VOLUME VII, ISSUE II
WINTER 2014 FREE
Into the Wild
A community garden gets close to nature p. 22
UF’S CAMPUS LANDSCAPE CUTS CORNERS P. 28
this issue Till Tomorrow
(pictured right) Veterans and plants help each other grow.
Published with support from Generation Progress/Center for American Progress (online at GenerationProgress.org).
Damian Gonzalez Samantha Schuyler
Emma Roulette Sara Nettle
Creative Writing Editor
Damian Gonzalez Samantha Schuyler
Isabel Branstrom Mark Disselkoen Sarah Senfeld Yatrik Solanki Kelley Taksier
Garage Bands (pictured above)
Local bands find creative ways to turn up the volume.
p. 18 Cover art by Samantha Schuyler.
COLUMNS I Saw Something, Iâ€™m Saying Something, p. 06 One nation under gun. Homestead Instead, p. 14 So you think you can sew?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fine Print accepts freelance writing, photography and illustration. Submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
Standard Deviation, p. 20 A local teacher puts teaching over testing. She Sonders, p. 25 A new comic!
Playing Fair, p. 30 Activists demand justice for Publix laborers. Charting the Course, p. 32 A new charter school comes to Gainesville.
02 Â | T H E
Our mission is to serve the Gainesville community by providing an independent outlet for political, social and arts coverage through local, in-depth reporting.
The Fine Print distributes 5,000 copies of each bimonthly issue and is currently looking for advertisers. For more information, email editors@ thefineprintuf.org. The Fine Print accepts letters from readers. Submit letters via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The editorial board will decide which letters will be published, and writers will be notified before publication.
The Fine Print reserves the right to deny or accept the publication of articles or advertisements according to the decisions of its editorial board. The views of our writers do not necessarily express those of The Fine Print.
from THE FINE PRINTâ€™S
FALL 2014 FREE
ISSUE I VOLUME VII,
by Damian Gonzalez
Multimedia, more stories, blogs and a community calendar. Dear reader, PLUS! Comment on stories, see As a forewarning, I should photos from the printed issue (and probably fill you in on a little-known more!) IN COLOR, flip through secret. Introductions have always been y our d a L arl a digital version of the printed Pe r somewhat of a challenge for me. So to dy FThae brileigftht,onbrGaassyinesmviarllek La, p.22 edition and much, much more, all save you the time it would take to read an updated throughout the month. â€œAbout Meâ€? ĂĄ la Tumblr or Twitter, I have decided to take a different approach with my + introduction. GRRRLS, P.18 GROUP FOR TS ACTIVIST A GRASSROO As an editor of this publication, I get the facebook.com/thefineprintuf privilege of meeting and working with some of twitter.com/thefineprintuf the most well-educated and socially conscious folks in the area. This unusual and beautiful web of seemingly disconnected people continues to impress me, having never anticipated this degree of communal strength after moving to Gainesville two and a half years ago. The very editorial team I have come to call my second family is just a fraction of the diversity that makes Gainesville Kai Su such a vibrant city to call home. Gainesville â€“ a dot of liberal ideologies surrounded by a sea of conservative thought â€“ has become a kind of fairytale world for me. A haven for some of the most brilliantly minded individuals I have ever met. Whether you notice it or not, these identities that we get to call our own are shaping the very way people view the pockets of communities in which we choose to ingratiate ourselves. Hailing from Miami, I made the assumption that I already deeply knew what diversity meant. But calling a city home that is so large in size never quite resonated with me. There was always something missing. As a queer-identified Latino, finding an outlet like The Fine Print allowed me to experience a certain kind of blossoming. Itâ€™s an outlet where the diversity of this town is packed into a space that embraces what we stand for: community. A community of leaders, writers, advocates, movers and shakers coming together to embrace a place unlike any other in North Central Florida. When you wrap your head around it, the intersecting identities of The Fine Print readership make up only a fraction of the Gainesville population. But itâ€™s folks like you that allow us at The Fine Print to constantly expand the magazineâ€™s scope and provide the most inclusive news source we can. Kai Su is a junior studying journalism at the University Amid all the tension and anxiety that builds up over the of Florida. She writes and copy edits for The Fine course of each issue, I find myself falling always deeper in love Print, putting her reverence for grammar and Type A with the beauty that is civic engagement and social advocacy. tendencies to good use. She appreciates aesthetics and As corny as it may sound, I really am grateful to have been overthinks probably everything. Her hobbies include introduced to this community. Iâ€™m grateful for the reception, drinking coffee, researching random stuff on the Internet grateful for the feedback and â€“ most importantly â€“ grateful for and contemplating her next meal. the continuous support. Without any of you, The Fine Print really wouldnâ€™t be where it is today.
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IN E PR
Winter 2014 | T H E
COLUMN / PAPER CUTS Ouch! That hurt s doesn’t it? Paper Cuts are our shor t, erratic and slig htly painful updates on current local an d national events . See our website for more Paper Cuts at thefineprintuf.o rg
Paper Cuts THE UBER MENSCH Dear Airbnb and Uber: My friends and I have come to love and rely on companies like you. With your ultra-hip tech-startup swagger, on-demand apps and quick alternatives to hotels and taxis, how could we resist? However, despite all your greatness, I can’t help but worry about you. This October, the New York attorney general declared that 72 percent of Airbnb listings in the city are illegal. In Portland, Ore., only 73 Airbnb hosts out of 1,600 have applied for permits that would legalized their listings. And these are only two cities out of many that have complained. Why are these regulatory problems happening? Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times suggests that these companies have yet to figure out how to deal with what goes on outside apps and the Internet. She claims that the companies’ three core business goals – serve as a middleman, employ as few people as possible and automate everything – can only work for truly online companies. So why can’t our beloved on-demand apps use the same principles as online companies? Miller points out that companies like Airbnb don’t feel responsible for consequences in the real world. Sure, laws protect online companies like YouTube and Yelp by stating that “they are not legally responsible for what their users publish,” but YouTube and Yelp aren’t putting actual people in each other’s homes and cars in the real world. As for minimizing the number of paid 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.
employees: Instagram only needed 13 employees to be acquired by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, so what’s the big deal? Miller suggests that they are “pushing the definition of contract worker too far.” In the U.S., class action lawsuits filed by Uber drivers say they deserve things like benefits and disability compensation for their work. And then there’s automating everything. When a company slips up, solving problems without actual people is difficult. Miller writes that when Airbnb co-founder and chief executive Brian Chesky received vandalism complaints, he replied that Airbnb has “algorithms that identify suspicious behavior.” I don’t know about you, but as a host myself, I don’t want to rely on algorithms for my safety. That’s a lot to deal with. But have no fear, fellow Airbnb and Uber lovers. Both of these companies are driven by one certainty: If enough people use them, they will succeed. By Zoe Green
PRI DE DIV IDE The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network just came out with a national school climate study this October, which used student testimony as a barometer to gauge the day-today school environment LGBTQ youth have to navigate. GLSEN found that while we have improved from a decade ago, we continue to foster hostile environments for LGBTQ youth. The study was enormous, involving 7,898 students between the ages of 13 and 21 from all 50 states and 2,770 unique school districts.
And the subjects overwhelmingly agreed: In most circumstances, being out and in middle or high school means living with hostility and, sometimes, danger. I’ll shower you with some numbers: Fiftyfive percent of responders said they felt unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, with about 30 percent missing a day of school in the past month because of it. And it lead to more than half of the responders avoiding school functions and extracurriculars So not only do LGBTQ youth feel unsafe in school, it’s impacting their performance. When GLSEN asked what exactly made students feel that way, responses ranged from hearing antiLGBTQ remarks (using “gay” as an insult made 90 percent of responders feel distressed, which is the only thing you need to know to immediately stop saying things like that) to verbal or physical harassment, to outright physical violence like being injured with a weapon. And in a particularly gross window into how all this is perpetuated, 61.6 percent of students who reported these incidents said the school staff did nothing in response. Those numbers are more telling of our collective treatment of the LGBTQ community than, say, an Oreo ad campaign. But the study showed it doesn’t have to remain this way. GLSEN found schools with resources like Gay Straight Alliances or LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum were more tolerant as a whole. Most importantly, the study reveals a truth about latent cruelty: It exists in even the most basic and essential places. By Samantha Schuyler
COLUMN / MONTHLY MANIFESTO
BY THE WELLFLORIDA COUNCIL EXECUTIVE BOARD WellFlorida Council is a Gainesville-based nonprofit focused on building healthy communities. We are North Central Florida’s local health council and statewide consultant for health causes. Established in 1969, we are one of Florida’s 11 local health councils, a network of nonprofit agencies that conduct regional health planning and implementation activities. Our district includes 16 counties in North Central Florida. As consultants for health causes, we have kept local
WellFlorida’s mission is to forge partnerships in planning, research and services that build healthier communities. and state health policy decision-makers informed; worked with hundreds of community coalitions; and provided services to organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sector for more than 40 years. We oversee local, state and federally funded programs, as well as special projects and nonprofits throughout the region that support our mission. We also support the causes we believe in, including maternal and infant health; HIV and AIDS care; and improving health care access to those in rural communities and to the uninsured. We encourage students and the general public to access the following free resources provided through our various programs and projects: - Health insurance marketplace navigators. Navigators help weigh insurance options and enroll you in a plan that fits your needs and budget. Visit www.NCFNavigators. org for upcoming enrollment events. - Free HIV testing, condoms and education. Visit
www.EveryoneStopAids.org for a list of testing events and information. - An online personal health record (PHR). Patients can sign up for this free PHR, which also serves as a longitudinal medical record with robust health information exchange HIE tools for health care providers. Learn more at www. My-HealthStory.org. - Resources for cancer patients and families. The online cancer resource guide for North Central Florida lists local, regional and national resources available to cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and family members. Visit www.CancerResourceGuideNCF.org. - Health-related data for North Central Florida. Data is available by county on our website and is intended to be used for research, program development activities and grant writing. Visit www.WellFlorida.org and select “Get Data Now.” WellFlorida’s mission is to forge partnerships in planning, research and services that build healthier communities. Partnerships have included the development of Federally Qualified Health Centers; a regional health information exchange; chronic disease management programs; and safety net health care services. We work in partnership with government agencies, community-based organizations, and health care and educational facilities, including the University of Florida. WellFlorida has a history of working with UF on healthrelated projects, and our CEO and COO both lecture at the university. Many students have earned internships with us in the fields of public health, marketing, journalism and public relations. Learn more about WellFlorida by visiting our website, reading our blog and “liking” us on Facebook.
Winter 2014 | T H E
BY JORDAN MACKENZIE
GUNS AND THE BOMBS, THE ROCKETS AND THE WARSHIPS, ARE ALL SYMBOLS OF HUMAN FAILURE. ” Lyndon B. Johnson
06 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
It is difficult to envision a scenario where a gun could be used effectively and not destructively. In fact, it’s almost painfully easy to conjure up countless accidental shootings, purposeful shootings, suicides and so on, where the presence of a gun proved catastrophic. Just watch or read any domestic or foreign news, and it is clear that guns are literally in the right hand of all who oppress, whether it be a delinquent harassing anyone in his path, a policeman maintaining the status quo or a military protecting the economic interests of the powerful. The gun is the principal tool for all who oppress and destroy. There is always the romantic, deluded notion that guns are our last holdout against takeover by some unspecified tyrannical regime, which we should recognize as a facet of American fear and paranoia. But what kind of tyranny are gun fanatics trying to prevent? A society where people are afraid to walk in the street because they might get shot? Where parents do not feel safe letting their kids go play at a friend’s house? Where university libraries, elementary schools and movie theaters are not safe? The sobering reality is that the fanaticism of guns is its own tyrannical regime. It has embedded itself deeply in the U.S., and we are all victims of its will. The first to suffer were those who tricked themselves into thinking violence was the answer. And the rest of us are victims too, as we live in constant fear for our safety because we live in a militarized, violent country. This unfortunate reality stems from two main sources: a material culture that proliferates guns, and an ideological culture that glorifies and encourages the use of violence. Because guns are especially effective as tools of destruction, they tend to be the weapon of choice. We would hope that in the wake of X shooting, our society might take a step back and try to prevent the next one. But that is wishful thinking: The predominant narrative insists that guns are not the problem, and whatever the problem is, the obvious solution is more guns. Every year, up to 2 million guns are produced in
COLUMN / I’M SAYING SOMETHING the U.S. By government estimates, there is nearly one gun for every person living in the U.S. This in itself is terrifying, but what is even more revealing and infuriating is that the U.S. is responsible for more than three-fourths of the global arms market, raking in at least $66 billion in 2014 alone. Democracy is not our only export. Of course these weapons would be useless without an ideology that idolizes them. The implicit message of our society is that violence is an effective tool for securing and maintaining control. When we perpetuate the status quo, we by extension praise its underpinning: violence. Would our country even exist absent lethal force? Beyond the implicit message, we are also raised with the explicit doctrine that guns are sacred, which is a central tenant of fanatical organizations like the National Rifle Association. Their belief is that even if guns do wreak havoc, the Second Amendment supposedly grants us the right to bear them. This is a deceptively simple interpretation, and in fact counters the legal precedent of the Supreme Court, which retired Justice John Paul Stevens highlighted in his book “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” Read the amendment for yourself and you can see that it does not spell out the right for private citizens to own arms. Nonetheless, laws such as Florida’s notorious “stand your ground” law, create a collective mindset that emboldens people to shoot to kill. Part of the rabid ideology of gun ownership is the particularly totalitarian phrase “law-abiding citizen,” which is employed as a euphemism for the privileged white. These “law-abiding citizens” inhabit an
approaching apocalypse reality where their only salvation is their weapons, which they will brandish at just the right moment and use appropriately and heroically, because that’s how it plays out in movies, and by extension, in the sick imaginations of those who own guns. Disarmament is the ideal to which democratic, civil societies must aspire, though it can only be accomplished when we find a means of addressing both the material and ideological roots of America’s violence. To collect all the guns and melt them down is a tantalizing idea, but then the exowners of guns would simply look for new implements of destruction. The first and most crucial disarmament that society must enact is one within the human spirit. Hollywood and corporate media’s narrative that violence equals glory must be replaced with the reminder that violence only ensures destruction. And the historical narrative that asserts that violence somehow begets freedom must be countered by the sad fact that violence is the chief obstacle to human liberation. When we reject violence as a laudable end, its implements will seem even more absurd, and the gun industry will be exposed for what it really is: an immoral capital venture. Honestly, what role does a gun play in the hand of someone who does not intend to destroy? What purpose does a gun serve in the hand of the someone who respects the dignity of all human beings? Until the day of disarmament, I have one parting thought for those who resort to violence and are not troubled by the ongoing assault on civil society: Live by the sword, die by the sword.
Fall 2014 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 07 Winter
FEATURED RECIPE Sweet Potato and Chesnuts & Trailer Park Punch
FROM Blue Gill Quality Foods 1310 13th Street Gainesville, FL 32608 (352) 827-5181 Monday - Thursday 11am - 10 pm Friday 11am -11pm Saturday 12pm - 11pm Sunday 11am - 8pm
08 | T H E
F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
CHOW DOWN BY GABRIEL VASQUEZ-PETERSON PHOTO BY ERICA STERLING ILLUSTRATIONS BY CHRISTINE YIN
What is it that makes Gainesville unique? That would be difficult for even a lifelong resident to answer, given the town’s long history and diversity. But Blue Gill Quality Foods found a culinary way to crystallize Gainesville’s rich cultural milieu. Blue Gill Quality Foods is a comfortably large space on Southwest 13th Street exemplary of what a local restaurant should be. It’s rooted in the community, sourced locally and makes everything from salad dressing to ice cream in-house. Utilizing the spirit of Gainesville to make its cuisine distinct, the restaurant has come up with a style that has been described as “Southern Nouveau,” mixing the culinary heritage of North Central Florida and the greater South with a casual contemporary ambience. And nowhere does the restaurant let that blend shine than in its cocktails. With names like “Ocala Swamp Devil” and “Trailer Park Punch,” these drinks pay homage to the culture and geography of North Florida with a modern bartender’s aesthetic. Blue Gill is Gainesville-specific, and it embraces that. The restaurant’s mission focuses on giving back to the community because it couldn’t have been produced by any other town. Served up in Mason jars for just another Southern twist, Trailer Park Punch particularly nails the fusion of Southern and urban charm. Give it a try – paired with this comforting, homey sweet potato dish, you have yourself a regular Dixieland dinner.
COLUMN / READ UP, CHOW DOWN
SWEET POTATO AND CHESNUTS Serves 2 About 1 hour
TRAILER PARK PUNCH Makes 1 drink
INGREDIENTS 2 pounds sweet potatoes 2 tablespoons butter ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup roasted chestnuts, chopped ¼ cup parmesan cheese
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Peel and cut sweet potatoes in equal-sized chunks. Cover with cold water and cook over medium heat until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. 2. Puree cooked sweet potatoes with butter and vanilla in a food processor. 3. Place sweet potato puree in baking dish and cover with chopped, roasted chestnuts and grated parmesan cheese.
INGREDIENTS 2 ounces rum 1 ounces pineapple juice 1 ounces orange juice Splash of grenadine Dash of nutmeg
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Shake and serve over ice. Optional: Serve in Mason jar. Garnish with orange slice, cherry and toothpick umbrella.
4. Bake at 350 F for about 15 minutes or until hot.
IN SEASON H S E R F D N A
uliflower / a C / e g a b pers / Cab p e P it / Lettuce ll u e fr B e p / ra o d G a / c t Avo r / Eggplan e b m u c u C ms Celer y / / Mushroo h is d a R / ans / Snap be
Winter 2014 | T H E
FOR THE RECORD Reviews of local bands, the next big thing, and all your friends
Eric Rubin of Blue Herons. Photo by Samantha Schuyler.
>> BLUE HERONS BLUE
shoegaze Release Date// November to December Recorded at// Rubin’s apartment Sounds like//Real Estate, Foxes & Fiction, Panda Bear Inspiration// The Microphones, My Bloody Valentine, The Flaming Lips Key tracks// You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice, Attrition, Barb Where to get it// blueherons. bandcamp.com Upcoming shows// TBA
Guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocals // Eric Rubin
This is the kind of stuff you’d imagine the cast of “My So-Called Life” listened to. Eric Rubin’s self-titled album is filled with soft vocals and gentle strumming – the kind of shoegaze music that makes you want to hop into your car and drive to Ginnie Springs with your closest buds. Although Rubin is the only member of Blue Herons, he doesn’t like to think of it as a solo project. “I know exactly how I want my music to sound, and so I record it immediately in my apartment,” he said. “I do plan on working with other people though.” He said he doesn’t like to set aside a certain time of day to create music but prefers to work on his music whenever inspiration hits, which, thankfully, his flexible work schedule allows. He’s been playing music for the past 10 years and has been able to pick up different instruments quickly in the process. For example, he learned how to play the drums for the album. Rubin said music is a cathartic way for him to deal with being introverted, and creating something new in his apartment helps him express his emotions when he’s unable to in other ways.
10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintuf.org
If you’d like to see your band reviewed in For The Record or if you want to be considered to play at our next benefit show, email email@example.com and let us know.
“It’s more therapeutic,” he said. “If there’s no one there to hug me, then I make my own hug.” The album begins with the whimsical track “Attrition,” which sprinkles Rubin’s vocals among sulky guitar riffs, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. “On Repeat” is a strikingly different track – an upbeat melody with distorted vocals, though still as heartbreaking as the rest of the tracks. Rubin has an understanding of what it’s like to fall in and out (of love, friendships, jobs) during your ‘20s. “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice,” one of his first singles, expresses the delicate nuances of maneuvering those ins and outs. Rubin said he released two singles per week until the entire album was released. He said he didn’t want to send out a whole album and have people do a drive-by listen. For him, it’s all about the anticipation. “I want them to want more,” he said. And yes, we really do.
BY MELIA JACQUOT
>> STRANGE LORDS STRANGE LORDS
creepy lo-fi heavy rock Release Date// July Recorded at// White Moon Recordings Sounds like// King Tuff, The Growlers, Witch Inspiration// Black Sabbath, Captain Beefheart, Dick Dale Key tracks// Carroneros, No Grave, The Golem Where to get it// strangelords. bandcamp.com Upcoming shows// Dec.13 at Nobby’s in St. Augustine
sad acoustic singalong drinking songs Release Date// Early December Recorded at// Steven’s Porch Sounds like// Against Me!, Rosa Inspiration// Screeching Weasel--if they were sad and acoustic Key tracks// Leaving Gone Right, No! You Be Happy Where to get it// bearpuck. bandcamp.com Upcoming shows// TBA
Guitar // Waylon Thornton Drums // Andrew Seward
The opening wail of intense guitar riffs, similar to what you would hear during a shootout in a Western film, cuts right to the point that Strange Lords are ready for anything. “Knuckle Duster,” the first track off Strange Lords’ self-titled album, makes clear that Thornton and Seward are ready to take you on an adventure of a lifetime. The adventure: They are strictly an instrumental band. But only using two instruments – the guitar and the drums – allows Thornton and Seward to demonstrate their twist on rock music with Waylon’s grisly guitar riffs and Seward’s unabashed drumming. Together, the two change moods with each song. They wanted the songs to speak for themselves, Thornton said. “People get upset that we’re an instrumental band because they don’t have someone barking at them,” he said. “We want people to enjoy what rock used to be about.” The self-proclaimed “dad rock” musicians have stripped down to basics. Between Thornton and Seward, they have about 20 years of live performances under their belts, evident in the first song they collaborated on,
>> BEAR PUCK A SLIGHTLY POETIC DESCRIPTION OF HOW I BECAME PATHETIC TRASH
FOR THE RECORD
“Amano-Iwato.” The heavy guitar riffs make you forget there are only two guys making this music. Their first show was at the Toplantic’s 10th Anniversary Block Party this summer, and Thornton and Seward had technically rehearsed only three times before the show. With the duo living in different towns, rehearsing should have been tricky – but not in this case. They sent each other their tracks online, and Waylon mixed them at his recording studio. “We send each other tracks when we have time, and it’s never a rush,” he said. “We have fun.” Thornton said that although the album is out, they still plan on pressing vinyl copies. “Once we had all the songs done, we posted the entire album on Bandcamp the next day,” Thornton said. They didn’t want people to have to wait until they could get the album pressed, which won’t be until early 2015. “We thought it would be unfair to have everyone to wait that long,” he said. Thankfully, we don’t have to.
BY MELIA JACQUOT
Vocals, guitar // Steven Leighton
It’s the second day of Fest, and the sole member of Bear Puck kills the last of the hard ciders he forgot to finish last night before going to see some of his dream bands play. “I woke up still drunk,” he said. “But like, I met Mikey Erg.” Bear Puck, Leighton’s solo project, is steeped in the raw misery of sad-boy songs, and is meant for a demographic that he pictures as “a bunch of 20-who-gives-afucks” who relate to not realizing what you have until it’s too late. Coming to Gainesville had been a strange turn of events, he said. His love of independently produced punk rock led him to a collaboration run by Samuel Parrish called Artichokification, which produced live shows on a stage in the middle of the Minnesota woods. He eventually moved to Gainesville with absolutely no plan, he said, and started playing shows as a solo act. “The point of (the music) is to explain what it feels like to be let down and alone,” Leighton said. Despite this, Bear Puck’s songs are wildly catchy, the kind you find yourself singing under your breath at work. He deftly turns saddening lyrics into wry, self-
aware mockery. And the combination strikes a chord: His shows are often filled with excited friends and fans, all shouting his musical rants along with him. The danciest depression song of the album, “No! You Be Happy,” catalogues the feelings that bubble up after making regrettable decisions based on temporary tantrums. Alcohol is guaranteed to be the sole inspiration of the punk ballad. Leighton’s most popular track, “Leaving Gone Right,” maintains the sad-boy influence, telling a story about regretting love that never was. Its constant stream of promises to run as far as possible and change lead into a toe-tapping chorus, which, at live shows, usually turns into a full-on singalong. Overall, the raw, obvious cries for help work. And Leighton’s ultimate pick-me-up, he said, is a crowd of people listening to him sing about what it’s like to be young and confused. And his remorseful, unabashed lyrics only make his fans sing along more. And, really, that’s his ultimate goal: Tell a depressing story to the sound of his fans cheering him on.
BY MICAH JAMESON
Winter 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 11
I, ROBOT BY MATIAS KAPLAN ILLUSTRATION BY SYDNEY MARTIN
The most powerful computer known to man is stuck between our ears.
I hope you’re enjoying this piece in print. If not, then there’s a good chance you’re reading this on a cell phone. Take a moment to think about that. Bytes of data are sitting in a server somewhere, getting sent through “a series of tubes,” and finally appearing as crisp text within 10 seconds. All of this is done with what we consider conventional computing, where computers use transistors as switches to step through one computation at a time. Through what’s called Moore’s law, every 18 months the number of transistors we can fit on
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the same microchip doubles, while, as though through radioactive decay, the price continually halves. Although the law started as only an observation, it’s become a trend that industry professionals treat as a quasi-fact when they make new products. And it’s allowed us to do amazing things. You can video chat with a significant other on the other side of the world; compute the trajectory a rover takes to land on Mars; or watch all of “House of Cards” without having to leave the couch. All of this is done with what is, fundamentally, a beefed up calculator. But conventional computers have their drawbacks. For one, we’re quickly approaching the limit of Moore’s law: As transistors get smaller and smaller, they’ll cease to be reliable carriers of information and generate too much heat to function properly. Computational boosts won’t be possible by simply squeezing more transistors onto a plate. Secondly, as my 10 percent battery warning reminds me, conventional computers use a lot of power. And lastly, they’re sometimes just plain bad at solving what often seems like simple problems. Compute pi to a million digits: easy as pie; have Siri identify a type of pie based solely on a photo: a scary computational problem. All the while, humans have long known about and used a different type of computer. This one performs tasks such as face recognition and natural language recognition “much better and more accurately” than anything we’ve been able to make a computer do so far, according to John Harris, Ph.D, chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Florida. If you haven’t guessed by now, this computer is the brain. With just 20 watts of power – about how much your laptop consumes – your brain can navigate you through Turlington without hitting a pedestrian on your bike. With just a tiny electri-
COLUMN / SIMPLY SCIENCE
cal nudge, you can find your friend’s voice from across a loud room and immediately gather from his tone that he wants to leave. Still, despite everyone having one, the brain remains a mystery, Harris said. In fact, we still haven’t been able to construct computers that work as well as the brain. “It is embarrassing,” Harris said, “that we can’t do as well as a rat running around.” But a field coming into its own, neuromorphic engineering, seeks to use the brain as a biological inspiration for new computers. In his lab, Harris used neuron-like circuits to design a camera that works with less power and provides a higher dynamic range than even high-end models. Another approach to this field, taken by Karim Oweiss, PhD, a professor in the ECE department, is to understand the brain not by modeling it, but by working on it directly. Oweiss’ team focuses on developing Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI). Prior to the development of modern neurobiology, we could only learn about the brain by observing neural input and the resulting action. For example: Touch a hot pan, and your hand snaps back instantly. In Oweiss’ lab, BMIs are used as a window through which we can read the individual firings of neurons in a brain, showing us what the brain does between touching the pan and snatching your hand away. This has allowed the Oweiss lab to see how neurons adapt themselves when they’re damaged or needed for other tasks – a property known as “neural plasticity.” In a current project, Oweiss places a sensor into mice brains that detects when neurons fire. He then trains the rats to move robotic arms simply by thinking about which direction they would like to move their bodies. Oweiss said this work could provide relief to paralyzed patients who are unable to move. By applying similar BMI to those patients’ brains, it would be possible to train them to independently move a robotic arm. But training requires mental gymnastics, with patients learning to think through very specific movements. Try it out yourself: To work the arm, you’d need to walk through every tiny motion required to, say, flip this page (or your phone, I’m still not going to assume). It’s not easy. For this reason, Oweiss’ former Ph.D. student has attempted to train mice to move the robotic arm with higher level, ‘“goal-oriented” signals.
Instead of the mouse thinking through all the necessary in-between steps – arm up, arm down, squeeze – Oweiss’ team believes it has been able to detect and act on the signal. Now they believe the robotic arm is simply acting on the urge to get food. In other words: Oweiss’ team may be reading the mices’ thoughts. This is why neuromorphic computing is so exciting. By trying to answer engineering questions, we are building up the necessary tools to answer what were once considered philosophical questions. And as scientists and engineers continue to explore neurobiology, we see more and more that the mind-melting innovation of science fiction could become an everyday reality. And Harris pointed out the profound possibilities best: “There is seemingly no roadblock to getting consciousness into a computer.”
Winter 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 13
COLUMN / HOMESTEAD INSTEAD
BY ASHLEY YOUNG ILLUSTRATION BY LAUREN NICHOLAS Sewing is an art form that lies somewhere between a lost relic and a self-sustaining skill. With so much of our clothing being streamlined by corporate industries, the hunt for individualized pieces can be a challenge on a tight budget. Over the course of time, however, sewing has become a combination of both skill and artistry, easily acquirable with some practice and minimal effort. As it has caught on via word-ofmouth among millennials, more people are willing to learn about its simplicity. Sewing is a modern skill that anyone can learn and develop, although it may be intimidating. For some, it could be up there with astrophysics and organic chemistry. But with the sewing expertise of Cori Cake of Cattail Outfitters, you too can be a sewing master. Cake, who does all the fabric gathering, design making and sewing for her company, has hats for sale all over Gainesville in locations such as Pop-A-Top and Pleasant Cyclery. While managing her company, she also works a day job and, at one point, also attended school.
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Is she capable of accomplishing such feats because she is an absolutely talented individual who excels above the average human capacity? Most likely. But that doesn’t mean sewing requires an excess of brain power on your part. Sewing is a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-learn skill. Learning the basics takes about 30 minutes, and, with a little trial-and-error, you can piece together simple items such as a messenger bag, or even custom-fit your favorite pair of pants. Once you have a good grasp of sewing, the confidence to work on other projects will follow. The Internet is a great resource, and you can find an endless supply of free instructional videos that are easy to access. With an abundance of bloggers willing to divulge their sewing secrets to beginners, you can easily learn the lingo and shortcuts. Getting started is less intimidating than you may think, and you aren’t alone in learning! With the help of Cake, you can learn to make a useful, inexpensive and simple messenger bag for any occasion. Below are some pro tips, supplies and a how-to for a messenger bag you can share with all your friends. Sew ... let’s get started.
Use the following stitch pattern to secure the velcro:
1. 'JOE ZPVS TVQQMJFT 5SZ +P"OO Fabric, Walmart or Haven )PTQJDF "UUJD 8IFO ZPV DBO shop local. 2. With your marker, trace a rectangle that is 15 inches wide by 24 inches long on both your liner and outer fabrics. Cut them.
Sew the soft velcro piece to the outer fabric on the opposite side, 5 inches from the edge, using the above stitching technique.
Velcro Marker Sharp scissors Needle or machine Thread Fabric and liner fabric Strap
3. Place the two pieces of fabric together with the outer sides facing each other. Sew around the edges, Â˝ inch from the edge and leave one side unsewn.
6. Fold your bag into sections to create a 7-inch-tall pocket.
NEEDLE OR MACHINE?
You can hand stitch this entire bag. If you want to invest in a solid sewing machine for beginners, a new one from Walmart is about $75 to $80. You can find a used one on Craigslist for about $50. Look for a machine with: t Reverse stitch (youâ€™ll see a little reverse or U-shaped symbol on a button somewhere) t Straight stitch t Zigzag stitch t Circular knob on the right side, and it has other knobs with numbers on them that control things like tension and stitch length
t t t
7. Sew along the outer edges, Âź inch from the edge.
5. $VU ZPVS WFMDSP JODIFT MPOH Sew the rougher velcro to the &YUSBMBSHF KBDLFUT GPVOE BU UISJGU inside top of your bag Â˝ inch from stores usually have enough fabric the top edge. to cut into pattern pieces. 8. 'MJQJUSJHIUTJEFPVU #FMUT NBLF GPS HSFBU DSPTTCPEZ straps. *G ZPVS PVUFS GBCSJD JTOU BMSFBEZ waterproof, use an old shower curtain as your liner fabric. )BWFO)PTQJDF"UUJDBU/8 UI"WFIBTBTFXJOHTFDUJPO
PRO TIPS t
4. Turn this piece inside out, fold the unsewn edge inward and sew on top of it Âź inch from the edge.
With the lining fabric facing outward, insert the straps between the folded fabric, making sure they will not twist when you turn the bag right-side up.
As a form of therapy, homeless veterans learn how to grow and cook their own harvest PHOTO STORY BY STEVEN LONGMIRE Behind the HONOR Center, a facility designed to house homeless veterans who are disabled or need to recuperate, is a garden teeming with life. Eight raised vegetable garden beds are home to carrots, sweet onions and much more, which are planted
and raised by the veterans who stay at the residence. The garden was started in 2009 and has since added concrete pathways and an area reserved for vets who need a place for quiet reflection. The garden is meant to be a place of serenity and therapy for the veterans, who are taught everything from planting the seeds and harvesting the plants, to cooking them in the on-site kitchen.
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Recently, the veterans discovered a number of koi fish that had been forgotten in one of the standing pools of water. Kat Costello, who discovered the fish, said tending to them has helped her. “Just sitting back here and seeing them thrive,” she said. “I’ve been here for six months, and now I feel like a whole person that I haven’t felt like in a lot of years.”
Opposite page: (top, left) A gardener shows off a few of the worms that inhabit the garden beds. (top, right) Bobby Hopkins, a veteran in his 50s, leans over one of the many raised beds that dot the Veteran’s Center garden. “I didn’t realize I liked gardening until I came here and started watching everyone,” he said. “It’s soothing — sort of therapeutic. When I start messing with these flowers, it’s all I’m thinking about. No negative thoughts, just flowers.” (bottom) Ryan, a young combat veteran who
regularly comes to the garden, shows off his broccoli, which will soon be ready for harvest. “Seeing the plant start from germination to being a full grown plant is very therapeutic,” he said. Current page: (top) Veterans tuck in the last few of the sweet onions into freshly turned soil. (bottom, right) After the crops are harvested, the veterans also learn how to make meals with their vegetables. Here, Brett helps prepare some carrots for a dish. “It’s so satisfying to the guys to talk about real food.
Real food is not from the can, and a lot of people here haven’t had fresh veggies,” he said. “Because it’s from the garden, it allows them to be a little more open to trying new things.” (bottom, left) Troid Brett shows some of the veterans how to compost. “I started volunteering a few years ago,” he said. “A lot of the (veterans) here grew up gardening with their grandparents in North Georgia and Florida, so it takes them back to childhood memories.” Winter 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 17
BY KYLE HAYES PHOTOS BY STEVEN LONGMIRE Come at the right time to Quality Storage & Mini Warehouses, a storage unit facility on the outskirts of Gainesville, and you’ll catch the sound of live music. It’s not your ears deceiving you. Past the decaying fences and under towering yellow pine trees, on a small piece of land lined with narrow concrete buildings, behind the dark steel doors of the units packed tight like sardines, local bands are hard at work jamming at the highest volume possible. Local bands have been using these units to practice unrestrained by city sound limits for the past few years, and the Co-Pilots are one of them. With little room to move amid a mess of equipment and cables, members Ricky Brockway, Victor Florence and AJ Herring stoop over their instruments on a Thursday afternoon and play under the glow of Christmas lights that crisscross the ceiling. They are three of six people who collectively own and pay rent for the unit. Various projects have assembled and dismantled among them, but they’ve also brought in their own networks of musicians to practice and try new sounds. And the rent only gets cheaper as more join the ranks. The Co-Pilots, who are looking to recruit another guitarist, even jokingly said they’re only doing it to bring the rent down. It makes sense: They’re all 20-something and broke, making music on a budget with whatever tools and resources they can find. 18 | T H E
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GARAGE BANDS It’s the essence of Gainesville’s DIY music scene, Florence said. Everything from their music (recorded and mixed themselves) to their space (the walls and ceiling lined with cardboard that serves as makeshift soundproofing) to their instruments (Against the wall rests a keyboard with two pens taped to where a G key once was) is handmade and lets them stay self-sufficient. And many of the musicians who practice there go on to perform at Display Gallery, an artist-run studio, gallery and event space downtown which has been hosting an ongoing marathon of local DIY shows for the past year. “I’d say if Display had an official practice space, it’d be that space,” Florence said. “I mean, it’s not an official one. But it feels like it.” Brockway, bassist for the Co-Pilots, first rented out the unit a little over a year ago. He’d heard the facility was used by bands in need of practice space. In fact, Pedro Sanchez, drummer for the Co-Pilots, sits at his drum set under an amateurish spraypainted mural of children holding hands atop a pile of ammunition. Its origin is still unknown; none of the renters know
SPOTLIGHT what went on within the graffitied walls before they moved in. But there’s a good chance it came from other musicians who used the space for the same purpose. Brockway said so many other musicians use the units, so it’s not uncommon to see the parking lot busy with cars and musicians lugging amps around. “Some days there will be, like, four or five bands there at a time playing in different units,” Brockway said, “doing their own thing.” Although they often hear the other musicians more
“Such wildly different genres are going on in there.” than they see them, they enjoy walking through the facility and catching bursts of wildly different music coming from the different rooms. On any given day they’ll hear a jam band playing Grateful Dead songs, a punk group with a loud female voice blasting through the walls or a band playing KISS covers tirelessly for hours on end. The facility’s development as a hub for musicians may come as a surprise to people who live near the facility but not within earshot – probably for the best. With an equipment rental store and a Waffle House as two of the crowning businesses in the area, it’s not exactly a bohemian environment. “It’s something you wouldn’t really expect to be out in the middle of nowhere,” Florence said. “It’s the last stop. Cause after that it’s just woods.” “It’s not really convenient,” Brockway added. “It seems like it’s somehow always 15 minutes from anywhere you are in Gainesville.” Then again, distance is also part of the facility’s draw, Brockway said. It allows the musicians to play as loud as they want at any time, day or night, without warranting noise disturbance fines or bothering neighbors or roommates. “I can’t imagine us trying to practice in my apartment,” said Tanner Williams, vocalist and guitarist for the CoPilots. “It’s definitely worth it.” Brockway added that it’s important to have a place where you can play at the volume at which you’d perform, and local spaces for this purpose have become hard to come by. In fact, many of the venues where the musicians would regularly perform are increasingly unavailable: Mars shut down early this year, 1982 is going through renovations and Display has been
(Above) The Co-Pilots practice in the storage unit they converted themselves, shown by the cardboard taped to the ceiling to act as a makeshift soundproofing and the graffiti on the walls. (Previous page) Pedro Sanchez, Tanner Williams and Ricky Brockway of The Co-Pilots practice while squeezed into their storage unit, which they have converted into a practice space. Without nearby spaces available to practice at top volume, many local bands are choosing to practice in storage units on the outskirts of town instead of risking noise violations or disturbing their neighbors.
off the market until it gets up to code after a recent string of noise violations. And the practice space desert has affected a large portion of Gainesville’s musicians: Another unit on Waldo has been overrun with musicians with the same idea. “It gives me a chance to explore being live,” Florence said. “When you’re in your own room you can’t really do that. Going to a place that’s remote – it’s really freeing.” Florence also said he appreciates the laid-back nature of the space. The musicians let each other know when they’ll be using it through a collective group text, and everyone respects each others’ property. Florence said he also enjoys seeing the space bring together musicians with varying styles under one roof. “It’s like a nexus,” Florence said. “Such wildly different genres are going on in there.” This has provided a communal creative experience. The musicians share equipment, go to each other’s shows and sit in on each other’s practices and recording sessions, Florence said. Since sharing the space, Brockway and Florence have started working on a new project, which Brockway says is tentatively called Cult Film. Without the storage unit as the center for all of their music endeavors, they might not have been able to find the right time or place to collaborate, Brockway said. “It’s too small. And too hot,” Florence said. “But it’s a great place to just stretch out ideas. It’s definitely a DIY, lofi place. It’s perfect. It gives us a chance to explore.”
Winter 2014 | T H E
BY ZACH SCHLEIN ILLUSTRATION BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER
In many ways, Lawton M. Chiles Elementary School kindergarten teacher Susan Bowles is the textbook definition of a lifelong educator. “I have wanted to teach school since I was four,” Bowles recounted. “My Aunt Doris took me to school with her a couple of times when I was that age, just for the afternoon. I loved being in her classroom.” Coming from a family of teachers, including her mom, aunt and several cousins, Bowles has enjoyed a 26-year long teaching career. With sixteen of those years spent at Chiles, Bowles makes no attempt at
underplaying the enthusiasm she possesses for her job. “I love teaching kindergarten because I have a strong maternal instinct,” Bowles said. “A kindergarten classroom is a joyful place to be.” Given her passion and experience, it may come as a surprise to some to learn that Bowles recently put her decade-spanning career on the line in what she called a deliberate “act of civil disobedience.” In early September, Bowles shared a letter on Facebook to the parents of her students announcing her refusal to
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administer the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR) test to her students. In her letter, Bowles expressed frustration with the nature of FairTest, which required kindergarten students to sit at a computer for up to 60 minutes at a time, multiple times a year. When describing the effects of the test on her curriculum, it is clear that Bowles feels that the time spent on FairTest not only represents precious teaching time lost, but is symptomatic of a larger problem within Florida schools, namely, a standardized test-centric culture.
SPOTLIGHT “Teaching has changed considerably since I first began,” Bowles said. “I had a lot more freedom until No Child Left Behind and [former Florida Governor] Jeb Bush decided that teachers were ineffective and that testing would fix the system.” These requirements take necessary time away from the very teachers who need to be preparing their students. According to Bowles, standards such as these are developmentally inappropriate for students who are built up to fail. Bowles is far from alone in her feelings. Her letter generated strong social media support and would be shared over 300 times on Facebook by frustrated educators and
students in each state must show relative degrees of aptitude on state-provided exams in order for states to receive federal funding for education, standardized testing has become more prevalent than ever before in American schools, with Florida in particular leading the way. Established in 1998, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) has been the standard by which students grades 3-11 have been measured for years. Since the implementation of both the FCAT and “No Child Left Behind,” standardized tests provided by Florida and third parties have not only increased, but their scope has been expanded as well, with comprehensive
“I had a lot more freedom until No Child Left Behind and [former Florida Governor] Jeb Bush decided that teachers were ineffective and that testing would fix the system.” parents nationwide, all of whom expressed a desire for change in what they perceived to be a defective educational system. The notion that the American educational system is broken and needs fixing is not particularly new. As class sizes have swelled over the years, school budgets have been slashed, and American students have struggled to keep pace with competitive international standards. More pressure than ever has been placed on the shoulders of both the federal and state governments to answer one central question: “How can the education and enrichment of America’s youth be optimized?” In the last decade, it would appear that standardized testing has been accepted as the best answer. With the implementation of President George W. Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” act in 2002, which established that K-12
improve education. In order to provide more test preparation time, fewer courses are offered.” In addition to decrying the increasing limitation of opportunities available to students in the name of test preparation, Legg voiced concerns echoing those of Bowles, specifically the effect of test-culture on student morale and ability. “As teaching to the test increases, instruction for some may be less about critical thinking than it is about drill and practice,” Legg said. “Now new critical thinking tests will drive scores down. Students are not prepared. Teachers get discouraged.” Despite the grimness of the current situation, it would appear as though the efforts of Bowles and Florida’s constituency are effecting change. In an article published by The Heartland Institute on November 7th, it was noted that FairTest had been suspended for a year. Although not officially acknowledged to be the work of Bowles’ act of civil disobedience, the news generated by her actions makes it all but implicit. Given this chain of events, it is not all that surprising to hear that Bowles would do it all over again. “The overall response has been extremely positive, Bowles said. “This past Sunday my pastor was preaching about what matters most in life. The following seemed to sum up well what I have learned through this. He said, ‘An individual has enormous power in YES and NO.’”
tests for kindergarten students becoming more and more commonplace. Sue Legg, Ph.D., the Education Chair for the Florida League of Women Voters Study on School Choice, has studied standardized testing extensively, and says that there THINKING ABOUT THE MILITARY? are a number of MAKE AN problems with the degree to which INFORMED CHOICE. standardized ADVICE FROM VETERANS tests have become ON MILITARY SERVICE institutionalized AND RECRUITING PRACTICES within the Florida A Resource Guide F or Young People school curriculum. “The biggest Considering Enlistment concern is the http://www.afn.org/~vetpeace/ impact of excessive testing,” Legg said. “Test scores are Gainesville Chapter 14 used in ways that harm rather than
Winter 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 21
INTO THE WILD BY ALEC CARVER ILLUSTRATIONS BY SAMANTHA SCHUYLER
own along Northeast Eighth Avenue, an empty brick building is hunkered squarely in the middle of seven acres of fencedin land, its walls woven with saplings and weeds. The structure is filled with asbestos and has begun to collect mold. All the while, the land has slowly reverted to sparse Florida scrub scattered among limber pines, wiry grass and sprouts of palmetto. The building was once the C. R. Layton Army Reserve, a patch of land the city gave to the federal government in 1950 to train local reserve volunteers. For decades it was a fixture
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of the community, its physical presence a reminder of the commitments of reservists, veterans and their families. But in 2009, the federal government decided to relocate the reserve. The reservists picked up and moved, leaving the building and the land behind. Since then, the property has lain dormant. And now, after 64 years of federal ownership, it is being returned to the City of Gainesville and, thanks to the unified force of community, will possibly house a community farming system that is revolutionary in its simplicity. For the past five years, a conglomeration of friends and neighborhood residents â€” calling themselves Friends of the Reserve
Park—have been pushing for the city to convert the property into a multipurpose public park. Ideally, it could become a space that would incorporate a number of community-oriented resources. Mandi Millam, president of Friends of the Reserve Park, said she hears suggestions and ideas from community members almost daily. Members of the group have suggested everything from a community garden to playgrounds to a memorial honoring the reservists. But in a move that is both forward-thinking and savvy to innovations in sustainability, the members of the group have pushed for the creation of a food forest. Food forests — known academically as permaculture — are agricultural systems that replicate natural ecological relationships as closely as possible. In the last few decades, they’ve been popping up the whole world over. Several working food forests can be found in Florida; there’s even one on UF’s campus, next to the bat houses. Food forests, said Joe Pierce, head of Mosswood Farm Store and Bakehouse in Micanopy, are radically simple and versatile. The basis of a food forest is fruit- and nut-producing perennial trees. These plants provide the canopy and the physical boundaries of the forest, onto which all manner of edible shrubs, bushes, herbs and vines are added. Essentially, the goal is to create an intentional, edible ecosystem. For this reason, Pierce explained, food forests have been hailed by ecologists and supporters
of sustainable agriculture as an alternative to modern industrial farming and monoculture, which has the benefit of high yields at disastrous ecological costs like soil depletion and the increasing threat of food insecurity. The design of the Reserve Park food forest has yet to be decided. But here, the versatile nature of permaculture plays to the Friends’ advantage. Permaculture allows for great variation and diversity; a system can be as large as the land will allow or as small as a few plants sharing a pot indoors.
Pierce concurred. The most labor-intensive aspect of a food forest is the initial planting to set up the trees, he said. “In general, perennials are going to be 90 percent less work,” he said. “Once they’re established, they pretty much take care of themselves.” According to Pierce and Bellows, this aspect of permaculture makes food forests ideal fixtures for public community spaces. Setting them up requires a unified community effort, which will later bear fruit
“Food forests require a lot of work on the front end. But the systems are set up to maintain themselves. You don’t want to go in there and weed. All you want to do is go in there and harvest.” Pierce, something of an informal food forest expert, runs his own forest and is a quasi-saintly figure within permaculture circles. He likes to use a quote from one of permaculture’s founding texts: “The limit to the design is the imagination of the designer.” Wendi Bellows, another expert and fixture in the permaculture community, described food forests in terms of creating a selfsufficient system. “Food forests require a lot of work on the front end,” she said. “But the systems are set up to maintain themselves. You don’t want to go in there and weed. All you want to do is go in there and harvest.”
for all. Once it gets going, the food forest would transform the way the community relates to its food and to the landscape. Its presence in the middle of a residential neighborhood will give ordinary people access to sustainable, organic food. More importantly, more people will be exposed to food plants, rather than just the fruits and vegetables found in the
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“We’ve already got people who are willing to donate trees, lots of people who are willing to come out and put their hands on as soon as we break ground. They’re waiting. All you’ve got to do is give them the word, and I think we’ll have an army out here.” produce section. Seeing the plants themselves will encourage people to be mindful about where their food comes from and expose them to foods beyond the conventional dozen or so that have become staples of our diets in the last century, Pierce said. The opportunity to educate may be one of the food forest’s strongest potential assets, Millam said, and mentioned that she hopes local schools will take field trips there. Randy Wells, city commissioner and supporter of the Friends group, said he believes the community-grounded approach will make what the reserve park becomes radically different than other public spaces. Rather than simply handing
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over responsibility for the park’s planning and construction to the city, Gainesville’s government will act simply as an enabler for the needs and desires of the community, with the Friends of the Reserve Park acting as a vanguard for the community’s vision. And this setup, Wells said, will ensure that the community’s vision becomes a reality. In fact, the initiative to build a food forest has gained traction within the community and among the Friends themselves. But the reserve park food forest’s most ardent and vigorous supporter is Robbie Guggenheim, a community resident and permaculture enthusiast. Guggenheim runs several
Facebook groups promoting permaculture in Gainesville and the state of Florida, and he is actively involved in the efforts to build a food forest on at least some of the property’s seven acres. However, despite massive community support and Wells’ backing, the project is still pending city approval. Aside from basic safety and code concerns, turning this land into a park will run up massive costs. Millam said that, at the very least, the lot needs be cleaned, and the building is full of asbestos that must be removed. Beyond that, there are specific things about the food forest to worry about. Bellows was quick to bring up insurance concerns as an example. What happens if somebody gets sick from eating out of it? Or if somebody gets injured by something in the food forest, who pays the medical expenses? Despite these daunting obstacles, Guggenheim said he remains optimistic. “We’ve already got people who are willing to donate trees, lots of people who are willing to come out and put their hands on as soon as we break ground,” he said. “They’re waiting. All you’ve got to do is give them the word, and I think we’ll have an army out here.”
Winter 2014 | T H E
THE LIGHTS BY SHAYNA TANEN
It is easy to sweep problems under the rug of a 2,000-acre campus. It is easy to let the lamps dim and the plants grow toward the sky. But fading lights and dense foliage can be an attractive blanket for dangerous people to hide under. For years, the University of Florida’s campus greenery has gone without proper maintenance. During that time, campus trees’ branches grew heavy and started to hang low. Shrubs overstepped their boundaries. The growth had gone unnoticed and unattended for years without issue. But on Sept. 7, a knocked-out electrical grid cast complete darkness in the plant-saturated walkway between McCarty Halls B and C. And shortly before 9 p.m. on that night, a 20-year-old woman was assaulted in that area. Her attacker crept up from behind and dragged her down. When she fought back, the man fled. The university takes crime and threats against its students and faculty very seriously. But there are many
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ways to combat crime, and the path less lit is not always the right one. UF RESPONSE The McCarty Hall assault was the third to happen on campus over the course of two weeks early this fall. In response, the University of Florida Police Department immediately sprang to action, increasing nighttime patrol by at least 12 officers, expanding Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP) hours and urging students to be safe, among other measures. At the same time, UF officials enacted less advertised changes. During a Sept. 15 UPD Campus Advisory meeting, the minutes show that those present – including Police Chief Linda Stump, UF Student Body President Cory Yeffet and Deputy General Counsel Amy Hass – discussed a knocked-out electrical grid that had gone unnoticed, rendering the lights between McCarty Halls B and C useless. When asked if lighting played a part in the assault, Deputy Chief Darren Baxley simply responded by saying the area was dark due to the knocked-out
grid, and the vegetation was overgrown. Donna Winchester, a UF media relations employee who spoke for UF’s physical plant division through email, said after the McCarty assault a meeting was held – by whom she did not say – targeting areas of campus to be trimmed. A week later, the pruning began. PLANT TRIMMING UF faculty, police officers and supervisors noted that the university’s grounds have been overgrown for a long time. Donna Bloomfield, UF’s lands and grounds supervisor, admitted that the physical plant neglected proper maintenance of shrubs for many years. During the campuswide pruning, she said “Design should workers trimmed lowbe done in such a way hanging branches to raise that you don’t have these tree canopies to 10 feet periods of radical change. It seems like the design needs to off the ground, and some be rethought.” - Professor Tina shrubs, which stood as Gurucharri tall as 6 feet, were scaled back to 2 feet. “Many “ W e areas were overgrown UPD Captain for years.” she said. should have Jeff Holcomb said in “We should have never never let the Sept. 15 meeting that have let them get to that “maintenance in certain point.” them get to - Groundssupervisor areas on campus can be that point,” Donna Bloomfield an issue when working Bl oomfield with natural habitats and said. the university’s sustainability program.” Winchester, UF media relations specialist, said that shrubs, bushes and trees must be maintained for safety reasons. Doing this, she said, allows people to see their surroundins clearly. Also, lights are more effective with fewer obstacles. When tree canopy height increases, visibility does, too. The physical plant division employs eight grounds crews and one tree crew to maintain the campus landscape. Winchester said that after the assaults, the physical plant division decided this number was sufficient to scale back the overgrown plants. The nine crews cut, trimmed and pruned
what should have been maintained all along, including McCarty Courtyard; the pond adjacent to Southwest 13th Street and Southwest Fourth Avenue; Museum Road across from Hume Hall; and the fenced-in area next to Norman Hall, according to Winchester’s emails. Many other Florida universities employ a campus landscape architect, whose job is to address these issues before they get out of hand, said Tina Gurucharri, chair and associate professor of the Department of Landscape Architecture. While historically UF has been and is the largest university in Florida by acreage, it does not employ a landscape architect. And according to the July minutes for a campus master plan steering committee meeting, the university no longer employs an arborist. Gurucharri said UF could benefit from the experience of an official campus landscape architect. A landscape architect oversees a school’s planting strategy, keeping in mind appealing aesthetics, lower maintenance species and the height of adult plants, Gurucharri said. They also choose plants with safe features, such as low bushes that wouldn’t obscure a would-be attacker.
Gurucharri said that UF could really use the experience of an official campus landscape architect. By contrast, UF is home to plants like viburnum and ligustrum, some of which can grow above human height and require constant maintenance. “Someone needs to think in the long term,” Gurucharri said. The school, which she added has many positive safety features, needs a better planting plan so that harsh trimming, like what took place after
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the sexual assaults, is less drastic. “It’s pretty shocking,” she said about the pruning. “It’s pretty radical.” Since the decision to pare down the overgrown foliage, areas on campus have become noticeably bare. Students began to notice the gradual absence. Brett Wasik, a horticultural science senior, said he thought some areas, such as near McCarty Hall and Marston Science Library, were cut back too much. “For safety it’s not bad,” he said. “But from an aesthetic standpoint, I was disappointed.” Wasik said such a hard prune could over-stress plants when done so close to the cold, short winter days. New buds grow to replace the pruned leaves, and that process utilizes stored energy. If enough energy is depleted by this process, the plant could die or become susceptible to disease. In its efforts to scale plants back, lands and grounds supervisor Donna Bloomfield also said that the physical plant division had to cut some plants that were not ready for pruning, including viburnum, ligustrum and azaleas. LIGHTING The knocked-out electrical grid and the darkness that followed was another key problem with the McCarty assault addressed in the Sept. 15 meeting. In fact, the physical plant division acknowledged that simply cutting away foliage is not the same as addressing safe lighting techniques. “Trimming shrubs and tree canopies is considered grounds maintenance only and is not viewed as an alternative to adding more lighting in certain areas of campus,” Winchester wrote in an email. While not an alternative, the decision to trim the foliage was a bargain. The physical plant division employed the same number of people it does for regular maintenance, having them simply cut away more than usual in the targeted areas. Bob Miller, associate vice president of business affairs and primary coordinator of the Campus Lighting Committee, said that in the past five years there has not been any money available for widespread lighting projects. Usually, the funds come from the construction allotment portion of the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, which is state money used for big construction projects like revamping the Reitz Union and Newell Hall. Whatever is left over goes toward improving
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lighting, Miller said. But a lack of funds doesn’t mean there isn’t a plan. Miller said the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning has created a map that breaks the campus into zones of theoretical ideal lighting. Some of those zones have been addressed in the past, and others have been skipped due to lack of funding, Miller said. As for the evening of Sept. 7, part of UF’s electrical grid went out, shutting off the lights near McCarty. According to the Sept. 15 meeting minutes, Deputy Chief Baxley attributed it to nearby construction. “The most serious problem is with maintenance,” Richard Schneider, UF professor emeritus of urban and regional planning, said. “There are thousands of lights here.” In fact, UPD Chief Linda Stump said during the Sept. 15 meeting that UF “has massive amounts of lighting.” And she said, “the lights should be turned on in certain areas and during certain times,” instead of turning them off to save money. She said more lights are not necessarily the answer. Utilizing the ones that already exist in a tactical way – such as making them brighter or keeping them on longer – could help. Schneider, who specializes in crime prevention through environmental design said lighting is both a science and an art. Choosing the right lights for the right situation requires strategy and thought. “The problem is, there are more lights that go out than people to fix them immediately,” Schneider said. But physical plant crews cannot be on all areas of
“It’s a balance of cost and safety,” Schneider said. “Sometimes cost wins out. Sometimes safety wins out.”
campus all the time, Schneider pointed out, and backup generators would be wildly expensive for the university. “It’s a balance of cost and safety,” Schneider said. “Sometimes cost wins out. Sometimes safety wins out.” To make up for what the physical plant crews can’t do, the Campus Lighting Committee, a volunteerrun group of faculty, students, student government members, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences employees and physical plant workers, surveys the campus one or two nights a year. It tries to spot what regular maintenance may overlook. Bob Miller, the primary coordinator of the lighting committee, said he finds that the campus usually meets lighting standards. The last survey was on a rainy night in Spring 2014. Besides a dim bulb or two, the committee did not find any glaring lighting issues. Miller said surveys like these are necessary for campus safety and security. Without additional parties checking something like lighting, things can go unnoticed. “Like at home,” he said. “If you don’t sweep under the refrigerator for a while you see a lot of dust bunnies.”
interpersonal violence prevention coordinator at UF’s GatorWell. By cutting plants and increasing visibility, the university is using risk reduction as a secondary method of preventing violent crimes, she said. This is different from primary prevention, she said, which aims to prevent crimes from ever occurring by digging into the root cause of violence. “The university can do all sorts of things, but it’s up to the students to adopt it. No one can tell them what to do,” Lawrence said. “Until we know what the right thing is, we won’t know how to change.”
SIDE EFFECTS Lillian Rozsa, a UF freshman and the Women’s Student Association’s “HollaBack” director, said she thinks trimming shrubbery is not as effective as adding lighting or more emergency blue lights. “The whole rapist in the bushes stereotype really isn’t a thing,” she said. She said bystander intervention, a way to help people recognize potentially abusive or dangerous situations, would be a better way to help combat violence. “Assault is never the victim’s fault,” she said. “If we as a society, and as a campus, shift the focus from what the victim was doing to the harasser, that would make it [UF] a safer place.” Efforts such as increasing plant maintenance, police presence and SNAP hours are geared toward reducing the risk of another attack, said Rita Lawrence, the
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BY KYLE HAYES PHOTO BY STEVEN LONGMIRE
n the border of 34th Street, a group of protesters stood holding hands in a circle, heads bowed in prayer. The assembly was made up of activists of all ages from a variety of organizations and churches around Gainesville, including Presbyterians, Mennonites, Unitarians and Quakers. The protesters, who also represented various interfaith organizations and student groups, began the event by praying aloud together. The protest was part of an ongoing series of demonstrations against Publix that kicked off this past October. One of the leaders of the group, Beto Soto, is an organizer with the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice. Soto made sure to make the group’s intentions clear. “We’re not here to block entrances or be disorderly,” Soto said. “We’re here to have a conversation.” That conversation is about tomatoes. More specifically, it is a conversation about the working conditions of the people who harvest them. For decades, the migrant farmworkers who pick the tomatoes have had to put up with atrocities like forced labor and wage theft. To address this, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers has created the Fair Food Program, an industry-wide system to protect and preserve the rights of farm workers, who, because of their status as undocumented immigrants, are often at a disadvantage and vulnerable to the whims of the farm owners. Publix, as the largest employee owned company in America, is one of the few remaining companies to refuse to join the program. “Publix is our pride and joy here in Florida,” Soto said. “It’s where I go and buy my groceries every week. Sadly enough, they are not doing their part.”
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Local activists Currently, farm workers in Florida are bow their heads paid nearly the same rate as they were in in prayer while 1978, and would need to pick 2.5 tons of protesting just tomatoes per day just to earn minimum outside the 34th wage. Workers go without overtime pay, Street Publix. The health insurance, sick leave, paid vacation supermarket chain or pension. More extreme cases have has refused to involved sexual abuse and forced labor. join the Fair Trade Over the past decade, Florida has Program, making successfully prosecuted 14 slavery it one of the last operations involving farmworkers, companies to do including one in Alachua County in so. 2010. Many workers have expired visas, and contractors use the threat of deportation to get away with the crimes. The Fair Labor Standards Act was passed in 1938 to address many of these types of issues, but it failed to include the agriculture sector. Since then, no legislation has been introduced at the state or federal level to address problems regarding farmworkers. Workers in Immokalee took the matter into their own hands when the CIW created the Fair Food Program in 2011. A model for worker-driven social responsibility, the program involves the growers, the retail buyers and the farmworkers themselves. The retailers pay a small premium, one penny per pound of tomatoes, which goes toward increasing
farmworker wages. In addition to the wage increase, the FFP ensures better working conditions on the farms in four ways: worker-toworker education, a 24-hour complaint hotline, a system of auditing and the use of the market as a form of enforcement. Workers who visit the farms educate those who lack an understanding of the Fair Food Code of Conduct, which outlines what is and is not acceptable to put up with on these farms. Once the code is a part of the farm, the workers are equipped to share their knowledge of the program with each new farmer. With the 24-hour hotline in place, the workers also have a safe and reliable method of reporting breaches in the code, where before the only authorities they could turn to could counter with the threat of deportation. The FFP also includes the Fair Food Standards Council, which was created with the knowledge that not all workers still feel safe enough to report abuses. The council audits farms by studying wage and hour records, while inspectors go to the fields to see the working environment firsthand. When abuses occur, the enforcement operates through the market -- if a farm fails to meet the standards, they can no longer do business with the Fair Food retailers. The enforcement aspect is essential to the program. Without the threat of losing buyers, the farmers have no incentives to make changes. The CIW has teamed up with student and faith groups to call on businesses to join the FFP. Here in Gainesville, the Coalition of Hispanics Integrating Spanish Speakers through Advocacy and Service along with the Interfaith Alliance for Immigrant Justice have been crucial in raising awareness to the issue.
Richard MacMaster is a member of Emmanuel Mennonite Church, which held the first meeting of the IAIJ. MacMaster has been a key member of the organization since the beginning, and is now heavily involved in the support of the FFP. Clergymen and rabbis hold protests and fasts to raise awareness, often carrying signs with Bible verses like Micah 6:8, which reads: “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with God.” “It’s easy to get faith communities on board,” MacMaster said. “Almost all religious traditions have a strong component of justice. It was true of the Civil Rights Movement. The authority was much more likely to listen to the fact that this guy we’re hustling off to jail is
Currently, farm workers in Florida are paid nearly the same rate as they were in 1978, and would need to pick 2.5 tons of tomatoes per day just to earn minimum wage. actually a bishop, which means bad P.R.” The methods used by the CIW along with these student and faith groups have been successful. The Florida Tomato Growers Association and a number of companies have joined the FFP since its creation. The list of companies involved includes McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, Chipotle, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and, most recently, Walmart. Publix’s unwillingness to join the program, however, is detrimental here in Florida, the corporation’s home state. “The combined purchasing power
of all of these companies that have joined has shrunk the market for slave tomatoes,” Soto said. “The small amount of farms that are using slaves for their crops still have a market through Publix.” Publix has justified their resistance to joining the program by noting their history of giving to charity. But the CIW wants justice, not charity. When the group of protesters stood outside of the Publix in Gainesville this past November, they made this message clear. They offered a letter outlining the need for the FFP; a plate filled with pennies; and a turkey to emphasize the importance of Thanksgiving as a time of gratitude for the workers who provide the food. They also brought tickets to the Hippodrome’s premiere of “Food Chains,” a documentary produced by Eva Longoria that outlines the history of the FFP. Publix took the letter but declined to accept any of the gifts. Esther Wallace, a community organizer for Action Network, another key Gainesville interfaith organization, has been at other protests of Publix in the past. She was disheartened by Publix’s reaction, but said that it was an improvement since the police were called in previous efforts. “Most of us are Publix customers and they should respect the feelings of their base,” Wallace said. “Its disappointing, but not at all shocking.” Soto remains steadfast in his demands and optimistic that Publix will come around to meeting their claims. “Publix simply needs to understand that this problem should not exist in the 21st century,” Soto said. “The way forward is to follow the example of businesses that understand the solution is the Fair Food Program.”
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charting the course BY KAI SU ILLUSTRATION BY SIDNEY HOWARD
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They met together for the first time early May. Five women with a singular goal: Create a charter school with a socially conscious curriculum. With a projected opening of Fall 2016, the five founding board members have met regularly over the course of the past several months, drafting their charter and laying the foundation for their institution from the ground up. But an important detail had yet to be determined – the name. “That was a long discussion,” Lisa Labbe said. “That took weeks. I believe it was actually Jyoti who said it first.” “With a glass of wine,” Jyoti Parmar interrupted jokingly. Parmar had always simply referred to their prototype as “our school.” Eventually, the name stuck. A fluid acronym building on multiple themes, OUR School was undeniably the perfect handle. It was a unanimous vote. The idea to create OUR School emerged out of Wendi Bellows’ concern for her 12-year-old son’s public school education. Bellows, who helped write a charter application for Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology in Hernando County and has 12 years of experience as a grant writer, said her dream had always been to fix the educational system in a small way by starting her own school. Bellows said she wanted to work with a group of people in Gainesville to start a charter school that would serve an important need in the community, especially for teenagers. She said there are few educational options available for parents of children in middle and high school, which is why OUR School will
focus on grades 6 through 12. Last March, she put out a call to various parent-oriented Facebook groups for anyone interested in starting a school. She organized a meeting, and eventually a core group of women formed who became the founding board. The five members – Bellows, Labbe, Parmar, Leah Fox and Lori Riddell – each have specific roles in organizing the school that relate to their respective backgrounds in education and business. Fox and Riddell have been developing the educational plan, Bellows the organizational plan, while Labbe and Parmar are focused on the business strategy. Bellows said the board has met almost every week since May to draft the charter, an extensive planning document that can be 300 to 400 pages long. They will file the Florida Department of Education charter application with the Alachua County School Board on Oct. 1 of next year, which then goes to the state for approval. If the application is approved, the OUR School will open its doors for the Fall 2016 school year.
Velesko said she feels public school curriculum emphasizes repetitive learning and has little to do with individuality.
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Maya Velesko, 38, mother of two and a graduate student at the University of Florida, said she had been uncomfortable with the idea of sending her 10-year-old daughter, Lily, to public middle school. “I’ve been having a really tough time deciding what direction to go,” Velesko said, “and I unfortunately am not in the position to consider private schooling.” Velesko’s children currently attend Expressions Learning Arts Academy, a K-5 charter school in Gainesville. Velesko said she feels public school curriculum emphasizes repetitive learning and has little to do with individuality. Velesko, who has known Bellows for a few years, said when she heard of OUR School she was thrilled about the prospect of an institution run by conscious people aware of social justice issues, individual learning styles and critical thinking. “That’s the sticking point for me – critical thinking skills and building on those,” Velesko said. “And I do not believe the current tenants of curriculum that are coming through the administration are placing much value on the individual child and on their style of learning.” Velesko said Lily, who is currently in fifth grade, may have to do a year somewhere else before OUR School opens. “We can hang for a year,” Velesko said. “We’ll figure it out.” Bellows explained that the main difference between charter and public schools are the schools’ missions. Charter schools are guided by their charters, which can involve curriculum that is vastly different than what is taught in public schools, thus providing parents with alternatives to public education. Fox, who is leading the educational planning, said public school teachers and administrators are under a lot of pressure
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“We want to cultivate a dynamic learning environment based on innovation, social justice and environmental responsibility,” Bellows said.
to prepare students for standardized tests because funding is so directly attached to those scores. This leads to overly mechanical learning and a test-based approach to education. Students at OUR School will be required to take state exams, and their scores must meet certain requirements for the school to pass. Its curriculum, however, will not be created with a goal of producing high scores, Fox said. The board members said OUR School is a grassroots effort that they want parents, business leaders and experts from the community to be involved in. According to Parmar, a great deal of talent and energy can be lost when parents are not engaged in public schools, where it can be hard for them to bring about change. “We really want to be a school where parents feel that their voice is being heard,” Fox said, “and that they are working with us as a team to support the success and thriving of their children.” The board said OUR School will run as a tuition-free public charter school. “We’re definitely all in agreement that we’re not doing this for profit. We’re doing this to create a new kind of learning
environment,” Labbe said. “So hopefully we’ll become a model, especially within our district, that other schools might want to follow.” Bellows said their school will take an interdisciplinary approach to learning. “We want to cultivate a dynamic learning environment based on innovation, social justice and environmental responsibility,” Bellows said. “And we’re focusing very much on project-based learning.” Fox said they envision students leaving OUR School as strong critical thinkers who can work collaboratively, ask authentic questions and feel empowered to explore their interests. “I think our students are going to graduate being people who know themselves,” Parmar said. “As opposed to going through the next 10 years trying to find themselves, they will have had that opportunity because the learning is student-led to a good degree.” OUR School’s emphasis on social and emotional learning is thoughtfully woven into the details of the charter, down to the disciplinary plan.
Riddell said the school will focus on building a community that supports each other – an approach that strives to prevent bad behavior before it occurs, rather than correcting it after. They are working with River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, a local peacebuilding center, to create a plan in which discipline will be minimal. “Very much embedded in our school’s culture would be mindfulness training,” Parmar added, “and providing the children with the tools to manage their emotions.” The board members said they are currently focused on developing the educational structure, which needs to be tackled before they get to the details of the business and organizational plans. Bellows and the other board members plan to remain involved with the school after it opens, but they aren’t exactly sure what their roles will be. “Right now I’m very focused on creating the school,” Bellows said. “None of us who are volunteers on this project are really focusing on ourselves and our roles later on. We’re focusing on what’s best for the community.”
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PROSE + POETRY
Our house existed more for its boreal forests, an inland gulf, the gravesite. We had no way of knowing if the remains had been disturbed. Evenings I brought food to the dead Vikingsâ€” farls of bread left hardening, blueberries picked along the way. I talked with the dead, imagining their mouths yellowed from sharp mustard. Sunlight tangled in my curtains late at night. Each shadow was a skeleton, passing near enough to return the favor.
vers BY SAMANTHA THILĂ‰N ILLUSTRATION BY EMMA ROULETTE
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PROSE + POETRY
no name key
The power lines are new. Once, a host of generators accompanied the decimal chirr of cicadas, and photovoltaic cells warmed silicate wings in the sun. There were no streetlamps. Homeowners rarely visited, preferring a week in winter to the whole of June. I was a teenager when I found the footpaths between the mangroves, and then the flooded limestone quarry— colored cyan with sediment, myriad Cassiopea populating its surface. A storm surge had cut them off from the gulf. At sundown I climbed into the cab of a disused backhoe, and, looking up, then down, I thought the sky might have been a mirror for the quarry, meteors rippling like jellyfish against the dark.
Bajad, bajad into el Panteón de los Reyes, trailing fingers along subterranean walls. A dome, alighting twenty-six recessed sepulchers, lifts its hemline in shallow arcs. White light curves in a haze above the baroque gilding of a crucifix, the rose-colored marble, shadows.
A nebula of electric lights expanded slowly westwards. I knew, from across the channel, this island was only open space, and stars.
will and testament
It’s grand underneath all the granite restraint of El Escorial—under its monkish books, level with the leaden urns of the pudrideros. Nothing here follows the pattern of the parilla, San Lorenzo’s symbol undermined by the mausoleum beneath the floor. I remember begging my grandfather to drive through a cemetery on the way home from Kinchley’s Tavern on a summer night in New Jersey. It was quiet, and less impressive. A grid of rain-polished headstones gleamed in the headlamps. I made him park beside a ditch. I told him not to sue anyone, if I died and it was someone’s fault. He asked me to mulch my zinnias with his ashes. Winter 2014 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 37
REST IN POWER
The recent non-indictments of the police who killed Michael Brown, Eric Garner and others has recently opened up a fervent dialogue over what has been true for a long time: Unarmed people of color, especially black males, are killed at a disproportionate rate by the police. We list here a fraction of those who have been lost to police violence. Among the names are men, women and children, but this list is only representative of the countless others, including trans folks, who have been killed. Further, pinning an exact number is difficult: Police data is scattered and vague, and, as Mother Jones reports, no agency currently tracks police shootings of unarmed victims in a systematic, comprehensive way. Many of the police who killed those listed below were not indicted. Names with an asterisk indicate that the police were indicted or sentenced.
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Rumain Brisbon, 34, Phoenix, Ariz. — Dec. 2, 2014 Tamir Rice, 12, Cleveland, Ohio — Nov. 22, 2014 Akai Gurley, 28, Brooklyn, NY — Nov. 20, 2014 Kajieme Powell, 25, St. Louis, Mo. — August 19, 2014 Ezell Ford, 25, Los Angeles, Calif. — August 12, 2014 Dante Parker, 36, San Bernardino County, Calif. — August 12, 2014 Michael Brown, 18, Ferguson, Mo. — August 9, 2014 John Crawford III, 22, Beavercreek, Ohio — August 5, 2014 Tyree Woodson, 38, Baltimore, Md. — August 2, 2014 Eric Garner, 43, New York, N.Y. — July 17, 2014 Victor White III, 22, Iberia Parish, La. — March 22, 2014
* Yvette Smith, 47, Bastrop, Texas — February 16, 2014 McKenzie Cochran, 25, Southfield, Mich. — January 28, 2014 Jordan Baker, 26, Houston, Texas — January 16, 2014 Andy Lopez, 13, Santa Rosa, Calif. — October 22, 2013 Miriam Carey, 34, Washington, D.C. — October 3, 2013 * Jonathan Ferrell, 24, Bradfield Farms, N.C. — September 14, 2013 Carlos Alcis, 43, New York, N.Y. — August 15, 2013 * Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr., 32, Austin, Texas — July 26, 2013 Deion Fludd, 17, New York, N.Y. — May 5, 2013 Kimani Gray, 16, New York, N.Y. — March 9, 2013 Johnnie Kamahi Warren, 43, Dotham, Ala. — December 10, 2012 * Malissa Williams, 30, and Timothy Russell, 43, Cleveland, Ohio — November 29, 2012 Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, New York, N.Y. — September 7, 2012 Chavis Carter, 21, Jonesboro, Ark. — July 29, 2012 Shantel Davis, 23, New York, N.Y. — June 14, 2012 Sharmel Edwards, 49, Las Vegas, Nev. — April 21, 2012 Tamon Robinson, 27, New York, N.Y. — April 18, 2012 * Ervin Jefferson, 18, Atlanta, Ga. — March 24, 2012 Kendrec McDade, 19, Pasadena, Calif. — March 24, 2012 * Rekia Boyd, 22, Chicago, Ill. — March 21, 2012 Shereese Francis, 30, New York, N.Y. — March 15, 2012 * Wendell Allen, 20, New Orleans, La. — March 7, 2012 Nehemiah Dillard, 29, Gainesville, Fla. — March 5, 2012 * Dante Price, 25, Dayton, Ohio — March 1, 2012 Raymond Allen, 34, Galveston, Texas — February 27, 2012 Sgt. Manuel Loggins, Jr., 31, Orange County, Calif. — February 7, 2012 Ramarley Graham, 18, New York, N.Y. — February 2, 2012 Kenneth Chamberlain, 68, White Plains, N.Y. — November 19, 2011
Alonzo Ashley, 29, Denver, Colo. — July 18, 2011 Kenneth Harding, 19, San Francisco, Calif. — July 16, 2011 Raheim Brown, 20, Oakland, Calif. — January 22, 2011 Reginald Doucet, 25, Los Angeles, Calif. — January 14, 2011 Derrick Jones, 37, Oakland, Calif. — November 8, 2010 Danroy Henry, 20, Thornwood, N.Y. — October 17, 2010 Aiyana Jones, 7, Detroit, Mich. — May 16, 2010 Steven Eugene Washington, 27, Los Angeles, CA — March 20, 2010 Aaron Campbell, 25, Portland, Ore. — January 29, 2010 Kiwane Carrington, 15, Champaign, Ill. — October 9, 2009 Victor Steen, 17, Pensacola, Fla. — October 3, 2009 Shem Walker, 49, New York, N.Y. — July 11, 2009 * Oscar Grant, 22, Oakland, Calif. — January 1, 2009 Tarika Wilson, 26, Lima, Ohio — January 4, 2008 DeAunta Terrel Farrow, 12, West Memphis, Ark. — July 22, 2007 Sean Bell, 23, New York, N.Y. — November 25, 2006 Henry Glover, 31, New Orleans, La. — September 2, 2005 * Ronald Madison, 40, and James Brisette, 17, New Orleans, La. — Sept. 4, 2005 Timothy Stansbury, 19, New York, N.Y. — January 24, 2004 Alberta Spruill, 57, New York, N.Y. — May 16, 2003 * Ousmane Zongo, 43, New York, N.Y. — May 22, 2003 Orlando Barlow, 28, Las Vegas, Nev. — February 28, 2003 Timothy Thomas, 19, Cincinnati, Ohio — April 7, 2001 Prince Jones, 25, Fairfax County, Va. — Sept. 1, 2000 Ronald Beasley, 36, and Earl Murray, 36, Dellwood, Mo. — June 12, 2000 Patrick Dorismond, 26, New York, NY — March 16, 2000 Malcolm Ferguson, 23, New York, N.Y. — March 1, 2000 Amadou Diallo, 23, New York, N.Y. — Feb. 4, 1999 Nathaniel Levi Gaines Jr., 25, New York, N.Y — July 4, 1996 Tyisha Miller, 19, Riverside, Calif. — Dec. 28, 1998 Stephon Walts, 15, Calument CIty, Ill. — Feb. 1, 2012 Remarley Graham, 18, Bronx, N.Y. — Feb. 3, 2012 Johnnie Kamahi Warren, 43, Dotham, Ala. — Feb. 13, 2012 Justin Sipp, 20, New Orleans, La. — March 1, 2012 Melvin Lawhorn, 26, Kershaw County, S.C. — March 1, 2012 Bo Morrison, 20, West Bend, Wis. — March. 3, 2012 Jersey Green, 27, Aurora, Ill. — March 12, 2012 Robert Dumas Jr., 42, Maple Heights, Ohio — March 22, 2012
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