THE TOP STORIES LAST WEEK
New from Se7en Bites owners
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.
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.
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
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!’
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
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?
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.