As holidays arrive, the world of the vacation home paradise awaits

An Flamand runs USA Vacation Homes & Spa, which has a few homes available for the holiday travel season.

An Flamand runs USA Vacation Homes & Spa, which has a few homes available for the holiday travel season.


DAVENPORT — With the arrival of the holiday season, Central Florida’s tourism and hospitality industries are shifting into high gear. From tropical weather in the dead of winter to some of the world’s best known theme park attractions, the Orlando area can always demonstrate every December why so many want to vacation here.
For a lot of northern families and international visitors now looking to book a holiday vacation here, there are a wide assortment of hotels and motels to pick from in this region. But there are also likely to be families that don’t really like the idea of cramming everyone into a single hotel room for a week or more.
What some of them may not know is there’s another option.
And as it turns out, the concept is growing very quickly in popularity, noted An Flamand, the owner of USA Vacation Homes & Spa.
“We are starting to book up pretty well for the holiday season,” she said. Continue reading

From economic despair to Antisemitic terror: the dark journey of “Bloody Rabbit”

Michael Freeman's fiction novel "Bloody Rabbit" explores how economic despair contributes to a rise in Antisemitism.

Michael Freeman’s fiction novel “Bloody Rabbit” explores how economic despair contributes to a rise in Antisemitism.


ORLANDO — The Great Recession brought terrible hardship to millions of people, and R.T. Robeson is no exception.
The Orlando man thought he had it all by his late 40s, but the recession took everything he had — his job, his savings, his home, car, even his cat. As he struggles to find employment, he also tries desperately to hold onto his dignity.
Things eventually turn around for Robeson: he finds a new, lower paying job, and a tiny apartment that is affordable on his new salary. But something else has changed. In a society that has seen its wealth and opportunities wiped away, there are some who look for scapegoats. In the minds of the most twisted among them, those scapegoats are easy to find.
Freeline Productions’ novel “Bloody Rabbit” explores the rise of anti-Semitism following a devastating economic crash — seen through the eyes of a man who now finds himself being targeted, and stalked, by someone who believes one specific group can be blamed for this ongoing economic misery: the Jews. Continue reading

Florida Civil Rights Association calls for changes in Florida laws

Willie David, president of the Florida Civil Rights Association, is calling on the Florida Legislature to pass new laws following the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Willie David, president of the Florida Civil Rights Association, is calling on the Florida Legislature to pass new laws following the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.


ORLANDO — Going beyond decrying the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Missouri, the Florida Civil Rights Association is calling for changes in Florida law that would potentially prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the Sunshine State.
On Friday, the association based in Orlando issued a statement noting its “grave discerns” with the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager. It sends a dangerous message to rogue law enforcement officers, said J. Willie David II, president of the association.
“The Florida Civil Rights Association believes that the result will embolden law enforcement to continue the acts of murder committed by them against young black men,” David said. “Ferguson prosecutors presented a case that belongs in the junkyard, not before a grand jury.”
He also called on the U.S. Department of Justice to strongly consider filing federal charges. Continue reading

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