THE TOP STO­RIES LAST WEEK

Orlando Sentinel (Sunday) - - OPINION - At­tor­ney, founder of Water­mark: pres­i­dent/ CEO, Cen­tral Florida Ur­ban League: rabbi, Con­gre­ga­tion Ohev Shalom: of Congress: for­mer mem­ber Seminole County Lib­er­tar­ian Party chair­man, CEO of Re­fresh Com­put­ers en­gi­neer: ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Cre­ative City Proj

New from Se7en Bites own­ers

Tom Dyer,

Brian’s Restau­rant was a break­fast in­sti­tu­tion for three decades be­fore it closed in 2014. Since then, three res­tau­rants have come and gone at the prime Ivan­hoe Vil­lage lo­ca­tion. But lo­cals can take heart. The own­ers of Se7en Bites are open­ing a restau­rant at the site. Trina Gre­gory-Propst and Va Propst have cul­ti­vated a de­voted fol­low­ing since their bakeshop opened in the Milk Dis­trict in 2013. After Se7en Bites ex­panded to a 4,000-square-foot fa­cil­ity in 2016, the Food Net­work’s Guy Fieri brought a film crew. The new restau­rant, Sette, will fea­ture rus­tic Italian recipes … with desserts from Se7en Bites.

Re­mem­ber­ing fallen of­fi­cers

Glen­ton Gilzean Jr.,

Two years have passed since we lost two he­roes: Lt. De­bra Clayton and Deputy First Class Nor­man Lewis, both of whom were trag­i­cally killed in the line of duty. These of­fi­cers served our com­mu­nity with un­matched ded­i­ca­tion and pride, setting an ex­am­ple for not only their col­leagues, but for the pub­lic as a whole. Per­son­ally, I had the great honor to work closely with Lt. Clayton on a num­ber of projects em­pow­er­ing lo­cal youth. I wit­nessed first-hand the im­pact she had on chil­dren and young adults and I can truly say that she both changed and in turn saved many lives. May their mem­o­ries con­tinue to be a bless­ing.

Shutdown’s ef­fects

David Kay,

Here’s a non­par­ti­san ob­ser­va­tion: Gov­ern­ment shut­downs aren’t good for any­one. It’s not “the gov­ern­ment” that gets fur­loughed or works with­out pay, it’s hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple. As Abra­ham Lin­coln fa­mously put it, ours is to be “a gov­ern­ment of the peo­ple, by the peo­ple, and for the peo­ple.” The three fed­eral branches work for us, and none of them ought to have the right to re­nege on that. With Martin Luther King Day fast ap­proach­ing, our elected of­fi­cials need to be re­minded that their job is to serve and, as Dr. King said, ser­vice is what truly makes a per­son — and a na­tion — great.

Bale’s role as Cheney

Ric Keller, lawyer,

Chris­tian Bale won the Golden Globe for Best Ac­tor for his de­pic­tion of for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney. As some­one who has spent time with Cheney, I think Bale’s performance — in the movie — was spec­tac­u­lar. He gained 60 pounds for the phys­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion, and showed a gifted abil­ity to mimic Cheney’s voice and fa­cial ex­pres­sions. Un­for­tu­nately, Bale’s performance — in his ac­cep­tance speech — was pa­thetic. Bale pan­dered to his left­ist Hol­ly­wood peers, thank­ing “Satan” for in­spir­ing him and re­fer­ring to Cheney as a “charisma-free a**hole”. Why is a guy named “Chris­tian” seeking in­spi­ra­tion from Satan any­way?

En­cour­aged by DeSan­tis quote

David Leav­itt, for­mer

:I am en­cour­aged by a re­cent quote by Ron DeSan­tis. If he truly be­lieves what he said, then a new era in free­dom for Florid­i­ans may be com­ing from the gov­er­nor’s of­fice. DeSan­tis said, “Our rights are en­dowed by God, not gov­ern­ment; that we the peo­ple loan power to gov­ern­ment un­der the Con­sti­tu­tion in order to pro­tect our rights. That gov­ern­ment’s role is not to run our lives for us.” These few words are the very essence of what made our coun­try great and should be a guid­ing light for not only the man who spoke them but for all of us.

Plant-based di­ets

Ricky Ly, Lo­cal ve­gan eater­ies The Sanc­tum Cafe, Dixie Dharma, and oth­ers plan to ex­pand in 2019 as Or­lan­doans trend more to­ward plant-based di­ets. A re­cent study by Ore­gon State Uni­ver­sity found that if ev­ery Amer­i­can made just one di­etary change — sub­sti­tut­ing beans for beef — the U.S. could still come close to meet­ing its 2020 green­house-gas emis­sion goals, pledged by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2009 even if noth­ing about our en­ergy in­fra­struc­ture or trans­porta­tion sys­tem changed — and even if peo­ple kept eat­ing chicken and pork and eggs and cheese. The study found that this one di­etary change could achieve some­where be­tween 46 and 74 per­cent of the re­duc­tions needed to meet the tar­get. Save the planet, eat more beans and veg­gies.

That was quick. Gov. Ron DeSan­tis has shown in­dif­fer­ence to the rights and well-be­ing of LGBTQ Florid­i­ans by is­su­ing a nondis­crim­i­na­tion policy for state em­ploy­ees specif­i­cally omit­ting pro­tec­tions for sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion. This is re­gres­sive and out­dated. Most ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions have adopted non-dis­crim­i­na­tion poli­cies. It is good for busi­ness and at­tract­ing qual­ity em­ploy­ees. In a coun­try where same-sex mar­riage is le­gal, state em­ploy­ees should not be at risk for ter­mi­na­tion sim­ply based on who they are. Gov. DeSan­tis, who was elected by a 0.5 per­cent ma­jor­ity, should rec­og­nize he is the gov­er­nor of all Florid­i­ans and cor­rect this dis­turb­ing omis­sion.

Fringe Winter Mini-Fest

Cole NeSmith,

The “3rd an­nual Or­lando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest” took place this week­end at Or­lando Shakes in Loch Haven Park. This event is a smaller, cu­rated ver­sion of the larger Or­lando Fringe that takes place each May. The Mini-Fest is a col­lec­tion of the best-of Fringe shows from Or­lando and be­yond. It’s a great way for new Fringe pa­trons to learn about nav­i­gat­ing the larger fes­ti­val and in­tro­duces them to some of the hits of the fes­ti­val. Over the next few months, scores of pro­duc­ers, writ­ers, ac­tors, di­rec­tors, and techs will be prep­ping their in­de­pen­dently pro­duced con­tent for Or­lando Fringe com­ing up May 14-27.

‘There Oughta Be a Law!’

Larry Pino,

When Harry Shorten and Al Fa­galy cre­ated the ubiq­ui­tous comic strip “There Oughta Be a Law!” in the mid-1940s on the no­tion that our great coun­try had the power to leg­is­late away the frus­tra­tions, hypocrisies and ironies in­vad­ing ev­ery­day life, nei­ther could have pre­dicted the life we cur­rently ex­pe­ri­ence. I was re­minded of that as I read Scott Maxwell’s com­men­tary on Sen. Lau­ren Book’s pro­posed law crim­i­nal­iz­ing “ly­ing” to (and by?) the “Florida Leg­is­la­ture!” Ly­ing? Yes, ly­ing ... at a time in which ly­ing and run­ning for or serv­ing in of­fice are of­ten in­ter­change­able! At the risk of be­ing dubbed a mod­ern-day Miniver Cheevy, I do de­clare: “there oughta be a law.”

Fix process for fis­cal im­passes

Joanie Schirm,

Would you like a job called “nonessen­tial,” where at the pres­i­dent’s whim (Repub­li­can or Demo­crat) you’re forced to stay home in­def­i­nitely with­out pay? Since Dec. 22 at Kennedy Space Cen­ter, 1,200 work­ers know that pain. Work­ers who fix the power grid or run safety checks for launches aren’t gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees. They work un­der fed­eral gov­ern­ment con­tracts with­out as­sur­ance of back pay fol­low­ing gov­ern­ment shut­downs. Uncer­tainty drives good peo­ple away from fed­eral jobs and our sys­tem bogs down. Congress needs to fix the process to re­solve fis­cal im­passes with­out al­low­ing a pres­i­dent to shut down the gov­ern­ment that serves Amer­ica in es­sen­tial ways we all need.

Shift to pri­va­ti­za­tion?

John Thed­ford,

Our Florida econ­omy de­pends heav­ily on tourism and re­cre­ation op­por­tu­ni­ties. Now weeks into the gov­ern­ment shutdown, is it time to limit the dam­age to our tourism econ­omy and our fed­eral work­force by re­struc­tur­ing and pri­va­tiz­ing agen­cies such as the TSA, National Park Ser­vice and air-traf­fic con­trol? While we watch politi­cians butt heads, our econ­omy re­mains hostage. Pri­va­ti­za­tion may seem ex­treme, but since the 1980s more than 100 coun­tries have moved tril­lions of dol­lars worth of gov­ern­men­trun busi­nesses to the pri­vate sec­tor. In 1996, Canada pri­va­tized its air-traf­fic con­troller sys­tem as a self­funded non­profit cor­po­ra­tion. Fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, im­proved man­age­ment and in­no­va­tion re­sulted. Per­haps it is time for a par­a­digm shift to pri­va­ti­za­tion for the U.S. as well.

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