Not spent yet
The Orlando Weekly's May 28 paper stated that Orange County had approved money for equipment in the planned Afashee Theatre. Please be aware that no dollars have been disbursed, nor will they be until the project is at a stage as to require disbursement. There is a deadline associated with the grant. If the project doesn't materialize in a timely fashion, the dollars go back into the facilities pool.
The Arts & Cultural Affairs Advisory Council recognizes that developing a quality new facility takes years of planning. The struggle between having advance commitments and showing progress to which other funders can commit is one often faced by nonprofit organizations. Orange County makes advance commitments to help leverage our small investment. Our commitment helps arts groups to raise additional funds for their project, helping them reach their full potential. At the same time we closely guard Orange County's investment to ensure sound fiduciary responsibility and a cultural return for our community. We appreciate your interest and coverage of the arts and want to make sure you are reporting all the facts accurately.
Terry Olson, Orlando
I've been meaning to write and tell you the Thanksgiving story you did last year was one of the most honest stories I have read on vegetarianism in quite some time `"To kill a turkey," Nov. 27`.
I have been a vegetarian going on 22 years now. I choose not to eat meat, chicken, fish, dairy and cheese. We have 14 chickens at home so I eat their eggs knowing they have not been factory-farmed; I will not knowingly eat commercial eggs. I am, though, somewhat of a veggie hypocrite. I knowingly eat dairy in candy and cakes and drink whey-laced "nondairy" creamers in my coffee. I find it very difficult to tolerate vegans who treat their diet like a religion and every carnivore is viewed as a potential convert. I, on the other hand, have been hunting, killed and dressed out my dinner on a few occasions. I have friends who are avid hunters. My view on the hunters is if you eat what you kill, more power to you. But I'm not good with trophy hunting.
All that said, I'll get to my point. Your story articulated both sides of the carnivore-vegetarian debate. Jeff, you said you were an ex-vegetarian who is well-read on all the animal rights philosophies. Articulating the factory-farming issues, and being an ex-veggie, gave you a unique perspective on the subject that made your story so enjoyable to read. The honesty regarding your personal journey and how you saw the small farm was most refreshing. Well done, and I hope your editors will allow you to tackle the subject again.
Alan Kornman, Oviedo
A real blockbuster
I just got done reading your piece on the new upscale downtown movie theater, the Plaza Cinema Café (not to be confused with the Plaza Theatre on Bumby Avenue, courageously trying to be a live music venue in the face of howling apathy). The Plaza Cinema Café sounds like the last place anyone would go to see a movie. Born out of corrupt "feed the rich" politics before the crash when the upscale took a nose-dive, I give it a year. A literal "blockbuster."
OK! I'll admit it. I'm not from around here. I was born and raised in that overcrowded, overdeveloped, industrial wasteland of Central Jersey. But Orlando/Orange County has got to be one of the silliest places on the planet. I do sometimes get a little homesick for good old "cancer alley."
Note to our local politicians and leaders: Please, find a brain and learn how to share it. Yikes!
Bob Sanders, Orlando
Fucking terrifying `"How I got hit," June 11`. I ride a bike around town elsewhere in Florida and have never actually been hit, thank God, only demoralized. This is why I bicycle on the sidewalk. And, by the way, Florida state law specifically defers to smaller municipalities on laws regarding bikes on sidewalks. Cycling on the sidewalk is not explicitly against the law in most counties/cities. Where I live, Tallahassee, it's only explicitly against the law downtown. I've done it God knows how many times, and I've never been stopped, ever.