VOLUME X, ISSUE III
SUMMER 2018 FREE
VOLUNTEERS AT A LOCAL THEATER SPEAK OUT AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT, P. 30
from the EDITORIAL DESK
hen I first came to Gainesville in 2013, like so many of us, it was to attend the University of Florida. Young, timid and lacking a vehicle, I spent my first year almost exclusively on campus or in my apartment, taking the bus between the two and nowhere else. Painfully introverted, I became trapped in this cycle, unwilling to explore outside my comfort zone. One day, while waiting for the 35 bus that would take me from the crowded Reitz station to my cramped bedroom, I spotted a copy of The Fine Print amid other local publications. I might have been drawn to the cover illustration: a person taking what appeared to be a satisfying bite of some nondescript fruit; or I might have just needed something to fan the bus fumes away from my face with. Either way, I ended up so engrossed in its pages I nearly missed my stop. This little magazine was filled with people striving to better themselves and their community. People playing music, promoting a cause or simply doing things — and not just within the boundaries of my orange-and-blue world crammed between 34th and 13th Street. The Fine Print introduced me to Flaco’s, a local restaurant that serves Cuban sandwiches — real ones, which I hadn’t had since leaving Tampa. It even told me how to
WINTER 2018 FREE
make a vegetarian version at home. If you flip a few pages ahead, you’ll find that I had the opportunity this issue to write about Abuela’s, a brand-new restaurant with the same owners. Funny, the way life works, huh? Now, I’m not saying The Fine Print magically made me a seasoned Gainesvillian overnight. I don’t even claim to be one now. But that first reading did expand my horizons just a bit, and being informed on local businesses and issues was a small step towards making this city feel more like home. If, after reading this issue, you feel similarly, then I can be confident in saying we’re doing our job. And if you want to join us in sharing Gainesville’s voices with anyone who will listen, you can find us all over campus, on social media, and at the weekly farmers markets at Bo Diddley Plaza (just a short bus ride from campus on the 1, 5 or 46, for you car-less students!) most Wednesdays, weather providing. We’d love to meet you! • Most sincerely,
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pg. 22 we can help, Maria. How
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in this ISSUE
Cover art by Caroline Gaspich.
COLUMNS MONTHLY MANIFESTO, p. 05
READ UP, CHOW DOWN, p. 08
HOMESTEAD, INSTEAD, p. 12
OPINION, p. 06
FOR THE RECORD, p. 10
SPEAK FOR THE TREES, p. 14
OLD BONES, NEW DIGS, p. 16
SCHOOL OF THOUGHT, p. 18
DECONSTRUCTION, p. 21
SEEING STARS, p. 23
COMIC, p. 24
ART & LITERATURE, p. 38
Food Not Bombs is working to prevent food waste and end capitalism.
Better than your abuela's: La Cocina de Abuela opens in northeast Gainesville.
At least five major battles in the Seminole War were fought here.
This issue, we spoke with Cool Person, Manny Bravo and The Co-Pilots.
There are better uses for flowers than wishing on lovers. The return of Simply Science: UF scientists are working to save the torreya tree.
SPOTLIGHTS Excavating for fossils in North Florida.
Students in Alachua County felt pressured not to participate in walkouts post Parkland.
Don't let our horoscope plant ideas in your head.
How to Give Advice and Be Better Generally No 3.
A breakdown of how Gainesville's construction is impacting the environment. Poetry by Emily Hill. Photography by Cole Thomas.
FEATURES MAN OF ACTION, p. 25
Andrew Chadwick is organizing a music scene in a transient college town.
SECOND NATURE, p. 28
The history behind Flashbacks, your favorite place for thrify fashions.
CASTING SHADOWS, p. 30
#MeToo: Members of a local theater speak out against sexual assault and harassment.
Edysmar Diaz-Cruz —
06– UNSETTLED HISTORY
30– CASTING SHADOWS
18– SCHOOL OF THOUGHT
Edysmar is a sophomore in the J-School. Passionate about writing compelling human-interest stories, she is always on the lookout for unconventional angles to detail ordinary everyday life. When she’s not working on her latest article at a coffee shop, she likes to rave at music festivals, irregularly post on her a-little-bit-of-everything blog and play the same chords on the ukulele. Edysmar’s next goal is to master coding and graphic design. Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 03
DEATH DRIVE NEARLY 40,000 PEOPLE ARE killed in car accidents in the U.S. each year. In a race to implement driverless technology, the autonomous-driving industry — companies like Uber, Cruise and Waymo — is pitching a safer alternative. Yet in March, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was struck and killed by one of Uber’s autonomous vehicles while walking her bike in Tempe, Arizona, making her the first pedestrian fatality from an autonomous car. Equipped with LiDAR technology, a laser remote-sensing method, Uber’s vehicle should have easily detected Herzberg on a wide-open roadway. It also had a human back-up driver at the wheel who, contrary to instructions, was not watching the road at the time of the accident. Despite these safeguards, the car did not slow down before hitting Herzberg nor display any preemptive knowledge of her location: The exact flaw remains undetermined. Arizona, which suspended Uber from testing on its roads following the accident, fosters a regulation-free environment for self-driving cars. The state allows unmanned autonomous cars to testdrive in public without special permits, which require companies like Uber to report accidents. A driverless car can be on Arizona roads as long as it has a basic insurance plan and a passenger with a license. Last year, when one of Uber’s self-driving cars collided with another vehicle in Tempe, Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey said that extra safety regulations weren’t necessary. California has already suspended Uber for test-driving without these permits in San Francisco. But Uber is not the only company testing self-driving cars on public roads. Less than a week after Herzberg’s death, one of Tesla’s software engineers was killed crashing into a highway medium in Mountain View, California, while testing 04 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
Ouch! That hurts, doesn’t it? Paper Cuts are our short, erratic and slightly painful updates on current, local and national events. See our website for more Paper Cuts at thefineprintmag.org.
the car’s semi-autonomous mode. Waymo, who still tests in Arizona, is going full speed ahead with plans to launch an autonomous taxi service. Almost ten days after Herzberg’s death, the company purchased 20,000 self-driving vehicles, which it said would allow for a million trips a day by 2020. When asked about Herzberg’s death, John Krafcik, Waymo’s CEO, said the company’s cars “would be able to handle situations like that.” The legal and ethical implications of autonomous vehicles are beginning to manifest, but currently no national regulations exist to govern autonomous testing. Where responsibility lies for the bad decisions of a driving robot, be it the car manufacturer, the tech developer or the driver, are unknown. And though the industry promises to save lives, autonomous vehicles are also poised to replace nearly 300,000 blue-collar jobs a year, according to a Goldman Sachs report. Then there's the real incentive: Intel believes autonomous vehicles could generate $800 billion per year in revenue in 2030 and $7 trillion per year by 2050. Is this really the road we want to take? By Sirene Dagher.
A BITTER PILL THE PROGRESS TOWARDS MALE birth control inches onward, but modern development of a new birth control drug looks noticeably different than it did in the 1950s. A recent study reports that a male contraceptive pill in the works has successfully reduced the hormones responsible for sperm production without serious side effects, according to an article published by CNN. "Our goal — and everyone's goal in this field — is to develop a method for men that has minimal side effects, and the holy grail would be to
develop something that also has a health benefit for men," Dr. Stephanie Page, lead author of the study, said to CNN. But in developing the female pill, test subjects were not afforded the luxury of safe and cautious treatment, let alone voluntary participation. Researchers forced institutionalized women in Massachusetts to participate in trials, along with medical students in Puerto Rico who had the option to either participate or be expelled, according to The New Republic. “Their racist paternalism had real consequences, arguably hindering the development of the pill,” wrote Ann Friedman, writer for The New Republic. Furthermore, the first female pill available to the public had hormone content high enough to cause rare increases in heart attack and stroke. It wasn’t discontinued until after a decade of use, according to Elizabeth Kiefer in The Lily. The more common side effects of the pill — weight gain, water retention, nausea, dizziness, breast tenderness, headaches, vomiting — were not initially disclosed in packaging out of concern their inclusion would undermine the authority of physicians in a male-dominated field. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Congress compelled the FDA to include an insert detailing potential side effects, 10 years following the release of Enovid, the first brand of birth control approved by the FDA. Further research on male birth control needs to be conducted in order to create a pill that has no negative effects from long term use, according to CNN. For now, Kiefer wrote that preventing pregnancy continues to be primarily women’s responsibility. “I also wonder if the tip of the scale, both literal and otherwise, might be a good reminder for men who have had the luxury of a particular kind of privilege, and freedom: that women have been pulling this extra weight all along,” she wrote. By Anne Marie Tamburro.
FOOD NOT BOMBS BY CLARA ORTEGA
ood Not Bombs is an international volunteer organization dedicated to challenging excessive food waste from capitalism and ensuring food for all people. We reclaim food that would otherwise be discarded to provide free vegetarian meals in public spaces. We choose to share vegan or vegetarian food because it contributes less to pollution, water usage and the creation of greenhouse gases. Food not Bombs believes in solidarity rather than charity and works to change systems that perpetuate hunger and homelessness, and we share literature at all of our meals. We are also a non-hierarchical organization and decide everything by consensus of members. The Gainesville Food not Bombs chapter has been off-and-on since the ’90s but has recently resurfaced to once again engage and work with our community. We collect excess food from local businesses and organizations and use that food to provide free meals every Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Haisley Lynch Dog Park. In using good food that would be thrown away, we are diverting unnecessary trash as well as showing that there is plenty of food to feed everyone in our community. Everyone in Gainesville could be fed by the amount of food thrown out every night by restaurants and grocery stores, so we are trying to make sure as much of that food as possible goes to hungry people rather than in a trash can. Currently, our meals are potluck style with different people picking up food from different locations. We coordinate to bring diverse vegetarian food options and literature. Once we have the chance to grow our organization, we hope to cook our meals together! When asked why they volunteer with Food Not Bombs in Gainesville, this is what some of our members had to say: “My interest in FNB stems from my 5 year experience of being homeless. I would always wonder why there was so much food going to waste and why some folks got to eat multi-course meals while those of us on the streets and so many poor families go hungry. I joined FNB because I
believe everyone deserves to have their basic needs met for free. We shouldn't have to work just to live a healthy life. Capitalism is the worst. The fact that so many sit on giant heaps of wealth while others go without is just ludicrous, not to mention the hierarchy within the system. It could be so simple, everyone on the same plain with adequate resources getting our basic needs met and supporting one another to live a happy healthy life. I'm here to do what's right — to just be human with one another. Supplying nutritious meals for free just makes sense.” “I first tried to get involved with Food Not Bombs and community outreach in general after hearing about the news in Charlottesville and not feeling like I was doing enough myself to combat issues of racism and poverty within my own community. Food Not Bombs attracted me because it isn't a charity; it has a mission of raising class consciousness while providing food that doesn't contribute to the devastating effects of animal agriculture.” So, how can you help? There are a few different ways. You can educate yourself on issues relating to Food Not Bombs. Read about poverty and inequality caused by global capitalism, the effects of animal agriculture on the environment, methods of nonviolent protests, military spending and homelessness (especially in Gainesville). Food Not Bombs chapters across the world have written about different issues, and a simple online search of Food Not Bombs literature will bring up different zines and flyers with information about these issues. The Civic Media Center is also a good education resource. Another thing you could do is contact us at foodnotbombs. email@example.com if you see food being thrown out unnecessarily or if you think of something new we can do to help make Gainesville a better place to live. Finally, you can come to our meals Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Haisley Lynch Dog Park. You could bring food or just come to eat and talk with us. Our food is for everyone, and we would love to meet you! • Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 05
Unsettled History As we mark the 200th anniversary the Seminole War, each of us in Gainesville has a responsibility to evaluate our relationship to this land’s history of colonialism. BY DAVID HENSLEY ILLUSTRATION BY INGRID WU
ince I moved to Gainesville, I’ve gone down the Gainesville-Hawthorne trail to Payne’s Prairie and La Chua trail to put the concerns of my life behind me. It’s a place with a rhythm and life of its own, seemingly so far away from the city and the human world, yet right in our backyard. There are traces of the human world at La Chua though, and a mostly forgotten human story to be told about it too. At the entrance to the trail, past the old stables, lies a sinkhole where great blue herons wade, and alligators sunbathe on the banks. This is “a la chua,” a Spanish corruption of “chua,” an indigenous word for the sinkhole spoken by the Potano or Timucua people, who have lived here since ancient times. Though seemingly surrounded by wilderness, this sinkhole is in fact the center of this land’s human history, including imperialism. Exactly 200 years ago, the First Seminole War was being fought in northern Florida, a continuation of a generations-long conflict that ultimately led to the forcible removal of indigenous people from their land. This includes the land where Gainesville sits today. 06 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
This history shaped Florida as we know it. Yet it’s scarcely remembered, found only at the margins of white Gainesville’s consciousness in local names or brief mentions on historical markers. As we mark the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the Seminole War, each of us in the Gainesville community has a responsibility to evaluate our relationship to this land’s history. Many of us have largely forgotten the deeper history of imperialism, slavery and ethnic cleansing that is as much our own local history as it is the history of United States. For thousands of years, people — called the “Cades Pond” and “Alachua” cultures by archaeologists — lived among the wetlands, lake and rivers in the area around today’s Payne’s Prairie, where they caught fish and gathered food. Their descendants continued this way of life, only to be disrupted in the 1500s by Spanish conquistadors, who introduced disease, slavery and the mission system. The Spanish forced indigenous people to work as cowhands alongside enslaved African people in their hacienda system, altering their ancient way of life in the process. One of the most important haciendas was located more or less at the location of the modern stables at La Chua. After Spain ceded Florida to Britain in
the mid-1700s, many of those indigenous and African people remained on the prairie and continued ranching. When British botanist William Bartram visited them in the 1770s, they identified themselves to him as Seminoles. In 1812 — with tacit support from the new American government — Daniel Newnan led paramilitaries from Georgia to “punish” the Seminole for harboring free African people. For these efforts, Newnan is honored locally with the name of Newnan’s Lake east of Gainesville, near where he fought with King Payne, the Seminole leader who lends his name to the prairie. The elderly Payne died as a result of the battle. “If we’re going to start unnaming things, [Newnan] would be right at the top of the list,” said County Commissioner Robert Hutchinson, who grew up in the area around the lake. As far as the American government was concerned, sheltering people seeking refuge from slavery made the Seminoles thieves and troublemakers — never mind that they were on their own ancestral land. Yet, six years after Newnan, Andrew Jackson would lead similar punitive raids into the panhandle to capture slaves, sparking the First Seminole War. “When the United States achieved political independence from Great Britain,
OPINION Anglo colonialism did not exit the lands claimed by the new American republic,” Susan A. Miller, a Seminole historian, wrote in “Native Historians Write Back.” “Rather, the United States assumed the role of colonizers that the British had relinquished.” In 1821, Anglo-American colonists established a trading post in the Seminole town of Cuscowilla. As the number of settlers increased, the trading post morphed into a white town called Micanopy, which would be the setting of several battles of the Second Seminole War in the 1830s. “You help people, and they’d turn around and try to kill you,” the Chairman of the Miccosukee Tribe Billy Cypress told Florida Public Radio. Cypress said that settlers on indigenous lands often only survived because of existing indigenous communities. “People took them in while they were in need of aid,” he said. “And then they turned around as the population grew, and then they tried to exterminate them out, terminated them.” The years 1817 to 1858 were one long war, said Mary Beth Rosebrough, research coordinator at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation in South Florida who I was referred to by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Rather than three separate “Seminole wars,” Rosebrough said, “We could call those simply escalations in the conflict. This would be the history if it were written by Seminole Tribal members.” We in this community — those who are white, who are settler colonists — should pause and dwell more on our history as it is understood by the Seminoles. At least five battles were fought in Alachua County during the second war alone — none of these are commemorated. Yet Gainesville is named after Edmund Gaines, a general who fought on the U.S. side in the Seminole wars. It is telling that so many of the “heroes” of the Seminole Wars seem to be American military officers. Why do we honor Gaines, when there were so many other genuinely honorable people in that conflict? Take John Horse, the black Seminole leader who fought alongside his indigenous allies against U.S. forces. John Horse was born at Payne’s Prairie. Where was Gaines born? Virginia. Where is John Horse’s lake, or town or prairie? How many of us remember him?
Shortly after he was elected to the county commission in 1998, Hutchinson introduced a resolution to rename Newnan’s Lake to its Seminole name, Lake Pithlachocco. “Some people came to county commission meetings a few times and scolded me that they couldn’t believe that the commission didn’t have more important things to do than this,” he said. The resolution was never adopted, and most people still call it Newnan’s Lake. “This was really the center of the Seminole civilization,” Hutchinson said. “ … They still talk about it.”
great importance to the Seminole people, who once came together as a nation here before they were attacked and driven off in an unjust war. Why do we in Gainesville relegate the indigenous people of Florida to a few reservations in the south, some stray words on a historical marker or a static diorama in the Florida Museum of Natural History alongside fossils, as if their cultures are dead and gone? As we all know, the Seminole are still here. Anyone who does know the history is left with the impression that the community today, which is largely the result of white invasion and settlement, is content to
Until we speak honestly about the historical legacy that we live with, some of us as descendants of the invaders, there will never be social justice in our community. Hutchinson said it would be nice if Alachua County had a traditional Seminole village or a restoration of a Spanish mission to give people a sense of what happened here. Yet, as evidenced by the response to Hutchinson’s efforts, most of our community doesn’t show serious interest in recognizing whose land we live on. Many of us walk past Greek revival columns at the Hippodrome and live in Queen Anne revival houses without ever wondering why these things are here. “Americans have never relinquished their colonial posture toward the tribal nations, but continue instead to manipulate them and extract their resources,” Miller wrote. All of the history of the invasion and ethnic cleansing of Alachua is available for anyone to read. Yet around town, the most you will find is hints, perhaps a few words on a plaque about “Indian trading posts” or “Seminole wars.” A painting of Osceola, the legendary Seminole war leader, hangs inconspicuously on a wall in the Alachua County Civil Court. All in all, these hints don’t amount to much. ;There remains no collective recognition of the bitter history of this land in proportion to the scale of the crimes that happened here. There is no public education or acknowledgement by us, the current occupiers of this land, of its
relegate this past to a footnote of local lore, an interesting tidbit you might tell to a visitor to spice up their outing to La Chua trail to see an alligator, but little more than that. It is the stuff football mascots are made of, not a serious reckoning with the past. Until we speak honestly about the historical legacy that we live with, some of us as descendants of the invaders, there will never be social justice in our community. How could there be, when the community is built on stolen land, the memories and lives of its indigenous people simply erased from our public consciousness? “At stake is nothing less than the ecological integrity of the land base and the physical and social health of Native Americans throughout the continent,” wrote indigenous writer and environmentalist Winona LaDuke in “Recovering the Sacred: The Power of Naming and Claiming.” The next time you go to La Chua to escape the concerns of your daily life, remember the history that lies beneath the boardwalk or under the surface of Newnan’s Lake. As long as Gainesville refuses to deal with its status and history as a settler colony, that history is suppressed. We — especially we white settlers — must do better. • Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 07
, P U READ N W O D W O CH
STORY & PHOTOS BY JORDANNE LAURITO ILLUSTRATIONS BY MADISYN ALBERRY
n Saturdays at La Cocina de Abuela, tables are filled with diners donning guayaberas and straw fedoras, groups chatting in Spanish and English, and children sporting colorful fútbol jerseys of various Latin American teams. Some customers recognize one another from their previous visit and push together tables so they can share a meal. “We only opened in February, and we already have loyal customers that come two or three times a week,” owner Sara Puyana said. Abuela’s may be new in town, but Puyana is no stranger to Gainesville’s food scene. She and her husband co-own Flaco’s, a favorite among residents and students alike. When Flaco’s opened in 2006, the restaurant served her needs as a 24-year-old: it was fast, cheap and open after 2 a.m. Now a mother of three, Puyana has created La Cocina de Abuela to cater to families and friends looking for a homestyle, sit-down experience. Located in the corner of a plaza on NW 23rd Avenue between Ward’s and the Greyhound station, “Abuela’s” is
08 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
bright, spacious and decorated with mismatched furniture you might find in your grandmother’s home. Cuckoo clocks watch over the service counter, and a repurposed, multi-colored vanity offers trays of hot sauces and homemade tea for customers to enjoy. This only makes sense, given the restaurant is named after Puyana’s mother. “She’s at the heart of everything we do,” Puyana said. “Plus, she’s just really got a knack for cooking.” Puyana’s abuela hails from Barranquilla, a city on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Her culinary repertoire echoes that. Where Flaco’s (the good-natured nickname for Puyana’s husband, Tim) has a set menu of sandwiches and baked goods, Puyana said that Abuela’s explores a rotating menu of traditional Colombian-style dishes, such as oxtail or tripe soup, while maintaining staples, like yellow rice and black beans. Puyana said one popular choice is the coconut rice, a fragrant and sweet complement to the restaurant’s savory meat dishes. It can also stand alone as a delicious (and filling!) treat.
READ UP, CHOW DOWN
La Cocina De Abuela FLAN INGREDIENTS • • • • • •
A pan with a lid Half a cup of sugar (this is used for the coating and does not go in the blender One can of condensed milk One can of evaporated milk Four eggs Vanilla (to your taste)
And speaking of the meats, don’t bother grabbing a knife on your way to your seat. Any meat entree you pick is most likely so juicy and tender, you could slice it with a spoon. Puyana smiled as she recalled that at the restaurant’s opening, they had invited a Catholic priest to bless the new establishment. “We had a whole clergy in here,” she said, her hands waving towards one side of the dining room, then to the other. “There was holy water over here, over there, everywhere.” And much like an after-Mass congregation, Abuela’s customers may recognize each other and extend their arms in greeting, joining each other for lunch despite arriving separately. Puyana herself waits on patrons and friends, skillfully plating their meals as they tell her about their lives since she saw them last. “The experience is as if a friend invited you to their home, and the parents cooked up an authentic meal for you to try,” Puyana said. At this point, Puyana has spent more time in Gainesville than her hometown of Miami, and touches of this city shine through from the quiet surrounding neighborhood to the homemade kombucha station. On Saturdays, local band Latin Sound Machine performs upbeat Latin tunes, covering classics like “Oye Como Va” and soulful ballads, which reverberate from the glass windows to the kitchen and back. In the future, Puyana says customers can expect outdoor seating (currently under construction), as well as a new drink: in-house cider. Between running three restaurants and being a full-time mom, Puyana says she can’t always be around. “But rest assured,” she said, “Abuela is back there in the kitchen, making sure everything is just right.” •
DIRECTIONS 1. Blend everything, then set it down while you coat the lidded pan in melted sugar (leave time for bubbles to go away). You have to be very careful making the sugar coat. It's very hot and hurts a lot if you get any on your skin. 2. Next, you take a sauce pan and melt half a cup of sugar at a low heat. You want a clear caramel, not a dark caramel as that will burn and make your flan taste burnt. 3. Take the clear caramel and cover the pan with it (like you would do with butter if you were making a cake). All the sides and bottom must be covered. 4. Then, pour the blender ingredients in the pan and cover. 5. Now, take a bigger pan and place the lidded pan in it. Add water to the bigger pan so the lidded pan is a little less than half-covered in water. This is called a "baño de Maria." 6. Cook the flan for in an oven for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
125 NW 23 Avenue Gainesville, FL, 32609 Open 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
IN SEASON AND FRESH
Carrots, blueberries, peaches, lettuce and more! Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 09
FOR THE RECORD Showcasing local bands , the next big thing and all your friends
For Joshua Tippery, one man’s trash is another man’s instrument. Drawing from the depths of nostalgia and retro thrift stores, Tippery salvages long-abandoned equipment to produce what he calls “sound art.” His latest release, Found Tape, reflects an appreciation for the art of the ordinary. Each track elicits an eerie sense of déjà vu with spliced-in snippets of everyday sounds: the chiming of what could be an ice cream truck, snatches of a chemistry lesson, clips of a futuristic staccato beat. It’s like a former self is reaching out of the past, carrying ghostly vocals, restlessly played piano keys and distorted guitar twangs with it. Creating the album meant patching together sound bites scavenged from old recordings before playing them back on a loop, mixing them and putting them back together. It’s like “a collage of sounds, just being remastered,” Tippery said. Driven by a “thirst for simpler times,” Tippery is partial to plucking barelyaudible refrains from foreign CDs and indistinguishable phrases from dusty cassette tapes. Gathering audio requires hours of scouring for “memorable bits” in sound effect albums and children’s educational tapes at garage sales and secondhand stores. Tippery spends countless visits to The Salvation Army bent over the vinyl pile. But noise isn’t the only thing Tippery recycles. Over the course of 12 albums, he’s commandeered thrifted walkmans, old record players, and an archaic karaoke machine to create his musical collages. He’s been hooked on outsourcing sound from second-hand gear since college, when he first messed around with his roommate’s old keyboard. “Even the instruments I use Did your band kind of make release an album s? a name for th on m x si st la e within th friend? Your themselves,” How about your to hear them he said. mom? We’d love In the all. Email us at end, each . ag rintm editors[at[thefinep some of tape is a to k org with a lin composite of your tracks. about 20 others, queued and ready 10 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
to play in sequence. When Tippery performs live as “Cool Person,” he usually appears at Action Research, an ongoing series of experimental music shows held in small, DIY spaces. He often creates and plays tapes specifically for one event, a 20-minute blip in his discography. “After that, the tapes get all out of order or lost and they are kind of gone forever,” he said. “It’s a kind of ephemera in that way.” Tippery tries not to take music making too seriously. His mashups are done for fun with the knowledge that it’s hard to live off art. “I’d definitely say that it is more about enjoying what you do than anything else,” he said. “You get a sense of pride from seeing 50 handmade mixtapes side by side.” • By Maria Sobrino
RELEASED / FEBRUARY 20, 2018 RECORDED / IN HIS HOME SOUNDS LIKE / MUSIQUE CONCRETE INSPIRATION / JOHN FAHEY, ALAN LOMAX, SUBLIME KEY TRACKS / "JUICEMEN," "WRETCH LIKE ME" WHERE TO GET IT / BANDCAMP UPCOMING SHOWS / TBD INSTRUMENT(S) / REPURPOSED MACHINES
MANNY BRAVO HIGH DIVE
RELEASED / FEB. 14, 2018 RECORDED IN / HIS BEDROOM SOUNDS LIKE / KENDRICK LAMAR INSPIRATION / KANYE WEST KEY TRACKS / “WHY DO N----S FALL IN LOVE”, “LEFT ON READ 2K18” WHERE TO GET IT / BANDCAMP, SOUNDCLOUD UPCOMING SHOWS / WORKING ON NEXT ALBUM INSTRUMENT(S) / VOCALS: EMANUEL GRIFFIN
Women are confusing, at least according to 21-year-old Emanuel Griffin, who raps as Manny Bravo. His feelings toward a blue-eyed girl led to the creation of his newest album High Dive, a compilation of seven introspective tracks born from the heartache of missed opportunities. High Dive explores the rise and fall of relationships, from the excitement of infatuation and attraction to moments of bitterness and sorrow. It’s a story of boy meets girl. Boy takes too long to reveal his feelings. Boy writes, produces and performs a body of music about what could have been. “This album helped me come to terms with the fact I can’t control everything that happens in my life,” Bravo said. “You can’t make someone love you the way you want them to.” In the privacy of his bedroom, Bravo dove deep into bottles of liquor, pretty girl-induced sadness and ultimately, reflection. The result is a mellow hip hop album fit for daytime drinking in an empty bar. Bravo’s relatable lyrics combine with a familiar boom-bap, bass-driven style of rap to weave a narrative of his attempts to move on wearing a veil
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of indifference. But jazzy instrumentals in the form of Chet Baker’s lone piano and other slow, distorted samples tell another story. The drowsy, lo-fi elements of the album don’t hide the hurt behind Bravo’s lyricism. His cadence fluctuates between heavily-altered vocals and midtempo rap in a style that’s choppy, raw and personal. “If love is a drug then I’m trying to stay clean, because no one was at my bed when I OD’d,” he spurs with an attention-grabbing infliction of the voice, one of the many instances where Bravo sets his emotions on full display. “I used to think that if you work hard and try to be a good person, things will work out,” Bravo said. “Unfortunately, stuff can go sour even if you do that.” Bravos’ bedroom rap sessions cover a range of topics. His lyrics lay bare both his insecurities and the intimacy of allowing himself to fall for someone. “It was a leap for me to be that vulnerable,” Bravo said. “I was afraid that people were going to hear these songs and think I’m some sort of sucker for love. Then I realized I didn’t give a f--k what people think because I’m speaking my truth. When you speak your truth, nobody can use it against you.” • By Edysmar Diaz- Cruz
THE CO-PILOTS BLACK RAINBOWS
RELEASED / DECEMBER 2017 RECORDED IN / HIS BEDROOM INSPIRATION / TAME IMPALA, SEX PISTOLS, BOWERY ELECTRIC KEY TRACKS / “BLEED ME OUT,” “FLASHING LIGHTS,” “EMERALD ISLE” WHERE TO GET IT / BANDCAMP UPCOMING SHOWS / MAY 26TH AT THE CIVIC MEDIA CENTER INSTRUMENT(S) / VOCALS, GUITAR, BASS, KEYS, DRUM PROGRAMMING: TANNER WILLIAMS. BASS, KEYS, DRUMS, GUITAR: RICKY BROCKWAY
Following the departure of longtime friend and co-producer Alex Roumbos, frontman Tanner Williams was ready to reimagine The Co-Pilots’ third album into his own uninhibited, experimental outlet. The result is Black Rainbows, a densely instrumental concept album that blends both songs and themes. “My MO was to go as crazy as possible,” Williams said. “Every idea I had, I was going to throw in.” Inspired heavily by the neo-psychedelic collective Tame Impala, the project is unnerved in instrumentation and lyric. It weds reverb synthesizers and lush, dreamy guitar to shuddered, melancholy vocals. “And I all I can think is I don’t want to fall in love/ What’s the point of even falling in love?” Williams belts at the end of “Nude.” “I love the dichotomy between lyrics that are insular, lonely, a little bit insecure, with music that’s expansive, bright and colorful,” Williams said. The first two tracks, ”Invisible” and “Bleed Me Out,” set the album’s uncompromising tone. A synth-rock ballad on its surface, the sound intermittently depresses into a whirlwind of baritone
synth melodies and bass licks before crescendoing into vaporwave-esque rock anthems. The album’s mercurial quality reflects Williams’ struggle to find meaning in life. “A black rainbow is like when you’re trying to convince yourself that everything is rosy and perfect but it’s actually fucked up,” Williams said. Yet what makes Black Rainbows so sugary is its wavy guitar jams that propel you from the suffocating sloughs of space to the backseat of a convertible. By the end of “Flashing Lights,” you can almost feel the wind running through your hair. The album is anchored by the band’s new bassist and keyboardist Ricky Brockway. Brockway, a keen technician proficient with the music software Ableton, helped Williams turn his vision into something tangible. “This album would not have come out the way it did without Ricky’s help,” Williams said. “He says he only contributed 15 percent, but I don’t think I could have made this without him.” Black Rainbows is part rosy pink, part matte black. But Williams said he revels in the gymnastics of juxtaposition: “That’s where the sweet stuff is.” • By Alcino Donadel Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 11
petal to the metal He loves you, he loves you not. Stop pushing daisies, here are three crafts to put those flowers to good use. BY BRIANNA MOYE ILLUSTRATIONS BY CAROLINE JINKS here’s something poetic about the sight of a discarded bouquet — it suggests expired celebrations or withered romance. But don’t be so quick to shove that browning floral arrangement in the bin; it can still sweeten your home even after its colors have faded. Dried flowers scent perfumes, flavor dishes and adorn walls and furniture. Pressed flower art may bring to mind images of Victorian ladies and gents sandwiching violets in between leather-bound journals, but it is a tradition in Japan as well, where it’s referred to as “oshibana.” In ancient Greece and Rome, scientists would press flowers as a way of preserving specimens. Nearly any flower can be used dried, from store-bought azaleas and roses to ubiquitous dandelions. In this edition of Homestead, Instead, we gathered three crafts for you below. •
Pressed Flower Art Materials: Glue, parchment paper, book (preferably an empty journal or a book you don’t care about), heavy objects (like other books or a brick), cardstock
Directions 1. Open the book to a section towards the back and line both the left and right pages with parchment paper.
2. Arrange the flowers on the parchment paper so that they’re not overlapping each other. You may need to trim the stems to get them to fit.
3. Close the book and place your heavy objects on top of it. Leave it undisturbed for a week.
4. Check on your flowers. You’ll know they’re done when there’s no moisture left 5.
in the petals. If they’re not ready after a week, apply more pressure and continue checking their status every two to four days. Gently peel the flowers from the parchment paper and arrange them however you want on the cardstock. Some suggestions for designs include a spiral pattern, a “bullseye” pattern (a cluster of flowers in the middle with rings of smaller petals around it) or the shape of your initial. The most common placement is arranging the flowers to mimic the appearance of a bouquet. Once the flowers are positioned, glue them down. You can now hang your pressed flower art on the wall or put it in a desktop frame to keep on a table.
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Flowers best for this craft: Colorful blossoms that aren’t overly bulky, i.e. pansies, daisies and violets.
Potpourri Sachets Materials: Scissors, mixing bowl, organza bags, essential oils or your favorite room spray, whole cloves and/or allspice (optional). Any flowers work as long as they’re dried! Roses, lavender and jasmine 1. Cut the stems off of the flowers. Place the flowers in the mixing bowl and naturally smell crunchthem up with your hands. If you have smaller flowers and want your sweeter. potpourri to have a chunkier texture, you can leave them whole. 2. Spray with the room spray or add drops of essential oils. Some oils that are good for potpourri are lavender, sandalwood, frankincense and bergamot. 3. Toss the flowers in the scent blend to make sure they are evenly covered. Add the cloves/allspice if you’re using them. 4. Place potpourri in organza bags and close with drawstring. The potpourri sachet can be placed in your sock drawer, pillowcase or wherever you want to smell nice. Note: If your skin can be easily irritated by scented products, consider hanging your sachet on a drawer knob or door handle instead.
Notes: 1) If you’re impatient for Mother Nature to dry your flowers out, arrange them on a cookie sheet and put them in your oven on the lowest temperature possible. Check them every 10 minutes until dry. 2) Check and make sure you’re not allergic to the flower you choose before you brew tea with it!
Floral Tea Materials: 2 cups boiling water, 1 - 2 tablespoons honey, Teapot or saucepan with lid Strainer, Sliced lemon (optional)
Flowers best for this craft: Dried petals from roses, chrysanthemums and lavender
1. Put 1 - 1 ½ tablespoons of the dried flowers in your teapot or saucepan, depending on how strong you want the floral taste of your tea to be.
2. Pour the boiling water into the container. Stir in the honey to taste. 3. Cover and let steep. The steeping time ranges from 5 - 10 minutes based on the desired strength of your tea.
4. Pour into cups through strainer to remove flower petals. Serve with lemon, if desired.
Note: For this craft, don’t use flowers from your grocery store bouquet! Use flowers from your own garden if you have one so that you know the petals haven’t been tainted with any chemicals. Nothing ruins a nice cup of tea like the taste of pesticides. If you’re not a gardener or want to be extra sure your flowers are safe to use, you can usually find dried flower petals at health food stores, herb shops or online. Visit Otter & Trout Trading Co. or Sunflower Health Foods for a plethora of petals.
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THE TREES UF scientists are working to save North America's most endangered tree: the Florida torreya, located in the Panhandle. BY KELLY HAYES ILLUSTRATIONS BY EDRIANA TAVAREZ
he leaves fluttered as the humid north Florida wind blew off of the sandy banks of the Apalachicola River through the thick woods of Torreya State Park in Quincy, Florida. As the sun beat down on a canopy of trees, Jason Smith, a University of Florida associate professor of forest pathology knelt to cradle a seedling of the Torreya taxifolia. The torreya tree was once abundant in the north Florida woods, its nearly 60-feet stature providing a home for small animals and insects. Now, it is the most endangered tree in North America. Today, the tallest recorded torreya in the state park is 10 feet tall. With a recorded 746 trees left in the wild, the Florida torreya is approaching extinction. Smith has been involved in research efforts to combat the torreya’s extinction since 2007. But it was not until a camping trip in March 2017 to Torreya State Park, the Florida torreya’s only habitat, that he understood the full scope of the problem. “I just couldn’t believe how much worse they looked,” Smith said. “That’s really what prompted me to think that we really need to do something much bigger.” In a last resort effort to save the tree, Smith organized the Torreya Tree of Life conference, which was held on March 1 and 2 at Torreya State Park to bring scientists together to develop a plan to save the tree. “It’s on a trajectory towards extinction,” Smith said. “At the same time, there is a path forward. There is a way for us to stop this.” In the early 20th century, the torreya was a healthy component of the forest along the Apalachicola, it’s needle-like leaves creating a dense canopy. There were over an estimated 500,000 in the wild, and the Apalachee and Creek used it for timber; colonists and settlers would use them as Christmas trees.
1936.” At the conference, Smith—and the researchers he brought together—presented their current research on the torreya, planted torreya saplings, hiked through the state park to observe the effect of the fungal disease. One of the goals was to document the biodiversity associated with the Florida torreya—that is, to create a “torreya tree of life.” “We’ve always struggled to get anybody concerned to do anything,” Smith said. “So I thought, ‘we got to do something different, we got to work outside the box.’” Pamela Soltis, director of UF’s Biodiversity Institute, spoke at the conference about the tree’s evolutionary history and what is known about its larger role in the Apalachicola ecosystem. Some biologists believe the tree is an evolutionary anachronism, meaning that its evolution and place in North Florida is likely only explained through coevolution with another species that has since gone extinct. It’s thought to have been brought down from Appalachia by a large tortoise. The torreya prefers to grow on north-facing steepheads, a kind of sheer-walled ravine that’s more akin to northern terrain than flat Florida. Soltis—who is also a botanist and the curator of molecular systematics and evolutionary genetics at the Florida Museum of Natural History—is working to construct the first family tree of the species, as well as the first preliminary genome sequence. Mapping out the closest relatives of the North Florida torreya may make it possible to hybridize, and understanding its genetics will be helpful for targeting fungal-resistant genes, Soltis said. “Because they declined so rapidly, we don’t know what all those connections might be,” Soltis said. “We’re left to speculate what some of the problems might be if it does go extinct.”
tree is such a unique component of the region’s biodiversity that there are dozens, if not hundreds of species dependent on it.” In 1936, researchers began to notice a stark decline due to fungal pathogen thought to come from China. Not much is known about the pathogen except that the torreya is extremely susceptible to it. Researchers have yet to conclusively identify the disease or its source, and some speculate it may even be an amalgamation of diseases. But researchers do know how the pathogen kills the tree: It kills the stems of the trees, forcing them to resprout from their base. Most of the remaining individuals of the species are sunken and feeble, bearing little resemblance to the characteristically full-bodied, towering tree. “Not only do we have very few [left], they don’t really represent what the species should look like,” Smith said. “It has always been a rare tree, but it had a healthy, viable population prior to
The tree is such a unique component of the region’s biodiversity that there are dozens, if not hundreds of species dependent on it. Its extinction could threaten the other species that make it their home. “This is not a singular issue,” said Olivia Johnson, a first-year forestry student. “It’s happening to many other animals and trees around the world. With this tree, since its going extinct, it’s just like a loss of history.” Rescuing the torreya, at least in the tree’s current state may not be possible, but the Torreya Tree of Life conference was the first step in what Smith in the effort. “There’s countless discoveries to be found with these plants,” Smith said. “It represents untapped resources and untapped value. You take that away and it changes everything.” •
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Old Bones & New Digs Kyle Keller and Christopher Conti created Fossil Voyages, a local tour guide service that specializes in fossil finding excursions. BY SYDNEY SCHULTHEIS ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRYCE CHAN
t Rum Island Springs County Park in High Springs, the morning sun caught the lush cypress leaves above the Santa Fe River on March 31, casting a green glow on the kayakers below. River goers gathered at the recreational complex, unaware of the hunters that idled beside their skiff boat at the water’s edge. These are no typical hunters. Kyle Keller and Cristopher Conti spend their weekends leading Fossil Voyages, a local tour guide service specializing in fossil finding excursions. Keller and Conti, veteran fossil hunters, created Fossil Voyages over a year ago to guide fellow enthusiasts on fossil hunting journeys and introduce amateurs to the joy of uncovering treasures from the past. Their tours by boat and on foot both explore explore North Florida and take participants back in time through local natural history. They greeted their guests for the day with a spring in their step, gesturing emphatically toward the river, the boat and the clear blue sky, which promised perfect weather. “There’s just something very nice about sharing a passion with people and them being able to appreciate it,” Conti said. Since its creation in early 2017 after a successful hunting trip, Fossil Voyages has taken over 40 people hunting, aiming to inspire and educate. On what was their second trip ever, Keller and Conti found a miocene formation dating between 5.3 to 23 million years ago, filled with dugong bones. “We found like literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of vertebrae, tail bones, some pieces of skull, and we were just piling them up,” Conti said. Florida in particular is a treasure trove for fossil hunters. The state’s beaches, creeks and rivers teem with megalodon and shark teeth, mastodon and mammoth bones and tusks, whale vertebrae and fossilized poop. The reason for this fossil diversity is twofold: Until geologically recently (about 23 million years ago), Florida was more like a sandbar than a proper beach — aquatic animals would swim close to the ocean floor. During the last glacial maximum 20,000 years ago, when the oceans were about 300 feet below current-day sea level, Florida was opened up to land animals. The pair’s dedication to sharing what they love goes beyond tours. They take their passion for fossil hunting into schools as well. Fossil Voyages brings buckets of gravel and fossils to local schools in hopes that, through pieces of prehistoric treasure, they can inspire kids to take interest in the sciences and the many beautiful things Florida has to offer. Conti recalled a school visit where kids sifted through buckets endlessly, noting their ability to quickly memorize patterns that classify which animals each fossil belonged to.
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SPOTLIGHT “You could tell that it instilled an appreciation for nature and science which we both believe is extremely important,” he said. On the March 31 tour, the guides discussed the water clarity of the Santa Fe, a result of the absence of recent heavy rain. Conti talked about how after Memorial Day weekend he would scuba dive in the clear river and see more beer cans than river bed. His eye on a site, Keller jumped out of the boat and tied it off to a cypress root. Rock fragments at foot, it was time to discover what could be found at the site. Fossil hunting is a closely regulated activity: It’s prohibited on national and state parks, all finds must be recorded, and no artifacts may be extracted. In order to be allowed to participate in fossil hunting at all, Fossil Voyages has a permit granted through the University of Florida. Keller and Conti meticulously choose sites where hunting will not disturb the ecological balance, and they only use sustainable methods. They don’t use prohibited items, such as shovels that can harm the site, and all of their techniques and equipment are approved. “We do spend a lot of time checking topographic maps and geological maps and combing thorough old like very obscure publications like the US Geological Service.” Keller said. The hunters’ tools are simple: homemade sifting screens
loose silt. With the full screen in hand, the two waded back to the table to pour their load, each screen full of fossils. “See all the black pieces?” Conti said. “Those are all fossils.” Even the untrained eye could spot the dark treasures strewn throughout the rubble. He plucked out two particularly interesting fossils and explain them in detail with ease and confidence. “That right there? That's a white tail deer fossil,” Conti said. “See this here? It's a piece of mammoth.” The pair took turns pointing out fossils. Another find was a turtle shell, dating back to the pleistocene era, gnawed on by a rodent before the shell was buried and mineralized beneath sediment. Keller carefully set the piece aside to photograph and inspect more closely later. “We always enjoy fossils that tell stories,” Keller said. Every screen contained more wonders, of fossils and the past: Dugong teeth, alligator bones, giant tortoise
“I literally pulled an all nighter the other night just looking at maps and reading geological publications from the 1960s.” framed by wood or drawers, gardening gloves, and a worn folding table planted firmly into the muddy bank. These tools would uncover countless fossils, pulling treasures from the dirt and exposing them to the hunters’ eager eyes. The sifting screens, basic but ingenious, were creations of necessity by Keller and Conti. The two said you may find remnants at the river’s edge, but you are more likely to find fossils in the deposits of the river’s floor. The screens are vital to retrieve these. The process of uncovering fossils was a simple, but specific one, refined over their combined 25 years of hunting. As the two explained the process, they demonstrated the movements. They removed large rocks from the water bed’s loose sediment, and pushed water out of the way to remove the silt around deposits of gravel. After placing newly uncovered handfuls of rocks into the screens, they shook the frames to remove any more
spurs from upwards of 10,000 years ago. The pair's years of experience make it easier for them to identify the fossils. “We’re science nerds before collectors,” Conti explained. Each find contributes to a larger picture for Fossil Voyages. With time and effort, the pair is able to create a context for their sites, putting together timeframes through their research. Conti and Keller laughed over their shared love of sitting behind a computer to uncover even more history from the fossils they find. “I literally pulled an all nighter the other night just looking at maps and reading geological publications from the 1960s,” Keller said. At the close of the hunt, the sun hung lower in the sky, casting a warmth over the river as satisfied hunters reflected on the bounty of their day’s finds. Conti explained the beauty of Fossil Voyages.: “Treasure hunting,” he said. “I realized all this stuff was in my backyard.” •
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SCHOOL OF THOUGHT Students in Alachua County faced pressure not to walk out after the Parkland shootings. BY BRIANNA MOYE
t 9:50 a.m. on April 20, junior Jovanna Liuzzo waited by the track at the fields at Eastside High School for the students who were due to walkout for Unity Day, a day of action against gun violence. The clock hit 10:00 a.m., and students began to trickle out of the doors. At first, just a few crossed the field, then more and more until a sea of students dressed in orange—the color of the t-shirts Liuzzo made to increase gun violence awareness—descended on the track. “Some of the students started coming out early on,” Liuzzo said. “Then around 10:10, 10:15, all of them gathered on the track.” The hot Florida sun on their backs, the students circled the track, chanting and holding signs. When all was said and done, they had walked over a mile. Since the Parkland shooting in February, high school students across Alachua County have organized, gone to town halls and met with officials to advocate for safety in their classrooms. In between taking the SAT and studying for AP exams, they’ve met at each other’s houses after school, made posters and designed t-shirts. “We printed hundreds and hundreds of flyers and spent all week promoting the event,” Liuzzo said. “And I definitely think we achieved [our goal.]” Organized to coincide with the nineteenth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, Unity Day was focused on gun control and educating students to enact change. It was the last action before school gets out for the summer. In order for Unity Day to happen, student organizers had to meet with their principals and get permission for the event. While Liuzzo did not experience any pushback, some student organizers had more difficulty. Gavin Pinto, a Buchholz High School junior, student council member and organizer, told his principal James TenBieg in February that students wanted to have an in-school walkout. In response, TenBieg offered different suggestions of activities that would allow students to voice their opinions, such as providing specific times for students to talk to adults, peers and law enforcement in the community about their feelings. The students felt that talking about their feelings was not 18 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
enough to enact change. They wanted to take action. The Buchholz administration’s response to their concerns was less than ideal. Pinto said the students were made to feel like their opinions didn’t matter. TenBieg said that was “totally false.” “A lot of times kids hear what they want to hear,” he added. TenBieg felt like the meeting was handled appropriately. “We are very responsive [and] supportive of the students’ wants and needs,” TenBieg said. “I was asked to go down and talk to the student council and was confronted.” After TenBieg learned that this article was about the administration’s response to the student walkouts, he crossed his hands and reclined in his chair. “Are you gonna make me look good? Because you know what’s going to happen if you don’t make me look good, right? I’m not gonna let another journalist in here to talk to me because you didn’t make me look good,” he said.
“A lot of students are fed up and frustrated with what’s going on, but they don’t know the first step." Pinto said he understands why administration would be concerned about safety. But students feel like these concerns undermine the point of the walkouts: To do more than talk about gun violence, to actually take action. Without support from their administration, students worried that participating in these walkouts would get them reprimanded and go on their college applications. According to TenBieg, the reason for the students’ issues with the administration’s response lies outside of their own opinions. “You’re the product of your environment,” he said. “Sometimes the parents get a little bit out of control. You know, ‘how dare you not permit my son or daughter to voice their concerns.’” In the future, TenBieg said communication between the two parties will allow the administration to appropriately address stu-
Photo by Molly Minta.
SPOTLIGHT dents’ concerns. “[We’ll] be open minded, be concerned,” TenBieg said. “[And] look for a possible activity or solution to get their point across.” After the students’ initial meeting with TenBieg, Pinto took to twitter to voice his frustrations. Other students in the county, including Liuzzo, began to reach out to him, either with sympathy or similar stories of pushback. Many students worried that if they walked out without explicit permission from their administration, they could be put in detention or possibly suspended. Within hours, a group message of nearly 20 local students who were planning walkouts at their schools was formed to brainstorm ideas for organizing. Because their administrations wouldn’t allow a walkout during school hours, in March Liuzzo, Pinto and other student organizers began planning a march outside school as an alternative. “We were trying to show that everyone’s on board,” Pinto said. “And [we’re not] having people go out for the wrong reasons.” In contrast to their administration, students largely feel supported by their teachers. Even though some teachers might withhold from making political statements for fear of backlash from parents or higher ups, there are many have helped the student activists, discreetly or otherwise. Prior to their first action, "Let Us March," one teacher — who Pinto said he wouldn’t name out of fear it might compromise their job — provided the students with materials to make posters for the event. Teachers involved with National Women’s Liberation and the Women’s March have also advised them on techniques for protesting. Liuzzo said that students at Eastside have also had the benefit of working with an encouraging administration as well. When Liuzzo’s original idea for Unity Day — an afterschool event with voter registration booths and guest speakers — didn’t work out due to a school board policy against political endorsements at school-sponsored events, Eastside Principal Shane Andrew worked with her to come up with new plans for the day. “I have had constant communication with my principal,” Liuzzo said. At Eastside, Liuzzo formed a committee of students to organize Unity Day. The committee printed and passed out flyers with the timeline for the day and made signs for the walkout. Liuzzo also obtained information packets from the Women’s March that explain current political issues and the voting process to pass out to students at lunch. “A lot of students are fed up and frustrated with what’s going on, but they don’t know the first step,” Liuzzo said. Liuzzo also made shirts to sell to spread the word about Unity Day. The orange shirts, with a white design of a peace sign surrounded by the words “We are victims. We are students. We are change” on the back. The profits went to the GoFundMe for Anthony Borges, the Parkland student who was shot while shielding his classmates. Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 19
SPOTLIGHT Ten minutes before the students at Eastside were set to walk out, the news broke that a student at Forest High School in Ocala was wounded in a shooting. “I was really shaken up by that,” Liuzzo said. “Us coming together and still having the event showed something.” They were joined out on the track by teachers who had their planning periods at that time and were able to walk out in solidarity. “We’re really trying to emphasize the unity part of it,” Pinto said. “Coming together as one to just show the whole school board that other schools are into this all together.” At 10:45, the walkout ended, and the students returned to class. When the lunch bell chimed, crowds of students pushed into the open air cafeteria area, just like they would any other day. Instead of heading to sit at the round lunch tables and eat with their friends, they rushed to join their peers in line at voter registration booths. “A big, big part of Unity Day that I wanted to achieve was… [to] give students the tools that they need to make their voice heard,” Liuzzo said. During the registration drive, many students participated in an interactive art project by student Varvara Folimonova. She painted one of the students’ hands blue or red, and had them press it onto white paper. Then, she had them write down what they
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think democracy should look like. Over the summer, students will be taking advantage of the extra freetime to hold more events and plan for the future. One event they’re planning for the summer is “Art for Advocacy,” which will focus on using creative expression and the performing arts as a way to encourage political change. Liuzzo recently filed to register a chapter of Students Demand Action in Gainesville. She and Pinto plan to use the summer to get the initiative off the ground and form an event planning board. “As [the events] go on, they’ll be bigger and bigger,” Pinto said. “We’ll bring the whole city together.” •
REPURPOSE PROJECT Junk Shop - Art Supply - Building Supply A non-profit community based effort to divert useful resources from the landfill, redirect these items to the public for art and education, inspire creativity, and help us all rethink what we throw away. 1920 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville
DECONSTRUCTING CONSTRUCTION How could the surge in development-related construction affect Gainesville's evironment?
BY ALYSSA RAMOS ILLUSTRATIONS BY RACHEL MORRIS
here’s no hiding Gainesville’s teeming sprawl. In Butler Plaza and the new Celebration Pointe, bulldozers claw at the ground to make way for spanking new theaters and restaurants. Fluorescent orange tape and red signs dot the commute through South Main Street, made longer by the closed-off roads. According to an article by the Environmental Protection Agency, 1,700,000 commercial buildings are constructed in the United States every year. In Gainesville, CADE Museum is now open, and the University of Florida recently announced plans to build a new School of Music southeast corner of University and 13th street. But where do the dusty remains of construction go to die?
With the surge in commercial development along Butler Plaza, and redevelopment along South Main and Sixth Street, in mind, The Fine Print is breaking down everything you need to know about waste and sediment from construction, and how it can impact the environment.
is construction waste?
Not all waste is alike. Construction waste and debris (C&D) comprises numerous materials including but not limited to: plastic buckets, tin, steel, fiberglass, plywood, lumber, roofing materials, cardboard boxes and visqueen plastic. Unlike the usual household garbage or municipal solid waste (MSW) – think old catalogs and paper or that unfinished bowl of cereal in the morning – C&D can’t be collected in trash bags and set on the side of the road.
does it go?
will contract with private companies that specialize in handling C&D. In Gainesville, the bulk of construction-related waste is processed by two companies, Watson C&D, and Florence Recycling and Disposal. Jim Bocam, a sales manager at Watson C&D, estimates the company can dump around 40 dumpsters of C&D a day, or around 14,600 a year. That’s about 43,800 tons of C&D waste per year just for Watson C&D. To compare, a 2010 study prepared for the Alachua County Public Works Department estimated that in 2008 the county generated 61,608 dumpsters of MSW. Generally, Watsons tries to recycle as much as possible. Recycling materials like concrete, rocks and bricks, which can be easily broken down for reuse, is easier than creating entirely new ones. Bocam said that Watson will even reuse these materials to fill in the pockets of clay in the foundation of homes or businesses to make them more stable.
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FEATURE However, not everything can be recycled. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the vast majority of C&D waste in Alachua County in 2016 — 97.6 percent, or 25,293 tons — is disposed in a landfill. Only 2.4 percent, or 620 tons, was recycled. The explanation? Recycling is costly, and Bacom said that recycling centers can be backlogged. Oftentimes, the nature of the material renders it unsuitable for recycling. For example, drywall can be recycled but only if it is dry. Wet drywall is another story: The primary component in the material, gypsum, contains sulfates and water. If wet drywall is disposed or recycled incorrectly, these sulfates can contaminate the water. Fortunately, C&D waste is inert, meaning it's harmless. It's really materials such as paint waste, solvents or any flammable products that are considered hazardous. These materials should already be separated from C&D waste before it hits the landfill. Improper disposal or recycling of hazardous materials could result in ground water contamination.
There are several environmental implications that could arise out of construction projects. Heavy Metals The Environmental Protection Agency’s most wanted substances? Heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, lead and nickel (to name a few). Even when finely broken down, these heavy metals are still present and easily dispersed in landfills, posing serious harm to those who come into contact with them. “People think that if you hide it long enough, it will go away, but it doesn’t,” Bacom said. “We’re talking heavy metals, and they don’t go away.” Erosion and Sediment Control In rainy Gainesville, one of the biggest concerns is erosion and sediment control. Gus Olmos, the water resources manager at the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (DEP), said poor drainage and sand is one of the common complaints he receives, and heavy rainfall 22 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
BY THE NUMBERS:
Watson’s C&D estimates the company dumps around 40 dumpsters waste, or 43,800 tons a year.
of global carbon dioxide emissions are produced by the global cement industry.
can increase the chance of sediment drainage. Construction companies are responsible for implementing proper parameters to ensure that dust and sand do not find their way into storm drains. For example, project sequencing (i.e. planning that ensures that tasks meet compliance) and protection of storm drain inlets are proper ways to prevent this. Silt fencing is also the most common method of prevention, but it’s commonly installed incorrectly, according to the Alachua County DEP. If the parameters are not properly followed, Olmos said that sand and dust could drain into local creeks and suffocate bugs and fish. Turbid water could block sunlight in creeks and prevent photosynthesis. Moreover, stormwater could contain harmful metals and contaminants that as well. Gas Emissions Joni Perry’s house is located right off Sixth Street, and her road is completely blocked off. The detours she makes adds an extra 10 minutes to her daily commute when she drives her son to school. It’s an indirect effect from construction, but detours and added traffic can result in increased carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, several companies rely
on concrete for construction. The global cement industry produces approximately 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to an article by Esub Construction Software.
Bulldozers can’t touch ground unless the Alachua County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approves the project’s site plan. As part of this approval, inspectors survey the site periodically for compliance. Inspectors also look at how waste is recorded and monitored. Bacom said some construction companies follow a grading scale to measure how well they abide by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. If they don’t follow these requirements, they have to pay certain fees. While construction sites are regulated, complacency is always a concern. At the end of the day, many Alachua County DEP officials advocate for awareness. It’s important to know what to recycle and how to recycle it. As for Gainesville residents, any observations of non-compliance can be directed to the DEP to inspect to address these concerns. •
BY CLAUDIA CONGER, ILLUSTRATIONS BY JORDANNE LAURITO
Gemini Coral Honeysuckle
Aries Loblolly Pine
Cancer Swamp Lily
Taurus Waxmyrtle Frank O’Hara, an Aries, spent his entire life thinking he was a Cancer. His parents lied about the day of his birth, hoping to reimagine his conception for their Irish-Catholic families. You, Aries, are already reimagining — your days are bright red. Your future is never inconsolable. You’re too independent for that.
You’re growing a collection of found objects and unlikely desires. This, too, lacks the satisfaction of pollinating fruit trees. You crave for orchards of orchids to cross the highway like veins. The geography of the season is mapped out through bruises and pear skins.
You think unread messages are hardly a symptom of anything. You stand equidistant between boredom and a fight. A concept exists and it’s called driving without talking. You’re too eager to answer the door.
Someone will compliment you. It’ll make you believe you’re being rational. You’re a massacre of self-discipline. Anything could be transparent if you wanted it badly enough.
Scorpio Ghost Orchid
Leo Yellow Jessamine Libra Scarlet Salvia Virgo Oakleaf Hydrangea You’re equivalent to the slow burn of a river in May, but to you, everything tastes like July. You keep your wrists wrapped between your legs. Expression is just another twin of pride, another seat at the table. Sit down. You won’t feel welcome.
You’re romancing the idea of transcending the mundane, but you can’t mark the difference. Countable and uncountable nouns are indistinguishable. Virgo, you’re uncomfortable with any verb in the subjunctive.
If you happen to find a surprise in the near future, don’t be afraid to take something you’ve been watching. You’ll have reservations. The moment may be just fleeting enough to enjoy the possibility.
That thing you regret? Better believe it’s coming for you, unless you forget about it. Scorpio, you’re always a step ahead. This spring is greener than you thought it would be. Start following through, maybe?
Pisces Resurrection Fern
Sagittarius Railroad Vine Aquarius Florida Violet Capricorn Coreopsis It’s spring, and you’re the honeybee. You’re solely attracted to people who are allergic to cats. If you haven’t gotten your tonsils removed yet, the time’s coming. Your foot is just far enough inside of your mouth to salvage anything.
Maybe you hate the spring because it has nothing to do with you. To you, the world is no longer mysterious. It is a series of controllable things, and you’ve made yourself the exception. Well, unless you forget to commit soon. You fail to define anything you’re outside of.
You wished that water in your mouth was blood. You’re looking for a way to make this story more interesting. Every beach is a borderland between your catharsis and some token of manifest destiny. U.S. history is not enough to see you destroyed.
You’ve successfully peeled off all of your scales, you flake. You’re becoming perpetually sunburned. Stop mistaking flying fish for bluebirds. Those feathers won’t stick, no matter how much sunscreen you lather on.
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In a transient college town, Andrew Chadwick has kept Action Research going for over 10 years. STORY AND PHOTOS BY PEYTON WHITTINGTON
our hooded figures shamble up to a stage bathed in pink and blue lights at the Limin Room, a performance space located off NW 6th Street. A cloak is removed, revealing a woman in ghostly makeup. She dances around the crowd, then drops her tamborine, hanging limp. She falls to the floor and writhes. “We’re gonna burn it up tonight,” said Jenna Balfe,
lead singer of Donzii. “I can feel it.” Donzii was one of the performers at the March 16 of Action Research, the 182nd iteration of the series of noise and experimental music shows that was started in 2007 by then 33-year-old Andrew Chadwick. His goal was to provide a home for Gainesville's transient music scene. Despite the hardships associated with building and maintaining an active music scene, Chadwick just organized his 188th show. Even as established venues have closed or prominent performers have moved away, Chadwick kept two or three shows going a month on average. At each show, Chadwick is in the center of the action. Towering over most people, his eyes are fixed on his camera, recording the performances that he uploads across three YouTube channels. The weirder the performance, the wider his grin. Chadwick prides himself on having brought order to the experimental noise scene in Gainesville, but he wasn’t always this involved. “I was in the punk hardcore scene,” he said. “I used to have a record label, but as far as noise and experimental, it was always something happening elsewhere.”
Photos from the March 16 Action Research show.
oise music developed as part of the avant-garde art movement of the early 20th century, but it wasn’t popularized until the mid-1970s alongside the rise of heavy music genres like industrial and punk. Noise isn’t music in the traditional sense but rather a cacophony of shrieks, feedback, sound bites, static, distorted beats and buzzing presented within a musical context. “There’s always a certain unexpectedness of what’s going to happen and a diversity of sound,” Chadwick said. “There’s a good energy.” Gainesville had a noise scene before Action Research came along, but it was mostly limited to house parties and local acts. Chadwick would mail-order noise records and go to shows every now and then, but he wasn’t a regular performer or organizer in the scene. That changed in 2005 when Chadwick traveled to the International Noise Conference, an annual noise and experimental music convention held at Churchill’s Pub in Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 25
FEATURE Miami, where he got the idea of hosting shows with short, intense, back-to-back sets. “Once I saw that anything was possible and accepted, I came home and just put it all together,” Chadwick said. “Being connected to it in a live setting makes a big difference.” He played his first noise show in Gainesville three weeks later. As he continued to frequent experimental shows, Chadwick met and befriended Hal McGee and Chris Miller, both Gainesville residents. McGee was performing in and organizing experimental and noise shows since the ‘80s, and Miller founded the electronic show series Electronic SubSouth. Though they’re no longer involved in organizing Action Research, the two helped Chadwick build the show into the experimental hotspot it is today. Miller suggested Chadwick give his shows a name and number them, and the trio came up with the title at a later brainstorming session. Wikipedia defines “action
“ONCE I SAW THAT ANYTHING WAS POSSIBLE AND ACCEPTED, I CAME HOME AND JUST PUT IT ALL TOGETHER. BEING CONNECTED TO IT IN A LIVE SETTING MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.” research” as a “reflective process of progressive problem solving led by individuals working with others in teams,” but Chadwick only learned of the definition later on. The first Action Research was held June 7, 2007, at a now-closed car installation center called Install Bay. Today, in addition to its experimental sound, Action Research is known for its unusual locations. “You want to do a show inside a bathroom? I’ve seen that,” Miller said. “You want to do a show underneath a sheet so no one can see you? I’ve seen that. You want to do a show inside a broken car? Whatever. You just plug in, check your levels and go.” Action Research shows have occupied a gutted city bus, a boat, a dark hallway in an abandoned building and a Panacea, Florida beach at midnight. Some shows overtook houses, shaking floors with the force of a jumping crowd. Other shows pumped rooms full of fog thick 26 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
enough to obscure the person next to you. “Someone told me once that the best Action Research show is always the most recent one,” Chadwick said. “That’s the way you want to go.” Outsiders might be quick to conclude that the scene is dead, as much of the experimental and noise scene thrives in houses and apartments.. Many venues have either shut down or moved locations. Venues like The Laboratory and Wayward Council, that were important to the early days of Gainesville’s experimental scene, closed their doors in 2012. “At the time, these venues seemed like the cornerstone of everything, but then the need for a new venue made us find a new spot,” Chadwick said. “I understand that not every venue is suited for a show and not every show is suited for a regular venue.” The reasons for these closures range from financial instability and building code violations to owners simply moving away. “It’s the transitory nature of the space,” said Joe Wolf, a new volunteer and longtime attendee. “Every music scene is kind of like waves at the beach. It’s going to crest and roll, and then there’s going to be the trough where things have a lull. When you think it’s dead, it’s not.” Miller attributes much of Chadwick’s ability to maintain Action Research over the years to three key aspects: the spirit of total acceptance fostered at each show, a recognizable “brand” of promotion and a consistent emcee. Shows are promoted through brightly colored posters that Chadwick draws and letters by hand. Each features a grotesque, grinning monster of Chadwick’s creation. While mounds of flyers clutter business windows and telephone poles around town, you can always spot his signature doodles peeking through the mayhem. One name appears on every poster: Frog. As a longtime
experimental musician in the local scene, he opens each show. He maintains the thrill of uncertainty with a mixed bag of acts, using a performance style he describes as “almost scary but ultimately safe, like Halloween.” Though Frog may perform anything from puppetry to good old-fashioned karaoke, he’ll always warm up the stage to spare other artists the pressure of going first. “It gives me something to look forward to, knowing I always have a performance upcoming, and I like going first,” Frog said. “It’s reassuring.” Frog is the only performer audiences can expect at Action Research shows. “At Action Research shows, you see things you don’t normally see anywhere else,” said A.J. Herring, an experimental performer and volunteer. “Whether it’s people beating themselves with chains, breaking glass or rolling around on the floor, you never know what you’re going to walk into.” Sets are rarely in the same place — a spot where an audience member was standing to watch one musician could be part of the performance space for the next. “If something’s really beautiful, ethereal and angelic, then you’re in that experience, but also if it’s just a harsh noise that’s almost driving you insane, then that’s also taking you somewhere,” said Brooke Chekofsky, experimental performer and independent show organizer. “It could be taking you to hell, but it’s still taking you away.” Like venues, the people involved in the scene come and go, but this is normal for a college town. The fans and fellow artists who do stick around form a tight-knit community. “When I first started this, I wanted more people to come, but as the series went on, I realized what I really
need is for the right people to come out,” Chadwick said. “You don’t want everyone to show up, you want the people to show up who are interested.” Action Research shows are all DIY, and regulars are more than willing to help Chadwick out by setting up, working the door or just providing touring bands with a place to crash. Like Chekofsky, who performs under the name Algae Guck, not everyone in the noise scene stays on one side of the stage or the other. The scene is inherently participatory: Of the 20 or 30 people at a typical experimental noise show, the majority are musicians playing. The spirit of engagement means that Chadwick isn’t the only one putting on experimental shows. McGee hosts a series of “Apartment Shows” in the intimate space of his apartment, and local artists under the collective known as Elestial Sound are building their own recording studio on 16th Avenue and Waldo Road. Member Davis Hart owns The Limin Room, where most of Action Research’s shows are held. “If there aren’t places like [The Limin Room] where challenging art is encouraged, then it won’t be made,” Hart said. “At least, there won’t be a scene where challenging art is accepted.” But as long as Chadwick’s cartoons peer through the bulletin board chaos around town, there’s a space where unconventional art is alive. “I’m thankful for the people who trust me with doing a show,” Chadwick said. “When you’re away from home on a tour, there are a lot of variables that can go right and wrong. That’s a lot of trust to put in somebody, and I appreciate when people come back." • Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 27
STORY AND PHOTOS BY KARLA ARBOLEDA At Flashbacks, a commune-fundturned-passion for the old, new and wacky, patrons can find wares from vintage clothes to funky furniture and shop like it’s going out of style.
Second Hand, Second Nature 28 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
n Dec. 1, 1986, Steve Nichtberger and his hippie friends opened the doors to Flashbacks Recycled Fashions. The goal was to fund the purchase of land so they could start a commune. As the reality of work became evident to future members, the commune never happened. But 32 years later, Flashbacks is still running. Hitting the store on 818 W University Ave. means a visit with funky mannequins, a variety of vinyls, antique jewelry and clothing that ranges in trends from the fifties to today. Nichtberger credits the publication of a 1990 article in TIME magazine about the benefits of reusing, reducing and recycling vintage finds with bringing secondhand fashion into the popular conscious. “I feel the type of person who shops at Flashbacks isn’t necessarily ‘thrift,’” Nichtberger said. Nichtberger describes Flashbacks as “fashionforward, fashion-backwards.” He is confident in the eclectic range of styles his business features, and the sustainability of used clothing in a market dominated by fast fashion and mass textile production. However, Flashbacks is unique from traditional thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army. The store not only sells clothes but buys them too, from brands that are carried at the mall all the way to pieces found at vintage auctions. “I don’t only want to sell just one style,” Nichtberger said. “I love everything, and I want to find the different.” Despite the growing presence of online resale and vintage clothing, Flashbacks serves as a physical place where people can go to for more than a fair deal: it’s a place to play dress up, to find your prom dress and to take a look at fashions past and present in sustainable way. “I tell you, if I was just into the money, I would only be online,” Steve said. “I keep the store going because it’s so much fun, it’s an experience, it’s always a joy; it’s the journey.” •
Opposite page: Mannequins and heads styled at random lurk through the store, eyeing eager shoppers. While every piece a mannequin wears is a one-time advertisement, employees update their outfits with the newest merchandise. Top left: Nameless textures and wares find their way to the walls of Flashbacks. Buyers choose unique pieces in order to show off the honest
personality of the store, showing that inclusivity is the norm. Bottom left: Sam Stickles maintains and styles a mannequin. "It's changed my life," Stickles said of the time spent at Flashbacks, "and that's no joke." Nichtberger said the people he hires are those who have the ability to make anyone feel right at home. Top right: Venturing past the recognizable brands in the first half of the store takes patrons to the section that
truly engages a flashback. Clothes from every decade live in style among shabby gems of furniture and gently loved housewares of the past. Bottom right: Paths mix and meet as the shoe stock is constantly updated with loafers, heels, orthopedic options and more. The perfect pair of Doc Martens or rainboots waits for a new owner within the slew of styles on the catwalk of shelves at the front of the store. Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 29
Volunteers at the Acrosstown Repertory Theater are speaking out against sexual assault and harassment despite fears of retaliation. BY MOLLY MINTA ILLUSTRATION BY CAROLINE GASPICH
TUCKED AWAY IN the Baird Center, a squat brick building that sits between downtown Gainesville and Depot Park, is the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. Founded in 1980, today the Acrosstown has hundreds of volunteers. They direct and act in the shows, design the sets and lighting, clean the theater and comprise its board of directors — all under a tagline prominently displayed in the lobby: “A safe place for unsafe theater.” Yet over the course of an investigation that spans 25 interviews with current and former Acrosstown volunteers and locals in the community, three people have told the Fine Print they experienced sexual assault or harassment while involved with the theater. Five additional sources told the Fine Print they do not view the theater as a “safe” place. Out of those five, four said they no longer work at the theater, specifically citing a lack of transparency and clear anti-harassment policies as factors in their decision to leave. Nearly all requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation or blacklisting. Stacey* — who volunteered at the theater for years as a board member — worked alongside her allegedly emotionally abusive partner, Harry*, over the course of 2013. She repeatedly attempted to alert her fellow board members to the situation; she left the theater shortly after the president at the time said she was “not mature enough” to work alongside Harry. In October 2017, a cast member was reportedly pressured during a rehearsal for “Rocky Horror Picture Show” by the director, who was intoxicated, to not wear an undergarment designed to hold genitalia in place “to give the audience a better show.” A month later, Clara*, who was a new volunteer, was sexually assaulted in her bed by another member, Michael McShane, while on prescription sleeping medication. After his arrest Dec. 1, 2017, Anna Marie Kirkpatrick and Michael Bobbitt — Acrosstown board members and close friends of McShane’s — contacted Clara over Facebook with messages she interpreted as pressuring her not to press charges. Ultimately, Clara had no choice. The assistant state attorney decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute. Without a blood test taken near the time of the incident, Clara said he couldn’t prove she was on sedatives, despite McShane *Names have been changed.
FEATURE acknowledging to detectives and on a recorded call that he knew she was on sleeping medication when he had sex with her. McShane, who could not be reached for comment, pled not guilty. Kirkpatrick could not be reached for comment. Bobbitt maintains he was trying to support Clara, and vehemently denies that he attempted to intimidate or dissuade her from pursuing legal recourse. Carolyne Salt, the current president of the Acrosstown, did not comment on the multiple allegations, but she said it was not the theater’s place to intervene in Clara’s case. “It’s not for us to take sides, not for us to usurp the legal system,” Salt said. “It’s only for us to give people who volunteer with us and comprise the Acrosstown family a safe place for unsafe theater.”
ACT ONE. IN SEPTEMBER 2017, Clara, who minored in theater at the University of Florida, moved back to Gainesville. That October, she went to open auditions for a production of Jean Paul Sartre's play “No Exit” at the Acrosstown. There, she saw Michael McShane, whom she had run into days earlier at the protest against Richard Spencer’s speaking event. Clara had known him briefly in undergrad through the Tabernacle of Hedonism, a local variety show. McShane grew up in the local theater scene and regularly directed, designed and performed in productions across Gainesville. His father, Timothy, is a playwright, actor and mentor to many in the theater community. Though Clara’s best friend from undergrad, Bailey Piper, still lived in Gainesville, she didn’t know many other people in town. McShane, who still performed at the Tabernacle and was designing lights for Acrosstown’s production of “Rocky Horror” at the time, seemed friendly. Eager to work on another production, Clara asked McShane to rehearse with her for the Acrosstown’s next open auditions for “Gaslight,” a play about a man who manipulates his wife into believing she’s going insane. (This play originated the psychological term “gaslighting.”) McShane agreed and encouraged Clara to approach “Gaslight’s” director, Laura
Jackson, about the script at a karaoke night in early November. Jackson emailed Clara a copy of the script to rehearse from that night. “People were very welcoming over there when I first started,” Clara said. As Clara and McShane began to rehearse and hang out, McShane told her he was homeless. In a Facebook message, Clara asked if McShane was going to Maude’s Classic Cafe; he responded, “Where all the homeless artists go.” One night, Clara said that McShane called her from downtown, too drunk to drive. As she was close by, she drove him in his car to the Acrosstown, where she left him. She said McShane told her he was sleeping at the theater. Carolyne Salt, president of the Acrosstown’s board of directors, said that McShane was not sleeping at the Acrosstown. The Baird Center’s landlord said he asked Salt about a car he kept seeing parked outside the building around mid-November. After he inquired, the car was gone. McShane told Clara that he had been kicked out. She gave him a mat so he wouldn’t have to sleep on people’s floors. Instead, McShane began to regularly fall asleep on Clara’s living room couch. Police
OVER THE COURSE OF AN INVESTIGATION THAT SPANS 25 INTERVIEWS WITH CURRENT AND FORMER ACROSSTOWN MEMBERS AND LOCALS IN THE COMMUNITY, THREE PEOPLE HAVE TOLD THE FINE PRINT THEY EXPERIENCED SEXUAL ASSAULT OR HARASSMENT WHILE INVOLVED WITH THE THEATER. reported Clara “often felt bad and [would] let McShane stay over because it was so late by the time they were finished.” Sometimes, McShane would come over just to sleep, even though Clara said she never explicitly invited him to. She also Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 31
FEATURE bought him food. “I didn’t mind,” Clara said. “I was glad to help. If I’m in a good place, and someone needs help, I’ll help.” Yet as they spent more time together, Clara began to feel uneasy. At an arts festival in early November, Clara’s coworker asked her if McShane was her boyfriend. Clara’s coworker told the Fine Print Clara said no. Over Thanksgiving, while McShane was house-sitting for the Bobbitts, he told Clara that Bobbitt had given permission for her to come over. (Clara, unsure what McShane meant, asked what he had told the Bobbitts. She said he said he told them they were rehearsing for Gaslight.) Clara stayed the night on Saturday; she said McShane slept in the guest bedroom, and she slept on the couch. In a Facebook message to her, McShane commented about how he liked one of her profile pictures because it showed off her legs. In another, he asked if they could snuggle. “Haha, you just woke up from a nap. You don’t need sleep,” Clara responded. On a sticky note placed on screenshots of their conversations that Clara printed for the assistant state attorney, she wrote that this had been a purposeful deflection. Though his comments made her feel uneasy, Clara wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. “I don’t want to judge people based off norms,” she said. “I want to give them a chance to be friends.” After two weeks, Clara felt like her roommates were also growing uncomfortable. One of Clara’s roommates, who asked to remain anonymous for professional reasons, said that “all of a sudden he was just over a little bit more frequently” than she expected. McShane would still be asleep on the couch as they were leaving for work in the morning. And Clara was nervous about taking the sedative she is prescribed for insomnia around him. She was losing sleep. “I didn’t fully trust him,” she said. On Tuesday, Nov. 28, McShane came over to Clara’s house, as he had begun to do regularly. While they were listening to music in her living room, Clara decided to address the night the before when they has had a few drinks at a Tabernacle show. In the morning, Clara had woken up without her pants. According to the police report, Clara said they cuddled and kissed, but she “was unsure if anything sexual had happened but did not know why she didn't have pants on.” Clara said she told McShane that she 32 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
didn’t know what had happened, but she wanted to make sure he knew that because she wasn't sober, she wouldn't have been able to consent. She said McShane responded he understood. Later that night, Clara said McShane asked if he could spend the night, the first time she can recall him directly asking for permission. "I don’t know if I want you to sleep here because I’m taking the medicine," Clara told detectives she said. Reluctantly, Clara agreed to let him stay the night. According to the police report, she told McShane “I’m a different person on my sleeping medication and I don’t want to do anything.” The detective wrote in the police report that Clara thought McShane understood that "anything" had a sexual connotation, and that Clara said she “made it clear that she didn’t want to have sex, and that McShane agreed.” Clara told the Fine Print that McShane then asked to sleep in her bed instead of the couch, saying that he didn’t want to disturb her roommates. Before going to sleep, Clara said McShane watched her take her medication. Then she turned off the lights. “I woke up,” Clara said. “And he was having sex with me.” In the morning, Clara did not talk to McShane. He left her apartment when she did. McShane came over Wednesday night
ACCORDING TO THE POLICE REPORT, CLARA TOLD MCSHANE “I’M A DIFFERENT PERSON ON MY SLEEPING MEDICATION AND I DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING.” to sleep. According to the police report, he tried to make another sexual advance; she told him no. The detective wrote that Clara said McShane may have performed oral sex on her, but she is unsure. Clara said her memory of the night is hazy. Exhausted, dissociating and in denial about what happened the night before, she couldn’t sleep without her medication. “Because I was on this medication, I was completely helpless to resist both mentally
and physically,” Clara wrote in her petition for a restraining order. “He knew I was in this state, and he had sex with me anyway."
ON THURSDAY, CLARA
said she fully realized what had happened when she met her best friend, Piper, at a park to talk. “Is it so fucked to want to make conscious decisions about my body?” Clara had said, crying. After talking to Piper, Clara texted McShane, hoping to arrange a time to talk. He said he would be going to the Hardback Cafe later that night. “I will be able to get a place to crash tonight from folks there if you are to go home and take your meds and sleep,” he wrote. Clara asked him if they could meet beforehand. “Yes,” he responded. “I figured as much. Where?” Outside the Acrosstown, her knife in her pocket, Clara told McShane that she had said she didn’t want to do anything that night. But he did anyway and that was “entirely fucked.” “‘I know, I’m an asshole, I’m sorry,’” McShane responded, according to Clara’s sworn testimony. “That’s entirely fucked,” she had repeated. The next day, Clara got a message from McShane. “Can I take you to a nice dinner to see if there is any way to resolve this issue with civility I am truly sorry,” he wrote. She tried to ignore his message, but she couldn’t stop thinking: What would it be like to be around him now? What if the same thing happened to someone else? “I don’t want to be in this situation,” she said she thought. “I don’t want to deal with the fact that he got away with raping me, and he’s just gonna go about his life.” After work, Clara drove to the Gainesville Police Department. In a small room with a bookshelf, an officer and a detective had Clara make a controlled call. A typical part of sex crimes investigations, a controlled call is a recorded call made by the victim to the perpetrator under detectives’ instruction. Clara said the detectives told her to act like she was worried about getting pregnant and to ask where McShane was. If he made an admission, they could take “immediate action.” When McShane answered, he was at the Hardback getting ready to perform for Artwalk. “So,” McShane said, “Will you take me up on my offer of dinner?” As they spoke, the officers wrote out their questions on a piece of paper for Clara to *The controlled call has been abridged for clarity and will be available in full online.
FEATURE ask. She started with Monday night*. “The thing with Monday,” McShane said, stammering, “the thing with Monday, I thought was OK … . Because I did not deal with that without what I thought was your consent. Which, Wednesday, at that later point, with you on the meds and then your sedated state, my misinterpreting when you would [inaudible] when you were in that state, but I did go way beyond what we had talked about. Monday, I swear I did not.” “Way beyond?” Clara asked twice. “Even encroaching on,” McShane responded, “because you had said no.” “What made you think … ‘Oh, I’m actually going to have sex with her when she asked me not to?’” Clara said. McShane was silent. “My own foolish receptions of the night as opposed to negating everything,” McShane finally said after she pressed him. “… It was my own idiocy. It was my own fucking stupidity.” “I hesitated throughout all of that, wondering what exactly was going on,” he said minutes later. “ … Through what I had been doing and seeing… I knew what I was doing was wrong. Very wrong.” Clara said the detective told her to wrap it up — they had everything they needed. “Yeah,” she said before hanging up. “I don’t think we can do dinner.” That night, Clara stayed with her mom at a hotel. At 5 a.m., she got a call from Court Services. McShane had been arrested.
IN EARLY FEBRUARY,
Daniel Owens, the assistant state attorney assigned to Clara’s case, called her to say the case would not be going forward due to insufficient evidence. She insisted they meet in person to talk about it. Clara said Owens told her he couldn’t “press charges off a warning label,” meaning her prescription. Without blood tests taken close to the time of the incident, there was no way to prove Clara was actually on her medication, even though Clara pointed out that it would have been “impossible” for her to drive herself to a hospital while she was sedated. It was also not enough that McShane had nodded when a detective asked him if he knew Clara was on sleeping medication, according to the police report. Clara did complete a rape kit, but it was taken two days after the incident occurred, rendering it inconclusive. Forensics had found two used condoms in Clara’s trash
can, but that still did not prove the act had been non-consensual. Owens also said that he wouldn’t be able to use the controlled call because “it could be interpreted in different ways,” Clara said. “[McShane] was apologizing, but he could’ve been apologizing for something else,” Clara said Owens told her. Crystal Walters, Clara’s victim advocate who came to the meeting with her, said it seemed to her like Owens was implying a jury would not find McShane guilty because Clara let him sleep in her bed. Though Owens couldn’t be reached for comment, Darry Lloyd, the public information officer for the state attorney’s office, said the office takes precautions to interview victims respectfully, but that it can’t account for an attorney’s "style." Other questions have been raised with the way the state attorney’s office handled the case. Clara had come prepared to her testimony meeting — the first step in the judicial process where the victim recounts the incident — with a manila folder of notes. She had meticulously recorded her interactions with McShane, believing it could help her case. But when Clara sat down to testify, Owens told her to put away her notes, take an oath and describe the incident from memory. (Reviewing victims’ notes is a practice that varies from attorney to attorney without standardization. Owens declined to use them.) Without her notes, she worried about describing something incorrectly. “So I was supposed to carry this around with me for over a month,” Clara said. “Just fresh at the forefront of my mind?” Owens asked Clara what she was wearing that night in a manner Jessie Lazarchik, the victim advocate who attended the testimony meeting, described as “blunt” and “direct.” Without any context, he posed the question: If she was worried about McShane, why did she let him sleep in her bed? Laura Kalt, the director of the Alachua County Victim Service and Rape Crisis Center, said Clara’s testimony meeting sounded like a “failure on the part of our criminal justice system.” “This is the kind of thing that our court system unfortunately uses against survivors frequently,” Kalt said. “It’s exploited by defense attorneys artfully. They’re so good with showing, ‘Oh there’s a picture of you with this person on Facebook two weeks later at a party, and you’re laughing with
them. How did you end up on Facebook with someone who sexually assaulted you?’” Clara said she came away from the experience victim-blamed and re-traumatized. The only time Clara felt recognized by the judicial system was at the civil hearing on Feb. 22, when Judge Robert Groeb granted a restraining order against McShane indefinitely. “I do believe there is substantial, competent evidence in this case that an unlawful sexual act was committed by the respondent against the petitioner,” Groeb stated for the record. “It is my intention for the injunction to be a permanent injunction,” he added. “That is to say that it will remain in effect as long as either one of you are alive.”
ACT TWO. TWO DAYS AFTER McShane was arrested in December, Clara had just finished Acrosstown auditions near Depot Park. As she was leaving, Clara said Anna Marie Kirkpatrick, a board member and McShane’s friend, caught up with her to talk about McShane’s arrest. Clara didn’t know what to make of the conversation until a day later, when Kirkpatrick sent her a lengthy Facebook message. (The messages have been edited for length and will be available in full online.) “I appreciate you sharing with me about what transpired between you and Mike,” she began. “I cannot tell you how much this news saddens me. I understand why you feel you had to go the route you did to call him to account and feeling you needed to protect other women.” Kirkpatrick went on to write that she thought Clara was “a good fit” for McShane, mistakenly identifying her as his girlfriend. What she wanted most, she wrote to Clara, was healing for everyone, but that “the path you are heading down now is going to cause more damage than I think you realize. Already shock is vibrating throughout the community.” Kirkpatrick described how McShane had lost his job and been placed on house arrest. “He cannot be four miles from where you work or live,” she wrote. “That’s all of downtown. All his hangouts.” “And that’s just the start,” she wrote. If McShane took a plea deal, he would be “labeled as a sex offender for the rest of his Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 33
FEATURE life.” If the case went to trial, prosecutors would “shred him and make him look like a monster,” Kirkpatrick wrote. “And the defense that gets hired will come after you,” she added. “They will be just as ruthless looking into everything they can about you and your past. It will be a bloodbath and all in the public eye. And the community will take sides. He will be shunned. And you will be shunned.” “Please look into your heart,” Kirkpatrick wrote. “Please ask yourself if the punishment equals the crime.” About 30 minutes later, Clara received another Facebook message, this time from Michael Bobbitt, another friend of McShane’s. Bobbitt has worked in the theater community for years. He’s currently the facilities manager at the Acrosstown — a board position — and it’s likely he will become president. McShane’s father, a prominent local playwright and actor, is his mentor. One cast member said that due to the amount of money Bobbitt puts into the theater, he is “virtually indispensable.” Bobbitt asked Clara if she was free to meet over coffee, writing that he wanted to see what “our close knit community” could do to support her and talk about options going forward. Clara wrote back that she thought it would be good to have an open dialogue about the incident. She wanted to ensure it did not happen again. A few hours later, Bobbitt followed up with a second message. “As a board member of the theater and likely about to assume the presidency, I have to make sure that our community theater is a safe place for everyone and I am concerned about the conflict on the horizon so I thought that if we could speak we can formulate a plan for protecting everyone’s interests and sense of respect and security,” he wrote. He added he could bring his wife if she felt uncomfortable meeting with him alone. Clara again agreed; she thought this could help the whole community. According to Clara and Piper, who came to meeting at Patticakes with Bobbitt and his wife as a witness, Bobbitt began by saying, “‘As you probably know, Michael McShane is my best friend in all of Gainesville.’” Clara had not known that. She thought they were meeting about the community, not McShane specifically. Piper said that Bobbitt and his wife seemed on edge. “I felt like they were trying 34 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
to guilt her,” Piper said. “Because they were saying, ‘He’ll die in prison.’” Bobbit wrote that he never said that. Kirkpatrick had also written something similar in her message to Clara: Despite not being diagnosed, she wrote, she believed McShane was autistic, in poor health and had never been taught how to “treat women with respect” since his mother left him in his youth. “I don’t believe he will survive between being different and his illness,” the message reads. “… The experience [of being in prison] will change him forever if he survives.” Clara said Bobbitt told her he was prepared to spend $10,000 on McShane’s
“I WOULD RATHER USE MY RESOURCES TO HELP YOU RATHER THAN FIGHT AGAINST YOU IF POSSIBLE BECAUSE I THINK YOU HAVE A LOT TO OFFER THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE AND SPECIFICALLY ARE [SIC] THEATRE COMMUNITY.” defense but that he wanted to see if she could come up with alternative solutions. Bobbitt wrote in a Facebook message to a friend of Clara’s that he never mentioned any “particular amount of money.” Bobbitt finished the conversation by telling Clara that he was helping McShane find housing. “To hear [that] from a board member of the local community theater who has said he was going to be the next president of the Acrosstown?” Clara said. “That power stance is really — just really gross.” Bobbitt told a friend of Clara's that McShane ended up staying with Kirkpatrick. After their meeting, Bobbitt sent more messages to Clara. In one sent Dec. 7, he told Clara that McShane’s supporters were raising funds for “a good attorney,” and that friendships were “fracturing at the Acrosstown between those who are giving money to help Mike’s defense and those who are not.” He said he would pay for a “treatment and education” program for
McShane and counseling for Clara. “It is getting ugly fast and it’s heartbreaking…,” he wrote. “If you have any thoughts on how to resolve this issue before the character-assassination process of the court proceedings begin, I am willing to do anythign [sic] to help you accomplish them. … ANYTHING you need to help bring the legal proceedings to an end, you can count on me.” In a message sent Dec. 20, Bobbitt told her that he and McShane had their first meeting with the defense attorney. “I just thought I would reach out to see if there are any alternative scenarios you have come up with that would meet your needs for respect and Security and public Reckoning [sic] before thousands of dollars go into the legal process,” he wrote. “I would rather use my resources to help you rather than fight against you if possible because I think you have a lot to offer the community as a whole and specifically are [sic] Theatre community.” “Never did I tell the accuser what she should do, and never did I tell her that she should not pursue legal avenues for recourse,” Bobbit wrote in a statement to the Fine Print, later concluding, “I stand by my actions in this matter. I was a supportive friend to someone who denied the allegations against him, and I also tried to offer support to the accuser.” Bobbitt also wrote he thought Clara was open to exploring alternative solutions, and that at their meeting, “she expressed an interest in exploring multiple possible resolutions to this incident, stating clearly that she, ‘Didn’t want to see Mr. McShane go to prison’ and that she would also like to avoid a trial if possible.” Bobbitt also told the Fine Print he does not recall ever talking about Clara to anyone in the community. Yet in a Jan. 15 message to a former member of the Acrosstown, Bobbitt wrote of Clara, “there is no proof her side of the story is true… Mike vehemently denies it and as we get into the awful, awful process of the trial, it is coming out that she has a long history of instability and attention-seeking.” Carolyne Salt, president of the Acrosstown’s board of directors, said Bobbitt wasn’t officially acting for the board. Bobbitt maintains the same position. Salt said that his messages, which she had been provided by Bobbitt, showed a man who, though he may have used a poor choice of words, was acting out of passion for his community.
FEATURE “No, I don’t think it’s right,” Salt said. “But I also think there’s a big difference between saying, ‘Do not pursue this legally,’ and, ‘I would like to see this not pursued legally, and how can I help?’ I think there’s a very big difference between those two statements.” A few weeks after the meeting with Bobbitt, during the last Tabernacle show at Maude’s Sidecar Bar, Alan Bushnell approached Clara to talk about the allegations. Bushnell owns the Hardback, which now hosts the Tabernacle as part of an effort to become “a focal point for the arts scene.” He said he asked her why she was still coming around the places that McShane’s friends frequent. Bushnell said his intention wasn’t to cause Clara harm. But she came away from the conversation feeling victim-blamed and angry: She had been at the Tabernacle’s first show. Clara said she had to miss work the next day because of emotional distress. Since the incident, Clara has missed over 80 hours of work. She’s lost over $1,000. “I stopped going out,” Clara said. “I didn’t interact with much of the community after that.” Bobbitt and Salt insist that the Acrosstown had been nothing but welcoming to Clara. “The accuser remains welcome in the theater, and she needs only to reach out to find a wellspring of support from our community of artists, despite her limited involvement at the theater to date,” Bobbitt wrote in his statement. Clara does not feel like she can go back.
THE ACROSSTOWN has not had a written sexual harassment policy for at least five years. In his official statement, Bobbitt wrote that the Acrosstown has a “zero-tolerance policy for abuse of any kind.” But when cast and crew members sign on to a show at the Acrosstown, they aren’t given any kind of paperwork that would inform them of their rights if they are harassed or of the rules of the theater. In fact, there are “no rules, per se,” Salt wrote in an email. The Acrosstown’s bylaws do include a general non-discrimination policy, but it does not enforcement provisions. Multiple sources said directors are the only volunteers to receive any kind of guidelines. This is not unique to the Acrosstown. The Gainesville Community Playhouse does not have a sexual harassment policy, though a representative said over the phone it is developing one. The Actors Warehouse
could not be reached for comment, but no sexual harassment policy is available on their website. The Hippodrome, the only professional theater in town, does have a sexual harassment policy as it’s required by the Actors Equity Union. Salt said that in the interest of safety, she imagined the theater would remove an alleged perpetrator until the situation is resolved, which she said the board did in McShane’s case. Bobbitt also wrote in his statement that the board took “immediate action.” However, multiple members said they assumed that McShane continued to volunteer at the theater while he was under investigation, as the board never publicly addressed the incident. A director at the theater said they only knew McShane was banned because they asked. One volunteer said Facebook comments made by Salt and Bobbitt gave them the impression McShane was still working there. Salt did not reach out to Clara until after she was contacted by The Fine Print for this story. Salt said she did not view it as her responsibility: Since Clara and McShane were not working on the same production and the incident did not physically happen inside the theater, it was not “an Acrosstown issue.” “That’s like saying they met at Publix and you were going shopping together, and therefore Publix is implicit in that relationship,” she said. She later added over the phone that she did not consider Clara part of the community. “It just seems weird to do a couple of rehearsals and a stage reading and then say that you’re deeply embedded in the community,” she said. When asked why Clara’s level of involvement was significant, Salt responded, “It’s not that it matters to me. It’s just that it strikes me odd that it’s mattering to her.” Salt also insisted that Clara and McShane were dating and sleeping together, neither of which was true, according to Clara. During an interview, Salt said this was the first time the Acrosstown has had “such a case,” to explain why the theater never had a sexual harassment policy. But since 2013 at least two other instances of sexual misconduct have occurred between Acrosstown members.
IN LATE 2010, Stacey* volunteered in a production of “Elephant Man” at the Acrosstown. Like Clara, she studied theater in college and had just moved to Gainesville,
where she hoped to build her portfolio and make friends. Within a year, Stacey joined the Acrosstown’s board of directors. In late 2012, a play Stacey wrote was featured in a local showcase. An actor in the play, Harry*, sent her a message, writing that her play “spoke to him” and he wanted to get involved in theater. She introduced him to the Acrosstown; they began to casually date. After a few weeks, Stacey said Harry
THE ACROSSTOWN HAS NOT HAD A WRITTEN SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS. started to exhibit possessive and controlling behavior. If she didn’t pick up her phone or answer his “zillions of messages,” she said he would threaten to hurt himself. Stacey felt like she had to tell him when she was driving or in class to explain why she couldn’t answer. Stacey soon tried to end the relationship, but she said Harry told her he was struggling with depression and anxiety and that he didn’t have a job. As she also struggles with mental illness, Stacey felt compelled to help Harry. She would let him stay over and eat her food, even on nights when he would show up without permission. Stacey later identified his behavior as gaslighting, the term for psychological manipulation that leads someone to question their perception of events. In March 2013, Stacey again tried to end the relationship, messaging Harry over Facebook that she wanted to stay with him, but she wouldn’t be able to if he couldn’t find a “respectful, tempered” way to communicate with her. Harry responded with a several messages, calling Stacey a “manipulative liar.” He asked Stacey to call his mom to explain why their relationship was over. “I am being ripped apart,” Harry wrote in one of his final messages. “Never have I had such hatred in my heart for another as I now have for myself. This is the reward for falling in love with the perfect woman. Whatever punishment you think I deserve I am living and certainly didn't need any help.” Meanwhile, Harry was getting more involved with the Acrosstown. He joined the board of directors. “I started feeling like I Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 35
FEATURE couldn’t show up [to the theater], because if I showed up he’d say, ‘See, you’re following me,’ even though I had responsibilities because I was very deeply involved,” Stacey said. Stacey repeatedly attempted to alert her fellow board members to what she said was emotional abuse. She said she told them that she had called the police after a fight. (The Gainesville Police Department confirmed that Stacey’s license plate registered a “disturbance call” at 2:11 a.m. June 2013, but no report was filed.) Suddenly, Stacey said other board members were alleging in emails and at meetings that she was difficult to work with or “trying to take over the theater.” “The feeling I got was that they simply didn’t believe me,” Stacey said. “I heard a lot of, ‘Oh, but he’s so talented,’ and, ‘Well, we’ve had difficulty with you.’ To this day I’m not entirely sure what that difficulty entailed. All I can guess is they sensed there was a problem with the two of us. They couldn’t reconcile that this guy they liked could be the bad guy.” In December 2013, Stacey cut Harry out of her life. She brought up his behavior to the board one more time, at a meeting before “The Peppermint King,” the final production Stacey worked on that ran from late January to early February 2014. Harry also worked on the production. Stacey said that the president at the time told her she was “not mature enough” to be around Harry and that she should quit the production, even though Stacey was crowdfunding money to support it. (The president declined to comment, writing in an email that many misunderstandings were circulating at the time.) The Peppermint King was Stacey’s last play at the Acrosstown. “I walked away, and never looked back,” she said. In March 2014, Stacey was included in a mass email from the former secretary of the board, who could not be reached for comment. “I have always said keep you [sic] friends close and your enemies closer,” the secretary wrote. “As long as [Stacey] is on the Board we can keep and [sic] eye on her -- once she is off she will be even more out of control. I think a vote needs to be strategic -- her exit needs to leave as little room for retribution as possible. Do I know how to do this? No, I don't.” Another member responded, writing in an email to the former president that he and others saw the email as “highly offensive.” The former president, cc-ing Stacey, 36 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | thefineprintmag.org
responded that this “discussion … takes up far more time than it should.” In a private email to Stacey, the former president apologized for the secretary’s email, but did not address what Stacey identified as the cause of the discussion: Harry’s repeated threats to her health and safety. “We can stop this now, or it can get bigger,” the former president wrote in the last line of her final email to Stacey. “The ball is in your court now. It is your choice to return it to play or smash it away.” Now several years removed from the situation, Stacey said she has considered returning to the Acrosstown. Harry is no longer on the board, and Salt wrote in an email she had felt “compelled” to rectify the theater’s culture at the time Stacey resigned. But Stacey doesn’t feel like much has changed. Last year, on a Facebook post
Matt’s only costume was a pair of neon green and gold spandex shorts, which already made him feel self-conscious. With so little to wear, an integral part of his costume was a dance belt, an undergarment that’s similar to a jock strap. But Matt had forgotten to bring his dance belt to rehearsal that day. He said the director of the show, Jessica Arnold, who is also the vice president of the board, had shown up to the final dress rehearsal intoxicated, which several cast members said was a regular occurence. According to Matt and two other cast members, Arnold began to heckle the performers from the audience in an “inappropriate” and “unnerving” way. “She proceeded to tell me that she wanted me to not wear my dance belt for the show because it would be better for the audience,” Matt said. “So that everything would flop around in front of the audience to give them a better show.” “THERE’S NO WAY OF Matt said no, but Arnold kept pressuring KNOWING HOW MANY him. He eventually walked backstage, where he had an anxiety attack. “I couldn’t tell if she WOMEN ARE NOT was being serious or just inebriated,” Matt said. INVOLVED IN THEATER “It came across very much like she wanted me to do this, and I was not OK with that.” IN GAINESVILLE Matt said he told the other directors BECAUSE OF THESE and the stage manager, who all declined to comment, what had happened. “They all BEHAVIORS BEING went, ‘That is super not okay,’” he said. TOLERATED." Arnold wrote in an email that she had been Harry made about an ex who had come back drinking before rehearsals. Regarding Matt’s into his life, Bobbitt allegedly claimed that dance belt, she wrote, it wasn’t working with Stacey had once stalked Harry. According his costume and needed to be fixed. “Giving to Stacey’s partner, who sent Bobbitt a the audience a 'show' was not about the Facebook message asking him to delete his interpretation you were given,” she wrote. “It comment, the claim upset Stacey so much is about clean lines and good costuming.” that she felt suicidal and took her entire Arnold’s comment was not the only instance bottle of antidepressants. of what Matt perceived as harassment. Though Bobbitt apologized and deleted The previous week, Matt missed two the comment, Stacey said she doesn’t feel like rehearsals because of work. The day of the the Acrosstown is currently an emotionally second rehearsal, Matt left the show’s group safe and supportive place for her. chat. A few hours later, Michael Bobbitt After she left the theater, Stacey tried came into Matt’s workplace to ask if he was to get involved in Gainesville’s other arts quitting the show. “If I opened my mouth scenes. But she can’t escape the reputation to argue back I could get fired,” Matt said. of being “difficult to work with.” “I still hear Arnold and two other cast members also it,” she said. “‘[Stacey’s] difficult to work came into Matt’s workplace to ask if he was with.’ It’s effectively killed my dreams of quitting. The cast members later apologized doing theater in this community." to Matt, who got in trouble with his boss. Matt said neither Arnold nor Bobbitt MATT* WAS A CAST member in acknowledged the incident. last year’s production of the “Rocky Horror In a phone call, Bobbitt said that Matt’s Picture Show.” It was Matt’s second show “claims are wildly off base.” Bobbitt said he as an actor at the Acrosstown, and his last. stopped by Matt’s work because the actor
FEATURE was threatening to quit, and he wanted to see how he could help. He said he even spent $38 to help Matt with his sales goal. Bobbitt also said he recorded the interaction, which Matt told the Fine Print he had not been given permission to do. Bobbitt said he did so because he was “concerned about it” since Matt is an “emotionally unstable guy.” Although Matt acknowledges he left the group chat and missed two rehearsals, he denies he threatened to quit the production. Matt left the theater after “Rocky Horror." He had begun to feel it was “toxic” for him, like it was taking over his personal and professional lives.
WITHOUT ACCESS TO a written
and enforceable sexual harassment policy, Avery*, a former volunteer who worked on three shows at the Acrosstown, including “Rocky Horror,” worries that their ability to report potential inappropriate behavior is contingent on whether or not the board likes them. “I don’t feel confident [the board] would do anything if I were to come to them with a problem,” they said. Avery said that for safety reasons, they would only do another show at the Acrosstown if they personally knew and trusted the director. Avery initially did not want to speak to the Fine Print for fear of retribution. “Four other people told me they were nervous to speak out,” Avery said. “But somebody has to. This can't go on. This isn’t right at all.” Stacey also identified a lack of a sexual harassment policy as a problem in her case: “That would have been nice,” she said. “‘Cause then there would have been something to appeal to.” During the run of “Rocky Horror,” an allegation of sexual assault was brought against a cast member by a local. According to Matt, Avery and a former board member who resigned after “Rocky Horror” wrapped named Maddox*, the directors asked the cast not to talk about the allegation, appearing to act like it would create “bad press.” Arnold told the Fine Print that is “absolutely not true.” She said she reached out to both the alleged victim and the perpetrator. “Nothing was reported or came out of it other than a random [Facebook] post,” Arnold wrote. “We took it very seriously and proactively considered our options. It was not covered up. It was seriously considered and debated.” Arnold acknowledged that she didn’t tell the cast she had investigated the allegation. “It’s not my business to tell other people’s private lives,” she wrote. The three cast members said that without clear communication from the
directors, they didn’t know if the allegation was investigated, or how seriously they should take it. Maddox said this was particularly concerning because a minor was in the cast. Acrosstown volunteers had the same questions about McShane’s case. A former volunteer told The Fine Print that though they thought it was good the board had banned McShane from the theater, they never addressed it a “transparent or public way.” The closest this volunteer could recall the board discussing the incident publicly was after WCJB’s coverage of McShane’s arrest was shared on Facebook. Salt wrote in the post’s comments that she was privy to “backstory” that gave her “some perspective of the days leading up to the event.” “Compassion all around. <3,” she wrote. The fact that the board may be privy to extra information about the situation “doesn’t cut it for me,” this volunteer wrote. “I respect that Carolyne and Bobbitt do most of the heavy lifting that keeps the Acrosstown going, but it's still a COMMUNITY theater.” A director at the Acrosstown said he thought it was wrong that McShane’s arrest was not publicly addressed by the board. But he feels like he can’t advocate for what he sees as better policies without hurting the whole theater, which is “floundering” financially. “If certain people were removed from the board, what would happen to theater?” he said. “Maybe it wouldn’t survive.” He said he doesn’t believe McShane’s case is “some big conspiracy,” or that the board acted maliciously. “It doesn’t surprise me they don’t have a lot of policies,” he said. “Leadership passes through so many hands that the disorganization is to blame. There’s just a lack of organization or ownership.” In an email to the Fine Print, Salt said the board was working on developing a comprehensive director’s manual for the upcoming season. At the time of the email, the manual did not include a section on what to do in cases of sexual assault or harassment. Salt wrote she had never seen one included in director's manuals. “If you have suggested wording, I would gladly present it to the board for consideration,” she wrote. Salt, Arnold and Bobbitt have insisted that the Acrosstown is a “refuge” for theater in Gainesville. “You could join the board tomorrow,” Bobbitt said over the phone. “We’re trying to be welcoming to everyone.” Bobbitt added that the allegations are “so far off base.” “We’re just flabbergasted you’re
coming after a small volunteer theater,” he said. Jill Burton, a local experimental musician, has volunteered with the Acrosstown in the past. But she said that after hearing about Stacey’s story, she is currently uninterested. She said she doesn’t feel safe in a community that seems to look the other way during instances of alleged sexual assault or misconduct. “There’s no way of knowing how many women are not involved in theater in Gainesville because of these behaviors being tolerated,” Burton said. “I feel like that’s a much greater loss to the community.”
US TOO. WATCHING THE #METOO
movement unfold solidified Clara’s decision to speak out: If Harvey Weinstein could be held accountable, so could those in Gainesville who she perceived as standing in the way of her and justice. “From the police or from the court system, I thought that was where the negativity would come from,” Clara said. “I didn’t expect it from a community that I had perceived as progressive.” Salt said the Acrosstown plans to adopt an anti-harassment policy for its upcoming season. She also said she plans to direct an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” this summer because it touches on themes of #MeToo and women’s empowerment. Bobbitt told the Fine Print that the board would resign upon this article’s publication. “You’ll see after the article goes out,” he said, declining to comment further. Bobbitt also wrote in a Facebook message to a friend of Clara's that McShane would be moving to Chicago in May. Stacey is starting over in Los Angeles theater, where she hopes to feel safer. Matt recently started a new job and is waiting for another theater to hold auditions that interest him. As summer approaches, Clara is getting back to what is important to her: telling stories that need to be told. She has continued to be involved in local theater. She said she’s focusing on trying to stay present and positive and to keep being kind, even though “kindness is what got me into this mess.” For now, she’s going to be wary. She’s seen firsthand how kindness can be abused. “I am way more aware,” Clara said, “that just because people are a part of the community, or accepted in the community, doesn’t mean they’re good.” • Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 37
ART & LITERATURE
Loblolly Wood BY EMILY HILL PHOTOS BY COLE THOMAS
ERRORS AND ABERRATIONS 1: UNFORGETTABLY ODD
ERRORS AND ABERRATIONS 2: COMMERCIALIZED JUNK — The only error was who I took these pictures with.
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I. The joy of a narrow and railless bridge crossed Christlike—our arms outstretched over the tea-dark creek. You stumbled behind me, your seeking hand barely finding the cloth of my shirtsleeve, and I felt the bridge quake. Waxwings keened in the trees. The sound of them wrinkled the air; perhaps they weren’t used to my black dog bounding up and baying as they perched as if to say: I see you; you thrill me. His jet back flashed between palmettos as he sprinted through sun and shadow, leaped, and plunged recklessly into the creek. Behind you, I saw high color peeking through the leaves, a blush among green boughs. II. A buzzard weighed down the blooming branch of a dogwood tree, black feathers against flat pink blossoms. I crushed bits of fennel, cardamom, and granulated sugar between my molars. Their fragrance filled my mouth, and I thought of the bird’s gizzard—all the grit within that helped break down the bony roughage of carrion-eating. I wanted to touch ayour arm, point out the bird, but I was too caught up wondering what the little shadows under your eyes would look like in ten years, in twenty. Plus, you kept fiddling with your hat, and as I watched you, the buzzard flew off.
POETRY & PHOTOGRAPHY
RED-LIGHT DISTRICT: BARE PROTRUSIONS — Cautious of new friendships.
MUNDANE NOSTALGIA IN INUNDATION — I used to come here often, but Irma changed that.
Summer 2018 | T H E F I N E P R I N T | 39
The Summer 2018 print edition of The Fine Print, an independent magazine in Gainesville, Florida.