VOLUME X, ISSUE I
FALL 2017 FREE
PATH OF CONSTRUCTION Gentrification in Gainesville is taking place at a rapid pace. p. 28
Florida's liquor laws haven't changed since the end of Prohibition, p. 25
from the EDITORIAL DESK
arly into the semester—just after we learned Richard Spencer may come to campus and before we knew Hurricane Irma was brewing—The Fine Print was tabling in the plaza, promoting the meeting that was the genesis of this issue. We have a spiel we give each person who approaches our table. It includes the basics of who we are and what we do, but it also includes a buzzword, “advocacy journalism.” Not many people had heard of this term, and a lot of people seemed to think this meant biased, or unresearched. One person asked us, albeit jokingly (I think), if anyone had ever called us “propaganda.” I’ve been mulling that comment over, and I would like to respond, starting with a flashback: Poland, circa 1980s, communism. The male leaders of the country’s resistance movement, Solidarity, were either in jail or hiding underground from the secret police. As optimism was dwindling, seven women convened in a Warsaw apartment and created Tygodnik Mazowsze, an underground newspaper that reinvigorated Solidarity. Twenty-two pages of newsprint squeezed into four legal-sized pages, Tygodnik Mazowsze published news the mainstream newspapers, which at this point were controlled by members of the Communist Party, would not. They carried interviews with arrested Solidarity leaders, as well as the stories of ordinary people and their small acts of resistance. They would name the thousands of nameless people arrested
by the government for their resistance. And it was a volunteer effort. Printers, distributors and even chemists would volunteer to help print the newspaper on presses set up in apartments. Grandmothers—people the communist government would never expect— delivered the paper to people’s homes. Tygodnik Mazowsze’s whole point was to challenge the complacency that pervaded Polish society, therefore challenging the government. This is advocacy journalism: the intentional assumption of a non-objective viewpoint to achieve social change. But I like to think of it as simply telling it like it is. Because if you’re reporting merely on what happened, you are literally thinking in the past. If your only goal is to tell the “truth” by weighing two opposing viewpoints, then you’ve misunderstood what the truth is. But you’ve also missed the point entirely. The Fine Print is not propaganda. We’re not trying to convince you that the government works when it doesn’t, or that you need to buy this product when you don’t. Rather, we challenge prevailing notions—like OPS workers not getting paid for hurricane days or state colleges not offering on-campus counseling centers—and exposing you to movements and people you might not have heard of otherwise. Our mission, above all, is to be conscious—conscious of facts, of society and of each other. •
Published with support from Generation Progress/Center for American Progress (online at GenerationProgress.org).
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SUMMER 2017 FREE
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in this ISSUE
Cover art by Aneri Pandya.
COLUMNS 05 MONTHLY MANIFESTO
16 FROM THE GROUND UP
18 PETITION WITH
The people behind the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons.
Are you a grad student? Graduate Assistants United wants you!
DACA, doughnuts and dreams.
A local coalition is petitioning for voter restoration rights.
08 READ UP, CHOW
Vine Bakery's recipe for hearty sourdough.
20 SOUL SEARCHERS
Mellow Soul provides a safe space for poets and patrons.
10 FOR THE RECORD
This time: Rayya, Whale Feral, The Forum.
25 THE LAW OF BEVERAGES
Florida's liquor laws are a crazy mixture of morals.
12 HOMESTEAD, INSTEAD Get outside and look for the roses.
28 PATH OF
CONSTRUCTION Photographing sights of gentrification in Gainesville.
14 SEEING STARS
Your future is cryptic.
Rayya will come out with her first EP next year. Photo by Melissa Gillum.
32 A CALL FOR HELP Santa Fe's counseling center leads state colleges in services.
How to give better advice and be better generally.
38 PROSE + POETRY
10— FOR THE RECORD
36 NOT SO SECRET GARDEN
Photo by Anne Marie Tamburro. Poetry by Kelena Klippel, Tatum Blacher & Melissa Cook.
Slip into nature at these local parks. 10— PATH OF CONSTRUCTION
FEATURED STAFFER Othelia Jumapao
Othelia is a third-year studying English and Asian American Stues at UF. As a self-professed grandma, Othelia enjoys napping in thermal blankets and concocting different mixtures of loose-leaf tea. She aspires to become sponsored by Jollibee, a popular Filipino fast food chain, while empowering people of color through strategic storytelling.
10— A CALL FOR HELP Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 03
Paper 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.
COLOR ME E-COLI —
It might seem like a detail straight out of a sci-fi novel, but don’t be surprised if bacteria is responsible for your clothing’s hues sometime in the future. The petroleum-based dyes commonly used in clothing manufacturing can be harmful to both humans and the environment: Workers who handle the dyes are known to develop skin-peeling diseases, and carcinogen-laden wastewater accrued during the dyes’ production is sometimes dumped into local waterways, causing pollution. Richard Blackburn, a researcher and head of the sustainable materials research group at the University of Leeds, places part of the blame for this on “fast fashion,” an industry that quickly pumps out cheap, trendy clothing and where, according to Blackburn, “people think of products as disposable.” To ease the environmental burden of fast fashion, researchers are looking into other natural resources for dyes. But plants are susceptible to inclement weather and insects, and they require thousands of gallons of water and lots of space to grow. This is where bacteria comes in. Further, some bacteria naturally produce vibrant colors as a result of their “normal metabolic processes.” A team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently produced a strawberry red from the strain Escherichia coli. 04 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
“We feed the bacteria glucose and they do the rest, “said Mattheos Koffas, one of the researchers. An obvious concern for using bacteria in dye production is the risk of infection, but researchers are already looking into ways to purify the dyes so the bacteria is no longer present after the color is produced. While bacteria-dyed clothing doesn’t lessen the demand for fast fashion, it’s a first step in acknowledging and solving the negative impacts of the industry. • By Ali Sundook.
HEAD ON —
Despite the screams of fellow scientists, Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero is forging ahead. In 2013, Canavero claimed that he would be the first to conduct a “human head transplant.” One could argue it’s actually a body transplant, though, as a healthy head would be receiving a new body. “Head transplantation, body transplantation, whatever,” Canavero said during an 2015 interview with the Guardian. “Technicality!” In his February 2015 article published in the Surgical Neurology International journal, Canavero described what he calls the “GEMINI spinal cord fusion protocol,” which involves severing the heads of two bodies: one live volunteer
and one brain-dead donor. After about 150 people perform an estimated 36 hours’ worth of reattaching arteries, nerves and flesh, the “recipient” of the healthy body will be put into a coma for about three weeks prior to rehabilitation, according to a 2016 article in Canada’s National Post. Canavero holds that by cutting the spinal cords with less force than what’s inflicted by a typical injury, tissue damage will be minimized, allowing for a sealant to effectively glue the two different sets of cords back together. As you might expect, Canavero’s colleagues in the scientific community are generally skeptical, if not downright horrified, by his plans. “Scientifically what Canavero wants to do cannot yet be done,” Arthur Caplan, bioethicist and New York University Langone Medical Center professor, wrote in a 2015 Forbes article. “It may never be doable.” Canavero seems unmoved by criticism, insisting that scientists responsible for breakthroughs throughout history were often ridiculed before achieving fame. He announced in an April article by the Austria-based magazine OOOM that the operation is still moving forward: The plan is to complete the procedure by early 2018 in Harbin, China, on an unselected Chinese volunteer. Only time will tell if the surgery ever comes to a head. • By Vincent McDonald
BY MITCH MURRAY, GAU Bargaining and Communications Teams WHO WE ARE
Graduate Assistants United (GAU) is the labor union that represents the University of Florida’s approximately 4,000 graduate assistants (GAs). GAU’s members are students, but as GAs we also teach up to half of all classes in a given semester. In addition to teaching and conducting much of the research that makes UF a top ten public university, GAs also comprise an important workforce. One of the nation’s first graduate student labor unions, GAU ratified our first contract in 1983. Now, as then, our work is inspired by a firm belief in the collective project of higher education. To give students at UF a preeminent education, we need to ensure the best possible working conditions for all employees, including GAs. This, in turn, allows us to complete our studies and research. GAU has made significant progress in improving workplace conditions for UF GAs. We have fought for and won healthcare, a minimum stipend and yearly pay raises, relief from fees and many important employee protections including a uniform grievance process for GAs whose contracts may have been violated. We are, above all, a collective of co-workers. In this sense, GAU makes our own working conditions, because that is precisely what we owe to ourselves and to each other.
GAU is committed to maintaining a collaborative and productive relationship with UF administration. After all, many of our goals are the same. Yet, GAs are still laborers whose work turns a significant profit for UF, and this inevitably puts us at odds on some matters. We want UF to better itself by supporting the workers who make it a preeminent institution in the first place. Our gains are only won because student workers organize and struggle together. This year, GAU and UF opened for renegotiation our entire collective bargaining agreement, which stipulates the terms of our employment, and UF’s responsibilities as our employer. Significantly, this renegotiation includes the terms and conditions of GatorGradCare, the health insurance package offered to all GAs, and stipends and raises. These are contentious items because they are costly. But our argument is simply this: If UF wants to build on its preeminent status, its employees need to be paid accordingly and offered competitive benefits. GAU organized rallies and bargained for months to negotiate down the reduction of sizeable deductibles and new premiums that UF wanted to implement. GAU is pleased to say GatorGradCare will
remain a viable plan for the foreseeable future. After much delay over the summer, GAU and UF recently resumed negotiations over minimum stipends and raises. This article is still under negotiation, but we have pushed UF to accept our stipend increase and compromise on raises. GAU has made important gains, yet many of our members still live in poverty. GAU is committed to reducing the inequity within our unit by prioritizing gains at the very bottom. Recently, for example, we won flat raises, replacing the university’s favored percentage raises. Percentage increases certainly benefit the highest paid GAs, but they do very little for the lowest paid. GAU is firmly committed to eliminating this inequality within our bargaining unit.
If GAU bargains on behalf of members and non-members alike, then why should new GAs join their union? Florida is a right- to- work state, which means employees cannot be compelled to pay dues to a union. This legislation weakens solidarity among workers and favors the University’s coffers, not its employees. We gain strength when we unite as union members. Each GA who joins amplifies our voice when it comes time to bargain with the University. The most effective way to win further benefits and pay gains is to have a strong GA membership UFGAU.O to back up our bargaining RG Facebook: team. UF Graduate Whether you are new to GAU Assistants United. Q or a long-time member, there uestions or are many ways to contribute. inquiries c a n be sent to In addition to bargaining, organizing volunteers can help with @ ufgau.org. initiatives related to healthcare, childcare, mental health and more. There are also opportunities to become a representative of GAU within your home department. All these opportunities can be found on our website. This fall, 160 new members joined GAU. If you are not yet a member, we warmly invite you to join with us as our colleague, co-worker and friend. With love, GAU Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 05
down the DACA's repeal left undocumnted students in legal limbo. UF is neglecting to provide them institutional support. by KEVIN ARTIGA n October, the University of Florida allowed Richard Spencer, a white supremacist, to speak on campus. In a statement, UF President Kent Fuchs wrote, “if you are like me, I expect you are surprised and even shocked to learn that UF is required by law to allow Mr. Spencer to speak.” The key phrase here is “by law.” Fuchs used the same phrase in September, in a statement supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program after its termination by the Trump administration. “We do not collect or provide information on immigration status,” wrote Fuchs, attempting to reassure DACA recipients, “except when required by law,” he added. It seems when it comes to stopping white supremacists or upholding its duties to undocumented students, UF is quick to cite the law. 06 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
“The statement was not ‘we will stand with our students,’” said Jane, a DACA recipient who preferred not to be identified. “It was like, ‘we will stand with our students until we can’t anymore because we have to cover our own asses.’” Jane, a political science and African-American studies major, was born in Honduras. She grew up in Florida never imagining she could attend the state’s flagship institution of higher learning. Adjusting to college proved difficult for Jane, who has a vastly different life experience from other students, 47 percent of whom are in the top 20 percent of income earners, according to the New York Times. Like other undocumented students, Jane is ineligible for most scholarships or any form of financial aid, including the Pell Grant and Bright Futures. “If the federal government dropped a penny
OPINION in front of me, it would turn around and pick it up so I wouldn’t get that penny,” she said. Jane’s parents work extra jobs so she can be a full-time student during the school year. These sacrifices place a huge mental burden on her—and the pressure to succeed is even heavier. “I get one chance, and I don’t get to fuck it up,” she said. Giancarlo Tejeda, a biomedical engineering major, is a student activist who advocates for immigrant rights. Like Jane, Tejeda is burdened by funding concerns for his education. Now that DACA has been terminated, Tejeda is anxious he may not even be able to stay in the country. “There are a lot of extra worries that occupy my time, so I don’t necessarily have time to go to football games,” he said. The university’s indifference to undocumented students goes back to 2014, when Florida passed House Bill 851, giving certain undocumented students the ability to pay in-state tuition at state universities. This legislation aimed to help undocumented students, but UF did not implement the policy until it was pressured by student organizations like CHISPAS. “It was on us to take the students by the hand and take them to the administration and show [UF] how to process these students,” said Mariana Castro, a neurobiology major and DACA recipient who was part of the campaign.
“We have people come up to us with mental health issues, we have people we are not trained to deal with,” said Rosana Resende, the undergraduate coordinator for the center for Latin American studies. “We have people who come up to us with legal questions that we don’t know because it’s a moving target.” Resende is one of the few faculty members that occupies herself with helping undocumented students. After Trump terminated DACA, Resende sent Fuchs an email recommending he create a website with resources for students and release a statement of support. “And he did that, to his credit—the next day it was done,” she said. “I can’t say I’m impressed because I honestly think that’s minimum. So, am I happy? I’m content.” Moreno said the lack of support for undocumented students begins with the political culture in Tallahassee and UF’s Board of Trustees. “[The issue of undocumented students] might be too controversial for them,” Moreno says, “They don’t see it as a priority. … If you have resistance at the top, it’s really difficult unless you have movement from the students.” I interviewed Fuchs on Oct. 19, the day Spencer finally came to campus. He told me UF will work to lobby for a DREAM act to stabilize the status of DACA recipients. “First off, my personal goal for our university is that we become the number one for dreamer students and undocumented students,” Fuchs said. “Their stories are ones that are the heart of our mission.”
Undocumented students were afraid to be on campus, and their stories should matter. But if doughnuts will make him talk to us, maybe we can arrange to send a couple dozen to his oﬃce. Castro said the administration was not aware of DACA and was asking students for the wrong documentation, despite the new law. “We haven’t done well by our undocumented students,” said Diana Moreno, assistant director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs. “It’s simply a fact.” Moreno said other universities, like those in Texas and California, do a better job of supporting their undocumented students. She cited UC Berkeley, which has a fully staffed resource center specifically for undocumented students that can answer questions and help with the registration process. Moreno attempted to create a similar position at UF, but funding for the position only lasted one year because it relied on external financial resources and faced a lack of internal support. Now, most of Moreno’s undocumented students hear about her through word of mouth, not through institutional means. While faculty and staff like Moreno can provide emotional support, they aren’t equipped to handle issues like immigration law, which Student Legal Services does not cover.
Fuchs was amenable to speaking with me until I asked about how faculty and staff support undocumented students. He reacted rather bizarrely saying, “You’re going to have to let me have your doughnut if you keep asking questions.” Granted, I was holding a doughnut, and I’m sure it was supposed to be a joke. He eventually answered my question, saying UF needs more funding. But as I was preparing to leave, he repeated his joke, saying, “I’m gonna eat your doughnut if you don’t stop asking questions.” Fuchs was out on campus that day, talking to students who showed up despite Spencer’s event. Maybe he did not expect questions about undocumented students. I thought it was appropriate. After all, white supremacists were on campus that day—people defined by their opposition to immigrants. It might have been a joke, but one of poor taste. Undocumented students were afraid to be on campus, and their stories should matter. But if doughnuts will make him talk to us, maybe we can arrange to send a couple dozen to his office. • Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 07
READ UP, chow down Vine Bakery serves up homey goodness with a side of love.
BY MARIA SOBRINO PHOTOS BY ANNE MARIE TAMBURRO
ince it opened on Main Street in 2014, Vine Sourdough Bakery has exuded a homey atmosphere, and it’s easy to understand why: Home-cooked meals brought together Dean Griebel and Theresa Zokovitch, the husband and wife team behind the bakery, during the early stages of their relationship. “Dean courting me was the process of food,” Zokovitch said. “He made such good food that I said, ‘Enough already! You need to do this for other people!’” It was no half-baked idea. After Dean created his own sourdough starter—a mixture of flour and water that is used to cultivate wild yeast and gives homemade bread its rich, authentic flavor—the couple began selling their baked goods at local farmers markets, where they found success and customers who wanted
VINE SOURDOUGH BAKERY 627 N Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601
08 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
more. In 2011, they moved into a warehouse before opening at their current location in May 2014. With the new location came an expanded menu. Vine now offers a variety of homemade, fresh bread and pastries, soups and organic teas, all made from locally sourced ingredients. These local ingredients provided a starting point for Vine, which the partners hoped could provide Gainesville with a healthy, organic alternative to commercially baked goods.
“He made such good food that I said, ‘Enough already! You need to do this for other people!’”
READ UP, CHOW DOWN “We wanted to provide something that was completely missing from this town,” Zokovitch said, “With a standard of as few ingredients as possible to create a delicious and wholesome product.” Much of the inspiration for Vine also came from Gainesville itself. Zokovitch said she’s committed to having local artists display their work on the walls and local musicians play. “We just built around what was available to us,” Zokovitch said. “So much about this is a community effort. It’s not just Dean and I.” While the final product might seem effortless, for Zokovitch and Griebel, the bakery is a labor of love. “Easy? Oh, that’s not what drives us,” said Theresa, pointing to a stack of baguettes behind her, each of which can take up to 16 hours to make. “The goal here isn’t about profit,” she continued. “It’s about finding a good product and providing something wholesome for the community. What drives us is having integrity and good food.”•
VINE’S Country Loaf —
1. In a bowl, measure the water, then drop in the starter. It should be floating (if not, wait until it does). Add all the flour and mix until everything comes together in an even consistency with no dry or wet spots. 2. Cover for 30 minutes allowing for autolyse, a method that delivers a dough that's easier to work with and shape, and a loaf with better texture, rise and flavour. 3. Add salt and knead for 5 minutes. 4. Cover. Over the next 2 hours, gently fold the dough onto itself in one rotation, then flip the dough upside down. In this position let it rest another 30 minutes. 5. Preheat oven and Dutch oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. 6. After the last flip, let rest for one hour. 7. Turn onto a clean surface, shape the loaf and put it into a floured basket. Allow to proof another 30 to 60 minutes.
INGREDIENTS makes a 1 ~ 2 lb loaf —
450 g all purpose flour 50 g medium grained/stone ground whole wheat flour 350 g water 10 g Himalayan salt 100 g ripened starter
ON IN SEAS FRESH AND butternut squash • daikon radish • kumquat • persimmons • pumpkins • sweet potato
8. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven, drop in the loaf, score, cover and put into the oven for 20 minutes. 9. Remove the lid carefully, tipping the lid away from you to avoid any steam. Then lower the temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and finish cooking another 20 minutes. 10. The loaf should have dark gold to light brown tones and should show caramelization. 11. Let cool on a wired rack. •
Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 09
Showcasing local bands, the next big thing and all your friends.
RAYYA. PHOTO BY MELISSA GILLUM.
FOR THE RECORD
RAYYA / UNTITLED RAYYA / UNTITLED POST-DISCO CONTEMPORARY POP SOUNDS LIKE / BRUNO MARS, RIHANNA, SZA INSPIRATION / MICHAEL JACKSON, PRINCE, BABYFACE, TLC RELEASED / SOMETIME NEXT YEAR RECORDED IN / RAYYA’S HOME STUDIO KEY TRACKS / “FREE TONIGHT”, “ATMOSPHERE”, “412”, “CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE” WHERE TO GET IT / SOUNDCLOUD, SPOTIFY, ITUNES, BANDCAMP, 8TRACKS, AMAZON, TIDAL UPCOMING SHOWS / TFP BENEFIT SHOW ON NOV. 18
CLAD IN A COWBOY HAT AND FUR VEST, Tamira Carter—also known by her stage name, Rayya—snaps her fingers, her svelte body swaying to the music. As the tempo picks up, she begins to bounce on her feet and sing. Her movement swells with the sound of her rising vocals. Next year, Rayya plans to release a full length album, which she began work on in fall 2016. So far, she’s released the single “Can You Feel the Love.” The post-disco dance song gives a slight nod to Jackson 5, while its punchy synths and nimble backbeats defy the expectation that black women only perform R&B. Rayya has immersed herself in music since she was five years old.
10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
“I just enjoyed music, period,” she said. “Every music, any new music, any genre of music. I guess at the time I didn’t know they were called ‘genres’. But I just loved the melodies and the harmonies.” Her favorite music was the vinyl records, stored in crates beneath the barred windows of her childhood home, a Brooklyn apartment in neighborhood of Brownsville. Her parents would play these records on their beloved record player. But they were afraid Rayya would break it, so on their nights out, they would hide it away from her wandering eyes, above her father’s makeshift sound system of wooden speakers and subwoofers. “But when I could get to it when they weren’t home, I would grab Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band,” Rayya said. At age seven, Rayya would force her sisters to dance to TLC almost everyday after school in exchange for Icees and fruit rollups. As her sisters grew older, it became harder to bribe them with candy. “They wanted more and more! You know the bargaining of, ‘Two fruit roll ups! I’m giving you three,” she said. ”What? What are you talking about? Now you want Now and Laters too? So I ran out of power.” By the time Rayya was 13, she learned that if she could move her body to the music, it would be good. These influences are apparent in her work. The crisp beats, booming bass and Rayya’s soothing voice in “In the Name” makes you want to body roll onto the dance floor and let the music just wash over you. Rayya’s lyrics conjure up visions of getting ready for a night out on the town. On her track “Free Tonight,” she opens by singing, “Put on the red dress, put on my heels, put on my makeup for more appeal.” But then she takes an abrupt left turn, singing, “Look in the mirror to her I say, ‘You let me down. You let down. You let me down again.’” The lyrics are emphasized by driving drums. Combined with her breathy voice—like the critical one inside your head—the song recreates that all too familiar feeling of insecurity that comes when hours of primping and pampering culminate in disappointment. “It’s telling people who are listening to be free of those things, to get free of those things, walk away from those things and let them go,” she said. From spending hours listening to albums, Rayya learned to break down the chemical structures of what she loved the most, from saccharine pop music to smooth R&B. She tries to combine these influences to actively resist being pigeonholed by genres and stereotypes. “When you’re trying to distribute or when you’re trying to put it on a playlist, they’re always asking you what boxes do you fit,” she said. “And I always say my music is love music.”•
BY OTHELIA JUMPAPAO
FOR THE RECORD
WHALE FERAL / RED VELVET FRIED CHICKEN WHALE FERAL / RED VELVET FRIED CHICKEN ECLECTIC AMERICANA SOUNDS LIKE / ALABAMA SHAKES, CROSBY, STILLS, NASH, & YOUNG INSPIRATION / THE ALLMAN BROTHERS, GRATEFUL DEAD, THE MARCUS KING BAND RELEASED / TBD EARLY 2018 RECORDED IN / BLACK BEAR STUDIO KEY TRACKS / "THE 13TH", "OUT HERE IN THE COLD" WHERE TO GET IT / SOUNDCLOUD.COM/ WHALEFERAL UPCOMING SHOWS / NOVEMBER 18TH @ HIGH DIVE INSTRUMENTS / MATT URBAN (LEAD GUITAR), RICKY CAGNO (RHYTHM GUITAR), WILL BETHEA (BASS), DAVID HAVENS (DRUMS)
SUNDAY AT FIRST MAGNITUDE BREWERY, rock band Whale Feral plays live music. Their raspy vocals and wavy electric guitar make for easy listening. But if you catch them at the High Dive, you might question if they’re even the same band. Teetering from crisp and calculated to a roar of distortion and rock n roll, Whale Feral’s eccentricity invites you in and takes grip. Whale Feral’s kaleidoscopic blend of genres reflects the variety of influences the band stems
THE FORUM / RAIN SHADE THE FORUM / RAIN/SHADE BROODING BOYBAND SOUNDS LIKE / THE STROKES INSPIRATION: SMASHING PUMPKINS, JIMMY EAT WORLD, DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE RELEASED / 2016 RECORDED IN / GOLDENTONE STUDIO IN GAINESVILLE KEY TRACKS / "SUMMER"," THE STRANGERS" WHERE TO GET IT / SPOTIFY, APPLE MUSIC UPCOMING SHOWS / OCTOBER 10TH @ HIGH DIVE INSTRUMENTS / MICHAEL HIGGINS (SINGER), NICK WHEELER (GUITAR), JACOB FARRELL (BASE), ALEX KLAUSNER (DRUMS)
CRAIGSLIST MIGHT BE A BAD PLACE TO DO BUSINESS, but for The Forum, a local alternative band, there was no missed connection. In 2015, guitarist Nick Wheeler posted an ad on Craigslist looking for “like minded musicians to start a band.” Bassist Jacob Farrell also posted an ad independently of Wheeler—by luck, they found each other. After playing together, they realized they fit. “That’s how we got our name,” Higgins said. A forum, like Craigslist, is a place where people can meet and collaborate.
from and just how smoothly they can flip the script. Ricky Cagno and Matt Urban, the band’s respective acoustic and electric guitarists, will bounce impromptu melodies off each other creating a haze of psychedelic soul, and immediately afterwards the bassist, Ricky Cagno will begin rapping “Clint Eastwood” to a backdrop of drums. “So many jam bands are from an era that emulates a lot of music from [the’60s and ‘70s],” Havens said. “But today’s music is changing. Why not jam with that mentality when all of it rocks? [We’re] adding it to the melting pot that is our sound.” Though Whale Feral prefers to play live, the band is currently working on a studio album due out in early 2018. The name—Red Velvet Fried Chicken—reflects their delicious blend of quirk and compatibility. A neo-folk collective one night and progressive rock group the next, Whale Feral plays to the atmosphere of the audience. “We just want you to feel like you’re sitting on a beach drinking a beer,” Bethea said. •
BY ALCINO N. DONADEL
This collaborative ethos guides the “brooding” band, from their creative process to their name. Singer Michael Higgins writes the lyrics, while the other members put his words to music. “I try to play as close to like an idea or a feeling that I have,” Wheeler said. “... From the beginning it has to be something genuine or else I can’t pursue it.” This can be heard in “Summer,” where Higgins sings that the season used to be a “carefree, free time,” but now it’s just a period to work and be uncomfortable. His voice, monotone, is accompanied by the strum of a melancholic guitar. The band is releasing a new EP in the upcoming year, but the future is uncertain. “A year from now we don't know what it's going to be like, we don't know how we’re going to feel about it,” Wheeler said. “As long as we’re as honest to ourselves at that point as we are right now, we’ll be exactly who we are as a band.” •
BY MAEGAN DURAN Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 11
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ou've walked the same path to work or school a dozen times, but have you ever stopped to inquire about the nature that grows along it? “I think it's extremely important to learn about nature in a world that is so focused on technology and cell phones and being connected to the internet all the time, that we kind of forget about the importance of being with what it once was,” said Anastasia Valamaki, a member of the Collegiate Plant Initiative. The Collegiate Plant Initiative is a student organization at UF for “people who love plants.” The organization has chapters across the country, and its goal is to connect students with nature by introducing them to photosynthetic friends On Oct. 13, the organization handed out 1,000 free
plants to UF students in Turlington Plaza in only six minutes. “I think while you're learning about nature, you learn about yourself in the sense that if you're out hiking in the woods you're doing some of the more introspective, reflective thinking,” Valamaki. “And it can really help you evaluate where you are, and where you want to be as a person.” It’s worth your while to take a look at the local greenery on your usual walk to work or class, especially since you can see it bloom practically yearround. We’re lucky to have a wide array of plant species unique to Florida, and should note such. Below are just a few of the many wonderful native plants in Gainesville, and some helpful tips for identifying them. •
BY SYDNEY SCHULTHEIS ILLUSTRATIONS BY EVA SAILLY
FANTASTIC PLANTS & WHERE TO FIND THEM
flip me over!
1. STAR ANISE, ILLICIUM FLORIDANUM. The star anise is a dense shrub usually found in wetlands. It is a common spice, often used to flavor teas, and is referred to as a “healing herb” due to its rich antioxidant content. A biology textbook will tell you that the wavy edges and oval shape of its leaves are “simple,” but crush one in your hand and you’ll smell liquorice. 2. MILKWEED BUSH, ASCLEPIAS TUBEROSA. The Milkweed Bush is dubbed the “Butterfly Weed” due to its ability to attract just that, specifically Monarch butterflies. This beauty blooms during late summer and early fall, with red and orange “tubular” flowers. In bloom, these flowers grow in natural bouquets, making it easy to identify. These bushes
Turn to page aces 36 for pl e hes to spot t plants
usually grow in wet flatlands, so there is no shortage of them here in The Swamp. 3. MAGNOLIA, ‘JON JON’ MAGNOLIA. Though magnolias as a species have existed since before the bees, this particular breed is a scientific hybrid introduced in the mid-1980s. ‘Jon Jon’ has large waxy leaves—which can yellow in the fall—and even larger flowers, with diameters that can reach over 12 inches. The flowers are white with a reddish center. From a distance, the tree looks pink. 4. LIVE OAK, QUERCUS VIRGINIANA. This classic southern beauty is known for its low hanging branches. A quick tip to aid in identifying the Live Oak is to look for Spanish Moss hanging off its branches. Its bark is also very distinct, “gray to reddish
brown, scaly, and vertically furrowed.” While these trees offer acorns, which were traditionally harvested for their oil, the shade the Live Oak offers is a hotter commodity. 5. CHANTERELLE MUSHROOM, CANTHARELLUS CIBARIUS. Most mushrooms have a gill-like structure, folds underneath the cap that resemble pages in a book. But the chanterelle mushroom has “false gills,” which look like the wrinkled pads of your fingers after a long bath. If correctly identified, your mushroom should smell like apricots. While the Chanterelle mushroom is edible, it is worth noting there are poisonous imposters that look very similar to the Chanterelle. They are affectionately called the false chanterelle. •
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BY HELEN STADELMAIER ILLUSTRATIONS BY CAROLINE GASPICH
Past // You walked around in circles until you felt better, but the better feeling only lasted about five minutes and then you were back to circles again, chasing that feeling of accomplishment. Present // Talk to yourself more. Staying silent when you are by yourself causes you to be less aware. Future // There will come a time when you’ve had enough, and everyone will know that they need to stay the hell out of your way.
Past // It was easier. It was a simpler time. But no it wasn’t. It was complicated; you just conveniently forgot all the details that made you insane. Present // Sit on the ground, and close your eyes. Go back to that moment you keep repeating over and over again. Imagine you made the right decision. Now open your eyes. You’re still here. Now what? Future // You will remember everything exactly as it happened and then forget immediately because that’s what you do best. This is how memories work. Remember this every time you think you might forget. 14 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
As fall comes upon us and we slip into our favorite sweaters and those final months of the year, it’s inevitable that every sign will be doing some soul-searching and evaluation. What will the signs see when reflecting back? And what should they look towards in the year to come? This horoscope will help you delve in and unpack your past, present and future. •
Past // You did the right thing even when it was difficult. Present // Don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. There is still work to be done. Future // You will receive a gift in the form of an opportunity to change your mind about something. Be careful or you will squander it. You will have three days surrounding the next full moon before your mind is sealed on this forever.
Past // You were on top of the world looking down at the chaos below, removed and yet the center of attention. Looking back, you know you would have done anything to stay there for the rest of your life. Present // Now that you’re lost in the corn maze of reality, you are fighting hard. You hear the sounds in the distance and you cannot tell if they are beckoning you out of the fields or deeper towards the center. Future // If you wish to succeed, you will need to sit down and take a break. Look up at the stars. They will guide you back to where you belong.
Past // You believed it was all a learning experience and you were grateful, but maybe there was more to it than that. Present // See it from the other side. Who was watching? Who was listening? Future // If you go to the end of the earth who will follow you? This is whose hand you will need to hold when the winter comes and the weather becomes less and less predictable. If it is only you, you will have to hold your own hand.
Past // There was something holding you back, keeping you from moving on to the next phase. Present // Now that the burden has been lifted, you see the vast expanse ahead of you is equal parts pitfall and opportunity. These are indistinguishable. You start to wonder if there is an important difference between the two at all. Future // You will look at it like a challenge, but you can’t take charge in your usual way. You must proceed with caution if you hope to find what you’re looking for.
Past // You looked for something new in an old place, expecting a different outcome. But you needed to give it one more try, if only to learn how to accept that particular kind of failure. Present // Change is imminent now, you can feel it in your bones. Future // Nothing will happen just by speaking it into existence. The things you keep telling yourself only become reality when you close your mouth and look the great beyond directly in the eye.
Past // Someone you thought you trusted let you down, and you had every right to be upset with them. Present // That doesn’t mean you have the right to be upset with everyone. Discern which feelings are necessary and which are not. Future // Look for the empty room that will appear in your heart after you have spent months searching for the solution. There you will carve out a new space.
Past // A fresh start was not what you really needed, but you made one anyway in the interest of thrill over hope. Present // You are tempted to make another in the coming months. Future // But be warned, doing this will only make things worse, and you will spend weeks watching the moon shift and change to remind yourself that nothing is ever permanent.
Past // There was never enough time to do the things that needed to be done. Present // Time is money. Literally. It costs you fiscally and emotionally to give it away and watch it waste. Future // Beware of the enticing thrills of social status. They will ultimately bring you misery if you are not careful who you trust with your time.
Past // You stumbled off the beaten path this week because that is your usual way of doing things, but you lost your way and had to admit that you weren’t quite as sure as you usually are. Present // You’re probably feeling a little confused, but this is a good thing for you. You know better than anyone that you thrive on uncertainty. Future // As you bravely step into the dark, your eyes will adjust and you will develop a new set of adaptations. They will stick with you for years and in a way you will be glad it all happened exactly like that.
Past // It became clear to you the last time you woke up with that empty feeling that you hadn’t planned adequately for the possibility of defeat. Present // “Have I lost myself again?” you wonder, but the mere question is a reminder that your mind is still there, as strong as ever in the shifting tides. Future // You’ll have to start making decisions sometime. You can start tomorrow, though it might feel like that’s already too late.
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from the ground
Panagioti Tsolkas and Karen Smith are organizing for environmental justice for prisoners.
BY DEEVA GUPTA PHOTO BY SARAH SENFELD
s Hurricane Irma battered homes across the state of Florida, causing tens of thousands to evacuate, another population’s living place, rarely thought of, was also affected—the state’s prisoners. It was the largest prisoner evacuation in the state’s history. 7,000 prisoners from south and central Florida were evacuated north, creating cramped living conditions. A few days later, some of these silent figures were allowed to leave to work on repairing the damage caused by the hurricane. You might not have seen them picking up debris from the street, but you’ve definitely seen the sign, orange and black like the prison uniforms it represents: State Prisoners Working. “When slavery was abolished, [the Constitution] retained the clause that said slavery is illegal unless you’re in prison,” said Panagioti Tsolkas, referring to the 13th amendment, which states that slavery remains legal for a convicted party. 16 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
In 2015, Tsolkas founded the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP), a grassroot organization dedicated to coordinating local advocacy groups and direct actions. The campaign specifically addresses the intersection of mass incarceration and climate change, and the environmental impacts of the growing prison industry, under the term “prison ecology.” FTP argues that the prison system puts prisoners at the risk of dangerous environmental conditions and that the construction of prisons can degrade the local environment. “Most prisons are in remote, rural communities.” Tsolkas said. “You’re lucky if you catch it in the headlines of some rural weekly newspaper. For the most part it goes unspoken.” Climate justice is often focused on the white, middle class, Tsolkas said. In an effort to change the narrative, FTP organizes direct actions against prisons. “We’re bringing the white, middle-class
SPOTLIGHT environmental movement into the real world of the police state and the prison nation,” he said, letting out a self-deprecating chuckle. Tsolkas is a white, middle-class man, with a sun-bleached beard and a weatherbeaten quality to his clothes. A man constantly in motion, Tsolkas, despite his appearance and background, has been advocating for justice since he was 16, when he was dragged off school grounds by a resource officer. His crime? Protesting the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. “It was turning the educational process into this weird and twisted scientific cultivation,” Panagioti said earnestly. He said he had no desire to become a programmed “math and science automaton to compete in the global economy.” Right before the students were scheduled to take the test, Tsolkas stood up on a chair in the cafeteria and asked his fellow lunch-goers to protest the exam. The room became rowdy fast, and he was swiftly disciplined. This was a step in Tsolkas’ personal education, and he began to see “school as this fundamental social control tool,” he said. Panagioti left home shortly after to travel around the country, protesting for Earth First!, a radical environmental organization, and dumpster diving to sustain himself. In 1999, alongside friends from the Tampa area, Tsolkas road-tripped to Seattle to protest the World Trade Organisation where he was arrested as a John Doe along with 157 others. He remained unidentified until his release. “I could see things a little more clearly,” he said. “How the system responds to someone who doesn’t agree with it.”
solkas sits by paperbacks haphazardly stacked on shelves in the warmly lit space of the Civic Media Center. A letter is lying on the table in front of him. Mailed by a prisoner named Bryant Arroyo, he received it that morning. In the letter, Arroyo describes “bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, sore throats and dizziness by an overwhelming majority of the inmate population,” the result of water contamination, Tsolkas said. In the past, Tsolkas worked with Prison Legal News, a magazine for members of the incarcerated community to voice their own concerns and experiences. Tsolkas’s job was to was to compile all the incoming mail into a database.
He received hundreds of letters from prisoners and continues to get them today. At the end of every working day, he said he could not get all the paper through the scanner. “It became an overwhelming task,’ he said. The letters were a plea for help. Prisoners wrote of rape and assault, as well as inhumane living conditions like the ones Arroyo’s letter described. Sitting with Tsolkas is Karen Smith, who joined the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons last fall. Smith, among others, is working with Tsolkas on the campaign’s latest fight against a proposed phosphate mine in Bradford and Union counties that will be located next to a local hospital and a state prison. “We are pushing the envelope for them to take a stand on this and to publicly say either ‘We are opposed to people in our care and control being subjected to this kind of environment toxicity” or to say, ‘we don’t care,’” Smith said.
“We’re bringing the white, middle-class environmental movement into the real world of the police state and the prison nation." Tsolkas said it is no coincidence that the phosphate mine is situated right next a state prison. “Essentially, they’re a disposable population because they’re not viewed as fully human,” he said. About four miles northeast of the Civic Media Center is a prisoner work camp. It is easy to become blind to the orange and black signs and to forget the people who keep our pavements clean and bike paths running. But Tsolkas and Smith do not allow themselves to forget. “Our whole town is covered with slaves doing our county work,” Smith said. Much of Tsolkas’s work is about seeing the world the way it is and believing that real change is within reach. He is, as one of his fellow organizers said, fundamentally optimistic. “The ultimate goal is no prisons,” he said. “The only green prison is an empty one.” • Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 17
PETITION WITH CONVICTION A coalition of local organizations and individuals are working to restore voting rights for felons.
BY DYLAN ECHOLS ILLUSTRATION BY SABRINA SIEGEL
n January 2011, Jhody Polk entered her fourth year of her eight-year prison sentence, and Governor Rick Scott entered his first term as Florida’s governor. Polk expected to apply to restore her voting rights immediately after her release. Two months into his first term, Scott harshened clemency rules for all felons by imposing waiting periods to the restoration of civil rights process (RCR), adding 17 years to Polk's plan for reintegrating back into society. Before these new rules, a felon could apply for restoration of rights once they completed their incarceration including parole or probation. Some prisons began the process with inmates before release and the eligible—non-violent and non-sexual offenders— had their rights restored without a hearing. Scott’s rule added 5-and 7-year RCR ineligibility periods to the tail of sentences and mandatory hearings, creating a backlog of thousands of pending cases each year. Rights lost with a felony conviction vary by state, and so does the difficulty to restore them. The loss of voting rights is nearly ubiquitous across the country, apart from Maine and Vermont, where felons can vote from prison. Florida, however, is among the more stringent. Along with Iowa and Kentucky, Florida is one of the three remaining states where felony convictions mean a lifetime revocation of voting rights, according to The Sentencing Project, a felony rights advocacy group. Florida also leads the US in disenfranchised voters at nearly 1.7 million people, which includes more than 21 percent of the state’s African American population. “I don't even have a say-so in who my local officials are,” Polk said. “My city commissioner, my sheriff, my judges and my state attorneys, those people affect me. I have no right or access to even decide who those people would be.” Losing her right to vote was like losing her voice in the community, she said. RCR is a multilevel process that involves years of waiting, applications, reviews and a hearing with the state clemency board, which is part of the governor’s office. The Board holds four hearing dates a year and consists of Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Adam H. Putnam 18 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. Only 14 percent of 2016 applicants had their rights restored. According to reports by Florida Commission on Offender Review, the number of applicants granted restoration of civil rights dropped from 24,375 in 2009 under Crist to 473 in 2016 under Scott. The clemency process involves a lot of paperwork and can be difficult for convicted felons, or anyone without a law degree, to navigate. Meshon Rawls, a UF law professor, is the director of the Restoration of Civil Rights Project, which holds workshops with volunteers to assist formerly incarcerated people beginning the RCR process. “When they come to us at that point, it's almost like they've exhausted everything else to acclimate into society,” Rawls said. To confront mass disenfranchisement, a battalion of organizations Floridians like Polk joined behind a banner, Say Yes to Second Chances (SYTSC), a statewide grassroots campaign.
“THIS MOVEMENT AND ISSUE IS SO IMPORTANT TO RESTORING, NOT JUST REDEMPTION, BUT DIGNITY.” Currently, the campaign is petitioning to include an amendment called the Restoration Amendment on the 2018 ballot to separate voting rights for nonviolent offenders from RCR and automatically restore the right after they complete all terms of sentencing. To do so, they need to collect 766,200 Floridian signatures. As of Oct. 24, 257,640 of the collected signatures are verified. Petitioning continues until Dec. 1, 2017. Local organizations like the Alachua County Labor Coalition (ACLC), the League of Women Voters, and
SISTUHS Inc. are among those contributing volunteers to SYTSC to reduce the residual effects a felony conviction has on the person and community. Part of why Polk became a social advocate was because of community support like this. “You see people who are not directly involved, but people you would think wouldn't even care,” Polk said. “That's when I realized I had to start stepping up, not to just represent formerly incarcerated people, but to educate formerly incarcerated people on how this movement and issue is so important to restoring, not just redemption, but dignity.” The University of Florida’s Chapter of SISTUHS Inc., a student organization dedicated to supporting AfricanAmerican women and men, IS petitioning on campus and at community events. Some members have family directly affected by the laws said Myesha Senior, Political Action Committee Chair for the organization. “When you take away the right to vote,” Senior said, “you take away the right to make a difference.” Though some community members are supportive of the cause, others disagree with it. “People have actually told me when I'm doing the petition, they'll go, ‘You know, ignorant people shouldn't vote anyway,’ assuming if you had a felony that you're ignorant,” Sheila Payne, SYTSC volunteer and ACLC membership coordinator, said, “For me, it was heartbreaking.”
While petitioning, Payne and her husband Paul Ortiz, a University of Florida History professor and SYTSC volunteer, said another common misconception is that the campaign is a ploy by the Democratic Party to increase its voter base. However, no political party has backed the campaign. “This campaign is about individualism,” Paul said. “If we can establish a system that allows people to more easily get their right to vote back—we don't know what they're going to do with that right, we're not going to tell them what to do with that right—but at least they will have an opportunity they wouldn't have had before.” To Rawls, restoring the right to vote is about removing barriers and reducing recidivism. “If you don't put a barrier in someone's way to be able to work, be in school, or provide for their family, hopefully they are less likely to find themselves in the criminal justice system,” Rawls said. If Scott’s rules stay, Polk will have to wait until 2027 to submit her RCR application. But that’s not stopping her from using her experience to create an inclusive community. “This is an opportunity for us to educate our community, for us to all be equal citizens and we can start to grow, start to educate, start to exercise those rights together,” Polk said. • Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 19
soul searchers In search of an inclusive space, Roi Wall created Mellow Soul, an open-mic poetry night where it is guaranteed your shoes won't be stepped on. BY VINCENT MCDONALD ILLUSTRATION BY INGRID WU epressed, isolated and lacking an outlet, Roi Wall wasn’t at ease in Gainesville. As a black woman living in a town dominated by a primarily white institution, most of the places offering entertainment seemed to cater to people unlike her, she said. So she made her own. It’s called Mellow Soul. The venues and the themes might change, but the mission is always the same: to provide a space for artists and art-lovers to share and enjoy poetry, song, rap and comedy that comes straight from the heart. “We want to bridge the gap between student life and the locals in Gainesville,” Wall said. “We want to get people to actually come out and enjoy authentic art again.” It’s what Wall calls “one mic under soul elevated.” And you could say it was born from a breakdown. 28-year-old Wall, who has bipolar disorder, sunk into a deep depression after working through internships at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. She had moved to Gainesville with her partner, A. Denèe, who was then a graduate student at the University of Florida, but Wall wasn’t studying for a degree herself. “We really had no social life,” she said. “We either had to go to Jacksonville or Orlando to find fulfillment.” Wall had gotten a taste of working in entertainment in Orlando and wanted to create her own show. After her therapist asked her what she was waiting for, she
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set out to collaborate with Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar in November 2014 and hasn’t stopped since. “It was the thing that I think saved her from herself,” Denèe said during a phone interview. The Mellow Soul team partnered with Rockeys for two years, but these days it hosts monthly open mic sessions specifically at black-owned businesses in Gainesville. Typically, about 50 to 100 people, young and old, will show up for Mellow Soul Tuesdays, After Work Wednesdays or the occasional Mellow Soul Friday. The open mic held in August at M.A.M.A’s Club drew a crowd over 100 strong, enough to force Wall to start turning people away. About 15 to 20 performers sign up for the open mic either through social media or at the door the night of a show, Wall said. “It’s raw talent,” she said. “We grab people from off the streets.” All Wall and Denèe ask for is a $5 entry fee to cover the venue and pay their in-house entertainment, the ID Band and DJ Mellow Blendz, as well as any professional artists they spotlight, Wall said. “I often walk away with nothing in my pocket,” she said. Mellow Soul tries to provide an open, safe atmosphere, one where someone of any age, religion or background, including LGBT and undocumented people, can appreciate listening and speaking under the guiding principle of “respect the mic.” There’s no police present, nor a set security guard, and “interactions happen organically,” Denèe said.
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“I’ve seen a woman who is a devout Muslim and a man who is a devout Christian stand on stage together in their prayer poses,” Denèe said. “That was beautiful.” During five-minute musical breaks, people at Mellow Soul are told to find somebody they don’t know and take a selfie with them. “You see people who may not ever talk to each other – now they’re talking,” Denèe said. Some of Wall and Denèe’s favorite moments have been an onstage proposal and when Erykah Badu herself retweeted a photo from Mellow Soul’s tribute to her. It contained a single word: “Honored.” “I know it was one word, but I was honored,” Denèe said. Denèe calls Mellow Soul “a labor of love,” especially considering that the couple moved to Jacksonville about a year ago for her job as a high school english, reading and debate teacher at River City Science Academy. For every show, they drive two hours on Route 301 to Gainesville and back, passing through Starke and Waldo, which can be especially hard at night once an event is over. “I’ve been pulled over several times,” Wall said.
“More motivation to keep doing what we’re doing.” Wall organizes the bulk of Mellow Soul, but Denèe does what she calls “the nerdy stuff,” like editing social media posts and writing letters to student and community groups. “I don’t know anything about technology, but I can edit my behind off,” she said. “We just gathered our arts together, our skills together, and created a show.” To Denèe, Mellow Soul isn’t just a space, but “a movement of gathering great minds, great artistic minds, and empowering them to give back to the community in an active, creative and relevant way,” she said. Denèe is one of Mellow Soul’s regular performers. She became a serious poet ever since she saw Maya Angelou speak at the age of 15 or 16 — an experience she said “you can never, ever, ever even explain,” — but she’s been an artist her entire life. “My mother has laminated poems that I wrote before I could even write,” Denèe said. Before she met Wall, Denèe never considered publishing a full-length work, but in February 2016 her book “Write-Handed Poetry: A Collection of Thoughts and Writings on Faith, Family, Love, Sex,
“It’s not about ‘I love you instead of’ or ‘I love you despite,’” Wall said. ‘No. You just deserve love. And that’s how it is at Mellow Soul.”
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SPOTLIGHT Revolution, and Blackness” went public. Denèe’s poem “We Speak of Revolution” is a favorite of Mellow Soul patrons and Wall, too. Toward the end, it reads: “We speak of revolution. So that this world may be resurrected. Like Jesus. So this world may be changed. Like old clothes and old ways So that our dark faces no longer seek lightness And our thick bodies no longer seek thinness.” “She kills it,” Wall said. “I’m not just saying that because she’s my partner. I actually really love the poem.” Denèe compares her significant other to Alain Locke and Wallace Thurman, famous figures of the Harlem Renaissance. “The way she’s able to gather artists from everywhere, from every religion, from every background, every nationality...I’ve never met such a curator,” she said. “Art is what drives any movement,” Wall said. “It’s a history book in itself.” Wall brings together artists not just to entertain, but to help fund campus organizations and local businesses. In June 2015, after receiving a surprise invitation to the the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, the ‘Canes on Da Mic poetry club at Gainesville High School rushed to raise money to travel to Atlanta. Mellow Soul hosted a “final push” open mic at the Civic Media Center to collect donations for the trip, and the club managed to exceed its goal within six days.
Mellow Soul also collaborates with multiple student organizations at UF and Santa Fe college, including UF’s chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., UF’s Black Student Union and My Sister’s Keeper at Santa Fe. Each year, it partners with the Black Graduate Student Organization at UF for Black History Month, creating one of Mellow Soul’s most popular nights. “We’re not just about sharing art, we’re about doing art,” Denèe said. “And what’s better than to do what you love and help folks?” Wall dreams of moving Mellow Soul to a weekly schedule. She loves putting together a performance and wants more than anything to help develop authentic artists, she said. “It’s beautiful to just watch it just flow naturally without it being rehearsed,” she said. Denèe “would love to see Mellow Soul expand to untouched areas,” like entertaining people in prisons and hospitals. She also wants to see more support to help Mellow Soul grow, be it in the form of word of mouth, financial help or assistance from grant writers, she said. “I’m like, a super shy person. I’m not a performer. I’m not a slam poet in any sense of the word,” Denèe said. “But when I get up on stage at Mellow Soul, I know that whatever I have to share is going to be thought upon, it’s gonna be chewed on, it’s gonna be appreciated.” “It’s not about ‘I love you instead of ’ or ‘I love you despite,’” she said. “No. You just deserve love. And that’s how it is at Mellow Soul.” •
“Art is what drives any movement,” Wall said. “It’s a history book in itself.”
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THE LAW OF BEVERAGES BY MOLLY MINTA ILLUSTRATIONS BY SABRINA SIEGEL
Why haven't Florida's liquor laws haven't changed an ounce since the Prohibiton era?
t’s a typical weekend night in Gainesville, Fla. In midtown, the stairs to Rowdy Reptiles are lined with students, a disastrous domino effect waiting to happen. Due east in downtown, people sit outside Pop-a-Top and the Atlantic, awkwardly close to passersby. A throng can be seen queuing for Simon’s. Around the corner on University Ave is a new kid on the block, Madrina’s, a Cuban-inspired cocktail bar. Inside, the rows of bottles and the painted lacquer of the bar glimmer, both brandspanking new. Figurines of the Virgin Mary line the top of the liquor shelves—some are devoutly praying, judging those at the bar, while others are topless. Financed by the team behind Crane Ramen, TJ Palmieri, a bartender who has worked around town, opened Madrina’s this past summer after a year and a half of planning. After scoping out locations, Palmieri needed to obtain a liquor license before he could take the concept any further. Liquor licenses are required to open a bar, legally defined as an establishment where 50 percent or more of the profits come from the sale of liquor. But unlike licenses for beer and wine, or restaurants—which can be bought by anyone who has enough money—liquor licenses are capped by population by state law. In Alachua County, there are 44 liquor licenses, one for every 7,500 people. This population quota creates a ferocious secondary market where existing licenses are bought, sold, traded or leased as if they were property, and at tens of thousands of dollars. “It’s an asset that doesn’t lose value whatsoever,” Palmieri said. “It’s as solid an asset as you could have, other than physical land.” The small number of licenses available, as well as their high price, make it difficult to break into the industry. And like seemingly everything in this world, most of Gainesville’s liquor licenses are owned by old men. It all goes back to laws written over 80 years ago, when the state of Florida passed new liquor laws in the wake of Prohibition’s end. These laws, written in a time of moralistic fervor, political bosses and rebellious drinking, haven’t changed since.
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FEATURE reaking down Florida’s liquor laws requires accepting that you will encounter a swamp of moisture-related metaphors—to this day, 83 years after Prohibition, counties remain a patchwork of "wet," "damp" and "dry." Though the 18th Amendment was repealed across the country in 1933, Florida had its own “bone dry” constitutional provision. This meant that Floridians had to wait an extra year before they could repeal their own state amendment and legally hit the town. But by 1934, authorities had given up preventing people from imbibing the devil’s orange juice, according to a Chicago Tribune article from that year. “In Miami, bars operate openly, with no apparent effort on the part of county or city authorities to check them,” the paper reported. At this point, enforcement of Prohibition was more or less a technicality. “The country was basically drowning in liquor,” Palmieri said. “It was the highest rate of consumption in
“They’re all over the place," Barnett said. “Liquor laws are all over the place. It’s one of those crazy mixtures of laws." 26 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
history.” North Florida was a different ballgame. This part of the state still has damp counties where the sale of packaged liquor is legal, but you can’t buy a drink—and dry ones, where liquor can’t be sold at all. In 2011, voters in Suwannee County were debating if alcohol could be sold for consumption or not—ultimately, they decided to go wet. Lafayette, in North Central Florida, and Liberty and Washington counties in Florida panhandle are still dry. The 1934 alcohol laws were written to balance South Florida’s heady nightlife with the North’s puritanical bent. Lawmakers decided to make it a local option whether counties would be wet or dry, explaining the patchwork of laws you see today. Florida, along with 30 other states, also decided to require by law the licensing of the sale of liquor, and to restrict the number of licenses by a population quota. The quota was initially set at one license for 2,500 people. Over the years, to keep up with population increases, the quota has been raised to 7,500 per county. This way, Palmieri said, you don’t have a “crazy red-light district,” but rather a town even “soccer moms” can love. Every population increase of 7,500, the state issues a new liquor license through a double-blind lottery. Hundreds of people enter each year, so your chances of striking liquid gold are low. Mark Barnett, the owner of Gator Beverage, was one of the lucky ones. After about 15 years of selling beer and wine, he decided to apply for the lottery. For him, the third time was the charm. Barnett said he thinks Florida’s current liquor laws are a reasonable compromise between private enterprise and public ownership, but he noted their patchwork quality. “They’re all over the place,” he said. “Liquor laws are all over the place. It’s
one of those crazy mixtures of laws. For example, similarly arcane alcohol laws prevent stores like Publix and Walmart from selling liquor in the same space as tomatoes, cans of beans or tampons. But they can sell beer and wine just fine. This is why stores like Pop-a-Top, which shares its liquor license with The Atlantic and Barcade, can’t sell tampons or band-aids. Liquor laws also supposedly comes with an exception. Called the “Disneyland rule,” several sources said this allows businesses to open multiple bars or stores under a single liquor license if the bars occupy a contiguous space. This is what owners of The Top have done with The Atlantic, Pop-a-Top and Barcade. However, The Top couldn’t be reached for comment, and neither could the owners of Palomino or Boca Fiest, which operate under a similar situation. f you can’t hit the jackpot with the liquor lottery, your other option is to try your hand in the robust, and expensive, secondary market where the cost of liquor licenses is dictated by good ol’ supply and demand. Liquor licenses legally function like personal property—owners of existing licenses can move them to any location (for instance, nowclosed 101 Cantina’s liquor license is now a liquor store on the east side of town). But sometimes you want to open a bar, and no one wants to sell. Situations like this might require you to go through a beverage lawyer, or a liquor broker. This can be foreign to people who just want to sell good drinks and good memories, and don’t make their living off financing new businesses. “A lot of us that are in this business were not necessarily for means and a lawyer like, it’s sort of seen as a scary thing, but rich people have a lawyer like we have a fucking doctor or a veterinarian,” Palmieri said. And if you aren’t familiar with
FEATURE these lawyers, it can be difficult to find them. A local beverage broker lists their offices in suite 10-B of the Seagle building. But step out of the elevator on the tenth door of the Seagle building, and you won’t find an office. Instead, you’ll be greeted by a padlocked door blocking a nondescript hallway. Furthermore, a woman who works in the building said the tenth floor isn’t for commercial businesses. “So unless they’re running a business out of their condo,” she said, trailing off. Though beverage lawyers typically work in statewide law offices, quota licenses can only be bought for a particular county. “It’s drastically different market to market,” Palmieri said. “The licenses in Jacksonville are more expensive. The licenses in Miami are more expensive—you might imagine why. Different cities have different curfews. … It’s absolutely unique to every market.” In Alachua County, liquor licenses typically go for around $50,000, but they can reach into the six figures depending on factors out of left field like whether the football team is performing well, Palmieri said. Alex Girard, a bartender at Madrina’s, said he experienced “sticker shock” when he learned how expensive liquor licenses can be. “The general consensus is that it’s a pain in the ass,” Girard said. “It’s mainly the cost, for one, and the negotiation with people to buy a new one or waiting for one to become available.” It can take a tremendous amount of capital to accumulate liquor licenses,
Palmieri said. Most people in his situation are financed by people who have been in the business much longer, typically older men. In Alachua County, no liquor licenses are owned by women. Palmieri likened the situation to the Yale Club during Prohibition, a private club in New York City that’s restricted to Yale University Alumni. During Prohibition, the club was able to hoard enough liquor to last them through the era, even as its members were writing laws that prevented the rest of America from drinking too. “Sounds like a bunch of little, old white guys are gonna decree where, and when, and how much you can imbibe, right?” Palmieri said. “There’s that certain element of, ‘you need control, and we’ll tell you how much is good for you’—that sort of thing. That sounds familiar and aggravating.” But some, like Scott Dick, a lobbyist for the Florida Independent Spirits Association, thinks a more controlled environment is a good thing. “Take underage sales,” Dick said. “I mean, if you had a liquor store or an establishment on every street corner, it’d be almost impossible for the ABT (Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco) to enforce it.” Dick represents independent beverage retailers small and large, from that one corner shop to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. But despite their varying size, according to Dick, these establishments all have one thing in common. “Our members have substantial dollars invested in their quota liquor licenses,” Dick said. But if you can swig it, your business is set. Money, much like alcohol, can make every problem go away, Palmier said. “They can actually be a boon to some young business people who might not be able to get their hands on them otherwise,” he said.
“Our members have substantial dollars invested in their quota liquor licenses," Dick said. own the road from Madrina’s is the University Club (UC), Gainesville’s only gay bar. Rainbow lights spiral around the two-storied space, lighting upon the bar where people are waiting for a drink. Spangler, who opened the UC 27 years ago, has seen bars and liquor stores come and go, and the town’s liquor licenses change hands. Spangler actually owns the first liquor license ever issued in Alachua County—license “0001.” “They weren’t hard to come by then,” he said, his voice reaching over loud speakers. But Spangler said today there are more people wanting to open a bar, and not as many licenses available. So the price has gone up and your chances, like a graph you’d make in high school microeconomics, has gone down. And with higher prices, comes higher stakes. “It’s a lot to go through,” Spangler said. “You have to get different people to sign off on them—of course, you gotta find one first.” •
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PHOTOS AND INTRO BY HANNAH PHILLIPS hrough 2016, the Fine Print ran a four-part series on gentrification in Gainesville. Since the series ended, the purchasing and restoration of property in low-income areas has continued at a rapid pace. People who have lived in historic neighborhoods like Porters Community for decades are being pushed further and further from the center of the city as rent prices soar. The architectural and social makeup of what used to be predominantly black neighborhoods is morphing as students from the University of Florida and young investors now occupy much of town. Neighborhoods like 5th Avenue to Pleasant Street and Porters Community near Depot Avenue are only some of the areas in Gainesville that feel the displacing effects of gentrification.•
Signs on storefront reads “Effective 11/12/2016, this location is permanently closed.” Abandoned and foreclosed lots like this one are a common sight on West University Avenue and SW 13th Street.
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PATH OF CONSTRUCTION Gentrification is happening at a rapid and visually apparent pace.
Construction of ‘The Nine’ apartment building on SW 13th Street, where the India Cultural and Education Center previously stood for 26 years.
Clean Cut Barber Shop and Shoe Shine on 5th Avenue. Owner Edward Earl Young, whose family-owned Mom’s Kitchen stood for 45 years on 5th Avenue until it closed in 2006, regularly attends City Hall meetings to discuss misappropriation of government funwding in Gainesville. “It’s not only Mom’s Kitchen,” Young said. “It’s all the history on this street. It’s gone.” Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 29
A home in Porters deemed uninhabitable in June of 2016 by the Gainesville Code Enforcement. After a hearing with the Special Magistrate in December, its owner was given 10 days to restore the property to compliance under city ordinances. Since then, a daily fine of $50 has accrued against the owner, and will continue to do so until the property is restored or foreclosed upon.
Hurricane BTW is constructed on West University Avenue across from residence. Dough Religion and oZoo Bar operated on the same lot for one year, until the construction of 10-story apartment building The Standard was suspected to have influenced its early exit.
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A CALL FOR HELP
BY ASHLEY LAZARSKI ILLUSTRATION BY SYDNEY MARTIN 32 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
Sana Fe College's counseling center has four full-time counselors and one therapy dog. But Lara Zwilling, the center's coordinator, discovered that this is an anomaly. After calling all 28 state colleges in Florida, she learned that 21 don't have a counseling center at all.
typical day for Lara Zwilling, the coordinator of Santa Fe College’s counseling center, is scheduled down to the minute. As a licensed mental health counselor, Zwilling has a full caseload of students—the center averages 300 to 350 visits per month—who she sees for a variety of reasons, from breaking up with a significant other to depression and anxiety. But as the coordinator, Zwilling, an energetic and determined woman, is responsible for managing the center’s four full-time counselors, two graduate interns and their occasional part-time line, which they have depending on funds, as well as ensuring students know the center exists. She’s also responsible for ensuring the center improves to serve students’ needs. Three years ago, Santa Fe’s counselors became licensed therapists, due to Zwilling pressuring the college’s dean. Last year, she advocated to get liability insurance for all the counselors and the center’s therapy dog, a goldendoodle named Beau. Zwilling wanted to know what others schools were doing to get liability insurance. So she called their “counseling” centers, assuming that all the state and community colleges in Florida offer similar centers to Santa Fe’s, which has existed since the 1980s. “I found that a lot of community colleges were calling their advising centers counseling centers,” she said. “So when I called down there, I said, ‘Hey guys, so what type of mental health services do you provide?’ And they’d say, ‘Oh no, we’re not that type of counselor.’” She decided to investigate further. With her phone pressed tightly to her ear and a list of contact information in front of her, Zwilling called all 28 community colleges in the state of Florida. After she finished, Zwilling said she was shocked. Only seven out of the 28 state and community colleges in Florida offered any kind of mental health care center on campus. “I can’t really understand,” Zwilling said. “There’s no rhyme or reason to it in my opinion. Community college students have just as many complex problems.”
t most community colleges in Florida, if a student is seeking mental health assistance, they have to start their journey with a phone call. However, this phone call doesn’t lead them to a in-person counseling session in an office on campus—the phone call itself is the counseling session. Most community colleges in Florida contract out their mental health care through a service called BayCare, a
“not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services including mental health care,” according to its website. In essence, BayCare is a hotline. Students can call the phone number, which will connect them with mental health care providers in their area. Most of these providers are public, and students must be able to drive themselves to the location. “It’s more of a barrier to student access than being able to walk on campus and receive help,” Zwilling said. According to a 2016 survey from Wisconsin HOPE Lab—which researches post-secondary education—half of community college students in the country report mental health problems, and fewer than half of those with mental health conditions were receiving the treatment they need.
“I can’t really understand,” Zwilling said. “There’s no rhyme or reason to it in my opinion. Community college students have just as many complex problems.” Additionally, according to the American Psychological Association, over-the-phone therapy—in place of faceto-face interaction—may work for some, but it doesn’t benefit those who need it the most. Only 31 percent reported feeling improved after a telephone counseling session, compared with 54 percent who saw a therapist in person. Zwilling also said that in-person counseling centers improve student retention. “If they have an active relationship with a counselor, that makes a big difference,” she said. “They’re motivated to get up and go to class.” The number for BayCare’s services is only discoverable after extensive searching through a community college’s website, leading to potential confusion for students looking for guidance. “Nobody seems to know about our mental health services,” said Mike McKee, executive director of media and public information at Florida Gateway College, which utilizes BayCare. Even if students do use the service, they only get three free counseling sessions per year. To pay for more sessions, they must have health insurance, which Zwilling said is not a requirement at some community colleges such as Santa Fe. Fall 2017 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 33
FEATURE Santa Fe is able to pay for its counseling services through money allocated to administrative and professional staff, but not every college is as lucky. Kim Pearsall, director of disability and counseling services at Polk State College, views BayCare as an improvement from what Polk State College had before, which was nothing. Though BayCare is not a physical counseling center, given the college’s small budget it’s better than no services at all.
“Part of our mission is open access,” she said. “We want to be open access to students, and so we would think that all of our services would be open access, including mental health care, because it certainly is for all the state universities.” "I'd love to have more services on board here,” she said. “I think every college should have a center. It was the hopes and dreams of myself and my boss to put something together for students in crisis so they can talk to someone." She said it may be a while before Polk State College has an on-campus counseling center. "That would be a great goal to have, and I certainly think it's a worthy one,” she said. “At the moment, we are one of the poorest colleges. Hopefully in the future, we'll be able to have more funding to do something like that.” The Association for Florida Colleges (AFC) lobbies for state funding on behalf of Florida’s community colleges. Santa Fe’s representative to the committee, Liam McClay, said the association is constantly looking for ways to provide more support for students. But “where resources become finite is where the rubber meets the road,” he said. McCay said most schools’ budgets prioritize workforceintegration services, maintenance and construction of facilities, and faculty recruitment, leaving little money for mental health services, which can be expensive. At public universities, mental health services can be as much as $28,000 per student according to Pscyhology Today. But Zwilling said there is a disparity between the money allocated to state universities and the money allocated to state colleges, because universities are able to pull in more money and research. As Zwilling explained how the AFC lobbies for community colleges, she looked up this year’s budget numbers, which were approved in May. “[The AFC] advocates for our budget, which, by the way, it looks like we’re going to get slashed,” she said, trailing off in disappointment. “Wow...but universities will see a significant funding increase.” 34 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
In an effort to make Florida’s 12 public universities “elite” institutions, state lawmakers voted in May to give an extra $232 million to those institutions, while cutting $25 million from state colleges, according to an article in the Miami Herald. “It stinks, because I think that community colleges have a lot to offer,” Zwilling said. “A lot of students would not have the ability to complete what they have in life if they did not get their start at a community college. ... I feel like a big chunk of the community is being left out.” For Zwilling, the counseling center is an integral part of Santa Fe. “Part of our mission is open access,” she said. “We want to be open access to students, and so we would think that all of our services would be open access, including mental health care, because it certainly is for all the state universities.” But some state colleges don’t view on-campus mental health services as part of their mission. "It’s more of a university practice,” said Leigh Bailey, an academic counselor at Gulf Coast State College. Linda Freeman, a counselor at Florida SouthWestern State College, opened the school’s counseling center in 2012. Freeman said she’s technically a contract worker, not an employee, but she has a physical office on campus, even though she’s had to move four times. To raise awareness for the center, Freeman tables and gives presentations on campus. She also sends constant reminders to the college’s dean to send out emails to students, notifying them that the counseling center is active. “I don’t know how you can have a college without a counseling center,” Freeman said.
espite her intense schedule, Zwilling is currently working to bring more attention to this issue. “As a counselor, that’s my heart—to get out there and create a culture of care,” she said. As she was cold-calling state colleges, Zwilling connected with Jeannie Hoban, a counselor at Palm Beach State College. “She said, ‘Are you crazy?’ Did you really just call all 28 colleges?’ And I said, ‘Yes, Jeannie, I am!” Zwilling said. “We need to do something about this!” Together, the women have presented at state and national conferences on the lack of mental health services for community college students and the benefit of oncampus counseling services. “That’s what we do,” Zwilling said. “Educate, educate, educate.” Both women hope their schools’ respective counseling centers can serve as models for other state colleges looking to expand their counseling services. At Palm Beach State, Hoban created the counseling center by employing psychology faculty part-time and hiring interns from local universities, Zwilling said.
FEATURE Santa Fe’s counseling center began in the 1980s as a career counseling center, but under the direction of Terry O’Banion, the founding dean at Santa Fe, the center began to emphasize reflection and introspection over pure instruction. “What is called for is a new kind of person, a person who is hardheaded enough to survive the battles that rage in academe, and yet one who is warm-hearted and deeply committed to the full development of human potential,” O’Banion wrote in a 2007 article titled, “Early Stirrings of Student Development in the Community College.” In other words, a counselor. So far, Zwilling said she and Hoban have only received positive reactions to their presentations. “People are blown away when they hear that statistic,” she said. Despite the institutional struggles she faces, Zwilling remains optimistic that on-campus counseling centers will expand to all 28 state colleges. “Slowly, the world is figuring it out.” • Jordan Milian, Molly Minta and Helen Stadelmaier contributed to this report.
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NOT SO SECRET
gardens BY ANIKA HUDA & JORDANNE LAURITO
art of what gives Gainesville its distinct spirit and authenticity is the abundance of flora-filled spaces within the city. A sense of home pervades the parks of Gainesville, and if you’re ever feeling out of touch or need some open fresh air, a visit to these verdant community parks can bring you back down to earth. And unlike some of those bigname national parks, whose tickets might be getting a $70 price tag in the coming year, you can leave your wallet at home for nearly all of our local favorites.•
THE THOMAS CENTER
Following a street lined with beautiful and quirky Queen Anne style houses, you’ll approach an estate in the historic neighborhood of Duckpond. Known as the “cultural heart” of Gainesville, The Thomas Center is a space for art and history exhibits, performances, and meeting rooms for civic matters. However, the most important aspect to note of the historic area is the gardens adjacent to the building. Find a perfect reading perch in the gazebo, pack for a picnic beneath the hundred-year-old oak, or take a mindful stroll through grassy pathways and observe squirrels and canaries, all the while surrounding yourself with the rich history of the memorialized grounds. ADMISSION? FREE. TREES? CHECK. WILDLIFE? IF YOU’RE LUCKY!
Despite being just over one year old, Depot Park has deep roots in Gainesville’s history. From railroad depot to industrial hub to public recreation area, the park’s metal-and-concrete accents hint at its storied past. The park is open and contemporary; some defining features include the Rail Trail for bikers and pedestrians as well as the children’s playground with water jets to help cool off from the Florida heat. Depot Park houses the Pop-ATop convenience store, where you can find healthy food options and products from local businesses. Although Depot Park was a hard industrial space in the past, it has been transformed into a modern and inviting green area, where children can play and events, like food truck rallies and art-walks, are held. ADMISSION? FREE. TREES? JUST A FEW. WILDLIFE? MAYBE IN THE BRUSH, BUT PARK SIGNS ASK THAT YOU STAY ON THE PATHS.
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BO DIDDLEY PLAZA
Named after a legendary musician who spent much of his later years in the area, Bo Diddley Plaza is a vibrant community and family-oriented space. The distinctive hub of Downtown Gainesville was recently renovated to include a box office, a polished stage, and a manicured grassed area for hanging out and relaxing. The Union Street Farmer’s Market is a local favorite, held every Wednesday from 4- to- 7 p.m., where diverse vendors sell their local and homemade products. Concerts, dance classes and festivals happen here year-round. Bo Diddley is a casual and welcoming place for all Gainesvillians, where one can hear the laughter of families, practice acroyoga, support other locals or enjoy a cold beer on the steps of the plaza. ADMISSION? FREE. TREES? NOT SO MUCH. ANIMALS? ONLY IF YOU COUNT THE DOGS.
ALFRED A. RING PARK Off of Northwest 23rd Boulevard and NW 16th Avenue, Alfred A. Ring Park is a greenway only about 1.5 miles long, but densely covered by pines, sweetgum and oak trees. There are multiple creeks throughout the trail and a variety of wildlife is present. Alfred A. Ring, a former UF professor, also devoted a wildflower garden to his wife, which you can find near the start of the trail. It’s difficult to get lost with directional signs at almost every corner, but you may find yourself pausing at a lattice-patterned bench, an observation deck, or even the playground for junior adventurers. This trail is a calm and low-pressure experience for beginner hikers. ADMISSION? FREE. TREES? A’PLENTY. WILDLIFE? BUTTERFLIES, LIZARDS, TREEFROGS AND MUCH, MUCH MORE.
On the farther southwest side of the UF campus, the University Gardens is somewhat of a hidden gem on campus. More of a self-reflective and secluded spot, a mossy boardwalk leads you down a short path covered by crunchy leaves and small wildflowers, with streams sprinkled along the way. You can diverge from the beaten path and explore, as the trees stretch back and reveal that much of the nature on campus is still preserved. ADMISSION? FREE. TREES? OH YEAH. WILDLIFE? IT’S ABOUT THE SMALL THINGS: LIZARDS, BIRDS AND, IF YOU COME AT SUNDOWN, BATS!
By Loblolly Woods, Westside Park is a place where nature and community merge harmoniously. Tall pines and a short trail surround a basketball court, recreation center and a playground where families and adolescents buzz around. Westside’s motto is “It Starts In Parks,” which emphasizes that one’s formative years should involve community and a connection to nature. ADMISSION? FREE. TREES? CHECK. WILDLIFE? DO PINECONES COUNT?
If you want to take a step away from the city altogether, but don’t want to travel far, Payne’s Prairie is a slice of pure, wild Florida. Not only was it the state’s first preserve as of 1971, but it’s also one of the scarce places east of the Mississippi where you can still see bison roam, as they once did from coast to coast. There are dozens of miles of trail to explore in the prairie, but if it’s your first visit, you may want to stop at the visitor’s center and see the park from atop their 50-foot watchtower. If you’re a wildlife or bird enthusiast, the must-see is La Chua trail, which is a mile of wetlandy goodness, replete with basking gators, wading birds, vocal frogs and timid water snakes. A few notes of caution: because it’s a prairie, there aren’t many trees or shady spots to be found, so be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen. And if you come after a particularly rainy day, expect many parts of the trails to be flooded. ADMISSION? $2 IF YOU WALK, $4 IF YOU DRIVE, $6 IF YOU BRING FRIENDS.TREES? HERE AND THERE, BUT NOT EVERYWHERE. WILDLIFE? THIS IS THE PLACE.
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PHOTOGRAPHY & POETRY
Untitled BY ANNE MARIE TAMBURRO
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PHOTOGRAPHY & POETRY
why is it that
BY TATUM BLACHER somewhere in the world a woman married for love instead of the man she was assigned and elsewhere a boy raped a woman when she said stop but he thought go why is it that on a dirt road in daylight a woman was stoned and in a courtroom a boy was spared when neither did as they were told
Is it still called roadkill if clinging onto consciousness BY KELENA KLIPPEL The armadillo that was hinged open, gut flora meshing among wildflowers, reappeared in the dreams of the intoxicated youth but without the pavement this time. A guilty conscience, no, a haunting? Or proof that we exist in other dimensions while dreaming,
BY MELISSA COOK
The trench warfare of Mediterranean sperm whales—cached the way Artemis stashed Endymion in a cave— is not seen in frozen fjords where narwhals play the kazoo sounds of their calls. The blotched dull gray of their skins compelled the Norse to call “corpse whales” these orcs resembling the foul flesh of drowned sailors. Atop each male’s head is a tusk, a tooth that chose to shoot up and out like a great glass elevator. What is the purpose of this solitary incisor—perhaps to spear Amphitrite, Poseidon’s runaway wife? Evolution is never arbitrary! Males joust to woo a new bride, tickling the ivories. They’ve one last boast of bravado before they are netted, their skins eaten for the vitamin C, and their tusks sold off to veiled medieval queens as unicorn horns.
ghosts failing to acknowledge that there is nothing for us after we die?
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The Fall 2017 print edition of The Fine Print, a magazine in Gainesville, Florida.