So after two and a half hours of waiting in line to cast our vote Nov. 2, we wandered over to local Democratic party headquarters to see if we could lend a hand. We didn't have much time, we explained, but would be happy to do what we could, this being a "historic" election and all.
Dan, the volunteer coordinator, gave us a printout of a dozen names and addresses in the immediate vicinity. These names were people who had requested, but never turned in, absentee ballots. Our job was to knock on their doors, collect the ballots if they were home and turn them in to the Supervisor of Elections office by 7 p.m. If they weren't home, we were instructed to leave a letter explaining that they needed to vote or drop off their absentee ballot, or vote in person, by 7 p.m.
"No one's done this precinct," Dan told us.
We started on our way, only to find the first half-dozen homes empty. But we noticed copies of the same letters we were supposed to leave stuck in doorjambs and mailboxes, meaning we weren't the only ones who'd been by.
It was, in fact, an exercise in redundancy. Eventually, we found a kind, elderly lady who answered the door and explained that we were her second visitor of the day, and one of several of the previous few days. In fact, someone had collected her ballot over the weekend. After that, we gave up and headed back to the office, wondering both about the Dems' organizational skills, and the fact that they let anybody run around picking up absentee ballots.
More hurricane victims? Earlier this year we ran a cover story ("We own WMFE," June 10) that expressed our concern over the dearth of local TV programming on Channel 24 as it aspires to its high-dollar digital transformation. And we're now sad to report that the last two full-timers on the station's TV production side Les Anderson and Larry Krause were axed in October. It's a big blow for Anderson in particular, who has been the director of local programming at the station for 15 years.
Jose A. Fajardo, who was promoted to WMFE's general manager in the shakeup and is being groomed for the top job now occupied by Stephen McKenney Steck, says the positions were two of three "that we reduced at the beginning of our fiscal year … and the reasons for those people being let go was the change in donor interest in funding local programming." (The other lost position was in the membership department.) Add to that the loss of membership revenue due to the three hurricanes, which impeded WMFE's on-air fund-raising campaign, and you've got fiscal trouble.
Fajardo says the expense of local TV programming just couldn't be funded in today's financial market. So the station will be working to devise a new way of paying for TV programming. In the meantime, Anderson and Krause could both be called upon to work for WMFE on freelance projects.
Got something to say about the utter lack of local programming from our local public television affiliate? Then contact WMFE yourself via their "Talk to Us" program at (407) 273-2300, or online at www.wmfe.org/talk_to_us). Be sure to tell 'em Happytown™ sent you.
We're not quite sure what this says about us at Happytown™ other than that we're no strangers to bustlines and nose candy but when it flashed across our hotline ticker that our crit-pick for Best Strip Club in the 2004 Best of Orlando issue went down the COPS route with a drug-and-panty raid, we couldn't help but clench our butt cheeks.
Seems that those clothes-free folks at Cleo's on Orange Blossom Trail were hustling a little more than the standard G-string adult entertainment; apparently there were also some illicit drug sales and sexual activities going on.
Cops busted the place Nov. 5, arresting nine people (eight of them dancers). "We are trying to clean up that club because it's out of control," Lt. Larry Zwieg told the Sentinel. Well, yeah that's how it got into Best of Orlando. Duh.
Seriously, though, for us it was never about the narcotics; it was way more about the subtlety of having a curvaceous mochachino clap her posterior in rhythm to an Outkast song. We only travel the high road, you see.
And now for something completely different: women's football! Are you a woman? Do you love football? Of course you are and you do; why else would you be reading this column?
Ladies, we have good news for you: The Orlando Mayhem formerly known as the Orlando Starz are back, and they are looking for a few good women for the team. Running backs, quarterbacks, fullbacks, halfbacks, defensive linewomen: All are needed. If you're 18 or over and got game, the Mayhem want to see your stuff … er, you know what we mean.
Tryouts are set for noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 21 at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry. You don't need to know a football from a bowling ball to make the team, says team rep David Hodges. "We are going to teach them to play."
The Mayhem rose from the ashes of the Orlando Starz when that team disbanded before the end of the season. Starz players got together, petitioned the Independent Women's Football League to continue, and came out as the Mayhem. They finished with a 2-6 record.
The season begins in April and the Mayhem will square off against other teams in the Eastern Conference of the IWFL's South Atlantic Division, including the Tampa Bay Terminators and the Jacksonville Dixie Blues.
We are, in fact, ready for some (women's) football.
WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHY:
ASK IAN THE I.T. GUY!
Q: We hear you've ranked among Axis Magazine's 20 coolest people in Orlando. Please tell us how one attains such a coveted status. And, now that you are on the top rung of this city's social ladder, how do you keep all the ladies at bay?
As to the first part of your question I don't know how I managed to attain such a status. Honestly, I'm baffled. The best advice I can give you is to support the things that you love and to do the work needed to bring suitable recognition to the good things and people around you. Effort precedes accolades.
Now, the second part of your question is easier to address. I don't keep the ladies at bay. As a matter of fact, I've recently introduced a piece of legislation I like to call "The 2004 Government Incentive to Romance the Ladies Act" also known as the GIRL Act based on the advice of Glorious King Bush II. Namely, I've been trying to break down the obstacles that restrict women's access to me, access that many cannot currently afford, access that, until now, has been limited by pencil-pushing bureaucrats, so that I can be free to practice my love on women all over the country, without fear of costly litigation.