UF’s legacy. But the pity of it all comes with realizing these rankings do not mean shit for us. UF and Fuchs are gaining prominence not because of students, faculty and staff, but at our expense. USNWR, the gold standard of collegiate rankings, purports to take a complete look at any institution by evaluating graduation and retention rates, class sizes, cost of tuition and, of course, how reputable other schools consider the institution in question (among other factors). UF cracked top 10 best public universities in 2017, four years after Fuchs was inaugurated president. The score is the result of “UF Preeminence,” a yearslong initiative
OPINION to develop the school’s status, aura and respectability. It brings legitimacy to a school damned with a self-inflicted Napoleon complex. For once, UF actually feels deserving of its tongue-incheek appellation as “the Harvard of the South.” Ironically, a huge factor in determining USNWR rank is research put out by faculty and graduate students, and the money it brings in. Yet not all students and faculty are treated alike. Students in the engineering college receive nearly $4,000 more on average than CLAS students in direct expenditures from UF, according to the university’s 2016 annual budget book. UF is prioritizing new hires in STEM specifically because they will bring in more money. English students often find critical classes unavailable for semesters in a row due to budget restrictions. In the worst cases, students have felt forced to change their major. Liberal arts students are punished for not contributing to the highprofile scientific ‘breakthroughs’ that further UF’s acclaim. Thus, academia becomes important insofar as it can boost UF’s profile. The university is now beholden to an essentially meaningless number — the Board of Trustees will do anything to secure its status as life for everyone else becomes harder and harder. Yet the additional pressure is not even accounted for when you consider that the Counseling and Wellness Center remains notoriously underfunded, with only one clinician for every 1,500 students. Let us not forget UF’s part-time workers who still have yet to see missed wages from Hurricane Irma, the noose found outside Grinter Hall and the Richard Spencer fiasco—these issues seem notably absent from the USWNR ranking. Jacobs, who was temporarily put on administrative leave after May graduation, is still teaching in the chemistry department. What about students of color who must take his class to graduate? They become collateral damage as all accolades and credentials go solely to Fuchs and his band of administrative flunkies — the board of trustees. University presidents and the rest of the upper echelon are typically private, behind-the-green-door figures who show up just in time for a photo-op before retreating back into the shadows from whence they came. Anyone who has spent at least seven minutes on campus has no doubt seen Fuchs from a distance, always in Plaza of the Americas or the Reitz Union, eternally escorted by a golf cart. Lines of students, reminiscent of war ration queues, wait at a chance for a quick handshake or a smile. Fuchs serves as UF’s de facto mascot, insidiously proving that a goofy smile, a friendly façade, and a grandpa aesthetic can let an institution get away with anything. Much like Dennis, the anti-Semitic, misogynistic human spectacle banned from Turlington, criticisms of Fuchs are met with scorn and derided as humorless by the general student body. Students are happy, memes are made, UF remains number eight. When we idolize Fuchs, we ignore our exploitation. The school’s new rankings are an occasion to ask ourselves: What good is being the eighth best public university if we cannot afford to support our part-time workers or provide a safe
FUCHS SERVES AS UF’S DE FACTO MASCOT, INSIDIOUSLY PROVING THAT A GOOFY SMILE, A FRIENDLY FAÇADE, AND A GRANDPA AESTHETIC CAN LET AN INSTITUTION GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING. campus for students of color? Why aren’t grad students better compensated? We must resist the distracting, sacrosanct image of Fuchs as a good-natured, lovable mascot who means well. It is time we acknowledge that meaning well is not the same as doing good. We must take an introspective moment to reflect on this administration’s shortcomings in an objective light. This is not a call for Fuchs’s resignation, but contemplating for even a moment will make it obvious: Kent Fuchs does not necessarily have to be your enemy, but he is certainly not your friend. • Fall 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 07
, P U D A E R N W O D W CHO
Afternoon brings the American northwest's farm-to-table movement to Gainesville.
STORY & ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX DE LUCA
Afternoon, the counter-service brunch spot that opened last year on NW 10th Ave, is an invigorating antidote for anyone seeking reprieve on a tired Saturday morning. Natural light glints off a floor-to-ceiling mirror and golden oak communal tables. Luscious greenery is suspended from the shelves and draped around the windowsills. Jazz music fills the air as co-owner Grace Glennon flips through a neat stack of vinyls behind the counter. Glennon, a Duckpond native, returned to Gainesville after living in Portland for the last five years with her husband Kyle Spor, who worked in the furniture manufacturing industry and built restaurants. The couple decided to open their own restaurant after becoming inspired by the city’s locavore, farm-to-table
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PHOTO BY MARCELO RONDON movement that is so popular it was the basis for a Portlandia sketch. “I have mad respect for farmers in Florida because I have a hard time just growing tomatoes at my house,” Glennon said. “We like to highlight people’s love and dedication to organic food.” Afternoon boasts organic goods sourced from farmers in Gainesville and Alachua. This time of year, the restaurant receives kale, radishes, aji dulce peppers, turnips, carrots and flowers from Swallowtail and Siembra Farms. The restaurant’s short but eclectic menu includes dishes that can’t be found anywhere else in Gainesville like shakshuka, a Tunisian dish of hearty, tomato-baked eggs spiced with za'atar and served steaming hot in a
231 NW 10th Ave.
Thrusday through Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Wednesday.
cast iron skillet. Among the most popular dishes is the poached eggs, topped with sage-and-brownbutter hollandaise and served over roasted squash and walnuts with a side of cornbread. “We were afraid to take it off because people really like it,” Glennon said. “It was supposed to just be a fall and winter thing.” Afternoon isn’t only about eggs and toast. Another popular item is the “Dutch Baby,” a popover pancake served with juicy Florida oranges, thyme and maple syrup. The menu offers a host of drink options, featuring everything from standard diner-drip coffee to a iced matcha latte. The couple has also worked to expand the restaurant’s services to include a dinner event every second Friday of the month called “Afterdark.” Changing monthly, the dinner menu is a departure from the morning fare but still maintains the restaurant’s signature novelty and vibrance. Afternoon’s chef Austin Abbott brings his Puerto Rican influences to the table at night with a variety of Caribbean-inspired dishes, such as grilled octopus, snowy grouper crudo and cedar key clams. The pop-up dinner starts at 7 p.m. and wraps up whenever the restaurant sells out. “Our hopes for the future are to continue to provide a welcoming, adventurous environment for our community and expand into dinner service a few days a week,” Glennon said. •
CORN N' POTATOES* INGREDIENTS • 1 Yukon gold potato • 1 cup of green beans • 1 1/2 cup corn • Handful of kale • Handful of arugula • 2 sprigs of oregano • 2 sprigs of parsley • 1 1/2 cup of cubed bread • 1 garlic clove • 3 tablespoons tahini • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar • 1/2 teaspoon salt • Black pepper *vegan & gluten-free without croutons
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. 2. Cube potatoes and toss them with olive oil & salt Roast potatoes at 425 degrees for 40- 45 min. 3. Toss cubed bread with olive oil and fresh grated garlic and toast until crispy. 4. In a large bowl, whisk together tahini, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make dressing. 5. In a hot pan, sear green beans until lightly charred; add corn and cook for one minute more. 6. Combine the corn and green beans, potatoes, croutons, herbs and greens and toss with dressing. Fried egg optional.
N IN SEASSO H & FRE pumpkin, kale, arugula, beets, garlic, corn, potatoes
Fall 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 09
Photo by Hailey Birken.
FOR THE RECORD
Showcasing local bands, the next big thing and all your friends.
PEARL & THE OYSTERS SELF-TITLED W/ PEARL & THE OYSTERS
RELEASED September 15, 2017 RECORDED IN Paris, France,
their gainesville bedroom studio
SOUNDS LIKE The Alessi Brothers, Broadcast, The Velvet Underground INSPIRATION Stereolab, The Beach Boys KEY TRACKS “Melinda Melinda,” "Vitamin D," "Lake Alice" WHERE TO GET IT Spotify UPCOMING SHOWS Nov. 24 release party at the Wooly
P earl and the O ysters ’ debut album pulls you through parallel universes, speeds across space and warps time. The album’s combination of colorful, retro pop and fuzzy, vibrant vocals is powerful enough to magic your troubles away. Though the band began in Gainesville, bandmates Juliette Pearl Davis, 27, and Joachim Polack, 28, were born in Paris, France. They met in high school and studied musicology together in college. When Polack decided to pursue a Ph.D in musicology at the University of Florida, the pair moved to the United States. Released in September 2017, ‘w/ Pearl & the Oysters’ plucks inspiration from the bands’ childhood favorites, like Stereolab and The Beach Boys. You can hear a bit of ‘50s rock in “Dia de los Muertos” and a smattering of ‘80s pop in “Vitamin D.” Davis’ signature, syrupy voice permeates the entire album, transforming hard rock into soft pop. The result is chaotic but beautiful; it’s easy to get lost in the
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Juliette Pearl Davis Lead vocals and Trumpet Joachim Polack Keys, Guitar, Bass, Percussion
fantasy world the If you'd like to see your ba songs create. nd your friend's ba or “Interstellar nd (or your mom's ba A p p e a l ” nd) reviewed in our next issu e — or you teleports you want to play a benefit show into a distant — hit us up at editors[at] p a r a l l e l thefineprintmag .org. universe, while “Surfer Rosie” flings you onto an alien planet. Meanwhile, “Melinda Melinda” drops you into an idyllic 1950s childhood. The song propels you into harmonious turmoil as the sounds of UFO takeoffs and video game power-ups are layered over Davis’ repeating “Melinda Melinda you’re breaking my heart” in varying pitches. “We aim to evoke delight and happiness through our music,” Davis said. “In our album and even with our car when we roam around Gainesville, we pull the windows down, blast some funky music and spread some love.” By Aashna Farishta.
RELEASED September 5, 2018 RECORDED IN His home INSPIRATION T-Pain, Drake, T.I., Lil Wayne, and Eminem KEY TRACKS “Fine,” “Who Cares” WHERE TO GET IT Apple Music, Spotify UPCOMING SHOWS Hardback Cafe Nov. 9, 2018 INSTRUMENTS uses pads/arps with heavy sub bass for his ambient/atmo spheric elements
A few years before his death in 2016, singer Dennis Walton Sr. entered the Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame of America as the baritone for The Five Shillings, a band that graced the 1950s with the record “Letter to An Angel.” But despite spending his life as a musician, Walton Senior forbade his children from listening to hip-hop. When he caught his son, Dennis Walton Jr., playing rap CDs, he’d throw them away. That didn’t stop Walton Junior — a.k.a Azazus — from launching his hip-hop career. This September, Walton dropped the music video for “Fine” on Vevo, following up singles released earlier this year such as “Love War,” “Too Grown” and “Who Cares.” “It’s a weird feeling, realizing where I’m trying to get now and knowing my dad lived it,” Walton, 25, said. “I think about what I’m doing now, and I don’t even come close to performing as much as he performed or making the kind of money he made.” Whether you’re getting yourself hyped up for a night out or brooding in your bedroom,
BUGGIN A LAZY, EMPTY SUMMER
RELEASED July 31, 2018 RECORDED IN His bedroom SOUNDS LIKE Dandelion Hands, Flatsound KEY TRACKS “Cicadas in M agnolia Trees,” “Previous Parents” WHERE TO GET IT Bandcamp, Spotify INSTRUMENTS Guitar, M andolin, Plastic Wrap, Cicadas
Dennis Walton Walton’s got a track for you. His lyrics juxtapose the quintessential confidence of the rap genre with reflections on his mental health. “A lot of my inspiration stems from my own personal anxiety,” he said. “If something is troubling me to the point where I can’t focus, I usually just start making music.” Between evoking the vibrant nightlife of his native Gulf Coast and contemplating the time wasted on haters, Walton’s use of use of vocal effects and heavy sub bass stir up feelings of restlessness. “Is life that horrible/Won't check my horoscope/ Tell me mirror-mirror/Is my life a damn horror show,” he raps through a distortion filter in “Dont Get Comfy.” “And I feel you’re the reason right now/Why I’m even getting up, leaving off this couch.” To his fans, Azazus offers this advice: “Don’t give up,” he said. “I know that sounds cliche, but I’m speaking specifically to people that deal with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.” By Caroline Gaspich and Vincent McDonald.
Gainesville undergoes a drastic transformation in the summertime. The herds of college students pack up and head home; restaurants and shops cut back their hours. The harsh Florida sun turns everything into a sweaty, sticky blur. “During the summer, it gets so stiflingly hot that going outside is not an option,” said Levi Bradford, a 23-year-old University of Florida Levin College of Law student. “Experiencing the rest of the world is like a chore.” Bradford spent this summer in Gainesville longing for something to do before school started. He pushed through with a microphone and a sheet of plastic wrap. By August, he had a four-song album titled “a lazy empty summer” to show for it. The album is Bradford’s first release, “buggin,” also rose out the desire for a solo project. Bradford currently plays in Poblano, which began as a solo affair and evolved into a group effort when friends joined in. Gainesville’s essence intertwines the album. Though it’s never mentioned by name, it can be heard in the sound of cicadas buzzing in Bradford’s yard. “In smoke and heat and humidity/you make plans to leave/you’re broke, you’re beat but it’s what you’re feeling,” Bradford drones in “cedar key.” If you’ve ever spent a summer in Florida, you will
recognize the sleepy haze that oozes from the album. You know what it’s like to sprawl out in the shade, craving activity but rejecting the idea of moving. You get it. Bradford said that’s intentional. “It’s more for the people who understand it intrinsically,” he said. The record has another influence beyond summertime inertia: the fallout between Bradford and his older brother, Keegan, who is as important to the album as this city. “Almost every time I say ‘you’ on that album it’s about him,” he said. Even without a direct reference, Keegan’s presence is palpable. He lives in the heat mentioned in “sleep sweats” and in the sharpness that cuts through the blur and daze of the album. “You’re mostly doing fine/only a couple bites,” Bradford sings in “previous parents,” a reflection on the brothers’ relationship. “He was someone who I always considered to be my best friend,” Bradford said. At Bradford’s wedding, Keegan stood at his side as his best man. Now, the two don’t even speak. “When things go down so badly sometimes, and you don’t have the opportunity to make anything good, that pain can just sit there forever,” Bradford said. “You just live life like that.” By Brianna Moye. Fall 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 11
DRY SPELL You need to stay hydrated, but your snacks don’t. Crank up the heat with these three dehydrated recipes.
BY LORI LOOTENS ILLUSTRATIONS BY RACHEL MORRIS
ontrary to what infomercials tell you, you don’t need a fancy dehydrator to DIY healthy snacks. In fact, dehydration is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. Prehistoric people in China, Persia and Greece sun-dried seeds long before the era of commercialized food appliances. Drying is a simple process, but it can be tedious. In order to get the desired product, you’ll need a bit of time (to monitor the operation), patience and fairy dust. (Okay, you can skip the fairy dust, but it does make good seasoning.) Grab a candy bar from the vending machine? Nope, not you. Drive-thru Taco Bell? No need, because you have your very own dehydrated snack to munch on. Perks of making your own dehydrated foods include (but are not limited to): knowing exactly what ingredients you’re consuming, saving money on store-bought snacks, reducing waste by dehydrating instead of throwing out older foods and, of course, bragging rights. • 12 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
what you'll need • • • •
Ripe fruits & vegetables Lemon juice Kettle Parchment paper
• A microwave or oven & baking sheet • Tempeh • Storage container
blanching 101 Before beginning the dehydration process, you need to blanch your chosen fruits or vegetables to lengthen shelf life. The easiest way to blanch is to briefly submerge your chosen food in boiling water, then immediately after transfer it to a bowl with cold water. Blanching preserves color and nutrients.
methods MICROWAVE DRYING (FOR APPLES) Microwave on “defrost” for varying amounts of time until the apples are crisp and curled up on the edges. OVEN DRYING This method takes a few hours. Put your oven on the lowest setting (optimally 125-135 degrees Fahrenheit). Set it to convection or crack the door. We recommend popping a fan next to the opening to wick away moisture.
*we recommend apples
BEFORE BAKING Wash, core and cut the apple into thin rings or slices. Then blanch and coat in a mix of lemon juice and water – in a ratio of 1 tablespoon per cup of water – to prevent darkening during preparation.
OVEN 1. Arrange slices on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. 2. Place in oven on lowest heat setting. 3. Bake for 5 to 6 hours, depending on oven. 4. Flip the slices when the edges of the apples start to curl up. 5. Remove from oven once the edges are crisp. 6. Let cool. 7. Store and enjoy!
MICROWAVE 1. Arrange slices on a microwave-safe plate covered in parchment paper. 2. Microwave for 4 and a half to 5 minutes on defrost setting or until edges of apples start to curl up. 3. Flip each slice and continue to microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until edges are crisp. 4. Remove from microwave and let cool. 5. Store and enjoy!
BEFORE BAKING Chop the cauliflower and blanch in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes, then chill it quickly in an ice bath to keep it from continuing to cook. Set out on paper towel to dry.
OVEN 1. Arrange slices on a cooking sheet covered in parchment paper. 2. Place in oven on lowest heat setting. 3. Bake for between 6 to 14 hours. 4. Rotate the sheet regularly for even drying. 5. The cauliflower will be brittle when done. Let cool before storing.
*we recommend cauliflower
*we recommend tempeh
BEFORE BAKING Thinly slice the tempeh, then marinate it in a mason jar overnight. For marinade, try soy sauce, sriracha, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup or garlic. Dry with paper towels before baking.
OVEN 1. Place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 2. Bake at 200 degrees, for about 2 to 2 and a half hours. 3. Store tempeh in a container with a tight-fitting lid to protect against moisture and bugs. You can pack your container as full as possible as long as the pieces don’t crush each other.
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up rooted Development in Gainesville threatens the future of its live oak population. BY SARAH LIU ILLUSTRATIONS BY TUCKY FUSSELL
bout 20 minutes north of Gainesville in an open field in Alachua stands the Cellon Oak, the largest live oak in Florida. The tree, nicknamed Atticus, with a massive 85-foot trunk and a canopy that sprawls 160 feet across the sky, is estimated to be anywhere between 300 and 500 years old. Quercus virginiana, commonly known as live oaks, are Gainesville icons. The evergreen tree's large, Spanishmoss-adorned branches swoop down to the ground in a phenomenon known as “decumbent branching.” Live oaks were once scattered across the city. But as the savanna, the tree's natural habitat, is increasingly transformed into paved parking lots or plots destined to become apartments, the typically resilient trees have come under threat, said UF botanist Francis Putz. In 2003, Putz conducted a study that found that 90 percent of live oaks in Gainesville’s suburban areas weren’t getting enough sunlight due to overcrowding by taller trees, namely the sweet gum, magnolia and, laurel oak that don’t need as much space to establish a root structure. Three years later, Putz and graduate student Tova Spector found that a similar phenomenon was occuring in the county’s rural areas. The establishment of pine plantations had decreased the open savanna cover from 70 percent to less than 30.
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“One big tree is worth how many small trees? You take down one big tree and you plant ten, twenty or one hundred small trees, but they hardly make up for it.” Putz’s research led him to conclude that encroaching trees were in danger of destroying more than half of Gainesville’s live oaks in a process that could take anywhere from 10 to 30 years. 12 years later, Putz believes nearly 97 percent of the county’s savanna has been lost, taking many live oaks with it. “[Live oaks have] to be the right tree in the right place, and you have to make room for them,” Putz said. “But a lot of developers are unwilling to make room for them.” Live oaks can live to be centuries old, so while the population isn’t in imminent danger, the practices that hurt trees now could cause their disappearance in the future. Putz found that a combination of heavy rainfall, an increased use of lawn fertilizers, a decrease in fire suppression and, of course, a warming climate, give tall, fast-growing tree species an ecological edge. For example, laurel oaks compete with (and tend to beat out) nearby live oaks for the resources necessary for healthy development, like water, soil nutrients and sunlight. Where live oaks grow horizontally, laurel oaks grow vertically, forming a dense canopy above the former tree that blocks sunlight. Laurel oaks also tend to live less than a century and aren’t as hurricane resistant as the sturdy live oaks. Gainesville offers several resources in order give heritage trees a fighting chance. In 2013, the city commission approved a tree ordinance to protect 25 heritage tree species, including live oaks and longleaf pines, whose population has also rapidly declined in the industrial age. Developers desiring to take down regulated trees on commercial property are required to pay a mitigation fee. This fee is put toward a tree fund that the city uses to plant new trees in the community. Homeowners who take down a protected tree located on their property have to plant trees to make up for it. “If a tree needs to be removed, the tree is mitigated for,” said Matthew Mears, the city
arborist. “It’s not just gone forever.” Putz said that though these efforts are great, the city and developers often plant live oaks “in places where they can’t do live oak things,” like extend their roots 100 feet into the ground and grow big, branching canopies. “One big tree is worth how many small trees?” Putz said. “You take down one big tree and you plant ten, twenty or one hundred small trees, but they hardly make up for it.” The city commission has also developed an Urban Forestry Management Plan, a communitydriven effort to improve the local forestry and landscape. The plan hopes to identify challenges to the ecosystem, such as hurricanes and laurel oak encroachment, combat them and find ways to diversify the city’s urban forestry. In addition to the ordinance and its conservation projects, the city also holds monthly public meetings on the issues faced by trees in Gainesville. Mears and Putz both said the best thing individual citizens can do is let the city know you care about trees. “The big trees play an oversized role ecologically and culturally,” Putz said. “It’s not the number of trees that you have that matters, it’s something else. . . . A tree has a right, has a standing.” •
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NEW LEASE ON RIGHTS The Alachua County Labor Coalition is fighting for more rights for renters in Gainesville. BY ALANA GOMEZ ILLUSTRATIONS BY ANIKA HUDA
n April, new tenants moved into the house 21-yearold journalism student Bailey LeFever shared with five roommates behind Midtown: Rats. But when LeFever approached her landlord for help, she was informed that pest control was the tenants’ responsibility under the lease. The roommates tried to lay rat traps across the house, but for the next two months, LeFever said she would find around two rats per day. Sometimes they were alive, running across the kitchen countertops or popping out of air vents. Other times, they were dead. “I wouldn't go to the bathroom or take a shower at night because I was afraid of stepping on a rat on the way to the kitchen,” LeFever said. At the end of the summer, LeFever and her roommates discovered that a hole in the roof had caused the rat infestation, as well as a massive bug problem and leaky air conditioners. LeFever wrote her landlord a letter with demands to settle the issue, but in the end the roommates were reimbursed only one month of rent despite not being able to live in the house all summer. “I was extremely pissed,” LeFever said. “... It was a major inconvenience.” Renters in Gainesville have little recourse to 16 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
advocate for better living conditions. Despite current law, landlords often exploit tenants by keeping security deposits for arbitrary reasons, refusing to make repairs or threatening eviction in retaliation, according to the coalition. To better housing conditions for renters, the Alachua County Labor Coalition (ACLC), a non-profit organization of individuals who petition for equal rights in healthcare, housing and wages, is pressuring city and county officials to adopt a “renters rights” ordinance. The ordinance would create a mediation program for disputes over security deposits, minimum housing standards, and publicly available inspection ratings for properties. “Since a lot of people are low income or students, they don't know how to fight, and they maybe think that they can't fight,” said Jason Fults, an executive board member for the ACLC. “So they just eat it.” Two major problems the ACLC is after are security deposits and high utility bills. Landlords can withhold security deposits if they deem the tenant has damaged the property in some way. But in some cases, renters are charged for damage that had been caused before they moved in. The ACLC experienced this firsthand in February 2016 when it tried to move out of the office it had rented for a decade. Fults said Nautilus Realty, the management company, never updated the unit, resulting in normal wear and tear. Yet Nautilus threatened to withhold the coalition’s rental deposit,
SPOTLIGHT claiming they had damaged the space. “They didn't even know what the hell that place looked like,” Fults said. In response, the coalition reached out to Three Rivers Legal Services, a nonprofit law firm in North Florida. Fults said the law firm wrote a letter to the landlord on behalf of the coalition, challenging the company’s attempt to withhold the deposit. “That's all it took,” Fults said. “Just a single letter from a lawyer.” City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos is also advocating for a renters’ rights ordinance. The ordinance will have three parts: health and safety, minimum energy efficiency standards and mediation between landlords and tenants. “We need to make sure that if you rent a place in Gainesville that you can expect it to be safe and that you can expect it to be energy efficient as well,” HayesSantos said. The ordinance would require routine inspections of rental properties, scoring them for overall quality. The better a landlord’s score, the less frequently their property would be inspected, thus encouraging them to perform well in order to continue renting.
On Nov. 8, four of the seven commissioners will need to vote “yes” on the legislation to make the bill a reality. HayesSantos hopes to have the ordinance passed so the commission can move forward on the issue by the beginning of summer 2019. Reina Saco, an Equal Justice Works Fellow, is working with the ACLC to craft the ordinance. “Young women, students, elderly folks, poor people, people of color — who are they going to go and actually complain to?” Saco said. “I think that is a problem.” •
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WHAT’S PAST IS PRESENT
A Confederate statue stands on UF property in downtown St. Augustine. UF refuses to take it down. BY KYLE HAYES ILLUSTRATION BY ZACH GASPARINI
hen Hasani Malone decided to move from Atlanta to St. Augustine to attend Flagler College in 2015, her mother made sure she knew what she was getting into. The 21-year-old journalism student’s decision made her one of the few black students in a city with an infamous history of racism. One night, the summer before Malone moved for college, her 18 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
mother made her watch Crossing in St. Augustine, a 2010 documentary about Andrew Young, a leader in the local civil rights movement who was beaten after he attempted to march into downtown St. Augustine. “It’s fine. It’ll be fun,” Malone told her mother after the credits rolled. Now a senior at Flagler and a member of the local Black Lives Matter chapter, Malone understands what her mother meant. Her education in St. Augustine has been marked by incidents of prejudice,
from moments of “polite Southern racism” (like store owners following her), to online attacks, the bulk of which she received after protesting a local cafe, The Bunnery, for allowing an employee to work in blackface last Halloween. “It’s not a welcoming environment for black people,” Malone said. “They were telling me I need to get out of St. Augustine.” This dark side of St. Augustine is typified by two Confederate monuments situated in the heart of
SPOTLIGHT the city’s downtown historic district. Both monuments are owned by the city, but one, an obelisk dedicated to Confederate General William Wing Loring, is managed by the University of Florida’s Historic St. Augustine Board. Since August 2017, a contingent of activists, organizing under the banner “Take ‘Em Down St. Augustine,” have called for the removal of the two Confederate monuments. They’ve held public meetings in the downtown square to raise awareness, voiced their opposition at council meetings and organized protests intended to disrupt the tourism industry. In May, members of Take ‘Em Down marched for three days from Jacksonville to St. Augustine. “It represents something so ugly,” Malone said. “I get that people feel that it is their heritage, but their heritage is ugly and racist. They shouldn’t be proud of that.” Yet the boards responsible for the monuments have shown little interest in removing them. Last October, St. Augustine’s all-white city commission voted to add historical context to its monument to deceased Confederate soldiers. UF’s board, also all-white, followed suit in June, agreeing to preserve the Loring monument. In November, UF’s board will consider what to do now that it’s decided to keep the Loring monument in place. Options range from doing nothing to adding a new monument next to the Confederate memorial. President of UF Business Affairs Ed Poppell, who serves as the administrative head of the board, said the board is committed to remaining “impartial” above all else. “Moving it seems to be everybody’s conversation, but it’s just a lot more complicated than that,” Poppell said. “We have a responsibility to do what the legislature asked us to do, and that is to protect, preserve and interpret history.” Poppell said he spoke with the Loring family and representatives from the Lincolnville Museum and
Cultural Center, which is dedicated to St. Augustine's black history, and Fort Mose, the first free black settlement in the US. Poppell will present his research to the board, which will decide what to do next. The Loring monument is an imposing, four-sided marble obelisk that occupies a busy street corner in the heart of downtown. The memorial is inscribed with information about Loring’s life and military career and calls for the general’s life to be “an inspiration to American youth.” An American flag is engraved on the eastern side and a Confederate flag is engraved on the western side. Loring’s ashes are buried underneath. Activists point out the memorial was erected in 1920 in the height of the Jim Crow era by the Daughters of the Confederacy (of which Loring’s niece was part). The Daughters of the Confederacy are a group dedicated to spreading the “Lost Cause,” the notion that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery and racism but was solely about state’s rights. “When we’re talking about the Daughters of the Confederacy … there was an intention there,” said Mary Cobb, the president of St. Augustine’s chapter of the Women’s March and an active member of Take ‘Em Down St. Augustine. “Something was tied into there to show that the South and the Confederacy may rise again, and that people should know their place.” An overlooked but significant aspect of the monument is that the Confederate flag on its western side faces Lincolnville, a neighborhood in St. Augustine that was established by freedmen after the Civil War. “I think that’s a little disrespectful,” Malone said. “There’s such a large lack of black and brown faces in the downtown area. It just shows you, 'we don’t really care about you, you’re not important to our industry.'” In the 1960s, Lincolnville was the base for activists like Dr. Robert Hayling, who led St. Augustine’s civil rights movement and was
“It represents something so ugly,” Malone said. “I get that people feel that it is their heritage, but their heritage is ugly and racist. They shouldn’t be proud of that.”
Photo by Meaghan Chin.
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SPOTLIGHT instrumental in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. St. Augustine does have a park dedicated to Hayling, but it’s isolated from downtown, has little parking and is located right next to a sewage facility. While St. Augustine currently has markers placed throughout the city to educate people on some of its racial history — specifically the countless, documented acts of violence, intimidation and discrimination committed by the city’s white population — activists note these markers aren’t given the same prominence as the Confederate monuments. “They’re so on the ground, they’re all small and level to you,” Malone said. “These [Confederate monuments] are in the air and high. That shows how important they feel it is.” Lincolnville, now a designated historic district, is currently being gentrified and has seen a huge decrease in its black population. (As a whole, St. Augustine’s non-white population has decreased by 10% since 1960.) “The price was paid by the African Americans in St Augustine,” Cobb said. “Basically they got pushed out.
“It’s getting smaller and smaller,” Cobb said. “St. Augustine is not the kind of place where you want to start trouble, especially when you’re starting trouble about race.” 20 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
It’s something that [we] should be talking about.” Most locals aren’t aware of the city’s racist history. Julie Abella is a local who was eating lunch by the monument on a Saturday afternoon. “I’ve never thought about it,” Abella said, taking a bite of her sandwich. “I think it’s good to be educated about it, and maybe that monument helps educate people. To take it down, then nobody will hear the story, so then you’re kind of hiding it.” Poppell cites the lack of public motivation to remove the monuments as a significant reason for their preservation. He specifically mentioned a survey funded by Save Southern Heritage Florida — a group that has fought Confederate monument removal across the state — that found 87 percent of St. Augustine's population want to keep the Confederate monument. “We have a responsibility to accept the values of individual communities,” Poppell said. “The values in St. Augustine is one of [sic] protecting and preserving history.” Since the board’s June decision to preserve the monument, the movement for removal has been in flux. There has also been a decrease in local involvement due to the backlash they’ve received. In mid-October, the city commission announced its next meeting would propose an ordinance that would ban protesters from entering the plaza in which the statues stand. “It’s getting smaller and smaller,” Cobb said. “St. Augustine is not the kind of place where you want to start trouble, especially when you’re starting trouble about race.” Activists are laying low and biding their time until UF’s board votes in November to decide what to do next. Many doubt UF will be able to provide an adequate balance to the monument’s presence in the city. “[Loring] fought every oppressed race you can think of: American Indians, Mexicans —he even went to Egypt and fought against the Nigerians,” Cobb said. “How are you going to contextualize that?” •
A (BRIEF) HISTORY OF CIVIL RIGHTS IN NORTH FLORIDA 1904
Mary McLeod Bethune opens the Daytona Literacy and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, which would later become Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.
Virgil Hawkins and five other black students applied for admission to UF’s professional schools. They are denied on the basis of race; the NAACP files a lawsuit.
DECEMBER 24, 1950
Ku Klux Klan members murder Harry T. Moore and his wife for starting a NAACP chapter in Brevard County. An investigation reveals a network of local police and Klan members were violently suppressing blacks’ rights; no legal action is taken.
Two FAMU coeds are arrested for sitting beside a white woman on a Tallahassee city bus. The black community begins a boycott.
C.K. Steele, Dan Speed and A.C. Redd, three Tallahassee pastors, protested segregated seating on city buses by sitting in the middle of the bus instead of the back, ending the nearly seven-month boycott.
FEBRUARY 13, 1960
Local members of the Congress of Racial Equality hold the first sit-in at downtown Tallahasee department store lunch counters. A week later, FAMU and FSU students follow suit, sitting in at Woolworth’s lunch counter. Eleven are arrested and charged with disturbing the peace.
Robert Hayling leads St. Augustine’s NAACP chapter in protesting the city’s 400th anniversary.
JUNE 11, 1964
Martin Luther King, Jr. leads one of the first civil rights marches in St. Augustine. King and several others are arrested for attempting to integrate Monson Motor Lodge, a motel. King pens “Letter from St. Augustine Jail,” urging rabbis to join him in protest in Florida.
17-year-old Mamie Nell Ford jumps into Monson’s segregated swimming pool in protest. Journalists record owner James Brock dumping acid into the pool in response.
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STRIKE CAMP Local activists camped out for 10 days across from the Gainesville Work Camp in September to protest mass incarceration.
STORY BY MARCELO RONDON PHOTOS BY MARCELO RONDON & COLE THOMAS
s the sun broke the horizon Wednesday, Sept. 5, Kaithleen Hernandez stared across a stretch of University Avenue. Five security guards huddled by the entrance to the Gainesville Work Camp, which is about five miles away from the University of Florida. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, the work camp is one of the largest state prisons that provides rehabilitation services, but this often comes in the form of manual labor. Save for the occasional passing car, the only sound is the hum of mosquitos from the nearby Newnans Lake. Hernandez gripped her megaphone as one of the security guards held up binoculars. The morning before, the 23-yearold Civic Media Center coordinator and other activists ran in front of a truck that was transporting inmates to a work site. The blockade made the truck turn around and stopped work for 45 minutes. The activists stayed the night on a strip of public land across from the work camp, intent on blocking the morning truck again. Their tens and signs were still covered in dew from that night's rain. “We see you, we love you,” Hernandez said into the 22 | T H E
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The main tents the activists operated from and spent most of their time in when they weren’t sleeping or chanting.
PHOTOSTORY megaphone so the prisoners who were being transported early in the morning could hear. Members of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) camped out across the work camp for 10 days in early September to oppose mass incarceration, protest in support of the prisoners and show solidarity with a national prison strike. IWOC is a prisoner-led branch of the radical labor union Industrial Workers of the World and seeks to unionize incarcerated people. The nationwide strike started in response to an April 15 prison riot at Lee Correctional Institute in South Carolina, during which seven inmates were stabbed to death. The riot began in retaliation to degrading living conditions and neglectful prison guards; the corresponding nationwide strike called for improvements to prison conditions, like adding air conditioning units and drafting policies that would recognize prisoners’ humanity.
“We see you, we love you,” Hernandez said into the megaphone.
Kaithleen Hernandez, 23, and Logan Marie, 26, confront an Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy when asked to remain outside the camp’s property.
The strike’s goals included adopting a living wage for labor and ending prison slavery; rescinding the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act, a triad that makes it harder for inmates to file lawsuits in federal court by forcing them to go through the prison’s grievance procedure first; funding rehabilitation services at state prisons; ending discriminatory practices in charging, sentencing and parole; reinstating Pell grants; and restoring voting rights to prisoners, pretrial detainees and anyone who has served their time. “People just want to return to parole, get out and look forward to the rest of their lives,” Hernandez said. Throughout the week, protesters held several noise demonstrations, chanting demands into a megaphone. Using a common direct action tactic, the protesters blocked the buses transporting prisoners to the work sites. At night, they played music and projected Inside Out and Deadpool, hoping to reach the prisoners. Hernandez, who is running for a county soil and water conservation seat, came back to the camp between work shifts and slept there every night. “The funniest part is that they tell us to get a job,” she said, referring to the security guards. “We all have jobs. They are the ones leeching off our tax dollars.” Karen Smith, one of the main organizers of the protest, said prisoners demanded better treatment at the camp and an end to contacts help by UF and the city that use unpaid prison labor. Other demands from local prisoners included air conditioning and the reinstatement of parole. The Florida Department of Corrections considers the Gainesville work camp to be the best situation an incarcerated Fall 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 23
PHOTOSTORY person can find themselves in, mainly because it’s so selective: Inmates must have fewer than 10 years left on a non-violent sentence and a clear disciplinary history to qualify for camp designation. But activists and prisoners say that instead of focusing on rehabilitating — with the goal of eventually reintroducing inmates into society — the camp has prisoners clean up streets, pick produce and perform other manual labor.
As the truck pulled out of the gate Wednesday morning, Hernandez and 26-year-old Logan Marie, a founding member of IWOC, ran across the street in an attempt to block the truck’s path. They were able to stop the truck for around 20 seconds, during which they exchanged a few words with the inmates to let them know they were fighting for them. “They had the biggest smiles on their faces,” Marie said. “I even got to give an inmate a fist bump.” •
Logan Marie, 26, and Kaithleen Hernandez, 23, run to stop a truck carrying inmates from leaving the work camp.
Some of the tents the activists slept in throughout the strike.
The activists used megaphones for noise demonstrations to reach and encourage inmates at the work camp.
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Kaithleen Hernandez, 23, is also running for the Alachua County Water and Soil Conservation seat in District 2.
Fall 2018. BY THE EDITORS ILLUSTRATIONS BY KEN FARFAN
Stop seeking adventure and start seeking a life.
You’re not a doormat; shake yourself free of other people’s dirt.
Pull your head out of the clouds and connect with those around you.
Don’t let insecurities hold you back. Once you allow yourself to be successful, you will be.
Listen with curiosity. You’ll realize you didn’t know as much as you thought.
You don’t need to replace your toothbrush as often as you do.
It’s high time you pick a fight; take those scales and become a reptile.
When has swiping right ever worked for you? Get off Tinder; go outside.
Tell a lie for once. It will be liberating.
Take a plunge in the sea while the weather is still hot; soon it will be too cold to breathe.
You can always travel later, when Your heart wants to keep you have more money and time. working, but your mind is For now, stay put: Look for telling you to stop. Listen. something new in the old. Soon you won’t have a choice.
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READ ALL -ABALLOT BY BRIANNA MOYE, MOLLY MINTA AND SIRENE DAGHER ILLUSTRATIONS BY WESTON MANSFIELD
his Nov. 6, Florida voters will face the longest list of proposed constitutional changes in decades, including an amendment that would automatically restore voting rights to nearly 1.4 million felons. Each proposed amendment is as terrifically confusing as always, so the Fine Print broke down this historically long list to help you figure out which circle to pen in on election day. • For the complete list, visit www.thefineprintmag.org.
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AMENDMENT 1 Would raise the portion of a home’s value that can be exempted from non-school property taxes.
does voting yes do?
If passed, homes valued between $100,000 and $125,000 could see up to $75,000 in property tax exemptions.
the impact? This amendment appears to be designed to benefit wealthy homeowners at the expense of already-beleaguered local governments. Homeowners might save a couple hundred dollars a year on property taxes, but local governments across the state would lose about $645 million, according to a legislative staff analysis. Seventy-six percent of property owners in Florida would not benefit from it, according to watchdog group Florida Tax Watch.
AMENDMENT 3 Would give voters the right to decide whether a new casino can be opaened in the state.
does voting yes do?
If this amendment passes, the only way to open a new casino would be through a citizen’s initiative, a process that would involve getting hundreds of thousands signatures and majority voter approval. The current process requires a simple legislative majority.
the impact? Disney and the Seminole Tribe of Florida have spent nearly $40 million dollars campaigning for this amendment as it would make it harder to expand gambling — owners of dog and horse tracks oppose the amendment for the same reason.
AMENDMENT 4 Would restore the right to vote for people with prior felony convictions upon completion of their sentences.
does voting yes do?
If this passes, a person’s right to vote would be automatically restored after completion of their sentence. Currently, those who have committed felonies must wait five years to apply for re-eligibility, and they must appeal to the Florida governor and Cabinet, a lengthy and arduous process. This would exclude those who have committed murder or sex crimes.
the impact? Florida is one of only four states that prohibits convicted felons from voting. Approving this amendment would add nearly 1.4 million voters to the pool.
AMENDMENT 9 This amendment comes to you in two parts that shouldn’t really go together.
will it do? Amendment 9 would permanently ban in the state constitution drilling for oil and gas in state waters, which is already banned in Florida law. It would also, for some reason, ban smoking of e-cigarettes in restaurants and indoor workplaces.
AMENDMENT 6 This amendment comes to you in three parts: Voting ‘yes’ on one means all parts are approved.
Part 1: Marsy’s
law This amendment would enshrine specific rights for crime victims, like the right to privacy or to be “reasonably protected from the accused.” It would also give victims legal standing to testify during hearings to determine a defendant’s bail, sentencing, plea deals and parole. The ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center both oppose this amendment.
What's Sources: Miami Herald, The Appeal, League of Women Voters, Florida Today.
the impact? Supporters say this law would make it easier for victims to get justice. But critics say Marsy’s Law would infringe on the rights of the accused by, for instance, preventing public defenders from interviewing victims privately about eyewitness identification, one of the most unreliable forms of testimony. Critics say Florida also has relatively strong victims rights, and the problems with the state’s criminal justice system come not from the law but its implementation.
This would raises the mandatory retirement rate for Florida judges from 70 to 75, but many states don’t even have a cap.
This would prohibit judges from deferring to administrative agencies in interpreting law, a long-standing legal practice.
the impact? If this amendment passes, people will no longer be able to take out their vape pens at work or in a restaurant for a quick puff.
AMENDMENT 11 This amendment comes to you in three parts: Voting ‘yes' on one means voting ‘yes’ on all.
Part 1 would delete language from the Florida’s constitution that currently prevents “aliens ineligible for citizenship” from buying, selling, owning or inheriting property.
Part 2 would repeal the “Savings Clause,” a constitutional relic from
1885 that requires individuals be prosecuted under the law that was in effect when the alleged crime was committed, even if that law changes while they’re still being prosecuted. This amendment aims to ensure that individuals are prosecuted under the most current law. Florida is one of just three states that still enforces the Savings Clause.
would delete a section from the Constitution that mandates a high-speed transportation system, which voters repealed in 2004.
AMENDMENT 13 Prohibits commercial dog racing in the state.
will it do? Make betting on dogs races in Florida illegal in December 2020, but it would still allow other types of racetrack gambling, like slot machines. Florida has 12 of the nation’s 18 dog-racing tracks. Who does it impact? In theory, dogs. Supporters of Amendment 13 want to ban commercial dog racing to protect dogs, primarily greyhounds, from mistreatment. Critics point out the amendment doesn’t say anything about animal rights and won’t prevent Floridians from betting on races that happen outside the state.
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PARTY POLITICS The owner of some of Gainesville’s most popular Midtown bars donates big money to local Republicans.
BY MOLLY MINTA ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHLOE KUKA
n a humid Tuesday night in mid-October, a group of students were waiting by the pool tables in the Social, their backpacks slung over brand-new chairs made to look rusted. The smell of craft beer perfumes the air, but they’re not drinking: They’re discussing the NSA, the UN and are waiting for Ted Yoho. After 15 minutes, they are greeted by an intern wearing khakis and a white cotton shirt that says “this is Yoho country” on the front. He leads the group — which included members of Young Americans for Freedom who held up the “I Stand With Kavanaugh” signs in Turlington Plaza during the confirmation hearings — to the bar’s rooftop balcony. Red, white and blue balloons are weighted down on every table. One of the tables is occupied by the College Republicans, who are handing out red cozies; next to the table, a picture of grinning Yoho watches the proceedings from a banner, a collage of the first three words of the Constitution, the state of Florida made out of an American flag and the representative’s name (Yoho will be 40 minutes late to the meet-and-greet). “We want to engage conservative students on campus with the elections coming around,” said Nicholas Adams, a 20-year-old political science major and intern on Yoho’s campaign. “We wanted to introduce ourselves.” There was another reason Yoho and his team were stumping at the Social that night: the owner is Rob Zeller, a local
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businessman known for several other midtown haunts, including Grog House and the now-closed Copper Monkey. Aside from a 2011 run for the city commission, Zeller mostly keeps to himself and is rarely seen at his bars. But Zeller is one of the most notorious Republican donors in Alachua County, transforming the profit from his college bars into liquid gold for North Florida conservatives. Since 2008, Zeller has poured over $32,000 into local conservative candidates (though they haven’t exactly been successful), according to the Alachua County Supervisors of Elections Office records. And from 2012 to 2018, Zeller has donated nearly $6,000 to Yoho’s campaigns, more than the National Rifle Association, according to records in the Federal Exchange Commission. “I know people who own small businesses in town and I’m not aware of them dumping that much money into local races,” said Susan Bottcher, a former city commissioner who ran against Zeller in 2011. “For the last 10 years, that’s a lot of money.” Bryan Eastman, a local political consultant and owner of Everblue Communications, said that $32,000 is about the amount of money a candidate needs to raise to have a fighting chance in a city commission race. “Most donors haven’t given more than $15,000 over the course of their lifetime,” Eastman said. Zeller is part of what many local politicians and campaigners call Gainesville’s “donor class,” a group of wealthy individuals
FEATURE and business owners who can be counted on to pass money a candidate’s way and who, for one reason or another, are able to donate more than usual. (The Fine Print could not reach Zeller for comment.) “People give to have access,” said Katy Burnett, a Democratic political consultant. “You want to be part of a class. You want to matter.” This “donor class” exists despite a 2004 city and county campaign finance law that aimed to reduce the amount of money in local elections. The law, a result of a yearslong campaign, lowered the maximum contribution any individual person or business can give to a political candidate from $500 per cycle to $250. But the law came with three significant loopholes, according to a 2015 study conducted by the LeRoy Collins Institute, a policy organization at Florida State University, and Integrity Florida, a nonpartisan research organization. Political action committees can still accept and spend unlimited amounts of money on a candidate’s behalf. Political parties, which can also accept unlimited amounts of money, can donate $50,000 directly to local candidates and spend as much as they want on advertising and in-kind donations, such as door-knocking or sign-waving. The third loophole is that businesses are considered separate entities from their owners. This means that a business owner can cut a check for the maximum $250 contribution, and so can the business. This can be repeated for each separate business an individual owns, allowing them to exert a greater impact on local campaigns than the average citizen. “There are ways all around this kind of thing,” said Marihelen Wheeler, who is running for county commission. “I could give [my son] the money and have him donate it for me. Nobody is gonna know that the money that came from my son’s checkbook isn’t from him."
Zeller regularly donates the maximum contribution as himself and through six of the over 20 businesses he owns and operates in Alachua County, including Gator City Investments, A Gator Limousine, Meat Eat Play (also known as the Social), Copper Monkey and the now-closed Gator City and Dancing Boots. Zeller had even donated through his political consulting firm, Best Policy Corp. Zeller is far from the only individual who has taken advantage of these loopholes. Phillip Pritchett, who owns Pritchett Trucking, frequently cuts $250 checks from himself and his business. So do members of the Fletcher family, who own Fletcher Construction, a building company. “It’s pretty clear that you have to go to the construction companies to get the big money,” said Ward Scott, a local conservative radio talk show host who has also run for city commission. Scott cited Clark Butler, the man behind Butler Plaza, as one of the biggest donors to Republicans in the early 2000s who was often able to get his subcontactors to donate to political campaigns as well. Local political consultants say this “donor class” doesn’t directly influence local government policy, which is more dependent on the inner workings of the city or county bureaucracy. But donors will gain access, said Alex Patton, a local political consultant who owns Ozean Media, a Republican consulting firm. “If you’ve got somebody who has raised $5,000 for you or $10,000 for you and they call you, their phone call gets returned,” Patton said. Patton said that it’s not just free money that can create access. It’s free labor. “If somebody organizes an entire neighborhood and walks 500 homes, I’m gonna return their phone call too,” Patton said. “I think people often forget that part of it. Somebody that walks a neighborhood for you in 90-degree heat, they get their phone call returned.” Some donors may not own multiple businesses they can donate from but have a community of people who, once they see that person’s name in the financial reports, will also donate to a candidate. “If that person has connections and
can get more people to donate, they’re also considered politically valuable,” Burnett said. While Democrats say the 2004 law favors businesses and wealthy individuals, Republicans argue the law actually favors Democrats, who outnumber Republicans by over 35,000 registered voters, according to the county supervisor of elections. Since there are more Democrats, Republicans argue there’s a bigger pool of potential donors to draw from. “I’m not running another city commission [race]. I’m not wasting my money,” Patton said. “It’s unwinnable.”
Since 2008, Zeller, who owns a myriad of midtown bars, has poured over $32,000 into local conservative candidates. And from 2012 to 2018, Zeller has donated nearly $6,000 to Yoho’s campaigns. It still seems like Republicans can outraise Democrats. Scott Costello, who is running for county commission district 2, has raised $48,796 as of press time compared with his Democratic opponent, Marihelen Wheeler, who has raised $45,349. Though Costello is not running as a Republican, local political consultants say one look at his financial reports will tell you about all you need to know. Zeller contributed the max contribution, as did Gator City Investments, Grog House and Meet, Eat, Play. Phillip Pritchett, Pritchett Inc., Fletcher Construction and members of the Fletcher family have also donated the maximum contribution. “These local races are not watched very heavily, and it’s a fairly small turnout,” Eastman said. “There’s not big news stories about it, so money ends up playing a much larger role in these elections.” Campaign managers and political Fall 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 29
consultants say this law has increased the amount of money in local elections that comes from “dark money,” political action committees that don’t have to disclose who their donors are. For example, the Chamber of Commerce’s PAC, Gainesville Regional Business, donates thousands to candidates and local political initiatives. “I’ve often fantasized that I should take one whole wall in my house and do the yarn,” Bottcher said. “But that’s basically what it takes to show all these connections that are happening underneath it. It’s scary.” But certain Democrats note that this may not be cause for concern. “As a rule, not all PACs are evil,” Young said. Wheeler said that she accepts PAC money from groups she’s politically aligned with, like the AFL-CIO, National Nurses United, the Sierra Club and the local teachers union. “Everybody makes a big deal out of PAC money and I’ve know some people who say they don’t take PAC money at all,” Wheeler said. “But I do because we have to have the money …Things are so expensive … We’re having to rethink this PAC thing to at least say we accept PAC money from the groups that we support and believe in.” Wheeler said that money may be even
more important for candidates running in the rural areas of North Florida, something she knows from personal experience. Backcountry highways and dirt roads aren’t canvass-able, and electronic methods of voter contact aren’t as reliable if you can’t get service. The easiest way to contact people is through mailers, which Wheeler said can run between $6,000 to $9,000 per printing. “Hopefully [Democrats] don’t go to the dark side and go to the corporate and industrial world that depends on these politicians,” Wheeler said. “It may come down to a time where, if we really want good people in there, we may have to hold our nose. … Until they take big money out of the game, which the Republicans will never do, I think the Democrats will always be a little behind.” Meanwhile, city and county races are getting more expensive each year. “It’s sort of an arms race,” Eastman said. “If one candidate raises more money, then you need to raise more money to keep up with them.” Eastman and others say that raising the most money doesn’t guarantee that a candidate will win, but that candidates do need to raise money if they want to be viable competitiors. Money is important because it goes directly to voter contact, Eastman said, from things like
yard signs, mailers and Facebook ads to pricey TV and radio commercials. Patton said that candidates often underestimate how much time they have to spend raising money during the campaign. Once you file, Patton said, “you welcome yourself to the world of political campaigns and you dial for dollars and you have lunch for dollars and you have meetings for dollars and you have coffee for dollars.” Young pointed out that the amount of time a candidate has to spend raising money campaigning often precludes working class folks from running for office, even on the local level. “It takes a lot more work to raise a lot of money locally. People can’t just write a $1,000 check,” said Kristen Young, a local political consultant. “You have to really engage potential contributors and call them and contact them personally. You can’t just send a link and expect people to give.” A bartender who worked at Copper Monkey in midtown in 2016 said that Zeller wasn’t quiet about his politics, even at a business that caters to a diverse college. “It seemed like Rob was catering to [the College Republicans] as opposed to making it more open,” they said. “Would he do that for the young Democrats?” •
STEM THE TIDE A candidate for a Soil and Water Conservation District has ties to a white nationalist group.
BY KELLY HAYES AND MOLLY MINTA PHOTOS BY JULIA MITCHEM
n an afternoon in mid-May, Kaithleen Hernandez was scrolling through her Facebook feed when a video of a news broadcast from downtown St. Augustine caught her eye. Standing before a Confederate monument was a white man wearing a cut-off vest made out of a Confederate flag with two smaller flags stitched on as breast pockets. Eyes shaded by a grey baseball cap embroidered with the word “LIBERTARIAN,” he gripped a PVC pipe bearing yet another Confederate flag. Hernandez never quite forgot the image. She would encounter it again on Facebook about a month later, when the Gainesville Antifascists posted that the man in the video, Chris Rose II, had filed to run for a seat on the county’s soil and water conservation board. Rose is a director-at-large for the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF). Citing his association with Augustus Invictus, a white supremacist; hate groups like the American Guard; and active involvement in pro-Confederate monument rallies, the Antifascists called for someone to step up and run against Rose. The page asked: “Does Chris Rose II represent Gainesville???”
Hernandez filed to run two days later, turning an unopposed election into a race. “It is inherently racist,” Hernandez said of Rose’s support for Confederate statues. “We cannot allow him to run unopposed.” As the November election approaches, Gainesville’s leftist community has rallied around Hernandez. Megan Newsome, 22, is active with the Antifascists. Newsome pointed out that the conservation district is typically a low-profile, volunteer position. If Rose wins this seat, she’s worried he might use the legitimacy to run for a more powerful office. “It’s a very common tactic among Libertarians [to go] for those often unthought about seats,” Newsome said. “ … It’s never okay, especially in elected government. He’s not fit for the position. White supremacy does not need to be reflected in the government.” hris Rose II is from Waldo, a small town in northeastern Alachua County where his family has lived since before the Civil War. An active participant in local politics, he can often be found at county commission meetings, conservative
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FEATURE gatherings and pro-Confederate monument rallies wearing a cowboy hat and bolo tie. Rose said he decided to run for the conservation district last year after he joined LPF in March 2017 and was elected a director-at-large. “It’s a position I don’t think too many people know about,” he said. The conservation district oversees general environmental quality across the county by acting as as a liaison between the federal government and local landowners. Rose said he is campaigning on a platform of “free market conservation,” a Libertarian ideology that argues for fewer environmental regulations on businesses in favor of privatizing lands — even though it’s been proven that businesses will wreak havoc on the environment without regulations. For instance, an unregulated wood treatment facility in northeast Gainesville leached carcinogens into local waterways for decades, resulting in the Cabot-Koppers Superfund Site. "Whenever I go to a clean up, whether it’s at one of the highways locally or one of the springs, I’m looking to get as much trash as I can pick up personally in as short a time as possible,” Rose said. Rose said he wanted to expand the conservation district into a local government “watchdog." He said he was concerned the district didn’t have a say in the Wild Spaces and Public Places tax, which sets aside money for environmentally sensitive lands and was approved by voters in 2016. Three weeks after Rose filed, a Facebook group named “Libertarians United Against Chris Rose” was created. The page began to post screenshots culled from online posts, comments and news clips of Rose and his friends that offer a glimpse into the candidate’s political beliefs. The Fine Print investigated the Facebook posts and news clips provided to us by Libertarians United Against Chris Rose, and tracked Rose’s relationship with local members of the alt-right movement.
Rose Has Islamophobic Tendencies
Last year, Rose shared a video on Facebook of a June 2017 rally in Orlando called “March Against Sharia.” The event, organized a year after the Pulse shooting, was organized by Augustus Invictus, a 32 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
Kaithleen Hernandez, left, is running against Chris Rose II, right, for the Alachua County Water and Soil Conservation seat in District 2.
white supremacist, alt-right icon who spoke at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, and Holocaust-denier who ran for a Florida U.S. Senate seat in 2016 on the Libertarian ticket (he lost in the primary). In an interview last year with Hatewatch, a blog run by the Southern Poverty Law Center that documents the activities of the radical right, Invictus said, “Do I believe that 6 million Jews were killed by evil Hitler? Is that what you're asking me? Okay, then I am still waiting to see those facts.” In the video Rose shared, Invictus speaks into a megaphone to a responsive crowd — which included members of neo-Nazi organization Identity Evropa — about Confederate statues, the “dangers of Islam” and “leftist organizations.” A group of people to the left of him can be seen holding a sign that reads “End Islamic Immigration, No Safe Space for Sharia. Identity Evropa.” When asked about the banner, Rose said that he believes people should be free to peacfully cross borders and that, as a Libertarian, he couldn’t be against any one religion. He also said even though he gave some friends a ride to the rally, he didn’t attend due to prior plans. But in a screenshot of a now-deleted June 10, 2017 Facebook post, Rose wrote: “I am bringing fame to those who rise
against tyranny. I also just left an AntiSharia Law protest in Orlando, where we were very vocal about the dangers of Islam and who exactly is responsible for the Pulse Night Club [sic] massacre.” Rose wrote in an email to The Fine Print that he didn't recall sharing a video of Invictus's rally on Facebook, adding that if he had, "it would have been for awareness purposes only."
Rose Is Associated With Hate Group American Guard
Rose is publicly associated with at least three members of the American Guard, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The American Guard is a self-proclaimed nationalist organization whose mission is “Restoring the Bill of Rights, Asserting the American Identity,” according to its website. Similar to other alt-right organizations like the Proud Boys or Patriot Prayer — who in the wake of Charlottesville have shifted from ethno-nationalism to emphasizing legal status — the American Guard claims to advocate for freedom “without regard to race, religion, culture or previous political affiliation,” according to its website. Yet the group’s logo is of two crossed meat cleavers, a reference to “Bill the Butcher” from “Gangs of New York”, a
FEATURE character based on William Pool. Pool was a leader of the violent street gang the Bowery Boys that was infamous for attacking immigrants.
Battle of Gainesville, claiming that the Civil War was not about slavery and that none of his family members owned slaves. The notion that the Civil War was about
“WE CAN’T LET THIS GO,” HERNANDEZ SAID. “WE CAN’T NOT HAVE SOMEONE RUN AGAINST THIS GUY AND ALLOW HIM TO WIN.” Rose told The Fine Print he is not a member of the American Guard and claimed to not know anything about the organization. He did acknowledge he knew people who were involved in it, and in a photo posted on the American Guard Facebook page in fall 2017, Rose is pictured with friends, some of who are leaders in the American Guard. They include: Ryan Ramsey, the vice president of the Florida American Guard; Joe Martin, a Republican School Board Candidate for Duval County; Ryan Hansen, a newly patched American Guard member, according to his activity on the Florida chapter’s Facebook page and his public ties with American Guard President Brien James; and Todd Gomez, Florida Sergeant at-Arms for the American Guard, according to its Facebook page. Though Rose had written in a June 2017 Facebook post that he formally denounced the alt-right, Rose said the picture was from the unofficial campaign kick-off for Ramsey, who was running for Florida State House and is also an active LPF member. Ramsey represents Region 4, which comprises nine counties including Alachua. Hansen has shared posts of Rose speaking at county commission meetings and has twice tagged Rose in comments along with other LPF members, including Ramsey and Invictus, who is no longer a member.
Rose Supports Confederate Monuments
Rose actively participates in pro-Confederate monument rallies in Florida, including ones in Gainesville and St. Augustine. Rose spoke at a May 2017 county commission meeting in support of “Old Joe,” the Confederate statue in downtown that’s since been removed. Rose describes his family’s role in the Civil War and the
states’ rights was promulgated by white Southerners and former Confederate generals and is today a common white supremacist talking point. “I hate that the topic always turns to slavery,” Rose told The Fine Print. “None of my ancestors nor their friends nor the ancestors of my friends have been slave owners … why they should be vilified and put in the same category as someone who did own slaves is kind of an injustice.” Instead of removing Confederate monuments with taxpayer money, Rose supports private groups erecting adjacent monuments so that “both sides” can mourn their losses. “I’m a fan of diversity,” he said.
Rose Supported Richard Spencer
Last year, Rose was quoted in news outlets across Florida on Richard Spencer’s talk at UF. “I would also say hate speech does not cause violence,” Rose said to WGFL. “Actions cause violence. You might tell me whatever you want to, but what I choose to do, I am responsible for that." Rose told The Fine Print he wished that activist groups had “intellectually” debated Spencer instead of shouting the white supremacist offstage. “That’s what people like that want,” Rose said. “They thrive on that attention.” Yet Spencer hasn’t been able to hold a successful speaking event since No Nazis at UF shouted him offstage. The protests last year became a model for preventing alt-right speakers from hosting events at universities.
Rose Shared An Anti-Semitic Meme
In one of the screenshots posted by the Libertarians United Against Chris Rose Facebook page, Rose is shown messaging a Facebook group chat a meme that depicts an illustration of Adolf Hitler photoshopped
next to the planet Jupiter. The meme reads: “A gas planet? We’ll call it Jewpiter.” “Alright, alright, I’ll stop lol. Greg, delete if ya wanna,” Rose writes underneath, responding to a hidden comment. When asked about the post, Rose apologized. He said the meme was sent in a private conversation among friends and that it was intended to poke fun at the idea of being called a Nazi, which he said a couple people in the group chat had been called before. “Looking back, was it in poor taste?” Rose said. “Yes, perhaps. But it was also in that context. It was just between ourselves.” “It doesn’t look good when you have your name associated with something like that,” he added. ose is part of a greater pattern of individuals with ties to white supremacy and the alt-right seeking to legitimize themselves through public office, like Invictus, or a connection to local politicians, like the Proud Boys in South Florida have done with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. Rose told The Fine Print that whether or not he wins this election, he intends to run for the conservation district again. “I do plan to run again because I feel so confident I would be able to accomplish at least some of the things I want to see done,” he said. The Antifascists have been flyering at farmers markets and other local events, urging people to vote for Hernandez instead of Rose. Hernandez, a coordinator at the Civic Media Center, has a bachelor’s degree in sustainability and was active in the protests against the Sabal Trail pipeline in 2016. She supports government regulations on the environment. “I’ve seen what happens when we don’t have people doing that kind of work [regulations] in places like in Peru, where there are a lot of unregulated developers,” Hernandez said. “So I’d like to be able to prevent that from happening in such a beautiful place like Alachua County.” Hernandez is not running alone. Danielle Sullen is running unopposed for the district two seat on the board in order to provide an anti-racist perspective if Rose is elected. “We can’t let this go,” Hernandez said. “We can’t not have someone run against this guy and allow him to win.” •
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MASS MOVEMENT Out-of-town developers have been trying to tear St. Michael's Episcopal down for 20 years. Local residents keep stopping them. BY SIRENE DAGHER PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH TOWNSEND
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n early 2018, 75-year-old Eunice Johnson was driving home past the pine trees and Publix on NW 43rd Street. Stopped at a light, she spotted a batch of bright orange signs stuck into the grass on the side of the road. “NOTICE,” the signs shouted. “LAND USE ACTION.” Curious, Johnson called the developers mentioned on the signs and decided to attend an April 5 neighborhood meeting at Holy Faith Catholic Church. When she walked into the church, the petite woman with white, shoulder-length hair was surprised to find over 100 people, mostly from Suburban Heights, a large upper- to middle-class neighborhood in Northwest Gainesville, strongly against what she learned was a proposed commercial development. Wilson Development Group, an Atlanta-based real estate firm, wanted to erect commercial stores, restaurants, a credit union and a drive-thru Starbucks on the corner that was occupied by an office, a preschool and a 60-year-old church, St. Michael’s Episcopal. Residents worried the development would turn their quiet neighborhood into a side street for traffic. Others, like Johnson, were concerned that the city’s pendulum of development was poised to knock down a one-of-a-kind church and 60 years of history with it. “This is my first time to be involved in anything like this in Gainesville,” Johnson said. “There’s so much to this building. We don’t need to destroy it, we don’t need to bulldoze it, we don’t need to pave it over.” This past summer, residents fought the third attempt in 20 years to tear St. Michael’s down. “We are at a crossroads as a city,” said David Forest, a Suburban Heights resident. “We need to ask ourselves whether we want outside corporations and real estate developers shaping our city or whether we want to consciously control how our city looks and feels.”
n 1958, the Episcopal Diocese of Florida paid $10 for a tract of land in what was then rural northwest Gainesville, intending to establish a new mission of Holy Trinity Episcopal. But that same year, 60 members divested from the church in defiance of Holy Trinity’s policy of racial segregation and established a new church, St. Michael’s. The congregation met in what is now the preschool until the church-proper was built in 1975. Without a spire or pitched roof, St. Michael’s looks more like a fort or a ship than a church. It’s the only building in Gainesville designed by Nils Schweizer, who was a seminal Florida architect and student of Frank Lloyd Wright. Inside, the exposed wooden beams and orange Blenko stained glass above the altar evoke Wright’s organic approach. And with tile floors and a laminated ceiling, St. Michael’s was engineered for sound. “Schweizer wanted it to be a place of worship, but it was also a place for appreciation of great hymns,” said Mikesch Muecke, a professor of architecture at Iowa State University whose wife, Miriam, was the music director at St. Michael’s. “He wanted to make a space that people would come back to because of the ways things sounded in it.” In St. Michael’s heyday, preschool was in session at 9 a.m., and the bronze bells rung diligently at 12. On the other side of the fence, families laid flowers at Rutledge, a historic black cemetery founded after the Civil War by members of First Morning Star Baptist Church. In a fall 2017 survey by the Historic Preservation Program at UF, St. Michael’s was one of 11 mid-century modern buildings worthy of nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. “There’s a holy feeling there,” said Clare Stokes, who played bass guitar and sang soprano “Just the space: I liked the slate floor, I liked the rose window, I liked the big stone altar.”
Shielded from cars by a thin row of pine trees, St. Michael’s is now flanked on the intersection of NW 43rd Street and 23rd Avenue by a Kangaroo, a CVS and the Thornebrook shopping center. Those wishing to visit the church will find locked doors and overgrown parking spots, as divisions in styles of worship and unreliable leadership caused its decline. The church voted to close in December 2016 as attendance dwindled between 20 to 30 members. “I’ve been trying other churches and I've just been feeling kind of lost,” said Stokes, who had worshipped at St. Michael’s for nearly 20 years until it closed. Malcolm Gets, a UF professor of acting, was confirmed in St. Michael’s in the 70s. He sang in the junior choir and played the organ, and remembers how, at only eight years old, he wasn’t tall enough to reach the pedals. “There was a very open-minded feeling there,” Gets said. “It was not high mass; it was much more down to earth. It’s part of the reason we were drawn to it.” t the turn of the millenium, St. Michael’s attendance started to slip. The diocese, yet again, started to look elsewhere for a mission, hoping to finance a move by selling the church. The first time it attempted to sell was to Eckerds pharmacy in 2000. Though supported by churchgoers, the city planning board denied the “Eckerds plan.” It faced harsh resistance from residents. “This town is starting to look like Orlando, pavement + offices!!” scrawled one resident in a handwritten letter to the city planning board in August 2000. Walgreens considered the site in late 2010 but lost interest. The Ferber Company of Ponte Vedra Beach had the property under contract in 2012 with the intention of developing a strip mall, but no interested buyers bit. Though the preschool was still active, Wilson Development was the first to proposed development without a congregation
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at St. Michael’s. As more and more Americans skip Sunday service, St. Michael’s story is not unique. First Baptist Church relocated to Jonesville after 135 years on University Ave; the building is now the leasing office for the Continuum. The old Westside Baptist church location on 13th Street is now a LifeSouth Community Blood Center. Yet Canon Allison DeFoor said the Episcopal Diocese of Florida, which presides over North Florida, is the second-fastest-growing diocese in the nation. After it sells St. Michael’s, the diocese wants to open a church between Newberry and Alachua, which DeFoor said is a “growth hotspot” for the region. Other churches have taken notice since St. Michael’s shut its doors. Its location has attracted at least three offers to buy it, including a million-dollar offer from Servants of Christ. But the diocese hopes to make quadruple, possibly even quintuple that amount. (In 2018, the land, a little over three acres, was appraised by the city for $1,852,500.) “They offered 20 cents on the dollar, which would not enable us to build a new church in the growth corridor,” DaFoor said. “They were asking us to give several million dollars to another church. Those are not realistic offers. Not in time or amount. To be frank, it’s just silly.” The diocese argues the building is not even suitable for a church. Bishop Samuel Howard noted the church’s “antiquated construction” in a letter he wrote to the Gainesville planning board concerning the 36 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
Wilson plan, maintaining that he thought Schweizer’s buildings “weren't designed very well for Florida.” The diocese did, however, offer to move the building. “We’d be delighted to assist them in having it moved for free.” DaFoor said. “If the community wishes to have it, if it is of use to the community, come get it.” n mid-November 2017, less than a year after St. Michael’s voted to close, a letter arrived at Meredith Goodrich’s door, informing her and roughly 20 others in the neighborhood about a community workshop, the first in a series of meetings about the new strip mall Wilson Development proposed to build in their backyards. Goodrich and others soon learned that if Wilson wanted to build its strip mall, it needed to rezone the property. St. Michael’s is currently zoned for offices and conservation land. Wilson Development wanted the city planning board, which is comprised of seven volunteer members, to approve an application for mixed-use low intensity to allow for drive-thrus. Residents had several concerns with the proposal, the biggest of which was traffic. In an attempt to avoid rush hour congestion, drivers cut through the Suburban Heights neighborhood. The main side roads they use have only one speed bump and, as one resident described to the planning board, a “goofy little miniature roundabout that doesn’t do anything except grow palm trees.” Residents also didn’t want to lose any of the conservation land the buffers the neighborhood from the noise and light of the property.
CHW, the local agent for Wilson Development, said it was proposing to remove the conservation land for safety reasons. It promised to advocate for signs, flashing crosswalks and speed bumps to quell traffic. The remaining conservation land would become an eco-park. CHW suggested the church pews could be repurposed as park benches. But before the plan had been approved, Front Street, a Gainesville property management group, released a brochure in early 2018 advertising the space to potential tenants that has since been removed from its website. The mockup had 165 parking spaces and three drive-thrus. There was no disclaimer that the property was contingent on approval from the planning board. To residents, this felt like betrayal. “They promised us the stars and the moon, just, I think, to put everybody at ease,” said Tracy Staples, a resident. Staples moved to Suburban Heights three years ago to escape the congestion of her former residence near midtown. Her backyard is only 400 feet from the church property, close enough that she could hear her neighbor’s kids playing at the day school. Upset by the Front Street brochure, Staples made the Facebook group “Residents Against Rezoning St. Michael’s” in late March. Between the neighborhood Facebook group, notifications on the Nextdoor app and homeowners meetings, word reached the rest of the community. Soon residents were knocking on doors, collecting signatures at Bagel Bakery, and holding signs at the intersection. “I was just upset and called to action,” Goodrich said. “If I sold my house for a Gate station, I could get more money. But I’m not zoned to have a Gate station in the middle of a single-family neighborhood.” Goodrich and Staples asked their neighbors to write letters to the planning board, knowing the upcoming April meeting would be the best chance of stopping the new development. Of the roughly 100 letters and emails sent this past year to the planning board in opposition to the developers’ application, the majority were from Suburban Heights residents. Many had never been to or even heard of St. Michael’s. “I urge you to pay attention to me and the many others who oppose this land-use change,” wrote Patricia Rowe, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1969. “We love
FEATURE our city. You need to do everything possible to protect it.” n April 25, residents arrived at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. in droves, packing the usually empty auditorium and spilling out into the waiting area. Goodrich, Staples and Johnson wore stickers on their sweaters asking the other residents in attendance to “Vote No.” The meeting kicked off with an hourlong presentation from Gerry Dedenbach, the vice president of CHW who has thinning gray hair and wears wire-rim glasses. Standing before the residents, Dedenbach extolled the virtues of the mixed-used development designation. He argued it was a “more modern” land use for Gainesville and “consistent with the comprehensive plan” in that it mirrored the other three corners of the intersection, which all contained mixeduse or higher intensity. But the planning board members were confused as to why Wilson needed a mixeduse designation to build what it proposed: Restaurants, coffee shops and retail spaces, which are all accepted under the property’s current zoning. “There are auto-oriented uses that are not allowed in the office [designation],” Dedenbach said. “There are the times where someone has a sick child, or they don’t want to leave the car but maybe want to pick up their medication, or they want to drive-thru and get that cup of coffee while they are answering a text message.” “You just said [drive-thrus] exist on every other corner,” planning board member Terry Clark replied. “What new services are you
providing? What would [the neighborhood] be gaining?” “What they would be gaining is services on their side of the road,” Dedenbach said. Chuckles and snickers were heard from the usually polite room. Dedenbach looked visibly perturbed. “We know that the church is not going to be there forever,” he said. Then came time for public comment, which lasted until midnight. Residents brought pictures they had taken of car crashes from the past month. One resident spoke about how she found her cat dead, run over on her front lawn. Another described the time she was hit on her bike at the intersection and had a grand mal seizure. Staples walked up to the podium and put a picture of her backyard on the screen. “This corner of the intersection is all that is left to balance the congested and densely developed corners,” she said, never removing the small microphone from her face. “We are not a New York City, and nobody moved here in hopes that it would be that way.” She quoted Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” and walked back to her seat. “On one hand you have experts, analysis and data, and on the other hand you have concerns and fears and maybe distrust,” Steven Diebenow, a lobbyist for the applicant, said as a last rebuttal. “But nothing that rises to the level that permits you, in my opinion, to vote to oppose.” The planning board unanimously voted against the land-use petition. But what should have been a victory for residents was a stalemate: Before the board could vote no on the zoning petition, the developers re-
quested a postponement at the last minute. The next month, Wilson put the petition on an “indefinite hold” for “data and analysis collection” to avoid having to wait a year to re-apply. And despite all this, the diocese could demolish the church today. Some in Gainesville are trying to make St. Michael’s a local landmark, which would prevent demolition. Gainesville Modern, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving Gainesville’s architecture, will include the church in its self-guided landmark tour in March. But the designation is highly unlikely. Since the diocese will not nominate the building, the city commission or the historic preservation board would have to intervene. To Gainesville Modern President Marty Hylton’s knowledge, that hasn’t happened in Gainesville for at least 20 years. “I’ve been doing this long enough; no one's ever regretted not demolishing a building, trust me,” Hylton said. The developers told the planning board in June that they are hoping to revisit the application before the year’s end. “Some of the people that were involved in this, this is their third time around,” Johnson said. We’d just like to get this thing settled once and for all.” rances Shaw grew up singing in St. Michael’s junior choir in the late 1960s, sometimes as Gabriel in the Christmas play. She has fond memories of playing in the church yard and wandering the outdoor hallways, sometimes finding an unlocked door with an old pump organ to play. Shaw lives in New England now, but joined an “Old Gainesville” Facebook group in March, hoping for a trip down memory lane. While perusing the page, Shaw saw the plan to tear down St. Michael’s. It felt like a punch in the gut. “The conversations all seemed to start out with, "Do you remember...?", [sic] which was a sad declaration that something wonderful was long gone,” Shaw wrote in an email. “Now, more than ever, children need somewhere to go that isn't trying to sell them something,” Shaw wrote. “That simply provides a safe and welcoming place ... to ponder the miracle of existence, feel cherished. ... I feel so incredibly lucky to have had that experience at St. Michael's. “When I contemplate a possible move back to Gainesville, inevitably, I think of those pine trees,” Shaw wrote. “I'd be devastated to see them cut down for a parking lot.” •
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ART & LITERATURE
hen I was four years old, I was told that home occupies physical space; material stomped into social stratification and acquired over time. You could enter it, hold it, dictate ownership over it, and discard it at will. At four years old, the material escaped me. There were vacancies in the place I was born and the place I was meant to be. Home became hollowed uncertainty — awash between Puerto Rico and mainland. I fulfilled two spaces, owning neither. English and Spanish words pressed against my lips, carrying thoughts and constructing sentences in time. I could become caricature of identity, slip into one after the other as the situation demanded. Switch tongues and faces in different places. A cultural Houdini, my identity disappeared within seconds. I belonged to no place. I had no home. Tierra — a Spanish word in the feminine, potentiating life and being. The kind of word that grows on its own, flickering. The more you say it, the more power it has, burgeoning with significance and transcending the way words form to the way ideas stretch, and soon enough it consumes what you know about the concept of home. Tierra is the land beneath and around. It’s the boundary crossed by mothers and fathers who seek a great perhaps. It is unknown and vast and slathered with significance, satiated only by discovery. It’s physical space. It can be embraced but never owned. Tierra is soil, ruptured and pressed by grandmothers and grandfathers in sugar cane fields and plantations where sweetness is sweat, and the stroke of sun simmers into Puerto Rican sunsets. Farmers, migrant workers, sowing seeds in dark brown, lush green. The firmament of development, where hands meet dirt with the expectation that in burying your passion in soil you plant yourself. It’s emotional space. It can be strewn but never changed. Tierra is ground, broken and firm. It is the place where you fall, contact skin to suelo, flesh to scar. This is the place where you press and scrape, the place where you land with a thud after the brush of a firm push. It is mistake and hardship and consequence, where you lay and trace the outlines of the world, a perspective from below. It’s mental space. It’s the place you fall and the stead you pick yourself back up on. Tierra es identidad. Es el origen de enseñanza- herencia. Es el espacio donde el mar besa el viento que besa el brillo del sol y da vida a algo completamente nuevo. Es el sitio donde se habla las palabras de tu familia, donde se eschucha la musica que llena la sangre y donde se come la comida que alimenta los huesos de tu pais. Es un espacio cultural. Es donde las cosas nuevas nacen y las cosas viejas crecen. Tierra es el refugio tuyo y de todos, sin lealtad ni expectación. Es donde la sangre y las lagrimas y el valor se encuentran en un bosque y se cultiva la persona quien eres. Y la persona que eres es dinamico, lleno de historia, informado por los que cruzan fronteras y los quetrabajan en granjas. Tierra es identidad, la mescla de lo que ha vivido en el pasado y lo que vive ahora. When I was four years old, I could never imagine that home is the space where you continuously exist; where Spanish and English and history mold and craft new experiences, ways of being. Home es tu tierra, neither monolithic nor material. You belong to every place you’ve made strong and has in turn made you strong. You have a home. • 38 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
POETRY & PHOTOGRAPHY
BY ZACH GASPARINI
Fall 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 39
The Fall 2018 print edition of The Fine Print, an independent magazine in Gainesville, Florida.