Archive for the ‘Community’ Category


Just got the latest email newsletter from the Orlando Brewery and they announced an upcoming charitable event called Beer-B-Que, Saturday, June 23, 2007. The 1st Annual Beer-B-Q, Music Festival, and Car Show is being put together by The Orlando Brewery and the Orlando Jaycees and will benefit two charities: Pet Rescue by Judy and the PKZ – Paramore Kids Zone.

The Orlando Brewery is great, my favorite place in Orlando for a cold one by far. I’m partial to their Porter and having Young’s Double Chocolate Stout on tap is never a bad thing either. I’m also a big proponent of anything BBQ, so this sounds like a winning combination to me. Go check it out, I’ll be the guy with the Porter in one hand and a chunk of pig in the other.

Metroblogging Welcomes San Jose To Our Family

san jose trolley Though it sits in the shadow of it’s larger neighbor, San Francisco, San Jose is a mighty urban force all its own. The third largest city in California, San Jose has been rated the Safest Big City in America (500,000+) for five consecutive years.

But why let me tell you about the city, when you can read about it from the people who actually live there?

Metroblogging Orlando sends a hearty welcome aboard to the newest member of our family, San Jose, which you can find at

Metroblogging Welcomes Pittsburgh To Our Family

Downtown Pittsburgh from the Metroblogging Pittsburgh Flickr groupTwo weeks ago, Metroblogging opened up its 52nd local blog for the fine denizens of Pittsburgh, PA. So I’d like to offer a hearty welcome and a “Happy Anniversary” to the newest member of our fine Metroblogging family.

Already, our fellow Metrobloggers have discussed everything from local politics and sports to what connection the recently departed Anna Nicole Smith had to the city. They’re busy and they’re talking.

So if you want to know what’s happening in Pittsburgh, head on over to and say hello. :)

Text Donations To Red Cross To Help Storm Victims

american red cross logoTo go along with our story posted last week on the tornadoes that tore through Central Florida, and how you can help, Wendy Harman of the American Red Cross dropped us a line to let us know that the organization is also accepting donations via mobile texting.

You can now text message a $5 donation to the Red Cross using your cell phone through their Text 2HELP program with the Wireless Foundation. Most wireless carriers are participating including AT&T/Cingular, Verizon, Sprint/Nextel, T-mobile and Alltel.

Text message ‘2HELP‘ (24357) with the word ‘GIVE‘ and the $5 donation will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. This fund allows the Red Cross to provide immediate emergency assistance such as food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters each year, like the recent Central Florida tornadoes. And if you’re wondering, Harman says 100% of your donation goes directly to the Red Cross.

Standard text message rates still apply.

I’ve already done it – our fellow Floridians still need our help and this is a quick, easy way to do it.

Homemade For The Holidays

Are you tired of the mass produced gifts you find in the big box stores? Would you like to give a gift that is handmade and perhaps a little more personal to the intended recipient? Do you want your gift to be more eco-friendly than what you’ll find at the mall? Then Dandelion Communitea Cafe’s “Homemade For The Holidays” is where you want to shop.

homemade_for_the_holidays.gifThis Saturday, as they have for the past 3 Saturdays in December, Dandelion Communitea Cafe will host their final Arts and Crafts Market before Christmas. The event gives local artisans and crafters an opportunity to share their homemade jewelry, clothing, candles, incense, preserves, beauty products, paintings and other gift items with shoppers who are looking for that unique gift for that special person in their lives. In addition, all vendors are only offering environmentally friendly products, most of them hand-crafted.

Plus, this week only, the “Homemade For The Holidays” Arts and Crafts Market will feature performances by folk musician Paul Gerardi, a local talent who has toured the eastern United States and hosted a show on local radio station WPRK, among many other musical accomplishments.

So if you’re looking for a locally produced, one of a kind, environmentally friendly last minute gift, make your way to Dandelion Communitea Cafe’s “Homemade For The Holidays” Arts and Crafts Market this Saturday from 1 to 6pm. The cafe is located at 618 N Thornton Avenue in Orlando, one block west of Mills Avenue and between Colonial Drive and Concord Street.

Happy Thanksgiving, Orlando

Wishing all the MetroBloggers and everyone in O-Town a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Vote Early, Vote Often

vote.gifOk, I’m joking about the voting often part, at least as far as each individual election is concerned. But you CAN vote early here in Orlando and across the state. Early voting began yesterday and will continue each weekday until the 2nd day before the general election for 8 hours each day. It’s an excellent opportunity to avoid election day crowds. Here in Orlando, you can check the locations and hours of early voting precincts at the Orange County Elections web site.

I arrived at my polling place (my local library branch) yesterday 10 minutes after they opened at 10am and was actually gratified (rather than perturbed) to see about 30 people already in line and while I was waiting in line another 40 or so early voters joined the line behind me. I happen to believe voting is one of our greatest rights and I’m always happy to see people taking advantage of that opportunity. The biggest delays were caused by the fact that the election office personnel were having to use the library’s Internet connection to access their records and that connection kept going down. Anyway, I was out of there within 30 minutes, glad that I voted and that I voted early.

Excuses Are Like Violent Crime Problems…

… Everyone’s got one.

Something really bugs me about this most recent bout of violent crime at Universiity High School. I say violent crime, and not “school violence” like many because I think what that does is conveniently put the act into some kind of different class that we can either dismiss or attribute to different causes. No, this was a violent crime, part and parcel to the plague of violent crime that has been on an ever increasing and destructive path in our city for the past year or more.

But what bugs me is what the police are saying. I’ve heard the city’s finest blame everything from video games to pocket knife rules, as if those are the deep rooted problems with the human condition. Give me a break, those are excuses for not being able to handle your job. I know that’s harsh, but I am a life long resident of this city and it is going to crap in a hurry due to this increasing violent crime, and there is one organization tasked with curbing that problem, and it it the law enforcement community. Do your job, and last time I checked your job was not to play the blame game.

A short while ago I wrote about the running down of a police officer on Conway Road by a youth on a jacked motorcycle. The police officer was out there because after MONTHS of complaints of dangerous drag racing on that road they finally decided to look into the problem. What happened? One of those thugs broke the cops leg. What happened next? NOTHING! So I’m driving down the road the other morning in bumper to bumper commute traffic and that same spot where this violent crime occured what do I see, a police officer with a radar gun. I drive that same stretch multiple times every day and the only time I see a police is in the morning with his radar gun. So the police are plenty concerned with writing tickets for drive time traffic, targeting hard working people on their morning commute, but when it comes to putting feet on concrete to patrol those same spots in the night time hours for vandals, drag racers, thugs and such, when residents have called to ask for it… well, that’s just not a priority.

I’m sure the police don’t want to be portrayed as not doing their jobs, not caring, being more concerned with writing tickets than righting wrongs and all the other negative stereotypes that people sometimes come to have, but when you consisently display an inability to control and reduce crime, especially that of the violent type, and offer up nothing but lame excuses like video games and pocket knifes in school (you can stab a person with a pencil, it’s the intent, not the weapon that kills), well, those stereotypes look more and more like educated assumptions every day. Stop talking and start walking the beat. I want my city safe like it used to be, do what you have to, but just get it done.

National Herb Day Local Observance

No, not THAT kind of herb.

Today is National Herb Day, celebrating the multitude of uses of herbs for health, for pets, for cooking, and in your garden.

dandelion_tea_logo.jpgUrban teahouse, natural foods diner and official Eco-Shop location Dandelion Communitea Cafe is hosting the event locally with vendors of herb plants, herb products such as herbal incense and oils, natural products such as soy wax candles, and free classes and demonstrations of herbs and natural products you can use every day to improve your world.

The celebration takes place today from 2pm until 6pm in the front parking lot of Dandelion, located at 618 North Thornton Avenue in downtown Orlando, about one block south of Colonial between Hillcrest and Concord Street. If you have an interest in bettering your life with the use of natural products, you might want to drop by and see what the various vendors have to offer.

Today’s BlogOrlando UnConference

blogorlandologo.gif Michelle and I were going to attend the BlogOrlando Unconference together today but the poor lady called me this morning to let me know she felt like she was coming down with the flu. Hope you feel better by tomorrow so you can celebrate your birthday in style!

Anyway, I posted several entries from the “Unconference” throughout the day to my personal blog if you’re interested in that, but I thought I would post a general entry here and give an overall view and report. BlogOrlando started at 9am and concluded at 4:45pm at the beautiful Bush Executive Center on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park, though it actually continues tomorrow and Sunday with trips to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, respectively. I’m passing on those excursions due to previous scheduling conflicts, but I wanted to see and be a part of today’s meeting enough that I took the day off from work.

crowd_250.jpgThe “Unconference” was a good mixture of subject matter and session leaders with something, I felt, for every blogger or prospective blogger (though I think from one informal survey I observed that all attendees are currently blogging in some form). I attended the “Political”, “Hyperlocal” “Legal Issues”, “Tools” (no jokes, please), and the “Video Blogging” sessions and learned somethiing or refreshed my knowledge in every single one. Session leaders were knowledgeable and possessed real world experience in their respective fields and in every session there was an excellent give and take of questions and help between attendees.

This was a fantastic opportunity to network with other bloggers (approximately 80 people attended) in the area and from across the state and country, but that is perhaps the one opportunity I did not take advantage of in the way I should. I’m not really the social type (that’s why my personal blog tagline is “Commenting on Life in the World From the Solitude of my Cave”) so networking is not my strong suit. Still I did speak with a few people and will be contacting others by e-mail or IM, so it wasn’t a total loss on that front.

Plans are underway for another “BlogOrlando Unconference” and I’m sure the next one will be even greater than today’s event. Maybe we’ll see each other there.

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