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VOLUME III ISSUE IV

www.thefineprintUF.org

SPRING 2011 FREE

El Pueblo Unido Florida’s farmworkers fight for living wages and humane treament.

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DOUBLE ISSUE! FLIP OVER for more content!


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in

this issue The Mane Dilemma State bans on horse slaughter have exposed the growing number of abandoned, neglected and unwanted horses in America. Some advocate the reintroduction of slaughter, while others call for an end to overbreeding. There is no simple solution.

Published with support from Campus Progress/ Center for American Progress (online at CampusProgress.org).

Photo Editor

Henry Taksier

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Multimedia

Laura Landry

Design Director

Kelley Coggins-Anton

Page designers

Chelsea Hetelson Kelley Coggins-Anton

Cover artist

Susan Bijan

Copy Editor

Lisa Chattercat

Staff

Krissy Abdullah, Rain Araneda, Susan Bijan, Ellen McHugh, Ashira Morris, Diana Moreno, Lily Wan

Editorial Board

Chelsea Hetelson Henry Taksier Jeremiah Tattersall Kelley Coggins-Anton

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to serve the community of Gainesville by providing an independent outlet for political, social and arts coverage through local, in-depth reporting.

GETTING INVOLVED

A lot goes into each issue of The Fine Print—reporting, writing, photography, illustration, page design and more. We also have a website, thefineprintuf. org. If you’re interested in getting involved, whatever that means, e-mail editors@thefineprintuf.org.

FREELANCE SUBMISSIONS

El Pueblo Unido “The People United” (pictured above) On Sat., March 5 more than 1,500 farmworkers and their allies rallied for a living wage and humane treatment. Their fight is not over.

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COLUMNS For The Record, p. 04

A new music column reviewing locally grown and produced albums. The City Farmer: Yesterday’s News, Today’s Veggies, p. 06 Step-by-step instructions for turning newsprint into planters for this season’s veggies.

FEATURES A Closer Look at TOMS, p. 10

Every cool kid wants a pair of TOMS. But shouldn’t we also want to know where they’re coming from?

Sage and Thyme, p. 16

Since the 1970s James Steele was Gainesville’s first and best provider of locally grown herbs and spices. Need herbs? Steele’s got ‘em.

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The Fine Print accepts freelance writing, photography and illustrations. Submissions should be sent to editors@thefineprintuf.org.

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DISCLAIMER

The Fine Print reserves the right to deny or accept the publication of articles or advertisements according to the decisions of its editorial board. The views expressed in our columns do not necessarily express those of The Fine Print.


LETTERS, ETC./EDITORIAL

Flushing Women’s Rights Down the Toilet By Chelsea Hetelson On Mar. 12, Sen. Paul Rand (R-KY) was complaining about his toilet. Can you believe sometimes he has to flush his toilet up to 10 times to get it to flush properly? He sympathizes with this unnecessary drain on water resources and he is 100% in favor of water and energy conservation. However, that doesn’t mean he wants the government telling him that he absolutely has to conserve energy. He’d like to reserve the right to use water-wasting toilets if he feels like it, because hey, flushing a toilet over and over is a liberty we all should be able to enjoy without government intrusion. He contrasted his plight with the comfortable position women enjoy today. Our government allows women to have all the choice and freedom in the world. We have freedom and control over our own bodies with the right to choose to have an abortion, yet Sen. Rand is left in the dirt. He is denied this same freedom of choice and is forced, punishable by a nasty fine, to use water-conserving and energy-efficient toilets, light bulbs and washing machines. I don’t usually identify as a feminist. I don’t act or look like the stereotype; I shave my legs, I wear make-up and sometimes I call other girls sluts and whores (sorry, Tina Fey). But Congressmen aren’t making it so easy to continue to make that distinction. So, I’d like to hereby declare myself a feminist. I am a feminist because I oppose Congress getting inside my you-know-what (I don’t want to offend the Florida Senate who consider “uterus” a dirty, unspeakable word) to tell me how else I, and all women, are being indecent, impulsive or selfish. Can someone please tell me what is indecent, selfish or impulsive about having autonomy over my own body and my own life by deciding when the best time for me to have a baby is? In the words of Tina Fey via Regina George, Congress, you are the nastiest skank bitch I’ve ever met. Feminists, those ungodly creatures pro-lifers love to rally against,

I don’t usually identify as a feminist. I shave my legs, I wear make-up and sometimes I call other girls sluts and whores...but Congressmen aren’t making it so easy to continue to make that distinction. are now demanding from Congressmen (emphasis on men), that women continue to have access to abortions at Planned Parenthood, which is made possible by federal subsidies. Sure, tax payer money isn’t specifically allocated toward abortions, but paying for sexual health education for women and family planning and health care services like HIV testing, pap smears, breast cancer screenings and contraceptives certainly does free up a lot of “other” money that can go toward providing abortions. Another victory for masculinists (that’s the opposite of feminists, right?) was narrowly won in early April when SB 1744 passed through another round of votes 7-5. This bill would require pregnant women seeking abortions to first have an ultrasound and then listen to a description of the fetus. Graciously, she will not be forced to see the image. Clearly, women are too stupid and flippant to be trusted with a decision as big as abortion. We must first sit her

down and go over in painful detail and simple language what a fetus is, what her fetus looks like, and, to be certain, what a baby and abortion even are. To be fair, once funding is cut from Planned Parenthood she probably won’t know what any of those are anyway since her access to sexual health education, women’s healthcare services and family planning will be limited. The hope is that she will not get an abortion, either because she can’t afford one now that Planned Parenthood is defunded or because she will be so traumatized by the sonogram and rhetoric being forced upon her, that she will save tax payers that expense and will just start a family. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to send her child to pre-school, an institution that has proven to give children an academic advantage in elementary school, because Head Start, a federally-sponsored program designed to give disadvantaged children and families that opportunity, will be defunded by

$1 billion. That woman might then be forced to stay at home with her child, which might prevent her from getting a job. Since she can’t get a job, she might need to go on welfare, which no matter how you feel about it is generally acknowledged to cost tax payers money. That child will then have a Backwards Start, being born into a low-income household without the opportunity of a pre-school environment or planned family situation. When a woman doesn’t have access to contraceptives, health care or sexual health education, she is at the mercy of her body and those she may choose to share it with; she can’t control the course of her own life. Since contraceptives and abortions were made legal and accessible in the United States, women have been able to significantly reduce the number of children they bear; fewer women marry and those who do, marry later on in life. Consequently, more women pursue a higher education, earn higher incomes, maintain better health and participate in politics. This “war on women,” this social conservative attack led by male politicians to keep women at bay, to keep us out of the workforce, out of school and essentially out of the entire social sphere, so that we will stay home and carry a baby to term we may or may not have planned for is disgraceful. Until men are the ones to bleed from their genitals, until men become sacred vessels that carry life, until men are victimized by rape, until men are scrutinized for their clothing and blamed for their situations, until men want to live in a society where there are no women, no sex, no children and no future, I suggest they sit down and shut the fuck up. This is 2011 and I will not sit idly by while women’s rights are reversed and the glass ceiling is lowered. And neither should you. Pictured (above): Snapshot from Gainesville’s Walk for Choice held on Sat., Feb. 26, 2011. Photo by Kelley Coggins-Antoniazzi.

Spring 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 03


COLUMN

for the record

Kenzie Cooke, 19, and Mitch Meyers, 20, of the Hear Hums at the Church of Holy Colors, a local art/performance space.

Introducing FOR THE RECORD, a new music column to review locally grown and produced albums. Did your band release an album within the last six months? How about your friend? Your girlfriend? Your mom? We’d love to hear them all. Email us at alt.publication@gmail.com with a link to some of your tracks. Put “for the record” in the subject line.

The Hear Hums/ Pysche Cycles

Yeasayer Inspiration/ Bjork, Huun Huur Tu, Múm key tracks/ “Woo,” “Mokom Wolos,” “Forest Vibus” Where to get it/ Free digital download or $10 CD at hearhums.bandcamp.com UPCOMING SHOWS/ Tour kickoff May 5 @ The Lab (see Facebook for tour dates/ venues) Guitar, vocals, electronics/ Mitch Myers Drums, vocals/ Kenzie Cooke

/experimental/visual/new wave Released/ Dec. 2010 Recorded at/ Spare/dorm rooms Sounds like/ Animal Collective,

The Hear Hums aren’t just two people playing songs to a crowd. When they get on stage, they perform a synchronized dance of drums, dials and outdoor imagery as well as their music. “We try to create an experience rather than

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[just] a band performing a song,” Kenzie said. The Hear Hums use drum cadences, distant vocals and an outer-space-like influence to construct something unfamiliar yet charming. Straying away from a traditional “rock band” set-up toward new techniques including electronic elements and distortion along with visual imagery, the Hear Hums seamlessly blend nature with synthetics. “[We’re] sculpting a specific world, like an environment or something,” Meyers said. In between the heavy drum beats, loops and far-away echoed screaming, there’s a message for you to feel, however you want to feel it. “I think the point of music is to help people relate their feelings and emotions to what you’re doing, relate it to their own life. Like you’re speaking to them through your experiences and the way you can create and share,” Kenzie said. - Priscilla Bass


FICK/

Douglas Shields & The X-factors/

Futureshock

Douglas Shields & The X-Factors

/post-grunge progressive rock

/catchy surf punk

Released/ April 2 Recorded at/ North Avenue Studio in Orange City Sounds like/ Mars Volta, Muse, Deftones Inspiration/ Muse, Tool Key tracks/ “Hear, Now, Lost,” “Daybreak” Where to get it/ $7 at facebook. com/fickband UPCOMING SHOWS/ May 7 @ 1982; see Facebook for future shows

Released/ Feb 15 Recorded at/ Black Bear Audio Maul in Gainesville Sounds like/ The Thermals, old school New Found Glory Inspiration/ The Weakerthans, the Gainesville scene Key tracks/ “Beach Volleyball,” “Schwan Dolphin” Where to get it/ $5 7” or $2 digital download at dsxf.bandcamp.com, shows UPCOMING SHOWS/ “Like” them on Facebook to stay in the loop

Guitar, keyboard/ Kyle Fick Vocals/ Dan Sutphin Bass/ K.D McClellan/ bass Drums/ Kellen Chesnutt Living in a punk- and hipster-driven town, there’s no shortage of local punk or “experimental” bands. In between those popular local genres, discovering serious progressive rock is a rarity. FICK fills that gap. They are a guitar-heavy, postgrunge rock band with metal influences; they have that epic “the word is ending in a cascade of heavy guitar riffs” sound. On the six-track release, soft violin ballads introduce their hefty progressive rock, while eerie minor piano chords weave throughout. Their dark lyrics match their heavy melodies covering alcohol, restlessness, God, and nightmares. “Our subjects are a little bit bigger than the words themselves. We wanted more over-the-top lyrics so we could connect and relate to more people,” Sutphin said. Kyle Fick has been playing the guitar for 14 years in addition to playing the piano. Fick is passionate about music and is determined to make room for it while also running his business, Karma Cream. - Ellen McHugh

Guitar, vocals/ Francisco “Kiiks” Santelli Drums/ Zach Sorensen Bass/ Randy Reddell Douglas Shields and the X-Factors deliver fast-paced punk with a folk twist. DSXF, named after an (un)popular transcription service that all three have worked at in Gainesville, have been playing to crowded sweaty living rooms and dark and dingy dive bars to emphatic energetic crowds for more than few years now. Their new self-titled EP comes out just a year after recording their full-length release, Beerhorse. Beerhorse introduced us to mosh-worthy punk and the new fourtrack EP refuses to disappoint. DSXF is the straightforward, tightly-packed punk you’ve come to know and love (complete with angsty sing-a-longs by Kiiks) with honest and reflective lyrics. “Everybody’s in a band,” singer, Kiiks said. “Just hang out at Boca Fiesta all day and you’ll find the music scene,” he said eating a tempeh burrito. - Ellen McHugh

To All My Dear Friends/ Transparent Voyages

/classically-inspired folk electronica

Released/ March 18 Recorded at/ Black Bear Audio Maul in Gainesville Sounds like/ Owen Pallet Inspiration/ Rachmaninoff, Zepplin Key tracks/ “Japan To Kenya & Back,” “The Book of Tofu” Where to get it/ $9.99 on iTunes and at Hear Again Records UPCOMING SHOWS/ National tour; see website for dates/venues Violin, guitar, vocals/ Marc Hennessey Percussion/ Greg Stull TAMDF is not your average guitar, bass and percussion band. Stull and Hennessey mix traditional instruments, guitar, violin and percussion, with technology to create a build-up of layered sound. Hennessey uses a machine to first record a live snippet of music and then plays it back to record on top of it. He continues to loop and build upon these elements throughout the track. The result is multiple climaxes and declines that feel built up and released. Some tracks feature vocals with lyrics by Hennessey, but most rely on instrumental melodies. “I stopped playing in the orchestra, but I wanted to keep playing. I wanted to do instrumental music, and I wanted to write my own music. I didn’t know how to bring it all together,” Hennessey said. “Then I learned about looping and was like ‘Oh, I can do that.’” TAMDF weaves sound in unpredictable directions like a soundtrack for a fantasy adventure.The result is Transparent Voyages. - Ellen McHugh Spring 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 05


COLUMN

the

City Farmer e x tra !

y e s t e rday ’ s n e w s, t o day ’ s v e g g i e s

by Krissy Abdullah Spring is here. The sun is feeling warmer, the days becoming longer, and gardeners are already preparing their garden beds for spring harvest. While some gardeners prefer to plant seeds directly into the ground, I prefer to begin with starter trays and transplant the seedlings to the ground when they are ready. But I hate buying new starter trays; the plastic ones are waste-

ful and break easily, the compostable ones, too expensive. Plus, every garbage day the street outside my house is lined with recycling bins full of useful objects begging to be turned into planters. With a little imagination those egg cartons, plastic bottles, paper cups, and Styrofoam to-go boxes could become planters for this season’s harvest. My favorite recycled planter is made with old newspaper. Last year I made over 100 pots in a couple of days with a few newspapers I saved. Here’s how!

h o w t o mak e a p l a n t e r o ut o f n e w s pap e r

first, some supplies - Half-sheets of newspaper (The Alligator is the perfect size) - A cup with a straight neck or a wine bottle (try to find one with a small indentation on the bottom) - Dirt + Seeds directions STEP 1. Fold the newspaper sheet in half, lengthwise, and again once more so you have a long, narrow piece of paper.

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STEP 2. Roll the folded newspaper all the way around the lip of the cup (if you’re using a bottle, wrap the paper around the bottom), leaving half of the paper off at the top. STEP 3. Fold the other half inside the cup (or toward the bottom of the bottle; this is where that indention comes in handy) and crease around all the edges. STEP 4. Remove the pot from the cup/bottle. If you look inside the pot, you’ll notice that the bottom is still folded up. Use your fingers to flatten the bottom. STEP 5. Fill with nutrient-rich soil and plant your seeds (only a couple per pot). Store the pots where they will not be disturbed, like a tray. Water everyday until the seedlings are ready to be planted in the ground. TIP Peel back the sides of the newspaper planter before burying in the ground to allow for easier root development. You can bury the entire planter and allow it to decompose as the plant grows. When peeling back the sides, fragile new roots may have connected to the sides of the paper, so be gentle!


Spanish Moss Tillandsia usneoides If you’ve spent anytime at all in Florida, you undoubtedly have crossed paths with that strange grey hair draped around trees. You’ve probably also heard that it is full of chiggers and have always kept a safe distance from it. However, this plant has a long history of uses that you may have never given it credit for. First, lets dispel the chigger myth: not all spanish moss is crawling with the red bugs. Actually, spanish moss that is hanging in a tree does not host chiggers, while the moss found on the ground does. Spanish moss grows on a variety of trees, but is most commonly found on live oak and cypress trees. It is an air plant without root structure (so it is not actually parasitic to a host tree) and produces small greenish-blue flowers in the summer that are aromatic at night. Native to the Southeastern United States and parts of Central and South America, it has an interesting old Florida folktale of its origin that goes like this: “After many long months at sea, Spanish sailors landed in Florida upon sighting some beautiful Indian maidens who were sunbathing on the beach. One Spaniard chased a beautiful maiden into the woods. But she

trotted up a tree out of his reach. He was out of breath when he reached the tree, so he rested for a while. Then he climbed the tree after her. She moved up to the tip-top of the tree on a real small limb, and as he reached up to get her, he lost his balance and fell. His head was caught in the crotch of the tree. His body decayed, but his beard grew on and on [...] making spanish moss.” Regardless of its origin, it has served some interesting uses over the years. Cured and dried, it has been used as a bathing sponge and toilet paper, stuffing for mattresses and cushions and weaving for clothing, horse bridles, belts, and baskets. In the early 1900’s, spanish moss was harvested commercially and used primarily as stuffing in car seats. Mattress and furniture factories also incorporated the plant into their design. Presently, synthetic fibers have replaced the plant’s commercial use, and in 1963, a fire in Florida’s last moss gin drew an end to its commercial distribution within Florida. There are still plenty of homesteaders using the plant. Try it out, and be creative. It could become a substitute for your synthetic kitchen sponge or even a mulch for your plants.

Want more City Farmer? It’s a double issue! Flip over and turn to page 8!

Spring 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 07


SPOTLIGHT

El pueblo

unido

Photos and text by Henry Taksier

On March 5, over 1,500 farmworkers and their allies marched through the streets of Tampa during a rally organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) as part of their Do the Right Thing tour. CIW began in 1993 as small group of farmworkers in Immokalee, Florida, looking out for each others’ interests. CIW now represents the collective voice of about 4,000 migrant workers of mostly Hispanic, Haitian, and Mayan descent, struggling for fair wages, affordable housing and stronger laws to prevent human rights violations on Florida’s fields. Since 2005, CIW has struck deals

with major corporations like Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald’s, Aramark and Whole Foods, which have all agreed to pay one more cent per pound of tomatoes and use their market power to ensure better conditions for workers. Recently, CIW has shifted its focus to supermarkets, including Publix, which refuses to negotiate. In celebration of Farmworker Awareness Week (March 27 – April 2), we’re providing you with some photos and video footage from the rally in Tampa, which includes interviews with farmworkers, activists and a response from one of Publix’s representatives. For the full story (including multimedia), check out our website: http://bit. ly/m1x4Ux


FEATURE

TOMS A CLOSER LOOK AT

by Ellen McHugh Illustration by Henry Taksier

Desiree Fernandez sat in her family youth and community science class her freshman year at UF in 2008. She noticed the girl sitting next to her was barefoot. “What’s up with the no shoes?” she asked her classmate. Casey Francis, now a good friend, told her that she was taking part in the “One Day Without Shoes” event put on by TOMS shoes to promote shoeless awareness. It inspired Fernandez to take off her shoes too. “Turlington was the worst,” Fernandez said. The heavy-trafficked plaza in the heart of the university had bumps and thick stones that gave her feet some trouble. “I was like, ‘holy crap,’” she said. “Kids have to walk around all day like this in other countries where the ground is much worse.” A quick look around campus at the feet of Gainesville’s 20-somethings and it’s apparent that the cause has spread like wildfire in just a few short years. Besides being the cool, low-key yet colorful canvas fashion statements (some come in vegan), TOMS, which stands for “tomorrow,” operates on the business model “One for One.” The premise is simple. For every pair of TOMS shoes bought, the company will send a pair to kids in need all over the world. TOMS’ initial goal was to give out 10,000 pairs of shoes. As of September of 2010, the company has reached over one million pairs. According to a Business Week article published in 2009, TOMS has an esti10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

“We drove past the sweatshops and it became too real. I knew then I couldn’t be a part of a cycle that kept my countrymen in poverty with unfair living situations while I profited from their exploited labor.” mated $4.6 million in revenue, while still operating under the one-for-one model. The company’s web page states, “the TOMS mission transforms our customers into benefactors, which allows us to grow a truly sustainable business rather than depending on fundraising for support.” Gifthorse, a small boutique in Gainesville owned by Roberto Evans,


sells sweatshop-free clothes and products, including TOMS. They have the widest selection of TOMS in Gainesville. Evans first became passionate about sweatshop-free products upon visiting his homeland in Honduras. “We drove past the sweatshops and it became too real. I knew then I couldn’t be a part of a cycle that kept my countrymen in poverty with unfair living situations while I profited from their exploited labor,” Evans said. “I made the stance that my store would not carry anything made under these poor working conditions.” Evans got involved with TOMS a few years ago, before they garnered so much attention. “I liked them for their simple yet cool design,” he said. “I wanted a pair and I thought others would too. Then I found out about their mission, and then I really liked them.” Launa Clough, a UF student and a leader of Young Life, a Christian outreach organization, was also drawn to buy TOMS. “I think it’s a great way to show other people that you care about the world,” she said. “Even as college students, you can affect someone else’s life in a positive way.” After just returning from a mission trip in Peru, she sees the starker picture of a village filled with children and no shoes. “We’d be working in these harsh conditions with nails and staples everywhere, and all these kids were just running around without shoes,” she said. “We just take it for granted because we’ve always had shoes.” David Cromer, another Young Life leader, rocks his black TOMS with laces and the works. He paid the higher price of $70 for them, but still doesn’t mind. On average, a pair of TOMS costs about $55. “I just hope a cool little kid

somewhere in Uganda or something is wearing these shoes because of me,” he said. While it seems everybody is hopping on the bandwagon to support these philanthropic products, a lack of information may be widespread. According to information from the TOMS website, the company manufactures its shoes in Argentina, China and Ethiopia. They are also not a part of the Workers Rights Consortium, an independent labor rights monitoring organization that specializes in products and apparel sold to the US

“I just hope a cool little kid somewhere in Uganda or something is wearing these shoes because of me.” and Canada. Though “sweatshopfree” has no agreed-upon definition, transparency is a good start. TOMS is vague and unspecific when defining their own standards. From a wider anthropological standpoint, some valid questions and concerns emerge about companies like TOMS. UF professor Sarah Page-Chan is a doctoral candidate in the field of cultural anthropology. Her dissertation research focuses on human rights in Jamaica. “I have to tell you that I am a bit wary of corporations-for-good like TOMS,” she said. “They do not tell us much about how they select the communities that receive the donated shoes, and to a certain extent,

this almost does not matter.” Chan calls attention to “cultural capitalism” and the reasons people feel better when they buy things like TOMS. “This is especially attractive to youthful consumers like college students who might view such a purchase as a way to buy into something bigger than themselves,” she said. “Possessing such a product can be a way to seem more socially conscious, and as such, is a kind of fashion statement about one’s personal (if consumerist) ethics.” Chan went as far as questioning the value and necessity of shoes. “Many cultures around the world prefer going barefoot for various activities. In many cases, it is a choice, and not a lack of footwear that causes them to go barefoot,” she said. In spite of the differing theories regarding the popularity of TOMS, the buzz remains strong about the $55 slip-on. “I’m pretty sure people buy much more expensive things than TOMS for themselves, and at least TOMS is still trying to do good for the world, regardless of whether or not they’re making a profit,” Clough said. If it boils down to a choice between buying shoes that give back and buying shoes that only the consumer can enjoy, the appeal of TOMS is evident. Their methods are innovative and admirable, but far from perfect. If TOMS joined the Workers Rights Consortium and revealed more information about where and how their shoes are produced, they’d be putting the right foot forward.

Spring 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 11


FEATURE

The Mane Dilemma

America’s rising number of unwanted horses by Katie Diaz Photo by Paige Lacy Randy Williams* got more than he bargained for when he and his wife went horseback riding on a Saturday afternoon. After a three-hour ride, the couple returned to their Ocala home to find two brown horses tied to their truck “I’ve heard of people dumping horses before,” Williams said. “But it’s not something you think actually happens—at least not to you, and not like this.” As the number of unwanted horses rises in America, one trick of desperate owners involves casting off equine baggage on unsuspecting neighbors. For now, the skinny (but otherwise healthy) male horses are living on the Williams’ 10-acre farm. He said they have space and can afford to feed them, so unless someone comes forward, they’ll keep the strays. Most abandoned horses aren’t so lucky. Jeri Debrowski is the webmaster of AMillionHorses.com, a website dedicated to documenting current cases of neglected horses in America. She said the Montana-based site be12 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

gan in 2009 when she and several equine experts realized the growing problem of unwanted horses. Debrowski said stories like Williams’ are happening across the country, but most are without a happy ending. She attributes the pattern to the recent recession and to legislation

“Activists had good intentions, but the followthrough wasn’t planned.” restricting horse slaughter in the U.S. According to Debrowski, America had 16 horse meat processing plants operating in the 1980s. In 2000, animal rights activists, including the Humane Society of the United States, began to lobby for intervention in the horse-slaughter industry. By 2005, Congress cut funding

for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect facilities processing horse meat. Without proper inspection, the meat couldn’t be transported across state lines, and slaughterhouses were forced to shut down. The last facility closed in Illinois in 2007 after the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of a state law passed to ban horse slaughter. But regulation didn’t end there. With a strong racehorse industry, Florida was particularly prone to illegal horse meat processing as a way of disposing failed or injured racehorses, so last May, then-Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill strengthening state bans on the sale of horse meat for human consumption. The law also increased penalties for violation. Florida is now one of six states that prohibit human consumption of horse meat. Debrowski said activists hailed the government action as a victory for horse welfare, but the celebration was premature. In 2006, prior to regulation, the U.S exported about $65 million in horse meat from more than 100,000 horses, Debrowski said. Now those horses need a place to go.


“They didn’t do their homework to establish that rescues could handle an extra 100,000 horses,” she said. She said rescue sites across the country are bulging and starting to fail due to a lack of space and, more importantly, money. “You can save a horse today, but there’s another 20 to 30 years of upkeep,” she said. “They live much longer and have more expensive lives than cats or dogs.” According to a December study from the University of CaliforniaDavis School of Veterinary Medicine, there are 236 registered horse rescues nationwide able to support 13,400 total horses per year. The annual cost of care for a rescued horse averages $3,648. That means nearly $50 million a year is spent maintaining about 13 percent of America’s abandoned and neglected horses. The majority of that money comes from personal funds and donations, not from federal aid. “We used to make millions exporting meat, and now we need to raise millions to keep horses alive that have no homes,” she said. More complicated still, not all of the unwanted horses are staying in America. The horse slaughter industry is thriving in Mexico and Canada, where regulations are minimal and meat can be easily processed and exported to Europe, Japan, and other countries where it’s in high demand. According to USDA figures from last March, 88,276 U.S. horses were shipped in 2009 to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, where operational restrictions are less rigid. Debrowski said this number represents horses that carry a green back tag identifying them as slaughter-bound. She said the trauma and cruelty many of these horses experience is devastating. Of those not shipped across borders, the unwanted horses remaining in the U.S. are often neglected, abused, or abandoned in the hope that someone else, like Williams, can provide a home. And because of the poor economy, fewer people are able to afford the care, she said. The solution to the swelling number of unwanted horses is as complicated as the issue itself. While some, like Debrowski, support reintroducing slaughter on American soil, others argue it wouldn’t fix the root of the problem. John Friary and Kathy Pennenga own and operate Greener Pastures, a

farm sanctuary in Gainesville. They adopt and care for dogs, cats, pigs, cows, donkeys, and horses, many of which were abandoned or neglected. Friary, 40, a biostatistician at the University of Florida with a Master’s in public health, opposes slaughter and said the practice is a “convenient out-of-sight, out-of-mind solution” to deal with the real issue: There are just too many horses. He said to reach a sustainable solution, irresponsible breeding needs to stop. The racehorse industry is a front-runner for the blame, producing many more horses than the number actually ending up with a racing career. “They see horses as a commodity,” Friary said. “I’m not saying horses are human–they definitely aren’t and don’t have the same rights–but they aren’t a car either.” Pennenga, 27, who is completing her Master’s at UF in public health, said blaming slaughter restriction for

join

the Dialog ue

Friary said. H o w e v e r, This article was reposted by according to Campus Progre ss the Amerireceived interesti and has ng feedback.. can Veterinary Check it out an Medical Asjoin the conversa d tio sociation, while http://bit.ly/kv n at C gvw chemical euthanasia is preferred by most veterinarians, incorrectly disposed carcasses are hazardous to the environment and to preying species, such as birds. Debrowski added that while euthanasia is a more responsible approach than abandonment, it isn’t realistic. Some people just can’t—or won’t—find the money to put down their horses. So abandonment continues. The program coordinator for Marion County Animal Control, Elaine DeIorio, said that while the agency saw an increase in abandonment and neglect cases during the past few years, she couldn’t attribute

“Closing slaughterhouses didn’t create the problem; it just exposed it.” the increase of neglect and abandonment cases is impractical. “Closing slaughterhouses didn’t create the problem. It just exposed it,” she said. And with the economic downturn coinciding with the crackdown on horse slaughter, she said the number of unwanted horses was inflated. Still, Pennenga said a lack of education on the issue is disturbing. “People don’t realize how big the problem is,” she said. “If they did, they would be outraged.” Pennenga and Friary advocate humane chemical euthanasia as an alternative to slaughter. Friary estimated it costs $100 for the injection and $200 to dispose of the body, yet the horse is spared the cruelty of slaughter, starvation, or abandonment. He said owners pay about $300 monthly in health expenses alone to maintain a horse, not including the cost of board. “If they were able to afford that, they can afford another $300 to do the responsible thing for their horse,”

it to any specific event. However, the issue gained so much attention nationwide that in 2009, the Government Accountability Office was asked to study the link between the closing of slaughterhouses and horse neglect and report findings by March 1, 2010. The report has not yet been published. Debrowski said the GAO found so much material that it asked for an extension. The report is now set to come out this March. While the report might not provide a quick fix, it’s the start of a process that will hopefully inspire a change, Debrowski said. “Activists had good intentions, but the follow-through wasn’t planned,” she said. “So we’re left asking, ‘What are we going to do now?’” *Name changed for privacy at subject’s request. Pictured (opposite page) Peter Gregory, who runs a sanctuary for retired horses in Alachua County, FL, administers medicine to one of his horses. Mill Creek Farm provides lifetime care for more than 100 horses, including those rescued by humane societies.

Spring 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 13


FEATURES

County throws down

t h e g ree n

for rec y cl i n g by Lily Wan Infographic by Susie Bijan

Alachua County recently made significant strides toward a greener Gainesville. On January 25th, county commissioners voted to devote $400,000 to the planning and researching of a new system of solid waste management. Alachua County’s proposed sustainable solid waste program would boost the county’s current 40 percent recycling rate to 75 percent by 2020. This is necessary to comply with the recent state-wide recycling mandate, part of Florida’s Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008. The plan seems almost too good to be true. Currently, Alachua County’s dump trucks dispose of all waste at an out-of-county landfill, a 72-mile journey made 8,000 times per year. Although the county has a materials recovery facility, only about 400 tons (roughly 65 percent) of Alachua County’s garbage is processed there daily. Its full potential has yet to be realized. With the envisioned plan, the facility would be able to process 100% of the county’s waste at this county ownedand-operated location versus outsourcing roughly 200 tons to private Emerald Waste Services (EWS) facilities. Half of the allotted $400,000 will go toward the pre-planning of a renovated,

more efficient materials recovery facility. This includes finding the best-fit engineering firm. The remaining $200,000 will be used for the drafting and finalizing of construction plans for an organics recycling facility. The facility currently exists

lets or pizza boxes, to be used in the production of goods, which will decrease the amount of waste hauled off to the landfill. Under the planned sustainable solid waste program, the mixed waste would first be sent to the materials recov-

as a solid waste management and disposal facility. Converting the disposal facility to a resource recovery system will minimize landfill waste. The new system would allow materials that were formerly viewed as waste, such as wooden pal-

ery facility where it would be thoroughly dissected, ensuring that every potentially recyclable or reusable component is extracted. The organic waste and other recyclables can then be relocated to their respective recycling management plants.

14 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

Organic waste, which includes food scraps, cardboard, paper and yard waste, will be sent to the organics recycling facility. All other recyclables will be sent to a resource recovery park where they will be fashioned into recycled products, creating 20-100 green jobs. A closer look at the heaping mounds of garbage at the waste management facility will reveal seemingly inconsequential organic waste, including dirt, leaves and food. “[That] massive bundle of old carpet could even be processed and made into fertilizer [for algae],” Ron Bishop, Alachua County Solid Waste Engineer, pointed out. This nutritious algae food is a key component in mass-harvesting algae as a sustainable alternative to diesel and jet fuels. “In a sense we are trying to mimic nature. In nature, what one organism or system rejects, another can use. We will be working on systems that can use materials and reuse them over and over again,” Bishop said. Organic waste will be composted aerobically and anaerobically. Initially, the organics will be digested with microbes in the absence of oxygen. This process produces energy in the form of biogas (primarily methane) and a nutrient-rich soil, both of which have market potential. Anaerobic composting reduces organic material volume by at least 50 percent. The re-


maining material continues on to be aerobically composted. After organic waste has gone through both stages of composting, 95 percent of its original mass will have been converted into reusable and marketable products. The county is currently conducting a site study to determine who would purchase the products. These sales will contribute to a projected 25-year revenue of $4.6 million. The waste management and disposal facility’s transformation into a materials recovery facility is estimated to cost somewhere between $5,000 and $3 million. This gap is a matter of policy. If all waste sorting depended on manual labor, remodeling costs would be about $5,000. This sum would cover the costs of building a safety wall to separate workers from the dump trucks hauling in recyclables.

This option would have a low capital cost and create about 20 jobs, but would not maximize productivity.

Between full manual labor and complete mechanization exists a point of optimal efficiency. This third conceptual-

“In a sense we are trying to mimic nature. What one organism or system rejects, another can use. We will be working on systems that can use materials and reuse them over and over again.” On the other end of the financial spectrum is full mechanization of the facility, which would cost $3 million.

The Fine Print would like to thank

ized approach would utilize machinery to preliminarily process waste before sending it through a conveyor belt stud-

ded with workers. From this point, workers would manually extract all recyclables. The program is ready to go and has an estimated completion date in 2016. However, its success hinges on political cooperation. “There are some political decisions that have to be made by commissioners, including what type of organics recycling facility should be constructed and where,” Bishop said, “It’s all dependent on final cost estimate. Ultimately, it is the decision of the county and city commission.” With similar waste and recycling programs in other states across the country, such as Oregon and California, Alachua’s proposed sustainable solid waste program is promising. Alachua County will serve as a model to other counties, pushing the state towards its 75 percent recycling goal.

Published with support from

The Civic Media Center

for its continued support.

433 S. Main St. civicmediacenter.org

Campus Progress provides support, advice, and materials to students engaged in public education/ advocacy campaigns on issues like Sudan, the Iraq war, living wage, poverty and the death penalty. We also engage students in national issue campaigns on critical issues from global warming to civil rights, student debt to academic freedom. Visit CampusProgress.org/issues for more.

Spring 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 15


FEATURE

Sage & Thyme

Gainesville’s ‘herb man’ cultivates more than just his garden by Ellen McHugh Photo by Melanie Brkich They call him the “herb man.” Since the 1970s, James Steele was Gainesville’s first local provider of herbs. Perched behind the Gainesville Farm Fresh stand at the Union Street Farmers’ Market downtown every Wednesday afternoon, rocking a ponytail and a thick white beard, Steele is confident that if people need herbs, they’ll come to him. “One can’t ask for more, to make a living doing what you love,” he said. “And what I love is to grow things and pass that knowledge onto others.” After 39 years of growing, seeding, composting, harvesting, canning, preserving, harvesting eggs,

16 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

baking breads and quiches for bartering and teaching, Steele continues to grow herbs and vegetables. He’s the man behind Gainesville Farm Fresh, an online community market that promotes sustainability by connecting farmers with consumers.

through his websites.” Steele was recently elected to join the board of directors at Gainesville’s Citizens Co-op (see page 18), a soon-to-open grocery store that provides its members with affordable food, freshly delivered from local farms. His role is

“Just live your life with no regrets. I never regret a thing that I do. But don’t slack off.” “James promotes the idea of buying locally produced food,” said Pat Stevens, a fellow grower and a close friend of Steele. “He is both computer savvy and personable and is able to get his message across to people on a one-to-one basis or

to directly connect growers to the board, answer any questions people might have about selling their goods to the co-op and generally act as the “in-between man.” But really, who is this elusive man, and how did he become the


person he is today? Steele’s journeys in Europe ultimately taught him what he really wanted to do with his life. In the 1960s, he received a degree in surveying law and traveled the world as a mapmaker for the U.S. military. His time in Amsterdam led him to shift his primary focus to herbs (no, not that kind). He met a man in Amsterdam who had a shop filled with dried teas, fruits and a variety of spices. Steele remembers scooping up some of the herbs, taking a whiff and being in awe. He lived in Europe for a few more years and made a decision. “I’m going back home, getting my degree in horticulture and making herbs my profession,” he said. Now he sits downtown every Wednesday afternoon, eager to chat with his customers. Steele appreciates the Gainesville culture of college kids and people of all ages who really seem to push for a tight-knit community and a thriving local economy. Steele manages The Herb Garden in Melrose, supplying north central Florida with herbs since 1989. Besides hopping between farmers’ markets and managing his multimedia website, Steele teaches gardening classes and works as a chef at a restaurant in Melrose. The Whole Earth Catalogue, Mother Earth News and Organic Gardening Magazine have guided his pursuit of living closer to the earth.

Steele wants consumers to understand the external costs of shopping at a corporate supermarket, where products are shipped over great distances, with high carbon footprints, and sold cheaply as a result of extensive government subsidies. He’s not judgmental or preachy by any means, but he believes education would lead many people to support their

daughter played a character in the “So What” video (check it out on YouTube). Steele recommends living in the moment and never looking back. “That’s all we have,” he said. “Just live your life with no regrets. I never regret a thing that I do. But don’t slack off. That’s what I’m always telling my kids.”

“One can’t ask for more, to make a living doing what you love. And what I love is to grow things and pass that knowledge onto others.” local economies. “Soon, I’m going to get some chickens,” Steele said, excited to take control over where his food and resources come from. His passion for nature, herbs and local food has shaped his lifestyle, but it’s not the only thing he lives for. Steele has a son, a musician in Gainesville, and a daughter, a model in Los Angeles. He can disprove the notion that older people aren’t technologically savvy like the ‘young-ins’ around him. He does web design not only for his own sites, but also for a handful of local bands. He’ll whip out his iPhone to show a video clip of his daughter in one of P!nk’s music videos shot in the streets of L.A. He’s exceptionally proud that his

At the thought of slowing down or retiring, Steele insists that he’s got to keep sharp and stay active in the game or else someone else will come in and take over the herbs. It’s Steele’s game though. He’s the father of the trade and loves to see the people he’s taught over the years come around and sell their own stuff at the market. The name James Steele floats around the community plaza. Other vendors say, “Oh yeah, I know James. Everybody knows James around here.” OF ISSUE #1 “I’ll alIt’s a double issue! ways be Flip over to start reading growing Vol. III, Issue V herbs,” he (unless you prefer said. “That’s reading things upside down). me.”

END

Spring 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 17


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www.thefineprintUF.org

SUMMER 2011 FREE

{ }

VOLUME III ISSUE V

Five easy ways to

EAT LOCAL

p. 10

the biomass controversy, p. 20


{

in

this issue The Biomass Controversy

Published with support from Campus Progress/ Center for American Progress (online at CampusProgress.org).

Is Gaineville’s planned biomass facility the answer to our energy woes or an incinerator in disguise?

Editorial Board

Photo Editor

Henry Taksier

p. 20

Multimedia

Laura Landry

Design Director

Kelley Coggins-Anton

Page designers

Chelsea Hetelson Kelley Coggins-Anton

Cover artist

Susan Bijan

Copy Editor

Lisa Chattercat

Staff

Krissy Abdullah, Rain Araneda, Susan Bijan, Ellen McHugh, Ashira Morris, Diana Moreno, Lily Wan

Chelsea Hetelson Henry Taksier Jeremiah Tattersall Kelley Coggins-Anton

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to serve the community of Gainesville by providing an independent outlet for political, social and arts coverage through local, in-depth reporting.

GETTING INVOLVED

Five easy ways to eat local (pictured above) From supporting local restaurants to growing your own veggies, eating local in Gainesville has never been easier.

p. 10

COLUMNS

B.S. Science: Climate Change Denial, p. 06 There’s no controversy over the existence of climate change or what’s causing it. The media seems to think otherwise. City Farmer: Local Edibles Harvested and Fermented, p. 08 Learn to make wine using mulberries grown in your own backyard.

SPOTLIGHTS Fenced In: Gainesville’s Superfund Refugees, p. 14

Photography documenting the people and pets trapped along the fence of the Cabot/Koppers Superfund site.

FEATURES Raise the Village, p. 17

Two UF grads develop an iPhone game that helps real--life villages abroad.

PROSE Reparations, p. 22

For the first time ever, we print a piece of fiction. It’s something we’d like to continue doing, so send submissions to editors@ thefineprintuf.org. 02 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

A lot goes into each issue of The Fine Print—reporting, writing, photography, illustration, page design and more. We also have a website, thefineprintuf. org. If you’re interested in getting involved, whatever that means, e-mail editors@thefineprintuf.org.

FREELANCE SUBMISSIONS

The Fine Print accepts freelance writing, photography and illustrations. Submissions should be sent to editors@thefineprintuf.org.

ADVERTISING

The Fine Print distributes 5,000 copies of each issue and is currently looking for advertisers. For more information, email editors@thefineprintuf.org.

LETTERS

The Fine Print accepts letters from readers. Letters are generally 150 to 200 words in length. Submit letters via email to editors@thefineprintuf.org with “Letter to the Editors” in the subject. The editorial board will decide which letters are published, and writers will not be notified before publication.

DISCLAIMER

The Fine Print reserves the right to deny or accept the publication of articles or advertisements according to the decisions of its editorial board. The views expressed in our columns do not necessarily express those of The Fine Print.


LETTERS, ETC.

from the fine print’s

EDITORIAL DESK

thefineprintuf.org

by Chelsea Hetelson

Multimedia, more stories, blogs and a community events calendar. PLUS! Comment on stories, see photos from the printed issue (and more!) in color, flip through a digital version of the printed issue and much, much more, all updated throughout the month.

In this issue, you may notice there are, not one, but two original covers. To double your pleasure and double your summer fun, we doubled the cover and doubled the content; it’s a double issue! This issue, as always, comes from our dedicated and talented staff of writers. We can name all of them on one hand. Seriously. A publication, even one as small as ours, cannot sustain itself on a staff that can share one six-pack of beer. We need the kind of staff that can at least get through an 18-pack without falling down. We need you to help us. Not just with getting through cases of beer, but with actual publication stuff. We get it, you’re busy, you have school and work and a girlfriend/boyfriend/both, things to reblog or tweet about and a social life. But we do, too. We do the Fine Print because we get to make something that’s tangible, beautifully presented, informative and investigative and actually fun (sometimes, maybe after a bottle of wine). We help our writers write, we help each other edit, and we become better at what we do. If that’s not good enough for you, you can also receive school credit for working with us. Why would you intern with The Fine Print opposed to another publication in Gainesville? You will get absolute freedom to do what you want to do. You won’t be asked to write recycled stories or to censor your viewpoint. You can walk around town and write whatever the hell you want. Just do it with purpose. We’ll work with you throughout the whole process of reporting, writing and editing and we won’t stop, literally, until both of us are completely satisfied with the end product. If you’re not a writer, but you can do something, anything; illustrate or photograph, if you’re a web developer, a designer, a promoter, if you play in a band or have a sick talent for being extremely organized, talk to us. We are so sparse, your ability to be enthusiastic and dedicated is good enough for us. The Fine Print offers a chance for you to give a voice to the marginalized, to feature eccentric people and their projects, political or artistic, and to take on popular issues from a new angle. The Fine Print lets you examine Gainesville from your own perspective and inform our readers of subjects and issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. You can also get school credit. Did we mention that? Thanks for your support in the future and in the past.

}

“FIGHT BACK, FLORIDA!” Gainesville residents are not happy with He Who Must Not Be Named. For the full multimedia story, check out our website: http://bit.ly/lt Bb8H

Hamburger kisses and salisbury dreams

by Sarah Beagan and Nicholas Jacobsen

Want to see your art in The Fine Print? Send it to editors@thefineprintuf.org. 300dpi, please.

Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 03


LETTERS, ETC.

Paper Cuts Ouch! The truth stings, doesn’t it? Introducing Paper Cuts: our short, erratic and slightly painful updates on current events. Since this issue is out all summer, check thefineprintuf.org for current Paper Cuts.

Fox news, eh? ast regulaCanada’s media broadc -television tor, the Canadian Radios Commisand Telecommunication ing a ban sion (CRTC) proposed lift misleading on broadcasting fake or e CRTC Th news this past January. in response stated the proposal was ttee request to a ten-year-old commi wording, to reconsider the ban’s of violate as it may be in violation freedom of speech. st in this The CRTC’s sudden intereides with nc coi t ues req decade-old ur news the launch of a new 24-hoNetwork ws Ne n Su the network by is one of called SunTV. Sun News papers in ws ne g win htthe most rig is expected Canada and the station bias, earning g-w rin d to have a har rth.” Uning the title “Fox News No SunTV ca, eri Am in ws like Fox Ne the line r blu will not be allowed to “fake news d an ws ne l between rea on” in its and misleading informatiis lifted. ban the s les broadcast un was met The proposal to lift the ban Canadim fro ism tic cri with harsh ntry’s cou ir the ans, who feared that ombec e lik e om bec media would can eri Am d ing like the polarize m, “fake alis ion sat sen media where e the place news” and opinions tak pe pubsha p hel d an of real news blic outcry lic opinion. Due to pu ire to lift des the on ion and confus pped their the ban, the CRTC dro nTV will Su . ban the lift proposal to e of “hard have to stick to its tag lin k.” tal ht aig str news and

04 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

MEAL LIMIT COMpROMISE y Plan On March 31, the Cit for the ard bo ry iso adv an , Board unaniCity Commission, voted it comlim e “tim the for y mousl cutive promise.” Kent Vann, exeHouse, s nci Fra St. of or direct proinitially proposed the comtime the it lim uld wo ich wh mise, to three they can serve the needy a.m. :30 10 m fro day h eac hours limto sed po op as to 1:30 p.m., als they me of nt ou am the g itin mmiscan serve. The City Co this, on e vot to ds nee l stil sion City the en wh , 09 though. In 20 ed an nd me om rec ard Bo n Pla City end to the meal limit, the down. m the ed vot on issi mm Co

UF tuition set to increase by 30% next year ie Machen is UF President Bern ition by 30% looking to increase tures special apnext year. This requi iversities are proval since state un crease tuition only allowed to in ition rates go by 15% a year. As tul budget cuts up, proposed federaon less in Pell will mean $10 milli lower-income Grants, which aid orida Bright families. With Fl g the tuition Futures not coverin ucation may increases, higher ed le for workbecome less attainab ing-class students.

Image courtesy of Nationaal Archief via Flickr Commons. The ori ginal image can be found at http://bit.ly/iAYO vR

Police Review Board UF has recently created a pol advisory board, which was callice ed for last year by a Student Govern ment (SG) referendum. Unfort nately, the new advisory board ushort of SG’s intentions. It hasfalls investigatory power, which is no fined as the ability to subpoededocuments that would have oth na erwise not been available to the pub lic. Unlike the review board in Key West, it can only review complet internal affairs documents, whi ed ch are available to the public anyway It also consists of fewer stud . ents (only three out of eight member and no permanent minority rep s) resentation. The Coalition for Just Against Police Brutality, the maice protest group that demanded in advisory board’s creation, contenthe as a primary grievance that Lin ds Stump, chief of the UFPD, sits da the head of the board. The pow at er is in her hands to convene the boa and veto its decisions. Furtherd more, the board’s conclusions rnon-binding. Essentially, this are is a glorified complaint box, accordin g to protesters.


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We’ll be printing again in September. In the mean time, check out thefineprintuf.org for new content throughout the summer. Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 05


COLUMN/B.S. SCIENCE

The Non-Science Behind Climate Change Denial by Jeremiah Tattersall Illustration by Diana Moreno There’s no scientific controversy over climate change. The media, heavily influenced by conservative think tanks, seems to think otherwise. This misrepresentation of facts was recently highlighted by the “is it just me or is it cold outside, so global climate change must be a scam” bandwagon that assaulted our airwaves this past winter. To be perfectly clear, it is just you. We had a cold winter this year because the temperature of the Earth is rising. Arctic ice is melting, causing the ocean to absorb sunlight that otherwise would have been reflected. This causes the air above the water to heat up, pushing the arctic air current further south and creating lower temperatures in the southeastern United States. Since the beginning of the 20th Century, the global temperature has increased 0.74°C (1.33°F). A 2010 article from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 97 to 98 percent of climate scientists recognize the evidence for manmade climate change. The last scientific body to hold a dissenting opinion, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, changed their position in 2007. The Media A recently leaked internal Fox News document posted by Media Matters states very clearly that, in the spirit of "fair and balanced” coverage, every time climate change is mentioned it must also be said that the data has been called into question by critics. The media’s coverage of climate change plays on a very important concept within the scientific community: skepticism. Scientists are, by trade, among the least trusting people on the planet. You would be hard-pressed to find a scientist who doesn’t think there needs to be more research on climate change or other widely-held theories like evolution or even gravity. Under the guise of the media,

the word “theory” has shifted in meaning from a well-established, tested and verified hypothesis to the random opinion of some guy in his basement. Worst of all, the word “skeptic” has been hijacked to mean an active denial of the scientific consensus. A Pew study in 2009 found that 76% of scientists feel the media is doing the public a disservice by failing to distinguish between research that is well-founded and research that

If someone has an economic interest in denying or advocating for something, there’s a good chance they’re spinning the truth. A 2008 study in Environmental Politics found that 92% of the 141 anti-environmentalist books published between 1972 and 2005 were funded by conservative think tanks (CTT). These books questioned the existence of climate change, ozone depletion and the like.

I can haz ice?

is not. To make climate change seem like more of a “controversy” than it is, the media divides air time disproportionately between the 97 percent of climate scientists who recognize the evidence for climate change and the dissenting 3 percent (as well as non-climate scientists) who do not. No ones pays attention to the flat-earth society. Why? Because there’s no political or financial incentive to manufacture a controversy over the shape of the Earth. Conservative Think Tanks

06 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

The list of CTTs that deny climate change while promoting corporate interests is extensive, but here are three of the top offenders. (1) The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) circulated a letter in 2006 offering $10,000 to any scientist willing to criticize a soon-to-be released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). By 2006, the AEI had received $1.6 million in funding from ExxonMobile. (2) The Heartland Institute hosts the annual International

Conference on Climate Change. Their list of “climate experts” is low on actual climate scientists and their list of co-sponsors is low on actual science organizations. Their donors are kept secretive now, but according to Media Matters, they have received money from the Walton Family Foundation (Walmart) and ExxonMobil. (3) The George C. Marshall Institute has received funding from ExxonMobil and still denies that chlorofluorocarbons destroy the ozone, that second hand smoke causes cancer and that acid rain exists. One of their chairmen, William Happer, is a physicist (not a climate scientist) who testified before Congress in 2009 that increased CO2 in the atmosphere will be good for humans. According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund, climate change lobbyists spent over $500 million to influence legislation and on electoral campaigns from 2009 to 2010. Their efforts have paid off. Of the 20 Republican senate candidates for the 2010 midterm election, 19 were climate change deniers. Research published in the December 2010 issue of Psychology Science reveals that Americans are less likely to believe in climate change if it questions their worldview. Participants in the study who believed in a just world were more likely to deny climate change when shown negative videos or articles - that is, something that shows the adverse consequences of climate change. In other words, Americans who believed the world is just, orderly and stable were likely to dismiss ideas that challenged their view. According to a Rasmussen poll conducted in January 2011, 38% of Americans are not concerned with climate change and only 33% are taking it very seriously. As soon as the media presents climate change as a real, tangible threat rather than a matter of debate, we can move forward and start finding solutions. For links to the studies and facts cited, see http://bit.ly/iYXgxs


COLUMN/MONTHLY MANIFESTO

voices for planned parenthood The Monthly Manifesto is a podium for local organizations to tell Gainesville what they’re about. Submissions and inquiries should be sent to editors@ thefineprintuf.org with the subject “Monthly Manifesto.”

by Rosemary Daniels Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood is a group on the UF campus that promotes safe sex, sex education, healthy relationships, and reproductive rights. That’s what the pamphlet says and that’s what you’ve heard before. Here’s what it means in action. We believe in masturbation. Not just because it’s a great stressreliever, but because it’s you and your genitalia against the world. Give it a little love every once in a while. How are you supposed to know what makes it go if you never start it up? We believe in consensual sexual revolution and exploration. Through experience and experimentation, with yourself and others, you may come to find out that you have your own unique sexual proclivities, but it’s important to note that your man may not be that pleased with a surprise poke in the anus. By the same token, your lady may not take too kindly to an unexpected full-on phallus-face assault. If you and your partner are into that, then sure – break out the strap-ons and hump away at her glorious visage. Communication is the cornerstone of a healthy and fulfilling sexual relationship. Ask and you may very well receive. We believe in disease prevention and protection. Whether a one-night stand or a long-term relationship, if you trust someone enough to wedge their extremities into an orifice of your choosing, then your mouth should be unobstructed long enough to discuss and formulate a plan with your co-conspirator against STI transmission: condoms, dental dams, and non-penetrative sex are some options.

VOX

We believe there are no dirty words, least of all “feminist,” “abortion,” or “politics.” We believe in options. In heterosexual sex, unwanted pregnancy can be a concern, and birth control is different for everyone. Some folks prefer a daily oral contraceptive pill, a shot, a hormonereleasing implant, an adhesive

patch, sponges, diaphragms, an apparatus in the uterus. There’s no lack of choices; even the tried-andtrue intrauterine device comes in several varieties. For a lot of people, though, condoms are the way to go; they prevent pregnancy, but

they’re also the only way to prevent the transmission of STIs during penis-related sexual activities. If these methods fail, emergency contraception is the go-to backup. It’s important to say that emergency contraception like Plan B is not an “abortion pill,” but simply a high dose of birth control that can prevent pregnancy for up to five days after a particular sexual incident. A pill with a much less fancy name, RU-486, is sometimes used in place of early-gestation surgical abortions. Here’s where things get contentious. We believe there are no dirty words, least of all “feminist,” “abortion,” or “politics.” However, in the last year, things have gotten more challenging. We used to talk to our legislators about the power of comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education in our communities. We used to work to make sure our legislators were aware of the link between education and greater access to birth control resulting in fewer abortions. We used to appeal to reason in an attempt to improve quality of life. Now we fight simply to maintain the few sexual rights we do have for the next generation, in Florida and across the country. We fight because we know that when a woman has the right to choose, she has the right to determine the course of her own life. It is only for her to decide when and if she wants to carry a pregnancy to term. Our membership is diverse, and so are our causes. We are intelligent young people who are working and hoping for happy, healthy, and equal communities. (image) Women give a voice to female war workers by displaying safety garb, complete with plastic “bra” on right, to prevent occupational accidents in 1943. Courtesy of The U.S. National Archives via Flickr Commons, local identifier 86-WWT-33(41).

Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 07


COLUMN

the

City Farmer Local

e d i b l e s h arv e s t e d a n d f e rm e n t e d

by Krissy Abdullah With spring abounding, I’ve been feverishly harvesting local wild edibles to ferment and preserve. My favorite project has been harvesting red mulberries from the tree in my backyard to make mulberry wine. Here’s some info on mulberries and an easy recipe for mulberry wine. Making Mulberry Wine (Time Frame - 1 year or more)

This Recipe is adapted from an elderberry wine recipe in the book, Wild Fermentation. It is meant to make five gallons of wine; however, you can make less if you have a smaller carboy. For example, I collected one gallon of mulberries and used two one-gallon apple juice jars.

What you need

(makes 5 gallons of mulberry wine)

- Three gallons of mulberries - Water - One packet of commercial wine/ champagne yeast (can be purchased at Hoggetowne Ale Works on W. Univ. Ave. and 34th St.) - 10-12 lbs. sugar - One five-gallon carboy (a huge jug, usually glass or plastic) - One airlock (looks like something from your high school chemistry class and is usually plastic; it fits onto the lid of the carboy and when filled partially with water, allows gases to be released from the carboy without letting contaminants in)

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How to make it 1. Clean your mulberries well, discarding any unripe or moldy berries and trash. 2. Boil two to three gallons of water. Pour it over the berries to submerge them. Cover the bucket with a towel, leave it overnight to steep and cool. 3. Scoop out one cup of the liquid and add a packet of yeast. Allow the yeast to activate and bubble, then add it to the berries and water. Stir with a wooden spoon and cover. 4. Let it sit for two to three days, stirring often. This allows time for the yeast to feed on the sugar of the berries and begin the fermentation process. The wine should begin to get a little frothy. 5. After two to three days, pour 10 lbs. (20 cups) of sugar into a cooking pot and cover with enough water to liquefy. Heat slowly, stirring constantly

until the sugar dissolves into a clear syrup. When the syrup cools, add it to the mulberries. 6. Ferment for three to five days, covered and stirring often. The wine should begin to bubble vigorously. 7. Once the bubbling slows, strain wine into the 5-gallon carboy. It should only fill the carboy part of the way. Place the berries in a container and cover with water. Mash the berries in water, strain this water into the carboy. Fill the carboy, but make sure to leave a few inches at the top for foam headroom. 8. Store the carboy at room temp for the first month. Put a large pan or towel around the bottom to catch any frothy overflow. If this occurs, clean the airlock and the mouth of the carboy. Fermentation will slow gradually. 9. Test the sugar content by removing the airlock and sprinkling a little sugar on the surface of the wine. If nothing occurs, the sugar content is good. If it causes a yeast reaction (looks like bubbling and frothing) add another cup of sugar. Wait a few days, and repeat as necessary. Add only one cup of sugar at a time and no more than four additional cups total. 10. After two months, siphon the wine into a clean carboy, leaving the sediment behind. Insert an airlock and relocate the carboy to a cool, dark place. Ferment for at least nine months and periodically check to make sure the water hasn’t completely evaporated out of the airlock. Refill and clean the airlock as necessary. After nine months, enjoy!

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Red Mulberry Morus rubra

Some resources - Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Katz. - Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places, by Steve Brill - Country Wisdom and Know-How, edited by Storey Books.

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Red mulberry trees are most common in Florida. In some places you can also find the asian white mulberry trees. The leaves are toothed and can be oval or lobed. The berries are usually longer than raspberries or blackberries, which grow in brambles. You can spot a mulberry tree because the area around the tree is stained a deep purple. If you can reach, pick ripe mulberries straight from the tree. If not, put a blanket on the ground, climb into the tree and shake it vigorously. A torrent of berries will rain down. Mulberries don’t sit well for more than a couple of days. Their high water content and thin skins cause them to ferment quickly. This makes them perfect for wine. They can also be eaten fresh, cooked, dried, frozen or preserved. There is a Greek folklore of how red mulberries got their color, Pyramus and Thisbe, by Ovid. “Pyramus and Thisbe were neighbors who fell in love, but their parents disapproved. The lovers communicated secretly, through a crack in the wall separating their houses. One night, they eloped, but Thisbe was frightened away from their rendezvous point- a white mulberry tree- by a bloody-mouthed lion that had just finished a meal. She escaped and hid, but lost her cloak, which the lion mauled and bloodied. Pyramus, seeing the bloody-mouthed lion and the cloak, imagined the worst, and impaled himself on his sword. His blood colored the mulberries red. When Thisbe found him and realized what had happened, she followed him to death on the same sword. The European mulberry species has been red ever since, colored by the lovers’ blood.” Romantic, huh?

local, wild edibles in season now - Loquats (jams, wines, salsa, compote, pies and cobblers) - Wild onions (pearl onion root or chives; pickled, salads and sautés, sauces) - Jasmine flowers (infused in oils for natural body care) - Chickweed leaves (salads, dressings, sautés) - Dandelion (leaves: in salads and dressings) - Cleaver leaves (salads and dressings, curries, risottos)

Want more City Farmer? It’s a double issue! Flip over and turn to page 6!

Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 09


SPOTLIGHT

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ways

to include more local food in your diet by Alli Langley Photos by Henry Taksier

Ever tasted the difference between a ripe, juicy strawberry picked yesterday and an oversized strawberry sprayed with chemicals, picked last week and trucked across the country? If yes, then you might understand why the number of farmers markets has more than tripled in the past 15 years. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more consumers are seeking alternatives to industrialized agriculture by searching for food produced close to home. Studies have shown that eating locally grown food improves health, supports local economies, promotes the biodiversity of crops and reduces the environmental impact of shipping food around the world. “The nutritional value of fresh fruits and veggies is at its peak right after harvest,� said Danielle Treadwell, a professor who researches organic crop production at the University of Florida. {next page} 10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org


SPOTLIGHT, CONT’D

Lily Garner, 6, uproots fresh carrots at Swallowtail Farm’s Second Annual Spring Festival, a “celebration of everything good and local.” Swallowtail Farm, located north of Alachua, specializes in providing shareholders in surrounding communities with organic, sustainably harvested produce.

5 ways to include

more local food in your diet Support restaurants that use locally-grown food The Jones Eastside is one of many restaurants in town that uses local sources to create its menu. The food might be more expensive, said co-owner Maya Garner, but the price takes into account more sustainable production, fair wages for workers and fresh food. “It tastes so much better when you have something on your plate that was picked the night before,” she said. “No one can argue with that.” Gainesville is full of resources for people who want to eat locally, so consumers have no excuse for not doing so, she said. “We’re spoiled. We can get kiwis from New Zealand, bananas from Costa Rica, chocolate from Africa,” she said. “It’s not a natural way of eating.” For a list of restaurants that support local farmers, ranchers and fishermen, visit www. GainesvilleFarmFresh.com. 12 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

Hogtown Homegrown’s Eat Local Challenge / May 1 to 31 The challenge? Eat local, seasonal foods at home or at locally-owned restaurants for the entire month of May. Picking up this issue after May? It’s never too late to start eating local. See hogtownhomegrown.com for the details!

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Buy your groceries at Ward’s or Citizen’s Co-op

From strawberries to beef and jams to hummus, Ward’s Supermarket, the only locally owned grocery store in Gainesville, offers year-round goods from nearby growers. Local items are often labeled, said Danielle Williams, an employee whose family has owned Ward’s since 1951. But you can always ask employees what products are local, she said. Citizen’s Co-op, a member-owned grocery store with a “Local First” policy, will open downtown in this summer. “We don’t need a bunch of diesel trucks belching fuel across the country when we can get food right here,” said Phil Kairalla, a local

farmer and beekeeper who serves as the chair of the Co-op’s board of directors. The store will focus not only on local food, but also on food grown in organic, environment-friendly and socially responsible ways. That means making sure all products are free from chemicals and genetic modification and all producers are paid and treated fairly. At Ward’s, Citizen’s Co-op, local restaurants and online at HogtownHomeGrown. com, shoppers can check out Hogtown HomeGrown, a monthly newsletter that educates customers about what foods are in season and how to cook them.


Scott Edmundson relaxes in a patch of soil with his twoyear-old son, Kepler West Edmundson, at Swallowtail Farm’s Second Annual Spring Festival.

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Join a CSA

Members of a Community Supported Agriculture program, or CSA, “subscribe” to a farmer by paying a set price for weekly shares of the harvest from November through June. “CSAs are wonderful because farmers are guaranteed income and can grow what they need to grow,” said Stefanie Samara Hamblen, the creator of Hogtown HomeGrown. She said consumers might be forced to experiment with different foods because they have less choice in the food they receive. But this applies to buying foods in season, as well. Hamblen said thinking differently about cooking and meal planning will help those who want to eat locally. Instead of planning a menu, making a list and then shopping for groceries, she said, do it in reverse. See what’s in season then plan meals around what’s fresh.

4 Shop at farmers markets Unlike buying food in a traditional store, where your money goes to distributors, packagers and processors, when you buy directly from farmers, the farmers keep more of every dollar spent. Another benefit of buying from farmers markets is getting to know the person producing your food. Farmer John Steyer said concerned consumers can ask growers about issues like chemical use. Garner said the food you buy from local sources might be organic even if it doesn’t say so. “Most local farms operate organically even if

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they’re not certified,” she said. At the market, some shoppers may be intimidated by unfamiliar foods, and Garner suggested talking to the growers about how to cook the item. “They will be able to tell you how to how to prepare it to perfection,” she said. There are four farmers markets in Gainesville and more in the nearby towns of High Springs and Micanopy. The times and places of every market can be found on the Hogtown Homegrown website.

Grow your own food

Gardening at home is an option for those with the time and space. People living in dorms and apartments can experiment with potted plants or try gardening at a community garden. The city of Gainesville has five community gardens where residents can grow their own food. Call 352-393-8186 to see if any plots are available. The University of Florida also rents plots to community members at its Organic Gardens Cooperative. For more information, call Ginny Campbell at 352-378-6108. Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 13


SPOTLIGHT

Fenced in Gainesville’s Superfund Refugees PHOTOS AND TEXT BY HENRY TAKSIER

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he Stephen Foster Neighborhood in northwest Gainesville is home to a toxic secret, which emerges every decade or so to make local headlines. Since 1916, Koppers Inc. has operated a 90-acre wood treatment facility, releasing an array of industrial toxins into Gainesville’s air, water and soil. For 28 years, the area has been considered a Superfund site. By Feb. 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Record of Decision, which details their plans to remedy the site. Local activist groups have criticized the Record of Decision because it does not contain any plans to relocate the troubled residents who live along the fence of the Superfund site or to compensate them for their

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health problems. Private testing in Jan. 2010 by Xenobiotics Laboratories reveals a potentially dangerous concentration of dioxins inside nine random houses within a two-mile radius of the site. andra Kennedy, President of the Stephen Foster Neighborhood Association, addressed the City Commission on Feb. 17, stating on behalf of her neighbors, “We, the affected, want immediate and permanent relocation.” Other residents expressed concern that their kids were attending elementary schools within the range of contamination, while others testified angrily that their real estate agents failed to inform them of the dangerous implications of moving into the neighborhood before they signed their leases. The following photos were taken of residents and pets living in houses along

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the fence of the Superfund site. To learn more, check out A Haunting Past, Pt. 1, 2 and 3 at http://bit.ly/ mkW0tG Pictured (above) Roy Hale Geiersbach, 61, has lived along the fence since 1996. “Don’t be surprised if I gotta cough,” he said, “I’ve been fighting pneumonia and cracked ribs.” There used to be a well in his yard, which he drank from until 2007, when he found out the well was contaminated with industrial pollutants. Geiersbach takes 27 prescription medications for a variety of ailments, including skin cancer, cardiovascular problems and diabetes. “Look outside,” he said. “See the oak trees? Do you see any squirrels? There are none because they eat the acorns and drop dead. Everything here is dying.”


For two years, Mary Ann Jones has lived along the fence with her extended family, which includes three grandchildren. “I’m scared to death,” she said. “I used to love to garden, but now my plants are dead because I’m scared to touch them. We’re pretty much stuck here.” Jones is left to wonder whether her family’s ailments, which include skin rashes, headaches and frequent nosebleeds, are just coincidences or signs of toxic contamination.

Aaron, 4, lives with his grandmother, Mary Ann Jones, along the fence of the Superfund site. He doesn’t fully understand the situation but knows that if he plays outside and drops something on the ground, he is not to pick it up under any circumstances. Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 15


SPOTLIGHT, CONT’D

Max and Peanut, the Jones’ pets, cling to the fence outside. Small children and pets are particularly vulnerable to the effects of chronic dioxin exposure, which can lead to immune deficiency, reproductive problems and cancer.

Farinda O’Steen, 64, has lived along the fence since 1966. In 2006, she lost her husband to seven different types of cancer. Her son, 35, had three strokes before he was six months old. Her daughter was born with one leg shorter than the other. O’Steen believes her husband’s chromosomal damage spread to their children and grandchildren in the form of skin rashes, bone weakness, learning disabilities and other problems. She has lost faith in the EPA, the City Commission and even the activists who claim to represent the interests of people trapped near Koppers. O’Steen’s only goal now is to save money so she can start a new life with her family elsewhere. 16 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org


FEATURE Villagers in Uganda receiving a delivery of supplies from New Charity Era. (below) Screenshots of the game. Images courtesy of New Charity Era.

Raise the Village UF grads develop iPhone game with a philanthropic twist by Ashira Morris They say it takes a village to raise a child. But how does anyone go about raising a village? Raise the Village is an iPhone application that allows players to develop a village by buying items such as food, clean water and medicine. This app was created with a philanthropic twist: every item purchased virtually in the game is translated to a real, tangible product that is delivered to Kapir Atiira, a village in Uganda. Players can download the app for free. Dollars are converted to the game currency, florin, which can be used to purchase items within the game. All items are purchased from Uganda in order to support the country’s economy. “We didn’t want to buy from anywhere else,” intern Ken Nguyen said. “Because then the money won’t circulate in their economy.” Co-founders Joey Sasvari and Cameron MacMillan, both graduates of the UF Masters of Entrepreneurship program, developed the app. A Social Entrepreneurship class, taught by UF professor Dr. Kristin Joos, inspired them to create a company that integrated charity with traditional work. After graduation, Sasvari noted the craze of buying intangible products made possible through Facebook games and iPhone apps. Inspired to create “something bigger than ourselves,” he contacted MacMillan. Sasvari’s original idea was more like an individual game

and resembled the Tamagachi personal pet concept. However, with MacMillan, they decided to create a more communal game along the lines of Farmville. The final step was figuring out where to help. Sasvari contacted Biko Evarist, a classmate from the Social Entrepreneurship class and fellow graduate of the Entrepreneurship Program. Biko was the first person from his village in Africa to attend college. He had moved back to Uganda after graduation and was doing philanthropic work there. After touring two villages in March of 2010, the team selected Kapir Atiira. The village was exactly what Sasvari and MacMillan were looking for. The Lord’s Resistance Army, a religious military group based in Uganda, had ravaged the town and led to the collapse of their fragile livestock economy. Raise the Village aims to turn Kapir Atiira into a self-sustainable village. Ultimately, all the players - and villagers - will “win” when a school, water wells, an agricultural program and hospital are built and the village can support its self. Once Kapir Atiira is thriving, they will choose another village to partner with. Currently, Raise the Village is revving up for version 2.0. The app, which was launched four months ago, has not put a heavy emphasis on self-promotion yet. However, with the arrival of 2.0, the team is planning on an advertising push that they hope will launch the app into the top charts. Currently, Raise the Village has approximately 1,000 downloads a day. After the

publicity the company is aiming for 50,000 downloads a day. During the reboot, the company added eight interns to the original team. Nguyen, a fifth year student in the Business and Entrepreneurship program, works on the economy of the game. “If I was to give myself a title, I’d call myself Optimization Master,” Nguyen. Raise the Village is only the beginning. It is the first project of New Charity Era, their overarching Low Profit Limited Liability (L3C) company that Sasvari hopes will become the model for all businesses. “We want to usher in a new era for giving that is sustainable,” Sasvari said. Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 17


FEATURE

citizen’s CO-OP READY TO OPEN

The Co-op aims to reinvent Gainesville’s food economy by Desiree Farnum Photo courtesty of Citizen’s Co-op A change is coming to Gainesville, and the movement is starting with a grocery store. The Citizens Co-op, a communityowned market, aims to open in the first week of May, three years into the project. Unlike traditional grocery stores, the coop will be owned by the consumers who, after becoming members, have the power to vote for the board of directors. Founded by Elizabeth Nesbit and Gretchen McIntyre, the co-op was created to act as a network for local farmers and to establish a closer relationship between producers, workers and consumers. Members, producers, and staff can join committees or the board to have a direct say in the co-op’s operations. One goal of the co-op is “to provide a transparent food chain for the consumer so they can really understand where their food is coming from,” Nesbit said. The store will provide its members with local, organic and natural food, as well as products that haven’t been tested on animals. Goods purchased in the store will support the local economy and the local farmers who are part of the co-op. 18 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

Members are also eligible for discounts at co-ops across the country. The co-op project is also behind planting fruit trees in available green spaces around town, most recently at the Porters Community Garden on a corner lot in southeast Gainesville. Members can get involved in the community by participating in local projects through the co-op. By raising money through investors, member fees, shopping cards and local fundraising events, the co-op has already covered most of their start-up costs.

“People can use money to control how their living environments are structured, and food is an easy way to start because everyone needs it.” They received the final push they needed on April 23 when they met their goal of raising $15,000 through Kickstarter.com, an all-or-nothing, deadline-based fundraising site. The money will go toward stocking the inventory, paying employees and purchasing equipment.


JUMPS Samantha Campostrini, a member of the coop who moved to Gainesville last year, is excited about the opening of the store. “I’m looking for good food and community engagement,” she said. Campostrini works for Florida Organic Growers, an education and certification program where she first learned about the co-op. “Everyone else is [just trying] to make money,” she said. “They completely forget about what’s important. [The co-op] is a group of people who dedicate their lives to improve things for everybody else. You have to support them.” She is particularly interested in the transparent food chain the co-op plans to offer. the co-op wil “I know everybody. This gives l me a lot of trust,” Campostrini will be locat ed at said. “You can count on the 435 S. Main S members of the co-op because t. they have the right mindset.” For more inf Though the co-op was exo,visit pected to open on April 15, they citizensco-op .com are two weeks behind due to renovations. They recently hired five staff

members and a produce manager, but they’re still looking for a grocery manager. “We’re getting ready to make our first purchases,” Nesbit said. Nesbit and Gretchen McIntyre share a seat on the board of directors, and they work with the in-store managers who are hired by the board to oversee operations. The newly elected board exists to protect the long-term vision of the co-op and to develop policies, Nesbit said. Under the Board are committees, which handle day-to-day tasks. These are made up of general members, some of the staff and any board members who want to have extra responsibilities. Currently, the co-op consists of over 700 members. The nominating committee chooses potential candidates for the board, which members of the co-op would then vote for. Yearly elections are coming up in June, with the voting taking place online. “People can use money to control how their living environments are structured,” Nesbit said. “And food is an easy way to start because everyone needs it.”

The Biomass Controversy, cont’d from pg. 29 compared to the actual burning of biomass. She explained that the release of methane through decomposition is minimized by methane-consuming bacteria in the soil. Furthermore, wood takes years to decompose. Burning biomass would release high amounts of carbon dioxide immediately. In addition to carbon dioxide, biomass emissions include dioxin, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, chlorine, heavy metals and particulate matter. Health Several organizations across America, including the Florida Medical Association, the American Lung Association, Physicians for Social Responsibility and North Carolina Family Practitioners are deeply concerned about the air pollution associated with biomass energy. In 2008, the Florida Medical Association (FMA) issued a resolution strongly urging the state government to minimize their approval of biomass plants. Dr. Ronald Saff, an allergy and asthma specialist living in Tallahassee, is a member of FMA’s Council on Public Health. In 2009, he played a key role in halting the construction of a permitted biomass plant in Tallahassee.

Saff contacted the Alachua County Medical Society (ACMS) to voice his concerns about biomass pollution in hope that local experts will join the fight against biomass. “I am very disappointed with my physician colleagues in Alachua County for not speaking out about the dangers of biomass plants,” said Saff, who feels ACMS has been negligent in their duty to protect residents from this “great polluter.” Biomass proponents beg to differ. Dr. Christopher Teaf, a toxicologist who testified on behalf of American Renewables, conducted a toxicology and human health risk assessment and concluded that the biomass facility would not pose any health risks to the environment. “Our facility, from an air pollution standpoint, will not contribute to adverse health effects for anybody living near the facility,” Levine said. The Rush GRU recognizes that Alachua County is not in need of a new energy supply until 2023, at the earliest. Biomass opponents want to encourage local residents to further distance that date by improving energy conservation practices. American Renewables’ hasty

progression with the biomass plant draws curiosity and speculation among their opponents. The biomass facility calls for a capital investment of about $450 million, which will be fronted by American Renewables. If companies like American Renewables act quickly enough, they are eligible to have one third of their investment reimbursed through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (otherwise known as the

up a situation in which biomass, coal and nuclear power plants are the only energy options. “The false dichotomy presented by government and corporations is one that must be exposed for what it is and strongly rejected if we plan to continue in the world,” Orr said. “We advocate a complete phase-out of nuclear power, fossil fuels, large hydroelectric dams and ‘biomass’ incineration within the next 20 years. What is holding us

“Our facility, from an air pollution standpoint, will not contribute to adverse health effects for anybody living near the facility or in the larger Alachua County region.” Stimulus Bill). In order to to be eligible, American Renewables must complete the facility’s construction by the end of 2013. Pick Your Poison When it comes to biomass, many elected officials like to play the “pick your poison” game. Karen Orr, Chairwoman of Energy Justice Network, a national grassroots energy agenda, asserts that biomass advocates try to set

back is only a lack of political will.” Research published in Scientific American proves that 100 percent of the world’s energy needs can be met with wind, water and solar power as early as 2030. Opponents of American Renewables are hoping Gainesville can resist the temptation of biomass long enough for cleaner sources of energy to become economically feasible and politically attainable.

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FEATURE

The Biomass

Controversy

Is Gainesville’s planned biomass plant the answer to our energy woes or an incinerator in disguise? by Lily Wan Illustration by Susie Bijan Although it is officially called the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC), protesters are calling the county’s planned biomass facility an “incinerator in disguise.” American Renewables, a private biomass developer based in Massachusetts, is partnering with Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) to construct a biomass power plant at GRU’s Deerhaven Station, just eight miles northwest of Downtown Gainesville. GRU and city officials agreed that Gainesville needs an additional source of energy to meet the demands of its con20 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

sumers by 2023. The 100-megawatt facility, capable of providing enough electricity to power 100,000 homes, will be primarily fueled by residual wood chips collected from forest and wood processing operations within a 75-mile radius. According to Josh Levine, the project manager of American Renewables, biomass uses the leftover wood from trees that are initially harvested by logging companies, which mainly use the trunk of the tree, discarding the treetops and branches. “In most cases, this wood is piled up and burned,” Levine said. “There are no emissions controls, no benefits from the burning of that material -- just burned.” The biomass plant was chosen as an alternative to a 220-MW coal facility that


GRU had originally planned to build as an extension of their existing 250-MW coal facility at the Deerhaven site. Twenty-eight options were considered, including wind and solar energy. Levine said biomass out-shined the competition because it’s the most cost-effective renewable energy on the market. Solar power and wind power are intermittent resources and wouldn’t provide adequate base-load generation, he claimed. The Contract In May 2009, GRU entered a 30-year contract with American Renewables. The biomass facility will be owned by American Renewables, but GRU will purchase its power for at least 30 years. Many “trade-secret” components of the Power Purchase Agreement between GRU and American Renewables had been unavailable to the public. Opponents expressed concern about American Renewables’ intentions in concealing financial data. Levine said American Renewables’ intentions were not to conceal information from Gainesville residents, but to protect the company’s trade secrets from potential competitors. On April 6, American Renewables fully exposed the contract. Levine said their decision had nothing to do with public pressure. “The contract is almost three years old, so it’s dated,” he said. “The competitive landscape has completely shifted, which is why we’re more comfortable releasing the contract.” Levine explained that between 2008 and 2009, Floridians were hyped up on talk of a more sustainable future. Florida was leaning toward signing a Renewable Portfolio Standard, a regulation requiring increased renewable energy production and usage. With this anticipation, American Renewables expected more biomass plants, owned by competitor companies, to sprout up all over the state. Since then, the surge of enthusiasm failed to generate the results Levine expected. Thus, competition fizzled out. Job Creation During the facility’s three-year construction phase, which began in late March, 350 temporary

jobs will be created. Half of these construction jobs will employ local workers, while the other half will call for specialists, who may or may not be local. The facility’s operation, which American Renewables foresees to extend beyond 40 years, will directly employ 45 people. Indirectly, GREC will provide an additional 160 jobs to the forestry, logging, and trucking businesses within the 75 mile radius, which encompasses 23 counties. Director of Florida State University’s Center for Economic Forecasting and Analysis, Dr. Julie Harrington, conducted a detailed economic benefit analysis for the biomass plant. She estimates an

Joy Towles Ezell, who has been a tree farmer her whole life, expressed concern that the biomass facility may have adverse effects on the health of surrounding forests. “They’re going to have to clearcut forests,” Ezell said. “There’s not going to be enough waste wood to run these things.” At one point in her tree farming career, Ezell grew trees for a paper mill, but later terminated the contract because she did not consider their practices sustainable. Ezell worries the biomass facility will compete with paper mills for residual wood. Despite Levine’s claim that paper mills cut down trees and only process their trunks, burning everything else, Ezell con-

“We advocate a complete phase-out of nuclear power, fossil fuels, large hydroelectric dams and ‘biomass’ incineration. What is holding us back is only a lack of political will.” additional 500 jobs will also be infused into the local economy once the plant is running. Protecting Forests The majority of Florida’s forests are privately owned, with many used as timberland. Periodic forest thinning is considered to be a good forestry practice, removing invasive species of trees that compete with native species for sunlight and nutrients. Thinning is currently uncommon because landowners do not have a market for their unwanted trees, making the practice economically disadvantageous. The biomass facility would provide an incentive for forest thinning through GRU’s Stewardship Incentive Program, allowing landowners to sell wood chips from invasive, unhealthy or otherwise undesirable trees.

tends that tree mills often process entire trees -- leaving little to no residual matter behind. American Renewables states that 1.2 million green tons will be used to fuel their facility annually. Eighty percent of the required tonnage will be derived from forest products, while the remaining 20 percent will be drawn from urban wood waste. Gainesville’s Ad-hoc Forestry Committee, an advisory board of local experts, has developed a set of sustainability standards for the biomass plant’s procurement of residual wood. To ensure that these standards are upheld, American Renewables plans to trace the origins of all the wood they receive by collecting random samples. The samples will be tested for moisture content and other indicators that may determine whether the biomass being burned was har-

vested from the trunks of healthy trees, which would indicate unsustainable harvesting. American Renewables also plans to employ two on-site inspectors who will monitor wood collection. Ezell and other biomass opponents doubt the enforcement of these standards. Although American Renewables’ Fuel Procurement Standards assure that “GREC shall not utilize biomass fuel harvested during the conversion of a natural forest to a plantation forest,” Ezell worries that the biomass facility will quickly turn to clear cutting in order to meet their biomass supply needs. Pollution According to a study conducted by Dr. Mary Booth for the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, biomass facilities release more carbon emissions into the atmosphere than even coal facilities. Booth, an ecologist from Massachusetts, has been fighting biomass for three years. The Manomet study found that, generally, biomass facilities emit 50 percent more carbon emissions than their coal-fueled cousins. However, Gainesville’s biomass plant is designed to operate at a higher efficiency than most. Booth estimates that this one will emit 30 percent more carbon emissions than a coal facility generating the same amount of electricity. Levine acknowledges that burning biomass, in the short term, releases more carbon dioxide than burning coal. Nonetheless, he asserts that from a life cycle perspective, biomass plants are actually carbon negative (yes, you heard him right). “Our facility will result in cleaner air for the region,” Levine said. His argument is based on the notion that biomass plants are capable of offsetting emissions that would have otherwise gone back into the atmosphere due to wood decomposition. When wood decomposes, it releases both carbon dioxide and methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas. Booth resolutely dismissed Levine’s argument, claiming that the environmental impacts of wood decomposition are negligible Continued on pg. 19

Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 21


PROSE

Reparations A short story by David Eardley After the accident, my mother showed up in the better lit hallway outside of my room in the ICU. I hadn't seen her for almost ten months. Hi Son—she dragged out the i—how ya feelin? She rubbed my arm too softly, like one might pet a cat. Her shirt was a red and blue paisley pattern and her hair spread out lighter than its usual chestnut brown. I'm alright, I said. She drove me the three-and-ahalf miles to my apartment from the hospital three days later, after they scanned my head one last time and plucked the tubes from the crooks of my arms. The sun was too bright and I bowed my head most of the ride, clutching my tender, swollen wrist. Your little sisters are really into ballet now, she said, part of a scatter of recent family trivia she was listing off. Cool—that's great. The last burst of morphine was just starting to break over me, mixing with the warm sunlight on my arms and chest. A lot of people were prayin for you, you know. She turned and smiled, her teeth whiter than I remembered. I was prayin the whole way up here. And people kept sending me texts about prayin too. You should see our new church— you remember the Richardsons? They're there now. Ah, really? I responded. I attempted to nod toward her side of the car, but my headache shot a spike through my brain, so I stopped. 22 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | www.thefineprintUF.org

I spent most of the day propped up on a couple of green and white pillows in my bed, half-watching tv on my computer. The morphine wore off within a few hours and the pain in my arm and head started getting worse, first washing quietly over my skin before digging into my bones and skull. I'm gonna go to the store tomorrow and grab you some food and stuff, she called from the main room of my apartment. Thanks! I half-yelled from my room. More aches. I took some Tylenol, wondering why that was all they had prescribed me during discharge, and slid down over the pillows and sort of under my blankets and tried to nap. She walked into my room, tall above my bed on the floor, crouched to sit beside me and stroked my unwashed hair. How you feelin? Ok. Sorry—can you not touch my head? I have a headache, I said. Oh, ok—sorry. She retracted her hand and arm back into her lap. I woke up later, after it had gotten dark. I could hear her in my bathroom, rustling and running the water, then turning it off and squeezing out what sounded like a rag or sponge. I pulled myself up, over the side of my bed and to my feet, head pounding. She was sitting side-saddle over the side of the tub, scrubbing the rim and down to the basin. Hey—how you feelin? She looked up at me sort of startled, like a child out of an elaborate daydream. I cleaned your bathroom

for you—thought that would help a bit. Oh wow—Thanks. It looks great. I managed a smile. In the mirror I looked awful; purple and blue were splashed across my left eye and down my cheek and my hair was greasy and pressed down to my scalp. You should be resting, she said. I'm fine. I slept for a few hours—I'm just hungry. I left her and walked into my kitchen and pulled out a large bag of pretzels. She followed me in, fluffing the pillows on my couch in the other part of the main room. Here, come sit down and I'll get it for you. I'm gonna clean this kitchen later, so you don't have to worry about it when you're getting better. I plopped down on the flowered couch, splaying out my legs and leaning in on my unharmed arm. Man, she said quietly. God was really watching over you. She sniffled and a small, thoughtful smile flickered across her face. I didn't respond. I thought of the last time we had spoken—over the phone, long after I had moved to school, after she and my dad had stopped sending money and instead sent Bible verses typed quickly into emails at odd times of the day and night. We can't help you anymore, they had said. In my memory they recited it in unison, although I know it hadn't happened just that way. Here we were, already together for more time than we had been in the past three years, and she had already begun to clean my house and


had given me money for rent. We sat and slept around the house for four days after that, as my headaches began to recede into dull, tense waves and my wrist stopped protesting against the thickness of the bandages. She spent an hour hypnotically sorting through my unwashed dishes and three hours more washing, drying and folding my acres of laundry, stacking it in neat, clean piles beside my bed as I slept. I expected some sort of confession or outburst or something—for her to suddenly fold down onto her knees beside my mattress, sobbing and pleading with me to forgive her, to understand her faults, to give her a second chance. I was left disappointed on Tuesday, as she wiped down the cabinets and swept the floors. On Wendnesday, while she dusted my bookshelves and closets and ceiling fan. On Thursday, when she returned from an hour out of the house, breathless and tugging crinkled bagloads of sliced bread and orange juice and energy bars. It was Friday night and she wished me goodnight with an attempted kiss on my forehead and returned to her resting place on the couch. She was leaving in the morning and most of the day she had been calling back home, telling my father when the girls needed to be at dance practice and when my brother was supposed to be at the park for soccer, then asking me several times which friend of mine was coming to take care of me as soon as she left. The answer I gave her was Sara, a girl I worked with. You sure you're gonna be ok? She said, worried. I want you to call me every hour so I know you're still alive. It was after saying goodnight, late on Friday night or early Saturday morning, when I was almost

asleep, away from headaches and the striking pain in my arm, that I felt her sit softly once again on the end of my bed. She was crying. It was dark but I could hear her trying to breathe through it, the outline of her hair shaking softly in the moonlight. I just—wanted to share what Jesus is doing in my life, she said quietly. Ok. I'm sorry for always tryin to be a perfect mom and being focused too much on making the perfect family. God's put it in my heart that

Happiness isn't what life is about, son. Jesus is the only way to true happiness. It's not even that I'm happy— it's like I'm free from that guilt, I said. I can see the way things are— see the world for what it is, you know? I'm sorry—I can't give you what you want. Ok. I pray for you every day, you know. She lingered for a moment, taking a small, quiet breath, and left the edge of my bed and my room, closing the door behind her. The next morning she folded

I thought of the last time we had spoken— over the phone, long after I had moved to school, after she and my dad had stopped sending money and instead sent Bible verses typed quickly into emails at odd times of the day and night. I need to focus more on Him and not worry about the other stuff. I just want you to be ok. She was crying harder. I just don't want you to go to hell, son. You're breakin my heart, living like this. I struggled up onto my pillows. I wanted to hug her—I would always want to just hug her. I saw her petting my head like she had, her eyes like I remembered. I'm gonna be ok, Mom. I didn't reach out to her. You almost died—did you think about that? Yes. I always hoped that one day feelings and differences would fade in the sun, in time, as she grew older and more used to things. I can't give you what you want, I said. I'm happier here than I ever was back then.

her blanket over the couch and hugged me tightly, resting her face against my neck. I love you, she said. Her eyes were wet, as if they had never dried. I love you too, I said. She drove away from my apartment and the four hours south back to their house. I stood on the porch for a moment, then went inside and quietly closed the door. Editor’s note- Prose submissions should be sent to editors@thefineprintuf.org and should include “prose submission” in the subject line. The Fine OF ISSUE #2 Print will include It’s a double iss ue one short story in If you haven’t al ! re flip over to start ady, each print edireadin Vol. III, Issue IV g tion with room (unless you pref er reading for more on our things upside do wn). website, thefineprintuf.org.

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Summer 2011 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 23

The Fine Print, Spring/Summer 2011  

The spring + summer 2011, double issue of The Fine Print.

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