Mayoral candidates allege dirty tricks in requests for absentee ballots.

Orlando City Commission candidate Lawanna Gelzer and mayoral candidate Mike Cantone hold a press conference alleging possible voter fraud while calling on Gov. Rick Scott to launch an investigation. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

ORLANDO – Three political candidates for local office are calling for an investigation into requests made for absentee ballots, as they accused two incumbents – Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioner Samuel Ings – of using their office to stack the deck in their favor.
“It is very clear this is an incumbent protection plan, and it’s tainting the votes of the people,” said Mayoral candidate Mike Cantone, who is challenging Dyer. Another mayoral candidate, Ken Mulvaney, added, “All’s we’re looking for in the city of Orlando is a fair election.”
Lawanna Gelzer, a candidate for the District 6 City Commission district seat that Ings now holds, added, “We just want a fair election, where the best candidate will win.”
Gelzer, Cantone and Mulvaney held a press conference today in front of the office of the Orange County Work Release Center. That location was chosen at the last minute because it’s across the street from the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office on Kaley Avenue. The candidates had to move the press conference when they were asked not to place television camera crews in the Supervisor of Elections parking lot. Continue reading

Freelining with Mike Freeman: a fond farewell to Davy Jones.

Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, died on Feb. 29 at the age of 66 of a heart attack. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

Sometimes in the course of a very busy day, you leave the rest of the world behind you as you throw yourself into everything loading up on your plate. When you finally have a moment to stop, catch your breath, and check to see what’s happening outside your little corner, you find yourself stopped in your tracks, and you’re left saying “That can’t be. I don’t believe this.”
For some of you, maybe it was the news of Mitt Romney winning the Michigan Republican presidential primary over Rick Santorum, who had been leading in the polls.
Maybe you were still catching up with the Academy Awards and one of the winners took you by surprise.
For me, that “Wow” shocker of a moment happened today when the news flashed across the MSNBC web site, that Davy Jones, the singer for the 1960s band The Monkees, had died of a heart attack at age 66.
For someone who was a Monkees devotee as a teen, I was absolutely stunned.
First of all, 66 seems much too young an age for one of the four band members – the others are Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith – to have left this world.
But it was true. Jones died at Martin Memorial Hospital in Martin County, Florida on Wednesday. The British born pop star, who got his start playing the Artful Dodger in “Oliver,” was gone. Continue reading

A success story in a rough economy: the friendly greeting at your table by Chef Eddie.

Chef Eddie James says good customer service has helped his restaurant survive in tough economic times. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

ORLANDO – His name is Eddie James, but most people in this city are probably more likely to know him as Chef Eddie.
That’s the name, after all, of the restaurant that he runs with his wife Bessie, at 3214 Orange Center Boulevard. Chef Eddie’s Restaurant is a place where patrons can get Eddie’s popular Jalapeno Muffin – “They go by those muffins in droves,” he said – or where they can get some soul food – “Ham hocks, pig tails, fried chicken, stuff like that,” he added – without it actually being a Soul Food restaurant, since Chef Eddie’s serves so much more.
“We do your steaks and your seafood, snow crabs, things like that,” he said. “We do a much wider variety than just soul food.” Continue reading

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