VOLUME VI, ISSUE IV
SUMMER 2014 FREE
PAY T O P L AY Are heavy fees throwing businesses off their groove?
MIGRANT CHILDREN’S EDUCATION GETS LOST IN THE SHUFFLE P.26
this issue Who Let the Cats Out?
(pictured right) Local feral feline population runs wild
Published with support from Generation Progress/Center for American Progress (online at GenerationProgress.org).
Damian Gonzalez Samantha Schuyler Lily Wan
Creative Writing Editor
Samantha Schuyler Lily Wan
Isabel Branstrom Chelsea Hetelson Claudia Marina Maitane Romagosa Sarah Senfeld Kelley Taksier
Room to Grow (pictured above)
Porters Community’s newest veggie haven
p. 16 Cover art by Samantha Schuyler
COLUMNS Simply Science, p. 12 A long-dormant disease breaks out in local canines Homestead Instead, p. 14 Discover the power of sweet ‘n’ sour
SPOTLIGHTS Going Off the Grid, p. 18 Navigate Gainesville like it’s the back of your hand Inoperative Cooperative, p. 22 Worker-owners’ attempt to unionize creates a fissure in Citizen’s Co-op
FEATURES Don’t Be Stressin’ About the Session , p. 24 Get up to speed with Florida’s legislative session How Now Sea Cow?, p. 34 Florida manatees see a more stable future
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EDITORIAL DESK by Lily Wan
4 SPRING 201 FREE
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Okay. Here we go. This is it. Is this it? It is. The Last Issue, The Last All-Nighter, The Last Flacoâ€™s Taco. This is that period HUNTING GOODWILL of time when everything I do is likely a
IT B Last. I move out of Gainesville in a matter >> HA ITS HAB of weeks. This is my Last Editorâ€™s Letter. + S P.18 SCHOOL GARDEN URE OF PUBLIC And as Iâ€™ve come to find out, writing it is SOWING THE FUT THEYâ€™LL GROW: OH, THE PLACES facebook.com/thefineprintuf pretty hard. (This is my fifth draft.) It feels like twitter.com/thefineprintuf written confirmation of the end. Like, maybe once I hit the period key to cap off my last sentence, Iâ€™ll be voiped into a nostalgia-lacedspace-time continuum, then snap awake amidst new faces, routines and fixations somewhere in the ambiguous future. Dude, thatâ€™s definitely going to happen. Leaving could be harder, though. I could be leaving The Fine Print with obsessive doubt. You know, the â€œDid I lock Ciera Battleson the door? Did I turn the oven off?â€? kind of doubt. Instead, Iâ€™m leaving with confidenceâ€”one that was built by many little moments like these: Someone came up to me while we were tabling once. â€œHey, people probably donâ€™t get to tell you this a lot,â€? he said. â€œBut I really appreciate The Fine Print. Thank you so much for doing what you guys do.â€? Then he walked away, leaving me reduced to a pool of heartmelt and validation. Honestly, a stranger walking by and slipping a $100 bill in our donation jar couldnâ€™t have made me as happy as this guy just had. (Not that Iâ€™d discourage such behavior.) Sure, it was just one person spending four seconds of his life sharing a single thought. But it was a reminder of why I do what I do here at The Fine Print. Itâ€™s super simple, and it has nothing to do with a resume or a paycheck. I think that this drive is the glue that keeps us keepinâ€™ on and getting by. For five years it has, anyway. And after working with the folks on staff these past few, I know that glue is going to keep us going for another five, 10, infinity more. (Hey, an editor can dream.) So, I sign off with my most sincere gratitude. Thank you to the editors: those now far away who trained me and poured their all into The Fine Print; those Iâ€™ve produced issue Ciera Battleson is a senior studying visual journalism at after issue alongside; and those who will carry The Fine Print the University of Florida, meaning she prefers picture into its future. Thank you to our readers and supporters in books to newspapers. When sheâ€™s not shooting for The the community for having our back. Excuse me while I go Fine Print, sheâ€™s probably being a barista and making cry into my coffee now. *voip* you a latte at Volta Coffee, Tea and Chocolate. After graduation she plans on moving back up north to work toward her career as a visual journalist and commercial photographer in New York City. s. Photo
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IN E PR
Summer 2014 Â | T H E
COLUMN / PAPER CUTS
Ouch! That hurt s doesn’t it? Paper Cuts are our shor t, erratic and slig htly painful updates on current local an d national events . See our website for more Paper Cuts at thefineprintuf.o rg
Paper Cuts Residency
The idea was a moment of social media savvy, despite being done before: Tesco, SmartCar and so many other brands have all used Twitter to seem not only responsive but human. Reply to the consumers. Convince them that Oreo/ Tide/Axe Body Spray has the corporeal capacity to care. Amtrak was just hopping on the bandwagon. It started when Jessica Gross, a New Yorkbased writer, tweeted to get support for a trainbased writer residency program, an idea that author Alexander Chee had jokingly suggested in an interview. “How much momentum do we have to gain to get this to become real?” she cyber-asked @Amtrak. Amtrak’s figurative mouth, I imagine, watered at the potential PR move. A mass of enthusiastic writers had swarmed around the idea and were already littering Twitter with #AmtrakResidency. So the company invited Jessica for a test run. Weeks later, she went on a free 44-hour trip from Chicago to New York and back. All she had to do was write a blog post for Amtrak and optionally tweet her thoughts. Now the real deal is launching. Applications ended on March 31 and will allow writers to stay on board for three to five days at a time. Back on the Internet, the writing community divided itself. On one hand, nearly 7,000 eager hopefuls applied, and The Wire spouted praise. Others disagreed. First, for about $900 per trip, the residency is paying a slim $21,600 for “ad copy” from the selected writers, said Dan Zak at The Washington Post. He found this troubling, 04 | T H E
F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
Image courtesy of the Government Pr ess Office by Miln via Flickr Common er Mos s.
given that tickets are usually too costly for most liberal arts professionals. Others pointed to the fine print in the contract, which gives the Amtrak the rights to publish or distribute applicants’ writing samples. Even more pointed out was the creepiness of corporate-sponsored literature and that thousands of writers were essentially launching a company’s viral marketing campaign. For free. So is Amtrak off the rails? Or are the naysayers just blowing steam? I guess the real question is: Did I just write this for the puns? And the answer is yes. Yes I did. That was, how do you say, my loco motive. By Samantha Schuyler
The American Climate Change Climate change. Whenever these two words appear in close proximity to each other, things can get a little touchy. Media sensationalism, an apathetic public, confounding science? Opinions are all over the place. Sure, California won’t be collapsing into the Pacific Ocean in the next few years, but increases in the Earth’s average temperature and rising sea levels are legitimate concerns for most. Or are they? The most recent Gallup poll on public perceptions of climate change showed a whopping 42 percent of Americans believe the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated. While a collective majority of Americans acknowledge that reports surrounding global warming are generally correct (23 percent) or generally underestimated (33 percent), more than three-quarters of the country believe these reports to be nothing more than a sheer overstatement.
What should be noted, however, is the difference in the national perception of climate change following the year 2008. With the general population steadily becoming more doubtful over the past six years, two phenomena expose the stark trend plaguing national awareness: politics (shocker) and the media. The correlation between an increase in the media’s coverage of climate change and the general incredulity afflicting so many Americans exposes the power inherent in political agendas. For those of you not so keen on politics, the 2008 presidential election was notable as a result of the Republican platform, which for the first time in the party’s history extensively covered issues of renewable energy, environmental protection and climate change as a whole. While in 2012, the party nearly omitted all calls-to-action regarding climate change. Such partisan ideologies undoubtedly shape public opinion. A new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, recently found that 72 percent of Fox News climate segments are misleading. For some perspective, 30 percent of CNN’s climate-related segments were found to be misleading (though errors tended to be made by climate-change-denying guests present for a debate), as well as 8 percent for MSNBC. While fact is fact, science can be heavily muddled by political agenda or news networks, and this may have more of an impact on public perception than previously thought. To get the full scoop on Americans’ climate change denial, check out Gallup poll online at bit.ly/1hugcnf. By Damian Gonzalez
COLUMN / MONTHLY MANIFESTO
ALACHUA COUNTY CRISIS CENTER BY ALACHUA COUNTY CRISIS CENTER EXECUTIVE BOARD Personal crises are a part of living. And in general, people can deal with them effectively. There are times, however, when a crisis seems so intense and overwhelming that normal efforts to deal with it don’t work. This is when the Crisis Center can help. The Crisis Center started offering services in Alachua County in December of 1969 in response to a growing concern with suicides in our community. It was one of the first centers in the U.S. and was initially funded by a National Institute of Mental Health grant. The value of the center’s services in suicide and crisis intervention led to it becoming a fully funded county agency in 1974. Today, it continues to be the only government crisis center in the U.S. The mission of the Crisis Center is simple: to respond to every request to help a person in a crisis, whenever and wherever it occurs. Our help can be the difference between life and death. But more often, it means listening to someone’s problems and participating in a solution. The Crisis Center also mobilizes other community resources when appropriate to the helping process. The Crisis Center offers a 24-hour telephone crisis intervention and counseling service that is provided by trained volunteers under the supervision of the Crisis Center staff. These volunteers have successfully completed a rigorous 60-hour training program followed by a one-to-three-month probationary period. Phone counselors are always available to listen to problems and offer guidance toward a solution. The crisis line can be reached at any time at 352-2646789. The center also provides an emergency mobile outreach team called a Care Team.
The team is composed of experienced, carefully selected volunteers who respond to people in crisis. The team is dispatched at the request of law enforcement, mental health providers or concerned family and friends whenever face-to-face contact is essential. The Care Team usually deals with traumatic deaths, death notifications, suicidal individuals or highly disturbed persons. During after-hour shifts, the Care Team is also responsible for the center and the supervision of crisis line workers. In addition, the Crisis Center offers appointment and walk-in counseling services during daytime hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday). This short-term counseling service allows continued contact for individuals in crisis and attempts to prevent further emotional distress to individuals, couples and families. These services are staffed by graduate-level students and interns, adjunct (unpaid) counselors who are often post-master’slevel individuals seeking experience toward licensure in a mental health area and the clinical staff of the center. To make an appointment, call the Crisis Line (352-2646789) or Business Line (352-264-6785) any time.
THINKING ABOUT THE MILITARY? MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE. ADVICE FROM VETERANS ON MILITARY SERVICE AND RECRUITING PRACTICES
A Resource Guide F or Young People Considering Enlistment http://www.afn.org/~vetpeace/ Gainesville
Summer 2014 | T H E
BY TYLER FRANCISCHINE ILLUSTRATION BY KELLI MCADAMS Your palms are sweaty, and your mouth feels like you just attempted the saltine challenge. But you’re ready to say it. You’ve got to say it. Bound 2 say it. “I love you,” you say to your significant other for the first time in your relationship. “Wait, are you serious?” you hear back. “I mean you seem serious, but I can never tell with you.” Our generation has a tendency to place more value on quick wit than sincerity. And that can have serious consequences. We never say what we mean. And even when we say what we mean (and when I say “say,” I mean “text”) we finish with a winky face emoticon. For many of us, it’s unnatural to have an open, frank discussion about our feelings. But why must everything we talk about
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be drenched in irony and couched in jokes? Maybe we use irony to avoid feeling uncomfortable when someone disagrees with us. Maybe we think if we don’t take a stance on any issue or responsibility for our words, we can all get along and the world will sing in perfect harmony. Ironic living affords us a distance between what we say and what we mean. We aim to combat any criticisms of our work by proclaiming its lameness first. We shield ourselves from fear and disappointment on a friend’s birthday by giving her an ironic, meaningless gift. I started talking in the driest of ironic tones when I was about 13 years old. (I had recently shed a convoluted pseudo-Valley Girl meets Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes accent.) Growing up in South Florida is tough. I adopted a tone comparable to MTV’s Daria because it fit my monotonous alto range. Its influence is still felt
FRANKLY SPEAKING today. When I am genuinely excited about something and think I’m exclaiming brightly, “Wow that’s so awesome,” what my friends hear is someone potentially making fun of them. And that’s because so much of what I say is the opposite of what I mean. More often than not, we let irony and insincerity dominate our conversations in the name of a good joke. “Man, I just can’t wait to go to work today.” “I feel so good in this tight dress.” I giggle afterward to cue the joke, but all parties are left wondering what was really meant in that sentence. Surprise! I’m going to blame our Internet usage for this one: When we’re communicating through quick comments and 140-character quips, it seems more important to be witty than sincere. And forget emotional honesty on the Internet. In this era of social media-dominated communication, we struggle finding the best space to open up and get real with friends. When we encounter unsolicited sincerity, it’s met with a cringe. How many times have we seen someone from our high school rip out his or her bleeding heart and post it as a Facebook status, and, in response, we hide that person from our feed? But this witty, ironic communication style is incredibly limiting when it comes to face-to-face interaction. When we speak in those same terms IRL, we create a distance between ourselves and those we’re speaking to, as if we’re still hiding behind that computer screen. A 2012 New York Times opinion piece on hipsters and irony said, “To live ironically is to hide in public.” We can have friendships in which we hang out constantly yet know very little about each other, because so much of our time is spent saying things we don’t really mean. Ironic language creates a false sense of apathy. Our constant jokes make it seem like we don’t really care about the things we’re talking about, or the people we’re talking to. I’ve made serious efforts in the last few months to curtail my sardonic jabs. Most of that may be owed to witnessing my best friend in conversa-
tions with strangers. Jess never talks with ironic hyperbole or sarcasm. When she compliments you, you trust her words without searching for layers of underlying alternative meanings. She says she learned this communication style from her mom. “Communication is both delicate and powerful,” she told me. “I don’t ever want to risk someone misunderstanding what I’m saying just because I’m trying to be funny or clever. But it is hard sometimes. I can’t really hide from myself all that much.” So, keeping her in mind, I try to steer conversations clear of ironic distance and into more choppy waters. Have a conversation stripped of irony and sarcasm and you’ll find yourself sounding like a small child– honest and opinionated. When people ask you questions, you’ll answer truthfully, revealing your likes and dislikes. You’ll sincerely compliment your talented friends, and they will feel appreciated because they know they can trust your words. Those around you will follow suit, and bestcase-scenario, an open and honest dialogue will be created. A safe space, Jess calls it. A certain unveiled candor and meaningfulness is created there. Of course, it’s a neverending battle with yourself and with those you’re in communication with. Let me paint you a picture: It’s Friday night, and I’m on a date with a boy I met on the Internet. “So yeah, I really, really like Beyonce,” he says. Eureka, I think. Finally a boy who gets it. “Yeah, she totally, like, empowers me and all that,” he says. Wait, I think. Is he making fun of Bey and, by proxy, everything I love in this universe? “You for real?” I say. “Oh yeah.” He nods ecstatically. A little too ecstatically… Well, I think. Looks like it’s time to hit the trail in search of realer pastures. My eyes wander toward the dessert display.
More often than not, we let irony and insincerity dominate our conversations in the name of a good joke.
Summer 2014 | T H E
COLUMN / READ UP CHOW DOWN
CHOW DOWN BY NADIA SHEIKH
08 | T H E
ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRIS CONWAY
PHOTO BY ERICA STERLING
COLUMN / READ UP CHOW DOWN
The sprouts are so fresh you can catch a whiff from the street.
They’ve got a bright yellow oven hood, but even the floor tiles are green. Tucked behind the Coop and the CMC, Daily Green is a hidden gem in downtown Gainesville. The owner, John Arana, is committed to keeping all of the food fresh, using as many organic ingredients as possible. Arana makes everything inhouse, using no pre-packaged products. His pact is to strive to be green daily, reducing the waste stream on as many levels as possible. Daily Green composts in-house; collects food scraps to deliver to local farms’ livestock; and uses washable and recyclable dishware. The kitchen sends out cucumber slices that are carved into flower shapes, but Daily Green isn’t just a salad joint. Only 9 months old, the restaurant has established itself as a vegetarian and vegan hotspot, but it still accommodates the omnivores. They also feature an organic juice bar and serve raw, vegan desserts daily. Chef and kitchen manager, Eddie Cromer has worked hard to make sure you don’t walk into his restaurant and see the same things that you can find anywhere else. Hence, menu innovations like the Ridiculous Falafel Waffle and the option for a giant waffle cone to hold their signature broccoli slaw or egg salad. While egg salad might not be the sexiest sounding snack for a summer outing, give Daily Green’s recipe a chance to change your mind.
Daily Green 436 SE Second St. 352-226-8288
dailygreendowntown.org Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Waffles, Drinks And Sweets 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Full Menu Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Waffles, Drinks And Sweets 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Full Menu
5 boiled, then diced eggs (with yolk) 1/4 teaspoon curry powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons chives 2 tablespoons diced onion 1/4 cup apple 1/4 cup pecans 3 tablespoons plain yogurt 1 teaspoon lemon juice DIRECTIONS 1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. 2. Use as sandwich filling. 3. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
In-Season Fruits & Veggies basil broccoli Brussels sprouts citrus dandelion
fennel lettuce peppers shiitake sorrel
strawberries sugar snap peas all sorts of tomatoes! turnip Summer 2014 | T H E
FOR THE RECORD Reviews of local bands, the next big thing, and all your friends
Daniel Feinberg, who released his latest album in March, strums on his guitar. Photo by Lauren Adamson.
>> JORDAN BURCHEL MOOD
Jordan Burchel// electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, portable synthesizer, piano, drums, melodica and other software-based synthesizers
Hop in your car, put in your burned-off-of-Bandcamp CD and take a trip down some Gainesville backroads. That’s the ideal place to listen to “Mood Swing,” the debut album of 23-year-old Jordan Burchel. “An album will take you through a range of emotions,” he said. “And that’s how driving is. Just take a journey and listen to it.” “Mood Swing” began as a self-imposed challenge to see if he could make an entire album. The process took three years and a massive toll — after all, Burchel made it in his spare time. During the day he works at a law firm that provides assistance to the homeless. echoey bedroom music Burchel said at first he could hear what he wanted Release Date// Feb. 2014 in his head, but he didn’t have the skills to create Recorded at// Burchel’s bedroom it. It was heartbreaking, he said. Still, he powered Sounds like// Neutral Milk Hotel, on, eventually compiling 11 songs and learning as Wilco, The Postelles he went. Inspiration// “The feeling of living in your head.” “People give up way too soon,” he said. “I’m glad Key track// “Tallahassee,” “Slip I didn’t give up.” Silence,” “Plaid” Burchel performed and recorded everything at Where to get it// listentojordan. home, creating what he calls “echoey bedroom mucom Upcoming shows// Some shows sic.” in the work. Check facebook. He said the process was about being spontanecom/jordanburchel for updates. ous. He had tried the intentional route before, sitting with a notebook in a coffee shop waiting for 10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
If you’d like to see your band reviewed in For The Record or if you want to be considered to play at our next benefit show, email email@example.com and let us know.
inspiration to hit. But the notebook, which seemed to expect greatness, stayed blank. Now he writes on whatever is nearby. “A napkin has no expectations,” he said. “A napkin thought it was going to be wiped on your face, and now you’re writing on it. It’s perfect.” “Slip Silence” is the highlight of “Mood Swing” and came out of experimenting with a synth to solder two songs with the same chords together. And while the lyrics of the two parts do not have the same theme, the song’s upbeat start and depressinglove-ballad ending evoke a fully developed story arc. And his sound, which is raw and nakedly sincere, guides you through the tumultuous lyrics. “Mood Swing” can be played repeatedly without losing its luster. Every song tells a story: of childhood, of growing up in a small town, of living life in the present. The album’s imperfections — the echoes, the rough vocals — let on that it was made in his room, but because of that nothing sounds fake or over-produced. It’s obvious “Mood Swing” is Burchel’s first album, but that’s what makes it exciting: it’s a promise of what he’ll bring in the future.
BY BROCK SENG
COLUMN / FOR THE RECORD
>> DANIEL FEINBERG
nostalgic indie pop Release Date// Mar. 15, 2014 Recorded at// Feinberg’s apartment; his family’s place in Baltimore Sounds like// Sea Wolf, Bright Eyes, Josiah Wolf Inspiration// Kanye West’s “Yeezus”; Big Star, moving around the country Key tracks// “Curator,” “South Carolina” Where to get it// danielfeinberg. bandcamp.com Upcoming shows// April 26 at Broken Shelves
Daniel Feinberg// acoustic and electric guitar, bass, synth, vocals, drums, harmonica and can full of oats Tc Hinson// backing vocals
“Banana Flowers,” Daniel Feinberg’s first fulllength album, opens with an ode to transience. Against an aural background of fuzzy, swaying synth and a stable drumbeat backbone, Feinberg teases out a story of leaving, moving and, fittingly, ghosts. And although these themes unify the album, Feinberg said he didn’t set out to make a cohesive unit. “The story goes: I made songs until I had enough good ones,” he said and laughed. “I just said, ‘I have an album’s worth of songs on my computer, I should probably give them to people so I’m not the only one who hears them.’” The songs, he said, are meant to be listened to separately. He did, however, sequence them in a way that would logically flow, he said. The result is what he calls an “optional album.” “Curator,” the album’s jangly, upbeat third track, plays with the idea of memory, which Feinberg says is often on his mind. “I think about memories a lot,” he said. “I tend to question how accurate they are, and how reliable I am at telling my own stories and remembering them.” Feinberg, who is only formally trained as a drummer, had to flex his other musical muscles after moving
>> THE SAVANTS OF SOUL UNTITLED LP
horn-y soul, neo-funk Release Date// Fall 2014 Recorded at// Goldenstone Studios Sounds like// St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Mayer Hawthorne, Sam Cooke Inspiration// Mid-to-late’60s Motown and Southern Soul Key tracks// “For Dreaming You,” “Hoopla,” “Darkness” Where to get it// iTunes, savantsofsoul.com Upcoming Shows// May 2 at the Atlantic, May 3 at Skipper’s Smokehouse
from upstate New York into an apartment in Gainesville for graduate school. In an apartment setting, he said, he could only play instruments that wouldn’t disturb the neighbors, forcing him to work with acoustic guitar, bass, piano and his computer to make music. When he went home to his family’s house in Baltimore he would use his drum set and his dad’s electric guitar. He would then piece the instruments together afterward, he said. So some songs have been developed across state lines. “Banana Flowers” is lyrically dense and filled with fictional characters that blend together people and places Feinberg has encountered. Each song, he said, went through about ten drafts, reminiscent of fiction or poetry. “One musician that I played with said I have too many words in my songs,” he said. “I hope that people who like to read would like my songs because I think a lot about the lyrics.” But the crowded wording gets balanced by the simple, sleek background vocals and music. And the stories, which reflect a wistful fondness for Gainesville, are enough to keep you following along.
BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER
Christina Holder// lead vocals
Justin McKenzie// lead vocals
David Rinehart// tenor sax
Ethan Miller// trombone
Mandy Moo// trumpet Ray Vigil// alto sax
John Gray Shermyen// bass Austin Van Wie// guitar
Alex Klausner// drums
Matthew Rossman// trumpet/trombone
You can always trust The Savants of Soul to bring kinetic, bouncing energy to their live performances, and their first LP, still in its finishing stages, is no different. “What I want,” said Alex Klausner, drummer and a founding member, “is for somebody to be able to put on the record at 3 a.m. and have their own private dance party.” The LP is the result of the combined goals of the band and its producer and engineer Rob McGregor. McGregor wants to tap into what gets people up and dancing during the band’s live shows. The Savants of Soul have been performing live for four years, and now, Klausner said, it’s time to let people tune in at home. The songwriting is a culmination of each band member’s personal influences. Some favor ska; some punk; others jazz. The disparate influences get filtered through the sound and spirit of mid-to-late-‘60s soul music. What comes across on the album is a tightly assembled, consciously joyful collection of songs, each with enough staying power to keep you humming the chorus after it ends. The songs, written over the course of the band’s four-year history, can be filed into one of two categories described by Klausner as “hot” or “sweet.” Hot songs
evoke bluesy, southern influences like James Brown and Sharon Jones. A good example is the song “Hoopla,” which will include a conversational skit between the two leads that moves into a wave of explosive horns and rhythm. Behind a layer of humor and energy, the song finally asks the question: “What’s with all the hoopla?” Sweet songs, on the other hand, stir up memories of Motown pop. After the high-energy turbulence of the hot songs, sweet ones like “On the Passenger Side,” with its somber lyrics, mellow backup vocals and leisurely melodic solo written by the band’s former guitarist Billy Schmucker, slow the audience down. In fact, when the band performs the song live, they usually instruct the audience to slow-dance with the nearest partner. The band is a tight-knit group that has zeroed in on a very specific and fully developed sound, and the release of their LP will reflect that. Future plans, said John Gray Shermyen, bassist and one of the founding members, include moving into a house with a colored room for each member like the Beatles did in Help! “We’d have to get a house with ten rooms though,” Shermyen said jokingly. “So that’s a little farther down the line.”
BY KYLE HAYES
Summer 2014 | T H E
COLUMN / SIMPLY SCIENCE
DOG GONE A long-dormant disease breaks out in local canine populations BY JOHN ARNST ILLUSTRATION BY ANERI PANDYA
When we think
about sharing things with man’s best friend, bacterial diseases are seldom the first thing that come to mind. 12 | T H E
Although it has been centuries since it caused a largescale human epidemic, leptospirosis, also known as Weil’s disease, has recently been on the rise in dog populations in Gainesville, infecting 12 dogs within a period of six months. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Leptospira bacteria. Zoonoses, which are caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites, pass from animal hosts to humans and can occur via an intermediary host, similar to how the bubonic plague passed between humans and rats through fleas. This crossspecies transmission can also transpire as a result of direct contact with infected animals or with free-living microorganisms. The method of transmission was believed to have played a significant role in the epidemic that afflicted Native American populations in southern Massachusetts from 1616 to 1619. As their lifestyle put them in constant contact with rats, and thus their urine, they were continuously susceptible to contaminated soil and water, allowing the bacteria to thrive. In addition to exposure via bare feet, this would have allowed the bacteria to spread via sweat lodges, as it was common practice for families to bathe in cool ponds following a cleansing session.
COLUMN / SIMPLY SCIENCE
Adolf Weil first described the traits of leptospirosis in 1886, earning it the name “Weil’s disease.” Prior to then — harkening to its characteristic yellowing of the skin and eyes — it bore the moniker ‘infectious jaundice’ and was believed to have afflicted troops during the American Civil War and World War I, due to poor combat sanitary conditions. While the disease is easily prevented by proper hygiene and treated with modern antibiotics, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service currently estimates that 7 million to 10 million people worldwide are infected each year, primarily in tropical and rural areas. However, because the Centers for Disease Control does not collect data on animal cases, the total number of infected animals worldwide is not known. The most significant problem in eradicating a zoonosis is that it never truly goes away—unlike exclusively human diseases, such as polio, a zoonotic microorganism can maintain a presence in the populations of their ‘reservoir’ animal hosts for indefinite periods of time, before reemerging and spilling over into human populations. Carsten Brandt, D.V.M., an assistant professor of emergency medicine and critical care at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine, noted the local presence of leptospirosis is not a recent development. “Leptospirosis has always been in Florida,” Brandt said. “We just haven’t seen any for years.” The bacterium, which is transmitted through the urine of infected animals, primarily small rodents, can survive in warm, moist environments, such as soil, for months on end. In dogs, infections can take between two to 20 days before symptoms are exhibited. The initial symptoms - such as fever, lethargy and
weakness - are generally non-descript. “[It] always depends on how quickly we get them, how quickly the owner picks up on the disease process and when you start the antibiotic therapy,” Bandt said. Once the bacterium reaches the kidneys, it can lead to organ failure. When this occurs, as it did in eight of the 12 recent canine cases, hemodialysis is needed. “The indications for hemodialysis are what we call ‘overloaded,’ where they cannot produce urine,” said Leo Londono, an emergency room and critical care veterinary resident. In hemodialysis, an external machine acts as a kidney when the patient’s — in this case, a dog’s — organs have begun to falter. “We put a large catheter on their jugular vein and they sit on the table for five to six hours while we basically pull the blood out not all at the same time,” Londono said. “We cycle it through an artificial kidney, basically trying to get rid of the toxins that the kidneys are trying to get rid of.” Depending on the severity of damage to the kidneys, the dogs may need anywhere from two to four sessions of hemodialysis to restore kidney function, in addition to antibiotic treatment and support with IV fluids. In especially severe cases - including the one dog that died - pulmonary hemorrhage can occur, filling the lungs with blood. “You can manage the kidney part, manage the liver part, the fluid and all that,” Londono said. “But once they start bleeding into their lungs, there’s not much you can do.” Unfortunately, once the infection has progressed to a pulmonary hemorrhage, it is very difficult to treat and often turns fatal. “It’s just a bad disease all-in-all,” Londono said. “If you catch it in time, you have a good chance of treating it.”
Weil’s disease, has recently been on the rise in dog populations in Gainesville, infecting 12 dogs within a period of six months.
Summer 2014 | T H E
I N S T EA D sweet ‘n’ sour BY CARLEY FULLER AND ISABEL BRANSTROM ILLUSTRATIONS BY LILY MOLINE
THE SWEET It’s time to pump up the jams. No, not the kind that makes you want to shake your booty. Yes, the kind that goes on your toast. Summer provides a bounty of fruits that can be combined with a few other ingredients to a make a sweet and simple homemade spread. In Florida, a few of these include blackberries, mullberries, boysenberries, raspberries and strawberries. Here is a simple recipe for turning these berries — more specifically, strawberries — into a delicious jam.
strawberry jam recipe What you need:
1 pound hulled and quartered strawberries 2 cups white sugar 1 tablespoon lemon juice
How to make it:
Step 1. Prepare the Fruits Clean your strawberries. Dispose of any moldy or unripe berries. Then crush the fruit with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Keep in mind that they will naturally soften as you cook them. For thicker jam, crush for one to three minutes and for smoother jam, crush for three minutes. Step 2. Start Mixing In a heavy saucepan, mix strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Stir gently on low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Step 3. Bring to Boil Increase heat to high and bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil. Stir often for seven to 10 minutes. Step 4. Keep it Cool Transfer the hot preserves into a container, seal and refrigerate until cool.
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THE SOUR Sweet’s great, but if your style is less sweet and more sour, pucker up and pickle on. You can pickle almost any veggie, from cucumbers and carrots to beets and tomatillos. Since summertime is nearly here, let’s go with okra — lady’s fingers, as the Brits say. Pickling is a great way to get around that okra slime without ever touching a frying pan.
pickled okra recipe What you need:
7 (1 pint) canning jars 1 pound small fresh okra 7 small fresh green chile peppers 7 garlic cloves 2 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds 4 cups white vinegar (5 percent acidity) 1/2 cup pickling salt -- iodized table salt can make the brine cloudy 1/4 cup sugar
How to make it:
Step 1: Boil Up and Simmer Down Cover open jars, lids and bands with water in a large pot, bring to a boil and simmer. Remove hot, clean jars to fill with okra one at a time. Step 2: Prepare Those Veggies Boil 16 cups water, add your pound of okra, cover, boil again and cook for two minutes. Drain and let cool. Step 3: Pack Your Jars Pack okra into hot jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Place one green chile pepper, one garlic clove and one teaspoon dill seeds in each jar. Step 4: Brine Time Bring four cups white vinegar, 1/2 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar and four cups water to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour over okra, filling to 1⁄2 inch from top. Unless you have a pressure canner, at this point you’ll want to pop on the lid and refrigerate for a week to let the okra mellow into all that pickle flavor. Pickled okra will keep for a month in the fridge.
Want to learn more about jam making and pickling ? Check out these resources: http://foodinjars.com: Delicious blog by Marisa McClellan, full-time food writer and canning teacher. http://wellpreserved.ca: A blog about all things food preservation. http://www.canningacrossamerica.com: A nationwide collective commited to reviving the art of “putting up” food so that communities can savor local produce all year long.
Summer 2014 | T H E
Students’ backyard garden expands to become community endeavor BY ALYSSA AGUERO AND ASHIRA MORRIS PHOTO BY ERICA STERLING Pass by the corner of Southwest 3rd Street and 4th Avenue and you’ll see barefoot people walking back and forth from a teal house to a robust garden across the street, carrying pots of plants. Two black cats follow them into the luscious lot that three University of Florida students call the Porter’s Urban Plant Project. Kyle Giest, Kristofer Munkel and Chelsea Strawder are bringing together the Porters Community by sprouting organic veggies with their neighbors. Munkel lived in the house last year, and he built some comparatively small gardens in the backyard. This fall, he wanted to expand out into the lot across 3rd Street , so he sought out the owners of the land. The proprietors are the brothers behind Opus Coffee, who weren’t doing anything with the land beyond paying a lawn company to mow the grass. So, when Munkel approached them about starting a community garden in the space in February 2013, it was a natural yes. In the beginning, the trio worked every morning before classes in the garden. From 7 - 9 a.m., they built the beds, carted in soil and planted the first crop of organic produce. The Porters Community members are central to the garden. Neighbors come out from their houses to work together. They share the food they grow. “That’s their community,” Strawder said. “We’re just these very momentary figures who happened to start this.” Every Thursday, a group of kids from the Porters Community Center come out to the garden. On the agenda are activities such as maintaining a 16 | TH E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
personal garden bed and learning how to compost. The last week in April, the trio helped the kids start their own garden. The children will be responsible for everything from digging beds to regular weeding. “If you can get people interested in things like this, like organic gardening and composting, at this age, they’ll keep that through life,” Strawder said. “Those are formative experiences at this age.” Giest, 21, also works for Gainesville Compost. Using his knowledge and resources from the company, the trio now has nearly 90 percent of Porters composting. They gave buckets and instructions to their neighbors, who have embraced the idea. They collect compost by bike from over 25 houses in the neighborhood and dump it in a pile on the lot. That compost, along with loads from Gainesville Compost’s collection, goes right back into the garden, enriching the soil. Another reason why these three students are passionate about having a community garden is because they feel that not many people know where their produce comes from. Giest said they want to show people that their food comes from somewhere, not just a supermarket. “Before I started gardening I didn’t know how a broccoli plant grew. That’s kind of scary because anything could be in the food,” he said. “The process is totally a mystery for people.” Munkel, 22, the initiator of this garden, said more than anything, he wants people to see that having a community garden is a viable option. “I have to imagine just it being there for people to see when they’re walking by has an affect on them and makes them understand that food is not something so difficult that you have to purchase
The idea of Porter’s Urban Plant Project sprouted just over a year ago. With the help of the neighborhood, Chelsea Strawder, Kristofer Munkel and Kyle Giest (left to right) have since plowed, sown and composted the garden’s way to bountiful harvests. it all the time,” Munkel said. “You can do it yourself to some extent.” Working in the garden has impacted the trio as well. “I’ve gotten a new sense of optimism and a new sense of life,” Strawder said. “This is the first time I’ve ever felt like I’m a part of a community.” Giest is now committed to a career in urban agriculture and making whole food accessible. “Growing food has become an integral part of my life and something I see myself always connected to,” he said. Gainesville has been an ideal setting for the project. Munkel credits this to the culture in town. “There’s a lot of people who are really interested in a wide variety of things and have very open minds,” he said, “so it makes it a very easy are to develop anything new
or different that you want to do.” Strawder said that everyone is on the same page in Gainesville. “I’m finding it to be this really beautiful community of
they invite their friends and anyone else who wants to help over. They always appreciate the help and they show it. “At the end of those workdays we’ll harvest a bunch
The Porters Community members are central to the garden. Neighbors come out from their houses to work together. They share the food they grow. like-minded people interested in composting and gardening, and working together as a collective,” she said. As of now, the three friends are the ones who work on the garden everyday. On Sundays they have workdays where
of food and then distribute that food to everyone who helped out that day,” Giest said. The three students will be graduating this May and are going their separate paths. Even though they won’t
be the ones maintaining the garden after this semester, they’re not worried about the upkeep of their garden. Other community garden owners have expressed interested in taking over management of the garden. Strawder, however, says she rather have Porter Community members take care of it. “I also hope that some of the kids will get really involved and want to work out here more often,” she said. Whoever continues to plant the seeds of Porter’s Urban Plant Project, the three students are confident that it will flourish. “Even without any of our input, this garden will still have a driving force, so there’s a future for it,” Giest said.
Summer 2014 | TH E F I N E P R I N T | 17
GRID BY EMMA ROULETTE
Most people say they know “The Grid System” but really all that means is that they are aware that the streets in Gainesville are laid out in a criss-cross pattern. However, there’s a simple trick you should know that will make it so that you never have to frantically look at google maps while riding your bike again. Imagine you are going on a date at a restaurant that you know is on 725 NE 1st St., but you don’t quite know exactly where that is. You spend a few minutes looking around the neighborhood you thought it was in, but to no avail. You would check your phone but you just realized that it is dead. Now you’re fifteen minutes late. Do you A: Give up and admit defeat, B: Look for an eagle perched atop a cactus with a snake dangling from its mouth to show you the way, or C: Use this handy-dandy guide to figure out where in the world you are going? (C! Choose C!)
>>HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU OUT<<
>>>(+) The Quadrants NE
>>>( ) The Street Direction Here are two acronyms that will help you remember the direction that the street runs: EAST
L ane A venue R oad P lace These run east and west.
S treet T errace D rive These run north and south.
SOUTH 18 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
(#) House Number The first 1 or 2 digits of the house number will tell you what the perpendicular cross streets are. Sound confusing? Let’s look at our example...
+ + +
>>SO BACK TO YOUR DILEMMA. HOW DO WE GET TO 725 NE 1ST ST.?<< (+) Step 1. Determine the quadrant. Since the address is NE, the restaurant is going to be NORTH of University Ave. and EAST of Main St. ( ) Step 2. Figure out the direction of the street that the place is on. Since the address says 1st Street., the restaurant is on a road that runs north to south, one block from Main.
(#) Step 3. Look at the house number. Since the house number is is 725, the restaurant is going to be in between 7th Ave. and the one right after, 8th Ave. 8th Ave. 7th Ave. NE
8th Ave. 7th Ave.
Wow! It looks like you’re meeting them at The Fat Tuscan! COOL.
>>NOW HERE’S ANOTHER ONE FOR YOUR TO FIGURE OUT<< How would you get to Coffee Culture if its starting address is 2020 NW 13th St.? (+) Step 1. Since the address is NW, you’re going to be north of University and west of Main. ( ) Step 2. Since it’s on 13th st., you’ll be on a road that runs north to south, 13 blocks from Main. (#) Step 3. The first two digits of the house number are 20, so Coffee Culture will be between 20th and 21st ave. So now you know how to get around anywhere in Gainesville. COOL. Now come deliver me a sandwich.
Caution: Similar to how the laws of physics break down the farther you get to the edges of the universe, the laws of the grid system break down the farther you get away from the center of town. Avenues start to intersect with avenues, streets give up going north/south and shoot off in random directions, etc. So this guide is not applicable in all situations.
Summer 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 19
FEMME ON THE FRONTLINE
National Women’s Liberation revives history
BY LILY WAN ILLUSTRATION BY SIDNEY HOWARD If women didn’t conform to dress code, they were sentenced to 48 hours of enforced physical detention. And that was just the first strike: Strike three meant indoor confinement for an entire weekend. Curfew was set to 10 p.m. The boys, on the other hand, could watch the sun rise if they wanted. These types of policies had been in place since the University of Florida became co-ed in 1947. The women’s liberation movement — ongoing around the country but particularly active in Gainesville -- protested the sexist policies. After, UF women were free from a curfew and dress code. The women’s activism sent a clear message: with action comes change. And for the past 30 years, National Women’s Liberation, or NWL, has kept the message alive through programs like its annual 10-week, actionorganizing workshop “Where Do I Fit In?” But this year’s workshop is slightly different. It will span four weeks instead of the usual 10. Classes begin June 1 and cost between $25 and $50 to register for all four. And women who don’t have the financial needs are covered. “We don’t turn anyone away for inability to pay,” said Stephanie Seguin. “If someone wants to take [the class], we will find a way for them to take it.” Seguin, who is organizing this year’s workshop, was one of the original founders of Gainesville’s NWL. She was a part of its creation in 2008, when Carol Giardina, a founder of the local Gainesville Women’s Liberation, which had been alive since the ‘60s, packed up and moved to New York. There, she connected Gainesville’s organization, the first liberation movement in the South, with Redstockings, one of the original groups of the ‘60s Women’s Liberation Movement. The workshops--both the upcoming one in June
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and next spring’s—will focus on analyzing the historic struggle of women’s war and the revolutionary progress made throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. How did women fight oppression then? What tactics could be extracted and applied to the ongoing fight today? This isn’t a superficial educational workshop, though. Seguin comes back year after year determined to create real action in the community. “We want to raise consciousness, not awareness,” Seguin said. The workshops hugely emphasize consciousness-raising as a quintessential tool in liberation success. A borrowed tactic of the ‘60s movement, consciousness-raising invites women to bitch. Bitch it all out and dissect society. Seguin herself doubted consciousness-raising circles before she joined her first in 1997. “I thought it was one of those things where we all sit around and talk about our feelings,” she said. In consciousness-raising, though, women don’t just sit around and “talk;” they analyze and dismantle. And it’s not just “feelings;” it’s the societal constructs shaping their selfcritique of hair, waistlines, attitudes and aspirations. Consciousness-raising turns women’s experiences into data itself. In a consciousness-raising session for a full-length “Where Do I Fit In” workshop, this data is further analyzed to pinpoint a problem in society. Then the women in the work-
shop hit the drafting board and devise a concrete plan to create change. The 2005 workshop, Seguin recalled, made a particularly big impact. The women of the workshop organized action against strict Morning-After Pill regulation at the time. They stood at the corner of 13th Street and University Avenue and handed out the Morning-After Pill for free—no prescription necessary. Until 2006, a prescription was required to buy the treatment, and women visiting the UF clinics had to sign a waiver promising they would be good, responsible girls before receiving it. It was this kind of direct action that helped women of the ‘60s and ‘70s make serious strides. In 1969, the women of Redstockings broke into a legislative hearing on reforming New York State’s abortion laws. The panel
of “experts” consisted of a dozen men and a Catholic nun; Redstockings demanded real authorities be making these decisions instead. These break-ins, speak-outs and consciousness-raisings pushed the movement through history, and today NWL looks back to move forward. “We’re not teaching this history just for the sake of knowing it,” Seguin said. “We’re teaching it because we want to build a movement.” More information on “Where Do I Fit In?” can be found at www.womensliberation.org/chapters/gwl; or call Stephanie Seguin at (352) 727-8144.
Summer 2014 | T H E
Inoperative Cooperative A co-op divided struggles to stand
BY ERICK EDWING ILLUSTRATIONS BY LILY MOLINE When you first step foot into Citizens Co-op, your eyes are drawn to the typographic mural that spans across the entirety of the store’s wall. These words may seem like mere decor, but they were painted with purpose. As you read over the sprawl of quotes, all embodying the Co-op’s founding principles, one stands out in particular. “Society is founded in equity and is constructed on congruence.” This equity and congruence is what created Citizens Co-op in 2011. The community-based grocery store in downtown Gainesville, which offers organic and locally grown foods, sets itself apart from the conventional store with its business ethos. The coop model emphasizes employee solidarity; it is owned by its workers and paid members, everyone holding equal stake More recently though, the equality of these stakes 22 | T H E
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has been challenged. After the dismissal of two senior employees at Citizens Co-op, and what fellow employees felt as a lack of worker-representation and constantly changing store policies, the remaining seven workers moved to unionize on March 11. In an effort to secure their rights in the workplace, Kelsey Naylor, a former Citizens Co-op employee, explained how the process of unionizing went down. “I think five of us were able to do what I think is called a ‘march on the boss,’ where we went in to management and gave a brief testimonial as to why this is happening,” she said. “That we had unionized, and we asked for them to voluntarily recognize that union.” Naylor explained that management simply could’ve recognized the union, and it would be effective immediately. That did not go as planned.
“We received zero verbal or written response from management,” she said. Naylor said she felt the union would be nothing but good for the business. “It’s for the future workers,” she said. “We’d love for there to be a structure for future workers and for them to have a voice to be legally safe.” Besides the unexpected firing of the initial two senior employees, a lack of financial transparency and constantly changing business policies that threatened worker representation were also causes for unionization, according to Naylor. Naylor explained that the worker-owner representative holds a seat at board meetings but was asked to step out of the most recent meeting when the topic of wages and revenue came about. “We were told at a meeting by the board that our worker-owner representative was a privilege, a gift,” Naylor said. “It can be taken away.” Shortly after, the representative was one of the two senior employees fired and replaced with someone appointed by the board. “I think at this point right now, the board (of directors) has more powers than everyone realizes,” she said. “They’re the ones who can solely change the bylaws, whereas a lot of other co-ops’ by-laws can only be changed by membership vote.” Rob Brinkman, secretary of the board of directors, said the board has to take into account the interests of all 1,800 co-op members before considering unionization. “We have to ensure the security of the three-tier membership structure,” he said. “We don’t know how union memberships will work into workerowner memberships that are already in place.” Brinkman said the legality and uncertainty of a union is why the board of directors is cautious of future unionization. Picketing outside the store didn’t come into the picture until five of the seven
members of the proposed union received emails that notified them of immediate dismissal from Citizens Co-op on March 24, Naylor said. The firings were based on accusations of theft and misuse of the email database system of the approximate 1,800 co-op members by the five employees to send emails about the union. Brett Ader, one of the five employees dismissed, said he felt the firings were unfair and not in line with what a cooperative business represents. “I’ll speak for myself and say that I personally want to see the Co-op live up to its potential,” Ader said. “I really want members being involved and not just coming in and buying things but being aware of what’s going on.” Ader, who did the special ordering for local restaurants at the store, said management fired a lot of the experienced workers who helped make the store profitable. The picketing has become a daily event where former employees and community members alike voice their desire for a union with signs and music. Naylor hopes the picketing makes the board consider reinstatement of her and the four other worker’s positions at Citizens Co-op. “We hope to get our jobs back,” Naylor said. Lisa McNett, the current general manager of Citizens Co-op, said the past few weeks have been difficult for her and the business. “It’s been really gut-wrenching,” McNett said about the negative response. “I can definitely tell you it’s been one of the most stressful and difficult work scenarios I’ve been through.” McNett was hired to oversee the store employees and to help with increasing profits for the Co-op, which had been operating at a loss for a while. McNett, who has received community backlash
“We were told at a meeting
by the board that our workerowner representative was a privilege, a gift. It can be taken away. ”
Summer 2014 | T H E
after dismissing the employees, said most people don’t have all the facts, that it isn’t black and white. “We are all people,” she said. “To hear negative things about myself is really painful.” McNett wants people to realize there were
laws and reinstating the fired workers. During a meeting on March 30, about 100 members voted to send a letter to the board of directors asking for the board members to resign. “I feel like if the board is tired and doesn’t
“ It’s about working together to support each other and help our community grow.” underlying problems even before she became manager. She also hopes the Co-op can be a financially stable and thriving market for the community. “It’s about working together to support each other and help our community grow,” she said. Even after meetings between union members and the board of directors that were mediated by a facilitator from the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, compromises still haven’t reached a cooling point for revising by-
see a future for the store, then they should find somebody who’s more willing to take on that responsibility,” Naylor said. Citizens Co-op was founded with the intention of melding food education, community support, local sustenance and, of course, cooperation. Another glance at the Co-op’s mural gives a gentle reminder of these founding visions and hopes. “When we build, let us think we build forever.”
THE FINE PRINT Email us at
EDITORS@THEFINEPRINTUF.ORG for more information
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DON’T BE STRESSIN’ ABOUT THE SESSION Yay, it’s a law!
Governor can sign, veto or not sign the bill. If the Governor does not sign by 15 days, the bill automatically becomes a law anyways. If the bill is vetoed, the only way it can still become a law is if the House and Senate get a majority vote to override the veto.
Bill goes to Conference Committee (made of each chamber’s Democratic and Republican heads) to iron out final wrinkles. If they disagree, the bill dies. If they come to an agreement, the bill goes back to the chambers for approval. If the chambers don’t approve, the bill dies. If they approve, the bill gets sent to the governor.
So, you’ve heard Florida’s legislature’s in session. Or maybe you haven’t because “you don’t do politics.” Either way, it’s here. And it can get complicated. The 60-day session begins March 4 and ends May 2, and 1,783 bills have been filed across both houses in 43 days. Only six have become laws. Follow the flowchart to brush up on the stuff you should remember from 8th grade Civics!
Someone has an idea!
EYES ON THE BILL
A Senator or Rep writes the bill.
SB 819: Abortions would be prohibited at 20 weeks (currently 24 weeks) SB 224: Would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors SB 296: Would allow possession of a concealed weapon/firearm during an evacuation in a state of declared emergency SB 1714: Would allow sale of halfgallon growlers (currently, you can only legally buy quart and gallon growlers). Drink up!
Bill is sent to drafting, where it is edited and researched by non-partisan experts.
OR Bill gets sent to chamber. If chamber leadership denies it here, it dies. If chamber is cool with it, it keeps going!
SB 1400: Would allow in-state tuition for undocumented students
OR In the Third Reading, the bill is voted upon and must win majority vote to succeed. If not, it dies.
BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER AND LILY WAN
Bill returns to house of origin for a Second Reading. Amendments can be suggested. Bill with amendments (if any) is voted upon; if a simple majority is in favor, onward to the Third Reading! If simple majority is against it, it dies.
SB 1576: Would establish a minimum flow and water level for an Outstanding Florida Spring to help assure health of the springs.
OR Voted on by committees, has to go through all of the committees that it’s assigned to. Must be approved by all of the committees before it goes on to Second Reading.
First Reading! Here, it can be amended and edited.
At hearing, committee talks about pros and cons of bill. Public can share their thoughts.
Assigned to a committee which decides to schedule the bill for hearing. It can die here if not assigned. Then, bill scheduled for public hearing—if not, it dies.
lost in the shuffle
Every day after school lets out, Josue Lopez, 9, and his little brother Erik, 5, go to the library. When it closes at 7 p.m., they come home and play outside while their mother prepares dinner. Their yard is home to soccer balls of various colors and sizes, vibrant potted flowers and a few toys. Erik doesn’t speak much English, but is confident about one thing: “I love toys,” he said, clutching a yellow teddy bear and Capri Sun. “I love toys.”
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BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER PHOTOS BY CIERA BATTLESON In the car on the way to Waldo, three University of Florida students chatter excitedly as densely populated strip malls give way to sparse farmland and lines of deserted storefronts. The students have been friends since high school, so they travel together all the time: to parties, to each other’s houses, on grocery runs. But today is Wednesday, and Wednesdays are reserved for Libros de Familia, a program where students read to the children of migrant farm workers and immigrants to help teach them English. For the past year and a half, the three have made the same 40-minute drive every week to the house of Elizabeth, Erick and Vanessa to read and play with them. And they rarely miss a session. Kathryn Broecker, a senior studying geology at the University of Florida, is at the wheel. She explains that she’s had to memorize the route to the children’s house. The GPS can’t pick up the location, which is deep in rural Waldo off the side of a highway. They tried once, she says as the car slowly grinds up the dirt driveway. The GPS took them to an unknown location, and they were hopelessly lost. As Broecker puts the car in park, the children peek out of the house, eyeing them from the door. Now she just goes by memory, she says. The children swarm the car as Broecker and the two other students — Andres Hernandez and Kyle Burns, both UF international studies students — climb out. Hernandez makes a grab for Erick and swings him onto his hip, releasing a salvo of giggles. The children’s tank-sized dog placidly watches on while various ducks and chickens pick through the marshy yard. The house is about the size of a school portable. Libros de Familia started about eight years ago as a grant-funded research project headed by Maria Coady, an
associate professor at UF’s English Speakers of Other Languages Program, in collaboration with the Florida Migrant Education Program. The federal program, with its strong ties to local migrant families, continued Libros de Familia after Coady’s funding and research ended. “Our families kept calling,” said Victoria Pelegrina, teaching specialist at the education program who is in charge of finding families for Libros de Familia. “And I thought, ‘Why not?’ The relationship’s already there; it was working beautifully. So I kind of took it under my wing.” Libros de Familia offers its services to both migrant and immigrant families. A family is considered migrant, and therefore eligible for the Florida Migrant Education Program, if it does not stay in the same place for more than
“Our families kept calling, ‘Are the people who read to my children coming back?’ And I thought, ‘Why not?” three years. But both kinds of families need all the help they can get when it comes to educating their children. In the case of Elizabeth, Erick and Vanessa, their parents came from Oaxaca, Mexico, one of the country’s poorest regions. Although they’ve lived in Waldo for the past three years and are considered settled, their mother, Angelica, speaks no English and only simple Spanish. Her first language is Oaxaca’s indigenous language. Because of that, the children have no English education at home. This isn’t uncommon for the children of immigrant families, said Pelegrina. Often the children live in secluded rural areas with parents who are limited to one car, if that, and had to stop school at around the fourth grade.
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FEATURE Through Libros de Familia, Angelica said she has seen immense changes in her children. Hernandez, Broecker and Burns have become like family, she said. Not only that, the children’s grades have improved. Another immigrant family that works with Libros de Familia, the Lopezes, have also seen noticeable strides. Maria Isabel Lopez, mother of Erik, 5, and Josue, 9, said her children’s performance in school has vastly improved after two years of the weekly sessions. She said that recently Josue came home with a note from his teacher complimenting his progress. Simply watching Josue, whose eyes dart across the page as he catches the words, sounding out only the most complex ones, is evidence of the program’s success. Lopez said working with Libros de Familia has been “una experiencia bonita,” a beautiful experience. Because she and her husband work all day and get home late, they don’t have the time to read to their children. And the simple experience of reading to a child, Pelegrina said, is necessary and transformative. “These kids need to be exposed to books.Books need to become not just a school chore,” she said. “They need to find the magic in reading.” But the migrant families, Pelegrina said, are the ones who struggle the most. Every year, about 2,000 migrant families flood Alachua County, piling into motels or the homes of local friends and family, Pelegrina said. They’re here for blueberry season, which lasts from April to June. In fact, Angelica said that within the week her sister, her sister’s children and others were coming to stay at her home for blueberry season. In total, she has to take care of 12 children during the day as their parents work in the fields. Harvesting crops brings a decent wage—that is, until the season comes to a close. Then the families pack up and make the move to the next location and the next viable crop. Some travel to Georgia for the cucumbers. Others cross the country to Michigan for the apples. But the constant moving hits the children the hardest, Pelegrina said. Changing schools every few months is a huge setback, often preventing them from having the same level of education as their peers. Pelegrina said a boy who recently entered the program has been through five school changes over the course of his education. He starts Kindergarten this year. His family travels as far north as Michigan and North Carolina and as far south as Immokalee, Fla., moving every few months to follow the crops. Pelegrina went on to say she knows kids who are
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During reading sessions, Josue insists on reading the book himself. While Dr. Seuss is his favorite, he reads what he calls his “chapter books” with just as much enthusiasm.
(Above) Erik hoists up his slightly deflated soccer ball to throw back in bounds, which he and his brother had hastily delineated just before their match. (Next page) Josue (left) and Erik (right) sit with their mother, Maria Isabel (center), just before they join their father and a family friend for dinner.
FEATURE in sixth or seventh grade and read at a second-grade level. Usually students in this situation would be educated with English as a Second Language services. However, because the children move so frequently, they don’t stay long enough in one place to be evaluated. “That involves observation from the teacher; it involves taking notes; it involves a lot of paperwork,” she said. “And if they don’t stay long enough, teachers don’t have the time to get the process started. So they either pass them or retain them.” This pushes children into a cycle that keeps them from excelling in school, Pelegrina continued. Some kids enter early grades having a rudimentary grasp of English. Teachers, who don’t have the time or resources to help the kids, cannot give them the attention they need. For example, Pelegrina said, she once introduced a boy who had just come from Guatemala to a teacher fresh out of college. She explained that the boy was new to English, but the program would provide tutors and was prepared to make a plan of action. “She broke down and started crying,” Pelegrina said. “There went her salary, her chances for a raise.” Pelegrina said she sympathizes with teachers, who are pressured by their schools to focus on high FCAT scores,
which bring funding. But as a result, children fall even more behind and are even less likely to catch up. The more they become a “problem” the less attention they get, trapping them in a frustrating cycle. Fifty percent of migrant students are retained by second grade, Pelegrina said. Of that 50 percent, if they are retained again, 95 percent drop out. “By the time you get to seventh or eighth grade you think you’re stupid,” she said. “Why not work the fields and make a few hundred dollars?” That money, she said, could help their parents, who the children see struggle to put food on the table. Pelegrina and others in the Migrant Education Program struggle to emphasize to students that if they drop out, the hundred dollars that seem so much to the 15- or 16-year-olds now will only stay the same. Without a high school diploma, there’s no chance for promotion. “Even if you want to work the fields, that should be a choice,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with it, but it has to be a choice. I don’t want it to be the only route; the only way to survive.”
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Who Let the
Local feral feline populations run wild BY ANGELA MULLIGAN PHOTO BY ERICA STERLING
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If the cat is in the cradle with the silver spoon, then why are there so many seemingly homeless kitties roaming the streets of Gainesville? You’ve probably seen them lazing on the warm cement sidewalks, casually crossing the street or stalking the lizards that dart about. The cats have got their turfs covered. The population of these free-roaming felines is estimated between 12 million to 15 million in Florida. As the summer heats up, Gainesville’s feral cat population will likely increase due to their seasonal breeding patterns. For the cat lover, maybe this feels like a little slice of heaven. Furry beasts to pat or potentially make you YouTube famous at every corner doesn’t sound so bad. However, these felines pose a threat to the environment. These practiced predators of the species Felis catus, descendants of the African wildcat, Felis silvestris, can take down bird after native bird, having hugely negative impacts on native wildlife populations, including the federally listed endangered Florida scrubjay. A single cat can be responsible for roughly 100 native species deaths per year. Dr. William Giuliano, from the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, has been teaching wildlife management of Florida for 19 years and is well versed in human, domestic and wild animal conflicts. Giuliano sees feral cats as a particularly concerning problem for wildlife. “They present an abnormal form and rate of mortality that the wildlife have not evolved with and are not adapted to handle,” he said. Feral cats are the ones that you are unlikely to catch; they are unsocialized and untamed. They can be born wild, without human contact, or revert to the wild if abandoned and can form colonies that produce hundreds of uncontrolled births. F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
This is where programs like Operation Catnip enter to try and help control the free-roaming cat populations. Operation Catnip is a local trap-neuter-return program where over 200 animals can be sterilized and vaccinated in a matter of hours. If you see a cat with the corner of its left ear missing, then it has been a member of Operation Catnip. Neutering helps control an expanding population, but that’s only one part of the problem. Giuliano says he’s not a fan the program. “Cats without gonads still kill wildlife.” Unless every potentially impregnable cat is removed from the population, neutering will likely not have a lasting effect in the overall number of free-roaming cats. The population is self-regulating to the amount of food and resources available. The feral cat population will remain artificially high in comparison to that of wild animals as long as people are feeding them. This is why UF, a designated wildlife sanctuary by Audubon International, has a strict policy that does not allow feral cats to be fed on campus. Not to mention, the food attracts other animals like raccoons and insects, too. Dr. Julie Levy, of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Shelter Medicine Program, is the founder of Operation Catnip. She supports the use of trap-neuter-return programs and has documented reduction in cat populations when trap-neuter-return is targeted to a defined area, sustained and coupled with an intensive adoption program. Since 1998, when the program began in Alachua County, there has been a steady decrease in the number of cats shelters are bringing in and needing to euthanize. Having an appropriate place to relocate the neutered animals would diminish conflicts with wildlife and would provide health benefits to the cats.
A feral cat roams through the neighborhoods just north of the University of Florida. Populations are difficult to estimate for these nomadic felines, but Dr. Julie Levy, UF professor and leading researcher in feral cat behavior, has estimated for one cat for every two households. The American Bird Conservancy suggests that the solution should be trap-neuter-remove; relocating feral cats to enclosed cat sanctuaries where they can do no more harm. This option would be even more humane as free-roaming cats only have an average lifespan of two to five years, compared to the potential 15 years of an indoor cat. Taking wild, feral cats to a typical shelter is rarely successful, as they are not likely to find a home in which they will be settled companions for humans. Euthanasia of the feral cat colonies has been suggested as a possible solution to the problem by several groups. However, this causes obvious conflict with humanistic viewpoints and has never been scientifically proven to have an effect on the population. Giuliano agrees that euthanasia could be a viable solution for the wildlife conflict. “It would ultimately discourage people from having and releasing cats,” he said. This opinion is hard to swallow for most of the public. In Levy’s professional studies of local feral cat populations, she said she found that “individuals that feed unowned cats feel a protective bond for the cats they care for.” There was strong opposition to the planned euthanization of the feral cats trapped in nooks of UF campus. Levy rejects the option of euthanasia, seeing it as
“costly and confers no demonstrable benefit,” given the research that has been done at this time. Better than feeding a homeless feline is committing to find it a permanent indoor home; if possible, neutering it or taking it to a designated enclosed feral cat sanctuary. Currently, Gainesville does not have such a sanctuary. The nearest is located in Brevard County: The Last Chance Sanctuary. Members of a coalition of local pet rescues are working toward making Gainesville a ‘no-kill’ community, ending the euthanasia of adoptable pets by the end of 2015. Most people don’t see the harm in letting their cat outside. Giuliano recognizes that, “even house cats that are let outside for a few hours each day are a problem.” Currently only an estimated 35 percent of house cats in the U.S. spend all of their lives indoors. Although it is legal in Alachua County to allow your licensed cat outdoors--as long as it does not become a public nuisance—the perils that can befall an outdoor cat are numerous. The chances of death, disease, fleas and ticks are certainly higher for outdoor cats. For the sake of cats’ health and the stability of native wildlife populations, cats should be kept either indoors or in a monitored outdoor enclosure. Managing these felines—and thus native wildlife populations—starts with responsible pet owners. Summer 2014 | T H E F I N E
PAY TO PLAY
SMALL BUSINESSES DOLE OUT BIG FEES FOR AN ATMOSPHERE BY ANDREW BALDIZON ILLUSTRATION BY EMMA ROULETTE Maybe you frequent your favorite bar for its signature cocktails or killer happy hour. Maybe it’s the quirky art and moody lighting you’re into. Maybe you love that you can kick back with a cold beer and an Otis Redding song floating around the room. Whatever it may be, you dig the vibe. But that “vibe” comes at a steep price for some businesses. 32 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
Part of the vibe of a place lies in the establishment’s musical ambiance. And legally speaking, music means money; businesses are required to pay for the license to play DJ. Not all comply, though. And it’s tempting not to. Let’s say you paid $9.99 for the new War on Drugs album on iTunes; you go into work the next day and want to crank it on the speakers. So, you do. And you don’t give it a second thought because you’re busy serving up the next round, and
all the barflies and boozers are having a great time. Many business owners do this and, for the most part, can get away with it--for a time. When Mars Pub of downtown Gainesville reopened in January 2013, it played music from private iPods or its vinyl collection. Like many businesses, Mars wasn’t initially concerned with dishing out the cash to Performance Rights Organizations, or PROs, like the American
Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). After about three months, ownermanager Allison Basker recalled, ASCAP had already sent Mars “numerous harassing letters.” ASCAP, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) currently dominate the PRO sphere in the U.S. The idea of a “performance right” was legally set in stone by a United States Supreme Court case in 1917, Herbert v. Shanley Co. The ruling codified the idea that the public use of someone else’s music in a place of business, even if incidental, is justification enough for royalty payments. Public use would include live performance, karaoke or broadcast of a previously recorded song. The ruling gave PROs the ability to issue “blanket” licenses. These licenses allow businesses to use PRO-represented music for an annual fee, part of which is distributed to songwriters. For some businesses, however, the fee is too much. ASCAP initially asked Mars, a 3,000-square-foot bar outfitted with a full sound system, for a yearly fee of $1,500. “The larger your capacity, the more you owe,” Pat Lavery, marketing and booking director at the High Dive, explained. “The PROs assume that you are ‘sold out’ or close to capacity every night when they calculate how much you owe them.” For Mars, ASCAP
overestimated. By explaining their actual capacity versus ASCAP’s assumption, Basker was able to negotiate the fee down by twothirds. As of June 2013, Mars pays ASCAP $500 a year for music rights. “Fees have been escalating for years and enforcement of collections has become stricter due to the lack of record sales revenue generated by artists,” Lavery said. When PROs slap a business with a contract, the business has a few options: pay in full, negotiate or utilize an exempted form of
in a higher profile on the PROs’ radar, thus increasing the risk of litigation. Advertising on the internet, for example, exposes a business to the watchful eye of PRO administrators scouring information on potential collections in the area. “Venues that have official websites with comprehensive info on shows tend to get hit the hardest,” Lavery said. And when organizations like ASCAP and BMI sue a business, the outcome tends to be
“The PROs assume that you are ‘sold out’ or close to capacity every night when they calculate how much you owe them. Venues that have official websites with comprehensive info on shows tend to get hit the hardest.” broadcast, such as FM radio. Another option is to simply do nothing. Businesses who choose to do nothing, declining the contract, may escape the fee for a time, but this comes at a greater risk. Continual violators face fines of $750 to $150,000 per song. The soliciting PRO will continue to keep track of the business, which is why businesses have become increasingly more fearful of speaking about their relationships with PROs. Increased publicity could result
inevitable. As of 2010, BMI had not lost a single suit it brought to court. The most cost-effective protection may be to play by the rules and dust off the FM radio. But by surrendering control over its music, businesses lose an integral part of their atmosphere. For Mars, preserving its vibe was worth the fight. But even after negotiating her pub’s fees down significantly, Basker still feels the pinch. “We are paying them painfully slowly.”
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SEA COW? BY ASHIRA MORRIS ILLUSTRATION BY SARA NETTLE
Even after 25 years of working with manatees, Robert Bonde can still remember his first swim with them. He broke the surface of the water, sinking down until his head submerged. Everything was quiet. He could hear the squeaky sounds manatees make, which he can approximate with an otherworldly “ee ee.” “All your senses are alert,” he said. “It’s not what we’re going to experience sitting on the verandah or on a swing outside. It’s just totally different to immerse yourself.” Manatees have spent decades floating along on the Endangered Species List, steadily increasing in number. The current state of the manatee is, at first glance, a paradox. Manatees just suffered their most deadly year on record. Manatees may be downlisted from endangered to threatened. The change would acknowledge that the sea cows are not on the brink of extinction. And despite above average death rates over the past five years, manatees have made a resilient comeback. Both Bonde and his wife, Cathy Beck, are wildlife biologists working on the United States Geological Survey Sirenia Project, which is dedicated to studying manatees. The project’s Manatee Individual Photoidentification System has cataloged snapshots of manatees since 1978 and is used as a representation of the full population to predict survivability. Last year, a high number of manatees didn’t show up. Researchers can’t say for sure -- yet -- if that means they died 34 | T H E
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or found greener waters for winter. This year, the monitoring will carry more weight than usual. If the manatees return, they will be one data point closer to downlisting. For many of the 3,000 animals in the system, each year of photos adds to a scrapbook of births, injuries, recoveries. Researchers initially identify the different manatees by their scar patterns. ‘It’s really ironic that . . . we’re looking at their survival by their scars,” Beck said. Bonde and Beck have spent most of their married life working to save the manatees. They moved to Gainesville in 1978 when the Sirenia Project started. At the time, neither knew much about the animals. “We starting reading everything there was to know, real quick,” Beck said. When they arrived in Florida, manatees were precariously close to dying out. No one knew the cause, so there was no solution. The Endangered Species Act, passed in 1973, gave researchers the funding and infrastructure to evaluate the state of the manatee. As they learned about the animals, they were able to institute regulations such boating speed zones. The population steadily grew. Bonde estimates around 6,000 manatees currently live in Florida, compared to around 1,000 in the ‘70s. But from 2008 until 2012, cold snaps, algal blooms and red tide started chipping away at the population. Then came 2013. With 830 tallied car-
casses, it was the deadliest year on record for the sea cows. And that only accounts for the found bodies. Hundreds of others could have died without the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recovering them. The isolated numbers may look bleak, but the bigger question is if the birth rate is outpacing mortality. And Bonde is optimistic. “From what I’ve seen in every model we’ve predicted and hind-casted back, manatees have outperformed what we’ve given them credit for,” he said.
Manatees have superpowered immune systems. Their boat propeller scars are reminders of encounters that could have been fatal, but weren’t. A manatee can completely repair a wound that cuts down to the muscle in a year. It can lose a rib, heal the tissue over the deep gash and keep on swimming. So just as the scars are proof of the manatee’s ability to survive, the fact that the species even approached extinction is a sombering indicator of the damage humans can wreck.
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“Manatees were designed by Mother Nature to live in the tropics,” Bonde said. “It’s Jimmy Buffetville. Margaritaville. The warmer the better, the happier they are.” As the manatees survive and thrive in Florida, they compete for the same resources. They chow down on seagrass for eight hours a day, and the vegetation supply can’t increase with the population. “I don’t think the last manatee is going to die because we’re going to hit it by a boat,” Bonde said. “It would die because maybe the boat stirred up the water around the sea grass and the sea grass died.” Climate change will also play a large role in the manatee’s future. A shift in temperature could lower the salinity of the water and slow the growth of the seagrass. The water
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quality of the springs could decline. A shift in the delicate environmental balance could violently disrupt the manatee population. “With a little bit of effort and sacrifice on our parts, we protect manatees and have them around,” Bonde said. “They will reward us with that. So why drive them to extinction? Let your children see the manatees. Let them enjoy the manatees and learn from them. I think we can all learn something from the passive, docile, friendly, intelligent creature who is the size of an elephant who lives in your backyard.”
the fine print
It seems like just another _______________ day in Gainesville, Florida. The sun is shining, the _______________s (adjective)
are _______________ing, and the sky is a brilliant _______________. You are on your way to your weekly (color)
_______________-_______________ing class, when suddenly, a giant _______________ _______________ (noun)
comes hurtling through the sky, raining bits of _______________across all of Gainesville. You look up and shout, (noun)
“Holy _______________s of _______________!” as it lands directly on _______________. (animal)
(place in Gainesville)
“My _______________!” someone yells as people scatter in different directions. (body part)
You decide it would be safest to run to _______________’s place. On your way, you look to your left and see (friend)
_______________ people hiding behind a _______________ while someone behind you is trying to shield (number)
themselves with a _______________. You decide to take _______________ but can’t, because it is blocked by (noun)
(road in Gainesville)
a demonstration by the Gainesville _______________ club. “This is what a _______________ looks like!” they (activity)
(type of person)
chant, _______________ waving _______________ in the air. (adverb)
You take a back road and finally end up at your friend’s _______________. They are hanging out with (type of dwelling)
_______________ other people, playing a game called “_______________ the _______________”. Your friend (number)
offers you a can of _______________. (food or beverage)
“Did you hear what’s going on out there?!” you say to your _______________ friends. (state of mind)
“Oh yeah,” _______________ says _______________. “Something like this happened ______ years ago, too. (friend)
I read about it in _______________________ — everything’ll be _________! (local independent publication)
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illustration by Emma Roulette
“WALKING THE DOG - STORIES IN GAINESVILLE”
by Morgan Thomas Riley, at my side, headed up Eighth Street. Riley’s too skinny, everybody says so, living on kale dipped in mustard, on figs and applesauce. Tucker’s leash looped through her fingers. Tucker walking as she always walks—head down, nose out-tipped, twenty-five pounds of mutt terrier after a scent. I wonder what it’s like being always at knee height, wonder if she recognizes people by their pant legs. I tell Riley my word of the day: cock-a-hoop. I tell her also about Darwin, because I am reading Voyage of the Beagle, and because it is my turn to keep the conversation motoring along. I tell her that in Tahiti, Darwin didn’t mention a single finch, just the women. Women, he said, like vibrant green leaves, after which all European women looked sunbleached, pale as death. “Racist cock-a-hoop,” she says. “He was twenty-two.” My age. I think it should not start so soon, this wishing to be younger. Riley’s just nineteen. As a girl, I spent many a Sunday morning sitting in a church pew, breathing Granny’s cat-piss perfume and asking God to turn us from sisters into twins. 38 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
PROSE + POETRY Riley picks up a three-sided shard of glass from the sidewalk. She makes sculptures with things like that. Riley never keeps her sculptures. When she’s finished with them, she takes pictures from all angles, then pries them apart with a dull knife and some sort of solvent for the glue. She told me once that she likes the taking apart more than the putting together. ___________________________
Tucker is trying to get at a turkey sub, lying open on the sidewalk. Riley tugs her away. I watch the girl pedaling hard in front of us, stars-andstripes backpack bouncing on her shoulders with every rut in the road. I tell Riley that he died, Mandela, but it doesn’t sound like much when I say it. We didn’t know him after all. ___________________________
I call Mom for her fifty-first birthday and talk to her while we walk. She tells me she’s missed two periods in a row and is hoping now, hoping hard, that it means she’s cradling an embryo. She’s been taking stairs extra slow, so nothing will jostle the baby. She tells me about some women down in the Bahamas who are walking out into the Gulf when it’s time, having their babies shoulder deep in salt surf. “Dolphins come up from nowhere, they say. Dozens of them.” “Dolphins.” I watch a boy knocking on the door of a brick house. “And the babies stay under for a while, after. Come up when they’re good and ready.” The boy is pounding on the door now, kicks it. “Just imagine,” Mom says, “waking up to that kind of music.” ___________________________
Riley has been sketching soup cans, sketching them rust-red and flaking, corroded, mounded on top with salt, labels shredded and peeling. She’s calling it a nutritionally sensitive Warhol. Since we are talking about canned food, I tell her that Dole green beans are buy-one-get-one through next Tuesday. ___________________________
My best friend from high school was arrested for threatening her statistics professor over e-mail. The night of the arrest, she wrote “I am the walrus” on her Facebook page. When I tell Riley, I say, “a girl I knew.” ___________________________ Nelson Mandela died today. In South Africa, apparently, it was overcast all afternoon. We are at the abandoned grocery on Second Avenue— walls of sheet-board, with a slanting metal roof that overhangs in the back. Under the eaves, a spot of flattened weeds where someone sleeps, or used to. In the crawl space, a fleece blanket and a pair of hiking shoes. We are shouting. Riley is shouting at the moment, because it is her turn. I told Mom she’s below ninety pounds, so Mom made an appointment for her with some psychiatrist in town. If she goes, she’ll be in-patient again before she can blink. Hunger is hard on the heart, and they are quick to act, doctors, where the heart is concerned. A blackbird overhead is screaming, “We need you, we need you, we need you.” “I’m not going,” Riley says. A girl passes on her bike. She is wearing a backpack made to look like Captain America’s shield. Riley drops her voice, so the girl won’t know we’re fighting: “They can’t force me to go, not from Pensacola.” I say, “No.” She was in-patient last October. They didn’t force her to go then either, not with anything more than words, but she went.
Boy with a bike, blocking the sidewalk beneath a shaggy oak, looking straight up. Bird with a red crest, knocking its head against a skinny branch of dead wood. The boy glances back as Riley and I approach, lifts one hand to stop us, points to the bird and puts a finger over his lips as though our voices might startle it, this wild thing, while car horns and Tucker’s yellow-brown eyes do not. An older couple stop behind us. “What have you got there?” the man asks. He comes forward, walking with two canes, the sort that have plastic sleeves up the arms. “Woodpecker,” I say. “A pileated.” That’s the boy with the bike. “Used to have ivory-billed in the forests around here. Had one nest in my backyard. Years ago. Come on up and see this, Nells.” The woman has been standing a bit behind him, hands lifted, ready to catch him if he stumbles. She comes to stand at his shoulder. “That look like an ivorybilled to you?” “They’re extinct.” The boy with a bike again. “This one’s a pileated.” “It might be.” Nells is squinting up at the bird. “It just might be.” Behind them a man stops with a stroller, lifts his daughter up onto his shoulders for a better view. Two women pause, wearing t-shirts advertising St. Augustine’s Annual Ostrich Race. A Beamer pulls off onto the road’s shoulder. “Just a bird,” the girl in the side seat says to the driver. Two joggers pass, wearing headphones. One brushes my shoulder. “The nerve,” a woman’s voice says behind me. “Running right by.” We stand, a crowd, and watch the woodpecker pounding away. “You think it hurts him?” Someone says, “No,” but we aren’t, any of us, quite sure. Riley slaps a mosquito from her right ankle. We are, all of us, breathing softly. All of us hoping the branch will hold. Summer 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 39
The Summer 2014 print edition of The Fine Print in Gainesville, Florida.