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Winter 2012

Hey Sole Sister Caryn Barry has collected more than 19,000 pairs of shoes for charity

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Helping you live your best life. By design. Our residents want to thrive at every age. So to help them live their best lives, we created our Vitality Program. It’s designed solely to help each resident better manage the unique issues we face as we age – and advances the idea that living happier, healthier, longer is a communitywide effort we wholeheartedly believe in. Nearly three-fourths of our residents participate in our voluntary program. We think that’s a good sign residents embrace vitality as much as we do.

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CONTENTS WINTER 2012 • VOL. 03 ISSUE 04 >> THE BLUES

34

Paint it Blue

Deforestation Awareness

Australian Artist Hopes to Educate People about Deforestation

BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

to draw attention to the issue of

trees a startling sapphire blue. The

S

deforestation. Blue Trees started in Melbourne in 2005, and then included Vancouver, Sacramento

coloring naturally washes away after a period of time and does not harm the trees in the process.

and Seattle. In total, Dimopoulos has transformed trees in nine cities, and plans to continue on to New York, Houston and Boston. “Though we are passionate about our trees, though we care about our trees, that passion does not get translated,” Dimopoulos said. “In order for people to see the forests, I had to get people to see the trees.” Claiming not be an environmentalist, but an artist, he paints the

“The reality is that there are no blue trees. Blue trees don’t exist. They are a part of my imagination,” Dimopoulos said, using the color to draw attention to the trees. He remembers watching a mother and daughter walk past a newly colored tree, and the daughter ran from her mother to hug the tree, shouting, “Mom, a blue tree!” Dimopoulos said he believes that was the first time the child truly saw the tree.

trange blue trees appeared recently on the University of

Florida campus. People pause their daily commute to class, admire the trees and wonder why they have suddenly donned the blue coat: a tribute to the football season, homage to the coming winter months? It is in these moments of reflection that Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos knows he has accomplished what he set out to do. His project, “Blue Trees,” attempts

By Amanda Williamson

PHOTO BY ALEX WHITESIDE

For the next several months, students, teachers and visitors will see trees painted blue on the UF campus. Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos painted the trees in October to bring attention to the plight of deforestation.

34 | Winter 2012

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2012 | 35

Take a walk through UF campus and you are likely to see an unusual sight: blue trees. Konstantin Dimopoulos wants to draw attention to deforestation and to that end, the Australian artist began his Blue Trees Project. In October he brought his art to Florida.

>> BULLY-FREE ZONE

86

Keep the Peace

Peace, Love & Joy

River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding

BY JEWEL MIDELIS

R

oman West would wake up and not want to go to school. Not because he didn’t do his homework or didn’t study for a test. And not because he hated waking up early or didn’t get enough sleep at night. West didn’t want to go because every single day he was bullied at his high school in Tennessee. He was bullied so badly he didn’t want to attend college after graduation. He was bullied to the point where he became depressed for about five years. West said his family has traveled across the world, and he considers

himself “hardly American.” His former classmates seemed to notice as well, and they would not let him forget he was new to the area. He said everyone bullied so much that it became the norm at his school. “Anyone who was different, they would break them down,” he said about his former classmates. “It’s really sad. I couldn’t count a day where I wasn’t called a name.” Despite his depression, West said he found strength in friends and in music. Now, the 20-year-old works at Five Star Pizza and volunteers at the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding.

By Jewel Midelis

The RPCP is a local organization created by Heart Phoenix and her family to promote peaceful lifestyles and to put an end to violence. West said working with the Phoenix family is “completely surreal.” “I’ve never met a family that expresses love as much as they do,” he said at a recent rally against bullying held in downtown Gainesville. Heart, a mother of five, strives to make a difference for people like West, a young man who was once depressed, dismantled and discouraged and now wants to pursue a career in music. Heart, her husband, Jeffrey Weisberg, and fellow activist

PHOTO BY JEWEL MIDELIS

Dozens of children played, ran and looped in hula-hoops at the Unity Day event on October 10th. River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding Executive Director Dot Maver, Board President Heart Phoenix, and her husband and director of programs and outreach Jeffrey Weisberg, were all pleased with the outcome from the Unity Day event. Maver said, “We are delighted there are so many people here.”

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Winter 2012 | 87

Early in 2012, Heart Phoenix, along with her husband, Jeffrey Weisberg and fellow activist Dorothy Maver created the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding. Named in memory of her son, actor River Phoenix, the goal of the center is to reduce, interrupt and prevent violence in all forms in the community.

>> GREEN BUSINESS

Gardens from Garbage

144

Take Out the Trash

Compost Network Diverts Food Scraps Away From the Landfill

BY KELSEY GRENTZER

distributes to local gardeners and

was being thrown away at local

C

uses to nourish urban gardens in the community.

restaurants, he said. He recognized the potential for a larger scale

down the streets of downtown Gainesville with a trailer of food scraps in tow. At first glance, it’s garbage. But to Cano and

“Our goal is to take something that would be trash and turn it into something valuable,” he said. Along with the food scraps, Cano

project that could put those scraps to good use. It began with just five local businesses in September 2011: The

a network of local gardeners, it’s treasure in the making.

collects dead leaves from community members and curbsides

Midnight Cafe & Bar, Karma Cream, Reggae Shack Cafe, The Jones

Every week, Cano bikes around town collecting leftover vegetables, fruits, coffee grounds, eggshells and more from restaurants to use for

to add into the mix. The compost he makes gives plants a chance to thrive even in Florida’s sandy, nutrient-depleted soil, he said.

Eastside and The Bull. He bought a trailer from a friend and began pedaling his way around town to collect scraps at

composting, a process that breaks down food and other organic mat-

Cano’s compost project started as an experiment. When he and

participating venues. “It started with just me and

ter into valuable fertilizer. Cano, a 25-year-old University of Florida graduate, started Gainesville Compost about a year ago as a way

his roommates started a garden behind their house, they looked to restaurant-owning friends for food scraps to use to create compost.

my bicycle and my bicycle trailer,” he said. But a year later, Cano said the project has grown into something

of turning local restaurants’ food scraps into useful fertilizer that he

Collecting these food scraps made Cano realize just how much

bigger than he ever imagined. With the help of community members,

hris Cano pedals his bike

144 | Winter 2012

12 | Winter 2012

By Kelsey Grentzer

PHOTOS BY KELSEY GRENTZER

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Chris Cano, 24, examines plants at Gainesville Compost’s garden at Tempo Bistro To Go in October. Cano, owner of Gainesville Compost, bikes past the Hippodrome in downtown Gainesville, on his route to pick up food scraps from local restaurants. Cano arrives at The Midnight in downtown Gainesville to collect the food scraps. His business started as an experiment when he and his roommates started a garden behind their house. They looked to restaurant-owning friends for food scraps to use to create compost.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2012 | 145

Chris Cano collects trash. He can often be seen riding through town on his bicycle, pulling a trailer of food scraps. Cano started his business about a year ago as a way of turning local restaurants’ leftovers into fertilizer that he distributes to nourish urban gardens in the community.


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PHOTO BY TOM MORRISSEY MAKEUP BY TRISH ALLEN & IMAGE INSIGHT

ON THE COVER

>> FEATURES 22

Girls Place: A Place to Grow Strong Women BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

44

Volunteers Helping Our Nonprofits Thrive

Caryn Barry began collecting shoes for a good cause while in high school. Now a UF student, her nonprofit organization, A Walk In My Shoes, is going strong.

BY ALLYSEN KERR

46

Volunteers of the Year First Place Winner Profiles BY ALLYSEN KERR

56

A Second Chance Paws on Parole: Giving Dogs and Inmates Alike a New “Leash” on Life BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

78

Living in the Past Medieval Life Has its Perks BY KYRA LOVE

70

Sole Sister 19,000 Pairs of Shoes for Charity BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

96

Small Business Alive and Well In Gainesville BY ALLYSEN KERR

COLUMNISTS 30 Crystal Henry NAKED SALSA 94 Albert Isaac DIFFERENT NOTE 156 Brian “Krash” Kruger GATE CRASHING 172 Cassie Ganter ADVENTURES IN APPETITE

INFORMATION 110 Taste of the Town 116 Community Calendar 176 Advertiser Index

The articles printed in Our Town Magazine™ do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Tower Publications, Inc. or their editorial staff. Our Town Magazine endeavors to accept reliable advertising; however, we can not be held responsible by the public for advertising claims. Our Town Magazine reserves the right to refuse or discontinue any advertisement. All rights reserved. © 2012 Tower Publications, Inc.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2012 | 13

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144 Published quarterly by Tower Publications, Inc. www.towerpublications.com

PUBLISHER Charlie Delatorre charlie@towerpublications.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Albert Isaac editor@towerpublications.com fax: 352-373-9178 OFFICE MANAGER Bonita Delatorre bonita@towerpublications.com ART DIRECTOR Hank McAfee hank@towerpublications.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Neil McKinney neil@towerpublications.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cassie Ganter Kelsy Grentzer Janice Kaplan Allysen Kerr Courtney Lindwall Kyra Love Jewel Midelis Amanda Williamson INTERN Jewel Midelis Cassie Ganter

PHOTO BY KELSEY GRENTZER

UF student Steven Kanner, 21, bikes through downtown Gainesville towing several compost buckets while helping Gainesville Compost founder Chris Cano pick up food scraps from local restaurants. Kanner built Cano’s new trailer using reclaimed materials.

>> FEATURES 136 Florida’s Friendly Giants The Story of a Wild Williston Ranch

ADVERTISING SALES Nancy Short 352-215-2833 nancy@towerpublications.com Helen Stalnaker 352-416-0209 helen@towerpublications.com Jenni Bennett 352-416-0210 jenni@towerpublications.com Pam Sapp 352-416-0213 pam@towerpublications.com

BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

150 Kelsey Tainsh

Annie Waite 352-416-0204 annie@towerpublications.com

Interview BY ALBERT ISAAC

162 Gourmet Every Day Turning Meals Into Special Occasions BY CASSIE GANTER

14 | Winter 2012

ADVERTISING OFFICE 4400 NW 36th Avenue Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax


or

Not valid with any other other offer. Please contact your local store for details. Offer valid until 12-31-12.

Not valid with any other other offer. Please contact your local store for details. Offer valid until 12-31-12. www.VisitOurTowns.com

Not valid with any other other offer. Please contact your local store for details. Offer valid until 12-31-12. Winter 2012 | 15

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SPECIAL >> HIPPODROME

“A Tuna Christmas” runs November 23 - December 23 • “A Christmas Carol” runs November 24 - December 22

The Shows Go On he Hippodrome Theatre continues its long-running traditions on the main stage, presenting two holiday shows: “A Tuna Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol.” After a two-year break, “A Tuna Christmas” is once again being presented at the Hipp, said Jessica Hurov, director of marketing. “We’re bringing it back,” Hurov said in a recent telephone interview. “People have been clamoring to see ‘Tuna’ again, so we decided to give the people what they want during the holidays and bring it back.” Cameron Francis and Matthew Lindsay have both been in the production for many years, playing multiple roles, she said. “Two wonderful actors,” Hurov said. “Each one of them plays about 15 different characters.” Another longtime tradition, “A Christmas Carol,” features Rusty Salling in the role of Scrooge.

T

16 | Winter 2012

Salling has been with the Hippodrome since the beginning, and this will be his 35th year in “A Christmas Carol.” For the first 12 years he played Cratchit, before switching to the role of Scrooge. “He’s incredibly well known,” Hurov said. “He works here fulltime as webmaster and IT specialist. People are always surprised to see him upstairs on the third floor.” “It’s a terrific role, a terrific story,” Rusty Salling said in a phone interview. “People just love it. They consider it part of their holiday tradition. I get lots of positive feedback. It’s very gratifying as a performer.” Salling is a University of Florida graduate and has been acting and participating at various levels since the origin of the Hippodrome 40 years ago. “He’s the institutional memory,” Hurov said, adding that if anyone has an historical question about

the Hipp, Salling’s the man to ask. After so many years of performing “A Christmas Carol,” Salling knows the script well. “It’s in the brain,” he said. “It’s hardwired in the brain. During the first rehearsal I might have to call for a line. But then the script is in my head.” For a limited time (November 23 – December 4) children can get in free. Up to two children get in free for each adult ticket when they bring a new unwrapped toy or canned goods. Donations go to a worthy cause: the toys are donated to Toys for Tots and canned goods go to the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank. Hurov said that the shows kick off the day after Thanksgiving. “It’s a perfect way to get out of the house and see some plays,” Hurov said. “You can book in advance. Just call the box office.” s


MESSAGE >> FROM THE EDITOR

So the election is behind us, at last And, even better, now upon us are Holidays and the New Year. ‘Tis the season to be giving, and to be grateful. To that end, we offer some stories about people who go above and beyond to help others. I realize that we can only scratch the surface when it comes to highlighting people in our community who are truly inspirational. They offer their time to help in a variety of ways: they volunteer through their churches and other organizations, they tutor students, they work tirelessly to feed and clothe the homeless, and they ask for nothing in return. SunState Federal Credit Union and Tower Publications teamed up to honor some of these “Unsung Heroes,” voted by friends, family and peers. Learn about the first-place winners in this edition of Our Town. Kelsey Tainsh is a force of nature. See how this inspirational young woman has overcome remarkable challenges to not only survive, but to thrive — as a student, a philanthropist and a motivational speaker. You’ll find her story and much more within these pages, as we bring you a diverse collection of articles. These stories range from pachyderms to canines, from medieval entertainment to modern-day peacemakers. Happy Holidays from all of us at Tower Publications! s

RESEARCH STUDY IRB # 308-2011

The University of Florida Periodontal Disease Research Clinic is seeking volunteers WITH HEALTHY GUM S AND MILD TO SEVERE GUM DISEASE to participate in a dental research study. The study requires that you come to our clinic FOR AT LEAST 8 STUDY VISITS OVER 13 MONTHS OR AT LEAST 11 STUDY VISITS OVER 21 MONTHS. The purpose of the study is to find the best test to determine gum disease progression. The first study visit includes an oral examination and evaluation of your teeth and gums. If you qualify for the study you will have the following procedures: dental x-rays, dental cleaning, blood draws, and multiple saliva and plaque samples taken during the study.

You may be eligible if: • You ARE at least 25 years of age • You MUST have more than 20 natural teeth with 12 of those teeth in the back of your mouth with NO holes/ NOT broken • You have NOT used ANY tobacco products within the past year • You MUST NOT have any severe dental problems and MUST NOT have had periodontal treatment in the past 6 months (regular cleanings are acceptable) • You DO NOT have braces on your teeth • You ARE WILLING to delay a dental cleaning or gum treatment for 12 months while in the study • You DO NOT require antibiotic premedication for dental treatment • You ARE in good physical health (No diabetes, HIV, AIDS) and HAVE NOT taken antibiotics in the past 6 months • You ARE NOT pregnant, lactating, or breastfeeding, or plan to become pregnant during the study • You DO NOT REGULARLY take anti-inflammatory medicine (example: Advil, etc.) • You ARE NOT allergic to tetracycline antibiotics (example: minocycline, doxycycline, etc.)

CORRECTION NOTICE In the autumn 2012 edition of Our Town magazine, a few errors slipped past our copyeditors. In the feature, “100 years of Architecture,” we misspelled the name of architect Gene Leedy. In our cover story, “Rescuing the Helpless,” about Gainesville animal rescues, we incorrectly reported on the Alachua County Humane Society. The Humane Society is a no-kill facility, but they do not accept animals from the general public. To adopt a pet call 352-373-5855. Healthy Learning Academy, mentioned in our story about Charter Schools, is currently serving students in kindergarten through fifth grade and is located at 13505 W. Newberry Road, Jonesville.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

GUM DISEASE

• You ARE WILLING to come to the clinic for a minimum of 8 study visits over 13 -21 months • You HAVE NOT participated in a clinical study in the past 30 days

Eligible participants will receive oral examinations, dental cleaning and financial compensation. If interested, please call our office at (352) 273-6672 for more information.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2012 | 17

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STAFF >> CONTRIBUTORS Allysen Kerr

Cassie Ganter

Allysen Kerr is a freelance writer and graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications.

is a freelance writer and a senior at UF majoring in journalism. A South Florida girl at heart, she enjoys relaxing days spent on the beach when she is not busy writing feature stories.

allysenrenee@gmail.com

clganter@ufl.edu

Amanda Williamson

Jewel Midelis

is a recent graduate of UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has been writing for as long as she can remember. She enjoys spending time with her friends, family and animals.

is freelance writer and student of journalism at the University of Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, camping at state-parks and playing with her puppies. jmidelis91@yahoo.com

awilliamson@ufl.edu

Courtney Lindwall

Janice Kaplan

is a Florida native, now studying journalism at UF. She loves telling and hearing good stories. In her little bit of free time, she enjoys hiking, camping and eating delicious food.

has been a freelance writer since 2005. In her spare time Janice loves cooking, Gator sports, Jimmy Buffett anything and spending time with her husband and kids. kaplan_ janice@yahoo.com

c.lindwall@ufl.edu

Kyra Love

Kelsey Grentzer

is a student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. When she’s not writing, she enjoys doing craft projects, watching TV and traveling.

Kelsey Grentzer is a journalism student at UF with a minor in sustainability studies. She is a freelance writer and photographer who loves animals, traveling and going to the beach.

kyraelove@gmail.com

k.grentzer@ufl.edu

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>> AFTERSCHOOL

Girls Place A Place to Grow Strong Women

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN PHOTOS BY POWERS PHOTOGRAPHY

i Miss Kristina!” “Miss Kristina, can I help you?” “Thank you, Miss Kristina!” The cheerful salutations and offers of assistance ring through the air every afternoon as dozens of girls arrive at Girls Place for afterschool care. Kristina Fletcher greets each girl by name as she checks them in. “I love the interaction between them as they walk in,” said Fletcher, the facility’s receptionist. “I like to see them, talk to them and see how their day is going.” The efficient check-in routine, however, is sometimes interrupted by a stray student wandering off – at which time her friendly tone turns to that of a traffic director.

“H

22 | Winter 2012

“Where are you going?” she asked one girl, who answered that she needed to use the bathroom. “Which way do you go?” The girl turned around and headed back from where she came as Fletcher hid a knowing smile. It is that loving-yet-firm approach that works so well at Girls Place, an organization that provides afterschool care, summer camps and athletic programs to Gainesville-area girls ages five through 18. The afterschool and camp curriculum includes games, crafts, cooking, field trips, homework time during the school year, and more. The center also offers league competition in many sports such as basketball, track and volleyball – its most popular

offering these days. The facility opened in 1987, following a decade that saw a drastic increase in the number of women working outside of the home. “These women wanted to find a home away from home, a safe, nurturing environment for their girls,” said Renae Clements, executive director and co-founder of Girls Place. “I was president of Gainesville Junior Woman’s club and they wanted a place for girls because there had been a boy’s club for what seemed like forever.


Having a place exclusively for girls allows students to relax a little bit more, enjoy each other’s company… and just be girls. I would much prefer for my girl to come to a place like this [after school], where she would have extra TLC, than to have her home alone and at risk.” While the immediate goal

of Girls Place is to provide a safe, nurturing environment, the organization’s long-term objective is to help girls become independent women who embrace diversity, express their ideas, rise

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above obstacles, enhance their communities and lead those around them. In addition to recreational activities, girls at Girls Place also learn about other aspects of health such as stress and anger management. Career exploration activities are regularly held. They perform community service functions like trash pickup in city parks. And they have opportunities to meet important people such as First Lady Michelle Obama, who made a stop at Girls Place in September on her way to speak at

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the O’Connell Center. “We really have fun,” said Arianah Jennings, a fourth-grader who has attended Girls Place programs since kindergarten. “When I come here I’m just like, ‘Wow, my life is completely different!’ If any girl in the world could have the chance, they should come here.” Just as important as planned activities, however, is the time to just let girls be girls. The girls-only

24 | Winter 2012

environment fosters an intimate and comfortable setting that allows them to be more confident when opening up to their counselors and to each other. “It’s all about the girls being what they can be,” said Liz McCullough, Arianah’s grandmother and legal guardian. “They have structure, but they also have time to just hang out and be girls. They swing in the swings or sit in the jungle gym and talk. When you

send them to a program, sometimes there’s not a lot of free time. But here they have time to just be.” Girls Place prides itself on having an especially close connection to the families it serves. Since all of its leadership is local (as opposed to answering to a national foundation), staff members are able to easily address the girls’ needs and desires and adjust their programs accordingly. A needs assessment is performed on girls


in every program to help ensure their wellbeing, and a mentoring program helps the children with homework, tutoring and general advice for life. “We’re a small enough organization where we know our girls,” said Christi Arrington, program director for Girls Place. “We can talk to a girl for 30 minutes about how someone looked at her, or whether she thinks this boy is cute but he doesn’t think she’s cute.

We have the opportunity to really allow them to voice their concerns and the challenges that they’re facing, and we’re able to model our programming toward that.” This local connection is especially crucial when tough times hit home. Arrington recalled a 12-year-old girl whose family was well-known by the staff — or so they thought. “On the outside the family looked great. Mom and dad were

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Staff members and volunteers develop close relationships with the girls, often helping with their homework and serving as mentors. Arianah Jennings has attended Girls Place programs for several years and calls it, “The awesomest place in the world!” Girls from all over the area participate in the center’s volleyball league. While Girls Place offers several sports programs, volleyball is by far the most popular choice.

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both working, both were wonderful people. But it turned out that they were in the midst of a divorce,” Arrington said. “The parents were telling us that the kids were fine, but it wasn’t until we did an assessment after volleyball that we realized that the girl was in such turmoil. Just by asking that question in a needs assessment in our volleyball program, we were able to get her involved in our afterschool program. It’s all about the relationship we form with the child.” Since its inception two years before it

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opened, Girls Place has been the result of cooperation between members of a generous community. The late C.B. Daniel Jr. was the chair of the capital building campaign, which raised $250,000 towards the construction of the facility. The remaining work was done on weekends through in-kind donations of labor and materials from roofing companies and electrical and plumbing unions. Other groups, such as Kiwanis Club

and Rotary Club, pitched in to dig trenches and perform other work necessary for the build. Today, Girls Place is still the beneficiary of many community efforts. Financial assistance for families is available in the form of scholarships, many of which are provided through support from the United Way, the Community Action Agency and the Women’s Giving Circle. Thanks to such contributions, Girls Place has been able to hold its rates steady over the past decade, creating a crucial resource for childcare given today’s economic climate. The center also receives a great deal of support from the athletic programs at the University of Florida, including the annual Swamp Chomp and Scramble for Kids fundraisers and countless events for the girls at UF athletic competitions. It is through such support that Girls Place can continue spreading its mission of growing strong and empowered women… one girl at a time. “Whether it’s a child coming from a twoparent household or a single parent, or living with grandparents or in foster care, we’re providing a safe place for them and reinforcing to them that this is their Girls Place,” Arrington said. “They have ownership, and we encourage them to do and be who they want to be.” s


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COLUMN >> CRYSTAL HENRY

Naked Salsa A little sisterly advice. spent the weekend holed away in a rental house in the mountains with my in-laws. Sounds like a column that writes itself, but sadly my mother-in-law and fatherin-law are awesome. My mother-in-law is a clean freak, but she has learned to love me, filth and all. And my father-in-law is wildly inappropriate at times, but it’s why I love him. However, in the eight years I’ve been married I haven’t spent a ton of time with my brother-in-law and his wife. This weekend we got super cozy. They got married the same summer we did, and I was overjoyed to have a sister. I’d grown up with a brother five years younger, and while we’re best friends now, and he was a good sport about wearing my slips and hair bows, he was really a poor substitute for a sister. Shelly also grew up with one younger brother, but I guess he looked better in drag because she never really seemed as jazzed about the idea as I was. And so we never bonded over painted toenails or giggled like schoolgirls on a shopping trip. No, my girly void was filled when I had my two beautiful daughters. Now these two fine young people are only two years my senior, but like many folks of my generation they postponed having children to focus on having a career and a life. My hubs and I dove right in at the ripe ol’ age of 25. Middle-aged if we lived in the 1920s, but practically

I

babies by today’s standards. But once my sis-in-law hit 30 she said they started thinking about repopulating. I believe her exact words were, “Yeah when I was in my 20s I was like, ‘Eww a baby, kill it.’ But once I hit 30 it was like ‘Aww, a baby.’� Spoken like a true mother. The first thing they did was buy a “family� car. They’ve been through about eight new cars in the eight years they’ve been married, but more power to them. She’s a math teacher, so they can figure out if that’s financially a good idea. At this point they had a 3-year-old Mustang and a 1-year-old Corvette. I know this because they got a car every time I had a baby. Naturally they needed something more family friendly than their racecars, so they traded the Mustang for a souped-up sport-racing edition of the Ford Focus. No need to give up your love of fast driving just because of a tiny baby. Yes, you could fit an infant seat in the Mustang, and no you can’t in the Corvette. But the Corvette is faster, so it gets to stay. It’s logic. She also informed me that the reason they waited to have a baby is because they’d seen their friends who had babies young, and the child dictated their lives. Ahem, no offense. They vowed never to be the parents who let a child decide what they can and can’t do. They still wanted to take ski trips and go to the racetrack,

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and by golly no child was going to stop them. “The baby will just have to fit into our plans,” she said confidently. Now, reader, I did manage to hold my giggles. I’m sure North Face makes some sort of baby carrier so you can strap the infant to you while careening down a mountain. They have a noble notion about children that I find absolutely precious. They’ve got it all planned out, down to the month they will conceive, so that the baby fits into their school schedule. No, they won’t be using any fertility methods; she is just super confident in her ability to control her uterus. I hope it works out for them. They might very well have the little boy my fatherin-law is desperate for. He will be a wonderfully well-behaved little gentleman — a stark contrast to my two wild women. He will wear little suits and say things like “Papa, may I please help Mother set the table? I’m ever so hungry for the delicious pheasant she has graciously prepared.” And he’ll not make eye contact out of reverence to his benevolent father. But someone should tell them about parenting karma. I should have told her the moment we started talking babies, but I got wrapped up in the excitement of having a niece or nephew. You never ever say aloud the things you will not do. The parenting gods are always on high alert for those who dare tempt them. I said I would never let my kids sleep in my bed and never nurse a baby past one year. I ended up with an almost 2-year-old nursing herself to sleep every night. I learned though. I repented, never said any parenting blasphemy again, and the gods gave me a reprieve with my second child. But she broke the rule, and she said it aloud. She spoke all sorts of certainties about what the baby would and would not do and what sort of things she would not allow. So I will pray for her. Pray to the parenting gods to spare her for she knew not what she did. Pray that they are spared and that they have this well-behaved racetrack-loving ski bunny. Nah, maybe I’ll just sit back and paint my little girls’ piggies and giggle to myself. I guess she really should have taken me up on that shopping trip. I could have bestowed some sisterly advice. s

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>> THE BLUES

Paint it Blue Australian Artist Hopes to Educate People about Deforestation

BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON trange blue trees appeared recently on the University of Florida campus. People pause their daily commute to class, admire the trees and wonder why they have suddenly donned the blue coat: a tribute to the football season, homage to the coming winter months? It is in these moments of reflection that Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos knows he has accomplished what he set out to do. His project, “Blue Trees,” attempts

S

to draw attention to the issue of deforestation. Blue Trees started in Melbourne in 2005, and then included Vancouver, Sacramento and Seattle. In total, Dimopoulos has transformed trees in nine cities, and plans to continue on to New York, Houston and Boston. “Though we are passionate about our trees, though we care about our trees, that passion does not get translated,” Dimopoulos said. “In order for people to see the forests, I had to get people to see the trees.” Claiming not be an environmentalist, but an artist, he paints the

trees a startling sapphire blue. The coloring naturally washes away after a period of time and does not harm the trees in the process. “The reality is that there are no blue trees. Blue trees don’t exist. They are a part of my imagination,” Dimopoulos said, using the color to draw attention to the trees. He remembers watching a mother and daughter walk past a newly colored tree, and the daughter ran from her mother to hug the tree, shouting, “Mom, a blue tree!” Dimopoulos said he believes that was the first time the child truly saw the tree.

PHOTO BY ALEX WHITESIDE

For the next several months, students, teachers and visitors will see trees painted blue on the UF campus. Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos painted the trees in October to bring attention to the plight of deforestation.

34 | Winter 2012


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PHOTOS BY ALEX WHITESIDE AND AMANDA WILLIAMSON

“It’s striking,” said Chelsea Moehlenbrock, an exercise physiology major at the University of Florida. She was admiring the trees with Inna Dagman. The two noticed the blue branches sticking up from the opposite side of the Reitz Union as they approached the building.

“Art is everything,” Dimopoulos said. “We can sell the idea of getting people to smoke, and that will kill them. You can use art to do the opposite — to do things that are good for you.” According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010, deforestation shows signs of decreasing in some countries, but continues at a high rate in others. Between 2000 and 2010, approximately 35 million acres of forests was converted to other uses. The world currently contains 9.98 billion acres of forested lands. When people think of deforestation, they are usually thinking of the far-off trees of the Amazon or other old growth forests, said Dr. Michael Andreu, an associate professor of Forest Systems at the University of Florida’s College of Forest Resources and Conservation. These untrammeled places tend to be exploited for their timber by local farmers, instead of large corporations. The farmers harvest the timber and usually use the recently exposed soil to plant crops or raise cattle to support their families. With lush rainforests blossoming over the land, people tend to think the soil underneath is fertile, but Andreu said the dirt is usually very poor. Because of the poor conditions, families are forced to move, starting the process over again. “This is one giant ecosystem that we live in,” Andreu said. Because of that, remote deforestation affects everyone on the planet, even those within the

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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PHOTO BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

“I know a lot of people who don’t think plants are important,” said Jade Hilliard, a senior at UF. “This is showing that these plants are important.” Hilliard, in the green pants, gathered with other volunteers to help Konstantin Dimopoulos paint trees in Turlington Plaza blue.

“I’m a scientist. We don’t always tell stories well. We’re good at gathering information. Most of the people in the world are not scientists, and they can relate to ideas through art.” United States, through reduced air quality and biodiversity. As trees are harvested and the pulp burned, the process releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The increased levels of carbon dioxide speed the process of climate change, which cause sea levels to rise and weather pattern changes. As forests are destroyed, the animals that call those habitats home become displaced and

38 | Winter 2012

can eventually become extinct. However, these ecosystems are still being explored, and new species are discovered. “We don’t know what we are losing,” Andreu said. “There are a whole lot of genetic resources that we may not have access to because of deforestation.” But what about closer to home? America actually went through a period of deforestation until about

the 1930s. “As we moved into the 1950s and beyond, we started to recognize here in Florida that we couldn’t continue down that path,” he said. “We knew we had to manage our forests, and we started to replant.” Now, Florida has more forests than it did 200 years ago because of the abandoned agriculture spaces returning to wild land. The rest of the world is currently going through the same deforestation process America did centuries ago. Andreu considers how to manage forests in a rapidly urbanizing environment. In recent years, city planners have been trying to include trees and vegetation into the development of a city, a trend that has become known as “green infrastructure.” It is a big concern, he said,


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PHOTO BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

Australian Artist Konstantin Dimopoulos holds a brush coated in blue paint. Dimopoulos used the bright blue to bring attention to the trees and deforestation. In order for people to see the forests, he said, he had to make them focus on the trees first.

because of the services forests provide, such as permeable surfaces that allow rainwater to percolate through the soil and replenish the aquifer. In areas with large amounts of homes and concrete, most of the ground becomes impermeable. To teach people how forests matter, Andreu asks his students to create a diary in which they record everything they do during a 24-hour period and how it relates to the forest. If a student reads a newspaper in a chair by a fire while carving an apple, he has read a paper made

40 | Winter 2012

from wood, sat in a chair that most likely had wooden parts, burned wood to create a fire, carved his fruit with a knife that most likely had a wooden handle and ate food plucked from a tree. “I’m constantly touching stuff made out of wood,” Andreu said. “We all use wood, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Wood is a renewable resource. In Florida, the average pine tree takes about 30 to 40 years to reach a prime harvesting age. However, if people are not using wood, then they are most likely using plastics,

which are developed from oil. People must recognize that they use wood, and that they cannot stop the forests from being harvested. However, governments can choose to use sustainable practices, such as replanting trees that have been removed. “If we don’t do it here, they are going to do it elsewhere. Those other places are not regulated. They are not replanting,” he said. “ We ought to advocate for local production of our wood resources.” Andreu believes Dimopoulos’ Blue Tree exhibit has started a conversation about deforestation, which is an incredible contribution. “I’m a scientist. We don’t always tell stories well. We’re good at gathering information,” he said. “Most of the people in the world are not scientists, and they can relate to ideas through art.” The Blue Tree exhibit comes to UF as a way to use art to celebrate the Morrill Act or the Land Grant Act, which provided 30,000 acres of federal land to each state to create an institution to teach military tactics, engineering and agriculture. UF is Florida’s landgrant institution. Two years ago, the University of Florida College of Fine Arts organized an exhibit that stretched out into the city comprised of the realistic bronze statues of Seward Johnson. However, with this year commemorating the Morrill Act, the Dean of the College of Fine Arts Lucinda Lavelli said the college hoped to bring people onto campus to experience the artwork. “I don’t expect everyone to like it,” she said. “But I do think whether you like it or not, it will make you pause and look.” s


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>> GIVING BACK

Volunteers Helping Nonprofits Thrive BY ALLYSEN KERR o one understands the importance of a volunteer more so than nonprofit organizations. Without volunteers some organizations could not provide services to those who need it most. Some organizations would have to shut their doors. Whether it is fundraising, tutoring students after school or just providing an ear to listen, volunteers bring more to the table than just their time. They bring expertise, talents and hope for the community they serve. Now more than ever, nonprofits are forced to do more with less, said Christopher Johnson, executive director for the Nonprofit Center of North Central Florida. “About 43 percent of the nonprofits are operating in the red, so there’s a tremendous number of organizations out there that need help or support in some shape or form,” Johnson said. The Nonprofit Center recently published a study in October that revealed just how critical volunteers are to the nonprofit sector. In the state of Florida, the economic value of one hour of time is equivalent to $18.66. The Nonprofit Center estimated that the dollar value of volunteer hours to Alachua County’s nonprofits was $10 million in 2010. While the monetary value is great,

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nonprofits still need more help. “It’s more critical now than ever to invest in our nonprofit organizations and to give our time, talent or treasure to these organizations where possible,” Johnson said. For those who find themselves unsure of where to volunteer, Johnson said getting involved is pretty easy. “People are attracted to things they have a passion for… so just simply [think] about where your passions lie.” Whether it is homelessness, animals, or child advocacy, there are opportunities all around Alachua County. There are also various ways to volunteer. Sitting on a board and giving professional expertise pro bono are two ways to give back. Volunteering in this manner can help nonprofits become sustainable and divert their funds to other activities. After finding an organization with similar passions, Johnson said the next thing to do is to learn more about what the organization does. “Alachua County is very diverse…and I think even if all of us identified one thing that we’re passionate about, we could make an impact in the sector as a whole.” Volunteers may benefit the organization but there are also significant benefits for the volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to network and build relationships. According to HelpGuide.org, an

online resource for nonprofits, volunteering can also improve health, decrease depression and increase self-confidence. For the business professional, volunteering can provide excellent career experience and teach valuable job skills. s

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: www.volunteermatch.org www.unitenet.org www.gainesvillevolunteer.com www.ncncf.org

STATS ON NONPROFITS AND VOLUNTEERS • Alachua County is home to more than 305 nonprofits (Based on 2011 Form 99 Returns) • 23,458 – number of people employed by nonprofits • 26,236 - Number of Nonprofit Volunteers in Alachua County (10 percent of County’s Population) • $18.66 – Equivalent of one hour of time. • $10 Million – Estimated value of time contributed by volunteers in 2010


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>> ALTRUISM

Volunteers of the Year As Nominated by Their Peers and Members of the Community

BY ALLYSEN KERR n October, SunState Federal Credit Union and Tower Publications Inc. teamed up to identify volunteers who were contributing to the nonprofit community as a whole. The volunteers varied from teens to seniors and all have done more than their share to improve the lives of others and the local community. Nominated by friends and family, these volunteers were then voted on by their supporters and respective charities. Each winner received an iPad 2 in appreciation of their work, as well as a donation toward the charity of their choice. Here are their stories.

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Jade Salamone, 28 1ST PLACE WINNER :: AGES 19-54 Jade Salamone loves bats. Even more so, she loves volunteering with the Lubee Bat Conservancy. Since 2011, Jade has been giving her time to help the international conservancy with its most important mission: “protecting biological diversity through the conservation of fruit bats.” A South Florida native, Jade moved back to Gainesville from San Diego with her husband in 2010 to complete her residency at the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo. As an avid fan of bats, Jade jumped on the chance to

volunteer with the conservancy after someone mentioned the opportunity. Jade believes that volunteering makes a huge difference. “I know for myself, I give a lot of my extra time because the people who are volunteering are the ones who, a lot of times, end of making it possible for places like Lubee’s to continue,” Jade said in a telephone interview. Like many nonprofits, Lubee has a small staff and any extra help makes a big difference, she said. “So getting someone who is really passionate about it, coming up there and giving up their time, I know it really helps improve the


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PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY

lives of the bats because they are getting all the care they can get,” Jade said. Not only do the bats benefit from the volunteers, but the community does as well. “I think that works for every field,” she said. “You’re getting more people interested in it and then those volunteers go out and get

48 | Winter 2012

everyone else interested in it.” She believes that volunteer work makes it possible for more things to function well and for everyone to be a part of something in the community. Jade’s volunteer work has also opened doors for internships. Last year she volunteered with a company that helps with woodpecker conservation. Giving her

time landed her an internship with the organization this fall. Jade said that they organizations she volunteers with are very appreciative of their volunteers. “That [appreciation] just makes you want to keep doing it.” She graduates from Santa Fe’s Teaching Zoo program this December. s


Leonard Boice, 55 1ST PLACE WINNER :: AGES 55+ Leonard Boice is the “do-it-all” guy at Another Way Inc., a domestic violence crisis center. The Lake City native handles all of the maintenance and any work that needs to be done. Leonard has been helping the organization for the past two years. He found out about Another Way through his wife who works by the nonprofit. “Whenever they need me, I’m there,” he said in a recent phone interview. He volunteers because it is worthwhile and it is a good cause. The organization provides services to four counties in North Florida and Leonard travels where they need him. “Sometimes there’s not money for things and the money they do have needs to be spent on other things,” Leonard said. “Rather than paying a plumber to come in and costing over 50 bucks and hour…it may take me an hour and a half but they don’t have to pay that money out and they can use that money for something else. It’s pretty important.” In addition to plumbing, he also helps with fundraising events. For the last two years, Leonard was the official tea maker at their annual benefit. “The first year I did it was kind of touchy, but the second year they did it, I had it down pat,” he said. Volunteering has helped Leonard fill up his schedule since he is currently unemployed.

“Larry is a familiar face in the community,” said Lindy Tatterson Eden, Larry’s daughter. “He has grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for the annual back to school bash at the Catherine Taylor Park in High Springs for the last three years. He also has volunteered to cook for events for his grandchildren’s school and martial arts fundraisers.” Larry loves to meet new people and finds opportunities to do so during Alachua’s Spring and Harvest festival. A cancer survivor, he finds the same opportunities at the

cancer drive for the American Cancer Society by SunState Federal Credit Union. Larry was technically ineligible for the award because he is the father of one of the credit union’s employees. However, his good deeds couldn’t go unrecognized. The contest committee decided that instead of disqualifying Larry, they would “duplicate” the prize. This means that another charity will receive $1,000. Larry and his wife have lived in High Springs since 1979 and are parents of two daughters. s

Larry Tatterson, 68 Larry Tatterson likes to take advantage of any opportunity to fire up his big grill. He believes that volunteering helps everybody out and he thoroughly enjoys it. “People ask me if I’ll do it and I say, ‘Sure, I’d love to do it,” Larry said in a telephone interview.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2012 | 49

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY

1ST PLACE WINNER (TIE) :: AGES 55+

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Dixie Boston, 15 1ST PLACE WINNER :: UNDER 18 Dixie Boston has been quite a busy young lady. Between starting organizations, volunteering at animal shelters, her local dance studio, and playing for younger children, she is well on her way to becoming a philanthropist. Her passion for giving is rooted in Dixie’s family values. Ever since she was a child, Dixie’s parents instilled in her the importance of volunteering and making a difference in the community. Dixie said that her earliest volunteer experience was working with the Girl Scouts to do a couple of events. But she mostly remembers cleaning up the trails around the Suwannee River with various groups. Cleaning the trails became such a priority that she started an organization called the Suwannee River Renewal Project. Every year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she and a team of volunteers, including

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the Girl Scouts, have gone out to clean the trails. “I think volunteering is important because if no one gives and everyone takes, there’s not really a good dynamic, Dixie said in a recent phone interview. “There’s no harmony and kind of a discord.” She also encourages her fellow teens to get involved. “Not only is it good for the community, it’s good for yourself and it’s definitely a feeling of selfsatisfaction,” she said. Dixie figured out where she liked to volunteer by “dipping” into everything she could find. “[But] most of my volunteer work is based off of stuff my family and I enjoy,” she said. Her mother, Peggy Boston, is very proud of her and nominated her for the award. “She does a lot, and you know with volunteering you don’t really get recognized, which clearly is not the reason we do it but it just never hurts to give you a boost, to make

you feel like you’re being appreciated,” Peggy said of Dixie. “When she sees something she wants to do it so a lot of times I have to rein her in.” One thing is clear: Dixie finds complete satisfaction everywhere she volunteers. “The projects that you complete you know that you did it out of your own time and your own resources and it’s definitely good to give back to a community that’s given so much to you,” she said. s

THE WINNERS UNDER 18 1st Place: Dixie Boston 2nd Place: Elizabeth Lovvorn AGE 19 -54 1st Place: Jade Salamone 2nd Place: Kristy Hancock AGE 55+ 1st Place Tie: Larry Tatterson and Leonard Boice 2nd Place: Aqueela Khuddus

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s tax season approaches, business owners and individuals alike begin the annual scramble for travel receipts, previous returns and other records. For clients of ProActive Tax & Accounting, however, much of the work is already done. “We’re not reactive,” said Beth Davies, CPA, who co-owns the firm with fellow CPA Pam Burns. “That’s why we named the business ProActive. It was not by accident. Our whole intent is to be active in their business. We show you ways to make taxes and accounting easy for you.” Located in Jonesville just off of Newberry Road, ProActive offers a variety of bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation services. But what Burns and Davies are most known for is their plan-ahead approach when helping clients with financial matters. Their tax planning programs, weekly classes and chief financial officer (CFO) services are just some of the ways in which ProActive helps clients save time in the long run. Tax planning involves setting up a custom plan for your business or personal finances to get the maximum benefit from ever-changing tax laws. For a one-time fee, ProActive helps you develop a tax plan based upon your current finances and where you want to be in the coming years.

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The key to protecting your assets, said Davies, is to plan ahead for tax season instead of waiting for the year to end. “A lot of people come in at tax season and say, ‘What can you do for me?’ But there’s really not much you can do for the prior year. That’s history, that’s written,” she said. “We may be able to jockey a little bit, but for the most part we can’t really change the circumstances or undo anything. You can’t retroactively put tax strategies into play. You’ve got to do that going forward.” Davies stated that their typical tax planning client saves anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 per year, with some customers saving much more. With the one-time price of such plans starting as low as $1,500, the return on investment in the first year alone is remarkable. As Certified Tax Coaches with roughly 50 years of combined accounting experience, Davies and Burns have the expertise needed to find the best way for you to maximize your earnings. The firm’s Part-Time CFO service provides the perfect solution when a business needs professional advice but cannot afford a full-time CFO or comptroller. ProActive will handle bill payments, manage cash flow and overall act as the financial arm of a client’s company. The service is available at a fraction of the cost needed for salary and benefits that an employee would require, and it gives business owners unparalleled freedom to focus on their


professional passion instead of worrying about finances. “We make sure they have enough money to pay their suppliers and make sure things are taken care of,” said Davies. “We have a number of clients that say, ‘This has just freed me up tremendously to actually run the business.’” While their experience can make them a key to your business’s success, Davies acknowledges that a basic working knowledge of tax laws and financial practices is crucial for everyone. That is why ProActive offers weekly classes covering topics such as tax deductible items, QuickBooks, retirement and social security, basic business practices and more. These classes are open to the public and held at ProActive’s comfortable office. The ProActive staff is committed to educating clients not just during classes but at any time. Burns and Davies believe that regular communication is an important aspect of the CPA-client team, and they have an opendoor policy for visits and phone calls when customers have questions or need advice. The goal is to ensure that clients have a basic understanding of the behind-the-scenes work that ProActive does for them, as well as the decisions that they are making themselves.

“Most people don’t understand anything about taxes, and a lot of them don’t want to know anything. But the biggest misconception is probably that they feel like they have to be technical experts, and they don’t. We give them a layperson’s overview. And a lot of times all it takes is a 15-minute phone call and we can give them a better way to do something.” With such a wide variety of services, ProActive lives up to its name and keeps the focus on the client. “We want them to be an active participant in their business and their tax planning,” Davies said. “While we know a lot about business, we don’t know all the little idiosyncrasies to each individual business and how each owner operates.” “Nobody knows their business better than they do.”

ProActive Tax & Accounting is located at: 303 SW 140 Terrace in Jonesville, just off of Newberry Road behind Capital City Bank. For more information, visit their website at www.proactivecpas.com or call them at 352-333-7880

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>> RESCUE ME

Second Chances Paws on Parole: Giving Dogs and Inmates Alike a New “Leash” on Life

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN aytona roams the parking lot, alert and on the search for new friends. Harlee trots alongside a potential new owner, kissing anyone who wants affection. C.C. poses on the handlebars of a motorcycle, while Chopper and Sturgis make the rounds meeting and greeting the crowd that has gathered. Meet the Ruff Riders – the 23rd class of the Paws on Parole dog training academy. A partnership between Alachua County Animal Services and the Florida Department of Corrections, Paws On Parole pairs dogs with nonviolent inmates at the Gainesville Work Camp for an eight-week

D

56 | Winter 2012

obedience course. At the end of the course, each dog is adopted into a new home. “It’s a win-win situation for everybody because the inmates learn a new skill and really enjoy what they’re doing, and the owners get a dog that has been trained,” said Ginger Adams, a dog trainer with Paws on Parole. The organization got its start a few years ago when the Department of Corrections contacted Hilary Hynes, the public education program coordinator at the Alachua County Animal Services. The DOC wanted to start up a dog-training program with inmates but did not have the funding to follow through. Hynes drummed up private donor support and started the first class

in March of 2009. Simply known as “Academy 1,” the dogs graduated two months later and were taken in by loving families. The popularity of Paws on Parole has multiplied ever since. Each academy has a title that mimics magazines and popular culture – “Travel & Leashes,” “Rolling Bone” and “Woofstock,” for example. During the eight-week course the class is brought out to the community for two meet-and-greet events where prospective owners can get to know the dogs. Today, Paws on Parole dogs enjoy a 100 percent adoption rate; in most cases, the entire academy class is spoken for halfway through the course. “I knew this was an


PHOTO BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

Chopper is a 9-month-old Miniature Pinscher training with the current Riff Riders class.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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PHOTO COURTESY OF PAWS ON PAROLE

TOP: The dogs often bring out the inmates’ caring natures, benefitting animal and human alike. The dogs and inmates work together seven days a week from morning until mid-afternoon. The training is thorough, but the bonds last a lifetime.

animal-loving community and we could get support, and we do. We have a great turnout for every academy,” Hynes said at the Ruff Riders’ first meet and greet in October. “This is our first showing for these dogs and we have people waiting. I think that’s awesome. Last academy we had so many people stopping to come hang out with us that they were parking in the street. So it makes you excited every time.” Dogs are selected from the county shelter in part by their

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ability to socialize with people and other animals. Since the dogs live together at the Gainesville Work Camp during the Paws On Parole academy, it is crucial that they are able to get along with each other. The dogs are then matched with inmates who are chosen for the program based on their offender status and work ethic. “I look at the inmate’s work ethic — their behavior, their respectfulness, their willingness to work,” said Sgt. Eric Wooten,

work squad sergeant with the Gainesville Work Camp, in a recent phone interview. “Some inmates don’t really want to work, or they do just enough to get by. Those are the kind of inmates that you don’t want because most times it could be a 24-hour-a-day job.” Before they are paired with dogs for the academy, the inmates complete their own training, which includes reading the book upon which the obedience course is based. The teams work seven days a week from early in the morning until mid-afternoon, learning basic obedience and some agility training. At the end of the eight weeks a graduation ceremony is held at the camp, during which the dogs are given the AKC’s Canine


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PHOTOS BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

CLOCK WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Year-old Corgi mix Sturgis, a member of the current Ruff Riders academy, awaits instruction from his inmate handler. (photo courtesy of Paws on Parole) The dogs and inmates work together seven days a week from morning until mid-afternoon. The training is thorough, but the bonds last a lifetime. (photo courtesy of Paws on Parole) Visitors at the Meet and Greet can find information about the program, purchase training products and treats and look at photo albums of previous graduates of the program. Luis Villar adopted 1.5-year-old Dude, a chocolate lab, from the Woofstock II graduating class this past summer. “They give you a good quality dog Villar said. “The inmates do a great job, so when you get the dog he’s really socialized.”

Good Citizen’s test while being handled by their inmate trainers. The adopting families are invited to attend; after the ceremony they meet with the inmate trainer to learn firsthand how to handle and care for their new pets. This leads to perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the Paws on Parole program.

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“The beautiful part that makes your heart feel good is when the new family is working with the inmate — talking with them and finding out how the dog went through the past eight weeks,” Hynes said. “You can see the love in the inmate’s eyes. We had this cute little girl in the last class who ran across the whole field to get to her dog. The inmate was

super. He was on his knees teaching the girl all of these cute little tricks. It was adorable.” “These dogs tend to take these tough-acting guys and turn them into kids,” added Wooten. “A lot of the inmates try to act tougher than they are. Maybe they feel like they need to because they’re in prison. [With the dogs] they tend to act a little bit more childlike. It brings out the more human side of them, and it does have a long term affect on them.” Wooten said that most of the inmates stay with the Paws on Parole program until they are released from prison, as long as they do their jobs and show continued good behavior. The animals’ calming influence also affects the men long after they leave prison. One recent inmate fell in love with the dog he was training; since


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Paws on Parole carefully screens pros prospective owners to ensure that the dogs in the program are matc matched with the best households to fit their needs and personalities. Those interested in adopting a dog need to fill out the Alachua County Animal Services adoption application as well as a Paws on Parole application. Applicants also need to attend the first meet and greet event and speak with the adoption counselors present. For more detailed information about the adoption process and links to the necessary applications, please

PHOTO BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

TOP LEFT: Harlee, a year-old Boston/Amstaff mix, is a member of the current Ruff Riders class. TOP RIGHT: Keeping with the Ruff Riders’ theme, class member C.C. Ryder strikes a pose on the chrome of a nearby motorcycle. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAWS ON PAROLE

BOTTOM: The dogs often bring out the inmates’ caring natures, benefitting animal and human alike.

his release date coincided closely with the class’s graduation, he was allowed to adopt the dog. Hynes sent him home to Ohio (where his mother lived) with food, training materials and anything else he would need for the dog. The three of them have formed a happy, loving family — a crucial component when rebuilding a life after prison.

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Dogs adopted through Paws on Parole are not only obedience trained, but are also spayed/ neutered, updated on vaccinations and microchipped. They are given flea and heartworm prevention medicines and a bag of food upon home placement. But perhaps the biggest payoff for the $45 adoption fee is the second chance on life given to the pets and the inmates

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who care for them. “We try to make it like an extended family,” Hynes said. He encourages families to keep in touch with their inmate trainers whenever possible. “We’ve got dogs all over the east coast. We get pictures all of the time on Facebook. I love updates; it keeps me going and gets me energized to do more classes.” s


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A Smile Is More Than Meets The Eye

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s Dr. Paivi Samant mills about her office, a message left by a client is printed for her from her answering service. She reads the text and pauses before erupting in laughter: “Woo-hoo!” the message states. “She loves you guys because everything is wonderful. She is eating pistachio nuts!” The message reflects what 66 | Winter 2012

Samant loves most about her job – her patients and the quality of life they enjoy when their teeth work as they should. “It’s not only about looks,” said Samant, prosthodontist and owner of Samant Dental Group in Gainesville. “When you get someone who has had very poor function as well as teeth that aren’t very good looking, their self-esteem is affected by that. When they can finally eat

what they want and look good too, people feel much better.” Samant Dental Group provides all types of restorative dental and prosthodontic care to its clients including crowns, veneers, implant supported restorations, dentures and full mouth rehabilitation. She also helps patients with sleep apnea by designing and creating appliances to be worn overnight.


Samant and her colleagues and staff achieve this by combining the many skills required for specialty care with the latest developments in the field. “Prosthodontists are really architects,” said Samant. “We

“Samant Dental Group provides all types of restorative dental and prosthodontic care.” create the design and then pull the team members in, whether you need an orthodontist, periodontist or oral surgeon to build a foundation on which you do the work. There are so many different materials available now, and we can create lifelike dentistry that lasts longer.” Samant, who is from Finland, started as a speech therapist after earning her degree from the University of Helsinki. But when she moved with her husband to his home country of Canada, there was a slight issue with her chosen field. “I enjoyed the speech/ pathology field, but was disadvantaged with my accent!” she explained with a laugh. She became interested in dentistry and, when the couple moved to the United States, she enrolled in dental school at the University of Tennessee. It was during those years that she discovered a love for her field of continued on next page

Dr. Paivi Samant M.A., D.D.S. Prosthodontist www.VisitOurTowns.com

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specialization and the technical, creative and interpersonal skills it requires. “Dentistry is artistry,” said Samant. “I’ve always liked working with my hands. Being able to do a little bit of the handiwork and having the patient contact was something that interested me. And you can get as technical as you want. It’s like making little buildings; you can make (the prosthodontics) very intricate. There’s a lot of physics involved, and even math in a way.” After graduating from her specialization, Samant went on to become a professor at University of Tennessee

before moving to Gainesville. These days in addition to her practice, she teaches ongoing educational programs and was recently named a board member of the Florida Prosthodontic Association. Encouraged by the increase she has seen in women practicing dentistry, she hopes to start a local chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists sometime early next year. But credentials and technology alone don’t fix teeth. “Technology is an aid. It’s not something that replaces the operator,” said Samant. “No matter how fancy a machine is, it’s only as good as its user.

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You have to have staff that is a reflection of what you practice and believe.” What she believes is that the patients are the center of her practice. Her affection for them is made clear in everything from her quick smile and gentle wit to the inviting colors and artistic touches of her office décor. Every year she holds a patient appreciation party where clients enjoy food, wine and sometimes a demonstration of the latest technology in dentistry. And of course, you can hear how much she cares about them in her words. “I love to take time with patients,” she said. “Every person is interesting. It’s fantastic to hear people’s stories and relate to them. When the patient is in the chair I want them and their teeth to be the only focus at that very moment.” Samant and her staff consider their role a crucial part of their patients’ overall systemic health. “What we eat, that’s what we are. And when we cannot eat healthy we cannot be healthy,” said Samant. “We’re living in a time when we have the materials and the technology it takes to fix people’s dentitions and get them back to functioning more ideally. People want to look good, but looking good does not mean much if the teeth don’t work. It means nothing.”


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>> STEPPIN’ OUT

Sole Sister

19,000 Pairs of Shoes for Charity

BY COURTNEY LINDWALL aryn Barry collects shoes. She has faded, brown Converse and stilettos with sequined straps. She has black Nike sneakers with bold, red swoops and high heels with small, beaded flowers. Barry collected more than 19,000 pairs of shoes — and then she shipped them away. Barry, a sophomore at the University of Florida, runs a nonprofit organization called A Walk In My Shoes Inc., frequently

C

abbreviated “AWIMS.” Its mission is to collect gently worn shoes from the community and send them to Haitians in need. Although the organization began during Barry’s freshman year at DeLand High School, its recent expansion to Gainesville and its plans for this upcoming year have Barry and other organization members excited for AWIMS’ future. When Barry became a student at UF in 2011, she brought her passion with her. AWIMS currently has two

PHOTO BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

Caryn Barry, now a business major at UF, runs a nonprofit organization called A Walk In My Shoes Inc. Its mission is to collect gently worn shoes from the community and send them to Haitians in need.

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www.VisitOurTowns.com

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PHOTO BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

Spread out on Caryn Barry’s lawn, a pile of shoes represents the foundation for what her organization does: collect and donate.

drop-boxes in Gainesville, which serve as the backbone of the organization. It participated in charity events, such as the popular Beer Run 5K. And it also increased its focus on community participation. Because members are not able to make trips to Haiti very often, Barry said she wants the organization to inspire and change the local community, as well. “I’m writing curriculum to teach middle school and high school kids

about the nonprofit sector,” Barry said. “It’s all about community empowerment.” She wants to show children that doing big things at a young age is possible. “Everyone can do this,” she said. “If you feel passionate about something, it doesn’t matter how old you are.” Barry first got the idea to send shoes to Haiti after a typical closet clean-out in 2007, when she was a

freshman in high school. Instead of sending the unwanted shoes to a local charity center, Barry wanted to do something bigger. She became interested in the Caribbean nation of Haiti as a possible location to send her donation. In 2007, Haiti had yet to become the epicenter of humanitarian aid that it is today. It would be years until the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit — changing the island and its people forever. Soon, Barry’s congregation became involved. Donated shoes piled up and the project took on its own name: A Walk In My Shoes. Barry finally traveled to Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, in January 2009. Her closet clean-out had turned into 1,500 pairs of shoes,

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dozens of hours packaging and a ton of commitment to the cause. When she finally saw the levels of poverty up close during her travels, it turned a one-time project into a full-time passion. “I couldn’t not do this,” Barry said. When speaking of that first pivotal trip, she recalled Haiti’s rocky land, which children would frequently walk up and down to retrieve water. She recalled the 10-by-8-foot tents used as homes. And she recalled the Haitian man who handed her his niece, hoping she could bring the little girl to America for a better life. Most importantly, she recalled a lot of feet without shoes. Barry came home to DeBary, Fla., and went to work. The group of volunteers grew. There were benefit concerts at local restaurants. AWIMS bumper stickers multiplied — plastered on binders, cars and bulletin boards all around town. The group returned to Haiti in March 2010. But most of all, the number of donated

“They don’t have much, but what they do have is family and social connections on a very deep level.” shoes just continued to go up. A turning point for the organization was the first benefit concert held at the First Baptist Church of DeLand. The acts were just local children playing guitars or singing choir songs. About 100 guests piled into the church’s gymnasium to watch and enjoy. It was a modest event — but Barry felt a sense of excitement and purpose from the community that she had not seen before. “That was the first time I witnessed people getting excited about serving.” About a quarter of the way into the show, coordinators were rushing to get more chairs for guests who could not find an empty spot. At the bake sale, someone donated $20 for

a single cookie. And afterward, all of the audience members who had stayed until the end helped to clean up. “After that, we had a name,” Barry said. “We were a group of people working for this.” Christian Jones, a 19-year-old University of Central Florida student, became a part of AWIMS during this time. Jones ran the sound for benefit concerts and helped the group prepare shoes for shipping. He also went along on the AWIMS trip in March of 2010, describing it as one of the best weeks of his life. He gained a deep respect for the Haitian people, he said. “They don’t have much, but what they do have is family and social connections on a very deep level,”

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PHOTO BY TOM MORRISSEY // MAKEUP BY TRISH ALLEN & IMAGE INSIGHT

Jones said. “They have such a joy to serve and help others.” This trip occurred only a few months after the devastating earthquake, which brought Haiti into the international spotlight. The news was especially difficult to hear, Barry said, because she had fallen in love with the people and the country. AWIMS continued to focus on providing shoes for the Haitians after the disaster, she said. Jones is now on the AWIMS board of directors and helps out primarily with advertising and the website. Although many of the organization’s most involved members are now spread out around Florida, they maintain a tight connection and a focused vision for the organization’s future. Being dispersed gives the group “an even better opportunity to spread AWIMS to more cities,” Jones said. This will bring in more shoes as well as more volunteers. The group is always looking for people to help clean, package and label shoes for shipment, Jones said. Aleah Lodge, an involved member and Florida State University freshman, said that AWIMS helps her to see all that people have to give. “We really do have so much to spare here,” Lodge said. The organization accepts almost any kind of shoe, except winter boots or shoes with holes. Barry said that the Haitians are appreciative for all types of shoes and love trying them all on. “They like the high heels, too,” she said, “ even if it’s just for playing dress up.” s

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>> SURELY YOU JOUST

Living in the Past Medieval Life Has its Perks

BY KYRA LOVE lad in a T-shirt and jeans, Elizabeth Brooks looked as ordinary as the rest of the small crowd in the Gainesville Elks Lodge. Brooks chatted with friends about the past week. Later, her husband Steve led the group in singing “Happy Birthday” to a fellow member. However, as her medieval persona Dulcia MacPherson, Brooks — along with the rest of the group — is anything but ordinary. Brooks, as MacPherson, is the Baroness of Gainesville’s local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism called The Barony of An Crosaire. She has been involved with the SCA since 1991 and said she has not looked back since.

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The SCA is split into 19 Kingdoms around the world. This chapter is located in the Kingdom of Trimaris, which comprises most of Florida and Panama, and is best known for its display of life in the Middle Ages at the annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. At this event, SCA members dress in period clothing — the more historically accurate, the better — and demonstrate the crafts and skills of that time. “If they did it back then, we do it today and we try to do it the same way,” said Steve Brooks, known to SCA members as the Baron Turold Dunstan Arminger. The demonstrations include scrollwork, armor, thread making, heavy-weapons fighting, metal work and several other crafts.

The SCA helped the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire get its start almost 27 years ago. Linda Piper, events coordinator for the city’s Division of Cultural Affairs, said the SCA came to the department and offered to help produce a half-day demonstration of medieval life in exchange for free rent at the Thomas Center to host their meetings. After the success of the first year, the demonstration switched from a half-day to a two-day event. After the fourth year, the fair outgrew the Thomas Center and moved to the Alachua County Fairgrounds, where it is now held. The event was so popular that its length was changed from one weekend to two, Piper said. Though their contractual obligation to help with the fair


PHOTO BY WENDY NORMAN

An announcer on horseback encourages the crowd to cheer for their favorite knight and horse during one of the daily jousting performances at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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PHOTO BY ELIZABETH BROOKS

LEFT: During the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, the SCA can fight as many times as they want. The heavy-weapons fighting, which draws the biggest crowd, mimics a time in the 13th century when kings of the Pope realized they were losing their best fighters in tournaments and stopped using real weapons, Elizabeth Brooks said. PHOTO BY AMY CARPUS

RIGHT: Turold Dunstan Arminger (Steve Brooks) and Dulcia MacPherson (Elizabeth Brooks), Baron and Baroness of An Crosaire, have both been members of the SCA for many years. Steve specializes in combat, while his wife Elizabeth specializes in costuming and music.

ended after six years, Elizabeth said the SCA’s role has not changed even though the emphasis of the fair has. While the first fair was a demonstration of medieval life, the event now has added the Thieves Guilde, jousting, and other activities (such as camel and elephant rides) for more entertainment. However, the SCA is happy with its place at the event and has no plans to change it. The fair gives the SCA a chance to showcase its crafts and skills, making it the best place to recruit new members. The SCA is given a large space to showcase its members’ fighting skills, which seems to draw the largest crowd. Heavy-weapons fighting, which replicates the

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armored knight combats, is louder and flashier than rapier fighting, which is more graceful, Steve said. In this unscripted fight based on the honor system — a blow to the arm renders the limb useless and a fighter puts his arm behind his back and continues to fight. “In one sense we’re super heroes, because in the medieval world if you took a full sword blow to the leg you wouldn’t drop down to your knees and keep fighting,” Steve said. “You would lay on the ground and scream.” At the fair, victors of the fights typically do not win a prize, though they do get bragging rights. At tournaments, however, the prizes range from a piece of

armor to the rank of King and Queen of Trimaris. Honorable Lady Thalassia Hellenis Seneschal (chapter president Amanda Eilers) of An Crosaire, said the City of Gainesville has its own King and Queen, so the reigning King and Queen of Trimaris do not boast their title at the fair if they attend. “It would be a little confusing to the regular person wandering around,” Amanda Eilers said. “Why is this other King and Queen wandering around? ‘Who are you?’” Another important tournament is The Champion of Trimaris. Steve said even though the prize for winning the tournament is more ceremonial, it is the most sought after. The winner has


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When: Jan. 26-27 & Feb. 1-3 Where: Alachua County Fairgrounds Tickets: $14 for adults $7 for ages 5–17

Friday admission is half price and discounted prices for school grou ps.

PHOTO BY ELIZABETH BROOKS

RIGHT: Honorable Lady Thalassia Hellenis, known by day as al Amanda Eilers, played the harp during the 26th Hoggetowne Medieval lear e nin ea n g how how to cook over the open fire. Faire. Eilers does not have a specific medieval skill or craft, but loves learning PHOTO BY KYRA LOVE

TOP: Susan Kennedy demonstrates how she creates pottery. Susan and her sister Gwen sell their wares at many fairs in the Florida renaissance circuit. BOTTOM: One of the added entertainment booths at the faire is a fighting rink. Children battle it out in rapier style, which Steve Brooks describes as “a lot less hack and slash,” and try to pop two balloons on their opponents head.

their name written on a plaque of an armored helmet and, for six months, gets to hold the helmet. The helmet was once owned by Paul R. Smith, a SCA member and close friend of Steve, who was killed in Iraq in 2003 and was awarded the Medal of Honor. To Steve, friends are the most important part of the group, especially because he has spent two-thirds of his life with the SCA. “We all have a love of history and we embrace the ideas of

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chivalry and honor,” which leads to a great group of friends that share similar interests, he said. Ever Wood-Hannah (Eva inghean Alaxandair), who has been a member since she was 5 years old, agreed that the people are what make the group great. “People are always there to bind together. It’s something you don’t always see a lot these days,” she said. The group has a variety of meetings to spend with their community of friends. There is archery

night, fire class, armor night, fighting meets, scribal night and a sewing circle, though members generally pick and choose which they want to attend rather than going to all of them. Steve and Elizabeth Brooks and Amanda Eilers all laughed when asked about what they do in their free time. “This is our hobby but it takes up a lot of our time,” Steve said. “Pretty much, our downtime is still spent on the hobby.” s


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>> BULLY-FREE ZONE

Keep the Peace River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding

BY JEWEL MIDELIS oman West would wake up and not want to go to school. Not because he didn’t do his homework or didn’t study for a test. And not because he hated waking up early or didn’t get enough sleep at night. West didn’t want to go because every single day he was bullied at his high school in Tennessee. He was bullied so badly he didn’t want to attend college after graduation. He was bullied to the point where he became depressed for about five years. West said his family has traveled across the world, and he considers

R

himself “hardly American.” His former classmates seemed to notice as well, and they would not let him forget he was new to the area. He said everyone bullied so much that it became the norm at his school. “Anyone who was different, they would break them down,” he said about his former classmates. “It’s really sad. I couldn’t count a day where I wasn’t called a name.” Despite his depression, West said he found strength in friends and in music. Now, the 20-year-old works at Five Star Pizza and volunteers at the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding.

The RPCP is a local organization created by Heart Phoenix and her family to promote peaceful lifestyles and to put an end to violence. West said working with the Phoenix family is “completely surreal.” “I’ve never met a family that expresses love as much as they do,” he said at a recent rally against bullying held in downtown Gainesville. Heart, a mother of five, strives to make a difference for people like West, a young man who was once depressed, dismantled and discouraged and now wants to pursue a career in music. Heart, her husband, Jeffrey Weisberg, and fellow activist

PHOTO BY JEWEL MIDELIS

Dozens of children played, ran and looped in hula-hoops at the Unity Day event on October 10th. River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding Executive Director Dot Maver, Board President Heart Phoenix, and her husband and director of programs and outreach Jeffrey Weisberg, were all pleased with the outcome from the Unity Day event. Maver said, “We are delighted there are so many people here.”

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Dorothy Maver created RPCP earlier this year in memory of Heart’s late son, River Phoenix. The 67-year-old is the mother of actors and activists Joaquin, Liberty, Rain and Summer Phoenix. The goal of the center is to reduce, interrupt and prevent violence in all forms in the community, and then to heal from it, Heart said in an interview at her office. “There are many ways and many programs out there all over the country where amazing things have been developed. And some of them

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have been filtered into Gainesville, and some have not,” Heart said. “Our goal is to bring a lot of the programming, and help families, parents and schools build communication skills, so they can really understand who we are and what we want.” For more than 40 years, peace has been in the core of Heart. She has been a vegan for 35 years because she does not want to support the mistreatment of animals. Emerging from her passion to promote a peaceful lifestyle, Heart

realized if she was concerned about animals, then she must be concerned about humans. “There is so much bullying and abuse, whether it spousal or with children,” she said. “Culturally, that’s the way we are…but we believe that is not the way we really are. We want to help shed the light that no one deserves to be treated poorly.” Heart said the center is using sustainable and local programs like anger management, mediation, peacebuilding 101, ethical food choices and juvenile diversion


programs to make a change. “We create programs to help [people] refrain from violence,” Heart said. “It’s not like we don’t think people have conflicts, but conflicts don’t have to become violent.” During October, bullying was the center’s focus, but Heart said there is not only one particular issue they want to fix. They want to build peace, one action at a time. The center not only brings peace to the community, but peace to Heart as well. Named in honor of her son, River, Heart wanted to

carry on his desires as if he were still here today. “River was always a rights activist for everyone,” she said. “Whether it was animals or people or children, he was concerned about everyone’s well being.” Heart said River was very solutionbased to putting an end to problems. “He didn’t want to talk about the problem; he wanted to do what he could to fix it,” she said. “He didn’t want to dwell on the fact of violence, but [find] programs to help prevent it or tone it down little by little.”

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PHOTOS BY JEWEL MIDELIS

ABOVE: The chorus from Expressions Learning Arts Academy sang a song about being kind to everyone and advocating for the end of bullying. Expressions Chorus Director Rick Scot, of Gainesville, instructed and accompanied the students. OPPOSITE: Roman West, 20, stood on stage and talked about being bullied in the past. West was treated so poorly that he became depressed, but has now overcome that. He said his friends and music were his saving graces.

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PHOTOS BY JEWEL MIDELIS

Three-year-old Carolina Nunn waves a River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding flag during the anti-bully rally on Oct. 10. The girl’s father, Danny Nunn, is a recording artist who performed at the event. Mayor Craig Lowe addressed hundreds of people during the anti-bully rally. He told the crowd, “This is so important that we stamp out bullying by affirming every individual, because every individual in Gainesville, in the U.S. and in the world does matter.”

At the event against bullying on Oct. 10, the local community supported Heart and her mission. Mayor Craig Lowe said that bullying is very cruel and destructive and is “absolutely a problem.” “It detracts from the great wealth of human resources in Gainesville,” he said. “I think it’s important to value each and every person. Hopefully, we can exempt ourselves by setting Gainesville apart.” Lauren Lambert, a student at Fort Clarke Middle School, said bullying is bad at her school, ranging from drama to physical fights and “he said, she said” accusations. Although Lambert, 13, said she has not been a victim of bullying, she said a lot of people are made fun of at her school. She hopes RPCP can create a change. “I think it can make a difference,” she said.

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Dorothy “Dot” Maver, executive director for the center, met Heart 10 years ago through the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit organization devoted to creating a peaceful culture. Maver said that she believes the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding can and will make a difference. “The reason I know it’s possible is because there are hundreds of groups working together,” she said with a smile. Gainesville resident Jennifer Watson said she supports building peace. She wants her 6-year-old daughter Siena to be more aware of the dangers of bullying in the classroom and everyday life. “What they’re [RPCP] doing will bring harmony to our community,” Watson said. “It teaches the kids to stand up for peace.” She also said children tend to mimic behavior from adults.

“It reminds us of what we do,” she said. “This makes society move in a less aggressive direction.” Heart said she thought the center was going to affect the community slowly, but the results have been more widespread. “We never realized it would be like this,” she said. “We thought it would be much more of an uphill climb, but when you see so many people coming together and working together, I believe change can really happen. And it is happening.” She and her family want to spread their positive light on the community by working together. “When something terrible happens it is all over the papers,” Heart said. “But when something great happens, and a crowd forms and stands up together, you feel like ‘wow, I am much more powerful than what I thought.”’ s


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COLUMN >> ALBERT ISAAC

Different Note This is the time of year that I find myself feeling grateful. ranted, I should probably feel grateful all of the time, and although I try to keep this positive mindset, sometimes life has other things in store for me. Broken-down cars, traffic jams, deadlines, difficult people, yard work — all of these little things can sometimes weigh heavy on my happy mood. They sound pretty silly when I write them down, especially when I compare these small nuisances to the kinds of problems many other people face on a daily basis. Real problems. Life and death problems. Compared to them, I don’t have any problems. Last Sunday, I spent all day clearing out part of our backyard. After that marathon of physical labor, I was sore for a week. And not the good kind of soreness — the good kind is when you’ve been to the gym and you’ve worked out just enough to feel pain in muscles you didn’t even know you had. No, this was the bad kind of soreness — the kind where it hurts to get out

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of bed in the morning. The kind where it hurts to walk across the room. The back aches. The feet are stiff. The spot between your shoulder blades feels like a Sumo wrestler has jumped up and down on your spine. The I-can’t-turn-my-head kind of soreness. That’s what happened last week, after a day spent chain-sawing trees, hauling limbs, lopping trunks, ripping down vines, and mowing the underbrush. A good part of my soreness was probably caused by trying to start the chainsaw. (I could complain about that, but I’m going to refrain. At least I have a chainsaw.) I was so sore the following week that I used my pain as a good excuse to skip the gym. I’d already had my workout, I reasoned. So, this Sunday I went out there and did it again. How could I resist? The weather was perfect — cool, breezy without a blazing sun. The yard had been beckoning me all week, an overgrown tangle of weeds, and piles of logs entwined with vines, a mess that continually called attention to itself. “Burn it!” said the Voice of Reason (the wife). “Burn it all right where it is.” I surveyed the would-be bonfire. It would burn for days (I told myself) and I didn’t want to babysit the burning pyre for the many hours it would take to turn it to ash.

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So I decided to move it. I relocated that pile of rotting lumber and nearly dislocated my back. But I persevered; the weather was too nice for me not to take advantage of it. And I know I’m going to be sore again, considering the way I feel as I type these words. My back will hurt. My legs won’t want to bend. My head won’t want to turn. But the fruit of my labor is plainly evident as I sit on my bench admiring our newly expanded backyard. While I labored, I thought about how fortunate I am. Sure, I’ll be sore for the next week, but at least I’m healthy enough to do this kind of work, even at my ripe old age. There are many people my age (or even younger) who are not so lucky. I’m grateful for the physical labor — words I never thought I would hear myself say. As a youth I despised doing the yard work with my dad. It was brutal, and all I could think about was sitting indoors in front of our TV. But now I enjoy it. Usually. If it’s not a billion degrees outside. I have plenty of indoor hobbies that I could have been doing. And believe me, the thought crossed my mind a time or two, the thought that I’d be better off indoors writing this column than outdoors hauling tons of debris across uneven terrain. Especially when I spilled a wheelbarrow full of heavy logs in front of my son and his friend, and I had to hold my temper so as not to set a bad example. (And I really, really wanted to lose my temper). Instead I walked away. So, getting back to gratitude: With Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year on the horizon, I’m grateful. I’m grateful to be healthy. I’m grateful to have a loving wife, a fabulous family and many friends. I’m thankful for my rewarding job, working for a great boss with terrific co-workers. I’m thankful for the roof over my head and the food in my stomach. And I’m thankful for being aware of my good blessings now, in the present moment, rather than in some not-so-distant future when I’m looking back in a melancholic daze reminiscing about the good old days. These are good days, which is something I need to remember everyday, no matter how sore I get. s

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>> ENTREPENEURISHIP

Small Business Alive and Well in Gainesville

BY ALLYSEN KERR igher taxes, lower incomes, and stubborn unemployment rates; some may think that this is the worst time to start a business. But for several entrepreneurs, the current economic conditions are promising. Even in the midst of the economic downturn, small businesses and start-up companies are setting up shop and preparing for a bright future. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, these types of businesses are not only popping up but are also thriving. First and second quarter reports showed that fewer businesses are dying while the number of new businesses, income from current establishments, and self-employment are on the rise this year. Alachua County is home to approximately 21,178 trailblazers, dream chasers, and innovators,

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according to the 2010 U.S. Census. These businesses annually employ an average of 115,000-plus employees, according to Enterprise Florida. Some may be surprised to know that the majority of these establishments are small businesses rather than large corporations. “According to Florida Trend…99 percent of all companies in the state of Florida have fewer than 100 employees and two-thirds of all the companies have less than 10 employees,” said Jane Muir, director of the Florida Innovation Hub. Muir believes without question that these small businesses, such as the tech companies at the Hub, are fueling the economy. “So if you look for where the net new jobs are going to come from, they are not going to come from the big corporations,” Muir said. “Many of the big corporations are laying off.” She believes that new jobs are going to come from the creation of small businesses, such as the

technology-based companies at the Hub. The Hub has garnered a reputation for the number of technology startup companies it has helped produce since opening in 2011. Muir said the Hub is here to serve a new generation of entrepreneurs looking for a live-work-play environment.

EMPOWERING WOMEN AT THE FLORIDA INNOVATION HUB When the Hub opened Muir had the opportunity to host Assistant Director of Commerce John Fernandez and several CEOs during the CEO Roundtable. While it was great to have all of this wealth of business knowledge in one room, she realized a problem: “I was the only one in a skirt. It was all men,” Muir said. So she made a pact with herself to change that.


What emerged was a program called EWITS — Empowering Women in Technology Startups. “If you look at the percentage of women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, it’s 15 percent,” she said. Throughout her research, Jane also discovered that only six percent of women-founded startups were receiving venture capital. “Women represent two-thirds of the purchasing power of this country and yet we are so underrepresented,” she said. Right now, EWITS is addressing, with 55 women, key barriers. These women are paired with a technology that could be a basis for a startup company. Over eight weeks they learn how to put together a business plan and investor presentations, which will be presented during the final week. “We imagine that we will be starting a number of companies through this program,” Muir said. “Women need to start thinking differently about themselves, and

when they do, others will follow.” Women can obtain additional information on the next program online at www.floridainnovationhub.ufl.edu. Incubators such as the Hub, Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development, and Progress Corporate Park are helping small businesses survive the economic downturn. Between October 2011 and June 2012, the Hub saw 85 jobs created and bought $7 million into the local economy, she said. Not only are the incubators helping companies grow, but they are also keeping them in their local communities (78 percent of companies will stay in the cities in which they were incubated). In addition to incubators, the Gainesville area has a wealth of other resources, which include the Gainesville Area Chamber or Commerce, Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center (GTEC), access to mentors through Gainesville SCORE, and the University of Florida. s

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Anyone interested in starting a business should begin with these resources: Small Business Administration, North Florida District Office SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center (GTEC) Florida Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Florida Innovation Hub Santa Fe CIED Office of Technology Licensing at UF Winter 2012 | 97

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>> DRIVEN

The Next Generation Speaking openly with five local businesses started by young entrepreneurs that have benefited from the resources Gainesville has to offer.

Kristen Hadeed, 24 Student Maid, Founder and CEO t all started because she wanted a pair of jeans. So, Kristen Hadeed did what any college student would, she asked her parents about using a credit card. Unfortunately, they said no and told her to get a job. Fortunately for Kristen, that tiny rejection would lead to owning a profitable cleaning business. As a finance student, Kristen did not feel that she had sufficient time to balance a job and demanding courses. So she started cleaning houses to raise extra income. Cleaning offered Kristen

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the flexibility she needed and she enjoyed it, she said. Kristen posted an ad on Craigslist and before she knew it, word spread about her cleaning service. Thus, Student Maid was born. She eventually had to hire a few friends to help with the demand. But an opportunity from a large property management company would quickly change the course of her future. Kristen approached Paradigm Properties about cleaning their apartments during move-out. Paradigm agreed and Kristen found herself hiring 60 students in three weeks. All of her student employees were required to have a 3.5 GPA before they could even apply.

The job was a success but after the work ended, the student employees wanted to keep working. Of all the places Kristen could have ended up, Gainesville is the best place to call home. “I think that our community is very unique in the sense that there’s definitely an entrepreneurial ecosystem that offers a lot of support,” Kristen said. “It’s not just one group, it’s truly a community effort to make Gainesville a house for startups.” For other young aspiring entrepreneurs, Kristen had this to say: “Be confident in yourself because it doesn’t matter how old you are, doesn’t matter how much money you have.


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“If you are passionate about your ideas, it will be easy for you to overcome your obstacles.” The Santa Fe Center for Innovation and Economic Development has been one of the key resources for Kristen and her company. “The CIED allows you to rent office space for a very affordable price and you share office resources,” she said. It also offers access to professional services such as accountants, lawyers and mentors. After about a year and a half, Student Maid moved into its own office space. Student Maid, named “Leading Women Enterprise” by the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2010 and 2011, is looking to open other locations in college towns in the near future. Kristen will also be taking her business-savvy tips on the road when they launch Student Maid University in January.

Jessica Bent, 22 Glow Gators Owner and Technician hen Jessica was young, she thought she would become a doctor. As a high school graduate, she decided to pursue engineering. Still undecided once she got to college, Jessica changed her major several times. Finally she decided on advertising. “I was happy with advertising because it allowed me to express my creative side,” Jessica said in an email interview. “However, I quickly learned that you have to pursue what you are passionate about in order to be successful in your career.” While working for a local start-up called Tutor Matching Service, Jessica realized she had an entrepreneurial spirit. “I wanted to start my own business after that, and bringing the concept of mobile tanning to Gainesville seemed like my niche.” In June 2011, Jessica launched

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“Small businesses fuel the Gainesville economy, and that is one aspect of the community that has kept me here after I graduated from the university,” she said.

David DiEugenio, 23 Owner Cartridge World avid DiEugenio said his journey to becoming a Florida business owner is a “bit of a long story.” But it all started because he did not like what he was doing in Ohio and wanted to go back into business with his father. At that time, his father managed the Arby’s on SW 34th Street from Ohio so David joined forces with his dad. David had used the Ohio Cartridge World to supply ink and toner for his father’s home office. “We were customers for about two years and then we went in there one day and found out it was a franchise.” The next day, Arby’s called David and told them they ran out of ink. David told them to go to Cartridge World but the company had never heard of it. That exchange sparked an idea to open a Cartridge World franchise in Gainesville. “It took about another 18 months or so but we started looking into it then and found out that the Gainesville market was completely open,” he said. David has seen a great response since opening their doors in 2010. “It’s definitely been received really well, but the biggest problem that we have is brand recognition,” David said. “We’re still a small company and we’ve only been here for a couple of years now.” But once he explains what they do and how they do it, customers are very receptive to the idea, David said. So, how does it work? Located on SW 34th Street, Cartridge World re-fills and re-manufactures ink and toner cartridges. “But we do it differently,” David

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Glow Gators, “The Sunless Tan That Travels To You.” Her mobile tanning company provides quality, sunless tanning in the convenience of the client’s home, office, salon, or on-location at a special event. Jessica said that Glow Gators is known for natural looking,

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quality tans that are customized and applied to meet the needs of any skin type and figure. Clients are able to schedule appointments by phone or online. As a business owner, Jessica feels that small businesses are very important to the local economy.


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said. Many stores offer a “drill and fill” process while Cartridge World actually disassembles the whole cartridge and goes through a weeklong process before re-filling the cartridge. The success rate is about 95 percent compared to the 50 or so percent rate of the larger office supply stores, he said. David also sits on the advisory for Gainesville and Alachua and believes that small businesses are very important to the economy. To aspiring entrepreneurs, he says go for it. “There’s this quote that I love which is: ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.’”

Abhi Lokesh, 24 Alex Theodore, 27 Fracture Co-Founders (CEO & CTO)

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bhi Lokesh and Alex Theodore never dreamed that their passion for

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imagery would turn into a business opportunity. They just wanted to make a difference in the world. Originally they launched an online art gallery to help raise funds for a

do something with their digital photography. “Our primary objective was to make it as easy as possible for people to want to print and frame

“Conceptually, we wanted to provide a comprehensive solution. How we did it specifically was something that we learned as we went along.” student-run nonprofit. Plus, Abhi was headed to med school and Alex was headed to grad school for engineering. “We had our paths somewhat planned out but then the opportunity arose to start Fracture and we realized that it was something completely unexpected but something that we were more passionate about than our prior thoughts,” Abhi said. Fracture gives people a way to

their digital pictures,” Abhi said. FractureMe.com offers different sizes, borders, and framing options. The final product is an affordable, one-piece photo and frame ready to hang on the wall. “Conceptually, we wanted to provide a comprehensive solution,” Abhi said. “How we did it specifically was something that we learned as we went along.” As a young but growing business Fracture has found nothing but


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great support from the community. Abhi said the experience has been eye opening and he has been pleasantly surprised about how open, welcoming, encouraging, and supportive the Gainesville community has been. “They are constantly encouraging us, pushing us; there’s been nothing but great support and I think everyone wants to see more and more.”

Fred Posner, 40 Yeni Monroy, 30 Dream Day Cakes Owners (Baker & Artist) usband and wife team Fred Posner and Yeni (Jenny) Monroy wanted to follow their dreams to open a

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bakery — so they did. Before opening up shop in 2010, Yeni worked as a microbiologist doing research and Fred worked in IT. But their hearts were in baking. “We figured go broke or go home,“ Fred said. “We just wanted to do something that we enjoyed and do something that we loved.” Dream Day Cakes is a licensed bakery that uses ingredients people can actually pronounce, Fred said. They pride themselves on attention to detail, clean yet artistic designs and quality. Fred said the process was a lot of hard work and a lot of tears. “You have to drum up business, but our belief has been the first priority is to the product and to the customer experience and everything else will grow from there.” He believes the greatest

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www.VisitOurTowns.com

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ADVERT ISEM EN T

Arrive In Style! At Fabulous Coach Lines, we’ve never been a bus company. We are a coach company, and you’ll notice the difference. It shows in our chrome wheels, our driver’s ties, and our red carpets. You’ll notice it in the seats, the curtains, the finishing materials. No expense is spared on important things like tires, paint or wheel bearings. Designing our coaches with our customers in mind, we’ve paid special attention to the details in our vehicles. This gives our customers a peace of mind and a hassle free 108 | Winter 2012

motorcoach experience. In an increasingly competitive market, we understand the key to success is to foster and develop a pristine reputation for stellar service and to maintain a clean and reliable fleet of vehicles. Our professional, well-trained drivers, are reliable, timely and courteous. Fabulous Coach Lines offers the finest in motorcoach transportation services for groups of every size and type. Working with groups ranging from corporate functions, religious


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organizations, school related trips and military, we provide a motorcoach experience to fit your needs. Rest assured, that you will be very well taken care of on your trip. Our mission is your satisfaction and your peace of mind, before, during and after your experience with us. Let us help you plan your next outing. Our trained professionals are here to help you plan the perfect trip. With over 30 vehicles to choose from, we offer the largest, most diverse fleet of vehicles between Atlanta and Orlando.

We’ll help you organize and implement a plan that will make your next group trip, the most successful yet. Affordably priced, Fabulous Coach Lines wants to earn your business by delivering an experience second to none. For more information about how Fabulous Coach Lines can help with your next trip, visit our website at:

www.FabulousCoach.com or call 1-866-352-7295

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

Adam’s Rib Co. 211 NW 13th Street, Gainesville, Florida 32609 1515 SW 13th Street Gainesville, Florida 32608 Monday - Saturday: 7am to 9pm Sunday: 9am to 9pm

352-373-8882NW 352-727-4005SW AdamsRibCo.com BARBECUE — Looking for the best BBQ in Gainesville? Then look no further than Adam’s Rib Company. Adam’s Rib is North Florida’s Premier Barbecue restaurant, serving North Florida’s finest beef brisket, pulled pork, bbq spare ribs and slow smoked chicken and turkey. Choose from over 20 sauces – from honey sweet to habanero hot – and everything in between. Don’t forget dessert, like their scrumptious “Banana Pudding” and their famous Peach Cobbler. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Adam’s can cater any event locally. Give Adam a call for your next tailgate party 352-514-8692!

Ballyhoo Grill 3700 Newberry Road, Gainesville Mon-Thu: 10am to 10pm • Fri & Sat: 10am to 11pm Sun 10am to 10pm

352-373-0059 Looking for the freshest seafood? — The Ballyhoo Grill is the place for you! With fresh seafood arriving daily, Try the amazing North Atlantic Cedar Plank Salmon, grilled on a cedar plank for a rich, smoky flavor. Other great eats include fresh sushi and hand-cut choice steaks. We’re serving up everything from salads and pastas to delicious burgers and sandwiches. make sure you try the incredible Bananas Fosters. Dine in or outdoors on their patio. Happy hour is 2-7pm daily with extended happy hour until 10pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Flying Biscuit Café 4150 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32605 Located in the Fresh Market Center Mon - Thurs: 7am - 3pm • Fri - Sun: 7am - 4pm

352-373-9500

www.flyingbiscuit.com

BREAKFAST — The Flying Biscuit is out to reinvent breakfast in Gainesville! Maybe you’ve tried their soon-to-be-famous creamy, dreamy grits or their “moon dusted” breakfast potatoes, but did you know you can have them at anytime? With a unique open menu, all the items that appear are available throughout the day. With a variety of healthy and hearty dishes, The Flying Biscuit caters to a variety of tastes. With options ranging from the Smoked Salmon Scramble, the Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich or the Tofu and Tater Salad, there’s something for everyone.

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Dos Mamas 2017 NE 27th Ave. Gainesville, Florida 32609 Mon - Tues 6am – 4pm • Wed - Thurs 6am - 8:30pm Friday 6am - 11pm • Saturday 9am - 2pm

352-505-0369

www.dosmamascatering.com

HOME STYLE — New to the North East part of Gainesville, Dos Mama’s has fast become a great local establishment. No they are not a Mexican joint. Just a down-home restaurant serving up Mama’s finger licking home-style cookin’. Terra and Rosa, your new mama’s, have over 40 years of combined experience in the Food and Beverage industry to make sure you get what you expect. Customer Service is NUMBER ONE to these Mama’s. Live entertainment is also on the menu at Dos Mama’s, with local bands ranging from Blues to Jazz to Rock and Roll. With Little Jake Mitchell and the Soul Searchers, Anna Marie and Friends and Little Mike and the Tornados all sharing Friday nights and putting on a great show.

Dave’s New York Deli 12921 SW 1st Road, Tioga Town Center Monday - Friday: 9:30am - 8:00pm • Saturday: 8am - 8pm Sunday 10:00am - 3:00pm

352-333-0291

www.DavesNYDeli.com

AUTHENTIC DELI — Dave’s Deli has moved to its new location in Tioga Town Center. The reviews are in and here is what customers are saying about Dave’s! “Best Reuben, Best Pastrami, Best Philly, Best Salads!” Dave’s NY Deli is quickly establishing itself as “The Real Deal” when it comes to NY deli food. Owner Dave Anders says he knew from the start that he wanted to serve only the best, so he has all of his pastrami, corned beef, and cheesecake shipped in from New York’s Carnegie Deli. Dave’s offers Nathan’s hotdogs, real NY kettle-boiled bagels, nova, knishes, cannolis, authentic Philly cheesesteaks, Cubans, subs, kids menu, and more. NOW SERVING BEER AND WINE. - VISIT US TODAY.

Gator Tales Sports Bar 5112 NW 34th Street (across from the YMCA) Sunday - Tuesday 10:30am - Midnight Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat 10:30am - 2am

(352)-376-9500

www.gatortales.com

BAR & GRILL — GATOR TALES Sports Bar features 3 large separate entertainment areas! You can relax at our Tiki bar in a large covered outdoor patio with tropical tunes enjoying 3 large screen TV’s and a full outdoor liquor bar. If you prefer to be inside, visit the sports bar, where you can find large TV’s , pool tables and a performance stage with nightly entertainment including karaoke, live bands, trivia night and acoustical sets. We offer two happy hours every day with 1.50 drafts and 2 for 1 wells. Gator tales has a variety of domestic and import beers including a local favorite Swamphead Stompknocker. Our menu has a lot to choose from, appetizers, black angus burgers, gator tail, and salads. Wednesday is 50¢ wings.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

KB Kakes 13570 NW 101st Drive, Suite 400 Alachua, Fl 32615 Tuesday - Friday from 6:30am - 1:30pm

386-518-6878

www.kbkakes.com

BAKERY — Holidays are right around the corner. Instead of slaving over that dessert let KB create the perfect sweet for you! Since 2002, Kathy has been creating the finest wedding cakes and life-like sculpted cakes. KB Kakes was featured in the Knot Weddings and participated in numerous charities including Extreme Home Makeover. They are known for their moist cakes that taste as amazing as they look and KB’s famous gourmet kake truffles; also available at Dorn’s and make great gifts. Enjoy organic locally roasted coffee, cakes to order and more at their boutique style bakery. They offer complimentary consultations and personal tastings. For your next event let KB create the perfect cake for you!

Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood 201 SE 2nd Avenue, Gainesville, FL (Historic Downtown) Monday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm • Tues-Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm Happy Hour: 5:00pm - 7:00pm

352-336-0077

marksprimesteakhouse.com

STEAK & SEAFOOD — Mark’s Prime Steakhouse and Seafood has a goal to create a unique dining experience that will please the palate and soothe the soul. We serve the finest beef, the freshest seafood, and naturally fresh vegetables. Recipient of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence 2004-2011. Join us for Primetime Happy Hour featuring drink and appetizer specials Monday thru Saturday 5-7 pm. We are pleased to feature our full service, private dining facilities. It would be our pleasure to help plan your next reception, banquet, business meeting, or social gathering. Complimentary valet service.

Newberry’s Backyard BBQ 25405 W Newberry Rd, Newberry Monday-Wednesday 11am-9pm • Thursday 11am-9:30pm Friday and Saturday 11am-Midnight • Sunday 11am-6pm

352.472.7260

newberrybbq.com

BBQ — Newberry’s Backyard BBQ is UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP, and to celebrate we are lowering our prices! Newberry’s Backyard Bar-B-Q is located in our historic building in beautiful downtown Newberry. Our pork, chicken, beef, and turkey is smoked to perfection daily. Our salads and sides are always fresh. If you are thirsty we have the best sweet tea in the South and a full bar as well. Make sure to bring your kids, we serve their meals on a frisbee that they take home. For your entertainment, we always have live music on Friday nights and Karaoke on Saturday evenings. Always remember big or small we cater all gatherings.

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Northwest Grille 5115 Northwest 39th Ave., Gainesville 32606 Open 7 Days: 11am to 10pm (Friday open until 11pm) Saturday & Sunday: Serving brunch 10am to 3pm

352-376-0500

www.northwestgrillegainesville.com

SEAFOOD — Locally owned and operated, Northwest Grille has been providing the finest quality fish and seafood entrees in a friendly atmosphere since 1996. Whether it’s their fresh, local seafood and fish, or handcrafted sauces and specialty desserts, Northwest Grille has something to please your palate. Meat lovers will enjoy the hand-cut steaks and vegetarians will love the wide range of vegetarian options. Serving lunch and dinner daily, Northwest Grille, offers an extensive brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm. Northwest Grille also features a full liquor bar with nightly drink specials. Happy hour is served daily from 3pm-7pm and all day on Wednesday – offering a wide assortment of craft beer, wine and $5 martinis.

Pepper’s 7750 W. Newberry Rd, Gainesvillle (Across from Pep Boys) 11:00am - 10:30pm 7 Days A Week

352-727-4619

www.peppersmexican.com

MEXICAN — At Pepper’s Mexican Grill and Cantina, we offer a wide variety of great Mexican food with recipes straight from Jelisco. We really want you to have the best experience with us, and hope to make you feel at home. Pepper’s Mexican restaurant serves only the finest ingredients. Enjoy our dishes made fresh daily, and our home made sauces, which are made from scratch. Pepper’s has a full bar. Express Lunch Specials starting at $5.99. We offer childrens plates. Pepper’s can help cater your next event. On-site catering is available too. Enjoy Free chips and salsa with every meal.

The Red Onion 39th Ave & 24th Blvd, Gainesville (Uptown Village Apartments) Monday – Thursday: 11am-10pm Fri & Sat: 11am-11pm Sunday: 10am to 9pm Brunch: Sat and Sun: 11am-2pm

352-505-0088

www.TheRedOnionGainesville.com

NEIGHBORHOOD GRILL — Locally owned and managed restaurant offering casual dining in an intimate, warm atmosphere. Featuring Harris Ranch All Natural Prime Steaks & All Natural Chicken (no antibiotics, no steroids) and local produce. Join us for the love of Fine Spirits, Food and Music! Live Music Wed., Fri., Sat.! Come listen to the area’s best Jazz and Blues bands every Saturday for “Music & Martinis”! We muddle, pour, mix & stir! So join us for Happy Hour at our bar – big enough to bring all your friends! Our casual cuisine is perfect for lunch in a rush. Private Dining Room available for rental, perfect for your next rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, corporate luncheon, etc. Check out our menus on our website!

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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Taste of the Town

SPECIAL RESTAURANT ADVERTISING SECTION. CALL 352.372-5468 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION.

Saboré 13005 SW 1st Road, Tioga, FL 32669 (Tioga Town Center) Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 11am – 10pm Fri. & Sat.: 11am – 11pm • Open Mondays for special events only

352-332-2727

www.saborerestaurant.com

FUSION — Saboré [sa-bohr-ay] is a world-fusion restaurant featuring a variety of European, South American, Mediterranean and Asian inspired tastes. Saboré’s namesake is from the word “sabor,” meaning “flavor.” Saboré’s menu features mouth-watering dishes that takes guests on a trip around the world, highlighting exotic flavors and ingredients from countries such as Argentina, Japan, Spain and Italy. Be sure to try the custom plates, desserts and signature cocktails you won’t find anywhere else in Gainesville.

Simply Delightful! Confections 5733 SW 75th Street, Gainesville, FL 32608 (in the Publix Shopping Ctr @ the corner of Archer and Tower Roads) Tues–Thurs: 11am-7pm Fri: 11am – 8pm Sat: 10:30am - 5pm

352-317-3158 www.simplydelightfulconfections.com CONFECTIONS — Simply Delightful! Confections – Gainesville’s Artisan Chocolatier – creates artisan chocolates and gourmet confections made from the finest chocolate in Europe, South America and Hawaii. All of Chef Linda’s artisan creations are made by hand in small batches on the premises to ensure quality and freshness. The truffles are hand molded, hand painted and filled with luscious ganaches. The dark and milk chocolate sea salt caramels and marshmallows are made from scratch. A creative and seasonal approach allows for delectable delights throughout the year. Simply Delightful! Confections can create chocolates and gourmet confections for your special event, customer appreciation gifts or gift baskets.

Southern Soul 15 NE 2nd Ave, High Springs, FL Mon 11:00am - 11:00pm •Thu 11:00am - 11:00pm Fri - Sat 11:00am - 12:00am • Sun 11:00am - 4:00pm

386-454-0429 SOUL FOOD — If you are looking for a true taste of down-home, comfort food then you will love Southern Soul Restaurant & Lounge now open in High Springs and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. All of our recipes are homemade and made from scratch. Rise and shine and stop in for one of our breakfast platters including flapjacks, pork chops, biscuits and gravy, or French toast, to name a few. For lunch and dinner our headliners include oxtails and yellow rice, pork chops, fried chicken, fresh mullet, catfish, and shrimp. Our sidelines are collard greens, mac and cheese, grits, mashed potatoes and many more! To top it all off, try our homemade desserts! Join us for live Jazz Friday and Saturday nights and live Blue’s every Thursday.

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7:30 pm Saturday December 8, 2012 U N I V E R S I T Y O F F L O R I DA AU D I T O R I U M

Saturday April 20, 2012 PHILLIPS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ART S

TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT TICKETSMASTER ER • UF AUDITORIUM BOX OFFICE WWW.GCCHORUS.ORG ORG www.VisitOurTowns.com

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CALENDAR If you would like to have an event considered for publication in this calendar, please submit information directly. post 4400 NW 36th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32606 | e-mail editor@towerpublications.com | fax 352-373-9178

CHAMPIONSHIP SEASONS Through January 5 Times Vary THE THOMAS CENTER - 302 NE 6th Ave. Through the Lens of the Gainesville Sun, featuring more than 50 of the paper’s finest photographs documenting UF’s three National Championship football seasons. The work on display will convey the vast range of human emotion from the 1996, 2006 and 2008 football seasons. 352-393-8532. www.

gvlculturalaffairs.org.

THE MODERN IMPULSE Through January 6 Times Vary HARN MUSEUM - SW 34th St. and Hull Rd. The exhibit showcases more than 135 photographs, books, illustrated magazines and films drawn from four regions that were among the era’s most prominent centers of photographic innovation — France and the Czech Republic in Europe, and New York and California in the U.S. 352-392-9826.

www.harn.ufl.edu.

HEALTH STREET Thursday, Nov. 15 11:00am - 3:00pm THE LIBRARY PARTNERSHIP - 1130 NE 16th Ave. Need your blood pressure checked? Medication counseling? Referrals for medical care services? All services are free to the community! For

116 | Winter 2012

more information, stop by the table in the lobby of the Library Partnership. 352-2944880. www.aclib.us.

the works of Rossini and Respighi alongside the UF Symphony Orchestra. 352-3920223. www.arts.ufl.edu

CHARLE ALBRIGHT

LADY BUG: ACTION HERO

Thursday, Nov. 15 7:30pm

Friday, Nov. 16 10:00am - 11:00am

SQUITIERI STUDIO THEATRE - Winner of the prestigious 2010 Gilmore Young Artist Award and the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, pianist Charlie Albright made his Washington, D.C., and New York recital debuts to critical acclaim. Albright was hailed by The Washington Post as “among the most gifted musicians of his generation.” 352-392ARTS. performingarts. ufl.edu.

GAINESVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - 1900 NW 13th St. Dance Alive National Ballet’s Lady Bug: Action Hero! is a delightful story about a brave little lady bug and her forest friends. The audience will be charmed by Lady Bug, the ditzy butterfly, wicked wasp, tap-dancing caterpillar, and hip-hopping frog! $5 for students and $10 for adults. 352-3712986. www.dancealive.org.

NOVEL TARGETING OF MOBILITY DISABILITY

TRASHFORMATIONS Friday, Nov. 16 5:30pm

SENIOR RECREATION CENTER - 5701 NW 34th St. Chris Haas, Ph.D., associate professor, department of applied physiology and kinesiology will discuss novel targeting of mobility disability. 352367-8169. eldercare. ufandshands.org.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM - Hull Rd. and SW 34th St. Ever wonder how milk jugs morph into beautiful wading birds or how gears and gadgets become gigantic bugs? See how middle school, high school and college students transform “waste” into creative works of art! Entries displayed through Dec.. 352-846-2000.

UF SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

HOLIDAY BAZAAR

Thursday, Nov. 15 7:30pm

Nov. 16 - Nov. 17 Times Vary

UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM - The winners of the competition will play

HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH - 100 NE First St. The annual event

Thursday, Nov. 15 2:30pm - 4:00pm

features handcrafted seasonal decorations and toys; original art and jewelry; handpainted furniture; and homemade jams, jellies and baked goods. The holiday shopping extravaganza opens with an evening of spirits, food and music for a $5 door donation on Nov. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. Shopping continues with free admission on Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 18 from noon to 2 p.m. 352-372-4721.

www.holytrinitygnv.org.

HOLIDAY EXPO Nov. 16 - Nov. 17 Times Vary HIGH SPRINGS - 40 NW 1st Ave. The High Springs Woman’s Club is hosting a Holiday Expo. Vendors offer beautiful items. A bakery table will have pies, breads, cookies and goodies. The chance drawing will be held at 3 p.m. for the gift baskets and the decorated Christmas tree. Food, desserts and beverages will be available. hsncwclub@gmail.com.

FAMILY DAY Saturday, Nov. 17 1:00pm - 4:00pm HARN MUSEUM - SW 34th St. and Hull Rd. Explore historic photography in “The Modern Impulse” exhibition and create a fun flipbook of images in motion. A donation of $2 per child or $5 per family is requested if participating in the art-making activity. 352392-9826. www.harn.ufl.edu.


YMCA RUN TO REMEMBER Saturday, Nov. 17 8:30am - Noon NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA YMCA - 5201 NW 34th St. 5K Family “Run to Remember.” Register is $25 after Nov. 1. Prizes, special rates for sponsors, and grand opening party of the Hydration Station Smoothie & Juice Bar and Massage Therapy Office at the Y after the race. 352-374-9622. www.

ncfymca.org.

NEXT GENERATION

Celebrate e Design Nov. 17 - Jan. an. 5 Times Vary THOMAS CENTER 302 NE 6th Ave. This exhibition includes a selection of projects from the local ocal al AIA (American Institute ute of Architects) chapter and nd the national AIA organization. nization. AIA is professional association sociation seeking to further the e profession and public awareness.. 352-393-8532. www.gvlculturalaffairs.org. s.org.

Saturday, Nov. 17 7:00pm - 9:00pm GAINESVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - 1900 NW 13th St. Next Generation presents its annual Fall Concert. Forty dancers take the stage dancing a range of styles; classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop and musical theater. The work of six choreographers is showcased with all proceeds to benefit the educational programs of Dance Alive National Ballet. 352-373-1166.

www.pofahldancestudio.com.

SPECTICAST: GIUSEPPE VERDI’S AIDA Sunday, Nov. 18 3:00pm PHILLIPS CENTER - Aida revolves around the forbidden love story between the Egyptian leader Radames and the beautiful Ethiopian princess Aida. But this opera proves more than a love story. Thematic pyrotechnical effects, elephants and horses onstage and more than 400 participants bring this unique opera to life. The previously recorded production will be projected on the Phillips Center Main Stage in HD quality. Intermission and concessions. 352-392ARTS. performingarts. ufl.edu.

The Chucho Valdés Quintet Friday, Nov. 23 7:30pm UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM - Multiple Grammy-winning pianist Chucho Valdés is well known on both the Latin and U.S. jazz scenes, producing more than 80 CD recordings throughout his career. Called “the dean of Latin jazz” by The New York Times, his works have been heard in esteemed venues, such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

CARILLON CONCERT

LOCAL ARTIST TRUNK SHOW

MAINTAIN YOUR BRAIN

Sunday, Nov. 18 3:00pm

Sunday, Nov. 18 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Tuesday, Nov. 20 10:30am - Noon

CENTURY TOWER Guest artist David R. Hunsberger, assistant carillonneur from the University of California (Berkeley) performs a recital on the 61-bell carillon housed in Century Tower on the University of Florida campus. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch to enjoy with outdoor concert. 352-273-3181.

HARN MUSEUM OF ART Hull Rd. and SW 34th St.. Highlighting the Harn Museum Store’s local consignment artists. Event features an increase in merchandise with booth displays and demonstrations by artists who create jewelry, paintings, pottery and more. 352392-9826. www.harn.ufl.edu.

www.arts.ufl.edu/carillon.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

TOWER ROAD LIBRARY 3020 S.W. 75th St. The Alzheimer’s Assoc., Central and N. Florida Chapter, will be putting on this free workshop. Learn about maintaining cognitive health through mental activities, physical exercise, the heart-brain connection, nutrition, social interaction, relieving stress and treating depression. 800-2723900. www.alz.org.

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THANKSGIVING MATINEE MOVIE Tuesday, Nov. 20 1:30pm TOWER ROAD LIBRARY - 3020 S.W. 75th St. Come see a Thanksgiving holiday classic at a matinee movie showing. For more information about the movie: 352-3332840 or visit the Tower Road Library. www.aclib.us.

SING-A-LONG-A SOUND OF MUSIC Wednesday, Nov. 21 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - Singa-Long-A Sound of Music is a screening of the classic Julie Andrews film musical in glorious, full-screen Technicolor, complete with subtitles so that the whole audience can sing along. Then there is the famous fancydress competition in which everyone who has come in costume is invited onto the stage to show off their fantastic tailoring skills. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

GROWING BLUEBERRIES AND PEACHES Wednesday, Nov. 21 7:00pm - 8:00pm ALACHUA COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE - 2800 NE 39th Ave. Learn which varieties grow in Alachua County, and proper pruning and fertilizing techniques. 352-337-6209. alachua. ifas.ufl.edu.

TURKEY TROT FUN RUN Thursday, Nov. 22 8:30am TACACHALE - 1621 NE Waldo Road. Join on Thanksgiving morning for a beautiful 10K and two-mile fun offroad run around the

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West Side Story Nov. 27 - Nov. 28 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - More than 50 years ago, one musical changed theater forever. Now it’s back and mesmerizing audiences once again. From the first note to the final breath, West Side Story soars as the greatest love story of all time and remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

Tacachale campus. Bring the family and enjoy this community event that benefits the residents of Tacachale and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Register now at Lloyd Clarke Sports, 1504 NW 13 St., or www.active.com to secure a spot. 352-372-7836.

WHITE CHRISTMAS Nov. 23 - Dec. 23 Times Vary GAINESVILLE COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE - 4039 NW 16th Blvd. Two ex-GIs, now famous stage performers, Bob and Phil, decide to help their old commanding general save his struggling winter resort by mounting a musical revue. 352-376-4949.

www.gcplayhouse.org.

A TUNA CHRISTMAS Nov. 23 - Dec. 23 Times Vary HIPPODROME THEATRE - 25 SE 2nd Place. Those wacky characters from Tuna, Texas, have

once again entered the heated Yuletide lawn display contest. Socialite Vera Carp hopes to win another consecutive victory, but she faces stiff competition from the crusty proprietor of Didi’s Used Weapons and from a pair of cowboy-loving Tastee Creme waitresses. 352375-4477. www.thehipp.org.

CANE BOIL AND FIDDLE FEST Saturday, Nov. 24 9:00am - 4:00pm MORNINGSIDE NATURE CENTER - 3540 E. University Ave. Join as sugar cane is pressed and boiled into syrup while interpreting dayto-day life on an 1870’s Florida farm. Youth Fiddle Contest with talented musicians and other musical activities. Register in advance for contest. Admission: $3 for 13 years and over, $1 for children 3-12 and under 3 is free! 352-334-3326. www.

friendsofnatureparks.org.

CRAFT FESTIVAL Nov. 24 - Nov. 25 Times Vary O’CONNELL CENTER - Need a unique gift? Working on decorating the home? Need a splash of holiday spirit? The Craft Festival will meet all of these needs and more. Come visit North Central Florida’s largest indoor craft show and walk away with a much shorter holiday shopping list. 352-3927238. www.oconnellcenter.ufl.

edu/craftfestival/default1.htm.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Nov. 24 - Dec. 23 Times Vary HIPPODROME THEATRE 25 SE 2nd Place. Join Scrooge, Marley, the Cratchits and a host of Xmas ghosts for this holiday favorite. Dazzling special effects, an original adaptation and a timeless message of goodwill have made “A Christmas Carol” one of the most popular Hippodrome productions of all time. 352-375-4477.

www.thehipp.org.


DAVID FINCKEL & WU HAN

LOLA HASKINS, LOCAL POET

Sunday, Nov. 25 2:00pm

Thursday, Nov. 29 7:00pm - 8:30pm

UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM - Selected as Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among today’s most esteemed and influential classical musicians. The talent, energy, imagination and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors go unmatched. 352-392ARTS. performingarts. ufl.edu.

HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY 401 E. University Ave. Haskins will be reading from her 10th book of poems, “The Grace to Leave” (Anhinga, 2012). Her ninth, “Still, the Mountain” (Paper Kite Press), won the Silver Medal for Poetry in the 2010 Florida Book Awards. 352-334-3939.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MARJORIE RAWLINGS

Friday, Nov. 30 7:30pm

Monday, Nov. 26 7:00pm - 8:30pm HEADQUARTERS LIBRARY 401 E. University Ave. Rawlings describes her life “at the Creek,” how she became intrigued with her Florida “Cracker” neighbors, and why she chose to portray them in stories, articles and poems. Slides, made from the Rawlings collection at the University of Florida in Gainesville, accompany the entire program. 352-3343939. www.aclib.us.

THE PERILS OF INTERVENTION Monday, Nov. 26 6:00pm HARN MUSEUM - SW 34th St. and Hull Rd. Presented by the UF School of Art + Art History (College of Fine Arts) SA+AH Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History presents a lecture by Elizabeth Harney, University of Toronto, African modernisms and African art exhibitions. 352-392-0201. saahharnscholar.net.

www.aclib.us. www.lolahaskins. com/home.html.

RIDERS IN THE SKY UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM - Multiple Grammywinning Riders in the Sky’s presentation of Christmas the Cowboy Way blends a festive mix of western classics, traditional Christmas music and the Riders’ original yuletide carols in a holiday spectacular sure to delight Saddle Pals of all ages. The quartet returns to Gainesville for their third visit while still keeping true to the western genre. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

AGBEDIDI DANCE

Starry Night Friday, Nov. 30 6:00pm - 10:00pm MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - Hull Rd. and SW 34th St.. Observe the night sky and explore the world beyond! See a portable planetarium show or view a moonscape in 3-D. Bring the whole family for a free, fun-filled night of astronomical proportions. Food vendors available! 352-273-2062. www.flmnh.ufl.edu/starrynight.

COME BACK LITTLE SHEBA Nov. 30 - Dec. 16 Times Vary

CONSTANS THEATRE Powerful dancing spanning countries and continents, from West Africa to the U.S.; a scintillating program created in collaboration with the Center for World Arts and New World School of the Arts and featuring prominent international guests. Music that moves the heart and the feet: come dance in the aisles! $13 - $17. 352-273-0526. www.arts.ufl.

ACROSSTOWN REPERTORY THEATRE - 619 S. Main St. This contemporary drama parallels the stories of two war figures, Ajax, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, and A.J., a young female soldier in Iraq. The play spotlights the harsh judgment, ridicule and abuse that women face in the United States Army, along with the distinct fear and danger that military men and women face every day. 352-371-1234.

edu/welcome/td.

www.acrosstown.org.

Nov. 30 - Dec. 2 Times Vary

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RWANDA SUSTAINABLE FAMILIES Saturday, Dec. 1 6:00pm - 10:00pm THE DORIS BARDON COMMUNITY CULTURAL CENTER - 716 N. Main St. Change the life of an impoverished family in Rwanda and holiday shop at the same time. Beautiful gift items made by women in RSF’s artisan’s co-ops: Purses, laptop and shopping bags, jewelry, clothes, artwork and gift cards of goats, schooling for a child or family loan for a small business. Suggested donation at door: $20, $10 for students, children free. 352-2222052. www.rsfafrica.org.

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A CHILDREN’S HOLIDAY AT SANTA FE Saturday, Dec. 1 2:00pm SANTA FE COLLEGE FINE ARTS HALL - 3000 NW 83rd St. A fun afternoon of dance, holiday music, Santa Claus, elves and SNOW! Cost is $15 for adults in the Orchestra section and $12 for balcony; Children under 12 are free with an adult ticket purchase (up to two children per adult ticket). 352-395-4181.

www.sfcollege.edu/finearts.

Plaza Ice Palace

GAINESVILLE YOUTH CHORUS

Nov. 23 – January 6 Times Vary

Saturday, Dec. 1 5:00pm - 6:00pm

BO DIDDLEY PLAZA - 111 E. University Ave. The Plaza Ice Palace will return for the upcoming holiday season. The Plaza Ice Palace will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. The skating fee for one hour on the ice is $10 per person, including skate rental, or $7 per person for patrons furnishing their own skates.

HOLY TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH - 100 NE 1st St. Join the Gainesville Youth Chorus for its annual Holiday Concert. A musical gift to the community. Bring the family, neighbors and friends and enjoy this free holiday concert! 352-256-3057. www.

gainesvilleyouthchorus.com.

SUGAR CANE BOIL FESTIVAL Saturday, Dec. 1 9:00am - 3:00pm NEWBERRY - Dudley Farm, 18730 W. Newberry Rd. Visit an original 1880’s Cracker-style farm to celebrate “Cane Day.” Enjoy historical farm life demonstrations of ‘old time’ crafts and skills. View the process of making cane syrup. Fun for all, with farm animals, music and food. $8 per vehicle of up to eight occupants. 352-472-1142 www.

friendsofdudleyfarm.org.

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BACKPACK WITH A RANGER First Saturdays Overnight Event PAYNES PRAIRIE - 100 Savannah Blvd. Spend the night camping at the prairie after a full day of hiking with a ranger. First Saturday of every month from Dec. to March. Children must be 10 years or older to participate. $10. Reservations required. 352-466-4100.

www.floridastateparks.org/ paynesprairie.

with scientists and ask those questions. Bring specimens and find answers during an afternoon of discovery and learning. 352-2732062. www.flmnh.ufl.edu.

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON Sunday, Dec. 2 7:00pm PHILLIPS CENTER - UF Symphony Orchestra will perform an array of holiday songs. 352392-0223. www.arts.ufl.edu/

welcome/music.

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MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - Hull Rd. and SW 34th St. Science is all around! Take advantage of this opportunity to talk

MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - Hull Rd. and SW 34th St. Is the sky really falling? Will the world really end? Learn more about the Mayans

and their predictions while exploring their culture and traditions at this free evening event. 352-273-2061.

www.flmnh.ufl.edu.

TREY MCINTYRE PROJECT Wednesday, Dec. 5 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - The Trey McIntyre Project burst onto the national dance scene in 2005 and has quickly established itself as a power among contemporary companies. Known for its “fresh and forward-thinking choreography (The Washington Post),” the group is guided by Trey McIntyre’s unparalleled ear for musical structures, with a repertoire covering multiple genres. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.


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ANNIE MOSES BAND Wednesday, Dec. 5 7:00pm TRINITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH - 4000 NW 53rd Ave. Christmas with the Annie Moses Band Concert - a sound that is both refreshing and familiar with their blend of fiddle, jazz and classical influences fused with soaring, folk-inspired vocals. This family is pulling new fans from across musical genres to their eclectic style of music making and is a tapestry of Americana favorites and original tunes. Cost is $8. 352376-6615. www.trinitygnv.org

HOME SCHOOLING PROGRAM Thursday, Dec. 6 3:30pm - 5:00pm HARN MUSEUM OF ART Hull Rd. and SW 34th St. Parents who preregister their children, ages 5 to 10, may come for tours and art activities. Registration fee is $15 per family up to two children, and $5 each additional child. Contact Lisa Stevens at lstevens@harn.ufl.edu or at 352-392-9826, ext. 2112.

www.harn.ufl.edu.

SLEEPING BEAUTY AND THE SAVING PRINCE Saturday, Dec. 8 6:30pm - 8:00pm SANTA FE COLLEGE FINE ARTS HALL - 3000 NW 83rd St. With a passion for dance and a heart for worship, Doxa Dance Company presents its second annual ballet production of Sleeping Beauty and the Saving Prince, a classic tale of unconditional love. A family-friendly night at the theater. 352-870-1208.

www.doxadancestudio.com.

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Holiday Tree Lighting g Saturday, Dec. 1 Time to Be Announcedd THOMAS CENTER - 302 NE 6th Ave. The City of Gainesville ushers in the Christmas season with the annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in the Spanish Court of the Historic Thomas Center while the adjacent Duck Pond neighborhood sparkles with luminaires for 15-minute horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the area. Sponsored by Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU). 352-334-5067. www.gvlculturalaffairs.org.

HANDEL’S MESSIAH Saturday, Dec. 8 7:30pm UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM A Choral Masterwork , Maestro Dr. Will Kesling directs the Gainesville Civic Chorus and Philharmonic Orchestra in a presentation of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah.” Tickets are available at Ticketmaster, and the UF Auditorium box office, $20 (Seniors and students $5 discount).

www.gcchorus.org

LESSONS AND CAROLS SERVICE Sunday, Dec. 9 11:00am - 7:00pm UNITED CHURCH OF GAINESVILLE - 1624 NW 5th Ave. Spend some time reveling in the beauty of traditional and nontraditional Christmas music offered by instrumentalists, and adult, youth and children’s choirs interspersed with the heart-warming story of Jesus’ birth. 352-3783500. ucgainesville.org.

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS: A MUSICAL CELEBRATION Sunday, Dec. 9 4:00pm PHILLIPS CENTER - Joyous sounds of the season fill the hall at a heartwarming “kids helping kids” holiday concert. Gather the family and friends and attend this festive performance by the Alachua County Youth Orchestra, the Gainesville Youth Chorus and area high school choral groups. Support Stop Children’s Cancer and UF Pediatric Clinical Trials. For tickets contact 352-377-2622. www.

brass, woodwind and percussion players.

www.acyo.org.

MUSEUM NIGHTS: KWANZAA Thursday, Dec. 13 6:00pm - 9:00pm HARN MUSEUM OF ART - Hull Rd. and SW 34th St. To mark the Kwanzaa holiday season, the Harn will present a program that introduces the evening with an invocation by elders of the Gainesville community. Enjoy musical performances and tours of African American and African works in the Harn’s collection. 352-3929826. www.harn.ufl.edu.

StopChildrensCancer.org.

ALACHUA COUNTY YOUTH ORCHESTRA Sunday, Dec. 9 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - Free public performance of the Alachua County Youth Orchestra. The ACYO features talented middle school and high school string,

NUTCRACKER Dec. 14 - Dec. 16 Times Vary PHILLIPS CENTER - Dance Alive National Ballet presents its 47th Annual Nutcracker. Entrancing, enchanting and exciting, The Nutcracker is a ballet for the young at heart of all ages. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.


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love lovely Chacala trail. Con Contact Amber Roux for more information and to RSVP. Park adm admission is $4 per ind individual, $6 per veh vehicle. 352-466-4966.

Downtown Countdown Monday, Dec. 31

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ALIEN INVADERS AL

BO DIDDLEY COMMUNITY PLAZA - New Year’s celebration. The free concert will begin at 9 p.m. and run until 12:30 a.m. At the stroke of midnight, there will be showers of streamers and confetti along with the sounds of noisemakers passed out to the audience earlier in the evening. Headlining the concert is the band Fast Lane. This six-piece band plays a blend of R&B, funk, soul and rock and roll. 352393-8746. ballarddg@cityofgainesville.org. www.gvlculturalaffairs.org.

Fri Friday, Dec. 21 10: 10:00am - 5:00pm MUS MUSEUM OF NATURAL HIST HISTORY - Hull Rd. and SW 34th St.. Aliens are aren’t just from outer spa space! Learn about the invasive species livin in the backyard! living 352 www.flmnh. 352-846-2000.

ufl.e ufl.edu.

PNINA BECHER CHOCOLATE & CHAMPAGNE HOLIDAY GALA Saturday, Dec. 15 8:00pm PHILLIPS CENTER Dance Alive National Ballet presents dining, dancing and shopping — all rolled into one great party! With the Nutcracker Winter Wonderland as the backdrop, dance onstage to the fabulous sounds of Gosia and Ali, dine on gourmet delights, sip on complimentary champagne and wine, indulge in decadent desserts, and enjoy exclusive holiday shopping at a silent auction. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

GAINESVILLE HARMONY SHOW CHORUS HOLIDAY SHOW Saturday, Dec. 15 7:00pm SANTA FE COLLEGE FINE ARTS HALL - 3000 NW 83rd St. The Gainesville Harmony Show Chorus and the Gainesville Barbergators join to bring the best of Holiday Harmony. Price TBA. 352-395-4181. www.

day! After enjoying The Nutcracker performance, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and her court, touch a snowflake, tease a mouse, enjoy a tea party only a Sugar Plum Fairy could present. Holiday photos available. 352-392ARTS. performingarts. ufl.edu.

sfcollege.edu/finearts.

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Saturday, Dec. 15 10:00am - Noon

Dec. 15, Dec. 16 4:00pm PHILLIPS CENTER - Dance Alive National Ballet presents the perfect ending to a perfect

PAYNES PRAIRIE - 100 Savannah Blvd. This a BOH (Bring your Own Horse) event! Enjoy a ranger-guided tour on horseback down the

Monday, Dec. 31 2:00pm and 5:00pm SQUITIERI STUDIO THEATRE - Experience the blending of fine wines, beautiful piano playing and elegant ambiance. World-renowned pianist Pnina Becher pays musical tribute to famous composer Domenico Scarlatti, as the audience follows his journey through the wine countries of his life. Scarlatti’s sonatas are played in five parts and the wines selected for this performance are paired perfectly with each piece Becher will play. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

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dancers plunge into an ocean, wrestle a raging tide and slide on an avalanche to a frozen landscape of arctic beauty. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

MOMIX BOTANICA

Hooray for Hollywood Friday, February 15 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - Take a nostalgic journey through the most popular musicals of the last 50 years with Hooray for Hollywood. The production features a cast of 14 singers and dancers, a six-piece band and more than 300 costumes. Enjoy film clips from classic movies, including “Singing in the Rain,” “The Glenn Miller Story,” “Grease,” “Dirty Dancing” and “Titanic.” Hooray for Hollywood sings and dances its way through more than 30 songs. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

FAZIL SAY, PIANO Sunday, January 6 2:00pm UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM - Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say has earned international recognition for his magnificent compositions and appearances with prestigious orchestras, such as the New York and BBC Philharmonics. His first symphony Istanbul premiered in 2010 after his fiveyear residency at the Konzerthaus Dortmund. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

YOU SAY TOMATO, I SAY SHUT UP

after.” 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

VENUS IN FUR Jan. 9 - Feb. 3 Times Vary HIPPODROME THEATRE - 25 SE 2nd Place. Meet Vanda, an unusually talented young actress determined to land the lead in a new play based on the classic erotic novel, “Venus in Furs.” Vanda’s emotionally charged audition for the gifted but demanding playwright Thomas becomes an electrifying game of cat and mouse that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. 352-375-4477. www.

Jan. 8 - Jan. 12 Times Vary

thehipp.org.

SQUITIERI STUDIO THEATRE - This 80-minute tour de force offers a hilarious glimpse into a relationship seemingly doomed by opposing personalities from the start. The couple’s delightfully crazy lifestyle manages to keep their relationship intact, up-ending every idea about living “happily ever

SWAMPCON

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Jan. 12 - Jan. 13 Times Vary REITZ UNION - Swampcon is a second year multigenre convention for all ages hosted by UF. It is a two-day, free convention that features a combination of anime, gaming and Sci-Fi events. info@swampcon.com.

www.swampcon.com.

THE STAR SPANGLED GIRL Jan. 18 - Feb. 3 Times Vary ACROSSTOWN REPERTORY THEATRE - 619 S. Main St. A comedy in which two young men who publish a radical newspaper encounter and fall madly and ridiculously in love with a flagwaving super patriot Olympic swimmer who moves in next door to them. 352-371-1234. acrosstown.org.

MOTIONHOUSE — SCATTERED Saturday, January 19 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER Founded in 1988, Motionhouse is one of the leading dance theatre companies in the United Kingdom. Scattered combines the company’s trademark, highly physical routines and mesmerizing imagery in a unique interaction between film and live performance. The production delves into the majesty and savagery of water, a fundamental force in our lives, as seven

Thursday, January 24 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - MOMIX returns to the Phillips Center to present Botanica, a production displaying dance at its most organic and inventive. With costumes, projections, custom-made props, puppetry and a score ranging from birdsong to Vivaldi, Botanica showcases the endlessly renewable energy of the company’s performers. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

STEVE WILSON & WILSONIAN’S GRAIN Friday, January 25 7:30pm UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM The quartet has been featured on NPR Live from the Kennedy Center and headlined at the 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival. Wilson’s multifaceted artistry is frequently recognized — he was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association as best alto sax player in 2008, and for best soprano sax player in 2010. 352-392ARTS. performingarts. ufl.edu.

CHASING MANET Jan. 25 - Feb. 10 Times Vary GAINESVILLE COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE - 4039 NW 16th Blvd. Inside the confining walls of Mount Airy Nursing Home, a rebellious painter from a distinguished family and an ebullient Jewish woman with a huge adoring family form an


www.VisitOurTowns.com

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unlikely bond as the two plot an escape to Paris aboard the QE2. But can they possibly pull it off amidst the chaos of their surroundings? 352-3764949. www.gcplayhouse.org.

HOGGETOWNE MEDIEVAL FAIRE Jan. 26 - Jan. 27, Feb. 1 - Feb. 3 10:00am - 6:00pm ALACHUA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS - 3100 NE 39th Ave. Cheer for jousting knights as they battle for their ladies’ honor, and enjoy eight stages of entertainment, including gypsy dancing, human chess games and unbelievable magic acts. Wander the streets of Hoggetowne where a medieval marketplace awaits with hundreds of talented artisans selling medieval wares. 352-334-ARTS. www.

gvlculturalaffairs.org.

SOUPER FUN SUNDAY Sunday, January 27 1:00pm - 3:30pm ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL - 4100 NW 115th Terrace. Souper Fun Sunday is Gainesville’s premier soup-tasting competition. The 2013 event will feature soups from more than 30 local restaurants and caterers, local celebrity judges, and an awards ceremony for Best Soups, People’s Choice and Best Decorated Table. www.souperfunsunday. com. becca.neville@gmail.com.

VILDE FRANG, VIOLIN Monday, January 28 7:30pm SQUITIERI STUDIO THEATRE - Recognized for her outstanding musical expression and

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virtuosity, Vilde Frang is steadily climbing the ranks as one of the leading violinists of her generation. Her concerto debut as EMI Classics’ Young Artist of the Year 2010 garnered critical acclaim, and she received the Edison Klassiek Award, a Classic BRIT Award for best newcomer and was named 2011’s newcomer of the year at the 2011 ECHO Klassik Awards. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

CALIFORNIA GUITAR TRIO AND MONTREAL GUITAR TRIO Friday, February 1 7:30pm UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM Two world-renowned guitar trios combine for this unique experience featuring virtuosi from four countries — Japan, Canada, Belgium and the U.S. Inspired by their recent Canadian tour, they perform intricate original compositions as well as new arrangements of progressive rock, jazz, world and classical music. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH: BASSOON & SAXOPHONE WORKSHOP January 26 9am – 3pm GAINESVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - The 2013 Jubilus Resident Artists, Javier Rodriguez & Sean Fredenburg of the Post-Haste Reed Duo, will provide a free workshop for local high school musicians. One student

duo will be chosen to perform a Bach Two-Part Invention at the February 9th, 2013 Finale Concert. The Finale Concert will also premiere the Taking Flight Fanfare, by David Ousley, winner of the 2012 Jubilus educational outreach project: The Young Composers Competition. www.

amusicaloffering.org.

2013 JUBILUS FESTIVAL CONCERTS Tuesday, January 29 7:30pm HARN MUSEUM OF ART - Concert I: The PostHaste Reed Duo. www. posthasteduo.com. The 2013 Jubilus Festival Season Schedule — Concert II: A Celebration of Francis Poulenc, Friday, February 1st at 7:30pm at the Thomas Center; Concert III: Festival of Song, Sunday, February 3rd at 3pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Concert IV: Baroque Beginnings / Contemporary Continuum, Tuesday, February 5th at 7:30pm at UF’s Baughman Center; Concert V: The Jubilus Festival 10th Anniversary Finale, Saturday, February 9th at 7:30pm at Holy Faith Church of Gainesville. 352-3181790, amusicaloffering@gmail. com, www.amusicaloffering.org

GOOD LOVELIES Saturday, February 2 7:30pm SQUITIERI STUDIO THEATRE - Part folk-roots, part western swing, the Toronto-based trio offers three-part vocal harmonies, clever songs and witty banter that is drawn from their

adventures on the road. Since their first show in Dec. 2006, Good Lovelies — Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore — have toured coast to coast, played countless concerts and released three albums featuring finely crafted original songs that emulate styles from bygone eras. 352-392-ARTS. performingarts.ufl.edu.

THE KING’S SINGERS AND SEÁN CURRAN COMPANY Friday, February 8 7:30pm SQUITIERI STUDIO THEATRE - The King’s Singers and Seán Curran Company combine talents for a project that will include music from acclaimed composer Joby Talbot. Six members of The King’s Singers will provide vocals, while six dancers articulate Curran’s physical and conceptual exploration of landscape, horizon and time. 352-392ARTS. performingarts. ufl.edu.

THE CHIEFTAINS WITH PADDY MOLONEY Sunday, February 10 7:30pm PHILLIPS CENTER - Formed in 1962 by Paddy Moloney from the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland, The Chieftains are celebrating their 50th anniversary in the music industry. The sixtime Grammy winners have been honored in their own country by officially being named Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors. 352-392ARTS. performingarts. ufl.edu.


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ur goal is to keep Seniors as independent as possible and in their homes for as long as possible, along with keeping them out of the hospital,” said Pamela Morgan, Senior Director of Professional Services with Mederi Caretenders of Gainesville. “It’s cheaper for a patient to be seen by a home care nurse once a week for two years than it is for an emergency room visit. Hospitals are looking at how to decrease re-hospitalizations, and home care is going to be the big component to doing that.” So what exactly does “home care” encompass? With National Home Care Month upon us, Morgan discussed the many facets of quality in-home care that Mederi Caretenders provides. Nursing – Nurses care for wounds, give injections, reconcile and assess medication regime compliance and perform other medical care functions. They also assess the patient’s situation and educate relatives or caregivers. “When you have caregivers suddenly taking care of a family member, they don’t understand the disease process, they don’t understand all the medications,” said Morgan. “We can teach them how to take care of their family member and know what to expect.” Physical and Occupational Therapy – Physical therapists help Seniors regain their strength and maximize their ability to move about, prevent falls 130 | Winter 2012

and improve balance. Occupational therapists help with everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing and preparing food. Many elderly patients are not easily able to travel to another therapy location, where their in-home environment is not always replicated. “We can modify things that they can’t when they’re going to an outpatient facility or hospital,” Morgan explained. “We look at their home and, for example, explain how to negotiate stairs.” Speech Therapy – Speech therapists assess and assist patients in regaining or improving communication and swallowing. They can also administer VitalStim, a therapy that uses electronic stimulation along with swallowing exercises to help the patient relearn how to swallow. Speech therapists also provide therapy to teach the patient and caregiver about foods to eat or avoid. Home Health Aide – A home health aide can help a client perform basic tasks like bathing and grooming, making a light meal and changing linens. Medical social workers – These professionals can identify resources and offer counseling and support to patients and caregivers. Finding such help individually would be a monumental task. Caretenders’ ability to assemble such a team quickly is a key component in its quest for Senior Independence.


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Atrium at Gainesville invites area seniors to our community for these special events. Seating is limited, so please RSVP to 352-356-4071 two days prior to each event. :HOFRPHWR+ROLGD\:HOFRPHKRPH

Shop, Eat, & Cheer on the Gators! Starting at 10am on Saturday November 24th Get your holiday shopping done at the Atrium's shopping & craft bazaar and stay for UF vs FSU game

Dessert Extravaganza Starting at 2pm on Saturday December 8th Sweet desserts for a good cause! Bring a toy for Toy's 4 Tots, enjoy desserts, & dance w/ "Just the 2 of Us."

New Caregiver Cafe Starting at 5:30pm on Thursday Great chance to get the year started off right as this is a brand new program the Atrium is offering in 2013.

Valentines Dance and Celebration Starting at 3pm on Friday February 15th Bring your dance partner or find one here! Come enjoy great music, great food, and great company!

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>> PACHYDERM SANCTUARY

Florida’s

Friendly Giants The Story of a Wild Williston Ranch

BY COURTNEY LINDWALL he sign for Two Tails Ranch stands at the front of a long dirt road in rural North Florida. A little past that — there are the elephants. On a nearly hidden swatch of grassy land in Williston, animal expert Patricia Zerbini privately owns and runs her 73-acre elephant sanctuary. A 43,000-pound group of friendly giants currently lives on the property — a total of four elephants. At times, Zerbini has had as many as 62 at once. Overall, just fewer than

T

300 have come through her gates. “Each one is an individual. You have to treat them like individuals,” she said. “There are smart ones, dumb ones, sweet ones and nasty ones.” Since she was a little girl, Zerbini has always been a little bit wild. She is a ninth-generation exotic animal trainer who traveled the world with her father, Tarzan Zerbini. He owned the Zerbini Circus and was world-renowned for his work with big cats, such as lions and tigers. Her grandfather, Charles Zerbini, and his brothers were also in the

circus business. They were the first circus to cross the Sahara Desert in the early 20th century. “They were escaping from the wars,” she said. Zerbini lived in France with her grandmother while she attended school as a child and would then travel with her father over the summer. “They were performers,” she said. “But to me it was just their job.” For Zerbini, exotic animals have always been a part of the routine. “It was the same as any other job, except my family was a lot more connected,” she said.

PHOTO BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

Bunny has been at the Two Tails Ranch since 1977, longer than the other elephants.

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PHOTO BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

Patricia Zerbini and Roxy the elephant stand in the pen while guests hand-feed Roxy carrots — although her favorite food is watermelon.

Though she was surrounded by all different kinds of animals growing up, elephants became her passion, she said. She laughs now about choosing to work with the biggest animals of the bunch. “I must have some kind of brain defect,” she joked. “I just really have a soft spot for them.” Two Tails Ranch itself began in 1984, and not too long after, the elephants started marching in. Although Zerbini has her own elephants, the ranch also acts as a boarding facility for others. It is the only privately owned elephant boarding facility in the United States. If circuses, zoos or other sanctuaries need a temporary home for their animals, they can give her a call. Disasters, such as Hurricane Andrew for example, brought pachyderms without facilities over to Zerbini, who some call the elephant whisperer.

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“There ain’t no whispering,” she said. “Sometimes I’m hollering.” Zerbini bases her training on the natural instincts of elephants in the wild, she said. She uses energy and body language to communicate, like she would do with any animal. In both her ranch’s herd and her family of four sons, Zerbini is the leader and matriarch. “Whether it’s the elephants or the kids, they don’t argue with me,” she said. “I trained my boys the same way I do my elephants.” It has a lot to do with confidence and control, Zerbini said. “You have to be extremely sure of yourself before any animal will trust you.” Zerbini said there is one sure way to tell if an elephant trusts you 100 percent – if you can get it to lie down on command. As a position of complete vulnerability, it is the hardest thing

to teach them. But, she said, it is the first thing a trainer needs to do. With a couple of strong orders, Zerbini can command her 6-ton behemoths to lumber slowly down to the ground and lie on their sides, where they simply wait for her next directions. The four elephants currently at Two Tails are Bunny, Roxy, Luke and Rajah. Bunny, who came along in 1977, and Roxy, who followed in1988, are Zerbini’s longest-owned elephants. Roxy is bigger and hairier than most female Asian elephants, weighing nearly 10,000 pounds. And Bunny is most active in the rain. The girls do tend to “argue,” though, Zerbini said. “Both my females hate each other.” Rajah is a newer addition, coming to the ranch within the last year, and tends to have an attitude.


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PHOTO BY COURTNEY LINDWALL

LEFT: Luke the Asian elephant shows off his painting skills during one the ranch’s group tours, which are held every day but Thursday at Two Tails Ranch. RIGHT: Zerbini’s two zebras, Pierre and Tache, munch on hay in their pen near the gift shop. The ranch owns a small group of exotic animals besides elephants, including tortoises, zebras, ostrich, emu and Amazon parrots.

But the star at Two Tails is Luke — the famous painting elephant; a 12,000-pound, 10.5-foot-tall Picasso. He picked up the hobby one day when Zerbini’s boys were playing around with an easel and paint in the barn. They handed Luke the brush, which he uses his trunk to hold on to, and an artist was born. During visitor tours at Two Tails, Luke always paints for the crowd. T-shirts and canvases with his abstract art are sold at the ranch’s shop. He paints nearly every day and “just gets all giddy” when he is doing it. Zerbini raises money for her ranch by giving tours to the public and by having her elephants appear at events, she said. They do circuses, fairs, educational programs, commercials, Indian weddings and even Republican functions. Locally, the elephants usually head out to Williston’s annual Central Florida Peanut Festival in October and Gainesville’s Spring Festival, as well. Even though there are times when she takes the elephants with her to travel, most days Zerbini and

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her animals lead a typical ranch life. “Christmas? Doesn’t matter. The animals need to eat,” said Colin Fraser, a close friend of Zerbini who works at Two Tails, giving tours and helping with the day-today operations. Fraser graduated from Santa Fe College’s zoology program in Gainesville. After working at zoos, he came to Zerbini’s ranch and realized how differently they were run. “At zoos, it’s a 9-to-5 — not a way of life,” he said. Zerbini is out every day working with the elephants herself. She is up in the morning for feeding. She is grazing the elephants through the woods in the afternoon. And in the middle of the night, she is the one checking to make sure they are OK, Fraser said. Her home is on the property, with windows that overlook the pens and barns, so she can keep an eye on her animals. Fraser said that zoos nowadays do not work that way – and the animals are worse off because of it. “They try to run it like a corporation,” he said. “You can’t run an animal facility like a corporation.”

He found in his time working at zoos that the ones making the big decisions are business people, not animal people. The zoo curators are now less likely to live onsite, as well, Fraser said. But that has never been how Zerbini works with animals. Since she was a little girl growing up in her family’s circus, the animals are what consume her time — day in and day out. She lives among them. “I have no life, basically. It’s them,” Zerbini said. But it is that level of commitment that has allowed Zerbini to become as connected with her elephants as she now is. “Wherever I am on the property, that’s where they want to be,” she said. If their needs are met, they do not want to run away. Zerbini could put a string up, and they would not try to go past it. But how well you do at elephant training depends on how much dedication you put into it, she said. For Zerbini – it has been a lifetime. s


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>> GREEN BUSINESS

Gardens from Garbage Compost Network Diverts Food Scraps Away From the Landfill

BY KELSEY GRENTZER hris Cano pedals his bike down the streets of downtown Gainesville with a trailer of food scraps in tow. At first glance, it’s garbage. But to Cano and a network of local gardeners, it’s treasure in the making. Every week, Cano bikes around town collecting leftover vegetables, fruits, coffee grounds, eggshells and more from restaurants to use for composting, a process that breaks down food and other organic matter into valuable fertilizer. Cano, a 25-year-old University of Florida graduate, started Gainesville Compost about a year ago as a way of turning local restaurants’ food scraps into useful fertilizer that he

C

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distributes to local gardeners and uses to nourish urban gardens in the community. “Our goal is to take something that would be trash and turn it into something valuable,” he said. Along with the food scraps, Cano collects dead leaves from community members and curbsides to add into the mix. The compost he makes gives plants a chance to thrive even in Florida’s sandy, nutrient-depleted soil, he said. Cano’s compost project started as an experiment. When he and his roommates started a garden behind their house, they looked to restaurant-owning friends for food scraps to use to create compost. Collecting these food scraps made Cano realize just how much

was being thrown away at local restaurants, he said. He recognized the potential for a larger scale project that could put those scraps to good use. It began with just five local businesses in September 2011: The Midnight Cafe & Bar, Karma Cream, Reggae Shack Cafe, The Jones Eastside and The Bull. He bought a trailer from a friend and began pedaling his way around town to collect scraps at participating venues. “It started with just me and my bicycle and my bicycle trailer,” he said. But a year later, Cano said the project has grown into something bigger than he ever imagined. With the help of community members,


PHOTOS BY KELSEY GRENTZER

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Chris Cano, 24, examines plants at Gainesville Compost’s garden at Tempo Bistro To Go in October. Cano, owner of Gainesville Compost, bikes past the Hippodrome in downtown Gainesville, on his route to pick up food scraps from local restaurants. Cano arrives at The Midnight in downtown Gainesville to collect the food scraps. His business started as an experiment when he and his roommates started a garden behind their house. They looked to restaurant-owning friends for food scraps to use to create compost.

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PHOTOS BY KELSEY GRENTZER

TOP: Chris Cano bikes through downtown Gainesville towing a trailer with three 32-gallon compost bins and one 5-gallon bucket, containing the scraps he collects from local restaurants. RIGHT: During a recent downtown Gainesville farmers market event, Cano talks with a visitor at his table about compost tea, a liquid form of compost.

he now collects about 240 gallons of food waste every week, and he is inspiring others to do the same. As of October, the initiative now works with 12 Gainesville businesses and six partners, and he is expecting those numbers to grow. For Cano, who earned bachelor’s degrees in English and Sustainability from the University of Florida in 2010, sustainability is no new interest. In the past, he interned for Sustainable Alachua

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County and has been a leader for UF student organization Gators for a Sustainable Campus. He made valuable connections through these organizations, many of which have been involved in his life again through Gainesville Compost, he said.

Cano was involved with more than sustainability in college, though. Before the iPhone was on the on the market, he created an Apple iPhone review website offering tips, Apple accessory product reviews and more. Soon he built the site up to a


PHOTOS BY KELSEY GRENTZER

Chris Cano organizes compost buckets at the pit behind The Church of Holy Colors art gallery, one of Gainesville Compost’s community partners. A compost bin in front of the pit allows Gainesville residents to contribute food scraps to the compost network.

readership of 3,000 to 5,000 visitors per day. Through advertising and selling iPhone accessories on the site, the venture helped him pay his way through college. When he graduated college, he was making a living from the website, but something was missing. When people asked him about his job, he found himself wishing he had a more fulfilling answer. “I was making this income off of something that was completely disconnected from the community,” he said. Now that he has started Gainesville Compost, things have changed. He takes pride in the fact that his initiative connects local businesses, community members and organizations.

“A large part of what’s fulfilling about this is that I’m doing something that’s rooted in the community,” he said. Over time, Cano began to spend less time on his website and more time on building his composting

will become more profitable as it grows. Businesses pay a fee for the compost pickup, averaging around $27 per month for a large volume restaurant, he said. He is also working on implementing a membership program that will

“I think it’s amazing how inspirational it has been to other communities and to people in this community.” business by recruiting new restaurants and partners. It has become a full-time job, he said. Most of the money generated through the program goes back into Gainesville Compost, Cano said, but he hopes the business

www.VisitOurTowns.com

allow Gainesville residents to purchase a share of the compost each month. At the downtown farmers market on Wednesdays, he sells compost by the bucket, as well as compost tea, a liquid form of plant nourishment.

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Cano said he has never had a traditional job, and he prefers it that way. “I’d rather struggle a bit to get something off the ground that’s my own,” he said. Recently, Cano completed a garden with edible plants at local restaurant Tempo Bistro To Go. The garden is Gainesville Compost’s first “full-circle” project. The restaurant’s food scraps are composted directly behind the restaurant, and the compost is used to nourish a garden of basil, peppers and eggplants that the restaurant is beginning to use in their meals. He plans to inspire more restaurants to use the compost created by their own food scraps, he said. The garden utilizes reclaimed materials such as leftover buckets from businesses and rain gutters that are cut in half and mounted on the wall to hold plants. Russell Anderson, a 27-year-old graduate of the Alachua County Master Gardener Program, helps

Cano maintain the garden at Tempo Bistro To Go. He offers Cano advice about the plants and helps identify potential issues with the garden. He said the initiative is a great way to educate people about where their food comes from. “I think it’s amazing how inspirational it has been to other communities and to people in this community,” Anderson said. Indeed, Cano’s idea is beginning to catch on. Since Gainesville Compost was founded, Cano said he has been surprised by how many people have reached out to him for guidance and for ideas for composting on their own. In September, Cano visited Los Angeles, California, where his business has inspired a similar operation: LA Compost. Michael Martinez, a co-founder of LA Compost, met Cano while teaching for Teach For America in Miami. He was inspired by Cano’s idea and by his ambition. It was more than just an idea, Martinez said.

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“He actually did what he said he was going to do,” he said. “That really impressed me and inspired me to follow in his footsteps and do the same thing here in L.A.” LA Compost officially started in August and now exists in five California cities with plans to spread to four or five more in the same county by the end of the year. When Cano visited, they brainstormed ideas and created a video about their efforts in “working from the East Coast to the West Coast to move America’s waste to food.” Cano said his business is just getting started. He plans to create a structured model that other communities can follow to implement their own composting programs. He also hopes to create an online database that could enable bicycle riders to log each gallon of food scraps that is collected. “I’m really immersed in this,” he said. “Even when I go out for fun, I end up talking about Gainesville Compost.” s

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>> INTERVIEW

Kelsey Tainsh One of five children in a family of multiples. She is part of a set of triplets, and she has an older brother and sister (twins).

BY ALBERT ISAAC

AGE: 22 HOMETOWN: WINTER PARK, FL MOVED TO GAINESVILLE: 2008 KEEPING BUSY: MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, ENTREPRENEUR, PHILANTHROPIST & UF STUDENT

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elsey Tainsh is no stranger to challenges. The young woman battled brain cancer at the age of five. She endured surgery and radiation therapy and went on to compete in wakeboarding and rowing. By age 13 she was ranked second nationally and third in the world for girls wakeboarding. In high school, as a varsity lightweight rower, Kelsey’s team won the state championship rowing competition. But within two years of this triumph, the tumor had returned. During the course of her surgery she suffered a stroke. This, however, has not stopped Kelsey from doing her

K

best to inspire people and help make the world a better place. I recently caught up with Kelsey at a local coffee shop and learned about her challenges and triumphs.

How did you find out you had cancer when you were 5 years old? I started to bump into walls. My mom is a neurologist. She did a visual test on me and noticed that I had lost the vision in the right half of each of my eyes. My parents took me to the doctor who said I was fine and just going through a phase. They demanded that I get an MRI. I had a large brain tumor. I had surgery a few days later, but they couldn’t

take out the whole tumor and I spent the summer having radiation treatment. Then I went back to school and life got back to normal. I was tired a lot. But I got better over time. Before I started to wakeboard I started volunteering. When I was around six I realized that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping others.

What was your inspiration? I was a Make-A-Wish kid. It’s a wonderful organization. I was so grateful for what they had done for me that I helped them raise $250,000 in their “Stories of Light” campaign, as a survivor and as a former Make-A-Wish kid. After the Make-A-Wish Foundation


I started my own organization called Pet-a-Pup; a nonprofit that brings seven-week-old Border collie puppies to hospitals for kids to see. And then I started working with Florida Hospital going on medical mission trips to fix cleft lips and cleft palates.

What was your role? I was a volunteer. I played with the kids. I spoke Spanish for a while and I helped with some translation. I did absolutely whatever was needed. And then I started working with Florida Hospital in modeling for them for charity. They had events called Celebrity Stroll, which benefitted women and girls with cancer. At about 12 or 13, I started to get very involved in sports and I became a world champion athlete.

Was this as a lightweight rower?

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PHOTO BY TOM MORRISSEY // MAKEUP BY TRISH ALLEN & IMAGE INSIGHT

I was a wakeboarder, initially. Third in the world

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PHOTO BY LINDY BROUNLEY/UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

Anthony Liss (7) joined Kelsey Tainsh in presenting awards to runners who participated in the Climb For Cancer Tri-Distance Run, held Feb. 4 on the University of Florida campus to benefit cancer patients at UF. Liss is a pediatric oncology patient of Shands Hospital at UF.

and second in the Nation by the time I was 13. Then I switched to varsity lightweight rowing. And I started having seizures.

They weren’t the seizures where you fall on the ground and you’re shaking. I had a bad taste in my mouth and

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my face started turning red. I didn’t know what they were. My sister saw me have one in class and asked me what was wrong and all I could do was put my finger up and tell her to wait. They only lasted a few seconds. But I was also having migraines in the boat to the point where my vision was getting blurry. They wouldn’t get awful until I got home. We did an MRI and found out that my brain tumor had come back. I finished 10th grade and had surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital.

And you had a stroke? Yes, I had a stroke and woke up paralyzed. I was 15. Couldn’t move anything. Couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk. Completely paralyzed.

Did you believe that you could overcome this? I did. You know, I took it in. And I made a decision. When I speak, I often say that I had to make the most important decision of my entire life: was I going to sit in the hospital bed for the rest of my life or was I going to fight back? And that’s what I decided to do. My parents would tell you that I worked harder than anybody else to do that.

What was your recovery like? Long, very long. Longer than I would have ever wanted it to be and it’s still going on. I had to relearn how to do everything. But you know, with all the bad, there was so much good. I had so much support. I had so many people who cared about me. I used to wake up early in the morning when I was at the hospital. Boston’s Children Hospital has a beautiful garden and my dad would wheel me down to the cafeteria every morning and get me chocolate chip pancakes and feed me like a bird in the garden. So I don’t think for one second, usually, about the negative in this situation because I realize how much good is in it. I went back to high school in Florida, either in a wheelchair or with a walker. My sisters would horde around me in the hallways so I wouldn’t get knocked over. I took some classes at the high school and some online through Florida Virtual School. I was still in therapy too, but I wasn’t getting enough therapy. Then we found out about Beyond Therapy at the Shepherd Center, one of the top-10 rehab hospitals in the Nation. Me and my mom would drive from Winter Park to Atlanta and


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back twice a week. We did that for 2 1/2 years just so that I could be in that program. The Shepherd Center is just great.

What is the secret to your motivation? I think that we all have choices in life, and I chose. I chose to not let it ruin my life. I chose to be strong. Yeah, there are moments when I’m down and upset. That’s life. And life is about choices we make. I still remember relearning how to walk. I couldn’t get myself out of bed. I couldn’t do anything for myself. They showed me how I can use both hands to put on a sock, although one doesn’t work all the way. I say now that I have one and a half hands, because this one doesn’t work

all the way, but I use it. Without it I wouldn’t be able to put my hair in a ponytail. Actually, that’s not true. I think I would find some other way.

When and why did you become a motivational speaker? I started motivational speaking when I was about 11 through the Make-AWish Foundation. I have really picked that up in the last year or so. I’ve gone full on in the past year. I don’t think what happened to me is traumatic. It changed my life and made me a stronger person and now I get to help people every single day because of what I’ve been through. I would not change that for the world, because it has allowed me the opportunity to

Haven’t you

waited long enough?

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help people on a daily basis — through speaking, through volunteering, through giving back, through seeing someone upset in the classroom and telling them a little bit about me and how I could help them. I change one person at a time. I speak to 250 people, and I know I don’t change everybody’s life, but I know I changed one, especially when a girl comes up afterwards and has tears in her eyes. I know I’ve changed at least one life. One person at a time.

What’s in your future? I relearned how to run again, but I have horrible knees so I stopped running and I started to swim instead. The Shepherd Center has an Olympic

size pool and I started to swim, and now I can swim over a mile, freestyle. And so the Paralympics are in my future. It’s one of my goals. Also, I have something lined up with a large corporation in Atlanta.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? I realized at a very young age that life was short. The problems that I have in my life are not even close to what other people have. Life is good. It’s okay. You can get through it. The reason I do this is because I’m trying to help people. I’m trying to change the world. I’m trying to make this world a better place. s To learn more visit www.kelseytainsh.com.


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COLUMN >> BRIAN “KRASH” KRUGER

Gate Crashing On Deck: Chicken Luv, Great Take Back, Eight Track Automatic DATE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 VENUE: 1982 BAR reetings, live music aficionados! This issue finds us at the mysteriously named 1982 Bar, at 919 West University Avenue. It wasn’t founded in 1982, and doesn’t specialize in music from that era, so your guess about the name is as good as mine. This was actually a five-band bill, with my band opening and equally long-running Squeaky closing. Since I recently wrote up Squeaky when they played at

G

EIGHT TRACK AUTOMATIC

Pop Canon’s reunion, we’ll concentrate on the newer three bands that played the middle slots. The first of these bands was Chicken Luv. I’m not sure if I should even hazard a guess about the name. Colonel Sanders may be involved, but don’t quote me on that. This quartet is the standard rock band setup of two guitars, bass and drums. However, that’s probably about all that’s standard about Chicken Luv. Which, of course, is a good thing. The rhythm section is comprised of Kristen on drums and Roz on bass. Lee on a Les Paul and Stan on an SG handle the electric guitars and provide a good endorsement for the Gibson company. The vocals are shared by Lee and drummer Kristen, with the latter doing maybe a bit more of the leads, along with the occasional backing

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vocal from Roz. Lead guitar more often by Stan. I guess “journalistic integrity” requires me to say that my band has played a number of other shows with the Chickens, including my birthday gig several years back (also at 1982) and last November at an outdoor fest (pictured). Chicken Luv can be all over the map style-wise, from playing a country-tinged song, to sludgy hard-rock/metal, to even incorporating a military beat in one song. At one point, Stan incorporated some nice left-hand vibrato into a solo, while at another played a melodic lead with almost Bettsian ease. Lyrics run the gamut from a song about punk rock to slyly ribald topics. Always entertaining. Unfortunately, this was bassist Roz’s last show with them, and their “last show as Chicken Luv,” so it looks like they may be morphing into something new. Next up were Eight Track Automatic, which is currently pared down to a duo, from earlier larger iterations. Eight Track Automatic is comprised of

GREAT TAKE BACK the Michael brothers, Danny on drums and backing vocals, and Dave on guitar and lead vocals. Speaking of “journalistic integrity,” I was the bassist in their band Allen Wrench for a couple years in the mid-‘90s, so I’ve known Dave and Danny for quite awhile. (Dave also runs sound at 1982, and Danny can also be heard drumming for local punk rock band No More.) Dave


and a Telecaster), Josh playing a more modernlooking 5-string Yamaha (yes, the same company that makes motorcycles also makes wonderful guitars) bass, Andy on a DW drum kit and Dan on lead vocals. Both guitarists had large pedal boards. One going into a “boutique” Bogner amp, the other into an unusual over/under “mini-stack” comprised of two compact Fender amps (maybe Deluxes), possibly

CHICKEN LUV runs his trusty butterscotch Telecaster into a Marshall JCM 800 “half stack” (a 100 Watt amp head into four 12” speakers) which is sort of the “Holy Grail” of tone for a lot of people into loud rock tones. Dave splits his signal and sends half to the guitar half stack, and half into a bass amp head with the high frequencies turned down, into a cab with two big 15” speakers. This second lowend half of the rig helps make up for the lack of a bass player. In fact, at some points in the set if you weren’t paying attention you could swear there was a bassist, because those tones from the low end of the spectrum were very much there. Stylistically, Eight Track Automatic remind me a bit of Pacific Northwest bands from the grunge era, like say Mudhoney and Soundgarden. The guitar is run through a number of effects boxes to thicken it up and lend texture. The guitar parts are not busy, but the sound is big and epic. And Danny’s drumming fills up a lot of space. Lyrics tend to be heartfelt and fairly serious, including one song about “bullies and how much they suck.” Hard to argue that sentiment. The last of the three bands preceding the closers was Great Take Back, which I had never seen before. This quintet fell more into the modern indie rock genre. The lineup was two guitarists, Adam and Ron (playing the traditional Fender pairing of a Stratocaster

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to run a stereo sound. The rhythm section was tight, with some especially sharp drumming, while the two guitarists wove together parts that weren’t quite leads in the traditional sense, but certainly weren’t just rhythm strumming either. The lead singer, without an instrument, made good use of his hands and was not above striking a pose now and then. Over all, a very polished performance. Yet another night reminding me how blessed I am to be a musician in Gainesville! Now, go see some bands. s

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>> WHAT’S COOKIN’?

Gourmet Every Day Turning Meals Into Special Occasions

BY CASSIE GANTER PHOTOGRAPHY BY TJ MORRISSEY he rich, decadent fragrance of truffle oil, Fontina cheese and pan seared mushroom drifted through the dimly lit elegant kitchen of Frankie Harvey’s Newberry home. “Ethan, would you like a slice of this before we have to leave for practice?” Harvey asked her 10-year-old grandson. “Yes. Yes. Yes, please!” Ethan exclaimed, jumping up and down with excitement. As she gently pulled the steaming wild mushroom tart out of the oven, a smile spread across her face. “This is what I love so much

T

about food and cooking,” she said. “Eating brings people together, even when schedules are busy and hectic. You always have to make time to eat.” As the author of “The Elegant Gourmet” cookbook, Harvey’s passion for food is contagious. Published in February 2012, the cookbook is a reflection of not only her natural talent and affection for all things culinary, but also her passion for family. Based on the concept of making everyday meals elegant and special, Harvey said she decided to write her cookbook in an effort to inspire

families to come together the way meals bring her own family together. “I want my readers to enjoy their families and have fun around meals,” she said. “I want people to be inspired and creative with food.” Her enthusiasm and excitement for cooking is present throughout the décor of her home. Expressing her fondness of mood lighting and the importance of warmth in the home, she took a seat at the bar adjacent to the kitchen. An important part of making each meal special is the ambiance, she said. Harvey has always loved cooking.

Frankie Harvey poses with her cookbook during a dinner she prepared in July. Harvey published “The Elegant Gourmet” in February of 2012.

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As part of the silent auction held at the Gainesville Heart Ball last spring, Frankie Harvey offered a five-course meal, prepared and served at the home of the highest bidder. “So they picked the menu,” Harvey said. “Five courses from my book and I added a couple of different things.” The meal included a seared ahi tuna with pineapple and ginger salsa appetizer, coconut curry soup, watercress kiwi and radish with peppered goat cheese, chicken saltimbocca and porcini risotto.

After earning her degree from a junior college, she attended culinary school but was unable to finish. She continued to work in restaurants and catering and with her thirst for cooking left unquenched, she channeled her passion into cooking for family and friends. Just a couple years ago, it was her children, husband and friends who encouraged her to start an online blog to document her recipes and experiences in cooking. As the blog grew in popularity and frequent readers began requesting more recipes, her family pushed her to take the next step from the blog, which was to write and publish a cookbook. Since the beginning, her family

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has been her motivation and inspiration to cook. “If you’ve ever seen the movie ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ that will give you some kind of idea as to what our family dynamic is like,” she said with a smile. “We are all very tight-knit and involved in one another’s lives and we make so many memories together.” Having grandparents who came to the United States from Lebanon, Harvey’s cooking is also heavily influenced by her culture and heritage. “The Elegant Gourmet” offers some tastes of Mediterranean inspired recipes. “I love and appreciate every kind of food, but my absolute favorite meal to cook is rack of lamb,”

she said. “I think that’s definitely because I grew up eating it at all our family’s special occasions.” But Harvey’s family does more than just inspire the recipes. From helping to name her blog and cookbook to carefully selecting the recipes to be featured, Harvey’s family played an integral role in the production of the cookbook. “I had a vision but had no idea it would go so far so fast, or that I was even capable of doing this,” she said. “It was a family effort and now it’s a family business.” So in September 2011 with the help of her family, Harvey secluded herself and spent her days cooking and writing. By January, the compilation was sent to publication.


With her daughter Stephanie Bouwens MacLaverty acting as her publisher, and daughter Candice Bouwens as her manager, “The Elegant Gourmet” was released for public sale by February. With five children, a grandchild and a husband working full-time in dentistry, her biggest struggle in her career is not having enough time in her hectic daily schedule. “At 2 or 3 a.m., I’m usually still writing or working on pictures,” she said. “But I love it and I’m really self-motivated and driven. It’s a good obsession for me.” Another struggle in writing the cookbook was figuring out the proper measurements for the recipes.

“When I cook I rarely measure what I put in, so trying to tell other people how much of something to put in was a challenge,” she said. When Harvey is not inventing new recipes or writing new blog posts, she spends her free time gardening. Her personal garden, visible from the bar window, flourishes with about 18 varieties of tomatoes,

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various herbs, nutmeg, sage and nine varieties of mint. Harvey incorporates her homegrown vegetables and herbs in her cooking as much as possible. “We come up with some crazy mojito recipes,” she said with a chuckle. Always striving to buy local meats and produce, she frequents

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Frankie Harvey and her staff of family members, husband Bob, daughter-in-law Anna Bouwens, and daughter Candace Bouwens. Bob served food and acted as sommelier, offering wines by Dorn’s Liquor and Wine Warehouse, who also contributed to the cause.

venues like farmers markets and avoids chain grocery stores. As expressed in her cookbook, a crucial part of cooking is making the recipes unique and individualized to cater to each family’s particular tastes, which involves the incorporation of unique flavoring. Among her favorite flavors and accents that she uses to add a personal twist on traditional meals are wines, liquors, herbs (she particularly recommends rosemary) and most importantly different varieties of salts. “I have a dozen different salts,” she said. “Salting food allows the natural flavors to come out and enhances them. Seasoning your food properly is key.” Using the freshest ingredients possible is what takes the flavor of the meal to the next level, she explained. “I love the interaction of cooking and my goal with writing this cookbook is to inspire my readers to slow down and enjoy company,” she said. “I am usually a shy person

and coming together and talking loosens me up and allows me to let others into my world. It’s a form of self-expression and I have nothing but warmth and fun memories when it comes to cooking.” Back in her kitchen, as she gingerly dabbed several drops of truffle oil onto a pan, the warmth and enthusiasm that went into preparing the wild mushroom tart brought Harvey’s mother, Ruth Poe, and grandson into the kitchen. Taking a front seat at the kitchen counter, Ethan expressed how much he looks forward to his grandmother’s cooking. “She makes a delicious flan,” he said. “I’ll eat almost anything she makes, but my other favorites are meatloaf and foiegras.” Poe reminisced as she watched Harvey in the kitchen. “Frankie was a little rascal growing up,” she said. “When she first developed an interest in something, she always went above and beyond

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to learn everything about it and perfect it.” Cooking became one of those interests very early on. “She was around 12 or 13 when she made her first meal all on her own, which was a dinner for my husband and I,” Poe said. “She took a specific interest in learning to cook Lebanese food. Ever since then, she was hooked.” Just above her stovetop and to the left, a Shakespeare quote clings to the wall that reads: “If music be the food of Love, play on.” “I just hope I inspire people to take classic recipes and ingredients and make them unique,” Harvey said. “Taking time to make the day special brings everyone closer together. Cooking is about enjoying those close to you and appreciating the little things in life.” That same love, passion and enjoyment is the most important ingredient in her elegant gourmet cooking. s

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REVIEW: MI APÁ LATIN CAFÉ >> CASSIE GANTER

Adventures in Appetite ocated on the corner of SW 34th Street and SW 2nd Avenue, the bright red and orange letters of Mi Apá Latin Café are certainly hard to miss. Although I pass the restaurant almost everyday on my way home, I never thought to stop in and sample the Cuban Cuisine. My mother, originally from El Salvador, raised my sister and I to appreciate our heritage, which included the food that came along with it. Growing up devouring homemade, authentic Latin meals and frequenting Cuban, Mexican and Latin American restaurants as a child taught me to appreciate the food, but simultaneously spoiled me. When it comes to Latin American Cuisine, I think I can be a bit of a harsh critic. So needless to say, I was at first hesitant to try Mi Apá, for fear of being disappointed. One lazy Sunday, my friend and I decided to give it a try. Upon walking into the brightly lit, seat-yourself café, one of the first things I noticed was the laidback, family-friendly atmosphere and the welcoming staff. Everyone dining there was dressed casually and the staff greeted us as soon as we walked through the door. Furthermore, we both noticed the drive-thru on one side of the building, for added convenience. My friend, who loves Latin food, but is not as familiar with it as I am, was pleasantly surprised to see the menu had both an English and Spanish translation. The brightly colored menu offered breakfast, starters,

L

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entrees, sandwiches, hot arepas, side dishes, beverages, a kid’s menu and dessert selections. Additionally, a separate catering menu gave prices for platters of the restaurant’s most popular entrees, sandwiches, sides, appetizers and desserts in portions for 10, 20 or 30 people. Both menus included all of the most popular, traditional Cuban dishes. When we sat down and looked over the menu, I instantly noticed the unique beverage options. After debating between the pineapple and guava natural fruit juices, I decided on the pineapple. While the presentation was casual (the drink was served in a disposable Styrofoam cup), the refreshing taste made up for it. The pineapple juice tasted fresh and complemented all of the food that was about to grace our table. Next, we PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY ordered ham croquettes as appetizers. Any ham croquettes I have had in the past have been delectable, authentic and from hole-in-thewall Miami Cuban cafés, so when my friend said she had never tried one, I had to order a couple. And at 99 cents apiece, I could not pass them up. Comparable to fritters, the small, lightly breaded, round pieces filled with seasoned ground ham then stuffed with cheese are also offered in a sandwich on the menu. Our plate of three croquettes was promptly delivered to our table less than 10 minutes after we placed our order. They were just the right temperature, melt-inyour-mouth, smooth and creamy on the inside, light


I am not picky when it comes to meals. I love all types of food — everything from sushi to pizza — but I have a special place in my heart for Latin food.

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and crispy on the outside. Every bite was tasty and reminded me of the croquettes we order at my family’s favorite Cuban café in Miami. My friend was impressed and after we had eaten every crumb on the plate, we wished we had ordered more. As soon as the waitress saw we had finished our appetizer, she promptly arrived at our table with a smile and asked if we had any questions or were ready to order. I was torn between two of my favorite traditional dishes, the Vaca Frita and Arroz con Pollo. When asked which was more popular, the waitress said the arroz con pollo, which translates to chicken and rice, but that both were the two most frequently ordered on the menu. I was in the mood for my absolute favorite Cuban dish, the vaca frita, or grilled beef, and my friend went with the midnight sandwich. My entrée came with the choice of two sides, so in an effort to stick with a traditional meal, I chose yellow rice and black beans. Again, our food was hot and ready in less than 15 minutes. Still sipping on my pineapple juice, a large portion of grilled beef was set in front of me. The flank was covered in a rich mojo sauce and decorated with perfectly grilled onions and yellow rice and black beans in a dish on the side. The waitress also brought extra mojo to the table, as she said most people love it so much they ask for more. My friend’s midnight sandwich, filled with ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese and pickles came out perfectly toasted on Cuban sweet bread. Having eaten vaca frita at many different restaurants, Mi Apá’s version had a lot to live up to. I was instantly impressed with the meat, which was cooked exactly to my liking, and the fragrant, tangy, citrusgarlic mojo sauce brought out all the natural flavors of the seasoned grilled beef. My friend’s sandwich, which she let me try for sake of the review, was perfectly melted together, and the sweet bread added just the perfect mixture of sweet and salty to the meal. I was only able to eat half of my entrée before I was pleasantly full and took the other half home. My friend and I had wanted to order dessert, but chose to leave it for next time, since we were both too full. My meal cost about $12 including tax and tip and, with as much food as I had left over, I got two meals out of it. Overall, my entire experience at Mi Apá Latin Café was delightful — from the friendly service, to the impressive, authentic cuisine, and the affordable prices. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone looking to dine on an affordable, delicious, quick meal. Even with my demanding standards, I will undoubtedly be back to try the other Latin Cuisine options. s

BIRDFOOD • FEEDERS • OPTICS GARDEN ACCENTS • UNIQUE GIFTS

WE’VE MOVED! 352-381-1997 • www.Gainesville.wbu.com 4212 NW 16th Blvd.

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Here’s the basics LOCATION: 114 SW 34th St, Gainesville HOURS: Sunday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Breakfast served all day on Saturday and Sunday


Rare

We specialize in the

& Unusual

Fine Jewelry • Rare Coins • Bullion • Paper Money • Appraisals

Coin & Jewelry Gallery 2007 NW 43rd Street, Gainesville Across the street from Fresh Market

352.378.3983 • CoinAndJewelryGallery.com www.VisitOurTowns.com

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ADVERTISER INDEX 4400 NW 36th Avenue • Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax AUTOMOTIVE Don Close Auto Direct ..............................139 Maaco Collision Repair ..........................63 Park Place Car Wash & Detail ...........105 Terry’s Automotive & Qwik Lube ....... 125

REAL ESTATE Atrium ........................................................ 134 The Village ...................................................11

FINANCIAL / LAW A+ Tax & Bookkeeping ..............................132 ABC LLC Easy Tax & Accounting.........152 Campus USA Credit Union .................. 27 Morgan Stanley - Banks / Carroll ........... 31 ProActive Tax & Accounting....................54 State Farm - Tish Olesky .................... 143 Stephen K. Miller Law Offices .................. 91 Sunshine State Insurance ................... 129 SunState Federal Credit Union ..........................103, 154, 180

FITNESS and BEAUTY Charisma for Hair .....................................18 Emerge............................................................. 149 LAE Beauty .................................................... 107 Massage Envy Spa...................................... 166 Salon 5402 ..........................................................4 Spa Royale........................................................69 Sun Station Tanning ............................. 169 Zoetic Designs, LLC ...............................33

PETS and VETS Affordable Vet Clinic ................................... 52 Animal Health Center..................................84 Bed & Biscuit Inn ................................... 148 Bob’s Compassionate Pet Sitting .........52 Dancin’ Dogs Boarding .............................. 52 Daytime Dogs & Friends ........................... 28 Doggie Styles.................................................. 52 Dream Dogz ............................................105 Eager Pup ..................................................52 Earth Pets Organic .................................52 Wild Birds Unlimited .............................174

CHILDREN and SCHOOLS Aikido of Gainesville .................................... 32 Alachua Learning Center .............................9 Dragon Rises College................................ 107 Gainesville Country Day School ........ 74 Kids on Wheels .............................................. 32 Millhopper Montessori School ................ 32

MISCELLANEOUS Cash for Cars ........................................... 161 Holy Trinity Episcopal Church .......... 129 U.S. Casting .............................................129, 161

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MEDICAL / HEALTH 1st Choice Immediate Care ..................76 1st Choice Weight Loss .........................76 Affordable Dentures ..............................93 Altschuler Periodontic ......................... 141 Angel Reyes, DMD. .................................85 Caretenders .............................................130 Clear Sound Audiology............................... 19 Cohen & Montini Orthodontics ..............39 Community Cancer Center ................ 155 Douglas M. Adel, DDS........................... 121 Gainesville Dermatology ............................ 41 Gainesville OB/GYN ............................... 10 Gentle Dental Care ..........................................2 The Oaks Family Dentistry ........................ 81 Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery ...........43 Samant Dental Group ............................66 UF College of Dentistry .............................. 17 Vishnu Reddy, M.D. .................................42

RETAIL / RECREATION Alachua Pawn & Jewelry ............. 77, 160 Alley Gatorz Bowling ..................................65 Beacher’s Lodge..................................... 94 Bead All About It ........................................ 169 Blue Springs ..............................................84 City of Gainesville .........................................121 Coin & Jewelry Gallery .........................175 Colleen’s Kloset...................................... 159 Cootie Coo Creations ............................84 Crevasses Florist.......................................... 169 Dance Alive.............................................. 123 Dirty Bar ................................................... 169 Fabulous Coach Lines...............................108 Gainesville Civic Chorus.............................115 Gator Spirits & Fine Wines ......................178 Hippodrome ...................................................127 Hurlburt’s Stride Rite ...................................50 Jeannie’s Attic .............................................. 168 Jewelry Designs by Donna.......................84 Klaus Fine Jewelry .............................8, 171 Ladybug Florist.............................................158 Lentz House of Time ..............................95 Life Style Cruise and Travel ......................94 Liquor & Wine Shoppe ..............................178 Music Junction...............................................159 A Newberry Indoor Family Mall .............. 81 North Florida Sports Academy..............95 Paddywhack............................................. 171 Pawn Pro .................................................... 77 Sleep Center Superstores ............................7 Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Ctr. .........125 Swim America ................................................ 32 Thornebrook Gallery ................................. 170 Thornebrook Village .................................. 168 Valerie’s Loft Consignment ...............160

SERVICE Alachua County Big Blue ................... 139 Alachua County EPD .............................83

Alachua Co. Waste Management .... 153 Archer Electric Service...............................29 A&K Outdoor Services ...............................141 BBI Construction Management........ 152 Chimney Sweeps of America.................129 COX Business................................... 63, 157 COX Communications ...........................53 Creekside Outdoor .......................... 28, 64 Gainesville Regional Airport ...............83 Grease Busters ..............................................157 The Grounds Guys ........................................30 Heritage Mechanical Services.................92 Jack’s Small Engine Repair................ 142 Lotus Studios Photography ............... 20 Mini Maid .................................................. 133 Net Computers................................................ 31

HOME IMPROVEMENT AHA Water ..........................................................3 Alachua Farm & Lumber ..........................159 Clark Curbing ..................................................95 Fences & Gates by IMI ......................... 148 Florizona Fireplace..................................... 166 Graetz Remodeling & Custom Homes ..132 Griffis Lumber............................................... 107 H2Oasis Custom Pool & Spa ................... 72 Juice Plus ................................................ 121, 160 Overhead Door ....................................... 101 ReUser Building Products.........................59 Red Barn Home Center..............................93 R&M Construction & Development .... 142 United Rent-All.........................................45 Whitfield Window & Door.....................61

RESTAURANT / CUISINE Adam’s Rib Co. .......................................83, 110 Ballyhoo Grill............................................ 110 Dave’s NY Deli .................................................111 Dos Mamas................................................ 65, 111 El Toro........................................................ 124 Embers Wood Grill .......................................45 Flying Biscuit Café ................................. 110 Gator Tails Sports Bar ..................................111 Great Outdoors Restaurant ....................179 Heavenly Ham.................................................. 15 Hungry Howies Pizza ............................... 5 KB Kakes ...........................................................112 Main St. Pie Co..............................................160 Mark’s Prime Steak & Seafood .......... 112 Newberry Backyard BBQ..........................112 Northwest Grille .............................................113 Pepper’s.............................................................113 The Red Onion ...............................................113 Saboré ........................................................ 114 Simply Delightful! Confections...............114 Southern Soul .................................................114 TCBY.................................................................. 105 Thornebrook Chocolates ........................ 168 Wing Stop............................................................6


page

34 >> ORANGE! BLUE!

Blue trees, such as the one in this photo from the artistic exhibit by Konstantin Dimopoulos, can now be seen on the UF campus. Dimopoulos debuted the “Blue Trees� at the Vancouver Biennale in March 2011, where it received overwhelming public support.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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LIQUOR & WINE SHOPPE

Liquor & Wine Shoppe at Jonesville

Monday to Thursday 9:00am - 9:00pm Friday and Saturday 9:00am - 10:00pm Sunday: Noon - 6:00pm GATOR SPIRITS

Monday to Thursday 10:00am - 9:00pm

ARE THE PROUD NEW OWNERS OF

Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 10:00pm Sunday: Noon - 6:00pm

Gator Spirits & Fine Wines

Come by and see us today…

You’re going to love it. THE LIQUOR & WINE SHOPPE 14451 Newberry Rd., Jonesville CVS

NEW

The Liquor Wine & pe Shop

BE R R

Y R D.

Kangaroo

Turn at CVS in Jonesville and come straight to us.

352-332-3308

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GATOR SPIRITS & FINE WINES 5701 SW 75th St., Gainesville I-7 5 TOWER ROAD

CR 241

178

the

e ne Win Gator FiSpirits &

A RC H

AD E R RO

Like us on facebook for tastings and events!

Conveniently located in the Tower Square shopping area.

352-335-3994


www.VisitOurTowns.com

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Your Phone. Our App. Bank Anywhere. Our most convenient branch ever! Now you can use your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone to access. SunState Federal Credit Union anytime from almost anywhere! • • • • • •

Balance inquiry Transfer funds Make loan payments Find ATM locations View check images Check loan and transaction history • Much more!!

Free Money! F E EARN A NICKEL EVERY TIME YOU USE YOUR SUNSTATE DEBIT CARD U FFOR A SIGNATURE TRANSACTION.

To dow own nloa oad, d, sca can n this th is QR co code de wit ith h your yo ur sma mart rtph phon one e devi de vice ce,, or jus ustt sear se arch ch for SunS Su nSta tate te in th the e App Ap p St Stor ore. e

180 | Winter 2012

www.sunstatefcu.org

OurTown-Winter2012  

http://www.visitourtowns.com/file_download/18/OurTown-Winter2012.pdf