Holocaust Center will reflect on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 this fall

The historic materials from the Jim Crow era in the American South have become a part on the exhibit "Hateful Things" that is opening at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center.

The historic materials from the Jim Crow era in the American South have become a part on the exhibit “Hateful Things” that is opening at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center.


MAITLAND – This fall, the focus of the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center will be on a special topic very much in the news today: civil rights.
On the heels of an explosive summer in Ferguson, Missouri, where riots and protests followed the death of Michael Brown – an unarmed 18-year-old who was shot and killed by a police officer – the Holocaust Center in Maitland will host special exhibits and programs that explore the state of civil rights today.
As the center notes, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. The Holocaust Center will devote the fall to a Civil Rights Act Commemoration that explores the state of race relations today.
“In recognition of the 50-year anniversary, the Holocaust Center has brought institutions and individuals throughout Central Florida together to examine the impact of the Civil Rights Act, what issues remain to be addressed and how we can continue challenging bigotry and prejudice in all its forms,” the Holocaust Center noted in a news release.
Why focus on civil rights issues through a center that preserves the history and documentation of the Holocaust during World War II? Continue reading

Sales tax extension proposal comes under fire from Ax the Tax

The anti-tax group Ax the Tax is campaigning against the half cent sales tax extension that Orange County voters will decide on Aug. 26.

The anti-tax group citizens group Ax the Tax is campaigning against the half cent sales tax extension that Orange County voters will decide on Aug. 26.


ORLANDO – With just 10 days left until voters head to the polls for the Florida state primary, members of the Orange County School Board have been busying trying to get out the message that voters should approve the referendum on the ballot to extend the half cent sales tax — needed, the board members say, to help build new schools and renovate 59 existing ones.
As the School Board members have been quick to point out, this is an extension of an existing tax that Orange County voters approved in 2002, and not the introduction of a new one. As a sales tax, it’s expected that it will be paid for largely by tourists coming to the area, and not just local residents.
But the referendum is not without opposition. This week, the grass roots political action committee Ax the Tax came out swinging, urging a no vote. The measure will be decided by voters on Tuesday, Aug. 26.
Doug Guetzloe, the chairman of Ax the Tax, also took aim at Orange County Public Schools and accused them of violating Florida law by putting pro-sales tax signs in front of public schools in Orlando and Orange County – a move that Guetzloe said he plans to challenge legally. Continue reading

A summer spent in the oyster beds

Long before oysters make it to local restaurants, their populations in Florida's lagoons must continue to be plentiful.

Long before oysters make it to local restaurants, their populations in Florida’s lagoons must continue to be plentiful.


ORLANDO — In Central Florida, there are plenty of ways to spend the summer: at the beach, taking in the theme parks, or hitting the golf course.
Linda Walters is looking for folks to spend their summer days in another way: visiting some of the region’s most spectacularly beautiful outdoor parks, and checking out the oyster beds.
Walters, a biology professor the University of Central Florida, is looking for volunteers to help out this summer on a crucial ecological project: to restore Florida’s eroding shorelines, and to help oysters in the lagoons.
Walters is sponsoring a variety of community projects that involve native plants and the rebuilding of colonies of oyster beds in the Mosquito Lagoon.
These projects are being done in June and July. Continue reading

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