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VOLUME VII, ISSUE I

FALL 2014 FREE

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*TRIG GER WARN ING:* This issue contains information about sexual assault

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(pictured right) Mill Creek Farm’s Retirement Home for Horses puts senior horses out to pasture.

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Published with support from Generation Progress/Center for American Progress (online at GenerationProgress.org).

Print Editors

Damian Gonzalez Samantha Schuyler

Photo Director

Erica Sterling

Art Director

Emma Roulette

Layout Director

Isabel Branstrom

Creative Writing Editor

Melia Jacquot

Copy Editor

Kai Su

Web Editors

Damian Gonzalez Samantha Schuyler

Marketing Director

Vanessa Kinsey

Page Designers

Isabel Branstrom Claudia Marina Maitane Romagosa Sarah Senfeld Kelley Taksier

MISSION STATEMENT

For the Record (pictured above)

Check out the latest albums from some locally sourced bands

p. 10 Cover art by Emma Roulette and Samantha Schuyler

COLUMNS I Saw Something, I Said Something, p. 06 Dissecting rape culture Homestead Instead, p. 14 Komboucha? You betcha. We’ll teach you the ins and outs of the fizzy, fermented tea

SPOTLIGHTS Read All A-Ballot, p. 16 Get to know your goober-natorial options Just(ly) Married, p. 29 What’s next for marriage equality in Florida?

FEATURES Going for the Gold, p. 26 What’s keeping Gainesville from becoming a more bikefriendly city? Welcome Home , p. 30 Collective living is coming to Gainesville

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FINE PRINT|

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

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LETTERS, ETC.

from THE FINE PRINT’S

EDITORIAL DESK by Samantha Schuyler

4 SUMMER 201 FREE

.org

intuf www.thefinepr

ISSUE IV VOLUME VI,

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SIN’ RES ON T S I E ’T B SESTSHE PROCESS DON UT THE ABO ANTHA

SCHUYLER

Dear reader, So you’ve picked up The Fine Print. Maybe it was on purpose – BILL THE PAY S ON EYE you wanted something to read during T O P L AY Krishna Lunch. Or maybe your date was P.32 boring, so you’re putzing around in The Bull’s bathroom and saw some convenient P.26 IN THE SHUFFLE ON GETS LOST REN’S EDUCATI reading material. Either way, you decided MIGRANT CHILD to give us a peek. You scooped up our brown, grainy pages and dove in. Without even knowing, you played out the exact scenario that gives all of us, as an editorial board, bright fluttery good feelings. You know, the kind you get from a child’s laughter, or seeing a baby animal do something dumb. Because what if you start reading and get sucked in? You ignore the annoyed knock at the bathroom door and take a seat. You had no idea about This One Thing About Gainesville. And somewhere, one of the editors gets his wings. But that’s the privilege of being in print: getting to exist as a physical, tangible object that someone can see and become curious about. And then there’s the elusive quality of print that is satisfying and intimate. Perhaps because you can curl up with it, just you and the text. No Internet connection required. After our annual grant got cut from $5,000 to $700 earlier this fall, we faced a pretty formidable task: Make up the money, or forget about printing physical copies. So we turned to our readers and sent out a budgetary S.O.S. We held our breaths and hoped for the best, depending entirely on the generosity of others. And look, you’re holding the thing in your hand. It totally happened. In a month, readers and friends of The Fine Print made up the lost grant money and more. Because of that support, we get to retain the privilege of being in print, and truly go down with the sinking ship that is print journalism. Kidding! Kidding. We really can’t thank you enough. So this issue’s dedicated to you, our awesome readers. It kind of always is, but even more this round. Because every time you shared the campaign on Facebook, every time you told your friends about us, every time you donated anything from one dollar to a thousand, you made this possible. We couldn’t have done it without you. BY SAM LILY WAN e’s in AND islatur u a! a’s leg cause “yo s an ide Florid d be one ha re. An n heard u haven’t Some u’ve it’s he yo way, -day sessio So, yo maybe 83 Or Either The 60 and 1,7 sion. politics.” ! . ses ted 2, y a law in 43 do lica don’t get comp d ends Ma th houses Yay, it’s the w an bo n llo s 4 Fo it ca March bill. d acros laws. should s ites the begin ve been fileve become stuff you Rep wr bills ha ly six ha up on the s! tor or On OR A Sena days. rt to brushth grade Civic n ha OR not sig n m8 flowc ber fro veto or t sig remem n sign, r does no lly no nor ca ca ver ver ati Go Go tom d is bill . If the bill au ere it ohibite the bill days, the yways. If the still g, wh by be pr draftin can by 15 s a law an ed s) would way it sent to d research and ortions y 24 week Bill is become d, the only the House rride an perts. ntl 9: Ab le of edited artisan ex is vetoe a law is if vote to ove SB 81 eks (curre the sa non-p we ban become t a majority Are heavy fees at 20 ould ge W veto. te of na the Se 224: nors wing busission SB

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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.

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THANKS to:

Tony Fiser Annie Bradshaw Ishin Iwasaki Becca Goldring Marlee Brannock Ashira Morris Carlynn Crosby John Arnst Melynda Melear Jonathan Ray Lydia Fiser Matias Kaplan Maitane Romagosa Jonathan Cordovaro Matthew Young Edward Songaila Tony Clifton Danny Ennis Jenn Riek Alichia Fan

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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 Too Cruel for School Ever have someone tell you that we live in a post-racial society? Ever, after determining there were no viable escape routes, wanted to drop a fact to shut that person down? Well, here’s this: A study came out in late June in the American Educational Research Journal showing that black males are being expelled or suspended in disproportionate numbers to other races/genders. But it’s not because the kids are particularly unruly. It’s because the people doing the suspending are biased. The researchers found that suspension-warranting behavior was subjective. Teachers and administrators issued suspensions for everything from throwing a punch to tardiness. And, according to a 2002 study, white students are generally sent to the office for objective rule-breaking: smoking, leaving school, vandalism. Black students are more often sent to the office for subjective offenses: disrespect, loitering, threat (?). Most alarmingly, the researchers found that going to a school with a large percentage of African-American students raised your risk of suspension as much as getting into a fistfight. After controlling for a bunch of other factors, they also found that it didn’t matter your gender, race or how rich or poor the school was. If it had a high number of African-American students, you were more likely to get suspended. That’s an environment based off of some lame-ass racial prejudice. Academics have addressed the underlying racism in the school system for awhile. For example, Julie Landsman’s essay “Confronting the Racism of Low Expectations” pointed out that many teachers act on assumptions based off of race and tend to 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.

he

expect less from black children. And studies have already pointed out that male students of color receive more and harsher discipline than other students. One that came out in March by the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights showed that black children comprised 14 percent of preschool enrollment but 48 percent of suspensions. Pre-school! Babies! What was cool about the recent study was how it focused on the root cause of the disciplinary problem. They found that principals had a lot to do with it. Principals who acknowledged racial disparity and wanted to work against it actually succeeded, which translated into the school at large: Overall achievement went up and the total number of expulsions or suspensions went down. But principals who felt like they did not have the skills or knowledge to address inequality and cultural difference had higher numbers of both disciplinary actions. To paraphrase a lot of long-winded, clunky science sentences by Skiba et al.: Those who want to change the school system should focus on the people doling out the punishment. Not the victims. By Samantha Schuyler

Know Y(our) Rights Exactly two months after the brutal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, another black teen, Vonderrick Myers Jr., was shot and killed by a white police officer only a few miles away in St. Louis, Mo., according to Mother Jones. Myers, who was shot 17 times, is only one of many young, black teens like Brown who has suffered this kind of dehumanizing fate. At the same time, Darren Wilson, the police officer

responsible for the murder of Brown, has been on paid administrative leave while his exact whereabouts remain unknown. But because of deficient record-keeping devices, we don’t actually know how many black victims are dying as a direct result of police shootings relative to white victims. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, however, the few statistics from 2010 to 2012 amassed by ProPublica, a non-profit investigative news organization, have shown that black males age 15 to 19 are “21 times more likely to be fatally shot by law enforcement than white males of the same age.” ProPublica gathered the information from over 1,200 incidents of deadly police shootings since 1980. Its findings expose a chilling reality for people of color in America. Even more concerning is the fact that these findings are based on incomplete data. When federal statistics on police killings, such as those of Wilson and Myers, rely solely on self-reported data – from the same police departments that give administrative leave to the killers of these teens – it’s easy to see how information like this can be purposefully vague, or just swept under the rug. As of 2008, the Department of Justice has claimed that black Americans are between two and three times more likely to commit a violent crime as white Americans based on their data. But even assuming that such a statistic holds true, does that justify the fact that black teens are 21 times more likely to be killed by police? In a country that prides itself on civil liberties and “freedom and justice for all,” you start to question whether those rights truly apply to all Americans. By Damian Gonzalez


MILL CREEK FARM’S

retirement home FOR HORSES

BY THE RETIREMENT HOME FOR HORSES EXECUTIVE BOARD

Retirement communities are abundant in North Central Florida, but the retirement community known as Mill Creek Farm is exclusive to horses. The Retirement Home for Horses at Mill Creek Farm, as it is formally known, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization located in Alachua, Fla., that relies entirely on donations from the public. The home was founded in 1983 by Mary and Peter Gregory after they retired from the hotel industry in South Florida. It had always been their dream when they were young and living in England to one day create a sanctuary for unwanted, aging, abandoned, neglected and abused horses. Thirty years ago, they began to realize that retirement dream. Peter Gregory died in March, but his legacy continues with Mary Gregory and her son, Paul, dedicating their lives to the preservation of this sanctuary. More than 130 horses are currently retired at Mill Creek Farm, where they live out their days in more than 300 acres of rolling green pastures lined with wooden fences and shady live oak trees. Most of the horses have been rescued by law enforcement agencies, frontline rescue organizations and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Mill Creek Farm also cares for retired police and military horses. These faithful civil servants, having worked tirelessly on our city streets over the span of their lives, deserve a peaceful retirement. The rescued horses often arrive frightened,

emaciated and injured. One horse was delivered with government paperwork describing it as a “used vehicle in poor condition.” Others have lived their lives in basement stables and have rarely seen sunlight or grass. April, one of the many horses abandoned in Florida, was discovered in the Everglades starving and injured after having been left tied to a tree. With veterinary attention, special feedings and plenty of hands on deck, Mill Creek Farm was able to regain her health. With the opportunity to graze in green pastures and form bonds with pasture mates, these horses are allowed to enjoy their retirement for many years to come. “As a species, horses have been serving man for thousands of years,” Mary Gregory said. “We think they deserve a proper retirement.” When a horse dies it is buried in the Field of Dreams where a tree is planted in its memory. With a devoted group of volunteers and staff members and the supervision of the Gregorys, the care of these horses is always the primary concern. Mary and Paul, who both live on the property, begin their chores before sunrise and end well after the sun sets. Six dogs and two barn cats also call Mill Creek Farm home and are always at hand to see things are done efficiently. To ensure the farm continues to prosper for years to come, Mill Creek Farm has been placed in a perpetual conservation easement with Alachua Conservation Trust and the Trust for Public Lands. With more than 70 acres of wetlands and forest, there is an abundance of wildlife that also finds sanctuary here. Feed, veterinary care and farm maintenance is expensive, but with the support of people who

believe in our mission, Mill Creek Farm will continue to be a “forever” home for these aging horses. Please consider sponsoring one of these beautiful animals by donating a monthly stipend to help provide a safe haven for a noble steed in his or her twilight years. We welcome volunteers and encourage any who are interested to contact us. There are many tasks to choose from, such as grooming, cleaning water troughs, weeding and golf cart maintenance, to name a few. We would love to have your help and have you visit these majestic creatures. “Our promise is that these horses will never be ridden or worked again,” Mary Gregory said. “Here they can roam freely, live in peace and die with dignity.” IF YOU PLAN TO VISIT:

The Retirement Home for Horses at Mill Creek Farm is located at 20307 NW County Road 235A, Alachua, FL 32615-4228. The farm is open to the public every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. While the admission cost is only two carrots, we hope you will bring more because there will be many heads at the fences hoping for one.

DIRECTIONS:

Exit 399 off Interstate 75 and go west on US 441 about half a mile. Turn right after Santa Fe High School onto County Road 235A. Follow north about 3 miles and turn right immediately after crossing over I-75 overpass at the Mill Creek Farm sign on the right.

CONTACT US:

Phone: 386-462-1001 Email: rhh@millcreekfarm.org Website: www.millcreekfarm.org Facebook: Retirement Home for Horses Inc.

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MIGHT ain’t RIGHT

BY JORDAN MACKENZIE ILLUSTRATION BY CHRISTINE YIN

We’ve witnessed

the cycle before: Rape incident. PR stunt. Repeat. Acts of violence against women are met with lip service and hollow catch phrases, until the news cycle moves on. And despite the ribbons, the press conferences and even the #campaigns, absolutely nothing changes. Why not? It’s because we are not addressing the real issue. If we want change, we have to look at the epidemic of rape soberly and critically. We have to ask ourselves: What is rape, fundamentally? Where does it come from, and what is its function in society? First, rape is not a random, deranged act committed by insane delinquents. Rape is a natural part of a cycle of violence, and rapists are actors within a normalized structure. And it’s this structure that is the underlying issue politicians and school administrators fail to address. Instead, they treat rape as unrelated incidents. But we don’t live in a world of isolated incidents. A man attacking a woman isn’t a freak accident. It’s part of a calculated structure in which men attack women. Academics call this structure the heteronormative patriarchy (HNP). Simply, it is the web of norms that are deemed vital to a healthy, functioning society. We are taught they are natural and inherently true. And we internalize these norms to such an extent that it seems absurd to question them. The HNP maintains heterosexuality as a social norm and asserts that society

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COLUMN / I SAW SOMETHING, I’M SAYING SOMETHING should be governed by men. The HNP’s ideology asserts a so-called natural order of hyper-masculine subjects (usually men) and submissive, feminine objects (usually women). In this system, the masculine is inherently valuable. The feminine is valuable only when it serves masculinity. The HNP is perpetuated by the government, the workplace, sports, organized religion, Greek life, the bureaucratized educational system and even the family. Though these norms are praised and upheld as essential underpinnings of our society, it is crucial we deem them both unnatural and unnecessary and thus dispensable. After all, the HNP is a dictatorship like any other: puritanical, unflinching, stale, arrogant and, most of all, illegitimate. But how does it relate to rape? First, under the HNP, violence is normal and necessary. In America we are raised with the notion that the violence of the military upholds our freedom. We are taught that the brutality of the police maintains order and domestic tranquility. All the while the media glorifies this destructive violence, teaching us to respect it. Inevitably, we become desensitized to violence. We accept it. Our tolerance, and even support, increases. The measure of humanity, according to the HNP, is not compassion or solidarity with others, but brute force and conflict. “Right is might.” Within this mindset, it’s not hard to justify rape. After all, even if we don’t recognize it, violence is a part of our everyday life. Consider some verbs commonly used to describe sexual acts: rail, nail, pound, bang, plow, tear it up, get it, etc. Sex has been hijacked by triumphalist, barbaric masculinity. And in our speech we perpetuate a way of thinking that emphasizes domination and objectification of women, who are often dehumanized with epithets like slut and bitch. This is only part of the problem. Within the structure that makes rape possible, there is an undercurrent of thought that makes rape permissible. We can’t focus on one without the other. The campaigns bragging about how 96 percent of male students get consent, the nail polish, the self-defense classes, the flippant dads, the silent moms – they are all part of the problem. These tactics are a Band-Aid on a huge, festering wound. They normalize rape and encourage us to ignore the real issue. And nothing is more egregious than the

claim that victims of rape are somehow complicit in the crimes inflicted upon them. These pseudo-solutions only allow the HNP to continue unimpeded. And it does. Every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. That comes out to about 237,868 annual violations of human rights. A quarter million instances of trauma that will haunt people for the rest of their lives. Without socially shameful consequences for rapists, these numbers won’t change. Rape will still be permissible. And the longer we sit idly and simply get frustrated, the longer the system supplants common sense and decency with bellicose masculinity. The ideas of Paulo Freire, Brazilian thinker and educator, are helpful here: Oppression is so total that even the oppressors are victims of the system, because they advance a social mechanism that is inherently destructive and duplicitous. Freire maintained that the oppressors are almost too consumed by their wrongdoings to relinquish self-control and regain their humanity. In that sense they are victims. They are afforded no escape from homogeneity, no outlet for exploring their individuality, no means of authentically becoming more fully human. The oppressed themselves must look the oppressors straight in the eyes and ask, “Why?” But until rape is treated by society and the legal system as an offensive criminal act for which the perpetrators will suffer, nothing will change. Until society places more shame on raping than being raped, we have failed. Resigning ourselves to the status quo is surrender. Those who stand idly by as their peers are abused are complicit in that abuse. We must be critical of the structure, rejecting clever PR and the words of the powerful. The status quo is no standard to accept; let us instead aim for the dignity of all human beings. Fight back!

Until society places more shame on raping than being raped, we have failed.

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column / read up, chow down

read up chow down By Alec cArver Photo By ericA Sterling illuStrAtion By Aneri PAndyA

Due north of Downtown, the Duckpond Neighborhood is well-known for its oak canopies and Victorian homes. But at the neighborhood’s edge, tucked among the trees and houses-turned-law firms, sits a gabled, terraced home that is unlike the rest. Inside, you’ll find the Fat Tuscan Café. Michele Gioviti, owner and executive chef, works hard to keep the Fat Tuscan homey and welcoming. She does this in the spirit of her grandmother, Maria, who loved to cook. Gioviti fondly recalls the taste of the Nutella sandwiches her grandmother would make for her while

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she watched soap operas. She said she remembers her grandmother tucked between the ironing board and the stove, where she tended to a bubbling pot of red gravy for that night’s dinner. And Gioviti does her best to recreate this kind of feeling for her patrons at the Fat Tuscan. Soft yellow light, sturdy pine beams and fresh flowers on every table create a sense of comfort to match the homecooked Italian meals she serves. The menu is a bit more diverse than the average Italian place: Grandmother Maria’s massive handrolled meatballs share the page with this nifty arugula pesto pasta. It’s vegan, but if you don’t roll that way you can easily add your favorite animal products. Fall’s coming, so throw on a sweater, open up a window and give the recipe a try.


column / read up, chow down

aruGula peSTo 6 to 8 servings 20 minutes

inGredienTS ½ cup of toasted walnuts ¼ cup of golden raisins ½ head of fresh garlic 1 large bag of baby arugula 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

inSTrucTionS 1. In a food processor, combine nuts, raisins and garlic until finely ground. 2. While the processor is running, add arugula and slowly pour in the oil. Add salt and pepper, which you can adjust to taste. 3. Cook desired type of dry pasta (The Fat Tuscan uses angel hair.) 4. Toss cooked pasta with pesto and a little cooking water. Top with walnuts and raisins to garnish.

limeS!

d o o f n w o locally Gr in SeaSon r e b o T c o r fo Chestnuts • Corn • Cucumber Eggplant • Green Beans • Green Peppers Hot Peppers • Lemons • Lettuce • Limes Okra • Papaya • Pecans • Persimmons Pineapple • Prickly Pear Cactus • Pumpkins Radishes • Satsumas • Southern Peas Sweet Potatoes • Swiss Chard • Tomatoes Yellow Squash • Watermelon • Zucchini

The pesto can also be frozen in airtight plastic containers for up to three months.

prickly pear cacTuS!

The faT TuScan café 725 NE 1st St. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday.

corn!

fall 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 09


FOR THE RECORD Reviews of local bands, the next big thing, and all your friends

Wax Wings from L to R: Chelsea Carnes, John David Eriksen, Pickles Selkcip, Brian Turk and Arthur Rosales.

>> WAX WINGS WAX

Vocals, banjo, trumpet // Chelsea Carnes Cello, vocals// John David Eriksen Drum, vocals// Pickles Selkcip Upright bass// Brian Turk Violin // Arthur Rosales

As folk music experiences a critical and commercial resurgence worldwide with groups such as Mumford & Sons and The Cave Singers combining folk influences with rock sensibilities, one local Gainesville act is bringing it back to basics. Wax Wings, the brainchild of vocalist and songwriter Chelsea Carnes, along with John David Eriksen, Pickles Selkcip, Brian Turk and Arthur Rosales, recently released their self-titled debut. And they’ve already earned an impassioned fanbase. “More than one person has told me that they’ve cried at our shows,” Carnes said. “And I was very proud of us for that.” Wax Wings emerged from the remnants of Carnes bounce along folk and crew’s previous group effort, “Dirty Fist!” While Release Date// Jul. 12, 2014 Wax Wings have a sparse, minimalist sound, “Dirty Recorded at// Goldentone Studios Fist!” went the other direction: maximalist, with an orSounds like// The Cave Singers, chestral influence akin to early Arcade Fire. M. Ward, Andrew Bird A year after the band dissolved, Carnes began to Inspiration// Early Folk, Ragtime, Punk miss songwriting and singing. Key track// Time the Bully, Let “So I decided to start up a new group,” she said. Me Go Gently, Time Machine, “And I thought, ‘Who are the best musicians in Jeepers Creepers Gainesville?’” Where to get it// waxwingsmusic.bandcamp.com With no song clocking past the four-minute mark, Upcoming shows// Nov. 8 at the music of Wax Wings is tight, immediate and packs Mosswood in Micanopy a lyrical punch. Although it is not instantly apparent in their sound or lyrical content, Wax Wings’ music is 10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org

WINGS

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 editors@thefineprintuf.org and let us know.

directly influenced by Carnes’ experience as a queer woman. She’s even tagged the band as “queer” on their Bandcamp page, along with more obvious descriptors, such as “folk” and “strings.” “Normally when I write descriptions of my band, I’m actually describing the type of audience I would like to come out to the show,” she said. Carnes also said that being queer is a big part of her identity. And as someone who writes a lot of love songs, she said, it’s a big part of her work. “So as a woman who loves other women, I think that that is reflected in my music,” she said. “But on a shallow level, it’s because I would love to see queer babes at my show.” Album closer “Jeepers Creepers” touches on her identity in the context of Gainesville, as Carnes decries “bro-dudes and people with nasty attitudes,” a sentiment Carnes said she finds particularly relevant in light of UF’s recent string of sexual assaults. Their fast-paced, pared down sound, guided along by winding violin and bright, percussive banjo plucking, makes for an intense concert experience. And Carnes needed only three words to sum them up. “Babes, beers and great times,” she said.

BY ZACH SCHLEIN


COLUMN / FOR THE RECORD

>> DIKEMBE MEDIUMSHIP

emo indie rock Release Date// Aug. 1, 2014 Recorded at// Crescendo Sound Studios Sounds like// Brave Bird, Wavelets Inspiration// Brand New, Manchester Orchestra Key tracks// Hood Rat Messiah, Gets Harder, Snakes In My Path Where to get it// dikembe. bandcamp.com Upcoming shows// TBA

“Mediumship,” the newest album from indie rock/ emo band Dikembe, is all mood. Dreamy, angst-fueled and reflective, the album marks a new creative path for the young local artists. According to guitarist Ryan Willems, with “Mediumship,” the band wanted to change up their sound, explore the breadth of their creative expression and play off of inspiration from their musical idols. “We wanted to incorporate more of an influence from bands we had loved since high school, like Brand New,” Willems said. “We are paying homage to those bands while maintaining our own identity.” Willems said the band tested most songs from “Mediumship” on their live tour last summer -- something they had not done while making previous albums. Receiving feedback from a live audience helped the band write more collaboratively and create an album with a unified sound. Dikembe strikes a successful balance between each song having its own personality and while still maintaining a cohesive, consistent feel. The album’s second track, “Hood Rat Messiah,” best captures the overall tone with its weighty, pensive vibe and brooding vocals. Overall, the album feels both thoughtful and

>> VICTOR FLORENCE SUMMER BUMMER FANTASIA EP

layered noise folk Release Date// Sept. 10, 2014 Recorded at// Mostly Victor’s room, with some bits at WVFS Tallahassee’s studio Sounds like// Atlas Sound, Youth Lagoon, Dirty Beaches, Beat Happening, Bright Eyes Inspiration// Nick Drake, Deer Hunter, early Mountain Goats Key tracks// Blackout (II), You Don’t Know Me Where to get it// victorflorence. bandcamp.com Upcoming shows// TBA

Guitar// Ryan Willems Bass// Randy Reddell Drums// David Bell Vocals, guitar// Steven Gray

subdued. “It’s slower, heavier and maintains an intentional mood throughout,” Willems said. “It’s the first time we created a group of songs meant to go together and complement each other, as opposed to just a collection of songs we wrote around the same time.” While most songs maintain a similar meditative feel, the album’s balance of soft and loud ensures that “Mediumship” does not lack energy. It still carries an edge with tracks such as “Get Harder,” which blends raw vocals with a more persistent, intentional beat. Breaking from the light-hearted tones of former collaborations, “Mediumship” ushers in a moody, introspective blend of indie-rock and meditation. With a smooth sound that feels tailored for rainy days and internal contemplation, it invites you to pop on your headphones, close your eyes and let your mind and emotions wander.

BY SARAH CHRISIEN

Acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, drums machine, keyboard// Victor Florence Animal sounds// Baby chimney swifts

Before the gentle finger picking and the choral synth, long before the ambient noises culminate into a windy, dizzying crescendo, the first song off of “Summer Bummer Fantasia,” begins with a tiny, fluttering sound. Not unlike the soprano ripple of birds taking off. In fact, the bird noises are real. A family of chimney swifts made their home in the wall behind the bed of Victor Florence, whose EP came out in early September, interrupting him as he recorded the album in his room. Instead of resisting the additional noise, Florence said, he incorporated the sounds into “Blackout (III).” Layering music in this way makes up a substantial part of the album. “Blackout (III)” is guided by a spine of simple guitar and lush, swooping strokes on the violin. Florence textures the yawning, bright sound with small aural interruptions: another cameo by the birds, the distant, spooky tremble of an electric guitar, an inaudible computerized voice. Florence said the album was meant to bridge clear opposites: the simplicity of folk music like Nick Drake and the crowded, noisy jumble of bands like Swans. His voice and guitar retain folk’s hushed calm while he’s backed by everything from an electronic beat and thumping bassline to the wobbly screech of warped feedback, all of

which he made or gathered himself. “I never record with something in mind,” he said. “I have a vague, abstract skeleton of a song, and as I’m recording I figure it out.” A fantasia, he said, is a piece of music improvised on a certain theme. Making music this way prevents him from killing the songs by overthinking them, he said. And he maintains total control over the sound by recording in his bedroom. It’s a personal, solitary exercise, he said. “Everything I do is based off of the philosophy of ‘Do it Yourself,’” he said, citing the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle as an influence. Florence said his favorite songs are the ones Darnielle recorded early on, using just a boom box. That mentality, Florence said, made him want to make music. “Where I don’t need Abbey Road Studios to make something cool,” he said. “I just need a boombox and a song to sing.” And by the end of “Summer Bummer Fantasia,” he said, he hopes others feel the same. “That’s what I’m trying to encourage people to do,” he said. “Just make something.”

BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER

Fall 2014 | T H E

FINE PRINT|

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COLUMN / SIMPLY SCIENCE

BIOLOGY’S

EVOLUTION

BY MATIAS KAPLAN ILLUSTRATION BY LAUREN NICHOLAS

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F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org


COLUMN / SIMPLY SCIENCE When Charlotte C. Germain-Aubrey, a researcher at the Florida Museum of Natural History, decided to study where plants will migrate as a result of climate change, she knew she would need as much data as possible to build a powerful model. For most ecologists, “as much data as possible” is usually in the order of hundreds or possibly thousands. But as UF spearheads the effort to digitize and integrate the nation’s biological specimens, Germain-Aubrey soon became able to work with data in the hundreds of thousands. Only a couple of years ago, organizing that much data would have been a person’s life’s work, with years of ‘round-the-clock labor devoted to inputting every specimen into a computer. But Germain-Aubrey’s study will only take a couple of years. And as one of the first to tap into the potential of the 22-million-and-growing specimens cataloged through the digitization project, called iDigBio, future studies will be simpler to conduct and have more powerful results. Four years ago, UF received a grant from the National Science Foundation to set up a central, online hub where all digitized data from around the country could be stored and accessed, said Pam Soltis, director for research activities for iDigBio. Biologists have been digitizing their specimens for at least a decade, she said, but before iDigBio, finding and acquiring a specific specimen was nearly as time consuming as the process would take without a digital database. A researcher would have to call an institution, ask for the index and make sure he or she received it. With iDigBio, a scientist can pull up, for example, every bison record in America in 10 seconds. The two largest university collections -- UF’s and Harvard’s -- have a combined 110 million specimens, which are gradually being added to iDigBio’s online repository. The Smithsonian’s collection of about 126 million specimens will be added. And hundreds of other institutions around the country will also contribute. Physicists have long been using technology to collaborate on massive scales; for example, the Large Hadron Collider, which has allowed scientists to study the most basic parts of the universe. Then again, it’s easier to quantify tiny particles of matter than complex, organic life. But now that technology has finally caught up, biology is pulling itself out of the era of drawn diagrams and filing cards. Digitizing all of this work has not been a trivial task.

Biology is pulling itself out of the era of drawn diagrams and filing cards.

Even the simplest specimens, perhaps a 100-year-old plant, must be pressed flat to a page and scanned using technology that can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So how do you digitize a more complex specimen? A fish preserved in formaldehyde, or the pelt of an extinct species? How do you boil down the essence of a specimen? Researchers are currently pioneering this work. In 2010 a Chilean construction crew widening a highway came upon a series of 3-million to 5 million-year-old whale fossils. If Cerro Ballena -- or Whale Hill, as it would come to be known -- had been discovered a few years earlier, the researchers would have only been able to preserve the fossils themselves, but not vital information like the bones’ exact orientation in the ground. But luckily, researchers had the technology, and the entire fossil site was recorded using massive quantities of high quality pictures, which were compiled to make a 3-D rendering. All this went online. And with iDigBio, you can access the data file and print it out in UF’s 3-D printing lab. Now that this firehose of data has been opened, a new challenge has appeared. How do you work with such enormous mountains of information? Soltis said that because they’re getting information from so many places, most of the work involves getting around the variety of data. Researchers have to figure out what to do with everything from a map to genetic sequences to phylogenetic trees. “They all require different software and database resources,” Soltis said. “That disparity, that heterogeneity, can really be intimidating to most people.” Because of this, Soltis, along with disciplinary and multidisciplinary teams, is developing software so that biology students can quickly integrate the myriad types of data. With all this easily accessible information at hand, researchers can now conduct ambitious studies that no one thought possible just a few years ago. And the findings are essential to understanding our quickly changing world. Look at Germain-Aubrey: Her study on how climate change will affect Florida plant distribution had significant results. She found that by 2050, the state’s ecological landscape will dramatically change. Knowing this, she said, we can prepare for the future. Behind museums’ mysterious personnel-only doors lie miles of hallways filled with specimens that have been collected over millenia. Darwin’s Finches, the birds that led him to the Theory of Evolution, are stored at the Natural History Museum in London. Lucy, our famous 3.2-million-year-old ancestor, just received a high-quality CT scan by the University of Texas. And soon, all this information will be a 10-second download away.

Fall 2014| T H E

FINE PRINT|

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COLUMN / HOMESTEAD INSTEAD

HOMESTEAD INSTEAD BY NINA PLOCEK ILLUSTRATION BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER

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COLUMN / HOMESTEAD INSTEAD

What IS Kombucha? A fizzy drink with an even funkier name, kombucha has fermented its way into the lives of foodies and just about anyone who enjoys a revitalizing drink. Hyped by health food stores and known for its probiotic properties, kombucha has become a staple for anyone thirsty for essential vitamins and antioxidants. It is known to have digestive benefits, and the acids and enzymes in the drink help your body detoxify. Deemed an “immortal health elixir” in China many centuries ago, kombucha is created by combining live yeast and bacteria culture with sweet tea, then simply letting it ferment to your heart’s content.

What you need: ~ 1 big glass container (about 1 gallon) ~ 2 kitchen clothes ~ A few rubber bands ~ Several mason jars ~ White, green or black tea ~ Raw cane sugar ~ 1 bottle of original kombucha

How to make it: Step 1: Buy a bottle of original kombucha from a local grocery store. (Ward’s has a great selection.) Pour half of the drink into a mason jar; it will be used to produce your SCOBY. The remaining kombucha is for you to enjoy. Cover your mason jar with a cloth that will allow airflow, but block sunlight. Use a rubber band to fasten the cloth. Let this sit for two to four weeks in a place without sunlight. This process will produce your SCOBY, which is an essential component in making kombucha. *It is possible to skip this step if you decide to buy a SCOBY online or get one from someone who brews kombucha. Now you are probably asking yourself, “What exactly is a SCOBY?” The term SCOBY is an acronym for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.” Your SCOBY is key to the fermentation process and acts as a protective layer for your kombucha. Step 2: Brew half a gallon to 1 gallon (depending on the size of your glass) of white, green or black tea. While it is still hot, dissolve two-thirds of a cup of raw cane sugar. The tea should be quite sweet because the sugar aids the fermentation process. Let your tea cool to room temperature.

Step 3: Pour the sweet tea mixture into a large container (about 1 gallon) with your SCOBY. Cover the top in the same manner described in the first step, taking the same precautions. Let this ferment for one to two weeks. The longer it ferments, the more potent it becomes, so be sure to periodically taste test! Once you are satisfied with your kombucha, it can be stored in the fridge and will no longer ferment. Second Fermentation: After your basic kombucha has been made, you have the option of pouring it into smaller mason jars or glass bottles and changing up the flavor. Just add some herbs or fruit to enhance the tea – thinly sliced pears, peaches, ginger and grapes work really well. You need very little fruit to get great results (about 10-20 percent of the total volume). Let your drink sit for about two to three days in a jar with the lid on. Things to keep in mind: ~ It is normal for your kombucha to smell slightly vinegary. ~ A SCOBY is healthy if it has bubbles, stringy or gritty brown bits, jelly-like pieces and is one-fourth to half an inch thick and opaque. ~ A SCOBY is unhealthy if it starts to grow mold! Discard your SCOBY (and kombucha) if you find fuzzy green or black mold on its surface. An unpleasant, cheesy smell is also indicative of an unhealthy culture. ~ Make sure the glass containers you use are very clean and free of any soap residue! You can sanitize your mason jars by filling them with boiling water. ~ Be aware of the building pressure inside your mason jars during the second fermentation process. If you screw the lids on tightly without releasing pressure every so often, your jar will explode. In order to avoid this, slowly unscrew the lid (carbon dioxide will be released) and then close it again quickly. If you are not storing your kombucha in the fridge, excess carbon dioxide will cause the jar to break!

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READ ALL A-BALLOT State elections are right around the corner, and boy, it’s a big one. On Nov. 4, you’ll face a ballot that will determine the makeup of the Senate, the House, the governor’s seat and a number of new measures. Of course, everything on the ballot is important, but we decided to focus on what the New York Times called “one of the nation’s closest, costliest and mostwatched governor races,” and The Miami Herald named “the costliest and meanest governor’s race in the nation.” Right now, two of the candidates – current governor Rick Scott and incumbent Charlie Crist – are neck-and-neck. The winner is so unclear, in fact, that experts have called the election “too close to call,” “a toss-up” and “virtually tied.” With that in mind, when you go out to the polls (and you’re going, right?), it’s even more important than usual to make an informed decision. Republicans have held the governor’s seat plus a majority in the House and Senate since 2011. The outcome of this election could change the state’s, and nation’s, political landscape. So go out and vote!

BY THE FINE PRINT EDITORS ILLUSTRATIONS BY SARA NETTLE

MEASURES

Amendment 1: Dedicates 33 percent from existing excise task to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, an organization that manages and restores natural systems and improves public access to conservation lands. Because this is referred amendment, it must win a supermajority, or 60 percent of the vote. Amendment 2: Grants the right to use marijuana for the treatment of certain ailments when recommended by a physician. Because this is referred amendment, it must win a supermajority, or 60 percent of the vote. Amendment 3: Allows the governor to fill judicial vacancies by appointing a justice or judge from a group of nominated candidates.

ADRIAN WYLLIE (L)

Opposes all property taxes on homeowners Opposes in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants Opposes Obamacare Free in-state businesses from all federal regulations Cut state budget by 30 percent Supports legalizing marijuana Supports ending same-sex marriage ban Wants to repeal Florida’s Common Core education standards

In a race led by two extremely unpopular candidates (data blog FiveThirtyEight said no other gubernatorial race in the country has as much bipartisan disdain), Wyllie is the Republican-turned-Libertarian Internet radio talk show host and small business owner third choice. There are a lot of great facts about Wyllie, including: For the past three years, he’s refused to renew his expired license in protest of the REAL ID act, for which he was arrested in May. SunTrust began foreclosing procedures on his house in 2010. Though the Miami Herald found that the court records are still open, Wyllie said the case is resolved. He’s remained a presence in the race as an appealing foil to Crist’s and Scott’s money-soaked, aggressive advertising war. 16 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org


SPOTLIGHT

CHARLIE CRIST (D) Raise minimum wage to $10.10/hr Increase education funding, restore education cuts Drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants Expanding Medicaid and Obamacare Supports same sex marriage, believes court will decide on the outcome Does not support recreational Marijuana, supports medical Marijuana amendment Does not support embargo on Cuba Opposes taxes on the wealthy Supports prioritizing green energy Charlie Crist served as the Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. In 2010, Crist left the Republican party and became an Independent to run against Marco Rubio for Senate position, which he lost. In 2012 he made his next switch, coming out in support of Barack Obama and registered as a Democrat. In the past, he has come out as a self-described “pro-gun, anti-abortion, small-government supporter who worships Ronald Reagan.” For his position-switching, he’s been called a turncoat and political opportunist. During his term, tuition increased each year, reaching a peak at 15 percent increase in his final year. However, Crist spent a record amount of money per pupil during his time as governor, and as a part of his First Day of Fairness plan intends to end wage discrimination in businesses contracted by the state.

RICK SCOTT (R)

Job creation Does not support raising minimum wage Supports lowering tuition for undocumented students Will support Medicaid expansion during the three-year period where the federal government pays Will comply with what the courts decide on Gay Marriage Does not support medical marijuana amendment Supports embargo on Cuba Pro-life Opposes taxes on the wealthy Opposes prioritizing green energy

Scott has been governor since 2010 when, despite being an unknown, he won the seat after pouring $73 million of his own money into the campaign, three times more than has ever been spent on a Florida governor race. Scott was under scrutiny during the 2010 election for his role as CEO and co-founder of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., which was investigated for what US Department of Justice would later call “the largest healthcare fraud case in US History.” He’s also been criticized for appointing fewer African-American judges than our past two governors and is being monitored by the US Department of Justice for adding barriers to voting and restricted access to polls. At the same time, he has been praised for shedding his tea party goals and, during his term, moving into a moderate Republican position. The Tampa Tribune has even officially recommended his re-election.

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SPOTLIGHT

f o d

n a b ters

s i s

STORY AND ILLUSTRATION BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER After two attacks on women happened less than 24 hours apart in early August, Gainesville’s collective frustration hit the Internet. Facebook was alive with real-time comments following the attack. Statuses voiced concern over safety, chewed out the perp and urged women to walk in groups. But one status in particular drew interest from women all over the city, said Erica Merrell, co-owner of Wild Iris Books. “It was like, ‘I’m so tired, I just want to take to the streets and make it stop,’” she said. “Something very simple like that.” Shortly after the status was posted, women replied in droves to pitch in their support. The conversation rapidly gathered momentum; the women were germinating a plan. They agreed to gather in person and talk. They set a date. About 40 women, trans and queer-

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identified people met at the Civic Media Center on Aug. 12 and sewed together the beginnings of a collective, what is now called Gainesville: End Sexual Assault Culture. The group is a grassroots activist collective comprised of volunteers from around the city who want to empower and protect women, while also educating the public on the topics of rape and assault. Organized primarily through the Facebook group “Gainesville: End Sexual Assault” – once called “GNV grrrls” – Merrell said the group plans to act as a resource hub; create and promote events and services that help women protect themselves from sexual assault; and

provide a safe space for members to feel empowered and respected. “We didn’t know what we were going to do; we didn’t know how we were going to do it,” Merrell said. “But we knew we were pissed, and we knew that we were tired of the constant victimblaming and backlash.” The group plans to use volunteered labor and spaces to launch programs such as self-defense courses, meetups and support groups. They’ve talked about providing a space for victims of assault who are not ready to file an official report with the police but want to talk. They also plan to be trans-inclusive to support a community that, though also affected by sexual violence, has not been


SPOTLIGHT

as visible in the public discussion of rape. members have never done activist work. “We are going to rewrite this narrative in “To see them all together, passionate and our neighborhoods and with the women in our engaged in the same thing, is beautiful and lives and with the queer people in our lives,” inspiring,” Roseman said. “There is a lot of love Merrell said. “We’re going to protect each in the collective being shared around.” other.” Because they are a collective, each member The day after the first meeting, about 20 has equal weight in decisions. Everyone has members banded together to protest at the different goals. And with 315 “likes” on their UF vs. Kentucky football game. They wore Facebook page before they’ve even gone public, black and brought signs demanding everything juggling everyone’s wishes can be challenging. from “Cut off the rape tool” to simply “End Despite this, Merrell said that members rape culture.” The response, Merrell said, was treat one another with respect. At meetings, fascinating. no one can talk over anyone, and no one can One man heckled them by saying he loved attack another person’s opinions. raping women. A middle-aged man asked them “We also force ourselves to live up to the if they were doing this because they had all standards of respect and consent that we’re been raped. fighting for,” Merrell said. “We just try to bring At the same time, she added, the protest was it back and remember that we’re all on the also inspiring. same team. It’s going “Women came up to take all of us.” You can have all the fire and hugged us, and But the biggest goal little girls looked at us is to make something in the world,” Merrell and internalized it,” she sustainable for the said. “But if you don’t said. “Lots of middlecommunity, Roseman aged women who gave said. With that in have a framework, us the silent head-nod.” mind, the group has you’re gonna burn out. After the game, the split into subgroups to group met again to cover as much ground discuss future plans, said as possible. That way, Shirley Roseman, intern they can satisfy everyat Wild Iris Books and volunteer with UF’s one’s needs while maintaining balance. LGBT Affairs. In only 16 hours they had or“You can have all the fire in the world,” ganized a successful protest, she said, and they Merrell said. “But if you don’t have a framewanted to do more. They were already fueled work, you’re gonna burn out. You’re not gonna by the same passion for justice and equality. be as effective.” The next step was to put their disparate skills The group is in its beginning stage – refintogether. ing their righteous rage, Merrill said – and tak“We come from different backgrounds,” ing it slow. They want to help without causing Roseman said. “But we connected with this any harm, Roseman said main theme and goal, and we created some“It’s because we love our community, and thing tangible really fast and really beautifully.” we love each other, and we want each other to The group, which is currently working be safe,” Merrell said. “We’re trying to bring internally to build a sustainable infrastructure, that together and build something very lasting is made up of students, business owners, teach– something that’s really going to shake shit ers and more, Roseman said. Folk and punk up.” musicians work side by side. And many of the

Fall 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 19


e r a w e #B e r a w A Be Over a span of two weeks in late August and early September, four women were attacked by a still unidentified man on or near the University of Florida campus. In response, university officials upped campus police and SNAP services. People armed themselves with pepper spray and buddied up at night. Coincidentally, UF Student Government had planned months before to launch Sexual Assault Awareness Week, a series of events and social media campaigns meant to raise awareness of sexual assault, on Sept. 9, the day after the fourth attack. Here’s what the week entailed: – The Fine Print Editors

do? t n e m rn e v o G t n e d tu S id What d > Tabled on Turlington Plaza from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the week to inform students of the resources available to help with sexual assault awareness, prevention, and victim services > Implemented social media hashtags: #BeAwareBeAGator and #BeAwareUF > Tied ribbons around trees throughout campus with the phrase “Sexual Assault Awareness Week: #BeAwareUF” > Through ACCENT Speaker’s Bureau, brought activist Angela Rose, founder and executive director of the national nonprofit Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE), to speak on behalf of victim empowerment with cases centered around sexual assault > Encouraged students to change their Facebook profile pictures to signify a collective stand against sexual violence > Made a one-and-a-half-minute video about the resources available to UF students 20 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org


spotlight Although many student organizations were pleased that SG was devoting time and effort to discussing rape at all, the content of the awareness week left them wanting. The week did not discuss intersectionality or consent, and kept the focus on rape as an attack-by-attack issue rather than a pervasive culture. With its money, manpower and visibility, SG could spread a nuanced and sensitive message to the public about rape culture and its impacts. To get a sense of what that message would include, The Fine Print talked to three campus organizations about what they would have wanted in a Sexual Assault Awareness Week. Here’s what they said:

What

Pride Student Union

said... PSU (or “Pride”) seeks to maintain a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ students at UF and educate the community at large. > Get rid of the hashtag Be Aware, Be A Gator. Although it was intended to mean “be aware of the resources available,” it implied that people who get raped are not aware of their surroundings and should be doing more to protect themselves. > Sexual Assault Awareness Week should have centered the discussion around rape culture and toxic masculinity. The campaign should be focused on letting survivors know they are not alone. > It should have events for each day of the week that highlights the various forms of sexual assault. It also needs to use gender neutral language to avoid typecasting victims as one specific kind of person. > There should be less focus on the “stranger in the bushes” scenario, since most sexual assaults occur with someone the victim knows. > Educate the UF campus about consent, which was hardly mentioned. Make sure UF takes a stand against rape culture. > Allow the voices of LGBTQ+ individuals, intimate partners, men and

>

>

>

> >

children survivors to be heard. Keep the conversation about sexual assault awareness going after the week is over because incidents at UF did not begin with this one attacker. Move away from a tone of victimization to a tone of empowerment. In marketing the week, the ribbons were triggers for survivors and did not implement any form of empowerment. Hold a vigil for victims and create safe spaces for victims on campus by promoting a dialogue about ways we can educate the campus about sexual assault. Allow room for survivors to speak openly and voice their concerns, whether through an event, forum, etc. Consult with survivors about ways the campaign affects them so they aren’t triggered every day. Stop victim-blaming and giving statistics about how women who walk alone are unsafe. People need to be reminded they cannot violate other people’s personal space, not that women can’t walk alone.

What

STRIVE said... STRIVE is a peer education group made up of undergraduate students who are involved in outreach, education and advocacy initiatives to prevent interpersonal violence. > Make sure the issue of interpersonal violence prevention is at the forefront of campus community dialogue over the course of the school year. > Increase recognition and further promote an understanding that interpersonal violence is a learned behavior throughout the UF campus. > Encourage students to feel a sense of empowerment by advocating for bystander intervention skills. > Invite all student organizations to address sexual communication issues and the role of consent. > Involve students of all gender identities as active leaders and role models in interpersonal violence prevention. > Address alcohol and other drug issues as they play a role in interpersonal violence and sexual assault.

> >

Provide concepts that encourage healthy and consensual relationships throughout the university. Make sure to dispel traditional beliefs associated with interpersonal violence.

What the Women’s

St ud en t As so cia tio n

said... WSA’s mission is to empower women by developing a strong community of positive role models, as well as raising awareness of women’s issues. > We want to see an actual commitment by UF to end rape culture. A campaign, a speech from the officials – anything that acknowledges the epidemic of gendered violence on college campuses and says UF has no tolerance for it. > We’re worried this case of “the man in the bushes” will drive the conversation away from the true reality of sexual assault on college campuses. Education on what is and is not consent is absolutely vital – there are no grey areas. > An event focused on the empowerment of survivors was missing, and the needs of those who have been personally affected by sexual assault were neglected during the week. > Most of the programming was homogenous and did not speak about the many forms sexual assault can take. There was no focus on the fact that people of all genders and identities are survivors of assault. > Events and information tends to focus on the immediate actions to take after being raped, such as filing a report with the police, but don’t discuss the complexity of the emotional trauma survivors face. There is no discussion of the long-term effects on one’s mental well-being, school and career path and interpersonal relationships. > An information session on how to talk to survivors and how to comfort friends and family when they come to you about their assaults would have been very useful. Since one-fifth of people are sexual assault survivors, this is important information to get out. Fall 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 21


FEATURE

O UR FA

IR

LADY BY ZACH SCHLEIN

ILLUSTRATION BY LILY MOLINE

It isn’t difficult to imagine the University Club packed wall-to-wall, vibrating with energy and the thump of dance music. With three floors, multiple bars, pulsating strobe lights, a way-too-small dance floor and an outside balcony for the club’s more nicotine-inclined customers, the University Club is tailor-made for all-night excitement. On a Friday night around 7:30, however, the club is decidedly subdued. Patrons mosey around the club’s middle floor, more often than not nursing a cocktail, while a stray few dance on the floor below as an in-house pianist plays Adele and Whitney Houston. But any hint of calm is thrown out the window when 11:30 rolls around, and the evening’s main event is underway: the drag show.

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The lights dim. The dance floor clears and becomes a stage. A spotlight flickers to life, falling on the first queen of the night, who is dressed in a costume festooned with sequins, feathers and jewels. The crowd bursts into applause, and each queen launches into a song and dance number right on the floor with the audience. All of this unfolds under the watchful eye of Lady Pearl, whose image looks out from a portrait hanging above the building’s first staircase. Lady Pearl also watches as, throughout the evening, the night-life flows in, from a poster outside of the club’s entrance on East University Avenue. It’s a recent addition, put back up after a number of years in retirement. Where before it was used as a marquee for Pearl’s iconic Thursday and Friday college nights at the UC, it now serves as a memorial to Lady Pearl, who passed away from liver cancer in August. Lady Pearl, whose birth name was William Moorehead, was born in Williston, Fla., in 1960. Moorehead, or as her family knew her, “Brent,” joined the UC after persistently approaching co-owner Mark Spangler about working there in 1991. At the time, the UC had only been open for about a year. After hosting an incredibly successful AIDS fundraiser in April of ’91, Spangler said that Pearl became, for all intents and purposes, the public face and voice of the UC. Unlike many drag queens, Pearl’s performance was more than song and dance. All 280 pounds, 6 feet and 8 inches of her had gravitas. “A lot of people can perform and be on stage,” Spangler said. “But to do the MCing: That’s what separated her. She had the whole package.”

Pearl’s skill as an MC reflected her ability to captivate and control an audience. When people discuss her onstage persona, she is described as a boisterous, chaotic, confrontational force of nature. Pearl was infamous for picking on patrons of the UC and getting them directly involved with the show, Spangler said, often dragging visibly uncomfortable straight men into the spotlight. “Thursday nights used to be dead,” Spangler said. “Pearl transformed them into the UC’s most popular night.” Acting as both host and performer for Thursday and Friday night’s entertainment at the UC for over 20 years, Pearl established a rapport not just with regulars, but with the Gainesville community as a whole. Tom Miller, a Gainesville performance artist who had a cable access show with Pearl in the ‘90’s, and Spangler both said that people who normally wouldn’t go near a gay club started coming to see and get picked on by Pearl. Miller said Pearl was often a feature entertainer at frat or sorority parties, and that he and Pearl had even taken their drag show to punk clubs. “Really,” he said, “who’s going to mess with a man the size of a linebacker in a dress?” Miller went on to say that Pearl’s ventures into non-typical shows was game-changing. “Before then, drag queens just didn’t perform for non-gay audiences such as fraternities or punk-rockers,” he said. “Mostly, folks warmed to her comedy and charms and found themselves far more tolerant than they ever might have imagined.” Pearl’s notoriety reached far beyond the immediate Gainesville area, Spangler said. When Pearl initially planned on retiring in

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FEATURE

2010, her farewell show drew fans and friends all across Florida, from Orlando to Miami. “We were even voted No. 1 gay club (by Playgirl magazine) in the United States for heterosexual people to meet and hook up,” Spangler said. “And that has a lot to do with Pearl, ‘cause she paved the way for people to come in here and not judge gay people.” According to her friends and co-workers, it was her penchant for comedy that allowed Pearl to not only be as successful as she was, but to break down cultural barriers between the LGBTQ+ and mainstream community. When Pearl began her career, the AIDS epidemic had thrust homosexuality into the national spotlight, and gay rights did not have the support of the general public that it does today. Through her on-stage comedy, Pearl provided a human element to the LGBTQ+ community that those outside of it had generally never seen. As well-known as her crass, confident stage antics and public persona were, Pearl’s coworkers at the UC and those who identified within the LGBTQ+ spectrum were privy to sides of Pearl that often went unseen: mentor, mother and philanthropist. Sitting in the same dressing room where she and Pearl learned the tricks of the trade, one of Pearl’s coworkers, India Brooks, spoke of her with reverence. She said that despite her penchant for pushing people’s buttons, she could miraculously pull it off. “If I said half the things she said,” India said, “I would have gotten beaten up after the show.” India began her career at the UC around the same time as Pearl. She said she initially thought of Pearl as competition, despite her unusual drag persona.

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“ There was no Will. Will

was a name given to her by her family. Pearl was who she really was. “Back in those days in drag, you were supposed to be very realistic. When you put on your drag, you should be able to go out on the street and fool people,” Brooks said. “And Pearl was never able to do that.” It wasn’t long before India gained respect for Pearl not only as a peer, but as a surrogate family member. Most of all, she said, she looked up to Pearl for her quick wit, sharp tongue and electric stage presence. “Back in the day, when we were rivals, I wanted to show-direct. I wanted to MC. But there was no way I could ever match her wit on the microphone,” she said. “She could keep an audience’s attention for an hour just talking.” After speaking fondly and at length about Pearl and her impact, there is only a single moment that Brooks paused to choose her words. Brooks has been doing drag performances since the ‘90s and rarely gives up her position at the top, which she’s worked hard to achieve. But she makes an exception for Pearl. “I daresay, Pearl was more talented than me,” Brooks said, before smiling and appending herself. “In what she did.” When the curtains went down, Pearl showed an openness and vulnerability most


FEATURE

people would be surprised to know existed, Brooks said. And Brooks, who completed her transition in 1996, would speak with Pearl at length about their respective gender identities. “Something that most people don’t know is that Pearl was a transgender woman, just as I am,” Brooks said. “There was no Will. Will was a name given to her by her family. Pearl was who she really was. “Unless you’re transgender, it’s hard to understand.” Drag is a profession for these women. It’s a form of performance art. But being transgender is an altogether different experience: It’s their identity. It is who they are when they wipe away the make-up and the sequence dress comes off. Despite keeping the details of her personal life from the public, Pearl was able to use the stage as catharsis, Brooks said. In fact, Pearl’s hardships spurred her to help others. And given that her first performance was a charity event, it was only appropriate that philanthropy would help to define her career. Ororo Jackson, another performer at the UC, said that Pearl would organize events for Gainesville’s Toys for Tots and Salvation Army, often doing more than was expected. “If they didn’t have enough toys, she would donate money to them,” Jackson said. “She didn’t tell a lot of people.” Despite her multitude of public achievements and accolades, Pearl’s greatest legacy may be one most people will never see. Derek Bass, a 21-year-old student at Santa Fe and regular at the UC, recounted how when he was 18, he and his friends would make the hour-and-a-half trek from their hometown just to see Pearl.

“She was someone I idolized for a little while,” Bass said. “She convinced me to come out to my family. She convinced a lot of people to just be who they are.” Coming from a town of about 600 people, Bass said, Pearl made him feel accepted and inspired him to be proud of his identity. “She figured that no matter who you were, you could come into the UC and be whoever you wanted to be,” he said. “I could be whoever I wanted to be for the night.” For over 20 years, Lady Pearl introduced many people to the world of drag. Kelly Kelly, another UC performer and one of Pearl’s last protegés, said she viewed Pearl as a motherfigure. Regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, Kelly said, Lady Pearl made sure you had a place to call home when you stepped into the UC. “Pearl would cuss everyone out if she saw the girls crying over her death,” Kelly said. “She’d say, ‘The show must go on; fix your hair.’”

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FEATURE

GOING for the GOLD BY VANESSA KINSEY ILLUSTRATION BY SIDNEY HOWARD

Gainesville’s bicycle community is a bustling one. Ten-speeds, cruisers, mountain bikes and more zip around campus, traverse across town and tear up the trails. The extremely active bike community has organized everything from participation in the worldwide bike movement, Critical Mass, since the ‘90s, to regular alley cat races since 2009. In 2013, Gainesville became one of three cities in the state to achieve a silver ranking from the League of American Bicyclists. Despite its achievements, Gainesville isn’t resting on its laurels. The city, along with community organizations like the Gainesville Cycling Club, is working toward becoming the first gold standard community in the state, according to City Commissioner Yvonne Hinson-Rawls. The League of American Bicyclists has a five-tiered system for ranking bike-friendly businesses, communities and universities. The ranking ranges from bronze to diamond, but to achieve a rank at all, communities must meet a detailed set of criteria. Doing this puts them on a competitive spectrum, ranking everything from safety to a general encouraging, bikefriendly atmosphere. Gainesville, with its active bicycling clubs, advocacy groups and government support, is well on its way to the gold standard. This would put the city among the likes of San Francisco and Seattle. The problem is money, said Roger Pierce, chief of staff of Gainesville Bicycling Club. Without funds available for bike projects, Gainesville can’t implement facilities and programs that would make the city eligible for a higher ranking. For example, Gainesville does not have paid staff on hand to handle bike affairs, which is a requirement for a gold standard. “Resources are scarce,” Pierce said. “We are backlogged approaching half a billion dollars. That’s a lot

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of money. It’s going to take generations to get out of that hole.” Hinson-Rawls echoed Pierce’s concern. One solution, she said, is to institute a one percent sales surtax to fund transportation projects for Moving Alachua County Forward. Five percent of these projects would improve bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. The eight-year tax is part of the Nov. 4 election, and if passed, will take effect Jan. 1. “We really need to pass this sales tax here in November or we’re never going to get out of that hole,” Pierce said. “Every time we don’t pass one of these, the number goes up by $100 million it seems.” However, Hinson-Rawls, head of Gainesville’s Public Works Committee, said she wants to avoid putting pressure on taxpayers. She has been seeking solutions to fund bike projects without relying on a tax. “Bikers need what they need, but they should be able to get it without overburdening taxpayers,” she said. “People are homeless. People are trying to stay in their homes. People are trying to keep their lights on.” However, her most recent effort brought enormous backlash from the bike community. Early this year she proposed a program that involved mandatory bike registration, which had been successfully enforced in Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and Saint Petersburg, Hinson-Rawls said. With this system, citizens would pay a fee to register their bikes, which she said would improve safety and generate money. In September, after a scathing Gainesville Sun article, angry emails and disapproval from her fellow commissioners, Hinson-Rawls withdrew the proposal, bringing the city back to square one. Pierce said the proposal was impractical to begin with, in part because of the transcontinental bike route that runs down 39th Avenue. Had the proposal


FEATURE

gone through, Pierce said, anyone from outside Gainesville who travels the route would be subject to citation. “All studies show that mandatory registration … barely generates enough revenue to pay for the registration process,” Pierce said. “It doesn’t generate any revenue to do anything else … it just puts a big burden on the people who have to comply with it.” Another solution, Hinson-Rawls said, is to increase civil citations for bikes. Indeed, bicycle violations have increased from 126 in 2013 to 287 so far this year, according to GPD records. The fees go toward future bike projects while also promoting bike safety, Hinson-Rawls said. Sgt. Jamie Kurnick of the Gainesville Police Department agreed and said citations also promote education.

“Each citation is really a prevention,” she said. “It is often the first time a cyclist becomes aware of bicycling rules. Pierce also agreed more citations would help the city. If someone is riding on the wrong side of the road, putting both pedestrians and drivers at risk, he or she should get a ticket, he said. However, Pierce said tickets should not be given out frivolously, but with proper discretion to promote safety for everyone who uses roadways and sidewalks. “If it’s done right, giving out tickets is a good thing,” he said. “It can get out of hand if done wrong.” Pierce said that two years ago, one of his friends was ticketed for taking his hands off his bars to zip up his hoodie on a deserted campus road.

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“Something totally, absolutely ridiculous like that,” he said. Though the city has worked with GPD in this way, the three necessary components of police, government and community groups have yet to come together to form a unified whole. When told about The Kick-

being the first gold-ranked city in Florida. But unless everyone is on the same page, Gainesville’s stuck in a rut. “I think we’re all doing good things,” Kurnick said. “I just think everyone needs to become aware of what those things are.”

“If it’s done right, giving out tickets is a good thing.” stand, a local nonprofit bike organization, Kurnick reacted with surprise and expressed interest in working with members. Gainesville has also had poor communication with the community as a whole, which has resulted in a loss of much-needed money. For example, in 2013 the city launched a costly initiative that reduced the number of lanes along Eighth Avenue to create bike lanes, Hinson-Rawls said. But a study done later showed only 25 percent of bikers actually used the lanes. In an attempt to avoid similar situations, Gainesville recently created openGNV, a section of the city’s website created to improve transparency and strengthen communication between local government and the community. By providing resources like repositories of data and statistics, engageGNV, an offshoot of the program, allows citizens to participate in town hall meetings through email and comments. Citizens can discuss specific problems and areas they would like to see improved. The comments go directly to city officials. Each topic is open for comment over a set period of time. Currently, citizens can select bicycle parking or walking/bicycling to discuss. These particular topics will be open for comment until Nov. 27. Depending on the outcome of the surtax this November and increased transparency with openGNV, Gainesville could be on the road to

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CHECK OUT THE EVENT CALDENDAR ON OUR WEBSITE TO SEE WHERE TO FIND US!


JUST(LY) MARRIED Nearly 44 percent of the US population lives in a state where samesex marriage is legal.

? T X E N A D I R O L IS F We’ve broken down the legal process of what lies between the sunshine state and the freedom to marry.

THE

AMENDMENT In 2008, voters chose to amend the Florida Constitution, adding Article I, Section 27. The amendment bans not only same-sex marriage, but also the recognition of civil unions performed in other states and any form of legal family status for same-sex couples.

THE

THE

As the defendant, Attorney General Pam Bondi has authority to act in the interest of the state and file for an appeal. If she does, the cases go to the District Court of Appeals and are retried. At this point, if the court rules against the state again, it can appeal once more and send the case to the state Supreme Court, where it is retried again. You know the drill. And if it’s appealed, it goes all the way up to the US Supreme Court.

Since then, multiple court cases have been taken up against the state of Florida, seeking equal rights for same-sex couples and claiming that the amendment is unconstitutional. Judges in four South Florida counties have ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

APPEALS PROCESS

THE

SUPREME COURT

So far, same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and Washington DC, and 16 additional states (including Florida) have issued rulings in favor of marriage equality. As the Supreme Court sets its case schedule for the next year, the justices will discuss whether to take on a same-sex marriage court case. This would determine the future of same-sex marriage as a national issue.

age is “Inasmuch as marri ly one on of ion un al the leg as man and one woman er oth no fe, wi husband and as d ate tre is t tha legal union l tia an marriage or the subst be all sh f equivalent thereo valid or recognized.”

COURT CASES

8-5-14 Palm Beach County by Circuit Judge Diana Lewis

8-4-14 Broward County by Circuit Judge Dale Cohen

THE

FUTURE

Only time and a whole lot of legal decision-making stands between us and a victory for civil rights. I mean, did you know that Massachusetts celebrated their 10-year anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in May?

7-17- 14 Monroe County by Circuit Judge Lewis Garcia

7-25-14 MiamiDade County by Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel

C’MON FLORIDA, IT’S TIME Fall 2014 | T H E

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Welcome HOME BY KYLE HAYES PHOTO BY ERICA STERLING


C

onsider the average American suburb: a network of roads flanked by individual, self-contained houses. Each property has strict boundaries, often delineated by hedges or a fence. The set-up has become a kind of joke in pop culture, mocked in everything from the movie “Edward Scissorhands” to the TV show “Weeds.” More importantly, America’s suburban neighborhoods candidly reflect the way we live: isolated, separate, confined. But a growing number of people are challenging the intensely private structure of the American suburbs with collaborative living neighborhoods called cohousing communities. And in 2015, Brooks Nelson, a Gainesville chemist, and others of the group Gainesville Cohousing will break ground on the first of these communal neighborhoods to be found south of Atlanta. The group has chosen a site in northwest Gainesville. Cohousing communities are a type of collaborative housing centered around social interaction and sustainability. The communities typically consist of small houses surrounding an open area and a common house with facilities such as guest quarters and laundry rooms. The arrangement is designed to promote social interaction, with shared resources like day care and tools. And much like co-op businesses, members collectively decide how the community is run. “It’s the perfect mixture of individual homelife and the cooperative nature of the old village life we had back in more primitive times,” Nelson said. Cohousing has its roots in Denmark in the late 1960s. With the rise of feminism, neighborhoods designed to support households with both adults working began to form. Members of the community pitched in to ensure every resident would have access to necessities like day care and hot meals. In this way, raising children became a shared effort. The idea spread across Europe and North America with more multigenerational, forwardthinking communities coming together over time. While each development varied in shape, size and structure, they all shared a common emphasis on fellowship and sustainability. The U.S. has seen a slow but steady rise in its number of cohousing communities since then. Currently, there are over 130 in North America,

according to the Cohousing Associatio of the United States website. “It surprises me that it’s taken this long,” Nelson said. “The concept of cohousing is so grounded in where society should be that it surprises me these communities aren’t everywhere.” Raines Cohen, regional organizer of the group Cohousing California, said people are often put off by the challenging real estate market and the difficulties involved in securing a site and partnering with a good developer. Cohen is also a cohousing coach who works with his wife, Betsy Morris, to guide people through the steps necessary to start a cohousing community. The couple operate mostly out of the San Francisco Bay area but have dealt closely with communities all over the country that have had varying degrees of success. “Trying to come together at the same time with the place, people, money and vision is challenging,” Cohen said. “It’s a lot of puzzle pieces that need to snap into place.” Despite these difficulties, more than 100 cohousing communities are in development around the country, Cohen said. There is now an expanding network of likeminded people who want to see these kinds of neighborhoods succeed and know how to make it happen. Cohen has made it his job to make these visions a reality, connecting interested people with each other and giving them access to the right resources. continued on next page


FEATURE

C

ohen said Florida is a choice state for cohousing to thrive, despite never having one. “We’re eagerly awaiting one in Florida to get going,” Cohen said. “There have been a number of plans but none that have been built so far.” Nelson was involved in the last attempt about eight years ago. Having been interested in cohousing since college, Nelson joined the former Gainesville Cohousing group and went to meetings for about 18 months, until the plans fell apart. Nelson said the experience was frustrating and that he was burned out on the concept for awhile. When he and his wife decided two years ago to try again, he acted as head of the group, making sure not to repeat the past mistakes. His first course of action as leader was to change the voting system. Instead of requiring 100 percent agreement, a motion could pass if it got two-thirds of the vote. In the past, Nelson said, reaching absolute agreement had stalled planning for months at a time. He also restricted participation in decisions and events to members, who paid a nonrefundable fee for their status. Nelson said the money is pooled to later fund construction. “Before, we went months without any money on the table from members,” Nelson said. “If you don’t have any skin in the game, then you have very little incentive to get anywhere.” With the new rules in place, Nelson said he also worked with fellow Gainesville Cohousing members and experts around the city to make cohousing in Gainesville a reality. They have enlisted UF’s Center for Resource Efficient Communities and the Sustainable Design Group to figure out how to make the community sustainable. They also brought on Andrew Kaplan, head of the firm Andrew Kaplan Architect, to help design and develop the community. He said he had been looking for something like the proposed community since he first read about Swedish cohousing in the ‘70s. Kaplan said he brought his wife along to the interview to see what it was about. “We both fell in love with the idea and liked the people,” Kaplan said. “We decided we wanted to live there too.” Kaplan became involved in design, financial affairs, contracting, approvals and more. The community will have 24 houses priced from $125,000 to $250,000, and each will range from 800 to 1,600 square feet.

Kaplan said he structured the community to encourage social interaction, with a vast grassy area and the common house in the center. The philosophy holds true down to the smallest details. For example, the kitchens will be built facing the center of the community, Nelson said. As well, rather than each property having its own, everyone will share parking space, a pool and a garden. The common house will contain a shared playroom, laundry room, kitchen, workshop, meditation room and mailroom. Kaplan has also designed the community to be as sustainable as possible, given the budget from the relatively cheap house prices. “We’re not a rich group,” Kaplan said. “We’re still deciding what we can and can’t do with our sustainability program.” The smaller house sizes will save on energy, and the shared resources will reduce individual consumption, Kaplan said. In addition, there will be solar panels; stormwater retention that can be used for gardening or landscaping; and the facilities will be made using green building techniques. The communal nature also helps promote a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Members of Berkeley Cohousing in California, where Cohen and his wife live, work together to maintain strict recycling procedures, and in this way only produce two bins of trash per week from its 14 households. “Cohousing tends to start green and get greener,” said Cohen, who also trained with Al Gore as part of the Climate Reality Project. As of right now, 13 of the 24 lots are filled, Nelson said, and the group is gaining members at a rate of around one lot every two months. The majority of the lots are held by older people, since they tend to have more time and resources. But the group is looking to add more young families to the ranks and is considering renting out some of the houses to make it more affordable for them. The space is ideal for family life, Nelson said. “We want to have children,” he said. “My feeling is that this will be an extended family, with everyone watching out for each other.” And Kaplan seconded that, pointing out that families in America are often spread across the country. “This is a chance for children to have older people around even if they’re not their grandparents,” he said, “and for older folks to have some children around.” Cohen and his wife have been at their cohousing community in Berkeley for 11 years, and they’re still considered the new kids on the block, he said. No one has moved from their community in over a decade. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” Cohen said.

“I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

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the fine print

MAD

LIBS

One day you decided to go camping at ____________. The air was (location)

____________ and the wind was ____________ through the trees. You (adjective)

(verb ending in -ing)

gathered around the ____________ with your friends and began to roast (noun)

some ____________ and tell ____________ stories. All of a sudden, (adjective)

(plural noun)

you all heard a ____________ noise coming from the bushes. Everyone (adjective)

tried to ignore the sound, but it only kept getting ____________ and (adjective ending in -er)

____________. Finally, your ____________ friend stood up and ran into

(adjective ending in -er)

(adjective ending in -est)

the bushes after the noise-making creature. You and your friends froze in anticipation and ____________. ____________ minutes passed and finally (emotion)

(number)

your friend emerged from the bushes covered in ____________ and holding (plural noun found in nature)

a squirming ____________. Everyone gave a sigh of ____________ and (animal)

(emotion)

you all ____________ returned to your camping festivities. (emotion ending in -ly)

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PROSE + POETRY

five

BY ERIN CONNELLY ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX LOCASTRO

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When Gene and I get to Oscar’s, Oscar is sitting in his wicker patio furniture, petting his golden retriever. Gene hands Oscar a dime bag. The dog sniffs the bag, and walks away, uninterested. Oscar goes to pack a bowl but Gene grunts. “Money first,” Gene says. Oscar leans in his chair and puts his hand in his pocket, fumbling with its contents. “I caught Pete over at the Motel 6,” Oscar says. “I think the cops are on to me,” Gene says. Oscar gives Gene a stack of bills and Gene gives it to me to put in my purse. My hand searches around for my wallet. There are sticky unwrapped peppermints, spare change, loose pills that I never took, all in the bottom of my bag. I find my wallet, and fit the money safely inside. “I saw his car parked at the Motel 6. I knew it was his because of the bumper stickers,” Oscar says. Gene pulls his pocket knife from his pocket, opens it, and starts trimming his nails, just slicing


PROSE + POETRY

them off like little orange peels. “There’s been this old junk of a station wagon park across the street for three days, now,” Gene says. I take Gene’s knife, close it, and sit down on his lap. The wicker creaks beneath us, like it’s too fragile to hold our combined weight. The dog walks over to a bed of begonias, lifts his left rear leg, and pees on it. Oscar packs a bowl. “It’s not like I’ve never been run around on before,” he says. “Last time it wasn’t a station wagon,” Gene says. “But I’ve never been run around on by Pete,” Oscar says. “Last time it was a truck,” Gene says. “Queers, they’re always running around,” Oscar says. “I need a lighter,” Gene says. My hands go back to my purse. The dirty breath mints, spare change, loose pills are still there and will be until I clear them out. I couldn’t say what the change is from or at which restaurants I picked up the peppermints, but I know exactly what the pills are. I’ve spent the past few days counting in my head, not because I think that I’m wrong, but because I’m certain that I’m right. I give Gene the lighter. He takes a hit. He hands the bowl and the lighter to Oscar. Oscar takes a hit.

Oscar offers them to me but I hold my palms up and shake my head no. “Fair enough,” says Gene. “Five years together,” says Oscar, “gone, just like that.” He takes another hit, and hands it to Gene. “Up to five years in prison,” Gene says, and he takes another hit. “I’m five days late,” I say, but the men don’t hear me. The dog is lying in the grass, stretched out in the sun, its back curved and paws lazily crossed. It is panting, smiling, even, because it will eat when it eats, sleep when it sleeps, and knows that it has little more to know.

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The Fine Print, Fall 2014  

The Fall 2014 print edition of The Fine Print in Gainesville, Florida.

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