Volume IV, Issue III
SPRING 2012 FREE
Where the Wild Things Were pg.24
Why are the Paynes Prairie bison being removed?
SO YOU HAD SEX...TURN TO PG.14
Civil Disobedience (pictured right) A civil rights activist remembers Gainesville 50 years ago
Published with support from Campus Progress/Center for American Progress (online at CampusProgress.org). Administration
Lydia Fiser Chelsea Hetelson Henry Taksier Jeremiah Tattersall Lily Wan
Assistant Photo Editors
Ashley Crane Erik Knudsen
Art Director t Layout Director
Susan Bijan Isabel Branstrom
Creative Writing Editor
Travis Epes Lydia Fiser Henry Taksier
Kelley Antoniazzi Isabel Branstrom David Eardley Ashley Hemmy Chelsea Hetelson
To Sew, Make & Do (pictured above)
A new studio reminds crafters of the empowering qualities of needle and thread.
Cover art by Susan Bijan.
columns Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida, p. 07 Organization provides aid to up-and-coming and existing nonprofits City Farmer, p.08 Have a cup of willow tea with your garden.
spotlights Starving the Beast, p. 12 What will become of our stumbling postal service and mail(wo)men?
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So You Had Sex, p. 14 Local and affordable reproductive healthcare options for both men and women.
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Forget the Bull, Find the Matador, p. 22 The 99 percent is growing, and the Occupy movement is their voice 02 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
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from The fine print’s
1 WINTER 201 FREE
ISSUE II VOLUME IV,
E D I T O RI A L D ES K by Chelsea Hetelson
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Dear Fine Print lovers and activists,
Multimedia, more stories, blogs and a community calendar. PLUS! Comment on stories, see photos from the printed issue (and more!) IN COLOR, flip through a digital version of the printed edition and much, much more, all updated throughout the month.
While we are rightfully and Grow MOs G universally loved and idolized for our e re th Whe brilliant magazine, The Fine Print has distinguished itself for another reason. Unsurprisingly, throwing era-themed 24 + GROW, p. THE GMOs parties at a big two-story corner house O: WHERE MONSANT with a huge yard, intoxicating mystery facebook.com/thefineprintuf refreshments and live music, requiring twitter.com/thefineprintuf only a small donation at the door, has catapulted The Fine Print to unforeseen fame and popularity amongst the hipster youth. Word got out for our last Party Like it’s 1976 benefit show and it was certainly a party. Perhaps however, too many good words got out. Needless to say, we’ve been hesitant to throw another good time at a private residence. Ellen McHugh Despite the rumored Gossip Girl sightings of us at swanky black tie affairs at the Hilton, or sipping high balls on tops of high rises – well, the high rise of the Seagle Building – or ordering glass after “After I stopped eating meat and glass of wine at the Bull (okay that last one is true)... we’re actually not on top of the world floating on clouds of cash. Which brings started to despise “the man,” I us to our February appropriate question... needed to find The Fine Print. Would you pretty please be The Fine Print’s suga momma honey Otherwise, I’m just fine sipping boo-boo child Valentine? It’s not like we’re asking you to part with your money point coffee and jammin’ to music.” blank. That would be a stick up (we need them bags of that money). We have more class than that. We’re more likely to simply invite you to a classy venue party via a bold and graphic flier invitation asking you to please dress to the theme, tell all your friends, bring all your friends and if you wouldn’t mind please pay what you can at the door on a sliding donation scale in exchange for a chance to see a live performance of... Jay-Z and Beyonce, the reigning couple of Hip Hop! Well, that would be pretty awesome of us. But if we had direct lines to Honey B, we would ourselves be divas and not need to throw parties for money. But what we will offer you is a show featuring some of your favorite local bands at one of your favorite local bars. And to top it off, how about we make it a Sunday Funday night keeping the bar open until 2 a.m., because really, what could you possibly have to do on a Monday morning? Really. Monday morning alarms are for weenies. Stay with us on that. We’re working on it (think springtime revival green in March). In the meantime, drink wine (as per the usual), listen to Queen B, do your homework and be on guard. Because if there’s going to be a stick up for your money, it might be kind of sudden (CoughIt’scominginMarchCough). Or, be civil about it and just donate money by visiting our website at www.thefineprintuf.org. otech
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Love, The Fine Print
Spring 2012| T H E F I N E P R I N T | 03
COLUMN / PAPER CUTS
Ouch! The truth stings, doesn’t it? Paper Cuts are our short, erratic and slightly painful updates on current local and national events. See our website for more Paper Cuts at thefineprintuf.org
No Autograph Please
Image courtesy of the Nationaal Arc hief via Flickr Co image can be foun mmons. The orig d at http://bit.ly/iA inal YOvR
Supporters of UF alumnus, Eric Sanders, would say Gov. Rick Scott’s signature on college diplomas is insultingly hypocritical. Sanders was sitting in his office one characteristically warm Florida fall morning, eyes perusing his wall before stopping to linger on his 1997 diploma. His diploma was far from Rick Scott’s pen, but it got him thinking. He came to appreciate the fact that he didn’t have Rick Scott’s signature doodled on there, permanently displayed on his proudly earned diploma. “I thought it’d be degrading to have his signature on there,” Sanders said. He knew he wasn’t the only one who felt it hypocritical to have a governor who
felt that way. In November, Sanders started an online petition on the website, SignOn. Sanders set a goal of 1,000 signatures. The petition reads, “We the undersigned, petition the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, from signing Florida University diplomas, because of the Governor’s repeated assaults on the Florida Education System.” The petition was all the buzz when it first posted, then enthusiasm gradually began to simmer. Signatures are still trickling in, however, with the targeted 1,000 in reach. The comments on the petition, now more than 800 signatures strong, speak
Do you want to use your tax dollars to educate more people who can’t get jobs in anthropology? I don’t. didn’t support the achievement of a liberal arts degree signing such diplomas, so he decided to see just how many people 04 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
for themselves. “Having his name on the diploma cheapens the hard work the graduating
students have done to graduate...all the while Rick Scott tries to cheapen their education,” wrote Vance Hamilton of Lithia, Fla., in her comment. Since the beginning of his term last January, Scott’s policies, particularly those regarding education, have been turning heads and raising eyebrows. However, one particular suggestion was a real jawdropper. Rick Scott thinks Florida is spending too much money on education. And not the “right” kind of education either. Anthropology, for example, is not the “right” kind of education, Scott said in an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “Do you want to use your tax dollars to educate more people who can’t get jobs in anthropology? I don’t,” Scott said during a business group meeting in Tallahassee in late October. Scott advocates a shift to what he calls “STEM” disciplines, which stands for “sciences, technology, engineering and math,” implying that degrees in these
COLUMN / PAPER CUTS fields are the only ones promising of a career. He is concerned the money Florida has been spending on education hasn’t proved worthwhile. To ameliorate this, he proposed funding cuts to those liberal arts programs he deems unfruitful. Apparently, according to our Governor, journalism is not a field worthy of time, effort and money. But am I going to stop writing? No. State governors are not required by law to sign university diplomas – it’s more of a tradition than a legal issue. Even still, it’s unlikely that Scott will voluntarily cap his pen, no matter how aware he is of students’ and educators’ disapproval of him. Sanders says he doesn’t expect the petition to change anything regarding the preservation and sanitation of university diplomas. He didn’t create it with those expectations in mind. “It’s just a good place to vent some strongly worded opinions,” Sanders explained. Given the state laws, time may be the only agent to rid our diplomas of Scott’s scribble – and our state – of his governance. Movements like Sanders’, however, are valuable as an outlet for students, educators and the rest of the Floridians who are always asking themselves, “who the hell elected this guy?” by Lily Wan
HORSE MEAT 4 SALE Distancing ourselves from the faces behind the meat we (well, not me and maybe not you either, but most Americans) eat, we like to call it like it’s not. When we’re hungry, cows are beef and pigs are pork or bacon or ham. Chickens aren’t that cute, so we’ll just call them chickens. Euphemisms aside, horse meat may soon be coming to a butcher near you. In November, President Obama signed a federal spending bill passed by Congress that included a clause lifting the ban on horse slaughterhouses. In 2006, Congress cut all funding for horse meat inspections, therein banning horses for human consumption. In 2007, the last three remaining horse slaughterhouses in the United States
were shut down. With the ban lifted, as many as 200,000 horses per year could be slaughtered. And although this bill allows horse slaughterhouses to once again open their doors under USDA inspection, the bill doesn’t provide any money for the USDA to conduct these inspections. Opponents are claiming that the inspection fees would then come from taxpayer’s dollars — $3 million to $5 million per year, they’re estimating. Otherwise, the USDA would have to find a way to muster up the money in its already shrinking budget. Back when these slaughterhouses used to be legal in the United States, the majority of the horse meat was exported to Europe. Since the ban has been lifted, horse meat sales will most
for in spacious and lush sanctuaries. Beauty’s Haven is just one of Ocala’s many shelters. Unfortunately, not every jaded horse makes it to rescue ranches. The horses sent for slaughter are ones that can no longer be taken care of by owners who can’t find other homes for their horses or cannot afford to pay for their euthanization. But, as Batchelor pointed out, “there’s a common misconception that a lot of horses that go to the slaughterhouses are old, feeble horses, but in reality, a lot of perfectly healthy horses are sent there, too.” Horses that breeders or owners feel don’t have good enough conformation, aren’t fast enough, etc., also often end up at slaughterhouses. “It’s about money. Horse meat is bought by the pound,” Batchelor said.
Greedy people are using the slaughterhouse avenue to make money off horses that they can no longer afford to feed. People are losing their homes -- the economy does not discriminate against the animals -- including horses. likely continue to be export-heavy, but obviously some will also be consumed on the home front. While the slaughterhouses were banned in the U.S. for the past five years, they were and are still legal in Mexico and Canada. Horse dealers in the U.S. often sell to slaughterhouses in neighboring countries. Dealers buy horses from auctions or even just from Craigslist, where people who can no longer afford to take care of their horses and offer them either for free or very cheap to “good homes.” “Someone can give their horse to another thinking it is going to a good home when, in reality, it may become someone’s dinner,” Theresa Batchelor said. Batchelor is the owner of Beauty’s Haven Farm and Equine Rescue in Ocala. Ocala’s not just “that big city south of here” or another typical retiree-clad Floridan city. It’s actually known as the Horse Capital of the World. In addition to horse farms, ranches and training centers, Ocala is also home to horse sanctuaries. Debilitated, old or unwanted horses are taken in and cared
The crippled economy is the cause behind both the neglected and unwanted horses and the slaughterhouse ban lifting. After all, the slaughterhouses were re-legalized as part of an agricultural spending bill in efforts to keep the government financially afloat. Batchelor cited over-breeding as one major problem. “Greedy people are using the slaughterhouse avenue to make money off horses that some people can no longer afford to feed any longer. People are losing their homes – the economy does not discriminate against the animals – including horses.” “Horses are companion animals,” Batchelor said. “ They’ve been there since day one, carrying humans and goods across the United States. They fought alongside us in wars. Besides, horses are also used for therapy—horses are good for the mind, body, and soul.” Keep horse meat on horse’s bones and out of the slaughterhouses by contacting your congressperson and urging them to support Senate bill S.1176 and House bill 2966. by Lily Wan Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 05
COLUMN / PAPER CUTS And you thought that
SOPA was bad...
On Oct. 26, U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), designed to crack down on “rogue websites” that allegedly profit from the distribution of pirated media and counterfeit goods. SOPA would have enabled the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as individual copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of “facilitating” copyright and trademark infringement. “Facilitation” wasn’t clearly defined, and critics worried that it may have encompassed actions as simple as linking to other websites containing forbidden content. A court order against a particular website would have resulted in what critics bluntly referred to as “censorship” – search engines would be prohibited from linking to the website and Internet service providers would be forced to block it. SOPA would have criminalized the streaming of copyrighted content with a sentence of up to five years in jail. And it would have held social platforms like Youtube, Reddit, Flickr and Facebook legally responsible for content posted by individual users. The Center for Democracy and Technology claimed its wording was so vague that a single complaint would be enough to block an entire website, and that the burden of proof would rest on the site. Hundreds of thousands of Internet users were outraged, as were tech companies like Google, Yahoo, Mozilla and WordPress. The American Society of News Editors opposed SOPA as well, claiming the bill “allows individual copyright owners to effect the most onerous restriction on speech – the prior restraint – with little evidence and virtually no due pro06 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
cess.” On Jan. 18, the Internet went on strike. Wikipedia, Reddit and thousands of other sites “blacked out” in protest of SOPA. For what it’s worth, democracy took its course. SOPA and its Senatesponsored twin, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), have been shelved indefinitely. The popular resistance against SOPA and PIPA was apparently impressive enough to overshadow the influence of special interests. But what if the entire ordeal was just a distraction? On Feb. 11, hundreds of thousands of people throughout four different continents took to the streets to protest the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). You may not have heard of ACTA, and that’s perfectly understandable. By the
tion, except that its job would be to “enforce intellectual property rights” throughout the world – from records and movies to seeds and pharmaceutical drugs. Like SOPA, ACTA would hold Internet service providers legally responsible for digital copyright violations, thereby forcing them to monitor their own users. Forms of legal retribution include blocking and disconnecting websites, as well as “imprisonment” and “monetary fines” for individual perpetrators. But the implications of ACTA stretch beyond the scope of the Internet: “If passed, ACTA will enforce a global standard for seed patenting,” RT reported on Jan. 24, “which would wipe out independent, local farmers and make the world completely depen-
“[ACTA] is objectionable because of the process it has followed—secret negotiations, conducted without democratic oversight...” time ACTA received public attention, Americans were already burned out from fighting SOPA. Since 2006, ACTA has been negotiated behind closed doors, starting with the United States and Japan. President Obama signed it last year without any oversight or scrutiny from the American public, Congress or the Supreme Court. It’s also been signed by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the European Union and 22 of its member states. The International Business Times reported that ACTA “may be scarier than SOPA” and that it could be used to “crack down on Internet activity worldwide by a coordinated authority that rests outside the authority of any country.” This new authority would be like the World Health Organiza-
dent on the patent owners (read: big corporations) for supplies.” ACTA’s multinational corporate sponsors include the Motion Picture Association of America, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Time Warner, Sony, Verizon, Walt Disney, News Corp, Viacom and Monsanto. “[ACTA] is objectionable because of the process it has followed – secret negotiations, conducted without democratic oversight, a process so underhanded it led to official criticism from the European Parliament,” says Loz Kaye, leader of the U.K. Pirate Party. “It’s yet another example of the power of corporate lobby groups, who buy influence starting with the laughably corrupt U.S. political body, and then foist extremist laws on the rest of the world.” by Henry Taksier
COLUMN / MONTHLY MANIFESTO
of North Central Florida By Kari Brill and Christopher Johnson The Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida (NCNCF) is North Central Florida’s first and only nonprofit resource center. NCNCF, founded in 2010 by Kari Brill and Christopher Johnson, is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to “cultivate support, growth and community awareness for nonprofit organizations.” NCNCF provides nonprofits and prospective nonprofits with the resources they need to help fulfill their mission and, as a result, improve the lives of our community. For-profit start-up organizations often have the benefit of relying on chambers of commerce or particular trade organizations for professional assistance and continuing education, yet nonprofits are often left to find their own way. To fill that need, nonprofit resource centers across the country have developed locally. However, North Central Florida had no organization or resources for nonprofits to turn to before NCNCF’s founding in 2010. Now, in 2011, NCNCF has assisted over 135 nonprofit organizations and has provided training to approximately 500 nonprofit staff and board members. We’ve been able to accomplish this by providing workshops, seminars and networking opportunities for nonprofit staff and board members, prospective nonprofits and anyone interest-
ed in learning and contributing to the nonprofit sector. These workshops have included grant writing, creating online marketing plans, accounting and human resource help. These workshops are conducted by local professionals in each respective field. For example, the online marketing plan workshop held Jan. 31 was led by a marketing professional of Gainesville’s own 352 Media Group. We also offer a course called Nonprofit Startup 101, which
City of Gainesville and Alachua County proclaimed Jan. 11, 2012 as “Nonprofit Awareness Day” to encourage all citizens to recognize the positive impact nonprofit organizations have on the quality of life for the residents of Gainesville, Florida and Alachua County. On the same day, the Nonprofit Center and Vystar Credit Union presented the area’s first Nonprofit Expo. Forty five nonprofit organizations exhibited their services to over 200 community members
NCNCF provides nonprofits with the resources they need to help fulfill their mission and, as a result, improve the lives of our community. teaches the basic functions of establishing a 501c3 organization and is held on a bimonthly basis. This course is for newcomers to the world of nonprofit and for those who have recently contacted NCNCF for assistance and more information. But the true highlight of our educational calendar is the annual Nonprofit Summit. This is our community’s largest educational conference for nonprofit professionals and board members and includes keynote speakers, roundtable discussions, as well as educational sessions. This year’s summit will be held May 24 at the UF Hilton. In addition to offering direct aid in the form of workshops, summits and networking, the Nonprofit Center also focuses on generating awareness for nonprofit organizations. The
in attendance. The Nonprofit Center offers memberships at no cost and is open to nonprofits and anyone else interested in becoming part of the nonprofit community, whether it be interested individuals, students or organizations in the nonprofit process. Members receive exclusive benefits, such as discounted workshop fees of only $10, newsletters and updates on useful nonprofit tips. Ultimately, the Nonprofit Center believes in building a stronger community by enhancing professional development, fostering collaborative relationships between nonprofits and established businesses of the community and by connecting nonprofit organizations with the resources they need to succeed. Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 07
City Farmer THE WILLOW TREE’S SECRETS AND PLANT PROPAGATION
Text and Illusration by Krissy Abdullah
Growing up in Florida, I spent ample time climbing willow trees. Their long, flowing branches are the perfect place for a child to take cover during a game of hide and seek, or to enshroud herself in as a blanket of comfort and security. Many times, while perched in a willow, my grandfather would yell up to me, “Don’t tell this here willow any secrets! As soon as the wind blows, the leaves will reveal ‘em to everyone.” Little did I know, willows have many secrets of their own. There are a number of willow species that call Florida home, such as the coastal plain willow (Salix caroliniana), the black willow (Salix nigra) and even the endangered Florida willow tree (Salix floridana). The familiar and picturesque weeping willow (Salix babylonica) is actually a native of tropical parts of Asia and northern Africa, yet is commonly seen in urban and suburban landscapes. Willows offer a variety of uses. High in salicin, the bark of willow trees has long been chewed as a pain reliever, and infusions of willow bark are common home remedies for colds and fevers. Willow bark was even used in the development of modern-day aspirin (which today contains the ac-
tive ingredient acetylsalicylic acid, derived from salicin). Willow has also been used for biomass and biofuel production, riparian buffers (natural barriers that prevent chemicals from seeping into waterways), phytoremediation (the soaking up of toxic chemicals from the soil and turning it into something biodegradable), biofiltration (natural wastewater treatment systems), erosion control and soil stabilization. Willow wood is a great material for furniture, tool handles and wood veneers, and the branches have long been used in weaving wicker baskets and making fish traps. The fibers in the wood can even be used for making rope, string and paper. And artists’ charcoal is almost exclusively made from willow trees. But some of the willow tree’s most magical features are its auxins, or natural plant growth hormones. Indolebutyric acid (IBA) and salicylic acid (SA) are highly concentrated in the tips of willow branches. When applied to newly propagated plants, transferred plants or young seedlings, IBA and SA can stimulate root growth and strengthen the overall health of the budding plant.
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column / CITY FARMER
Willow tea recipe
the steps 1. Collect a handful of willow branch twigs, preferably the tips of branches where the highest concentrations of IBA and SA are found. Also, don’t use dead branches (most of the IBA has likely leached out).
3. Boil a gallon of water.
A quick note about propagation
Plant propagation is the process of growing a new plant from a part of an older plant. This could be as simple as allowing a plant to flower and produce seeds (sexual propagation). Or it could mean cutting off a piece of the parent plant and allowing the cutting to produce new roots, stems or both in either a soil or water medium (asexual propagation). Bromeliads (air plants like Spanish moss) and succulents (like aloe or cactus plants) are very good asexual propagators, while garden veggies (broccoli, carrots, and any others that flower) generally propagate sexually.
2. Remove all leaves from the twigs, and cut the twigs into short pieces (if you feel like it).
Rooting hormones are commonly sold in a powder form at gardening supply stores (like Alachua Feed and Seed), and can include both natural and synthetic ingredients. Commercial rooting hormone manufacturers generally throw in a fungicide or two as well. This is all well and good, but being the cheap, DIY (and somewhat skeptical) gal that I am, I prefer to make a quick batch of willow tea for my new plants. I like it because I know I cannot hurt the plants by adding too much, and I know exactly what ingredients I’m adding to my soil. Not to mention it’s local, sustainable, free and any other buzz word I can think of.
4. Put the twigs into a one-gallon jar and pour the hot water into the jar. Seal the jar. You have just made a gallon of willow twig tea. 5. Let the tea cool to room temperature. Make sure to label the jar and write down the brewing date. The tea should be used within two months of brewing.
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6. To use for propagated plants (see note on propagation), pour the willow water into a vase or jar and place fresh plant cuttings in it, like flowers in a vase. Or, pour the water directly onto the soil of a potted plant or in your garden bed. Watering cuttings or young plants a couple of times should be sufficient; within a couple weeks, you should notice substantial root growth.
Check out past City Farmer installments at thefineprintuf.org, including: DIY sourdough starters, how to ferment wild mulberries into wine, DIY planters from old newspapers...and more! Just search “City Farmer.”
Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 09
If the U.S. Postal Service follows through with its current plan by May 15, all mail will be delayed by 2-3 days and Gainesville will loose 232 good, local jobs. “Their gain in savings from consolidation is my loss,” said Brian O’Neill, president of the North Central Florida Chapter of American Postal Workers Union. Photo by Ashley Crane.
Will Congress Further Gut the Post Office
or Save Its Service and Its Workers? By Jeremiah Tattersall The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is set to cut $20 billion from its operating budget by 2015 due to an increasing deficit. In order to accomplish this goal, USPS, a public entity that receives no tax dollars, plans to close more than 3,600 facilities, 252 postal sorting locations and to eliminate Saturday service and first-class mail. Gainesville already shut down its downtown post office in September, and its sorting facility is currently on the chopping block. USPS will make a final decision on May 15, and if the currently proposed plan goes through, mail will be shipped to Jacksonville to
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be sorted and then shipped back to Gainesville to be delivered. Gainesville is set to lose 232 good, local jobs. But because the national American Postal Workers Union (APWU) reached a new four-year employment agreement last May, the majority of these employees cannot be laid off or transferred more than 50 miles away. Those currently under this contract would be sent to other cities to work, most likely Jacksonville. Of these employees, though, about 30 are non-union workers, so they will be laid off. “I live 50 miles from work now. If I get transferred another 50 miles,
I’d have a 100-mile commute. Their gain in savings from consolidation is my loss,” said Brian O’Neill, president of the North Central Florida Chapter of APWU. But O’Neill will go wherever they tell him to. After 17 years of working toward his retirement and little hope of a private-sector job, he’d be foolish not to. This story has been playing out across the country for the past 20 years. According to O’Neill, the APWU went from 300,000 workers in its heyday down to 177,000 now. In Gainesville, it went from 400 in its peak down to 275. And if the sorting facility is closed, it’s going to go down to 130 unionized workers. O’Neill believes this is part of the reason why Congress won’t help. “Some people don’t like any government; they see 200,000 government workers and they want them gone,” he said. To him, Congress isn’t acting to save USPS because it wants to “starve the beast.” “No one is feeling sorry for postal workers,” O’Neill said. He believes that the perception of a wealthy postal worker is false but pervasive. “I make $55,000 a year. Big freaking deal. I’m not saying I’m wealthy, but it’s a decent salary.” Closing the sorting facility would also mean no more overnight local mail. All mail would take two to three days minimum. According to plant managers, closing this sorting center would lead to a net $5.8 million in savings. But there will also be an increase of $2.3 million for transportation costs. Many have pointed out that the price of fuel is expected to increase, meaning the savings will be
lost in the coming years. There is also the unnecessary environmental toll from driving mail out of town and back.
Fiscal irresponsibility or manufactured crisis?
USPS’ yearly operating budget of $75 billion has been met (or nearly met) by an almost identical revenue until 2008. Because of falling volume, revenue has been declining since 2008. In 2011, USPS hit an
Some people don’t like government; they see 200,000 government workers and they want them gone. operating deficit of $5.1 billion. But this crisis traces its roots not only to falling demand but also to the 2006 passage of H.R. 6407: Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. This law forced the postal service to pre-fund payments for future retirees’ health care benefits for the next 75 years. The pre-funding of retiree benefits for workers who have not even been hired yet is something unknown in any government or private industry. Without this bill, the postal service would have a $1.5 billion surplus today. Postal workers at a December town hall forum speculated as to why the bill was passed. Some expressed concerns about “bleeding USPS into privatization by FedEx lobbyists.” Regardless of the reasons for this crisis, Congress has begun to move
on legislation that will dramatically affect USPS. The passage of H.R. 1351: United States Postal Service Pension Obligation Recalculation and Restoration Act of 2011 would allow USPS to use money that it overpaid into the retirement systems toward its deficit. This bill currently has 228 cosponsors, does not use any taxpayer money and would save more than 28,000 jobs nationwide. But this bill has been stuck in the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy since last April. Meanwhile, H.R. 2309: The Postal Reform Act of 2011 has been moving forward. This piece of legislation was written by Rep. Darrell Issa, the wealthiest man in Congress, and has only one cosponsor, Rep. Dennis Ross, chair of the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy. Aside from not addressing any of the financial underpinnings of this crisis, it is also a major attack on union rights. The “solvency authority” clause would give a group of unelected individuals the right to entirely seize control of all aspects of USPS. This includes nullifying existing union contracts. The outpouring of public support last September for the post office affected Congress enough to postpone the closing of any sorting facilities across the country. The decision was supposed to be made by mid-February, but the actions of 15 senators have pushed it to May 15. This agreement was reached in order to have time to come up with a comprehensive reform – a reform that could either further cripple the already-weakened post office or rescue this public service.
Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 11
RETURNS FOR THIRD YEAR OF ENVIRONMENTALISM
BY KELSEY GRENTZER PHOTOS BY BILL RANKIN
“Sustainability,” “recyclable” and “going green” are more than just the buzz words of hip water bottle commercials or fast food napkins. They are the focus of this year’s Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival. From Feb. 24 to March 2, environmental activists, filmmakers, artists and students will showcase environmental issues and solutions from all over the world in the third annual Cinema Verde Environmental Film and Arts Festival. Unlike festivals of the past, Cinema Verde has consolidated all of its events this year to a single location, making it easier for attendees to locate and enjoy the many different components the festival has to offer. Over the 10day span of Cinema Verde, the Villa East event space on Main Street will be the home and headquarters of about 25 environmental films, a variety of environmentally themed art and several eco-friendly organizations. Tickets for each film will be $7 for general admission and $5 for students, children and seniors.
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Inspiring Gainesville One Film At a Time Environmental journalist and author Trish Riley started Cinema Verde in hopes of inspiring others the same way environmental film screenings across the nation have inspired her. She said she hopes the festival will bring Gainesville’s community together to work toward solutions rather than simply focusing on the problems themselves. “I don’t want people to just come and watch a film and walk away,” Riley said. “I want them to become part of a core group of people that can fix the world.” The first two years of the festival brought close to 3,000 attendees. Riley said she is grateful for the opportunity to help educate so many people about such critical world issues. “Our environmental problems are of great concern to our survival,” she said. “If people don’t understand, they won’t address and solve these problems, and if we don’t solve these problems, we’re sunk. It’s over.”
Eco-Art Walk and Eco-Fairs On the last Friday of every month, art galleries around town showcase the work of local artists in an event called Art Walk Gainesville. For the month of February, Cinema Verde will put a new twist on the monthly art show with its Eco-Art Walk at Villa East. The free event will be held Feb. 24 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature a gallery setting where visitors can view the environmentally themed work of artists from Gainesville and beyond. The environmental artwork will consist of paintings and photos featuring subjects such as Florida springs and other natural resources, Riley said. Some pieces will be available for purchase. Attendees can also view trailers of some of the films featured at Cinema Verde, as well as short student film submissions from high school students throughout the country and college students from around the world. Audience members will be asked to participate in judging the student films to determine the winning submissions. The food at the event will also be eco-friendly, Riley said. Local, sustainable organically grown food and drinks will be provided by Celebrations Catering. Environmental organizations and businesses will join the festival during the opening weekend as a part of two themed eco-fairs. Feb. 25 will focus on celebrating the beauty of nature, while Feb. 26 will focus on sustainable solutions. Both will be held in Villa East’s outdoor area.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Feb. 24: Opening night VIP Reception, 5 – 8 p.m. (free by invitation or public access tickets $25) Eco-ArtWalk ‘til 10 p.m. (free). Feb. 25 – 26: Outdoor “Celebrate Nature” Fair on Feb. 25, and “Sustainable Solutions” fair on Feb. 26 Films will be shown at 2, 4, 6, and 8 p.m. on Sat. and Sunday. Feb. 27 – March 2: Films will be shown at 4, 6 and 8 p.m. through the week. March 2: Cinema Verde will co-host the Superfund Art Project Reception at Thomas Center, 5 – 7 p.m. Cinema Verde Awards Night and Wrap Party at Villa East, 8 p.m.
Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist
Peter Brown, film documentarian, onboard the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ship.
For filmmaker Peter Brown, fighting whale hunters is just another day on the job. He spent the past 30 years of his life living out at sea among the determined “animal saviors” of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a nonprofit organization based in Washington state. He spent much of that time behind a camera. Brown’s film, “Confessions of an EcoTerrorist,” will be one of the first films played at this year’s Cinema Verde festival. The film will be screened Saturday, Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. The documentary provides an inside look at life aboard the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships, following Captain Paul Watson and the rest of the crew in their perilous endeavors to police international waters against illegal fishing activities, whaling and seal hunting. However, Brown explains this is not your typical environmental film. Many environmental films depress and overwhelm viewers with the problems of the world, he said, but “this one actually makes you feel good, that maybe you can make a difference.” He said he hopes the documentary will encourage viewers to get out from behind the television and go do something positive for the world. “The point is that it’s up to all of us to make a difference, and I think that we have to all realize that we all have a footprint on the planet,” Brown said. “It’s up to every one of us.”
Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 13
Text by Chelsea Hetelson Illustrations by Susie Bijan
to the best and the worst. with the best and the worst.
how to protect
here are some ways you can stay safe
how to protect
diaphragm or cap
against STDs & PREGNANCY
A latex cup prescribed by a clinician that is inserted into the vagina with spermicide. 84 to 94% effective.
vaginal ring >>
(Nuva Ring) Delivers low dose of combined hormones and is placed directly in the uterus where it stays for three weeks until your next period. Up to 99.7% effective.
hormone every 12 weeks. Has side effects such as weight gain, depression increased body hair and bone thinning. However, does help prevent cancer of the lining of the uterus. 97 to 99.7% effective.
everything went according to plan
the pill >>Take one pill every day.
You and your clinician will decide which one is the right pill for you. 92 to 99.7% effective.
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>> Female condoms, which look like long deflated balloons, work similarly to male condoms and are inserted deep inside the vagina. 79 to 95% effective.
rock on, friends.
patch >> (Ortho Evra) A thin plastic
patch that releases combined hormones is placed on the skin once a week for three weeks in a row. Up to 99.7% effective.
are a common preventative choice. 85 to 98% effective.
shot >> (Depo-provera) A shot of
>> The easiest to find and most user-friendly, male condoms,
>>(Plan B) Emergency contraception can be taken within 120 hours after unprotected sex. If taken within the first 72 hours, the risk of pregnancy can be reduced by 75 to 89%. EC is available over the counter to men and women over 18 and by prescription to women under 18.
Common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea, are easily treated and cured with antibiotics. But if left untreated, both can potentially cause irreversible damage such as infertility in both men and women, chronic pelvic pain or potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Chlamydia and gonorrhea typically present mild or no symptoms at all, so regular testing is the only way to prevent the damaging effects and the further spreading of STDs. If you do have symptoms, such as bumps, sores, burning or itching it could be something more serious and should get checked right away.
Planned Parenthood 914 NW 13th Street Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 377-0881 Offers wide variety of health services for both women and men at a low cost. Women can receive annual gynecology exams, STD screenings, UTI testing, pregnancy tests, birth control and emergency contraceptives. Men can receive sexual health check-ups, STD screenings, UTI testing, testicular cancer test and vasectomies. Full exams for men and women cost between $60 and $80 and various sexual health tests such as UTI, pregnancy, STD and Pap smears can be given a la carte ranging in price from $10 to $25.
Health Services Abortion Services
Bread and Roses
1233 NW 10th Avenue Gainesville, FL 32609 (352) 372-1664 >> Early detection pregnancy tests for $10. Abortion services for the student price ranging from $400 to $495 depending on medical or surgical procedure.
A l a ch u a C o u n t y Public Health Unit 224 SE 24th Street Gainesville, FL 32641 (352) 334-7910 >> Performs walk-in STD testing on a sliding fee scale on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30pm to 3:00pm HIV testing is also available anytime by walk-in or appointment for a $20 optional fee. Birth control and pregnancy testing also available on a sliding fee scale.
need more sex health information?
Free STD & HIV testing
Pride Community Center of North Central Florida 3131 NW 13th St., Suite 62 Gainesville, FL 32609 (352) 377-8915
>> Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV swab testing on the first and third Thursday of the month from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
Body Tech Tattoo Parlor 806 W University Ave. Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 376-4090
>> Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV swab testing on the first and third Thursday of the month from 8:00pm to 11:00pm.
Why do you need to get a gynecology exam? The short answer is regular GYN exams are the best way to detect breast cancer, cervical cancer and an easy way to get regularly checked for STDs. The main event of every GYN exam is the Pap smear. If you’ve never had one, let me tell you, they’re about as painful as a big shot and as uncomfortable as talking about sex with your parents. But -- it only lasts a few seconds. The clinician will have you spread your legs, she’ll check for visual abnormalities, like bumps or sores, and then -- take a deep breath -- she’ll stick her finger in you, feel around, and then scrape some cells around the walls of your vagina. Think of it as getting tested for strep -but in your vagina. It’s recommended that women have their first Pap smear three years after they first have vaginal intercourse or when they turn 21, whichever comes first. Previously, the recommended age was 18. Along with Pap smears, a typical GYN exam can include a pelvic exam, breast exam and lab tests for screening of STDs. All of these together, when done on a regular basis, can lead to early detection of breast cancer, precancerous growths in the cervix when they may still be curable, as well as prevent illnesses. Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 15
to sew, make & do By Caitlin Luedke Six sewing machines are each perched on their own white and orange IKEA table. There’s just enough room at the tables for small sewing projects like pin cushions and aprons, examples of which peek from around the room. The six tables are lined in a horseshoe within the white brick and wood walls of Sew Make Do, Gainesville’s sewing studio that held its official grand opening Jan. 21. Here, people can take a shot at sewing for the first time without having to break their bank, or they can continue to expand their skills. Between open-studio nights and a multitude of classes, Sew Make Do is working to create a space in the community for crafters of all levels. The 600 square-foot studio is moderately decorated with handmade creations. Pillowcase dresses for girls, a game-day dress, wallets and aprons are displayed under the soft lights of the studio. The eclectic space is Kim
Kruse’s labor of love. Kruse has wanted to open a studio for years, and that finally became a reality when a space on the northeast side of town opened up. “Sewing allows people to make their own choices,” she said. “It’s so great to make something with your own two hands.” ‘Empowering’ is the word Kruse uses when she talks about sewing. Every part of a sewing creation is up to the maker – from the pattern, the cut to the thread color – something Kruse found rewarding since she started sewing back in middle school. Kruse says sewing allows people to take what they like out of the fashion world and tailor it to their needs. Mimicking ideas from runways or recreating a street-wear ensemble lets women create whatever image is in their heads and also learn a traditional art form. Some of Kruse’s first endeavors in the craft were a black poodle skirt and a corset. She became involved in costume construction during her high school years
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and carried her growing love for handmade creations through college. She created clothing and accessories, a fun hobby and a way to conserve money. Friends would express interest in sewing, and the idea of teaching and opening a studio always sat high on her list of ventures to try. Over the years, Kruse collected more sewing machines and held onto that idea. She taught classes at the UF Leisure Course Program for knitting and sewing in addition to working as a teaching assistant for an introductory class in the College of Journalism and Communication. After studio space became available, Kruse gathered her machines, enlisted the help of her husband and put Sew Make Do together. They transformed the space together and have since done a soft, or unannounced, opening to gauge how the community reacts with the new space. With the studio, Kruse wants to take some of the negative connotations away from sewing. Sewing carries baggage from pre-
Above: Kim Kruse works on her favorite sewing machine. “I paid for it with my hardearned, waitress money. I’ve had it since ’94.” Photo by Erik Knudsen.
SPOTLIGHT women’s rights, but Sew Make Do strives to show just how creative and personal the activity can be, some of its many empowering qualities. The classes she has designed are meant to take people with little to no experience and have them fabricating something within three hours. Instead of asking for two-week commitments of weekly meetings, Kruse aims to show people how easy and fun sewing can be with simple projects, such as pin cushions, to start them off. That way, they can leave accomplished by their own hand. “Seeing their face light up once they finally see what they’ve made is great,” she said. Kruse keeps the class size at six people to maximize the help she can offer everyone. The studio is equipped with a large table in the center for demonstrations and tutorials, and students can work at their own sewing station. Kruse’s advice and encouragement are another plus. Each sewing machine is different with its own quirks, so students can try different models. Kruse liked the idea of allowing people to try the craft first. Sewing machines can run up a decent bill; here at the studio, people can try sewing without having to fully commit to buying one without really exploring the craft first. Classes range from the absolute basics of sewing to more advanced techniques, like adding in zippers to clothing. Kruse offers her basic class twice a month and has a plethora of other classes for anyone interested. Some classes on both her calendar and idea list include: A custom A-line skirt to fit your body, putting zippers into a skirt, a pillow-case dress or top, a roll up crayon case (for kids) or makeup case (for the ladies), working with patterns and the basics. One of Kruse’s new additions to the studio is $5 Fridays. Five dollars gets you a quick and easy
project. A fabric fortune cookie is one of her first of these quirky projects. Open-studio nights are another one of the studio’s highlights. Kruse opens her doors on Thursday evenings to anyone who doesn’t own a machine or is looking for someone to bounce ideas off of or encourage them on a project. For $15, anyone can claim a machine for a three-hour block. “I’ll be their cheerleader,” she said with a laugh. As the studio gains its footing in the community, Kruse hopes to create a place where sewers can communicate and connect with one another – the local sewing spot. A tea and coffee station and more decorations to match the 50-esque décor are on her list. Selling fabric is off her to-do list; she’s joined up with other local shops to further immerse people in the sewing community. Chickadee Quilt Shop opened recently near the Oaks Mall and specializes in fabrics. Anyone who signs up for Sew Make Do’s beginner class is offered discounts on fabric purchases from Chickadee. Those connections are pivotal to further link the sewing community together, explained Kruse. Something she hopes to start
Above: Kim Kruse poses in front of her newly opened craft studio, Sew, Make, Do. Left: Photo of inside Sew, Make, Do. Photos by Erik Knudsen.
in the future is selling sewing machines. Until then, she says she’s fine running on her six machines. Kruse recently took on two new staff members to include more variety in her classes. Now Sew Make Do will offer classes in knitting and expand on their sewing classes. With the addition of more staff, Kruse can incorporate a variety of crafts into her studio. She welcomes anyone interested in teaching to contact her. Anyone interested in taking classes can purchase a ticket online at www.sewmakedo.com and can check back as more classes are listed. Open studio nights are for everyone; you can swing by the studio at 706 NW 23rd Ave., and maybe have a nice cup of coffee and chat while you work.
Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 17
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Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 19
Former UF student, Dan Harmeling, fought to change a town built on discrimination by Aleksandra Bacewicz In the 1960s, African Americans weren’t allowed west of 13th Street after dark, the one exception being UF students. The university gave the Gainesville police pictures of its black students so police officers could check that those who crossed 13th Street were in fact enrolled at UF. “It was that bad. There was that kind of extreme discrimination right here,” said Dan Harmeling, one of the many white UF students who were active in the civil rights struggle alongside their African American friends. Dan remembers one evening when a police officer shined a flashlight in his friend Jesse Dean’s face as the officer browsed through a collection of photos to ensure that Jesse was allowed to be there. Black History Month pushes us to re20 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
examine the deep-seated discrimination that daily confronted community members like Jesse and those who fought within their communities for a more just society.
“At the time, Gainesville was completely segregated. The blacks weren’t allowed in any of the restaurants along University,” he said. “They were treated as sub-par citizens.” Before Dan moved to Gainesville for school in the early 1960s, the minister at his church in Winter Park showed him how to fight for equality through his actions as a member of the NAACP and state civil rights
groups. Dan quickly began to follow his example. When Dan and his twin brother, Jim, moved to Gainesville to study psychology, Dan settled in the “student ghetto,” an area behind University Avenue that was one of the cheapest places to find housing. It was here that he met many black students who soon became his close friends. “At the time, Gainesville was completely segregated. The blacks weren’t allowed in any of the restaurants along University,” he said. “They were treated as sub-par citizens.” Dan joined his friend and fellow activist, Chester Chestnut III, and protested these restaurants and other local businesses. In 1963, Dan and other activists blocked the entrance of The Florida Theater because the theater wouldn’t let African Americans buy tickets to shows. A white mob quickly gathered to counter the growing crowd, but
FEATURE Dan and others did not falter. The movement continued to grow from there, amassing more activists with each protest. With the efforts of the NAACP and the Student Group for Equal Rights, Dan and his peers continued to push against discrimina-
Dan currently lives in Gainesville, teaching and tutoring part-time and is still engaged in political activism. He sees remnants of inequality in subsidized housing and the efforts to close schools in east Gainesville. The fight for equal rights is not yet over, but he does ad-
“The administrators at UF were some of the most prominent segregationists. Dean Grinter would cross our picket lines to go into segregated restaurants, and Stephen O’Connell once had 50 students arrested for sitting in his office,” Dan said. “They were what we had to fight against.” tory practices in Gainesville by holding protests and sit-ins. “Very few businesses gave in to our demands and almost none changed their practices voluntarily. They changed when the law forced them to change,” Dan said. The same year he helped block the entrance to The Florida Theater, Dan and fellow UF student, Judith Brown, joined Florida A&M protesters and picketed a Tallahassee movie theater. Dan was arrested, the first of four arrests for “civil disobedience.” UF administrators, including then UF President J. Wayne Reitz, wanted Dan and Judith expelled for misconduct. Although they were ultimately allowed to remain at the university, Brown had her Graduate Assistantship in English withdrawn and Dan lost his job at the library. “The administrators at UF were some of the most prominent segregationists. Dean Grinter would cross our picket lines to go into segregated restaurants, and Stephen O’Connell once had 50 students arrested for sitting in his office,” Dan said. “They were what we had to fight against.” Dan, still fighting in 1964, protested against the segregation of public spaces in St. Augustine. The event drew national attention, with Martin Luther King Jr.’s presence and the Ku Klux Klan’s violent backlash. Later that year, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, ending racial segregation in schools and other public facilities. But merely passing this act did not end racism, which was still pervasive in society. And Dan and others kept fighting. The following year, he and a group of at least 15 from Gainesville took part in the historic march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery to push for equal voting rights. “The vestiges of racism are still here,” Dan said. “It may not be as apparent, but this town was built on discrimination.”
mit that the situation is a huge improvement from the 1960s. “There are African Americans in leadership positions. Our police chief is an African American. We couldn’t have imagined that back then.” Dan gently insists that he is only a small part of the civil rights story here in Gainesville and that there are still many personal histories left to tell. “I remember people thinking we were idealists…and yeah, I guess we were. We just knew things could be better.” Even now, 50 years later, Dan knows that things can improve and he continues to strive for that: something better.
Dan Harmeling, former UF student civils rights activist, poses in his yard next to the mug shots of him and his twin brother taken in1964. They were arrested for peacefully protesting outside a segregated restaurant in St. Augustine, Fl. Photo by Erik Knudsen. Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 21
Forget the bull.
Find the matador. CHECKING IN WITH OCCUPY GAINESVILLE by Cody Bond Illustration by Susie Bijan The plaza is cold tonight. Beneath the street lights and Spanish moss, the homeless are laying out their blankets. Some are already asleep; others sit on benches, pulling on half-smoked cigarettes. The circle of protesters is all coats and hats as it gathers behind the big canopy tent. Strung between two of its posts is a tattered sheet. “OCCUPY GVILLE,” it reads. Someone yells, “Mic check!” The others answer, “MIC CHECK!” and the meeting is called to order. Another General Assembly in Bo Diddley Plaza – another night practicing the radical direct democracy occupiers hope will change the country and, 22 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
just maybe, the world. It’s been four months since the occupation began. Tonight, the group is small – 11 in all – but each one will tell you that despite what the media says, despite the cold and the cops and the city’s ambivalence, they’re not going anywhere. “There are so many things to do, it’s kind of like ‘Where do we start?’” That’s Karin Lightstone, grinning as we talk about the future of the movement. “I have a vision in my head of this just, sustainable world.” It became clear early on that the Occupy movement wasn’t going to be about just one thing. What began on Wall Street as a demonstration against corporate greed and favoritism quickly became a national movement against everything you ever hated about the government: The Patriot Act, privatized health care, nuclear power, campaign
finance laws, the War on Drugs, censorship, and the list goes on. The anti-consumerist magazine Adbusters – based out of Vancouver, BC – is widely credited for starting the whole thing with their now-famous ballerina poster. The text, if you haven’t seen it, reads:
WHAT IS OUR ONE DEMAND? #OCCUPYWALLSTREET SEPTEMBER 17TH. BRING TENT. There’s a certain irony to a Canadian organization starting one of the largest protests the United States has ever seen, but the movement quickly proved that it would not be stopped by any border. In a matter of weeks, and with the help of a ferocious social media campaign, Occupy camps started popping up in cit-
FEATURE ies across the U.S., in the Caribbean, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and even Africa. And suddenly, as one blogger put it on Adbusters’ website, “the tent has become a symbol of resistance.” “I always knew this day would come,” says Ed Speanburgh. “I’m glad it happened now.” Ed is a Gainesville resident of 12 years and a former painting contractor who’s been hit hard by the limping economy. He’s a professed anarchist who puts little stock in the government’s promises of change. Karin agrees with him. “I’d rather create examples of solutions than try to reform a system that’s broken,” she says. Occupy’s reassessment of the status quo has brought on a lot of bad sentiment, and a lot of bad press. Occupiers have been called anti-American, traitors, even terrorists. The corporate media has been happy to report these slights. They have been somewhat less happy to report the heap of nasty police action – mass arrests, barricades, rally smashing – that has come down on the protesters’ heads, including the infamous episode at UC Davis, where Lt. John Pike casually emptied a canister of policegrade pepper spray on a line of seated demonstrators. This is not to say that every encounter with law enforcement has been so odious and brutal. The cops, for their part, have a huge disadvantage in facing a movement full of smart phones. Any time they have to crack a few skulls or drag a woman out by her hair, it’s there, in an instant, on countless blogs and threads, for the world to see. The Gainesville camp has not been without incident. The physical occupation of Bo Diddley Plaza has dwindled as GPD
has stepped up enforcement of the plaza’s 11:30 p.m. closing time. What occupiers call peaceably assembling, police call trespassing, and the past four months have been peppered with late-night arrests. Still, occupiers insist the plaza belongs to them, as it belongs to everyone. The tent may come down every night, but the occupation is never really over. “The Occupy movement doesn’t exist, in a way. It’s only within people.” That’s Tommy Baker, contributing writer for The Fine Print and, more recently, die-hard occupier. Working in solidarity with Move to Amend (a national initiative to deny corporate personhood), Tommy and his friends helped organize the Occupy the Courts demonstration in Bo Diddley Plaza on Jan. 20. Dr. Cornell West gave the keynote speech
man on this one…No, we don’t know how many there are, but intel says they seem reasonable... No, nothing like Oakland…Listen, you don’t even have to talk to anyone. Just stand out there and look tough...Not like that, Steve. Try crossing your arms… That’s good. And for God’s sake stop smiling. Look mean, damn it…Right. Here’s your roll of U.S. Marshals official yellow tape. Make sure to tape up that front door good. Now get out there and show those freeloaders exactly what we think of them. Which I guess he did, standing there impassively as demonstrators took over the sidewalk, lips tight under his shiny mustache. What he was thinking behind that official scowl I can’t say; nor can I say whether or not his name was actually Steve. The point is, while Steve was busy pulling down his carefully
“I always knew this day would come. I’m glad it happened now.” and a led a march to the Federal court house, a couple blocks away. A single suit guarded the front door while demonstrators chanted and waved signs and eventually broke up. I walked over to him as the crowd was thinning. “So, did you draw the short straw?” I asked. He barely laughed. “Unfortunately,” he said. I can imagine that conversation, in some musty, windowless room smelling of burnt coffee, not an hour earlier: Now, Steve, stop complaining. The fact is you pulled the short straw, so you’re going to have to be our front
strung yellow tape, the front door opened and reinforcements finally arrived. Few people were left to see the Marshals come out and shake hands with the demonstrators still hanging around the courthouse. More than one snapped a photo – their blue windbreakers clashing with the occupier’s black T-shirts as they squeezed into frame. For a moment there, the uniforms didn’t matter. They were all the 99 percent.
Spring 2012 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 23
W h e r e the
More than 1.5 million bison hides are packed onto trains and wagons for sale
Yellowstone National Park is established. Sharp’s .50 caliber rifle is developed
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Settlers find an economic boon in bison hides with new tanning technologies, railroads and yearround hunting
New York Zoological Society establishes a conservation herd of bison at the Bronx Zoo
Bison are extinct east of the Mississippi River
New York Zoological Society (now known as the Wildlife Conservation Society) is established at the Bronx Zoo
Settlers begin to use horses and guns to hunt bison
Gainesville citizens have been fighting to stop this day since Paynes Prairie officials announced a plan in 2010 to, as the park puts it, “stabilize the bison population.” An online poll yielded more than 400 responses from concerned citizens, and the one public meeting held on the issue was filled to capacity with about 100 people voicing opposition. Despite what may seem like the age-old conflict of animal rights advocates vs. The Man, the issue is more complicated than that. Paynes Prairie’s dilemma goes back, not just to 1975 when American bison were reintroduced to the state park, but to the late 1800s. Back then, an animal that once boasted numbers as high as 20 to 30 million was whittled down to about 500 across the entire continent, explained Walter Munsterman, a biologist and bison expert at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge – the second largest bison refuge after
Between 500 and 1,000 bison are left in all of North America. Private herds are first developed
This spring, the bison that live at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park will begin to see cracked corn, molasses and sugar appear on the prairie, twice a day, every day, for a month. Then at the end of the month, unfamiliar men will appear along with their daily treats. And suddenly the treats will become lures, leading the bison into wooden holding pens, built so they can’t see out of them. The contractor leading this project hopes the lack of visibility will keep them calm. If the bison don’t go quietly, they’ll hear the beating of a helicopter’s blades overhead. The growl of 4-wheeler engines will crescendo over the prairie. The plan is to force the bison, running as fast as most 4-wheelers can drive, into the holding pens where handlers will separate the males and ship them to ranches across the country.
Naturalist William Bartram explores Florida and writes of seeing bison on the Alachua Savanna
by Lydia Fiser Illustration by Susie Bijan
Yellowstone herd reduced from 200 to 25
Spanish settlers introduce horses to North America
Roughly 30 million American bison roam throughout North America
The Northern herd is reduced to less than 100 animals – plus 200 in Yellowstone
feature Yellowstone National Park. In 1899, the New York Wildlife Conservation Society’s first initiative was to gather, shield and begin reproductive efforts with what was left of the American bison. But while hunters were slashing through millions of bison, ranchers were experimenting with the “super cow” – a bison, cattle hybrid. So when the society began its efforts, not only were there very few bison for them to work with, but many of the remaining bison had already lost their genetic purity. No one knew it at the time. Only in recent years with new DNA testing technology has it become clear that herds previously thought to be genetically pure American bison actually have traces of cattle DNA. “But just because it has that minute amount doesn’t mean it’s not still a buffalo,” Munsterman said. “They all still look, act and smell like a buffalo.” To Munsterman, this new information gives all the more reason to preserve bison. Before the technology was so precise, if a small amount of cattle DNA was found in a bison, it likely would have been removed from the herd. With this new information, most bison are being kept in the herds – the focus now on fostering genetic diversity within the species rather than maintaining genetic purity. Since almost all of the American bison alive today, including the Paynes Prairie bison, at some point originated from those initially rounded up off the Great Plains by the Wildlife Conservation Society, they all hail from a very close-knit, somewhat impure family tree. Today, increasing genetic diversity within the species is key to their long-term survival, according to the 2010 IUCN American Bison Status Survey and Conservation Guidelines. At Paynes Prairie, this issue is compounded by the fact that the herd began with a donation of just 10 bison from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The family tree was whittled down even more in 1985 when all but 6 of 35 bison
tested positive for brucellosis. Left with six females, the park introduced one new male. But because of the small population size, inbreeding quickly became a concern, and in the late 1990s all the male bison were removed. Friends of Paynes Prairie bought a new male bison in 2001
end of their natural habitat. But that’s not exactly why park officials re-introduced the bison to Paynes Prairie in 1975. “They were brought here to [show] folks that bison really did exist this far south, that Florida was really this open, this wild,” said David Jowers, the director
>>> If the bison don’t go quietly,
they’ll hear the beating of a helicopter’s blades overhead. The growl of 4-wheeler engines will crescendo over the prairie. to introduce to the all-female herd. And now, each one of the 70 bison in the park are related to one another, and concerns of inbreeding have resurfaced. Here and Gone American bison called the Alachua Savanna home before hikers trampled paths and the Hawthorn Trail was paved. So it only seems fair to give them a sanctuary in North Central Florida – the tail-
of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park. When the original 10 bison crossed the Florida state line, escorted by park officials, their fate and the fate of their offspring suddenly changed. No longer would they wander 59,020 acres of protected land in Oklahoma. Their home shrank to 6,000 acres – though still plenty of room for a small herd, according to Jonathan Proctor, a bison expert with De-
fenders of Wildlife in Montana. Now, instead of wildlife to be preserved, the bison were classified as livestock to be numbered and accounted for, a result of Florida Statue 588.13, which categorizes all bovine animals as livestock. When they arrived in their new home, the bison were given a new job title. They were now educators. Their purpose: to be a piece of the puzzle showing what the Alachua Savanna would have looked like when settlers first laid eyes on it in the late 1700s. To citizens and visitors, their arrival was simply a new attraction to the park. To the bison, this meant that the same obstacles they had been facing as a struggling species – genetic instability and limited resources – would now be overcome differently. If the Paynes Prairie bison were a conservation herd, the Livestock Management Plan that laid out the guidelines on how to “stabilize the bison population” likely would have looked very different. But as an educational herd, the point was to not allow inbreeding while keeping the bison at the park for their educational value with as little longterm stress to the herd and cost to the state as possible. “Even the national parks have no choice but to remove some bison from time to time,” Proctor said. A bison herd needs at least 1,000 members to be genetically stable, Proctor explained. And Paynes Prairie does not have the room or the resources to maintain a herd of this size, nor are Florida laws set up to allow for this type of conservation effort even if the park wanted to shift its strategy from education to conservation. With all this in mind, Jowers said, “it would be irresponsible not to do anything. It was just a matter of when.” Park officials decided on a onetime roundup this spring. All the adult males will be separated and taken to ranches that are looking for males for various reasons. The young males will be neutered and released back into the park along with all the females. And in the fu
Continued on next page
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35 bison at Paynes Prairie – all test positive for brucellosis, except six females. The rest are are taken to market. Soon after, an unrelated bull is introduced to the allfemale herd All male bison are removed from Paynes Pairie 7 bison at Paynes Prairie – Friends of Paynes Prairie buy two new bison for the park, one male and one female More than 232,000 bison in private herds in the U.S. and 150,000 in Canada
LATE 1990s 2001
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The Wichita refuge donates 10 bison to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
Gateway Farms comes to Paynes Prairie to round up all 70 bison, separate the males and ship them across the country
Time Magazine publishes an article called “Have a Slice of Roast Beefalo” and jump starts a rising meat industry based on a bison/cattle hybrid
About 30,000 bison roam North America
Paynes Prairie releases the Livestock Management Plan that details how the state park will handle the bison
American bison are considered safe from extinction
released for the project, but it is enough that the state park doesn’t want to have to do it again in the future. “The expense of rounding these animals up is phenomenal,” Jowers said. “This is not something we can do in-house. So for us to maintain the animals [for educational purposes], we feel the need to go to a non-reproducing herd.” Jowers trusts Gateway Farms’ proposal, which states all five possible recipients of the bison will provide a sanctuary for them and allow them to live out their lives. Jere Herrington, an active member of local conservation groups, has been working to protect the bison for almost two years and is skeptical. “There is no provision for enforcement or follow-up,” she pointed out. But, “At some point, you have to trust the vendor,” Jowers said, adding that he doesn’t know the individual recipients, only what Gateway presented to the state park. The Paynes Prairie bison exemplify the obstacles that the conservation movement faces across the country due to varying legal classifications and human-determined purposes for bison. Only 10 states classify bison as wildlife. The rest, including Florida, classify them as livestock. That has led commercial herds, often selectively bred for domestic traits rather than genetic diversity, to outnumber conservation herds – about 400,000 animals to 20,500, according to the IUCN guidelines. “If any major progress is to be made in re-establishing free-ranging bison on their native range,” these guidelines suggest that “a paradigm shift is required whereby the public recognizes bison as wildlife, and that there is a social tolerance, especially in the agricultural community.”
Bronx Zoo sends 15 bison to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Cache, Oklahoma
-ture when the herd begins to shrink, Jowers said the park plans to introduce new females and neutered yearlings here and there. In short, it will be a non-reproducing herd, and this will be the third and hopefully last time Paynes Prairie rounds up the bison. The stress of rounding up bison can sometimes kill them, according to the IUCN bison guidelines. There’s also the difficulty of dealing with a herd of 70 animals that can run as fast as 35 mph and weigh up to 2,000 pounds. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection doesn’t have experts on staff who know how to round up animals of this size, so the project was put up for auction. Four companies applied. State officials made their choice based on a combination of cost, experience and quality of the sanctuaries that each company listed as recipients of the male bison, Jowers said. The bid could have been awarded to Holcomb Buffalo Ranch in South Dakota, part of the bison’s historic range. If it had, the male bison would have joined a herd of about 85 others in a rural, protected area, according to the ranch’s proposal. But Holcomb Buffalo Ranch quoted the state $11,200 per bison. With a herd of about 70, that adds up to $784,000, not including undetermined medical costs. Gateway Farms offered to do the same job for $324 per bison. Gateway Farms, a High Springs-based company, has 10 years of experience with buffalo compared to Holcomb Buffalo Ranch’s 18 years of experience with bison. The main difference lies in the details of the sanctuaries specified in each proposal. Holcomb Buffalo Ranch would have given the male bison a definite lifelong sanctuary in South Dakota, a goal laid out in the Livestock Management Plan. Gateway Farms, on the other hand, will send them to a handful of ranches with varying purposes. The final projected cost has yet to be
International Union for Conservation of Nature releases the American Bison Status Survey and Conservation Guidelines. to “promote conservation and ecological restoration of bison as wildlife where feasible throughout the original range of the species.” Paynes Prairie begins to formulate a plan on how to “stabilize the bison population”
WHER E> > > >>>the Bison will Roam Until all the Paynes Prairie bison are rounded up, the number of adult males remains unknown. These are the locations that Gateway Farms’ proposal stated as possible recipients. None of these ranches have been guaranteed any bison. It is all dependent on how many adult males there are. >>> Gateway Farms Gateway Farms is in High Springs, just up Highway 441 from Gainesville. Gateway is primarily a tree farm with an eclectic collection of animal ambassadors. It won the contract to round up all the Paynes Prairie bison and relocate the adult males. The owner, David Hajos, said after Gateway is done dividing the males among the other ranches listed on the proposal, he may keep one if there are any left. David Hajos has about 20 years of experience working with domestic and exotic livestock, according to Gateway’s proposal. For 10 years, he owned and maintained the second largest herd of Asian Water Buffalo in Florida – not exactly American bison, but at least from the same family. If David Hajos does decide to keep one bull for himself, its bunkmates at Gateway Farms will be everything from a zebra and a kangaroo to painted camels and CottonTop Tamarin monkeys. They’ll share 40 acres of pastures and pens with straight lines of evergreens and palms. >>> Bellfield Farms Gateway’s proposal states that Bellfield Farms has two locations, one in Micanopy and one in Maryland. However, Bellfield Farms isn’t listed in either location. The Micanopy Zoological Preserve is located at the Florida address, a preserve that the stated owner of Bellfield Farms, Jerry Holly, established for his son, Rhudy Holly, in 2000 – a childhood dream come
true. The Maryland address is registered to three businesses: Jerry Holly Property Management, Frontier Stall Tent Rental and Brandywine Tent Rentals. The Hollys aren’t strangers to obtaining exotic animals from Florida state parks. In 2004, Jerry Holly bought 53 animals – zebras, ostriches, impalas, giraffes, antelopes – from Silver Springs Nature’s Theme Park to add to Rhudy’s 600-acre, fenced preserve. The preserve’s main purpose is to breed exotic and endangered animals. In the proposal, Bellfield Farm’s states its focus is on capture, immobilization, transportation and nutrition of rare species. David Hajos knows the Hollys well. He helps care for and round up “surplus animals” throughout the year. >>> Marvin Hajos Marvin Hajos appeared as a bison recipient on both Gateway’s and Diamond D. Ranch’s proposals. Though his addresses on the two proposals don’t match – one is in Hollywood, the other in Lake City – the other details are fairly similar: 30 years experience with bison and something between 66 and 72 acres for 30 “different” or “exotic” animals. Marvin and David Hajos have various business connections – they own D & M Farms together, for example – and some have said they are father and son, though I was unable to confirm this. Marvin Hajos refused to discuss his plans for the Paynes Prairie bison if he were to receive any. He even refused to state the main purpose of his farm. >>> Gap Creek Ranch Gap Creek Ranch is located in Bradenton. It’s the ranching portion of a twopart business, the other part being Gap Creek Buffalo Meat Sales. Bob Cambell, one of the ranch’s owners, said their main purpose is to raise and
sell bison meat. They tried beefalo, “but that confused people so we decided to go straight buffalo.” Cambell is hoping to receive one or two male bison because his herd is currently down to 18 individuals, and he’s without a breeding bull. His bull died a few years back. He tried buying a new bull last year, but he’s not breeding. Too young, Cambell said. “These guys won’t be eaten,” he said, referring to the male Paynes Prairie bison he’s hoping for. “We requested a fertile bull, and if we get it, it’ll be just what we need.” >>> Rodney Pickler Rodney Pickler’s farm, located in North Carolina, is a 103-acre farm with 25 acres dedicated to a herd of 12 bison, according to Gateway’s proposal. The proposal also states that the farm, known as Southern Copper Buffalo Farm, has its own deep-water well for the bison and makes its own hay. An article written last June in The Pilot, a local newspaper in North Carolina, stated that Southern Copper Buffalo Farm’s herd is actually up to 26 members. I called the farm, and though one of the owners was very open to speaking with me, I agreed not to publish our conversation since they haven’t even been guaranteed one Paynes Prairie bison yet. The impression I got, though, was very similar to that expressed by The Pilot. It’s a small, family-owned place. The owners, husband and wife, love their animals and their trade. They pride themselves on selling grass-fed, healthy meat and try to sell as locally as possible. The Pilot article explained that they breed their bison and sell the younger ones once they reach about three years of age. They keep the mamas of the herd, as the couple calls them, and their bulls.
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Poetry Dallin Kelson III in you everything coalesced like ice—battered dreams floated sun-ward, ringing with damp smoke and reeling from love-bronze strikes of callous lightning—but you laughed stinging memories to feeble sleep—in you my sins were naked as rain—they basked spring-clear, lighted like glass beacons below a sky grotesque and brazen by bliss—with you here was jubilance—frothy moon-drowned nights of singing for eggshell-love, for Helen who brought fire to mankind in a swan-white hurricane—in you there was no thirst—when I call, decimated, you answer in silent riddles, your heart shrill in the wind.
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IV some fires you cannot put out (deep water or oceanic breathing): they burn strong like a boy fishing with his grim father. my heart aches blood. my eyes linger over long clouds. you were soul to me, function and act, structure, dressing, and woodwork. the lights laugh. I stand embered by your ruins, distracted (ritual and art, staff and distaff): some buildings were meant to burn to the ground. this fated conflagration the heavens’ immutable decision. without sound the burnt heart-strings droop with desire: leavened is my bread; levelled, my lovely towers; branded absent, my heart’s need; blank, my hours.
V imponderable the storm snarls, sand-grey coyote, wicked whispering secrets, dark streak on the sink of the sky. stiff hay burnt by praying lightning, searing white jets— through glass I watch it stifle and near hell. damp the grass and damp my mind with sorrow. worlds may pass unknown—our love cracked—white bell born from desperate clay, stretched like a bow to breaking—the calm night ambivalent and dark, still, and still rain, colder than dark— you harped by indecision to intent. laughs of thunder drove you mad with rough stark echoes. the form of you shivers blinded in the cold stars. your heart’s need left mine dead.
Illustrations by Fabiola Lara
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You just might be our type.